70 — By Richard Thiel — July 2001
|Part 2: Uniesse 70 continued|
All these features give the 70 the feeling of a studiously conceived, substantially built vessel, and a number of thoughtful standard touches reinforce the fact that this boat was designed by boaters. On the bridge a roomy port-side helm console is replete with virtually every piece of electronics found on the lower station, but since these would normally be exposed to the elements, they're mounted to a panel that retracts into the console when they're not in use. Just as impervious to the elements are the touchpad controls for all electrical functions--lights, trim tabs, horn, wipers, ignition, etc. There are also electronic trim tab indicators and individual controls for the bow and stern thrusters at each station; they operate on 220-volt electricity supplied by one of the two gensets.
Room for relaxation is available up here on a large sunpad and U-shape settee to port, while the area immediately abaft the helm is occupied by an electric grill, refrigerator, and sink. Fully aft is room for an eight-foot dinghy launched by the standard Besenzoni davit. The radar arch is stylishly low, which could have presented a radiation hazard had Uniesse not mounted the radar antenna on a one-foot-high pedestal.
Bridge access is either from the cockpit or pilothouse. Take that forward stairway and you come to roughly the center of the main deck, between the compact port-side galley and the starboard dining area with eight-person table. This boat was obviously also designed with entertaining in mind. The 5' x 51/2' galley is a testament to efficiency, accommodating an over/under refrigerator and freezer, Miele dishwasher and cooktop, small double sink with disposal, handy pull-out work surface aft, and a half-dozen cabinets of flawlessly finished (as everywhere else) cherry. Both the sole and countertops are granite, and a watertight door provides exterior access so the crew needn't disturb guests in the saloon.
Step forward and you have more evidence of careful space planning. The helm is small--there's only a single seat--but much is packed into the space. A small flip-up portion on the burl panel reveals all circuit breakers (each area of the vessel has a subpanel), while behind is one of the most comprehensive monitoring panels I've seen on any boat, just below a flat-panel monitor than can display input from the engine room camera, DVD, or satellite TV. Under the seat on our boat Uniesse had fashioned a compact compartment to hold a weather fax. Directly to starboard a large L-shape settee ensures that the captain won't have to go it alone on long passages.
It's a well-laid-out space with one minor flaw. Sight lines are okay forward--at 5'10" I could see the top of the rail--and to either side but, as you'd expect, not so good aft. However, given the open, unobstructed plan (the 10-foot-long saloon has U-shape seating to port and a bow-front entertainment center to starboard) the helmsman should be able to lean to the center and grab a view aft, say to check on pilings and line handlers. But because the Mathers MicroCommander controls are outboard, to port, he can't keep a hand on them unless he has the reach of an NBA center. Admittedly, no one really docks these boats from down below, but it would be nice to know you could if you wanted--or had--to.
Seven steps down the forward and centerline companionway take you to a small vestibule from which you can access the four staterooms. All have en suite heads and all are of generous size, even the port and starboard guest spaces with twin single berths. The forepeak VIP is generously sized but not nearly as commodious as the midship master. Besides the requisite queen-size bed, it also offers a port-side settee and starboard vanity, and its head has a bidet and extra-large shower with four spray heads. All heads have marble soles and countertops. Rounding out the accommodations is the surprisingly roomy aft lazarette/crew quarters, which you access from the teak-soled cockpit and from which you enter the engine room.
Uniesse manages to squeeze all this luxury and accommodation into a listed displacement of 110,000 pounds, and thanks to the efficient hull and standard 1,300-hp MANs, performance isn't lacking. We measured a top speed of more than 35 mph and a fast cruise of around 35. Our test boat was nimble in the light test conditions, but her most impressive performance was docking, thanks to standard bow and optional stern thrusters. Anyone of even modest docking talents can put this boat exactly where he or she wants it with nothing more than the touch of a button. But then, what else would you expect from a builder with Uniesse's history?
Global Yachts Phone: (305) 371-2628. Fax: (305) 371-4420. www.globalyachts.com.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.