New, aggressive and beautiful, the Filippetti S 55 Daemon has been the undisputed star of the high-end sports yacht segment at this year’s Cannes Yachting Festival. Built with exceptional craftsmanship at the iconic Mondolfo-based yard under the watchful eye of Fausto Filippetti (the spiritual father of the legendary Pershing yachts), this sporty coupé stands out not only for its performance but for its innate ability to seduce at first sight.
Thanks to the use of an ASD (Arneson Surface Drive) surface drive system, the Filippetti S 55 Daemon can be fitted with two Man V8 engines providing 1,200 real horsepower and 16.2 litres of displacement: a light and compact engine capable of delivering not less than 4,000 Nm of torque, already at 1,200 rpm! A combination that alone defines the overall level of this craft.
You will understand why, as soon as the opportunity presented itself, we did not let ourselves repeat it twice and immediately ran to test this boat in the enchanting waters of the Gulf of Olbia.
Filippetti S 55 Daemon Sea Trial
It’s early morning when we leave the Cantiere Navale Isola Bianca, Filippetti Yacht’s large service centre in Sardinia. Leaving the berth is a piece of cake, the Filippetti S 55 Daemon has the best electronics available on the market today and, with the joystick, handling is embarrassingly simple. Automatically adjusting the surface drive system are flaps and automatic trim and direction correctors, a system that brings this sophisticated drive within the reach of anyone.
At the end of the waterway we head out into open waters, into the Gulf of Olbia, a little piece of paradise. Fausto Filippetti’s expert hands push the throttles forward and the Daemon reacts instantly, the boat quickly comes out of the water and gets up on plane, at just 12 knots. We accelerate again and, at around 20 knots, the beautiful water column begins to hover in the air, making thuster-equipped yachts recognizable from afar.
But the time has come to see how this jewel goes, we push the throttles down and the speed increases quickly: 30, 40, 45 knots, a couple of fine adjustments and we reach 47.7. Not bad really for a 17-metre boat that, in running order, will weigh at least 25/26 tonnes. What is surprising is the stability of this yacht, there is a residual long wave and yet, despite the considerable speed, we are cruising with an incredible level of comfort. The bow goes in and out of the waves with absolute smoothness, it never bangs.
Always travelling at top speed, we try a series of wide turns, the Filippetti S 55 Daemon tilts slightly and draws a perfect semi-circle, always remaining in perfect trim. Then we slow down a bit, around 30/35 knots, and we start to really get into it, we turn full throttle and… and the Daemon transforms and goes from being a luxury grand tourer to a sports coupe. The boat tilts and the centrifugal force increases dramatically while the speed remains constant, a miracle that only this type of drive can make possible. We turn and counter-turn, in a vain attempt to put this boat in difficulty, which, on the other hand, proves to be perfectly at ease in these conditions.
We come out of the passage between Tavolara and Molara and the long wave grows again, the Daemon’s bow slices through the swells at great speed and on more than one occasion the hull comes at least two-thirds out of the water, but smoothly, it always manages to dock without breaking the surface. This is a great hull, the kind that when you try it, you understand how to really navigate.
The Filippetti S 55 Daemon is a yacht dedicated to sophisticated palates, capable of appreciating a craft that is able to deliver performance and seaworthiness far above average. It is an exclusive yacht, designed for owners who want to be able to cope serenely (and in great comfort) with unforeseen weather conditions, without disturbing their guests or family. Capable of long voyages at very high cruising averages, the Daemon substantially shortens distances with a “grand tourer” attitude marked by maximum comfort that, once arrived at its destination, gives way to a yacht still capable of thrilling for the sensations it conveys in sporty driving.
The Filippetti S 55 Daemon in detail
Basically custom-made (the yard has a large showroom, entirely dedicated to the choice of woods and leathers), this yacht is built, like all the other yachts from this yard, to very high standards, both in terms of construction quality and components – you only have to touch it to realize this.
The superstructure is fully made of carbon and, while it cuts weight where it is most needed, it also creates a combination of rare elegance when juxtaposed with the metallic grey hull and the natural leathers of the cushions. Colour combinations that, while underlining the sporty and aggressive nature of this boat, make it stand out unequivocally for its elegance in a market that too often confuses the word sport with colour combinations that are really not elegant.
The boundaries between interior and exterior are pleasantly ephemeral in the Filippetti S 55 Daemon. The large retractable hatch manages electrically to design a transformable space which, when closed, allows the interior to be air-conditioned but which, when open, gives the view and space of a large floating penthouse.The two large living rooms thus become one, creating an immense living area that, starting from the helm station, reaches the large aft sundeck, creating an elegant and refined environment, ideal for sunset cocktails and for hosting crowded parties.
Below deck, a large hallway houses an L-shaped galley capable of satisfying the needs of guests. From here there is easy access to the three cabins in this version of the Filippetti S55.
The Master Cabin is arranged per beam and makes use of the boat’s entire 4.64 metre width to offer a huge, exclusive and refined environment. Here, lights, mirrors and windows play with each other to push back the natural boundaries of this cleverly designed environment, which finds in this positioning the ideal place for the owner’s dwelling.
The VIP cabin is located at the extreme bow and is equipped with a queen-size bed framed by two pairs of two steps each that, while highlighting it, also make it easy to access. Completing the sleeping area is a double cabin with bunk beds which, positioned not surprisingly close to the galley, can easily be used as crew quarters or accommodate a couple of children who will certainly be competing for the upper bed.
2 x MAN V8 1200
Arneson Surface Drive
Filippetti Yacht & Davide Cipriani
Torque and fuel consumption diagram of Man V8 1200s