43 Sport Bridge — By George L. Petrie
— September 2005
Part 2: In assessing Silverton’s construction quality, I took note of the massive angle-steel engine beds through-bolted to heavy transverse frames that provide a firm foundation for the motor mounts.
To be sure, the idea of an open floorplan is not new; indeed it’s become a virtual standard for the industry. But Silverton’s take on the concept is nonetheless striking, mainly because the raised-sidewalk side decks permit the saloon to extend across the full beam of the yacht. Combined with two large windows on either side, a wraparound windshield forward, and big glass panels facing aft, the saloon takes the perception of openness to a higher standard.
Joinery is crafted from what the company terms furniture-grade cherry with an added clever refinement. Rather than using either satin or high-gloss finish throughout, Silverton combines the two finishes; horizontal surfaces (tabletops and the like) are all done in high gloss, whereas vertical surfaces are done in a satin finish. The high-gloss surfaces thus provide accents without being overpowering. Nicely complementing the cherry joinery is an Ultrasuede headliner and Ultraleather furniture; to port is a love seat that converts to a sleeper, while to starboard there’s a settee that’s offered with stowage drawers beneath or in a double-recliner configuration.
In the galley, situated forward on the port side, I took note of several more refinements aimed at improving livability: a side-by-side NovaKool refrigerator; Corian countertops; handsome, low-maintenance Amtico flooring; and plenty of stowage, including an undersole bin for stashing dry goods. But perhaps my favorite feature was the stainless steel sink. Why? Simple. The sink is big enough to really be useful, big enough to hold a pasta pot or wash a large cutting board. A common object, it seems to typify Silverton’s uncommon obsession with spaciousness.
Opposite the galley on the starboard side is the dinette with a handsome cherry table ringed with seating for four or more. Raised, the dining area creates headroom for a guest stateroom beneath, on the lower deck. Twin guest berths are fitted with innerspring mattresses (rather than foam), and they can easily be pushed together to form a double berth.
In the bow, the master stateroom offers a queen-size berth with innerspring mattress, along with port and starboard hanging lockers. But the best feature, in my opinion, is the split-head arrangement, allowing one person to shower while the other has unimpeded use of the sink. Beyond livability, it’s a major milestone in domestic tranquility.
My last order of business aboard the 43 was to check out her engine room, accessed through a shoulder-width hatch in the saloon sole. While the short drop down to the diamond-plate flooring below was manageable, some sort of ladder or step would be a nice addition. The space itself is certainly roomy, offering good access to both engines and the 10-kW Kohler genset against the aft bulkhead. Dipsticks are inboard on both Volvo Penta D9 diesels, but the engine-mounted filters are on the outboard side of the starboard engine. Seacocks, raw-water intakes, and strainers are forward, flanking the centerline, and within easy reach.
In assessing Silverton’s construction quality, I took note of the massive angle-steel engine beds through-bolted to heavy transverse frames that provide a firm foundation for the motor mounts. The hull is a solid fiberglass laminate, reinforced with a grillage of longitudinal stringers and transverse frames of marine plywood encapsulated in fiberglass. It’s a well-proven method of construction that Silverton has employed for many years.
The new 43 Sport Bridge builds on the core strengths of her predecessor like that hull laminate, while adding refinements in accommodation and styling that demonstrate Silverton’s continued commitment to spaciousness and livability. It’s a successful makeover, faithful to the company’s long-standing priorities, but presented in a significantly more attractive package.
Silverton Marine Corporation ( (856) 825-4117. www.silverton.com.
This article originally appeared in the October 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.