Victory Yacht Sales

News & Events

Reviewed: Palm Beach 70

The Palm Beach 70 has some throwback touches, such as the rumble seat in the forward section of the bow.
The Palm Beach 70 has some throwback touches, such as the rumble seat in the forward section of the bow. (Courtesy Palm Beach Motor Yachts/)

The southern coast of Fairfield County, Connecticut, is New England—but not. You’re just as likely to see as many Boston Red Sox hats as New York Yankees logos. Many of the houses are true manses, lacking the Puritan-flavored temperance that holds architectural sway farther north. And the seemingly omnipresent hydrangeas, well, they’re bigger than yours.

The locale was a fitting place to test the Palm Beach 70, a yacht that plays with the Down East-style boating tradition in a delightfully subversive way.

Her lines are much sleeker than those of most other boats in her class, many of which tend to skew more classical and, frankly, more boxy. This boat is sexy, with a raked windshield and gently curving sheer line that reaches aft toward a generous tumblehome. The lines are so low-profile, it would be forgivable if you failed to notice she has a flybridge.

The 70’s slightly unorthodox look is in large part due to Palm Beach’s founder, Mark Richards, an Australian with a legendary sailing pedigree who builds his motoryachts in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Richards’ sailing background certainly plays a role in the yachts’ low-profile looks, and it also shines through in a few other places.

Rich woodwork in the salon confers a decidedly sailing-yacht feel to the Palm Beach 70’s interior.
Rich woodwork in the salon confers a decidedly sailing-yacht feel to the Palm Beach 70’s interior. (Courtesy Palm Beach Motor Yachts/)

Like the Palm Beach yachts that came before her, the 70 is built to be no muss, no fuss. Analog gauges are a brand staple. Interior design is clean and functional. The tender launches from the garage via a hand crank. The boats tend to feel almost like they should be wind-powered.

And yet, in the belly of this 70 cranked two 1,000 hp Volvo Penta D13 straight-shaft diesels. (Twin 1,000 hp Volvo Penta IPS1350s are an option.) The D13s proved a good power choice out on Long Island Sound on a blustery yet blue-sky August morning. I recorded a 30.7-knot top speed—shy of the builder’s reported 33 knots but certainly in the ballpark. At a 25-knot cruise, she had a range of 732 nautical miles, approximately the distance between Newport, Rhode Island, and Wilmington, North Carolina. A tick faster at 28 knots, the yacht turned hard over in two boat lengths to both port and starboard, and glided through other vessels’ wakes with nary a shiver.

And glided is the appropriate term. The Palm Beach 70’s hull takes design cues from the world of competitive sailboat racing. As such, it never truly gets on plane. It slices through waves instead of rising and falling with them. The hull is warped and has a superfine entry that pierces slop before undulating aft to a flat transom section with about 6 degrees of deadrise. That design aids in stability underway and at rest, while a keel keeps the boat on the straight and narrow when it comes to tracking. The hull also lacks any strakes. The entire design comes together to offer not only an exceptionally smooth ride but also a bonus: The 70, despite displacing 70,500 pounds dry, barely throws off any wake at all.

Wooden pocket doors provide access to the en suite, amidships master to port.
Wooden pocket doors provide access to the en suite, amidships master to port. (Courtesy Palm Beach Motor Yachts/)

On board, one of my favorite touches is inset seating for two at the tip of the bow. Palm Beach refers to this area as the rumble seat, a reference to the open-air seating found in prewar-era roadsters. It’s a mildly impractical detail that heightens this yacht’s unmistakable character.

Guests also will find unusual options on the accommodations level, where everything except the structural bulkheads is up to the owner’s druthers. This particular Palm Beach 70 has a master stateroom to port accessed through twin sliding doors—an unusual but welcome feature. Also in the master is a king-size berth complemented by a forward head with his-and-her sinks. Twin 5-foot-tall hanging lockers are aft, and there is 6 feet, 6 inches of headroom throughout the stateroom.

A forward VIP stateroom has an island queen berth and a hatch overhead that provides natural light as well as a way out in an emergency. A single hanging locker of similar size to the master’s is aft.

To make extra headroom in the guest stateroom to starboard, Palm Beach moved the helm (which was to starboard one level up in the salon) aft a few feet. Other yacht owners might choose to put the galley where that guest stateroom was; this owner had the galley up on the main deck.

The Palm Beach 70 looks like a fast boat from stem to stern. According to Palm Beach Motor Yachts, her top speed is 33 knots.
The Palm Beach 70 looks like a fast boat from stem to stern. According to Palm Beach Motor Yachts, her top speed is 33 knots. (Courtesy Palm Beach Motor Yachts/)

The 70’s flybridge has a forward helm with three Stidd chairs and excellent sightlines. A hardtop provides shade for the forward section of the deck, and Isinglass is available for the wind-phobic. At the center of the flybridge, an L-shaped settee has a teak alfresco dining table with notably tight joinery. A barbecue and sink are on the steeply crowned after section of the deck. The crowning is something that owners may need to get used to, particularly if the deck is slick, but Palm Beach’s design team likes the aesthetic appeal.

After heading back to shore, I sat down at a waterside restaurant with some members of the Palm Beach team and ordered fish tacos. Just as the waiter brought out our food, the 70 glided by, en route to her next adventure. The waiter put his hands on his hips and said: “Man, that boat’s pretty. Every time I see it, I can’t not stare. There’s just something a little bit different about it, you know?” And I did.

Grand scheme

In 2014, Grand Banks acquired Palm Beach Motor Yachts and brought on Palm Beach founder Mark Richards as CEO of the enlarged group, which also builds Eastbay. Richards imbued Grand Banks brand with modern touches, including his signature hull design and loads of carbon fiber, in the interest of creating faster and more efficient yachts. These days, 30-knot top-end speeds are not uncommon for Grand Banks, which previously identified with comfort, not quickness.

Sleep Easy

The Palm Beach 70 can be ordered with custom layouts, but the standard accommodations plan has overnight berths for seven people. The crew quarters are accessed separately, from the salon, giving everyone their privacy.

The Lineup

Palm Beach Motor Yachts, founded in 1995, takes its name from its hometown of Palm Beach, Australia. Today, the company builds its boats in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. The brand offers seven models—42, 45, 50, 52, 55, 65 and 70—as well as the 40-knot GT50 that debuted at this past September’s Newport International Boat Show. The brand’s DNA traces back to the sailing roots of founder Mark Richards. Every Palm Beach vessel has a pared-down, elegant feel, particularly in the interiors, where the vessels often evince the feel of a mechanized sailing yacht.

Take the next step: palmbeachmotoryachts.com

Brokerage: MJM 40z

Optional 435 hp Volvo Penta IPS600s give the MJM 40z a 32.5-knot cruise speed. Since 2009, 107 hulls have been built.
Optional 435 hp Volvo Penta IPS600s give the MJM 40z a 32.5-knot cruise speed. Since 2009, 107 hulls have been built. (Courtesy MJM Yachts/)

The MJM 40z’s mission is to be a comfortable, high-performing, efficient cruiser that is easily handled by a couple. To that end, the Doug Zurn design has a single-level main deck and flush-deck boarding doors. Standard power is 370 hp Volvo Penta IPS500 diesels and joystick driving helps with close-quarters maneuvers. Construction is E-glass, Kevlar and epoxy for a lightweight, sturdy hull.

Accommodations are for as many as six people.

At press time, we found five MJM 40z’s for sale, ranging from $650,000 to $889,000.

From the Archive

“Anyone who fancies a run along the ICW, the Mississippi or the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway will appreciate the fuel-miserly 40z. Tests conducted by [MJM] and Volvo [Penta] recorded 1.2 nautical miles to a gallon of diesel (about 23 gallons per hour) at a cruising speed of 27 knots (2,800 rpm). And these figures are from the 370 hp Volvo IPS500s. During my sea trial, I observed similar fuel numbers on the Volvo instrumentation.” —Yachting, March 2010

Trinidad’s Music Man

If cruisers visit in February,  they may see Gomez playing during the islands’ Panorama steel-pan competition.
If cruisers visit in February, they may see Gomez playing during the islands’ Panorama steel-pan competition. (Yaisa Tangwell Photography/)

There was never doubt about which instrument Seion Gomez would play. After all, the award-winning steel-pan arranger was born in Trinidad, the birthplace of steel pan. His father was a founding member of Phase II Pan Groove, a steel band celebrated for its musical innovations. Gomez first picked up the sticks at age 9 and was arranging for steel bands across Trinidad by age 18.

Nowhere is Gomez’s talent on greater display than at Panorama, the annual steel-band competitions that take place in the islands. “Panorama is the Super Bowl of steel pan in Trinidad and Tobago, and throughout the Caribbean,” he explains.

Gomez established himself as a star at the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Panorama, held every July, leading the Sion Hill Euphonium Steel Orchestra to six consecutive titles. But this native son takes special pride in leading the 90-member Buccooneers Steel Orchestra in Trinidad and Tobago’s Panorama, held in the weeks before Carnival in February.

“When a performance is going well, the experience is like heaven,” he says. “You close your eyes, and the music takes you. The more you listen, the more you hear, and you can’t let it go.”

What do you enjoy about playing steel pan? It is a mix of different emotions. At one time, it’s going to be this big boost [of] energy and a real cool and continuous vibe. Then other times, you’ll get that calm, soothing sensation.

What makes for a winning Panorama performance? When it’s well-organized, and you have good music on well-tuned instruments—those are ingredients for a perfect performance.

How are you raising the level of steel-pan performances? As an instructor at the University of Trinidad and Tobago, I have the opportunity to mold young minds to create something new. We’re getting some ingenious ideas; I think you’re in store for some really good music.

Top Spots in Trinidad & Tobago

Chaud (Port of Spain, Trinidad): It has a mix of cuisines but with a local touch. Their ambience, food, service and setting are all quite nice.

Maracas Beach (Trinidad): I think visitors know the beach because of Richard’s Bake & Shark [a well known street-food restaurant specializing in shark]. But for me, it’s all about relaxation.

Nylon Pool (Tobago): It’s warm, serene and relaxing, with the ocean water just above your knees. It’s a gorgeous place to be.

“Lady Moura” is for Sale

The 344-foot <em>Lady Moura</em> is on the market for the first time.
The 344-foot Lady Moura is on the market for the first time. (Courtesy Camper & Nicholsons/)

Camper & Nicholsons International has listed the 344-foot Blohm+Voss Lady Moura for sale—the first time the iconic yacht has ever been offered.

Lady Moura launched in 1990 and was, at that time, the most expensive yacht in the world. She was the ninth-largest yacht in the world too, known for her innovative features as well as her gold-plated nameplate. Her gross tonnage is 6,359, and her range is better than 8,000 nautical miles at 17 knots.

The yacht has since served as a private family residence, with the most recent upgrades including rebuilt generators and engines, new teak decks, refurbished crew and technical spaces, and hull paint.

Among her guest-friendly features are balconies off the beach club (an engineering first when she launched) as well as hydraulically operated doors and gangways. Also on board are a helipad, movie theater/disco, gymnasium, indoor pool, spa with sauna, medical suites, two galleys and a bakery.

Is it true that a whole deck on Lady Moura is dedicated to family life? Yes, with seven staterooms. They are in addition to staterooms that bring the yacht’s full guest complement to 26, and there are quarters for 72 crew and staff.

Where to learn more: contact the brokerage department at Camper & Nicholsons International.

Yacht Club Chic

Rowing Blazers says the clients at its brick-and-mortar store regularly include members of the New York Yacht Club.
Rowing Blazers says the clients at its brick-and-mortar store regularly include members of the New York Yacht Club. (Courtesy Rowing Blazers/)

During the 20 years that Jack Carlson was a competitive rower, he amassed an unusual number of blazers. “There’s an intricate social system with these blazers,” he says. “Every new boat you make, you get a new blazer, so I accumulated a large collection that I’d earned being on these various teams and crews.”

By 2014, he had put out the coffee-table book Rowing Blazers detailing the garments and their history. His research added even more to his personal collection, by way of vintage blazers he dug out of shops in London and Tokyo.

