After eight years in the planning, Rustler Yachts has launched its first motor yacht – the Rustler 41, a boat with the same unique blend of world-class craftsmanship, seakeeping, performance and elegance as the world-renowned sailing yachts they’ve been building for over 50 years.
“We’ve been asked many times if we would build a motorboat by both existing Rustler customers, and those who simply understood our philosophy towards building boats” explains Rustler’s Adrian Jones “our sailing boats are loved for their design, build quality, and craftmanship; all traits which are carried over to the new motor yacht.”
“The feedback from our customers was that they wanted a fast, comfortable boat with good sea-keeping”
From the start, Rustler wanted to make a boat that an owner could pull up to somewhere like the Royal Yacht Squadron and be proud of the boat they are in. Many brands make shiny white boats, but look beneath the glossy veneer and none of them have the quality feel of a Rustler or the ability to be customised beyond décor. You cannot usually change the hull gelcoat colour, layout or the interior style beyond the pre-set options the manufacturer offers, however, as Rustler hand-builds every yacht, if someone wants a contemporary style they can have it or if they prefer their Rustler 41 to have a traditional oak interior they can have that instead, and any part of the yacht can be customised.
Looking around the motorboat market, there are few options for those who want a classically elegant boat with both a high-quality interior and a fast planing hull. Those that are well-made tend to be semi-displacement and few could be described as elegant, and beautiful.
Semi-displacement boats are less economical to run, they have slower cruising speeds, and round-bilge hulls have a tendency to roll. “The feedback from our customers was that they wanted a fast, comfortable boat with good sea-keeping,” Adrian says. Thus the Rustler 41 has a deep-V planing hull that delivers exhilarating performance with a comfortable motion while still retaining excellent slow-speed manoeuvrability. She is expected to have a comfortable cruising speed of around 25 knots.
“We were both looking at designing a perfect ‘gentleman’s launch’ as they used to be called”Tony Castro
The designer of the Rustler 41 is the renowned naval architect Tony Castro. “I’ve worked with Tony before,” Adrian says. “He’s hugely experienced in the yachting, motorboat and superyacht worlds. Tony’s team drew what we all believe to be a craft sufficiently elegant, safe, and seaworthy to carry the Rustler name.”
“We were both looking at designing a perfect ‘gentleman’s launch’ as they used to be called,” Tony Castro explains. “Rustler was thinking about doing something that suited their image and I was thinking of Rustler because I knew what I wanted to do suited Rustler’s image. This was a coming together of minds because we’ve both been thinking about the same thing for a while.”
The standard engine configuration sees the Rustler 41 fitted with shaft drives, although pod drives, outboard engines and sterndrives are also factored into the design, so Rustler can fit any powertrain the customer requires. While a 41ft motorboat with outboard engines is rare in the UK, in the US and Scandinavia they are very popular as the purchase price is often lower, but more importantly the boat with outboards will be able to be lifted for dry-stacking or used on private lifting docks.
“A yacht for people who don’t like the typical fridge-with-windows look of most planing motorboats on the market”
The Rustler 41 is a yacht for people who don’t like the typical fridge-with-windows look of most planing motorboats on the market and hanker after the timeless beauty that Rustler has always offered its customers. The standard layout caters for a cruising couple with friends or family who join them occasionally.
The Rustler 41 will be built with the very best modern production methods, materials and fittings – without the common practice of compromising quality to boost profit margins. Like all Rustler yachts, you’ll be able to look into any part of the boat and see impeccable quality throughout. Whether it’s an area like an engine mount that will rarely be seen or a piece of joinery that’s visible to anyone on board, the Rustler 41 will demonstrate British craftsmanship at its best.
“This boat is all about pride of ownership,” Tony says. “It’s not just a tool or a vehicle you go out in for the weekend, it will be something you’re proud to show off. I want to give people that feeling, have people say “I’m really proud to own a boat like this.” Adrian concurs: “We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel here, we are simply refining the design to make it work well and then building it properly with no corners cut.”
“The Rustler 41 offers benefits that are unfamiliar to most sailing yacht owners, such as keel-free cruising and no tidal streams to worry about”
The Rustler 41 offers benefits that are unfamiliar to most sailing yacht owners, such as keel-free cruising with a draught of 0.64m (2ft 4in) and no tidal streams to worry about – her maximum speed will be around 35 knots. She has a comfortable wheelhouse with forward-facing helm seats and ample room for two people to sit together. Behind the helm position is a galley with a stove, sink and fridge. Opposite the galley, there’s a U-shaped dinette seating around a table that can drop down to make a third double berth or a daybed if required.
Aft of the saloon, doors lead to the cockpit, which has L-shaped seating in each aft quarter, a wet bar and more seating is forward. A through-transom door gives access to a swim platform for easy boarding, which can also be used to stow a jetRIB. Side doors in the hull improve access when the boat is moored alongside. “I think on this type of boat you need them’ Tony says. ‘Ease of boarding is important, and I don’t see why people should have to clamber in from the transom platform.”
The high bulwarks of the cockpit reduce going forward, giving easy access to the foredeck and the sunpad on the coachroof. Down below, the master cabin has a big, aft-facing double berth and the guest cabin has an athwartships double berth that runs beneath the cockpit, to port. The heads compartment is very spacious with a separate shower area.
“Sea-keeping, safety and craftsmanship will always be at the forefront of every boat we produce”
“Sea-keeping, safety and craftsmanship will always be at the forefront of every boat we produce, and in the case of this model, the pleasure and pride of ownership will be a defining reason to purchase,” Adrian says. “Other boats can do the same job but few, if any, will have the quality feel and bespoke craftsmanship that the Rustler name guarantees.”
“Safety is a question of how it rides.” adds Tony. “A boat, if it has some nasty tendencies – or if it’s got the centre of gravity too far forward, for example – can start to exhibit some very odd behaviour in certain sea conditions. If you take care of that, you basically make the boat benign, even in the very worst conditions. Seaworthy is probably more a question of how much confidence the boat instils in the user, how is the boat reacting to the seas. Is it vicious and jerky or is it consistent?”
“Owners are encouraged to visit the boat in build as much as they like and to have as much involvement as they want”
Like all Rustler yachts, buying a Rustler 41 will be an involving experience. Owners are encouraged to visit the boat in build as much as they like and to have as much involvement as they want in the design, styling, personalisation and customisation of their Rustler 41.
The team at Rustler pride themselves in not just building ‘a’ boat for an owner, they are building their boat, for them, from the very start. “We have had decades providing this bespoke service to our sailing boat owners,” Adrian says, “and we’d like to offer that opportunity and experience to our motorboat owners too.”
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