by CRN, with Andrew Winch and Zuccon International Project

Cloud 9, or Seventh Heaven – a sky reflected on the sea – from concept right up to the main features of a yacht you can live on for extended periods, for charter and business trips full of enjoyment and the utmost comfort, as the name suggests.

In terms of visual impact, technology, flexibility and comfort, Cloud 9 is outstanding for the ratio of interior to exterior spaces, the perfectly balanced superstructure that confers lightness upon it, the layout of technical systems, and the attention to detail given to each and every aspect, starting with its special relationship to the sea. The sea is the blue carpet on which the yacht can flaunt its fluid lines and performance, and a life partner for long periods on board, including business and charter trips. We are made conscious of this by the pearly effects of the glossy ceilings and walls, the whiteness of the beaches expressed everywhere, the gradations and refined contrasts of blue, as well as elegant new takes on maritime classics such as oak, rope, and leather – features that implicitly bring a flavour of the sea to your experience, perhaps strengthened by the explicit references found throughout Cloud 9. The atmosphere of the sea is evoked by objects and decor dotted around the vessel and artefacts from the ocean floor, such as fossils, shells and coral, on show in a series of niches dedicated to Neptune’s realm. Everything is displayed tastefully to create a pleasant atmosphere, further heightened by the decor and furnishings and the way colour and light are managed. Even the surfaces are pleasing to the touch. The entire vessel has an air of grace. Its dual purpose as a private and charter vessel means its design is centred around people. Stefano de Vivio, CRN and Ferretti Group’s Chief Commercial Officer, says: “the CRN shipyard is one of the main brands creating dual-purpose vessels, which are becoming increasingly popular”. The charter side of the vessel’s personality can be seen in various architectural choices: such as the charter check-in lobby on the lower deck flank, the equipment area totally separated from the guest area, and the cabins all in the same corridor as they are in a cruise ship, with each door displaying a different character from George Lucas’s Star Wars – a series of which the ship owner is a huge fan. Looking at the details, there is the user-friendly decision to use a simple panel for automation, rather than the futuristic switch controls that are normally found on CRN’s private boats, which are also fitted on this vessel for those who prefer them. No less important is the availability of technical space, storage and utility rooms arranged skilfully on all decks. These are indispensable for a yacht that can sail from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean, or from South America to Singapore, providing charter-level living conditions and allowing for comfort during extended periods on board, while also dedicating spaces to business use and normal family activities. After the ship was delivered to its owner, he and his family – including the nanny to look after the two little boys, and a teacher – did not leave the vessel for 141 days.  This ship is entirely customised, from its infinity pool with Culligan fittings, hydro-emotional colours, iPad-controlled RGB Lutron lights, and a set of 4 invisible transducers – tiny speakers housed in the aluminium of the furniture that can replace traditional speakers and ensure clean, pure sound. The Videoworks Kerio Control system protects the ship and its owner from the dangers of the internet, and manages bandwidth to limit access if there is a significant request for bandwidth and connection speed. Smart management of internal spaces means that this yacht, measuring 74 metres in length and 13.50 metres wide, is large enough to comfortably accommodate 22 staff members and 12 guests, increasing to 16 if some staff cabins are used, including a beautiful double cabin on the main deck. Cloud 9 embraces this world, its fluctuating lines almost protective of life on board, including huge open spaces on the main deck living area or the vast forward section of the upper deck, and even the extraordinary 60m2 beach club, devoid of any raft-type platforms in questionable taste. Indeed, the mood of Cloud 9 goes well beyond that of the usual seaside holiday. Rather, it reflects the concept of a boat created with long-term residency in mind and for different purposes – which is one of the reasons why comfort is crucial for the owner, guests, and staff. Its maximum speed is 16 knots and when cruising at 15 it has a 4000-mile range, which can rise to 6000 when sailing at 12 knots. Its vibrations and noise levels are very low (44 dB at 15 knots on the owner’s deck). Of course, these features depend not only on the efficiency of the two Caterpillar 3516C-Chd 2000 kW @1600 rpm engines, but also on the appropriate distribution of weight and space, as well as the lines and dynamics of the hull and superstructure, all of which were the outcome of synergistic teamwork. The team was made up of the Engineering Team at the CRN shipyard in Ancona, the young Bernardo Zuccon – who together with his sister Martina heads the Zuccon SuperYacht Design division at the Zuccon International project, which designed the external lines and internal compartmentalisation – and the famous designer Andrew Winch, founder of Winch Design, who dealt with the internal decor and the external decor in the guest area. No less important is the role played by Burgess, who followed the ongoing story through the New Construction division, right up until it was chartered, managed by Worldwide Central Agent and heading for the Caribbean this winter with prices starting at $875,000 per week. To use rather unconventional language, Cloud 9 is a stunning summer cocktail of technical skill and extraordinary design, garnished with plenty of passion and joie de vivre, meeting its owner’s needs perfectly. The owner is a businessman who wants to be able to sail for long periods with his friends and family, across the globe, chartering the boat when he isn’t using it himself.


