Bugatti: All at Sea for $4 Million?
The name of Bugatti [click] has been associated with furniture, sculpture, ultraluxe automotive technology and style since the founding family’s designs of the 19th century. The announcement of a collaboration between Bugatti and the world’s largest motor yacht builder, Palmer & Johnson [click] took us by surprise two years ago. Bugatti announced that it would produce a series of three luxe boats. The series would be called ‘Niniette’, which was the nickname of Lidia Bugatti, daughter of company founder Ettore.
History on the Water
It was a surprise to discover that Bugatti was once a boat builder too; commissioned by Prince Carlo Maurizio Ruspoldi in 1930 to create a one-of-a kind speedboat. Ettore Bugatti named that low-slung beauty ‘The Niniette’– the family nickname of his youngest daughter Lidia. The new motor yacht is a far cry from those wooden sculptures.
Bugatti Niniette 66 Sport Yacht
At the 87th Geneva International Motor Show [click] (2017), the two firms announced the release of the Bugatti Niniette 66 as the first in a series of motor yachts, and the middle size of the range from 50ft to 80ft. Testing out the waters with a Limited Edition boat, they combined their pedigree in design, technology and performance into a stunning vision of the future of sport yachts.
Inspired by the $3,000,000 Bugatti Chiron, the product of this powerful chemistry between Palmer Johnson and Bugatti is the limited edition Bugatti Niniette 66. The sleek craft measures 66 feet long (20 meters for the metric sailors out there). No prizes for guessing the other boats are Bugatti Niniette 50 and Bugatti Niniette 80.
Naturally, a Bugatti-branded boat is made glorious Summer in titanium and carbon fibre, accented by the Bugatti trademark blue. It has many of Bugatti’s signature engineering motifs, such as the accentuated center line, symmetry, and a sweeping Bugatti signature line or curve.
Palmer & Johnson brought their signature traits such as advanced materials and a revolutionary hull design combining a slender main hull with two sponsons, left and right, that have a positive effect on stability and roll dampening even at high speeds.
The super slim main hull means higher speeds with lower input power and fuel burn. Side sponsons give additional vessel beam and hence increased stability at rest. The shallow draft of 0.83 metres allows for Bahamas friendly cruising for the weekend.
Unique Bugatti designed helm chairs and a futuristic command centre with interactive info-tainment system for vessel navigation, monitoring, control and entertainment further enhance the experience.
The goal was never about outright speed but the ability to reach a top speed of 44 knots (50 mph) makes it no slouch. The real selling point for this motor yacht is its over-the-top ultra-luxury accessories.
Over-the-Top Ultra Luxe
The spacious open deck is trimmed in luxury leather, carbon fibre and naturally blue morta oak, also known as bog-wood which is known for its ability to remain free of decay in “moist conditions”. The lower deck has a sun pad, champagne bar, Jacuzzi and a fire-pit in the centre, flanked by two social areas on the sides.
“The challenge was to create an experience and a persona as much as a yacht, from streamlined luxury, sophisticated style and unprecedented quality. For owners of tomorrow, Niniette will lift your expectations of life even higher,” explains Timur Mohamed, CEO of Palmer Johnson. “This construction also allows for a wider build compared to other yachts in this class, thus offering the experience of a much larger yacht,” adds Mohamed. The extensive use of carbon fibre also adds to the yacht’s structural rigidity, while at the same time reducing weight and increasing efficiency.
“The Niniette is a genuine member of the Bugatti family,” explains Etienne Salomé, Design Director at Bugatti.
With its accentuated centre line and the two-tone colour split exterior, it encompasses key elements of Bugatti’s heritage. True to the company’s guiding design principle of ‘form follows performance’, the clear lines and dynamic stance of the yacht in combination with the characteristic, Bugatti signature line fused into the side profile of the boat are a reference to the recently launched Chiron.
“Even from a large distance when entering a port, the Niniette will always be recognized as a true Bugatti,” says Salomé.
It goes without saying that below deck, the Bugatti Niniette 66 has a sumptuous interior. Contrary to the usual interior layout of several small cabins in most conventional motor yachts, the Niniette salon is very spacious with the highest level of comfort for its passengers. Only the finest materials – marble, polished metal, carbon and leather – are used for furniture and decoration.
A large Bugatti horseshoe is the centrepiece of the interior lounge overlooking the generous seating area, while natural light streams in through the macaron-shaped window in the ceiling.
Next to the salon, the master suite double-bed offers the ideal retreat for the night. As is customary with Bugatti, the customisation permutations are legion, in terms of colours, materials and finishes for both exterior and interior to guarantee that every Niniette will be a unique piece of art.
Limited First Edition
There will be only 66 examples of the Bugatti Niniette 66 Sport Yacht made; to be delivered in March 2018.
Hull type: Stabilised monohull with sponsons
Naval architecture & engineering: Palmer Johnson
Exterior styling & interior design: Bugatti, Palmer Johnson & AA+
Classification: CE Category B
Material of hull & deck: Carbon composite
Max speed (trial condition, options not included): 44 knots
Fuel capacity: 3,000 litres
Length over all: 20m (66 feet)
Beam over all: 6.5m
Max draft: 0.83m
Main engines: Man V8 – 1000
Propulsion system: MJP Waterjets
Engine controls: Joystick control
Ride control: 2 interceptors
There is no official price listed for the Bugatti Niniette 66 but back in 2015, Palmer & Johnson indicated that the smallest Niniette 50 would cost £1.5 Million (US$2.4 Million).
We don’t know how much an extra 16 feet of yacht would cost in 2017 but estimate that with the ‘proper’ customisation kit specified, you should not see much change from $4,000,000.
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Author’s Biography: Melvyn Teillol-Foo (MTF)
Dr Melvyn Teillol-Foo is a contributor on AlphaLuxe web-zine.
He is also a moderator on PuristSPro.com horology discussion fora. He blends his scientific medical objectivity from the pharmaceutical industry with purist passion, in his musings about watches, travel, wine, food and other epicurean delights.
His travelogue ‘Lazing’ and feasting ‘Grazing’ series of articles have now passed into “mythic legend” on the original ‘ThePuristS.com’ website. Those were the halcyon days when he was “rich and famous” that he remembers with bittersweet fondness.
Dr Teillol-Foo is a quoted enthusiast on the watch industry, appearing in feature articles and interviews by Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Sunday Times (London), Chronos (Japan), Citizen Hedonist (France) and other publications. He has authored articles for magazines like International Watch (iW) – both U.S. & Chinese editions, ICON (Singapore), August Man (Singapore), Comfort (China) and The Watch (Hong Kong).