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Garlington 49

The Perfect Angle

Garlington built this gorgeous 49-footer with every amenity the owner requested, and not a single thing he didn’t.

When Peter Landeweer, owner of Garlington Landeweer (GL) Marine, Inc., faced the daunting task of adding a new model to his lineup, he called upon his experiences with his customer base and travels. This led the builder towards a more traditional dayboat—express-style rather than a convertible sportfisherman. The newest creation from Garlington Landeweer is a super-sleek 49-foot express.

“Everywhere I’ve been fishing, new resorts are being built. We decided to go for a smaller, more economical boat that could efficiently travel and just as important, fish well. More frequently owners are using their boats just to fish and are staying in homes or hotels,” observed Landeweer.

The GL 44 Express is a well-known entity on the fishing circuit. To replace this top performer, the plan was to take all the features and handling characteristics of Garlington’s stately 61-footer and produce it in a more compact package. The 49 design was originally destined to be a bridge boat, but demand dictated the first hull be an express.

 “It’s a whole different boat than the 44. We added more beam and raised the deck to allow for a stand-up engine room. This design added better visibility from the helm deck, especially when running. We designed a tiny spray rail so the water now breaks midway of the air intake on the hull, adding to the dryness of the ride,” reports the builder.

Osprey is hull number one of the 49s and she summers in Montauk, New York. Capt. Jason Carey splits his time bassin’ and flukin’ inshore off the Point and sprinting for yellowfin and bigeye tuna in the deep canyons 80 to 100 miles from the inlet. Her winter home is a few miles from where she was built in Stuart, Florida, where they mostly billfish. According to Carey, Garlington has hit pay dirt with this express.

“She really performs well inshore and off. We fished the Stream one day in 8- to 10-footers and she just sat there like a duck. When we billfish, her design makes it easy to handle a fish. It’s a clean cockpit and easy to work around,” he said.

The cockpit is 114 square feet and the freeboard measured out at 25 inches. There are no obstructions to get in the way of an angler or mate, except for a rocket launcher that is set back 45 inches from the transom, allowing for easy circumvention.

All custom boats are specifically designed for a particular owner’s needs or lack thereof, and Osprey is no exception. Garlington is capable of transforming a hole in the water into the technical equivalent of a space shuttle. However, Osprey’s owner didn’t want a NASA-style ship.

“We just don’t have the need for live bait and we keep a relatively small percentage of what we catch. One of our two fishboxes is chilled, the other we use for gear. We also don’t use teaser reels, but we did put compartments in if we want to add them later,” Carey said. 

Teak covering boards complement a teak deck, which is soft on the feet and designed with a significant perimeter fiberglass gutter that channels water and debris effortlessly to the grated corner scuppers. The hawsepipes are large and the liner angles back to the opening, so feeding a dock line to the cleats is not like threading a needle. Indeed, the portside in-sole cockpit box is capable of holding a large swim ladder and the assortment of brushes, 5-gallon buckets, and cleaning supplies.

The GL 49 exhibits a pretty sweet mix as far as radius design and hard angles, especially in the cockpit; it’s nice to see the blend of thoughts. The twin mezzanine seats are not just an inadequate version of a current fad, they are in fact wide, comfortable to sit on, and have compartments below that are electronically controlled either to refrigerate or freeze contents.

The transom door is just shy of 3 feet wide and just within, in the cockpit sole, are two receivers for a swim ladder. This allows the transom, above and below the waterline, to be clear of any potential line cutters. The 50-amp service can be plugged in on either side since Osprey’s owner did not spec a retracting shore power cord system. The lazarette is a finished compartment and sufficiently large to service the rudders, autopilot actuator, and assorted pumps.

The three steps to the climate-controlled helm deck are on the centerline, and the bottom tread lifts to reveal a compartment suitable for stowing service items including filters, tools, gear, and engine oil.

The helm deck itself is simple but clearly functional. Carey has no problems viewing what’s in front, to the side, or the seven-lure pattern he normally runs aft. The wraparound house is a mere 4 feet high. It is very apparent how well the boat is proportioned when sitting at the helm. The cockpit, helm area, and cabin flow evenly together. We’ve all been on express boats that seem to forgo one area at the expense of another, not here.

The starboard and port settee include a full complement of trolling rods, sanctuary for a full crew of anglers, and stowage below. The teak-pod helm station sports the customary single-lever controls, stylish steering wheel, and the MAN displays. Two electronics boxes easily support a full setup of Simrad navigation monitors and displays. 

Garlington Landeweer uses female-mold construction, vacuum-bag technology, and Corecell in the layup process. All hulls are finished with an Awlgrip paint job. GL engineered the Robert Ullberg and Peter Landeweer-designed hull with shallow tunnels that support shaft angles of 10 degrees.

Osprey is powered by a set of 800-horsepower MAN engines that are paired to 1.75:1 ZF marine gears, 2.5-inch stainless shafts, and Veem four-blade props. Her 800 gallons of fuel is carried centerline in three tanks; forward, engine room, and cockpit. The 14.5-kilowatt generator is placed abaft the engines. 

The engines can be accessed by either a day hatch or by an almost-full-beam hatch in the helm area if a major repair is needed. The engine room has great headroom as previously stated. True to the builder’s keep-it-simple philosophy the space is a neatly wired and thoughtfully laid out—a concise area with ample access to all the systems housed within.

As scripted as boat-test procedures can be, the weather doesn’t always accommodate. Our test was relegated to the inshore waters of Stuart, the steady winds made the inlet and ocean sea conditions untenable for getting solid test data. That said, even calm seas can expose some blemishes. But there were none here. The climb up the power curve was steady. The ride was very dry, just saying. At trolling speed the underwater gear produced minimum turbulence and, taking the captain at his word, “she raises fish.”

The decibel readings were fairly constant as we went from idle to WOT. Sound levels were a little loud yet manageable at the helm, though it was quieter in the cabin below. At 1000 rpm the hull was already itching to get up on plane and at 1500 turns, the 49 Express was skimming along quite nicely at 21.5 knots with a fuel burn of 30 gph. Osprey will cruise all day at 31 knots and tops out at 37. The builder will accommodate those requiring more speed with larger engines, but it seems unnecessary.

The cabin interior volume is in keeping with the mission of the build. There are great dayboat amenities with sufficient room and stowage for extended cruising. The master has an island queen berth, the dinette converts to a berth, and the settee could easily function as a sleeper. 

The head certainly won’t be confused in size with a hanging locker and the stall shower is big-person friendly. Stowage areas and lockers are plentiful and the teak-and-holly sole and maple joinery are finely crafted.

Many might believe that a custom yacht is out of reach financially. But the beauty is that an owner gets everything he wants, and nothing he doesn’t; the dollars put toward the build are specifically targeted.

Garlington Landeweer has created a stylish and efficient express fisherman in line with her 61-foot sibling. She can be dressed to the nines for the Mid-Atlantic 500 or streamlined for a local snapper derby. But one thing is for sure: She won’t be left at the dock waiting for a date.

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This article originally appeared in the May 2013 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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