The best of two worlds are coming together to build a series of sports yachts that promises to redefine the luxury boat segment. Bugatti, purveyor of things related to power and speed in the auto industry, has teamed up Palmer Johnson, the world’s largest motor yacht builder, to create a new series of open carbon fiber sports yachts that will carry distinctive styling elements from the French automaker.

Together, the two companies are planning to launch the Niniette series that will come in three models. The name choice strikes a particular chord for fans of Bugatti who may remember the name Niniette was company founder Ettore Bugatti’s nickname for his daughter Lidia.

Personal ties aside, the new partnership between Bugatti and Palmer Johnson also brings back a particular passion for the Bugatti founder. As early as the 1930s, Bugatti has had experience developing racing boats and yachts, so this partnership isn’t exactly a new venture for the company.

It has been a while since Bugatti has taken to the high seas, but the new project with Palmer Johnson is expected to be treated with the same passion and dedication that the French automaker has come to be known for. Apparently, Bugatti will have a hand in the development of the Niniette luxury yachts. It’s already been announced that the design of the yachts will be heavily inspired by some of the most iconic Bugattis in history, including the Type 57 C Atalante and the Type 41 Royale. Modern design components, like titanium and carbon fiber, will also be utilized in the development of the yachts.

All in all, Bugatti and Palmer Johnson plan to build three unique models, beginning with the PJ42 NIniette, followed by the PJ63 Niniette, and the top-of-the-line PJ88 Niniette. The numbers on the names represent the length of each yacht as measured by feet.

Of the three, the PJ63 Niniette is being treated as the main model. In addition to the extensive use of luxury materials, and Bugatti’s involvement in the design of the boat, the PJ63 Niniette will prominently feature a 63 m² salon on deck, a 43 m² salon below deck, and posh accommodations for up to four guests.

Palmer Johnson has yet to announce the pricing figures of each of the three Niniette boats, but it did say that pricing will start at €2 million for the PJ42 Niniette. That would be around $2.2 million based on current exchange rates.

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Why it matters

Bugatti And Palmer Johnson Develop Luxury Yacht Project
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Collaborations between the auto world and the boat world aren’t that uncommon. Mercedes-Benz and Aston Martin are two prominent automakers that come to mind. Even the mad scientists over at Dartz has taken to the boat industry in the past. All that said, it’s different when Bugatti gets involved.

Not only is the brand considered as one of the most exclusive automakers in the world, it also has, as I said, a history in developing luxury yachts. I don’t want to say that this is a perfect match because I’ve yet to see any of the Niniette yachts in person. But, if Palmer Johnson was looking for the perfect automaker to partner in building a yacht, it picked the right one with Bugatti.

I’m actually excited to see what the final products look like. These renderings admittedly look promising, but until an actual working prototype is launched, I’m going to be waiting with baited breath to see what these two titans of their respective industries can cook up together when they join forces for a common goal.

Until then, I’m going to be like everyone else. I’ll be waiting.

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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Press Release

The makers of the world’s fastest production super sports car, Bugatti, and the world’s largest motor yacht builder, Palmer Johnson, are embarking on a joint project. Under licence granted by Bugatti, the world renowned yacht brand has designed a new series of stunning and elegant open carbon-fibre sport yachts, featuring distinctive Bugatti design elements and advanced materials. The series bears the Niniette name and is available in three models from 42ft to 88ft. Prices for the smallest model start at €2 million.

Bugatti And Palmer Johnson Develop Luxury Yacht Project
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Company founder Ettore Bugatti had already developed racing boats and yachts in the 1930s. The visionary’s very personal relationship with his yachts is evident from the names he gave them: Niniette was the pet name of his daughter Lidia. Now, more than 80 years later, this tradition has been revived and the brand motto of “Art, Forme, Technique“ is once again being applied to a boat.

As with the sports cars, the Bugatti design team followed its approach “Form follows Performance”. The luxury yacht with its carbon fiber hull takes up style elements of Bugatti’s iconic classic cars and combines them with the revolutionary hull shape of Palmer Johnson’s SuperSport series. The design is characterized by the falling shoulder line of the Bugatti Type 57 C Atalante and the perfectly balanced proportions of the Type 41 Royale. Purist, flowing surfaces and lines create a perfect equilibrium between elegance and sportiness.

The close link between the Palmer Johnson Niniette and Bugatti’s design DNA is also evident from the accentuated waist line and the typical two-tone color scheme. Viewed from the side, the design is highlighted by a contrasting blend of ultra-strong ultra-lightweight titanium and dark blue exposed carbon fiber. On deck, the combination of a brown bubinga, maple or naturally blue morta oak wood provides a warm contrast with the lightweight high-tech materials.

The design of the Niniette’s hull is based on Palmer Johnson’s ground-breaking SuperSport series – a mono-hull with two sponsons that provide greater stability at speeds and also at anchor. According to the yacht builder, the top speed of the carbon fiber yacht is 38 knots (about 70 km/h).

The central model in the new series is the PJ63 Niniette, with a length of 63 feet (almost 20meters) and a beam of 20.3ft (6.2 meters). This yacht features a 63 m² salon on deck, a 43 m² salon below deck, luxurious accommodation for up to 4 guests and a crew cabin. On request, Bugatti can tailor the interior to meet customers’ individual requirements. The PJ63 Niniette has
a basic price of about €3.25 million. The boat’s sisters, the PJ42 Niniette and the PJ88 Niniette, have lengths of 42 feet (almost 13 meters) and 88 feet (almost 27 meters) respectively. The production time for all three models is about 12 months.

Bugatti And Palmer Johnson Develop Luxury Yacht Project
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“This very special project brings together two brands with more than 100 years of experience in high-end hand crafting in their respective fields,” explains Dr. Stefan Brungs, Member of the Board of Management of Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. responsible for Sales and Marketing: “Bugatti and Palmer Johnson share outstanding lightweight design expertise. Inspired by Bugatti’s design DNA, Palmer Johnson has created not only an incredibly elegant and beautiful yacht but also a masterpiece of craftsmanship featuring carbon fiber, titanium and precious wood. This collector’s item will thrill maritime aficionados.”

“The Palmer Johnson Niniette is the result of a maverick vision to perfect that delicate alchemy between desire and demand. Both Palmer Johnson and Bugatti share deeply held core values of reaching for what we cannot see, of reaching high to deliver the next unimagined experience, of always distancing ourselves from the herd,” says Timur Mohamed, owner of Palmer Johnson, talking about the cooperation. “This is backed by the deeply rooted claims of both brands to reach goals no one expects and always to go one step further. Bugatti and Palmer Johnson are united by the vision of not just thinking outside the box but moving into completely
uncharted waters.” He adds: “We are proud to be able to use Bugatti’s name and design DNA for our exciting new model line.”

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