All manner of weird and wacky concept drawings get sent to us at MBY, but that’s as far as most of them ever progress – the drawing board. To be honest, when we first clapped eyes on the computer renderings of the Glider SS18 in January 2015, that’s where we thought it would end up too.
It simply looked too cool, too futuristic and too outrageous to be a serious proposition. The fact that it was claimed to be capable of nearly 60 knots and would cost the best part of £1 million made for a great story, but the chances of it actually making it into production still seemed as slender as one of its knife-like hulls.
Clearly we hadn’t bargained on the tenacity of its creator Rob McCall because two years later, here we are standing on the quay of Griffon Hoverwork’s yard in Southampton, quietly chomping on our words while watching the world’s first Glider Yacht being lowered gently into the River Itchen. It is an astonishing sight, made all the more tantalising by the prospect of us being the first magazine to drive it.
In the flesh, the SS18 looks even more outlandish than those early computer renderings suggested. Perched high above the water on two impossibly long, skinny hulls, it looks like a cross between an open-topped sportscar and a giant mechanical pond skater.
The effect is properly jaw-dropping. If the new Aston Martin AM37 is a shoe-in for the next Bond boat then this will surely be the villain’s getaway craft. It could drive over the top of the AM37, literally, and if Rob McCall’s claims are to be believed, metaphorically, too.
Watch Hugo’s video above to see the Glider SS18 in action and pick up the May 2017 issue of Motor Boat & Yachting where you can read his full report in the Custom Yachting section.