The Marian M 800 Spyder is the sleek, electric bowrider of our summer dreams.

By Simon Murray

At this point, I’ve lived far too many lives to count as an avocado-toast-eating millennial. Inside me is a Russian nesting doll of sorts—worlds within worlds falling away into insignificance. Old misbegotten lookalikes in various states of atrophy that I carry around with me under my epidermis. The volunteer teacher in the Louisiana Bayou, the Midwest newspaperman, the valet running back and forth to a parking garage in Boston’s North End—their memories and experiences unravel like yellowed film reel in a clunky film projector that I, admittedly, consult from time to time.

Some are more tangible than others. In my most recent life, I was an International Man of Mystery, journeying around the world to test yachts and hobnobbing with the rich and famous. All this under the guise of an editorship for a nationally syndicated yachting magazine based out of Connecticut. The boats I climbed aboard in Fiji and Taiwan, Norway and Mallorca, were typically rated for ten-foot seas or more, ocean-crossers built for blue water. That’s what they call the deepest, remotest depths. The places on curled ancient maps where grotesque sea monsters would be drawn during the age of exploration, and today, where unimaginably large container ships transport their heaving cargo across the great watery maw of the world. Except the sea isn’t blue out there. It’s a deep, menacing black like a starless night. 

Styling for this version of their flagship model is all done in-house at this family-owned manufacturer’s facilities along Lake Wolfgang in Salzburg, which reminds me of Upstate New York’s Lake George.

There’s a subset of boaters who have no need for that existential dread, and I don’t blame them. Lake life, on the other hand, is pure bliss. The depths aren’t nearly as deep on the lake, but a shallow boating life has a peaceful, laidback beauty all its own. The irony of my days spent running multi-million-dollar vessels was a duality of sorts. After I came home and took off the chinos, loafers and button-up shirt, I’d slip on a pair of board shorts and flip flops and head to Onota Lake in the Berkshires or one of the smaller lakes in northeastern Connecticut, near Boston, and enjoy a pontoon rental on a glassy expanse of water with family or friends. Venture even the word “pontoon” to one of the yachting ilk, and they’ll adjust their ascot and stare at you quizzically. Say it fast enough and they might even say “bless you.”

I’ve never been snobby enough to denigrate watercraft. Thankfully, the act of floating is democratized not only at birth, but with the help of canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards. (You may find me on any of the above.) But there’s always room for a little zhuzh, whether you’re a lake enthusiast like me, or have grand plans to navigate the mighty Hudson River. 

In either case, look no further than the Marian M 800 Spyder, which comes from Austria seemingly by way of Lake Como, meaning this ultra-sleek bowrider with a two-foot draft has impeccable trim and finish worthy of the Italians. Styling for this version of their flagship model is all done in-house at this family-owned manufacturer’s facilities along Lake Wolfgang in Salzburg, which reminds me of Upstate New York’s Lake George if it was surrounded on one side by dizzyingly high alpine mountains. Each boat is handcrafted with exacting attention to detail, as everything on the Spyder—including the color, equipment and materials—is customizable, entirely up to you.

Admittedly, this isn’t a new model: the Spyder debuted in 2021. However, in February, Marianboats announced that all its boats are now available in the US through a partnership with Mocean Watercrafts, so their exclusivity’s still a big part of their allure. With a price tag that starts at a quarter-million dollars, so’s the cost.

The other side to its appeal is its power: at the highest end, a 150-kW shaft drive motor powered by 20 kW lithium batteries. (Marian offers a range of power options for motors and batteries.) Yes, the Spyder, like all their boats, is 100 percent electric. Electric motors aren’t the most advisable power supply for long-range voyages at sea quite yet, but they’re perfectly applicable for meandering summer lake days. On Marian’s website, you can select your power package and desired speed, and you’ll be presented with an easy-to-read travel time broken out in hours and distance in kilometers. For instance, if you were to set the throttle to 18mph, you’d run out of juice in a little less than two hours. But hook it up to shore power, and you’ll be good to go after lunch, unless you’re like me and want (need?) to constantly test its 40mph top end. And thanks to its plentiful seating aft and in the bow, at least nine people can join you for the day. Now, that’s a party.

One day I’ll dust off the memories spent cruising on yachts and entertain my young family with a boat of our own. Our memories might wither and decay, but I find those made on boats have a rigidity that stands the test of time. Even if they were made going two knots on a bright bluebird day on a small body of water. Those memories especially seem to last the longest. Go figure.

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