Meticulously designed, the eye-catching futuristic Gladiator is as fast as it is frugal.
Built by Canados, a long-established Italian yard, the Gladiator 631 looks to set new standards in efficiency and performance.
With hull number one having just hit the water, this impressive project is now a reality. Built by Canados, a long-established Italian yard, the Gladiator 631 looks to set new standards in efficiency and performance. Such goals are nothing new in this industry, but Canados have taken the bold step of actually quantifying what they aim to achieve.
They have set a target fuel burn figure of 5.5 litres per nautical mile at 35 knots, against the 9 litres per nautical mile that Canados claim most similar 20m craft return. That’s no easy task, but they intend to achieve a relatively light 18.5-tonne displacement for the Gladiator through ‘technology, materials and lightweight interior construction’ while developing ‘highly advanced hydrodynamics’. The main construction will be Kevlar, carbon fibre and e-glass using vacuum-bagging technology, with the hard top having a vacuum-bagged carbon-fibre construction. The transom will be completely carbon, and all tanks (fuel, water and waste) will be part of the structural construction. Last but not least, all bulkheads and furniture panels will be internally honeycomb. The end product is a vessel some 7 tonnes lighter than most rivals.
Not surprisingly, there has been substantial research in terms of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) in the design of the Gladiator’s triple-stepped naturally ventilated hull. The twin surface drive transmission tail is specifically built so that no hydraulics touch the water, while reverse strakes accentuate transom lift and channel water to the propellers … it is claimed. The JDM 30 surface drives can be trimmed and are fitted with aft-positioned rudders. This produces a consequent gain in performance, with increased comfort through reduced vibrations, due to the fact that the propellers are not sited under the hull. The steering rudders and bow thruster are coupled to a joystick system to reduce the headache of berthing a surface-driven boat.
Boarding is courtesy of a multifunction gangway that also serves as a swimming ladder. The central pod helm set-up is radically futuristic – to the point that it looks like a sci-fi prop. Three helm seats face this 1.8m-wide dash panel in which sit two large displays. Underneath the aft sun pad is a tender garage for a 2.85m jet boat. Beneath the hard top, an electric dining table can, when needed, convert to a shaded sun pad. The island galley forward of the sunbed is equipped with two custom-made stainless steel 130L fridges, an electric BBQ, an ice maker and a sink.
Below decks, the amidships owner’s suite is full beam, while the guest cabin is located in the forepeak. With 2.4 metres of headroom, the central saloon is a classic yet stylish design, with a rounded sofa, carbon-fibre inserts and Poltrona Frau leather upholstery. It can also convert into a third two-berth cabin.
The exterior of the boat will be entirely painted in Awlgrip metallic, while all cleats and hardware will be anodised aluminium. The exterior upholstery will be a mix of Sunbrella and Alcantara Exo to reinforce the general feeling of luxury. A variety of power plants are also available. For those wanting less punch, there will be twin 900hp Volvo D13s without the trim facility, and for the few needing to hit the 70-knot barrier, there is a triple 1150hp Nanni-Scania N16 Gladiator on the drawing board.
- LOA: 19.35m (64ft)
- Beam: 4.73m (15ft 7in)
- Displacement: 18.5 tonnes (dry)
- Displacement loaded: 22 tonnes
- Fuel capacity: 2500L (550 gal)
- Water capacity: 600L (132 gal)
- Engines: 2 x 1000hp Volvo D13s with ZF400 gearboxes with JDM 30 surface drives
- Performance: 50 knots (claimed)
- Range: 460nm at 35 knots