60 Sportfisherman — By George L. Petrie — October 2001
|Part 2: Rybovich 60 Sportfisherman continued|
The secret to her speed and efficiency is that her hull is built of triple-planked cold-molded mahogany, a method Rybovich claims to be lighter on a per-square-foot basis than fiberglass or aluminum hulls of similar strength. Three layers of 5⁄16-inch-thick mahogany planking are laid up diagonally and sealed with epoxy resin to produce a hull thickness of about one inch. Cold molding eliminates the need for heavy transverse frames, other than major structural bulkheads, thereby saving weight. And because the cold-molding process requires such a small amount of resin (compared to fiberglass construction), Rybovich claims it can cost-effectively use stronger (but more expensive) epoxy resins. For ease of maintenance, the hull surface is laminated with two layers of fiberglass in epoxy resin, then faired and finished with a coat of Awlgrip. From her outward appearance, you'd never guess Siboney had a mahogany hull.
The quality of her ride might be a tip-off, though. For those who hold the opinion that nothing absorbs the sea better than a wooden hull, this Rybovich proves the point. Even when she landed hard, she didn't pound; her hull worked with the waves rather than fought them. And because she's cold-molded, her running surface is free of lifting strakes, propeller pockets, and other protrusions that some designers claim create turbulence and steal power. Her struts are flush-mounted, and the only through-hulls below the boat's waterline are tucked into a sea chest. From her deep forefoot to her moderate-deadrise stern, her bottom is smooth as a billiard table, save for a shallow skeg along the centerline that gives her excellent course tracking ability and a down-angled chine rail that helps keep her deck and topsides dry.
As comfortable as I found the flying bridge, the smoothest riding spot in the yacht was the cockpit, thanks to an aft-facing settee, as roomy and inviting as a family room sofa and a great place to watch the fishing action or just enjoy the day. Beneath the settee's raised footrest is a built-in drink box and freezer to keep cold refreshments close at hand. Other features of the sprawling 182-square-foot cockpit include an insulated fishbox with macerator, rod lockers, tackle drawers beneath a bait-prep area on the starboard side, and a livewell system with no through-hull connections. The covering boards are teak, as is the cockpit sole, and at the focal point of the cockpit is a handsome Pompanette fighting chair.
In tasteful counterpoint to her strictly-business cockpit and flying bridge, Siboney's interior is sumptuous. Her varnished teak joinery is nicely done, and the teak and holly soles in the galley and both heads are flawless. One of the nicer features of the galley is a Sub-Zero under-counter refrigerator/freezer system with six rollout drawers. I found it odd, though, that the drawer retainers were small pins that could easily be lost or misplaced.
One small oddity of the yacht's interior arrangement is that the master head can be accessed from the guest stateroom in the bow as well as from the master stateroom. It turns out that the owner has four daughters, and Rybovich accommodated their request for direct access from both staterooms. One can only wonder what facilities the owner himself will use. To bide his time while awaiting the shower, he could relax on the saloon's spacious settee and enjoy the built-in entertainment center.
Or he could retire to the sanctuary of the engine room, not an altogether unpleasant prospect. There's a 30-inch walkway down the center that makes it easy to get at all the vital access points for the main engines and to the Northern Lights genset in a hushbox along the forward bulkhead. And the interior hull surfaces are finished in white, vacuum-bagged fiberglass that brightens the whole engine room and makes it easy to find and clean up any leaks or spills.
Easy access to the engine room made it simple for Rybovich engineer Paul Holm to check on the machinery throughout the delivery trip, a precaution that never revealed a problem. Despite the stormy seas, Siboney came through like a trooper. As if on cue, threatening skies finally cleared as we entered the harbor. It seemed like a good omen.
Rybovich Phone: (561) 844-1800. Fax: (561) 844-8393. www.rybovich.com.
George L. Petrie is a professor of naval architecture at Webb Institute in New York and provides maritime consulting services. His Web site is www.maritimeanalysis.com.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.