“The US market is not a simple market to enter,” Federico Rossi, COO of the Viareggio-based yacht builder says. “We know that the Bahamas are an important cruising destination for American owners and charterers, so we felt that the islands would be the right area to initiate a US-focused design project.”
With the Bahamas Series the yard and designer have gone for a pair of all-aluminum construction; the 48m is just below 500gt and able to accommodate up to 10 guests and nine crew plus the captain, and propelled by twin Caterpillar C32 ACERT engines achieving a top speed of 15.5 knots at half load with trans-Pacific range.
The Bahamas have over 700 islands and cays covering 470,000 km2 of ocean to the east and south of Florida, and are not, as is mistakenly believed, part of the Caribbean. There are countless coves and endless remote, uninhabited sandy beaches to be explored. But for the typical yacht, Bahamian waters can be treacherous. Vast sand banks with shifting shoals cover huge swaths of Bahamian waters, and only vessels with the shallowest of drafts can safely navigate outside of the main shipping channels.
With its incredibly shallow draft, Rossinavi’s Bahamas Series are designed to save time on charters. It should be possible to sail the 20nm from Nassau to the Exumas by way of the Eastern side of Paradise Island and the yellow banks to arrive at Highborn Cay rather than having to cruise the usual 60nm passage out the main shipping channel in Nassau over North Nassau, then south and finally east over the Exuma bank.
Design & StyleRossinavi’s Bahamas Series is conceived as a semi-custom series, with a core structural platform and a choice of interior styling. “We invested so much time in Horacio Bozzo, the designer, in order to develop the interior and exterior layouts and to choose colors to be in perfect harmony with the Bahamas environment,” Federico Rossi says.
The project is a collaboration between Rossinavi, Axis Group Yacht Design (with which the yard worked on the award winning 70m Numptia) as well as with Axis’ founder’s owner-focused design studio Horacio Bozzo Design. So far, they have proposed a 48m and a 40m (though all images released so far are of the 48m), both of which will be delivered, like all of Rossinavi’s recent projects with RINA Green Star certification.
"Bahamas is a boutique-superyacht Series with all the characteristics and capabilities to enjoy the islands,” Horacio Bozzo explains. “I found inspiration in the exotic colors and relaxing shapes of the Bahamas islands and purposely designed this Series to enjoy that unique scenario."
“From a design standpoint on this project, the most difficult thing was to bring three things together: The required draft, the waterline length and a gross tonnage just under 500gt. From a naval architecture point of view, our approach isn’t radical. There is a special shape to the hull of course, but it’s all about how you set the parameters. For her very shallow draft, she is also incredibly stable. Axis is a company of engineers and designers, which gives us a technical edge when working on designs like this; we do style and naval architecture. We’re in tank testing now with these designs.”
Bozzo says that it’s important potential clients have a clear dialogue with him and the yard about how they want to use any yacht they are considering buying, especially one that is designed for such a specific type of use. “Each design has its benefits; this one is really about being able to access truly special, remote and raw places like the waters of The Bahamas as a deep displacement hull is for a world cruising or a circumnavigation. If an Owner is looking for a perfect yacht to cruise along scenic shorelines and anchor close in to beautiful bays, this is the most advanced and luxurious yacht ever designed for that purpose.”
As part of a semi-custom series platform build, Rossinavi and Bozzo are keeping things simple for potential clients, with the full project priced including one of three interior design options, Colonial, Modern and Classic.
Bozzo explains that while the yacht’s exterior styling is inspired by and resonates with the gentle coastline of the Bahamas, the interior design options are the result of careful research into how to create areas that will enhance the colours and visual highlights of the yacht’s picturesque surroundings, visible through the extensive glasswork.
Bozzo explains his thinking of the three styles. “The Colonial Style is a sophisticated re-interpretation of the Bahamas’ local colonial history and architecture, with wood and leather highlights evoking a sense of nature. The Modern Style has a clean, linear design that uses fabrics from beige to light brown alongside glossy lacquered and high-tech surfaces, while indirect recessed lights give the areas a relaxing atmosphere. The third, Classic Style enriches stateliness with fabrics and decoration that point to the past, providing a charming counterpoint to the bright, spacious and raw world of the islands outside.”
A big infinity pool and a relaxing lounge area dominates the main deck aft area. Ample stairs give access to the swim platform and to the ocean through wide submersible steps. The main salon features deck to ceiling glass windows offering unobstructed views to the exterior. The upper deck is totally dedicated to the owner who has a panoramic cabin forward with a private terrace and exterior Jacuzzi, out of sight of any guest or crew. The 65m2 flybridge accommodates the third pool on board and a comfortable lounge area with an open bar a day head and an open shower area. The bridge is equipped with Team Italia’s iChart. A hull door opens becoming a platform and to give access to a toy room in the stern of the yacht.
So far, according to Bozzo, the response to the designs have been very positive: “We have one client coming to see us in during the Monaco Yacht Show and we’ve received a very serious enquiry from another interested party.”
The Captain’s PerspectiveA well-known captain that has spent the majority of his career sailing out of South Florida through the Bahamas, offered his insights to the Horacio Bozzo Design team. “Over the past five to eight years I have seen a huge increase in yachts over 60m in length showing up in the Bahamas,” he tells me. “Owners that have the large ocean yachts still want to visit the shallow waters of the Bahamas. People are realising how amazing the Bahamas are and the shallower the draft the more you can do and see throughout the islands.” He agrees that the shallow draft provides a technical solution to making the Bahamas accessible.
Given the semi-custom form of the series, the clever design approach from Bozzo and the team at Axis, as well as the highly specific geographic branding and her MCA LY3 certification and MLC compliance for charter, the Bahamas Series looks like the perfect charter fleet yacht. A visionary owner could buy two or three and run them as a cruising fleet through the islands—and clearly these yachts would be wonderful in French Polynesia, the Fiji Islands or the Great Barrier Reef, most of the east coast of the USA and Seattle area as well as any other region with extensive shallows and attractive anchorages and beaches.
“With the right crew and the right owners, a yacht like this can do very well,” the captain says. “I think a Bahamas Series, built to limit expenses without losing its elegant feel would be the best approach. A yacht of this size with a good charter crew, reputation and toys could stay very busy and demand a fairly high charter rate. The person that will likely charter this boat has an adventurous family who loves the outdoors.”
A new identity"Our new Bahamas Concept is the result of an in-depth market research and our first commitment to the US market: This series of yachts will be built with the highest European quality standards but with US technical specifications," says Federico Rossi,.
The Bahamas Series has real appeal in its styling and engineering, but also in its very visual identity as a yacht with a prescribed setting. You think of this yacht, and your mind immediately runs far past the contracts, the welding and the management: You’re immediately transported to some glorious bay in Eleuthera or the Exumas where the real fun begins. It’s smart marketing for a smart yacht. Rossinavi may have a winner with this one.