Climbing to the highest of the six decks.                                                                                                       

Whether for domestic or charter use, the sub lower deck is crucial: it is the engine that drives every sailing boat on a day to day basis, which is why this is where our tour of the Cloud 9 is kicking off. This deck rises to the challenge of representing this boat; both in terms of its location and its function, you can think of it as the belly of the boat. From the stern to the centre of the hull, there extends a technical area including the engine room, stabilisers, and much more. From the centre onward, there is an alternation of wet and dry storage areas with their respective refrigerated rooms, the laundry room, space for waste and waste treatment along both sides, fuel tanks, water tanks, desalination, and so on. There really is everything you need to travel while respecting the environment and fuelling everyday life on the vessel. However, the holiday begins on the lower deck, with its more than 60 square meters of blue area and beach club, where you can relax with a drink on blue-and-white deckchairs or bar stools, or have fun using the nautical sports equipment and toys that you can find in their storage areas behind the beach club. Two garages along both sides contain two different tenders and have a hatch for access to the sea, one of which can be turned into a 25-square-metre platform for playing sport or having fun with the toys without getting in the way of the blue area. Each of the areas is decorated according to its use but still in keeping with the style of the boat, meaning that the garage with the large terrace over the sea can be used as an extension to the beach club. The entirety of this section of the boat has a corridor running through it with gloss-painted walls and oak flooring, which divides the upper part of the engine room in two. Each part is accessed separately and has its own control rooms. The corridor runs as far as the middle of the boat, the lift and the charter boarding reception area with sea access. After this we come to the crew area, with its own corridors to the other decks and a crew boarding area at the side. The area contains twelve double en suite bathrooms, an office, a lounge room, dining room, and a large professional kitchen with an island. All of this is there to create comfort and make the space accessible, in elegant environments that chime with the theme of the boat. This has always been a must for CRN. Higher up, we come to the main deck, which on Cloud 9 is the guest deck with six cabins each with its own features and finishes; then we come to a VIP cabin on the upper deck. As elsewhere on the ship, various types of oak are used here for decoration, in various contrasting combinations: natural oak is used for the wide decking boards, matched with soft white carpeting, and for the runners on the stairs, while whitened oak is mostly used for the walls and furniture. The doors are in dark oak carved with motifs also reprised on some of the windows, while the same wood is hammered to resemble leather, as in the sides of the television. In the lounge, everything has an aesthetic role to play, even the columns look like sculptures. The couches, cushions and niche backdrops are in a striking ultramarine blue, with bar stools, sofas and carpets in ivory white. This bright environment creates a sense of calm and can be used as a cinema, complete with a 120”-screen hidden in the ceiling and a 4K video projector, both of which are operated using an automated system. Further on, there is a spa equipped with a side wall that can be opened up and turned into a terrace, followed by the cabins, each with different finishes and their own audio-video systems, lights, and curtains all operated by iPad with a Lutron system. The tasteful bathrooms have contrasting marble patterns, with white Calacatta flooring contrasting with Imperator Dark marble.  