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Megayachts

Salty Explorer

Megayachts — May 2004
By Diane M. Byrne


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Photos: David Shuler
 More of this Feature

• Part 1: Offshore 80 Voyager
• Down the Ways


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• Megayachts Index

Despite the creative spelling of the nameboard Voyageur, the Offshore 80 Voyager pictured here—as well as ones under construction—is built to be a traditional intrepid yacht.

In fact, this semicustom yacht is intended for active cruisers seeking a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere and an equally comfortable ride, particularly in blue water. While many builders make similar claims, Offshore points to its storied 56-year history as well as its design and construction techniques to back them up.

Offshore Yachts’ founder, Richard O. Hunt, built his first fiberglass pleasureboat in 1948, after developing a fiberglass craft while working with the U.S. Navy. Over the next two decades Hunt launched more than 100 powerboats up to 42 feet LOA, both individually and with his sons. Offshore began working with naval architect William B. Crealock in 1968, an association that continues today.

Where the 80 is concerned, Crealock designed her to be a truly comfortable offshore cruiser. The ample 21'6" beam contributes to this, as does the deep forefoot that gradually tapers to a 12-degree transom deadrise. Generous freeboard (10'9" forward, 7'11" aft) and a wide, raised chine help to keep her dry. As for construction, Offshore built her with solid fiberglass below the waterline and end-grain Baltek balsa coring above. Four full-length stringers and multiple athwartships frames are laminated and bonded for strength and stiffness. Should an owner-operator or a captain need to do some mechanical labor, the 80 I was aboard has an air-conditioned lazarette with an L-shape work area and plentiful cabinets in which to stow tools and related items.

For owners who prefer hiring crew, there’s a pleasantly large crew cabin with over-under berths and a private head (with an escape hatch in the shower) to starboard of the work area. Since the Voyager is a semicustom yacht, however, owners who prefer running their yachts themselves can request the cabin to be reserved for kids instead by having Offshore create stair access from the aft corner of the saloon. In addition, owner-operators can access the engine room through a watertight door off a small lobby just outside of the master stateroom.

The rest of the interior spaces have a casual, intimate atmosphere. While you might expect to find a country kitchen fully forward on the main deck, the 80 instead has a U-shape dining area that can be open to or closed off from the galley, thanks to a sliding partition above an expansive pass-through. (That pass-through would also work well as a breakfast bar with a few barstools placed on the dining-area side.) In the twin-berth guest cabin, one of two guest cabins below decks, there’s three-sided access to the beds instead of the traditional bed-against-the-bulkhead approach, making linen changes much easier. In the guest heads, Brazilian cherry covers the soles, and etched glass adorns the shower doors.

When it’s time to take those guests cruising, the 80 certainly has enough get up and go. While 800-hp Caterpillars are standard, the yacht I was aboard was equipped with twin 1,050-hp MANs, which permit a reported 22-knot top end (light load), according to Offshore’s sea trials.

That further underscores Offshore’s intrepid-voyager approach—or should I say intrepid Voyageur?

Offshore Yachts Phone: (619) 688-0574. www.offshoreyachts.net.

Next page > Down the Ways > Page 1, 2

This article originally appeared in the April 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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