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:
Updated:
Original:

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.

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

BoatTalk-2048

VIDEO: Sailing Not just for Millionaires

Sailing and boating can come with a hefty price tag, but there are plenty of ways to get on the water without breaking the bank. In this episode of Boat Talk, SAIL's managing editor Lydia Mullan and Power & Motor Yacht's executive editor Charlie Levine share tips on getting out ...read more

Cornell-2048x

Elcano Challenge Resurrected

In late 2020, sailing legend Jimmy Cornell set off on his Elcano Challenge, a green-powered circumnavigation aboard the custom Outremer Aventura Zero. Unfortunately, shortly after setting out, the boat encountered major power-generation issues. "I took the decision to turn ...read more

F8V-BOOK-for-SAIL---1

Book Review: The Figure 8 Voyage

“What is the color of the ocean that rolls beneath Pacific trades? How does a wave curl and crash at 47 degrees south? Can an albatross remain awing in the worst of weathers?” Randall Reeves has always found images to be the most compelling part of the stories we tell about the ...read more

AC210117cb_23806

VIDEO: Capsize in the Prada Cup

American Magic's Patriot capsized during day three of the Prada Cup. If you haven't yet watched the catastrophe unfold with your own eyes, check out the above video or any number of others that are circulating on social media. It's truly a tip that has to be seen to be believed. ...read more

210115-AC36

Prada Cup: Brits Take First Two Races

Who saw that coming? After getting skunked in December, INEOS Team UK has swept the first two races in the Prada Cup elimination series of the 36th America’s Cup  Racing took place on racecourse “C,” sheltered between Auckland’s North Head and Bastion Point to take advantage of ...read more

ac-2048x

Hutchinson: 36th America’s Cup will be a Close On

On the eve of the Prada Cup challenger series, the official start of the 36th America’s Cup, New York Yacht Club American Magic skipper Terry Hutchinson says it’s anyone’s game. "As we've seen in the last week, everyone's gotten faster," said Hutchinson said at the event’s ...read more

Episode1_Thumbnail4_00000_00000_00000_00000

Sailing Docuseries Released Online

Endless Media's Reaching Reality is the story of three friends, a 24-foot sailboat and 1,200 miles. With candor and humor, this series proves that you don't need to be an expert or a millionaire to cast off on the journey of a lifetime. Produced by Emmy-award winner Barry ...read more

01-LEAD-nder-sail-3

Prepping for a Transatlantic

Growing up on the coast of northern England, I dreamed about crossing oceans on my own boat. Like most of us, though, education, a family and a career took precedence, and before I knew it, we had mortgages, young children and endless work obligations. We also became landlocked, ...read more