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Discover the Mangusta GranSport 54 El Leon
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The new high-speed displacement yacht marks Mangusta's entry into the transatlantic market. Cecile Gauert from Boat International shares her impressions. You can read the original article here.

In an industrial area near Italian Pisa, a new generation of aluminium hull boats from Overmarine are being built. The name of the new 54-meter flagship is appropriate: the first Mangusta GranSport 54 is called El Leon, i.e. lion «.

And, believe me, she roars perfectly. Her top speed is 31 knots.

El Leon can be called a «Mangusta on steroids»: it is graceful, muscular and aggressive. There is a temptation to start the story with the exterior by Alberto Mancini: elegant lines and the windscreen at an acute angle - well, a lion exactly waiting for the victim. But the GranSport concept was born primarily from a new generation of yacht owners and aluminium hulls designed especially for them. This is where to start.

Yachting«seems to be changing. Many who buy a yacht for the first time look at it differently. They are younger and baked about technical aspects. And more importantly, they are hungry for adventure»," says Francesco Frediani, Commercial Director of the Overmarine Group.

Simply put, beginners no longer want to limit themselves to the beaten mecca of the yachting world.

For several years now, the designers have been doing everything possible to expand the Mangusta range, which began with fast boats perfectly suited to short distances from port to port. By 2014 they managed to improve the 165 model, which combined all the developments of previous years. The new formula included four MTU engines and water jets from Kamewa. But the transatlantic range remained an unattainable goal: a cargo ship had to be used to cross the ocean. Many people did, because boats with water cannons or Arneson drives were ideal for sailing in the Bahamas.

The Mangusta Oceano line was the first attempt to create a displacement yacht. Mangusta signed up for this project by a young Italian designer familiar with the brand's DNA. The first boat to be born thanks to Mancini's efforts is Mangusta Oceano 43. It is the first yacht with a steel hull from the shipyard in decades - despite the fact that the company's CEO Maurizio Balducci has a great deal of experience in this field. It was in order to expand its capabilities that the Overmarine Group built new boathouses near Pisa.

About five years ago, the shipyard began thinking of building some kind of hybrid displacement yacht and a traditional sports Mangusta: a boat that would be both fast and autonomous.

«We all believe in the Maxi Open concept. Fast, high-performance hulls and the possibility of long-distance swimming with comfort - that's what we wanted to build. A really fast displacement yacht».

After researching this fast-growing segment, Mangusta decided to build the hull itself - too few of the existing hulls met the high speed requirements and in all cases sacrifices had to be made for speed. For example, the width of a ship.

It all started with a few basic parameters: a yacht of 45 to 50 meters in length with an interior volume of up to 500 gross tons had to be designed. And even though the experience was enough, Mangusta decided to use the help of Pierluigi Ausonio Naval Architecture (PLANA), an Italian company specializing in the development of hulls for warships. The goal was to achieve speed of 30 knots and autonomy at 11-15 knots.

«At first, the most work was done by a naval architect rather than by a designer. The more we studied the design and technical aspects, the more obvious it became that with a volume of up to 500 gross tons the length of the boat had to be 50-54 meters».

To the hull developed by PLANA, Overmarine added its expertise in propulsion systems. Like the Mangusta 165s, the GranSport 54 has four MTU 16V 2000 M96L engines with shaft drive and screws. The new generation of engines is more compact and lighter, and more efficient. The swimming pool and CFD (hydrodynamic simulation) test results were excellent.

«And only after all this did we start thinking about comfort and design»," Frediani added.

Overmarine wanted to introduce several distinctive features to the Mangusta Oceano range. For example, the beach area, the flybridge, lots of glass and a 1.8-meter swimming pool at the bow.

Mancini was working on a 45-metre version with these features. He said he was delighted with the boat's extension, which made it possible to approach the exterior design even more daringly.

«This is a dream for a designer, as it can make a yacht even more elegant, like a blade. I wanted to achieve a balance between sporty and elegant, and to add Mangusta's signature style to the navigating deckhouse. This is probably the longest cabin I have ever seen».

At one time the company was worried that this design was dangerous: the boat would be too streamlined and low-set.

«The wheelhouse is angular, but try to sit down and you'll feel like a Lamborghini!»

According to Mancini, that's what inspired the first owner who was looking for a sports yacht.

In the car world, the word GranSport means «high-performance» and «comfortable». Despite its slimness, the Mangusta GranSport 54 seems spacious.

The flybridge was the hardest to build in aluminium, according to David Bigotti of the interior design department of the Overmarine Group. It took a lot of welding to create its complex architectural form and in particular a hardtop on the midsection with its smooth lines and glass inserts. As a result, this 100 square metre deck offers space for both yoga and outdoor dining. The design is designed so that even sitting at the table under the hardtop, guests can enjoy the sea views. There is a large lounge area at the nose overlooking the shallow pool. If the Frog Pool is perfect for children's games, the adults can enjoy the 70 sqm beach club on three sides and the large lounge area on the main deck aft.

