August 2nd, 2021

Motopanfilo 37m, tribute to the Bennetti superyachts of Italy of the `60S

Benetti Motopanfilo 37M 2020

Benetti has launched the new Motopanfilo, an elegant and modern yacht inspired not only by the legendary “navettes” of the sixties, but also by the glamor, freedom of expression and creativity synonymous with those times.


Without a doubt, a deserved tribute to the “motopanfilo” of the 60s. The Benetti 37m Motopanfilo was presented at a well-attended online press conference. A beautiful yacht that, according to the shipyard, pays tribute to the yachts of the 1960s, known generically as “motopanfilo” and their undeniable glamor. The presented Motopanfilo 37 is not simply a restyling of one of Benetti’s successes of yesteryear, but represents a design of today in every way.

It is a ship that speaks the language of the 21st century while echoing the carefree spirit and design typical of the 1960s, with various nods to Benetti heritage and iconic ships from that evocative decade. The Benetti Motopanfilo 37 offers the promise of a return to an age filled with tantalizing tales of glamor. The Motopanfilo, a 37-meter displacement yacht far from simply taking a walk down memory lane and simply creating a retro revision, Benettij together with Francesco Struglia for the exterior lines and Lazzarini Pickering Architetti for the interiors, have given her a makeover. Delightfully fresh and contemporary look that includes all that modern technology and techniques can offer.

The current version of the Motopanfilo offers generous, light-filled spaces, almost uninterrupted visual contact with the sea and a series of vast terraces that descend to where they touch the surface of the water. The general illusion is that of a huge protective shell that is ready to protect and appreciated by whoever enters. It conveys the charm and sophistication of a bygone era and a smooth, unpretentious elegance that transcends fashions and trends.

A nostalgic look at the past

Motopanfilo is an Italian word that was used in the early 1960s to refer to the large motor yachts that very quickly became synonymous with glamor and the jet set lifestyle, and highly coveted objects of desire among the high society, royalty and prominent personalities from the world of business and entertainment. Benetti was one of the first shipyards to produce these yachts, launching much loved models such as the Delfino, the Gabbiano and the Mediterraneo.

In no time, these boats, usually between 18 and 30 meters, became something of a status symbol and were a popular spectacle that crossed not only the waters of the Italian and French Rivieras, but also hot spots throughout. the world, which helped propel Benetti to the fourth position in the world list of yacht manufacturers as early as 1970. Patrons ranged from traditional royalty like Prince Rainier of Monaco to pop royalty, with David Bowie, according to Janine Allis’ biography “The Secrets of my Success,” which hosted a host of celebrity guests aboard his Benetti, including Mick Jagger, Robin Williams and Michael Caine.

The design of these ships was extremely clean and linear, with very little embellishment or decoration. The hull and superstructure were designed as a single volume, connected to each other by one or, in some cases, two decks creating an elongated profile that ended in a classic rounded stern. The interiors were typically warm and inviting, with an abundance of wood in both the frame and the furniture, along with white sofas and pops of blue, a combination that became something of a distinctive style.

Motopanfilo 37

The first thing that stands out when looking at the new Motopanfilo is the exterior volume. The middle building elements that linked the hull and superstructure have been preserved and creating the unique visually harmonious shape that is the essence of the original Motopanfilo. The fusion of classic and modern influences finds its perfect expression in the transom, where the lines are fully integrated into the volume of the hull, in the manner of its iconic sixties forerunners.

However, there is a twist that comes in the form of a beach club, designed to meet the expectations of today’s boat owners. This makes for a slight difference in the overall shape, with the central face of the transom sloping down heavily so that once it is opened, there is a wide swim platform, completely dedicated to the sun, with the garage that houses the tender and the jet ski.

To change their view, guests can move to the observation deck, as “dug” around the main mast, but in the new Motopanfilo placed on the rigid roof and conceived as an intimate fourth deck and a truly private retreat, simply made for soaking up the sun by day or relaxing under the stars at night. The interiors are from the renowned architecture firm Lazzarini Pickering, which was also behind Benetti’s 2004 Sairam, the first superyacht to introduce modern interiors at a time when classical styling still prevailed.

Seeking to rediscover and reinterpret many of the traditional elements of the original motopanfilo in the name of a new classicism, the designers devised the concept of the interior as the skeleton of a large whale, providing a rhythm to the space. From here, the idea evolved to delineate the various spaces through an architectural approach that reinvents traditional beams as structural ribs and essentially dematerializes the walls.
It is left in the hands of the vast side windows to contain the space, and the effect is of immense spaciousness and openness, that not even the furniture can detract from it. The ingenious use of mirrored surfaces to frame the windows expands the perception of the interior space and amplifies the views of the sea and sky outside. The structural ribs give order and meaning to the interiors, defining the different zones and providing scoring points to mark the use of different materials and allow for interesting decoration and functional interpretations.
In the living room, where the wooden walls of yesteryear have been almost entirely replaced by huge glass, the tradition of wood and its enduring links to the sea have not been overlooked, but instead of the usual mahogany tones, uses a light “warm oatmeal” color on both floors and the gently curved ceilings enhance the feeling of spaciousness and lightness throughout. Towards the stern, the ceilings acquire a double curvature effect, a testimony of artisan impeccability.  Additional nods to sailor themes can be seen in the white and blue wood accents, introduced in stylish new hues.
Under cover
Below deck, the theme of respecting the innate character of each environment can be seen in the choice not to straighten the cockpit walls, but instead allow them to follow the smooth and relaxing curve of the hull, while the omnipresent structure of the ribs are produced here in an investment of colors and materials. From the lobby, a spiral staircase winds around a central mast that rises through two decks like a spinal cord as it escorts guests to the sky lounge on the upper deck.
The owner’s suite is located at the bow of the main deck, while the four comfortable guest cabins, all with capacity for double beds, are located on the lower deck where, upon request, a small sauna can be installed. The hull, of pure displacement, can reach a maximum speed of 16 to 18 knots, depending on the selected engine.
Source: Nautical Panorama
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