How is a superyacht builder deemed successful?
By exceeding the client’s expectation? Leading the industry’s design and manufacture paradigm? Or is it just based on the number of deliveries?
Realistically it’s a combination of the aforementioned factors, but based on deliveries, SuperyachtIntelligence.com would label Benetti an unequivocal success. Let us review the evidence.
Most superyachts delivered this decade? Benetti.
Most superyachts delivered (so far) this millennium? Yep, you guessed it, Benetti.
And its most recent delivery, hull #32 of its Classic 121’ range Lady Lilian, only affirms Benetti’s delivery success.
A smidge shorter than June’s deliveries Skyler and Constance Joy, Lady Lilian is a 37m fiberglass superyacht penciled by Stefano Righini, a veteran designer with a portfolio of successful designs for Azimut-Benetti as long as my arm.
The Classic 121’ has undeniable charm and elegance and in many respects, is a visual timeline of nautical history; small portholes on the lower deck crew quarters, a nod to classic styling, while the architectural lines of the superstructure are reminiscent of cruisers of the eighties and nineties.
But for me, there is something about this yacht that isn’t working, and I think it’s the guard rails and framework. From stern to bow, it’s everywhere, and it detracts from the charm of the classic lines, while cluttering the exterior.
Take the forward sun deck - it looks like the framework for a caravan awning. I get it, and I understand the implications, but I can’t be the only one to think it looks like an afterthought.
Nevertheless, the exterior marries classic elements to a modern architectural profile that's integrated well.
Styled by François Zuretti, the contemporary sophistication of interior spaces is devoted to elegant entertainment, be it a large party on the informal sun deck, featuring hydro massage tub and bar, or an intimate dinner with unobstructed views on the more formal aft upper deck.
Descend to the main deck and a full beam owner’s suite fills the forward area. The lower deck finds four VIP en-suite cabins mid-ship between a forward crew quarters for six, and engine room astern. Housing twin MTU M72 engines alongside a garage for single tender and twin jet-skis, Lady Lilian is able to cruise at 11 knots for 3,400 nautical miles.
Not out of place overlooking sunsets in Portofino or basking in the Balearic ambience of Café del Mar on the shores of Ibiza, Lady Lilian is a paradoxical ‘modern-classic’.