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Sea Trials

DSC_1255                 Bertram 540

Preference for Excellence
By Capt. Ken Kreisler
The Bertram 540 runs on a well-earned, offshore heritage.

Although many quotes could describe the Bertram 540 Convertible, one rings particularly true: “Excellence is an art won by training and habituation.” Aristotle said that more than 2,000 years ago, unwittingly — and perfectly — describing the evolution of the iconic Bertram 540.

One merely has to look at the history of the brand to realize the importance of the company, not only in the development and refinement of sport-fishing boats, but in the continued advancement of the design as well.

From its self-confident beginnings in the early 1960s, when that first 31-foot Bertram pushed itself to the forefront of the boating community’s awareness with a record-setting run and win in the Miami-to-Nassau race, to its present brand-spanking-new Merritt Island facility, Bertram Yacht has learned and refined the art and skill of boatbuilding by continually paying attention to what it does best.

The 540 takes its pedigree from the decades its predecessors have spent on the sport-fishing circuit, with many of the lessons and designs learned while dealing with unpleasant conditions. Tournament anglers fish when they have to.

Her lines, courtesy of the collaborative effort between Bertram and Zuccon International, are in perfect proportion to her length and 17-foot beam. The soft sheer easily carries the elegant look of the boat’s profile from her pulpit to the transom. And your eye has no trouble following the curve of her black mask back to those oversize side windows and then up as her tower rises above the 160-square-foot cockpit.



Bright and wide open spaces typify her interior.

Things can change once you get on board the 540. That’s because the boat can be configured in just about any way its owner may want her. For example, my test 540 had a fairly traditional interior layout, with a couch to port, a large flat-screen TV in the aft starboard corner, the galley forward and to starboard, and a dinette area opposite.

In another arrangement, the galley location is swapped with the seating area. To add an extra layer of innovation to this option, Bertram installed a large, electrically operated aft bulkhead window that replaces the usual fixed one. This gives the owner the ability to open up that salon space to those seated on the cockpit mezzanine. There was even a request for a portside galley down layout, as this prospective owner did not need the stateroom on that side.

bertram-540-4As far as living accommodations go, the 540 offers a three-stateroom, two-head boat with a forepeak master to starboard and a twin cabin to port. (The twin and forepeak share the second head.) I found the quarters roomy and comfortable with ample storage areas and pleasing decor throughout.


Rigged, ready, and underway.

Rigged, ready, and underway.

Of course, being a Bertram, the 540’s business end is exactly what one would expect aboard a competitive sport-fishing boat. With the aforementioned 160 square feet of working space, you could put together the best fishing amenities to suit your needs, including the requisite top-of-the-line chair or a stylish leaning post. You could outfit the boat with an array of rocket launchers or in-gunwale rod holders, and there is comfortable mezzanine seating and a host of in-sole boxes, a large transom door and gate, freezers, ice makers, coaming padding and a long list of optional equipment. Want to dress things up a bit? Try the teak coaming and opt to have the exotic wood put down on the deck as well.

Engine Room

Engine room space is well laid out with all critical maintenance areas within easy reach.

Engine room space is well laid out with all critical maintenance areas within easy reach.

The engine room boasted a pair of optional 1,676 hp CAT C32s — twin 1,224 MAN V-12s are standard, with 1,360 MAN V-12s being yet another available engine option. A pair of 15.5-kw Cummins-Onan gensets (one is standard, and there’s the option to upgrade to 23-kw) also live down below. You can easily access the engine room through a cockpit door, and you get two hands on anything that needs servicing. In addition, Bertram allocates added space for watermakers and an anti-roll gyro system.

Topside, the bridge is first class, with plenty of storage space, a forward centerline cooler and lots of comfortable seating. The expansive electronics console accommodates as many high-tech navigational instruments as you could want. Options include helm and companion seats finished off in high-gloss teak and a handy table forward of the helm.


A luxurious sportfishing machine, the 540 is also a formidable predator while in pursuit of big fish in offshore waters.

Out on the water, the 540 is a spirited performer. While she posted a wide-open

The 540 struts her stuff.

The 540 struts her stuff.

throttle speed of 40.5 knots, at 2,200 rpm she clipped right along at a comfortable 37 knots. And just as impressive is her 31-knot turn of speed at 1,800 rpm. Of particular note is the way she answered the helm with almost instantaneous response to either port or starboard turns. Whether hard-over maneuvering or countering through S-curves, she came right back to straight and true tracking. And while my test day saw flat-calm conditions, I did manage to find a rather large vessel throwing a more than substantial wake, and, making a beeline for it, I put her right into it, noting the way she shouldered through with no slamming or pounding.


The 540 is built with all the attention to detail and quality that the Bertram brand is known for. And now, with the new facility at Merritt Island, the company will be infusing all of its boats, switching over from the traditional hand-laid, open-molding lamination process.

“The plan with all new production is to infuse the laminate and the main longitudinal stringer system in the initial process, as well as all major parts, including the superstructure,” says Ken Beauregard, Bertram’s vice president of manufacturing. Including the stringers in the first shot of the process has a couple of advantages; chief among them is that it results in a much stronger structure than that used in a secondary bonding method, where preparation and grinding is necessary. In addition, and across the board on all of its boats, Bertram will also be tying in all of the cabinetry with fiberglass during the assembly process, creating as solid a total structure as possible, especially when operating in less than suitable sea conditions.


“In this business, it has to be a team effort. From our quality inspector through the engineering staff to our human resources folks, whoever is involved in that end product and beyond, it has to be first class,” says Alton Herndon, who took the helm of Bertram Yacht in March 2010.

Herndon, a well-known industry veteran, has seen significant time at Hatteras, Palmer Johnson, Tiara and KCS International. Additionally, before coming aboard at Bertram, he was the co-founder and managing partner of Southport Boat Works, and he has made a habit of seeking excellence.

Robt. Ullberg

Robert Ullberg, VP of Engineering and Product Development, has his nautical expertise right on course with Bertram.

The 540’s place in the Bertram convertible hierarchy is an important one. Its owner-friendly length, its ability to be as custom as custom can get, and its inherent versatility as a highly competitive fishing platform that also provides onboard comfort ensure that it will continue to set a high standard in its size class.

“We’re focused on going in a certain direction. Getting Robert Ullberg in here as our vice president of engineering and product development means that new designs will be coming along; and they will still come with all the great things that everyone expects from owning a Bertram,” Herndon says, with a knowing smile and a twinkle in his eye. “It gives all of us here at the company a great deal of satisfaction to do what we do, and to do it well.”

This brings us full circle to another fitting thought from Aristotle: “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.”

Fuel consumption is based on (2) engines at any given RPM. Speed and ranges, if any, are estimates based on engineering calculations. Range is based on 90% fuel capacity. 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.


Posted by on December 10, 2013 in Sea Trials


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Sea Trials


Yours truly making the call that will hopefully, get me out on this boat looking for deep waters and tight lines.        The Art, and Pride, of the Build

The 77-foot Blank Check, Jarrett Bay’s latest and largest custom convertible to date, successfully balances boat building technology with aesthetics.

By Capt. Ken Kreisler

Carolina flare takes to the offshore waters in search of big fish and angling adventures in the form and shape of Jarrett Bay's 77-foot Blank Check.

Carolina flare takes to the offshore waters in search of big fish and angling adventures in the form and shape of Jarrett Bay’s 77-foot Blank Check.

Let’s cut to the chase on this one shipmates. Michelangelo had his Pieta, Leonardo—DaVinci, not DiCaprio—his Mona Lisa, and now the owner of Jarrett Bay’s latest convertible, the 77-foot Blank Check, has his own masterpiece. And while the comparison between the pinnacle of creativity these great classics represent and that of a no-nonsense, horizon-chasing fishing machine might seem a bit of a stretch, upon closer examination of this stunningly beautiful boat, and what it took to design and construct it, will have you convinced of the special level of ingenuity it takes to bring this kind of boat building art to realization.

Bow on, Blank Check sports a formidable profile.

Bow on, Blank Check sports a formidable profile.

The empty canvas for Blank Check began back in 2010 when her future owner, on the look for a new boat, invited Jarrett Bay’s president Randy Ramsey, along with two of his engineers, to Florida for a couple of days of fishing. “He wanted us to see how he used his boat; what his style of fishing was all about as well as what he required aboard in terms of his family’s needs, something as important to this particular owner as having a very serious, tournament-capable boat,” said Ramsey. “Once we had that experience, one that really helped us to understand our customer, we knew just what the right direction to take would be.”

For Ramsey and his veteran crew at the sprawling, all-inclusive Beaufort, North Carolina based Jarrett Bay Marine Park, comprising some 175 acres right on the ICW, the Blank Check project took on a very special meaning. “I started out as a charter boat captain and built my first boat in a tin shed back in 1986. And to see how far we’ve come in our endeavors to give our owners exactly what they need and want, and for our family here to work with the Doyle’s on this project, is a source of great pride for us,” said Ramsey.

That sense of pride runs deep at Jarrett Bay and is reflected in the uniqueness of all its boats. As I approached Blank Check tied up on the outside T of the Beaufort Town Docks, it was quite evident that the builder had once again, been successful in achieving that elusive balance between the art of boat construction and technology.

She was here, and just shortly after her launch as well, to participate in the Big Rock Marlin Tournament, her lofty ‘riggers defining a new skyline at the edge of the historic town, her noticeably Carolina flared bow jutting out with just the perfect balance of form and function.

I couldn’t help but glance up at her custom Bausch American Tower soaring above those of the other sportfishing boats along the water’s edge and the exacting way the symmetry between her bridge, foredeck, sweeping sheer, and cockpit area all contributed to her perfectly balanced profile.


Even in the early stages of construction, her fine lines are quite apparent.

Even in the early stages of construction, her fine lines are quite apparent.

Like all Jarrett Bay cold molded builds, soon after Gary Davis, a third generation boat builder and the company’s visionary designer, has completed her hull drawings, Blank Check started taking form on the floor of her construction building by having her lofted out to full size. This technique, used by the builder for years now, gives the team a chance to have a look at the lines of the boat. Once Ramsey, Davis, and the rest of the design team approves, the wood jig stations are constructed along with the male mold. The Douglas fir stringers are placed in that mold along with the stem after which comes three layers of Okume planking for the bottom and sides. These layers are carefully cut, fit, placed and then glued in alternating directions resulting in a very strong product. “The outcome is certainly lighter than traditional fiberglass construction allowing for increased speeds and efficiency,” Ramsey said.

The entire hull structure is then glassed over after which, and since it was built keel up, upside down, it is flipped over and put on its cradle, ready for wiring, plumbing, engines and equipment along with the interior, bridge, deck, superstructure, and the rest of the boat. “As a cold molded builder, we start with a blank sheet of paper and have no preconceived notions as to how someone needs to use their boat. We don’t have that much invested in any one hull design or build and in that way, we can be very flexible in making those adjustments, whether big or small, and deliver a truly custom built boat,” he added. For Blank Check, it would mean three years until she could splash and strut her stuff with that super glossy finish courtesy of Alexseal’s Cloud White paint.

Of the many successes that went into the build, one of the most satisfying was Jarrett Bay’s ability to provide the Doyle Family with the kind of living accommodations that were so important to them. And with Blank Check sporting a 21’6” beam, this afforded plenty of room to create the spacious layout and well-appointed amenities aboard this competitive fishing platform.

Working closely with the owners, Jarrett Bay was able to realize their needs for a salon able to accommodate the family needs.

Working closely with the owners, Jarrett Bay was able to realize a salon able to accommodate the family needs.

To that end the oversized salon, whose couches were designed to be wide enough to sleep on,and galley, with an overabundance of storage space—an important theme repeated throughout Blank Check including the bridge deck, cockpit, mezzanine, and engine room as well—including an ample pantry/washer and dryer room to port and a day head to starboard, is about as good as it gets. And because the Doyle’s needed the room, Blank Check is outfitted with a five stateroom, six head layout, including master, VIP, a pair of guest quarters, and captain/crew.

Wide open spaces are also found in the well laid out and maintenance-friendly engine room.

