The SV Yachts Alpha Is a Race Car for the Water

One of the most interesting—and definitely one of the fastest—yachts at the Miami boat show in the Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin was the SV Alpha. The 38-footer, with its flared silver hull and lollipop-red interior, was inspired by the lines of a 1967 Corvette. The designers Mauricio Velez and Nicolai Sass decided to build their own boat after a visit to an earlier Miami show. “We were bored with what we saw,” says Velez. “Everything was the same. We just looked at each other and said, ‘Why don’t we build our own hotrod boat?’”

A year later, there it was, powered by twin 700 hp Mercury Racing Engines and Mercury Race 6 drives, with props calibrated to push the boat over 90 mph. Many performance boats can easily top 90 mph, but none have the dayboat layout and luxury touches of the new Alpha. It was clearly a category-breaker at Miami. The hotrod analogy may be shorting the new boat—it’s more like a 1967 ’Vette in terms of classic, flowing style, rather than the home-made speed machines that hotrods were back in the ’60s.

SV Yachts used exotic fibers like aramid and Kevlar weave in the 11,200-pound hull to make it light and stiff to get the speed numbers it wanted, but also strong enough for ocean running. It has a high shear for passing through large waves. Both Velez and Sass used their lifelong experience on boats for the interior, while a naval architect designed the offshore running surface.

Despite its impressive top speed, the super-cool, James Bond factor is in the cockpit, ranging from the touchscreen helm area, to the large ruby-red (or whatever color owners choose) sunpads over the engine hatch, to the Champagne cooler at the bow of the boat. For owners who may not want the raw power of twin 700s, Alpha is offering Mercury Racing 520 hp and 565 hp twin options. The 520s allow for joystick control. “We have active trim for speeds up to 50 mph and then it’s manual,” says Velez. “The trim system was also designed to react like the paddle-shift transmission systems in the old race cars.”

The designers also included details reminiscent of supercars, such as vents for the engine at the hips of the boat and hinged louvers that open as soon as the engines are fired up. The optional hardtop was aerodynamically designed to provide sun and wind protection without impacting performance. The first Alpha hull made available for purchase has already sold and Velez says a “longer and wider” second model is now in the works. “We’ve been getting calls from people asking where they can put their fishing rods,” says Velez. “We never want to be seen as a fishing boat. We designed after a vintage supercar and that’s the SV heritage we want to keep in all models.”

SV Alpha’s base price ranges from $680,000 to $800,000, but will vary depending on options. (svyachts.com)

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