The Absolute Navetta 75 may be based on the Navetta 73, which, for now, is still in production, but there are some key differences in both styling and design.
The Navetta range is big on interior volume and, true to form, the Navetta 75 feels enormous inside but with modular furniture and a more open-plan vibe, there is plenty of scope for customers to make their mark on the way the boat looks and feels on board. At the Cannes Boat Show we had the opportunity to both tour the boat and take it out for a sea trial, so read on to see what it's like.
Absolute Navetta 75 Key Facts
- LOA 74.869ft
- Model Year 2022
- Cabins 4
- Crew 3
- Max Speed 25 knots
- Status In Production
- Yacht Type Trawler Yacht
- Use Type Cruising
Test & Review Video
Absolute was an early adopter of Volvo Penta's IPS system back in the early 2000s and now its entire range runs on pods, so its knowledge of the system and how to get the best out of it is second to none in this market. The Navetta 75 has IPS1350 with 1,000hp per side as its sole engine option and it suits the boat very well indeed. If outright performance matters then something like the Princess Y72, which is capable of over 30 knots flat out, is a better option but if a cruising speed in the late teens is acceptable then they don't come much smoother than the big Absolute.
Around the Marina
One of the joys of IPS is how easy it makes boats like this to handle in the confines of a marina. Edging out of our hideously tight berth within the Cannes Boat Show deft nudges of the joystick prompted quick and predictable actions and none of the swaying that used to be an issue on large IPS-powered flybridge boats. Both the internal and external helm positions are quite a long way forward so the third station in the cockpit is a must-have if you'll be mooring stern-to on a regular base. The station is neatly integrated into the cockpit wet bar and it has a joystick, bow thruster control and chain counter so you can keep an eye on the chain if you are mooring using the anchor as the ground line.
Talking of mooring gear, the Navetta 75's is both substantial and very easy to use, especially in the stern quarters where the distinctive fins encase cleats, multi-directional fairleads and winches. There are early signs that this boat has been designed by people who actually go boating and therefore know what makes the day-to-day life on board that bit easier. A good example of this is the pull-out shower at the bow, not really designed for showering off salty humans but more so that you can wash the decks down if the ground lines are filthy without having to connect a hose and run it up to the bow.
The Navetta 75 may not have the ocean-crossing capabilities of a true trawler yacht but those 1,000hp Volvo Penta engines provide impressively flexible performance. With a 4,000-litre fuel capacity, it will cover nearly 1,200nm at 8 knots but if you need to get a move on there is enough power on tap to crack 25 knots at the top end. For a fast cruise, 18-22 knots is fine and efficiency doesn't waver all that much; even at top speed fuel economy doesn't fall off a cliff.
It is an incredibly relaxing boat to cruise aboard no matter which helm you choose to take control from. IPS generally makes for quiet progress thanks to the position of the engines so far back in the boat but because both of the 75's helm stations are set well forward there isn't much of a sense that you're being propelled by internal combustion at all. The rush of the water under the hull is more prominent at the flybridge helm than anything the engines produce.
Take A Turn
Handling? It's not particularly engaging but then it's not supposed to be. This is a relaxed (nautical) mile muncher, designed to waft along and sweep you to your destination in serene comfort so razor-sharp reactions aren't really what this boat is about. The steering is lovely and light, though, and that matters because it makes changing the direction of this 60-tonne cruiser very easy indeed. It's not totally lacking in feel, either, and there isn't a ludicrous number of turns lock-to-lock so if the moment calls to have to take evasive action, it's not an issue.
Wash from other boats aside there really wasn't much in the Bay of Cannes to test the mettle of the hull. The Navetta range has a relatively shallow hull profile at that aft end to ease the boat onto the plane but it sharpens quite dramatically at the forefoot to slice nicely through the chop. My experience of smaller craft in the Navetta range suggests that the flagship should stand up well in rough conditions.
The latest generation of all three Absolute ranges (Coupe, Fly and Navetta) share some distinctive design traits that distinguish them from their predecessors. Namely, the fin-like haunches on the stern quarters that conceal the mooring gear and, in the case of the Navetta 75, a neat compartment containing the shorepower connections. The cockpit layout is also designed to engender a better connection between the main deck and the bathing platform. Part of this is a modular furniture arrangement with chairs and sofas that are only held in place with weight and friction and can therefore be moved around into endless combinations depending on whether guests are dining, lounging or sunbathing.
Styling is, of course, totally subjective and Absolute's range contains few wallflowers. The looks of the Navetta 75 aren't going to suit all tastes but the extra length of the flagship means its proportions are far better than the smaller models in the Navetta range. The payoff for the boat's height is the extraordinary volume of its interior and sprawling deck spaces.
