It’s easy to say, “I could design that.” When Rolls-Royce intern Stefan Monro decided to build a boat that channeled the Rolls-Royce spirit, he knew what a difficult undertaking it would be. He had spent enough time with the company to know how meticulously each of its products is assembled. As we have noted before, about 95 percent of vehicles ordered in 2013 received bespoke treatment, which is a level of customization that few automakers can compete with.
His 47-foot, excellently composed schooner—the Rolls-Royce 450EX—has been displayed by the company at their headquarters in Goodwood, England. It appears to draw influences mainly from the Phantom, has accommodations for six, and bears official Rolls-Royce accents on the propellers and seats. It actually reminds us of the Batboat from an animated version of the caped crusader series.
According to Monro’s LinkedIn page, he has extensively researched both the Phantom and alternative hull design for ships. Could this mean that Rolls-Royce is preparing transportation for aquatic-based societies a la Waterworld or George Lucas’s Gungan people? Not quite.
A video from Monro’s YouTube account titled, “The Value of Bespoke,” says that yacht design has become saturated by mistakenly equating value with the length of one’s boat. Not only does such an approach neglect aspects such as craftsmanship and quality, it is also not environmentally or physically sustainable (who wants to pilot a mile-long yacht?). Showing a modern concern for the environment, Monro notes that there are no recycling standards for yachts, which means that a large amount of waste is happening every day.
Drawing parallels from how brands such as Apple and Nokia redefined their markets by focusing on good design, Monro suggests that the luxury auto market can learn these lessons, then apply them to both cars and boats.
We’re certainly glad that Monro has a place with Rolls-Royce, and we look forward to seeing him extend bespoke values into all of the brand’s markets.