The Pershing 140 was a big gamble in many ways. By far the biggest Pershing ever, it’s more than double the volume of the brand’s former flagship. It’s the first Pershing made of aluminium. And it’s the first to be built at the Ferretti Group Super Yacht Yard in Ancona, traditionally the preserve of CRN and Custom Line models, plus more recently the Riva 50 Metri.
Yet while the build location may have shifted, Pershing’s DNA stayed strong. Four 2,600hp MTU engines are evidence of that, plus a top speed of 38 knots, a staggering achievement for a 43m motor yacht – and a big-volume one, at that.
Launched last year, the first hull has lived up to all of the predictions made by Pershing when it announced the model in 2015.
Yet Chorusline is so much more than a streamline rocket-yacht. She features a distinct interior and layout customised for her experienced owner, who has bought multiple Rivas in recent years including the first 100’ Corsaro, the brand’s flagship when its world premiere was held in his home city of Hong Kong in 2017.
Stefano De Vivo, Ferretti Group’s Chief Commercial Officer, says: “The project was born out of the desire to grow the Pershing range to larger sizes and we’re very proud to have a repeat client in Hong Kong that has gone so big.
“He had a major input on the layout, so we developed the Asia- Pacific layout, which replaces the master cabin on the main deck with a huge dining area and an entertainment room.”
From the outside, the yacht looks almost identical to its initial design by Fulvio De Simoni, who has given the yacht a distinct nose, a steel grid at the top of the prow that looks like a radiator grille on a classic car.
With lightweight aluminium alloy used for the hull and superstructure, the boat is super sleek and the flush foredeck is a design sensation, yet the size is remarkable. At 394GT, she has more than double the volume of the Pershing 115 (185GT) and 108 (183GT), models launched in 2004 and 2011 respectively.
“It’s a 38-knot boat with amazing looks and a huge volume for the kind of boat it is,” De Vivo says. “If you put it next to any of our competitors – although there are very few that achieve this kind of performance – we are much bigger. The boat is huge in volume.”
After splashing in late February 2019, Chorusline had a private premiere in Monte Carlo during the Monaco Grand Prix in late May and was well used by the owner’s family in the Mediterranean in the summer before arriving in Hong Kong in October.
Pershing has used waterjet propulsion before and the 140’s hydrodynamics and fuel efficiency have benefited from the arrangement of two central boosters flanked by two steerable waterjets, as well as a slick hull design by the Ferretti Group Engineering Department.
“Our technical department worked to optimise the hull shape and lines to achieve these speeds and because of the bow, this boat also performs well in the waves,” De Vivo says. “It’s not like other yachts where you can just reduce drag and achieve the top speed one time in perfect conditions. The deep-V in the bow allows for fast performance in high seas.”
So much more than just pure power, the 140 is packed with brilliant design, highlighted by the transformability of the flat foredeck into a social hub with jacuzzi, and the stern into a jaw-dropping beach club.
The aft deck is a great welcome onto the boat, with a huge sunpad ‘box’ and two aft-facing chaise longues. It’s a little raised from the rest of the main deck, so provides areas further forward with some privacy from prying eyes when in a stern-to mooring.
From the aft deck, it’s three steps down to a covered cockpit, where a 10-seat dining table allows cosy meals in a sheltered outdoor area, with the views either side benefiting from glass panes in the bulwarks.
The outdoor areas continue with a walk along the starboard deck to the foredeck, which is protected by railings that start forward of the midships doors and rise with the six steps to the one of the boat’s feature zones.
Showcasing some of the boat’s most impressive engineering, a huge panel slides aft to reveal a forward cockpit and jacuzzi. The panel itself can be covered by large sunpads to provide a huge sunbathing area in front of the wheelhouse.
The sunken social area has a C-shaped sofa and a fold-out table that can be square or rectangle, while the whole guest area can be covered by a bimini supported by carbon poles.
“It’s in Pershing’s DNA to have a sleek-looking boat, so the foredeck has to be aerodynamic and make sure nothing flies away,” De Vivo says. “That’s why the beautiful jacuzzi, lounging area and sunpads are all concealed under a huge sliding top. Having all these social areas is nice, but it’s a Pershing, so it still needs to look sleek when it’s running.”
