Category Archives: Sea Trials

Sea Trials

CapKenA Personal Matter

Always taking its custom work seriously, Jarrett Bay brings it to a new level with this 64-foot Carolina beauty.

By Capt. Ken Kreisler

Photos courtesy of Jarrett Bay

Jarrett Bay 64

This Jarrett Bay 64, Builder’s Choice, is the fourth personal statement from this builder for the owner and delivered by company president Randy Ramsey and his crew of fine craftsmen.

“If I felt any better about this boat, I’d be triplets,” remarked Jarrett Bay president Randy Ramsey, his words flavored and seasoned with that most appealing and special North Carolinian cadence. “You see, this is the fourth boat we built for the Huddle family and well, when you have established that kind of relationship, it not just about the job.”

Indeed, Builder’s Choice, one of the latest to splash at the company’s sprawling 175-acre marine park right off the Intracoastal Waterway in Beaufort, North Carolina, is more than another beautiful custom build from Mr. Ramsey and his veteran crew of designers, fabricators, technicians, workers, support staff and all the others that have helped put Jarrett Bay in the rarified air of this particular sector of the industry.

With this particular boat, and given the Huddle’s involvement as their exclusive contractor in the early days of Jarrett Bay’s growth, the project was all very personal. “This was about family,” said Ramsey. “And we set out to deliver a beautiful and functional boat.”


That personal touch is quite evident inside Builder’s Choice and the attention to detail and excellent fit and finish shown by Jarrett Bay’s on-site Crystal Coast Interiors that was provided here is exceptional.

Jarrett Bay 64 interior

The main salon aboard Builder’s Choice is exactly what the owners were looking for.

No matter where one looks, the hand picked black walnut motif stands out and is in beautiful contrast with the light colored couches, each with plenty of storage space beneath, found to either side. And a beautifully crafted Release table, not only expands for additional surface area, but also opens up for extra storage below. With the Huddles, that most likely will be used for fishing related items.

The island galley is forward and to port with a dinette just opposite. The veneer work found throughout and well, the eyes don’t lie; everything matches perfectly. For weight saving, honeycombed Nomex is used with all the doors and cabinets.

Jarrett Bay rod storage closet

Given her profile as a no-nonsense, tournament boat, she has abundant rod, reel, and fish equipment storage. Here, a hallway closet shows off some of her wares.

In the living accommodations, reached via a centerline stairs from the salon and galley area, there is a three stateroom, three head layout. Surrounding both the Huddles and their guests in elegant and comfortable quarters, the staterooms also provide plenty of storage space for those times Builder’s Choice will be traveling to far-flung ports in search of the boat’s prime directive. In addition, there are full-length tackle closets on both sides of the hallway with dedicated space allotted to rods and reels and makes for a very impressive showing.


“While we always look to make our boats lighter and more efficient, we never sacrifice quality, safety, and the kind of outstanding build we have become known for,” said Ramsey. To that end and instead of a molded house, Builder’s Choice features closed cell foam throughout the entire topsides.

Jarrett Bay 64 framed

Like all of Jarrett Bay cold-molded boats, Builder’s Choice starts out with a perfectly shaped wood frame over which her fiberglass exterior will be fashioned.

As far as Jarrett Bay’s cold mold process, the boat is triple planked with significant amounts of fiberglass and extra planking in high impact areas. This same beefy technique is used in sections like the struts and rudders.

“Unlike some builders we not only glass the exterior of the hull but instead, encase its entire interior as well including the stinger system, grid, bottom and side planking,” continued Ramsey on this topic. “The end product is an encapsulated wooden hull that should last indefinitely.” And finally, to get that beautiful Atlantic Blue paint job on Builder’s Choice, Jarrett Bay uses Alexseal coatings on all its boats.


For all her beauty and obvious boat builder’s artistic quality, this is a hard-core fishing boat and one that fulfills all the needs of the Huddle family’s legacy of claiming their place in this particular, and highly competitive arena.


Ready for action of any kind, the cockpit offers captain, crew, and anglers all they would need for serious fishing.

As they usually fish with a large group of anglers, she offers 140 square feet of effective space. The teak work underfoot, and that on both upper and lower mezzanine areas, including the coamings, is exceptional. One would be hard pressed to find a line in the sole that does not demonstrate the definition of straight.

As expected, there are the requisite ice and chill boxes, storage areas, transom door and baitwell, stunning Release chair, and easy access to the engine room.


For any hands-on owner or skipper, the engine room aboard Builder’s Choice is as functional as it is a spacious. With a pair of big CAT C32’s at 1,925-hp each sharing the space with a duo of 29.5-kW CAT gensets, I found getting to all critical maintenance areas as well as all pumps, switches, hoses, systems, and just about anything else that needs tending to, to be not only easy but provides all the working space in which to swing any tool without getting a knuckle busted or an elbow bruised.

Jarrett Bay 64 engine room

A great engine room makes a great boat and aboard Builder’s Choice, hers is as good as it gets.

Also of note was finding the pump room aft, this to alleviate any noise, whether it is harmonic vibration or the actual sound of the various pumps and systems cycling off and on, enabling the owner and guests to not be disturbed when settling in for the evening. And as with the engine room space, with many of these systems under cover and in cabinets, I found everything also had easy access for not only checking but for any necessary maintenance work or clean up.


The bridge totally reflects the boat’s fishing profile and is truly worthy of admiration. With its Bausch American hardtop, this deck presents a thoughtfully planned layout and easily places the captain and any guests watching the action from up on high, right in the bite. For the skipper and co-pilot there is a pair of Release pedestal helm seats with additional seating along the starboard side. A comfortable L-shape couch is forward and to port of the helm. Freezer and refrigerated storage areas are also found here as well there being further cargo space beneath the seating.

JB 64 bridge.jpg

Well laid out with all controls and electronics within easy reach, the bridge affords maximum efficiency while Builder’s Choice is under operation.

Using the expertise of Offshore Marine Electronics, Builder’s Choice has an extensive array of Icom, Northstar, SiTex, Garmin, FLIR, Simrad, and JL Audio systems resulting in a helm design affording maximum control with ease of use.


The analogy of driving Builder’s Choice across the waters off of Palm Beach, Florida, as being like taking the wheel of a finely tuned sports car is spot on.

This boat is power personified and due to the balance between those high horsepower, twin CAT diesels and that spectacular fine entry with its sharp attack angle that transitions to abundant planning surfaces, she easily jumped out of the hole, spooled up to 2000 rpm and reached a cruise speed of 35.6 knots. When hooked up, we flirted with 41 knots. I found her to bank easily into turns at speed, track straight and true, back down with all the expected nimbleness she was designed for, and was as compliant and responsive to the most finite of helm commands during the close quarters docking maneuvers at the Sailfish Marina.

JB 64 running

With her Carolina flare showing off her perfectly balanced profile, this Jarrett Bay 64 is an awesome performer.

How do you balance the art of custom boat building with power and performance and the right amount of Carolina Flare? As with Builder’s Choice, you get Jarrett Bay to put it all together for you. It will be very personal. Just ask Randy Ramsey.


Length Overall: 64’

Beam: 18’ 6”

Draft: 5’ 10”

Waterline: 58′

Cockpit: 140 sq. ft.

Mezzanine: 65 sq. ft.

Freshwater Capacity: 275 gal.

Holding Tank Capacity: 125 gal.

Fuel Capacity: 1800 gal. plus 425 gal. auxiliary tank

Power: Twin Cat C32s @ 1925 hp each

Generators: Twin Cat 2.2t @ 29.5 kW each

RPM                             GPH                   SPEED(kt)

1000                              36                         11.9

1250                              66                         20.0

1500                              88                         24.4

1750                             124                        31.9

2000                             152                        35.6

2325                             200                        40.8




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Posted by on February 14, 2016 in Sea Trials


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Sea Trials

CapKenHighly Personalized

Viking’s 52 Sport Tower bridges a gap between a hard core fishing machine and whatever else you may have in mind.

