The Spectral Marine catamaran
Heres an oddity for you all...
Does anybody out there remember – and know what ultimately became of the Spectral Marine catamaran? The infamous “CIA boat” in the Bond movie “The Living Daylights”
I ask because over the last 15 years of pretty thorough yacht watching (including a found cache of old early 90's Boat Internationals), I've never even seen it mentioned let alone listed for sale. Even Google (beyond the Bond references) only seems to turn up a radio controlled replica. Since I'm now officially tired (every time that movie airs) of saying 'I must post something on yacht forums' and not doing so, here goes...
I remember seeing the beast at the Southampton boat show back in (I think) 1985 – an unnervingly wide mass of shiny white GRP and black slatted windows, powered (besides it's conventional engines) by some serious hype!
Outwardly “Futuristic” (in the same 80's way that those custom OTT Sheik-spec Mercedes were supposedly 'exotic'), the Spectral was “A 20 meter yacht with the internal volume of a 28” and it's party piece was that it could make a 360 degree turn within it's own length. Inwardly, it was more like a small (but modern looking) 80's apartment had been shoehorned into a yacht rather than a sci-fi movie. Only the wheelhouse (the only part of the interior that was actually shown in Daylights) was overtly hi-tech.
The odd thing is that after Daylights, the Spectral Marine 2:20 (to give it it's official designation) effectively vanished.
Was it sold? Repossessed? Did some wealthy up Saudi buy it as a toy (like Virgin Atlantic Challenger 2) and spirit it away to the gulf, or is it now a slightly weird houseboat marooned up some UK estuary?
Come on people, somebody has to know :-)
According to my Boat International archive, it's (thin) history is as follows:
A full page ad in 1985 saw it been touted by Spectral marine of Clarence Boatyard in East Cowes. There was lots of media coverage at the time and at this point, it was definitely 'real', fitted out and in the water.
Unfortunately, nobody seems to have actually bought it. By mid 1987, the ad had shrunk to half a page (proclaiming “following recent sea trials”, “Bond movie”, and “can be demoed in the Med”, etc) and spectral seemed to have relocated to Rochdale (near Manchester). This being the late 80's, it's possibly the sound of spent financial resources and a desperate attempt to shift the thing before the recession kicked in.
The ads then vanish (at which point,I assume it finally sold) – until in 1989 (the Stefaren issue), when Spectral reappeared (albeit in pencil drawing form) announcing the Spectral Super Tri: a 30 meter trimaran with a 47 foot beam and a pair of surface drive propellers that gave it a theoretical top speed of 50 knots. Enquiries could be made through George Nicholson rather than Spectral itself.
Over to you :-)