Pershing 62By Alan Harper
They named the company after the missile, not the general, and you can see why. In more than 20 years there hasn’t been a Pershing motoryacht that wasn’t fast, sleek, and powerful, and the 62 upholds this tradition. Sometimes, the marine equivalent of a tactical nuclear weapon is the best tool for the job.
It was on a late-September morning at around 1500 rpm that this analogy somehow seemed most appropriate. On flat-calm seas in the Gulf of Genoa off Italy, easing the throttles forward gingerly was having the desired effect. There had to be at least 2,500 hp left. Where was it?
Then the turbochargers woke up. There was little appreciable increase in sound levels, and the handling didn’t feel any different, but something was definitely happening. The water seemed to be going past a little faster, but it was so flat it was hard to be sure. Then a glance at the GPS told the rest of the story. Unable to keep up, the hapless electronic navigator seemed to be suffering from flashbacks—not to selective availability, but selective credibility. Its every update registered velocity increases that would have seemed wildly improbable if the log hadn’t been there to back them up. Our speed had nearly tripled in 20 seconds, and yet with my right hand still resting lightly on the throttle levers, I could see that the tachometer needles hadn’t yet reached the 2000 mark.
In fact, there was still plenty left for the engines to give: 300 more revolutions, more with the drives trimmed up—perhaps ten additional knots. And suddenly, there it was, with the GPS and log finally in agreement: 45 knots flickering up towards 46, as our silver-hull missile flew straight and level over the rich, blue Mediterranean Sea. This, I remembered, is what it’s all about.
To get 30 tons of boat up and running at this speed with so little fuss and no creaks and groans from structure or fittings is not just a matter of horsepower. The boat felt solid. I swung the wheel from side to side, and the 62 followed every move with a gentle bank, like a willing thoroughbred keen to show what it can do. At 40 knots I hauled the wheel hard over, turn over turn, and the 62 banked into the curve like an F-16. The only thing visible out of my side window was sea: To gauge our progress and keep an eye out for other boats, I tilted my head to look up through the open hardtop, and halfway ‘round the circle our own wake came into view, no more than 100 yards away. The keel gripped, the props bit, and as we completed the circle I checked the log again: 30 knots. Not bad at all.
And, of course, immense fun for the helmsman: Pershing prides itself on building drivers’ boats. You can tell by the single, macho helm seat on the 62 that it was designed with the sporting client in mind. He certainly won’t be disappointed, but as I was to discover, Pershing has been thinking of his family, too. There is much more to this boat than power and performance, just as there is much more to Pershing’s design philosophy than the trademark external curvature that has proved so influential. You find it expressed in the simplest ideas: the electrically adjustable backs on the forward passenger seats, for example, which transform the outer one into an irresistible chaise lounge. There is also a huge LCD TV stowed behind the cockpit sofa, which doesn’t just rise into view in the usual way. You can swing it around on its stainless steel support to face its audience in the saloon or even turn it 180 degrees to face the cockpit on fine evenings. The elegant simplicity of those cockpit seats is another example: They lift to reveal liferaft stowage space, and with the hydraulic table between them lowered, the whole area over the garage becomes one big sunpad.
There are plenty of examples of clever design touches that make the Pershing 62 more than a muscle machine: the passarelle that doubles as a 770-pound-capacity tender hoist, the electrically tilting berths that make reading or watching TV more comfortable, and the intriguing, automatic inflatable cable-handling system for the tender that holds the anchor chain firmly in place when stowed and prevents it from tying itself in knots.
It’s only when you take all this into account that you begin to realize that the designers at Pershing are just as concerned with making boats comfortable and practical as with making them go. For all her horsepower and dreamlike handling abilities, the 62 is, in fact, also intended as a docile and trustworthy cruising machine. The sporting client that the designers have in mind is also a family man.
So the V-berth cabin was clearly designed for children. The midship master stateroom, with its big offset double berth, giant hanging locker, leather benchseat, dressing table, and capacious head compartment, is ideal for Mom and Dad. Meanwhile, the second double stateroom, reached via a separate companionway at the aft end of the saloon, is as secluded and private as your guests could wish for. And between the main and forward cabins there is a roomy dinette and galley area, where you can easily imagine the kids hoovering up their Cheerios while the grown-ups enjoy a more civilized breakfast upstairs.
Of course, family boating doesn’t mean slumming it—unless you’re the paid hand, that is. Any 62-footer is at the limit of trying to squeeze in viable crew accommodations, yet the Pershing’s tiny single-berth cabin somehow manages to come complete with shower, head, and washing machine—as well as a bed. Getting down there is rather awkward, via steep steps from the port side of the cockpit. But this first 62 is a prototype, and Pershing reckons it can improve access on subsequent boats. In the same way, it will also address the lack of galley stowage on this boat, by making better use of the empty space under the helm console.
But these are minor issues. The Pershing 62 may have been conceived as a family cruiser, but it’s also an opulent and beautifully appointed motoryacht, and to judge from the quality of the interior fit and finish, I’d never have guessed this was the first boat. Below decks all paneling is polished pear wood, and the head compartments feature teak soles, white lacquer, and dark wenge hardwood cabinets. And the steel-framed glass partition between cockpit and deck saloon means that the upper deck can be effectively air conditioned. Alternatively, the side windows slide down, and the carbon-fiber roof panel opens at the touch of a switch. There is no excuse to be uncomfortable.
But there is also 3,100 hp below decks: two beautiful MAN common-rail diesels driving a pair of Arneson’s finest. I suspect most owners will also feel that there is no excuse not to put all this heavy-duty iron to work occasionally, for the 62 is a hugely rewarding driver’s machine, a sea-skimming missile that lives up to its name. Part cruiser, part motoryacht, and all muscleboat, this Pershing is no Scud.
Ferretti Group USA
This article originally appeared in the January 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.