After crashing his Riva Aquarama on a boating excursion in the Mediterranean, Swedish venture capitalist Johan Attvik simply decided to build his own, more sea-worthy cruiser. Drafting in Swedish custom boat-building company J Craft he set about making his masterpiece, aptly christened the Torpedo for its long, low-slung lines. Launched last year the 42-foot-long luxury vessel is described by its architect as a fully customizable "Bentley of the seas...equally at home moored below Eden Roc as it is navigating choppy seas off the Cap d'Antibes." Each handmade Torpedo—built in a state-of-the-art shipyard on the Swedish island of Gotland—is the sum total of eight months and 8,000 man-hours, with prices starting at €750,000 (roughly $1m). In an exclusive for NOWNESS, photographer Mario Palmieri climbed on board to shoot the Torpedo from aft to stern, while we caught up with its mastermind to discuss his Bond-worthy baby.
You’ve said that J Craft is about more than the boat, it’s about lifestyle. What is that lifestyle?
I’m trying to bring back what I think got lost in the boat industry. I’m sitting out in Saint-Tropez right now and there are probably about 500 white boats out there and they all look the same. J Craft stands out in that group. It’s kind of a barefoot luxury we’re trying to bring back.
How on Earth did you figure you could design a boat?
I realized I needed something bigger and more reliable in the same style of the all-milled Rivas, Hydracrafts, Chris-Crafts and so on. I found the J Craft, this beautiful boat—the first one was made for the Swedish King––and I ended up running the company a few years later. We developed the Torpedo through tests, where I basically crashed and destroyed everything I could on the old model, and used my eight years of experience driving it to try to build the perfect new boat.
What’s unique about J Craft?
Well, I’d say the style and design of the boat, of course, and the quality and maneuverability, but also it’s actually very easy to maintain. If you were to buy an old Riva, for example, there is a lot of maintenance involved. With the Torpedo you can arrive in a boat with a vintage aura and style, and I think that’s appealing to a lot of people. This boat isn’t for someone who needs to show off—I tend to see it as a modest approach to luxury, for someone who knows who they are.
Such as the King of Sweden, whom you go riding around with, and his son Prince Carl Philip?
Yeah, Carl Philip designed the silver cutlery that comes with each Torpedo.
Do you work with a client like a tailor, making a made-to-measure boat from the Torpedo template?
I would see it like getting a semi-tailored suit from Tom Ford. There are the basics, but if you want the full wood hull you can get that. The core stays the same but the upholstery and everything, you add your own touch to. No boat has been the same so far. They each have a soul—they’re unique.
There are rumors that if they make another Bond movie, a J Craft will be the spy’s new boat?
[Chuckling] No developments yet. Hopefully you will see some of our boats in upcoming movies, but no James Bond connection… that I know of… yet. But I wouldn’t mind.
Aside from the King of Sweden, James Bond and you, whom is the Torpedo designed for?
Someone highly sophisticated who spends time in the Med, someone who really appreciates vintage but doesn’t want the upkeep of owning a 40-year-old boat, and someone who wants a beautiful cruiser instead of a big yacht.