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The Pursuit of Pleasure

As Perini Navi’s largest sailing yacht since The Maltese Falcon, the presentation of 70m Sybaris was a significant event for the Italian boat builder.…

As Perini Navi’s largest sailing yacht since The Maltese Falcon, the presentation earlier this month of 70m Sybaris at the Picchiotti yard in La Spezia was a significant event for the Italian boat builder. A collaboration between Perini Navi's in-house team and the French naval architect Philippe Briand, Sybaris represents an innovative evolution in the company’s drive for design and engineering excellence at a difficult time for the super sailing yacht market.

From the left, Milena Perini, Bill Duker, Fabio Perini, Burak Akgul, Fabio Boschi 

The presentation coincided with the appointment of Luca Boldrini (formerly with the Ferretti Group) as sales director of Picchiotti. In January, a meeting of the Group’s shareholders under the chairmanship of Fabio Boschi announced a share capital increase of 15 million euros, and in February naval architect Stèphane Leveel (formerly with Tripp Design) was welcomed to the Perini Navi design team.

Sybaris features a Sealium alloy hull with a variable-draught centreboard keel for enhanced sailing performance and access into shallow bays or marinas. The exterior profile is noticeably sleeker than previous models with a less pronounced sheerline and a more vertical bow. The restyled superstructure is topped with an expansive flying bridge of 18m in length — reportedly the largest of any sailing yacht afloat.


The powerful sail plan of more than 5,800sqm relies on two carbon fibre masts supplied by Rondal with composite stays and Kevlar running rigging. Equipped with the latest sail handling technology controlled by Perini’s new electric captive winches and software, the system means the yacht can be sailed entirely from the cockpit consoles. 

Arguably the most decisive technical step forward is the power management system. Comprising two variable-speed generators supplying electrical power via a DC bus to the vessel’s main electrical grid with the potential to store excess power in lithium polymer batteries, the set-up improves efficiency, reduces emissions and provides a silent anchor mode at night or in protected areas with the generators switched off.


Sybaris raised numerous technical and aesthetic challenges,” says Burak Akgul, managing director of sales, marketing and design at Perini Navi. “But where there’s a will there’s a way, and the result is a uniquely beautiful sailing yacht that pushes the boundaries of design in every conceivable way.”

At 850gt and named after the ancient Greek settlement in southern Italy whose population was renowned for its pursuit of life’s pleasures, Sybaris provided Miami-based PH Design with an ample template for the interior styling. Working on his first yacht project, studio founder Peter Hawrylewicz has created the serenely sophisticated interior the owner desired. Exquisite materials and details abound. Instead of built-in credenzas, for example, the 151-sqm main salon features sculpted pillars milled from solid titanium to support ‘floating’ Louis Vuitton-style travel trunks clad with alligator skin.

Peter Hawrylewicz (image by Justin Ratcliffe)

“The effect is modern with a remote reminiscence of Old World travel,” says the designer. “The allure lies in the confluence of these two temperaments.”  

Following her presentation, Sybaris will go through intensive sea trails prior to delivery, scheduled for this summer and keenly anticipated by her owner. 

 Bill Duker (image by Justin Ratcliffe)

“This is obviously an exciting time for us,” said American owner Bill Duker in La Spezia. “Sybaris is a project that started a very long time ago when my son and I would sit in the aft cockpit of the boat we then had, Shanakee, and talk about the boat of our dreams. Over the past 20 years that dream has matured a great deal, and what it became was a dream about collaboration and synergy to create a masterpiece of beauty and performance.”  

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