“All designs for yachts are quite conservative,” begins global marketing and communications director for Silver Arrows Marine, Paolo Bonaveri. Hoping to shake up the market and design for the smaller edge of the superyacht industry, they began a project with world-renowned car designers Mercedes.
Talking through the history of the collaboration, the team explained how the Mercedes design team had almost free reign to design the vessel, which is 14m in length. Removing the restrictions of pre-conceived ideas of how a yacht or tender should look, the results are beautifully different from others on the market. The automotive experts and designers worked closely with yachting icons Martin Francis and Tommaso Spadolini, as well as naval architects Van Oossanen Naval Architects throughout the process. The vessel is, in the words of Bonaveri, “A small boat that thinks like a superyacht.” Sleek in design, the vessel is visually striking and evidently draws a lot of inspiration from the Mercedes S-Class.
Since its introduction to the industry at Monaco Yacht Show in 2016, Jacopo Spadolini, CEO of Silver Arrows Marine, reveals that the team have been testing the prototype models for almost a year, “Fine-tuning everything that is useful for the client,” he explains. Touching on the process of the collaboration, Spadolini only has positive things to say, seeing the journey as one of education about each sector. “We’ve had to learn a lot from each other, to help each other build something new,” he says.
According to Spadolini, the buyer of the vessel will either be looking for a luxury day boat or will have the Granturismo as a chase boat, which is used by the guests on board to explore shallower waters or swim away from the vessel. The Arrow460 Granturismo features a retractable dining tables, king-size bed and can hold up to 10 people on board. Once inside, the team’s dedication to the perfect proportions and ergonomics of the boat is obvious, with large open windows opening to blur boundaries between the interior and exterior. When on board, one feels the luxury found on the quality built superyachts, within an intimate space of a luxury tender.
Priced at 2.5 million euros, the guarantee of Mercedes technology and luxury standards is a key selling point for the vessel. You can see the automotive DNA in small accents, from the air conditioning vents to the material used on the seating areas. The vessel also has safety features from the automotive world, including technology to stop trapped fingers in the retractable windows. Similarly, many products used on the yacht have appeared in Mercedes concepts, such as the netting surrounding the bed.
Interestingly, the collaborative approach of the project is evident in many ways. As Silver Arrows Marine do not have their own shipyard, they have developed a network of ‘partners’ for each aspect of the yacht. Baltic Shipyards in Finland, for example, manage the composite and assembly, with Yanmar Europe in the Netherlands working on the engine.
“We expect to deliver four to five boats in 2018,” adds Spadolini, explaining that several clients have already signed up to reserve a vessel, with test runs taking place from July to September of this year. Silver Arrows Marine are working closely with Mercedes dealers and specially selected yacht brokers to ensure that potential clients are invited to experience the Arrow460.
What is next for the team? From October 2017, clients will be able to customise ‘Edition One’, with different interiors and colours, among the changes expected by the Silver Arrows Marine team. They continue to test and refine many aspects of the prototype models.
“Let’s see how the market will react to this,” concludes Spadolini with a smile. Watch this space…
Image courtesy of Silver Arrows Marine.