Since the dawn of the 21st Century one shipyard has dominated the yachting sector in terms of their prolific output: Azimut Benetti. The 63 m Benetti christened 11-11 proved to be one of its latest stars
The Italian powerhouse Azimut Benetti maintain its position at the very top for the 16th consecutive year. With 63 new build projects, the industrious activity of the Azimut and Benetti brands certainly engenders confidence in owners from whom the financial stability of a shipyard is a primary factor.
Benetti 63 MY 11-11 design
Initially ordered by a Russian client who found it necessary to sell his project during build, hull FB 265 proved to be an attractive incentive for the current owner, who counts amongst his diverse portfolio of interests a luxury property development company. Utilizing the considerable resources of his talented in-house design team and working closely with Benetti, the owner set about refining the yacht’s design, layout and interior décor to better reflect the tastes and intended use.
Launched in 2015, MY 11-11 features a distinctive plumb bow like that of MY Nataly (ex-Amnesia IV) a 65 m from Benetti’s FB series delivered in 2011. The inclusion of an extra deck in the arcing profile of her superstructure however has allowed MY 11-11 to offer a full owner’s deck, vast on-deck VIP suite and four guest cabins on the lower deck and the owner enjoyed an extraordinarily direct hands-on role in the design and management of the project.
‘Through our business we work with some of the most renowned designers in the world’, he explains, ‘but we also have a highly talented in-house design team, so we’re able to mix and match on different projects. I must also compliment Benetti on the level of professionalism we experienced with their team during the build of 11-11, they really were very good.’
The owner actually describes his input as ‘beyond hands-on,’ and his enthusiasm for participation in every detail is obvious. The team cleverly lightened the styling with stainless steel and mirror inlays and fused this with art deco elements to create character. Loose furniture from brands like Bill Cleyndert and Madson Black can be found throughout the yacht, with items from their collections carefully selected for their practicality, comfort and contribution to the overall ambience.
The prolific use of polished stone contrasts deliciously with the soft buttery leathers, shagreen panels and tactile textiles. Each panel of onyx and marble was hand picked, with its color and veining specifically chosen to emphasize the area it is fitted in. ‘The problem with marble is that it stains over time, whatever any consultant advises you with regards to sealing it,’ sighs the owner. ‘There are always new exciting materials on the market, but I personally like to keep things simple, especially on a yacht where many times it can feel like things are overdone and the designer was trying too hard.’
Office on the upper deck
Having been afforded the opportunity to explore the many alluring charms and spaces of 11-11, we asked the owner where his favorite spot on-board would be? ‘It really depends upon the time of day,’ he muses. ‘In the morning it would probably be the sky lounge, with my daughter, watching her cartoons. Then, if I need some time to myself to relax that would be in the master suite’s Jacuzzi. When friends are aboard and we’re entertaining or having lunch, we head up to the top deck instead of the more formal dining area on the main deck… to be honest there are so many great spots on the boat and we use them all. We designed it to be that way.’
As the yacht Benetti 63 MY 11-11 was initially commissioned by a Russian client owner, who found it necessary to surrender the project during build, we asked what details had been changed from the original and why? ‘Here in the cockpit was a huge crane’, the owner replies point at the aft section above the transom.
‘It was included as the garage was intended to house a Rolls Royce Phantom. Obviously that wasn’t in our plans, so in removing the crane we dramatically increased the size of the cockpit, which is now a very social space and gets a lot of use. Also, on the upper deck, the space originally intended as a cinema we instead converted in a fantastic study which I use as my office when onboard, so that is well used too. Basically we looked at the original and adjusted it to suit our own lifestyle.’
Custom limo tender built by Benetti
Eschewing the prevailing fashion for an aft beach club, the transom plate instead conceals a cavernous tender garage where the 11-11’s toy inventory is stowed. There one finds a 8 m custom limo tender built by Benetti. Powered by a 3-liter Mercury turbo-diesel hooked up to Mercury duo stern drives, the tender was designed to a style that references the mother ship.
For less formal transfers and fun afternoons on the water, a 19’ 6” Novurania RIB with 260hp Yanmar jet drive resides next to the limo in the garage. Unfortunately, being berthed alongside in the marina we had no excuse to make use of either, but upon departing, having enjoyed the warm hospitality of the owner and his staff, we reflected on an exceptionally well presented yacht.