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Porsche's venture onto the water


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									Page 72   Christophorus 331                                                                    Christophorus 331   Page 73

                                   By                  Photos by
                                   Elmar Brümmer       Jerry B. Soare

                                   Porsche’s venture onto the water is uncompromising purism. The family
                                   of yachts, designed on commission for the American luxury brand
                                   Fearless, stands out with a combination of unique aesthetics and high
                                   performance. Porsche Design Studio has crafted an exclusive
                                   motorboat in bold lines, with a mix of materials that is both refined and
                                   intelligent. It is sure to make quite a splash on the waterways.


                  The Carrera of   the Waterways
Page 74   Christophorus 331                                                                  Christophorus 331      Page 75

                              At first, it seems like just a helpful hint.     characteristic V-shape, mirrored brilliantly
                              “You don’t need to do anything but look          in the emerald-green water; the pointed
                              and listen,” says test pilot Jason Edmonds,      bow rises haughtily in greeting; and the
                              as he points invitingly at the cream-colored     bold swing of the stern exudes authority. A
                              leather seat to his left. Did he wink when he    teak strip divides the perforated aluminum
                              said it? If so, it stayed hidden behind his      engine cover. Miami Vice—only faster and
                              mirror-shades. But it’s soon obvious that        more elegant.
                              there was a warning hidden in the invita-
                              tion. Once he and his boat have entered          The Fearless 28 made most of the trip from
                              their element, it becomes evident why the        the shipyard in Sarasota to the Atlantic
                              Porsche Design Studio put so much effort         coast on a boat trailer. Test pilot Jason had
                              into the ergonomic design of this electrical-    to stop on the highway repeatedly, because
                              ly controlled seat and its high bolsters that    other drivers flashed their lights and honked
                              wrap tightly around the passenger’s body.        at him. He’d pull over and discover there
                              There’s no seatbelt—that would violate the       was no problem after all : “We just wanted
                              honor of this craft—but, nonetheless, a close    to get a better look at your boat.” From the
                              relationship soon develops between the seat      freeway to the waterway.
                              and the guest: one you could describe as
                              cramped. Yet a yacht-builder named “Fear-        The true destiny of the Fearless 28 unfolds
                              less” had better be prepared to live up to       just behind the canal that connects the
                              that standard.                                   ocean with Biscayne Bay. Behind the bridge
                                                                               to the mainland, where the bay opens up,
                              Motor-boating is a pleasure of a special kind,   Jason pulls back the throttle. The analog in-
                              and at Porsche speeds, your feelings and         struments, whose purist design evokes a
                              your heartbeat accelerate accordingly. The       sports-car cockpit, react by enthusiastically
                              chronicle of upcoming astonishment starts        maxing out at 150 km/h (95 mph). But on
                              at the pier of the Miami Beach Marina,           the water, this feels like about twice that
                              where the Fearless 28 (the number stands         speed in a car—and with no seatbelt (see
                              for the boat’s length in feet) has docked for    above). It gets even more dramatic when the
                              the test-drive. You never get more than one      boat leans into a curve with its bow up and
                              chance to make a good first impression, and      the interior almost at the waterline. The de-
                              this yacht knows how to use it. If it weren’t    termination of the first mate and the reac-
                              a little disrespectful, you could call it the    tion of the boat erase all fear. After all,
                              Carrera GT of the water. The body is that        curves are the best thing in life—and not
                                                                               just performance curves. The sublime feel-
                                                                               ing of having the water divide in front of
                                                                               you expands to a 360-degree experience
                                                                               when the test pilot decides to make a perfect
                                                                               circle. There’s Fisher Island, home of the
                                                                               rich and famous, temporarily the center of
                              With a passion for style and                     our world. If Boris Becker is at home right
                              performance, the Porsche                         now, he could see how to make waves.
                              Design Studio and Fearless
                                                                               Basically, the same imperative applies to
                              Yachts are in their element.                     boat-building as to racecar production: more
                              Purism in design and                             performance, less weight. The Fearless 28,
                              ambitious technology are                         available with either eight- or ten-cylinder
                              the link between boat-building                   engines manufactured not by Porsche but by
                                                                               Mercury Marine or Ilmor, also provides the
                              and automobile manufacture.
                                                                               desired balance between spiritedness and
                                                                               gentleness. In its cooperative effort with the
                                                                               Porsche Design Studio, the boat builder
                                                                               from Florida has relied on substance, not
                                                                               slogans. “The art of the engineers is making
                                                                               our visions come true,” says Jeffrey Binder,
                                                                               CEO of Fearless International, Inc. His vi-
                                                                               sion is not just to put another sporty boat
                                                                               onto the market: “What we would rather
                                                                               like to do is create a luxury brand for the
                                                                               water. And we are conscious of the tradition
                                                                               and the ideals of Porsche Design Studio. It’s
                                                                               a commitment for us.”                        A
Page 76      Christophorus 331