The height of the ceilings in the interiors is comparable to any other ordinary displacement yacht that cannot boast a «fast»annex: in the salon above the dining area this important parameter reaches an impressive 2.6 metres. Floor-to-ceiling windows make this space even more spacious. In order to make this idea a reality, it took a lot of effort and creativity to find creative solutions, for example, for air conditioning. The fan door closers were concealed in oval furniture cases located on the sides of the dining table.

The wide teak lamellas are cross-layered, which allows you to use the full width of the boat - this technique Mancini learned while working on Oceano. As in the saloon, the natural lighting of the master suite on the forward main deck was essential to the designer. As on Oceano, the glass bottom of the pool acts as an additional light source in the owner's bathroom and acts as a skylight. The full-width cabin has access to the starboard balcony.

The first buyers of GranSport were not debutantes, as the shipyard had expected, but longtime fans of Mangusta brand.

«The owner came from Miami to the yacht show and immediately fell in love. When we explained that this was a long range, shaft-driven boat, it turned out that this was the yacht he had dreamed of. He spent most of his life on fast boats and now he finally has some free time and his plans are to see the world," Frediani»says.

The owners of «El Leon» had many plans of personalising the novelty. These included painting a hardtop in DuPont's Silver Anniversary and using a blue Isoclima tint on the flybridge.

«I trusted the customers and the result exceeded both my expectations and those of the buyers," confesses Mancini, who reacted enthusiastically to the news that the buyer particularly likes glossy American walnut and ebony. - Wallpapers by Hermès and Rubelli are combined with nubuck and other leather finishing materials, resulting in a luxurious design. Most of the furniture is custom-made, except for the two bar sofas by Minotti. The yacht is not ultra-modern, but very charming. In the owner's bathroom, the brown marble veneer, reminiscent of wood, is combined with animal prints by Hermès under glass, creating the atmosphere of a tropical forest.

The owners also had other requirements regarding the layout rather than the finish: for example, they needed an office and an enlarged garage for a 7.3 metre tender. Doors such as the seagull «wing» hide two garages for the tender in the forepeak under the pool.

All these changes, however, aren't random.

«We have worked out everything seriously and were able to offer many possible layouts, thanks to Nicola Onori and Pier Giorgio Finatti from the technical department. The model offers a variety of layouts: four cabins on the lower deck, in addition to social areas such as a gym and cinema, with a master cabin on the main deck; or two VIP cabins on the lower deck with two guest cabins and a master cabin on the main deck. If yacht owners make a name for themselves in the early design stages, the highest degree of customisation»is possible.

Frediani admits that he does not know how many yachts will be built. At the moment, the hull of the second boat is under construction.

After her debut in Saint-Tropez, where Mangusta fans met the novelty, «El Leon» appeared on a Monaco Boat Show. Nobody intends to stop on this: further in plans - a campaign to the Caribbean Sea. For the first time in the history of the shipyard, the Lion«»must conquer the oceans.

Glory to the hull

PLANA describes the Mangusta GranSport 54 as a «fast and penetrating» yacht with dynamic lifting force used to control the differential and maintain displacement at high speeds.

Thanks to computational fluid dynamics and tests in the test basin, the round shape of the stern section has been refined. As a result, a configuration with four engines was achieved, and at the same time, the water flow to the propellers and the bow, which is equipped with a bulb and splash reflectors.

The resistance values of the hull are comparable and even slightly superior to other types of fast hulls not equipped with bulb. e.g. deep V hull or double cheekbone hull without bulb.

It is estimated that resistance is reduced by 15-20% at 30 knots and by 50% at 15 knots.

«The major improvements we have made to the shape of the displacement hull have made it possible to design a fast yacht longer than 50 meters, with a maximum speed of over 30 knots and relatively low power consumption. She can easily accelerate up to 25 knots and above, with a range of 4800 nautical miles at 12 knots and 3500 miles at 15 knots. This means that the Atlantic Ocean can be crossed at 15 knots, which is not typical for motor yachts».

An invisible tree.

Alberto Mancini worked closely with the owners of El Leon and the interior design department of Mangusta to create stylish interiors, but he was given relative freedom.

Among Alberto's favourite tricks is to use the experience of the automotive world.

You can also see them in the exterior of the Mangusta GranSport 54, but the main work was done inside.

«We used a new type of veneer that achieved a transparency effect. This is a new technology from Alpi, and it is already used to create dashboards in luxury cars. I asked the shipyard to use this innovative material to create illuminated columns at the entrance. Narrow, transparent strips are integrated into the veneer. The technology is so new that when the shipyard asked the manufacturer how to glue it all together, they just shrugged their shoulders. In this sense, one cannot help but admire the talents of the shipyard's workers, who were able to figure out how to place the coating on a semi-circular plexiglass. The final result, of course, can't help but admire».

Translated by Denis Koshelev for itBoat.

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