Benetti’s New Motopanfilo 37M Is Built with History in Mind
Benetti's Motopanfilo series pays homage to the builder's launches of the 1960s.
Note how the superstructure’s glass helps to accentuate and visually lower the Motopanfilo 37M’s profile. Courtesy Benetti Yachts
Fashion or home decor trends come back every few years in a renewed form. Last year, for example, a number of designers embraced the bright color bombs from the 1990s to draw more attention to walls, railings, kitchen cabinetry—you name it. Other Everything from album covers to area rugs was inspired by the 1960s and 1970s.
Compared with the minimalist, geometric simplicity that became popular five years ago, these fun, funky, even psychedelic styles were quite different. There wasn't a sense of boldness or retroness for the sake of it. It was more about visual distinctiveness than anything else.
Even with modern amenities such as a beach club, the 37M’s overarching design pays homage to the past. Courtesy Benetti Yachts
This concept has been in the works since 2020 at Benetti. According to the shipyard, the exterior styling and interior design of the yacht harken back to some of its deliveries from the 1960s and 1970s. The yacht must also appeal to today's cruisers, who expect amenities that didn't exist 50 years ago.
Benetti Motopanfilo 37M is the result.
The design studio responsible for the interior, Lazzarini Pickering Architetti, calls it "non-nostalgic.". A nautical theme was chosen.
Because the yacht is semicustom, the beach club can include whatever clients wish. Courtesy Benetti Yachts
Pickering and Claudio Lazzarini felt it was imperative that the yacht look like a yacht rather than a floating home. Benetti and Francesco Struglia also agreed. In comparison with modern mega-yachts, Motopanfilo 37M appears much more linear than mega-yachts built five decades ago. An upper-deck overhang is further emphasized by bronze ribbons painted around the after bulwarks. Wood cap rails were a key element in Struglia's design.
In addition, he captured the essence of classically rounded transoms with a slightly curved design.
The look fell by the wayside when designers began incorporating integral swim platforms, which have grown wider and deeper over time. With its fold-down transom, the Motopanfilo 37M does have a beach club. Due to the yacht's semicustom nature, the beach club can include whatever the client wishes. Lazzarini Pickering designed a hooded sunshade for Hull No. 1, Koju, that was removable and concealed.
A modern-day must is also found at the waterline: a tender garage. PWCs and traditional tenders can be launched from this side-launching area.
There is, however, a strong connection between the nautical past and the present on the inside. In recent years, wood soles were relegated to soles due to the predominant use of lacquered surfaces. In addition, grays and other muted tones are gone, as are austerely shaped furnishings and accessories. In Pickering's opinion, they looked like something out of Architectural Digest, not at all like a yacht. Lazzarini Pickering's initial concept of pale, matte-finished wood underfoot and overhead was instead embraced by Koju's owners.
The arches on Koju are meant to mimic whale ribs. Through the salon and dining area, white lacquer arches are interspersed with pale oak swathes. Belowdecks, the walls of the four guest staterooms follow suit; the arches are wood, and the spaces between them are lacquered. Additionally, the walls follow the natural shape of the hull, eschewing the common practice of squaring everything off.
Pickering says that the luxury in a boat is in its space, whether it's perceived or real. Thanks to those ribs and shapes, the 25-foot-3-inch beam feels spacious. It also helps that the yacht has large ports, as well as crisp white furnishings and accessories, with navy blue accents for added nautical flair. As well as serving as art niches in some areas as well as stowage in others, whalebone elements hide the air conditioning trunks as well.
As sleek as the 37M looks in profile, bow-on it’s a stout-looking craft. It also has transatlantic range. Courtesy Benetti Yachts
“Practical” describes the overall atmosphere on board Koju. It is possible for owners or guests to keep the curved, sliding glass doors between the salon and main deck aft open all day long. Designed for the inside, Lazzarini Pickering recommended the white and blue fabrics also be used outside, to withstand saltwater.
In spite of the fact that some things change, there are also some things that remain the same.
The Name Game
Motorcycle panfilo means "motoryacht" in Italian. The term was associated decades ago with large craft enjoyed by celebrities, royalty and other elites. A Benetti moto panfilo was used by Monaco's Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace, for instance.
Motopanfilo was inspired by the 1960s. A significant period in the yard's history occurred during that era. Shipyards began using metal for yachts in 1960 when they stopped using wood.
There is a fourth deck on the Motopanfilo 37M, but unless you are aboard the yacht or standing dockside while someone is up there, you wouldn't know it. In this area, you can observe the world. The sun pad occupies the majority of the space and is protected by glass windscreens.