Story by Duart Snow

Photos by Neil Rabinowitz

BC’s Coastal Craft has established a solid reputation for pushing the envelope in aluminum yacht construction and utilizing new technologies to make its boats “smarter” and more livable. But the new 65 Concord represents a significant step up and out even for this innovative builder.

This is Coastal Craft’s biggest boat to date and its curvaceous, swept profile represents a major step away from the leaner lines of its smaller workboat-inspired designs. The 65 is well-proportioned, elegant inside and out, and “smart” in both the aesthetic and technological senses of the term.

And it’s aluminum, you said…?

Coastal Craft president Jeff Rhodes is understandably proud of what his craftsmen have achieved in shaping this boat: “This is a very curvy, shapely, complex hull and superstructure that we’ve built in aluminum. I think it’s quite a feat that we’ve achieved the great effect that we did.” The 65 marks Coastal Craft’s first collaboration with Victoria-based luxury yacht designer Gregory Marshall, whose office contributed hull, structural and interior design, as well as some mechanical engineering.

Inside and out, the look of this boat is clean and understated, without frills or glitz. Its navy blue hull is accented by stainless ports, vents and railings, while the white superstructure sweeps aft to a short cockpit overhang. It accommodates two full decks plus bridge, but its profile is deceptively compact. Attractively striped sapele woodwork and earth-toned soft finishes warm the interior throughout.

Accommodations

From the teak-surfaced swim platform, staircases port and starboard curve up to the aft deck, emerging beside a wide settee with a spacious table that would be ideal for drinks or dinner dockside or at anchor. The cabin door is a heavy-duty fabrication by Ocean Stainless that hinges or folds back to open the salon fully to the cockpit.

Inside to port, a full-height cabinet holds a hanging locker above and an audio-visual rack below for the boat’s extensive entertainment systems. The cabinet immediately forward hides a flat-screen TV that rises up for viewing from the U-shaped settee opposite to starboard.

The raised portside dinette offers nearly 270-degree visibility around the saloon, while the compact U-shaped galley opposite has a safe and functional layout that should work for cooking even under way. The galley is equipped with an induction cooktop, a speed oven and a fridge-freezer, all by Miele, plus a two-drawer Fisher-Paykel dishwasher. There’s extensive storage here in banks of drawers under the marble countertop and in cabinets above, as well as in drawers under the dinette table and the salon settee.

A staircase forward leads down to the boat’s three staterooms: a guest cabin to starboard with twin berths, a VIP cabin forward with an island queen berth, and a full-beam master aft of a small utility/laundry space at the foot of the companion stairs. Each cabin has a head with sink and shower; each also has its own flat-screen TV.

The master is a particularly impressive, bright and livable space, with large Manship opening ports in the hull sides, a 70-inch-wide king bed, a 42-inch TV and storage in 25 drawers and two hanging lockers. The master head immediately aft is very spacious, with twin sinks and a walk-in shower-spa. The walls in each shower are ForzaStone, a laminate of ¼-inch stone over aluminum that provides a rich look and very high strength with significantly less weight than solid stone panels. In-floor heating throughout the accommodation makes padding around in sock or bare feet a treat.

Mechanical Systems

There isn’t space here to do justice to the sophistication of the mechanical, electrical and electronic systems aboard the 65, but here are a few highlights. The boat is powered by twin Volvo 1200 IPS drives, the largest of Volvo’s diesel-pod drive offerings. Increasingly popular in place of traditional shaft drives, IPS drives offer speed, comfort, fuel efficiency, and an ease of handling and close-quarters maneuverability that is hard to believe until you see it in action.

Innovative electrical installations are a Coastal Craft trademark and this boat carries the ball a few yards farther. The core of the 24-volt ship system comprises Genasun lithium-ion batteries (1,440 amp-hours total), three Victron Quattro inverter-chargers, and a 23kW Cummins Onan genset. Only a single generator is needed because the “smart” power system makes maximum use of its battery and charging capacity to accommodate various short or long-term loads, switching seamlessly from batteries to inverter to genset as required.

The boat has no traditional DC or AC breaker panels – house and shore systems feature EnOcean wireless switching that is controlled electronically by an E-Plex power and monitoring system.  In turn, the E-Plex system is controlled by the iPlex app on an iPad that lives in a dedicated dock at the lower helm; the pad is removable and can operate anywhere on or off the boat using WiFi. If there’s a problem with the E-Plex software, banks of electronic switches and breakers are number-coded in the ship’s manual so they can be switched manually.

Other key installations include an ESI fuel-polishing system that does its work inside the tanks, a Spectra Newport 1000 Mk 2 watermaker, and a Humphree Interceptor trim system that replaces traditional trim tabs. The engine room is a walk-thru space with access doors from the swim platform aft and the master head forward.

