Rolls-Royce Boat Tail revealed: a maritime one-off

Published: 27 May 2021

► A one-off designed by customer and Rolls-Royce
► Maritime styling cues throughout
► Based on the same platform as the Swept Tail

Rolls-Royce has doubled down on its land yacht aesthetics to produce this, the new Rolls-Royce Boat Tail. In many ways, it’s the continuation of two trends that have always been key to the high-end Goodwood brand: maritime style and one-off customization.

The front of the reimagined Boat Tail is fairly par for the course, and features Rolls-Royce’s huge pantheon grille, but there are several nods to the sea; a wraparound windscreen adds some nautical vibes, while the sides of the car feature lines which echo running boards.

As you’d expect from the name, most of the ‘one-off’ in this Rolls-Royce can be seen at the rear. Just like the 1932 Boat Tail which this car loosely borrows from, the new car resolves into a sleek, tapered form – once again echoing the shapes you’d see parked at a marina. 

Open it up, and it’s more functional than you’d expect. In addition to space for the car’s convertible roof, there’s room for important luggage such as champagne, coolers and crystal, and there are also fold-out tables to consume it all on. A parasol is also available if the weather is a little too extreme. 

Underneath, the Boat Tail shares the same platform as the equally one-off Swept Tail. Goodwood says it’s part of a series of three cars, requested by three patrons interested in J-class yachts and classic design. And that means we’re eventually going to see another maritime-inspired Rolls-Royce soon. 

Put Rolls-Royce’s latest boat car to one side, and it’s clear one-off projects like this will once again become a key part of the brand – both in revenue and identity. ‘We have created a trio of exceptional cars which, although they share a common body style, are each imbued with the unique, highly personal imprint of the commissioning patron, thereby telling differing stories,’ said Alex Innes head of Rolls-Royce coachbuild design.

Boat Tail is unprecedented. Boat Tail is a distinct counterpoint to industrialised luxury.'

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's online editor and racing-sim enthusiast

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