60 Hardtop — By Richard Thiel — August 2000
Something Old, Something New
|Part 2: Erdberg succeeded grandly.|
But Erdberg offered an alternative. Since her essentials were solid, why not just update the 60? In fact, if the makeover went well, Erdberg would use the boat as a prototype to launch a 2000 version of the 60. The owner not only thought it a splendid idea, but he also decided to invest in the venture.
The principal task was to simultaneously transform the 60's bridge deck into an enclosed, air-conditioned pilothouse and give the boat a more rounded shape. As is obvious in the photos, Erdberg succeeded grandly. Despite its bulletlike shape, the new enclosure, which has an aluminum aft bulkhead and FRP sandwich top and sides, seems to have been drawn at the same time as the rest of the boat. Its proportions are perfect--sleek yet providing 6'5" headroom. The silver house and deck and deep-blue hull combine for an aggressive but not gaudy appearance, and the stainless steel accent tubes (which are backlit at night) along either house side provide a modern, high-tech touch.
Inside, things have changed as well. The helm, at which all instruments were originally displayed in a retractable Ocean Navigation Module, is now dominated by two Cat Vision monitors and a 13-inch flat-screen monitor that can display anything from closed-circuit TV input (there are cameras in the engine room and on the aft deck) to the standard KVH satellite TV input to GPS chart data.
As you'd expect, the windshield is significantly taller, and the entire pilothouse is enclosed in glass, providing 360-degree visibility. There are two seats forward, either of which could function as the helm seat, although the outboard one can be awkward to get in and out of when the inboard one is occupied. Immediately abaft the helm seats is a 40-inch retractable Sony plasma display that can reproduce what's on the helm display or display satellite video or VCR input for the benefit of those seated in either of the aft L-shape lounges.
There have been minor changes below as well, mainly to the port-side galley to make the TV on that side easier to view. An eating bar is available here, as it was on the original model, or it can be eliminated, allowing a larger, bilevel dining table and U-shape settee to starboard. Either way, a large stateroom with queen-size bed and en suite head with stall shower occupies the forepeak. Aft of the saloon, under the bridge deck, you have a choice of a master with large head and full-size tub or port-side single and starboard twin-berth staterooms, both with en suite heads. Our prototype test boat retained many of the original 60's fabrics and finishes, but Erdberg says future 60 Hardtops will be offered with virtually any materials you can imagine.
Outside, the cockpit is smaller, now dominated by a real sunpad and partially covered by the pilothouse overhang. The swim platform, accessed by steps on either side of the sunpad, is integrated with the hull, and perhaps most important of all, the sunpad opens to reveal a watertoy garage.
Despite all the innovations, the T-Torque Drive system still defines the 60. Driving this boat is unlike anything else. Firewall the throttles and things happen slowly, until the engines get into the heart of their torque curve--about 1600 rpm. Then the props seem to lock up and the boat accelerates like a 26-footer. Some tab is necessary to get the 60 over the hump, but once on plane she runs relatively flat, which makes for great visibility. High- and low-speed turns are a piece of cake and great fun thanks to Tempest's power-assisted steering. Our test boat managed 47 knots out of her nonelectronic Caterpillar 3412s. The 1,400-hp 3412s to be fitted on new models should boost that to 50. We managed a best cruise of 40 knots at 2000 rpm, at which we calculated a range of nearly 400 NM with 10-percent reserve.
According to Erdberg, the 60's owner is tickled with his new 60 Hardtop, and why not? She has all the things he loved about the old boat and all the things he wanted in a new one.
Yachts Phone: (305) 705-0008. Fax: (305) 937-5071. www.tempestyachts.com.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.