The engineering marvels don’t stop there, as just in front, the bow flooring can be raised on two struts to allow crew access to the mooring equipment.
BEACH CLUB SUPREME
The other major transformation that can take place at anchor is at the other end of the boat, where the yacht’s shapely rear features elegantly curved stairs down to the swim platform.
Firstly, the transom door can be electrically raised to provide welcome cover. The transformer act continues when a central section of the swim platform slides out a further 6ft, creating lots more space for lounging by the water.
On each side of the garage, wide doors fold down to provide large waterside balconies, with a crane deploying the tender portside.
And once all the watercraft are in the sea, the ‘wings’ can be fitted with parasols and the huge garage dressed with sofas and tables, producing the size and style of beach club usually seen on a 55-60m megayacht.
Yet there’s still more. ‘Infills’ can even be fitted on both corners to link the wings to the swim platform, so guests are able to walk around three sides.
“The beach club is one of the most amazing parts of the boat. You can hold a big tender and a tonne of toys and so on, but the main point is that we’ve raised the aft deck, so you have high headroom inside the beach club, about 2.1m like the main deck,” De Vivo says.
“And when both sides open, the swim platform slides out and the panels connect it to the sides, you can then walk along all three sides around the back. It becomes a real beach club, with amazing inside and outside areas. It’s astonishing.”
The flybridge is another great outdoor area. As on the main deck, the aft area starts with a sunpad ‘box’, although this one is even bigger, measuring about 8ft by 10ft and also storing liferafts.
Under the hardtop, a low three-sided sofa occupies the starboard area, while to port is a long bar with four stools. The bar is well equipped with a barbecue, fridge, sink, icemaker and storage, even if the working space is a little tight.
The upper helm has direct access down to the main wheelhouse, but the flybridge is the preferred driving spot for the Captain in Hong Kong as it offers greater visibility, especially important at night when navigating waters with sampans and small fishing boats.
In fact, the views from the upper helm led to the owner’s decision to have six adjustable pilot seats across the front of the flybridge, with a central pilot seat and co-helm to starboard flanked by two wingmen either side.
Six pilot seats instead of three is one of the owner’s few changes on the exterior of the yacht, which features major customisation inside.
Edwin Ho of Starship Yachts, Ferretti Group’s long-time dealer in Hong Kong, brokered the deal for the Pershing 140, having sold the owner multiple boats during the past decade, including all his Rivas.
Edith Ho, Edwin’s wife, had worked on the interior of the 100’ Corsaro, which led the owner to ask again – via Edwin – if she would perform a similar role on the Pershing 140. Despite being an experienced art collector, Edith was initially a little daunted by the project as she had only met the owner once, briefly, and knew little about his tastes.
“I was never in direct contact with the owner, so I thought, where do I start?” recalls Edith, who has been based in Kuala Lumpur with Edwin since 2007 and founded Gallery des Artistes a decade later.
“I didn’t know what he liked in terms of style and colour. I needed to know more about him, but Edwin kept saying he’s too busy.”
However, the layout had to be confirmed first, as the owner wanted a different interior arrangement to the standard option, which will be seen on hull two.
“We worked on the layout,” says Edith, who searched for design inspiration in magazines. “Like a lot of owners in Hong Kong, they don’t stay overnight much, so they wanted more social and entertaining space on the main deck.”
The saloon remained the same, yet reworking of the front half of the main deck and part of the lower deck was required. Forward on the main deck, the master suite’s study, bedroom and vast en-suite bathroom was changed to a bar, dining room and entertainment room respectively. To port, the Captain’s cabin was replaced by the galley, which in hull two is on the lower deck.
The four lower-deck guest cabins remained, with the VIP cabin in the bow becoming the master cabin on Chorusline.
Before indulging her passion for art and furniture, Edith had to focus on fittings, choosing a variety of textured Pierre Frey wallpapers instead of the usual hard surfaces.
