60 — By Richard Thiel
— November 2001
|It's the things you don't see, as much as those you do, that make the Salthouse 60 special.|
When Jim Mattingly says a boat's impressive, you might want to listen. An experienced sailor, he was Ted Turner's crew boss for a couple of decades, meaning he was responsible for making sure Turner's racing sloops were ready to compete. He was also a key crew member on many campaigns, including the 1977 America's Cup and the 1979 Fastnet. Three hundred and three yachts started that 600-NM event, but after winds increased to Force 10, five sank, 17 crew members died, and 24 crews abandoned ship. Only 85 vessels finished, including Turner's Tenacious, which won, and Mattingly got a firsthand view of what separates an average boat from an exceptional one.
Mattingly was clearly impressed by the Salthouse 60 I tested in Martha's Vineyard in August, not surprising since he sells Salthouses through Gilman Yachts, the New Zealand builder's exclusive North American dealer. So was I when I first spotted the 65 (the same boat but with a U-shape lounge added between the cockpit and saloon) at the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show in Australia last May. Husky, yacht-finished, sprouting innovations, and built, she turned my head. Even with her tall enclosed flying bridge, she was well proportioned and pleasingly salty.
But what really caught my eye were the dual pocket transom doors. They told me this boat was built by people who aren't afraid to do things differently and that she wasn't intended as a pure sportfisherman. Tournament anglers may envy that 5'8" opening but would probably worry about working the independently operating doors in the heat of battle. Cruisers will love them since they not only make boating a fish (or swimmer) easy but also let you easily hoist a dinghy onboard. Thirteen feet long, the cockpit can accommodate an 11-footer with outboard and still have room for people. Three reinforced pad eyes for securing the dinghy and a retractable security cable for the opening are standard, as are a teak sole and folding teak cockpit furniture.
Whether you're fishing or cruising, stowage won't be a problem, thanks to a big lazarette accessed by fore and aft hatches. Lift either and you get a hint of how this boat was engineered: a 2'x2' welded aluminum gutter around the hatchway, which ships water overboard via a transom-mounted manifold, and a sturdy pneumatic gasket. Below, webbed fabric straps and aluminum turnbuckles secure welded aluminum water and fuel tanks paired on either side. The fuel tanks have sight gauges and inspection ports, and the water tanks are elevated so you can reach the strut bolts beneath them. Salthouse cut its teeth on commercial fishing boats, and it shows. There's even a suction hose for removing small spills.
Fold-down cleats and two-inch scuppers tell you this boat could be fished hard, but the standard cockpit head and shower in the forward starboard corner suggests she'd be at home at anchor, too. Measuring 41⁄2'x21⁄2', the space is roomy, but judging from the odor emanating from ours, better ventilation is needed. Outside, beneath the step into the saloon, a 2'x2'x11⁄2' stainless steel-lined locker can be either a refrigerator or freezer. It has its own compressor and drains into the gray-water tank. Nothing drains into the bilge.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.