                                                                            building in southern Florida. “Naval Architect” says his calling
                                                                            card—and that describes the engineer’s activity very accurately.

                                                                            Working in concert with Porsche Design Studio in Zell am See,
                                                                            Austria, the yacht experts have managed to connect an attractive
                                                                            appearance with enormous stability. The ingenious mixture of
                                                                            fiberglass and carbon ensures a stiffer shape of the hull; it’s a
                                                                            seamless technology that only a few experts have mastered.
                                                                            There’s no railing, which in and of itself lends the Fearless an un-
                                                                            mistakable appearance. A very desirable side effect: the charac-
                                                                            teristic design prevents any fishtailing of the stern—which is just
                                                                            as unwelcome here as in sports cars. In this custom work by
                                                                            Porsche Design Studio, the art of boat-building and that of auto-
                                                                            mobile manufacture find repeated parallels. The word “mar-
                                                                            itimization” has become an essential component of the vocabu-
                                                                            lary of Binder and his partner Chuck DeAngelo. They are proud
Gentlemen, start your engine: The Fearless 28 puts a lean                   of the term they coined to describe their mode of technology and
2,268 kilograms (5,000 lbs.) into the water; the tank holds                 idea transfer. On the water, the Fearless yacht loses none of the
340 liters (90 gallons)                                                     elegance it displayed as a studio animation—on the contrary, it
                                                                            gains even more. Refinement—and this is one of the principles of
                                                                            Porsche Design Studio Managing Director Roland Heiler—must
                                                                            not be restricted to outer appearances. The process of creation of
                                                                            the yacht thus began with purely technical aspects. As Binder
                                                                            says, “The difference, compared with others, is not just style; it’s
“Show time!” shouts Jason into the wind as he steers across the             the efficiency of the boat. We share with Porsche Design Studio a
route of the cruise ships. We set course for downtown Miami.                passion for creating an excellent product.”
The high-rise tower in which Porsche Latin America resides acts
as our lighthouse. We fly past docks, gangways, and loading                 The flood of impressions from the test-drive underscores the sim-
cranes, to starboard and to port. The test pilot lets the boat jump         ple yet ambitious principle that marks the genesis of the Fearless
the crests of the waves, a demonstration of pure muscle, as if to           project: only the best quality parts are used in its construction.
prove the point that this is a powerboat, not a showboat, or                The grand sweep includes a love for detail. For instance, there is
to justify the honorary nickname “the Shark,” which has ap-                 a tank opening on each side of the boat, so that it can tie up to
peared in the trade press. Yet the spray still can’t be felt in the         any pier. That’s the kind of thing you expect at a price tag of
cockpit with its fine teak floor. And it is even possible to converse       $300,000.
with the passengers in the second row of seats. Chris Elmes says,
“It’s a very dry and very quiet boat,” and he’s proud of it. Elmes          “The Fearless 28 is our 911,” says Binder. That statement may be
hails from southern England, has lived in southern France, and              undue modesty. After all, what we have here is truly the Carrera
has now, for several years, been part of a revolution in boat-              GT of the waterways.                                           B

The Fearless 68:
In a Class of Its Own

The yacht Fearless 68 also bears the signature of the Porsche
Design Studio. In addition to its futuristic lines, the luxury yacht dis-
plays a high degree of purism, maneuverability, and style—along with
a weight-saving design. The 1,500-hp engines provide a particularly
gentle driving feeling.

The comfortable interior decor is custom-made for the buyer, in coop-
eration with the designers. The sub-deck of the yacht, which mea-
sures more than 20.5 meters in length and about 5 meters in width
(67 x 16 ft.), can be divided up into either two or three cabins. Elastic
struts that dampen noise and vibration are used for the interior struc-
ture. A large hardtop awning creates a pleasant open-air feeling.


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