Today and the past of Magnum Marine

Filippo Theodoli,  some time ago, gave seabuddy a incredibility smooth, high speed test run / sea trial in a Magnum 45′ (the1980 Hull design) while he (and I) were attending a SNAME (The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers) meeting near the Miami Seaquarium In  Key Biscayne, FL to demonstrate the extra speed and excellent handling of an Arneson Surface drive in a heavy, luxurious deep vee offshore pleasure boat. (Being in boating for about 55 years and messing around within the various aspects of the marine trades for about 30 of those years makes for an interesting boating life and lots of stories)

His skill behind the wheel and in knowing the high speed, shallow water capability of that type of drive was impressive.

His boat was also amazing (as well as that drive) that day.

Arneson still makes that drive and seabuddy believes that one can see a clear path from an old standard inboard shaft drive, to the Arneson Surface Drives, to the Volvo IPS (with a lot of WW II torpedo prop knowledge thrown in).

These photos are from Magnum Marine and show their current 44’ model. More of the seven photos and 1,100 words on the second page.


The Theodolis and a edited History of Magnum Marine. 

In 1966 Don Aronow, now off-shore champion and boat builder, built himself a new 27′ race boat, which he named “Maltese Magnum”. Te boat became World Champion and Don Aronow built a small factory to build more boats just like it. Magnum Marine today.

In 1976, Apeco sold Magnum Marine to Marchese Filippo Theodoli and his wife Katrin. This brought major change into the production line. 

Filippo had the innovative idea of transforming the race boat into a high performance luxury yacht combining sea worthiness of the race boat with the luxurious accommodations and comforts of a yacht, which the owner could drive by himself. He also insisted on reliability and fuel efficiency and, therefore, was the first to install diesel engines in a Magnum. Filippo Theodoli was the inventor of the open sport boat / yacht, which soon was copied.. The fact that owners could now buy a comfortable and fast boat, that they could drive themselves, in safety, with range to reach out islands changed boating.. 

The first boat of this new era was the Magnum 53′, a wide beamed high performance yacht with 7′ head room and two double cabins each with separate heads, salon, galley and crew cabin, equipped with twin diesel engines. Delivered to the Mediterranean in 1977, this first Magnum yacht became an enormous success. She was fast, seaworthy and had the spacious and luxurious interiors of a yacht. Other high performance yachts followed: the Magnum 45′ in 1980, and the Magnum 40′, which replaced the Magnum 38′. In 1990 Filippo Theodoli died, leaving the Magnum boatyard to his wife Katrin. Because Katrin loved Magnum, because she felt an enormous responsibility towards all those who had been working with Magnum for so many years, and lastly because she was irked and challenged by being told that no woman could ever run a boat company, she decided not to sell Magnum Marine and to keep her husband’s legacy alive. Whilst she secretly learned how to drive a boat, she thought about designing her new and ideal Magnum. She consulted with Pininfarina and other designers such as Paolo Martin and the Brazilian Luiz de Basto. 

 In 1993,she launched her first new model, the Magnum 50’ “Bestia” or “the Beast”. This boat was unbelievable and Katrin tells the story that, when she first took the new Magnum 50’ for a test run and photo shoot with a helicopter overhead, she ran into enormous gale force winds and huge waves. She put her hand on the throttles to see what her new boat would do; the acceleration gave her a jolt – it was like taking off with supersonic speed – and the speedometer showed 72 MPH. But, at the same time, the ride was smooth and comfortable. The Magnum sliced through the waves and felt as if she were driving on a flat highway. After the photo shoot, the photographer said:  “I have photographed many boats, but I have never seen such a performance in rough seas. She’s not a boat, she’s like a beast.” The interiors of the new Magnum 50’ were designed for Katrin by the French House of Hermes. HM the King of Spain immediately ordered one of Katrin’s new Magnum 50’ power yachts.

In 1999, Katrin developed a new Magnum 44’. There are many Magnum 44s in St. Tropez and the story was told that a Magnum 44’ with its deep-vee hull at high speed once sliced another boat in half…no one was hurt, but it clearly proved the strength of the Magnum hull. Shortly thereafter, in 2001, Katrin launched the new Magnum 60’. Katrin designed the new Magnum 60’ herself. After sea trials and speeds of close to 70 MPH, she called her new model “Furia”. Furia has become the most successful of the Magnum models, beautiful, spacious and fast. Katrin asked Roberto Cavalli to design the interiors of the first Magnum 60’ for the famous rock star Lenny Kravitz. Lenny Kravitz is said to love his Magnum, which he uses to commute to his house in the Bahamas from Miami, FL. Also in 2001 Katrin launched the first Magnum 80’; the largest Magnum ever built. The new Magnum 80’ hull was designed by the famous naval architect, specialized in performance, Michael Peters. The composite/epoxy hull structure ensures a lighter weight and improved fuel efficiency and performance. The deck was designed by the talented Italian designer, Fabrizio Valentini of Pininfarina. Magnum now has all of their interiors hand crafted in Italy. Another 80’ model was launched in 2008, followed by a gorgeous new Magnum 70’ model designed by Italian designers, Lazzarini & Pickering. The new Magnum 70’, equipped with Twin MTU diesels of 2600HP each coupled to surface drives, flattens the sea as if she were a huge Mack truck. Again, at close to 70 mph, she is the fastest high-performance yacht of this size in the world today. The performance and the stability are amazing, as one of the officers of the U.S. Customs who tested the Magnum wrote: “Magnum is the finest performance offshore craft in existence today”. Designed by Pininfarina, this Magnum model is the fastest high performance luxury yacht in its class in the world. Powered by twin MTU 2600 HP diesels coupled to Arneson surface drives, this new Magnum 80’ will reach top speeds of over 60mph. The Magnum 80 Sport can accommodate up to four double staterooms, each with a separate head, a very large salon, galley and crew cabin. 

Only Magnum can offer this level of luxury, performance and seaworthiness. Imagine, 20 people in the boat’s cockpit while cruising at 40 – 50 MPH while a half dozen sunbathers lay on the sun pad.

Magnum Marine, the last and only Don Aronow boat company and boat builder left on “Thunderboat Row”. All the boats, boat companies, and boating on the famous 188 th street has been replaced by condos.

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