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Review: Outer Reef 73' Pilothouse

Review Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 27 votes, 4.85 average.
Review: Outer Reef 73' Pilothouse

Outer Reef 73' Pilothouse M/Y

by Capt. Chuck Gnaegy

For the fabled mariner who has dreamed of single-handing in luxury to
the many storied isles of our vast oceans; or the salty couple who envision
their magic carpet as the magnificent yacht which they navigate themselves
to exotic ports of call; Outer Reef presents the key to a fabulous future of
independence at sea: the Outer Reef - 73’ Pilothouse Motoryacht.

The Founder:

When a company founder has an extensive background in property construction and management in Long Island’s elite “The Hamptons,” you can easily assume his marine products are destined to be comfortable, as well as exquisite quality. When his early career also includes background years in the demanding commercial fishing industry, you can bet his yachts are built to handle the sea.

That is the profile of Jeff Druek, president of Outer Reef Yachts. Druek jump started a career in boat building by first having his own yachts built, with the last of three personal yachts being a 77' custom pilothouse motoryacht. His attention to detail in custom home building has been parlayed into a passion for detail in yacht building. Having worked for another well-known brand of pilothouse yachts, Druek believed with the right yard and his diligent pursuit of perfection... he could build a better boat.

But building to a higher standard wasn't enough. Druek envisioned others, much like himself, who dreamed of a yacht possessing not only reliable, worry free construction and equipment, but also designed for ease of handling, bringing maintenance to a minimum and the crew count to zero. Although each yacht is set up for crew’s quarters, these fine craft are really engineered to be sailed by a knowledgeable couple.
The Yard:

Outer Reef's yachts are built by the Tania Yacht Company, located in Kaohsiung Harbor, Taiwan. Established in 1986, it soon became a major fabrication facility for new fiberglass motor and sailing yachts employing over 60 engineers and craftsmen, most of whom have been educated in some of the finest universities in Taiwan and the U.S. To date, over 200 vessels have been delivered by the yard with all of it's raised pilothouse yachts being exclusive to Outer Reef. Currently, the yard is producing a 60', 65', 73' and 78' for Outer Reef, with a 105' slated for future production.

Tania Yacht’s facility is currently undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation and expansion and has recently obtained ISO 9001:2000 certificate for power and sail designs. This expansion is an integral part of their business plan with Outer Reef Yachts. This plan is to ensure maximum production capacity, updated construction and fabrication technology, which are the hallmarks of an Outer Reef Yacht.
Outer Reef 73' - Exterior:

An Outer Reef is not your standard motoryacht. There are 5 main molds, including the hard-top that make up the entire boat. Fewer parts equals greater strength and increased rigidity. The hulls are hand laid-up FRP, extra strong, with vinylester barrier lamination for osmosis protection, and PVC core sandwich above the waterline. Below the surface a solid, non-cored, vacuum-bagged laminate is used. It's built to take on more than a sunny afternoon’s outing as the hull’s architectural design provides for economical passagemaking due to hard chine and flat sections aft, thus assuring stability at both low and high speeds, under all sea conditions.

