Review: Alaska 59 Sedan

By: James Dumergue, Photography by: Supplied

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  • Trade-A-Boat

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The Alaska 59 Sedan combines prestige quality, traditional lines and multi-function applications.

The luxurious Alaska 59 Sedan is a big boat in medium boat clothes. The use of space makes this sports cruiser, from a respected brand, a delight for longer journeys in comfort and style.

 

ALASKA 59 SEDAN

Alaska 59 Sedan

According to Dean Leigh-Smith of Alaska Motor Yachts the new Alaska 59 Sedan was created to meet the demands of the faithful Alaska following. "Our owners are loyal to our brand and we needed to offer a larger sedan option for those who want to progress to a bigger boat with the all usual Alaska qualities, plus a little bit more," he says.

Over time the level of luxury and comfort that has transformed the road-going 4WD from the rugged off-road vehicle to the luxurious fully-featured, seven-seater SUV has been applied to trawler-cruisers. The Alaska 59 Sedan is the full CUV, with impressive range, along with ride enhancement for passage as a result of being the first Alaska to offer stabilisers.

There is not a lot out there to offer the big boat owner who wants to downsize that isn’t full of sacrifices. The 59 Sedan appeals to that end of the market too. Alaska has been working with seasoned big boat owners who want to give up the crew but not the feeling of space. It’s the predominance of space that strikes you from the moment you step aboard.

 

COCKPIT

Alaska 59 Sedan saloon

The cockpit on the Alaska 59 Sedan deserves the name Aft Deck, as it is on larger vessels. Elevated four steps up from the swimplatform it is a utilitarian area, with the sense of space enhanced by the height of the hardtop which is at least 2.7m above the teak deck of the cockpit. Your boating photo album will be filled with images of this area as it will be the hub of any level of activity or entertainment, from lounging on the sunbed with the fishing line running under the toes, to hosting family or social occasions.

This magnificent area is enclosed with taught crystal clears and essential acrylic walkway doors allow it to be weathertight in all conditions. The comfortable seating, with large dining table, offers plenty of wing space for even the most extended of elbows, allowing at least 10 to sit around the cockpit table. The barbecue, sink, icemaker and refrigeration complete a self-contained entertaining space while the aft bulkhead openings connect it to the interior.

The saloon, like other Alaska luxury boats, is part of the aft deck – flip up hopper windows and a bi-fold door connect the two spaces. The step up to the saloon barely diminishes the head room and can accommodate individuals of basketball height. The L-shaped seating to port is finished in quality Australian leather supporting lounging and entertaining functions.

 

GALLEY

Alaska 59 Sedan galley

I like space, storage, good views and proper equipment from a galley and can’t complain when it comes to this boat. Every conceivable space has been utilised for storage – even the far reaches of the L-shaped bench have not been lost to dead space.

A very clever shelving system allows the corner shelving to be pulled out of the dead space into reach when the cabinet is pulled out. Top-opening bench storage stows common galley appliances, ample drawers are concealed behind cupboard doors, while a dishwasher drawer and the concealed side-by-side fridge and freezer units hide away the clutter and provisions, allowing even the most demanding of gourmands to feel satisfied.

One of my gripes on a lot of boats is that they don’t take cooking seriously and offer token galley equipment – this boat offers a four-burner electric cooktop with a proper custom-designed overhead extractor. The addition of a convection microwave gives everything you need to produce beautiful food from the freshest ingredients your destination has to offer.

The booth to starboard of the galley is ideal for all occasions – for casual dining, perfect for the laptops and tablets and big enough to spread the Sunday newspaper out on with room to spare. If you have youngsters on board the ability to charge their gadgets and keep them out of the way will be appreciated.

 

ACCOMMODATION

Staircase on Alaska 59 Sedan

Optimisation of space is what the Alaska team excels at, and this continues below deck. The master cabin on the Alaska 59 Sedan is of larger boat proportions – the steps leading down to the cabin lower your relative position to the waterline, so that the oversized opening portlights on either side provide an intimate relationship with the water, providing both fresh air and the sounds of the environment.

The centreline king-sized berth appears to float in place, with mood lighting underneath. The tall padded headboard, warm inviting mix of high gloss cherry wood, soft Ultraleather and the regal blue colour of the soft furnishings add to the feeling of luxury. A separate head with vanity to port and separate shower stall plus vanity and basin to starboard complete the prestige feel of this cabin.

To maximise the space available to the two forward guest cabins, the oversized guest bathroom has two entrances, one internally from the VIP suite and one in the foyer area that leads off to the cabins. Clean, white and very functional, the head has a view and the shower stall is of a proportion that nullifies the desire to shower ashore.

