This is not your grandfather’s powerboat

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A futuristic, sleek new luxury motoryacht designed in collaboration with Mercedes-Benz Style, the design division of the luxury automotive maker, performed well in its first sea trials, according to its U.K.-based manufacturer.

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“This was an exciting moment for Silver Arrows Marine and I am pleased to say the boat showed all the potential we expected, and more,” CEO Jacopo Spadolini said in a statement on the first Granturismo, a 46-foot luxury motoryacht.

Silver Arrows Marine was launched in July to compete in the exclusive world of luxury motor yachts, taking its name from the legendary Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows cars which dominated motor racing in the 1930s.

“The boat looked solid, powerful and like nothing else afloat,” Spadolini said.

The sea trials provided the first taste of how the new hull performs in a variety of trim, load and sea states, he said. High-tech data acquisition techniques were employed, with the results providing a basis for future development work.

As befits a project that merges the marine and automotive worlds, many of the techniques used, including automotive-style data acquisition, have their origins in motor racing.

“Boats are not racing cars, but to use F1-style telemetry for data logging makes a great deal of sense,” said Silver Arrows Marine engineering director Giorgio Stirano, who has run Formula One motor racing teams. “With equipment such as accelerometers and gyroscopes, along with GPS positioning, we have been able to build up a good picture of the boat’s abilities.”

The prototype used in the sea trials is an open hull and lacks the distinctive superstructure, with its many new design features, of the finished yacht, officials said. The trials included an offshore “racing circuit” complete with virtual corners so that comparable lap times could be taken to gauge how different setups affected the boat’s performance, handling and comfort.

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