Wide open spaces are also found in the well laid out and maintenance-friendly engine room.

As one would expect, the engine room is another place on board where the art of boat building took precedence. There is a separate pump room that also houses the two 32-kW Onan gensets and I found the work space in all areas to be superior for not only daily maintenance, but afforded the ability to get both hands on anything that might need servicing without any knuckle busting, elbow bashing, or knee crunching. And of course, both are fully air-conditioned.

“I’m the son of a son of a son of a sailor and my dad was a sportfishing captain as well,” said Capt. Danny Hearn as we sat on the massive bridge deck, overlooking the 225 square foot cockpit, the custom Release Marine chair below us, as Blank Check’s two mates began readying baits and rigging the rods for tomorrow’s Big Rock outing. The only reason I was able to get on the boat at all was that my day was a lay day.

Blank Check's cockpit shows off yet another area where the Jarrett Bay craftsmen take center stage.

Blank Check‘s cockpit shows off yet another area where the Jarrett Bay craftsmen take center stage.

Hearn is an integral part of this boat’s life, having worked for the Doyle Family since 1993 and was as involved in her build as were Ramsey and his team. “It’s a rarity in this business to find this kind of relationship and is just one more facet of what makes Blank Check so special,” Hearn said.

Capt. Danny Hearn is as proud as any skipper can be; great boat and equally great job.

Capt. Danny Hearn is as proud as any skipper can be; great boat and equally great job.

With her international travel schedule, Hearn made sure Blank Check would have all she needed to be a competitive threat anywhere she fished. Besides the extra fuel capacity of 3,200 gallons, this formidable boat has all the requisite equipment one would expect and lots more.

The bridge overhead has a double-hinged opening that accommodates up to 16 rigged and ready-to-go rods. Each of the couches forward of the helm has ample storage space as does the table. There is a double freezer compartment that can easily hold several weeks of frozen foodstuffs and the centerline helm, with its vast array of electronics, allows Capt. Danny to always know what is going on, especially during the heat of battle. Down in the cockpit, there are plenty of in-sole boxes and extra storage and freezers as well beneath the mezzanine couches. The pair of pressurized live-wells, large enough to hold up to 125 gallons, will keep the bait ready to go. And for her time in skinny waters, her prop tunnels and low shaft angle, combined with her 5’6” draft, will take the pucker factor out of the equation.

“I’m very pleased with her performance She’s very quick out of the hole, turns on fish just fine, and with the underwater exhausts and those submarine doors in the engine room, is very quiet for those wishing to hang in the salon while we are underway,” he said.

Given the windy conditions in the area, getting her off the dock on this particular day was something to look forward to. With no glass calm water outside, she hit the chop easily and as the seas built, was able to muscle her way with all the assurance and ease her Carolina-built heritage promises. She gracefully leaned into all her turns and answered the helm with speed and efficiency. We were able to get her moving at 41 knots at WOT and flirted with 30 knots at 2000 rpm.

The Doyle Family have their boating version of a magnum opus and according to all reports from Capt. Danny, are enjoying their new acquisition to the fullest with trips planned far and wide wherever big fish tournaments are being held. And just to set things right from the start, Blank Check delivered a triple header white marlin release on her very first day in the offshore waters during the Big Rock Lady Angler Tournament that took place in early June, 2013. On July 4th, at The World Cup Blue Marlin Championship, an international event that took place on that day in 18 countries and territories with 130 teams participating, Blank Check saw the winning 668-pound fish slide across its decks with prize money totaling over $300,000. An auspicious beginning for this major statement of boat building art? The Doyle’s think so and, I suppose, many who will not only see her at the dock but also fish the same waters will agree as well. Jarrett Bay Boatworks. 252.728.2690.

RPM                    SPEED (kn)                   GPH
1000                           12                            30
1250                           15                            60
1500                           22                            100
1750                           29                            140
2000                           35                            180
2250                           39                            215
2400                           41                            250

LOA: 77’0”
BEAM: 21’6”
DRAFT: 5’8”
DISPLACEMENT: 128,000 lbs. (dry)
FUEL: 3,200 gal.
WATER: 350 gal.
ENGINES: 2 x 2,600-hp MTU 16V 2000 Series
GENERATORS: 2 x 32-kW Onan

Fuel consumption is based on (2) engines at any given RPM. Speed and ranges are estimates based on engineering calculations. Range is based on 90% fuel capacity. 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.

There’s a special postscript to this story as the Doyle family and Capt. Danny have already commissioned Randy Ramsey, Jarrett Bay’s president, to build them Hull #60, a new 84-foot Blank Check, to be delivered by mid 2016. We’ll be following her build progress right up to launch time.

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Posted by on December 6, 2013 in Sea Trials


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Sea Trials


The new Viking 52C fulfills all the requirements for a tournament-ready battlewagon…and then some.

By Capt. Ken Kreisler

Coming around from the following sea I had been running in, I put the bow of the new Viking 52C into the long, deep and slow ocean swell. The early morning sun, now red and leaning towards orange, cast a shimmering path out to the horizon.

The Viking 52C represents all one would expect from this well-known, quality builder.

The Viking 52C represents all one would expect from this well-known, quality builder.

The gaudy and colorful skyline of Atlantic City, New Jersey, now behind me and back-dropped by fair weather clouds in a blue sky, began to shrink as I headed offshore. I took a glance at the well-positioned, and quite beautiful, Release teak center console helm station, taking particular note, as is my habit when running any boat, of the engine and systems parameters including rpm, rate of speed, and gph. All was in order and the instruments told the rest of the story: 1750 rpm. 31.5 knots. 76 gph.

It was also, as I remarked to my four companions up on the flying bridge, quite comfortable in those relentless, mostly four-foot rollers. And while there would be many more outstanding observations to make by the time I got the new Viking 52C back to the dock, the real story about the latest convertible from the venerated New Jersey builder begins back at the 810,000 square-foot Bass River plant, way before the fully infused 52 hulls and all their myriad parts move down the production line and ultimately to the water and their new owners.

Design and Engineering
“When we sit down at what I like to refer to as the group lunch meetings,” said Viking designer Dave Wilson as he emphasized the importance of the collegial experience at Viking, “It includes sales, marketing, our executives and even our demo captains and mates as well. And while we’ll discuss everything about a new design, whether it be on a 42- or 92-footer, and anything from the running bottom, to the interior, to the flying bridge, in the end, we’re not going to do something unless it’s a positive improvement.”

Team planning meetings are a vital part of Viking's success with launching new boats such as the 52C.

Team planning meetings are a vital part of Viking’s success with launching new boats such as the 52C.

Obviously, some remarkable products have come out of those meetings and that last statement that Wilson mentioned is as important to Viking as any other concept in the company’s long and storied history, one dating back to 1964.

Joe Snodgrass, the company’s naval architect, gave some insight as well. “Among the many other factors that we paid attention to, there were two main focus points in the 52C’s design and engineering of particular importance. One was the actual shape of the hull, where it is wide or narrow, its chine distribution, and the ability to efficiently move it through the water along with everything that goes inside. The second was keeping things properly balanced so that the performance is right where it is supposed to be. That was the ultimate goal.”

To accomplish that purpose, the Viking design and production team took all they had learned from past builds, especially aboard the 62EB and 54C, boats I had already been on and reported about, and incorporated them on this one.

As with all Viking sportfish boats, the 52C has an extensive gene pool from which she has evolved.

As with all Viking sportfish boats, the 52C has an extensive gene pool from which she has evolved.

Both Wilson and Snodgrass agreed that the 52C is an almost identical sibling to the 62EB. “Everything we learned from the bigger boat, all the significant positive changes that made her such a successful build, we put into this boat,” said Wilson. Those changes included the 62 being the first Viking without a keel, no fair body flat on the bottom, the increase in warping deadrise, and the elimination of the offset knuckle fully aft thus adding more flat bottom at the transom.

The question of balance also came up as the conversation shifted to the deep pockets used on the 52C. “While pocket use results in taking away buoyancy, it nets out with the decrease in draft,” said Snodgrass. Indeed, even with the added weight of the bigger engines and optional fuel tanks, this boat lost some three inches over the previous 52C, one designed without pockets. “Pockets also tolerate less tip clearance for the props, here about 7.5% as compared to about 10 to 15% on a traditional hull, thus cutting down on impulse and vibration and permitting the use of a flatter shaft angle, larger diameter props, and deeper gear ratios.” Translation: Better and more efficient performance.

Viking’s commitment to positive improvements has also found its way into its construction techniques as well.

The home of all VIking sportfish boats is the modern 810,000 square foot manufacturing facility located in New Gretna, NJ, equipped with the latest technology and machinery.

The home of all VIking sportfish boats is the modern 810,000 square foot manufacturing facility located in New Gretna, NJ, equipped with the latest technology and machinery.

The hull of the 52C is now fully infused, as are many of the boat’s parts including the fuel tanks and air boxes among others. Those fuel tanks, along with both the freshwater and holding tanks, all have fiberglass baffles inside, balsa cored sides for added stiffness, and are sealed to the hull with resin foam.

For added strength, her hull also has the Kevlar/Carbon hybrid laminate in it as well; this to shed off weight while not sacrificing any muscle and the quality build Viking is known for. “We will be the last to show up at the dance and not follow in anyone else’s footsteps,” Wilson said with a great deal of pride. “We will never give up strength for weight.

The stringers are encapsulated and foam cored and the composite bulkheads, main and intermediate engine room, and forward, are vacuum bagged. The salon sole, that is the engine room overhead, is all AIREX cored for both sound and thermal insulation. In addition, and as used in the 42C, the entire forepeak area is a one-piece liner.

Striking just the right balance between construction and performance is what Viking strives to give to its owners and being out on the water, in other than flat calm conditions, showed me that the realization of that objective was achieved aboard the 52C.

A fine entry and a hull form that is balanced with just the right power requirements makes the 52C a spirited tourney-ready competitor.

A fine entry and a hull form that is balanced with just the right power requirements makes the 52C a spirited tourney-ready competitor.

With her sharp, fine entry coming in somewhere between 45 and 47 degrees and designed to take on varying sea conditions, and with the running bottom ‘warping’ back to the almost 12-degree deadrise at the transom for superior planning characteristics, I was able to get my 52C test boat, equipped with the optional MAN V12 1400 CRM diesel inboards, cruising at 36 knots at 2000 rpm with a 100 gph fuel burn. We had 800 gallons of fuel aboard—optional 1,467-gallon tankage on this boat—and topped-off water at 186 gallons. She answered the helm with authority on turns, pushed through those rollers with all the sureness of her pedigree, and landed softly after being presented by the occasional errant big one. Those MANs, by the way, were virtually smokeless upon start up, performing precise backing down maneuvers, which she accomplished akin to doing pirouettes, or during acceleration runs.

Bridge, Cockpit, and Engine Room

The helm is laid out with enough room for any configuration of electronics.

The helm is laid out with enough room for any configuration of electronics.

At her heart, she is a fishing machine and to that end, Viking equipped this boat, as they have all their other convertibles, to be a formidable top-of-the-food-chain predator; a high performing competitor on the tournament circuit should that be her owner’s vision.

As I performed several backing down maneuvers, I noted how easily I was able to glance back and forth from the helm into the seaway and then down at the 142 square foot cockpit, imagining the exciting action taking place on the deck and out on the water.

A vast array of Atlantic Marine Electronics is available as are a number of options including a 4-sided enclosure, air conditioning, hardtop, rocket launchers, and of course a custom Palm Beach Tower, Rupp ‘Riggers, and electric reels in the overhead. There is bench seating to either side, tons of storage areas, an optional refrigeration cabinet, and, in a very nice design touch, a pair of individual bucket seats forward of the helm.

The business end of the Viking 52C.

The business end of the Viking 52C.

The cockpit offers every kind of fishing cabinet and storage area one would need; an extended bridge overhang, in-deck fish boxes, optional Eskimo shaved ice maker and live well, rod holders galore, molded-in transom fish box, optional Release chair, and a mezzanine seating area with a freezer compartment, full tackle cabinet, insulated storage box, and access to the engine room. And the lazarette hatch here has exceptional access to steering, trim tabs, and drain pumps.

