Water wings ASTON MARTIN DESIGN TEAM HELPS CREATE AM37 ‘SPORTS SUPER YACHT’
AM37 SPORTS BOAT / WORDS Jethro Bovingdon / IMAGES ASTON MARTIN / #Aston-Martin-AM37
It doesn’t get much cooler than pointing the long, elegant bonnet of your Aston Martin south and not stopping until you get to Monaco on a warm summer’s evening. Maybe you’ll stay at the Hotel de Paris, spend an evening on the tables at the Casino de Monte-Carlo. The next day? A short amble down to the Hercules Port and then a day on the yacht, I guess. And it would be only natural and fitting for the yacht to be as effortlessly stylish as your Vanquish or One-77. Which is where the AM37 comes in, a collaboration between Quintessence Yachts and Aston Martin.
And just about the most ridiculously desirable object on planet Earth. Aston Martin’s design department is obviously incredibly highly regarded even beyond the usual automotive boundaries. So much so that it has a three-person team under the banner ‘The Art of Living’ that’s dedicated to projects away from car design. They’ve produced fabric collections with renowned couture fabric and lace maker Emilia Burano, exquisite furniture with Formitalia and now the jaw-dropping AM37 with Quintessence.
Marek Reichman, chief creative officer and design director, explains what made them take on such an ambitious project and what makes this 11.28-metre (37ft, hence the name) sports superyacht unique. You have to imagine him smiling broadly as you read, because he really is fired-up about the AM37. ‘Quintessence were coming with a blank sheet,’ he begins. ‘They were saying: “This is going to be your design, with some practical input from our naval architect.”
‘We clay-modelled it here, we did the surfacing here, every piece of data to create the boat came from here. So that was part of the attraction – they were not coming with a perceived view of what AM37 should be.’
Even so, Reichman’s vision wasn’t easy to execute and there were plenty of heated debates with the naval architects, the Dutch firm Mulder Design. ‘It was harmonious after we’d had our struggles!’ he laughs. ‘What I learnt is that different disciplines apply the same techniques but at different times. It was like when I first got here. You have to prove your knowledge. Now the relationship is good – we’ve both learnt a huge amount and they’re saying: “We’re glad we didn’t force you away from those ideas.”’
So it’s a luxurious, sporting yacht available with two 370bhp Mercury diesel engines or twin 430bhp #Mercury
petrol engines, or in S form with twin 520bhp petrol engines and a top speed of 52 knots (60mph). It has a composite hull and carbonfibre structural strengthening, beautiful teak decking and accommodation consisting of a small galley kitchen, sofa/double bed, dining table and toilet (because even the superglamorous produce waste). Each AM37 will be built in Southampton and, while pricing hasn’t been confirmed, we’d bet on not getting much change from £1 million. But what makes it Aston Martin?
‘It’s always based around beauty. It has to be,’ explains Reichman. ‘In itself that creates longevity. The hull is very sharp – you look at the front view and many powerboats have a bluff front these days, whereas AM37 is quite traditional. I wanted this look so that when seen in profile AM37 has a very defined point at the front. Stemming from that is the teak cabin, the greenhouse flowing up from it with that unique concave glass. The metal strips that run from the tip of the yacht and sweep up the glass create a very cab-rearward look, so even when it’s static it looks like it’s powering away.’
Beyond the simple beauty there’s innovation driven by the aesthetic, too. An electrically operated three-piece deck made from carbonfibre completely covers the cabin when the boat is moored and then retracts below the aft deck, where it joins the carbonfibre Bimini cover that can be raised to provide shade from the sun. Marek loves this feature. ‘When you’re moored you get this beautiful deck – and that came from the inspiration of seeing stunning Thames River cruisers: beautiful wooden cruisers that are so simple.’
Of course an Aston Martin can’t just look right and Marek and Quintessence were at pains to ensure the AM37 was suitably effortless. ‘We wanted AM37 to feel like it’s planing, smooth and controlled,’ he recalls. ‘So you can only hear the sound of the water, not the boat interrupting it, fighting the surface. An incredibly serene ride, easy and comfortable to go fast in and therefore confidence-inspiring. It’s not an out and out speedboat, it’s a pleasure powerboat that has all the power that you need when you need it. Just like a DB11, absolutely. When you see AM37 moored beside one of our cars I’m certain you’ll see the shared philosophy, the shared authenticity. They’ll impart the same feelings and sensations.’
‘It has all the power that you need, when you need it. Just like a DB11, absolutely’
Left, from the top Aston design themes continue into the cockpit; top speed will be 52 knots; carbonfibre deck slides forward to cover the cockpit when moored.