88 Silver Edition — By George L. Petrie
|Pershing’s new 88 delivers megayacht luxury, sportboat attitude, and Italian style.|
The setting was suitably upscale. Behind a multimillion-dollar mansion in an exclusive Fort Lauderdale waterfront community, a Pershing 88 tugged gently at her docklines. Privately owned, she was the only Pershing 88 in the United States, so it had taken several weeks to arrange a test.
It was worth the wait. Styled by Fulvio de Simoni, the yacht had a low, rakish profile and a curvaceous deckhouse that conveyed a sporty yet sophisticated air, promising both spirited performance and luxurious amenities. This flagship of the Pershing line is clearly intended to appeal to those of you who take your pleasure seriously.
Pleasure central is on the aft deck, where a large sunpad is the focal point, flanked by steps that lead to an oversize swim platform. In the standard configuration, there’s a large stowage space beneath the sunpad, but our test boat was equipped with an optional transom garage that accommodates a two-person PWC and davit, along with space for diving gear and other watersports equipment. For those who prefer more sedentary pleasures, another option puts a hot tub beneath the sunpad.
Either way, guests will enjoy congregating around a semicircular settee just forward of the sunpad on the port side, with refreshments close at hand thanks to an electric grill and wetbar to starboard. Just inside the saloon door, an under-counter refrigerator keeps cold provisions handy.
For the sun-worshipper seeking a little solitude, there’s a big sunpad in the bow, while just aft, beneath a hydraulically operated hatch in the deckhouse, a large stowage bay provides room for a tender and yet another PWC, along with an electrohydraulic telescoping davit for launch and retrieval. A removable panel in the bay’s aft wall provides access to wiring, electrical panels, and other equipment mounted in the helm station dashboard.
Several no-nonsense features of the foredeck impressed me, starting with a pair of Maxwell winches mated to two Bruce anchors nested in the bow. Teak decking offers comfortable, secure footing, and wide side decks allow for easy passage fore and aft. For even greater security an 18-inch-high fiberglass bulwark surrounds the deck, topped by a thigh-high stainless steel rail. Spring cleats are mounted atop the bulwark, so there’s no danger of tripping or stubbing a toe.
Once you’d had enough sun, head through the electrically powered doors on either side of the helm station, which provide entry into the upper saloon; I found the door opening to be narrow for my 6'2", 210-pound frame. The upper saloon on the 88 is really an indoor-outdoor area, with full-width sliding glass doors that open onto the large aft deck and a large roof panel above the dinette that slides open electrically. Steps alongside the helm lead to the lower saloon, galley, and accommodations, where other forms of pleasure are offered.
A six-burner cooktop was my first clue that the galley is up to the task of preparing Epicurean delights. Rugged pot restraints told me this yacht was designed to be used, not sit dockside like a floating condo. But don’t think she’s in any way Spartan. On the contrary, with black granite countertops and refrigerator doors faced in satin cherry, the galley could rival a landside gourmet kitchen.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.