In 2017, he opened the Rowing Blazers store in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood, combining classic styling with a streetwear sensibility that caught the attention of everyone, including Vogue and GQ. Today, customers range from rowing clubs at Princeton and Cambridge universities to members of the New York Yacht Club to trendsetters heading out to local eateries.

Carlson says custom orders can be as small as 15 jackets—perfect for a superyacht crew or group of charter guests. And soon, a program will allow orders of one-off designs that Rowing Blazers can create, or that yacht owners can base, for instance, on a favorite hull color.

“At the moment, we do club or team orders, so it’s not like one person can come in and get a fully bespoke jacket,” he says. “But certainly, some of the New York Yacht Club members have chatted with us about that idea.”

One client is the classic 12-meter Courageous, Carlson says. He can’t reveal details, but did say its custom blazers would have been on the water this past summer if there had been time to make them.

“They were going to be so, so cool,” Carlson says. “Hopefully, you’ll see next year.”

Benetti Goes Big

Simultaneously building three of the behemoth-size yachts was a monumental challenge for Benetti, in everything from staffing to construction.
Simultaneously building three of the behemoth-size yachts was a monumental challenge for Benetti, in everything from staffing to construction. (Courtesy Benetti Yachts/)

In the early to mid-1980s, when the word mega-yacht came into fashion, 100-footers elicited second looks. A decade later, yacht designers stood amazed at requests for 150-footers. These days, private yachts twice that size—and larger—are slipping into the water, leaving even jaded professionals astonished.

It’s the era of the giga-yacht.

A buzzword, really, giga-yacht loosely defines supersize superyachts. Benetti recently began using the term for yachts exceeding 100 meters, or about 328 feet, in length. The size range is a new focus for the shipyard, producing noteworthy results. From December 2018 through this past April, it launched not one but three of these yachts—its first three.

Given that just one custom yacht, regardless of size, requires years of planning, the act of building three simultaneously requires an even higher level of organization. Consider, then, that the shipyard’s management team set out to launch these three within 100 days of one another, with each of the three hulls being larger and more complicated than the previously largest Benetti. Appropriately sized construction sheds were only the beginning of the significant investments required to make this vision a reality.

To understand how Benetti got to this point, take a look at its history. Nick Bischoff, the builder’s manager for the Americas, points to two significant deliveries: Nabila and Lionheart. The 262-foot, 1,768-ton Nabila (now Kingdom 5KR) launched in 1980, a time when yachts half her dimensions were extraordinarily rare. Lionheart followed in 2016, with a length overall of 295 feet and gross tonnage of 2,990.

Launching three giga-yachts inside of 100 days is something to celebrate. Again. And again.
Launching three giga-yachts inside of 100 days is something to celebrate. Again. And again. (Courtesy Benetti Yachts/)

By that point, the decision to venture into even larger territory had already been made. Benetti publicly acknowledged it had two of the three giga-yachts in build in late 2014.

Not that going bigger was an overnight decision. First, the shipyard needed a crucial element: an interested client. It didn’t yet have the facilities for such large projects, so following the “if you build it, they will come” philosophy wasn’t prudent. Thankfully, the problem solved itself.

“Building giga-yachts was an adventure upon which we chose to embark following the request from one of our repeat customers,” says Franco Fusignani, Benetti’s CEO.

The management team also analyzed the marketplace. While numerous shipyards catered to mega-yacht buyers, few were capable of giga-size projects. In addition, the builder noted that only a little more than a dozen giga-yachts were on the water. Benetti saw an opportunity with limited competition: the chance to assert itself as the only privately owned Italian shipyard targeting the market.

Proceeding required a balancing act, though. Fusignani says Benetti strove for “a larger shipyard that allowed us to increase the production capabilities without hindering the production of the GRP yachts of the Benetti Class category.” Among the yard’s locations in Italy, Benetti’s Livorno facility—where its custom metal mega-yachts take shape—was the logical choice. Benetti added two sheds, each measuring approximately 192 feet by 450 feet and 100 feet high. Each one includes two 40-ton-capacity gantry cranes.

To build its giga-yachts, Benetti added two sheds at its Livorno, Italy yard. Each is 450 feet long.
To build its giga-yachts, Benetti added two sheds at its Livorno, Italy yard. Each is 450 feet long. (Courtesy Benetti Yachts/)

Benetti also needed to invest in skilled personnel and create teams for each construction area. While all three yachts were in build, “we estimated that around 800 workers joined the Livorno facility daily,” Fusignani explains. “We managed a day-to-day agenda dividing three teams for the three boats and a fourth ready to step in and help in any task when required.”

This type of organization was familiar territory for Fusignani, who oversaw large maritime and transportation corporations prior to joining Benetti several years ago. “I have learned that the head of each team had to be side by side with the hands,” he says. “Only in this way, you can be ready to solve the problems that certainly will arise.”

All told, Fusignani says, Benetti spent about $16.7 million from infrastructure improvements to manpower. “The ramp-up was amazing,” Bischoff says.

So too are the distinctions among the three yachts. FB277, the first to launch, is a 351-footer designed entirely by Benetti. Seven guest staterooms are on the main deck, while the master is on the bridge deck. A nearly 5,550-gallon sun-deck pool and a spa with a hammam are also aboard. FB277 has diesel-electric propulsion and a full-load displacement of 3,300 tons.

February saw the launch of FB272. Displacing more than 5,500 gross tons, she is slightly longer than FB277 at 353 feet. The owner worked closely with a handful of design firms in styling the six decks, which have more than 8,600 square feet of glass. He also requested a waste-heat-recovery system to lessen generator use, as well as a hybrid propulsion system with two Azipods and six gensets.

Yachtbuilder Paolo Vitelli acquired Benetti in 1985. His daughter, Giovanna, is the executive vice president of the Azimut-Benetti Group.
Yachtbuilder Paolo Vitelli acquired Benetti in 1985. His daughter, Giovanna, is the executive vice president of the Azimut-Benetti Group. (Courtesy Benetti Yachts/)

Finally, FB275 splashed in April. Christened IJE, she is the biggest of the three giga-yachts at 354 feet and a volume of 3,367 gross tons. She has more than 10,764 square feet of alfresco areas, including a fire pit on the bridge deck. While her owner has an entire deck to himself, he and guests can all gather on the observation deck, the uppermost level.

Benetti isn’t done yet with these supersize yachts, Bischoff says. The yard is in negotiations with two or three clients and hopes to have one giga-yacht in build regularly. Fusignani is keen to apply lessons learned. Because of research on hulls and superstructures, he says, Benetti gained “a degree of standardization” that has multiple benefits.

“We will be able to build more giga-yachts and faster, following every need and request given by owners,” he says. “But at the same time, we will be able to apply this improvement to our smaller yachts.”

Take the next step: benettiyachts.it

Racy RIB

U-shaped seating aft helps guests be comfortable at higher speeds, even if there’s a crowd on board.
U-shaped seating aft helps guests be comfortable at higher speeds, even if there’s a crowd on board. (Courtesy Hunton Yachts/)

England’s hunton yachts has a racing heritage, and the builder most certainly knows that speed thrills. To that end, the Hunton 1005 RIB has optional twin 350 hp Mercury Verado outboards that catapult the needle to 65 knots. The model also has a range of 250 nautical miles, so she’s not just for short hops from the big boat to the beach. She could cross from Miami to Bimini on her own hull, if you like.

Whom It’s For: Any owner wanting the stability and ruggedness of a RIB, low-profile British aesthetics, and white-knuckle speed.

Picture This: Your family is splashing around in the bathtub-warm water off Islamorada, Florida, when angry-looking clouds ribboned with lightning swarm the horizon. Time to get back to the mothership. Thanks to the speedy 1005, everyone will be safe, sound and dry in just a few minutes.

Take the next step: huntonyachts.com

Docking Tales

The show must go on, but go slowly—or else.
The show must go on, but go slowly—or else. (Steve Haefele/)

I hate crosswind landings,” my pal Hank said after seeing a video of a docking attempt by a skipper manhandling a 70-footer. Armed with oversize diesels and thrusters, the skipper jammed a joystick as his vessel lurched fore and aft. It seemed like a Titanic moment, which made me think of the ship’s captain, Edward Smith.

Unlike the helmsman in the video, Capt. Smith was no slouch when it came to boat-handling. Neither is my pal Hank, and I found his humility inspiring. On occasion, performance anxiety overcomes us all.

I was weaned on board a 1955 Chris-Craft and evolved into a boat designer and captain, yet, performance anxiety affects me too. Once, while skippering a vessel with fellow marine experts aboard, I was so focused on my throttle play that I neglected to detach the shore-power cord before departure. Snap, crackle, pop. On another occasion, I grew tired of waiting for weather and gambled that my keen sense of timing would soften the sour conditions in a ground-swollen inlet. The vessel raised her nose and burped the contents of her salon into the cockpit.

One of my worst moments, however, was in a crosswind. A 25-knot breeze had the waterway convulsing like a washing machine. It was getting late, and the only hope for sundowners and a happy crew was a small boatyard with an unprotected marina.

As I approached, I realized that the conditions for landing were impossible, but the old fella who owned the place spotted me hesitating and hailed me on the VHF radio.

“It’s a cinch, cappy,” he insisted. “Ya can’t miss the spot I’ve got for ya.”

He suggested I power through the churning seas in the crowded marina, turn my boat’s beam to the wind, and back into the concrete haul-out slip. His plan seemed bizarre, but now that I understand boatyards, I realize that he was simply planning ahead for the inevitable repair work.

Read More from Jay Coyle: Tell Tales

I came in hot, and at just the right moment, I twisted abeam to the blow, balancing amidships on the slip’s outer piling. In a leap of faith and a cloud of diesel exhaust, I throttled aft as my crew attempted to secure a line to the dock.

But the play was incomplete, leaving the line beneath the boat in reach of the wheels.

I watched helplessly as the alloy bow-rail staff snagged a line in the tangle and sacrificed itself, softening our impact.

I shared my crosswind tale with Hank and claimed the Titanic defense: “Imagine how Capt. Smith must have felt. A prudent skipper takes his time, but he was playing to a tough crowd that expected a memorable performance. I would have never attempted the hot landing if my audience hadn’t insisted the show must go on.”

The old fella gave me a repair estimate and offered up his welder, but I declined. I left the remains of the fractured limb in clear view of the helm for years as a reminder of my poor performance.

Outback Yachts Launches 50-footer

The Outback 50’s flybridge adds functional real estate up top while stretching the yacht’s lines visually.
The Outback 50’s flybridge adds functional real estate up top while stretching the yacht’s lines visually. (Courtesy Outback Yachts/)

The outback 50 is not named for the Australian expanse but rather for this yacht’s 16 feet of deck space aft. The builder refers to the cockpit as an “infinity deck,” accommodating a 16-foot RIB, a pair of personal watercraft, a barbecue, dining table for six, flats boat or, should an owner want it, pingpong table. (When going with the pingpong table, I’d suggest the optional Seakeeper gyrostabilizer too.)

If an owner wants traditional alfresco dining, then the tender can be moved up top. The 50’s flybridge has room aft for a davit. Forward on the flybridge are a two-seat helm on centerline and an L-shaped settee abaft it to starboard.

Seen above is the Outback 50’s standard deckhouse layout. An extended version is available. The latter setup lengthens the salon aft, and the L-shaped settee above becomes U-shaped.
Seen above is the Outback 50’s standard deckhouse layout. An extended version is available. The latter setup lengthens the salon aft, and the L-shaped settee above becomes U-shaped.

Back on the main deck, cockpit sliding doors to starboard and a window to port open for an indoor-outdoor space, connecting guests at the salon’s L-shaped settee to port with those in the cockpit.

Performance is also a key attribute of the Outback 50. To hone the yacht’s speed and efficiency, the Michael Peters-penned craft has a narrow beam and is relatively lightweight. Built with solid fiberglass below the waterline and cored composites above it, the 50 has a 32,000-pound half-load displacement. That weight is based on the yacht’s standard power: twin 270 hp Volvo Penta D4 diesels. Hull No. 1 will have optional 425 hp Cummins diesels.

