The annual Cannes boat show is always awash with new model launches so it takes something special to cause a stir among its well-heeled visitors. However, last September, the normally conservative Dutch boatbuilder Jetten was the talk of the town.

Berthed at the end of a pontoon in full view of all its glamorous neighbours was a craft unlike anything showgoers had seen before. With its razor-sharp lines, dramatic
axe bow and hunkered-down profile, it had an aura about it which belied its modest proportions.

Not since the original Audi TT can I remember something that looked as taut and fresh as the new Jetten Beach 45. Every line, curve and join seems to slot into place
to create a single cohesive shape that looks right from every angle.

And yet the striking styling isn’t even the most interesting aspect of the new Beach 45 – that honour belongs to its unusual aluminium hull, whose fast-displacement form allows it to cut through the water at well over 20 knots without climbing on to the plane.

That’s like a horse winning the Grand National without breaking into a gallop or jumping over the fences. The logic is simple; why bother with all that expended energy jumping over fences (or waves) when you can simply glide through them instead?

Yt’s a compelling argument that Jetten says allows its new boat to cruise at speed in comfort through seas that would have a planing boat trying to smash itself to pieces. Nor is this a case of all talk and no trousers – the Jetten’s category A RCD rating is normally reserved for oceangoing trawlers not stylish Mediterranean cruisers.

That brings us to another of the Beach 45’s strange dichotomies; this is a boat designed in Holland to tackle the worst the North Sea can throw at it, yet its target market is the beach-going crowd of the
Med, as its name so blatantly alludes to. Confused? We were, so we asked for a sea trial to find out what this intriguing craft is all about.