62 Pilothouse — By Capt. Bill Pike
The Right Stuff
|Top-brand components and equipment make this Taiwan-built motoryacht a real winner.|
Okay, I’ll admit it. I was bedeviled by a touch of prejudice the day I first boarded the Symbol 62 Pilothouse, despite the rave reviews I’d heard from a photographer friend who’d recently spent a day shooting the big Jack Sarin-designed trawler. Hardhead that I am, I was near positive my test boat de jour would have at least a few things in common with the flaky upstart fleet of Taiwan-built imports that stormed the American market in the early ‘90s, many of which I’d test-driven and reviewed. Questionable aspects I was counting on included piles of galley appliances and other equipment with unfamiliar names and manufactured in distant, tough-to-get-parts-from places; electrical systems with sweet-looking panels and other cosmetics, but nightmarish wire runs and connectors seemingly designed to corrode and fail; and an interior with inexplicable design quirks, as well as plenty of serviceable but far from stunning joinery.
Thank goodness for half-baked preconceptions–they keep good old boys like me humble. Within minutes of hitting the weather deck of the 62, a whole new attitude started to emerge, primarily because I was seeing what I hadn’t expected to see. In fact, as Jim Booth of Holiday Marine Sales, Symbol’s West Coast dealer in Newport Beach, California, led me into the conventionally laid-out, nicely joined cherry interior, my chary mood did a complete 180–from wary to enthusiastic–and pretty much stayed that way for the rest of the day.
The galley’s what got things shakin’ and bakin’. I took in an assemblage of General Electric appliances and other equipage that from both the angles of utility and aesthetics held its own with kitchens in most high-end condos. Superb meals have been put together with a lot less than a four-burner, Ceran-type Profile cooktop, full-size Profile stainless steel refrigerator/freezer, and home-size stainless steel sink (with Grohe fixture), plus a Fish & Paykel dishwasher, GE trash compactor, and a giant (albeit optional) Advantium microwave/convection oven. The finish on the optional, stateside-installed granite countertops was a little raw–the owner of our test boat wasn’t into the standard Corian, apparently–but the workmanship elsewhere was excellent, especially on the crisply carpentered cabinets and drawers with enameled-steel tracks and rollers, Blum articulated hinges, and/or Lamp positive-locking pullouts.
But the clincher for me was the centrality of the galley within the layout itself, a telling emphasis. This positioning engenders a main deck that’s as open and with-it as any apple-pie-American motoryacht on the market. Moreover, adjoining areas are just as loaded with comforts, refinements, and high-end components. In the saloon, for example, I spent a few moments testing the buttery-smooth marine vinyl of the L-shape sofa while watching a little True Grit (a favorite of mine) on the Panasonic 42-inch plasma-screen TV, augmented by a Bose Lifestyle 30 sound system seemingly "bad" enough to blow the big, frameless, flush-fitting, tempered-glass windows to smithereens. And from what I could see of my immediate surroundings, Symbol addresses the sybaritic needs of other movie buffs with name-brands as prestigious as any others onboard, the nearby U-Line Wine Captain and adjustable Italian overhead lighting from Cantalupi and Palagi being good examples.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.