Jarrett Bay 58 Page 2

Jarrett Bay 58 — By Capt. Bill Pike — March 2001

Pretty Lady
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I was impressed with the boat’s open-water performance as well. In a two- to three-foot chop with low humidity, fairly low air temperature, and a bone-chilling seawater temperature, her matched set of 1,400-hp Caterpillar 3412E diesel inboards, turning a pair of sophisticated, efficient, five-blade Teignbridge Aquafoil props, powered her to an average top speed of nearly 45 mph. Visibility from the ladder-back Pompanette helm chair was excellent, both over the bow and astern into the teak-planked cockpit, and the steering was as smooth and responsive as it gets, thanks to both Teleflex Sea-Star hydraulics and engine-driven power-assist. Moreover, the electronics package, divided between a small overhead panel and a much larger one that tilts up electrically from the top of the helm console, was top-shelf. Fish-finding goodies alone included a Datamarine DM6000 DART for seawater temperature, digital depth, and boat speed; a redundant Dytek seawater temperature display with giant numbers easily readable from the cockpit; a dual-frequency Furuno FCV-292 color video sounder; and, for the ride home, a, 72-mile Furuno FR7112 CRT radar, a Northstar 961XD GPS/plotter, backup Northstar 952X GPS/plotter, and a Robertson AP 20 autopilot.

The only thing I didn’t like about running the test boat, a privately owned vessel with about five months of usage at test time, was the lack of detentes in the Panish single-lever controls, an adjustment problem, I assume, given the positive experiences I have had with Panish products over the years. At any rate, pulling the big, silver sticks of the 58 into neutral while maneuvering her was a challenge, periodically fraught with inadvertent shift-throughs and pauses during which I wasn’t sure whether one or both of the engines was in gear or out.

Speaking of the engines, I examined the 58’s engine room when I got back to the dock. Accessed conventionally through a central companionway amid a row of console boxes clad in richly varnished teak, it offered stoop headroom for my 5'11" stature and some of the nicest engine access, both inboard and outboard, I’ve seen lately on vessels in this size range. I was glad to see a Delta “T” ventilation system here, four Racor 75/1000s (two per engine) on the aft bulkhead, plenty of light, and just forward of the starboard main, a nifty multidrawer toolbox with a thick butcher block work surface. However, I did come across one gloomy detail: a crack running along an athwartship structural member or “minibulkhead” abaft the port-side main. Upon closer examination of the fissure, about an eighth inch wide by six inches long, I saw it extended from the top of the transversal down toward the bottom of the boat.

Since my job precludes physically digging into a crack of this kind, I called the owner of the boat and then Jarrett Bay. The owner told me he was aware of the crack, and Jarrett Bay’s president Randy Ramsey pointed out that it transits an essentially nonstructural member, adding that nevertheless he would soon have it ground out and repaired with carbon fiber “so it will not be a problem in the future.” PWhatever the reason for the crack, it certainly wasn’t lack of quality materials: Jarrett Bay uses WEST System epoxy and cold-molding techniques to build the 58. According to the company, the stem is laminated juniper, while the keel area, stringers, and transversals are of Douglas fir plywood. The outer skin of the hull is of plywood also, with three layers of half-inch marine fir on the bottom, and three layers of quarter-inch Okoume ply on the hull sides. According to Jarrett Bay, the entire hull is glassed inside and out with epoxy and various weights of stitched-mat fabric.

As I went on to examine the interior of the 58, I discovered other problems. For example, in the starboard corner of the saloon, the marble countertop over the cabinet, wherein a nifty set of Bass electrical panels are housed, did not fit flush against the side wall, leaving a gap of almost 3/16 inch at one end. Openings in mitered joints at the corners of the starboard sofa also had gaps. Cabinet doors in the U-shape galley were loose and mounted so low they scraped the countertops underneath. And latches on a couple of the galley drawers didn’t work. Farther forward, in the berthing area of the vessel, the trim piece around the built-in TV in the port side master was loose, and although the small, beautifully wrought crib for the owner’s young granddaughter in the forward VIP put a fine point on the 58’s thoroughly custom craftsmanship, one of the halogen lights in the master’s en suite head, just abaft the VIP, was falling out of its hole due to an improper friction fit.

Given the beauty of the Jarrett Bay 58’s exterior, such interior problems engendered some disappointment on my part, although a pledge by Jarrett Bay president Ramsey “to put the boat in perfect condition as soon as possible” is certainly assuring. In the meantime, the 58 will undoubtedly continue to tweak the aesthetic sensibilities of shoreside admirers wherever she goes.

Jarrett Bay Boatworks (877) 728-2690. Fax: (252)-728-2607. www.jarrettbay.com.

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This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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