On the upper deck there is a lounge subtly finished in mother of pearl and steel, with niches for objects and artwork evocative of the sea. Stunning painted panels portray the sky and clouds on the walls of the dining room and the lounge. This space opens out to the exterior astern, through a circular stained glass sliding door that can be opened to 120°, so you can dine al fresco around a large round table that can be removed easily, transforming the whole area into a single large indoor and outdoor space for parties. Moving forward, we come to the gym, where the equipment can be stowed away in custom spaces to create a games room or classroom. Flooded by the light from a large window that overlooks the side deck, stands the VIP cabin, where the mood is set by a play of leathers ranging from ivory to white, interrupted by the natural colour of wood and the blue of the bedhead, cushions and drawers. Next comes the bridge, where the materials and colours used throughout the boat are used in darker tones more suitable for this area, such as the blue furnishings and oak panel floor. The bridge has five large interchangeable screens and is technologically advanced, though that doesn’t mean you can’t use traditional old-school chart tables. The captain’s cabin and office are adjacent. The outer bow area is huge and all to be enjoyed; it is furnished with enormous sofas, the largest of which has a sunbathing area facing the sea behind it.  At the far end of the bow there is a dining corner shaded by a raised canopy which can be rolled back, with a large divided oak table that can be removed easily and placed elsewhere to create an amazing space for parties, including karaoke facilities. The owner’s deck has 400 square metres of floor space covered in a single piece of custom soft white wool and silk carpet reminiscent of the waves of the sea. The outer deck astern houses 6 life rafts at the sides, each of which can carry 25 people, while a retractable screen with a video projector and a speaker allows the area to be transformed into an outdoor cinema which faces a media room with a big screen TV. Continuing forward we come to a large dressing room that comes before the master suite, which is dominated by a king size bed set at the centre of a semi-circular sequence of floor-to-ceiling windows. Unique decor details also include backlit columns in dark resin and, behind the bed, a bas relief of wooden leaves carved by a Venetian craftsman. From the light fittings to the bedside tables with their thick dark marble tops, everything is about design and creativity. The suite has a study and a bathroom for the owner, containing enhanced versions of the features found in the guest bathrooms. The owner’s bathroom boasts a unique combination of marble fittings: classic and semi-classic Botticino for the walls, hammered Botticino flooring and a dark Cappuccino marble sink. The sun deck is a space for group relaxation and enjoyment on the forward deck, with a hydromassage tub surrounded by sunpads and forward-facing seating from which guests can enjoy a unique view, plus a central bar that comes with all the equipment for the preparation and cooking of teppanyaki; there is also a round table that seats twelve, for informal dinners, and a U-shaped couch that takes up almost the entire width of the deck. Behind this is a large sunpad facing the ship’s wake.