A unique shot of her engine room while this 52C was still under construction.

A unique shot of her engine room while this 52C was still under construction shows the machinery space layout.

The Awlgripped engine room is a hands-on skipper or owner’s dream. Even with the optional big MANs down here and the 21.5-kW E-QD Onan genset, I found it easy to get two hands on any piece of equipment one would have to work on without worrying about how, or where, to swing a wrench. All fluid checks are readily available as is the cabinet for Viking’s centralized sea water system.


Comfort and roominess are built into the boat's salon.

Comfort and roominess are built into the boat’s salon.

Her salon offers wide-open spaces and takes full advantage of the boat’s 17’6’ beam with the galley over to starboard offering under counter refrigerator and freezer compartments along with ample closets and storage cabinets. There is a dining area directly to port and the sizable couch is also located to starboard, just as one enters from the cockpit door.

Offering a choice of configurations in the bow—crossover berths or custom queen—the three stateroom, two head layout will supply you and your guests, whether fishing or not, with the kind of roominess and use of space associated with Viking’s careful attention to creature comforts.

While still a hard-core fishing machine, there's no reason her owners can't enjoy the luxurious surroundings in the master stateroom.

While still a hard-core fishing machine, there’s no reason her owners can’t enjoy the luxurious surroundings in the master stateroom.

The new Viking 52C will be sure to live up to all expectations and most likely exceeds some. Taking into consideration her excellent sea keeping abilities, careful balance of design and performance, and her strong genes passed down the production line by all her predecessors, this purpose-built boat will surely make a strong impression wherever she calls home. VIKING YACHTS. (609) 296-6000.

RPM                SPEED (KN)                   GPH
1000                         12                           22
1250                         16.3                        40
1500                         23.4                        60
1750                         31.2                        76
2000                         36.0                       100
2300                         42.2                       148

LOA: 53’2”
BEAM: 17’6”
DRAFT: 5’0” (w/ MAN V12); 4’11” (w/MAN V8)
DISPL: 70,260 lbs. (w/ MAN V12); 67,680 lbs. (w/MAN V8)
FUEL: 1,202 gal. (opt. 1,467)
WATER 186 gal.

*Fuel consumption is based on (2) engines at any given RPM. Speed and ranges, if any, are estimates based on engineering calculations. Range is based on 90% fuel capacity. 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.

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Posted by on December 6, 2013 in Sea Trials


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Sea Trials

Hemingway at the wheelA Combination of All
The Right Things

American Custom Yachts’ 90-foot C’est La Vie is the dream-fulfilling result of builder and owner.

                                  By Capt. Ken Kreisler

362203118_640“Hey Dom,” one of the guys on the open bridge of the 60+ foot, blue-hulled sportfish boat says as he calls out while steering his charge past the south dock of South Florida’s Sailfish Marina on Singer Island. The two companions flanking him nod in approval. Dom, standing in the cockpit of his boat, which is still tied to the dock for the moment, smiles and waves back.

“Dominic!” exclaims yet another mariner, this one at the wheel of a 39-foot, triple outboard, T-topped rig bristling with fishing gear, himself decked out with yellow skins as is his fellow angler. Again, Dom acknowledges the accolade.

Fully rigged and ready for action, C'est La Vie shows off her low profile and balanced proportions.

Fully rigged and ready for action, C’est La Vie shows off her low profile and balanced proportions.

And then one of those Downeast designs passes by with one older gentleman standing up and explaining to the three seated on the transom couch, if my reading of his body language was anywhere in the ballpark, just what kind of boat they were having a look at.

The word was obviously out. Dominic Lacombe, president of American Custom Yachts (ACY) was in town with the 90-foot C’est La Vie, the recently completed, and quite awesome, latest addition to the fleet of custom sportfish boats from the Stuart-based builder. Lacombe is a force of nature and no story about any of his boats can be told without looking at the man behind the iconic brand.


Dominic Lacombe is all smiles aboard C’est La Vie. Photo: Capt. Ken Kreisler

“For me, it all started when I was a kid fishing the offshore canyons back of Cape May, New Jersey. In those days, if you had an 18-knot boat and you were running 70 to 80 miles offshore, well, that was pretty good,” he remembered as I sat with him on the expansive flying bridge as her captain puts the big boat through a series of exhilarating turns and maneuvers, one of which involved backing down hard and watching the ensuing water drain remarkably fast out of the huge cockpit.

“I knew back then, that big, fast boats were the kind I wanted to be involved with. The faster you got to the fishing grounds, the more time you could spend there.” Never wavering from that principle, by the time he was 29, Lacombe was running the Monterey boat company. In June of 1992, ACY was born with the initial launch of a 58- and then subsequent builds of a 63-, and a 65-footer, all named Freedom. While Lacombe told me of a previous build that had as its central focus the need for an over-the-top galley, C’est La Vie’s owner, also the owner of ACY, had a much different focus. This boat would be built around a pair of massive MTU 16V4000M93L 9,200-hp engines.

C'est La Vie heads out to sea.

C’est La Vie heads out to sea. Photo: Capt. Ken Kreisler

As we pulled in the last of the lines that tethered us to our slip at the south dock of Palm Beach’s Sailfish Marina, someone watching from the quay as C’est La Vie’s captain began sliding the big boat out into the channel and free of the land, smiled and said, “Have a nice flight.” Within minutes of clearing the inlet, and with the calm open ocean before us, it was quite evident what that remark had meant.

I watched the bow rise a bit at first. I then heard the turbochargers kick in. And then I felt the big boat lift herself up out of the water as the engines spooled up past 1100; past 1500; and then settle in at 1750 rpm. And just like that, the 90-foot C’est La Vie, displacing some 190,000 pounds, and the latest build from Dominick Lacombe’s Stuart, Florida-based American Custom Yachts, was flirting with 39 knots and flying across the relatively calm waters off of Palm Beach Inlet. At 1950 we were just under 42 knots with a top end 2100-rpm speed of 44.6.

Located on 63 acres in Stuart, FL, the ACY facility is where C'est La Vie was designed, engineered, and built.

Located on 63 acres in Stuart, FL, the ACY facility is where C’est La Vie was designed, engineered, and built.

Constructing C’est La Vie, with her noticeably low profile for such a big vessel, required a fine and exacting blend of technology, vision, and lots of boatbuilding savvy. Having a boat of her size being able to get the kind of performance she was designed for is something else; and that is where Lacombe and his crew have dedicated their art to achieving.

“There is a period of time from when you start talking to a customer until the contract is signed. Our owners are seasoned veterans of the build process and when they finally decide on ACY, we’ve already gotten to know them very well and just how they are going to use their boat. We don’t try and tell them what they want; instead, we explain what we’ve done in the past and what will fit, and then we discuss what they are looking for,” Lacombe said. “A boatbuilder is only as good as its people; and we strive to offer the best talent in the business.”

As with all ACY custom builds, C'est La Vie began as a steel jig over which her hull began to take shape.

As with all ACY custom builds, C’est La Vie began as a steel jig over which her hull began to take shape.

C’est La Vie is a cold molded boat utilizing a steel jig and built with five layers of 12mm Acumi plywood on the bottom with Kevlar and fiberglass inside and out. From the waterline up, it’s two layers of the ply, again with Kevlar and fiberglass inside and out. To help save weight, ACY uses Divinycell composite coring in the decks and Nida-Core in the deck hatches. For the cabinetry and any nonstructural bulkheads, Tri-Cell is utilized in the cabinets and nonstructural bulkheads. And in the structural bulkhead, vacuum-bagged marine-grade plywood over balsa core is used.

Nothing has been spared to make sure she is rock-solid all around. Being able to handle the incredible weight and power of the main engines, each clocking in at 10+ tons and being able to develop the kind of torque to make your knees weak, meant that Lacombe and his crew would need to plan and build a special engine bed to handle the load.

cestlavie er

As expected, her engine room affords the kind of working space to make any hands-on owner or skipper be at ease while doing any maintenance or other work here. Photo: Capt. Ken Kreisler

“The motor mount system is all aluminum,” Lacombe said as he and I stood in the cavernous engine room before all that power came to life. “And the entire space here, from chine to chine and bulkhead to bulkhead is integrated with an aluminum engine bed system allowing the motors to not only sit on the keel but on every stringer and chine as well. “ In addition, V-drives are used to lessen the shaft angle resulting in a more efficient use of all the horsepower. “Backing down is also more effective as we’re not digging in.” Lacombe and his ACY crew even had to design and fabricate special air boxes to allow the monstrous powerplants to get the maximum amount of ventilation necessary for them to do what they, and this boat, were built for.

Given her length and beam, and that she’s all custom, the interior of C’est La Vie was designed and outfitted as per the owner’s demands and planned use of the boat as being both ultimate fishing platform and uber comfortable so as to accommodate his large family.

With plenty of space to work with, C'est La Vie's salon can be configured in many ways to suit an individual owner's needs.

C’est La Vie‘s salon can be configured in many ways to suit an individual owner’s needs. Photo: Capt. Ken Kreisler

To that end, her main salon offers wide-open spaces with all galley appliances housed in below counter drawers and cabinets. There is nothing to block the spectacular views out of those extra large windows to either side or from the salon’s aft end as well.

With all the room here, the seating arrangements and dining space can be configured in several ways, all of which work within the given dimensions. “All the furniture and cabinetry you see here is done under one roof; the same one that builds the boat,” Lacombe pointed out as we took a turn around the interior. “The fabrics, leathers, and any canvas, are all done in house by American Canvas & Interiors.”

A centerline staircase leads down to a long hallway and the six stateroom—three over to port and three on the starboard side—five head layout. As Lacombe and I open doors and drawers and closets, I notice the more-than-ample storage areas in each room. Indeed, I found so much space aboard C’est La Vie—from cockpit to engine room to flying bridge as well—that once provisioned, and but for fuel considerations, she is quite able to accommodate her crew for an extended time away from any dock.

cestlavie cockpit

C’est La Vie‘s business end is all that is should be on this world class, custom sportfishing yacht. Photo: Capt. Ken Kreisler

Of course, being a big, no-nonsense, not-for-the-faint-of-heart sport fishing machine, C’est la Vie’s flying bridge and cockpit are all business. To that end, Lacombe and his team have outfitted these areas with everything one could want in a deep water, horizon-chasing sportfisherman. The centerline helm offers plentiful room for a vast array of electronic, communication, and navigational equipment, installed by affiliate IMS American Marine Electronics. Forward seating is abundant and as well, there is space for any number of cooler and freezer options you may require for your needs. And don’t forget those 60’ Rupp, five-spreader riggers on that substantial Bausch-American tower, custom fabricated and installed by ACY. The teak-soled cockpit offers the fishing crew the kind of space and amenities that one would expect on a world-class tourney boat and as we banked on a gentle, controlled 40+ knot turn and powered our way back to the dock, I could only imagine all those trolled lines aft with cutting fish eyeing everything from the teasers to the pro-rigged goggle eye baits just waiting for a bite.


Photo: Capt. Ken Kreisler

If you are thinking of competing in the rarefied air of a truly custom sportfish boat, you need to make a visit to ACY’s Stuart, Florida facility an absolute must. While the cost of fulfilling your dream is something you will need to discuss with Dominic and his crew, the result of having your hands on the wheel of one of his designs is guaranteed to be priceless.

American Custom Yachts. 772.221.9100.

                                               Specs for 90’ C’est La Vie

RPM                        Speed (kn)                        GPH

500                           9.3                                      14
1000                        17.0                                    100
1150                        23.0                                    130
1350                        28.6                                    180
1550                        32.8                                    270
1750                        38.4                                    340
1950                        41.9                                    400
2100                        44.6                                    500

LOA: 90’
BOA: 22’-3”
LWL: 79’ -3”
Draft: 6’-8” (half load)
Fuel: 6185 Gallon Capacity
Water Tank: 453 Gallons

-Water Maker: Village Marine 1600GPD PW1600M 220V & Village Marine: 1200 GPD PW1200M 220V Water Maker Capacity: 2800 Gallons per day
-Bow Thruster: 12” Trac 38 HP Bow Thruster
-Transmission: ZF9050V Gear Ratio 1.967:1A with trolling valves CL70
-Driveline: Centalink Drive Coupling System
-Gensets: 2 -38 Kw Northern Lights Generator M944T
-Miller Leaman Inc. Raw Water Strainer Filter System for Engines
-Custom Built K&N Air Filtration System
-5 Blade Veems; 47-571/2 Interceptors
-5 1⁄2 Propeller Shaft with custom stainless steel stern tube with intermediate strut system.
-Steering System: Custom built high performance swept back rudders with 5” rudder posts from ACY designs that the company has been building since the early 1990’s.
-Anchor System: Maxwell 4000 VW Windless with custom-built hydraulic fold out Anchor Deployment System.

