Who can forget Roger Moore’s portrayal of James Bond navigating the Glastron speedboat in Live and Let Die, or the striking Sunseeker Sovereign 17 featured in Quantum of Solace, starring the charismatic Daniel Craig? These remarkable vessels have become integral to the James Bond film experience, exuding the same sleek, classy, powerful, and intelligent qualities that define the iconic British secret agent himself. They’re now even fondly referred to as “James Bond boats”.
In the world of the James Bond film franchise, action transcends thrilling car chases and adrenaline-pumping land-based stunts. The renowned 007 has an unparalleled ability to conquer not only the espionage world but also the high seas. Throughout the franchise’s history, Bond has been at the helm of some of the most opulent, stylish, and undeniably sophisticated boats ever to grace the silver screen. Let’s set out on a stylish voyage to explore the quintessential James Bond boats – each boasting Bond-worthy features, unforgettable moments, and intriguing estimated costs.
James Bond boats and yachts: Why are they so crucial to the plots?
So, why are boats such stars in James Bond movies? Well, they add a splash of glamour and adventure that’s crucial for a stylish franchise like Bond. Plus, these vessels often take the movie characters to exotic spots, creating excitement. Tight quarters on a boat? Perfect for intense action scenes!
Considering how Bond is the poster boy for living the high life, it’s only natural that his enemies flaunt their riches with these lavish, expensive toys. But here’s the twist – these boats aren’t just eye candy. When things get dicey, these vessels play a key role in Bond’s daring getaways, symbolising not just money, power, and influence, but also the sweet taste of freedom from danger. In essence, they’re not just props; they’re essential players in the thrilling Bond experience.
9 James Bond boats that are both beauties and beasts on the water
1. The Glastron GT-150
Film: Live and Let Die (1973)
A true Bond classic, the Glastron GT-150 featured in Live and Let Die takes us back to the ’70s in all its glory. Bond’s sleek escape from Mr. Big’s henchmen was nothing short of breathtaking. With a white and orange colour scheme, this boat was the epitome of style at the time. Its aerodynamic design, complete with a sliding windshield, and the ability to pop up on its hydrofoils for a high-speed chase made it an unforgettable addition to the Bond universe.
Estimated Cost: Around USD 5,000 (in 1973)
2. The Wetbike
Film: The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
For a change of pace, Bond took to the water on a Wetbike in The Spy Who Loved Me. This one-man jet ski not only allowed Bond to move swiftly across the water but also had the added bonus of turning into a mini-submarine when needed. The Wetbike was the perfect gadget for an underwater adventure and showed Bond’s adaptability in any situation. It was an actual (and pretty powerful!) watercraft introduced in 1978, which only goes to show how Bond was always ahead of his time with the latest technology.
Estimated Cost: Approximately USD 3,000 (in 1977)
3. The Q Boat
Film: The World Is Not Enough (1999)
The Q Boat in The World Is Not Enough is a masterpiece of espionage engineering. Packed with hidden torpedoes, machine guns, and an ejector seat (courtesy of Q, of course), this unassuming boat became Bond’s weapon of choice in a high-speed pursuit along the Thames. This vessel, a creation by Doug Riddle, boasts a 300 bhp V8 engine that drives a jet propulsion system. And for that extra touch of Hollywood flair, it’s equipped with two rear-mounted faux jets that ignite into blazing flames. Its sleek design and arsenal of gadgets made it a standout addition to the Bond arsenal. The 14-minute (Q) boat chase in the pre-credit opening sequence of the film is the longest in 007 history.
Estimated Cost: USD 37,500 (As of 2022)
4. The Spirit 54 Yacht
Film: Casino Royale (2006)
When Bond needs a break from saving the world, he heads to the Bahamas aboard the Spirit 54 Yacht in Casino Royale. This stunning wooden yacht, with its classic lines and luxurious interior, perfectly complements Bond’s quiet moments with Vesper Lynd. It’s a symbol of elegance and sophistication, reminding us that even spies need a little downtime.
Estimated Cost: USD 1.5 million (in 2006)
5. The Sunseeker Sovereign 17
Film: Quantum of Solace (2008)
In Quantum of Solace, Bond commandeers the Sunseeker Sovereign 17, a luxury motor yacht that perfectly embodies the blend of speed, style, and substance that the Bond franchise is known for. This yacht’s sleek design and powerful engines allowed Bond to chase down villains in a breathtaking finale in Italy’s waters. The Sunseeker Sovereign became a symbol of Bond’s ability to tackle danger with flair.
From high-speed pursuits to tranquil moments on the open seas, these boats have added an extra layer of intrigue and glamour to the world of James Bond. As we eagerly anticipate the next instalment in the iconic franchise, one thing is for sure: Bond’s aquatic adventures will continue to be the stuff of legend, with boats that are as suave and unforgettable as the spy himself. Originally built in 1970, the Sunseeker Sovereign 17 was fully restored in 2005 to celebrate the company’s early years and long history of designing and building luxury motor yachts.
Estimated Cost: Approximately USD 4.5 million (in 2008)
6. ‘Delos’ (ex ‘Aurora’)
Film: From Russia With Love (1963)
Not only did the 293-foot Delos serve as the iconic Spectre headquarters in the 1963 classic From Russia with Love, marking Sean Connery’s second portrayal of the suave 007, but it also played an unexpected role as the inspiration behind the beloved TV series The Love Boat, as revealed by its current owner, Christopher Wilson.
