MEGAYACHTS | STELLA DI MARE YACHT
By Désirée Sormani | Ph. by A&B Photodesign + Michele Chiroli
Stella di Mare yacht has been designed for an extended family that just loves spending time together. The 40 metre explorer penned by Sergio Cutolo under the expert supervision of her owner will sail the world’s seas in superb comfort and sublime style.
Stella Mare, a 40-metre explorer vessel penned by Sergio Cutolo of Hydro Tec and built by CBI Navi, is the product of deep mutual respect and trust. Those are, in fact, the values shared by all the stakeholders in this seafaring globetrotter, which also boasts elegant, sober yet extremely stylish interior design by Umberto Fossati.
The yacht was designed with one fundamental requirement in mind: to cater to the needs of three generations of one family with very different priorities. “We wanted there to be a personal touch aboard for all of us starting with the first generation (which includes a 75-year-old) and going all the way to the third generation (which includes a seven-year-old),” the owner declared. “We also wanted a yacht of substance and real value rather than just something fashionable or showy”. Stella di Mare’s exteriors are therefore a clever mix of contemporary elegance and beautifully proportioned classical curves, giving her a refined, timeless allure. That said, she is very much an authentic explorer.
Stella di Mare yacht can negotiate all the world’s seas with confidence as her 8,000-litre fresh water tanks and 75,000-litre fuel tanks guarantee her a transatlantic range and more. Two cubic metres of fridge and freezer space means she can stay out at sea for gloriously long periods without coming near a port. As he had previously had another explorer, the owner’s suggestions were taken onboard by the designers and honed to deliver superb performance, resulting in an impressive upgrade on his previous vessel. Stella di Mare’s steel round-bilge, bulbous bow hull was optimised using CFD and tank testing to cut fuel consumption. Her classic flared bow not only looks good but also helps keep the deck dry in choppy seas. Her guest space is spread over three enclosed decks plus one enormous sun deck with sun pads, covered gym and barbecue and dining area. Contrary to a normal yacht, the flybridge picks up on an explorer trend and features a second steering position where the owner can play an active part in choosing her course with the captain.
Obviously enough, Stella di Mare’s interiors are custom-designed to reflect the owner’s tastes, as well as the different requirements of all three generations. The style is typically Italian with various types of luxe woods very cleverly paired to achieve the perfect balance with none dominating. This creates a lovely flow of colours, materials and hues: walnut, wengé, cherry, black lacquered wood, beige and brown leathers, mirrors and glass, brushed bronze (the only metal finish also used in the bathrooms). Every last detail has been lovingly designed and crafted to create a warm, welcoming ambience and complete comfort. There are also lots of contemporary works of art aboard commissioned from Peter Bellerby & Co. by Fossati and these are more to the fore in the saloon on the main deck and the sky lounge on the upper deck.
Carving out the spaces came before most aesthetic considerations. On the main deck, guests are welcomed in from the cockpit to a large saloon. The dining area, galley and naturally enough, the master suite with its office and large walk-in closet, are all on this level too, as is a breakfast room for quick meals and snacks (perfect for people who spend a lot of time either in the sea or outdoors). There is a second saloon on the upper deck which is more of a TV lounge: this is where the family loves to gather and spend time together outside of meal times because they see TV watching as a communal rather than a solitary activity (that said, there are just two TVs in communal areas, the second being in the master suite).
The lower deck has been especially designed to allow the owners to have a family suite which comprises two aft cabins (for the young owner, his wife and four children) which is separated by a sliding door from the other guest cabins forward. Every single inch of interior and exterior space aboard has been exploited to the fullest and designed to be utterly functional, as well as attractive. Like the modern-day crow’s nest on the hard top of the sun deck: a platform with 360° views where the owner has placed to chairs to enjoy the views. That’s about as exclusive as it gets.
Exterior Design | Sergio Cutolo, CEO Hydro Tec
A seafaring man with very clear ideas. A highly educated person with previous explorer experience, the owner was there for every step of the design and build of his boat. He really took ownership of the explorer concept and made it his own. He poured all the skills and experience he’d built up over years of yachting into his new boat. His family has a very natural love of exploration and travel.
The concept of Stella di Mare yacht started out as a 35-metre and then was extended to 40 for aesthetic reasons as the owner wanted a sharply raked bow. He also wanted a very safe boat with the right balance between exteriors and interiors so that it could also be sailed in winter. This is why the very large aft cockpit, which is very frequently used as a dining area, has sliding screens which protect the whole aft area.