One step up from the salon to port is the galley. Views here are unobstructed, helped in part by the cut-down bulwarks amidships and the yacht’s house-spanning glass.
One step up from the salon to port is the galley. Views here are unobstructed, helped in part by the cut-down bulwarks amidships and the yacht’s house-spanning glass.

The engines are placed under the cockpit and accessed via a centerline hatch. The location should help keep the yacht’s interior quiet. It should also ease maintenance—or even major repair should the diesels need to be removed.

With standard motors, the 50 has a projected top-end speed of about 20 knots. Cruise speed will be 16 knots. With the optional Cummins diesels, cruise is expected to be 20-plus knots. At 12 to 15 knots, the 50’s cruising range is said to be about 300 nautical miles. At 8 knots, the builder says range increases to around 1,000 nautical miles with either engine setup. Efficiency is also helped by running gear set into prop pockets, reducing shaft angle. Draft is 3 feet with a keel.

The Outback 50 has three ­staterooms and two heads with an en suite master forward. Abaft to port and starboard are guest spaces with twin berths.
The Outback 50 has three ­staterooms and two heads with an en suite master forward. Abaft to port and starboard are guest spaces with twin berths.

The builder says another ingredient in the Outback 50’s performance is the fact that the vessel’s trim angle is a mere 2 degrees when running from 5 knots up to her top hop. An increased trim angle means more resistance and, in turn, reduced efficiency. Because the 50 runs steadily at 2 degrees, the yacht is not fighting to get over the hump and onto plane.

Take the next step: outbackyachts.com

Lumishore’s Customized Lighting

Lumishore’s Command Center controls all compatible onboard lighting, both above and below the waterline.
Lumishore’s Command Center controls all compatible onboard lighting, both above and below the waterline. (Courtesy Lumishore/)

Boat shows are visual feasts. But as stunning as the daytime optics may be, with billions of dollars’ worth of floating aluminum, fiberglass and carbon fiber, these shows can be even more visually arresting when the sun sets. Sometimes, the lights twinkle and dance to the beat of music.

While there’s no question that LED lighting makes otherwise dark salons and swimming waters significantly more inviting, historically, creating and maintaining these warm and welcoming lumens took effort, likely across multiple discrete systems.

Now, Lumishore’s Command Center makes creating the right above- or below-water ambience about as taxing as tapping a touchscreen.

LED lighting has satisfied onboard illumination needs since the mid-2000s. However, these low-draw installations are typically independent and controlled at the individual light via a dedicated switch and at the yacht’s electrical panel (or by a digital- switching system). Each grouping, such as running lights, usually resides on its own breaker. Although effective, these switches typically don’t allow users to customize a light’s colors without swapping out bulbs.

Lumishore’s Command Center is a game-changing solution for controlling all compatible onboard and underwater lights—including tuning colors and initiating effects such as strobes, sweeps and the Sound-to-Light mode—using smart devices and either a multifunction display or Lumishore’s dedicated touchscreen.

At the core of Lumishore’s digital controls is the Lumi-Link Command Center, a black-box module that delivers a browser-based application-programming interface for controlling Lumishore’s EOS underwater lights and above-the-waterline Lux Lighting systems. An Ethernet port is fitted to one end of the rectangular-shaped Command Center, allowing the device to be networked to an MFD or Lumishore display. The Command Center’s other end has three hardwired connections that go to the networked lights or downstream hubs (think: waterproof junction boxes), drivers, or networking modules. Each Lumi-Link Command Center ($880) also has an SD-card slot, enabling software upgrades.

“The Command Center is the brains of the operations,” says Chris Myers, Lumishore’s sales director for the Americas. “It’s got the processing power of a large computer.”

Networked MFDs and dedicated Lumishore displays access and control the API via hardwired Ethernet connections. Built-in Wi-Fi means control can be shared with networked smart devices that connect directly with the API via a web browser (see sidebar).

The dedicated Lumishore display that works with the system—for yachtsmen who don’t want to use an MFD—is the EOS STV 2204-i ($400). This sleek, glass-bridge display has a rotary dial and a 3.5-inch color touchscreen running the same Lumishore-built graphical user interface users would otherwise access on networked MFDs or smart devices. The display’s interface lets users choose their favorite color palettes for Lumishore’s full-color lights, create color presets, set user preferences and select preprogrammed lighting modes. However, the display doesn’t deliver any additional functionality over an MFD or wireless device.

Lumishore’s multifunction-­display software gives users full control over their onboard lights and ambience from an MFD.  Users also can choose their favorite color palettes for Lumishore’s full-color lights, create color presets, set user preferences and select 
preprogrammed lighting modes.
Lumishore’s multifunction-­display software gives users full control over their onboard lights and ambience from an MFD. Users also can choose their favorite color palettes for Lumishore’s full-color lights, create color presets, set user preferences and select preprogrammed lighting modes. (Courtesy Lumishore/)

“It acts, looks and works the same,” Myers says, adding that while it can sometimes be tricky to run the user interface on a smaller smartphone, “it’s easy on a 24-inch Garmin MFD.”

If this sounds like a lot of software talk from a company that made its name building underwater LED lights, you’re on the right track.

“Recently, we’ve been focusing on connected systems that enhance onboard moods and experiences,” Myers says. “The Command Center speaks the right lighting language—DMX—and this allows for diagnostics, zone control, or if they want to light up their boat with red, white and blue for the Fourth of July, the Command Center lets [owners] control and tune the colors of their individual lights.”

Users can also set their above- and below-water lights in crowd-pleasing patterns such as cycles, strobes and sweeps, and can control Lumishore’s Sound-to-Light feature, which, with a screen tap, displays colors based on the music’s highs and lows.

“We’re really proud of this feature,” Myers says, adding that for times when there’s no music being played, users can select background colors.

Lumishore makes three types of underwater lights, including single-color versions controlled using a standard switch; dual-color lights that typically use a hub and a Lumishore switch, and can be controlled from an MFD; and full-color lights controlled via the Lumishore Command Center, an EOS STV 2204-i display and/or an MFD. Each setup is available in a variety of through-hull and surface-mounted configurations and—for the superyacht crowd—welded-in housings.

“To have a successful lighting system, you need really good hardware and software,” says Myers, adding that “one can’t outshine the other and be successful.”

That philosophy also holds true for above-water lighting, which is why Lumishore’s Lux Lighting products provide the same LED solutions in courtesy-, down- and strip-lighting applications.

In addition to complementary software and hardware, factors such as beam angles also play a role in creating a successful installation, especially below the waterline. Myers says beam angles work a bit like placing one’s thumb over a garden hose.

“If you go with a wider angle, you won’t get as far a spread for the same water flow,” he says, noting that Lumishore offers 60-, 90- and 110-degree beam angles. “We tried to find the best effects that we could, without creating shark’s teeth or spotlights.”

While it’s fair to say that no yachtsman likes seeing shark’s teeth—real or luminary—in the water, it’s also fair to say that Lumishore’s Command Center provides the tools to dispel Jaws while delivering touchscreen control over onboard lighting and ambience.

As for differentiating one’s yacht in a target-rich environment such as the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, this isn’t easy, given some of the skylines and waterlines involved. However, Lumishore’s Sound-to-Light feature could deliver the right edge, provided one’s musical tastes are up to the challenge.

Destinations: Miami

Miami, home of Super Bowl LIV, has several docking options for yacht owners looking to host watch parties.
Miami, home of Super Bowl LIV, has several docking options for yacht owners looking to host watch parties. (istockphoto/felixmizioznikov/)

Jerry jones, who owns the National Football League’s Dallas Cowboys, says he’s planning to dock his 357-foot Oceanco Bravo Eugenia in South Florida for Super Bowl LIV in February 2020. It’s a great spot for a watch party aboard a yacht of any size; many restaurants will deliver a catering order right to Miami’s marina slips.

Smoke and Spice in Homestead, for instance, offers the service with gourmet barbecue fare. Another option is Zuma Miami, which brings modern Japanese cuisine.

And no matter the menu, the trick to throwing an onboard watch party is planning for the space, says Ann Jones of Eggwhites Catering in North Miami.

“For a Super Bowl party, you’re going to have your viewing area that may be in the salon or sky lounge, where the big TV is,” she says. “You want a bar and snacks that are easily accessible to the guests who are glued to the game, but you also want food and beverage away from the game, above deck. Not everybody is a die-hard Super Bowl fan, but they want to be part of the party. You want to have an area where they can socialize without disrupting the game.” 

She also recommends staggering the types of food available throughout the game.

“You have your first quarter, which is about opening the bar and having snacks available near the TV,” she says. “For the second quarter, you move to heavier passed hors d’oeuvres and appetizers. Halftime is when you break out the big guns; it is dinnertime, so people are expecting that fun, heavy football fare. Then for the fourth quarter, you break out your sweets, maybe football-shaped whoopie pies, things like that.”

Marinas

The Super Bowl is scheduled to be played February 2, 2020, at Hard Rock Stadium, the home of the Miami Dolphins. It’s just a few miles west of the water, which means it’s possible to book a slip at a nearby marina and take a taxi over to the game, or to host an onboard watch party and then head into town for the after-party. Nearby marinas include:

Turnberry Marina, which has 68 slips for yachts up to 180 feet;

Williams Island Marina, whose 106 berths can handle yachts as long as 160 feet;

Suntex Marina at Aventura, which has 100 slips for vessels up to 120 feet;

Hallendale Beach City Marina, which has a handful of transient slips that accommodate boats up to 60 feet length overall; and

Bill Bird Marina, whose 152 slips can handle boats up to 120 feet length overall.

Reviewed: Ocean Alexander 90R

The OA 90R comes with an open or enclosed bridge.
The OA 90R comes with an open or enclosed bridge. (John Lair/)

Most yachtbuilders know that change is a necessity in order to survive and thrive. To that end, Ocean Alexander’s Revolution Series of motoryachts is aptly named.

Working with yacht designer Evan K. Marshall, the shipyard has managed to combine its reputation for long-range seaworthiness with styling that adds a modern sensibility. The flagship model in the series, the OA 90R, shows off what the builder sees as a best-of-both-worlds approach. It updates Ocean Alexander’s traditional design elements with things such as a full-beam salon and substantial glazing while keeping practical features, including a 3,000-gallon fuel capacity and an enclosed pilothouse for serious cruising.

Volume is a key component throughout the 90R too. The yacht’s 22-foot-5-inch beam carries well forward to her plumb bow. The extra interior space is most noticeable on the lower deck, which houses a forepeak VIP stateroom that rivals the masters on some other yachts. This VIP has a walk-around king berth, walk-in cedar closets, wood cabinets, recessed overhead lighting, hullside windows and a sofa.

Down the companionway from the VIP are two guest staterooms with twin berths, hullside windows and en suite heads with separate shower stalls. The berths in each stateroom can slide together to form a queen.

The salon’s island bar has built-in wine stowage, a refrigerator and a hidden sink. The countertop is Cambria stone.
The salon’s island bar has built-in wine stowage, a refrigerator and a hidden sink. The countertop is Cambria stone. (Marc Montocchio/)

The master stateroom is up a level, forward on the main deck. There’s a forward-facing, king-size berth with his-and-her sections to minimize movement transfer, as well as two walk-in cedar closets, Cambria-stone-topped nightstands, and wood-and-leather wall paneling. (Cambria is a manufactured stone based on mined quartz.) To port are dual armchairs with a table, and to starboard is a desk. The windows on both sides are more than 3-by-8 feet, allowing for expansive views; push-button motorized shades offer privacy. The master’s en suite head is forward with a heated sole, separate toilet compartment and Cambria-clad shower stall.

Space is also noteworthy in the 90R’s salon, which has a U-shaped sofa to port across from a three-seat sofa. Ambient light is everywhere, thanks to metal-framed 5-by-5-foot side windows, and glass doors, also to the sides as well as aft. This setup creates a constant connection to the sea at almost every point on the main deck.

