BOAT TEST: PALM BEACH 65
Palm Beach Motor Yachts’ stunning new 65 flagship delivers a rousing performance and mouth-watering interval, says TONY MACKAY
The great musical productions of Broadway and the West End always have one big song, sung by the star, a huge orchestra swelling to the triumphant last explosive note, at which point the audience jumps to their feet for the standing ovation. The song is known as the showstopper. On the water, the nautical equivalent is the Palm Beach 65; a symphony of style, performance and virtually faultless details seamlessly blended into a package, which frankly, left me floundering for accolades. Just delicious. The only problem was that it is not mine. It could, however, be yours, although you will have to wait. They have a waiting list.
The Palm Beach Motor Yachts cruisers are no longer strangers to discerning boat owners; their long, lean lines whisper of the high-performance available at the flick of a throttle. The 65 is the latest and greatest in this stellar range, and it is not until one is aboard that the size and volume become apparent. Laid teak decks, superb varnished cappings and cabinetry, custom-made joinery and luscious upholstery all beckon you to enter this haven of luxury. Don't expect any flash bling or kitsch trimmings. It is all pared-back style and low-key luxury, which just looks so impressive in such a contemporary and elegant way that you will positively drool as you move from one cabin to another.
While I was not able to get my sticky mitts on the helm (we were time poor that day), the twin 700hp Volvo IPS900 engines will sprint the 65 to speeds in excess of 30kts, and you will particularly thrill to this performance from the super bowrider seat or the stylishly appointed flying bridge. For those having trouble with their hair styling, the lower station offers a starboard helm station for two, with a similar station, sans helm, to port for guests to enjoy all the instruments and the world racing by.
The preview boat was destined for the USA, where Palm Beach Yachts have garnered many accolades, even recently winning the Best Power Boat at the Newport, Rhode Island Boat Show. (Quite a convincing performance in a very competitive market, particularly as our dollar was hovering just under parity with the greenback at the time). Still, quality shines, and at this level the price is not the buying criteria. It is just a minor factor for a well-heeled person having what they want. And why not? The Palm Beach 65 will be an enduring joy which will never age in styling or charm.
One of the best features of this particular boat was the plain and simple focus on one owners' cabin, luxuriously appointed, and another clever transverse cabin that a cunning owner will never reveal unless absolutely necessary. Happy husbands and wives, contented couples, partners and other assorted ceiling inspectors will adore a boat so superbly setup just for two. A massive head and shower, a stunning lower galley complete with every manner of appliance, the sumptuous lower dinette, TV and glass-fronted bar fridge - it just went on and on. Every cupboard and crevice perfectly detailed, right down to tastefully etched drinks tumblers, which will allow the new skipper to suggest, "Come aboard and see my etchings!"
Back in the cockpit, a simple caress of a button raises and lowers the swimplatform/pasarelle. Another button lifts the whole cockpit, at which point the tender appears and slides effortlessly into the water. Ultra-leather seats, drinks cabinets, teak decks, polished stainless steel fittings define a package so complete it simply dazzles.
You may have gathered that I liked it. Even the engineroom had laid teak decks. I swooned.
* Trade-a-Boat intends to perform and publish a full test and video on the Palm Beach 65 in a forthcoming edition. Stay tuned.
Palm Beach 65
In standard guise, the Palm Beach 65 is powered by two of Volvo Penta's 700hp IPS900 engines, designed for boats up to 100ft. Palm Beach Motor Yachts claim the twin straight-six turbo-diesels push the 70-footer to a top speed of 32kts and a fast-cruise of 27kts.
PRICED AS TESTED
The PB65 Flybridge as tested cost $3.8m
TYPE: Hard-chine monohull
LENGTH OVERALL: 21.34m
DRAFT: 0.9m (max)
WEIGHT: 23,000kg (dry)
HOLDING TANK: 300lt
PEOPLE (NIGHT): 8
MAKE/MODEL: 2 x Volvo Penta IPS900 (standard)
TYPE: Six-cylinder turbo-diesel
RATED HP: 700 (each) at 2350rpm
WEIGHT: Approx 1725kg
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Is this the best-built cruiser in Australia? Our aesthete Tony Mackay is leaning that way. There's simply nothing about this hand-built boat to fault - other than the fact you have to joining the waiting or VIP list to get aboard! Stunning, sophisticated, sweet-performing and oh-so kind on the eye. Bravo!
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