At the Cannes Yachting Festival last week, the Gulf Craft Majesty 120 had two features that stood out immediately. The first was big: The 27-foot, 4-inch beam made it look like a St. Bernard among golden retrievers compared to similar-sized yachts at Canne’s Superyacht Extension. The 120-foot class is where the real superyachts start, so competition is fierce and every detail counts.
Beside the Majesty was another 120-footer, which had a 25-foot, 2-inch beam. Those stats don’t seem that far apart, but the Gulf Craft’s two extra-plus feet of width means significant internal volume when you start adding up total space across four decks. The bottom line, as I discovered during a tour, is that this is a very large boat for its length.
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That could partly be a cultural choice. Gulf Craft builds in Dubai, and is used to clients with large, extended families, many of whom cruise together. Interior volume—as anyone who has ever set sail with the in-laws knows—is at a premium when you have everyone together for days. This boat offers room to roam, with multiple social—and potentially private—areas.
The other feature of the 120 that caught my attention was the passerelle. It’s admittedly a small detail, but an important one. It’s what landlubbers call a gangplank, or the section that connects the boat to the dock. These often tend to be flimsy, sometimes flexing like a diving board. I often wonder why more people don’t fall off when trying to board boats during shows—particularly when the champagne starts to flow.
Not so on this Gulf Craft. The 120’s passerelle was sturdy as I moved up towards the yacht’s cockpit. Typically features like that go unnoticed, but it’s a good indicator of the builder’s focus on seaworthiness.
Gulf Craft really has come a long way in the last decade. Typically seen as a bargain-priced yacht builder, it has hired name-brand European designers for its interiors, and the exteriors are much more contemporary. The name wasn’t that well known outside of the Middle East, but now it has a following in Europe and North America. The boat I toured—hull number two in the series—is headed to US owners.
“A decade ago, I wasn’t so interested in this builder,” says Juan Morillo, a Miami-based broker who had the listing on the boat in Cannes. “But Gulf Craft has made tremendous improvements in build quality.”
The Cristiano Gatto-designed interior on the 120 had a rich cookies-and-cream color scheme with stainless inlays throughout the vessel. The woodwork had beautiful, rich grains, with joinery that fit snugly in place. The 120 felt somewhat unadventurous in terms of the color scheme, but its openness and lightness induced a calm, relaxing feel.
There were also nice, surprising details. A white-and-gray, cored-marble headboard over the island king in the main-deck main suite was unusual, giving the space a beachy, elegant feel. A gently undulating divan to starboard heightened the sense of laidback elegance in that bedroom.
That primary suite could be mistaken for the first of two. On the accommodations level there are four mostly identical guest staterooms amidships. But at the end of a long passageway leading forward—really, it feels almost like a hidden door—lies a forepeak VIP suite that could steal top billing away from main suite. I suppose family dynamics are easier to navigate when there is no one single best sleeping quarters.
The Majesty 120 is also notable for its performance data. This is a semi-displacement yacht with a respectable top end of 22.5 knots, powered by twin 2,500 hp MTU M96Ls. At a slower cruise of 8.5 knots, it can cover 2,700 nautical miles.
“The big propellers on this boat make her very easy to drive,” Capt. Alfredo De Santis told Robb Report. “She is maneuverable, and because of her well-designed hull and those props, she doesn’t need a sternthruster.”
Though if it were up to Capt. De Santis, he’d be spending more time on the upper deck than at the wheel on the top deck. “I could live on the upper deck for a week,” he laughed, pointing to the generous space. The alfresco design included a full bar and barbecue to starboard, as well as a Jacuzzi and multiple sun pads forward. Again, thanks to the yacht’s beam, it felt absolutely sprawling for a boat its size. The icing on the cake is the top deck, with its chairs, lounge and upper helm.
With four personal watercraft and a 17-foot rigid-hulled inflatable onboard, as well as a Pirelli 42 chase boat, the Gulf Craft 120 makes for a great vessel for water activities, with plenty of access to the ocean from the large swim platform. It should make quite the impression when it crosses the Atlantic to go island-hopping with its new US owners.
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