inside custom line navetta 38 yacht with leather walls, raffia surfaces and ‘3D oak ceilings’

inside custom line navetta 38 yacht with leather walls, raffia surfaces and ‘3D oak ceilings’

Explore the design of custom line navetta 38 yacht


In January 2024, Custom Line, a yacht brand of Ferretti Group, introduced its recent made-to-measure model, Navetta 38. In May 2024, designboom went to see its real-life model in Venice, anchored near the Venice Art Biennale 2024’s Arsenale and the Central Pavilion (Giardini). Alberto Galassi, the yacht’s owner and the CEO of Ferretti Group, was on board, joined by one of the interior design team members, architect Chiara Massarani of ACPV ARCHITECTS Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel, and the water vehicle’s exterior designer, architect Filippo Salvetti.


Stepping inside, air and light mingle and pass through, and everything is open: all the full-height, wall-to-wall sliding windows in the main deck; the sea-facing beach club at the tail of the yacht with its modular and plush lounge seats and beach chairs; the warm lighting, exposed and hidden under the surfaces; the rounded teak doors, a signature detail for the entire line; the cabinets, the compartments, and the motors. There’s almost 465 square meters of total surface area for the Custom Line Navetta 38 yacht, extended across three decks, with each floor retaining a sense of openness and lightness, most of the time quite literally.

custom line navetta 38 yacht design
images courtesy of Custom Line



3D oak ceilings curve around the edges and corners


Pay attention to the interiors, the neutral palettes that enlarge, brighten up, and texturize the space. In the salons, raffia, a natural fiber, cloaks the walls in their organic forms, only cut and sized to fit the fittings. They’re interrupted by the presence of oak, from the ceilings to the floors. Glance up, and the guests can see the most distinctive feature in the interiors of the Custom Line Navetta 38 yacht: the ‘3D oak ceilings,’ hollowed-out and styled like mini slabs of wood. The handcrafted light wood curves around the edges of ceilings and the corners of the entire interiors. As architect Chiara Massarani tells designboom during the tour, the design aim is to avoid sharp and pointed edges. 


The interior is softened by the use of neutral colors such as beige and ivory. It must continue its promise of a gentle touch of design, underlined by the use of warm lighting throughout the Custom Line Navetta 38 yacht. ‘White light is too strong and not atmospheric,’ architect Chiara Massarani shares with designboom during the yacht viewing event. ‘Light in general is very important in a project. If you don’t use the correct lighting, it will have a completely different result in the project. For this yacht, we went for warm, soft lighting to bring the natural materials of the interior to light. We also used indirect and custom lighting to create some 3D effects and to make sure that the owner can adjust how they want the guests to see artworks within the yacht as the light changes direction.’

custom line navetta 38 yacht design
Custom Line Navetta 38 yacht design from outside



Leather walls and raffia surfaces in cabins and suites


On the main deck, there’s a passage leading to the master suite. In this lobby, there’s a staircase leading to the four guest cabins on the lower deck, two VIP and two guest cabins, all with their own double or twin beds, ample storage, closets, desks, and private bathrooms. Between these two spaces, two materials dominate the design landscape: natural leather and wood. Entering the master suite, the ivory raffia acts as the wallpaper of the entire bedroom. The 3D oak ceiling continues, and the use of oak and warm lighting permeate the bathroom too. And within this space, the natural leather begins, inviting itself as the star material for the master suite, staircase, and lower deck.


The headboard of the master bed? Leather. The surface of the desks that can be lifted up for extra storage? Crafted leather. The linings and edges of the cabinets? Lattice leather. The handrail of the teak staircase leading to the lower deck? Very leather, spiraling around the rail, looking like a luxurious candy cane. The walls on the lower deck? Definitely leather. Architect Chiara Massarani says it is an attempt to evoke the style of old-fashioned suitcases, a vintage traveler’s luggage turned into Custom Line Navetta 38 yacht design. Treated oak and teak grace the rest of the design elements of each deck in the yacht, filling out the spaces that raffia and leather would have cocooned in, acting as a complement to the overall neutral aesthetics. 

custom line navetta 38 yacht design
Main Salon on the Main Deck



Walking up the upper deck, measuring over 90 square meters, more spaces for gathering and relaxing await. At the front, there’s a lounge area with a 180-degree panoramic view and a full-beam modular couch with coffee tables, all designed by ACPV ARCHITECTS Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel. In front of it, the dining area can accommodate up to 10 people with a rectangular table. Slide the door-doubling-as-windows open, and the guests find themselves inside the sky lounge. Three sides of this space are dedicated to full-height landscape windows that also serve as sliding doors, allowing for a scenic view and more openness.


