X. An aeronautical code that refers to extreme performance and technological progress.
It awakens the untiring drive to cross new horizons at high speed. In one letter, this is the innovative power of Pershing’s new release. The cockpit can be either separated from or joined to the internal lounge with an innovative opening and closing system for the glass door and full-length glass windows, which are present for the first time on a Pershing this size. A solution that allows to exploit the yacht in all weather, travelling at speeds of up to 36 knots in the version with twin Volvo D11-IPS950 725 mhp engines.
There has got to be a reason why it is the best-selling Pershing in history (105 models of the 50 and 50.1 combined are sailing on the world’s oceans). The reasons are many: the speed of an offshore racer combined with the comfort and great conviviality of a high-class cruiser. These electrifying sensations can only be experienced by those who have the seas aboard this extraordinary boat that is a blend of power and elegance. The Pershing 50.1 is simply an unsurpassable combination of design, space and technological equipment, the best compromise between size and lifestyle aboard a coupé. To plow the waves with style, with the incomparable Pershing quality.
The sweat beading across my brow just after sunrise could have been caused by the unusually warm September temperatures in Cannes, France, combined with humidity averaging somewhere around tropical rainforest. And then there was the lack of regular cardio-based exercise to consider. But I believe that the 54 feet of pupil-popping, chic Italian styling and heart-thumping performance that sat before me quayside might have been a contributing factor. Hello, Pershing 5X.
Pershing’s founders have always put a premium on performance, even naming the company after a missile. What’s not to like about a vessel whose moniker comes from a projectile that can travel at over Mach 8 (6,089 mph)? Now, there won’t be a chorus of sonic booms when you put the throttles to the pins with the Pershing 5X, but you will definitely feel the wind in your hair and a blast of exhilaration. What’s interesting about the Pershing 5X is that for the first time in the company’s 30-plus-year history, owners can choose between two propulsion setups. Until this express cruiser, the builder was all surface-drive propulsion, all the time. But the Pershing 5X has an IPS pod-drive option.
In fact, our test 5X (Hull No. 1) was outfitted with Volvo Penta IPS900 diesels (725 hp apiece) matched to pod drives. The result was a 35-knot top end and a 30-knot cruise speed. Some IPS extras for the 5X included a joystick, a dynamic positioning system and an Interceptor auto-trim-tab setup.
Marco Plicchi, Pershing’s product manager, says the 5X is targeted toward younger owners — and IPS offers a smaller learning curve versus surface drives. “We’ve found a new market,” he adds.
Whether owners choose IPS or surface drives for the 5X, one thing that remains the same is Pershing’s low-profile and aggressive styling. Achieving that look is not easy in a smaller model with less waterline to accentuate and lengthen the yacht’s lines. Using trademark styling such as down-angled wings and raked windows running aft from the superstructure, along with raked hull-side windows, the 5X seems to lean forward, like a sprinter in the set position on the starting blocks.
In addition to having an athletic appearance, the 5X is supported by a solid build, starting with a vacuum-infused fiberglass hull. Balsa coring is used below the waterline, and PVC foam coring is used above to provide added strength and rigidity without excessive weight. The 5X has a 55,115-pound fully loaded displacement. (Its dry weight is 46,076 pounds.)
Another cunning bit of design includes a salon table that can be raised, folded out and then rotated to accommodate four to six people for dinner. Seating for a couple more guests is on a chaise longue across from the helm station.
For alfresco relaxation, there are opposing settees facing fore and aft in the cockpit, as well as a sun pad atop the tender garage. There’s also a foredeck sun pad. Waist-high rails provide safe transit from the cockpit to the foredeck. Suffice it to say, there is plenty of room for friends and family.
Those guests will get hungry. Hull No. 1 has a galley down with a two-burner Siemens electric cooktop, an oven and a refrigerator. Under the stairs leading belowdecks is space for a freezer or a washing machine.
The Pershing 5X also offers a variation on a theme that I saw several years ago in La Spezia, Italy, on board a Pershing 90. With the push of a few buttons, the 90’s salon doors came together and then disappeared belowdecks, turning the otherwise enclosed express cruiser into a 90-foot open boat. On the Pershing 5X, a glass window folds up along the aft bulkhead, splitting the cockpit seating facing aft with the U-shaped salon seating. In addition, the cockpit door, which comes up to about waist height, folds in toward the salon. Above is another glass window that folds up. When everything is tucked away, the boat is open from the starboard-side helm seat to the cockpit sun pad. And if you retract what Pershing calls the “panorama” glass roof, the yacht offers the openness of a center console with upscale amenities. It’s quite a bit of clever engineering.
There is also a dinette to port here for owners who want an informal dining area. The dinette space can be used for a third guest stateroom with bunks. In the latter layout, this stateroom shares a head with the forepeak VIP (which has a step-up berth). The VIP is bright with natural light from an overhead hatch and hull-side windows. In a third layout scenario, the dinette area becomes a crew cabin with its own head and shower, and with a separate entrance. On a yacht this size, most U.S. owners will be owner-operators and opt for the dinette or the third stateroom for the kids.
No matter the layout, the full-beam master with en suite head has an athwartships berth. There’s room for a breakfast nook across from the foot of the bed, with views out the hull-side windows. As we ran Hull No. 1 back into the Gulf of Napoule, my early morning beads of sweat evaporated into the ether thanks to the refreshing breeze created by 35 knots of high-performing express cruiser. But the blast of exhilaration that the Pershing 5X offers echoed inside me like an everlasting sonic boom.