Pierangelo Andreani, a master of the mass-produced boat, started with a blank sheet of paper and dreamed up a 50-metre catamaran. And this certainly isn’t some futuristic, pie-in-the-sky concept. It’s a real boat, designed for owners who love to get up close and personal with the sea
by Luca Sordelli – pictures by Matteo Zugnoni
PIERANGELO ANDREANI IS A MAN USED TO BIG NUMBERS. He has been designing boats for Bénéteau and Fountaine Pajot for over fifteen years, and before that, he did the same for Cranchi and Colombo. All leading brands that historically have specialised in small and medium-sized boats, with tens, if not hundreds, of each design churned out over the course of a season. Pierangelo Andreani’s name is revered in the world of contemporary yacht design, and he has vast experience in all forms of transport: he has also designed cars, scooters and electric bikes, all for the mass market.
The outdoor spaces both forward and aft offer the opportunity to get up close and personal with the sea. The main deck has a large open-air space at the stern with a bar and sunbed areas.
Pierangelo, now you’ve come up with a 50-metre-long and 20-metre-wide Maxi Cat. What happened? Covid and lockdown [he smiles]. Once I’d finished sorting out my archive, tidying up and cleaning, I still had a lot of time on my hands. So, partly on the advice of the chief editor of Barche Franco Michienzi, I decided to do something a bit different. I said to myself: I’ll make something big, and show the others that I can’t be pigeon-holed.
What do you mean? With mass-produced boats, keeping costs down to large extent dictates the design. It’s the same for everyone – for all shipyards, and indeed all sectors, not just boats. You are always looking to reuse moulds and pre-existing parts, like putting a puzzle back together. It’s something I enjoy doing, a craft that requires experience and culture.
But…? I had the time, and the desire, to be freer in my design. I decided to give it a try, to do something with no repercussions if my pencil slipped by 10 cm.
Freedom is wonderful, but you need to be able to handle it. Precisely. It all started from a quick sketch on paper, but I then immediately developed the idea to establish the dimensions and the general layout. My professionalism prevents me from wowing clients with nothing but ‘emotions’ and then having to alter the design because it’s impossible to put into practice. No matter how much freedom you’re afforded, the design must be plausible. It’s too easy to come up with far-fetched concepts.
How did you manage to keep yourself grounded? Mostly by turning to my friend, Amedeo Migali from Micad, who is a great expert in the sector and knows all there is to know about structures, engineering and on-board systems. I showed him the designs and asked him whether the boat was feasible. He replied that it could be very successful, and gave me some extremely useful advice, mostly regarding the choice of propulsion systems.
The first layout is dedicated to clients of a sporty nature, with four guest cabins and a huge multifunctional saloon. There are two guest cabins per hull, with the cabins for the crew and service staff at the bow and the technical rooms and access to the garage, gym and engine rooms at the stern.
What kind of person do you imagine owning your Maxi Cat? Someone with a sporty nature, who likes to get up close and personal with the sea, and fully experience it. Someone who is not content to watch the waves through a porthole from inside.
How did you design the layout to satisfy these demands? I created outside areas that bring you into contact with the sea at the stern, so you feel like it is always close at hand. The same applies to the interior, thanks to the large full-height windows, with no real separation between inside and out. When designing boats, I try to put myself into the shoes of the owner, and here the size of the object should never be a hindrance. It shouldn’t take you away from the water or the landscape.
Astern there is an area that almost touches the water, with a central platform that can be raised or lowered to three different heights to form respectively a space to house tenders or a heliport, a sun deck or haulage for the tender and a safe sea swimming pool.
How many versions are there? The images you can see here are the basic version, but there are another three, not to mention all the customisation options that owners of this type of boat will undoubtedly demand. However, all the different versions have large outdoor living spaces both forward and aft, and a substantial central saloon which can either be a single expansive open space or divided into multiple rooms. There is also the option of a third deck dedicated exclusively to the owner, and just enough room for a helicopter.
Could 50 metres long and 20 metres wide be too much? Won’t it be impossible to handle? This is a boat for owners for whom material problems are not real problems. There’s a solution for everything.
The dining area can be open to the elements or closed, depending on the weather conditions and the owner’s preferences. The central section features a living area, bar and galley.
What will it be made of? It can be made of composite or aluminium, at the discretion of the shipyard, with carbon fibre superstructures.
And finally, how will it be powered? My first thought was to use hydrogen, produced on board using electrolytic cells powered by solar panels. This is an existing green technology, but clearly, it would need further testing. Micad provided a simpler and more immediate solution: two MAN 2000 engines, including one hybrid engine, on each hull.
The project is signed by Andreani Design, who handled both the external and the interior design. Amedeo Migali of Micad managed all the naval architecture and engineering of the ship, which can navigate at a maximum speed of 27 knots.
Length 54-80m • Beam 20.00m • Air draft 14.42m • Draft 2.60m • Gross tonnage 1,200 GT • Fuel tank 45,000 l • Urea Tank 20,00 l • Water 3,000 l • Black – Gray water 3,000 l • Guests 12 • Crew 16
For each hull: 2 x MAN V12 -2000 SCR System engines • 2 x Controllable pitch propellers (d-1300mm) 1 x 250kW Electric engine for low-speed propulsion 1 x ZF gearbox with PTI for Hybrid propulsion 1x Genset for service and power
Main advantages: High Power/Weight ratio
|Full electric||9 knots||7 knots|
|2 diesel||18 knots||15 knots|
|4 diesel||27 knots||24 knots|
|Range||600 NM @ 25 knot||4100 NM @ 10 knots|
(Pierangelo Andreani, a new freedom – Barchemagazine.com – November 2020)