60 — By Richard Thiel — November 2001
|Part 2: Salthouse 60 continued|
Salthouse's concern for safety is equally impressive. On the port side of the cockpit, you'll find a standard fire monitor/suction hose connected to a 110-volt pump. In each forward corner four steps lead to foot-wide side decks protected by a one--inch toerail and 2'7"-high bowrail. There are handholds and nonskid everywhere going forward.
Unlike the current fashion stateside, engine access is not from the cockpit, but the saloon, a disadvantage if your mechanic isn't particularly fastidious. Lift the steps from the saloon to the lower accommodations, and you reveal a small--and I do mean small--vestibule containing the standard washer and dryer. Mattingly says future models will have more room here. Proceeding aft through a watertight door brings you to the engine room, more expansive than those on some 80-footers. With four-foot headroom it offers true walkaround space--five feet from engine to forward bulkhead and two feet on each outboard side. Twelve batteries are in port and starboard compartments with dedicated ventilation. There's a sump (and pump) just for the A/C condensate, and the acoustic insulation is 11⁄4-inch-thick Acustop waffle--megayacht stuff. The molded deck liner has a sump for the bilge pump (there are six in all) and rubber nonskid, and Racor filters and coolant reservoirs are easily viewable on lovely polished stainless steel rails. No wiring is visible because it's inside boxes that run along the stringers.
But don't think this boat is all business and no pleasure. The joinery is superb, and while the layout is straightforward, it's chockful of fresh ideas. The U-shape galley is aft and to port, allowing a pass-through to the cockpit. Cooking is via a propane Miele cooktop or oven or a Panasonic microwave that runs off the standard inverter. Much of the beautiful cabinetry is purpose-made. A tall, narrow drawer holds pans and cutting boards plus knife and spice racks. Outboard of the Trezinni counter is one deep cabinet, perfect for holding rolls of paper towels on end. There are dish holders and a pot drawer with retainers. To starboard, forward of the double-door refrigerator-freezer, the bar has an icemaker and drawers for tumblers and wine glasses, both with cutouts. The bottom drawer is for liquor bottles, also with cutouts. Pots, pans, crockery, glassware, and silverware are all standard.
The saloon is roomy--almost too roomy. The U-shape rolled-leather settee could hold at least 12, and another eight could sit at the starboard settee. If this strikes you as overkill, Salthouse will replace part of the port-side seat with an office/work station. Entertainment paraphernalia is modest by U.S. standards: a 25-inch TV over the bar and Clarion automotive-style AM/FM stereo/CD player with four speakers. (There's another on the bridge.) The space is unusually bright because the forward house is all tinted and tempered 6mm glass, which Salthouse can replace with solid fiberglass.
Two accommodations plans are available, both with a master V-berth. Plan A has a single port-side head and two twin-bed staterooms; Plan B has two heads, a second port-side queen-size berth, and twin beds to starboard.
Like the saloon, the flying bridge was designed for those with a lot of friends. The forward half is a circular seat that can hold a dozen adults, while the helm has but one seat. From it I had good views fore and aft and easy access to electronics and controls. The bridge is, of course, air conditioned, but fresh air is just steps aft, on the observation platform, which has a full-width seat.
Lacking challenging seas, I concentrated on evaluating the 60's handling. I was surprised at how well she accelerates with 660-hp Caterpillars, although Mattingly says even 420-hp Yanmars work fine. Credit that to a modest displacement courtesy of all-balsa-core construction and resin infusion, a process certified to Lloyd's standards by an independent surveyor as each component is laminated.
The 60 is nothing if not nimble. Her steering is light on the centerline but gets pretty stiff as you put the helm over. Turning radius seemed a bit wide--I'd guess around 75 feet--but the boat tracks like she's on rails, thanks to a small keel. Sound levels are moderate.
The Salthouse is one of those boats that gets better the deeper you look. As Mattingly told me: It's the things you don't see until you start lifting hatches and reading spec lists that impress you. He's right, but on this boat, the things you do see are pretty impressive, too.
Gilman Yachts, Jim Mattingly Phone: (561) 626-1790. Fax: (561) 626-5870. www.gilmanyachts.com.
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This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.