By Capt. Ken Kreisler

Viking President Patrick Healey is a happy man these days. “We had to add some 65,000 square feet of production space to our existing New Gretna, NJ facility just to accommodate the design, development, and the floor space necessary to accommodate all our lines, including the 92 Convertible, our new Open series, 42 Sport Coupe, 46 Open Express, 52 Sport Tower, and our motor yachts. That building, by the way, was designed by our own production engineering group,” he said proudly.

Viking's New Gretna, NJ's facility includes its own marina for make-ready and sea trial use.

Viking’s New Gretna, NJ’s facility includes its own marina for make-ready and sea trial use. Photo: Viking Yachts

The 52 Sport Tower, one of the three Open models Healey mentioned, was first introduced at Viking’s last dealer meeting and was greeted with a lot of enthusiasm.

“In planning and designing these boats, we looked at the Open Series, one that we’ve been in for years since the mid-1980’s beginning with our 35, and saw an empty space we knew we could fill,” Healey commented.

Viking's 52ST shows off her dynamic profile during sea trials.

Viking’s 52ST shows off her dynamic profile during sea trials. Photo: Viking Yachts.

My charge was located at Viking’s Riviera Beach, Florida-based facility where I caught up with Capt. Ryan Higgins. Higgins, a consummate professional whether behind the controls of a Viking 92 footer or, as we were presently doing on both the Intracoastal and offshore waters, wheeling the 52 Sport Tower through her paces, has an expertise that not only covers skilled boat handling, but has a keen sense and insight of what went into a particular build as well.

“For this size, range, and power and accommodations, this boat is as good as it gets,” Higgins said as we began our time out on the water. “It more than takes care of any fishing needs an owner would want while also providing the kind of roominess for travel as well.”


With a pair of optional MAN V12 1,400-hp diesels— MAN V8 1,000-hp’s are standard—a 21.5kW Onan EQD genset, an optional Eskimo ice machine, and situated neatly behind the starboard engine, a Seakeeper NG9 gyro situated neatly behind the starboard engine, and along with all the other requisite equipment, I found the refrigerator-white Awlgripped engine room to provide plenty of space in which to service all the equipment. The battery compartment is easily accessed as are all critical maintenance areas including fluid checks, belts, hoses, and connections.

Viking decided to give the 52ST's engine compartment plenty of room in which to get any kind of work done.

Viking engineered the 52ST’s engine compartment with plenty of room in which to get any kind of maintenance work done. Photo: Capt. Ken Kreisler

Also located here is Viking’s central water system that all but eliminates the need to have individual pumps to take care of all the freezers, air conditioning, heads, and any other such needs aboard.


With an easy to navigate cockpit, the 52ST can easily be a formidable addition to any tournament circuit.

With an easy to navigate cockpit, the 52ST will be a formidable addition to any tournament circuit. Photo: Viking Yachts

Viking gave the 52 Sport Tower 142 square feet of space in which to get the job done—my test boat had a pedestal-designed rocket launcher set up in the middle—and I found moving around in the space to be not only effortless but noticed I would have no trouble reaching for anything I might need with a big fish astern. “As good as this boat is for whatever its owners have in mind, it’s DNA is all Viking from the bottom up and that means rigged and ready for action,” said Higgins.

The transom fish box has been maximized out for portable tuna tubes for those who need that kind of fishing equipment. And for an excellent view of all the action, there is a double-seated mezzanine as well.


With its open design, the command deck as Viking calls this area, not only provides excellent visibility from the center line helm even during acceleration, including help from the glass corners in the windshield, something I noted when it was my turn to take the wheel, but has the kind of amenities that allows for a rather intimate experience for guests whether fishing or traveling.

Comfortable and practical, the command deck offers plenty of seating and excellent views into the seaway.

Comfortable and practical, the command deck offers plenty of seating and excellent views into the seaway. Photo: Capt. Ken Kreisler

To either side of the pedestal helm seat are additional seating areas while aft and to starboard is a comfortable dinette. Over to port, and wrapping all the way around, is a molded-in console housing yet another freezer compartment. And in the overhead, are two flush-mounted compartments for rod storage.

“We have three versions of our open models and while they are all great designs and will fit individual preference, I favor the 52ST for my all around needs,” Higgins added.


Entering from a large sliding door just to port of the centerline helm, I took a few easy steps down into the accommodations space. Whether in the comfortable forepeak master or, as this 52ST was configured, the two staterooms to starboard, I found ample headroom giving the area a roomy feel and plenty of storage space for your time away from the dock. There are two heads here and the salon offers a dinette and full galley along with ample floor space in which to move around in.

Should someone want just two staterooms, the added space will applied to the salon area. “This is a personal area and its configuration is up to each individual owner’s needs,” said Higgins.

Wide open spaces present themselves aboard the Viking 52ST.

Wide open interior spaces present themselves aboard the Viking 52ST. Photo: Viking Yachts.


We took the boat out into the Intracoastal first to do some speed runs before heading out into the ocean. With 800 gallons of fuel on board—this 52 Sport Tower was equipped with the optional 1,467-gallon tanks with standard tankage at 1,202 gallons—and full water at 186 gallons, Higgins and I posted an impressive fast cruise of 40.7 knots at 2250 rpm. She held her direction beautifully and gave us an exhilarating ride. When we knocked her down to 2000, she turned in a 36-knot turn of speed and an impressive 31.3 knots at 1750 rpm. And of course, there was our exhilarating 42.7 WOT speed.

Impressive handling and performance, the result of a well-engineered running bottom, are part of the 52ST's complete package. Photo: Viking Yachts

Impressive handling and exciting performance, the result of a well-engineered running bottom, are part of the 52ST’s complete package. Photo: Viking Yachts

Helping to get these kinds of results means tank testing and with Viking’s special relationship with the Stevens Institute in Hoboken, NJ, the time and refining process results in a superior design.

As far as her running bottom is concerned, one that was taken from the highly successful 55 Convertible, that is the domain of Viking designer David Wilson. “It’s all new and a result of our constant refining,” said Wilson as we spoke on the subject.

Getting the all-important balance between power and performance meant some important factors to consider. “We went with full beam to get more wetted surface, a modified V, eliminated the keel, provided a fine entry up forward transitioning to about 11.8° of deadrise at the transom, and revisited the lifting strakes we designed many years ago,” mentioned Wilson. The strakes help to deal to break any suction created by fast boats in the 40+knot range and prevents them from teetering from side to side while at speed. “As far as our draft is concerned, we were willing to give up a little there by designing pockets into her bottom.”


“Our philosophy is to have everyone involved in the production,” said Healey adding that his company has gained their unique boat building perspective by Viking’s longevity since its founding in 1964 by his father and uncle. “We’ve been able to endure things through bad times and good times and always with a great team that produces exceptional boats and always strive to make our product better each and every day. We build these boats through the rigors of what we do.”

The only regret with my day aboard the Viking 52ST was that it ended with me leaving the dock. This is the kind of boat that makes it tough to get off of. Take one for your own sea trial and you’ll see what I mean.


LOA: 53’2”
Beam: 17’6”
Draft: 4’11”
Displacement: 67,680 w/standard fuel
Fuel:1,202 gal (1,467 optional)
Water: 186 gal
Engines: MAN V8 1,000-hp
Optional Engines: Man V12 1,400-hp

RPM                  SPEED(kn)                  GPH
1000                  11.3                                    28
1250                  17.5                                    40
1500                  25.3                                    58
1750                  31.3                                    75
2000                  36.0                                    100
2250                  40.7                                    137
WOT (2330)      42.7                                    150


Viking Yachts. (609) 296-6000.

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Posted by on June 8, 2015 in Sea Trials


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Sea Trials

CapKenFinely Tuned

Paul Spencer takes his latest custom 59-footer to a new level.

