GS 72 Performance, depending on where you stand

Sailing at one or two knots below wind speed with ease. The Pardo flagship is both thrilling and easy

by Niccolò Volpati – photo by Alberto Cocchi

I have often wondered what helmsmen on cruiser racers, or more generally on racing yachts, have to look at. You know what I mean, the ones with the fixed look, straight towards the bow? Imperturbable, absorbed in the task, attentive and full of concentration. Each of us is free to experience our time at sea as we like, of course, we are – I’m a believer in freedom on land, let alone on the water. But I have to say, I have never understood them. Why don’t they ever look around?


GS 72 Performance

Typically, their surroundings are beautiful: sea, sun, wind. There are plenty of very good reasons to look away from the bow. But no, they keep their eyes glued on the goal: optimising the boat’s speed and the quest for the optimal VMG. I have often imagined a scene with whales starting to breach all around them, all kinds of aquatic mammals leaping out of the water, or beguiling mermaids emerging, and I ask myself if even then they would refuse to allow themselves to be distracted. Probably. The GS 72 Performance is a boat that is perfect for that kind of helmsman. Because not only for them: it is designed for the pleasure of sailing. It is a boat on which you can see the bow from the wheel. That may not seem particularly exciting, but nowadays it is increasingly rare. The style is very much flush deck, in the sense that the height of the deckhouse over the level of the side decks is genuinely nothing. It is one of those cases in which having the sprayhood raised is a crime.

La scelta di Nauta di collocare la cucina più verso poppa, vicino alla cabina equipaggio, permette di avere un enorme spazio a centro barca per il pranzo e il living.

The GS 72 is the first of a series of larger sailing boats from the Cantiere del Pardo. The 65’ was presented in September in Cannes, as well as the LC version, which stands for Long Cruise, of this 72’. In contrast to all of the models below sixty feet, both the Performance and the Long Cruise versions share the same hull.

Armatoriale a prua, due cabine ospiti e una per l’equipaggio a poppa, tutte con bagno privato. E in più, dinette, zona pranzo e garage per il tender. Sottocoperta non manca niente.

The 72’ is the work of a very close-knit team: Matteo Polli, who designed the hull and water lines, structural engineer Marco Lostuzzi, and Nauta Design, who handled the interiors. This esteemed group was headed by Franco Corazza, Project Manager at the yard.

The GS 72 Performance that I tried out had the standard 3.70-metre draught, with a T-keel and nine tonnes of ballast, while the dry load displacement was 31.5 tonnes. There are other types of keel, with fixed draughts of more or less, and even a version that extends from 2.70 to 4.40 metres. For the test, I had a set of sails that was very much designed for cruising given that along with the in-boom furling mainsail, there was a self-tacking jib and a Code 0. It carries 15 square metres less sail than the racing version.

Facile come timonare un dieci metri, ma esaltante come un maxi. Linee d’acqua e allestimento della coperta sono in perfetto equilibrio per centrare questo risultato.

Conditions on the day we tried it out were perfect, as they often are in the Gulf of La Spezia – with a calm sea, wind of around ten knots and beautiful sunshine, which is always welcome. It was one of those days that made you want to go sailing. And added to all of that was the GS 72. It felt very good at the wheel. The deck set-up is straightforward. The cockpit houses four winches, all of them electric, and there are another two at the bottom of the mast for the halyards. There is just one rudder blade, but it responds very well to changes in course. And it is set fairly far forward, nearly as far as the mainsheet block. The owner of this boat had decided not to have a traveller, so there is a fixed tackle block for the sheet in the middle of the cockpit. It sails at one or two knots less than the wind speed, which is perfect for piling up the miles. And perfect for the Mediterranean, because you can have the sails up even with a wind of just seven knots. All of it is in a very relaxing environment. At the wheel, it doesn’t seem to feel as if you are on board a 24-metre boat. It seems like a 35-footer but with the performance delivered by a 72’. It was quite a thrill when we raised the Code 0.

While we were off Carrara and heading back towards La Spezia, we went alongside a container carrier. The wind picked up and we were doing over ten knots at 100 degrees apparent. I didn’t feel like handing over the helm to the others. I was staring at the bow and the instruments at the bottom of the mast. But then I was asked directly, along the lines of Can you let me have a go, I’ll give it back afterwards, and I had to hand over the helm. I turned to look at the container ship, which was now a long way off and realised that I had become fixated, like those helmsmen in competitions or cruiser racers who keep their eyes on the bow. I never thought that would have happened to me too. To me! But the feeling the GS 72 gives can get you hooked. It’s nice going at ten knots with around a dozen true wind speeds and doing so without any effort, without being in the middle of a gale, and without having to pay attention to what is around you.  You can just let yourself go… with your eyes fixed on the bow.

Via Fratelli Lumière, 34
I-47122 Forlì (FC)
T. +39 0543 782404

Matteo Polli, Marco Lostuzzi and Nauta Design 

LOA (as standard) 23.75m • Length 22.00m • LWL 19.84m • Maximum beam 6.20m • Draft (as standard) 3.70m • Light mass displacement 31,500 kg • Ballast 9,000 kg • Fuel tank volume  1,000 l • Water tank volume 1,000 l • Sailing surface 310 m2 

Yanmar 4LV195 • Outlet mechanical power 143 kW (195 hp) • 4 cylinders • Bore&Stroke 92mm x 103.6mm • Swept volume 2.75 l • Dry weight 334 kg


Starting from 3,000,000 € (October 2023)

(GS 72 Performance, depending on where you stand – – October 2023)