66 MY — By Capt. Bill Pike —
Tried and True
|Part 2: Electrical firepower was even more impressive than the redundancies.|
Redundant features were plentiful. Large, duplex 75/1000FGX Racors protected both engines, and Italian-made Linda fluorescent lights contained supplementary, emergency-type incandescent bulbs. The big, cast-bronze primary bilge pump (once again from Gianneschi & Ramacciotti) in the engine room was backed up by a Rule pump, an arrangement replicated in the rest of the boat’s six watertight compartments. And there were two Glenndinning Cablemasters serving two 50-amp shore-power connections, one on the foredeck and the other at the transom.
Electrical firepower was even more impressive than the redundancies. A whopping total of 22 Optima batteries were onboard, 12 solely dedicated to house service and the rest to engine cranking, thruster operation, and the functioning of on-deck auxiliary equipment. Moreover, the Dolphin battery charger was a 120-amp-capacity honker, and there were two inverters (one dedicated exclusively to refrigeration and the other to entertainment systems) as well as an IsoBoost-50 isolation transformer for raising low and/or fluctuating shore-power voltages.
And finally, scantlings were massive. Mahogany-cored engine bearers were knee-high and as thick and beefy as the through-bolted steel engine mounts atop them. The solid bottom of the boat was wrist-thick, according to Berton, and the Airex-cored hull sides were twice that. Stomping on the laminate under the prop shafts was like stomping on concrete. A tightly knit egg-crate grid system within the hull kept maximum dimensions for unsupported panels forward to a mere 18 inches, and the four main stringers were immense at the bow for extra strength when running hard—Berton said they were more than four feet high.
When we finished examining the 66’s machinery spaces, as well as the standard crew quarters that adjoin the lazarette, we toured the interior, which was being fiercely spruced up by the cleaning crew. The layout’s conventional, with three staterooms on the lower deck (or four if a buyer chooses) and a saloon, galley, and wheelhouse on the upper. Into the simplicity of this arrangement, Uniesse pours a lot of beauty. Joinery throughout our test boat was of reddish-blonde Tanzanika under seven layers of polyurethane. And the marble, granite, and onyx countertops and floors in the galley and heads were both gorgeous and resistant to cracking in heavy seas—I measured 7⁄8-inch thicknesses for the most part.
We sea-trialed the 66 on a near-calm Atlantic. I ran the boat mostly from the flying bridge, where the power-assisted BCS steering was smooth, the Glendinning electronic controls were crisply detented, and the sightlines forward and to the sides were unobstructed. For grins I used the standard lower helm station for a while, too. Controls worked just as nicely here, and sightlines were darn near as good.
The average top speed of 41.5 mph I recorded was fast, given our hefty displacement and the tons of books, food, and other gear stowed onboard. The 66 tracked nicely down-sea thanks to a substantial keel, and cornered with a comfy, inboard-banking orientation. The only thing I didn’t like was the Italian-style helmseat with its short, vertical back: uncomfortable as hell.
But what the heck? While returning to the marina after the sea trial, I decided I was way more enthused about our tried-and-true test boat that I’d been initially.
Indeed, Uniesse’s 66 Motoryacht is a competent performer, with the heft and redundancy to handle the offshore conditions. And she cleans up quite nicely, too.
Global Yachts Phone: (305) 371-2628. www.globalyachts.com.
This article originally appeared in the January 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.