Looking at J Craft’s Torpedo, you would be forgiven for thinking that the Swedes have boat building in their blood. Indeed, their maritime heritage is impressive: more than 1,000 years ago they were setting sail in remarkable longships, travelling east to the Muslim and Byzantine empires. Returning home enriched with exotic wares, these shipbuilders were veritable kings of the sea. Today, this nautical legacy is perpetuated in J Craft’s luxurious motor cruiser – every one of which is built on Sweden’s easterly island of Gotland. When the firm built its first boat, they delivered it to Carl XVI Gustaf, proving that it was fit for a very real sort of king.
Reminiscent of the speedboats built in the Fifties and Sixties, the 42ft Torpedo is undeniably beautiful. Showcasing an abundance of lacquered wood, it eschews the plastic-fantastic designs that dominate harbours today. Yet it isn’t only stunning to look at. With as much emphasis on tactile pleasure, it features upholstery made from the finest cuts of leather, handmade cabinetry and luxurious finishes like a Nardi steering wheel – the same found on the Ferrari 250.
Hiding beneath this vintage aesthetic, however, is an unequivocally modern power source. A pair of custom-made Volvo IPS engines give the Torpedo a range of 350 nautical miles and a top speed of 50 knots (90 km/h) – a speed that could be uncomfortable were it not one of the most stable boats on the market. To see one in action on the sea is to realise how aptly named it is; with long, lean lines that taper from bow to stern, the Torpedo carves like a scythe through the water.
With an internal lounge area, wet room, cooking facilities, fridge and an icemaker, it is also a surprisingly self-sufficient boat. Perhaps its biggest trick, however, is its copiousness below deck – where it will sleep four guests and a captain. It is undeniably a pleasure craft, but one in which beautiful form is matched by standard-setting functionality. Available from £675,000.
This article was taken from our July/August issue. Subscribe to the magazine here.