                                   ACY 90’ C’est La Vie  Equipment List
Flybridge Equipment:
2-17” KEP Monitors
1-15” KEP Monitor
1-Garmin 7215
1-Garmin GSD26 CHIRP Digital Black Box Sounder
1-Airmar R599LH 3 KW Transducer
1-Garmin 6208
2-Furuno Navnet 3D MFDBB’S
1-Furuno 25 KW Digital Radar
1-Furuno 12 KW Digital Radar
1-Furuno FA50 AIS
1-Furuno DFF1 Digital Sounder
1-Furuno B164 Transducer
1-Furuno CH300 Searchlight Sonar
2-Furuno RD-33
1-Airmar 235KHZ Transducer
1-Furuno BBWX2 Sirius Weather
1-Simrad AP50 Autopilot
1-Carlisle and Finch Nightfinder Spotilght/IR Camera
2-Icom 504 VHF

Tower Equipment:
1-Garmin 6212
1-Icom 504 VHF

TV Dome

CCTV System:
3-Engine Room Cameras
1-Pump Room Camera
2-Underwater Cameras
1- DVR for cameras

-Complete vessel has Savant A/V integration. This allows control by I-PAD in all locations inside and out.
-All locations have access to DIRECTV US, DIRECTV GLA, BLU-RAY, APPLE TV, NAVAGATIONAL Sources.
-Each State room has a full selection of audio and video sources with in ceiling speakers.
-Salon has a Sony LED 60” TV with complete Surround Sound.
-Cockpit has a 32” Sony LED that drops down from the ceiling for viewing while seated on the mezzanine.
-Cockpit has 10 -JL Audio 770 Speakers and 2- 10” JL Audio Sub-woofers.
-Flybridge has the ability to watch and listen to all sources  A/V sources.
-Flybridge has 4- JL Audio 770 Speakers.


Posted by on April 11, 2013 in Sea Trials


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Sea Trials

Boat wake from bridgeChange For The Better

An owner’s vision results in an innovative interior for a stalwart member of the Hatteras motoryacht series and one that will now be the new standard for the venerated builder.

By Ken Kreisler

The latest Hatteras 80-foot MY, H2OME, sports a brand new paint job as well as a game changing interior.

The latest Hatteras 80-foot MY, H2OME, sports a brand new paint job as well as a game changing interior. (Photo: Ken Kreisler)

H2OME. Aboard this Hatteras 80 motoryacht, with its newly designed interior and on whose transom this boat’s name is adorned, the yacht’s moniker means a lot to its owner and his family. It goes way beyond an enthusiasm for being able to achieve the finer things in life and adds a genuine appreciation for the means to get what one wants and needs. And besides, it is their second home in more ways than one.

Interior Designer Cullen Moser (right) and Construction Manager Jimmy Talvacchio are all smiles in H2OME's main salon.

Interior Designer Cullen Moser (right) and Construction Manager Jimmy Talvacchio are all smiles in H2OME‘s main salon. (Photo: Ken Kreisler)

“Designing the interior of one of our boats, whether it’s a sportfish or a motoryacht, is just about the same. We always find out, covering every little detail, no matter how minor or seemingly insignificant, how the owner is going to use it and go from there,” says Cullen Moser, Hatteras’ interior designer and one of the Hatteras team most closely associated with the end result of what goes on inside.  “With this boat however, things were pretty different. The owner, who already had purchased one of our 80 motoryachts, it was hull #39, came to us and said, ‘…this is what I want, let’s make it happen.’ And so we did.”

Since H2OME’s owner wanted a much more contemporary layout, one that fit his particular lifestyle and taste, more so than the traditional arrangement Hatteras had been offering, Moser, along with construction manager Jimmy Talvacchio, set about turning his dreams into reality.

“Given that he bought this one even before he sold his other boat, we knew we were dealing with a highly motivated owner. To that end, we needed to review each detail, comparing everything from his original layout to flooring and fabrics, lighting, hardware and hinges, as well as having to deal with possibly repositioning structural bulkheads, designing portlights, and, going from 1,600-hp to 1,900-hp, allowing for larger engines, ” said Talvacchio. “We even visited with him at his home in Florida, spending lots of time on the 80 he had at the time just to see where and what we could do. And of particular importance was a redesign of the bridge deck and adding a hydraulic swim platform.”

Moser and Talvacchio worked very closely with the owner so as to achieve the dramatic and contemporary design statement of the yacht, here typified in the main salon.

Moser and Talvacchio, and their Hatteras design team, worked closely with the owner to achieve the  contemporary decor statement of the yacht, here typified in the main salon.

One of the biggest issues in dealing with building this boat was that the project would push Hatteras pretty far out of its comfort zone. Once the proposal was accepted, a major portion of the ensuing planning discussions centered on how, after 41 hulls, was #42 going to affect subsequent builds going forward. It was a question that any builder would be thinking of. “We knew this was an owner who was just not going to take ‘no’ for an answer,” said Moser. “It was going to be a game changer.”

With a company like Hatteras, whose very DNA is rooted in change, the solution was to go for it. It all started in 1960 with its tenacious and determined founder Willis Slane launching Knit Wits, a sportfishing boat whose construction broke with tradition by being fabricated out of hand-laid fiberglass. By deciding against a wood build, which was the current material of choice, Hatteras would set a precedent in boat construction and steer the industry in a new direction. In 1962, the first 41-foot, double cabin motoryacht was launched thus heralding the beginning of the company’s cruising yacht line.

The spacious aft deck offers the opportunity for al fresco dining.

The spacious aft deck offers the opportunity for al fresco dining.

H2OME is as custom as custom can get from a production builder. Talvacchio and his crew actually had to move a structural bulkhead on the lower level to accommodate one aspect of the redesign, moving it aft some 10 to 12 inches so as to achieve the desired layout. “Once the work began, we maintained a very close relationship with the owner at each phase as the project moved forward,” Talvacchio said as he and Moser took me on a tour.

The aft deck, with its teak sole presents a transom seat with accompanying table for al fresco dining opportunities with a wet bar tucked neatly into the forward starboard corner. Access to the upper deck from here is via a molded in stairway to port.

Contemporary in its presentation with a bit of Euro flair best describes the interior. Entering through the rear glass door, itself an impressive and robust piece of equipment as it silently auto slides open and closed, one is greeted by a wide open salon that can be fitted out in many ways so as to accommodate any kind of family gathering or entertaining space.

For this presentation, on the port side aft, there is an intimate seating arrangement featuring a stylish area rug underfoot and an L-shape couch and two opposing club chairs. Forward of that is a formal dining table with seating for six. Tasteful artwork both hanging on the bulkheads as well as the various other art objects here and there, all handpicked by the owner, compliments the overall design and is an indication of the quality of his personal touch.

The wood floor, with its wide planked design, adds to the striking design as one’s eye is drawn to the sharp lines and finely finished woodwork of the furniture, well-balanced interior architecture, and custom-built cabinetry. “While we left the structural positioning of all the bulkheads here on the main deck, this décor design is all new,” Moser pointed out.

Wide open spaces and plenty of counter room will make the galley one of the centerpieces aboard this Hatteras Yacht.

Wide open spaces and plenty of counter room will make the galley one of the centerpieces aboard this Hatteras Yacht.

Hatteras 80MY Galley 2

The forward section of the galley is also available for dining.

Forward on the centerline, is the access way to the galley. This space has a fully appointed layout and forward eating area and gives new meaning to being able to have outstanding gastronomical opportunities. The counter space, both on the starboard bulkhead as well as the island in the middle of the room, affords the kind of opportunity to create anything from a casual snack to a memorable dining experience. There is a full size stainless refrigerator freezer, ample storage space in finely fashioned cabinetry, plenty of ambient light courtesy of large windows all around as well as forward—which, with the touch of a button, can be shaded automatically—and a pair of sturdy, aircraft-style doors to either side, giving easy entrée to the bow area and its comfortable seating space.

Comfortable seating on the bow guarantees a front row seat from which to view the sights while underway or on the hook at a special anchorage.

Comfortable seating on the bow guarantees a front row seat from which to view the sights while underway or on the hook at a special anchorage.

Back in the salon, and on the starboard side, is the hallway down to the four stateroom, four head living accommodations where the dramatic décor theme is continued. Whether in the VIP forepeak, with its striking portlight design to either side, the mirror-image matching quarters of the twin staterooms, or the impressive, full beam master suite, all are tastefully outfitted with fine linens and obvious attention to detail along with more than ample storage space for extended time away from terrestrial home.

For ultimate entertaining while underway, the enclosed and teak-soled bridge deck affords the owner and his family and guests a place from which to not only watch the world go by but be quite comfortable as well. Accessed via the aforementioned aft deck stairway, or by the interior stairway in the galley, this space is the result of both owner and builder input and, as with the interior design, become a permanent change in the 80 line. “We moved the arch back and changed the look of the hardtop to create the kind of the upper deck we knew he was looking for,” said Talvacchio as we stood up on high, surveying the 360-degree views.

The expansive bridge deck is a great place to entertain and dine as well.

The expansive bridge deck is a great place to entertain and dine as well.

A curved bar is to port while a seating/dining area is over to starboard. Moving aft and to starboard is the cooking space, itself enclosed in a beautifully finished cabinet with under counter refrigeration to port. Fully aft is a lounging area with enough room for several chairs.

The bridge helm has all the necessary space for flush mounting any array of your personal electronics and navigational instruments.

The bridge helm has all the necessary space for flush mounting any array of your personal electronics and navigational instruments. (Photo: Ken Kreisler)

At the helm, the skipper—or hands-on owner—has command of a vast array of HST installed electronics and large screen navigational equipment, including a Northstar GPS/plotter, ICOM VHF, Simrad autopilot repeater, and Furuno depth and temp gauge. I noted that everything was not only within a comfortable reach but easily seen as well. And for the co-pilot, there is a doublewide seat to starboard.

As with everything aboard H2OME, her engine room is as well designed and laid out as any found on yachts of her size of even larger. To that end, I found plenty of space to get both hands on any piece of necessary equipment, easy access to both inboard and outboard sides of the twin CAT C32 1,900-hp powerplants as well wide open spaces for all critical fluid checks and maintenance areas. In addition, there is abundant storage space for tools, filters, and any other items that may be needed here.

Carefully planned and laid out for maximum ability to reach all important maintenance areas as well as critical fluid checks, H2OME's engine room is as good as it gets.

Carefully planned and laid out for maximum ability to reach all important maintenance areas as well as critical fluid checks, H2OME‘s engine room is as good as it gets.

Before leaving for some time away from the dock aboard H2OME, I paid a visit to Bruce Angel, who along with being the company’s marine architect is the Senior VP of Operations and Construction Management as well as overseeing Quality Assurance. “While the performance might be different between true planing motoryacht and sportfish design, whether a 40-knot 63 Convertible or a 27-knot 80 Motoryacht, the same design philosophy goes into it,” he said. “While structural consideration may vary because the boats used in two distinct and different way, the convex bow sections for head entry into the sea and the variable deadrise transitioning at times to zero degrees at the transom, the deep tunnels, the deeper gear ratios to get the maximum efficiency out of the propulsion, and all of the math that goes into the development is the same. “

Bruce Angel discusses some of the dynamics about his hull design on the 80 Motoryacht.

