2010 Best Boats Systems: Passport 615

Over the years, the systems side of boats has improved steadily. This year's crop of new boats has raised the bar a little higher, with evidence of a great deal of thought. For example, the Catalina 445 has molded-in cable channels, above-the-waterline gravity draining holding tanks and a central drain location for winterizing the boat. Designer Gerry Douglas has put the battery charger under the
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
0
Passport615

Over the years, the systems side of boats has improved steadily. This year's crop of new boats has raised the bar a little higher, with evidence of a great deal of thought. For example, the Catalina 445 has molded-in cable channels, above-the-waterline gravity draining holding tanks and a central drain location for winterizing the boat. Designer Gerry Douglas has put the battery charger under the galley sink in such a way that its convective heat will keep this musty area smelling sweet. These kinds of details are born out of a lifetime of designing, and thinking about, boats.

The Hunter 39, which is a boat built for a very competitive and cost-sensitive segment of the marketplace, nevertheless has an oil change pump and lightning grounding. The Island Packet Estero, like all its sister ships, has a wonderfully accessible fuel filter station. We really liked the drawer-style fridge and freezer on the Sunsail 384, although the drawer slides need to be beefed up (this is in the works). The Tayana 64 had the finest bow platform and ground tackle-handling facilities in the show. And, as we have come to expect, the Oyster 655 had superb, albeit conservative and conventional, systems installations.

SystemsBestBoats2010

The galleys on cruising boats continue to improve, with excellent stoves and refrigeration. This is particularly noticeable on the European boats. In the past, these tended to have minimal galleys, reflecting the European habit of eating out, but the latest incarnations are increasingly friendly to liveaboard cruisers.

Even more encouraging than the high standards are the first signs that some of the exciting new technologies that have been emerging over the past few years are finally beginning to make it onto mainstream boats. There were far more LED lights than last year, especially for navigation lights, with the overhead (area) lighting on the Tayana 64 entirely LED (although, ironically the reading lights, which are easier to execute as LEDs, were halogens). The Shannon HPS has a full complement of thin plate pure lead (TPPL) Odyssey batteries. We saw a couple of synchronizing inverters, although we don't believe anyone is fully exploiting the potential of this technology. On a number of boats there was partial to full implementation of the NMEA 2000 "plug and play" navigational network. Next year we hope to see some full-blown distributed power systems, which will represent a radical break with the past.

But, although there were many well-executed items on most of the boats, the award for "best systems" goes to the Passport 615. The overhead (area) lighting is all high-efficiency, dimmable, cold-cathode fluorescent with LED courtesy lighting; the navigational network is NMEA 2000; and the machinery room, which includes the main engine, the generator and a mass of ancillary equipment, is a work of art and a service technician's dream. For more information, visit wagnerstevens.com

SPECS

LOA: 61ft 5in

LWL: 53 ft.

Beam: 17ft 6in

Draft: 7ft 11in

Displacement: 67,776 lbs.

Design: Dixon Yacht Designs

[brightcove videoid="4045161999001" playerid="4343385270001" height="315" width="560"]

Related

GG17-SAONA47-DX0796

Boat Review: Fountaine Pajot Saona 47

Here’s a riddle: What is less than 50ft long, has two hulls, three big cabins and four decks? Answer: The Fountaine Pajot Saona 47. In fact, it may even be five levels if you count the large engine rooms. This boat is a “space craft” in every sense of the word.DESIGN & ...read more

RichardBennettMIDNIGHT-RAMBLER3249x202

Storm Sails: Do you Need Them?

Many sailors embarking on ocean passages will take along the obligatory storm jib and trysail, with the vague idea that they may come in handy. Few sailors, however, have a real understanding of how and when to set them.It doesn’t help matters when we hear from seasoned sailors ...read more

IntheWater(1)

Boaters University Unveils Rescue Course

Boaters University has just announced its latest online course, Safety & Rescue at Sea, taught by Mario Vittone, whose name you might recognize from the pages of our sister publication, Soundings Magazine and his Lifelines blog.Mario Vittone is a retired U.S. Coast Guard rescue ...read more

IMG_20170920_132819

How to: Installing New Electronics

I had been sailing my Tayana 42, Eclipse, for a few years without any installed electronics on board. I’d gone pretty far up and down the New England and Mid-Atlantic coasts with paper charts, the Navionics app on my Android phone, a hand-bearing compass and the ship’s compass. ...read more

02-Douglas-Adkins---Coriolis---Orcas-Island-KevinLightPhoto

A Phoenix-like Concordia

Cutting a fine wake on the cobalt-blue waters of West Sound on Orcas Island, Coriolis sparkles like a diamond. Her lovely silhouette is offset by emerald forests that frame the ocean, within spitting distance of the border with Canada. Seen up close, this Concordia yawl is a ...read more

IMG_1051

The Latest Boat Trends from Dusseldorf

The world’s biggest boat and watersports show, held in Düsseldorf on the banks of Germany’s Rhine River each January, is the place to scope out emerging trends in the boat design and building.What would be the new trends for 2018 and beyond? Hint—sophisticated electronics figure ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comGood ConnectionsI wish I’d had a dollar for every time I’ve cobbled together an electrical fitting with a “that’s good enough” shrug. An old shipwright once taught me that “good enough is not good enough” ...read more

tides2

Gear Test: Tides Marine Sailtrack

Gravity is an important force at work on a sailboat. It keeps the boat upright, it makes the anchor drop to the bottom, and it makes the mainsail slide neatly down the mast to be flaked and put away at the end of the day… until it doesn’t.In the case of dropping the mainsail, the ...read more