Yacht Class n°21 (june-july-august 2020)
Custom Line – Ferretti Group
Clearly derived from the CL 120 launched last year, the new CL106 surprises with her habitability and the level of luxury of her amenities, which have no reason to blush compared to her big sister. Albeit with the same number of guest cabins, she is remarkably pleasant and highly functional. On board, “lockdown” is no punishment !
Written by: Philippe Leblond – Photos : All rights reserved
It’s difficult to cut six metres off the wonderful shape of the 120 foot and at the same time to preserve the same elegance, the same aesthetic surge… The highly gifted and rightfully much-in-demand Francesco Paszkowski, designer of the two hulls of the Custom Line planning-hull series, has partially met this delicate challenge. Somewhat less slender than her big sister, the 106 is based on the same architecture, with a slightly narrower beam, and offers very comfortable headrooms : 2.07 m in the salon and galley, and 2.09 m in the master cabin… Hence a remarkable living space for a yacht of this category, as we found out when visiting the cabins and pacing up and down the decks
An obvious kinship with the CL 120
The profile of this 106 foot has the same design options as the 120 : a long hull glazing providing light to the cabins belowdecks, an endless window running along the main deck for the delight of the reception and the master suite, and a deep notch in the bulwark offering a “floor-to-ceiling” sea view. The upper deck hosts the wheelhouse and part of the sundeck shaded with a large black hard top, like on the 120. There is a clear affiliation, especially as Francesco Paszkowski has collaborated for both with Ferretti Group’s Engineering Department and the Product Strategy Committee headed by Piero Ferrari, the son of Enzo, the famous builder of the prancing horse cars. From the pontoon where she was moored during the Cannes Yachting Festival, the CL 106’s freeboard is quite impressive. The gangway makes boarding easier and overlooks the submersible swim platform. There, the transom acts as a small private beach when deployed and unveils the garage housing a 5.05 m semi-rigid Williams Jet tender. The cockpit has a beautiful solid teak table with a comfortable settee that can accommodate eight to ten guests, plus a bar with refrigerator and icemaker. From there, the port staircase goes up to the aft upper deck, while on starboard, a walkway runs towards to the staircase leading to the forward part of the upper deck, according to a smart asymmetry already present on the CL 120. We opted first for the portside staircase leading to the upper deck which, because of its size and layout, is more than a flybridge. This spacious, teak covered deck (53 m2 out of the 220 m2 of external surface area of the yacht) is partly shaded by the hard top and side windows and offers large and comfortable sofas with coffee tables and a panoramic sea view. A bar with grill (to the right of the helm station) offers cocktails and grilled meats. A Jacuzzi is even available as an option. Let’s continue our visit on the foredeck, where an outdoor lounge cascades down from a double saloon (two tables) to one of four large sunbeds. As on the other yachts of the Custom Line series, this place also features the garage for a second tender (a 2.80 m Williams Jet) or a three-seater jet-ski.
Luxury is present but not ostentatious
Let’s head back to the main deck to assess the salon, whose polished ceiling creates a reflection giving the illusion of doubling the windows height. It features a long L-shaped sofa and its coffee table and a dining area, whose large table comfortably seats eight to ten guests. On portside, the adjoining galley is both functional and aesthetic. To starboard, a corridor leads to the master suite, passing by the day wc and the staircase leading down to the guest cabins. Thus the owner enjoys a full-beam cabin with a real dressing room, a small office and a bathroom with a central shower separating his and hers sinks and WC. The king size bed is facing forward and has, on each side, large floor-to-ceiling windows. To top it all off, the starboard side window opens onto a private balcony overlooking the sea. The decoration could be described as “simple and tasteful”, understand by this that luxury is present but not ostentatious, with quality materials (solid wood and pure woollen carpets on the floor, lacquered wood on the partition walls, quilted suede for the headboards, marble in the bathrooms, built-in mirrors, indirect lighting…) and shades of beige and natural wood. A beautiful, slightly twisted staircase with a stainless steel structure leads down to the vestibule fitted with large cupboards and mirrors. There are four cabins (height 2.05 m), two forward cabins with twin beds, and amidships two VIP with large double beds. Their decoration is modelled after the master. As expected considering the level of the range, they are all en suite. The forward part of the boat accommodates the crew quarters. Served by a staircase coming from the main galley, they feature a mess room/galley and three en suite cabins : two in the bow with bunk beds, plus the captain’s. From there, there is no direct access to the engine room, only accessible from the portside walkway, near the cockpit. This pristine area, with a decent headroom, has a large central passage, allowing easy maintenance of the MTU 16 V engines and the two generators.
Docile in manoeuvres, comfortable at sea
Our host for this trial was Fadi, the Lebanese-born captain of this fine unit, who showed all his experience to smoothly pull the 150 tons of the CL 106 out of the berth. This CL106 exhibited in Cannes is equipped with the optional twin 2 638 hp MTU diesels, with direct shaft line. We went past the Vieux Port Pier while appreciating the quietness of the Custom Line, as well as the near absence of vibrations. When we reached the regulatory distance, Fadi pushed the levers forward. By the time the turbochargers came into action, the large hull was dynamically propelled towards the horizon. At the outside control station, one deck higher than the main wheelhouse, the airflow is partly deflected by a fairly flat but relatively high windshield, which requires an average captain to stand upright to have a good visibility. From the settee, one will be slightly higher, but a footrest is missing. Let’s head down to the wheelhouse and its high-tech atmosphere, noting, in passing, the absence of handrails… It features a superb, central leather seat facing a giant dashboard, with four large screens displaying a wealth of technical information to monitor the course, the radar echo and the smooth running of the engines and various peripheral devices. The thick props of the upper deck significantly restrict the field of view. To the left of the seat is a chart table, and to the right a small lounge for the passengers to keep the pilot company. The tachometer then displayed the maximum rotational speed : 2 450 rpm, the exact value recommended by the German engine manufacturer. She reached a top speed of 25.4 knots, slightly below the 26 knots provided by the yard, but admittedly they were many of us on board. By reducing to 2 100 rpm, she still had a speed of 21.1 knots, but consumption drops from 1 052 to 711 litres/hour. At this speed, the CL 106 can cover 436 miles without refueling. And at 12 knots, the yard expects a range of 1 100 nautical miles. Custom Line offers a less powerful standard configuration, with two 2 217 hp MTU, for slightly lower performance : 23 knots max and 20 knots cruising. After a few turns showing the excellent maneuverability of this planing hull inherited from the CL 100, we set sail again for the port, appreciating in the process the good absorption of the bow when crossing the wake of other yachts. One last measurement to show the docility of Ancona’s latest born : 40 seconds to avoid on 180° with 900 rpm on each engine, with no help from the bow and stern thrusters and without going out of its turning circle.
Well-positioned against competition
Despite being 14 feet smaller than her big sister, the Custom Line 120, the CL 106 impresses by her performance in terms of habitability and comfort. On board, there is an equivalent number of guest cabins and the reception is quite similar in terms of available surface area. On the other hand, despite an equivalent horsepower and a lighter displacement of 25 tons than her elder, she is not more performant in navigation. Yet, the “package is of such level, she will have a leading position against the competition. As proof, last autumn, six units had already been commissioned !