Italian yacht builder Benetti combines speed and luxury in its latest 69-m (227-ft) megayacht, "Spectre." Delivered to her new owners, John and Jeanette Staluppi of the United States, in a special ceremony at the Livorno shipyard on November 19, 2018, the M/Y "Spectre" combines inspirations from race cars of the 1950s and '60s with a state-of-the-art hull design that makes her 30 percent faster than other yachts in her class.

According to Benetti, Spectre is the third yacht that the Staluppis have ordered from the company. The first was "Moonraker"and the second was "The World Is Not Enough." You won't be surprised to hear they are big fans of the James Bond films.

They are also very keen on race cars and speed with the previous two ships holding records for the world's fastest yacht at different times. While Spectre isn't a record-breaker, her top speed of 21.2 knots (24.4 mph, 39.26 km/h) is impressive in a class that normally pegs the speedometer at 17 knots (19.56 mph, 31.48 km/h).

The key to this is its steel hull and aluminum superstructure that provides a very high volume to weight ratio. Though the lines of Spectre have a very conventional feel, with the long, sharp bow and extended superstructure, the structural design below the waterline by Dutch firm Mulder Design is the result of 25 different iterations based on military and other high-performance vessels.

This "High Speed Cruising Hull" not only lets Spectre top out at over 21 knots, but it also gives her extended range. At a cruising speed of 12 knots (14 mph, 22 km/h), she can cover 6,500 Nm (7,480 mi, 12,038 km) on a single load of fuel. In addition, she manages this using twin 12VMTU 4000 Series engines putting out a mere 2,580 kW (3,460 hp).

For greater maneuverability in harbor, there are 200-kW (268-hp) bow and stern thrusters and the draft of only 3.2 m (10.5 ft) makes Spectre able to cruise the Bahamas and other shallow-water locations.

Benetti says that another key feature of Spectre is the Naiad Dynamics Total Ride Control that was developed for naval and commercial ships, but has never been installed in a yacht until now. The specially modified system provides control of both roll and pitch using two roll stabilizing fins, two forward pitch control canards, and three independently controlled stern interceptor blades.

Spectre's exterior lines were designed by Giorgio M. Cassetta and the vessel includes such extras as a "touch and go" helipad. The goal was not only to produce a high-performance yacht, but also one with large amounts of space for passengers, crew, and gear. The interior is the product of the Benetti Interior Style Department with input from the new owners to reflect the Parisian D├ęco styles of 19th century French hotels and boutiques. There is accommodation for 12 passengers in six cabins, 13 crew in eight cabins, and a private captain's cabin.

Amenities aboard ship include a fixed swim platform, stowage for a 9-m (30-ft) and 7.2-m (24-ft) tender as well as two jet skis. There is a gym, massage room, lounges, four wine cellars, a cylindrical glass lift, VIP cabin with two bathrooms, swimming pool, salons, and even a pizza oven. Small wonder it took 750,000 man hours to build.

"We are proud to have participated in the creation of this spectacular 69-meter-long motor yacht," says Frank Mulder. "Her High Speed Cruising Hull will not only be approximately 30 percent faster than 'normal' displacement yachts with similar power but will also reduce fuel consumption at long range speed. The ground-breaking use of Total Ride Control, which is a combination of roll reduction and pitch reduction, will greatly improve comfort when cruising at 20 knots."

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