Bruce Angel discusses some of the dynamics about his hull design on the 80 Motoryacht. (Photo: Ken Kreisler)

Because H2OME’s owner wanted larger engines, and because Angel and his team had all the empirical data on his other 80, they were actually able to design the props to match the higher horsepower. “Absorbing the power is easy; it’s getting it into the water so you can really see something tangible. In this case, getting a top speed of around 27 knots. This is as fast as any 80 we’ve built.”

To Angel’s point, the H2OME is all Hatteras while underway. While my time aboard saw calm seas with a bit of wind, there is little concern that she is a comfortable, proven and sea-worthy vessel. Equipped with both bow and stern thrusters, she is quite nimble around the dock whether leaving port or arriving. While speed, range, and fuel consumption can vary from vessel to vessel, and depending on prevailing conditions on any given day, estimated performance includes a reasonable cruising speed of anywhere from 19-21 knots at about 2000 rpm with a fuel consumption of about 122 gph. At that turn of speed, one can anticipate somewhere around a 445 nautical mile range. Knock that down 200 rpm and give up a bit of speed, and further fuel savings can be expected. Given her 190,000 full load displacement, and 2,858-gallon fuel capacity, the Hatteras 80 motoryacht can take you to places far and wide in comfort, safety, and peace of mind.

Comfort and luxury are found in all the living accommodations and especially in the master stateroom.

Comfort and luxury are found in all the living accommodations and especially in the master stateroom.

How far is the Hatteras team willing to go with this proven model? “We’re going to do anything we can to make our customers happy and have already discussed building a 100-foot motoryacht for H2OME’s owner and his family, hopefully in the near future. In addition, and but for adding a bar in the salon, the owners of 80 #46 want what they’ve seen,” Moser said. “On our next hull out, that being #43, the request was to eliminate the starboard stateroom as you come down the steps and instead, make it an additional seating and entertainment space,” Talvacchio added.

Hatteras has come a long way since the company was founded back in the 1960’s. Embracing new technologies, staying ahead of the curve, and giving their owners what they want is the way it has maintained its position in the rarefied air of successful production boat building.  And now, with its ability to provide a custom design to suit individual needs and wants, Hatteras will once again, be changing for the better. Hatteras Yachts, 110 North Glenburnie Road, New Bern, NC 28560 USA. (252) 633-3101.


Length Overall: 79’10” / 24.33 meters
Beam: 21’3″ / 6.48 meters
Draft: 5’8″ / 1.73 meters
Freshwater Capacity: 326 gallons / 1,234 liters
Gray Water: 252 gal / 953 liters
Fuel Capacity: 2,858 gallons / 10,819 liters
Holding Capacity: 388 gal / 1,468 liters
Weight Displacement: 190,000 lbs / 86,183 kilos
Height Above Waterline to Top of Flybridge Windshield: 18’10” / 5.74 meters
Height Above Waterline to Top of Arch: 21’1″ / 6.43 meters
Waterline Length: 68’10” / 20.98 meters

Twin CAT C32A Diesel Engines (1800 BHP)
Twin CAT C32A Diesel Engines 1600 BHP
Twin CAT C32A Diesel Engines 1900 BHP
Twin MTU 16V2000 Diesel Engines 2000 BHP

RPM  SPEED (KN)  GPH (ENGINES ONLY)                        RANGE (NM)
2300     25-27                    198                                                    357
2100     22-24                    160                                                    390
2000     19-21                    122                                                    445
1800     16-18                      99                                                    466

Fuel consumption is based on (2) engines at any given RPM. Speed and ranges are estimates based on engineering calculations. Range is based on 95% fuel capacity. 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.

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Posted by on February 22, 2013 in Sea Trials


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Sea Trials

Hemingway at the wheelThe NuMarine 78 Fly is a yacht from a company whose philosophy is based on being different.

By Capt. Ken Kreisler

The Numarine 78 Fly delivers performance with striking good looks and lots of interior styling.

The NuMarine 78 Fly delivers performance, striking good looks, and lots of room for individual interior styling.

“I grew up with boats on the west coast of Sweden but started my working life with cars. And through all of it, I held onto my boy’s dream of building boats,” said NuMarine’s CEO Patric Von Sydow as we sat on the aft deck dining table of his company’s 78 Fly.

With his boating background, Patric Von Sydow is a hands-on CEO.

With his boating background, Patric Von Sydow is a hands-on CEO.

As he tells it, once he had his fill with the automobile industry, Von Sydow put in his time with several high-profile boat builders until joining NuMarine in 2010. “I’m a product person, fascinated with design, and realize that in order to be successful in this business, you have to be ready to be different and present something that stands out.”

What makes NuMarine different starts with its manufacturing facility; one that began with a major investment in infrastructure in both the size of the physical plant and how they build their boats. “We started big. Our Istanbul-based factory covers some 35,000 square meters—376,740 square feet—is climate controlled, and is capable of producing up to 50 boats ranging in size from 55- up to 105-feet in length.”

The builder uses the latest in automated milling machines, resin infuses the carbon and Aramid-reinforced, vinylester sandwich construction of PVC foam, unidirectional and multiaxial E glass and lightweight materials, and are always ready to make the most of the latest technology. “In our building process, we have reached the 60/40 glass to resin ratio; this for a lighter, stronger vessel with good fuel economy. In addition, we post cure all our boats to ensure full structural strength.”

Seen from any angle, NuMarine's contemporary styling is a head turner.

Seen from any angle, NuMarine’s contemporary styling is a head turner.

The responsibility for the contemporary styling and design of all NuMarine yachts falls upon a trio of marine architects whose sole purpose in bringing boats such as the 78 Fly to the buying public is a result of a high level of collegial participation in the process. “With our design philosophy, we always strive to avoid the ‘sea of sameness’,” commented Von Sydow. And in this particular vessel, Can Yalman, Tommaso Spadolini, and Umberto Tagliavini, along with the Turkish craftsmen and artisans employed by NuMarine, have indeed, achieved their purpose.

The first thing I noticed as I approached the dock at the top of the Miami River was the 78 Fly’s low, sleek, swept-back profile. Exterior-wise, everything not only looked in balance but in proportion as well, including the forward main deck brow, bridge, aft deck overhang, and especially those big wide windows to either side as well as forward; something that would shed much light on what goes on inside.

On the way to a private anchorage and a memorable alfresco dinner.

On the way to a private anchorage and a memorable alfresco dinner.

NuMarine is as semi-custom as a builder gets. To that end, and while still functioning as a family oriented yacht, this particular 78 was designed and built to participate in private charter service. On the exterior, the aforementioned aft deck dining table, shaded from above by the bridge overhang and easily seating six to eight, affords an excellent place for alfresco meals. To either side, it’s a few steps down to the hydraulically operated swim platform where there is also a door leading to the crew quarters and engine room. I found both these important spaces to be exceedingly well laid out with the former finished up to yacht standards while the latter provided all the room the hands-on skipper or owner/operator could want in order to keep things humming along. All critical engine maintenance areas, including all pumps, valves, switches, systems, and anything else necessary for this kind of peace of mind while underway, were readily accessible.

A view from the bow, NuMarine style.

A view from the bow, NuMarine style.

Back topsides, there were two more areas to visit before checking out the entertainment and living accommodations. The first was forward on the bow where I found a large and quite comfortable seating and lounging area with accompanying table and a pair of sunpads. On this 78 there was also an optional ‘cabana-like’ cover that easily deploys up while in dock or at anchor and stows away just as quickly while underway.

A view from the bridge, NuMarine style.

A view from the bridge, NuMarine style.

The bridge deck is a superbly laid out space with a stylish hardtop, portside steering station and lounge opposite. Just aft of the skipper’s bench seat is a bar with a dining table to starboard. And with her charter profile, the owner decided to mount a Jacuzzi up here instead of the usual dinghy/tender cradle.

However exciting and appealing her exterior is, it is in her interior spaces that the 78 Fly is most impressive. Entering aft from the sliding glass doors, one enters the salon area with C-shape seating to port and entertainment console to starboard. The motif on this boat is all light colors; white and beige with light wood for a very open and airy feel. Indeed, with those big windows all around, the ambient light floods the space. The enclosed galley, so designed for her charter service—an open galley is, of course, available as well—is also to port with a dining table opposite. Forward of the galley is the lower control station and on the centerline, is the stairway to the living accommodations on the lower deck.

Just one of the variations on a theme aboard the NuMarine 78 Fly; here as realized in the master suite.

Just one of the variations on a theme aboard the NuMarine 78 Fly; here as realized in the master suite.

The galley offers clean lines and lots of workable space for private dining whether for the owners and guests or for a charter party.

The galley offers clean lines and lots of workable space for private dining whether for the owners and guests or for a charter party.

The NuMarine 78 Fly offers a four stateroom, four head layout; forepeak, VIP to starboard with double bunk berth to port, and taking full advantage of the boat’s 19-foot beam, the amidships master. All have a contemporary décor with excellent use of space and more than ample storage; enough for any extended trip away from the dock. And as with the ambient light topsides, all the staterooms, with large windows, have a spacious feel.

While she presents very well on the style and amenities side, with obvious attention to detail and superior fit and finish, she also delivers out on the water. Powered by a pair of 1,150-hp Cat C-18s, she easily got right up on plane at 1600rpm with a 48gph fuel burn at a respectable 17+ knots.  And when I settled her in at 2000rpm, I noted a 24 knot average speed and 82gph. With dead calm conditions out on Biscayne Bay all I had to do was sit back and enjoy the ride of this easy handling boat. And that’s exactly what I did for the rest of my time aboard this big, comfortable, and stylish cruising yacht.

Numarine reflection2“In this market, with these economic conditions, you can’t be greedy anymore. You must deliver a quality product that is also a fair deal. NuMarine is in a position to do so,” remarked Von Sydow as we wrapped up our time together. Given the company’s focus on design, naval architecture and engineering, and its ability to deliver exactly what any owner wants, it appears as if the Numarine 78 Fly, and her sisterships, is going to be seen in marinas and docks around the world.

NuMarine 78 Fly Specifications

RPM                SPD(KN)                     GPH                 dB(A)

800                 8.1                               2.9                   65

1000               9.4                               11                    67

1200               10.5                             23                    68

1400               11.6                             37                    70

1600               17.2                             48                    72

1800               20.8                             71                    73

2000               24.1                             82                    74

2200               27.7                             103                 76

2300               29.5                             119                 77

LOA: 78’6”

LWL: 71’1”

BEAM: 19’

DISPL.: 99,208 lbs. (full load)

WATER: 194 gal.

FUEL: 1,100 gal.

ENGINES: 2 x 1,100-hp Caterpillar C-18

TEST CONDITIONS: The sea trial was conducted on Biscayne Bay, Miami, in 16 feet of water with calm conditions, 700 gallons on fuel and full water, four persons on board. GPH measured by electronic CAT engine gauges, speed computed by GPS. Sound levels taken at the helm using dB(A).

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Posted by on December 14, 2012 in Sea Trials



Sea Trials

Hemingway at the wheelCovering its P’s & Q’s, Beneteau’s Flyer GT49 Delivers Performance, Pods, and Quality.

By Ken Kreisler

The Beneteau 49 sports an exciting profile that promises the kind of equally adventurous boating  expected from this quality builder.

With its exciting profile, the Flyer GT49 promises the kind of equally adventurous boating expected from this quality builder.

Let’s get something out of the way for all you naysayers and dedicated fossil fuel loyalists: Yes, Beneteau, a company with a 125-year history, is known as a builder of sailboats, garnering a loyal and dedicated following due in large part to its unfailing resolve never to cut corners on its construction or service. However, with the 2004 introduction of their Marion, South-Carolina-built 42-footer in the Swift Trawler line to the U.S. powerboat sector, followed by the Barracuda, Antares, and Monte Carlo lines, and now into the 34-, 38-, 44-, and 49-foot Flyer GT Series—offered in both express and flybridge—they’ve come to the powerboat market with the same mindset that has made the name synonymous with being the world leader in the sailboat business. And there are some definite signs that the company is very serious about what it can offer in this highly competitive segment of the boat building industry.

Comfort abounds below decks as well with a practical and elegant layout.

Comfort abounds below decks as well with a practical and elegant layout.