Further forward, the pilot’s helm station breaks free from the neutral palettes carpeting most of the interior. In here, along with the advanced technologies to help them maneuver the Custom Line Navetta 38 yacht, the surfaces and primary color are charcoal black to reduce the infrared rays by up to 65 percent. This model is fitted with two MAN units rated at 1,400 hp that can drive the yacht to a top speed of 15 knots, with a range of about 2,800 nautical miles at an economy cruising speed of 10 knots.

custom line navetta 38 yacht design
another view of the Main Salon on the Main Deck with the ‘3D oak ceiling’



Just outside the pilot’s station, directly at the bow, a sunset lounge is positioned, still comprising the custom modular units for its party-sized seating and a solarium with sun pads. Underneath this lounge deck, there’s a hidden garage that can accommodate the owner’s tender, or a jet ski and two water toys. If not these watercrafts, they can use the vertical garage as a storage area. Up another level, the sundeck greets the guests, with a total surface area of 65 square meters and a length of 15 meters. Look up, and some frosted-like boxes are embedded onto the ceiling, sheltering the guests from the sun and helping reflect the outside sunlight.


Outside, Custom Line Navetta 38 has a mix of hushed-down colors. Architect Filippo Salvetti, a frequent collaborator of Custom Line and the yacht’s exterior designer, explains to designboom that the brand’s boats are always born white, in contrast with the gray of the windows. It is the base color, the usher of additional shades at the client’s discretion. Choosing this light hue has a long-term upside too. ‘Light gray does not heat up too much, a crucial factor for an object that lives in the middle of the sea under the sun,’ architect Filippo Salvetti shares with designboom.

custom line navetta 38 yacht design
indirect lighting with the cuved oak wood for the ceiling of the salon



It wasn’t easy to open the interior to the exterior of the yacht for the design team during the initial phase. As architect Filippo Salvetti tells designboom, the salon windows opening increasingly towards the sea can cause an imbalance between the dark volumes of the glass and the light of the fiberglass. ‘Working in this direction, maintaining the right balance, is one of the most complex challenges of our work. Another element that can strongly influence the design is the safety regulations. For example, the presence of large masses necessary for the immediate drainage of water requires, more than ever, large openings on the side gunwales,’ he adds.


They had to consider this feature during the initial phase, to integrate and mask it within the overall design so it would come out subtly. In the end, the exterior and interior design teams managed to balance what the guests can and can’t see, laying down good aesthetics, practical needs, and safety all on one deck. The exterior architect opens up to designboom too, saying that unlike its predecessors, the Navetta 38 yacht has a more modern surface treatment and volume, making it larger than its predecessor, the 37. ‘The boat has expanded in width, height, and length. This, combined with the new design, tends to make the vessel perceived as a more majestic and imposing object,’ architect Filippo Salvetti shares with designboom.

custom line navetta 38 yacht design
Master Suite on the Main Deck



When the tour is over, Alberto Galassi sits down on a large sofa planted on the sundeck, surrounded by journalists and their smartphones, recording his words about the Custom Line Navetta 38 yacht; the Miuccia Prada quote that stayed with him (about luxury being vulgar); being friends with Domenico Dolce of Dolce & Gabbana; how involved his wife was in choosing the colors and non-colors for the interior of his yacht, hence the spectrum of around eight shades of beige and ivory; and the renaissance of ‘la piazzetta’ (‘a small square’) inside the yacht, on the lower deck.


‘There’s a connecting area in front of the four cabinets where all the guests, when they cruise with me, might need to dress up or change, to talk to others after the evening, to comment. It’s like typical Italians discussing in the piazza (square),’ Alberto Galassi says during the roundtable interview. The ‘always being in style’ bit runs through his Italian blood and culture, enough to make some dark surfaces around the Custom Line Navetta 38 yacht glazed and mirrored, what architect Chiara Massarani describes as ‘black mirror.’ They reflect anyone and anything, creating a seemingly optical illusion, even if what they do is bounce off the images they see.


They can make the space more expansive, the lighting warmer, and the people multiply in numbers. They also double as subtle and quick mirrors, some semi-clear panels for a swift outfit check before the night and party go on. They’re present in the upper deck too, the favorite space of the Ferretti Group CEO. ‘I’m not an air conditioning guy,’ he shares in the interview. ‘I don’t like to be closed in an area, in a beautiful area like on the sea, with just air conditioning. I like the Alfresco dining style with open air. On the upper deck, the sliding doors open wide, creating a huge terrace on three sides. That’s the best feature in the world.’


Upper Deck Salon, Alberto Galassi’s favorite area

custom line navetta 38 yacht design
Sundeck view

custom line navetta 38 yacht design
Aft on the Sundeck

custom line navetta 38 yacht design
beach club area at the tail of the Custom Line Navetta 38 yacht’s design


Custom Line Navetta 38 yacht in Venice

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