Being all things to everybody is a tall task to handle. Particularly when you’re building things as luxurious and niche-focused as yachts. The chutzpah a company needs to even attempt such a broad undertaking can sometimes seem to border on gall. And that’s why I have to tip my cap to Nisi, because with its Xpresso series it has produced a boat which is at once reminiscent of a motoryacht, an express cruiser, and a Down Easter.
Wait, a Down Easter? You might be asking yourself. Yes, a Down Easter. According to Josh Setzer of Setzer Yacht Architects, the boat’s owner is coming out of a traditional Down Easter and as such the Nisi is intended for use in a Down East style. He adds that “Down East boats have a good-sized cockpit and I think this boat does that. She’s also got the unbroken sheerline, near parallel to the water, and a plumb bow, similar to some traditional lobster boats.” Nevertheless, he adds, “She definitely nods to that tradition, but she’s got some major modern twists.”
Take, for example, the 1700, which launched this past July in Miami. She’s got lots to offer. Like her performance. A 40-knot boat is a rightly revered thing. To my mind, it launches that boat into an elite category of sportiness. And sure enough, the 1700 reportedly tops out at 41 knots—not to mention a rollicking 33-knot cruise speed. A variety of engine setups range between 600 and 1,200 horsepower, though the first 1700 to launch had twin Caterpillar C18s for a total of 1,150 horsepower. Topside, the boat was designed with ‘casual opulence’ in mind. The main deck has teak soles, while carbon-fiber accents make for a nice blend of saltiness and forward thinking. Meanwhile, below, three staterooms accommodate five guests.
One last component of the Xpresso I’ll mention is her discreet flying bridge. She’s one of those boats that you really have to give a good once over before you realize the bridge even exists. As such, it’s not giant, but it is cozy, and it’s a great place to improve lines of sight for close- quarters maneuvering or to get up high for a better view in shallow water. And the ability to do that might not mean everything to anyone, but it definitely means something to everyone.
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This article originally appeared in the September 2013 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.