Regular PMY readers are probably familiar with the Wider, a new Italian boat with a major twist: This 42'4" center-console-ish craft has a maximum beam of 11'6" that with the mere touch of a button expands to 21'6", giving her the room of a 60-footer. The brainchild of Tilli Antonelli, founder of Pershing Yachts, she made her debut a few months back (below) and performed as predicted.
Last week when I toured the Wider factory with Antonelli, I saw three boats under construction, and realized the amazing engineering and additional features involved in this boat.
Here you get a look at the extension mechanism on a boat that's about three-quarters finished. You can see the hull side in full-expansion mode and the sponson beneath it, which automatically drops down into the water to provide additional stability. The deck is not yet installed but it's hinged in the middle so that when the assembly retracts, it folds flat against the hull side. The metal section with the name Wider on it is a gate that helps enclose the extended area; there's another one the after end. And finally, note those black arms that support the hull-side pieces. They're made of carbon fiber, which makes them both light and things of beauty.
The Wider's Arneson surfacing drives, which along with twin staggered 480-hp Cummins QSB 5.9 diesels, push this double-step, SCRIMP-infused hull to a reported top speed of 53 knots (61 mph) and squeeze a range of nearly 400 miles at 40 knots (46 mph) from her 264-gallon fuel tank. If you look carefully right above the port drive you'll see a shiny downward-facing tube. That's the pickup for the single raw-water strainer that serve both engines, the genset, and the air conditioning pumps.
The forepeak anchor locker with the lid not yet installed. The system is totally automatic. Push a button, and the anchor forces the door open as it deploys; push another and the anchor retracts, locks into place (as does the chain rode), and closes the door. A CCTV camera allows you to monitor everything from the helm, so you never have to go forward.
Here's the wheel, with protective plastic still on. That a CRT display on the center with touch pads on either side. Everything on the boat, including drive and plane adjustment, is controlled from here. The outer rim turns while the center section remains stationary.
And finally, the aft jet ski compartment, which tilts into the water for easy launching and retrival. (Of course that process is also totally automatic.) Wider is working on an optional sunpad and stowage area to replace this for those who eschew PWCs.
Believe it or not there are even more tricks and twists, like the TV embedded in the head door. What a boat!