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Highfield Boats - Sailing - LEADERBOARD

The Colossus

by John Curnow, Global Editor, Powerboat-World.com 15 May 2020 00:00 PDT
Project E - second model - 22.28 metres long (73'1'') © Beneteau

There are boat builders the world over, and then there is Groupe Beneteau. The conglomerate is one giant powerhouse, building boats across Europe, and in the USA as well. Already well accustomed to building large sailing yachts, the powerboat divisions have also shown serious intent to go upscale, too. Project E, above, is to be revealed in the flesh at the 2021 Boot Düsseldorf, and does put a decent exclamation mark to that very notion.

However, unlike many a brand from many industries, the Groupe has not forgotten the other end of the spectrum. This point was something that I took up with one of the Groupe's Australian distributors, Graham Raspass of Flagstaff Marine, when we recently caught up (via phone to ensure social distancing).

Now on the face of it, you might say that the new Gran Turismo 32 is just the proven Flyer 10 hull with a real hardtop. Essentially, that is true, but if you live a cooler climate, or one where waves are the norm, not mill pond flatness, then you're going to appreciate all of the joy of the Flyer wrapped up into the successful Gran Turismo look.

This particular vessel was penned in house at Beneteau, which is really no surprise given the number of naval architects employed by the group in product design and management roles, since G3 (Gianguido Girotti) was brought on board. He has now risen to become Deputy CEO Groupe Beneteau, and heads up the boat division product strategy department. That's one rising star...

This product line also exclusively uses Beneteau's Air Step® 2 technology for a smoother ride and better efficiency in both getting on the plane, and then staying there. A lower horsepower requirement, and therefore overall displacement are the advantages, whilst top speed remains respectable. This was not lost on me when I tested the then very new GT50 off Port Ginesta in Barcelona a couple of years back. As a result, I have a very simple statement to make - mission accomplished.

Gran Turismo 32 - photo © <a target=www.imacis.fr fruchaud ludovic" />
Gran Turismo 32 - photo © www.imacis.fr fruchaud ludovic

Cleverly, the GT32 deploys an almost scow bow atop her fine V entry, and this delivers copious space up for'ard, both above and below deck. "It certainly is a statement in volume, with two double cabins, a head, and separate wet room below. This is clever work by Pierangelo Andreani's company. There is a full galley in the cockpit, and the ingenious walk around deck on just the one side means there is plenty of room for manoeuvres, and also lounging on the massive sun bed."

"She is fitted with twin V6 Mercruiser diesels rated at 230hp, powering Bravo3 sterndrives, with the option of joystick control. There is an outboard option, as well. Capable of 30 knots, she can also drink just 9.5l/hr at 7.5 knots, and a miserly 68l/hr at 25. Seating four facing forward when under way is also pretty cool, and remember the GT32 is just 32'6" LOA with an LWL of 31'6". It makes fun family boating practical, safe, and luxurious."

Beneteau's Swift Trawler 41 is the latest iteration of this highly successful product range. They have sold over 1300 of them since the early 2000s when they were introduced. The ST41 also marks a return to offering a sedan, and also flying bridge versions, but continues to push the overall aesthetic into the new era, with both her interior and exterior styling by Andreani, and you can see what she looks like here.

"The galley has gone to the aft of the saloon, with a shelf that pops out for al fresco dining and drinks. She also has two, full double cabins, with a third single in another cabin, and also the settee becomes another double. The Owner's Stateroom has a separate head and wet room, with a second head catering for your family or guests", said Raspass.

"There is a full set up in the U shaped galley, and cleverly designed helm seat swings around and down to form an extra bench at the extended table to take eight for dinner, all in proper seats. A true voyager, she is capable of 23 knots, but importantly, the pair of Volvo Penta D4 300s in inline shaft drive format can offer a 540nm range at 7.5 knots (13lph) and 266nm at 9.7 knots."

"At just 44 feet LOA and 41 LWL we think there is a lot of potential for this craft in Australia, and history suggests it also. We have had a lot of people come to us looking for a bigger boat. One client was off to Alaska, which is not going to happen now, and having spent time at home with the family they have rediscovered the importance of this, and the good times you can have together. Of course, boating offers this in spades, and with our offices in Sydney, Port Stephens and the Gold Coast, we can look after them as they traverse the East Coast."

Now there was a time not too far back, when there was talk of Beneteau producing a traditional trawler, in terms of speed, and that was been confirmed at Düsseldorf this year with their Project E. to be produced in 62 and 73 foot versions by the Monte Carlo yard in Viareggio, the real question is will a real one be ready for the 2021 show in Germany. I suspect the answer is yes BTW...

We have not seen one here in Australia as yet, but the new Monte Carlo 52 seems to tick many a box for luxurious, spacious, stylish, and quick boating. Back in Port Ginesta, I spent a lot of time with Rosalie Le Gall, Product Manager Beneteau, and in this video she explains the naval architecture (by Nuvolari & Lenard).

The upshot is that the MC52 is that she has a completely new hull dedicated to IPS drive only. You can select a pair of 600s or 650s with joystick, and of course in Volvo speak that equates to 400 and 440hp, respectively. She'll do 120lph or 6l/nm at 20 knots, and tops out around 27.

However, to my mind, having Beneteau Ship Control as standard is quite possibly the best feature, for here you can control all the major functions just like swiping on your phone. Importantly, that very device will allow you to set the AC off from home, so that when you arrive your boat is cool and refreshed. Ship Control also looks after engineering and navigation, so do check it out, as it takes a lot of product learning out of the requirement to go boating.

