Yacht Class n°28 (march-april-may 2022)
The Italian shipyard ICE Yachts draws on its long experience to design and build high-performance, refined yachts, just like this 70. Thanks to her meticulous design, generous sail plan and warm, seaworthy fittings, she can satisfy all the wishes, from long-distance sailing to fierce coastal racing.
Written by: Christophe Varène – Photos: All rights reserved
Three years ago, we had a pleasant surprise when we discovered the Italian ICE Yachts during the sea trial of the ICE 60. So, when Marco Malgara, the head of this company celebrating in its tenth anniversary in 2022, suggested to go on a trip aboard the ICE 70 during the last Cannes Yachting Festival, the temptation was too strong and our response was definitely positive.
We boarded in Port Canto where, as soon as the moorings were let go, the density of sailboats gave us the opportunity to assess the manoeuvrability of this large sailboat : with the fingertips and the help of the bow and stern thrusters, she quietly and serenely exited. As the day was coming to a close, there was a light breeze and a sea criss-crossed by the motor yachts leaving the Old Port for sea trials. This noisy traffic was raising a bad chop, hence we decided to head for the Lerins islands and beyond, to more open waters.
Reactive and pleasant to steer
With many guests on board, mainly gathered in the cockpit, the ICE 70 could rely on manpower, yet the crew wanted to demonstrate that sails could be set without help. The mainsail furling in the boom easily went up, quickly followed by the genoa. In less than 10 knots of wind, the almost 260 m2 of sail area allowed this nice hull, designed by Umberto Felci, to immediately glide at 8 knots, between 30 and 40° of apparent wind. As soon as she left the windward side of the Islands Sainte-Marguerite & Saint-Honorat, the hull accelerated and the helmsman enjoyed the reactions to the slightest solicitation. Both the port or starboard helm have a control console operating all the sails lines and the engine. A single watchman can react efficiently to all weather situations and changes. It also takes only a few moments to hoist Code 0 and, at a slightly wider wind angle, the speed easily gains 2 or 3 knots. But, with the breeze easing off, time had come to turn on the engine to return to port : the powerful 195 hp Yanmar allows a cruising speed of 8.5 knots at 2 000 rpm with a fuel consumption of around 11 l/h and a range of around 750 miles.
A clear deck plan
The ICE 70 benefits from a high level of know-how, as the shipyard taken over by Marco Malgara in 2012 has over thirty years of expertise, with more than 80 custom and semi-custom yachts launched. Today, the nine monohulls (from 52 to 100 feet) and two catamarans of the ICE range are built in carbon/epoxy hybrid. The outcome is that the ICE 70 has a reasonable weight of 25.5 tonnes, one third of which is ballast attached to a telescopic keel with a draught ranging from 2.80 to 4.50 metres. These technical requirements also reflect an aesthetic and practical research. Thus, the deck plan is both clear, to facilitate movement, and refined with teak slats. If the stern, above the garage that can accommodate a 3metre tender, is devoted to navigation, she boasts a very convivial cockpit with a large central table with flaps and two benches, all well protected behind the dodger forward of the companionway and shaded by the rigid bimini. And if the mainsheet track runs across this space, a removable cover can conceal it at anchor for additional elegance and safety.
With three or four cabins
Fast and easy to manoeuvre while sailing offshore or even racing, the ICE 70 also has comfortable and seaworthy interiors. The ergonomic six steps companionway and the two side rails immediately set the tone. At first glance, the saloon reveals the general space and the warmth of the maritime-inspired decoration with a soft honey-coloured wood and the burgundy leather of the cupboards and the handrail cladding. Natural light comes from the deck and hull portholes, but also from the glass strips along the deckhouse. The saloon layout is rather traditional with, on port, a U-shaped sofa and a beautiful table that can be converted into a watch bed, and on starboard the chart table at the bottom of the companionway. Note the large touch screens for the skipper to watch the images filmed by the 360° pivoting cameras placed under the spreaders : perfect to keep an eye on the boat’s progress, even at night ! Forwards, the keel well is cleverly covered to be discreet and is even fitted with a large TV screen facing a comfortable sofa. Moving forward, there is an en suite VIP cabin on port, then a master suite in the forepeak with desk, bookcase, cupboards, bathroom with sauna-type seat and separate toilet. At the owner’s discretion, this suite can also be fitted aft over the entire width, for more space. The boat of our sea trial had the third cabin (a four-cabin layout is also available) located aft on starboard, while the port side offered a large, practical and well-equipped galley with direct access to a crew mess. Everywhere, the ICE 70 boasts remarkable finishes with, in particular, a real effort on soundproofing, handrails on the salon ceiling, small fiddles on the furniture and tidy, clear and well laid out technical spaces.
The ICE 70 is at the boundary of super yachts by the attention to its design and the right balance between the search for sailing performance and the quest for comfort, both in the outdoor living spaces and in the warm layout. This beautiful yacht has everything needed to adapt to all sailing programs.