Cheoy Lee 68 Sport Motoryacht — By Capt. Bill
|Part 2: Cheoy Lee bills the 68 as a large, comfortable motoryacht that can be handled by two people.|
Now about following seas: With her transom squarely to weather, the 68 tracked down-sea with wholehearted conviction—her nose seemed glued to the tall stacks at Port Everglades. Moreover, she evinced only the slightest tendency to yaw, a rare occurrence in large, modern, flat-transomed vessels, which typically slue back and forth in following seas to shed the momentum of on-rushing waves. I suspected a deep, lengthy keel was at the bottom of the phenomenon, as well as LCG (longitudinal center of gravity) balanced with mathematical precision, and the folks at Fexas who are responsible for such things confirmed these impressions when I telephoned after the test.
The skipper and I drank hot, black coffee all the way back to Lauderdale. To repay him for his hospitality, I suggested I do deckhand duty as we eased through our marina preparing to tie alongside a pier, starboard-side-to. Cheoy Lee bills the 68 as a large, comfortable motoryacht that can be handled by two people and, based on the short but sweet docking experience that ensued, I’d say the company’s absolutely right. With the skipper at the lower helm and the pantograph-type door on the starboard side thrown open to offer fast access to the wide side decks, the two of us berthed the boat in short order. All I had to do was debark through the doorway in the cockpit bulwarks, and he passed the lines over to me on the dock.
We began touring the interior immediately. While the 68’s large, roomy layout is conventional—with a big, open saloon, sizable U-shape galley, and dedicated (albeit dinette-equipped) wheelhouse on the main deck, and three spacious staterooms as well as an engine room below—a couple of features stood out. There was the cherry woodwork, for example—much of it consists of veneers molded over lightweight Nomex honeycomb coring. Besides helping to cut weight, it looks great. Solid wood or veneer? I found it hard to tell for the most part. Then there were the structural details the skipper pointed out. Engineered to save weight as well as add strength and resiliency, they included fully cored fiberglass bulkheads, stringers, transversals, and soles throughout. “And not only is the hull resin-infused,” he proclaimed as we peered through a hatch into the gelcoated bilge, “the superstructure is, too.”
I was impressed with the 68’s engine room. It was huge, with headroom well over six feet, easy all-round access to the guardrail-protected mains, aluminum diamond plate underfoot, and perforated-aluminum paneling from one end to the other. Lighting overhead was generous, and I was happy to find a watertight door in the forward bulkhead that opened into the shower stall at the rear of the master stateroom—it serves as both an escape hatch and seagoing access during bad weather when opening the main entrance on the swim platform would be unsafe. One detail I didn’t like was Cheoy Lee’s use of just one engine-driven emergency bilge pump—while one pump’s good, two are better, especially when the pump-equipped engine decides to quit.
After the skipper and I finished up, we returned to the flying bridge to swap a sea story or two, a fringe benefit in my line of work. We lounged in the comfy chairs at the steering console with our feet crossed on the dash. A faint breeze blew. The shade offered by the standard hardtop lengthened. Eventually, I formed an overall opinion.
Cheoy Lee’s 68-foot Sport Motorytacht is the sort of big, relatively fast boat that can be easily cruised and handled by two experienced people.
And if one of them gets just a tad rowdy at the helm, what the heck! The other can still make coffee.
Cheoy Lee Shipyards Phone: (954) 527-0999. www.cheoyleena.com.
This article originally appeared in the January 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.