its notorious climate, Seattle is a city of the outdoors. The Olympic
Range beckons in one direction, while in the other Mount Rainier and the
Cascades loom like Oz. Even on overcast weekends a large measure of the
city’s population empties into the open air. But only some head to
mountain trails. For nearly everywhere you look the landscape is reflected
on water. Bound by Puget Sound to the west and Lake Washington to the
east and embracing Lake Union, Seattle is for boaters.
Since 1955 these surroundings have inspired Bayliner, based in nearby
Arlington, to meet the needs of pleasureboaters not just in the Northwest
but coast to coast. Dependable quality at the right price has always been
central to the popularity of Bayliner’s boats, but with the introduction
of the 3488 Motoryacht, the builder has taken reliable workmanship to
a new level.
The first yacht built using Bayliner’s modular production system,
the 3488 is assembled from several precisely constructed sections that
were developed using advanced software and Computer Aided Design (CAD).
Such extensive computer modeling enabled Bayliner to determine an optimum
hull shape and devise the best configurations for electrical circuitry
and mechanical equipment, plus exploit normally unused interior spaces.
The modified deep-V hull, of course, is paramount. Its hand-laid fiberglass
is protected from osmotic blistering by vinylester resin applied over
the gelcoat. The engine room module is bonded to the hull with strong
urethane adhesive, and when the module consisting of the forward stateroom,
head, and midcabin is added, its electrical and mechanical systems are
already in, waiting only to be linked to the likewise “plug-and-play”
Such precision is evident as soon as you enter the 3488’s saloon
and see how seamlessly her parts are joined. Product manager Rob Anderson
proudly pointed out how the design of the air conditioning system had
been incorporated into the molded headliner. Although the air handler
is beneath the flying-bridge console, it can be serviced through a panel
in the overhead, and its ducting is integrated into the headliner in a
broad arc for highly efficient distribution.
It’s clear that the space it cools will be easily maintained over
the many years of enjoyment the 3488 should provide. The comfortable settees
(ours covered in optional Luxor leather), the molded-fiberglass dash,
the L-shape countertop in the galley—all these durable surfaces clean
up quickly and with minimal effort. As a further testament to the exactness
of modular construction, the soles here and forward drop snugly into place
like puzzle pieces. Should the carpet need replacing after a few seasons
of cruising, simply lift out the panels, wheel them up to your SUV on
a dock cart, and drop them off for recovering. You could do the same if
eventually you wanted to refinish the teak and holly sole of the galley.
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