By Capt. Ken Kreisler

The Spencer 59 shows off her well-balanced exterior profile.

The Spencer 59 shows off her well-balanced exterior profile. Photo: Spencer Yachts

Paul Spencer made his mark as a respected captain and fisherman on the offshore waters of the Atlantic Ocean. As with most of his ilk, his passion for all things nautical began at an early age with summer jobs in the North Carolina fishing charter business and earning his ticket by the time he was twenty years old.

Paul Spencer

Paul Spencer

Armed with a personal vision of what a sportfishing boat should be able to do, and a hands-on, experienced-based approach to design and construction, he founded Spencer Yachts in 1996 in Manns Harbor, NC. From its humble beginnings in a tin shed, the facility now boasts some 125 employees with custom builds from 37- to 87 feet in length.

Attitudes is owned by Joe Pregont, a seasoned boat owner with a passion for real wood and sportfishing boats with style and flair, and along with Capt. Jamie Van Winkle, was drawn to Spencer Yachts with an image for his own version of the company’s time-tested and sea-proven 59 footer.

“I saw Mimi, a Spencer 59 in Harbor Island in the Bahamas and really liked it,” Pregont said. “After I met Paul there, and when finished making the rounds Stateside, I decided to build my first custom boat with him. This is my second Spencer now and I can’t wait to get her out on the water. They build a boat just the way you want it and I can’t say enough about the job he did.”


As with any custom build, the needs of the individual owner must be met. And for this particular project, it began with a request to make sure the living spaces of Attitudes were big enough height wise for the Pregont family.

With its custom interior, this Spencer 59 was just what her owner was looking for.

With its custom interior, this Spencer 59’s interior layout was just what her owner was looking for. Photo: Capt. Ken Kreisler

“Most of the boys, including my son-in-law, are on the tall side, averaging about 6’5”,” said Pregont. “So when we laid out the interior, we made sure Spencer and his people took that into consideration.” To that end, and without sacrificing that sleek and proportional Spencer profile, Attitudes has an average of 78” or more everywhere inside, from the 80” in the accommodations area to as high as 84” in the forepeak master.

The galley and dinette areas.

The galley and dinette areas. Photo: Capt. Ken Kreisler

With some of the larger builds, there’s obviously a bit more wiggle room. However, the art aboard this boat meant that the design had to be just right. “We measured every room layout and every space, not only on Attitudes but on others to make sure it was done to the family’s specifications,” added Capt. Jamie.

With excellent fit and finish noted everywhere, the salon features tons of rod and reel storage below the portside seating area and a rod closet below. A fully found galley is forward of that and a comfortable dinette sits to starboard. For the accommodations below, it was agreed that the three-stateroom, two head layout would include an open starboard hallway bunk, measuring some 80” long and 36” wide with massive storage area below. And whether in the forepeak or guest quarters, there is more than ample space in which to keep all those necessary items for extended trips away from the dock.


Well-lit and beautifully faired and finished off, the engine room is accessed through a center line hatch forward in the cockpit and once inside, offers more than ample room to access all necessary maintenance and service areas, batteries and electrics, pumps, valves, refrigeration units, air conditioning, sea chest, and switches as well as the CAT 21.5-kW genset, encased in a hushbox and mounted athwartships and in front of the twin C-18 1,150-hp Caterpillar mains.

“By the way,” Capt. Jamie said, noting the entrance. “I had that hatch and dogging entrance door there made wide enough to slide my spare props right in, eliminating any need for boxes being on the deck when we are traveling.”

Another noteworthy design down here is the alleyway leading from the engine space to the lazarette. Not only is it an excellent storage area, with easy access to anything you may keep here, but it also eliminates the need for a deck hatch thus preventing any chance of water intrusion during a tussle with a big fish or big water.


The centerpiece of her cockpit, complete with all the necessary accessories such as mezzanine, fish boxes, live well, refrigerated and freezer compartments, is the Bluewater designed chair. “I’ve been dealing with the company for years and really like the way Tom Ackel and his crew deliver a product,” said Capt. Jamie. Made with high-grade stainless hardware and selected teak, it’s the biggest one they make and will, as the owner and his family are motivated fishing enthusiasts, definitely see a lot of action on this boat.

With plenty of room for any kind of action that should come her way, the Spencer 59's cockpit is ready.

With plenty of room for any kind of action that should come her way, the Spencer 59’s cockpit, with its Bluewater chair, is ready. Photo: Capt. Ken Kreisler

Her coamings and transom are all teak as well. Again, this owner really likes his boat trimmed out as much as possible and to show off the aft end of Attitudes, there are about 30 coats of varnish applied to transom before being covered with clear coat after which the gold leaf name is applied and then buried in multiple layers of clear as well. “We go out of our way to keep the deep drop lead and the marlins from scratching it up,” Capt. Jamie said, a wry, knowing smile covering his face. “All this stuff is the real deal with a custom boat.”


Simplicity was key to laying out the bridge area and to that end the helm features a three-screen electronics display. Practical and kind of ‘old school’ by some standards, it offers a clean, uncomplicated seating area forward for guests while giving the skipper all the tools and view aft for when the action is hot and heavy.

A full Pipewelders tower gives both captain and guests a lofty all around view.

A full Pipewelders tower gives both captain and guests a lofty all around view. Photo: Capt. Ken Kreisler.

Electric reels and radios are in separate overhead compartments and I found excellent storage areas here as well. The Pipewelders tower is an outstanding piece of equipment and finished off as good as any I’ve seen anywhere. “I try not to overdo it up here,” Capt. Jamie said noting how easy it is to reach anything he would need while fishing or getting from place to place.

Van Winkle also made particular note of the electronics wiring cabinet located below the helm and easily accessed via a side hatch. And after looking around inside, I could see why. All Hooked Up Electronics owner Koby Money gave Attitudes the kind of wiring job that is second to none, affording the system-savvy skipper, or technician, unfettered access to any work that may be required.


Once the jig is set up in the Manns Harbor shop, the hull is trucked the short distance to Wanchese where the interiors, engines, painting—this is an Emron painted boat—and the rest of the finishing projects are completed.

“The Spencer foreman and I would communicate on everything I wanted done during the build,” said Capt. Jamie. “And it’s all real special dealing with Paul, his family, and everyone else at the company.”

Attitudes is a cored boat—Divinycell and Core Cell—and upgrades the tried and true method with new materials. For strength, her backbone, being the stringers, is still laminated wood as are the chines.  All that is set on coring, which is glassed over and vacuum bagged. Once the whole boat is done it is then cooked by building an oven around it, this to cure it and get rid of some post-cure issues. “She’s the second boat we’ve done this way and because of the resultant weight loss, strength and stiffness, Spencer Yachts will be doing it from now on,” said Capt. Jamie.


“I just didn’t like the harmonics of the five-bladed props,” Capt. Jamie said to me as we headed out of Pirates Cove Marina in Stuart, Florida, for some time out on the water.

Swapping them out for a pair of Veem four blade, 31” wheels, once past the manatee and no wake zone, and as we started to accelerate, his reaction was immediate. “Now that’s how things should sound,” he said. “Quiet.”

Having not been aboard with the former props, I could not judge the difference but a smooth increase in speed was quite apparent as we approached 1750 rpm with a 70% load on. Holding her there, Attitudes moved through the water at 29 knots at what I would call a slow cruise. (Not too shabby at 1500 as well with a 23-knot rate.) When the throttles were moved up to 2000 rpm, at 76% load, I noted a 34.5-knot turn of speed with this, her fast cruise. She has a definite ‘sports car’ feel with quick response to the helm as she cut tight and steady turns, and tracked straight and true.  When we brought her back to the dock, and with a sightseeing boat sticking out nearby, giving us a rather close quarters situation, Capt. Jamie slid her right in as effortlessly as if our slip was wide open.


