With its new flagship, Coastal Craft stays true to its successful approach, delivering top-quality construction in a high-performance yacht.

Reviewing new boats is one of the most enjoyable parts of any marine writer’s life. Not only do we see the latest designs and goodies from a variety of manufacturers, but we get to play Walter Mitty and dream about owning examples of the boats we test.

When Coastal Craft founder Jeff Rhodes took me out on Vancouver’s English Bay aboard the company’s new 56’ flagship, that very thought was uppermost in my mind. This one might be beyond my budget but I finished the test thinking I might just be able to afford one of its smaller siblings. I was impressed. My notes were full of superlatives and our ride at speed only confirmed my early impressions.

Hull #2 of the Coastal Craft 560 has recently been delivered, but the owners of Hull #1 graciously allow Rhodes to use her for demos and boat shows. I had seen her under construction last winter on a tour of the Gibsons, BC factory. Then, she was all components, bare metal, wiring and a swarm of workers. Now she’s a top-line performance yacht and looks the part.

From a distance there is no mistaking her Coastal Craft heritage. The reverse-raked windshield, compound curve of the sheer and deep royal blue hull paint all shout Coastal Craft – with a subtext of “watch me go!”

From closer up I was struck by the vessel’s size. Most 50-plus-footers have a third deck in the flying bridge, adding height. But this model’s performance at speed makes a permanent bimini impractical, so the 56 has two decks and similar proportions to the rest of the Coastal Craft line, with an open flying bridge. It never looks overly large but once alongside you are aware of her length. The proportions seem just right.

The finish is impeccable. The boat had already gathered a group of admirers by the time I arrived dockside, and they were all surprised to learn it was welded aluminum. The mirror-like finish of the hull looks like premium fiberglass. And the bow has an almost sensual compound-curved flare.

Stepping aboard through the transom door, we passed over the substantial aft deck, teak-covered and easily large enough to seat six or eight around the U-shaped table – and more with portable deck chairs. I was impressed with the quality of all hardware and fittings. All doors closed with a reassuring “thunk” and there were no gaps in any closure.

INTERIOR

The interior is finished in off-white and earth tones, very muted but classy. The paneling is a warm teak that contrasts nicely with the soft fabrics. And the woodwork is all the more attractive because the builders have taken extra care to match grain on all cabinetry.

The owners of our test boat specified a large dinette because they do a lot of entertaining. The triangular dinette table takes up the port side of the saloon while to starboard is a love seat-sized sofa. The dinette is raised about six inches to allow easy sight lines outside, while the sofa is mounted flush on the sole. The galley is amidships to port, and all appliances and most storage are fitted below counter height. Nothing intrudes into the space above, providing excellent all-round visibility for crew and passengers alike.

As Rhodes walked me through the boat, it was clear that there is a huge amount of storage in the galley and saloon, indeed throughout. Countless drawers and cupboards held everything from provisions to supplies to china and stemware, as well as navigation accessories. With everything tucked away, the interior looked very clean and uncluttered.

The helm is located to starboard opposite the galley and is fitted with twin Stidd chairs. The boat has four control stations: at the main helm, flying bridge and aft deck port and starboard. At the main helm, controls are standard save the addition of the Volvo Penta IPS joystick mounted on the skipper’s armrest to starboard.

In front of the helm was space for three full 15” navigation screens, as well as the display for the E-Plex monitoring and control systems. The boat was fitted with a Garmin navigation system that incorporated plotter, radar, depth sounder, three onboard cameras, Flir night vision and engine instruments. Anything that is monitored can be displayed on one of these screens at the helm, and all are repeated at the upper helm.

Access to the below-deck service space is through a hatch at the front of the saloon. Another access hatch is farther aft. Down a short three-step ladder, the entire mechanical and electrical systems are revealed. It’s a hands-and-knees space but amazingly comfortable. All key components that need servicing are within easy reach, such as the battery bank, inverters and chargers, Racor fuel filters, and the heating and cooling systems. Everything is properly labeled, and all installations are operating-room tidy.

