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Boat Review | Arcadia 115

Ecological dream

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Futuristic ideas and materials: to touch, sniff, clutch. There’s a very strong risk, given what we see before us, that we might be transported by our emotions as we prepare to get a first-hand taste of the Arcadia 115’. We do so on a chilly, wind-swept January day with a tramontana blowing at 30 knots. It turns out to be an experience that will stay with us long after we’ve stepped back ashore. We are at Torre Annunziata, halfway between Naples and Salerno, a little corner of Italy’s coast where the youthful Arcadia Yachts has put down roots. We’re here to take a test spin on the very first Arcadia 115', a model we feel will leave its mark on the market. It awaits us, temporarily berthed in the newly-minted Marina di Stabia. The management of the yard founded in 2008 by the Pellegrino family, who have had long associations with the likes of Sanlorenzo, Italcraft and Cantieri di Pisa, welcome us warmly. Their satisfaction at having splashed a craft that’s the perfect calling card for a company as new as they are, bang on time, is clear.

As is the emotion in the eyes of the workers still toiling on the final details before she casts off for her new home in France. There’s a kind of collective buzz that soon infects us as we too are conscious that this is a project that is as innovative in form as it is in concept and substance. A revolutionary model, which after the more compact 85' (the sixth example is being laminated as we write – a record in these straitened times), proudly embodies a string of concepts that represent the future of the industry. All that before the much-awaited 135' gets underway. Arcadia Yachts has an innovative, meticulously green approach to boat-building. To start with, the craft generate their own electricity from photovoltaic panels in the superstructure glazing, a solution developed specially for them by the University of Naples. All the electronics aboard are run off that power.

There’s also a Hamman water treatment system and heat-insulating reflective, low-emission glazing. The model’s two 1,224 hp Man engines with ZF inverters drink very little too thanks to the semi-planing NPL bottom which demands less power. Owners also have the option of hybrid propulsion made up of an electric motor that guarantees a completely silent cruising speed of 8 knots. This is a boat that looks to the future in terms of its interior arrangement too. The spaces are particularly roomy and bright with lots of pale wood and a open-plan, elegant, modern layout. The style is simple and inspired by very specific functional requirements but it’s also innovative. The result is that life is comfortable and sheltered yet affords immediate contact with the sea. In fact, even inside there is a feeling of being at one with the sea. Privacy is guaranteed by Filtravedo fabric sun shade panels. The imposing lounge on the upper deck and the dining area on the main one are both very attractive indeed. The latter, in fact, can be equipped with hydraulic balconies on both sides.

The cabins too are generous and airy (two versions: 4 or 5), particularly the owner’s. The crew quarters and technical areas aren’t skimped on either by any means, and include a garage for a tender and two jet skis. The interior and exterior furnishings are very Italian in style and feature input from the likes of Poltrona Frau and Schiffini. We tried in vain to find a flaw in the lovely Arcadia 115', but had to hold our hands up in defeat. What more can we say than “Well done!”

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