Ferretti 590 — By Richard
— June 2003
Some Things Never Change
|The newest Ferretti to arrive stateside has a lot in common with the first one that hit U.S. shores nine years ago.|
When I stepped aboard the Ferretti 590 in early March, it had been nearly nine years since I'd tested my first Ferretti for PMY's May 1994 issue. While this boat's sleeker, curvaceous exterior stood in sharp contrast to the angularity of the 185 Fly's--a motif that was then the Euro rage--I was nevertheless impressed by how similar the two boats were and how little had changed in nearly a decade.
Perhaps the most obvious commonality was the superb joinery and flawless lacquer that marked both interiors. I'm not speaking of only pretty wood with a perfect finish--it's also about the careful selection of wood, precise matching of grains, and joints that are so tight they're essentially invisible. For a long time Europeans--specifically the Italians and the English--have seemed to have a lock on this art, at least within the production-boatbuilding realm. American boatbuilders are catching up but still, in my opinion, lag behind, many contending that the deficit is the result of more stringent environmental regulations here that prohibit the use of some of the glossiest coatings. Europeans say it's simply fine craftsmanship that has been handed down from father to son for generations.
Whatever the reason, the moment you enter the 590's saloon, you can't help but notice the tasteful blending of light and dark cherry and cherry burls and a finish that seems a foot deep. You might be so impressed by it that you miss thoughtful touches like the bank of circuit breakers readily accessible to the helmsman on a panel to port of the lower helm. Chances are you will not miss the decidedly European galley-down arrangement--the 185 Fly, strangely, had the more American-friendly galley up. This one is well equipped, if a bit remote from the saloon, and has a laundry room (the washer, dryer, and separate freezer are a $10,780 option) to centerline of it that extends under the lower helm station. In Europe this space is devoted to crew's quarters, and in fact, the crew's vanity sink remains to port.
Yet another continuum among Ferrettis of all vintages is scintillating handling. In a world of stylish European and European-inspired yachts, a Ferretti stands out as a driver's boat. In fact, if you hire a captain for your 590, you'll be missing out on a lot of fun. Perhaps it's because of the company's racing heritage that the 590, like the 185, feels so good at the wheel. Other yachts offer more headroom--the 590's saloon measures less than 6'4" vertically--but in trade, the boat gives you a relatively low center of gravity that helps her maintain trim, even in a beam sea, and remain firm-footed in the tightest turns. Power steering was a Ferretti standard back in 1994 and continues to be today, making the 590 quick to respond to wheel input. When I wrote of the 185 Fly, "Acceleration is surprising for a boat of this heft, and she turns like a sportboat," I could have just as easily been writing about the 590.
In fact, our test boat was responsive in just about every way but one: I was surprised to discover that trim tab adjustments produced little, if any, discernable change in running attitude. Under normal circumstances this should present no problem, as the 590's weights and balances have been well attended to. It might be another matter if one has to contend with uneven loading or a stiff wind on the beam.
This article originally appeared in the May 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.