In our "Boats" section we typically bring you whatever's new and different in the world of powerboats. But in January, we gave you a glimpse of a vessel that is different from we've ever published—or even seen for that matter. The first offering from a new Italian builder called Wider, this 42-footer is arguably the transformer of boats. Under normal operation she looks like a very stylish, inboard-powered center console with a cuddy cabin and—your first hint that there's something really special here—a place aft, where a pair of outboards would be, for a PWC to nestle up, completely secure but easily deployed by an automatic launch and retrieval system.
But it's what happens when the Winder is at anchor that is—well, transformative. Each midship side simultaneously and automatically extends on to increase her beam from 11'6" to 21'6", providing the kind of lounging space normally available only on a boat much larger. Outrigger-like panels beneath ensure good stability.
It's a pretty amazing concept, but considering the engineering involved, a lot of us were skeptical that such a complex concept could ever actually become a real boat. Well wonder of wonders, it has. Last week, Hull No. 1 debuted in Rapallo Italy, and she's is virtually exactly what Wider founder Tilli Antonelli (founder of Pershing) told us it would be. Here's a spy shot from the launch.
Pretty amazing, huh? Especially when you match it up to the artist's rendering we ran in "Boats"! And best of all, you should be able to actually step aboard a Wider in person at next year's Miami International Boat Show.