A men’s superyacht with a female name and a challenging construction history.
First impressions can be deceiving, and yet they matter. When I saw the new 63-meter superyacht Benetti Metis off the dock in Livorno, I immediately considered it a truly masculine boat. In favor of this, it seems, both the appearance and the name, which in the Russian-speaking person is strongly associated with the masculine gender. However, during the Monegasque show, when Benetti organized an “open day” for journalists on board Metis, a lot of interesting things emerged about this yacht.
So, for example, her name is female, and in order not to answer the same question over and over again, the owner placed a metal plaque with an explanation on the wall in the salon. The text engraved on it reads: “Metis was the first lover of Zeus. In philosophy, she personifies “practical, all-encompassing and implicit knowledge.” It is believed that Metis was the most knowledgeable among gods and people. Like the goddess Nemesis, Metis had the ability to appear in many forms in order to resist the desire of Zeus to make her his mistress for as long as possible. However, she did not always succeed, and Metis conceived Athena from him. After Zeus devoured the pregnant Metis, he himself turned into a “god of wise advice.” Not bad for your first yacht experience!
The history of the construction of Metis is no less interesting. The vessel is designed on the same technical platform as Benetti Seasense: its hull has remained practically unchanged, however, designer Giorgio Cassetta has significantly redesigned the exterior of the superstructure. The shipyard mortgaged the yacht at its own expense and at some point faced a choice: to suspend work until a buyer was found, or to take risks and finish building the boat with finishing at its own discretion. As soon as Benetti slowed down with this project, a customer appeared – an experienced owner from Germany, who showed a desire to buy a boat on one condition: he demanded to equip a sports hall on the sun deck, which, at first glance, is quite simple. In reality, however, the rework took about six months and increased the construction time to three and a half years.
The difficulty with the gym was that the superstructure had to be rebuilt. Giorgio Cassetta had to look for suitable design solutions in order to organically fit the “roof house” into the exterior and not allow, as the Italians say, “the violin to fall out of the orchestra”, while the engineers needed to make sure that the center of gravity and stability of the ship remained the same, and come up with the most successful way to rebuild a sundeck.
Here, by the way, it is worth paying a compliment to Benetti, because she could try to persuade the client to change his point of view and buy the yacht as it is. But the shipyard went to meet him – including for the sake of a new experience. The “wings” on the sides of the gym create the illusion of another deck and echo the extensions of the superstructure in the wheelhouse area, and also serve as a place for attaching VHF antennas. As a result, the superstructure looks quite nice, and, perhaps, only from the stern, the closed part of the sun deck seems a little massive. Either way, the task was completed; in April 2018, the boat was completed, and since then it has not left the Mediterranean Sea, being mainly off the coast of Spain, where the solemn ceremony of handing over the vessel to the owner took place.
Benetti Metis dossier
3.10 m (full)
1100 t (full)
2 × MTU 12V4000M53 (1876 HP)
5000 miles (at 12 knots)
12 persons / 8 cabins
13 persons / 9 cabins
Hull / superstructure material:
steel / aluminum
Benetti / Giorgio M. Cassetta / Bannenberg & Rowell Design
By the way, the efforts of Giorgio Cassetta and Benetti did not go unnoticed: in the fall Metis was awarded for the best exterior design among yachts with a length of 54-82 meters at the World Yachts Trophies 2019 competition.
Another notable feature of this men’s superyacht with a feminine name was the asymmetrical layout of the interiors offset by 30 degrees from the center plane. In itself, this solution for the yachting industry is not new, but it is very rare, and therefore inevitably attracts attention. In the case of Metis, the shipyard initially commissioned the planning and decoration of the premises to the British studio Bannenberg & Rowell Design, which remained on the project until the very end.
“Benetti contacted us directly with a proposal to decorate the interiors of a yacht that has not yet been sold,” says designer and co-founder of the studio Dickie Bannenberg. – The client appeared about a year before the completion of the construction and brought in his designer Birgit Otte, who had already done a number of projects for him. At Metis she handled the selection of art objects, and that, incidentally, helped us a lot. You know, it often happens that the owners can drag out the choice of such things for almost a year, which makes it impossible to finish the work, especially when, for example, paintings are ordered specifically for the size of specific niches.
