If you ask James Henderson to name his favorite yacht it would be like asking him to name his favorite child. As the President and CEO of Ferretti Group America, the iconic leader behind some of the world’s most prestigious yacht brands, Henderson describes the company’s portfolio of yachts with such exquisite detail and admiration you’d think each yacht were one of his own. And while he freely admits to being partial to either the Riva 44 or 52 – “I like the feeling of being able to navigate the yacht myself” – Henderson lists off the specs of each and every brand Ferretti has to offer without the slightest hint of favoritism.
Such awe and respect for the company and its brands is easy to understand – the Ferretti Group are, after all, responsible for designing and building the most beautiful and innovative yachts for buyers across the globe. The story behind the company is a rich one, starting in 1968 with two brothers from Italy. “Alessandro and Norberto Ferretti started out building small pleasure yachts,” Henderson tells of the company’s earliest days. “By the late 1990s, after going through some restructuring and financing, the Ferretti Group was formed, allowing us to acquire a portfolio of what we consider to be the best yacht brands in the world today.”
As impressive as the company’s portfolio of brands is, it’s the philosophy of passion, innovation and excellence instilled in the company by the Ferretti brothers that continues to guide the Ferretti Group today. “Our founders spent a great deal of time on yachts studying their functionality,” Henderson explains. “For Norberto Ferretti in particular, everything came down to functionality and performance, sleek European lines and purposeful layouts.”
With seven brands represented in their portfolio, the company’s namesake brands include Ferretti Yachts, Ferretti Custom Line and Ferretti Navetta. “Ferretti Yachts are fiberglass flybridge pleasure yachts ranging from 53 to 96 ft., the Ferretti Custom Line offers fiberglass yachts from 100 to 124 ft., and Ferretti Navetta represents the distance cruising line,” describes Henderson, adding, “These yachts all are finely tuned cruising machines whose layout, utilization of space, high end materials, and high level of finishes are matched by exceptional quality, safety and performance.”
The other brands that fall under the Ferretti Group’s portfolio are Pershing, Riva, Bertram, Itama and Mochi Craft. “Pershing is all about speed and innovation with yachts that range from 50 ft. up to 115 ft. and speeds of up to 55 knots/60 miles an hour,” says Henderson. “Rivas are like the Rolls Royces or Bentleys of the sea. They range from 27 to 122 ft. in length and are extremely popular with celebrities because they have such a classical European aesthetic. The brand has become famous because of owners like Brigitte Bardot and Sophia Loren, to name a few.”
Bertram, the sport-fishing brand founded by the legendary Richard Bertram, includes sport-fish yachts measuring from 54 up to 80 ft. in length and reaching top speeds of up to 46 knots. Itama open yachts range from 45 to 75 ft. and are capable of reaching speeds between 34 and 50 knots. Mochi Craft are lobster style luxury yachts designed from 44 up to 74 ft. in length while CRN specializes in the construction of fully customized mega-yachts in steel and aluminum.
“We build yachts from 27 to 100 ft. with specific layouts where you can choose your options – finishes, cabin layout etc., but when you go over 100 ft., that’s when you have more flexibility of design, more customization,” Henderson explains. “The CRN brand made of steel and aluminum offers some series designs up to 80 meters.”
Behind the Ferretti Group is a team of architects and designers who work in special research and development departments, including the company’s own Advanced Yacht Technology & Design (AYT&D) center. Committed to working with only the most talented and innovative minds, the Group announced last year that Piero Ferrari, an engineer and Deputy Chairman of Ferrari S.p.A., had joined their new Product Strategy Team, bringing years of experience in the development of innovative luxury products to the Group. “We have eight different production facilities in Italy, North America and Latin America,” adds Henderson who says this allows the company to control every element – from design to architecture to engineering to building. “Our designers and tech team of 80-90 engineers keep us focused on cutting edge technology, functionality, space utilization and design.”
