The Rolls-Royce 450EX yacht tender project is a final year student project by Stefan Monro studying Transport Design at Coventry University. Following the completion of an internship with Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Stefan Monro was encouraged to design an accordingly themed project. The Rolls-Royce 450EX superyacht tender project is a student project and in no way officially associated with the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars brand although design direction and assistance has been given in areas to help support the project.
The ‘450EX’ name refers to the brands traditional way of naming concept vehicles. The ‘450’ numerals denote the vessel’s length in feet (45.0) while the EX denoted the vessel as an ‘experimental’ concept. The project also recently won the Contechs Steve Olney Award for Design and will be displayed at Contechs Headquarters.
The yacht tender project 450EX aims to address the issue of value within the luxury yacht market and demonstrate the potential and appeal for automotive brands to exploit branded styling and technologies in a contrasting industrial design sector.
“After completing an internship at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, I wanted to use the company’s brand to evidence the potential and allure this well established and unique automotive brand, already synonymous with luxury in its own sector, could bring to the yacht industry. I made it a priority to avoid a literal translation of car features into a marine environment as previous automotive styled yachts have often appeared forced, simply transposing car features onto an existing hull. Instead I wanted to take the design DNA and key principles of the Rolls-Royce brand and apply these gracefully to a marine product that projects a confident aesthetic in the surrounding environment. “ states Stefan Monro
At 14.5m LOA, a little over double a car’s length, the yacht remains within an appreciative size bracket. This creates the element of intrigue which is becoming increasingly important to luxury car owners, while opening the possibility of a tender upgrade for larger yachts. Designed as a costal day cruiser, the vessel offers an effective yet grandiose mode of transport, as well as the prestige and commanding appeal of a luxury accessory.
The subtle exterior form compliments the Rolls-Royce brand’s traditional styling while also paying tribute to its mechanical excellence and reliability, with exposed surface drives denoting the potential power and nature of the vessel. An extended tunnel hull coupled with a suspended interior deck help re-create the famous ride comfort of the brand and allow for the effortless acceleration associated with the vehicle. A floating waterline when at rest helps enforce the ethereal nature of the brand and benefits lifting forces to help achieve planing speeds. The forward ‘prongs’ help maintain a visual connection with the water surface when planing and increase airflow into the tunnel hull.
The concept also demonstrates the potential benefits from available technologies in the luxury automotive market, in particular the use of a monocoque or composite space frame chassis. The 450EX concept shows an alternative from the traditional bulkhead method of construction by using a composite fibre unibody structure as an underlying chassis for the vessel. Benefits include a more rigid structure with an increased interior volume allowing for a suspended deck to dampen slamming forces exerted on the hull.
The interior of the vessel features four centrally mounted executive seats to minimise yaw and pitching movements as well as two dedicated pilot seats on an elevated platform in a commanding driving position. A concealed bathroom as well as a bow entrance are included forward of the driving position.
Flying buttresses equate to the large C pillar of the car, maintaining client privacy while allowing light into the interior of the vessel. Bespoke interior options and styles are available as well as a full luggage set to enhance bespoke content for potential clients.