6 August, 2019
Solaris 55 Power
Thought and designed by the smart and experienced ‘brains’ of long-time yachting professionals, Solaris 55 Power is a welcome refreshing breeze on the market
Italian performance cruiser builder Solaris are dipping their toes into new waters, and as brave as they are in their new endeavor, they’re going about it calculatedly and smartly. Joining forces with the legend of yachting in many aspects, Mr. Norberto Ferretti, and Italian designer Brunello Acampora – who has for fifteen years been designing the hulls with Volvo IPS drive – Solaris have created their new motor yacht model Solaris 55 Power. Ferretti says, with obvious pride, the motor yacht was designed for an owner who truly loves the sea and the actual act of sailing, and we add, with attention to detail revealing the brainpower behind it. The new model is beautiful in a very Italian way, unassumingly elegant and under all that style, deviously functional. The first thing we have noticed was the teak covered aft platform, set so low it’s really close to water, and connected to cockpit with two side stairs that visually add width to the stern. And speaking of width, the stairs leading to the water from the platform and used as gangway at the same time are wider than usual, which is another detail added with usability of the yacht in mind.
The tender garage is spacious enough for a tender up to 2.90 meters, and the cockpit above it large and comfortable, with a small sink (large enough to wash hands from handling the ropes), and can be fully protected by a carbon sticks-supported sun cover. Its foldable sides are one of the key features of the yacht, making the cockpit of enormous dimensions. The railings toward the bow are the part of the structure as extensions of the foldable sides, tall and safe, well incorporated into overall design, and the bow itself small, but roomy enough for a sun bed and a seat. No detail on the exterior of Solaris 55 Power stands out in any way, but they all come together in an aesthetically pleasing way. Inside, the designers have used every tool in their arsenal to create a comfortable, relaxing space. White oak and white fabrics and details enhance the natural light seeping in, and the lines are clean and gently curved. On the prototype unit, the salon is furnished with one large seat on the starboard and two foldable chairs on port on the entry to main salon.
The bridge is placed to starboard and is connected with the exterior via a dedicated opening door, making it easy to reach the IPS joystick from outside, as well. Our favorite feature on the 55 is the roof – easy to open, it slides aside and allows in fresh air and sunlight, but also allows access to the sun bed on the cabin roof which we can also name a star bed during summer nights. Below deck, there is room enough for a rather large galley port-side (everyone who’s ever tried preparing a meal aboard will be delighted by the size), the owner’s cabin placed aft in a full beam version, and a VIP cabin in the bow. The owner’s cabin is as wide as the hull, and both cabins have openable portholes and are almost equally large and comfortable. The style of the interior matches that of the exterior, even though the prototype – being a prototype – needed a bit more attention to detail. When it comes to layout, Solaris 55 Power is available in five versions, with level of customization akin to that of Solaris sailing yachts.
Delightfully calm even when faced with large waves and strong wind like the day of our test at Lavagna, Solaris 55 Power is perhaps most interesting for its maneuverability and stability. Built with generous use of carbon fibers (the main reason for the surprisingly low weight of the superstructure) and using latest techniques, the 55 feels and moves like a large RIB. On our test, we reached 37 knots – 2 knots more than the declared speed – but were most delighted with the yacht’s performance at 10 knots (and using only 30 liters of fuel per hour!). We have reached the declared cruising speed of 21 knots at 1800 rpm, and surrounded by relatively little noise. Maneuvering abilities of Solaris 55 Power were best demonstrated when we had to go back for the sun bed cushions that had flown into the sea because they weren’t clipped in after washing (swiftly and with ease, as is always the case with IPS joystick). All in all, Solaris 55 Power is an interesting motor yacht that combines the experience and smart solutions, turns its back on the trend and promises a fun ride for owners looking to spend their time at sea actually sailing.
Text Darko Šupuk
Photos and video by Solaris