Valerio Rivellini likes sailing. The young Neapolitan designer, who made a splash in the marine world with his eye-catching work on the Evo line, has a background in dinghies and small cruising yachts. It was the cool look of modern cruiser-racers, with their huge carbon wheels on each side of a broad cockpit, that inspired the Evo V8’s most visible homage to the world of creaking masts and flapping canvas, or whatever they make sails out of these days.
Of course, you could save a lot of space by exchanging those side deck wheels for electronic joysticks, but that’s not the point for Rivellini. The Evo V8 is a design-led vessel, from its origami cockpit to the platform on the roof, with its miniature helm station and telescopic guardrails. There are some clever ideas. Both the tender and its crane stow under hatches on the aft deck, and the crane serves as a hoist for the parasol. The rear window doubles as a backlit cinema screen. Steps up to the roof fold completely out of the way, and the salon windows open, turning it into an open-air social area not unlike a well-furnished flybridge sheltering beneath a generous hardtop.
“It’s like a T-top on a 24-meter,” quips Valerio, who says he likes nothing better in the morning than plunging straight from bed into a clear turquoise sea. This is what inspired the lower deck layout of the Evo V8, with its private, low-level salon leading from the owner’s suite directly to the aft deck and swim platform, like the beach club on a superyacht. If it seems that it’s not an entirely new idea, Valerio acknowledges Sanlorenzo’s ground-breaking Bluegame BGX 70. Nothing else on the lower deck can compete for space with this luxurious master, but the VIP in the bow is a reasonable size, and the small twin-berth cabin to port also has an en suite head.
After our test of the Evo R6, we were hoping to see improvements in the yard’s new flagship, but it was still too easy to find instances of poor fit-out quality on the V8, which is unusual these days in an Italian motoryacht. It is, after all, not cheap.
Some of the V8’s design features are more about style than substance. There is a bizarre panel covering the wheel at the lower helm that leaves only its upper arc accessible. The guardrails on the roof need to be taller and more robust if they are to contribute in any significant way to safety on board. And the crew companionway is far too close to the helm seats. Crew mobility is important, but arriving on the lower deck head first will be counter-productive.
Power comes from a pair of 1,000-hp Volvos on IPS drives, a modest package for a yacht of this size, which returned a top speed on our sea trial of just over 21 knots, as the hull’s moderate-V sections bumped purposefully through the few waves we could find. Although there was no mast towering overhead to add to the chorus, there were still rattles and creaks down below to reinforce our reservations about the fit-out. According to the shipyard, 15 knots is the sweet spot for cruising, at 1,900 rpm and with both turbos doing their thing. Sure enough, the V8 was steady, quiet and comfortable at that pace.
Evo V8 Specifications:
Displ.: 141,093 lbs.
Fuel: 1,096 gal.
Water: 251 gal.
Power: 2/1,000-hp Volvo IPS-1350
Price: $4.3 million