Maserati Tridente by Vita Power First, Um, Cruise Review: Today on Aquablog

LAKE MAGGIORE, ItalyMaserati’s Trident logo gets three-pronged inspiration from the famous fountain of Neptune in Bologna, where the automaker got its start in 1914 before packing up and moving to Modena. And a symbol that denotes mastery over the water is appropriate for the all-electric motorboat that floats us in style around Italy’s Lake Maggiore.

Beckoning dockside, the Tridente is a 10.5-meter superyacht tender, the boat that takes you to a bigger boat. But it’s also fine for swanky solo cruises on lakes or ocean coasts, with a roughly 50- to 70-kilometer range (31 to 43 miles).

The design collaboration between Maserati and Vita Power, a marine tech company founded in 2017, features a fast DC charging system that Vita claims as an industry first. To make that practical, Vita has been creating charging infrastructure in key locales, including along the French Riviera, San Francisco Bay, New York and a plug here in Lake Maggiore, about an hour north of Milan.

We hop aboard the Tridente, the aforementioned logo emblazoned on a bow deck formed from ribbed composite. The molto bene motorboat features a carbon-fiber hull that helps hold a total weight around 5 tons. As with automobiles, that’s decisively more mass than a comparable ICE-powered boat, thanks to a 250-kilowatt-hour battery pack that’s big enough to make a Hummer EV blush.

We depart the dock and head for Isola Bella, an island that floats a 17th-century palazzo — a summer home for the aristocratic House of Borromeo, which produced several cardinals and one pope — and a baroque Italian garden of over-the-top splendor. I take a spot on a wide, comfy daybed near the stern, and experience the key talking point of any electric watercraft: A welcome lack of diesel or gasoline stink wafting over passengers — notoriously amplified should one experience seasickness — and the ability to hold a conversation without shouting over an ear-rending marine ICE powertrain. Of course, that also means no rainbow petroleum slicks floating in your wake and despoiling the marine environment.

Our pilot makes sure I’m hanging on before he punches the throttle, backed by a pair of generous screens that display everything from nav charts to Netflix. Despite its weight, the Tridente proves a punchy beast. A twin-prop arrangement and proprietary control software allows anywhere from 100 to 600 horsepower. Vita Power claims a 10-80% percent charge in less than an hour at a maximum rate of better than 200 kilowatts. But even without a DC charger in port, boats have a built-in advantage over EV cars, via shore power that’s readily accessible in nearly any marina in the world — and boats that tend to sit unused for days or even weeks between trips.

The handsome hull cruises smartly at roughly 28 knots, and a maximum 40 knots, potentially outrunning paparazzi en route to a yacht-rocking celebrity lunch in Monaco. The churn of the props dominates the sound, the electric motors themselves completely undetectable. There’s a swim deck at the stern with a fresh-water shower, dual main chairs that swing around to create a conversation area, a smartly equipped cabin with a toilet and shower, and a hidden built-in fridge for bubbly or other beverages.

Vita Power is responsible for the powertrain design. But the boat itself is actually the work of Hodgdon Yachts, the Maine builder and tender specialist that’s been around for more than 200 years, even longer than Maserati. If you’re interested, look ‘em up, and prepare to fork over about $2.7 million. A lot of money, but a pittance for folks who can afford the superyacht it attaches to.

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