Above decks, separate
areas are even more distinct and cater to diverse preferences. The aft
deck, a few steps up from the saloon, has high sides under a hardtop and
is protected by the house from head winds. With a few teak chairs and
a small table to complement the starboard wetbar, it would make an inviting
space for outdoor relaxing. Up a companionway forward, six or eight people
can congregate comfortably on the flying bridge’s twin curved settees
port and starboard to enjoy lively, wind-in-your-hair boating. The benchseat
at the helm has an adjustable center section in front of the controls
and pull-down armrests that, as I leaned on one, helped make my morning
flight in airline steerage a distant memory.
Although I love to complain about airplanes, I have to admit that the
weather was so fine in Stuart on test day that I would have stowed away
in an overhead luggage compartment to get there. Winds were calm, the
temperature was a perfect 75°F and the sky was unbroken blue, as Chip
Shea, Luhrs Marine Group’s marketing director, and I put the 43 through
her paces on the St. Lucie River. The twin 480-hp Volvo Penta TAMD 74
diesel inboards pushed her to nearly 31 mph at WOT (2700 rpm), and at
2250 rpm she hovered just over 24 mph for a cruising range that, at 280
statute miles, could have let us run the full length of the nearby St.
Lucie Canal and well into the wide waters of Lake Okeechobee. In the river’s
untroubled waters, I found her plenty responsive to the optional ($5,045)
Teleflex power steering, and with the smooth Volvo Penta electronic controls
I could govern the engines with a light touch. Sight lines forward and
to either side are excellent. However, looking aft, the extended swim
platform is entirely out of sight, not uncommon in an aft-cabin motoryacht.
Fortunately, our test boat’s optional bow thruster took most of the
stress out of backing the 43 into her slip.
As we tied up I was impressed with Silverton’s SideWalk design—the
combination of molded steps and high sturdy rails that make going forward
on the 43 anxiety-free. You’re also less likely to stub a toe in
the process, since at the pulpit Silverton hides the windlass out of harm’s
way under a hatch that’s flush with the deck. I noticed a variety
of such thoughtful details while I was onboard the 43—those fold-down
armrests at the helm, drink holders next to the forward-deck sunpad, a
locker on the stern sheltering the shore power plug-in, telephone jack,
and hot and cold shower nozzle.
These kinds of things don’t have to be monumental to be satisfying.
In the engine compartment, for instance, I noticed that the end of every
hose clamp was sheathed in a neat plastic jacket. Pretty minor next to
dripless shaft seals and shaft logs, but such considerations add up.
Also in the engine compartment I found the twin Volvo Pentas fixed to
the steel engine beds introduced just three years ago on all Silverton
models 40 feet and longer. According to Shea, these fully isolated beds
reduce vibration and allow the engines to be aligned more easily. Along
with the solid-FRP bottom, fiberglass-encapsulated marine plywood stringers,
and bulkheads bonded to the hull with fiberglass, these substantial supports
make for a secure environment below decks. There is also plenty of room
to maneuver down here. Regular maintenance is no problem in the wide alley
between the powerplants, just below a hatch in the center of the saloon.
And even amid the fuel tanks, holding tanks, and a 13-kW Kohler genset—the
larger of the two options—there is still a lot of clean, dry space
for tools, spare parts, and more. For especially ambitious engine work,
hatches directly above each diesel lift out to fully expose them.
Once more in the saloon, it was hard to believe that such an elegant space
could be just above one so utilitarian. The 43 was in development for
a year, and it shows. Silverton is known for applying customer input to
its designs, and this boat is no exception. At certain stages of the process
the builder constructed mock-ups of interior sections and asked boaters—both
owners and non-owners of Silverton boats—to check them out and make
suggestions. High-end appliances and scads of stowage and counter space
in the galley, raised-panel cherry doors, conveniently placed phone jacks—such
things are in answer to needs and desires expressed by people like you
and me. Imagine being invited to plan the specifics of your own upgrade.
Maybe if airlines were that attentive my frequent-flier miles wouldn’t
be spread among so many carriers.
Silverton Marine (856) 825-4117. Fax: (856) 825-1824. www.silverton.com.
Next page >
Silverton 43 Specs > Page 1,
2, 3, 4, 5,