“The engineers told me I’d taken away so much marble and glass that the expected weight had dropped by six tonnes,” said Edith, who estimates that she visited the Ancona shipyard about every six months over a two-year period.
The daughter of two diplomats, Edith is of Danish/Brazilian heritage and moved around the world with her family when young, but spent much of her life in France and still regularly visits. It’s the country that inspired her love of art and where she explored a lot while researching and shopping for Chorusline.
Over time, she gradually found out more about the owner’s interests, such as cars and art, which helped with decorative pieces, but was still very much left on her own to outfit the yacht. Furthermore, her love of French brands and designers was not the norm at the shipyard, which usually works with long-standing furniture partners in Italy.
It was while in Paris visiting Roche Bobois for furniture that Edith recalled Serge Lesage, the French brand renowned for its carpets and rugs. After visiting, she discovered it now offered clients the opportunity to customise their own designs, colours and textures, and says creating the carpets for Chorusline became “my favourite part”.
Blues and greens are a common theme for the artwork and soft furnishings like carpets and pillows. However, the owner did have some direct input on the blue sofa that was ordered, rejecting it because he believes it’s bad luck to sit on anything blue. Roche Bobois was understanding and a green version was installed in the saloon instead.
Edith and Edwin have three children – the eldest is in his mid-20s – so she recognised the family theme in a Julien Calot painting that was selected for the saloon.
“The owner has young children, so we chose a painting of family life and bronze sculptures of kids holding balloons,” says Edith.
Other sculptures on board include those of a saddle and a horse, yet the pick of the artwork is arguably the water droplets from Milan Design Studio, which are installed within a square section of the ceiling and in all four corners of the saloon.
“I’d seen droplets in a shop in Paris, then I found these,” Edith says. “They have a reflective surface, they’re different and I liked them.”
Forward to starboard is a bespoke bar, which welcomes you to the start of Chorusline’s customised layout. The five bar stools face one of the yacht’s more interesting textures, as the serving area is backed by an acrylic panel laced with gold and silver leaf flakes.
The bar offers crew access to the galley, which also has private access to the saloon, side deck, wheelhouse and dining room.
The centrepiece of the dining room is an oblong Boboli table by Cassina, surrounded by 12 chrome-and-velvet chairs from Revolution by Midj, while a mirror frames a painting by Laeti de Flo, one of the French artists promoted by Gallery des Artistes.
After dining, it’s just five steps down to a large entertainment room that shows just how vast the master en-suite will be on hull two. A huge three-sided couch and a bespoke table face a massive TV, while a high-end AV system covers all music, movie and karaoke requests. There’s even a day head with a very stylish sink.
And if the yacht is ever used for sleeping, four cabins await on the lower deck, as does a drinks fridge at the bottom of the stairs. The whole lower-deck guest area features super-soft carpeting that’s a delight to walk on, while the master suite forward is one of the yacht’s feature rooms, the water droplets above the bed making the most of creative lighting.
The portside double cabin feels almost as big and has the yacht’s best bathroom, while the two twin cabins to port also have elegant en-suites.
A relative newcomer to yacht design, Edith has created a consistent theme throughout the interior, with the neutral, natural and marine tones allowing the artwork and splashes of colour to shine, even ‘pop’.
Edith has since founded My Art Yachts to publicise her work on the two Ferretti Group yachts, both flagships when launched, but admits that as the launch of Chorusline loomed, the responsibility of her work started to outweigh the pleasure.
“The closer I got to completion, the more nervous I got. I had a lot of sleepless nights. You can change a piece of art or some loose furniture, but you can’t just change all the décor and fittings,” Edith says.
“But after he saw it, he told Edwin he loves it, he likes everything. That was very reassuring. People say it’s great to have a hands-off owner, but when you work the way I did, most of what you’re doing is a gamble. I’m just lucky the gamble paid off.”
Just as the 140 has for Pershing.
The original article appears in Yacht Style Issue 51. Email [email protected] for print subscription enquiries or subscribe to the Magzter version at: www.magzter.com/SG/Lux-Inc-Media/Yacht-Style/Fashion/