Most owners won’t spend much time below decks, other than for routine maintenance. And even that will be minimized as the batteries are sealed Lithium-Ion, for example, and other systems are designed to need minimum attention. The key is the E-Plex system that allows the skipper to monitor and control all operating systems from the helm.

ACCOMMODATIONS

The 560 is a true twin-stateroom yacht. The guest stateroom is aft with access through a portside companionway at the rear of the saloon. Two generous single berths extend forward under the dinette – they are full-sized but has modest ceiling height over the berth itself. A three-piece head is complete with a full-sized shower. Sliding doorways on the companionway ensure privacy. This stateroom has its own lighting and HVAC controls, separate from the rest of the boat, so guests will feel comfortable and in control of their own space.

The master stateroom is forward, with access just to port and past the helm and galley. Down three steps is an entry area that hides the full-sized Miele washer and dryer, neatly installed behind paneled access doors. The walk-around master berth is just four inches shy of a full king width, a compromise to maximize sleeping comfort and still allow free access to the built-in drawers and hanging lockers alongside. A full-sized head is forward with a separate shower; countertops are granite. The master head has real marble flooring.

Lighting is Imtra LED throughout, all controlled through the E-Plex system, as is the Bose sound system.

From the aft deck, a stunning open stairway to port – dramatically formed in stainless steel with teak treads – leads to the flying bridge. Sliding companionway doors open onto to an expansive upper deck. There is room here for a good-sized tender with outboard on davits, and generous entertaining space for at least eight guests.

Access to the engine compartment is via a hydraulically-operated hatch in the aft deck. The hatch swings up and aft as the sculpted stair unit splits at mid-height to open wide, showing the twin 900-hp Volvo Penta D13 common-rail diesels. These engines are the largest in the Volvo family, but Coastal Craft will also install their smaller 800-hp siblings. The Volvos are matched to a pair of the largest forward-facing IPS drive units.

This aft compartment is only for the engines. All other systems are housed and accessed separately, ensuring better cleanliness and heat isolation from the rest of the boat.

PERFORMANCE

Once our tour was complete, Rhodes took us out for the highlight of the day, some low-speed maneuvering, then a run at speed. To demonstrate the ultra-maneuverability of the low-speed IPS joystick control, Rhodes snaked us away from the Horseshoe Bay public dock, past rows of marina moorage and out around the breakwater to open water. At idle, the massive Volvos pushed the 65,000-lb hull at over six knots, but if the slow-speed maneuvering feature is engaged this slows to three knots.

As Rhodes opened the throttles gradually and we climbed steadily onto plane, I was impressed that the bow hardly rose at all – we climbed straight up and out. Before there was any sensation of speed, we were doing 25 knots. The hull felt totally at ease, as if it could do this all day. We tried several acceleration runs, each a bit more aggressive, and the boat’s demeanor remained straight and true, solid and confidence-inspiring. With just two of us and a light load of fuel and water aboard, we approached maximum cruising speeds in the high 30s. Even at these speeds the boat is very quiet.

An emergency avoidance maneuver was a very tight turn with no need to cut the throttles. The turns were true, with minimal lean and no drama. Our figure-eight demos and a couple of passing ferries created a fair wash, but the 560 handled the chop with grace. Solid and comfortable were the words that came to mind. Oh, yes, and total fun!

There is much more about the 560 and its systems and options than we can describe here. My conclusion was that the highest quality in design and construction is matched by all components and the complete build package. Coastal Craft brings sport yacht performance to an ultra-quality vessel. Rhodes and his Coastal Craft team are perfecting this approach, and their growing order book shows it’s exactly what their customers want. I’m just wondering what I can trim out of my personal budget to be able to take one home.

