— By Capt. Bill Pike
— July 2003
|Part 2: Docking our test boat was a simple, near-effortless procedure.|
Comfort was an obvious priority. Seamlessly covered by crisply carpentered American cherry doors, a full range of appliances in the galley included a set—that’s two, not one—of high-end Fisher & Paykel dishwashers. “Extra dish stowage,” explained Esposito. The pop-up Sony plasma TV—part of a whopping optional entertainment package that also includes satellite capability, Surround Sound, and an AV Star audio/video distribution system—was kick-back viewable from the full-size, built-in sofa as well as the moveable barrel-type chairs, once they were strategically positioned. And visibility, whether from the galley alcove (with granite countertops and flooring), the saloon, or the lower helm station, was excellent, thanks to the enormous windows Dixon had unobtrusively blended into the design.
But it was the staterooms on the bottom deck that really showcased what Esposito has been able to accomplish with the SeaVana. The full-beam, amidships master measured approximately 16'x12' and the adjoining head almost 5'x7'. Such “bedroom-size” dimensions are extraordinary in the 50-something range. The VIP suite, too, was large and as amply supplied with cabinets, lockers, and drawers as the master. And finally, the guest accommodation aft, entered via a stairwell that also yields access to separate doors to the en suite head and the machinery spaces, was a true (7'x10') stateroom, a tribute to Esposito’s creativity. He’d lowered the sole into the very bottom of the boat, incorporating the stringers that would otherwise intrude into the berth, cabinetry, and other aspects of the space. The ploy seemed to work fairly well, although I found stepping over a relatively high stringer top to get into the large, separate shower stall a bit onerous.
I discovered the same expansive theme at work in the engine room, which lay beyond a thick, sound-nixing, gasketed door. There was 6'2" standing headroom above the centerline walkway and a full two feet between the mains, which also offered outboard access that was almost as good as the inboard.
The auxiliary electric system impressed me most. There were 20—again, that’s 20—Trojan batteries onboard, eight for domestic use, four for engine start, four for the optional 10-hp BCS electric bow thruster, and four for the optional 6-hp BCS electric stern thruster. Batteries are important on big cruising boats. I’ve tested some in this size range that were equipped with ten or less.
Driving the SeaVana was enjoyable. The BCS power-assisted hydraulic steering was smooth, tabs were unnecessary, visibility was great, from both the upper and the lower helms, and the Opacmare seats at both locations were comfortable. In addition to Esposito’s other concerns, he’d been shooting for a motoryacht that could be easily managed by two people; he’s hit the mark in my opinion. Docking our test boat was a simple, near-effortless procedure, thanks to good visibility both forward and aft, a couple of powerful thrusters, a sweet set of ZF/Mathers electronic engine controls, and the maneuvering oomph inherent in a pair of comparatively big wheels, 28x34 four-blade Hyperform.
As we shut the mains down, Esposito told me that Rex Yachts of Fort Lauderdale will be representing the boat and arranging for warranty work. “They’ve had lots of success with new lines in America, like Cheoy Lee and Guy Couach, and I’m hoping they’ll do the same with the SeaVana,” he said.
Considering the unique mix of styling and layout that the boat offers, I’d say there’s an awfully good chance of it.
Rex Yacht Sales Phone: (954) 463-8810. www.seavana.com.
This article originally appeared in the June 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.