The AB 100 Superfast is aptly named, referring to her overall length in feet and her reported top speed of 60 knots. Few flybridge cruisers can reach that kind of speed, and even fewer can do it without feeling like a runaway train.
“This is currently the fastest boat in our range,” says Gennaro Candida de Matteo, CEO of NEXT Group, which includes the brands AB Yachts, Maiora and CBI Navi. “This is thanks to her well-proven hull shape, but also the water-jet propulsion, which has always been a hallmark of AB Yachts.”
AB Yachts has been building high-performance yachts in fiberglass for 30 years. While the AB 100 model is not new, the Superfast version ramps up performance with three 2,600-horsepower MTU engines coupled to two steerable MJP water jets and a central booster jet.
The slippery hull lines and shallow draft of 4 feet, 3 inches (1.3 meters) mean she is not only fast, but also fuel-efficient across a wide range of speeds. At 50 knots, for example, fuel burn is slightly less than at 25 knots, even though the boat is running twice as fast. AB Yachts figures the fuel savings are around 20 percent compared to high-speed yachts of similar size with conventional propulsion.
Water jets are also quieter and generate less vibration than conventional inline drive shafts with propellers, a setup that translates into more onboard comfort. At 50 knots, I rested a flute of Champagne on the low coffee table in the main salon. It tremored, but didn’t budge.
“To give you a real-life comparison, underway at high cruising speed, the AB 100 Superfast is quieter than a Dyson Supersonic hair dryer,” Candida de Matteo says. “That means you can still have a normal conversation without having to raise your voice.”
To provide more resistance to torsional stress at high speed, the AB 100 Superfast is built using sandwich and vacuum technology combined with carbon fiber reinforcements and adhesive systems derived from the aerospace industry. AB Yachts says the result is three times stronger and lighter than a hull built using traditional lamination techniques.
Both the exterior and interior design are by NEXT Group’s in-house style center. Large windows in the open-plan salon and dining room on the main deck create close contact with the outside environment and an airy ambience. The joinery, in contrasting light and dark shades of American walnut, provides a neutral backdrop for a relaxing atmosphere that is sophisticated and tastefully Italian.
The first AB 100 Superfast has four guest staterooms on the lower deck, including a full-beam master stateroom amidships. Other layout options are available. An intermediate deck level between the open helm station and the lower deck accommodations houses a galley and crew dinette with direct access from the crew quarters in the bow.
There is no lack of alfresco social spaces, from the open-air cockpit to the foredeck with a dinette and sunpad to the commuter-style flybridge where a second helm console is tucked low behind the coaming, so as not to interrupt the yacht’s racy profile. There’s also what AB Yachts calls the “beach platform” at the stern.
“One of the most innovative solutions is the beach platform and tender launching system,” Candida de Matteo says. “At first glance, you have a comfortable swim platform with integrated sofa seating. But in a completely automated movement, the transom and seating folds up, the platform is raised hydraulically, and the tender and toys can be floated out from the garage underneath.”
Owners of displacement yachts may be wondering why anyone would want to cruise at 60 knots. Speed has always been part and parcel of the design DNA at AB Yachts, but not just for the thrill of it. Going faster means yachtsmen can travel farther in less time. Even at full throttle, the AB 100 Superfast has a reported range of more than 400 nautical miles.
That means owners can zip from downtown Miami to Cat Cay in the Bahamas in 45 minutes, or from Chelsea Piers in New York City to Sag Harbor on Long Island in less than two hours. That’s good news if owners are pressed for a dinner reservation or chasing a weather window.
AB 100 Superfast Specifications
LOA: 100ft. 1in. (30.5m)
BEAM: 22ft. 4in. (6.8m)
DRAFT (full load): 4ft. 3in. (1.3m)
ENGINES: 3x 2,600-hp MTU
GROSS TONNAGE: 147
SPEED (max./cruise): 60/50 knots
NAVAL ARCHITECTURE: NEXT Group
EXTERIOR DESIGN: NEXT Group
INTERIOR DESIGN: NEXT Group
BUILDER: AB Yachts
For more information: abyachts.com