 

AT THE WHEEL

Alaska 59 Sedan underway

What I really like about the helm station on the Alaska 59 Sedan is that it been set up for easy operation. It’s cleanly laid out, with twin 15in touchscreens and easy-to-understand instruments. The custom leather double helm seat for two adults is equally accommodating for a couple of grandkids and an adult.

With some basic instruction from the Alaska team, you will quickly become familiar with what everything does and how to do it.

The Autohelm control is probably the most commonly used instrument on passage-making and has the closest proximity to the helm seat, followed by the engine controls and the thruster controls.

This is the first Alaska to offer Wesmar hydraulic stabilisers, the nine square foot (0.83m2) fins are a serious piece of equipment and, combined with the lower VCG of a sedan, provide a very pleasant ride. There is even the option to make the stabilisers zero-rated if you frequent rolling anchorages – this is big white boat stuff.

The watertight door by the helm station opens to the walkaround decks and looks very serious. It works like it looks – rotate the locking double handle latch and it swings out and aft along the deck. Raise the armrest and outside is quickly accessed for better viewing during close quarters manoeuvring. If stern-to berthing is required, simply change the cockpit wing station controls to the port side for the ultimate assurance of accuracy.

I have never been on a boat of this size with such a cavernous space for an engineroom. If you are more than 6ft6in then you might brush your head on the ceiling – for the rest of us there’s enough room to stretch in this space. Everything is labelled clearly for the owner operator. The dual fuel tanks hold a total of 7000lt, providing the twin 715hp Cummins QSM 11 engines with ample supply for Pacific exploring.

 

HULL

The flare of the hull with its compound curves, hard chines and the high prow looks set to handle the conditions that you point it into and make for a drier ride.

This Alaska 59 Sedan has been fitted with a hydraulic swimplatform which can lower to well below the water when fully deployed, perfect for launching and retrieving a tender or creating a wet beach for relaxing at anchor. Plonk a couple of aluminium chairs on it when partially submerged and cool yourself off without leaving the boat.

Forward of the swimplatform is another watertight transom door. It provides access to the fourth air-conditioned cabin. Inside you find a full-sized single berth and separate head which is perfect for a captain looking to hand over the reins or for use as a teenagers retreat to supplement the main accommodation.

 

CUSTOMISATION

Alaska 59 Sedan stateroom

There are two main areas of the boat which can be customised. The one offering the most possibilities is the aforementioned fourth cabin. Without changing too much, it could as easily be customised as a utility room, for dive gear and compressor, fishing rods and tackle. My preference would be to shift the lazarette pump room equipment forward into the engineroom and create a tender garage. The beam of the boat still gives plenty of space to store equipment either side.

While it’s all very well to have a boat that caters to family and kids, there are those of us who go boating with couple friends. The master and VIP staterooms do a fine job of this and while the third cabin can accommodate adults comfortably, the over-and-under arrangement is more ideal for kids. Currently in the planning is a spiral staircase from the saloon to the accommodation which will create extra cabin space inboard of the third cabin. It will allow the option for side-by-side singles berths or a double berth with an optional single above.

 

THE VERDICT

Alaska 59 Sedan bow

The Alaska 59 Sedan would have to be the biggest sedan cruiser in the sub-60ft bracket. It is also one of the best-priced ones. With a base price of around $1.85m, if you’re looking for a boat with four dedicated cabins, with acres of space and the practicality to operate as a social platform as well as a Pacific roamer, the Alaska 59 Sedan is going to pleasantly surprise you.

 

HIGHS

• Four cabins

• Huge living spaces

• Enormous engine room

• Semi-custom options

 

LOWS

• No opening portlights in fourth cabin

• Booth space could be a little more generous

 

See the full version of this review in Trade-A-Boat #459, November / December 2014. Why not subscribe today?

 

ALASKA 59 SEDAN SPECIFICATIONS

PRICED FROM

Alaska 59 Sedan price: $1.85m (exchange rate dependent)

 

OPTIONS FITTED

Hydraulic swimplatform, tender, extra refrigeration and electronics package

 

GENERAL

MATERIAL GRP

TYPE Monohull cruiser

LENGTH 18m

BEAM 5.1m

DRAFT 1.22m

DISPLACEMENT 35t

 

CAPACITIES

PEOPLE (NIGHT) 7

FUEL 7000lt

WATER 1200lt

 

ENGINE

MAKE/MODEL 2 x Cummins QSM 11 turbo-diesel engines

TYPE Inline six-cylinder, turbo-diesel engines

RATED HP 715 (each)

DISPLACEMENT 6.7lt each

 

SUPPLIED BY

Leigh Smith Cruiser Sales

Shop 42D&E, Quay Street

Sanctuary Cove, QLD, 4212

Phone 07 5577 9200 or 0408 758 886

Email ryan@lscruisersales.com.au

Web lsyachts.com.au

 


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