Hermes Speedster: A Porsche Tribute for the Water
Don’t let first impressions fool you. While Valentino Constantinou represents the boat known as the Hermes Speedster, which was inspired by the Porsche 365 Speedster in terms of both look and handling, he is definitely a car guy.
I have always been into cars. I found a Porsche 924S in sad condition and dragged it out of the yard where it was sitting. I’ve been restoring myself because I like wrenching my own car. I’m learning all the time.
I’ve always been an applied learner. My parents gave me opportunities to try but I didn’t have those opportunities in school. It seems schools are starting to give those chances to kids, so they can learn by doing. I think the Piston Foundation’s mission—to fund skilled trade education for the collector car craftspeople of tomorrow—is fabulous because it is providing an opportunity at a time when the world is beginning to appreciate hands-on craftsmanship again.
Because You Can’t Take Your Porsche on the Water
When the opportunity to represent this boat came along, I thought that was cool. This is an extension of the Porsche enthusiast community. You know what I mean if you’ve been bit by the car bug; you kind of can’t resist.
Company Founder Nicholas Politis loves his Porsche 365 Speedster and decided to combine that passion with his skills as a boat builder. He started work on the Speedster in 2017 and was able to come up with a prototype in six months. He began making refinements and it took Boat of Show at the 2018 Dusseldorf Boat Show.
While respecting the nautical architecture needed for a boat that would react as nimbly and quickly as the car, he included automotive details like the rearview mirror and switches and steering wheel on the dashboard. Some of the less obvious but definitely inspired features include the stern of the boat, which hides a modern jet-drive and Rotax engine, but still has the shape and vents that make you remember the car that Porsche first produced 70 years ago, with all the flair and excitement.
In fact, Hermes refers to the Greek God that most people recognize because of his winged sandals or know him as the messenger of the Gods. Or, you can think of him as the God of roads and travelers.
We were impressed enough with this boat to become the exclusive importer in America and start doing business as Seven Seas Yachts Americas. Like I said, there’s something that just pulls you in when you find an affinity with cars. I’m lucky to enjoy a career that lets me indulge in my passion and I’m glad to know there’s a grassroots charity that’s helping young men and women find their own fulfillment in an automotive profession.
Like a Porsche, the Hermes Speedster Has Style and Performance
Porsche recently featured the boat in an article, happy with the homage to the car, referring to the romantic era that this craft evokes. With a draft of 8” you can easily pull her onto a beach and have a picnic that just takes you away from it all. You can simply shut off the cell phone and relax.
It’s that stylish moment in time that can really appeal. You give us the paint code from your car and the boat and its trailer can be color matched. That’s a nice link from what you enjoy on the road to the water, where the ride can make any day a great day.
Maybe it’s because you can really play with the handling of this boat on the water, reaching a top speed of 45 mph or 40 knots, and don’t need to worry about track time or tickets but members of the Porsche Club have embraced the boat as a sports car on the water. Some have said it’s that handling, others say the look of the boat, and few others just that feeling you get when moving at speed. Whatever it is, the boat is an on-water extension of a timeless design loved by auto enthusiasts around the world.
Inspiration from the Past Helps Build the Future
Like I said, this boat has a jet drive engine. That’s miles away from the original 1.6L engine in the Porsche 365 Speedster. But, make no mistake, it takes know-how to deal with either engine. That’s why we need to give kids the chance to learn all they want to absorb.
I know they are fascinated by this kind of thing. I volunteer by teaching a robotics program to kids. They make 3D parts that they can customize with color before programming the robot. They work with their hands and circuit diagrams. They can see their ideas come to life and actually work in the real world.
They get as excited as I do about making something work and then enjoying it. My daily driver is a 1988 VW Vanagon, what most folks know as a “VW Bus.” Talk about character and fun. That’s all worth sharing with a new generation so they can have their own great careers with these amazing machines.