Spencer’s particular knack for building a boat results in a sleek, well-proportioned profile all wrapped around an impressive performance package. From the front of the house on aft, to the shape and size of the windows, to the sweep of the overhang, no two Spencer boats are the same.

A view from the bridge, Spencer Yachts style.

A view from the bridge, Spencer Yachts style. Photo: Capt. Ken Kreisler

With the 66-foot Alpha Bravo, a 74 named Flight Plan, Inappropriate, a 69-footer, and Gratitude, which measures 62 feet along with several more in the works, you’re going to be seeing a lot more Spencer Yachts on the tourney circuit in the near future. And that’s a good thing.

Spencer Yachts, Inc.
31 Beverly Drive, Wanchese, NC 27981
252-473-6567  |  252-473-6568

Performance Data

RPM                        GPH                    SPD/kt

1000                        16                        10.0
1250                        26                        17.0
1500                        40                        23.0
1750                        60                        29.0
2000                        80                        34.5
2200                        100                      37.5
2340 (WOT)            120                      39.5

As tested with 2 x 1,150-hp C18 Caterpillar diesels.

Spencer 59

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Posted by on June 7, 2015 in Sea Trials


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Sea Trials

CapKenPurpose Built

F&S scores again with a serious 75-foot fishing machine equipped with head turning good looks and luxurious accommodations.

Story and photographs by Capt. Ken Kreisler

In the realm of big custom sport fishing boats, Blue Time is all about power, performance, and outstanding amenities.

In the realm of big custom sport fishing boats, Blue Time is all about power, performance, and outstanding amenities.

Blue Time, the latest 75-footer from prestigious Delaware-based F&S Boatworks is a single-minded, impeccably built custom boat whose function and purpose, in fact the very reason she was launched, is to be a viable player on the fishing circuit.

“When it comes to fishing, luxurious accommodations, and everything else we would need, we did as much aboard as we could do,” said Capt. Bill Wieteha. “As much as we could and more.”

A Miami native, Capt. Bill has been with Blue Time’s owner through two previous production boats. “He’s very competitive as is his circle of sail fishing friends and we were looking for a boat that could fill that need.”

In between their visits to other builders, a 72-foot F&S named Momo came into their homeport at the Cocoplums Yacht Club in Coral Gables, Florida. That visit and the ensuing getting-to-know-you-time resulted in a phone call to Jim Floyd, the company’s inspirational founding force and a respected industry personality, at F&S. Finding out a 75 jig was available, they came to terms and Blue Time was contracted to be built.


Form ever follows function is the phrase that easily comes to mind when either admiring Blue Time’s lines as she sits in the dock or even better, underway. Her design, shape, and very profile are first and foremost based on her intended purpose.

Low, sleek, and appearing as if in constant motion, she is in perfect proportion to her length and visually, whether from the landing strip foredeck, the gentle slope of the house with its familiar black brow, to the open bridge design with its massive, and fully functional, Palm Beach tower and substantial hydraulically-operated Rupp ‘riggers, and finally to her cockpit and transom, everything about Blue Time is in harmony and balance. And even up on the bow, her removable casting station and flush-mounted livewell makes sense.


Blue Time’s owner wanted the kind of creature comforts only a big boat could supply. And with Capt. Bill working closely with the F&S designers and planners, the accommodations layout delivers on all counts.

 While her exterior profile shows off her well-balanced design, Blue Time's interior is just as exciting.

While her exterior profile shows off her well-balanced design, Blue Time‘s interior is just as exciting.

Entering from the cockpit mezzanine through an actuated sliding door, and directly to starboard is a day head. “This was a necessity for us,” said Capt. Bill. “The last thing you want on a boat like this is a crew of fishermen trailing through the salon with blood, guts, and scales all over them.”

The expansive salon has C-shape seating to port with a Release-built, custom teak table featuring storage below. “They made it so we could have this space for taking meals as well,” Capt. Bill demonstrated as he showed me how easily it transforms into a dining platform. Forward is the fully found galley and opposite, a spacious dinette under which is an electrically operated rod storage drawer. Of particular note here is the distinctive overhead cutout that adds an effective and special design statement to the area. A beautiful wood console houses a 75” HD television, electrical panel, bar, and as everywhere aboard, contains extra storage spaces.

The full beam master offers comfort in luxurious surroundings.

The full beam master offers comfort in luxurious surroundings.

Blue Time has a four stateroom, five head layout with a full beam master; one that has its own 75” HD television as well. And no matter where I visited in the accommodations areas, I found superior woodwork, excellent headroom, fastidious attention to details, more than ample space for all fishing tackle and gear, including a dedicated walk-in closet forward of the galley for kites and related equipment.

Capt. Bill also made particular note of the electronics and a.v. wiring. And after looking around inside the various dedicated cabinets and closets, I could see why. All Hooked Up Electronics owner Koby Money gave Blue Time the kind of wiring job that is second to none, affording the system-savvy captain, or technician, unfettered access to any work or maintenance that may be required.


“We do a lot of live bait fishing, perhaps eighty percent of the time, so we wanted to make her, and as big as she is, complete with some innovations we feel many of the other rigs do not have,” Capt. Bill said as we reviewed the inventory list of fishing amenities.

Among other tourney equipment, Blue Time's business end features a 170 square foot teak cockpit with a pair of removable live wells to either side of her custom Release chair.

Among other tourney equipment, Blue Time‘s business end features a 170 square foot teak cockpit with a pair of removable live wells to either side of her custom Release chair.

He had the transom designed for a pair of 55-gallon live wells with the ability to run both with just one pump. The wells can also be pressurized while the boat is running to prevent any sloshing around in a big sea and injuring or killing the bait.

To either side of a state-of-the-art Release chair, with its custom reel seating back, one that Capt. Bill had designed, were a pair of above deck fiberglass wells. “I supplied those through my own company, Miami-based Offshore Bait Solutions specifically for Blue Time and, if switching over to let’s say marlin fishing, we can break them down, including all the plumbing, and store everything elsewhere in a matter of minutes.”

Other features of the 170 square foot cockpit includes the mezzanine seating area, tackle storage, three large stainless steel lined freezers, a pair of KEP networked monitors, a Freeman watertight lazarette hatch, tuna tubes in aft bait wells, and Eskimo ice maker among many other accessories.


There are eleven rocket launchers up on the aft rail of the bridge and three Release pedestal seats. And that’s just for openers. “We’re doing a lot of kite fishing right now,” Capt. Bill said. “So I had Palm Beach Towers put a center grommet here for me to just clip my line to. It’s a small thing but comes in real handy for us.”

With her busy fishing schedule, being able to transition quickly over to species-specific techniques is an important ability for the crew. There are spreaders all the way around on the tower and the entire area around the boat can be lit up at night for dipping bait. And when I climbed to the top, I found a gray painted platform underfoot to cut down on glare, all the antennas placed topside, and all the controls, wheel, and equipment set just right to allow Capt. Bill to have optimum visuals while fishing.

The island-style helm is well laid out with all Garmin screens, throttles, radios and electric teaser reels in overhead, and all switches within easy sight and reach. There is plenty of seating for guests and of course, the requisite storage areas, freezer and drink compartments beneath


Abundant room makes this engine space as special as they come for any kind of maintenance and service.

Abundant room makes this engine space as special as they come for any kind of maintenance and service.

Big boat, big engine room, big space to move around in. There’s no argument here; with a 75-foot length and 20’9” of beam, Blue Time has the kind of engine room that offers space, space, and more space. From the considerably sized 2,600-hp MTU mains, to the pair of 32-kW Cummins Onan gensets, to the M26000 Seakeeper gyro mounted in its own custom made cradle on the centerline and forward of the engines, to all of the pumps, water management and air conditioning systems, to the battery banks and electricals, FCI 1,200 gpd watermaker, and any and all critical maintenance and service areas, I found ample room to swing any kind of tool without getting into any knuckle-busting, elbow twisting, head banging, or body-contorting situation. And of course, it’s all brightly lit and faired and finished off as meticulously as is her flawless Allcraft White 2000 painted hull.