Specifications
LOA                56’ 6’’
LWL                48’ 6”
Beam                16’ 6”
Draft                4’ 9”
Fuel Capacity            800 US gal/3,028 L
Water Capacity        180 US gal/681 L
Waste Capacity        70 US gal/265 L
Propulsion (standard)    Twin Volvo D13 800-hp diesels with IPS3 drives
Cruising Speed        30 knots
Maximum Speed         38 knots
Loaded Displacement    65,000 lbs
Range (at cruise)        400 miles
Range at 8 knots        1,000 miles

www.coastalcraft.com

Performance

RPM        Speed (knots)        Economy (US GPH)
0600        6.5            3.0    
0800        8.9            8.1
1000        10.9            13.5
1200        12.5            22.2        
1400        17.0            32.4
1600        21.0            42.0         
1700        23.2            44.5
1800        25.3            49.3
1900        27.4            54.5
2000        30.0            60.0
2100        33.0            66.2
2200        34.5            73.3
2300        36.8            82.2
2370        38.2            87.3

Load: 90 percent fuel, 100 percent water, with three passengers.

PHOTO CAPTIONS
Photo 1 - With just two main decks, the 560 has a low-slung, purposeful look that emphasizes its performance pedigree.
Photo 2 & 3 - An expansive upper deck has room for a large tender and generous space for seating and entertaining.
Photo 4 - Saloon with a view: appliances and storage are kept below counter level to preserve all-around visibility.
Photo 5 - The main helm is fitted with twin Stidd chairs and multiple displays for electronics, instruments, and an E-Plex monitor and control system.
Photo 6 - Up forward, the master stateroom offers a large island berth and extensive storage in drawers and hanging lockers.
Photo 7 - The guest stateroom aft extends under the dinette, with its own full head and climate control separate from the rest of the boat.

Story by Robert Buller
Photos by Neil Rabinowitz, © www.neilrabinowitz.com

Related Articles
Power
  • 01 May 2019
  • By Ethan

Grand Banks 60 Skylounge

Designed and built to cruise the world’s oceans, the Grand Banks 60 Skylounge offers abundant outdoor spaces with the protection of a fully-enclosed flybridge for perfect comfort in any...

Lifestyle

  • Prev
My name is Alexandrine GOVAN, mother of a 5 years old girl and I found your contact on internet. ...
John Booth, who passed away just a few weeks ago was one of the most amazingly gifted and ...
We left Vero Beach on Saturday morning with Alicia, a boat from Sweden, following close behind. The ...
At the end of last month, Canadian sailors gathered on the Palma Beach in Palma de Mallorca, Spain ...
In 2019, C-TOW celebrates its 35th anniversary of providing 24/7 “Peace of Mind Boating” for ...
West Vancouver Yacht Club reports that following an independent certification process the Georgia ...
It has been hot in the Abacos this winter. Whoever said this area was cool this time of year must ...
Unfortunately this is not a picture from a boat but was taken on the evening of February 27, 2019 ...
On March 1, Tom Ramshaw of Stoney Lake Yacht Club was honoured with the most prestigious National ...
Vero Beach, aka Velcro Beach, lived up to its reputation again. Our original plan was to be there ...

DIY & How to

  • Prev
If you’ve spent any time in a boat yard during spring commissioning season, you won’t find it out ...
As a busy marine mechanic, I tend to have the same or similar conversations often, and they’re ...
This time of year, great deals abound. That boat with the ‘for sale’ sign looks quite attractive. ...
For less than US$2,500, Jim Leshaw, a lawyer who lives and works in Key Biscayne, Florida, ...
Each spring, I tend to notice canvas. I wish it was because it’s been immaculately maintained and ...
I’ve had two emails over the past few weeks with a count-down to launch (47 days per the last ...
Last time we looked at making proper electrical connections – the tools, supplies and methods ...
Winter is a great time to look at some of the hidden spaces on your boat – to take stock of what is ...
When a boat is in the water, the bilge will often collect water that enters the boat from weather, ...
Recently I suggested doing an off-season (winter) project with a potential client, and my ...

