Just how far can the Aston Martin brand be stretched? A £1.5m powerboat should provide the answer. We assess the AM37
teak decking beautifully – but what really grabs my attention is the extraordinary windscreen, which not only wraps around the cockpit but whose bottom edge splays outward as it meets the deck, so that it appears to be almost floating above it. I’m told such a shape has never been achieved before, and I sense it’s given the team responsible for the construction of the boat some sleepless nights along the way.
There’s a clean, minimalist theme throughout. Clutter simply isn’t tolerated anywhere; there’s no safety rail around the forward deck, for example, which also means there’s nowhere to tie the fenders when you come into dock. Instead, they’re fixed in position using neat chrome pegs that click into dedicated holders along the side of the hull.
At the pointy end, rather than having an ugly anchor and chain on constant display, the anchor is deployed using a pivot arm that swings into position remotely from under a hidden hatch within the nose of the hull. And rather than having a fabric cover with a million press-studs to seal the boat up when it rains, on the AM37 you simply press a button on the key fob and a carbonfibre lid slides out from under the rear deck, completely sealing the cockpit from the elements.
When the time comes for me to climb aboard, I begin to wonder if all this minimalism has gone a bit too far, as there’s nothing to hang onto as you board the boat. A wobble now and you might find yourself overboard and very wet very quickly. Thankfully I manage to avoid any mishaps as I clamber onto the vast expanse of rear deck before making my way down into the cockpit via a couple of teak steps that disappear at the press of a button to free up the bench seating beneath.
The cockpit itself is a cut above any other daycruiser I’ve experienced. As a piece of design, it’s exquisite, and everything you can see and touch is bespoke to the AM37S: the unique digital dash, the deliciously trimmed seat-pods for both skipper and assistant, the deeply dished steering wheel, complete with milled aluminium spokes and enamelled Aston badge on the boss. The beautiful, leather-trimmed throttle control pod is a visual marvel in its own right. Fashioned from carbonfibre and incorporating controls for other mechanical functions, including trim tabs and prop legs, it has been designed purely for this boat rather than being the standard Mercury unit that you might expect to see.
Access to the cabin, located below the front deck, is via an electrically powered sliding door, located just to the left of the helm position. It’s beautifully finished in leather and rosewood, and packed with goodies, including 48in TV, espresso machine (which can be controlled via your mobile phone, apparently), fridge, microwave and, tucked into one corner, a mini wet-room, complete with toilet, washbasin and shower. The space is nicely bathed in light thanks to two narrow skylights positioned directly above the seating area either side of the table, and, once night falls, clever LED lighting hidden away throughout the cabin takes over. Should you fancy staying the night on board, all you have to do is lower the table, pop a foam insert on top and voila, there’s a decent-sized bed to snuggle into. Try that in your One-77.
The crew are ready to start the sea trial and, being a reasonably experienced skipper, I’ve been cleared to take the helm once we’re clear of the pontoon. The V8s are started via two pushbuttons to the right of the dash and, even though we’re still at tick-over, I’m surprised by how quiet they are. That big expanse of deck behind me must do a great job of insulating the cockpit from the mighty engines positioned inches beneath. We’re soon clear of the pontoon, keeping to the 3-knot harbour limit by powering the boat along with just one engine engaged.
As we round the corner, the open sea beyond is tempting me to crack open the throttles but the speed limit extends several hundred metres