There’s been a flurry of automotive-yacht brand collaborations of late, with the most recent being this project that sees Bugatti, the makers of the world’s most powerful, fastest, most exclusive and luxurious production super sports car, with motor yacht builder, Palmer Johnson: the Bugatti Niniette 66.
Information from the shipyard inidicated this will be the first in a new series of yachts, starting from 50’, up to 80’. As makers of the fastest car in the world today, Bugatti was once a boat builder too. Commissioned to create a one-of-a kind speedboat in 1930 by Prince Carlo Maurizio Ruspoldi, founder Ettore Bugatti named this low on the water beauty the Niniette – the family pet name of his youngest daughter Lidia.
In partnering with Palmer Johnson, a shipyard known for its use of advanced composite materials and remarkable design philosophy, a common DNA has been found in the design of this range, epitomized by the accentuated centre line, perfect symmetry and a sweeping signature curve. When Bugatti and Palmer Johnson met the first time with the idea of a joint project in early 2015, the goal was clear from the outset: to create an innovative sport yacht based on the proprietary strengths of the two companies, while echoing the unmistakable design DNA of Bugatti. After first renderings of the yacht had been presented in late 2015, a large number of potential buyers–among them several current Bugatti owners–expressed great interest in the project.
However, they wished for a closer connection of the yacht to the latest supercar from Bugatti, the Chiron, after its world premiere in March 2016.
The 20m-long yacht features Palmer Johnson’s innovative 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. “This construction also allows for a wider build compared to other yachts in this class, thus offering the experience of a much larger yacht,” explains Timur 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 duotone color split of the 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 As you would expect from a Palmer Johnson, an advanced stabilized hull achieves speed with efficiency, as well as comfort on board. 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. Reaching top speeds of 44-knots, and with a shallow draft of just 4’ (1.3m), Bahamas friendly cruising is possible for the weekend. Unique Bugatti designed helm chairs and a futuristic command centre with interactive infotainment system for vessel navigation, monitoring, control and entertainment further enhance the experience.