In addition to the above, full length longitudinal engine stringers and athwartships stringers assure hull integrity, while a full keel enhances tracking and stability. An added measure of performanace and protection comes in the form of propeller pockets to recess the running gear. To ensure security in demanding offshore conditions, Outer Reef uses tempered safety glass – 3/8” in the salon, and 1/2” in the deckhouse. Returning to dock, nav/handling details include standard hydraulic bow and stern thrusters at multiple control stations, to make every landing a soft cinch. And if you miss a slip, rub rails with stainless steel capping stand-guard.
Decks are white (color optional), non-skid gel-coat, with special teak inserts on the aft deck, swim platform, and walk around side decks. On the aft deck, FRP bench seats include storage lockers beneath, which is accompanied by a deep-finish, wood dining table sitting upon stainless columns fastened to the deck. Just to port of the salon doors, the deck-box includes a stainless sink, fridge and icemaker. The entire compartment is integrated into the original mold... much like the entire boat.
Removable swim platform railings facilitate an easy passage through a watertight, stern access door. Pass-thru clearance is good, but get's much better once inside, as this leads to an ample crew quarters and enters into one of the largest, full stand-up engine rooms we've seen on a sub-80 foot yacht. Access to both engines, as well as mechanical gear is excellent. This is one engine room you'll enjoy detailing. (pics will follow at end of review)
Aft of the covered flybridge, a gate door opens to the boat deck where a Nautical Structures EZ1700-3 hydraulic deck crane will launch a 16’ to 18’ RIB tender. Just forward of this gate, a Jenn-Aire with cold storage compartments is seamlessly integrated behind the flybridge seating. Overhead, the FRP radar arch sweeps up to a massive hard-top, possibly the largest to grace a vessel of this size.
Outer Reef has put a lot thought into reduced maintenance and keeping their yachts looking as clean as the day they were delivered. An example of this includes generously placed deck drains that eliminate unsightly hull stains from water run-off. To aid in deck water seeking its proper destination, channels are incorporated around the perimeter of the decks to feed water directly to the escape. And finally, all of the stainless hardware is 316 grade.
On the foredeck is a single stainless steel anchor chute/roller for the CQR plow w/350’ of ½” chain; and a Maxwell VWC-4000 hydraulic vertical windlass w/foot switches. Throughout the yacht, premium components have been selected, not just for longevity and quality, but for accessibility to parts later on in years.
A fresh-air world unto itself, the broad flybridge is all set for outdoor parties, dining, fun and your viewing pleasure. With L-shaped, upholstered bench seats, storage beneath, and hi-lo tables, the BBQ grill is poised to open the festivities, lunch, or dinner, on the starboard side. Backing them up is a refrigerator/icemaker and stainless steel wash basin. There are FRP storage lockers on the boat deck, while the whole area is surrounded by stainless steel grab rails and a venturi windscreen forward.
Up forward on the flybridge, the molded instrument console shelters and displays all the necessary gauges and information for navigation. They are preceeded by a stainless steel destroyer-type wheel, a well padded Naugahyde, adjustable Stidd helm chair, as well as a companion seat, and shaded by the full hardtop; the exclusive Deluxbridge, full beam width all the way forward.
The flybridge instument panel can be equipped with any electronics combo a buyer chooses. Best of all, the amount of space allocated to the instrument panels (both fly and bridge) give more than adequate room for varying positions, additions or upgrades. Because Outer Reef recognizes that buyers will want different brands of electronics, ranging from extensive to just barely enough, the design of the helms are left open with plenty of room for interface arrangement. To the right of the helm, a smoked, sliding hatch gives way to stairs that lead down to the pilothouse. To beam up night maneuvers, a 12” 230V incandescent searchlight stands at the ready on the forward flybridge coping.
Outer Reef 73' - Interior:

Large windows cast a decidedly airy brightness to the salon, here viewed from the stern forward. With copious storage cabinets, in satin varnished teak, offering ledges for art and sculpture – inside is stored glassware and dining essentials, as well as hidden sound systems which entertain throughout the entire vessel. Well concealed behind valances running the perimeter of the salon (as well as all cabins), the HVAC vents are diffused and spread out evenly throughout the rooms, giving uniform heating and cooling.
On OR-73’s main deck, double teakwood-framed glass doors, aft, open to the spacious salon, where cabinetry follows the décor theme. Teak veneers panel the walls and contrast with the light tan in the fully carpeted living room. Upholstered lounges run the length of the room, accompanied by deep cushioned easy chairs and an oblong teak table. Wide windows traverse the length with built-in shades, while valances unobtrusively obscure the air conditioning vents. Even though the OR-73' has full walk-around exterior decks, the salon is quite spacious. One of the by-products of being a big-beam boat, in addition to stability.
In the foreground is a glimpse of the granite bar countertop, which is served from the galley and also provides a lowered counter for a breakfast/lunch quick snack. The main deck layout makes excellent use of space, with a galley open to the salon, a dayhead just off the passageway and an ample pantry for prolonged provisions. A closer look reveals subtle details, including a stainless backsplash above the stove, matching veneered fridge and some brilliantly engineered cabinet/drawer slides, making it easy to reach the most tucked away utensils.
This galley is complete, but more importantly... it is spacious enough for two people to cook together and enjoy near 180 degree views astern. But size is nothing without the right tools, therefore a builder’s allowance of $10,000 is granted for appliances as ordered. In this photo, a granite countertop contrasts nicely with light teak veneer cabinetry. Numerous drawers allow for multiple stored kitchen necessities. Built into the forward bulkhead are cook tops, ovens and refrigerator/freezers. Why into the forward bulkhead? Because a boat running into headseas will shift loose items forward. And finally, not one, but two sinks await at the apex of the galley.

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