Ferretti 580 review: Lively performer with stylish looks

Relax, Ferretti’s new Ferretti 580 flybridge cruiser is so stylish, comfortable and well thought out, it doesn’t need to shock

Motor yachts are becoming increasingly weird. The variety of shapes and types on offer at the latest Cannes show was the most extreme yet. So it was a relief to be greeted with the reassuringly familiar lines of the Ferretti 580.

When it comes to flybridge cruisers, Ferretti is one shipyard that absolutely knows what it’s doing. It seems conservative, but it isn’t really – it continuously updates its product range and has never been afraid of new ideas. But equally, it’s not afraid to hang onto old ideas if they happen to be good ones.

The 580 is an exceptionally well upholstered craft with comfortable outdoor seating and lounging areas almost everywhere

Main deck influencers

So – step from the cockpit into the saloon of the new Ferretti 580 and you’ll find that you’re actually in the galley. The Forli shipyard was one of the earliest adopters of this sociable style of main deck layout, and it has stuck with it over the years for its smaller models, because it works.

The informal family feeling it engenders chimes with the way in which the boat is most likely to be used. The benefits are obvious. Slide the window down and the galley becomes a pleasant, open-plan serving station that faces both ways, and links rather than separates the forward and aft seating areas. The drawbacks? I can’t think of any.

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The shipyard discontinued its Ferretti 570 last year, and the new model is a couple of feet longer and six inches wider. It’s also a bit heavier, but packs more horsepower, and has bigger fuel tanks to suit its slightly thirstier engines.

The Alberto Salvagni exterior styling combines its cool modernity with genuine authority. It shouldn’t date in a hurry.

A long flybridge extends as far aft as the transom, with a glass balustrade around the back end which not only improves the view but helps reduce the visual height of the yacht.

A fixed hardtop can be fitted as an option, but otherwise there’s an electric bimini. Freestanding furniture provides a versatile mix of seating and sunbathing space, complemented by the sofa and sunpads on the foredeck.

The helm, saloon and galley enjoy panoramic views thanks to acres of glass

The cockpit will be the most popular and comfortable place for sitting everyone down to eat, but between meals the sofa can slide back while the table descends, to create yet more space for sun-worshippers.

There are stowage lockers in the transom and under the flybridge companionway, and the hydraulic stern platform is standard. It can take a Williams 325.

Enormous windows make the best of the available space in the saloon, which is essentially a single homogenous socialising area with a small folding table, and a two-seat helm station on the starboard side.

The galley is sociably located between the cockpit and saloon, with plenty of stowage space on both sides

Down below, via the straight central companionway – which lifts on gas struts to reveal some more very useful stowage space underneath – the bed in the VIP cabin is set well forward, for sensible reasons of space elsewhere on the lower deck.

It therefore stands quite high, 37in (94cm) off the cabin sole, getting on for twice what you might have to scale at home. But there are steps up the sides. Headroom in here and throughout the lower deck accommodation is around 6ft 7in (200cm) and the bed itself is an excellent size at 6ft 6in by 5ft 6in wide (199cm x 167cm).

In this three-cabin, two-head version of the Ferretti 580, the VIP has ensuite access to the day head on the starboard side.

The three-head version might offer more luxury and privacy for your guests, but at the expense of a very appealing master cabin layout, which has a raised lobby area with a desk/dressing table and an excellent hanging locker, in addition to the generously proportioned head compartment itself. The smoked glass skylight overhead is a nice touch.

With the cockpit doors opened up the main deck becomes one long socialising space

Leisurely handling

I remember testing a Ferretti many years ago and jokingly wondering if the three-mile expanse of the Gulf of La Spezia was going to be wide enough to turn around in. You could crank the helm hard over at 25 knots and make a cup of tea while waiting for the boat to change course.

When I queried this with the engineering director he told me with an admirably straight face that owners weren’t really interested in handling.

Like most of her siblings, the 580 is a lively performer with positive, reassuring handling

Things started to change soon afterwards, though, as that same director tapped into the then emerging technologies of electrical and electro-hydraulic steering systems which revolutionised the whole handling equation, from the initial installation to the smile on the owner’s face.

Today, Ferretti favours the excellent Xenta system, and the Ferretti 580 favoured us with an exemplary demonstration of its handling abilities. Conditions were far from challenging. It’s customary to express regret that the weather during the Cannes show is so often perfect, and unsuitable for a true test of a boat’s seagoing qualities, but it is very pleasant to take one out in the sort of weather that owners dream of when they sign the cheque.

There was a bit of breeze overnight which had raised a two to three-foot sea for our early morning outing, and the Ferretti 580 felt like it was enjoying itself as much as we were.

There’s a sociable two-seat helm station

The ride of the medium-V hull was fairly firm into the chop at high speed but throttling back a little made it very manageable, and its tracking on all points of the compass was positive and accurate.

A tight turning circle, a fun angle of heel, and throttle and helm responses that were both smooth and instantaneous made for a fun and confidence-inspiring drive. The boat was rock-solid on the plane down to 17 or 18 knots, so if the weather cuts up rough it should still be possible to make reasonable progress.

Just one issue – at the lower helm station you can’t see where you’re going with the foredeck cushions out. Those nice comfy backrests on the sofa block the view of everything but the sky in cruising trim, which was about five degrees bow-up. So best to bring them in.

Price as reviewed:

£1,794,639.00 as tested inc VAT


In an uncertain world, Ferretti can usually be relied upon to keep calm and build you a pukka motor yacht. And so it proves with the 580. A family flybridge cruiser of impeccable pedigree, it comes from a yard with the confidence to do what it does best without courting controversy with attention-seeking designs. It has looks that will last, and for 2023 at least, comes with an impressive standard spec that includes all the Xenta bells and whistles, as well as the hydraulic platform. On top of that, commendable attention has been paid to the practicalities, especially in providing enough stowage space for a proper cruise. Which, when all’s said and done, is what it’s all about. Or should be.


LOA: 59ft 10in (18.24m)
Beam: 16ft 5in (5.00m)
Fuel capacity: 3,250 litres
Water capacity: 700 litres
Draft: 4ft 11in (1.50m)
Displacement: 36 tonnes loaded
Price from: €1.695m ex VAT
Engines: Twin 900 or 1,000hp Volvo D13s
RCD: A for 14 people
Builder: www.ferretti-yachts.com

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