The interior of Metis is comparatively minimalist: three varieties of oak (white and two types of stained) and two types of marble (Calacatta and Coffee Brown) are used in the decoration, but at the same time it is harmonious and restrained. This also applies to lighting fixtures: lush chandeliers and table lamps are not our style. As far as asymmetrical layouts go, we may have explored this issue a little more than other studios. For the first time we created something similar, but much more extreme, on the yacht Pacific (Lürssen, 82m, 2010 – Ed.). At that time it was the customer’s request, and we experienced significant resistance from the shipyard, as it had to make significant changes to the ship’s design. One way or another, such an approach allows us to embody something different – a different perspective from the usual. “
The Metis interior is really very calm, not flashy; it can even be called uncomplicated, which, however, does not in any way affect the feeling of comfort on board. The lighting here is quite simple, the type and location of the spotlights was determined by the shipyard, and the designers had already chosen their shape. The steps of the central staircase with genuine leather overlays and illuminated mirror inserts may not be very practical, but they look chic. The furniture, especially the armchairs, pleases with a variety, and pillows with images of representatives of the feline family were chosen as accents. In the guest rooms there was a place for voluminous pots with living plants and tables “just in case” made of metal frozen in bizarre shapes, and the dining and coffee tables in the saloon on the main deck for the time of MYS were decorated with magnificent Swarovski crystal-encrusted products in the form of seafood and other delicacies.
There is nothing superfluous in the furnishings, and a number of details directly indicate that the interior was designed by experienced and talented craftsmen. On the walls, among others, there are abstract paintings by the American artist Keith Haring, and at the entrance to the salon, a large television panel leaves the wall not at a right angle, but repeating the asymmetry of the interior – an interesting and non-trivial solution.
“Agree, this is unusual. You’ve probably seen all sorts of ways to integrate TVs into the interior: folding, swivel, rising from dressers. Of course, the owners are all different, but, according to our observations, TVs are rarely used in places such as the salon, and we decided to do something new. “
Dickie Bannenberg, designer
The Leaning company Nextworks has acted as the integrator of AV / IT systems and smart home elements for Metis, which has more than 130 yachts in its portfolio, including Benetti IJE (108 m), Ocean Paradise (55 m) and Diamonds Are Forever (60 m). The elevator connecting the decks is also Italian – Bertazzoni, like most other equipment: this once again confirms Benetti’s commitment to the Made in Italy brand.
Another requirement of the owner was related to the layout of his apartments, the area of which is more than 160 sq. m, and with the organization of a cabin for children. In the master cabin, not only the wardrobe and the bathroom, but also the beds are divided into “his” and “her” zones – there are two of them so as not to interfere with each other during sleep. Why not, if space permits? After all, not so long ago, it was considered in the order of things to rest in separate rooms for spouses. Adjacent to the main deck is a spacious children’s cabin with a play area, while opposite is the same cabin, specially designated for a nanny. Perhaps even the captain can envy her, because, in addition to a wide bed and a work desk, the governess also has her own folding balcony!
There are also plenty of private areas on the open decks of Metis. Firstly, this is the bow deck, which can act as a touch & go helipad, but is usually entirely given to guests: here you can sunbathe in the company on the “island” or separately on sun loungers, and if you wish, the owner is free to order not to let strangers here and enjoy the loneliness … Secondly, another private area is located on the sundeck in front of the gym, and if you want to retire closer to the water, then a cozy recreation area in the “beach club” with folding balconies, a bar and decorative wooden screens will do. When it gets colder outside, you can move to the salon on the upper deck, where it’s always nice to lie around with a book or listen to the music of a self-playing piano.
The technical stuffing of Metis is quite standard and does not differ in any innovative components and assemblies. The propeller shafts are mated to 12-cylinder MTU diesels, there are Naiad Dynamics hydraulic fin stabilizers, and the basic running characteristics correspond to those of the Seasense. Since there is no such large pool as its predecessor, there was no need to install a water heating system from engines and generators (the volume of the jacuzzi is only 2 cubic meters).
The vessel was under construction under the supervision of Lloyd’s Register and, according to project manager Rafael Maria Iavarone, on sea trials immediately demonstrated the expected indicators of speed and fuel consumption.
“Building this yacht was easy, even with the late sale and superstructure rework,” he says. – Our team quickly resolved the current difficulties, and there were no serious difficulties in the process. In most cases, the owner does not have a detailed idea of what he needs, and here the experience of the shipyard comes to the fore, which, step by step, brings individual elements to the project based on communication with the customer. “