Expanding yacht increases sun-soaked lounging and swimming enjoyment

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Ready for speed and relaxation on the water

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The Italian-built Evo 43 makes itself known as a sharp, stylish boat the minute you spot it on the water. But it's even more than meets the eye. When it's time to go from tearing across the open sea to relaxing in the sun, aft sections of its bulwark expand outward to create a large terrace for sunbathing and swimming. It's a marriage of quick, nimble motoring and spacious lounging.

The 43.1-foot (13.1-m) Evo exits the marina as a powerful day cruiser, a striking, muscular blend of fiberglass, teak, glass and leather designed to fire forth and split the unbroken blue water into frothy wake. The buyer has a choice of three different dual-engine options, offering between 740 and 1,100 hp of total output.

There are two Volvo Penta engine choices and a Cummins option. Evo lists top speed at 38 knots (70 km/h) and says that cruising speed is 30 knots (56 km/h). The 1,000L (264-US gal) fuel tank is good for 300 nautical miles (556 km).

The 43 aspires to be much more than just a sleek, sporty cruiser, though. The hydraulic "XTension" bulwarks around the aft platform extend outward at the touch of a mobile device or onboard control panel, stretching the maximum beam from 14.8 feet (4.5 m) to 20.7 feet (6.3 m). It happens in about 30 seconds, and floor panels automatically fold out as the sides move, seamlessly expanding total usable space by 40 percent. The extended wings give the 43 the look of an aircraft ready for takeoff, but it's much better prepared to stay put on the water's surface and host up to 12.

The expansion creates a 269 sq ft (25 sq m) piece of teak that looks like it'd work as an on-water dance floor, not to mention a comfy lounge. Three sets of hinged, flush-mounted panels can fold out into lounge chairs. The 43 still drives forward when fully expanded, but it looks like the widened rear cuts the available speed markedly.

We're more accustomed to seeing this type of body expansion in the motorhome industry (including on seaworthy caravans), where expansion modules add interior living space while keeping an appropriately sized driving footprint. Evo isn't the first shipyard to implement such a solution, though. We saw a centrally-situated expanding deck on the Wider 42 a few years ago, and the smaller, shiftier Kormaran uses hydraulics to shape-shift into several several forms, including a swimming platform.

To add another dimension to its transforming design, Evo has also affixed a pneumatically-operated platform at the stern. It sits flat when not in use, but raises out and swings nearly 270 degrees, along with accompanying steps, allowing passengers to climb up to a dive platform or step down onto a bathing platform.

Fore of the expanding terrace, the windscreen-wrapped midship area includes modular seating that can be rearranged around the auto-adjustable, folding-leaf table or elsewhere on the deck. The outdoor wet bar and kitchen area includes a stove, sink, refrigerator and countertop, and a 180L (47.5-US gal) icebox hides below the captain's seat. The captain takes command with help from a 12-in multifunctional navigation touchscreen, joystick and stylish custom wheel, all built into a teak-dressed helm station.

A series of illuminated steps tucked beneath a sliding door leads to the lower deck, where the 43 houses a V-shaped dinette area, double cabin and bathroom. Standard and available equipment includes a mirror-disguised 46-in TV, multiple stereo system options, and air conditioning. Water is stored in a 400L (105 US-gal) tank.

The same available mobile app that controls the hydraulic bulwarks provides smart home-like automation around the boat. It works to turn on the onboard lighting, open the anchor locker, adjust the height of the indoor and outdoor tables, and automate various other functions around the boat. Those features can also be controlled from the control panel above the wheel.

A new player on the yacht scene, and a brand of Sea Engineering Group, Evo launched in 2015 and began showing the 43 at various yacht and boat shows, including a formal debut at the Genoa International Boat Show last fall. Its next stop will be this year's Cannes Yachting Festival in September, where Evo will be offering onboard visits and sea trials and making some announcements. Evo is also working on new layouts and options, including a dual-bathroom setup. It doesn't list official pricing, but past reports from Boat International and other publications put starting price around US$750,000.

The 3-minute video below takes you behind the scenes and shows the 43 on the water. If you're eager to see the boat doing its thing, start around 1:30.

Source: Evo Yachts

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