The 6-foot-9-inch headroom in the salon makes the 90R feel like a much larger yacht, with mega-style amenities including a drop-down 55-inch TV with Crestron and iPad mini controls.

A fixed cabinet separates the salon from the dining area and its eight-seat table, which runs fore-to-aft on the port side—rather than athwartships, as on most yachts in this class. The placement allows room to starboard for a wet-bar island with a concealed stainless-steel Blanco sink, drink-chiller buckets, a fridge and wine chiller. The bar has a stone top with light-oak trim and high-gloss walnut panels, making it a showpiece setup for serving cocktails or arranging a buffet.

The galley can be sectioned off from the salon via pocket doors.
The galley can be sectioned off from the salon via pocket doors. (Marc Montocchio/)

Forward of the dining area is a country-kitchen-style galley. A breakfast nook to port has an L-shaped settee and Cambria-top table that matches the countertops. Appliances include a Bosch cooktop and oven, full-size Fisher & Paykel fridge, Thermador microwave, an Asko dishwasher, and a Franke sink. Two pocket doors can close off the galley for privacy during formal dinners or parties.

Up a floating staircase is the sky lounge. An open bridge is standard here, with an enclosed space as an option. Visibility is 360 degrees not just from the helm station but from any spot, be it at the tiered wet bar with fridge drawers or the low-profile, L-shaped settee for eight. Like the salon, the sky lounge has lofty headroom at 6 feet, 9 inches. Sliding glass doors lead to the bridge deck aft, which has its own wet bar, an electric grill, twin corner lounge seats and, if owners want it, an optional eight-person Jacuzzi.

Forward in the sky lounge is the command center, a space-age-like helm station that has a raised floating console with three 24-inch Garmin multifunction displays. Managing the house breakers and switch circuits is an OctoPlex control system, which allows everything electrical to be monitored and switched from a touchscreen. All other systems and controls are installed on the flat dash. Bow and stern thrusters are standard.

The beach club is set up with a fridge and bar for sunset cocktails with a view.
The beach club is set up with a fridge and bar for sunset cocktails with a view. (Marc Montocchio/)

When it’s time to relax after anchoring out, the main deck aft offers shade beneath the sky lounge overhang, as well as alfresco dining and transom seating. Side- boarding gates and twin swim-platform staircases should make getting in and out of the water easier, while a drop-down 40-inch TV and a wet bar with a fridge and ice maker can keep the party going for hours.

For more social enjoyment, the bow lounge is accessible from a side-deck staircase. There’s a U-shaped settee with a table that should be perfect for sunset viewing. Just forward is a sun pad that can fit four guests. Elliptical grab rails are built to keep the area safe, with two stanchions in every support spot.

And owners should have plenty of time to relax at the bow with their guests, given that the 90R is designed to cruise with crew. Two cabins, a galley, head with a shower and lounge area with a 24-inch TV are standard. Oak wood and leather panels finish the decor in the crew quarters, should owners want to use the space for teenagers or surprise overnight guests.

Forward in the sky lounge is the command center, a space-age-like helm station that has a raised floating console with three 24-inch Garmin multifunction displays.
Forward in the sky lounge is the command center, a space-age-like helm station that has a raised floating console with three 24-inch Garmin multifunction displays. (Marc Montocchio/)

One aspect Marshall creatively conquered is the stowage conundrum. Walking through the 90R, you notice how cleanly the interior decor blends together, with the leather-and-wood wall panels and marble and walnut inlays, without intrusive cabinet doors and handles. That’s because the wall panels conceal the stowage compartments and are accessed by push locks.

With a design built around space and comfort to keep owners and guests connected to the sea at every turn, Ocean Alexander’s 90R shows that joining the revolution can be a surprisingly good thing.

Seaside Serenity

The Ocean Alexander 90R’s beach club includes an air-conditioned, glass-enclosed lounge that makes it a perfect perch for watching the kids in the water. The space doubles as a semiprivate oasis for morning coffee or an afternoon cocktail. It has a bar, fridge, ice maker, 40-inch TV, L-shaped settee and ottoman. Teak decking adds style. The glass doors have an inflated gasket to prevent water intrusion.

Piercing Through

Ocean Alexander replaced its standard bulbous bow with a wave-piercing one on the 90R. Instead of pushing water so the yacht can ride up and down over the waves, this bow parts the seas, cutting through and allowing the hull to slip along with less resistance.

By the Numbers

Nestled between the diamond-plated sole and dual 40-kW Kohler generators are twin 1,900 hp MAN V-12 2000 diesels spinning Aqua 22HS shafts and nibral propellers. Combined with the hull by Arrabito Naval Architects, the power package allows for a maximum range of 407 nautical miles at 25.1 knots, burning 185 gallons per hour. Dialing the yacht back to 9.9 knots, fuel burn drops to 27 gph and range increases to 1,100 nm.

Take the next step: oceanalexander.com

Reviewed: Dyna 68

Twin 1,150 hp Caterpillar C18 diesels give the Dyna 68 a top-end speed of 27 knots.
Twin 1,150 hp Caterpillar C18 diesels give the Dyna 68 a top-end speed of 27 knots. (Courtesy Dyna Yachts/)

The Dyna 68 starts with swoopy euro styling from Dutch yacht designer Cor D. Rover that highlights dark, elliptical windows in her house and topsides, giving her the look of going fast without moving. She’s meant to catch the attention not only of other yachtsmen in the harbor but also of anyone seeking a semicustom vessel with some sizable options.

Sky lounge or hardtop bridge, forward or aft galley, lower helm or none—any engines, any electronics. Clients are free to noodle in whatever ways they want.

In the case of the Dyna 68 that we got aboard, the owner’s choices included a sky lounge with a helm, a forward galley, 1,150 hp Caterpillar C18 diesels, four staterooms and a Garmin electronics suite. Whatever the choices, each Dyna 68—built by Dyna Craft in Taiwan—is delivered turnkey, with standard items that are on other builders’ options lists, including a Seakeeper 6 gyrostabilizer and a Yacht Controller wireless remote control.

She’s a yacht designed with creature comforts in mind too. The salon on the 68 stretches unbroken from the cockpit sliding doors to the windshield with nary a bulkhead. Low cabinetry and seating maximize the view outdoors, and on this Dyna 68, a glass etching marks the separation between the salon and sky-lounge stairs without intruding visually. Not many yachts of this size are delivered with such artful touches.

The salon is conventional, with wraparound couches to port facing a console with a 50-inch pop-up TV. Up a step is a dinette that blends an outboard banquette with loose chairs. Opposite is the galley tucked behind a bar/counter, with niceties such as a dishwasher and full-height fridge.

High-gloss walnut helps create a modern feel in the Dyna 68’s salon. Note the custom-etched glass.
High-gloss walnut helps create a modern feel in the Dyna 68’s salon. Note the custom-etched glass. (Courtesy Dyna Yachts/)

Where other owners might choose a lower helm, this Dyna 68 had a pantograph door just forward of the galley—to make side-deck access easy for loading provisions or, with a lower helm, for the skipper to hop outside. At 1 inch over 70 feet length overall, the 68 is right on the cusp of being comfortable for owner-operators, so a lower helm and side door might be desirable features. In that case, what other owners would use as crew quarters—accessed from the cockpit or transom, with two berths, a lounge, galley and head with a shower—would be a getaway for teenagers, who might even use the stacked washer/dryer. Or not.

The accommodations deck is reached via a foyer that feels like an atrium, thanks to the windshield overhead. The master stateroom spans the 17-foot-6-inch beam with a nearly king-size berth, a pair of seats by a breakfast/vanity table, and more than 6 feet, 5 inches of headroom. There’s also an oversize shower and a walk-in closet. From buttery, stitched-seam seating to supple leather drawer pulls, the master shows off the kinds of details Dyna can build into its yachts.

Forward, the VIP stateroom has a walk-around island berth, hanging lockers and an en suite head with a shower. While all the staterooms can be juggled to fit a client’s preferences, the Dyna 68 we got aboard had a pair of single berths in a stateroom to starboard and bunks to port.

Underway, the sky lounge is likely to appeal to guests who want to watch the world pass through 360-degree windows. The helmsman has a Stidd pedestal seat abaft the three-panel windscreen. This Dyna 68 had two 12-inch Garmin monitors along with the Caterpillar engine panel in a line-of-sight, easily scanned configuration. It also had Side-Power bow and stern thrusters, engine-room cameras, and Bennett Marine trim tabs.

With air conditioning or heat for all seasons, the sky lounge niceties include a wet bar and a J-shaped settee with a table next to the helm. The aft deck provides another sitting and dining area with a curved lounge and table.

The full-beam swim platform raises and lowers hydraulically, and accommodates a tender up to 1,300 pounds.
The full-beam swim platform raises and lowers hydraulically, and accommodates a tender up to 1,300 pounds. (Courtesy Dyna Yachts/)

Want more sun? The foredeck has a sun pad with access via side decks that have double-welded, stainless-steel rails. The aft deck is for alfresco entertaining with another curving lounge, a table and sun protection from the bridge overhang.

For owner-operators and crew, thoughtful touches include a Maxwell 3500 windlass with a husky stainless-steel bow roller, as well as hidden dock-line lockers in the cockpit, with lines feeding through roller fairleads rather than the usual hawse openings that can chafe lines. The hydraulic swim platform can handle a 1,300-pound tender.

The engine room has tidy plumbing, labeled shut-offs, and room to get around both engines and the Seakeeper. The nearly whisper-quiet interior is a result of sound and vibration-proofing in the engine room.

With the twin Cat C18s, this Dyna 68 had a top speed right at 27 knots, with a cruise speed of 22 knots.

In addition to being a semicustom build that offers owners a lot of choices, the Dyna 68 is based on a solid foundation of upscale, chic styling and luxurious appointments.

Take the next step: dynayachts.com

Hobie Unveils 360-Degree Rotating Pedal Drive

The Mirage Pro Angler 14 with the new MirageDrive 360 pedal-drive tech.
The Mirage Pro Angler 14 with the new MirageDrive 360 pedal-drive tech. (Courtesy Hobie/)

Hobie has unveiled its MirageDrive 360, a 360-degree rotating pedal drive for kayak fishing boats.

The MirageDrive lets anglers to maneuver a 2020 Mirage Pro Angler 360 12 or 14 fishing kayak in every direction—backwards, forward, sideways, diagonally—or spin the kayak on its own axis.

Also new are Kick-Up Fins, which automatically retract upon impact. The idea is to let anglers go into shallower waters without having to worry about damage to the drive system’s underbelly.

A close-up look at Hobie's MirageDrive 360 pedal system.
A close-up look at Hobie's MirageDrive 360 pedal system. (Courtesy Hobie/)

“The MirageDrive 360 completely changes how you engage with your boat and the environment,” Philip Dow, lead design engineer for Hobie, stated in a press release. “For example, if you’re fishing along a shoreline or highly contoured underwater structure, you can follow those nuances exactly with boat placement. Similarly, with the Kick-Up Fins, shallow and structure-filled waters become far more manageable. Hobie’s MirageDrive 360 completely redefines boat control.”

Can the MirageDrive 360 do what a trolling motor can do? According to Hobie, yes. It can hold a kayak in an exact location and direction against wind or current.

For more information, visit: hobie.com

Dream Boat

Jamie Haslund was originally thinking he’d get a trawler. Then he saw the Galeon 510 Skydeck.
Jamie Haslund was originally thinking he’d get a trawler. Then he saw the Galeon 510 Skydeck. (Courtesy Galeon Yachts/)

After two days of trudging around the 2018 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Jamie Haslund had come up empty. He’d gone with longtime friend and boat owner Steve Isakson to look for something small, maybe a trawler, that Haslund could dock in the 65-foot slip he’d acquired as an investment back home at Sunnyside Marina in Stillwater, Minnesota. But nothing had caught his eye.

Then he saw it, like a beacon across the dock: a Galeon 510 Skydeck. Its blue LED lighting was “lit up so grandly,” Haslund recalls.