Absolute builds its boat in a unique way using an Integrated Structural System (ISS) first developed by the shipyard's founder Angelo Gobbi in the 90s. In the early stages of manufacturing, while the hull and deck are laminated in their own moulds, a CNC machine prepares the components for the boat's internal grid. Once the grid is stiffened and bonded it is dropped into the hull and coupled to the stringers before the deck is put on and all three parts sealed together. The benefit is a lightweight construction that is incredibly precise, strong and efficient to manufacture. The grid also contains the necessary routing and trunking for all of the boat's plumbing, wiring, hoses and junction boxes. It is, for a production boat builder, a highly industrialised process that breeds consistency and high quality.
You feel it on board where the floors feel extremely solid, there is no squeaking or rattling from furniture, doors or bulkheads and the finish, even behind the scenes, is very good indeed. In terms of fit and finish Absolute is right up there with the very best in this sector.
The engine room exemplifies Absolute's attitude towards practical detailing and demonstrates the depth of engineering aboard the Navetta 75. First and foremost, access to this area is brilliant, either via a wide hatch in the cockpit deck or through a watertight door in the forward bulkhead of the crew quarters. Once in, there is over 6ft (1.83m) of standing headroom throughout and excellent access to all sides of both Volvo Penta D13 1,000hp engines. Wiring and plumbing lines are all neatly arranged and clearly labelled so it's easy to tell what does what.
The Navetta 75's main deck has a less formal open-plan feel than the Navetta 73 but it's finished with the same typically stylish Italian flair. The view out of the salon is excellent because the windows are vast and the cut-out gunwales, which make the 75's profile so distinctive, maintain clear sightlines out over the water. It's a beautiful effect, especially at the dining table where guests can dine overlooking the water, even if the weather has forced everyone inside.
Aft is the main lounging area, complete with elegant and comfortable Minotti sofas, arranged opposite a television that pops out from the dresser at the touch of a button. The galley is forward of the dining area and it's cleverly designed to adapt to whether the boat is being run by the crew or the owner. The partition which faces the dinette can be raised and lowered to either open the galley up if the owner is doing the cooking and wants to talk to their guests or it can be closed off so the crew can work without disturbing those in the saloon. There are side doors to both side decks, too, so the crew can move around the outside of the boat without disturbing those in the saloon.
Here we arrive at a particularly likeable piece of design that few of the Navetta 75's key rivals can match - an internal staircase. It may seem a simple addition but having access between the decks from inside the boat is such a benefit. It gives guests and crew two ways of moving between the main deck and flybridge but also makes it very easy for the skipper to switch helms quickly without having to charge up and down the stairs in the cockpit to change driving positions. Internal staircases are brilliant and we should see them more often.
The sleeping accommodation is split fore and aft with separate access to the master stateroom at the forward end of the boat and the guest cabin amidships. The arrangement has a couple of benefits. Firstly, the master cabin enjoys the full beam of the boat and in its slightly elevated position at the front of the boat has wonderful views out of the enormous hull windows that flank this area. With the bed running down the centreline the ensuite bathroom is situated right forward and it's a lovely space with twin sinks and separate shower and toilet cubicles.
The advantage of having this cabin separated from the guest cabins is that if the owner is hosting guests they can have their own space amidships with the owner tucked away in total privacy at the forward end of the boat or, if the owner is on board with their family, they can occupy the middle of the boat leaving guests to enjoy the splendour of the master suite.
There shouldn't be many grumbles about being "demoted" to the VIP cabin, however, because the 75's layout means this cabin is a full-beam affair amidships and feels much like another master cabin. It is spacious, packed with storage and maximises the available space by having the sink open to the cabin with separate cubicles for the shower and toilet. It's a lovely space.
The other two guest cabins are a twin, which has easy access to the day head, and another double which has an ensuite and adjoins another area that bolsters the Navetta 75's cruising credentials. Running forward from this area, underneath the master suite, is a utility space and storage area that anyone who plans to live on board the boat for a long time will appreciate. Accessed via a pocket door, which slides into the bulkhead, this space with fitted storage space and all shapes and sizes will be endlessly useful on longer cruises and makes the most of space that could otherwise be wasted. Even the void right forward, which houses the bow thruster and its battery, has shelving moulded into its sides. Not an inch of space goes wanting here.
