The idea of a branding love-in between a yacht company and a car builder is not new. On the contrary, we’ve seen it many, many (many, many) times before. Just Google any high-end car marque you care to think of alongside the word ‘boat’ and you are virtually guaranteed a set of (often quite unremarkable) collaborations. You can expect words like ‘symbiosis’ and ‘synergy’ alongside coos of sycophantic admiration from non-specialist pundits who are all too easily wowed by pretty pictures and marketing flannel.
Here, however, in the form of a project between Mulder Design, Aston Martin and the Quintessence Yachts shipyard, we have a boat that is actually due to make the transition from the blue-sky design pad to the water – and not just at some undefined point in the future, but in September at the Monaco Yacht Show.
Known as the AM37, this 37-foot performance craft is designed to be “luxurious and fast” and to “marry the finest features” of the powerboat and the British sports car. To that end, the hull will feature high-tech composite with epoxy resin, alongside vacuum infusion technology and structural parts built from carbon fibre. Despite the apparent simplicity of the AM37’s lines, not to mention the classical wood and leather fit-out, the boat’s internal features are likely to be as modern as the hull construction. When it emerges from the Quintessence shipyard later this year, we can expect it to be equipped not just with integrated touchscreen, a multimedia system and remote control functions but also with a voice control facility.
After more than a century in business and with a distinctly British heritage defined by racetrack performance, Bond film glamour and high-end desirability, you can certainly see why Aston Martin’s marine debut is capturing the interest. And you can also see why Dutch yard, Quintessence Yachts, is attempting to preserve the British DNA of Aston Martin powerboats by building the AM37 at a dedicated plant here in the UK. According to Quintessence Yachts, the Mulder design team has enjoyed the close collaboration of Aston Martin throughout the entire design process - and on the basis of the preliminary pictures and the specs, the results of that pro-British approach look very promising.
There will be two models available - the ‘basic’ AM37 (a fast, luxurious GT cruiser capable of between 44 and 50 knots) and the AM37 S (which will ramp up the performance with a more aggressive top end of between 52 and 60 knots). Either way, the AM37, which is currently in build, is apparently only the first step in a strategic venture between Quintessence Yachts and Aston Martin that will eventually result in “a wide range of top quality speedboats”.
Of course, for the time being, the historical mediocrity of car/boat crossover concepts compels me to remain resolutely nonplussed at this project and its ultra-seductive marketing campaign. But with any luck, the many positive signs surrounding the AM37 will help generate the kind of boat Aston Martin’s glittering heritage deserves. Expect further updates the moment they emerge...
Engine option 1: twin Mercury TDI 4.2 370hp
Engine option 2: twin Mercury Racing SCI 520hp
Top speed: 44-60 knots
CE category: B
Naval architect: Mulder Design (www.mulderdesign.nl)
Shipyard: Quintessence Yachts (UK) (www.quintessenceyachts.com)
Aston Martin (www.astonmartin.com)
See also the Revolver 44GT preview from last summer in Monaco or cast your eye over our full length review of the British Cockwells 650 SR: handmade sport runabout.