With summer right around the corner, boaters are eager to hit the water. Cigarette Racing Team, a Miami-based builder of high-performance boats, unveiled a 51.5-foot-long vessel at the Miami Boat Show in February that’s sure to turn heads on the docks and in the water – assuming you can catch a glimpse as it races by at top speeds of 140 mph.

Cigarette Racing and Mercedes-AMG teamed up to build the 515 Project ONE Boat, which is inspired by the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE supercar. The sleek vessel has 30 percent more surface area than its predecessor, the 50-foot-long Marauder. However, the 515 weighs 5,000 pounds less than the Marauder, thanks to its all-composite construction. The boat utilizes a combination of carbon fiber, Kevlar® and E-glass fiber reinforced materials.


The 515 Project ONE hull after completion of the carbon fiber structural laminate. Photo Credit: Cigarette Racing Team

“It’s a highly-engineered boat, with parts made of different materials for a variety of reasons,” says Chad Braver, who oversees product development and engineering for Cigarette Racing Team. “There’s a temptation today to do everything with carbon fiber because it’s cool. But we found that every material has its purpose. I call it the rational approach to design.”

The boat’s structure is designed for speed, as well as manageability in rough water. “Each material and construction methodology was selected based on a criteria of weight, strength, acoustics and safety,” according to the Cigarette 515 product information bulletin. Some of the primary composite components include the hull, deck, cockpit tub, bulkheads and cabin liner.

The Hull – Using a vacuum-bagged, sandwich construction, the hull is a hybrid of CFRP and GFRP. The outer structural laminate is made from quadaxial E-glass and vinyl ester resin. “We use E-glass for impact resistance, offering better safety when you’re navigating in shallow water,” says Braver. “It also helps with noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) properties, making the boat sound nicer when it runs through water.” The inner structural laminate utilizes stitched fabric carbon fiber to reduce weight and improve strength, and the core is balsa.

The Deck – It also uses a carbon fiber sandwich construction, however the core is made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). “The sound properties on the deck are different, and we wanted to keep the deck light weight,” says Braver. “It’s the highest point on the boat, so it has the most effect on dynamics.” CFRP provides high rigidity and light weight, providing 1.7 times more flexural rigidity in the 515 than the Marauder 50, according to the company.