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Rolls-Royce Returns To Coachbuilding the Nautical-Inspired Boat Tail

Rolls-Royce used to be the leader in the coachbuilding business, back when consumers wanted to flaunt their wealth instead of schlepping themselves around in a basic form of transportation. From the 1926 Phantom Brougham de Ville and 1928 17EX to the 1934 Phantom II Continental drophead coupe and 1972 Phantom VI limousine, Rolls-Royce specialized in coachbuilding to give wealthy consumers a bespoke vehicle that no other could match.


Since then, things have cooled off with Rolls’ coachbuilding services, as the last one the British marque pumped out was the Sweptail in 2017. In a return to form and the good ol’ days of catering to the 1%, the automaker has come out with a new Rolls-Royce Coachbuilding department that just came out with the swanky and ultra-exclusive Boat Tail.

Rolls-Royce Boat Tail


Three Boat Tails will be built, all of which will be to each customer’s specific specifications. Being a product of the brand’s new coachbuilding department, the Boat Tails will feature unique styling elements, features, colors, and trim specifications. So far, Rolls-Royce has only built one model – the all-blue-everything model you see here – that took four years and 1,813 new parts to make.

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The customer didn’t request a Boat Tail out of the blue. Rolls-Royce claims the first customer has a 1932 Boat Tail in their collection that they had restored. So, the arrival of the modern variant will fit nicely in their garage.


Drawing its inspiration from the sea and modern boats, the Boat Tail looks like a yacht built for land use. The body measures 19 feet long and features nautical touches like the two-tone blue paint job, a wraparound windshield, and a wood veneer rear deck. The latter also has stainless-steel stripes that are meant to resemble a boat’s hull. The dark blue paint on the hood was hand-painted, while the color combination carries onto the two-tone wheels.

Rolls-Royce Boat Tail


Just like a yacht, owners will be able to enjoy fresh air thanks to a removable cloth canopy that connects to the rear deck. Unfortunately, the roof requires some manual labor to detach. We’re sure the new owners will get their drivers or assistants to complete the task, but for unexpected drizzles, Rolls-Royce has included a temporary tonneau top that can be stored in the trunk for emergency use.


While the rear deck, two-tone paint job, and yacht-like lines would be enough to fill any neighbor with envy, the Boat Tail’s real cynosure sits underneath the rear deck. Apparently, the owners of the first Boat Tail love hosting dinner parties, so Rolls-Royce included a “hosting suite” that opens up with the push of a button. The two lockable panels at the back hinge at the center at a 67-degree angle to reveal two chests with dishes and silverware, as well as a double refrigerator, napkins, and Champagne glasses. All of the necessities for a fancy picnic. Instead of forcing owners to sit on the ground during their picnic, because that just wouldn’t be right, the Boat Tail has a cocktail table and a pair of folding stools. And to block out the sun, there’s a parasol that extends from the center of the lockable panels.


As one would expect, the interior is just as special as the exterior. The cabin features two-tone blue leather upholstery with the front seats being finished in dark blue, while the rear seats are light blue. The instrument panel has a unique braided texture that’s finished in a decorative technique called Guilloche, there’s contrast blue stitching, carbon fiber trim pieces with a bright blue weave to mimic waves, and lacquered wood veneer that matches the rear deck help passengers feel like going for a ride is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. 

Rolls-Royce Boat Tail


The customers who ordered the first Boat Tail are timepiece enthusiasts, so the car comes with a pair of Bovet 1822 watches. Obviously, these watches are one-offs that match the design of the car. Rolls-Royce made a titanium cradle in the car’s dashboard to allow the watches to act as a clock while the car is being driven.


Rolls-Royce isn’t listing specifics about the Boat Tail’s powertrain or what kind of platform it rides on. It’s safe to assume that the drop-top comes with a 6.7-liter V12 engine that makes roughly 600 horsepower. As with other Rolls-Royces, the Boat Tail is as much about relaxing on the way to a destination as it is about taking a load off at the destination.

Read more: Rolls Royce Dawn Review

Rolls-Royce Boat Tail


While Rolls-Royce claims that the Boat Tails have been commissioned by people that promise to drive the vehicles regularly, we doubt that will be the case. Come on. These are rumored to be some of the most expensive vehicles on the market and people that can afford these kinds of cars have extensive garages of other cars to choose from. Personally, I think these are the kinds of cars that wealthy people will take to a private beach annually before hiding them away in a garage to show off to friends.


Still, the Boat Tails are cool, whimsical, and unique. With modern cars looking nearly identical to one another these days, it’s fun to see what’s possible with an infinite budget and unconstrained imagination.

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Joel Patel
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Joel Patel is a Northern Virginia native that became enamored with cars at a young age when he was tasked with holding the…
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