A proper sailor’s

Visit Advanced Yachts

That was priority one... closely followed by the most stylish, light and airy layout that the best of Milano could conjure up

A frequently heard cliché in yacht club and harbourside bars around the globe is that the design and handling characteristics of every yacht are the result of unavoidable compromises. To increase performance, space and comfort must be sacrificed. However, this is a massive oversimplification and one that the Italian boatbuilder Advanced Yachts has understood for a long time.

The sleek deckhouse integrates the lines of the superstructure into the hull

As a result, right from the start of the development process of its latest yacht, Advanced Yachts was determined that this vessel would offer the same uncompromising sailing qualities as the rest of the range, but would invest heavily in interior design and deliver unrivalled accommodation.

To break the cliché, they needed the very best in Milanese interior design – and they found that an 80-footer is the perfect size in which to do it.

The yard’s determination in this respect, together with the clarity of vision and attention to detail exhibited by all parties involved, has created a supremely luxurious, state-of-the-art villa on the sea. This next generation yacht that represents the best of Italian design, craftsmanship and style, promises to redefine the concept of luxury cruising. Yet it also has proven potential for race winning performance.

The A80’s hull lines are drawn by Reichel/ Pugh, with an emphasis on form stability

A key plank in the project’s success is the close collaboration between renowned naval architects Reichel/Pugh and Nauta Design’s team of designers and stylists. One of their masterpieces, created specifically for the A80, is the innovative architecture, with a sleek semi-raised deckhouse that integrates the superstructure’s lines into the hull.

This allows for the remainder of the deck to be on a continuous level with no steps, bulky superstructures or any obstacles to movement fore and aft. It represents a big boost to safety and ergonomics while also creating a crisp, uninterrupted aesthetic. The cockpit coamings, with reassuring and supportive backrests, support a safety-first approach to blue water cruising.

Advanced Yachts was founded 13 years ago by Antonella Di Leo and her husband Marco Tursini. It is now firmly established as top quality atelier-style shipyard with skilled artisans working across the full range of disciplines, exhibiting meticulous attention to detail throughout their work. With an “all-Italy” strategy for material procurement, this is an effective route to affordable custom building – minimising transport overheads and costly delays that arise from the well-known worldwide logistical challenges. Applying this atelier’s approach to the A80, every boat is optimised to its owner’s desires and exacting requirements.

The A80 allows owners to choose from a very wide range of interior configurations

The outcome of this rigorous pursuit of excellence across all domains is a yacht that stands out among other 80-footers. On deck, a key element that sets this boat apart from others is the integrated bimini and sprayhood. This offers the best of all options – you can have an open and extremely clean deck for regattas, but optimal shelter for serious cruising.

‘Sometimes there’s an assumption that, because this is an Italian boat and we show a nice clean deck on our website, people don’t realise there’s also the fully integrated bimini and dodger,’ says Advanced Yachts’ Jay Nolan. ‘The boat is very dry and has very protected deck areas.’ Visitors to the recent Palma International Boat Show were able to see this and appreciate the yacht’s superb interior by Nauta. More on that later.

Of course visiting a yacht at a boat show reveals little about a design’s real performance but the A80’s credentials are impeccable in that respect. The boat on show in Palma was fifth out of 140 entries in the ORC division of last year’s 151 Miglia-Trofeo Cetilar offshore race. Hull #1 completed a circumnavigation which included not only the ARC but also the Sydney-Hobart Race.

Instruments and controls at the helms are individually specified for each boat

Reichel/Pugh created a bang up-todate hull shape for the A80, with high form stability that enables a hugely powerful rig to be carried. At the same time a draught of 3.5m, allied to a hefty bulb, was selected to maximise stability while still allowing access to the most popular harbours and anchorages around the globe. This approach also avoids the expense, complexity and additional weight of the telescopic keel systems that have become popular on larger superyachts.

The hi-tech sandwich hull construction employs vacuum-infused epoxy resin with a full carbon deck plus strategic carbon reinforcement using unidirectional fibres in high load areas. This creates an extremely stiff, strong and reliable structure. At the same time it’s very lightweight, which is one of the keys to this yacht’s stunning performance under sail. Pointing upwind she achieves 6.5 knots boatspeed in six knots of true wind.

