Benetti Motopanfilo 37M, An Ode to the Past
Benetti goes back in time with the Motopanfilo 37M, inspired by the classic design of Benetti yachts in the 1960s and 70s.
The Motopanfilo 37M is Benetti’s newest Class model yacht that debuted at the Cannes Yachting Festival in September 2021. The yacht is inspired by the shipyard’s own yachts of the 1960s and 70s. Benetti conceptualised the new model with the intent to reimagine the traditional features of iconic Benetti yachts.
“The brief was to conceive a new yacht that would incorporate the characteristics of Benetti motor yachts from the 1960s,” says Italian designer, Francesco Struglia, who studied the evolution of the lines of the builder’s models from this period to create the ship’s distinct exterior.
Struglia created an exterior with balanced proportions and continuity between the hull and the structure, connected by an angled piece of fibreglass that is set amidships that defines the ship’s profile. The stern is a modern reinterpretation of a classic round stern.
What separates the Motopanfilo 37M from vintage Benetti models is the overall volume, as today’s yachts are much roomier. Struglia was challenged to stay under 300GT.
To balance the increased volume with classic lines, the yacht has lengthened forward hull windows that almost reach the bow’s apex. And to cater to modern yacht owners who demand large windows, expansive glazing is found throughout the main and upper decks.
Thanks to the massive windows, the yacht evokes a sensation of being right at the sea which is another design element that separates the yacht from Benettis of the past.
For the interior design, Lazzarini Pickering Architetti created living areas that recall nautical traditions. For the Motopanfilo 37M, the emphasis was on creating a boat that feels like a boat, and not a floating apartment.
To bring in classic nautical elements, Lazzarini Pickering created curved beams that run up along the ceiling along the yacht’s width on each deck.
In the saloon, white lacquered beams run across the wood ceilings and this pattern is replicated on the upper and lower decks as well. Pickering has described the feeling created by these beams, or ribs, as “standing inside the belly of a whale”.
Portlight-shaped lighting fixtures and the white leather-clad mast feature in the central staircase that runs from the lower to the upper deck that is designed to look like a mast, both add to the feeling of nautical heritage.
Design motifs of the 1960s and 70s are seen in the use of mirrored surfaces and rounded furnishings, like the curved sofas in the main saloon, which encourage conversation and relaxed living. Mirrors are used skillfully to expand the space, such as those set into the window frames, effectively reflecting the sea and sky and opening the space further.
The interior has been kept quite simple and subdued with light woods, white leather and neutral colours, to highlight the yacht’s architectural lines.
Meanwhile, for the exteriors, outdoor living was a major focus of the design. The spacious sun deck and bow lounge, both of which can have spa pools are examples of the lavish living on the exterior.
The beach club features a collapsible cabana, with an accordion-style bimini top that shields the swim platform from the sun and adds an element of privacy.
A bonus area outside is the observation deck, just above the sun deck and is built around the central mast. On classic ships, this space would have been a small flybridge, but on the Motopanfilo 37M, it has become a quiet retreat, for two people to relax.
Benetti’s Motopanfilo 37M has sold at least four hulls so far, proving there is a segment in the market for a classic-contemporary yacht that combines the glamorous history of yachting and the modern comforts of today.
Another interesting yacht design is the Rossinavi all-new fully-electric 42.75-metre catamaran concept, the Sea Cat 40. It is inspired by marine algae phytoplankton that converts sunlight into energy. It is fitted with 135 square metres of solar panels which generates 250kWh of energy. Designed for transatlantic voyages — able to cruise continuously for 20 days at eight knots, with a centralised A.I system that maintains the battery’s charge status to preserve power.
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