The Strand Craft 166

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Strand Craft may not have launched a yacht yet, but it garnered worldwide attention in 2010 for its dare-to-be-different approach: designing a 122-foot megayacht to tote a souped-up sportscar. Now that it reportedly has signed at least one contract to build that yacht, the Strand Craft 122, the team has unveiled a new, equally daring design.

The Strand Craft 166 is from the drawing boards of Eduard Gray, who specializes in industrial product design and also penned the lines of the 122. He drew inspiration from automobiles, which makes sense when you realize he was a finalist in the Michelin Challenge Design competition for concept cars last year. Take a look at the 166’s profile, and you’ll definitely see echoes of automotive elements, like a low stance and curves that mimic wheel wells. If that’s not enough for you, then consider this statement from Strand Craft: “this yacht is ideal for owners who are addicted to that new leather smell.”

Indeed: From the saloon to the five staterooms and every other relaxation area, the Strand Craft 166 has abundant red leather on furnishings. You can opt for what Strand Craft calls a Japanese Samurai tread leather for furnishings and even walls. It’s woven from a textile incorporating Vectran, a reinforcing material noted for its high strength and moisture resistance. (On an interesting side note, it’s been used by NASA in spacesuits and the Mars Exploration Rovers, too.)

Besides the “new leather smell,” the Strand Craft 166 has other automotive design touches. There’s chrome and brushed aluminum trim throughout, and if you don’t go for the leather walls, you get polished gunmetal lacquered surfaces. In keeping with the precedence set by the Strand Craft 122, you also get the “supercar tender.” A sports car designed by Gray, it’s expected to hit 196 mph, thanks to a 620-hp V8 engine. Like the yacht, the car won’t be built until a contract is signed, so if you’re uncomfortable with being a test subject, Strand Craft will accommodate a Lamborghini, Ferrari, or other car or traditional tender of your choice.

Even with the emphasis on automotive design, Strand Craft hasn’t forgotten the features that make yachts so enjoyable. There’s a sundeck with a hot tub, itself complete with a bar, too. The deck area is toward the bow, concealed beneath the foredeck when not in use. A sliding glass door leads to the pilothouse, where eight guests can watch the captain plot a course. Up top, the flying bridge and radar mast each retract when not in use. And finally, to ensure plenty of harbor hopping can take place, the Strand Craft 166 will be powered by twin 5,766-hp MTU engines connected to a 5,600-hp booster and waterjet drives, for an expected 40-knot top end.

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