It takes a lot to make an impression at the Monaco Yacht Show. Port Hercules is studded with so much glitz and glimmer that it’s hard for even some of the mega-yachts to stand out. And yet the Brabus Shadow 800 by Axopar managed to do just that, at only 36 feet 9 inches length overall.
Brabus is a German aftermarket company that makes supercars even more, well, super. Brabus specializes in Mercedes and Maybach cars, and the company recently delved into the marine world in partnership with the Finnish builder Axopar.
Axopar is known for fast, nimble vessels. The builder is not much for frills, which is exactly what makes this partnership so enticing. When you combine Axopar’s no-nonesenseness with German auto luxury, the result is quite intoxicating.
For example, the stitching on the Brabus Shadow 800’s red-leather helm seating is highly detailed (the company calls it “sport-pattern stitching”), and the amount of carbon-fiber accents in the construction lends this boat an air of lavishness that should make her sought after as a mega-yacht tender.
When I ran her in calm seas in the Mediterranean Sea off Monaco, she performed well. She is built using the same hull form as Axopar’s 37, with 22 degrees of deadrise at the transom and a narrow, axe-bow entry for slicing through seas. She cruised at 30 knots, a tick slower than the builder’s suggested cruise speed of 34 knots. At wide-open throttle, she reportedly can do 48 knots. (I didn’t drop the hammer because the boat was all gussied up for the boat show.) In terms of handling, she made hard-over turns to both port and starboard in a single boat length, and at the wheel, I felt more like I was aboard a PWC than a center-console. It was hard not to smile while driving a vessel this nimble.
Down below, she has a forward berth that would be good for any child or adult who has had enough of the sun for the day. A flat-screen TV is built into the after bulwark.
Brabus and Axopar plan to build only 20 of these limited-edition center-consoles, each of them with a gunmetal-gray hull and red exterior upholstery. So, for those interested in a luxuriously appointed, eye-catching vessel with excellent performance and a conversation-starting pedigree, the time to act is now.
The Brabus Shadow 800 is designed for an overnight away from the marina, with a forward berth, an electric toilet, and a flat-screen TV on the after bulwark. There’s stowage under the mattress, and a USB charger is built in at bedside. A curtain can close off the sleeping area for privacy.