- … with a heritage defined by racetrack excellence and Bond film glamour, you can see why Aston Martin’s marine debut is a noteworthy event.
- This dynamic 37-footer is designed to be ‘luxurious and fast’ and to ‘marry the finest features’ of the powerboat and the British sports car.
Weird but Wonderful – Aston Martin AM37
Alex Smith examines that rarest of things – an automotive collaboration with genuine merit …
At some stage, every car builder in the world seems to get bored with the day job and dip a toe into boats. Equally, there is a tendency among boat manufacturers to piggyback the populist appeal of exotic motor cars by conjuring up tenuous parallels that they believe help illustrate their vessels in a more attractive light. It gives marine journalists like me plenty of excuse to laugh with disdain at the clueless directives of landlubbers in boardrooms. But occasionally a car builder goes beyond the safe waters of conceptual collaborations to generate a powerboat that seems to stand a genuine chance of success. The AM37 from Aston Martin, Mulder Design and the Quintessence Yachts shipyard is just such a craft.
The AM37 concept
This dynamic 37-footer 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 features 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 on-board equipment looks equally modern. It comes with air conditioning, a fridge and an espresso machine that can be activated remotely, while you’re still at home or en route to the marina. It also features integrated navigation and entertainment systems, with advanced multimedia functions and interactive voice control, all wrapped up in a dash-mounted 15″ HD touch screen interface.
The sliding deck system looks equally remarkable. It enables the skipper to completely cover the cockpit at the end of a day, courtesy of three electronically controlled carbon panels. When you want an open cockpit, simply hit the button on the key and they retract beneath the aft deck, which itself can then slide aft to facilitate easy access from the dock, or lift up to provide a clear route to the engine, the storage spaces and the bimini.
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 top end of between 52 and 60 knots. Either way, the AM37 is apparently just the first step in the partnership between Quintessence Yachts and Aston Martin – one that will eventually result in ‘a wide range of top-quality speedboats’.
After more than a century in business and with a heritage defined by racetrack excellence and Bond film glamour, you can see why Aston Martin’s marine debut is a noteworthy event. 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. For me, there are only two problems: firstly, the grandiose overstatement of the promises, which revolve around vacuous phrases like ‘revolutionary’, and secondly, the fact that, despite a planned debut at the Monaco Yacht Show in September, the boat itself has yet to be seen. So is this really an automotive collaboration with genuine merit? Or is it just another set of pretty pictures? Answers on a postcard to PBR …
- LOA: 11.1m
- LWL: 9.8m
- Power: 740–1040 hp
- 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
- Shipyard: Quintessence Yachts (UK)
Mulder Design (www.mulderdesign.nl)
Quintessence Yachts (www.quintessenceyachts.com)
Aston Martin (www.astonmartin.com)