Akio Toyoda, as the CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation and grandson of the Toyota company founder; does not always find it easy to go on vacation unrecognized; as he confesses in Florida on the occasion of the presentation of the first Lexus LY 650 yacht. No wonder. Because as head of the world’s largest car maker and master of the Toyota Group with over 520 subsidiaries and more than 369.000 employees he is recognized all over the world.
“For me, a yacht is the perfect way to spend undetected relaxed hours.” says Toyoda. So did the big boss of the Toyota premium Lexus brand drive the construction of its own yacht to get undisturbed on the water? Although nobody wants to confirm this obvious assumption. But with a meaningful smile Lexus CEO Yoshihiro Sawa explains that one of the already ordered yachts will soon be delivered to Japan.
Specialized in manual labor
What is certain is that the future owners of this extraordinary Lexus model will have to dig deep into their pockets. If the prices for the luxury cars of Lexus between 36.900 and a maximum of 131.000 Swiss francs. the almost 20-meter-long yacht costs at least 3.7 million US dollars. But buyers also get a lot of boat – and a lot of extra luxury. Because the so-called flybridge cruiser is being built by the yacht-specialized Marquis-Larson Boat Group.
The US-based company. based in Pulaski on Lake Michigan, was chosen as a co-operation partner by Lexus. According to Josh Delforge, Vice President of Design and Engineering at Marquis, because the shipyard’s 350 employees specialize in manual labor. And there’s a lot going on in the LY 650, says Delforge aboard the yacht; “In less than six months of construction. we created this first yacht virtually out of nowhere. Almost every component is a one-off. many of which are hand-made.” It was only shortly before our exit that the yacht. transported in two parts from Lake Michigan to Florida, was completed and inspected for seaworthiness.
Even a hobby captain is allowed to drive the yacht
On a two-hour cruise – on the Atlantic Ocean and its high waves separated waterway between Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton – explains Marquis engineer Randy Peterson the benefits of the yacht. while the seemingly 33 -ton heavy ship with ease via a handy joystick directs. “A big advantage of the LY 650 is the fact that with its length of just under 20 meters by law it does not necessarily have to be controlled by a trained professional with a captain’s patent. One to two passengers who operate as a sailor when mooring. but are already helpful.
The cockpit behind the white leather steering wheel with its three huge touch screen displays and just a few buttons features the latest technology. For example. a special app automatically sends warning messages to a preselected number in the event of irregularities in yachting operations or at the dock via SMS. And as usual with modern cars today. the air conditioning or the lighting of the boat can be controlled by mobile phone. Also helpful: thanks to the floating platform on the stern. which can be lowered into the water. you can easily get on board the LY 650 after a swim.
Design with clear handwriting of the Japanese
The close cooperation with Lexus is evident on the yacht. especially in design and material processing. Both the curved lines of the carbon fiber composite hull and the equipment of the three passenger cabins with a height of two meters carry the clear signature of the Japanese. Similarly curved lines can be found in the cabins. which are optionally equipped with leather on the ceilings. fine eucalyptus wood on the walls and thick-pile carpets.
All have their own bathrooms and partially walk-in dressing rooms. Only the fact that two Volvo Penta IPS engines with a choice of 1050. 1200 or 1350 hp in the hull diminish the pride of boatbuilders from the USA and Japan.
Although Lexus Switzerland is heading for a new record result in 2019 with around 900 new cars sold – 97.5 percent of which are hybrid vehicles – the new Lexus yacht will have little impact on Swiss sales. as director Christian Wellauer says with a wink: « But if you are interested in the LY 650. you are welcome to contact me. »