WRITER: Dominique Thew
Dressed all in black, with its cutting-edge lines that slice through the water at phenomenal speeds, Crazy Too by Otam is the perfect boat in its own right but that it was designed to be a chase boat for an even larger yacht just makes it all the more astonishing.
In today’s market, the needs of a design-savvy superyacht owner go beyond the host vessel alone, as smaller yachts are increasingly required to accompany them – and this is aside from the tenders carried on board. Designed to offer full-service amenities, these chaseboats are created with outstanding sea-keeping abilities and the kind of performance profiles that compete with offshore race winners.
Crazy Too falls into this category. Launched last July as the 25th hull in the highly successful Millennium 58 Hardtop series by Otam – the Italian boat builder which has become renowned for its innovative use of technology systems and highly customisable designs, achieved by a team of experts whose sole job is to cater to clients’ wishes. The outcome, therefore, is more than just a product, it is an experience. And this is, arguably, what gives their boats their most significant edge.
Crazy Too’s brief came from Egyptian businessman, Naguib Sawiris, who also owns the 50-metre superyacht Crazy Me, which emerged from the Heesen shipyard in the Netherland’s in late 2013. Crazy Too may have been an afterthought but she was meant to fulfil a very defined need. Essentially, her owner wanted a super-fast, all-black chaseboat that could unite luxury with high speed and comfort. But to simply call this twin Caterpillar C32 Acert powered Otam speedy certainly doesn’t do her justice. That’s because, with all 3,448 horses at full whip, she can reach an absolutely impressive 55 knots. Trim the throttle back a bit and you can still achieve a cruising speed of 48 knots. That she’s able to double her class norm, given her size and abundance of luxury amenities, is quite some feat.
Of course, much of this is down to a proven slick hull design crafted by naval architect Umberto Tagliavini that not only looks good, it also features a dead-rise of over 21 degree soft and fluid motion through the waves. “We actually started out with an already timeless exterior design by Paolo Martin [the famous car designer perhaps most recognised for penning the 1982 Rolls-Royce Camargue],” says Otam CEO Gianfranco Zanoni, “And with the help of Cristiano Gatto, a well known architect in the yachting industry, we gave the boat the extra edge with a custom, automotive quality exterior paint job and the application of a 3M wrap on the deck that gives a black carbon fibre finish. This gave our wonderful silhouette an even more aggressive, edgier look.”
For Otam, ensuring comfort, even at high speeds, is something the company takes much pride in and forms a key part of their work, right down to the interior furniture, which they individually fit to the living spaces before taking them away to be finished. This rather labour-intensive technique guarantees that all surfaces are perfectly flush with one another and diminishes the likelihood of any shakes and rattles, even at high speeds.
For the styling of Crazy Too, Sawiris enlisted the expertise of Gatto, his long-time designer who approached both the exterior and interior look of this boat. The deck area, which includes a four-person open-air sun pad and a large L-shaped seating area shaded by a custom carbon fibre hard top, has been upholstered in Sunbrella fabrics and Marina Mill chenille. These marry very well with the teak decking but also add a more natural and softer tone to the rather stark carbon fibre and black fibreglass shell.
Illuminated steps guide you below deck and you enter into a relaxed open saloon (which can be converted into a sleeper) from where you can access the three individual cabins. Linen and cotton materials are prevalent throughout and once again these soft furnishings provide a more natural complement to the high gloss black lacquered walls, cupboards and technology synthetics such as the carbon fibre tables and surface tops, and a synergy with the exterior.
There’s also a sleek galley that runs along the opposite side of the saloon’s sofa, though you could be forgiven for thinking it was just more storage space. Open sesame however and you’ll discover a couple of sinks, an oven, a microwave, a cooking top as well as other appliances. A rather unexpected feature here is a custom 16-bottle wine cooler, which might sound like a curious luxury but we’re told it’s highly valuable when the owner is hosting larger groups.
The most significant benefit of a chaseboat over a conventional tender is that the larger size means you can venture further and stay away longer from the mother vessel but there are also other considerations to take into account. “Superyacht owners often arrive at destinations where they’re limited to anchoring away from port due to size limitations,” explains Zanoni. “Over time they’ve gotten tired of going to shore in a big RIB or a taxi-like limo-boat. They want to arrive in style, in something as unique as their superyacht. So these mega-tenders aren’t merely a mode of transport, they’ve become an essential part of the luxury boating experience.”
It is for this reason that Crazy Too has been fitted with certain features that match those found on Crazy Me. These include her state-of-the-art navigational instruments as well as the bespoke audiovisual systems controlled by iPad or iPhone.
“Of course, we enjoy the challenge of catering to owners’ requests but we have to make sure they don’t affect performance, weight or structural integrity,” says Zanoni. “If they do then we say no. After all, we’re delivering high-performance motorboats that can surpass 55 knots and effortlessly exceed 40 knots in one to two metre swells. So, we have to ensure that the luxury aspect in no way compromises the functionality of our product.”
No two Otam yachts may ever be alike but the uncompromising Crazy Too represents the very pinnacle of that bespoke approach. A poster child for extreme yachting and a thrilling way to enjoy the pleasure of the seas.