You have certainly noticed them – maybe at one of the Mediterranean boat shows, or emblazoned across the pages of a glossy magazine; zooming out of your screen in a Youtube video, or simply anchored serenely in some turquoise bay as if it owned the place.
Since emerging into the light of day in 2015, the Evo range has come to epitomise the modern Mediterranean boating lifestyle in a way that is out of all proportion to the company’s size, output or marketing heft. The chances are you haven’t actually seen an Evo in the wild, because there just aren’t enough of them out there. But as soon as you do, you’ll know what it is.
It’s all about the look – the uncompromisingly assertive styling, the sheer confidence expressed in those daring, expanding cockpits. A 43ft model got the ball rolling, now known as the R4, which was followed in 2019 by the R6. Now we have the R6 Open. They are conceived on the drawing board of Valerio Rivellini, a Neapolitan industrial designer – you can tell he doesn’t have a traditional yachting design background – whose portfolio includes plenty of boats, but also industrial and automotive projects and even a plywood bicycle. No doubt lateral thinking helps in the design of laterally expanding cockpits.
Blu Emme, the company that builds the Evo range in the suburbs just south of Naples, prides itself on its commitment to customisation, which is perhaps just another way of saying that they don’t build many boats – four R6s and six R4s annually – and a customer is a customer. This open version of its 58ft model came into existence because a prospective buyer asked if he could have one without the hard top. And the R6 model comes with two- and three-cabin layouts, as you might expect, but also, perhaps surprisingly, in a four-cabin version – because another owner asked for more sleeping accommodation.
Ours had three – two doubles amidships, sharing the port-side head compartment, and a master ensuite in the bows, with a good-sized central double bed, stowage in a decent hanging locker and a large drawer in the bed base, and headroom at 6ft 4in. The heads compartment is comfortable enough, although some sort of catch would be useful to stop the door swinging right round into the shower.
There is little to choose between the two guest cabins – one has a slightly wider bed, but slightly less headroom at the after end, one has slightly more stowage space, but neither really has enough for more than an occasional overnight or weekend guest. But both beds are 6ft 3in long, and the narrower one is still a comfortable 4ft 10in wide. We noted a couple of minor quality issues down below, mainly to do with the bolt-on hardware – door latches that didn’t work, and a magnetic door catch that had simply been pulled off, its self-tapping screws no match for its magnet – which were trivial enough in themselves, but didn’t reflect well on a boat with this sort of price tag.
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