The Navetta 75 balances delicately on the threshold of being a fully crewed boat and owner operation. If the boat does have crew then they will likely be very happy to have such spacious and well-designed quarters on a sub-23m boat. There are 30m (100ft) yachts that don't have as comfortable crew accommodation as this. The layout is flexible with the option to have two or three berths, one of which is separate, presumably for the skipper. With the two-berth option, there is space for a small mess area on top of the galley and a bathroom that has separate toilet and shower rooms so they can be used at the same time. This is also where you find the washer/dryer.
Access is via a door in the transom but there is also a large window that hinges upwards on gas to pull fresh air into the cabin without having to have the transom door open. This window also draws in lots of natural light, boosting the feeling of space that already has well over 1.83m (6ft) of headroom. From here, there is direct access through a watertight door to the engine room, another useful feature for the crew.
Something to admire about Absolute is that no matter the type of boat it is producing, the helm stations are always driver-focused and brilliantly laid out. Considering the type of cruising the Navetta 75 is designed for, it doesn't need such an adjustable, intimate upper helm but that hasn't stopped the design team from pulling out all the stops to create an outstanding driving environment. The central position is great and though there is only one helm chair there is a bench seat to starboard that allows crew and guests to enjoy the ride. The dashboard is angled towards the skipper, creating a cockpit-like feel and thanks to the huge Garmin screen on either side it's very easy to see and flick through all of their functions from charting to engine information, cameras and radar. The icing on the cake is the sliding wind deflector, which can be height adjusted depending on the breeze and offers a decent amount of protection on top of the built-in windscreen.
Downstairs it's even better. As I've already mentioned, the transition between the two helms is made so much easier by the internal staircase and the lower helm is as good to look at as it is functional. It's shaped in a similar way to the upper helm, with a pair of angled MFDs towards the driver but they're joined by an even larger MFD at the lower dash, which is really easy for the navigator to work with and gives even greater flexibility to how the information is displayed.
Absolute's digital boat management system is one of the slickest around and puts all of the boat's major functions at your fingertips from either helm. It's clear and nicely designed and the UI is responsive so swiping around the systems is easy and intuitive.
The seats are fabulous. Two sumptuously upholstered multi-adjustable leather helm chairs with MFD controls built into the armrest so you can keep an eye on things without having to relinquish their supportive embrace At this level, few - if any - builders design a better helm station than Absolute.
The key shift in deck design with the Navetta 75 is the modularity of its deck furniture. In the cockpit and on the flybridge Absolute will install any furniture that the customer desires and even what's fitted as standard can be arranged in any number of different formations depending on whether guests want to lounge or dine. The standard stuff, designed in Italy, naturally, is lovely and given that it's only held in place by weight and friction can be moved around the decks in any position. In the cockpit, having the seating arranged facing across the cockpit rather than along the centreline makes so much more sense and means that those at the table have an equally good view out over the water. The more open transom creates what feels like a terrace over the hydraulic bathing platform so that adults can relax and observe in comfort if the kids are having a swim.
Up top, there is an equally relaxed beach club vibe but the sheer length of the top deck is what really impresses. A long top deck is inherent in the Navetta design but really feel it on the flagship. More flexible furniture curls around the aft end of the deck with the central area dominated by a handsome dining table, which is flanked by identical units that flank both storage and the necessary equipment to host up here such as the twin Kenyon grills and cooling space. The standard dining table is a handsome piece of furniture but open slats in the top mean that anything spilt will drop straight onto the teak, which isn't ideal. Make sure a tablecloth is one of the first things you add to the inventory.
Overhead there is a hard top with a built-in canvas roof, which opens over the dining table - a nice touch if you want to do a spot of star gazing over dinner. There is an option to replace the sunroof with solar panels, which will help to top up the domestic electrical supply in sunny conditions.
The foredeck isn't huge but the available space is cleverly used and includes both sun beds with adjustable backrests and a small sofa with a table so guests have somewhere to put their drinks and nibbles.
The practical detailing comes to the fore once more around the deck spaces where you are never too far from a useful storage void to chuck lines and fenders and, even though the bulwarks have deep cut-outs in them, it still feels very safe to move around the boat at sea. It's good to see boarding gates on both sides, too, this makes life a lot easier if moored side-to or alongside a fuel quay.
Price-wise, Absolute is pretty much in line with the high-end, lower-volume European manufacturers. The quality of these boats can't be overstated, however. There is a lustre to the mouldings, a solidity to the cabinetry and an eye for engineering detail that is out of the top drawer and stands out among its closest competitors. Absolute also has one of the most mechanised and streamlined construction methods in the sector, which allows for a very efficient build process.