Valvetech Bridgewater MarinaFor many years now, we have used gasoline in our cars and trucks that contains some amount of ethanol, a form of alcohol, and just as a few drops of water combine almost instantly in your Scotch, moisture from the atmosphere can combine with the ethanol in the gasoline that is in your boat’s fuel tank.

Your motor vehicle has a sealed fuel system to control evaporative losses that are a source of air pollution. Fuel is moved into the engine under pressure and any drips that might escape, drop onto the pavement. The engine is open to the pavement below. In an inboard boat, the hull is below the engine and any drips will collect in the bilge with potentially explosive consequences. 

Read more about gasoline containing ethanol......

 

  

Grand Banks 60 SkyloungeThe Canadian market has always been a tough nut for yacht designers to figure out. Summer days get really hot; other days are downright cold. There is always the chance things could change in the blink of an eye and let’s be honest, who among us hasn’t stepped off the boat wearing shorts, flip flops and a warm jacket? Canadian yachting has always been a world of contradictions, which is why designing cruising yachts for this market has never been easy. It’s not like Florida or the Med, where weather is dependable throughout the year.

 

 

Read more about the Grand Banks 60 Skylounge............

 

ILCA DinghyAustin, Texas, USA (25 April 2019) – In the wake of last month’s termination of its contract with its European builder, the International Laser Class Association (ILCA) announced today that, from 25 April 2019, all new, class-approved boats will be sold and raced under the “ILCA Dinghy” name. This change will have no impact on existing ILCA-authorized boats and equipment, which will be able to race alongside ILCA Dinghies in all class sanctioned events.


“It’s a big change for a racing class that hasn’t seen anything like this in our almost 50- year history,” said Class President Tracy Usher.

Read More about the ILCA Dinghy............

Destinations

  • Prev
NW Explorations, a Bellingham, Washington-based yacht charter, brokerage, and marine services ...
If you haven’t cruised the Rideau Canal before, you have missed a special treat and even if you ...
At the 2019 Vancouver International Boat Show I had the pleasure of meeting up with Allyson and ...
Following the harsh impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, The British Virgin Islands is making an ...
For the adventurous boater Bunsby Marine Provincial Park is a special place, situated due south of ...
There is good anchoring in Cowichan Bay and nearby, and salt water enough to make any boater happy. ...
We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set ...
The Halifax waterfront has been attracting more and more large yachts in recent years. However, a ...
Ah Canadian simplicity at its finest; small town, big marina. Little Hilton Beach (population ...
Vancouver-based Big Blue Yacht Charters Worldwide owner Emma Murdoch explains that luxury crewed ...


The DocksBy Katherine Stone

Docks are well-lit and wide to accommodate dock carts.

Steeped in tradition that goes back to one of the oldest towns in Canada west of Quebec City, is Penetanguishene. This bilingual community of 9,000 is located in the middle of Huronia on the southeasterly tip of Georgian Bay in Simcoe Country, Ontario. The name is believed to have been derived from Algonquin (also believed to have come from the Wendat, Abenaki and Ojibwe tribes) meaning “place of the white rolling sands”. 

Read more about the Hindson Marina..........

 

Marine Products

  • Prev
With the introduction of the Ion Power Basic, a safe Lithium Ion battery formulated with Lithium, ...
Finding a car brand that you enjoy while it does what you need can be tough, as they can be ...
Yikes! No boat refrigeration? You’ve Got to be Kidding me!! But then again, true campers don’t use ...
The Walker Bay Venture 14 claims to be the world’s first luxury Explorer Sport Tender. It is ...
Mercury Marine is pleased to announce the launch of the new MerCruiser V8 6.2L 370hp Jet Ready ...
My history with the Cayenne goes back many years, as I was at the launch of the original vehicle ...
Last month, Mercury Marine has announced the launch of the 400hp Verado outboard engine, the ...
Featuring advanced, intuitive 3D controls, Zipwake Dynamic Trim Control Systems deliver a more ...
Gina de Vere approached me at the Canadian Yachting booth at this year’s Vancouver International ...
A revolutionary “assisted docking” system that provides a glimpse into the future of boating ...