Blue Time’s build took around 20 months and as with all boats of her class, there were challenges to be met including keeping all the necessary headroom and supplying the large storage spaces aboard, especially those associated with her fishing profile.

She is built using diagonal planked Okoume plywood, three ¼” layers on the sides, three ½” on the bottom, with one extra layer of ½” on the bottom of the engine room. Next comes one complete layer of 17-ounce biaxial cloth between the second and third layers of plywood after which two complete layers of that same cloth are placed on the entire exterior of the hull. A layer of 12-ounce of Kevlar covers the bottom and another layer of 17-ounce is placed on the complete interior from the chines down. All the stringers, shear, chines, and keel are constructed of clear, vertical grain Douglas fir while the topsides, from the shear up, are of Corecell and biaxial cloth.


Running on her variable deadrise bottom with longitudinal steps, a design derived from Floyd’s SeaCraft days and one that he has adapted and evolved over the years to the sportfish sector, Blue Time is a spirited performer. A pair of M94 2,600-hp MTU diesels, turning 38 x 56 Veem Interceptor 5-blade wheels, powers her.

Blue Time turned in impressive performance numbers and offered nimble handling during all phases of my sea trial.

Blue Time turned in impressive performance numbers and offered nimble handling during all phases of my sea trial.

Being a release rather than a pressure design, the effect is a somewhat softer ride due to the aeration along the steps as pockets of air are trapped between the hull and the surface by those steps. That is transferred to the hull as it moves through the water. And while test day saw calm seas with only a slight breeze of no consequence, Capt. Bill, on his delivery run, did comment on her ability to cut through head-on and quartering waves and excellent stability with following seas.

She jumped quickly up out of the hole and settled into an impressive 37-knot cruise speed at 2000 rpm, a 40+knot turn at 2150 rpm, and flirted with almost 46 knots of speed with the throttles pinned. With the multi-keel effect of the vertical surfaces of the steps, she displayed superior directional stability and tracked straight and true during flat out speed runs.


So far, and since her launching in late December 2014, Blue Time has participated in the Sailfish 400, the Sailfish Challenge, and the upcoming Jimmy Johnson; perhaps, if their schedule allows, the Key West Tournament, some marlin fishing in the Abacos, possibly the Custom Boat Shootout, maybe a BBC or two, and a handful of others.

“That’s what we’re all about,” said Capt. Bill. With a boat like Blue Time, I couldn’t agree more.


LOA: 75.0’
Beam: 20’9”
Weight: 93,000 lbs. (dry)
Fuel: 2,800 gal.
Water: 400 gal.
Engines: 2 x 2,600-hp M94 MTU diesels

RPM                        GPH                      SPEED/kt
1500                        95                          26.1
1700                        120                        30.4
1850                        148                        33.8
2000                        160                        37.1
2150                        192                        40.1
2450 (WOT)            249                        45.8

Tested with 2 x 2,600-hp M94 MTU diesels

F&S Boatworks, 353 Summit Pointe Circle, Bear, DE 19701. 303 838-5500. http://www.f&
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Posted by on May 16, 2015 in Sea Trials


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Sea Trials

dsc_1255Exceeding Expectations

The Bayliss 77 is the one-of-a-kind result of a custom builder’s expertise combined with fulfilling the dreams of the owners.

By Capt. Ken Kreisler

The latest from Bayliss Boatworks, the 77-foot Clean Sweep, shows off her dynamic profile. (Photo Credit: Bayliss Boatworks)

The latest from Bayliss Boatworks, the 77-foot Clean Sweep, shows off her dynamic profile. (Photo Credit: Bayliss Boatworks)

While the ideas of renowned physicist Albert Einstein changed the world, he was never, to my knowledge, a sportfishing enthusiast. However, he did have a thought that just might explain, in relative terms that is, just how John Bayliss achieved a remarkable accomplishment with the launch of hull #18, and the latest boat to bear his name, the 77-foot Clean Sweep.

Einstein’s quote goes like this: “You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”

"It's always about the fishing," is John Bayliss' mantra and can be seen in every boat he builds.

“It’s always about the fishing,” is John Bayliss’ mantra and can be seen in every boat he builds.

Bayliss learned his boat building craft with roots anchored deep in that special enclave of Carolina boat builders. “For me, growing up in that environment, it was always fishing first,” he said as we discussed his early days on the water and his eventual graduation, with honors, from ‘Oregon Inlet University.’ “And that’s what I bring to each and every boat I build.”

It wasn’t until mid-2001, when he was asked to offer some insight into a build, that Bayliss decided it was time to do something on his own. “I had a lot of ideas in my head and ran things up the flagpole with a couple of friends.” By Christmas week of that year, ground was broken for the shop. Eighteen boats later, the Bayliss brand has become a formidable force in the rarified air of custom-built, hard-core sportfishing machines.

He and I first crossed paths at the 1998 Mid Atlantic 500 and on the day I was part of the invited crew, we had 11 knockdowns. I distinctly remember his drive and determination in doing his best to make the day as successful as could be. Many years later, as I stepped aboard Clean Sweep in Key West, Florida, it was quite obvious that both his passion for fishing and his own style of boat building skills have complimented each other and resulted in something really special.


“Everything is important aboard my boats. From the top of the tower to the bilges, nothing gets less attention just because it can’t be seen,” he said proudly and again, laced with that same determination and force of nature he brought to all those years of competitive fishing.

Clean Sweep's engine room provides more than ample room for complete access to all critical maintenance areas. That forward door leads to the pump room, air conditioning and electrical systems. (Photo Credit: Capt. Ken Kreisler)

Clean Sweep‘s engine room provides more than ample room for complete access to all critical maintenance areas. That forward door leads to the pump room with air conditioning and water systems. (Photo Credit: Capt. Ken Kreisler)

As I like to start ‘at the bottom’ when reviewing a boat, knowing that if things are taken care of here the rest will follow suit, I entered the machinery space via a large hatch on the cockpit’s centerline where a set of steps allows easy access without any serpentine contortions.

Brightly lit with high-gloss refrigerator white finishes on all the big iron and its requisite equipment, including a pair of 30-kW Northern Lights gensets as well as the bulkheads and overhead, the fully air conditioned and wired for sound engine room offers complete access to any piece of equipment. It’s the kind of space that is easy to get to and has the workroom that eliminates the backache out of doing regular maintenance projects. “Makes it a pleasure to work down here what with the a/c and some music,” remarked Capt. Gerry Keene, Clean Sweep’s skipper and a 13-year veteran with these owners, having been with them on their previous 68-foot Bayliss boat, hull #8, as well.

Fully forward and through a door is the pump room with all water and air conditioning systems, and their redundant back ups, to port and starboard respectively. As with the engine room, there is great working space in here as well.

With 200 square feet of working space, the 77's cockpit is all about the business of fishing. (Photo Credit: Capt. Ken Kreisler)

With 200 square feet of working space, the 77’s cockpit is all about the business of fishing. (Photo Credit: Capt. Ken Kreisler)


As you would expect, the as-good-as-it-gets business end of Clean Sweep is her 200 square foot cockpit. It is replete with mezzanine, fish boxes, live well, chillers, individually controlled refrigerator/freezers, cold drink compartment, tackle storage, amazingly detailed and expertly finished teak cover boards and deck, a beautiful fighting chair, actuated under-gunwale storage cabinets, and just about anything a tourney-ready, serious—in this case, very serious—sportfishing yacht would need to get the job done.


Clean Sweep’s striking ice-blue hull and gleaming white house, with teak toe rail, and dramatic hull form and balanced Carolina profile was merely a prelude of what would await within. “Her owners are big time fishing people and have a shared vision on how they want to use their boat,” said Capt. Gerry as we toured Clean Sweep’s stunning interior.

