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Article selected from thousand boat trials performed by Nautica in nearly 50 years

Navigation trials

Please remember that the boat model described in this article could be no more available and its price, if indicated, could be outdated as it refers to the Nautica Magazine paper issue

For possible updated information on the model tested in this article and on all other models builded by this shipyard please search our YACHTING CATALOGUE

Text and photographs by Antonio Bignami


Ferretti 185 S

Recently equipped with the new MTU 1150 hp, the boat achieves a top speed of 35 knots; its elegant and prestigious interiors ensure comfort and relax together with a cozy feeling. All this without disregarding simplicity and practical solutions especially in the large outside spaces, such as the flying-bridge, the cockpit and the fore deck, where features include: stern hydraulic gangway (also used to launch the tender), electric stern winches and an electrically assisted ladder in the swimming platform.

Noticeable is the side door connecting the side walkways to the navigation bridge, where an impressively equipped steering station allows for a safe navigation in all day and night conditions. The engine room workshop is also fitted with a practical and very useful working bench for the crew's duties and the pleasure of those passengers feeling to try their hand on manual works. Belowdeck the Ferretti 185 S reaffirm its prestigious reputation: the main saloon has two levels with a living room, and each of the four cabins has its private bathroom.

On the tested unit, two were double bed cabins, with the owner's one amidships, but the boat has been designed with two different internal concepts allowing the choice between the "European" and the "American" layouts. Want to have fun? There is space enough for stowing and handling a jet-sky and a dingy. In closing the 35 units built ensure the product's quality, further proof of which is the stable and smooth ride cruising at 30 knots and beyond.


Builder: Cantieri Navali Ferretti, via Ansaldo 5, 47100 Forlì Italy; tel. +39-543-780108
Project by: Ferretti Engineering
LOA: 19.64 mt
Register length: 19.38 mt
Max. beam: 5.40 mt
Molded depth: 5.46 mt
Max. draft: 1.50 mt
Light displacement: 32400 kg
Full load displacement: 38850 kg
Max. passengers capacity: 18 persons
Engines: 2x MTU 12 V 183 TE93 1150 hp each
Total installed power: 2300 -Transmission: direct shaft line
Engines weight: 3500 kg (reduction gears included)
Light displacement to installed horsepower ratio: 14.08
Top speed (declared): 34 knots
Cruise speed: 31 knots
Fuel capacity: 4100 liters
Fresh water capacity: 890 liters
Berths: 9 in 5 cabins
Cruise speed range: 360 miles aprox.
Tested boat price: according to boat's version
Remarks: two different layouts are available both in the saloon (port side dinette, stairs to the flying-bridge and passage to the port side walkway) and in the port side guest cabin (it can be fitted with a French bed)

Average miles range, at a given rpm, is obtained dividing the total fuel capacity (4100 liters) for the "liters/mile" corresponding to the entered rpm. Plotted fuel consumption is declared by the engines' manufacturer: tuning of the engines, weight of persons, stores, etc... on board, hull conditions and propeller type can effect the real fuel consumption.


Hull type: warped sections, 17° deadrise and spray rails
Construction material: fiberglass and Aramat
Deck material: fiberglass and Aramat - Sandwich construction
Fore deck particulars: two Bruce anchors with triple station windlass, teak planking, sun-lounge, handrail, cleats and fairleads, hatch, amidships cleats, bow thrust, side compass door
Cockpit particulars: teak planking, hot and cold water shower, furniture with sinks and hot - cold - sea water outlet, multiple functions electro-hydraulic gangway, stainless steel / Plexiglas table and chairs, sea water inlet, mooring winches with bell
Swimming platform particulars: jet-sky storage, gully hidden electro-hydraulic ladder, access to the cockpit with half door,
Superstructure windows material: stainless steel and aluminum frames with toughened glass plate
Flying-bridge particulars: electro-hydraulic tender crane, triple pilot seat with 40 liters refrigerator underneath, second steering position, throttles, compass, engine gauges, autopilot, depth sounder, log, VHF Shipmate semi-duplex, stereo loudspeakers, electrically driven search light and emergency portable search light, sun-lounge, Plexiglas windshield, settees and table, fiberglass radar arch, 12 persons liferaft


Lay-out and main features: amidships owner cabin with two cupboards and safe, stereo system with two loudspeakers, double bed, settees, vanity, wall-mount cupboard units; owner bathroom fitted with separate shower, ceramic and teak floor, marble sink top; bow VIP cabin with double bed, two cupboards and safe, wall-mount cupboard unit, private bathroom with separate shower, teak floor and marble sink top; two guest cabins with two single beds, private bathroom and cupboard each; crew stern cabin with one bed, cupboard and private bathroom; two levels main saloon with two dinettes (one aft and one forward), galley area, steering station and wet bar
Steering station: steering wheel and throttles, complete engine gauges and indicators, depth sounder, log miles counter, Pan Navigator LCD 7 with GPS, meteo station, interfaced autopilot, compass door to the port side walkway, 24 miles range radar, stereo system with 4 loudspeaker in the saloon and two in the flying-bridge, rudder angle indicator, stair to the flying-bridge, windshield wipers with built-in washing device, VHF Shipmate semi-duplex
Chart table: next to the navigation bridge with chart holder
Galley: located in the main saloon to the starboard side with wall-mount cupboard unit, storage space, multiple functions microwave oven, 270 liters refrigerator and 90 liters freezer, ceramic-glass cooking top with 4 ranges, granite working top with two sinks, dish drainer, sea water outlet, 12 persons dish set


Standard equipment: engine room working bench with tool bag and vise, 200 liters boiler, 120 liters per hour watermaker, 11 kw gen set, air conditioning, trim tabs, complete electrical plant


sea state: calm

Planning time: 6"
Minimum planning speed: 16 knots @ 1650 rpm
Top speed: 34 knots - delivered horsepower 2300 hp @ 2300 rpm


Seakeeping: excellent stability and maneuverability capabilities. Sea trail was performed with no wind and calm sea. However the Ferretti 185 S has comfortably returned to the proper trim after the impact with the support boat wave train; the hull has an excellent hydrodynamic lift.
Rudder and trim tabs response: effective and precise
Visibility: excellent both from the flying-bridge and the inside steering station
Docking capabilities: really excellent


Construction material and detailing:
Lockers number and place:
Deck: completely fitted and with excellent practical solutions (bow thrust,, compass door, two anchors etc...) has a beautiful teak planking work
Flying-bridge: one of the best spot in the Ferretti 185 S: great habitability with plenty of space and complete fittings
Interiors: rational and elegant. Sleeping quarters ensure the required privacy
Passengers comfort: excellent, according to Ferrettìs style
Steering comfort: excellent
Chart table: well positioned and spacious
Galley: very elegant and rational
Bathrooms: roomy and comfortable
Engine room space: very safe entrance and habitability
Electrical plant: excellent

interior habitability and riding comfort, as usual for Ferrettìs prestigious style, detail accuracy and the real complete standard equipment
it is never easy to find imperfections on such a class boat; it is very well designed and built. Just in case we would appreciate some more accurate detailing in the bathrooms and cabins, but they are mainly a mater of personal tastes