With a global sales and distribution network of dealers throughout North America including Miami Beach, Naples, New York, California, and Montreal, the Group’s flagship showroom is based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a facility Henderson describes as a “one-stop shop” where buyers can see a bit of everything. “In Fort Lauderdale we have a 45,000 sq.ft. state-of-the-art covered retail marina with 25 ft. ceilings. The facility is able to house over 20 models meaning buyers can take advantage of seeing our inventory up close.”
With such an impressive line up of yacht styles to choose from, each brand tends to appeal to a different buyer at each phase of their life. The person who buys a Ferretti is looking for functionality and space. They want to navigate and cruise, spend time in the Bahamas or the Caribbean. Some may spend weeks at a time on the yacht, living onboard with their family as they travel at their leisure.
For those interested in stylish finishes and high-end materials, Riva is the natural choice. “People who buy Riva value performance, speed and design. They buy Riva because they see it as a piece of art,” says Henderson. “People who buy Pershing value performance, speed and design. Pershing buyers typically are the type who fly their own airplane or jet and drive fast sports cars Pershing is like the Ferrari of the sea – a big, beautiful, fabulous toy.”
By the time you reach a certain level of success, that’s when buyers turn to CRN. CRNsare about entertaining, cruising the Mediterranean in the summer, the Caribbean in the winter, taking on charters,” Henderson says, likening the yacht to a condo on the sea. “This is what makes our portfolio of brands so exciting. No matter what buyers are looking for, with our brand selection we can pretty much appeal to any type of buyer and satisfy whatever they are looking for.”
This translates into being able to cater to any yacht lover from anywhere in the world. And in Canada, Henderson says the luxury yacht market is strong and growing. “A lot of our clients have homes in Toronto and in Florida or they spend summers in Muskoka. These buyers typically have a Riva to enjoy in Canada and then have a motor yacht that they keep in Florida to take them to the Bahamans and Caribbean.”
Regardless of where they live on the map, owning a yacht gives people access to a lifestyle and an opportunity to spend time with friends and family in a very private environment, which is why yachting has such a universal appeal. “Yachting is one of the most relaxing things you can do. It also gives you a certain level of freedom to go where you want, when you want, to explore the Bahamas, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean or the Great Lakes.”
Most importantly, it’s about getting away from the everyday. “Many of our clients are very successful but perhaps have very stressful, hectic careers and family lives,” Henderson explains. “A yacht offers a complete escape from our busy and hectic lives.”
Travelling, vacationing, cruising, escaping – whatever the motivation, all of the brands in the Ferretti Group portfolio are synonymous with exceptional craftsmanship and style and will satisfy any yacht lovers needs and desires. Just don’t try to pick a favorite – you won’t be able to even if you tried.
CONTACT INFO: ferrettigroupamerica.com
Montreal: Fort Lauderdale:
Ita Yachts Canada Inc.
Ferretti Group America
PASSION, INNOVATION, EXCELLENCE: THE FERETTI YACHT 960
The Ferretti Yacht 960 is the largest pleasure boat ever built by Ferretti Group. With 96 ft. of length overall, it can be managed as a pleasure boat, even without a professional captain. Ferretti Yachts 960 is the first yacht of the brand with the owner cabin located on the main deck and four VIP cabins on the lower deck each equipped with its own en-suite facility, enormous glazing for natural light and portholes for ventilation. The vessel offers three crew cabins of which one is exclusively for the captain as well as a separate access to the crew quarters directly from the galley. The flybridge at the stern area are entirely devoted to leisure. The submersible garage door is fitted with cushions, while the bathing platform can be immersed in the water to allow for the launching of the tender in just a matter of minutes from the floodable garage without the need of a davit: a system which has set the benchmark in the industry for a never before seen solution on a vessel of this size.The flagship model of the Ferretti Yachts range will be available with three different engine options, offering a minimum of 4436 hp to 5276 hp, the latter ensuring performance characteristics which make the 960 the quickest vessel in its class by reaching speeds up to 31 knots. The ARG (Anti Rolling Gyro) system is installed as a standard, in order to guarantee the utmost comfort onboard.