“You can especially see how important the commitment the company has undertaken is with the significant amount of R&D money Beneteau has put into the launch of the GT Series, and especially with this, the current flagship of the model line with, among other features, a hull specifically designed for the IPS pods,” remarked Alex Wilkes, part of the Denison Yacht Sales group, who along with fellow sales representative and skipper Juan Pasch, accompanied me for my time on the GT49.

After noting the ample cockpit area with table and transom seating—an optional helm station is available here as well as an outdoor grill—the hydraulically operated swim platform, a garage with room for an 11-foot tender and outboard, visiting the engine room via the cockpit hatch and noting the ease of doing fluid checks, and the roomy flying bridge, additional indications of the GT49 Flybridge’s well thought out design was put to the test a few minutes after I left the dock at the Denison Yacht Sales facility just off the Andrews Avenue Bridge.

As we began idling her along the upper reaches of Ft. Lauderdale’s serpentine, and often quite narrow, New River, the normally busy waterway, was already in the throes of a rip-roaring incoming tide. Add to that, both down and up river traffic had to deal with a rather large-beam catamaran, a very large megayacht, her bow and stern tethered to tow boats with engines straining to keep their oversized charge going in the right direction, and of course, the ever-present Jungle Queen, a sightseeing boat that gives no quarter no matter what the situation is.

The pucker factor is taken out of tight quarters maneuvering with a pair  of 435-hp Volvo Penta IPS 600s.

The pucker factor is taken out of tight quarters maneuvering with a pair of 435-hp Volvo Penta IPS 600s.

Steering at the lower station and without having to do any throttle jockeying, this courtesy of the lightning-fast reaction of the twin 435-hp Volvo Penta D6 IPS600’s, made navigating the quickly changing nautical pin ball situation just a bit more relaxed. Complementing the revolutionary, and now quite familiar, pod system were the lower station’s big forward windows and those to either side that afforded me the ability to keep sharp eyes on the waterway and feel in control of the close quarters conditions unfolding around me.

By the time we motored down river to where the waterway opened up, I noticed the due east wind blowing at a constant 30+ miles per hour, as it had been all the previous day and promised to do so for the next two. And once we arrived at the channel markers indicating the Port Everglades Inlet, and poked the GT49’s bow seaward, we got a peek at the nautical horror show that was going on out in the ocean.

After a very brief confab—key word here being very—with Pasch and Wilkes, we were all in agreement that trying to push past those cresting eight to 10-footers, whose several second duration had them piling up against the inlet’s rock jetties, and then out into the roiled-up ocean was just nonsense. After all, I was not testing a self-righting, U.S.C.G. lifeboat here and besides, no boat owner worth their salt would deliberately venture out in such dangerous conditions. And if that weren’t enough to deter our thoughts, the very boat we were on, was due to be shown to a serious buyer flying in from Texas.

With the decision made to keep my testing to the ICW, we headed south down the ICW towards Dania where we could find enough running room outside of the no-wake zones in order to get some solid performance numbers and boat handling time.

As far as why I chose to do my evaluations from the salon station? The answer to that question came during our rpm runs. In the past, when putting a boat with dual helms through her paces from the bridge, there is no way to assess what happens to your view of the seaway during acceleration. On many a vessel coming up out of the hole, and while steering from below, the driver can lose the horizon for enough time to miss that nasty ‘wood shark’ lying dead ahead or some other nefarious flotsam just waiting to strike the hull or do damage to the propulsion units. Not so with the GT49. During four runs, all with the boat coming up on plane, and while there was the anticipated bow rise, not once did I lose the seaway, and that, with my 5’9” height from the seated position and not having to crane my neck up. That I liked. The outcome of the overall performance test resulted in an average fast cruise of 27.7 knots burning 42 gph at 3300 rpm, and a slow cruise average of 18.3 knots, with a 26 gph fuel rate at 2700 rpw. And with her responsive, sports car-like handling, the GT49 is a fun-to-drive boat as well with quick answer to the helm, a tight turn radius, and straight and true tracking during lengthy runs. It’s the reason Beneteau refers to these boats as the GT Series.

Taking all it has learned from its many years of designing boat interior,Beneteau has imbued the 49's master suite with amenities usually found of larger vessels.

Taking all it has learned from its many years of designing boat interiors, Beneteau has imbued the 49’s master suite with amenities usually found of larger vessels.

I also liked the boat’s interior layout, first noticing how open the salon actually is, even with the starboard lower station, the port side sofa and table, and, aft of the helm, an entertainment center, and not how it appears even though the use of light coverings on the sofa and those aforementioned windows do add to the overall effect. More to the point was the great headroom Beneteau afforded its space here, averaging some 6’6” and including an atrium-like effect from the galley-down area. Also accessed down there is a starboard side seating area—available as an optional third stateroom—the forepeak quarters, and the full beam master aft, each of them with an ample sized head with the forepeak WC functioning as a day head.

The noteworthy fit and finish throughout is complemented by her quality construction details including a solid fiberglass bottom with coring from the waterline up, low profile exterior styling, featuring wide walkways on both sides and sturdy high rails for safe passages, and the kind of attention to detail one would expect from a company with this kind of pedigree. From all indications, the Beneteau Flyer GT49 seems to have its P’s & Q’s covered pretty well. Beneteau USA, 410-990-0270.

Performance Box
RPM             KNOTS                  GPH                       dB(A)

650               4.4                          .7                            62
1000             5.8                          1.6                          63
1200             7.0                          2.0                          66
1500             8.0                          5.5                          67
1800             9.7                          8.6                          71
2100             12.0                        16.0                        73
2400             14.2                        21.0                        74
2700             18.3                        26.0                        75
3300             27.4                        42.0                        80
3600             28.6                        44.0                        84

Test Conditions
Speeds were measured by GPS in 14 feet of water in the Intracoastal Waterway between Ft. Lauderdale and Dania Beach, Florida, with calm seas and 15-knot winds, with a 5/8 load of fuel, zero water, and three people on board. Fuel consumption was calculated by the electronic engine monitoring system. Sound levels were measured at the helm.

Vessel Specifications
LOA: 51’2”
27,550 lbs. (Dry)
344 gal.
170 gal.
STANDARD POWER: 2x435hp Volvo Penta IPS600
TEST POWER: 2×435-hp Volvo Penta IPS600

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Posted by on December 14, 2012 in Sea Trials



Sea Trials

Hemingway at the wheelFunctional By Design

The Hampton 680 Endurance LRC is a well-balanced and efficient cruising boat.

By Ken Kreisler

With the Hampton 680LRC you can truly have your cake and eat it too...all in comfort, safety, and style.

With the Hampton 680LRC you can truly have your cake and eat it too…all in comfort, safety, and style.

Hold this thought by celebrated basketball coach John Wooden: “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”

I don’t think it was by coincidence that by the time I caught up with the new Hampton Endurance 680 LRC, for Long Range Cruiser, she was already on a tight schedule. I mean if you are considering a boat with this kind of profile, being designed and built to do some serious cruising, then it is completely understandable it is not the kind of boat meant to be sitting at the dock. And if her owner is like many of the other Hampton owners I’ve interviewed over the years, I suspect her home port time will be quite limited. It was already something I was experiencing in trying to shoe horn my way on board for whatever time I could manage.

Whether on an extended trip or a weekend getaway, the salon offers an intimate setting for the owners and their guests.

Whether on an extended trip or a weekend getaway, the salon offers an intimate setting for the owners and their guests.

The newest boat in the Endurance model line-up had already made an appearance at last year’s Ft. Lauderdale show—including move in and break down prep time, and the detailing and clean up from all the dock traffic; the pre-show aerial photo shoot, along with an interior shoot later that same day, was being coordinated along with the final sea trial for her pair of C18, 873-hp Caterpillar engines conducted by Caterpillar technicians; and oh yes, her owner was champing at the bit to get his hands on the wheel of his new boat.

Back to the coach’s thought. There I was, sitting at the large dining table located just to port of the starboard lower station and talking to Anchor Yachts’ Forest Roberts, who heads up the Lauderdale-based Hampton dealership and plays an instrumental part in company owner Jeff Chen’s boat building planning and layout as well.

Comfort abounds everywhere aboard as typified by the master suite.

Comfort abounds everywhere aboard as typified by the master suite.

The Endurance 680 LRC is designed by Howard Apollonio [See sidebar: Design Insight with Howard Apollonio.] and to that end, the hull’s resin infused laminate schedule; the first three utilizing vinylester resins and glass with the following two being chine-to-chine Kevlar, is built to, well, endure.

As Roberts and I discussed some other construction matters—the boat’s solid bottom rises some six inches above the water line; that the collision zone, from the anchor bow area to 12 feet aft under water and then out to both port and starboard another 12 feet, also has three Kevlar layers; and the engine beds are all stainless steel reinforced, glassed in, and then capped with another stainless steel mounting plate—I noticed a little something about the way the legs of the stools at the nearby port side island galley were being held in place. The two front ones fit neatly and securely into a cut out thus anchoring them to the island.

“They’ll never slide or tip over while she’s underway or in a sea. Simple solution,” said Roberts.

The fully found galley will be able to supply the kind of meals ranging from a simple snack to a sumptuous dining experience.

The fully found galley will be able to supply the kind of meals ranging from a simple snack to a sumptuous dining experience.

And that was just the first of the many minor details I found aboard. There was a unique latch on the door of the full size refrigerator, designed to keep the door closed in a pitching sea. There are screens on the easy-to-swing pantograph doors. I particularly took note of the electrically operated and custom fit designer blinds on the usual out-of-reach forward windows; making cutting any harsh sunlight effortless. I found drains on the bridge deck, seamlessly connected to overfills so as to prevent any water pooling topsides. And the engine room air intakes are located on the inboard sides of the exterior’s wide walkways, so designed to significantly cut down on salty mist incursion.

To my eye, all these simple solutions were indicative of a more than meaningful attention to detail and one signifying that if they were being addressed so practically, then the big items would most certainly stand out. And they do.

It’s easy to extol Hampton’s craftsmanship on the 680’s interior, what with the perfectly matching African Makore cherry with its flawless, high gloss finish. The accommodations layout includes a very comfortable and fully finished off crew quarters—one that could easily double as a private space for the kids or grandkids of owner/operators—a four stateroom, four head configuration, with all quarters having more than ample storage areas, perfect for those long trips out. The satellite tv, watermaker, and tender are the only options.

As found everywhere aboard the 680, creature comforts abound int the enclosed pilothouse.

As found everywhere aboard the 680, creature comforts abound in the enclosed pilothouse.

Topsides, the spacious enclosed bridge deck, with dining and seating area has almost 20 feet of open space from the back of the house, while the main deck cockpit has its own alfresco table and seating. In addition, there is a most useful and well-placed day head out here. Put that all together with her Portuguese bridge and a salty profile, and this boat says, let’s go.

But it was in her Sound Down insulated and air-conditioned engine room, that I could truly appreciate the builder’s attention not only to detail, but to safety as well.

“Redundancy and back up is one of the keys to our building philosophy,” said Roberts. “We want and need our owners to feel and be safe while underway.”

Easy to work in with plenty of room to get at all critical maintenance areas, this engine room is typical of Hampton's attention to every detail.

Easy to work in with plenty of working space to get at all critical maintenance areas, this engine room is typical of Hampton’s attention to every detail.

To that end, in addition to a working captain’s or hands-on owner’s dream space, what with all the room to work on any part of the mains, gensets, pumps, or any other critical maintenance or service area, I found the kind of back-up systems that would indeed, instill the safety factor.

There are two sea water air conditioning systems with two AC circulation pumps. I found a pair of fresh water Headhunter pumps, one ac and a back-up 24-volt dc unit. Two power steering pumps, and a pair of heavy-duty pumps from the PTO on the transmissions can drive the Wesmar 3-Term, nine square foot fins as well as both 33-hp, bow and stern thrusters. The automatic oil change system services the mains, the 23- and 15-kW Kohler gensets, and both transmissions. There are eight, 115 Amp AGM marine batteries in boxes for the house system, a pair of 200 Amp, boxed AGM starting batteries per engine, and a 100 Amp heavy-duty battery, also boxed, for each genset. Then there is a pair of shore power isolation transformers with ISO boost, two 75-foot Glendenning Cablemasters, and a 4-kW inverter as well. Couple that with that sturdy, no-nonsense construction and the 680 Endurance more than lives up to her name.

