We know the summer is not over yet (and we plan to enjoy it quite a bit more), but we have started planning out 2011-2012 boat show circuit. Whether you are a customer or a broker, there is a lot to be excited about (and to do!). Customers, if you are thinking about going to a show, please let us know so we can get you some passes into the show. Brokers, we'd love to get your boats looking great!
One of my favorites of the trawler class is the Fathom. For the size, (which doesn't allow for one of my favorite trawler features, a Portugese bow), it is a great looking boat, with modern lines, and lots of features. The general shape with smooth edges, a trim full walk around, and large top deck, appeals to me.
Fathom was represented at Trawlerfest by Rick Garton of Harborview Yacht Sales, who like us, is a long way from home [full disclosure; we did work on the boat!]. Mr. Garton is familiar face if you have ever seen a Fathom at a show, as is Jim Favors, a very satisfied owner who loves showing his boat off at the show, and also spends quite a bit of time in the Great Lakes. Jim and his wife have their own blog, and book about cruising their Fathom throughout the Great Loop. But enough about the people, let's talk about the boat!
The 40 at the show was the version without the full flybridge, which has slightly cleaner, faster lines, while still putting a small helm up top. The light gray color and bright white colors of the boat keep it looking crisp, unlike a few of the almond/ivory colored boats on the docks. I have only seen the grey and dark blue hulls, both of which are very appealing to me. Both the lower saloon, and bridge have plenty of room for entertaining. The master and guest staterooms have plenty of room for a boat of this size, and me being 6'2, I was surprised at the generous headroom. The engine room was especially suprising. Outside access, a storage area before getting into the engine room are great. Even with 400 gallons of tankage in there, the 425 Cummins QSB, and ( I believe the 9kw) Northern Lights gennie, there was plenty of room down below. Features that I was unable to experience, but have read rave reviews about in both Passagemaker (PDF LINK!) and Powercruising (PDF LINK!), are the electrical 'isolators' that automatically switches your power based on your needs. This means that you pull up to the dock and plug in- BAM! you are on shore power. Unplug, voila, you are switched to house power. Turn on the generator, etc. etc. I have been on boats much larger and 5x more expensive without this feature. The second commonly remarked detail about this boat is the quiet you have even while running full out, typically about 72dBa.
The specs of the boat show the light weight, and great efficiency. A 40 Sea Ray (just for comparison), with another engine, and much less interior space, pushes the scales at 22,000lbs, while the Fathom is only 24,000lbs. The burn is extremely low, with knots/gph rates being 9kn/3.1gph, 15kn/12.9gph, and 17knots burning only 1 gallon per mile (makes for easy math). Compare that burn to a 40 Nordhavn going 8kn @ 4gph! There is a difference in displacement here, but the Fathom's advantage is clear.
Take a look at our pictures and (amateur) video of the Fathom, and feel free to contact Harborview Yachts with any other questions. Also, if you missed them at Trawlerfest, be sure to catch them at the Miami NMMA show, slip 310.
There have been only a handful or earnest attempts at integrating hybrid technology into boats, and this by far is one of the best efforts to date. Rather than trying to cover the boat in solar panels, or compromise performance, the Mochi executes a realistic plan well. The reduction in noise and smoke make the use of hybrid propulsion a selling point, rather than THE selling point.
The LR 23 still has traditional diesel driven power, but then many variations. The diesels can power electric driven motors, the generators can charge the batteries which drive the electric motors, or the electric motors can draw power just from the wall of batteries mounted in the engine room. The great advantage yachts have over their automobile counterparts is there is already a network of battery charging stations, shorepower! (Now if we could only convert over to the Smartplug!)
While there certainly is a great deal of tech behind hybrid systems, the bigger hurdle to overcome is battery technology. Lugging a wall of batteries from the engine room and replacing them is no small task and can not be cheap. Even if there is a cost effective way to do this, what is to become of the pile of batteries left behind?
The one thing which is very clear when you step aboard is the design team spent a great deal of time thinking about every aspect of the yacht. Opting to not go with the traditional aft deck salon doors leaves the entire aft deck available for seating and entertainment. This new freedom of space also improves the feel of the interior, as one window faces the stern of the boat, with no doors or supports hindering the view behind. An immediate concern is ease of entry which is solved by two doors on each side of the vessel, which not only allows easy access but also allows more light in contributing to the overall open feeling.
The rest of the vessel shares similar characteristics and appears to be very thought out. Depending on personal taste, some design elements might be too modern/simple (the galley comes to mind). Per usual, there is almost no wasted space, but the nice surprise is it does not feel forced (i.e. random drawers and hatches).
Overall the Mochi Craft Long Range 23 is a great yacht. The simple and elegant design has been well executed, and is worth a look even if you are a fan of the traditional / classic yacht design. On top of a well thought out design, the hybrid propulsion system is a feat within itself and will hopefully generate some attention.