Painstaking attention to detail along with expert craftsmanship is apparent throughout the interior. (Photo Credit: Capt. Ken Kreisler)

Painstaking attention to detail and expert craftsmanship is apparent throughout the interior. (Photo Credit: Capt. Ken Kreisler)

Without mincing words, breathtaking is the only way to describe both the décor and the exacting attention to detail and craftsmanship that went into creating the interior space.

Clean Sweep presents a four stateroom, four head layout, all accessed through the expansive main salon, itself offering a fully found galley to port and dining area to starboard. What is so outstanding about the interior work found throughout is, of course, the extraordinary fit and finish that immediately catches the eye and how all the wood grain veneers match due to have actually been hewn from one log. And then there are those leather finish granite countertops, whose very special composition blends perfectly with the teak and holly sole and the rest of her striking interior.

Clean Sweep's owners had this hand-carved piece of art commissioned by an artist to adorn the  the master quarters. (Photo Credit: Capt. Ken Kreisler)

Clean Sweep‘s owners had this hand-carved art commissioned for the master quarters. (Photo Credit: Capt. Ken Kreisler)

The spacious master is located forward and among its many noticeable features, has above the berth’s headboard, a wood carving done meticulously by hand in relief form and fashioned from a single piece of lumber. And whether here, in the starboard crew stateroom, the VIP to port, or the captain’s quarters aft, there is more than ample storage room for all the necessary items required for staying away from the home port for extended periods of time. “We are based in Corpus Christi, Texas,” commented Capt. Gerry. “But I doubt we are going to see much of it. This is a purpose built boat and these owners like to go.”


Topsides is accessed by a starboard ladder and once up here, the centerline console offers a commanding 360° view. For guests, there is wrap-around seating forward easily accommodating 12-14 people with a table that doubles as a freezer. Additional freezer and drink compartments are located forward of the console and there are actuated storage boxes to either side.

As one would expect, the bridge and tower areas are fitted out for the kind of action Clean Sweep was built for. (Photo Credit: Capt. Ken Kreisler)

As one would expect, the bridge and tower areas are fitted out for the kind of action Clean Sweep was built for. (Photo Credit: Capt. Ken Kreisler)

For the skipper, there are a pair Garmin Black Box GPS systems, 25-kw Furuno radar, night vision, Chirp transducer, Furuno sonar, Simrad autopilot, 4 KEP 19” monitors, aft hard-top mounted 8” Garmin screen, Furuno sounder, Garmin sounder, KVH SAT phone and TV, Carlisle & Finch spotlight, KVH compass card, redundant Garmin tower electronics package—yes, that awesome Palm Beach Tower is fully functional—and more. And the hatch leading up to the bridge closes for safety.


Clean Sweep is a cold molded boat, built with exacting precision from the jig right up through her flawlessly finished hull and topsides. “From hull #1, which was a simple 12-cylinder, no-frills fishing machine, to this one here, with her twin 2,600-hp MTU diesel engines and all the many technological improvements through the years, you can track any boat builder’s career. And it goes beyond size,” commented Bayliss as we discussed the way he builds his boats. “Our goal is to always make them better.”

Matching the ride to the boat’s weight, size, range, and speed, Bayliss, along with renowned marine architect Robert Ullberg, gave Clean Sweep’s bottom around 24° – 25° around the forward bulkhead with a little more deadrise aft. “It’s walking a fine line but every boat is a compromise. We like the great head sea performance with plenty of buoyancy forward and the ability to not get squirrely on the captain in a big following sea,” said Bayliss.

With 30 months of build time and some 68,145 man-hours involved, the final product is a true labor of love, vision, dedication, and the combined efforts of a team of expert craftspeople. “The pre-construction time is as important as the build itself,” said Bayliss. “During that process, and among many other questions, we nail down the following: Where do you expect to travel? How do you plan to use your boat? What features are most important to you?”


Out on the water, Clean Sweep lived up to everything one would expect from her DNA. My day found the waters off of Key West mostlyBayliss 77 wake calm with just a hint of breeze sweeping landward and as we headed out to sea, I noted she got up on plane at 1500 rpm and with a 22-knot turn of speed. When we bumped her up to 1900 she responded by delivering 34+ knots. And adding a mere 100-rpm, we settled into a very comfortable 36 knots. She responded extremely quick to helm commands, cut exciting turns, banking and holding rpm as she did so, backed down quickly, and settled into tracking straight and true on our way back to the dock.


The Bayliss 77 is a boat that needs to be seen up close and personal to really appreciate everything that went into making her. Clean Sweep would be in Key West one more day as her rightfully proud owners were due in the following morning and then it would be off to fish the Caribbean side of Central America before transiting the Canal to Costa Rica. And then? Well with a boat like this one, that’s as it should be.


Photo Credit: Bayliss Boatworks

If a custom built, one-of-a-kind sportfishing boat is in your means, you owe it to yourself to check out what Bayliss Boatworks has to offer. You will not be disappointed.


LOA: 77’
Beam: 20’
Draft: 5’3”
Weight: 125,000 lbs (dry)
Fuel: 2,800 gal
Water: 450 gal
Power: 2 x M94 2,600-hp MTU

RPM                        GPH                        SPEED/KTS
1500                        96.5                          24.8
1700                        123.5                        29.2
1900                        155.5                        34.2
2150                        191.0                        38.5
2450                        252.5                        43.4

For more information, please contact Bayliss Boatworks (252) 473-9797;

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Posted by on March 6, 2015 in Sea Trials


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Sea Trials

dsc_1255The Viking 92 EB is the present culmination of the family owned company’s 50-year history.

By Capt. Ken Kreisler

Viking's 92 EB cuts am eye-catching profile as she powers across the water. With her proportions in perfect balance, she is as beautiful as she is a formidable tournament fishing yacht.

Viking’s 92 EB cuts an eye-catching profile as she powers across the water. With her proportions in perfect balance, she is as beautiful as she is a formidable tournament fishing yacht.

Where do you start when you start out to design and build a 92-foot sportfishing boat? If you’re Patrick Healey, President and CEO of Viking Yachts, it goes something like this:

“Back about four+ years ago, we were in Ocean City, Maryland, aboard a customer’s 115-foot motoryacht,” said Healey. “He owned one of our sportfishing boats as well and I really enjoyed the spaciousness of being on the kind of yacht that allowed a large group to hang in the country kitchen, entertain others in the main salon, and allow the owners to sit outside with more guests on the aft deck area.”

The expansive helm offers the captain all the room necessary for monitoring critical engine functions as well as any electronic displays and controls.

The expansive helm offers the captain all the room necessary for monitoring critical engine functions as well as any electronic displays and controls.

The concept impressed Healey so much so that he and Viking’s Design Manager Dave Wilson and Capt. Ryan Higgins, the company’s South East Sales Manager and demo skipper, also along on the visit, had a shared moment. “We’ve got to figure out a way to make this kind of set up happen on a big sportfish boat,” Healey said.

Taking cues from the highly successful Viking 82C, design and engineering set out to make the next big thing a reality. With a $7+ million a year investment in R&D, countless meetings and analyzing input from customers as well as internal departments and an extensive tank-testing regimen, the two and a half-year project culminated in a nine month build schedule that was the dockside crown jewel in Viking’s recent 50th Anniversary celebration and dealer meeting held in Atlantic City this past September.

The  view from up on high.

The view from up on high.

The first thing I noticed as I watched the 92EB come to a stop outside the long row of slips at the far end of the Farley Marina before spinning around and backing down along the face dock, and while still quite a distance away, was how well proportioned she looked. “It was one of the primary directives; to make her look as good and well-balanced whether dockside or out at sea,” said Wilson.

Fantastic is a more apt description. As she approached, it became apparent that Healey’s team had achieved something really special. Under the expert hand of Capt. Higgins, she came to a gentle portside-to rest, her deep-throated pair of 2,600-hp M96 MTU diesel power plants shut down as the first group of 23 people standing there, eager to board, waited.