He was familiar with the Galeon brand; Isakson, who happens to be his next-door neighbor at Sunnyside Marina, owns a Galeon 560 Skydeck.

“I knew the craftsmanship was outstanding,” Haslund says. “As I walked through it, I thought, ‘This would be a great boat to have.’”

Before long, Haslund celebrated the purchase of his first big boat, and the 100th Galeon sold in the United States.

The Galeon 510 Skydeck’s cockpit lounge spins to face aft.
The Galeon 510 Skydeck’s cockpit lounge spins to face aft. (Courtesy Galeon Yachts/)

Haslund was no stranger to boating. He’d grown up on the St. Croix River in Northern Minnesota and spent countless hours exploring the waterway on his family’s fishing boat, water-skiing with friends and, later, cruising on a 1970 20-foot Cal sailboat he’d restored. The sailboat had been a gift from Ray and Donna Highness, for whom Haslund had worked since his teens and who had become a second family to him. When the couple passed away, their bequest to Haslund enabled him to buy his Galeon 510 Skydeck. “I named my boat Royal Highness in their honor,” Haslund says.

Haslund lived aboard Royal Highness for part of his first winter, keeping her at Tarpon Point Marina in Cape Coral, Florida, while completing his proficiency training.

“The space is spectacular,” he says. “There’s wonderful light throughout the boat. You’re surrounded by glass.”

A single-pane windshield and a nearly full-width, retractable sunroof over the helm give a glow to the warm walnut woodwork and white suede decor in the salon. Hatches illuminate the VIP stateroom in the bow, where a designer headboard frames the bed.

The full-beam amidships master stateroom was a cozy retreat for Haslund at the end of each training day. “It’s very comfortable and intimate—and very quiet too,” he says, adding that the hanging locker and other stowage areas were ample for his snowbird stay. “Living on it is far better than I ever would have imagined.”

The single-pane windshield means unobstructed sightlines forward at the lower helm.
The single-pane windshield means unobstructed sightlines forward at the lower helm. (Courtesy Galeon Yachts/)

Once Royal Highness took to the water for her relocation cruise, he came to appreciate her bow and stern thrusters, which proved invaluable in navigating the nearly 50 locks along the route.

“You can pivot the boat in one spot,” he says.

The twin 670 hp Volvo Penta diesels provided a smooth and consistent 26 to 28 knots, although he had to trim the speed back a bit on the Mississippi River to avoid debris left over from spring floods.

“The performance of this boat is unbelievable,” he says. “One of the highlights was running down the narrow channels of the Tarpon Bay waterway, with lots of hidden corners and figure eights, at 28 knots. That was a real thrill.”

Haslund also made full use of the yacht’s namesake feature: the skydeck, with a seating area and weatherproof cover that can deploy over the entire flybridge with the push of a button.

“You never have to deal with tightening up plastic or canvas,” he says. “That was one of the top selling points of the boat for me.”

With foldout sections deployed, the cockpit gains an extra 5 feet of beam.
With foldout sections deployed, the cockpit gains an extra 5 feet of beam. (Courtesy Galeon Yachts/)

Now that Royal Highness is safely ensconced in her slip in Minnesota, Haslund looks forward to hosting family and friends aboard. The boat has lots of room to spread out or congregate. Lounges line the flybridge. A pair of sun pads are in the bow. Another lounge overlooks the swim platform. The helm seat rotates 90 degrees to form a couch with the adjacent seat, providing a third row of seating around the dining table.

“You can comfortably seat eight or 10 people for dinner or conversation,” he says.

He’s also excited about finally using the yacht’s beach mode, in which foldout sections expand the cockpit area from 14 feet, 8 inches wide to 19 feet, 8 inches wide. At the stern, a lounge spins to face outward. To port, the fold-down terrace has slots for two stools to pop in along the salon’s galley-counter-turned-bar.

It’s easy to envision Haslund and Isakson astride those stools, toasting again, this time to their long friendship, their twin Galeons and their yachting future.

Achieve “Pure Bliss,” at a Discount

The 143-foot <em>Pure Bliss</em> is in the Caribbean for the winter charter season. The yacht’s regular weekly base rate is $160,000.
The 143-foot Pure Bliss is in the Caribbean for the winter charter season. The yacht’s regular weekly base rate is $160,000. (Courtesy Camper & Nicholsons/)

Camper & Nicholsons International says the 143-foot Burger Pure Bliss (previously known as Mim for charter) is offering an incentive base rate of $125,000 per week for the first two confirmed bookings of the Caribbean season.

Regularly, the yacht’s weekly base rate for charter is $160,000.

Pure Bliss is a 2006 build that most recently was refitted in 2017. She accommodates 12 guests in their choice of seven staterooms, including a VIP stateroom on the upper deck.

Amenities include a drop-down balcony in the salon, a sundeck with a hot tub, and water toys including Seabobs.

Does Pure Bliss have a water slide? Indeed, she does. She also has a water trampoline.

Take the next step: contact a charter broker at camperandnicholsons.com

ResQLink View Wins DAME Award

The ResQLink View Personal Locator Beacon incorporates ACR’s optical display technology, showing all the beacon’s operational activities, including GPS coordinates, operating instructions, usage tips, transmission bursts, and battery power.
The ResQLink View Personal Locator Beacon incorporates ACR’s optical display technology, showing all the beacon’s operational activities, including GPS coordinates, operating instructions, usage tips, transmission bursts, and battery power. (Courtesy ACR Electronics/)

The ResQLink View Personal Locator Beacon from ACR Electronics earned a special mention in the DAME Design Awards in the category of Lifesaving and Safety, at Metstrade in Amsterdam.

ResQLink View incorporates ACR’s optical display technology, showing all the beacon’s operational activities, including GPS coordinates, operating instructions, usage tips, transmission bursts, and battery power.

“We are delighted that the DAME jury has recognized the innovations and technology incorporated in our new ResQLink View PLB,” Mikele D’Arcangelo, vice president of global marketing and product management for ACR Electronics, stated in a press release. “Most importantly, we are proud that this advanced solution is available to more of our customers, so that it can save more lives and aid the rescue services in locating and helping casualties.”

The ResQLink beacon has a protected activation button located away from the test button, multiple wearable mounting options including a belt clip and oral inflation clip, and an easier-to-release antenna enclosure. There’s also a new infrared strobe light in addition to the ultra-bright strobe light, to assist rescue crews using night vision goggles.

Where did ACR Electronics get the ideas for new features? From its SurvivorClub members.

For more information, visit: acrartex.com

Reviewed: Hinckley Sport Boat 40x

A standard, power SureShade awning protects most of the cockpit from the sun.
A standard, power SureShade awning protects most of the cockpit from the sun. (Courtesy Hinckley Sport Boats/)

There is the straight sheer line. A raised trunk cabin with oval ports. And the gently cambered hardtop. These ingredients help create the ageless lines of the Hinckley Sport Boat 40x: a positive attribute when thinking about the yacht’s long-term value. However, this vessel is also packed with modern features, starting with what lies beneath her profile.

The hull is carbon fiber (inner layer) and Kevlar (outer layer) with Corecell foam coring, all infused with epoxy via the Seemann Composite Resin Infusion Molding Process. The relatively lightweight hull—20,000 pounds with full fuel, half water and four people—is then post-cured to further enhance strength. Hinckley guarantees its hulls for life for the yacht’s original owner.

Hinckley placed ­aft-facing cockpit seats to port and ­starboard. The footrests lift with the flip of a switch for some downtime with a book or a nap under the awning.
Hinckley placed ­aft-facing cockpit seats to port and ­starboard. The footrests lift with the flip of a switch for some downtime with a book or a nap under the awning. (Courtesy Hinckley Sport Boats/)

The Taylor Made windshield is a single pane that wraps around the 40x’s bridge deck like sunglasses. There’s no warping or distorted views—even down low in the corners—a helpful characteristic for the skipper when making hard-over turns. Side windows slide open, creating a cross breeze when desired, and two hatches over the bridge deck lift to increase airflow even more. A power-hatch option allows them to dog down automatically.

Belowdecks, flip a switch on the satin-finish cherry bulkhead, and the forepeak master berth opens like scissors, forming two bench seats. A teak table rises from the below, converting the sleeping space into a dining area for four or more people.

1,275 Horsepower. That’s the total muscle with three optional Yamahas on the 40x. Standard engines are triple 300 hp Mercury Verados. Options from Mercury and Seven Marine are available too.
1,275 Horsepower. That’s the total muscle with three optional Yamahas on the 40x. Standard engines are triple 300 hp Mercury Verados. Options from Mercury and Seven Marine are available too. (Courtesy Hinckley Sport Boats/)

A second berth amidships faces athwartships and is the spot for the kids to sleep during weekend getaways with the family. Everyone shares a single head with a shower to starboard, between the two berths.

These and other contemporary design touches give the 40x a cool factor, but the Ray Hunt-designed, deep-V hull form matched to triple (and optional) 425 hp Yamaha outboards is what gives this cruiser a notable “wow” factor. During sea trials on the waters off Sag Harbor, New York, the 40x made an average top hop of 46.5 knots at 6,000 rpm. At this speed, the engines consume 108 gallons per hour. Considering a 10 percent reserve on the yacht’s 450-gallon fuel tank, range is about 174 nautical miles at her top speed. Dial those engines back to 4,500 rpm, and fuel burn drops to 56 gph while cruise speed is 34.8 knots. At cruise, the 40x’s range increases to around 251 nm. At 4,000 rpm and 30 knots, fuel burn is 44 gph and range ticks up to 276 nm.

Hinckley Sport Boat 40x owners get a four-button key fob that comes programmed to manage courtesy lights, the shore-power cord and house batteries. Owners can choose to add CZone vessel monitoring or control functions to their fob as well.
Hinckley Sport Boat 40x owners get a four-button key fob that comes programmed to manage courtesy lights, the shore-power cord and house batteries. Owners can choose to add CZone vessel monitoring or control functions to their fob as well. (Courtesy Hinckley Sport Boats/)

Classic style cues. Modern build techniques. High performance. These three attributes sum up the impressive whole that is the Hinckley Sport Boat 40x.

Take the next step: hinckleysportboats.com

A Hybrid Superyacht?

Where other yachts might have a retractable Bimini top, this concept has a mesh canopy to create a sense of drama.
Where other yachts might have a retractable Bimini top, this concept has a mesh canopy to create a sense of drama. (Courtesy Vripack/)

Marnix Hoekstra, a creative director at the Dutch design firm Vripack, says it has always bugged him that when guests step aboard a yacht aft, they’re often at least one level of stairs away from the space where they want to be with other guests. Solving that problem became one of the influences behind the 184-foot concept yacht that Vripack recently released with German builder Nobiskrug. Stepping aboard and moving throughout the yacht is intended to feel less like being on, well, a yacht and more like entering a free-flowing, high-end residence in Hong Kong or Dubai. Spaces are asymmetrical, the use of glass as a structural element is profound, and design elements actually change the way guests can feel while moving about.

Looking for the typical aft tender stowage? It’s up at the bow, where there are folding bulwarks for launch and retrieval.
Looking for the typical aft tender stowage? It’s up at the bow, where there are folding bulwarks for launch and retrieval. (Courtesy Vripack/)

“What is prime is the flow of people on board, and how the layout is completely derived from giving the maximum user experience,” Hoekstra stated in a press release. “Hallways are shaped wider when you enter them and narrow when you exit, so that it draws you in; the shape invites you on board.”

To solve the aft-entry challenge, Vripack created the space shown in the photo above at right. “This means you’re always visually connected, or just a couple of steps away, from the family and friends you want to meet,” Hoekstra says.

This hybrid concept from Vripack and Nobiskrug has asymmetry, big glass and “pancake” engines.
This hybrid concept from Vripack and Nobiskrug has asymmetry, big glass and “pancake” engines. (Courtesy Vripack/)

Note the extensive use of glass in the exterior (above left), including a transparent glass balustrade that runs the length of the vessel. The side walls of the superstructure are all structural glass, with no metal.

