The Pearl 80’ is the result of a collaboration between the naval architect Bill Dixon, who designed the exterior, and the designer Kelly Hoppen, who was responsible for the interior layout
by Fabio Bonini
We’re in the depths of winter but here in Florida we’re experiencing endless summertime. I opt for a Uber knowing that to get to my appointment I’ll get stuck in traffic on the way, and not find anywhere to park when I get there. I ask the driver to keep the air conditioning off so I can lower the window and enjoy the view of the Miami downtown skyline and the wonderful temperature.
During the 20-minute journey I try to imagine this new boat from Pearl Yachts which has just been presented at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show, that I missed for some reason – this is the first 80-footer made by the British boat builder with USA specifications. I get to the Epic Hotel early and am approached by Randy Kires, the American dealer, and Iain Smallridge, the director of Pearl Yachts.
At a first glance the boat has aerodynamic lines reminiscent of a dart or an arrow. We board and I immediately notice how easy the new 80 is to handle. We set off with the bow heading out to sea. While proceeding slowly down the channel I take the opportunity to feel every corner of the boat. The design is stunning.
All interiors have been designed by Kelly Hoppen, the British star of interior design. The concept immediately appears to have been created with the idea of experiencing every indoor and outdoor space to the full. I note how a breakfast table is close to dashboard, convenient for the day-to-day interaction between the owner and the captain. Everything is concealed in the galley, including electrical sockets, fridges, hob and a Miele oven.
The living room is spacious without being too big, everything is sleek and essential. Mainly light colours have been used and the amount of light flooding the space is striking. I continue into the cabin area and immediately discover 2 guest cabins with 2 single beds, though thanks to hidden castors these can be turned into queen size beds.
The bulkhead solution with large transparent surface is innovative, so there’s light, a lot of it, and a feeling of spaciousness. A VIP guest cabin more like a master cabin is further along the bow with the bed positioned crossways. A 43” screen is concealed behind a large reflective rainshower system, in addition to a conventional shower in the larger bathroom.
The master cabin is extra large, as is access which is not usual on an 80-footer, and there is a writing bureau, settee and closet. All cabins have an excellent bathroom with air conditioning and window at each shower cubicle. An interesting detail is the fact that ceilings are laminate so easily washed.
I’m amazed when I go down to the crew’s quarters. Rather than having to squeeze through, as is often the case on boats that aren’t large, there’s a wide ladder on this 80-footer, positioned behind a watertight door in the bulkhead of the outside left walkway that leads to a comfortable cabin with two beds, toilet and shower, which is connected to the engine room.
We’re about to finish the exit channel and I jump onto the flybridge which has a jacuzzi, large sun loungers and electric-powered bimini. There’s also ample space for the dining area and a kitchenette/bar area with grill.
I take the helm and the boat glides without hesitation, I use the throttle to take the engines from 1400 to 1600 rpm and it easily goes from 11 to 20.4 knots in a few seconds, and keeps on going till it reaches 2350 rpm at a speed of 35.5 knots. At this speed consumption is 677 l/h, which drops to 378 at 24.5 knots.
The rudder responds well and the boat gently follows all orders, even with a 180° change of course at a steady speed, and holds itself well on exit. I enjoyed taking the controls on the flybridge, but I go down to the helm station inside to take the wheel and check noise levels. 70db at 30 knots is perfectly acceptable, even when speaking quietly.
The noise is slightly higher in the cabins, but still within normal levels. The Pearl 80 really is a beautiful, comfortable, bright and fast boat designed for a group with a small crew, and I liked it a lot.
I thank Iain for the great opportunity and turn over the powerful 1800 rpm MAN engines at the comfortable speed of 24 knots. I put control back in his hands with the bow directed for downtown Miami and a glass of bubbly to toast the newborn.
PROJECT Kelly Hopper (Interiors) – Bill Dixon Design (Exteriors)
HULL LOA 24.38m • Maximum Beam 6m • Draft 1.5m • Light mass displacement 57 t • Full mass displacement 64 t • Fuel tank volume 5500 l • Water tank volume 1300 l
MAIN PROPULSION 2 MAN V12 -1800 • Outlet mechanical power 1324 kW • Number of cylinders 12 Total swept volume 24.2 l
EC CERTIFICATION CAT A 15 people
PRICE US$ 4.407.394 Duty Paid
PEARL YACHTS LTD
Unit 4 – St George’s Business Park
Lower Cape – Warwick CV34 5DR
T: 01926 491069
F: 01926 498379
(Pearl 80 – Maggio 2018)