The main salon is ready to take care of large gatherings.

The main salon is ready to take care of large gatherings.

“With the 92EB, we can attract some folks from the larger yachts, who also owned a smaller sportfishing boat, and want to scale down to one,” said Higgins. “Therefore,” he noted, with a smile and a nod in the boat’s direction, “As you can readily seen, she’ll be more than able to take such an owner to the next level.

Incorporating both the large yacht features while keeping the successful fish amenities found on all Viking open convertibles and enclosed bridge models intact, the 92 offers an impressive full service galley, a free-standing dining table space, a full beam master with his and her heads, walk in closets, separate crew quarters aft with lounge and galley, a bridge deck that is a good as it gets, the kind of storage spaces throughout that can accommodate long trips away from home, and a six stateroom layout.

As far as the accommodations are concerned, an owner has some leeway, for

The master suite combines elegance, roominess, and the kind of storage space found on larger yachts.

The master suite combines elegance, roominess, and the kind of storage space found on larger yachts.

example, converting the pantry on the main deck’s starboard side into another stateroom should that be necessary. Indeed, on Hull #2, the owner is eliminating the free-standing dining table and reworking the salon layout along with the his and her heads by making one side a walk in closet with the other a special locker design. And with Hull #3, that owner asked for some changes including a dinette area inside.

To say the least, the interior fit and finish, along with the décor package, is as tastefully and well done as I’ve seen on any vessel of her class and then some.

Offering a three-level cockpit, the 92 EB's business end features a mezzanine and above that, another seating area with a dining table.

Offering a three-level cockpit, the 92 EB’s business end features a mezzanine and above that, another seating area with a dining table.

The team paid special attention to the aft deck, wanting to keep that as an outdoor dining area. The variation on the theme incorporated the mezzanine area and created two levels—a yacht aft deck and a separate fishing mezzanine with seating, livewell, and refrigeration for the massive business end of the 92EB, the lower cockpit. Any fishing crew will be more than able to be highly competitive in this space and to seriously compete in any tournament event.

Aiding that ability is her amazing performance capabilities. On my particular test day, Capt. Higgins had her up and running along at a cruise speed of 30 knots with a fast cruise of 32. Her WOT hit an impressive 37.2 knots at 2450 rpm all in troubling four-to-six foot seas and into the wind and current. During backing down maneuvers she pirouetted like a prima ballerina and while running up and down sea, I had to look out at the conditions to remind me we were in this kind of water. Of course the Seakeeper M35 Gyro was of great help in keeping us rock steady.

“We’re 200,000+ pounds with full fuel and water,” explained Higgins in the noticeable quiet of the enclosed bridge. “But that all goes to our design and engineering teams with our resin infused hull and deck house reinforced with carbon fiber, Nomex honeycomb in many of the interior panels for weight saving, and along with the hull bottom featuring flush and recessed engine pickups, and to help further eliminate drag reduction, we eliminated the keel resulting in a straight V.”

The engine room space allows total access to every piece of equipment, pump,

As engine rooms go, this is as good as it gets...and then some.

As engine rooms go, this is as good as it gets…and then some.

valve, connection, switch, filter, and any other critical area that needs attention and maintenance. A lot of the components normally found in an engine room and which sometimes makes for a rather tight space, have been allocated to a dedicated space. Aboard the 92EB, it’s known as the mechanical room. Here one finds, again with complete access and serviceability, the ice chipper, ac power converter system, refrigeration units, compressors, cable masters, centralized water system, and generators. And of course, getting to the mains is everything one could want in being able to perform total critical engine maintenance with complete ease and accessibility. Another big yacht feature is that aforementioned ac power converter system. It gives the 92EB complete and worldwide dockside abilities with single-phase, three-phase, 50hz, 60 hz plug-in abilities.

“We’re a big team and along with our design and engineering folks, we left nothing to chance with this boat,” commented Higgins when we got back, tied up, and waited for the next group to board. “I get to see a lot of reactions when we introduce a new model and the response to this one has been nothing but spectacular. Once you take the wheel and realize how maneuverable she is, I notice a feeling of complete confidence quickly settles in over whoever is at the helm whether around the dock or heading out to sea.”

With all the advances Viking has incorporated in its past designs, and all the developments integrated into the 92EB, she will be sure to influence the next yacht, assuredly already on the drawing board, at the New Gretna, NJ facility.

“It’s been that way for 50 years,” said Healey. “And there is no reason to change that at all. It’s something my father and my uncle, the founders of the company, always held true: We’ll build a better boat every day.”


LOA: 93′ 3″

Beam: 24′ 1″

Draft: 5′ 1″

Weight: 205,000 lbs. (standard fuel load)

Fuel/Water: 3,410/485 U.S. gals.

Power: 2x 2,600-hp MTU 16V-2000-M96 diesels

Cruise/Top Speed: 30/36 knots

Range: 612nm @ cruise w/opt. power

Contact: Viking Yachts, Route 9 “On the Bass River” P.O. Box 308 New Gretna, N J 08224 Phone: (609) 296-6000 Fax: (609) 296- 3956.

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Posted by on November 5, 2014 in Sea Trials


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Sea Trials

DSC_1255In For The Long Haul

The new Endurance 720 Long Range Cruiser by Hampton Yachts delivers big time on safety, comfort, and construction.

By Capt. Ken Kreisler

Any builder worth their salt knows that the real story of its success lies in its boats’ design and construction techniques. And on both these critical points, Hampton Yachts hits the mark squarely in the center with the latest addition to its proven Endurance Series, the big-shouldered 720.


Built for long distance traveling, the Hampton 720 Endurance is sure to live up to her namesake…and then some.

Getting some insight and downright appreciation for the Endurance 720 starts way before the excellent set of tooling, one that is painstakingly faired, straight, and is so fastidiously clean as to accept the first gelcoat layer without compromise, is used. It even goes beyond the precise and exhausting attention to detail both in what you can’t see on the construction end and what you can, such as the sumptuous accommodations found throughout, and even in the machinery arrangement and critical and imperative redundant systems in an engine room that can only be described as being as good as it gets.

It all began when visionary boat builder Jeff Chen, himself the product of a generational marine industry family, and U.S. based Capt. Forest Roberts, a hands-on veteran of all things boats and the guiding force behind Ft. Lauderdale’s Anchor Yacht Sales, joined forces on the Endurance Series. “When my family started Formosa Yacht Building Company in 1964, we had the philosophy to build world-class luxury yachts that offered exceptional value within our product lines while maximizing comfort, safety, user-friendliness, technical sophistication, and quality,” he told me in a recent correspondence.

Chen, seeing the need for a yacht that could be highly efficient over a broad range of speeds while at the same time, being able to deliver both comfort and safety to all aboard, something Hampton stands behind not only on this particular vessel, but with all the boats in its offerings, chose renowned marine architect Howard Apollonio to design these boats. “The Endurance series arose from Hampton’s understanding of the reliably popular market for long-range cruising yachts,” Chen also remarked.

Apollonio, having already perfected the hull form over many years with his work on everything

The expansive foredeck area offers comfortable seating just under the Portuguese bridge.

The expansive foredeck area offers comfortable seating just under the Portuguese bridge.

from trawlers to superyachts, and with a particular expertise in hydrodynamics, brought his purpose-driven design to Hampton with extensive tank testing under both calm and rough water conditions.

The result is the split chine, semi-displacement Hampton Hybrid Hull design, and one whose function is to provide high-efficiency along with outstanding sea-kindliness. Covering such important factors as the precise proportioning of the basic hull form, a fine forward waterline, and a design that exceeds the U.S. Coast Guard’s strict adherence to open ocean service stability requirements among many others, the Endurance 720 is a long range cruiser that is ready to fulfill her mandate.

