When Benetti announced the Oasis 135 in April, cynics assumed it was just another semi-custom megayacht, offering little truly new. However, she really is different. We spoke with Roberto Corno, Benetti’s worldwide sales director, to dig a bit deeper into how and why.
As a reminder, the megayacht is meant for active, outdoorsy owners. “Active” is a key word. Instead of a saloon, for instance, the megayacht has an open yoga/workout area. Furthermore, with a 66-square-foot (6-square-meter) pool perched just above the waterline, the Oasis 135 does tap into the yearning market for something different.
Here’s more from our conversation with Corno.
MegayachtNews.com: There are a lot of yacht design proposals these days. While the abundance of creativity is good, this can also be overwhelming for potential buyers. What makes the Oasis 135 rise above the crowd?
Roberto Corno: From the very first sketches, what drove the Oasis 135 project was the idea to create an informal and smart product. A new elegant and sophisticated yacht, that could at the same time offer an informal approach regarding both the aesthetic and the functionality onboard, where the contact with the sea plays a foreground role. Typically all the yachts in the 50/60/65-meter range have a beach area in the lower deck, but on none of them are you really in contact with the water. What we have done on the Oasis 135, one of its major features, was to connect with just two steps the beach area with the main deck. We have also added two folding terraces to increase the volume available, thus creating a large sea-level terrace. The idea was to recreate the same feelings you get at a villa on the seaside, where you have a pool and need to take just few steps to jump in the water.
The main deck is usually a formal or lounge area. On the Oasis 135, instead, we transformed it into a more informal area. The windows open up completely, to create an in-out area. The upper deck salon, too, is quite peculiar, since there aren’t external stairs and it has no external connection with the other decks. Our purpose was to create an internal path to keep the more formal areas separated from those dedicated to recreational time.
On top of that, the integrated bridge on the wheelhouse is something unique and new for the yachting industry. With a full-hide window and the control console on your side, like in a Star Trek movie, you can control the yacht from your helm station.
MegayachtNews.com: More youthful buyers are a target for the design, too. But, yachting, especially superyachting, faces a challenge here. Fewer people in their 40s and 30s are buying yachts. How does Oasis 135 overcome that?
Roberto Corno: Oasis 135 is a yacht for everybody, designed for informal owners of all ages. We manage to develop a versatile layout for this model, so that its onboard spaces could be easily rearranged and customized to meet the owner’s desires, weather he is a young owner that would like to have large spaces dedicated to the guests’ fun and entertainment, or a more mature owner who asks for plenty of space on board for his family. At the same time the Oasis 135’s designer created something very futuristic in terms of layout and style.
MegayachtNews.com: The interior design firm is new to yachting. What is it like working with them? Do they have more unrestrained ideas compared to the typical yachting firms?
Roberto Corno: From the very first moment, the connection between Benetti and Bonetti/Kozerski architecture, the New York-based studio in charge of the Oasis 135 interiors, was really strong. The Oasis 135 project was born after a conversation between the designers and Giovanna Vitelli, vice president of Azimut-Benetti Group. Benetti was looking for something new in the yacht industry, something with an informal and relaxed style and at the same time a very classy soul. We believe Bonetti/Kozerski did perfectly, mixing our initial input with Benetti heritage and their unique style. Yes, Bonetti/Kozerski is new to yachting, but that’s a plus. The experience the studio gained in residential projects by applying their European backgrounds (Enrico Bonetti is Italian and Dominic Kozerski is British) and aesthetic of understated luxury gave them that very smart and different approach Benetti was looking for.