Ohhhh Baracuda: Perini Navi

By Monique Stringfellow

Perini Navi created one of the meanest crafts on the water today.


From the Romans to the Renaissance, Italian art and craftsmanship have always set the standard, seemingly regardless of industry. No surprise then that one of the hottest commodities afloat today comes from renowned Italian shipbuilder Perini Navi. Based in Tuscany, the Perini Navi shipyards are the birthplace of watercraft built for some of the world’s most illustrious boat owners, including Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Rupert Murdoch, and Tom Perkins.

  For the four guest cabins (which can accommodate up to eight), Pawson selected furniture that is an eclectic mix of bespoke modern and classic pieces.

Exemplifying the firm’s Italian-rooted quest for perfection is Baracuda, which was launched in October 2008 and can be considered the culmination of more than 25 years of nautical innovation. The boat, which is the 46th vessel in the Perini Navi fleet, stands out first and foremost because of its aluminum hull. Its distinctive gray-gold coloring catches the light, making the 164-foot tri-masted boat instantly recognizable to yacht spotters in ports around the globe. The owner, who chose the hull’s unique color, paired it memorably with a rich purple sail. Being that historically, the color has been affiliated with royalty, the choice results in the ship’s unmatched regal quality. The rectangular portholes add to the eye-catching exterior, and also provide an influx of light on the lower deck not typically seen on similar crafts. From afar, the silver hull and aerodynamic portholes call to mind a shark, an impression that is reinforced by the ship’s graceful movement through the sea.

Naval architect Ron Holland once again joined forces with Perini Navi to produce a yacht that maximizes both comfort and speed. Baracuda is a high-performance vehicle equipped for rough sailing conditions, and the three rigged masts are engineered for extreme navigability. The ship was constructed in Italy, with the exception of the hull, which was built in Turkey at the Yildiz shipyard, the hull-building headquarters for most Perini Navi constructions and an important part of its operation.

In addition to advanced technical specifications and use of innovative materials that ensure competitive maneuvering ability and speed, Baracuda is, in some ways, the ultimate vacation vessel. The keel is adjustable so that the boat can access harbors and inlets, and the reversed transom makes it easy to hop into the waters for a swim or dive. Water babies exit the yacht via a staircase on a hydraulically operated platform that descends 20 centimeters below sea level.

The interiors, which were designed by British interior architect John Pawson, offer a continuation of the unique stylings apparent on the ship’s exterior. Pawson is noted for his minimalist designs (he is responsible for quite a few Calvin Klein store interiors), and because his focus is not primarily yachts, he approached Baracuda as he would any earth-bound project. The resulting one-level main deck is much more open than other crafts, with unbroken architectural lines, including in the floor and ceiling timbers. The owner’s suite is full beam (an industry term meaning it spans the entire width of the ship), a feature that allows for enough space for a central king-size bed and his-and-her bathrooms. For the four guest cabins (which can accommodate up to eight), Pawson selected furniture that is an eclectic mix of bespoke modern and classic pieces.

Baracuda’s killer designs and intriguing interiors combine to result in a stunning flagship of the Perini Navi fleet currently impressing yacht spotters around the world.