Pershing 76 — By Richard Thiel —
Fast and Flashy
|Part 2: One thing that I’m sure will define the 76’s owner is a love of speed.|
At this point my impression of the 76’s owner was someone who probably wouldn’t spend a lot of time at the wheel. Pity, for it’s one of the best layouts I’ve seen. Everything is here—including all switches and breakers—but the most frequently used components, including electronics and gauges, are clustered in a vertical pod right in front of the helmsman. There are but two seats—four-way adjustable Besenzoni pedestals—not exactly an invitation for guests to watch the captain do his thing. They’re perfectly positioned to act as leaning posts, and indeed because the bridge deck is elevated, sightlines are better when you’re standing than when you’re seated. In the latter position the wheel is really too low for comfortable operation, not a problem since a standard jog lever lies to the helmsman’s left, between the seats.
Also between the seats and on the helmsman’s left are the MTU Electronik controls, a location that I, a right-hander, didn’t find particularly comfortable. I also found the control’s synching feature nonintuitive compared to other electronic controls: You first press the “synch/troll” button, then you must pull the port throttle back to neutral to engage it. To disengage it, you must perform the reverse operation.
But any helmsman would appreciate electrically operated (with readily available manual overrides) port and starboard watertight doors that lead to side decks that are wide going forward, a boon for docking. Going aft they narrow to little more than shoe width, and there is no bowrail here, although there are substantial handholds on both house sides.
To starboard of the helm a companionway leads down to the accommodations deck, which I suspect won’t get a lot of use. Again, a pity, for the amenities are considerable. Our boat had four cabins (a three-cabin version is available), which includes a surprisingly roomy full-beam master beneath the saloon and a smaller but nevertheless quite comfortable VIP in the forepeak. Like the starboard twin berth guest cabin between, these have en suite heads (the guest cabin’s has a second hallway door so it can double as a day head). The fourth cabin to port is probably intended for children, as it’s small, with angled bunks and no head.
One thing that I’m sure will define the 76’s owner is a love of speed. Like all but the smallest Pershing, the 76 has standard Arneson Surface Drives, which along with 2,000-hp MTUs—the only engines offered—provide impressive performance and an equally impressive roostertail. They also provide startling agility: I was able to carve a U-turn at more than 31 knots in just 50 yards. Indeed, crank the wheel hard over at any speed, and the 76 will heel into a perfectly controlled high-G turn that will have passengers grabbing their gin and tonics. She may have three flat-panel TVs, but the real entertainment center on this boat is the helm.
Our 76’s nearly 49-knot speed also came courtesy of an advanced layup that includes PVC coring and SCRIMP vacuum infusion. Interestingly, gelcoat is applied by brush, not sprayed on, and after curing, it’s polished with abrasive paste and fine compound to a mirror finish. Colored areas are painted with two-part epoxy to an equally flawless appearance. All of these technicalites, I’d guess, will be lost on the 76’s owner, who will probably be most interested in looking good, going fast, and getting a tan. The 76 permits all that handily, but should a real hands-on enthusiast come along, she’s got plenty of substance to please him or her, too.
MarineMax Phone: (888) 71-YACHT. www.marinemaxyachts.com.
This article originally appeared in the January 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.