Imagine for a hot minute what it would be like to own the world’s fastest production car, the Bugatti Chiron, which, though electronically limited to 261 mph, can hit 290 without the governor. The limited edition Chiron (only 500 will be built) isn’t just incredibly fast, it also epitomizes luxury and design. But once you have the car, wouldn’t you like a boat to match?
In 2015, Bugatti began a collaboration with Palmer Johnson Yachts, one of the world’s premier yacht designers. Palmer Johnson is known for pushing the edge of design and materials technology to build major race-winning sailing yachts across a number of decades and, more recently, for its fast, sleek sport yachts. When Bugatti and Palmer Johnson revealed early concept drawings, current Bugatti owners and other potential buyers wanted the sport yacht to draw more from the then-just-released Chiron. The result of the collaborative effort is the limited edition Bugatti Niniette 66.
Bugatti, as it happens, has a boat-building heritage. Austrian Prince Carlo Maurizio Ruspoldi commissioned founder Ettore Bugatti to build a one-off speedboat in 1930. Bugatti named it Niniette after his youngest daughter’s pet, hence the name.
At 20 meters long, the Bugatti Niniette 66 has a slim main hull with left and right sponsons — projections that extend from the side of the main hull. The sponsons aren’t visible from the side of the craft, but they add stability and allow a wider-than-normal beam, in this case, 6.5 meters or a little more than 21 feet. Generous use of carbon fiber gives the yacht structural rigidity and reduced weight.
It’s a Bugatti, so you know there’s plenty of power. Two 1,000-horsepower MAN V8-1000 engines are paired with Marine Jet Propulsion waterjets to propel the Niniette to a maximum speed of 44 knots. All that power is controlled by joystick in the Ninette’s topside cockpit where an interactive infotainment system also controls navigation, systems monitoring, and entertainment. One of the benefits of the Palmer Johnson sponsor and slender hull design is the yacht’s shallow 1.3-meter draft, about 4 feet, which enables it to enter waters denied most boats of this class because of their deeper draw.
The Niniette doesn’t cram small cabins below deck. The emphasis is on the highest levels of luxury for a select few. A spacious Bugatti signature horseshoe-shaped salon for entertaining has heritage-automotive design elements. The master suite has a double bed and a large lounge. There is also a galley kitchen and a guest bathroom. As in the Chiron, the Bugatti yacht emphasizes the finest materials, with polished metal, carbon, leather, and marble used throughout in furnishings and appointments.
On the open top deck a combined Jacuzzi, sun pad, and champagne bar are situated between seating areas on each side. A fire pit just forward of the Jacuzzi and additional seating is another bold, instinctive touch.
Bugatti and Palmer Johnson describe the Niniette as “powerfully seductive.” As the photos show, the yacht is designed to be pleasing from all angles, with elements uniquely characteristic of the Chiron.
According to Timur Mohamed, Palmer Johnson CEO, “The challenge was to create an experience and a persona as much as a yacht, from streamlined luxury, sophisticated style, and unprecedented quality. For owners of tomorrow, Niniette will lift your expectations of life even higher.”