A new legend was born
In the Bavarian village of Breitenbrunn half way between Munich and the Lake of Constance Florian and Günther Graf have created a new solid wood motor boat. The draft was done by Winfried H. Wilke, an expert of boat building and meanwhile a legend in his profession. As a classic runabout made of luxurious mahogany wood, the “Ipanema” is immediately convincing by its timeless and sublime elegance. At first look it is obvious that this boat has everything making it a legend.
40 years of traditional boat building
For more than 40 years, Günther Graf, senior partner of the boat building yard Graf in Breitenbrunn in Algovia, has been an enthusiast of boat building. Indeed, the origin of the company was the production of individual interior furnishing, it was the basis for its meanwhile outstanding reputation. “I have all my heart in the boat building sector” Mr. Graf adds quickly. His son Florian, junior partner of the company, has imbibed from infancy this mixture of water foam and the sonorous sound of the motor. In the meantime, he belongs to the most experienced specialists in the boat building scene. Both father and son have a love of detail and are keen on achieving ultimate perfection in their craft.
About 2 years ago the project was started under the title “Graf Classic 880” when father and son were looking for a reputable designer and constructor of their boat. They finally found the right partner in Winfried Wilke who doubtlessly is in full line with them. “If you have a classic wooden boat in mind and appreciate, as we do, best quality, timeless elegance and impressive driving performance, then you cannot accept any compromise”, Graf junior says. And Mr. Wilke comments: “Seldom before have I seen that my constructive ideas were realised with such creativity and perfectionism. Even some of the best renowned brands could learn a thing or two from this skillful way of handling with wood as a raw material”.
First launching of the boat
After innumerable working hours the boat was launched for the first time in Kressbronn, July 19th, 2007. The first meters under the boat's own steam – documented on film – make every enthusiast's heart beat faster. It seems as if boat and water have become a symbiotic unit. Before the two boat building partners can go for a spin, very detailed examinations and extensive test drives under the critical eyes of the constructor Wilke have to be done. “It gives you so much pleasure that you cannot stop smiling ”, says Florian Graf. And his father adds “after all these working hours, innumerable busy weekends, 2 years without holidays, it seems to me like celebrating Christmas and Easter together!”
Fantastic running characteristics
The Graf Ipanema is crossing the wake of the camera boat as if she were driving on invisible rails. Again and again she isn't impressed at all when facing the agitated waters. The foam stays on the surface of the water as it is to be. Even the most narrow curve radius is no problem and the boat remains easily controllable in all driving situations. Due to the test report a maximum speed of 40.5 knots has been reached. “Considering the weight of 3 tons and a propeller power of 300 hp the values reached are to everybody's satisfaction”, says Wilke
The construction of the boat is so well balanced that the Grafs could even do without installing elevator and balance assemblies. A noble steering wheel, a throttle control with wooden knob and a trimmable z-type propeller is all to keep the Ipanema on the right course, at any time.
Finest design in every detail
Despite the elegant appearance and the excellent driving characteristics, it is the detailed quality of craftsmanship and the chosen materials which make the deepest impression: Fine oxhide and alcantara leather, high-grade woollen materials, finest wood (mahogany, teak, larch, oak, okoumé) brass chroming and stainless steel, a panorama windscreen and further equipment are the guarantee for a haptic and sensory experience. It is, of course, also a consequence of Graf's perfectionism that not only the instrument panel (which basically consists of solid ply-wood) is pepped up with very fine leather but also the back side of the seat cushion and the cover of the stowed convertible top. The cabin of the boat disposes of a roof made of alcantara and extra converted bull’s eyes, which do not have to be closed during the boat trip.
There is enough space for six persons to take seats around the mahogany table which can be folded and stowed away with concealed champagne flutes integrated. Two persons even have the privilege to sit on the commander's leather swivel seats. It is self-evident that the materials of these seats, originally in plastics, have also been concealed with leather. There is also sufficient storage space and a capacious cupboard cooler under the leather seating area. Reaching up to the back of the boat there is a spacious sun-lounge (also made of fine leather) which ends with the ante-skidding swimming plateau made of teak wood. Most of the fittings on and under the deck haven been especially designed, moulded and chromed for the Ipanea or directly made in V4A stainless-steel. Whatever may hint at the existing control unit is cleverly concealed so that nothing in the surroundings of the helmsman and the passengers can blur the nostalgic-perfect atmosphere.
The art of classic style boat building
In the Graf shipyard the classic virtues of boat building are cultivated. Keel, frames and stringer of the Ipanema are manufactured from solid oak and larch.
The hull is carvel-planked with double diagonal mahogany, a method which may even surprise inveterate fans of classic boats. Not to forget, the planked layer on the highest top is made in one piece reaching along the whole length of the boat. “It is very important to have a good eye when purchasing the materials”, says Florian Graf “because even big timber merchants do not have everything on stock”. “A careful choice of material and giving your whole attention to the handling of the surface have the effect that no irregularities on the varnish (polished 2-component PU-varnish) can be noticed, not even in the very bright light of the shipyard working hall.
New virtuoso in concert with great names
The Ipanema could be good for great posing, but she was not manufactured with this purpose in mind. When looking at the Ipanema, you can see and feel that it is the result of smart knowledge of construction, combined with the strong will of a craftsman to create high quality. She embodies the ethos of craftsmanship which can only be found among manufacturers with a fine tradition. And innovations that were born out of such old ethos are often among the milestones of human achievements. With the creation of the Ipanema, the brand Graf is now competing with such great names as RIVA, Predrazzini and Boesch. Therefore it may hardly be surprising that the price range is to be settled beyond 400.000 €.
Once you have made your decision for the Ipanema you will own a rare jewel with excellent driving characteristics comparable to those of the brands mentioned above. “It is only the glamour that is missing so far”, mentions Graf senior a bit melancholy. One thing is sure, however, the foundation for a successful development of a great brand has been laid, anyway.
technical datas of the Graf Ipanema
length: 9,05 m; width: 2,70 m; draught of the hull: 0,46 m; freeboard: 1,03 – 0,78 m
weight: 3.200 kg (partly loaded)
fuel tank: 430 Litre (2 x 215 Litre)
maximum speed: 40 kn
motorization: separate or dual drive with z-type propeller or v-gear.
otto or diesel engine(s) with 300 hp up to 2 x 400 hp