Pershing 62 — By Alan Harper —
Pershing’s 62 is part motoryacht, part muscle boat, and all about the drive.
They named the company after the missile, not the general, and you can see why. In more than 20 years there hasn’t been a Pershing motoryacht that wasn’t fast, sleek, and powerful, and the 62 upholds this tradition. Sometimes, the marine equivalent of a tactical nuclear weapon is the best tool for the job.
It was on a late-September morning at around 1500 rpm that this analogy somehow seemed most appropriate. On flat-calm seas in the Gulf of Genoa off Italy, easing the throttles forward gingerly was having the desired effect. There had to be at least 2,500 hp left. Where was it?
Then the turbochargers woke up. There was little appreciable increase in sound levels, and the handling didn’t feel any different, but something was definitely happening. The water seemed to be going past a little faster, but it was so flat it was hard to be sure. Then a glance at the GPS told the rest of the story. Unable to keep up, the hapless electronic navigator seemed to be suffering from flashbacks—not to selective availability, but selective credibility. Its every update registered velocity increases that would have seemed wildly improbable if the log hadn’t been there to back them up. Our speed had nearly tripled in 20 seconds, and yet with my right hand still resting lightly on the throttle levers, I could see that the tachometer needles hadn’t yet reached the 2000 mark.
In fact, there was still plenty left for the engines to give: 300 more revolutions, more with the drives trimmed up—perhaps ten additional knots. And suddenly, there it was, with the GPS and log finally in agreement: 45 knots flickering up towards 46, as our silver-hull missile flew straight and level over the rich, blue Mediterranean Sea. This, I remembered, is what it’s all about.
To get 30 tons of boat up and running at this speed with so little fuss and no creaks and groans from structure or fittings is not just a matter of horsepower. The boat felt solid. I swung the wheel from side to side, and the 62 followed every move with a gentle bank, like a willing thoroughbred keen to show what it can do. At 40 knots I hauled the wheel hard over, turn over turn, and the 62 banked into the curve like an F-16. The only thing visible out of my side window was sea: To gauge our progress and keep an eye out for other boats, I tilted my head to look up through the open hardtop, and halfway ‘round the circle our own wake came into view, no more than 100 yards away. The keel gripped, the props bit, and as we completed the circle I checked the log again: 30 knots. Not bad at all.
And, of course, immense fun for the helmsman: Pershing prides itself on building drivers’ boats. You can tell by the single, macho helm seat on the 62 that it was designed with the sporting client in mind. He certainly won’t be disappointed, but as I was to discover, Pershing has been thinking of his family, too. There is much more to this boat than power and performance, just as there is much more to Pershing’s design philosophy than the trademark external curvature that has proved so influential. You find it expressed in the simplest ideas: the electrically adjustable backs on the forward passenger seats, for example, which transform the outer one into an irresistible chaise lounge. There is also a huge LCD TV stowed behind the cockpit sofa, which doesn’t just rise into view in the usual way. You can swing it around on its stainless steel support to face its audience in the saloon or even turn it 180 degrees to face the cockpit on fine evenings. The elegant simplicity of those cockpit seats is another example: They lift to reveal liferaft stowage space, and with the hydraulic table between them lowered, the whole area over the garage becomes one big sunpad.
This article originally appeared in the December 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.