50 Express Cruiser — By George L. Petrie —
|Part 2: The Pershing 50’s accommodation spaces are an exquisite testament to Italian styling and craftsmanship.|
And some of the styling changes are “in your face” bold, like the Kevlar instrument panel at the helm station. There’s no top coat on the resin, so the fabric weave is visible, giving the panel an imposing military/commercial look. And the instruments are clustered in a vertically oriented array, rather than spread out horizontally. Last but not least, the whole panel is encircled by a fiberglass rim finished in silver gelcoat, making the helm station feel like the cockpit of a fighter plane. Thankfully, the sexy helm layout also works well, with the most critical gauges near the top of the panel and everything in a straight-ahead field of view.
Opposite the helm station is a U-shape settee with a dining table in the center. May seem like nothing notable there, but not so fast... both the settee and the table have a twist. The forward portion of the settee is actually a pair of swivel chairs that can be raised up and turned to face forward (as a double companion seat, opposite the helm) or lowered and turned aft, toward the dinette and other guests seated in the cockpit. Pretty slick trick. And the dinette is not the usual “removable” kind that begs the question of “where to stow a 27"x54" dining table.” Instead, two leaves fold inward, reducing the tabletop to a 27-inch square, and then (here’s the tricky part) the whole thing lowers hydraulically into a recess in the cockpit sole, out of sight and out of the way.
Aft of the settee is a sunpad that should accommodate three adults (with room for three more on the foredeck sunpad). But beneath the aft sunpad, there’s a 4'x7' hatch that lifts to reveal a two-foot-deep stowage locker for fenders, lines, and other things you want close at hand. As if that weren’t enough, beneath the aft portion of the sunpad, a hatch opens into a 4'x8'6" space nearly six feet deep that could serve as stowage space, a dive locker, or even as crew quarters.
Below deck, the Pershing 50’s accommodation spaces are an exquisite testament to Italian styling and craftsmanship. Supple fabrics and richly lacquered wood surfaces are visual delights, while the curved bulkheads and partitions in the saloon belie the sense that one is indeed inside a floating vessel. Folding sections of wood countertop hide the two-burner Bosch cooktop and a deep stainless steel sink. But a two-inch rim along the edge of the countertop, and built-in racks for cups and plates show that her builders have not forgotten she is a boat capable of coping with sea conditions such as we had just experienced.
I finished my walk-through of the yacht’s interior just about the time we arrived in North Miami, to start our high-speed test measurements. With the 50 at full throttle, my radar gun recorded an impressive two-way average speed of 50 mph, with the twin 800-hp MAN diesels spun up to their rated 2300 rpm and the Arneson surface drives trimmed up for maximum speed. But I have to admit, that acceleration from a standing start was, to put it mildly, on the leisurely side up to about 1800 rpm. At that point, the props seem to get a bite, the rooster tail flies, and the yacht comes nicely up to her top speed. I did notice one slight quirk, however: Above 35 mph, with the Arneson drives trimmed up, steering and control seemed a bit skittish. Datson assured me that this was because we were running at high speed in the relatively shallow waters of the Intracoastal, and that in deeper water tracking was stable and predictable.
Sea conditions offshore still precluded a high-speed sprint in deep water to settle the question. Next time I’m planning a boat test, I’ll be more careful what I wish for. Maybe I’ll just wish for a boat as nice as the Pershing 50.
Marine Max Phone: (866) 693-3293. www.marinemax.com.
This article originally appeared in the May 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.