47 — By Capt. Stuart Reininger — July 2000
Finally, Everyman's Ship
|Part 2: Selene 47 continued|
If that emergency were to be in the nature of a collision, do not expect to hear the theme song of the film Titanic. Just aft of the twin 4'2"-deep gelcoated chain lockers (they flank a Muir Cheetah 1,600-pound-capacity electric windlass) is a molded-in chamber that serves as a collision bulkhead and houses the motor for the 10-hp Sleipner bow thruster ($8,875).
Given the 33" x 22", four-blade Nibral prop, the Sleipner thruster, and the additional tracking ability gained by the Selene's prop-protecting keel and skeg, maneuvering around the dock is a no-brainer. Anchoring is also an easy, one-person operation. Not only can you raise and lower the hook from either the upper or lower station, but there are also two separately fused and covered foot switches nestled under the windlass' fiberglass overhang, which provide additional protection from the elements. However, the shore-power connection is installed right above the starboard chain locker, so when you are plugged in the power cord interferes with opening the locker hatch--a problem if, like me, you prefer to store spare lines, fenders, and gear in those lockers when you are at the dock.
While being at the dock is not the Selene's primary purpose in life, you might as well be comfortable when you're there, and for that she is eminently suited. For instance, the forward master cabin is wide enough to allow a couple to sleep athwartships instead
of in the usual fore-aft
arrangement. I know from experience that when you're trying to get some shuteye forward while underway, the athwartships position is much more comfortable. There's still plenty of room for a sitting area, vanity/desk arrangement, extra stowage, cedar-lined hanging lockers, etc., than you'll ever need.
But the real treat below, whether you're in the forward master or the port twin-bunk guest cabin, is the silence underway. In a long-legged vessel like the Selene, sleeping with the machinery shut down is often not an option as it is with most of our out-and-back cruisers. Look at our dB numbers in the box at right. They were measured at the helm while underway and indicate a quiet-running boat. But I got the same--and even somewhat lower--numbers wandering around below with my meter. You'll sleep well when you're off watch.
Incidentally, if you prefer to remain in the pilothouse while off duty, there are two tugboat-style pilot berths (one a pullout) against the aft bulkhead. That way you can catch a nap and still keep an eye on the helmsperson.
Besides the excellent insulation and the Selene's heavy traditional woven-roving layup, you don't have to go much beyond her engine room to see why she is so quiet. The double dog-locked compartment door serves as a sound barrier as well as a watertight bulkhead. While at 4'8" the engine room headroom is a bit scant (it explains the 6'6" saloon headroom), there's no place you can't crawl around and reach for servicing and repair. The Treadmaster nonskid underfoot has a commercial look and feel, and the valved fuel hoses (the twin saddle tanks are equipped with graduated sight glasses) are clearly marked, as is the color-coded wiring. The single Cummins is forward in the engine room but roughly amidships, which contributes to the boat's stability and low center of gravity.
That stability was evident when we ran the Selene in Rhode Island's choppy Narraganset Bay. Even when broadsided by the 12- to 15-knot breeze, she maneuvered and ran as if she was in a flat calm. Her Hynautic hydraulic steering operated smoothly, with just enough resistance to give a feel for the seas. Of course, this displacement-hulled trawler is not designed to get your adrenaline flowing. She's designed to point in a particular direction and plod along safely and slowly until you're delivered where you want to go. And that she does admirably. During our test runs we put her downwind, upwind, and crosswind, plugged in her Autohelm ST7000 autopilot ($6,628), leaned back, and left her alone to do her job, with no excitement, no dramatics--that's just what you're buying her for.
And you don't have to be a Walter Mitty to conn this little big ship. At a surprisingly affordable base price of $508,750 (our fully loaded test boat, complete with electronics and two tenders, came in at $667,473), you can step out onto your own bridge deck and be a member of a very exclusive club.
Little Harbor Yacht Brokers Phone: (401) 683-7000. Fax: (401) 683-7092. www.lhyb.com.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.