The restyling of this craft over its predecessor to bring it into line with the market and its expectations for style and glamour, whilst keeping it as luxurious as ever is pretty clear. Look for the Beneteau Seahorse on the prow and also the after ends of the coachhouse to see that.

They retained the retained the circular through hull ports, and let even more light in all around with extra ports below, and in the deckhead.

Andreani was again employed to wave the style wand over the vessel, and this is perhaps best demonstrated in this video. Suffice to say, the MC 52 has twin helms, a massive flying bridge that is an entertainer's delight, with the galley right aft, so it does not interfere with passengers when under way, and at anchor, any BBQ smoke goes out aft and away from the 12 souls you can seat around the table. You can also option your MC 52 with a fixed carbon hardtop.

"There's an external spiral staircase that affords more space for cockpit seating that faces into the rear galley, and luxury finishes and surfaces abound. There are three genuine doubles with full headroom. The Master has a head and separate shower to one side of the bed, and wardrobe to the other, and all of this is ahead of the engineering spaces. There is also another separate head and shower for second and third cabins", said Raspass in closing.

And it all means that the Colossus has given boaters plenty to think about for when they can return to the pastime we all love.

The One. The only!

Maritimo is the only boat builder in its segment with a race team. Maritimo One is the company's super-customisation division that has already delivered a lot of fishing oriented craft, along with the exciting X50R and all her performance upgrades.

The most recent vessel to appear from their Coomera factory is this new S51, which is currently having her tower installed, and we'll show you what that looks like as soon as it is done. As a concept it is not that new, but almost like a return to old, where a lot of Sportsfishermen are now being delivered as single level craft with a tower. The newest electronic wizardry from the industry's best, namely Garmin, Lowrance, and Raymarine, has also meant that the need to be high to see is not as important as in times gone by. Of course, less mass can also mean higher speed, and that is one item that has never gone out of fashion in the fish world.

This Maritimo One S51 is the third Maritimo for a serious fishing fanatic from New Zealand who knew exactly how he wanted his new boat set up. The S51 is headed there as soon as the Trans-Tasman Governments relax regulations enough for the owner to get over here to run it and take delivery.

An M59 model, also with a tuna tower and modifications to her cockpit and transom, is the next vessel to be ready. Earlier, a 72-foot behemoth showed what fully enclosed fish cockpit with through bulwark doors, a wedge transom for backing down on the haul, game chairs, live bait tanks, tuna tubes, outriggers, aft flying bridge helms, and enhanced sight lines through enclosed flying bridges can really add to the amenity of your vessel.

Our Managing Editor, Mark Jardine, recently talked at length with Maritimo's Lead Designer, Tom Barry-Cotter. It is terrific information, and look out for the gold nugget of information towards the end of the video.

Let me wander and wonder...

Marc Hawxhurst, the President of Nova Luxe in the USA sent out a note and was kind enough to let me reprint it, for it certainly was inline with our thinking here at Powerboat-World.

He started out with a quote from a certain Benjamin Franklin. 'If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.'

Hawxhurst added, "With the majority of work around the world at a standstill, now is a good time for detailed planning."

How much will it cost to convert?

"This is the most common question we get at Nova Luxe. This single question can only be properly answered after we determine what electric system works best for the catamaran in question, and the customer. What type of hybrid are you interested in? Two electric motors with a DC generator as a range extender, or a single electric motor replacing one of the two diesels? What are the speed and range expectations? Full electric can match the speed of diesels when burning 10 gallons per hour. A diesel engine and electric motor combination allows for higher speeds. How large should the solar array be? Where is the yacht located?"

"Once those essential questions are answered, we have a good idea of what the cost will be for your custom conversion. Still, continuing forward with the design and planned implementation of all parts will bring us to the best estimate of cost."

"Nova Luxe is working with a few potential customers in various stages of the design phase and we have capacity for more as designs are completed. Working on designs, parts lists, and implementation plans will ensure we are ready to go when business activity re-opens. Also, this allows for more feedback on design/functional elements like the solar array."

"At some point business will resume as normal, our lives will become more hectic and the always essential planning phase may not get the attention it deserves. Now is the time to design the boat of your dreams!"

Absolutely nothing beats a whistle!

So then at the other end of the spectrum, I noticed that the first of the new Riviera Sport Motor Yacht 64s is to be fitted with a pair MAN V12s rated to 1550hp. Immediately exposing the trainspotter in me, the original spec for this new model had her listed as receiving MANs V8s rated at 1200hp each, not the 'baby' 12s.

Now as MANs range of superlative and brutal 12s in this bracket share the same block, and offer alternative power outputs by changing the number of hairdryers fitted atop the Iron Ladies, technically, someone could fit two of the 2000hp version, and make it fly like a US game boat! YeahHaaaa...

Stephen Milne, Brand & Communications Director at Riviera told me, "We've got many boats to complete and deliver prior to June 30. Our owners are telling us, 'please deliver our new boats as soon as you can'. They are itching to get back out on the water. The 64 will premiere here in Australia this June and July, then she'll be heading to the US and her premiere there, where her bigger engines are better suited to that market."

So if you want to see, and more importantly hear what that sort of whistle sounds like, please see our review of the 64s big sister, the 72, which was fitted with the 1900s, which at the time were the maximum offering from MAN. If you just want to skip all that and simply hear the MANs at work, just go here now.

OK. Today you will find that the site has an abundance of material from right across the globe, and if you cannot find something, just try the search button right up the top of the landing page, above our logo.

We have stories, lessons, inspirations and history to regale yourself with. Please do savour... We're really enjoying bringing you the best stories from all over the globe. If you want to add to that, then please make contact with us via email.

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Speak with you again, very, very soon.

John Curnow
Global Editor, Powerboat-World.com

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