T60 — By Alan Harper —
Sealine’s flagship T60 seems perfectly suited for cruising England’s Channel Islands.
In the week of my visit, the range of tide at St. Helier, the principal port on the pretty island of Jersey, was about 24 feet. An unsettling moonscape of jagged rocks would appear slowly, twice a day, as the water receded—and then just as slowly disappear again as the tide came in. For boat owners unused to displays of nature’s worryingly sadistic tendencies, such tides concentrate the mind wonderfully, especially as the rocks in question look particularly hard and unforgiving.
Locals took pride in reminding me that this, of course, was nothing—mere neaps. At spring tide, they pointed out with an evil glint in their eye, you could add another six feet to what I was seeing, and on the really big tides in spring and autumn, the range routinely spans 35 feet or more.
All of which makes you wonder. Jersey, in the UK’s Channel Islands off the north coast of France, is one of Britain’s most popular boating centers. Thousands of local boats ply these waters, and each summer they are joined by thousands more from England’s south coast, about 90 miles to the north, and from France, just over the horizon. These boaters are either particularly skillful or extremely lucky, but they make it look easy.
Ironically, this made Jersey an appropriate place for Sealine to launch its new T60 motoryacht. For this is a boat whose designers have burned the midnight oil coming up with features intended to make the business of cruising easier. There are the usual Sealine features, of course, like the easily stowed bimini top and cockpit canopies, the nifty little knobs that control the blinds in the saloon, the hydraulically activated swim platform that allows a tender to be simply floated on and off its chocks, and, of course, the electrically extending cockpit, where the whole transom slides aft to provide extra space for entertaining.
But then there are the other features—loads of them. Take the engine controls. Twin Disc’s off-the-shelf Power Commander allows the helmsman to select a variety of electronic options: “troll,” which governs shaft speed down to as low as 50 rpm for very precise close-in maneuvering; the all-purpose “express,” which provides a low 130 rpm at the shaft at the first detent—equivalent to a five-to-one gearbox reduction—and then allows exceptionally smooth power take-up all the way to full throttle; and “cruise,” which is all most boats offer in the first place.
Down inside, the designers have thought hard about the way people use cruising boats. Sealine always keeps families in mind, whether it’s in the company’s 24-footer (not exported to the United States) or this big, new flagship, and families usually bring with them a lot of gear and lots of people. The question is always where to put everything and everyone. So the T60’s third cabin, which would be great for kids, has three standard berths and a fourth if you want it with two berths down, one up, and a fold-down Pullman. In other words, the boat can sleep eight with no one camping in the saloon, and each cabin has its own en suite head.
Stowage is also crucial. As well as the expected quota of drawers, cupboards, and hanging lockers throughout, you find an enormous drawer under the foot of the berth in the master cabin, while the neat hinged cushions on the curved saloon seats provide excellent hidden access to space that might otherwise be inaccessible. The infill panel that makes a double out of the twin starboard berths is particularly ingenious. Instead of being the usual annoying, large, loose, rigid object with no obvious home, it seemingly comes out of nowhere: The table between the berths unfolds to fill the gap, its deep four-sided fiddle rail swinging down at 90 degrees to become a sturdy box-section support. Seriously clever stuff.
This article originally appeared in the October 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.