60 Sportfisherman — By George L. Petrie
— October 2001
|In fair seas or foul, the Rybovich 60 delivers.|
The night before my trip from West Palm Beach to Freeport, Bahamas, vicious thunderstorms east of Miami had roiled the Gulf Stream into a nasty froth. By morning seas were running three to five feet as we left the inlet, building another foot within the first half hour. Making matters worse, the southerly swells from the previous night's storm were interlaced with steep easterly seas kicked up by fresh 20-knot winds right on our nose. Though the rain stayed just to the south of us, sea conditions deteriorated throughout the morning. Cross-seas combined randomly in our path, instantly forming yawning craters in the ocean, potholes eight feet deep and more.
Those seemingly dreadful sea conditions were just right for putting the Rybovich 60 Sportfisherman Siboney through her paces, en route to her new owner in the Bahamas. With DDEC electronic controls keeping the twin 1,480-hp DDC-MTU 12V2000s synchronized at a steady 1500 rpm, we kept an even cadence with the oncoming seas, averaging just shy of 30 mph for the crossing. Settled back in one of the twin Pompanette helm seats on the flying bridge, I found the trip as pleasant as lounging in a rocker on my grandma's porch. In nearly four hours running in rough seas, we took wind-blown spray onto the bridge only a couple of times. And even then we stayed dry, thanks to a clear plastic windscreen that protects the helm.
Navigation was simplified by a nicely arranged electronics panel forward of the helm station that made it easy to keep tabs on displays for the Furuno radar and depthsounder and the Navstar DGPS chart system. Also in full view and within easy reach was a second panel forward of the companion seat with a Northstar GPS, two radiotelephones, electrical switches, and engine alarms. Alongside the attractive varnished-teak, pod-style helm, a pair of doors provided a 2'x2' opening for servicing the electronics panels.
With the Robertson autopilot keeping us on a steady course to each waypoint, we had plenty of time to relax and enjoy the ride. Along both sides of the flying bridge, varnished teak handrails lent a stylish accent to the white fiberglass while offering a comfortable handhold that I really appreciated while sitting in the settee that extends along the port side of the bridge. Handholds on the underside of the hardtop provide security as you move about the bridge in rough seas, but I'd like to see another grab point within reach of the forward settee, for the security of guests moving to or sitting in that area.
Out of concern for a threatening line of thunderstorms to the south, Rybovich's Gary Hilliard, who'd come along for the ride, insisted we have our destination on the horizon before running the formal boat test protocol. So as soon as Grand Bahama Island was safely in sight, we let Siboney off her leash. In the relatively sheltered lee, with seas moderated to about three or four feet, our top speed was a whisker over 40 knots (about 47 mph), the average of two runs on reciprocal courses. But what really surprised me was that she burned only about three gallons of fuel per mile, impressive for a 60-footer approaching 50 mph.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.