A more important aspect of minimising weight is often overlooked: lighter displacement yachts are easier to handle. There’s no escaping the basic physics that heavier boats mean bigger loads. Reducing weight is also the route to creating a yacht that’s more nimble and more easily manoeuvred than others of its size. As a result the A80 can easily be sailed by a small crew – important in achieving privacy for the owners on a long cruise, but also in reducing crew costs.

Similarly, the carbon mast and rigging does more than just improve performance. Minimising weight aloft reduces heel and has an even larger impact on pitching, resulting in a much improved and more comfortable motion at sea, even in severe conditions.

The saloon is an impressively bright living space thanks to the large skylights and windows on two levels. The owner’s cabin can be located either forward or aft

Recognising that clients are both unique and have a wide range of priorities, Advanced Yachts’ technical experts and equipment manufacturers work with owners to specify deck hardware and layouts to exactly meet their needs. Both regatta oriented and short-handed/solo cruising arrangements are possible. Given that every yacht of this size is a complex entity, only equipment manufacturers with a worldwide presence and service network are considered while needing an Italian distribution or centre of business to keep up with that “all-Italy” procurement strategy.

The spacious interiors are a masterstroke in capturing natural light, thanks to unusually large overhead glazed panels, the big deckhouse windows and carefully positioned hull windows. The wide living area therefore offers all round panoramic views, including from the raised dining area. The Italian materials selection is evident here with only natural materials and all with sustainability considerations. Natural linen where vinyl would have been, and responsibly sourced wood veneers or wood panels with water-based paints are noticeable examples.

Optimisation of the sailing performance, as well as handling and control, required maximum beam to be carried well aft. This in turn creates massive volumes for accommodation in the aft part of the hull. Boat #1 has the owner’s suite here, with a generous full beam cabin, two bathrooms, plus a central king sized bed with large sofas each side. Galley and crew quarters are forward and include a crew mess plus two crew cabins.

Alternatives include two versions of an owner forward layout, both with walk-in closets and lavishly appointed en suites. One of these has the galley, chart table and two crew cabins aft, while the other has an open American style galley amidships close to the saloon, with two guests cabins and a double crew cabin aft.

Each boat is a custom build, in much the same manner as top class tailors create bespoke suits for their clients. The starting points are where the owner wants to sail, who they plan to sail with, and their personal style of sailing. The yard can then propose solutions for an individual yacht that will fit the client perfectly. It’s also an economically efficient way to work, as investment is focussed on each owner’s key priorities. Advanced Yachts’ bespoke atelier approach to building each yacht is also a perfect fit in this respect.

The owner of Mindfulness, the most recent A80 to be launched, for example, wanted an open space living area where the saloon, dining and other socialising zones are easily connected with the galley, which can also be closed off if desired.

The composite hull is vacuum-infused with epoxy resin and then reinforced with unidirectional carbon in high load areas

On deck there’s ample space for multiple zones for different purposes and groups, including three main guest areas: a dining area with sofas and a large table, a relaxation area close to the helm stations, plus a huge sun bathing area right at the stern. Carrying maximum beam well aft also gives scope for a very generous bathing platform and creates considerably more volume for the garage that can accommodate a capacious tender while still leaving room for a large inventory of watersports toys.

Given that the A80 is such a perfect size for a comfortable performance yacht, it’s perhaps a surprise that other yards have allowed Advanced Yachts an almost free rein to dominate this this part of the market with this fast and luxurious custom design.

‘Granted there are other custom 80- footers, but most of them are aimed at the dayboat/weekender market or are narrowly focussed on racing,’ Nolan says. ‘At the other end of the spectrum are cruising oriented production yachts that can’t match the A80’s refined Reichel/Pugh hull shape, its regatta performance, or quality of craftsmanship and robustness.’

‘The A80 allows us to deliver on the Advanced Yachts strategy to the max. We can spend the extra time to get the finer points of customisation and the fine details right, because our setup makes the incremental cost relatively small.

‘The A80 is just perfect for that – it’s too small to get attention from superyacht builders but too big for builders who are more set up for series production and can’t match our quality. There are very few similarly sized yachts with anything like the quality and performance – it really is a sweet spot for us.’

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