Mar­quis-Lar­son will build a new Lexus-branded lux­ury fly­bridge yacht, the LY 650, which will launch in 2019.

Soundings - - Contents - — Pim Van Hem­men

They’re back. Two years ago, the lux­ury au­tomaker Lexus part­nered with Mar­quis- Lar­son Boat Group to cre­ate a 42- foot Lexus Sport Yacht con­cept. It made quite an im­pres­sion with sleek looks, high- tech fea­tures and a car­bon- fiber build, but it was a one­off and to­day is on its way to the Toy­ota Au­to­mo­bile Mu­seum in Ja­pan.

Now, the part­ner­ship has re­turned with a 65-foot yacht de­sign, and this one is go­ing into mass pro­duc­tion at Mar­quis-Lar­son’s fa­cil­ity in Pu­laski, Wis­con­sin. “The over­whelm­ingly pos­i­tive feed­back and re­ac­tion [ to the con­cept boat] from the me­dia and po­ten­tial re­tail con­sumers caused Toy­ota Mo­tor Cor­po­ra­tion’s marine divi­sion to ex­plore the like­li­hood of a boat for pro­duc­tion,” said Mar­quis-Lar­son Vice Pres­i­dent of Mar­ket­ing Matthew Vet­zner. “We are very ex­cited to have been se­lected, once again, to build the Lexus-branded boat.”

Mar­quis- Lar­son al­ready builds Mar­quis and Carver mod­els, Striper salt­wa­ter fish­ing boats, and Lar­son run­abouts, fresh­wa­ter fish­ing boats and pon­toon boats. Toy­ota’s marine divi­sion will en­gi­neer the LY 650, us­ing ex­per­tise gleaned since 1990 while de­sign­ing and build­ing hun­dreds of Ponam boats for the Ja­pa­nese mar­ket.

The LY 650 will have the same swoop­ing lines as the Lexus Sport Yacht con­cept, but with three en suite state­rooms plus quar­ters for crew. In­te­rior de­sign will come from Nu­volari Le­nard, the Ital­ian firm known for award- win­ning su­pery­achts and the Mar­quis line. Toy­ota’s Mo­bil­ity Ser­vices Plat­form will pro­vide se­cu­rity func­tions, smart­phone in­te­gra­tion, re­mote di­ag­nos­tics main­te­nance and other ser­vices. Un­like the Lexus Sport Yacht 42 and the Toy­ota Marine Pon­ams, which were pow­ered by Lexus or Toy­ota car engines, the LY 650 will have twin Volvo Penta diesel engines with IPS drives. Stan­dard power is a pair of 900-hp IPS1200s; the IPS1350 with 1,000 hp is an op­tion.

Lexus isn’t the only lux­ury car­maker build­ing boats to ex­tend its brand reach. In 2016, Mer­cedes launched a lim­ited-edi­tion yacht, and in 2011, BMW started mak­ing con­cept boats. What sets Lexus apart is that it’s putting a boat into mass pro­duc­tion. The first LY 650 is ex­pected to be com­pleted in the sec­ond half of 2019 and it’s slated to de­but later in the year. A price was not avail­able at press time.

LOa: u5’5” Beam: 18’8” Draf•: 4’u” Dis­plm: v1,5oo lbsm S•an­dard Power: (2) 9oo-hp Volvo Pen•a diesels wNIPS12oos Fuel: 1,ooo galsm Wa•er: 225 galsm

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