Italian yard Cantiere del Pardo have been blending performance, luxury and contemporary style in their Grand Soleil range for 45 years. With the new Grand Soleil 48 the yard aims to raise the racer-cruiser bar to a whole new level.
‘Made in Italy’. Those three words can conjure up images of immaculately tailored suits and exquisitely engineered cars, of Pavarotti and Michelangelo, Sangiovese and bruschetta, the seemingly effortless elegance that is la dolce vita. Except, of course, it’s very far from effortless. The fine Italian thread running through the fabric of this nation is passion. Since its establishment in 1973, Cantiere del Pardo, based a few kilometres inland of Rimini, has been harnessing this emotional obsession with perfection and in the new Grand Soleil 48 it finds its latest, and perhaps most complete, expression.
She was drawn by the yard’s own design maestro Marco Lostuzzi, the third boat he has designed for Grand Soleil, and he worked closely with Milan-based Nauta Design on the styling. ‘The brief was to design a racer/cruiser that could be prepared for a racing customer or for a cruising one,’ says Lostuzzi, whose design philosophy is deceptively simple.
‘I design boats that are enjoyable and easy to sail. To achieve this I focus on the balance between sail area, displacement and stability. The mix has to be powerful, but not extreme. My first consideration was displacement. For a racing boat it has to be medium or light. At the same time, on a performance cruiser the weight is increased by the long list of optional extras that today’s customer wants onboard. It was difficult to determine the ideal displacement – and consequently the right volume and shape of the hull – to balance performance and comfort. Ultimately I went for a medium-light displacement and then employed various design strategies to deliver a boat that can be both raced and cruised.’ One of those strategies resulted in the Grand Soleil 48 becoming the only production yacht to offer a choice of two cockpit layouts, but more on that later. More here.