Last week I was intrigued to read the story of a Chinese man who sued his wife because she produced ugly children. I read the story several times from different sources, whilst (of course) making very sure that my wife did not read it and get any funny ideas.
It appears that the husband, a tall Chinese businessman with fine lines and good symmetry, for reasons best known to himself, married a Chinese lady who – as we used to say in school – looked like she had fallen out of an ugly tree and hit all of the branches on the way down.
He embarked on a series of expensive operations performed by the finest plastic surgeon he could find to transform the poor woman into an absolute beauty so that he could parade her to his friends without losing his precious Chinese honour. What he forgot was that changing her face would do nothing to change her genes, and that these form the pool from which his children would be fished.
Of course sexual union with somebody who is out of your league in the looks department is always a risk, no matter how good an idea it may seem after five or six Carlsbergs. It worked for Charles and Diana because the dice fell in favour of Diana’s DNA, things went well for Steve Tyler because he married a super model to produce the gob smackingly beautiful Liv Tyler, and Michael Douglas of course can thank his father for his chiselled jaw and full head of hair.
But what of the irresistible and mutual attraction that the yachting industry has with the car industry? What offspring has this union produced to date?
In the late 80s Enzo Ferrari and Carlo Riva slipped into the metaphorical bed together and emerged with the Ferrari Riva 32′. It had styling inspired by the Testarossa, 410hp engines, and it was red. More recently, Porsche design worked with Fearless yachts to manufacturer a sexy looking 27′ speedboat that, if you squinted hard and closed one eye, kind of resembled a Porsche Carrera GT.
The trouble with both of these well intentioned marriages was that although they produced nice enough looking offspring, at the end of the day they still looked just like any other boat.
But this is not the story of two powerful manufacturers uniting to create a beautiful product. This is more the story of the Prince and the pauper, as the majestic and powerful automobile manufacturer Rolls Royce flirted with an unknown design student at Coventry University called Stefan Monro and produced one of the most breathtakingly, awe-inspiringly, jaw-droppingly sensational superyacht tenders I have ever seen in my life.
Monro completed an internship at Rolls Royce motor cars, and although the project is not officially associated with the illustrious brand it would certainly be a credit to them. Everything about this boat is different, from the distinctive spirit of ecstasy hood to the luxurious leather clad interiors.
The Rolls Royce 450EX has an extended tunnel hull that gives the vessel a very shallow draft, and rather unusually the surface drives are located in recesses to either side. The result is that the boat appears to have a very low overall height, which as any of you that own a superyacht will know is a far greater issue than length when calculating if it will fit in your garage.
I don’t know how much research Monro did on the practicality of his design, the position of the surface drives for a start fill me with concerns and I do wonder how the two immersed appendages at the bow would affect maneuverability at low speeds. If the project ever materialised I am quite sure that these issues could be resolved though and the result would be a truly unique vessel that could be used as an incredible superyacht tender or as a luxury day cruiser.
I did some research about Monro before writing this blog, and it appears that his passion for yachts goes back many years. According to his Linked’In page he is now a designer at Rolls Royce cars, so maybe his life course is taking a route that he was not expecting. Rolls Royce will undoubtedly be a magnificent bedfellow for this talented young designer, but I hope he never forgets the brief and passionate affair he enjoyed with yachting – and the embryo of an idea that was formed by the union.
_____________________________David Seal worked for the Ferretti Group in Italy for a decade, eventually becoming Factory Sales Manager for the Custom Line brand. After a short time managing a boutique yacht brokerage he is now a yacht broker with Camper & Nicholsons International. His successful use of videos in yacht marketing led him to becoming co-founder of the video production company MokaBox, that specialises in converting newsletters into video format. Click to visit David's Yachts For Sale Blog