Dating back to its founding 30 years ago, AB Yachts has focused on high-performance yachts equipped with water jets. Given that AB Yachts is an Italian shipyard, that emphasis on speed comes packaged with sleek styling. The builder continues to add larger models, and when it launched Hull No. 1 of its 100-foot AB 100 series in 2016, it announced a 52-knot top-end speed. Other semicustom maxis existed in this size range, but none clocked on the radar gun quite like this one did. Advances in engine technology and lightweight construction have since allowed the shipyard to make the yacht even faster. The same series is now reportedly capable of a 54-knot maximum speed.
Which wasn’t enough for one particular customer—or for AB Yachts.
Together, they created the AB 100 Superfast, with what the yard says is a 59-knot maximum velocity and a cruising speed of 53 knots. This makes the AB 100 Superfast not just the fastest boat in the builder’s range but also a boat that’s faster than most, if not all, other yachts of its size from any shipyard. In fact, the AB 100 Superfast’s top speed is about 25 knots higher than that of other high-profile maxis in the 100- to 110-foot range.
The owner and shipyard shared the belief that an invitation to customize a semicustom yacht should indeed mean customization. AB Yachts allows clients to tailor exterior styling and interior design, and the AB 100 Superfast differs from its predecessor in several ways. The avid cruiser wanted to take his personal bond with the sea to a higher level. “That was the key goal that we interpreted in the interest of our owner,” says Gennaro Candida De Matteo, the CEO of AB Yachts’ parent company, Next Yacht Group.
The first hint is seen in the AB 100 Superfast’s profile, which has more glass than the AB 100. Along the main deck, the glass is nearly sole-to-ceiling, complemented by glass insets in the lowered bulwarks. The dark tint lends the illusion that the glass wraps uninterrupted from one side of the yacht and around to the other. Belowdecks, the small oval ports are gone, replaced with two long stretches of glass to port and starboard.
Aft, like any large yacht, the AB 100 Superfast has a table and settee. The setup seems unassuming enough for enjoying alfresco meals or the spirited ride. But at the press of a button, both the table and the settee’s backrest lower to ensure that the owner and his guests truly have uninterrupted views when they’re seated inside the open-plan main deck. (On a related note, the owner opted to increase the perception of volume inside by eliminating the bulkhead between the helm and dining area.) A similarly lowering settee backrest is on the flybridge too.
Two more cruise-enhancing surprises are at the waterline. The first: The yacht has a nearly full-beam settee nestled against the transom, providing the ultimate front-row seat to the swimming and water-toy action. Consider it a permanent open-air beach club. The second surprise is how the toys launch.
“This is one of the most interesting features of this boat,” De Matteo says. At the press of a button, the backrest rises up to reveal the garage. The transformer-type swim platform rises too, so a RIB or other toys can slide directly into the water.
When peace and quiet are what the owner and his guests want, they can retire belowdecks, where there are accommodations for eight. This owner chose two twins, a VIP and a full-beam master stateroom. While some maxi opens look and feel tight below, the AB 100 Superfast doesn’t—even with its 22-foot-3-inch beam being comparable to that of slightly larger maxis from other builders. Adding to the owner’s comfort, a port within the picture window in his stateroom opens.
Even with the emphasis on his own enjoyment, the owner and AB Yachts didn’t overlook the practical needs of the four-person crew. For example, stairs by the inside helm—which the owner designed with the shipyard to achieve an automotive-type look in carbon fiber and leather—lead directly down to the Corian-outfitted galley and crew mess. The laundry area is right here as well. The foredeck leisure area, meanwhile, has significant stowage beneath the equally sizable sun bed.
Most people who end up seeing the AB 100 Superfast cutting across the horizon will probably consider the yacht to be a maxed-out maxi. Yes, it is an unabashedly fast yacht—and one of the fastest superyachts in the world to boot. But from the American walnut soles and furnishings to the view-enhancing features and re-imagined use of space, the AB 100 Superfast also reflects a clear, custom vision.
One that just happens to be capable of nearly 60-knot speeds.
The AB 100 Superfast gets its head-turning performance from triple 2,600 hp MANs with water jets. The AB 100, by comparison, had three 1,900 hp MANs and water jets. Kevlar and carbon-fiber construction keep weight down, part of the shipyard’s practice across its models.
American Success Story
While AB Yachts’ American clients are similar to European counterparts in being attracted to speed, the AB 100 series’ 4-foot-3-inch draft has more specifically led to sales stateside. Clients who regularly cruise between South Florida and the Bahamas need the shallow-water access.
Next Yacht Group’s Next Move
GB Investment Holdings, which has interests in artificial intelligence and luxury properties, is AB Yachts’ parent company. It named its yachting division Next Yacht Group to reflect a future focus. It plans to leverage its AI and resort knowledge to improve the yachts and customer experiences.
Take the next step: abyachts.com