Aston Martin goes nautical

These are the first images of the AM37 – a small luxurious powerboat envisaged by carmaker Aston Martin, naval architect Mulder Design and Dutch firm Quintessence Yachts.

The name suggests its size. The 37 foot model will be available in two trim levels – the ?leisure boat AM37, a gran turismo on water, with speeds of up to 50 knots (57mph), and the S line sportyacht that can reach some 60 knots (69mph).

The sketches and renderings here provide a glimpse into the design of the first model to join a family of Quintessence Aston Martin yachts.

Much like Aston Martin’s latest Vulcan supercar, the water vessel utilises carbon-fibre in its construction with a clever vacuum infusion technology to build a scalpel-sharp hull that is at the centre of its design.

Expect further advances such as interactive voice control and activation, a fully HD-integrated touch screen with navigation and multimedia system, and remote controlled functions.

We caught up with Aston Martin’s design director Marek Reichman at the UK headquarters in Gaydon.

DT. You specialise in high-performance luxury cars, so why go nautical?

MR. I love sailing, I lived in California for 10 years and used to sail every Friday. Also as a designer there are many things I would love to work with and homes and boats are at the top of the list. The beauty of the boat is that it is a combination of both, as it is dynamic and acts as a home. Here we have a day cabin where you can take a kip.

DT. What was the rationale behind teaming up with Quintessence Yachts?

MR. Our partnerships have to represent our brand – luxury, comfort and performance, craftsmanship, quality, beauty, longevity in design. To have soul, the passion. Quintessence has similar pillars as well as exclusivity by its position. These are very stylish people!

DT. There must have been some major challenges designing a vessel that is essentially moulded from one piece…

MR. It involved figuring out the intricacies of the moulding process. We worked with the engineering team looking at how the tools would be made, to take the process and see how you can change.

DT. Was it a two-way learning process then?

MR. Boats can be technologically advanced – some are Formula One cars on water. Yet each industry has its processes and you can challenge these. The beauty is that both automotive and nautical are willing to listen.

DT. At the soul of your cars lies the V12 engine note. How did this translate to a vessel that cruises on water?

MR. Boats sound incredible! Whether you want to use the power of carbon fuel or electric, the boat’s beauty is the sound of water hitting the hull. You can either have that augmented with the deep rumbling of the engine, or have the [relative] silence of the water and hull. The rush is so exhilarating… the sound of the sail filling with wind.

DT. Are you saying you manipulated this sound through design?

MR. When we designed the hull we added a big diffuser to the back of the boat, which means the water passes through in a very different way for a special sound as well as to help achieve comfort at high speed. It also creates a very different wave pattern at the back of the boat.

DT. You haven’t revealed the full design at this stage, but what could you tell me about the main features?

MR. The curved hull goes into a negative and positive. When you see it you will think you can’t possibly do that. It also has this incredible deck that covers the open space so you can walk onto the boat from land. Then once on-board it slides back and exposes the whole interior. This is a first and no one has done this before.

DT. It must have been tricky sculpting the vessel given how it moves in water…

MR. There is a very different dynamic to it in terms of its surface language that is unexpected. There is cleanliness for its size. Typically when you get to a boat of this size, a lot is going on. The lines have to work at both speed and stationary. It can’t look out of balance when it sets off and this impacted on the surfacing. This boat is simple – you can describe it with three lines, and this adds drama and presence.

DT. How did you approach the cabin design?

MR. There will be unexpected materials and unique applications – more leather and more shaped wood on the interior than any other yacht of its size. The leather went through a similar testing as automotive so you have the colour, feel, texture, smell. I always want automotive wood to look like marine wood – to have open pores, either high varnish or very light and bleached out.

We have learnt so much about the kind of wood you can use in automotive design so we had a great transfer of knowledge. The wood you’ll see in our future cars is immense!

DT. You have just designed and created the DB10 specially for the latest Bond film. Will the AM37 be the next 007 speedboat?

MR. You never know.

The AM37 will be officially launched in September 2015. Read our preview in Wallpaper* here.

Nargess Banks

Read our previous reports on Aston Martin here

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