Profiles

On Board M/Y Touch Me with Capt. Guillaume Raoust

4 August 2021By Claire Griffiths
Images: Feretti

Written by

Claire Griffiths

Claire Griffiths is Dockwalk’s contributing editor in the Mediterranean. She fled to the sunny south of France from Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. Claire has a background in journalism for national and regional UK press and a career in political and corporate PR prior to that. Claire’s hobbies include eating, sleeping and dancing at inopportune times. She tries to avoid sheer drops and Olympic bobsled runs. Email Claire at claire@dockwalk.com

Capt. Guillaume Raoust’s latest yacht is the second in Pershing’s flagship 140 series...

Capt. Guillaume Raoust was born on the French Riviera in Nice 54 years ago, but today he makes his home in the mountains. He started out in life as an electronic technician, but in 1992, decided he was bored with his life and was looking for a change. “I had always been a sailor, so when I made the decision to change, I spent five summers working on yachts until I met my current owner. I’ve been with him for twenty-five years on four different boats,” he says.

Capt. Guillaume Raoust

Capt. Raoust joined the build project of M/Y Touch Me at the very end, only a few weeks before she was finished. Launched in July 2020, Capt. Raoust describes the 43.3-meter M/Y Touch Me as “a very special, aggressively designed yacht built for speed.” This all-aluminum (a first for the yard) Pershing 140 flagship is a “trade up” from the Pershing 115 that was his owner’s previous boat.

The Pershing 140 is the yard’s first superyacht. She’s also the first model with a raised helm station connected to the sun deck, the first that accommodates the owner suite on the main deck, and the first with a complete open beach area. She’s also the first yacht to be built at the Ferretti Group Superyacht Yard in Ancona.

“This yacht, she’s all about speed. Performance was the key feature of the design and they built a hull platform that could reach top speeds that are achieved thanks to hydrodynamic performances and four 2,600-hp MTU 16V2000 M96L engines,” says Capt. Raoust. Touch Me spills her thrills at a max speed of 38 knots. She’s the brainchild of a collaboration between architect Fulvio De Simoni, the Ferretti Group Product Strategy Committee led by engineer Piero Ferrari, and the Group’s engineering department.

Touch Me retains the classic Pershing sporty, competitive style, plus the classic Pershing touches, such as the two lateral wings but with a more contemporary looking bow, built with aerodynamics in mind.

The captain is particularly impressed with the design of the stern area where a raised cockpit on a mezzanine deck meets the sundeck to create a large beach club area. “The second cockpit lounge has been designed so that guests can relax in complete privacy outside protected from prying eyes and protected from the weather by large glass panels. You’re outside with the comfort of being inside too,” he says. The cockpit lounge seats 10.

The main deck also accommodates sitting and dining areas, the owner’s suite on one side, and access to the crew quarters and galley. The upper deck is connected to the mezzanine deck by a short staircase and can also be accessed from the raised cockpit. “There’s a bar and grill up here too,” says Raoust. “A good spot for relaxed entertaining or sunbathing on the sun pad.” There’s a large sunbathing area and Jacuzzi situated to the fore of the sundeck, which are accessed via the side walkways.

Crew sleep in three bunkbed cabins with private heads towards the bow. The engine room and garage lie forward. Toy-wise, there’s room in the garage for a Williams 565 tender and a Jet Ski. These are raised and dropped in the water through two port-side hatches.

“We cruised with the owner for a month last year between [July 24 and August 24],” says Capt. Raoust. “Our route took us via the Red Sea, Croatia, Italy, Sicily, and Corsica. By the end, we’d used up 100,000 liters of fuel. We were constantly on the move, changing ports every day, and eating up 2,100 nautical miles. It was a lot of work with only four rather than the usual six crew, but I know my owner very well, so it was okay — although it was hard for the crew.” Raoust’s one complaint is the lack of storage on board. “I’d really like a larger fridge!”

More cruising is planned for the season ahead with trips to Corsica, Sardinia, and stops in St. Tropez and Cassis. “I’m looking forward to it,” the captain says.

This article originally ran in the July 2021 issue of Dockwalk.

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