6300 RPH — By George L. Petrie — July 2001
|Part 2: Hatteras 6300 RPH continued|
Rather than weigh down the 6300 with heavy insulation, Hatteras engineers eliminated noise and vibration at the source. For example, a major source of noise is vibration caused by the pressure pulses associated with propeller blade rotation. The way to fight this is to have the propeller rotate more slowly and to split the pressure over the greatest number of blades. The Hatteras 6300 turns a pair of big seven-blade Michigan wheels through ZF reduction gears with a whopping 3.56:1 ratio. What's more, deep tunnels at the stern are carefully tuned to further mitigate vibration, with the added benefit of reducing draft to just 5'6" fully loaded. Those are bonus points the Bostics are sure to appreciate as they pursue their ambitious cruising agenda.
Sea conditions on test day (one- to two-foot swells) precluded any meaningful assessment of seakeeping, but the 6300's smooth-water handling was responsive and predictable, well behaved through a series of zig-zag turns at WOT and tracking easily on a straight course. Nearly flat hull sections aft provide excellent dynamic stability underway, efficiently producing maximum lift with minimum drag. Deadrise increases to 18 degrees amidships to deliver a smooth ride, and convex hull sections in the bow reduce impact in a seaway, in keeping with Hatteras' belief that concave bow sections tend to trap water, producing higher impact loads.
Smooth Sturdy electronic single-lever engine controls and a 25-hp American bow thruster took the anxiety out of maneuvering in close quarters as we made our way back to the dock. The helm station layout worked well, with analog gauges arrayed symmetrically on the forward dash panel and an owner-specified Furuno eight-tone daylight display flush-mounted on the port side. To starboard, a semiwraparound panel puts switches, the Caterpillar digital engine readouts, and an owner-specified Nautical View data display close at hand.
Sight lines from the lower helm station were generally good, but I found the bulky windshield pillars and wiper arms distracting. Thanks to the open floor plan, large frameless side windows and a glass double door to the aft deck, visibility aft is more than adequate for docking and keeping tabs on traffic.
Recalling the Bostics' cruising ambitions, I could appreciate how they were attracted to the roomy country kitchen and open saloon made possible by the yacht's generous 18'3" beam. And ditto for the accommodations on the lower deck, especially the master suite, which not only runs full beam, but also offers close to seven feet of headroom beneath the raised pilothouse. Along the starboard side, the head is more spacious than many home bathrooms, offering about a 5' x 5' area for the VacuFlush MSD, sink, cabinets, and countertop, plus a nearly 4' x 5' shower and tub enclosure. And to store the requisite wardrobe for extensive cruising, there are two dressers, each with eight drawers, plus a five-foot-wide cedar-lined hanging locker along the aft bulkhead. But even with all that stowage, there'll still be laundry to do, so Hatteras has tucked a combination washer/dryer behind a panel in the stairwell up to the pilothouse.
Although stowage in the accommodation area was impressive, the real eye-popper was the cavernous volume under the aft deck. Descending through a large hatch, I found myself in a room that measured a generous 8' x 10' with nearly five-foot headroom. The owners had fitted shelves on the starboard side here, stashed full with filters and spare parts that might be needed during their lengthy trips, with space for dive bottles and related gear on the port side. As I was struck with the impression that the space was roomy enough to live in, it came as no surprise to learn that Hatteras will optionally outfit it as a crew stateroom.
The yacht's spaciousness even comes into play in the engine room, which offers close to six-foot headroom and a clear space more than two feet wide along the centerline for easy access to Racor separators, fuel filters, oil filters, dipsticks, and the like. And I was pleased to see equally generous clearances around all sides of the main engines, allowing even noncontortionists access to all auxiliary systems and equipment.
The main engines are founded on Ace isolation mounts that are drilled and tapped into hefty steel caps embedded in each of the longitudinal stringers, which are bonded to solid hand-laid fiberglass laminates up to 3/4 inch thick in the hull bottom. Above the lower chine, the hull sides are cored with closed-cell foam to reduce weight. The structural bulkheads and decks are also foam-cored and vacuum-bagged to achieve a better glass-to-resin ratio.
One of the few nit-picks I had was related to the rails along the side deck. While the deck itself was certainly wide enough for safe passage forward, the rail was a little low, just above knee-height on my 6'2" frame. With no handrail above, passage forward might be tenuous in a seaway.
Evening up the score, I found construction, fit, and finish to be first-rate throughout the yacht. Hatteras really does the trick, with impressive styling, space, and speed. There's nothing old hat about this new Hatteras.
Hatteras Yachts Phone: (252) 633-3101. Fax: (252) 634-4813. www.hatterasyachts.com.
George L. Petrie is a professor of naval architecture at Webb Institute 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.