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29 February 2024

Custom build your Lord of the Sea

By Maha Obeid


Sailing the seas in a luxury yacht sounds like a scene out of a James Bond movie, but Ferretti Custom Line Yachts bring that dream to life. The newest model, the 29.7m Custom Line 97’, has been dubbed the Lord of the Seas.

In the world of VIP sailing, the vessels range in length from 12m to 30m and are professionally crewed. The interior design of yachts is scaling new heights of sumptuousness and splendour – and so it should given the cost.

Prices are available only on request. However you would need at least Dh2 million for a 12-metre yacht, between Dh16m and Dh21m for a 21m to 24m and Dh140m for a 30-metre long luxury boat.

These massive pricetags do not cover customisation, which can be carried out on yachts above 21m and adds anything between Dh5m and Dh10m to the bill.


Leading the field are European manufacturers such as Ferretti, Benetti, Feadship and Lürssen. And some of these boat builders’ most luxurious models will be on show in March at the Dubai International Boat Show, which has put the UAE on the international yachting map.

The Ferretti Group will use the event at the Dubai International Marine Club, Le Meridien Mina Seyahi, to showcase the Custom Line 97’.

The design was launched a year ago and 12 yachts have so far been sold to owners from countries around the world, including Italy, Hong Kong, Panama and Russia.

The Custom Line subsidiary specialises in producing large yachts that are built at Fano on the east coast of Italy.

The 97’ is fitted with a powerful engine to take on any stormy seas. Its twin 16v 2000 M93 1790kW MTU engines propel it to a maximum speed of 27.5 knots and it can cruise at 25 knots. Four anti-rolling gyro stabilisers are fitted in the engine room. This feature, standard on Custom Line yachts, reduces rolling when anchored offshore or in port by more than 50 per cent. The luxury yacht features cutting-edge engineering and is designed to maximise onboard space.

The master cabin is in the bow on the main deck and features large windows on both sides and a chaise longue so passengers can watch the ocean pass by while lying back in comfort.

The layout of the bow can be altered depending on how many people are staying on the yacht. There are two choices available– one with three cabins including a spacious VIP cabin and two double cabins each with private bathroom. Alternatively there can be four cabins including two VIP berths with double beds and two with twin beds, each with its own bathroom, with marble surfaces and a large shower cabin.


On-board entertainment is provided by an 81cm plasma TV connected to the Radiomarine Playtime system, a multi-media audio-visual platform. There are also iPod docking stations in the master cabin and salon.

All Custom Line yachts are semi-customised and buyers can discuss the options with an architect from the shipyard. Everything that is not related to the yacht’s structure can be custom-made and finished with precious woods, leathers and fabrics. Leading furniture companies offer a range of choices for the discerning yacht-owner including a Dedon dining set made using a special hand-woven weatherproof fibre.

Large yachts such as the Custom Line 97’ are the toast of the Mediterranean and Caribbean where they are popular for entertaining.

Social activities take place in the cockpit on the main decks which has a table and double bench that seats eight to 10 people. The cockpit leads to the salon where there is a coffee table and dining area that can accommodate up to eight passengers. The bow contains a large galley fitted with quartzite tops and the latest appliances. Sun lovers can head straight to the upper deck where there is plenty of space to stretch out and soak up some rays.