My Martini is Still Dry
Bond is a God among men. That tired cliché remains true: men want to be him, women want to be with him… and chances are some men want to be with him too. He is the epitome of cool. His mix of one liners and cold efficiency make him the perfect, quintessential spy – even if he can be bossed around by a dame.
Now if you’re on this site – and I know you are ‘cause you’re reading this – then you have an interest in boats, am I right? Well, like me then, when you watch a Bond film your eyes are drawn to his aquatic exploits. Yes, the gadgets and the Aston Martins are special and make you go a bit googly eyed, but nothing can compare to seeing a gondola transform into a hover craft…tell me if I’m wrong. Strap in, put on a life jacket, sit back and enjoy as I recap some of Bonds best aquatic moments, including your favourites as well as some you may have forgotten.
I must warn you, the following article does contain puns. You could say I’m the man with the golden pun…I’m sorry. Also I have no shame in saying that the puns don’t even make sense with the paragraphs, but hey, everyone loves a pun.
Live and Let Sail
Let’s start with the aforementioned Gondola from 1979’s Moonraker, or as I like to call, ‘Bond in Space’. You think it’s just a normal gondola; well he is in Venice but oh, no wait. Bad guys approach: better unleash my propeller. (I don’t even know if you could attach a propeller to a gondola but Q managed it.) The villains are in a speed boat, our hero is in trouble! Remember, this is Bond we’re talking about now; he just turns his gondola into a hovercraft. Say what? I won’t quibble with the mechanics of it; it was cool, no matter how believable!
You Only Fall in Twice
The Disco Volante from the 1961 film Thunderball is every millionaire’s dream; in today’s money it would be worth about four million. Not only is it a luxury yacht decked out with the latest specs (for the 60’s) it also has room for nuclear warheads. However, I’m sure if any of us mere mortals owned one we wouldn’t be transporting nukes like the SPECTRE agent Emilio Largo, but sunbathing on the deck in Lake Como.
On Her Majesty’s Secret Speedboat
The Glastron GT-150 is a speedboat used by Bond in the 1974 film Live and Let Die to speed his way through the Louisiana marshes. At one point it manages to do a jump of 120ft, which I assume is a record…you might have to speak to Guinness though.
It may be one of the most recognizable speedboats in film history and even today a tear rolls down my cheek when it gets blown up…OK I don’t really cry…much.
For Your Ferries Only
Next on our list is a more recent Bond boat and one of the more modern looking vessels: the Sea Shadow from 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies, it’s owned by villain Elliot Carver (before he wore his horse wig for Pirates of the Caribbean). This boat, surprise surprise, is like a shadow. It’s silent and can remain undetected by radar. What a lot of people don’t know about the Sea Shadow is that it’s a real boat created by the Lockheed Corporation for the use of the United States Military. So if anyone watching the film thinks ‘that’s a bit farfetched’ I hope you feel a little silly now.
The Dinghy is Not Enough
We’re remaining with the Brosnan years for the next vehicle, the cool looking Retirement Recreational Boat that belongs to Q. Poor Q. All he could do was stand there waving his arms like a senile OAP crying ‘No’ repeatedly as Bond drives his beloved boat out onto the Thames.
The boat may look like a cross between a speedboat and a beetle, but this thing is a nifty little vessel, with its fully submersible ability, plus it can be driven in a mere 3 feet of water. I do however feel I should mention that the stunt man driving the boat in the film could have done with a few more lessons.
The Spy Who Surfed Me
This next one truly is a classic. It’s one of the most recognizable cars and boats on the planet. It is the one, the only, the Lotus Esprit Sub from the 1977 film The Spy Who Loved Me. This car has been parodied and pastiched through the ages, even being driven my Richard Hammond on TV’s Top Gear. It’s not only equipped with torpedoes but underwater, anti-aircraft rockets. It’s the man-made version of those sharks that swim up from the bottom to attack something on the surface by diving through the air.
Octopussy (It’s a pun in itself)
We arrive at one of the most bizarre Bond vehicles of all time: the Crocodile Boat from 1983’s Octopussy. The more I think about this one, the more I think I’d want it most out of all the boats and subs. I’d waste hours of my life scaring the faecal matter out of anyone in a lake, pool, or ocean. Just think, a submersible fibre glass crocodile…I’d even play the Jaws theme just to confuse people.
Kayaks are Forever
Now the boat experts at Onboard Online feel the same way about Bond boats as I do, and have created a brilliant infographic as a kind of ‘top trumps’ of Bond aquatic vehicles. It features pictures and facts - like who owns them and how they were destroyed - of all the best Bond aquatic vehicles. The best thing about these ‘top trumps’ is that all the vehicles come with a ‘Bondability’ factor. It really got me thinking. I’ve always wanted to be like Bond and with a little money and the right knowledge about boating and yachting it can happen. All I need is my own boat and I can speed up the Thames (well as fast as the speed limit allows), pretending to be chased by Blofeld’s or Scaramanga’s agents.
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