Ask any yacht designer what size vessel they like to create and the answer is always “the bigger, the better!” The amount of creative freedom you have with a 100+ metre superyacht is virtually endless. Swooping lines, low slung superstructures, helipads, you can fit it all in and more. But, what happens when you have to design a yacht under 10 metres? It’s not a lot of room for creation and most small boat builders will concentrate on hull design more than actual style, but Invictus is no ordinary shipyard, and for its range of dayboats, it turned to Christian Grande Design Works.
Just to put it into context, the Invictus GT 320 is 9.9 metres long and has a beam of 3 metres. The swimming pool on Benetti’s Seasense is 10 meters long and 3.6 metres wide. So how do you go about designing a fun, stylish boat that is smaller than a superyacht’s pool? The answer is simply, experience. The Christian Grande Design Works comprises of a team of 15 creatives, ranging from engineers to model makers, who work on projects spanning architecture, industrial and interior design. It’s a workforce that can create any size craft, but with that level of expertise on hand, the studio is able to design handsome boats, that also perform out on the water.
The GT 320 is the perfect example of a living concept. Style wise, your eye is immediately drawn to the Invictus’ most distinctive feature, its ‘half reverse bow’. Not only does it define the GT range, but it cleverly creates the high freeboard that gives the interior spaces huge volumes while still looking sleek. The hull glazing also guides the eye after ending at the swim platform, and with a two-tone colourway finishing off the design, the GT can slip easily into any marina with a confident swagger.
On a 9-metre boat, the deck is the focal point of entertainment, providing guests with a platform to stand, sit eat and laze about under the sun. Aft is the swim platform, which has plenty of leg dangling space while at anchor. A large sunpad adds additional lazing space, which also covers the GT’s engines (more on those later). Entry into the cockpit is via the port side steps, and it’s here that you first notice the quality of the Invictus’ materials. It’s beautifully finished in here with not a stitch out of place, showing the passion the shipyard put into the build. The L-shaped sofa is best described as ‘well stuffed’, offering a comfortable ride whether you’re eating at the table or breaking through some wakes.
The helm seats are particularly pleasant, combining offshore support with superyacht looks. The forward pads also fold back meaning the skipper can stand comfortably while making way. Grab rails are literally everywhere in the 320, making it an extremely safe boat to navigate while it’s navigating. The grab rails are subtle too, such as the windscreen surround that curves into a well placed handle. The optional T-top also provides plenty of places to hold on to, as well as sheltering guests from the sun. Of course, you’ll have no such sheltered worries on the foredeck sunpad; it’s huge, comfy and intricately detailed.
It’s not a lot of room for creation and most small boat builders will concentrate on hull design more than actual style.
Quality is certainly a selling point of the Italian-built boat. Heading down the port-side steps into the lower deck foyer, you have three doors. Forward is the door to the lounge area, where guests can relax in the trappings of luxury. A sofa and table combo can be arranged, all of which are bathed in light from the hull windows. Although they look slimline from the outside, the amount of natural light they let in is exemplary. On many boats of this size, the lower deck can feel quite claustrophobic, but not so in the GT 320. Behind the aft foyer door is the Owner’s cabin, which thanks to its central bed with high sides and no walk around gives it a luxury catamaran feel. Basically, you climb straight on the bed from the doorway and again, it’s a classy-but-cosy feel in here. On smaller boats, having the Owner’s cabin amidships makes for a much more stable overnight stay at anchor, rather than the slightly more ‘bouncy’ forward cabin.
To starboard is the head, basin and shower, which finish off the 320’s interior a treat.
Performance wise, the GT 320 will top out at a very respectable 43-knots and cruise at 26 knots. These are pretty impressive numbers for a sub 10-metre luxury craft, but not surprising, considering the GT 320 has two engines. Customers can choose between turbo diesel or petrol power up to a maximum of 860 horsepower, which is more than enough for a 32-footer.
|INVICTUS GT 320 SPECIFICATIONS|
|Power:||430 to 860hp|
|Builder:||Cantieri Aschenez, via Donnici, Borgia, Italy|
When we visited the GT 320 at Cannes it was berthed next to a number of handsome competitors. A tough boat show environment, but the Invictus, with its Christian Grande styling, easily held its own. It is however the dayboat’s quality that really helps it stand out, with below decks particularly well finished. The twin-engine option takes care of the performance, with plenty of entertaining space making the GT 320 a great all rounder.