Originally named ‘Wappen von Hamburg,’ this remarkable German-built cruise ship was constructed in 1955 by the renowned Blohm & Voss Shipyard. Initially designed as a luxurious 75m, diesel-powered motor yacht, it was built for one of the owners of an Italian motor car manufacturer. The ‘Wappen von Hamburg’ featured state-of-the-art engineering and had a top speed of 20 knots. In its original configuration, it accommodated up to 22 guests in 11 opulent cabins, along with staff quarters, a bar, an entertainment lounge, a games room, and a gym.
After serving in the Mediterranean Sea, the Aurora underwent an extensive 18-month refit to bring her into the 21st century. During this transformation, her length was increased by 8.7 metres, her beam stretched to 13.93 metres, and her gross weight increased by 40%.
As of 2020, M/Y Aurora was reported to be located in Sochi, Russia, where it serves as a luxurious hotel, private club, and business centre, showcasing its storied history to a new generation of enthusiasts.
Estimated cost: Priceless, considering its unique history and transformation.
7. ‘Kingdom 5KR’ (ex ‘Nabila’)
Film: Never Say Never Again (1983)
Back in 1980, the illustrious MY Flying Saucer had its origins as a vessel commissioned by the Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi and crafted by Benetti. However, its journey didn’t stop there; it soon found itself in the glamorous world of Hollywood alongside the legendary Sean Connery in the 1983 film Never Say Never Again. Following its cinematic debut, the MY Flying Saucer underwent a series of remarkable transformations. First, it came under the ownership of the Sultan of Brunei, who later sold it to none other than Donald Trump, leading to its rechristening as the “Trump Princess.”
As time flowed on, in 1991, the boat found itself under the patronage of another Saudi billionaire tycoon, Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal. With its new name, “Kingdom 5KR,” this magnificent vessel became a fixture, almost permanently moored in the enchanting locale of Antibes on the sun-kissed Côte d’Azur. Thus, MY Flying Saucer’s remarkable journey through both Hollywood and high-profile ownerships adds yet another layer to its storied history.
The yacht was built in 1980 by the yacht builder Benetti at a cost of USD 100 million (equivalent to USD 355 million in 2022). Its original interior was designed by Luigi Sturchio. According to reports, the yacht can reach a top speed of 20 knots and has a cruising speed of 17 knots, with a range of 8,500 nautical miles. With a gross tonnage of 1768.0 GT and a beam of 13.23 m, the vessel comfortably accommodates 22 guests in 11 staterooms and 31 crew members.
Estimated cost: A whopping USD 500 million. (2022)
8. ‘Trafalgar’ (ex ‘Moonmaiden II’)
Film: The Living Daylights (1987)
In the pre-title sequence of the action-packed 1987 film The Living Daylights, Timothy Dalton made his unforgettable debut as the suave and daring secret agent, James Bond. And while his mission to board the Moonmaiden II yacht was anything but conventional, it undoubtedly added to the film’s thrilling charm. In a fiery entrance, Bond descends from the sky via parachute, landing squarely on the aft deck of the Moonmaiden II. It’s safe to say that Agent 007 rarely opts for the ordinary when there’s an opportunity for cinematic flair.
Fast forward to the present day, and the Moonmaiden II, now rechristened as “Trafalgar,” is on the lookout for a new owner. This classic canoe-stern yacht, hailing from the stylish era of the 1970s, boasts timeless appeal and is currently available for acquisition through Ocean Independence. With an asking price of USD 2,500,000, this vessel offers not only a piece of cinematic history but also the promise of exciting adventures on the high seas.
Estimated cost: USD 2,500,000 million
9. Pruva Regina
Film: SkyFall (2012)
Estimated cost: USD 14 million (2012)
In SkyFall, Daniel Craig’s James Bond and Severine (Bérénice Marlohe) sail aboard the stunning Pruva Regina yacht, gliding through Turkey’s sapphire waters. This actual superyacht is a 183-ft schooner built in Turkey by Pruva Yachting in 2011. Regina boasts a maximum speed of 12 knots and can accommodate 12 guests in two master suites, two double staterooms, and two twin cabins, along with a crew of nine. This James Bond yacht was listed for sale in 2012 for a princely sum of USD 14 million. And here’s a fun fact: the shower scene, supposedly taking place aboard the yacht, was actually filmed in room 712 of the Four Seasons Hotel at Canary Wharf in London.
From high-speed pursuits to serene moments on open waters, these boats have added an extra layer of intrigue and glamour to the world of James Bond. As we eagerly anticipate the next chapter in this iconic franchise, one thing remains certain: Bond’s nautical adventures will continue to be legendary, with boats as suave and unforgettable as the spy himself.
This story first appeared here.
(Main and featured images: MGM Studios)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What kind of boat is in Skyfall?
In the film, the ship is referred to as the “Chimera”. The actual yacht is the 56-meter sail yacht Regina, launched by Pruva Yachting in 2011. The schooner-type yacht was built in Bodrum, Turkey. It is a modern, high-performance schooner superyacht incorporating a classic design.
What boat did James Bond jump with?
Glastron GT-150. In the movie Live and Let Die (1974), James Bond uses a Glastron GT150 speedboat in a thrilling chase through the Louisiana marches. The boat made a record-breaking 120ft jump.