Here at boats.com, we’ve investigated party platforms before (see: Six perfect party boats). We’ve looked at all manner of craft that, by virtue of deck space, convertible furniture and leisure friendly features, lend themselves to the demands of a floating shindig. But what if you were to simply eradicate practical considerations like price, berthing, running costs and general powerboating common sense altogether? If you simply opened up your wallet and demanded the greatest and most elite powerboating party platform yet devised, these five would surely feature...
(1) Explosion X44
The use of outboards is always a bonus on a large platform, as it tends to free up far more of the aft deck for recreational use – and in the case of the Explosion X44, a triple rig of 350hp outboards means you also happen to get a pleasantly aggressive 43-knot top end.
Even in standard mode, the inboard space is impressive by RIB standards, but when you expand the aft deck by means of the fold-out sections, you increase the beam by more than a metre, transforming the X44 into a huge bathing and sun-lounging platform. The features list also includes a cabin for essential domestic facilities and a rigid canopy to help shade the driver and crew. Better still, in addition to increasing the internal space, the trimaran-style configuration of the expanded deck also makes the X44 more stable than the average monohull when you reach your anchorage or tie up at a buoy.
(2) Wider 42
Founded in 2010 by Tilli Antonelli (former President of Pershing), Wider’s key idea was to produce a craft that could not only cope with rapid transit over a lumpy seascape but also offer genuine space, luxury and comfort when you reach your destination.
That trick is achieved by means of a pair of solid sections that extend from either side of the central deck space. When you’ve finished with your 50-knot thrash courtesy of those Arneson surface drives, you hit the button and within 12 seconds, you have 18 square metres of open space to enjoy. The back end is also ingeniously arranged, with four different layouts (for diving or fishing, and for the stowage of a tender or a PW) but as Antonelli explains, this design is as much about personal satisfaction as market appeal: “Making do doesn't come naturally to me. Pushing thoughts a little further, now that's something that does. No blinkers, no exceptions - simply pure open-mindedness." Good work Tilli... (see also: Innovative boat designs: 8 of the best).
(3) Allen 55
Designed to be ‘sociable, safe and stylish’, the Allen 55 is very much conceived as a fairweather party platform. The delightful elevated flare of her traditional bow shape enables the inclusion of a deepset 360-degree walkway that is wrapped in powerful bulwarks as it orbits the central deck furniture.
The centre console layout is a very apt function of this arrangement and whether you choose to be at the shaded helm, at the galley, in the bow or at the dining section, the very inclusive internal layout keeps everyone involved. Eight guests can sit comfortably at the two-part dining section that sits between the open galley and the helm station and there is some excellent lounging space on hand too. The teak flooring, leather wall panels and lacquered surfaces are a brazen celebration of upmarket exclusivity and the ingrained customisation potential of this platform enables the Allen 55 to offer the demanding customer much more than its moderate length suggests.
(4) Continental 100 Maxi
Based on the successful CNM 50 Tender but double the size, the Continental 100 Yacht Tender employs a single-level deck that runs the full length of the boat. It uses an open-plan layout, with a pair of C-shaped sofas – one at the bow and the other in the contained cockpit space just aft of the helm.
These areas both operate as sunloungers as well as dining spaces and each can accommodate up to 12 people with easy-erect overhead awnings to provide shade without compromising the alfresco feel. A large corridor on both sides of the pilot enclosure is supplemented by a pair of fold-out terraces and there are some additional viewing seats set into the front of the low-profile coach house. In all, the Continental’s open concept provides six dinettes, two sun loungers and seating for more people than most of us would ever willingly invite to a party. The fact that this five-cabin boat also features a master suite with a spa pool bath and direct access out onto that all-important main deck only adds to the allure.
(5) Riva 100 Corsaro
Whether you are swept away by the glamour of Riva or nonplussed by its lofty prices and peerless exclusivity, few boats in the world can match the 100 Corsaro as a party platform (maybe the Riva 88 Florida? Maybe not...)
It’s essentially two layouts in one, with a full-length open deck placed directly on top of a full-length covered deck. Both are radically open plan and such is the window area of the lower level that even this sheltered space enjoys light and views not far removed from those of an open powerboat. From the sheltered aft dining space on the main deck to the multi-tiered space of the bow; and from the beautifully integrated upper helm to the dining spaces, lounging areas and ranks of sunbeds that surround it - the Corsaro seems to offer a pleasantly indulgent area for just about every mood and every moment. Of course, with a range of 320 nautical miles, this 98-foot plaything is more of an entertainment venue than a passage-making machine, but with five cabins, all of them en-suite, ten of your lucky partygoers might even get to stay the night.
For more nautical bachanalia, see our sister website (www.yachtworld.com): More huge party yachts – ships even! or here on boats.com: Ladykillers: top yachts to get the girl.