With new owner Ted Lange at the wheel, the 680 Endurance drew smiles and nods of approval from all those aboard during the sea trial.

“One important thing for me was to drive the boat head on into a sea of some size, just like those four footers out there, and avoid the pounding we experienced on many of our other boats,” he said.

To Lange’s delight, the boat was very responsive with no pounding. In addition, and with the stabilizers activated, she was quite comfortable when he put the boat sideways in the trough of the waves with no way on. He also steered her in following and quartering seas and in both situations, she responded very well. “The rudders are large enough to steer the boat without any difficulty,” he said. “I was quite pleased with the sea trial and at no time, experienced any negative attributes.”

Analyzing her numbers also proved on the positive side, especially with the ability to trawl along at 8.4 knots and a stingy total fuel burn of some 8gph. Doing the math based on her 2,000 gallons of fuel, and at 1000 rpm, one can expect a range of near 2,416sm/2,100nm with about 250 hours of running time. “On the performance side, the 680 is all there,” remarked Roberts. “You can get the kind of economy and range you want from her as well as being able to get up and go should the weather or conditions warrant it.”

If you put all the little things aboard Hampton’s 680 Endurance LRC together, the result is one well-built, well-designed vessel with the kind of layout, appropriate balance between power and efficiency, luxurious accommodations, and cruising abilities to make her light up your radar screen should your next boat fit her profile. Hampton Yachts, (949) 673-6300


Howard ALong respected as one of the industry’s most talented and capable marine architects, Howard Apollonio’s track record speaks for itself: Design engineer and naval architect for the marine division of Sikorsky Aircraft; project engineer for Jacuzzi Brothers; Chief Naval Architect for Teledyne; Naval Architect for Marine Construction & Design Company; U.S. Navy Engineering Manager for Uniflite; Owner & Principal Design Engineer for Apollonio & Associates; President, NA, PE, Apollonio Naval Architects.

KK: What criteria do you use when approaching a project?

HA: I try to identify what the key issues are for the buyer and/or the market in which the boat is to function and compete.

KK: When did you first consider designing for Hampton?

HA: Hampton Yachts’ Seattle dealer approached me in 2004 in regards to refining a 58-footer ready for production.

KK: How did you match the most efficient power requirements for use on the 680?

HA: It depends on understanding the mission or intent of the user. On the 680, weight and performance estimate cycles were done to identify power and speed combinations to suit the hull’s potential. The Cat C18’s, at commercial rating, were chosen for their efficiency when operated at or below 1800 rpm.

KK: Hampton is known for, among other notable attributes, taking maximum advantage of space both inside and out. Given the finite space aboard the 680, for example, how does your design achieve this?

HA: The Endurance Series are like two boats in one; a most seaworthy, efficient passagemaker combined with a no-compromised yacht possessing generous living spaces. The roominess is the result of designer, builder, and dealer teamwork with care taken to provide generous headroom, walking/visual space, step heights, diverse sightlines, and passageway widths and logical traffic patterns. In addition, colors, mirrors, lighting, both natural and artificial, all help to enhance the spaciousness. Finally, Anchor Yachts’ Sandy Roberts’ sophisticated décor provides a positive counterpoint to Hampton’s fine woodwork and detailing.

OWNER PROFILE: Mr. & Mrs. Lange Get What They Wanted…And Needed.

MM Lange3Ted Lange and his wife are veteran boaters and have put some 50 years in their many wakes. “We’ve had everything from 51-footers up to a 151,” Lange said, beaming that new owner smile as we met in the engine room of his new boat. “At this stage in our lives, being in our mid-70’s, we wanted a boat we could handle by ourselves. We liked all we had heard and read about the Hampton boats and decided to have a closer look. The size, interior arrangement, and equipment were just what we were looking for. We were very impressed.”

Lange also mentioned the input Roberts had with the factory. “Forest has had input on some suggested improvements with the factory in China and I think they have taken most of those as they certainly show up in the operation of the boat.”

The Lange’s will be spending the winter in the Bahamas aboard their new Endurance 680.


TEST CONDITIONS: Speeds were measured by GPS off of Ft. Lauderdale in 3-4 foot seas with 10-15 knots of wind, with full fuel and water, and six people on board. Fuel consumption was calculated by the electronic engine monitoring system.


800          4                   4
1000        8.4                     8
1200        10.6              14
1400        11.7              22
1600        12.3              38
1800        14.0              52
2000        16.0              64
2100        17.1              82
2200        19.2              90

LOA: 68’0”
LWL: 64’8”
BEAM: 18’8”
DRAFT: 5’2”
DISPL.: 110,000 lbs.
WATER: 400 gal.
FUEL: 2,000 gal.
DEADRISE: 9 degrees at transom
ENGINES TESTED: 2 x 873-hp Caterpillar C18 diesels


Posted by on December 13, 2012 in Sea Trials



Sea Trials

Hemingway at the wheelProject 70007

Delta looks back to its much celebrated commercial past for a retrofit on a 70-foot expedition yacht that is definitely worth her salt.

By Capt. Ken Kreisler

It is clear why Delta 70007 is truly the stuff that nautical dreams are made on.

It is clear why Delta 70007 is truly the stuff that nautical dreams are made of.

According to information posted on the Delta Marine site, the details on Project 175038 are confidential—it is however, a 175-footer as the first three numbers indicate—while those of the 164041 and 156039 builds, and the already-named Monarch, at 150’8”/46.2m and Invader, measuring an impressive 215’/66.5m, are not. Then there was one tagged as Project 70007 that I was most interested in.

iWith its unique, in-house team of technicians, marine architects, and craftsmen, the Delta Design Team can create any vision.

With its unique, in-house team of technicians, marine architects, and craftsmen, the Delta Design Team can create any vision.

P70007 was launched in 1990—the first 70 hull was delivered in 1986—and was one of five in the series of 70-foot boats built by Delta to yacht standards. They were designed after the builder’s easily recognized and sea-proven commercial fishing vessels; those with prominent high bows and a rough-and-tumble, no nonsense profile that promised adventure limited only by imagination and the will to be aboard a boat of this configuration. Indeed, one of them, the well-known Zoepilote, owned by former race car driver and film director Bruce Kessler, went around the world. Because it traveled so extensively and visited so many ports, especially in Europe, the dock talk spread far and wide and soon enough, Delta found itself picking up momentum in the yacht building industry. And like a dream come true, I found myself walking down the dock during a recent trip to the Pacific Northwest with P70007 sitting out there as the distant snow-capped mountain peaks began making an appearance in the mid-morning hours.

Delta began building commercial fishing boats back in the 1960’s when brothers Ivor and Jack Jones opened the yard on Seattle, Washington’s Duwamish River. With names such as Bobbi Dee, Tanaga, and Nakchamik emblazoned high on their proud bows, the fleet of rugged Delta-built vessels slid down the ways and plied the dangerous waters of Alaska and the Bering Sea in search of full nets and holds. They ranged in size from 30 feet up to 70 feet and their profiles were as varied as their missions: from charter boats to patrol and Coast Guard vessels to purse seiners and crabbers. When federal regulations caused the fishing industry to change in the mid to late 1980’s, the Jones brothers decided to take their largest commercial hull and build a yacht out of it. And it was with the John Shubert-designed 70 foot hull that things took on an extra special quality both in practical sea keeping abilities as well as function and appearance.

 “This boat, being the transition hull from commercial builds to yachts, is part of Delta’s history and special to the company and to our family,” said Michelle Jones, Ivor’s daughter who, with her cousin Chris, Jack’s son, is for all intents and purposes, the next generation in charge of Delta Marine. His focus is in project management while hers is in sales and marketing.

Elegance and practicality are perfectly blended in the main salon.

Elegance and practicality are perfectly blended in the main salon.

“It means a lot to who we are and where we came from,” she added while we got comfortable in the main salon area. “The 70 hull is the perfect boat for a builder; it’s a manageable size where it can be taken out for some local fun and, of course, for much longer excursions,” Chris said. “The boat’s owner was getting on in years and decided to sell it. We bought it with the idea of a retrofit and decided to make it our first design project. And since we’re so well known for our expedition-style vessels, one of the things that we’re so keen on is her timelessness. I mean, just look at her lines.”

I had to agree with Chris. The same lines that were realized back in 1990 still look as dynamic and pleasing 22 years later. “Both of our parents are really good under pressure, have great ideas, and in the end, take the kinds of risks that usually result in a positive outcome,” recollected Michelle as we discussed the switch from the commercial/work boat end of the industry to the design and building of yachts and how important appearances were.

While some of the functions stay the same; that being a tough, ocean-going vessel with a lot of range—approximately 4,000 miles at 10 knots for Project 70007—one of the more important aspects of the refit conception was, while keeping her salty, no-nonsense exterior intact, to make sure all her interior creature comforts were properly upgraded to not only 21st century standards, but to those high bar factors Delta is so well known for as well. “If you go to a commercial yard that specializes in barges, you’re not going to get the kind of fit and finish that we deliver,” said Chris.

Comfort is guaranteed in the living accommodations.

Comfort is guaranteed in the living accommodations.

With the late 1980’s interior fairly modern for the time, including lots of color, the Delta Design Team, led by Jay Minor, who, by the way, came up under John Shubert, put on their building hats and began to figure out how to imbue the living spaces with the kind of timeless presentation they wanted. “As I said, this particular boat is very historic to the company so when we took on the project, we made sure to leave nothing to chance,” said Michelle. And that meant going back to classic yacht design.

As with most successful companies that enjoy their kind of longevity, Delta Marine still has some of the original workers that were there when Ivor and Jack first opened the doors and are now on second generation family members as well. “It’s not only us,” Michelle said, indicating Chris. “Some of the same workers that started building this very boat back then have watched their sons work on this one. And that means the same kind of work ethic, and loyalty and pride in the job that results in the level of craftsmanship you see here.”

With plenty of storage areas, the galley is definitely one of the more prominent focal points aboard.

With plenty of storage areas, the galley is definitely one of the more prominent focal points aboard.

What is seen here is nothing short of the kind of wood and finish work that, even to the untrained eye, is quite impressive including mahogany soles, masterfully crafted built-in furniture with burl veneers and wood painted overheads. “We really liked the theme our team developed when they worked with the Setzer Design Group on the interior of the 123-foot Marama, one of our 2008 builds,” said Michelle. “And we decided to go with that look for our 70 project.” As they would find out, there was much more involved than just an interior makeover.

When Michelle and Chris first took the boat over, their thoughts were more in the fix or replace mode; new carpets, cabinets, soft goods and upholsteries. But that soon spiraled up to a let’s-get-rid-of-everything attitude. Every piece of woodwork is new as is the electronics, wiring and plumbing; the Dometic 10 ton air conditioning, Naiad stabilizers, 16-inch American Trac II bow thruster, 900gpd Aqua Whisper Sea Recovery water maker, 3,000 lb. Marquipt crane, and twin Kohler 36- and 20-kW gensets. “With the engine, that being a 402-hp Cat 3408, and since it only had a couple of thousand hours on it, we had a Cat tech put a fluoroscope inside and have a look. When everything checked out, it stayed.”

One of the more important considerations they kept in focus was in making the yacht quieter. “We did a good job back then,” Chris said, “But with sound technologies evolving over the years, we focused on the engine room, engine mounts and couplings, put in sub walls and triple overheads with lots of insulation, and replaced all the gaskets on the doors. Anywhere we could, we got sound levels down.”

“Our boats are continuing to evolve and we’re doing several proposals on some pretty big vessels right now. Hopefully Michelle and I, along with our fathers and other family members, can bring the company to the next tier by constantly focusing on how we can put out the very best product there is,” said Chris. With the kind of heritage Delta possesses, I would hard-pressed to think the company would not be on my short list twenty years from now without the same pedigree, legacy, and cache it now enjoys.