To create space for these and other design ideas up top, the engines had to take up less space below. The hybrid propulsion system includes flat, wide, “pancakelike” powerplants that left more vertical area for designers to play.

Reviewed: Horizon FD80

Hull No. 1 of the Horizon FD80 proves a versatile cruiser with spacious interior design.
Hull No. 1 of the Horizon FD80 proves a versatile cruiser with spacious interior design. (Courtesy Horizon Yacht/)

Taiwan-based Horizon Yachts has long been known for building sturdy, seaworthy vessels with an unmistakable panache for creature comforts. The builder’s latest model in its Fast Displacement ­series, the FD80, is directly in line with the brand’s pedigree.

The ­80-foot, 7-inch FD80 is the sistership to Horizon’s FD85, ­designed by Dutch yacht designer Cor D. Rover. The FD in FD80 stands for fast-displacement hull, and the boat has Horizon’s high-performance piercing bow. The hull has a soft chine at amidships that Horizon says makes it slicker in the water and a hard chine forward that increases lift. The bow design is meant to cut cleanly through the water while stretching out the yacht’s underwater length, thereby improving the vessel’s hydrodynamic efficiency.

Windows that stretch nearly from sole to ceiling make for lots of natural light in the salon.
Windows that stretch nearly from sole to ceiling make for lots of natural light in the salon. (Courtesy Horizon Yacht/)

The result is a yacht that can cruise at displacement and planing speeds. The FD80 is happy to poke along at 8.5 knots for extended ­voyages, where she burns 6.9 gallons per hour for a projected range of 3,248 nautical miles—enough to get from Maine to England without refueling. She can also gallop at 20 knots. She cruises most comfortably at about 13 knots, which is where I had her in the Atlantic Ocean off Florida’s southeast coast. At that speed, she burns 57 gallons per hour for a projected range of 630 nautical miles.

Confused 4-foot swells crisscrossed the ocean’s surface—a ­desirable field to see if the FD80 could play ball. It turns out, she can. At that ­13-knot cruise speed, she ran quietly and her hull provided soft landings in even the deepest troughs. She was also nimble for a beamy boat that displaces 174,160 pounds. At her fast cruise speed, I turned her hard over to port and starboard in less than a single boat length. That kind of handling is something you’re more likely to see from a 35-foot RIB than from an 80-foot motoryacht.

The shaded cockpit’s dominant feature is this high-gloss dining table, just steps away from the optional aft galley.
The shaded cockpit’s dominant feature is this high-gloss dining table, just steps away from the optional aft galley. (Courtesy Horizon Yacht/)

The FD80 I was aboard had optional twin 1,200 hp MAN V-8s (twin 1,130 hp Caterpillar C13s are standard). The powerplants were housed in a gleaming engine room with a white gelcoat sole that made it easier to spot spills. Headroom measured 7 feet, 6 inches, and handholds nearly everywhere should be easy to grab in a seaway. Twin 29-kW Cummins Onan generators supplied redundancy, and access to them and all sides of the engines should make regular maintenance tasks easier.

Inside, the master stateroom is on the main deck. Rectangular windows on either side pair with a skylight that runs nearly the full length of the stateroom for natural light. The FD80 carries her 23-foot, 8-inch beam almost ­completely forward, and that allows the master more space than what usually might be found on a vessel this length. (A ­forward VIP stateroom belowdecks also benefits from carrying the beam forward.)

With a beam that carries nearly fully forward, the FD80 is able to have an on-deck master, a rarity for this size yacht.
With a beam that carries nearly fully forward, the FD80 is able to have an on-deck master, a rarity for this size yacht. (Courtesy Horizon Yacht/)

Up above, the FD80’s bridge is pre-plumbed for a hot tub, though there wasn’t one on this particular FD80. A Steelhead ES Series 1500 davit can hoist a 16-foot tender. A high-low barbecue can stow away, and there’s a bar for three to port that is an optimal choice for a sundowner or two. The partially enclosed helm has two Stidd chairs, four Garmin screens and excellent ­sightlines.

The FD80 that I got aboard was Hull No. 1, and she already felt dialed in, including the fit and finish on the matte and high-gloss woods in the interior. This is a yacht that ­combines onboard appeal with serious seafaring capabilities.

Take the next step: horizonyachtusa.com

Money Well Spent?

Love may be blind, but it can also be really expensive.
Love may be blind, but it can also be really expensive. (Steve Haefele/)

I was reminiscing with my pal Dan recently about our careers in yacht design. He waxed on about a custom motoryacht he’d penned back in the day before he got to his point: “Coyle, I could buy her for little more than she cost to design. Can you believe it? She was perfect.”

I believed it, although I was thinking: She is the perfect storm.

The folks we’d penned boats for were smart guys, and while they typically wielded a sharp pencil and could argue over a nickel spent, they spared no expense when it came to their yachts.

“She’s a gold-plater,” Dan said dreamily as he studied her brokerage listing.

“Those look like her high school pictures,” I teased.

I’ve had experience with “legacy rides.” I had served as an enabler for my former boss and friend, Tom Fexas. Tom’s fame as a designer was born with his 44-foot Midnight Lace. She was a modern throwback, reminiscent of the great commuter designs, and Tom had not only designed her, but he’d also helped to build Hull No. 1 in the 1970s.

By the early 1990s, I had added “yacht brokerage” to my business card, and I discovered that Hull No. 1 was for sale. A fan of Tom’s work, the owner offered an inspiring “family discount” should Tom be interested. Lacking the steel will of a true yacht broker, I volunteered my commission to sweeten the deal.

As money seemed no object, I went with a legacy pitch, suggesting to Tom that he would be remiss if he failed to invest in the boat that had launched his career. He hedged, insisting that he was too busy and had no time for her. I suggested that he could simply enshrine the vessel at his dock. Within view of his drawing board, she would provide inspiration.

Tom didn’t invest, and I scratched “yacht brokerage” from my business card. I figured I’d failed him—until I fell for the soggy remains of a boat I had labored over as a designer. I bought her for a pittance, only to discover that my “investment” had simply been a down payment. Keeping her from settling to the bottom drained me.

Tom was a smart guy.

It is said that the design of a yacht follows a spiral path. The truth is, it’s more like a tornado that churns until a designer (wind) and client (fuel) run out of steam. Once a boat burps out of a builder’s shed and onto the water, nature has its way with her. Absent serious rehab every seven years or so, she builds her own head of steam. Without fuel (cash)—or a time machine—there’s no turning back the clock.

After an hour of reanimating the brainstorming that had spawned his gold- plated design, Dan returned to the present and assessed the potential of a relationship.

“Coyle, if she’s down on her luck, I’d be sopping up her bilges with dollar bills until she sucked my wallet dry,” he said.

Dan is a smart guy.

Vesper Marine’s Latest

Vesper Marine’s Cortex system could revolutionize marine communications, alarms and collision avoidance.
Vesper Marine’s Cortex system could revolutionize marine communications, alarms and collision avoidance. (Courtesy Vesper Marine/)

The year 2005 doesn’t feel like a long-lost horizon, but in the context of technology’s unblinking evolution, the chasm of time becomes insurmountable. That August, my then-girlfriend—now wife—and I were helping to deliver my dad’s J/44 to Maine. During a graveyard watch off Portland, I encountered a tricky situation involving a ship that my colorblind eyes couldn’t decipher. Automatic Identification System equipment didn’t exist, so I reluctantly woke our intrepid captain, and we eventually hailed the ship on VHF radio. All ended safely, but the situation illustrated the need for an integrated safety and communications platform.

Now, 14 years later, Vesper Marine’s Cortex has arrived.

Vesper Marine’s Cortex simplifies VHF radio operations and delivers AIS, cellular, Digital Selective Calling and Wi-Fi communications to a smartphone running one of two Cortex apps, or to a wireless handset. Cortex systems also have on- and off-vessel smart alarms with dedicated “situation views,” prioritizing the most-pressing concerns.

Much like Apple’s first-generation iPhone, Cortex is a ground-up platform delivering integrated, marine-specific communications in an intuitive, software-driven device. Also like iPhones, Cortex uses a highly parallel multichannel architecture and a pinch-to-zoom touchscreen interface.

Intuitive to use, Cortex is composed of an IPX7-rated, black-box M1 communications hub, two smartphone apps, and one or more optional—but recommended—H1 handsets. The M1 is mounted belowdecks with a built-in AIS B/SO transponder, an embedded SIM card for cloud connectivity, an integrated VHF radio splitter, a nine-axis sensor, a bilge-pump sensor input, NMEA 0183/2000 connectivity, dual audio ports, a battery-voltage sensor and two control outputs. The setup lets users remotely automate two onboard devices/systems, such as a masthead light, from their smartphone app.

The Cortex unit has an industrial design and all-plastic construction. “The motivation was to make it rugged,” says Jeff Robbins, Vesper Marine’s CEO. This construction uses thermal plastics and helps shed the heat that the M1’s 25-watt VHF radio generates.

Aesthetically, H1 handsets are longer, narrower and thicker than smartphones, with generously sized and optically bonded Gorilla Glass screens above six dedicated buttons (menu, back, VHF, call, Channel 16 and MOB) flanking a magnet-driven rotary wheel with a central selector button. A dedicated DSC emergency button sits atop the H1, under a protective red cover. The handsets are IPX7-rated and support one-handed, ambidextrous operations, even when wet, salty gloves are involved. Each handset communicates wirelessly with its paired M1, however, each yacht’s first H1 uses a hardwired power supply.

“Ergonomics are important,” says Carl Omundsen, Vesper’s chief technical officer. “Its rubberized treatment lets you set it down without it slipping and sliding and helps absorb [the shock from] drops.”

The H1 handset is optional and designed to remain aboard, so the system comes with two Android- and iOS-friendly apps that owners can download to smartphones that go ashore. Cortex Onboard turns a user’s phone into a closely mirrored handset that delivers most of an H1’s functionality (except for VHF radio operations) while Cortex Monitor listens for activated onboard alarms.

Once the system is networked with the yacht’s multifunction display or NMEA backbone—and with the GPS, VHF radio antenna and DC power (users can add cellular and Wi-Fi antennas)—Cortex shares all communications passing through its M1 hub with its paired H1 handset and Cortex Onboard, rendering this information as easy-to-understand graphical depictions. Users can cycle among four operating views including VHF, directory (stored DSC contacts and favorites), instruments (NMEA data) and plotter, and the system has three prioritized “situation views” for managing AIS targets, anchor-watch alarms and man-overboard emergencies.

“Alarm management always runs in the background,” Robbins says. “If an alarm comes in and a user acknowledges it, Cortex directs them to the source of the alarm. But if another vessel becomes more important, the system prioritizes this [threat].”

Unlike VHF and DSC-enabled VHF radios, Cortex handsets and the Cortex Onboard app let users call other AIS-equipped boats directly by tapping onscreen icons. Likewise, users can hail DSC contacts by tapping their name in the directory.

“We tried to hide as many knobs and settings as possible,” Robbins says.

The company took a similar, intuitive approach to updates. “We designed Cortex from the start to be easily upgradable, and all software is upgraded automatically from a user’s paired mobile device,” Robbins adds.

The system’s AIS operations are equally user-friendly, and Vesper developed its “smartAIS” concept (to prioritize AIS targets and provide alarms) with Cortex. Previously, smartAIS features were only available on board, but with Cortex’s optional cloud-monitoring service, users with the Cortex Monitor app can access real-time anchor watch, geofence, shore power, battery levels, and high-water, motion and temperature information.

Users can also access onboard alarms using Cortex Onboard or H1 and network their M1 to external speaker(s), allowing Cortex to deliver a series of intensifying audio alerts.

“We start annunciations at a normal voice that pauses and repeats its message,” says Omundsen, adding that M1s have two audio-out channels: one for the system’s soft warning and the other for mandated DSC alarms. “If this isn’t acknowledged, we start escalating.”

While there’s no comparing 2007-era iPhone use with humanity’s current—and growing—smart-screen dependence, Cortex is poised to be an onboard technological juggernaut. Because of the platform’s software-based approach, new features and capabilities can be developed and released in real time.