The owner also requested a blue hull livery with white for the superstructure – a very classically marine combination. The exterior lines are likewise quite traditional, albeit with a modern twist to inject them with more character. The hull tapers back towards the stern which brings guests closer to the sea and was also a way of underscoring the different functions of the hull. All of the windows are large, so as to make sure the interiors are bright but without the boat feeling too exposed: the bulwarks are high because, seeing as the family intends to do a lot of long-range cruising, they wanted them to be as a safe as possible.
They also wanted the yacht to be as protective as possible, preferring to have lots of open spaces so that they could experience the boat from outside whenever they felt like it.
As they were looking for a bluewater yacht, they had to take the crew’s work into account and so there is a central corridor under the lower deck that allows the engine room and lazaret to be accessed without interfering with the communal areas. It allows machinery, tank levels and tubing to be inspected, and there is a huge amount of space for refrigerators and stowage.
Another unusual request from the owner was the 7.5-metre tender. It was custom-designed and built in Sweden to mirror the mother yacht’s design. The bow opens also to make it easier for guests to disembark on beaches with the passarelle. There is also a canopy which can be used in wet weather – including forward of the steering position. It is very fast too as it has a diesel engine that gives it a speed of 40 knots. Stella di Mare has a special place in my heart: she is a hard-core machine, designed to go places. She’s also very silent and fuel-efficient. She is also absolutely fearless, despite being relative compact in size.
Interior Design | Umberto Fossati
We based our design on a 1970s look which we then developed with a contemporary slant. We also added in focal points that expressed the owners’ passion for the sea and navigation.
Design-wise, we are asked to create a sense of timeless elegance. There wasn’t to be anything dominant aboard, just a continuous flow of materials and hues. So we used three different woods together (Canaletto walnut, wengè and tinted cherry), two lacquers (beige and satin-finish black), and a single metallic finish (brushed burnished bronze), two leathers (a custom matt brown and a beige) without creating any colour clashes. We just created a very gradual, natural progression.
The interior styling was a journey we made with the client who had quite traditional tastes. We managed to fulfil his requests and give the interior a style that was neither classic nor trendy but elegant and classy with an overall contemporary vibe. We created an onboard mood that allows for the seafaring life yet delivers all the home comforts. We only introduced a few furniture brands as this project was supposed to absolutely custom. So we just added a few decorative lighting pieces by Barovier & Toso and Carlo Moretti, Miele appliances, Poltrona Frau interior dining chairs and a Flexform armchair in the sky lounge.
There is also a lot of art aboard. We put recesses into the bulkheads into which we could “set” the paintings. The idea was to bring the owner into the art world and we started with pieces from his personal collection – some antique Venetian prints, adapting the frames so that they would fit in seamlessly with the interior décor, but mostly to create a sense of connection with the map and the globe (both customised for the project by Bellerby & Co. in London). This is because the owner often plays an active role in onboard life – planning routes and voyages and in the galley, for example.
We worked with Sergio Cutolo on devoting a lot of space to stowage, including for wine, which is one of the owner’s great passions. There is actually room for up to 800 bottles. We are very satisfied with the result not just because we gave the client what he wanted but also because we developed a design that was very Italian and not influenced by foreign trends.
The Shipyard | Francesco Guidetti, Owner of CBI Navi
Stella di Mare yacht is another important addition to our production. CBI Navi is our metal division’s brand and focuses on custom building. Highly personalised yachts specifically crafted for each owner. They complete our Maiora brand composite yachts of between 58 and 166’, which are sporty, high performance yet comfortable craft with water jet propulsion.
Stella di Mare is not our first motoryacht of this type. We have built other explorers, such as the 36-metre Metsuyan and the 40-metre Gattopardo, which continue to sail the world’s seas. We have carved out a niche for ourselves in the market that ticks all the megayacht boxes. Personalisation right down to the tiniest detail. We adapt motoryacht designs to our clients’ requirements – with no limits. The fact that we can do the lamination and moulds in-house for our fibreglass and composite craft is our biggest strength on the market. We really do deliver luxury craftsmanship.
We are currently in negotiations for the production of another Explorer, even if the generation Maiora semi-planing models seem very popular with the market as they can satisfy a whole range of different requirements, covering everything from low speeds to 20-knots-plus.
Stella di Mare’s owner was an existing client of ours: in the noughties, he bought one of our Maiora fibreglass boats. He is an experienced seafarer and had a very clear picture in his mind of what he wanted: a boat that would the perfect environment for holidays with all the family.
The yacht was built in 11 months, starting from the bare hull and we overran the very tight schedule we had set ourselves by two weeks. It was a great success thanks to the fact that everyone put their all into it. It really did turn out well.
Stella di Mare yacht is an extension of the owner and his family’s home and their world. I guarantee you that seeing them sailing – and knowing that they are enjoying the boat – makes me proud and very satisfied indeed.