The yacht that looks like an aircraft

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Construction begins on the remarkable Codecasa Jet 2020, a new Italian yacht design that mimics an aircraft.

In the family-run Codecasa shipyard, work has begun on turning a highly distinctive concept into an actual project. Emerging from the coronavirus lockdown, the skilled craftsmen at this long-established company in the northwestern Italian port of Viaraggio are creating a new vessel that looks as much like an aeroplane as it does a boat. “Why can’t the sky and sea meet at the horizon?” they are asking.

The idea for a yacht that borrows styling from modern aviation came from the yard’s CEO Fulvio Codecasa. He imagined that such a distinctive design – a major departure from the accepted look of a tri-decker yacht – would not only turn heads, but also offer a very practical layout for a discerning owner.

Codecasa’s main shipyard is in a prime waterfront location on the Tuscany coast, with panoramic views over the Mediterranean harbour. Below the first-floor design office is a workshop and slipway, the configuration of which is highly adaptive to the yachts built there, with a sliding roof that allows large structures to be assembled. This is very much a family-run business, founded way back in 1825. For the last 40 years it has been successfully steered by descendant Fulvio Codecasa.

The shipyard’s modest reception area is decorated with scale models of recent builds, plus the many awards the company has won. Customers are either received by Fulvio himself, or his two daughters, Fulvia and Elena. The latter two now help run the business with their respective husbands, Ennio and Fabio. Completing the family outfit, Fulvio’s two grandsons, Matteo and Niccolo, have also recently joined the yard. When you talk about brand DNA, the term has a more literal meaning here.

Codecasa is all about a custom finish. Every skill is available in this close-knit yacht-building community, and whatever customers want, customers get – providing the request is possible under the chosen classification.

Codecasa’s last project, launched in 2019, was the stylish 43-metre M.Y. Dragoluna, built as one of their Vintage series. This boasted the classic lines of a vertical bow and high bulwarks, with three parallel decks above. By contrast, the exterior of the Jet 2020 couldn’t be more different: she will have a rounded bow that will open to reveal the anchoring/mooring deck, whilst midships will be dominated by a military-style radar dome. Aft, there is a streamlined helipad, fashioned to look like a tailplane.


Image: Codecasa's main shipyard.

Aircraft are built to punch through the atmosphere with minimal resistance, and the Jet 2020 reflects this approach. After all, yachts still have to buck headwinds, so an aerodynamic shape above water and a hydrodynamic shape below should help with lowering the fuel consumption. The other big advantage of the cylindrical cross-section is the extra room it gives, both inside and out. Located at the widest point, the central sun-deck provides a vast expanse of open deck with a recessed swimming pool, whilst aft is the current must-have addition to any superyacht: a water-lapping beach club.

Since the project is now underway, Codecasa have to respect client confidentiality, meaning that further technical details will be limited. We do know, however, that the Jet 2020 will be conventionally powered.

The launch date will be in two to three years’ time – custom builds always take longer than series production – but once completed, this remarkable vessel will become Codecasa’s flagship. No doubt about it, in a crowded anchorage of tri-deckers, this unusual and roomy vessel will stand out a mile.

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