How one owner went about creating the prefect family cruising yacht and how the Overmarine Group came up with an entirely new Mangusta
You know what you’re getting with a Mangusta – stellar performance, athletic styling, and a yacht with plenty of open deck space from where you can enjoy your days on board. Or at least you knew until June last year, when the Mangusta Oceano 42 was launched. This 42-metre steel-and-aluminium displacement yacht is a bold statement of intent from a yard that has cornered the market in ‘maxi open’ yachts but is now also offering a distinctly different style of cruising yacht, where the main aim isn’t to get to your destination as quickly as possible.
The initial renderings for the Oceano range were unveiled in 2013, and the yard soon entered into discussions with a client who was searching for a private family cruising yacht. “He knew the Mangusta name well. He appreciated the Mangusta range for its quality but he was not so keen on open-style yachts. When he saw the renderings of the Mangusta Oceano 42, he was immediately attracted: it was a concept that made much more sense for him and his family. She was the boat of his dreams!” says Francesco Frediani, commercial director at Mangusta.
It was the job of long-time designer of the Mangusta range, Alberto Mancini, to come up with the new renderings for the displacement yacht, but a key part of the brief was not to discard the heritage of the brand, which had been carefully nurtured over two decades. “The Balducci family [owners of Mangusta’s parent, the Overmarine Group] had a three-deck yacht with a strong Mangusta identity in mind. It was certainly not an easy yacht to develop. I’m most proud of the fact that I was able to convey the idea of a displacement yacht that still has the sporty DNA of a shipyard famous for open yachts,” says Alberto.
There was a further challenge to modify the initial renderings when the client came on board. “I listened to the client very carefully in order to understand what his wishes and lifestyle were,” adds Alberto. “I reinterpreted the culture of his country of origin in a modern style in many of the different environments on board.”
With more accommodation to play with, and an extra deck, the trick was to keep a sporting edge to the exterior styling. This has been achieved by the contrasting use of harder lines and softening curves, from the vertical all-black wheelhouse windows, to the delicious kinks introduced into the superstructure. She looks business-like and practical, as well as a stylish piece of modern motor yacht design. “It was important to keep the right balance between sportiness and elegance,” says Alberto. “I kept the clean lines of my original drawing and successfully interpreted the shipyard’s most important stylistic features, whilst emphasising the lines and power of the upper and flybridge decks.”
The maxi open philosophy succeeds not just because it gets you from A to B quickly; once you get to B, you are intimately connected with your environment thanks to all that open deck space – it’s those deck spaces that define the experience as much as the sheer speed. Despite the greater volumes on the Mangusta Oceano 42, and more emphasis on interior living space, it’s pleasing to see that the outside areas aren’t just an add-on to the inside. Indeed, two key outside spaces are moments that really define the yacht: the foredeck pool area and the lower-deck beach club.
The forward infinity pool is more than just a place to plunge. With sunloungers either side, and comfortable seating in front of the bridge, it’s a sociable family area in itself. With an arm of the pool bisecting the sunpads it’s a safe place to let the children play, There’s even a cascading waterfall feature. But the surprise is not only in the sheer size of the pool area – it’s also the glazed skylights in the bottom of the pool that bring light directly streaming into the owner’s bathroom below. “It produces refractions of light, which filter through the water. The result is a game of light and darkness or shadows, which changes continuously at different time of the day,” says Alberto. Much thought has gone into the lighting design throughout the yacht, and here the natural play of the sunshine makes for a winning feature.
There’s further light play at the beach club. The folding transom door reveals a bar and seating area, with room for all the guests. On the swim platform itself, glazing is inset to create some stunning views of the water below. Underwater spotlights add to the experience. It’s not surprising that this has become one of the owner’s favourite areas on board. “He much appreciates the full-beam stern hatchback where, due to the cuts of light, you can enjoy the beach area even when at sea and cruising at over ten knots. When it is open, on the other hand, there is the unusual feature of walking on rectangular glazing on the sea,” says Francesco Frediani.
Interior design is also the work of Alberto Mancini. With a blank canvas when he signed the contract, the owner had free reign to customise the interior. “I got to understand his requirements, which were very clear and detailed,” says Alberto. “From the very beginning of the project there was deep understanding between us and we followed the project together, step by step, through various presentations and mood-boards, developed in order to understand every single aspect of the project. Of course, it’s absolutely essential to work closely with clients, guiding them through each and every stage of the entire project, and to listen to their requirements at all times.”
The result is something of a contemporary interior, smart and yet still with a relaxed ambience. There is a contrast between what Alberto calls “hot and cold materials” – warm leathers, for example, with the freshening bursts of stainless steel and ceilings clad in raw silk. In the main deck salon, the atmosphere is particularly relaxed, with the planed and bleached oak on the walls and floor creating an informal vibe. The main salon’s floor-to-ceiling windows are another example of how much use has been made of natural light aboard the Mangusta Oceano 42, and underlining this are the glass sections in the gunwales, which help to further open the space up once the sliding doors are open. It’s not only aboard a maxi open yacht that you can enjoy a sense of openness.
A mirrored corridor leads to the owner’s suite forward (above), where the benefit of the refracted light from the swimming pool can really be felt. The owner’s bathroom is suitably expansive, with Eramosa marble in the central shower mimicking the colour of the flooring and bedhead in the sleeping area. A folding terrace to starboard allows further contact with the outside, with only the guardrails to break your view. Once again, the internal lighting has been carefully designed throughout the cabin, with a range of solutions, whatever the mood and time of day.
Perhaps the most intriguing element to the décor is found on the lower deck, where the four guest suites have been named and themed after resorts that have particular meaning for the owner – St Tropez, Bodrum, Mauritius and Bergama. Each has its own styling, and plenty of character in what can often become a utilitarian area of a yacht. Bodrum, for example, has some rich cyans to match the sea, while Mauritius has a nature theme, with bamboo and grassland styling– there’s green-painted woods and even a vertical garden. “When we were looking around the yacht at the Monaco Yacht Show last year, the owner said to me: ‘All the cabins are so different and inviting that I’ll sleep in a different place every night!’” says Alberto. Once again, mirrors help circulate the natural light throughout the spaces.
A key gathering area for guests will be the upper deck lounge, a cosy cinema space for evening entertainment (above). The sofas – designed by Mancini and invitingly beamy – can be pushed together to create a monster lounging area in front of the 72in curved TV. The owner specified smaller windows here – it’s the only place on the Mangusta Oceano 42 where natural light is not welcomed. Intriguingly, the shape of the Mancini-designed lamps is a reference to the stern spoilers found on some of Mangusta’s open yachts. The coffee table, too, was designed in house.
The sundeck has a dedicated dining area (above), partly sheltered by the black hardtop. The coffee tables straddle glassed openings that allow more light into the decks below. It’s a flexible guest space, with the emphasis on sociable areas, while the dining table offers the best place to eat outside.
Set for her first full season on the water cruising privately with her owner, the Oceano 42 is a change of direction for Mangusta, launched in a year which also saw hull 11 of the Mangusta 165 delivered. But the 42 is a different kind of Mangusta for a different kind of owner, though with the same sense of style of innovation that we’ve become used to. “She has been both a bet and a challenge for us,” says Francesco Frediani. And it’s a bet has been landed handsomely.
Photographs by Maurizio Paradisi