Our Options & Pick
The Navetta 75 comes with a healthy standard specification including desirable options such as teak decking, a proportional bow thruster, tropical air-conditioning, Interceptor trim tabs and twin inverters. On top of that, we would add the hard top (a bimini is standard), hydraulic bathing platform, cockpit docking station, twin generators, the crew cabin fit-out (even if there are no crew, it's a great extra cabin) and the Seakeeper 18 gyro.
The Navetta range raised a few eyebrows when it was first launched but it's a range that proved to be ahead of the curve in its ability to deliver what customers really want. The Navetta 75 boasts the interior volume that the market demands but adds to its box of tricks excellent deck spaces with an element of customisation that customers at this level will most definitely be looking for. The boat's performance suits modern cruising, too, happy to slip along in the low 20s without burning hideous amounts of fuel and with a large enough fuel tank that it can cover some serious ground with a speed in single figures. Then there are all the little details that make living with the boat day-to-day that little bit easier, or indeed for a whole season. The Navetta 75 can't really be pigeon-holed and it faces competition from a broad range of craft including more traditional flybridges, but in many respects, it is in a league of its own.
Reasons to Buy
- Outstanding living spaces
- Huge interior volume
- Generous crew quarters
- Efficient cruising
Things to Consider
- The styling will divide opinion
- Top end performance
Rivals to Consider
The Navetta 73, which precedes the 75, carved out a niche of its own when it was launched but other builders have since adopted the pseudo-trawler SUV (Sports Utility Vessel) aesthetic so there are more rivals to consider today. The Navetta 73 is still in production, too, so there is strong competition within the Absolute ranks.
The 75 may be slightly longer and wider than the Navetta 73 but the majority of the underwater profile is shared as is the layout of the lower deck. The biggest difference between the two is the way they look because the 75 has adopted the open, fin-like haunches of the latest generation of Absolutes and there is even more glazing in the superstructure. On board, there is a more modular, open-plan feel with less fixed furniture and more free-standing, which gives the owner the ability to personalise the style and layout to a greater extent. The 75 also has a smaller hard top with an extending aft sun shade to open up the top deck a little more. Engine options are identical, as is performance. A few 73s may be creeping onto the used market so could be well worth a look given how much it shares with the new and more expensive 75.
Numarine has enjoyed great success with its XP line and the Numarine 22 XP is a particularly impressive package. It's slightly shorter than the Absolute but it's 1m wider and boasts a similarly voluminous interior and a four-cabin interior as standard. As an option, the two guest cabins that are sandwiched between the master and VIP ensuite can be replaced by one large full-beam double stateroom with an ensuite. The explorer vibes are bolstered by the 22 XP's massive range which, thanks to a fuel capacity of 6,000 litres (2,000 litres more than the Absolute) means it achieves almost double the range (2,000nm) of the Navetta 75. The standard twin Cummins 420hp engines are comparatively tiny for a boat of this size, hence the brilliant cruising range and 12.5-knot top speed, but if you want a bit more performance you can have 1,200hp MAN V8s for a top speed more in line with the Navetta's.
Whereas the Navetta 75 feels like a very large flybridge boat and tops the Absolute range, the Horizon FD75 has much more of a mini superyacht vibe, which given that it's effectively a scaled-down FD100/110 should come as no surprise. Its dimensions are not that much greater than the Navetta's but it feels absolutely enormous on board and the quality of build and engineering is absolutely superb. On board, there is a spacious master suite forward and three further cabins amidships for guests, including a generous full-beam VIP with ensuite amidships. It's not all about living space, though, because this is a serious cruising machine that can cover 2,300nm at 8 knots thanks to a staggering 9,000-litre fuel capacity. Performance? The pair of Caterpillar C18 1,136hp motors are good for a top speed of 19 knots and a cruising speed of around 16 knots.
The Bluegame BG72 is a very different proposition to the Navetta 75 but then it's a different proposition to most things. That said if fast, quiet comfortable passage-making is an important part of what your boat needs to do then the BG72 fits the bill very well indeed. It's a whisker shorter than the Navetta and exactly the same beam but in terms of living space, the focus is on the enormous aft platform, which can be used as a living space or as a toy storage area with direct access to the water-level aft saloon. It's a fascinating layout that takes the beach club focus that most brands are adopting and takes it to the extreme. For a truly luxurious ownership experience, the aft saloon can be replaced with the master ensuite so the owner has direct access to the aft platform via sliding doors in their cabin. The boat is available with IPS1200 or 1350 and will crack 30 knots with the larger ones.
Specifications & Performance
Absolute Navetta 75 version 2022. *Data supplied by the manufacturer.
Test Engines Twin Volvo Penta D13-IPS1350
- Liters Per Hour
- Liters Per Mile
- Range (nm)