"Once upon a time, the protected harbors of St. Tropez, across Cap Ferrat and east to Monaco, were crowded with a monochromatic nightmare of white-hulled mega-yachts and mega-sloops. Set against the rich, earthy facades of the stone villas that line the Cote d’Azur littoral, this fiberglass whitewashing was in the eyes of Johan Attvik a wasted opportunity in the creation of a Perfect Scene. The boats, he thought, ruined the harbor.
So Attvik, who spends as much of his year in the South of France as he does in his Sweden, decided to take action, and so he founded J Craft, a boatbuilding concern that handcrafts — at the human toll of 4,000 man-hours per boat — some of the most exquisite launches, lunch boats and day tripping runabouts to take the sea since the Jazz Age.
The J Craft Torpedo, the halo product of J Craft, costs $1.2 million off the rack. It has the exquisite, sexy, unadorned profile of the first great speedboats in the 1920s, back when Detroit shipwrights at Chris-Craft hand built mahogany marvels for the robber barons. Those Chris-Crafts were catlike, low to the water, with a clean-cut bow and an elegant, uncluttered cabin. Like the Chris-Craft, the Torpedo cuts through the water like a figure skater with its deep-vee, regal blue fiberglass hull.
The difference is that J Craft is a bespoke gem: The steering wheel is inspired by the Ferrari 250 GTO, triple-spoke stainless steel wrapped in a cognac-leather grip. The cockpit is clad in mahogany, and the switches, toggles and hinges are all perfectly placed and weighted to give the passenger the feeling that the boat was built to his specifications. Of course, it was. The cabin sleeps four and has space for a single crew member in case you (and your crew) want to catch a nap after lunch. The galley is equipped with J Craft china and a cutlery set designed by none other than His Majesty Prince Carl Philip Bernadotte of Sweden. These sorts of details have attracted buyers Jude Law, Formula 1 driver Jenson Button, and Heidi Klum.
At the fingertips of these illuminati is a joystick that steers two pod-mounted propellers that rotate 360? for maximum maneuverability, and twin Volvo Penta engines that produce 800 horsepower and carries the Torpedo as fast as 50 knots. That means you can get from the docks at St. Tropez to Monte Carlo in just over an hour. Now that’s rich.”
Man of the World
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(at New York City)