Best yet, Cortex could help de-escalate confusing crossing situations—without waking up Dad.

The Audacious “Audace”

The owner of <em>Audace</em> lives on board most of the year and wanted to build an explorer yacht that could travel to far-flung waypoints in style.
The owner of Audace lives on board most of the year and wanted to build an explorer yacht that could travel to far-flung waypoints in style. (Courtesy ScoobyArt/)

Mauro Sculli has more than three decades of experience in yacht design and naval architecture. So the head of Studio Sculli in Italy isn’t just making a play on words when he says the following about Audace, which means “bold” in Italian: “The owner’s specific, or should I say audacious, requests made the design and construction processes extremely stimulating.”

In fact, the adjectives Sculli uses only begin to describe this custom explorer from Italian builder Cantiere delle Marche. Audace is a 140-footer with five decks, unusual staterooms and a galley on the owner’s private deck. She serves as her owner’s home—he lives on board about 10 months per year. They’re 10 busy months too, spent cruising from the yacht’s home port of Ibiza in Spain’s Balearic Isles throughout the Mediterranean, with farther-afield regions such as the Red Sea and Caribbean also on the itinerary.

Despite her unique tenders and toys, such as the Land Rover and BMW motorbike, her unusual layout,
and her disco—two discos, actually—<em>Audace</em> does pay 
homage to convention. The interior ambience echoes that of classic steamships.
Despite her unique tenders and toys, such as the Land Rover and BMW motorbike, her unusual layout, and her disco—two discos, actually—Audace does pay homage to convention. The interior ambience echoes that of classic steamships. (Courtesy ScoobyArt/)

The yacht doesn’t exactly sit quietly in port, either. The owner loves having friends stay aboard as much as he loves throwing parties for upward of 200 guests. Late-night soirees are especially popular in the soundproof 1,076-square-foot disco on the lower deck. No need to head to one of Ibiza’s famed dance clubs, since the top DJs come aboard and spin till the sun comes up.

Of course, the owner likes excursions too, so Audace carries PWCs and a 33-foot main tender. And there’s a custom Land Rover Defender SUV and a BMW motorbike. While the land toys have their own launch system, the tender is handled by a bright red, 9-ton-capacity crane on the aft deck.

Andrea Merloni, Audace’s 51-year-old owner, is not like most yacht owners. Having lived aboard a 95-foot Inace the past several years, he planned to continue the practice but venture farther with a larger, rugged, reliable explorer underfoot. When he commissioned Audace, he had a clear vision of how he could keep a modicum of privacy while welcoming friends (or a few hundred friends) to join him.

All four guest staterooms are VIP-level spaces. Note the balcony access.
All four guest staterooms are VIP-level spaces. Note the balcony access. (Courtesy ScoobyArt/)

Merloni started his search with Andrea Pezzini, the head of Floating Life, which provides build and technical consultations in addition to yacht management, charter and other services. Merloni and Pezzini met with a semicustom shipyard, but then realized that Merloni’s detailed list of must-haves, from the general arrangement to the technical systems, meant considering custom construction. They used Floating Life’s K Series as a jumping-off point. The K Series provides tank-tested, steel-hull designs and planned-out technical platforms, with engineering and naval architecture by Studio Sculli. All remaining details, including deck numbers, superstructure styling and space planning, are up to the clients.

This approach explains why Audace bore the reference K42 (for 42-meter) in her design stage and when Cantiere delle Marche announced the contract. But make no mistake: This yacht is tailored from top to bottom. Ennio Cecchini, Cantiere delle Marche’s co-founder and CEO, asserts that the level of detail tested the shipyard—in a good way. “A one-off project was a challenge we were ready to face,” he says. “For me, this is the fun—the soul of shipbuilding.”

Shipbuilding does lie at the yard’s core. Having come from a commercial-shipbuilding background, Cecchini established Cantiere delle Marche nine years ago with Vasco Buonpensiere, who handles sales and marketing, to build true explorers. They started with the aptly named Darwin Class series of yachts, some of which have put tens of thousands of nautical miles under their hulls. Plus, every Cantiere delle Marche contains cupronickel piping, independent rudders, 12-millimeter steel hulls—thicker than required by class society rules—and other workboat-oriented specifics.

<em>Audace’s</em> owner likes parties and enjoys entertaining guests in the yacht’s  disco.
Audace’s owner likes parties and enjoys entertaining guests in the yacht’s disco. (Courtesy ScoobyArt/)

While this approach to construction appealed to Merloni, he still had his own ideas. Audace has a full-height, full-length tech deck—aka the under-lower deck—containing, among other things, dry stores, a walk-in freezer, independent wine cellars (one for reds, one for whites), a garbage room with a compactor, and a laundry room. Merloni knew from his liveaboard experience and globe-trotting plans that stowage was key.

He also knew that given the long stretches of time he planned to spend on board, the crew would need better-than-average work and rest areas, which explains the en suite cabins that are essentially the size of guest staterooms aboard similar-size yachts. The galley enables two chefs to put out dishes for 250 guests at a time. One of the best benefits for crew is a side room, near the crew mess, with a watertight door leading outside. It lets them come and go privately via tender, especially if they’re loading provisions. An extra benefit, for crew and guests alike: On rainy or windy days, it’s a protected boarding area with a gangway that slides out from the sole.

Protection extends to Merloni’s privacy too. As much as he loves to entertain, he wants “me” time and gets it on his private deck, the fourth level. (Guests have the main and lower decks to use.) Blue-stained oak and natural teak soles highlight his stateroom forward. A TV lounge is abaft that space. Fully aft, an alfresco area contains a hot tub with flanking settees.

The forward deck is home to the yacht’s Land Rover Defender, BMW motorbike and the crew tender.
The forward deck is home to the yacht’s Land Rover Defender, BMW motorbike and the crew tender. (Courtesy ScoobyArt/)

Not that guests get the short shrift. Far from it, actually. Audace has two guest staterooms on the main deck with doors to the side decks, and two guest staterooms belowdecks with fold-down balconies.

One hundred tons of steel and 50 tons of aluminum later, Cecchini says people either love or dislike the design of Audace; that’s fine with him. “The engineering challenges were outstanding,” he says. There were 140 change orders from Merloni during construction, and still, Audace was just four months off her original delivery schedule.

Stimulating might not be the right word to describe this yacht’s creation. You might even say the process was downright audacious.

Take the next step: cantieredellemarche.it

Whale Whisperer

Ken Balcomb created a digital database for identifying individual orcas in the San Juan Islands.
Ken Balcomb created a digital database for identifying individual orcas in the San Juan Islands. (Courtesy Center for Whale Research, whaleresearch.com/)

Forget facebook. For Ken Balcomb, it’s all about Finbook. For 43 years, the founder of the Center for Whale Research has been studying and photographing the three pods of Southern Resident killer whales that call the waters surrounding the San Juan Islands home. Balcomb’s daily digital snapshots—a good 2,000 to 3,000 clicks on a clear day—are added to Finbook, his database chronicling this endangered community over the decades.

Balcomb pioneered photo identification of cetaceans, using their unique fin and saddle-patch patterns to distinguish among pod members. “I like clearly marked, clearly identifiable whales so that other people can share the enthusiasm of being able to recognize an individual,” he says.

The center’s app lets visitors do just that, with an Orca ID tool to pinpoint which member of J, K or L pod they’ve spotted. Cruisers can dive deeper into the center’s work at its Orca Survey Outreach & Education Center in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. Visitors can listen to underwater vocalizations, watch livestream footage of the whales in the neighborhood and, yes, look at Finbook entries.

What (besides the whales) led you to establish your research base on San Juan Island? There’s a lot of open country. It’s mountain scenery all around you, snowcapped mountains of the Olympics and Vancouver Island. And you’re just surrounded by water. I love the water.

Some people never forget a face. Do you never forget a fin? Quite often, I can recognize whales on sight. We start with the adult males because they have a very tall dorsal fin. Then we look at the gray saddle patch. I can usually tell within a few seconds, “That is so-and-so.”

Do you have any favorite current members among the pods? My favorite at the moment would be the new baby, named J56, and her mom, K31.

For four decades, Ken Balcomb has been researching orcas in the San Juan Islands.
For four decades, Ken Balcomb has been researching orcas in the San Juan Islands. (Courtesy Center for Whale Research, whaleresearch.com/)

Ken’s San Guan Island Selections

Whale Watching: The whale-watching tour companies on the island are run by professional, competent, caring people. Or go to Lime Kiln State Park and watch the whales swim by there.

McMillin’s Dining Room (Roche Harbor, San Juan Island): It’s a popular destination for yacht folks. It has a good bar and good food, especially its crab bisque.

Herb’s Tavern (Friday Harbor, San Juan Island): It’s been the local watering hole for several generations with live music Friday and Saturday nights in the summer.

Tankoa TLV62: A New Design from Italy

The TLV62 is a s 203-foot superyacht based on the builder's 196-foot platform.
The TLV62 is a s 203-foot superyacht based on the builder's 196-foot platform. (Courtesy Tankoa Yachts/)

Italy’s Tankoa Yachts has released renderings of its TLV62, a design created in collaboration with broker Giancarlo Mussino of Sinos, which also worked on Tankoa’s 164-foot Bintador, and yacht designer Luca Vallebona.

Based on Tankoa’s 196-foot platform, the TLV62 would be a 203-foot yacht with a near-vertical bow. The transom is open, and there are aft-deck terraces.

Inside, the TLV62’s salon is forward of and shorter than salons on similar-size motoryachts. The idea is to create a gradual transformation from the interior space to the outdoor deck with dining and a pool.

The TLV62 has an asymmetrical pool setup, and uses organic shapes to define the aft deck spaces.
The TLV62 has an asymmetrical pool setup, and uses organic shapes to define the aft deck spaces. (Courtesy Tankoa Yachts/)

“Most of the time on superyachts, the main salon takes up a lot of space but is rarely used,” Vallebona stated in a press release. “So, I brought the living area outside, reduced the size of the dining room, and put a smaller TV lounge with its own A/V rack room and the main exterior dining table on the upper deck aft.”

Powered by twin CAT 3512 main engines, the superyacht has an estimated top speed of 16.5 knots and a projected range of 4,500 nautical miles at 12 knots.

How big would the master stateroom be? About 1,000 square feet, forward on the main deck.

For more information, visit: tankoa.it

Ferretti Partners with Videoworks

Ancona, Italy, serves as Videoworks’ headquarters. Its technology turns the Pershing 8X’s hull into an underwater speaker.
Ancona, Italy, serves as Videoworks’ headquarters. Its technology turns the Pershing 8X’s hull into an underwater speaker. (Courtesy Videoworks and Pershing Yacht/)

Music hull is a technology developed by the Ferretti Group and Videoworks for the Pershing 8X to play music—above deck and below the waterline. Unlike regular stereos that use magnet-driven speaker cones, Music Hull uses six “shakers,” which vibrate and are fitted to the inside surface of the yacht’s carbon-fiber hull. The technology “transforms a part of the hull into a massive high-fidelity, planar, radiating speaker using bending-wave-acoustics physics,” says Randy Coleman, Ferretti Group’s vice president of North American sales. Coleman adds that the system delivers even sound pressure and frequency response, sans through-hull apertures.

According to Maurizio Minossi, Videoworks’ chief technical officer, the project’s highest hurdle involved “finding the right positions on the hull [for the shakers] and the right power for amplifiers.”

How It Works

Music Hull reportedly works in all water types and temperatures, but the system applies different real-time calibrations to deliver optimal sound quality at different salinity levels and temperatures.
Music Hull reportedly works in all water types and temperatures, but the system applies different real-time calibrations to deliver optimal sound quality at different salinity levels and temperatures.Once installed, the system delivers high-quality sound across a 65-foot radius.
Once installed, the system delivers high-quality sound across a 65-foot radius.It’s currently exclusive to the Pershing 8X, but Music Hull could someday be sold on the aftermarket.
It’s currently exclusive to the Pershing 8X, but Music Hull could someday be sold on the aftermarket.