While we all have that special certain something for our boats, no matter what size or configuration she may be, it is the heart-thumping, dream-inducing kind of feelings one can easily conjure up while imagining being at the helm of the Delta 70 that I think best exemplifies a favorite and insightful quote of mine from Stephen Crane’s The Open Boat: “The mind of the master of a vessel is rooted deep in the timbers of her, though he command for a day or a decade…”. Indeed, she is the kind of boat that gets right into your very soul and confirms, beyond a doubt, why you even go out on the water in the first place. Delta Marine, 206.763.2383.


LOA: 70’/21.3m
LWL: 65’6″/20.0m
BEAM: 20’/6.1m
DRAFT: 9’/2.7m @ half load
DISPL.: 100 long tons @ half load
ENGINES: CAT 3408BHp @ 1800rpm
SPEED: 11.5kn
CRUISE: 11kn
FUEL: 4,400 USg/16,656L
RANGE: 4,000nm @ 10kn
GENERATORS: Kohler 36kW/Kohler 20kW
STABILIZERS: Naiad 254 (updated 3-term electronic control)
BOW THRUSTER: American Trac II 16″
FRESH WATER: 2,000USg/7,571L
WATER MAKER: Sea Recovery Aqua Whisper @ 900gpd
AIR CONDITIONING: Dometic 10 ton
PAINT: Awlgrip
BUILDER/YEAR: Delta/1990/2010
TENDERS: 20′ C-Dory/12′ Rendova
CRANE: Marquipt 50K Sea Crane 3,000lb.

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Posted by on December 12, 2012 in Sea Trials



Sea Trials

Hemingway at the wheelA Good Call

The all new VIKING 55C easily picks up where her much-admired predecessor left off.

By Capt. Ken Kreisler

The Viking 55C runs proud to a heritage that is built on pride of craftsmanship and a name that is synonomous with the best that a fishing boat has to offer.

The Viking 55C runs on a heritage built on pride of craftsmanship and a name synonymous with the best a fishing boat has to offer.

As all freelance writers can readily attest to, the sound of one’s own phone ringing is a joyous noise and when mine sounded off one particular day, I was quite busy negotiating getting a 47-foot catamaran out of her dock in reverse. While I pride myself on being a competent and intelligent multi-tasker, when it comes to safety, as in this tricky maneuver given having to deal with both a rather insistent breeze and a rip-roaring incoming tide, I decided to wait before picking up the phone until I had comfortably cleared the close-quartered pier and put my current charge on course for the preferred channel.

After the last time I spoke with Marlin editor Dave Ferrell, I quickly found myself with billfish-tight lines for several days in the waters off Isla Mujeres, Cancun, Mexico. And while New Gretna, NJ’s Bass River does not teem with any kind of significant game fish, it is home to a very specific top-of-the-line predator of another genus. For this is where Viking Yachts are designed and built and my quarry this outing is nothing less than the brand spanking new Viking 55C.

Before we jump aboard and have a go at her, there is a little background information on this latest offering from the highly-respected company that will shed some light on this particular vessel’s importance in the Viking line up.

The first 55C, drawn by Bruce Wilson—with Viking since 1968 by the way—was introduced at the 1996 Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show. It was so well-received that 153 hulls later, the boat had established itself as one of the premier sportfishing boats in its size and accordingly, occupied a strategic place in the Viking fleet. As equally impressive is the fact that Wilson’s son Dave is responsible for designing the new 55.

In describing the 55 from the bottom up, Wilson explained how the convex shape is softened up a bit in the midsections. “We’re always looking to refine it some with tank testing; maybe drop the deadrise two degrees and then another. This new 55 is at 12 degrees at the transom where my dad’s boat was at 15/15 ½. Among other things, we’ve been working at getting a sharper entry up front and a little flatter in the back for a more improved and efficient planning area aft,” remarked Wilson. “Nothing too exotic here and we weren’t looking for any buzz words to describe the design. It is what it is; and if you come out with a good product you can call it a Viking,” he says with pride.

One of the many sisterships to my 55C test boat waits to move up the line at the Viking plant.

One of the many sister ships to my 55C test boat waits to move up the line at the Viking plant.

Besides the several factory visits at those strategic times during a new build, it has always been my assertion that one should first look at the engine room space before anything else on board. For it is here that one can readily see if the kind of thought and planning for such an important area is up to the task. If it is, you can just about count on everything else to follow suit. And that is just what I did.

With Viking’s Peter Frederiksen as my guide, I easily lifted the upper cockpit’s centerline hatch and, after comfortably negotiating the stairs, entered the space. My first impression was that this is a roomy and hands-on friendly space with the kind of work room that would all but eliminate the elbow-busting, knuckle-scraping conditions that are often present in engine rooms of similar sized boats. There is a bright white Awlgripped finish on the overhead and bulkheads and the Viking engineering staff fit in the pair of new MAN V12 1,550hp CRM power plants so as to provide complete access on both inboard and outboard sides. Among many other outstanding features, the latest from MAN offers maintenance-free, gear-driven fresh-water pumps, starter motors that can be fitted to both sides, multi-stage injection for quiet operation; and as I would find out during my performance runs, powerful acceleration and excellent and lightning quick reaction to the throttle. With this kind of power and room to move, this space is a skipper’s dream.

“We try, all the time, to always improve on things on all our boats; to find either a better design or a simpler method,” said Frederiksen as, making his point, showed me the centralized water system on the engine room’s forward bulkhead. Driven by a single, high output, continuous duty pump—yes, there is a backup just in case—with access to all the shut off valves, this system eliminates the need for any other ones to drive the live well, for example, any refrigeration that needs water, the wash downs, shaved ice unit, or water maker. “And if you don’t need a specific system, you can shut it off. It’s all done from right here.”

Efficient use of resin infusion is a major part of the Viking approach to its boat building. Weight saving along with stronger hulls and parts, and a cleaner, more environmentally safe work space definitely makes the company’s A list. “We are using a lot more cored material; like foam and balsa coring in the bulkheads, bringing in new composites, and being careful to look for anywhere to save some weight,” said Wilson.

Along with many of the smaller parts, including up on the bridge and underneath the hardtop, fuel and holding tanks and shower compartments, the 55’s hull has also been infused. Other notable Viking construction techniques include vinyl and polyester resins used in structural laminates and topsides, fiberglass side thru-hulls, prop pockets for draft reduction, solid reinforced keel, encapsulated foam fiberglass stringer system, and vacuum bagged composite bulkheads including the engine room, intermediate engine room, and forward bulkhead.

Viking prides itself on the company’s ability to provide almost ninety percent of everything you find on its boats being supplied by its own design, engineering, and manufacturing entities. And that includes the interior as well. Entering from the cockpit, the sliding door opens up to a well-balanced and functional salon.

This salon layout is one of many interior options available on the 55C.

This salon layout is one of many interior options available on the 55C.

On this 55, there is a C-shape leather couch to port—the cushions are removable with storage areas beneath—and a dinette just forward. The galley is to starboard and is available in either an island or peninsula configuration; the latter allows for a bit more counter space and can include a trash compactor as well. There is ample cabinet storage above the three burner electric stove top and sink and in either arrangement, the four drawer, under counter Sub Zero units make this galley capable of quick eats for busy fishermen or an elegant sit down dinner once the day is done.

The master stateroom offers style and comfort.

The master stateroom offers style and comfort.

The 55C is equipped with a three stateroom, two head layout. The master, with an en suite head, is to starboard with the two-berth quarters directly to port. The forepeak, available in either island berth or angled over under configuration, shares the port side head with the stateroom on that side. All these well-appointed living spaces are quite roomy with excellent headroom and adequate storage. And no matter where I looked or examined, I found excellent fit and finish complementing the tasteful décor all around.

Driving the 55C is nothing short of exhilarating and reminiscent of taking the wheel of a well-tuned and performance-oriented sports car; the result being an exciting and impressively hot nautical ride. While my test day saw clear skies, marginal wind, and flat calm seas, there is no doubt in my mind that she is all Viking and would relish some challenging seas. When I called upon the twin MAN V12’s for a full throttle run, remarking how quickly she came up out of the hole and settled in to spooling up 41 knots, I noticed how responsive the steering was and how well she answered the helm. Whether carving long and looping S-curves, letting her dig in either on port or starboard sides during hard over maneuvers, playing backing down on a near-grander, or just sitting back and letting her run straight and true, near instantaneous control was mine. At 2050 rpm, she settled into a comfortable 34.7 knots and when I knocked her down to 1800, watched the instruments log a 29.8 knot speed with a 93gph total fuel burn. At this rate, this particular boat could expect a range of approximately 440 nautical miles. And throughout my entire performance testing, not once did I detect any kind of smoke or exhaust from the engines.

When I told him about the 55’s remarkable and quick response to the helm, Wilson offered some first-hand insight. “The change here is due to some subtle distances we added between the rudders and the propellers and the space from the rudder to the transom. And like most of the things we’ve learned, it comes from the success on the other boats we’ve built.”

Unfortunately for me, but quite fortunate for her new owner, this 55C was sold and therefore, unavailable for a day of offshore fishing. Really too bad as the late summer bite off the Jersey coast was doing very well and having fished on many Vikings in the past, this kind of outing would have been something I would have truly relished.

The 151 square foot, self-bailing cockpit is Viking-ready for action and packed with all the requisite equipment to make her both a formidable participant on the tournament circuit or hosting a day with some family and friends. The extended flying bridge overhang can provide shade during particularly sunny days while the now-indispensable port aft facing mezzanine not only provides a “fifty yard line” seat for all the action but holds freezer compartment, insulated storage spaces, and tackle drawers as well. Add an optional fighting chair, an additional live well in the sole, and a pair of Rupp ‘riggers to her live well/tuna tube at the transom, her side gaff lockers, rod holders, and in-sole fish boxes, and all you will need to provide is a crew.

Topsides, the flying bridge is available two ways; the first is the traditional set up with access to the forward area over on the starboard side or in a ‘center console’ style. Either way, there is comfortable seating, ample storage areas, and excellent sightlines for the skipper not only into the cockpit, but out into the seaway when performing backing down maneuvers as well. You can customize the helm station to your liking with a variety of options and electronics as well as selecting a full enclosure or hardtop.

Yours truly making the call that will hopefully, get me out on this boat looking for deep waters and tight lines.

Yours truly making the call that will hopefully, get me out on this boat again, this time looking for deep waters and tight lines.

As we backed her into the make-ready dock, where over the next week or two she would get her finishing touches for her impending delivery, I had two thoughts. Firstly, I applaud Viking’s decision to re-introduce the Dave Wilson-designed 55C to the convertible line up. Given its size, power, performance, amenities on both its fishing prowess—it is a Viking after all—and creature comforts, there is little wonder the plant is already eight hulls out. She is truly a boat for the times

My second thought came in an admittedly selfish moment. I hoped that sometime in the future, and sooner rather than later, my phone would ring with an invitation to spend some time fishing on a new 55C.    Now that would be a really good call.

Viking 55 Convertible  Specifications

Length Overall (LOA): 56′ 5″ (17.20 m)
Beam: 17′ 9 (5.41 m)
Draft: 5′ 1″ (1.55 m)
Gross Weight*: 77,700 lbs. (35,244 kg)
Fuel Capacity: 1,414 gals. (5,353 l)
Water Capacity: 225 gals. (852 l)
Cockpit Area: 151 sq.ft. (14.0 sq. m.)
* Standard Fuel Load

Power: 2x 1,550 mhp MAN V12 CRM diesels
Fuel: Full, 1,414 gallons, standard
Water: Full, 225 gallons
POB: 3

RPM             Knots    Total GPH   NM range @ 95%   DBA
1500             20.5        62                444                           82
1600             24.8        73                456                           83
1700             27.0        83                436                           85
1800             29.8        93                440                           86
2000             34.2        108              435                           87
2050             34.7        119              398                           87
2100             36.0        124              399                           88
2200             38.2        138              380                           89
2300             40.1        147              373                           90
2330             41.2        158              357                           91
(2050 is typical cruise speed.)

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Posted by on December 12, 2012 in Sea Trials