At the Helm

The 65’s helm and navigation systems are equally game-changing. At the lower station, a pair of very comfortable Stidd chairs perch in front of a tidy, compact dash that holds two Garmin 8215 multi-function displays, monitors for the Volvo propulsion system, the Volvo Joystick autopilot and the ground tackle system, a Silva compass, a Garmin VHF 200 with twin remote mikes, and the flush-mount dock for the ship’s iPad. There are just six traditional rocker switches here for horn, windlass and windshield wipers and washers. The lower installations are duplicated on the bridge, minus the iPad dock.

But the real business happens at the helmsman’s right hand. Throttles and engine controls, the Garmin grid controller, and trim controls are located beside the helm seat, while the chair’s right arm holds the joystick control for the Volvo autopilot and Joystick Steering. The pilot is directed with simple movements of the stick, while major jogs happen instantly with a tip of the stick to port or starboard. “I can’t turn the wheel that fast,” said Rhodes as he demonstrated a sudden tight turn.

“This is a very ergonomic driving position. You can do everything from the chair without even touching the wheel.”
Four joysticks – there is also one at the upper helm station and two more port and starboard in the aft cockpit – enable the helmsman to use the drives to maneuver the vessel deftly in close quarters and while docking.

Smooth Ride

I joined Rhodes for a trip from West Vancouver to the Victoria Boat Show in early May. He impressed me from the get-go by pivoting the boat in its length, swinging the swim platform within a foot or so of the float so I could step aboard, then finishing the 180-degree turn and slipping back out of the confines of Horseshoe Bay. Easy…

The 65 cruises at about 27 knots (2,130 RPM) and tops out at 33 knots (2,380 RPM). At cruise in smooth water we ate up the Strait of Georgia quickly, but the ride inside was deceptively calm and quiet enough for normal conversation. When I stepped outside, though, the wind was blowing, spray flying and we trailed a significant wake. Yes, we were going fast.

Rhodes’ view is that a good line of sight forward – as you get from the raised helm chairs – and low noise levels contribute to crew comfort and enable longer, less tiring runs. That’s true for the driver as well as for the rest of the crew, who could get comfortable enough on the salon settee to read or nap even at speed. Rhodes credits the Marshall group’s design for the hull’s smooth, flat ride. The boat has also proven dry on deck, possibly thanks to a pair of chine “creases” aft of the bow that knock down spray.

We broke our trip at Port Sidney to collect designer Marshall and a few of his staff who worked on the boat for a first look at it en route to the Inner Harbour. They seldom get to see finished products like this, so they were an excited bunch as they explored the boat, snapped pictures and assessed their work.

It was hard not to share in their enthusiasm. The 65 Concord is an impressive product of the West Coast boatbuilding industry – a fast, capable long-haul cruiser that’s bound to turn heads in BC and elsewhere along the West Coast.

SPECIFICATIONS
LOA            67’ 6”/20.6m
LWL            54’/16.5m
Beam             16’ 11”/5.2m
Draft            5’/1.52m
Displacement (half-load)    78,900 lbs/35,788 kg
Regular Fuel Cap.    1,000 US gals
Long-Range Fuel Cap.    1,330 US gals
Fresh Water Cap.    220 US gals
Waste Cap.        125 US gals
Engines            Twin Volvo D13B-G MP 900-hp diesel
Drives            Twin Volvo IPS 1200
Range (@ 24 knots)    500 nautical miles (w Long-Range Fuel)
Price as Tested        $3.8 million CAD

PERFORMANCE
RPM        Speed (knots)
Idle        6.3   
1000         9.7
1400         13.25
1600         16.25
1800        20.35
2000        24.35
2200        28.95
2300        31.25
2380 (WOT)    32.70*
Cruise    27 knots @ 2130 RPM, approx. 67 GPH (US) fuel consumption

*Sea trial data by Volvo Penta.

Photos

Photo 1:  The 65 Concord boasts ultra-clean lines and a nicely proportioned Euro-style profile.
Photo 2:  The main deck offers plenty of social space and nearly 270-degree visibility from salon, dinette and galley. A double cabin door extends this space out onto the aft deck.
Photo 3:  The master stateroom occupies the full beam amidships, with triple opening ports in each side of the hull to admit lots of air and light. It holds a king berth and extensive storage.
Photo 4:  Twin Stidd chairs offer the helmsman and passenger a comfortable, ergonomic post. All controls for engines, steering and instruments are located at the driver’s right hand – no touch of the steering wheel is necessary.
Photo 5:  Smooth ride.

  
  

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