Other core technologies include digital-signal processing and a calibration algorithm in the Videoworks-built infotainment system. The algorithm drives the shakers, as well as a hull-mounted hydrophone, enabling the system to calibrate—automatically, in real time—its audio source and volume levels.

Users can stream music off their mobile devices, which can be wirelessly networked to the system.

Take the next step: pershing-yacht.com

Imtra Expands Zipwake Offerings

Zipwake's E-series interceptors are designed for larger yachts, up to 100 feet LOA.
Zipwake's E-series interceptors are designed for larger yachts, up to 100 feet LOA. (Courtesy Imtra/)

Imtra has expanded its Zipwake Dynamic Trim Control System offerings with a Series E line of interceptors.

The Zipwake Series E is engineered for bigger boats. The product line evolved from the Series S, which was designed for vessels from 20 to 50 feet length overall.

“Larger vessels have their own unique design challenges,” Jamie Simmons, Zipwake product manager for Imtra, stated in a press release, “and the Zipwake system has been expanded to accommodate these hull shapes.”

Series E includes three straight, three tunnel and two chine interceptors. The modular design of the interceptors makes them well suited for planing or semi-planing boats from 40 to 100 feet length overall, according to Zipwake. The Series E deploys at a speed of 1.6 inches per second (40 mm per second) for a total stroke of 2.4 inches (60 mm).

Plug a vessel's vitals into the Zipwake system and it will autotrim the vessel. The interceptors can also be adjusted manually via that paddlewheel.
Plug a vessel's vitals into the Zipwake system and it will autotrim the vessel. The interceptors can also be adjusted manually via that paddlewheel. (Courtesy Imtra/)

In contrast to straight interceptors, the tunnel interceptor’s constant radius curvature allows for mounting above the propeller tunnel. The three tunnel models (R500, R600 and R800) have different radii, making sure that most large boat propeller tunnels can be covered with negligible deviation between hull and interceptor curvature.

How do yachtsmen control running trim, heeling or heading? By using 3D controls with an LCD display.

For more information, visit: imtra.com

Pearl 62 to Debut at Boot Dusseldorf

The Pearl 62 is the entry-level yacht in the builder's four-model series, which also includes a 65-, 80- and 95-footers.
The Pearl 62 is the entry-level yacht in the builder's four-model series, which also includes a 65-, 80- and 95-footers. (Courtesy Pearl Yachts/)

Pearl Yachts is planning for the debut of the Pearl 62 at Boot Dusseldorf in January 2020.

The Pearl 62 will be the new entry-level model in the builder’s range, which also includes a 65, 80 and 95.

The 62's full-beam master stateroom.
The 62's full-beam master stateroom. (Courtesy Pearl Yachts/)

“The Pearl 62 showcases the evolution of Pearl Yachts’ journey into the flybridge segment,” managing director Iain Smallridge stated in a press release. “Development of the new Pearl 62 commenced in January 2018.”

Note the main-deck's open floor plan and extensive use of glass.
Note the main-deck's open floor plan and extensive use of glass. (Courtesy Pearl Yachts/)

Exteriors on the Pearl 62 are by Bill Dixon, with interiors by Kelly Hoppen.

How long has Bill Dixon been designing boats? Since 1981. That’s when Dixon Yacht Design opened its doors in Britain.

For more information, visit: pearlyachts.com

Ocean Alexander’s Latest

Cut-down bulwarks amidships mean unobstructed vistas from the 84R’s salon.
Cut-down bulwarks amidships mean unobstructed vistas from the 84R’s salon. (Courtesy Ocean Alexander/)

Open or closed bridge? That is just one of a string of options available to owners of Ocean Alexander’s 84R, a yacht created with customization in mind.

The R is for Revolution, and this model follows on the heels of this past year’s flagship in the line, the 90R. The 84R is the result of a collaboration between the builder, its longtime design partner Evan K. Marshall in London, and Arrabito Naval Architects in Italy.

Some other owner choices include interior woods. In the case of Hull No. 1, debuting this fall, it’s an oak-and-ebony scheme in high-gloss and satin finishes. Buyers can also have a stone sole in the galley. In fact, five earth-tone stone styles are on board Hull No. 1, creating countertops, backsplashes, heads and more.

Note how the long, wide planks in the 84R’s salon sole work with the gray headliner and side windows to stretch the yacht’s interior visually.
Note how the long, wide planks in the 84R’s salon sole work with the gray headliner and side windows to stretch the yacht’s interior visually. (Courtesy Ocean Alexander/)

Other notable options include electrically operated shades and three electrically operated helm seats—as opposed to mechanically adjusted ones—a bridge-deck Jacuzzi, Side-Power ­hydraulic stabilizers, and teak decks.

One of the Revolution line’s trademarks is a vertical bow, allowing this 84-footer to carry a fair bit of her ­20-plus-foot beam forward. This design choice results in increased internal volume.

The 84R’s top deck can be ­enclosed or open and has a ­barbecue grill and wet bar. The space comes with a variety of seating layouts. The optional Jacuzzi is located here.
The 84R’s top deck can be ­enclosed or open and has a ­barbecue grill and wet bar. The space comes with a variety of seating layouts. The optional Jacuzzi is located here. (Courtesy Ocean Alexander/)

To that end, four staterooms are belowdecks. A full-beam master is ­amidships with views outside the trapezoid-shaped hullside windows flanking the stateroom. A king-size berth is on centerline. His-and-her heads are abaft the berth’s bulkhead, with the placement insulating the ­master stateroom from the engine room’s noise. The forepeak VIP has a queen-size berth that faces aft, diagonally from starboard to port. The setup optimizes floor space. Like the master, the VIP has an en suite head. Abaft the VIP to port and starboard are two guest staterooms, both en suite and each with twin berths measuring 33 inches wide by 76 inches long.

The 84R’s master stateroom spans the yacht’s full 20-foot-8-inch beam, allowing for his-and-her heads, a vanity to starboard and settee to port of the berth.
The 84R’s master stateroom spans the yacht’s full 20-foot-8-inch beam, allowing for his-and-her heads, a vanity to starboard and settee to port of the berth. (Courtesy Ocean Alexander/)

As with the forward stateroom, the yacht’s sense of volume is also found in the salon, where headroom averages about 6 feet, 11 inches. Almost 360 degrees of glass surrounds the main deck, enabling unimpeded ocean views.

A yacht in this size range will likely cross open water. For strength at sea, the 84R is built via resin infusion with structural foam, fiberglass and carbon fiber. Carbon fiber is applied to high-stress areas and used in construction of the sky lounge. Aluminum beams in the bulkheads and ceiling further strengthen the yacht.

Azimut’s Sporty S6

In addition to catching the eye, the Azimut S6’s bow design creates internal volume. The bow cap is stainless steel.
In addition to catching the eye, the Azimut S6’s bow design creates internal volume. The bow cap is stainless steel. (Sara Magni/)

The Azimut Yachts S6, with an exterior by designer Stefano Righini, has what the builder calls a trapezoid bow. It’s a foreshortened snub nose that ­increases the yacht’s interior volume while creating a longer waterline within a similar overall length when compared with other yachts in her class. The look is finished off with what Azimut calls a bow shield—a stainless-steel cap running down the stem that protects the bow from the anchor when hoisting—making this part of the yacht a key design element, as on all the Azimut S-series sport yachts.

Putting the sport in this 59-foot sport yacht is a trio of 550 hp Volvo Penta IPS700 diesels matched to pod drives. We saw a top speed of 35 knots, with the motors burning a total of 90.2 gallons per hour. That equals a 239-nautical-mile range on a 686-gallon fuel tank with a 10 percent reserve. At 26.9 knots, fuel burn drops to 65 gph while range increases to 255 nm. At 19 knots, fuel burn is 39.3 gph and range ticks up to 300 nm.

The S6’s performance is, in part, pure horsepower, but the yacht’s construction also plays a crucial role in delivering speed. She displaces about 65,000 pounds (one of her competitors, just 1 foot longer, is about 108,000 pounds). The S6’s hull is vacuum-infused with vinylester resin below the waterline and in selected areas exposed to weather, and carbon fiber is used in the hull and in what Azimut calls the tray, which is a grid of interlocking stringers bonded to the hull while it is still in the mold. That tray is used to place everything from bulkheads to engines. Carbon fiber in the vessel’s superstructure provides the strength that allows for the oversize diamond-shaped windows in the salon and topsides.

From the carbon-fiber superstructure to the use of structural glass and oak woods, the Azimut S6 is a high-tech, contemporary yacht.
From the carbon-fiber superstructure to the use of structural glass and oak woods, the Azimut S6 is a high-tech, contemporary yacht. (Sara Magni/)

Interior designer Francesco Guida, now on his second project with Azimut, also used carbon fiber. It’s a design element in the yacht’s counters and tabletops. In the cockpit, a U-shape dinette wraps around a carbon-fiber table that unfolds from cocktail size to 56 inches by 24 inches for alfresco dining. As part of the yacht’s coupe styling, the rooftop extends to shade this area while leaving the quadruple-wide lounge aft for sun worshippers.

The salon, with a 55-inch high-low dining table that converts to a lounge, is finished in light and dark oaks. Inlays have polished stainless-steel frames. A counter to port hides the TV, and the galley is forward with a counter extending into the companionway, maximizing food-prep real estate. There’s a two-burner electric cooktop along with four fridges on board: one in the cockpit, one in the salon bar and two in the galley.

At the helm, the skipper and companion get a pair of high-backed seats with bolsters. The cantilevered, three-monitor dashboard has an Azimut-Raymarine ship’s monitor that shows the usual engine data plus bilge pumps, tank levels, sound systems and air conditioning. All of this is touchscreen- enabled and accessible remotely via tablet.

Azimut worked with Raymarine on the yacht’s vessel-monitoring system. Note the flip-up bolster seating and joystick placement to help with docking.
Azimut worked with Raymarine on the yacht’s vessel-monitoring system. Note the flip-up bolster seating and joystick placement to help with docking. (Sara Magni/)

The salon’s triple skylights over the galley and helm area are notable for the natural light they allow inside, and carbon fiber in the superstructure lets the entire panel become an opening sunroof, moving the skylights and roof together.

The lower deck is pure accommodations, with the master stateroom aft. It has an angled berth that starts as a queen-size width at the headboard (5 feet) and then tapers on each side to become 4 feet, 4 inches wide at the foot. The berth’s length is just shy of a queen: 6 feet, 6 inches (compared with 6 feet, 8 inches for a true queen). The setup adds to the available floor space, and there are six-pane hullside windows on either side. The en suite head with shower is just forward, while a full hanging locker is aft and a washer/dryer is in the companionway.

The forepeak VIP has the added space from the truncated bow, allowing for a walk-around berth that also starts as a queen at the ­headboard and tapers to 4 feet wide at the foot. It’s 6 feet, 6 inches long. There is direct access to the day-head with shower and to the twin hanging lockers. In between the master and VIP is a guest stateroom with a pair of berths measuring 6 feet, 3 inches long and 3 feet wide. This stateroom is served by the day-head.

The master stateroom’s angled berth maximizes floor space. The berth measures 6 feet, 6 inches long, and the headboard is 5 feet wide.
The master stateroom’s angled berth maximizes floor space. The berth measures 6 feet, 6 inches long, and the headboard is 5 feet wide. (Sara Magni/)

Azimut designed the tender garage for an 11-foot jet boat: specifically, a Tecnorib. Another option is a Williams Sportjet 345, with a length overall of 11 feet, 3 inches and a top-end speed of 40 knots with five-guest capacity.

On the S6’s foredeck, there is a sun pad for guests. For owner-operators or crew, there’s a forepeak cabin with single berth and head. The foredeck is also home to gull-wing doors to port and starboard. These 20-inch-deep, more than 3-feet-long lockers can rid the deck of fenders and dock lines, and three more lockers are in the cockpit, showing that Azimut understands the need to stow gear.

And to look good while doing it.

Take the next step: azimutyachts.com

Top