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The Family-Friendly Zoo Is a Timeless Beauty From an Iconic Italian Brand

In the world of luxury yachts, $4 million is a very low price but enough to buy a family vacation yacht that checks some of the most important criteria – a high-quality build, reliability, timeless style, and an Italian pedigree.
Zoo was built in 2008 and refitted in 2022 25 photos
Photo: Camper & Nicholsons
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Zoo is a 15-year-old pleasure craft that doesn't show its age. It was delivered in 2008 and was formerly known as Lady Mary. It's a medium-sized yacht with an exceptional advantage – it claims to be one of the most spacious vessels in this size category. Zoo is only a little over 100 feet (31 meters), with a 23.7-foot (7.2 meters) beam and a 6.3-foot (2.3 meters) draft. The 195 GT translates to an enormous volume for a pleasure craft below 50 meters.

Zoo was built by one of the oldest and most reputable shipyards in Italy, Cantieri di Pisa, and was part of its legendary Akhir series. Akhir doesn't sound Italian at all, and that's because it's the name of the brightest star in the Eridanus constellation. The legendary motor yacht series launched in the 1960s was named after this star, which became the symbol of Cantieri di Pisa, and each original model in the series got the name of one of the Eridanus stars.

This 2008 model is an Akhir 105S, built with a GRP hull and superstructure. It was styled inside and out by Cantieri di Pisa, which makes it a truly representative design for the Italian brand. However, it also underwent several refits throughout the years, which brought slight modifications to its original style, in addition to technical and mechanical upgrades. The most recent refit was completed in 2022.

Zoo Yacht
Photo: Camper & Nicholsons
Thanks to the impressive volume, this medium-sized, semi-custom yacht sports an expansive cockpit area, a large flybridge, and comfortable accommodation for up to nine guests and five crew members. The four-cabin layout is considered to be one of the main assets for a family charter. It includes a full-beam master suite, two VIP rooms, and a smaller guest cabin, which is perfect for intimate family cruising.

The main deck is spacious enough to include a large interior area for formal dining and a wide area for al-fresco dining. In addition to an elegant main salon lounge, Zoo also reveals a classic-style office that doubles as a modern media/TV room. The sundeck is beautifully equipped for outdoor entertainment and dining, including a grill setup, a TV, and a modern electric bimini for proper shade when needed.

Onboard guests also have access to a surprisingly large beach club for direct access to the water. Like any charter yacht today, Zoo is packed with a variety of water toys (stored in the spacious tender garage at the stern) and a premium 3.35 meters (10.8 feet) tender.

Zoo Yacht
Photo: Camper & Nicholsons
Style-wise, Zoo creates a relaxed, informal atmosphere onboard through the use of neutral colors, natural materials, and beach house-inspired décor. Wooden panels are the main classic elements, which some might find a bit too dark, but the white lacquered ceilings bring an unexpected touch of glamour and brightness.

As calming as it is on the inside, this Italian beauty becomes a beast when it's time for fun. Zoo can hit the waves as fast as 25 knots (46 kph), which makes it ideal for adventures at sea and fun-filled trips. Even at cruising speed, Zoo is much faster than many yachts in its size category. It's powered by twin 3,400 HP MTU engines, and it also boasts advanced stabilizers that eliminate the dreaded rolling motion. Following its recent refit, the Italian boat also comes with navigational screens on the flybridge and video surveillance monitors.

Despite both its age and prowess, Zoo apparently was not used extensively. It currently claims to have just 900 engine hours and is in excellent shape thanks to the recent refit and great overall maintenance. With a price tag of just €3,9 million ($4.2 million), Zoo can easily be considered a bargain on the luxury yacht market.

Zoo Yacht
Photo: Camper & Nicholsons
There's good news coming from the shipyard as well. After having been closed for more than a decade, Cantieri di Pisa is officially back in business under a new ownership. CEO Marco Massabo is the name behind the shipyard's fresh vision – it won't build the largest or the most eye-catching yachts. Instead, it will focus on weight, a prerequisite for exceptional performance. If this old 2008 model can cruise smoothly at 25 knots, imagine what a new generation of boats could achieve.

The iconic Italian brand has reinvented its heritage Akhir series, in addition to the brand-new 80 Veloce and the 80 Gran Turismo. Both of these new designs can hit more than 60 knots – a dream come true for all yachting enthusiasts who want speed above all else.

During the initial phase since its relaunch, Cantieri di Pisa has focused on upgrading its facilities and has only taken up refitting projects, but it's gearing up to conquer the world once again. At the same time, yachts from its original series, such as Zoo, continue to be priceless pieces of the brand's heritage.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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