Andrew Winch and Bernardo Zuccon

“Cloud 9 springs from a continuation of CRN’s 54-, 57- and 60-metre vessels, the stylistic associations of which identify the experience of Zuccon International with the shipyard, reinterpreted and redesigned on a scale that allows for better proportional balance, greater dynamism and the organic use of spaces”, explains Bernardo Zuccon, “This is a product created to stand the test of time and meet the needs of more than one prince.”

Which part of the project took the most effort?

“The layout was certainly very complex. A 74-metre vessel makes the leap from a space you can live in to a real urban system, and you have to find the right balance between on-board flows while creating environments where the crew can work and live efficiently. We tackled this by taking as our starting point the idea that we wanted the owner to feel comfortable, and based all decisions around that.

What was your relationship with Andrew Winch like?

“Very easy-going. Andrew perfectly translated the spirit of the boat and what we wanted to create: a sense of lasting enjoyment”.

Was there any point at which your father Gianni made a crucial contribution?

This time it was my sister and I who contributed to interpreting something he had already defined with the 54-metre Ability – paradoxically, we’re following in the footsteps that led our parents to work together in tranquillity. While we love to investigate new scenarios of life on board, I think in terms of how the boat is put together while Martina knows how to manage the spaces better than anyone. She can make a virtue out of necessity and make limited space pleasant and functional”.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but despite its large open spaces, the Cloud 9 acts as a shield against the sea. It’s a little like a shell, isn’t it?

Creating a shell for protection when you’re facing the sea was a deliberate choice; my approach to the boat is linked to the sea, it’s a crucial starting point. The best sailors say that before you sail you must learn to face the sea without challenging or underestimating nature; these boats can cross oceans, so they have to be extremely safe. Some issues, like how certain spaces can be opened up and transformed, are fascinating; but not from the perspective of a product that has to stay up to date not only in terms of style, but also in terms of life on board, safety, functionality, and in decisions concerning mass”.  Unsurprisingly, when we asked Andrew Winch if there was something in particular that characterised his experience, he told us: “We wanted the design to be an envelope, a cocoon. That is the ongoing story on the boat, to give you a sense of relaxation. The Owner’s deck is a feature we are particularly proud of. A magnificent suite with its centreline king-size bed and floor to ceiling windows offering 180-degree views looking onto a private terrace and a vast entertaining platform on the deck below. The design team wanted to merge the interior and exterior spaces and to create an optimised balance between interior and exterior. The master suite really is a refined oasis of privacy decorated with fine details such as the dark resin backlit feature lights. The bathrooms in the suite stand out from the rest with the choices we made with marble and finishes. It was fantastic to work with the engineering expertise of CRN and to collaborate with Zuccon International to create this 74m custom-built design”.

White, ivory and blue dominate, is it a matter of style or a choice that recalls the colours of the sea?

“The brief was to create an approachable yacht with a relaxed, calm feeling throughout. Winch Design had the freedom to choose the style for the interior with this in mind. With a sprawling beach club being at the heart of the recreation area on the main aft deck, the owner wanted to bring the key colours and tones of the marine world into the design of the yacht. Using sand tones, vibrant blues and a treasure trove of decorative shells, corals and agate depict the interior of a beach house rather than a yacht on a much more luxurious scale. The central glass and steel elevator was to represent a waterfall from the sundeck to the beach club”.

The objects and furnishings feel like artwork themselves; are there also works by famous artists?

“All the artwork was selected by Winch Design but none from famous artists”.


Donatella Zucca
Photos by courtesy of CRN


CRN 74m CLOUD 9 technical specifications

CRN 74
Yard Id NumberCRN 131
TypeDisplacement hull
L.O.A. 74.00 m / 242’781’’ ft
L.B.P 63.00 m / 206’692’’ ft
Moulded Beam 13.50 m / 44’291’’ ft
Draft3.50 m / 11’483’’ ft
Moulded Ddepth6.60 m / 21’653’’ft
Full load displacement1’650 t
Deadweight280 t
Gross tonnage2218 GT
Fresh water250’000 litres / 66,043.01 US gallons
Fresh water production 32’000 litres /day / 8,453.506 US gallons /day
Main engine2 x Caterpillar 3516C-Chd 2000 kW@1600 rpm
Main generatos2 x Caterpillar C18 275 kW 380V 50 Hz
1 x Caterpillar C9 175 kW 380V 50 Hz
Emergency generator 1 x Caterpillar C6.6 118 kW 380V 50 Hz
Max speed (half load) 16.5 knots
Cruising speed (@ 85%MCR) 15 knots
Range @ 12 knots/15 knots 6’000 nm / 4’000 nm
Max noise @ cruising speed in rooms48 dB(A)
Helicopter platformSuitable for 3000 kg helicopters
Guest16 persons (12 when chartering) - 7 vip/guest cabins + 1 owner suite
Crew22 persons
Lloyd’s Register of Shipping
LR ✠ 100 – A1 – SSC - “Y”, MONO, G6, ✠ LMC,UMS
MCA LY2 compliance
Naval architectureCRN Engineering
Exterior designZuccon International Project
Interior design Winch Design
ShipyardCRN S.p.A.


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