65 — By Capt. Bill Pike —
Part 2: “She’s a big, comfortable, classic cruiser, finished to the nines.”
Green was as surprised as I was. One of our Caterpillars shut down quite unceremoniously, sending forth a cloud of black smoke just as the boat settled against her fenders. Green’s first response to this event was to compliment the Fates on their timing, a sentiment I wholeheartedly endorsed. Green’s second response was to grumble about “a blown turbo” while he cellphoned Caterpillar. Ensuing developments produced a much less dramatic diagnosis, however. Over the next few days, a technician discovered that a bent temperature sensor in the throat of the affected engine’s turbo had produced some extra-high, aberrant temperature readings, thus shutting the engine down. Merely straightening the mount for the sensor fixed the problem, Green subsequently told me.
There was a happy side to this glitch, though. The time Green and I blew trying to unsuccessfully troubleshoot the problem on site served to nicely acquaint me with Lady Java’s engine room. And I tell ya’, it’s a roomy place, even with big mains and the hefty array of ancillary standard equipment Oviatt specifies; headroom was close to seven feet. Batteries were numerous and robust, although I’d prefer to see them stowed above the waterline rather than in the bilge, under the walkway between the engines. And all four black iron fuel tanks were tightly blanketed with aluminum-backed fiberglass insulation; Oviatt says this keeps them totally dry and obviates the moisture-driven corrosion problems other builders have experienced with black-iron tanks.
Lady Java’s interior was just about as compelling. The layout was expansive, with a pilothouse, U-shape galley, and saloon on the upper deck, and four staterooms on the lower one. Both the guest and VIP staterooms were forward of the amidships engine room, with access via an L-shape stairway from the pilothouse. The master was abaft the engine room, accessible via a circular stairway at the rear of the saloon. All heads were en suite, large, and shower-stall-equipped. Hand-rubbed teak joinerwork was immaculately finished everywhere, and appliances and fitments were mainstream, top-of-the-line products. All sorts of layout alterations are available, too, including a version with three staterooms on the lower deck.
“So whaddaya think?” asked Green as I finished up. We were standing in the cockpit, surveying the local marine scene, which tends to be a tad colorful in some parts of St. Augustine.
“Well...that engine-shuttin’-down thing’s a bit of a heart stopper,” I said thoughtfully, “but otherwise, she’s a big, comfortable, classic cruiser, finished to the nines.”
“You like ‘er, then?”
“Capt. Green...she’s as pretty as a picture.”
Oviatt Marine Phone: (954) 925-0065. www.oviattmarine.com.
This article originally appeared in the August 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.