With a steady 20 knots of wind, and having to deal with three-to-four foot cresting waves of a very short duration, along with an occasional ‘big boy’ thrown our way just for fun, my test day saw conditions in the offshore waters of Ft. Lauderdale just right to evaluate her abilities with this kind of seaway.

Sure to be a favorite 'hang out' space aboard whether underway or at a favorite anchorage, the bridge deck's lounge area is like having yet another fully functional entertainment space.

Sure to be a favorite ‘hang out’ spot aboard whether underway or at a favorite anchorage, the bridge deck’s lounge area is like having yet another fully functional entertainment space.

She performed exceptionally well and I, as did my six other passengers, three of them perspective owners, noted little if any of the usual ‘bucking’ motion while the seas were head on, a total lack of any slamming in the errant big wave and subsequent trough, no squatting aft with a following sea, nor any significant roll while abeam and running with the seas on either port or starboard sides. Assisting in the comfort were the 12-square foot fins of the standard Wesmar Three Term Stabilizer System and a pair of 1,150-hp C-18 Cats. And our speed in all this sloppiness? A steady average fast cruise of 18 knots at 2000 rpm and a respectable 14.7-knot turn of speed at 1750 rpm.

She’s also a very quiet running boat. With Roberts at the wheel, I was able to stroll about, taking in every corner of the Endurance 720, from the sky lounge, to the main deck, to the accommodations below and aft, into the crew quarters.

Working closely with Soundown, the Hampton technicians installed some six inches of the noise-deadening material in the floors along with a lead liner and fiberglass insulation. That also goes for insulating the master stateroom and crew quarters, spaces that are fore and aft of the engine room. The product is also glassed on the top of the prop tunnels, this to cut down on noise from blade turbulence produced at low or high-speed operation. The results were sound levels that went from a mere 62 dB (A) at 1000 rpm to a gentle-on-the-ear 69 dB (A) while at WOT.

On the construction side, the big boat is as tough as they come. Get aboard and you

Elegant dining is as easy as sitting down.

Elegant dining is as easy as sitting down.

immediately notice the heavy-duty hardware, rails, and cleats as well as the complete lack or slightest hint of any deck flexing underfoot anywhere. But it’s what you can’t see that is most important.

Once the gelcoat is sprayed into the mold, the next step is to lay in the Coremat—this to prevent any chance of print through sometimes common with woven roving—after which comes the three layers of Kevlar, laid down from the boot stripe line all through the bottom and right up to the very stem; and from there, back some 12-14 feet. The next hand lay up consists of strong, tightly woven Syntex mat. And finally, from the rub rail, and all the way down, the rest of the lay up is solid fiberglass with only the deck and superstructure featuring M80 Divinycell coring.

The fully equipped galley is laid out for ease of service for anything from a light snack to an eight course dinner.

The fully equipped galley is laid out for ease of service for anything from a light snack to an eight course dinner.

But for all the qualities that go into her tough and robust build, the Endurance 720 is all wrapped up in the kind of amenities and accommodations spaces that has put Hampton Yachts up on the industry’s radar screen for comfort and luxury as well.

Her no-nonsense, low profile exterior features a Portuguese bridge design and wide-open spaces on the foredeck, including a very comfortable seating area. For ease with docking maneuvers, and besides the helm station, there are four standard exterior control stations, one to either side at the stern—oh, and by the way, there’s a convenient day head out here as well—and on the port and starboard wing stations, all featuring ZF electronic controls. Aft on the main deck is the alfresco dining table with convenient grill and sink area while topsides, accessed via the Skylounge, or from a staircase, also at the stern, is a rear deck large enough for one of the few options on this boat; that being a tender. The other is a water maker. But for that, she’s just about fully found with such standard items as full Garmin electronics package, Intellian HD 6 Sat TV and Dummy Dome, full décor as seen here, 1,800 HD Davit with power turn and lift, plus the ZF JMS joy stick maneuvering system.

The elegant, full beam master stateroom offers the kind of space found on larger vessels.

The elegant, full beam master stateroom offers the kind of space found on larger vessels.

Step inside and you are greeted by outstanding accommodations and obvious attention to detail and fit and finish. Accessed via a wide staircase forward and to starboard on the main deck’s interior, and off a stylish hallway and corridor, the Endurance 720 features a four stateroom, five head layout. Whether in the VIP forepeak with its island queen berth and cedar-lined closets, the Mid Guest offering side by side bed easily converted to a single berth courtesy on a convenient insert—both VIP and Mid Guest share a head—the full beam Master with its decorative overhead burl ceiling, walk-in cedar-lined closet, bureau and vanity cabinets, and ensuite head, or the crew quarters aft with upper and lower berths and separate shower and head compartments as well as a full galley, you are going to find exceptional woodwork, fine linens, and the kind of storage areas able to keep you comfortable during extended cruising.

The Skylounge helm is as good as it gets on both aesthetic and practical levels.

The Skylounge helm is as good as it gets on both aesthetic and practical levels.

Topsides, the Skylounge, which houses the impressive helm console along with a dining table, comfortable seating area, and head, is sure to be quite the popular gathering place for all aboard while underway or in the dock. A beautifully crafted staircase leads down to the main deck with galley forward, bar to starboard, a formal dining space to port, and aft, the sumptuous main salon.

In the aforementioned engine room, accessed via a large watertight door on the ample swim

As expected, there is ample room for all necessary maintenance as well as complete access to all redundant systems.

As expected, there is ample room for all necessary maintenance as well as complete access to all redundant systems.

platform, or by the convenient staircase in the salon’s aft starboard corner, I found the kind of forethought and common sense design that avoids any knuckle busting, knee slamming, or head knocking when doing any kind of maintenance work and makes getting to all critical machinery, pumps, valves, hoses, switches, and such a downright pleasure. And for safety, as in all Hampton Yachts, the Endurance 720 has plenty of redundant systems. These include a pair of dual Racor 1000FG fuel filters on each engine, a pair of 20-gallon water heaters with heat exchangers, two Kohler gensets at 28- and 15.5kW, two 72-foot Glendinning Cablemasters, a pair of Newmar 50 Amp battery chargers, back up raw water pumps for the A/C system, hydraulic power steering pumps on both engines, two water supplies on each shaft log, and a special selector switch that allows you to tie in all the batteries aboard for 1,900 Amps just in case you need the power for emergency starting.

She’s the kind of long-range cruising boat that definitely has your back. In fact, after my day aboard the Endurance 720, I was totally convinced she is well suited to take care of the rest of your body, and of any one else’s on board, as well. And that includes your all-important peace of mind while underway and away from home for any length of time.

LOA: 72’0”
BEAM: 18’8”
DRAFT: 5’2”
DISPL.: 122,500 lb. (dry)
FUEL: 2,031 gal.
WATER: 450 gal.
TEST POWER: 2/1,150-hp Caterpillar C-18 diesel inboards
PROPELLERS: Hung Shen D40XP39X5BXEAR1 five blade

RPM      KNOTS      GPH        dB(A)
1000      9.5             8.8            62
1250     11.2            20.2           66
1500     12.9            36.0           66
1750     14.7            64.0           67
2000     18.0            86.0           68
2300     21.9          116.0           69

Test Conditions: Air temperature: 83F; humidity 85%; seas: 3-4’; load: 800 gal. fuel, 112 gal. water, 7 persons. Speeds are two-way averages measured with Garmin GPS sensor. GPH estimates taken via Caterpillar display. Range is 90% of advertised fuel capacity. Sound levels measured at the helm. 65 dB(A) is the level of normal conversation. Actual performance will vary and be affected by water and weather conditions, load and conditions of boat, engines, and propellers. Speed will increase as fuel is consumed. All data is illustrative and not warranted.

20130513234340923For more information about the Hampton Endurance 720, or any of the other fine yachts in the entire Hampton line, please visit the company Website at


Posted by on February 25, 2014 in Sea Trials


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