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Review: Sea Spirit 60' Passagemaker

Discussion in 'Sea Spirit Yacht' started by YachtForums, Jan 14, 2010.

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  1. Sea Spirit 60' Passagemaker
    2 Years, 2,000 Hours & 2 Oceans Later

    by Judy Waldman​

    With an emphasis on transoceanic capability and long range fuel economy,
    Sea Spirit's 60' flaunts new age amenities and old world charm, delivering an exceptional
    trawler for today's cruising couple. Join us for a redeux review, as we reflect on the journey of
    "Dauntless", the 1st Sea Spirit delivered, now in its 2nd year of service and some 2000 hours later. ​

    With four hulls afloat, exploring various corners of the globe, along with two more Sea Spirit 60's scheduled to launch, Dauntless presents an opportunity to see how well this trawler has traveled. The durability and seaworthiness of the Sea Spirit Passagemaker is evidenced by the seafaring tales willingly recounted by Dauntless’s owner, Ed K., who was the ideal client for Sea Spirit's founder, Dan Fritz. As the founder of Queenship Yachts, Dan had seen his company produce over 60 luxury yachts up to 112 feet. The idea for a Passagemaker series formulated over many years. Combining his 20 years experience with building Queenships and his 30 years of business dealings in the Far East (including bringing the renown Mandarin Oriental chain of hotels to the US), Dan knew he could find the right team for building the ultimate long-range cruiser which seemed to elude the trawler market.

    After taking delivery of Dauntless in March 2008 in Seattle, Ed and his wife Carol took off straight away for Alaska. The two years they have been cruising Dauntless, including 14,500 miles in 15 months, have enabled them to substantiate that the yacht has met their expectations, or as Ed excitedly brags, “It far exceeds our expectations, more than we could have imagined.” After cruising in the PNW, through the Panama Canal, and island hopping in the Caribbean, Ed and Carol took Dauntless up the East Coast, through the NY canal system, and on to homeport in Ohio. Dauntless was displayed in East Coast boat shows and is currently in warm water cruising position in Florida.

    In selecting Sea Spirit for these cruising goals, Ed knew they would confront a variety of sea conditions. And indeed they did. After leaving Seattle, they encountered 15 foot following seas along with 35 knots of wind. While traveling the Inside Passage, Dauntless experienced 10 foot rollers which started out on the bow quarter and then were dead abeam. Then there were the 12-15 foot head seas off Nicaragua. Ed says the boat was wet, but she just chugged right on through not even interfering with cooking and normal cabin duties. On the west side of Cuba they encountered 2 days of beating into 8 to 12 foot head seas. Ed says he is dumbstruck at what a phenomenal sea boat the Sea Spirit has proven to be. Dauntless has provided them with confidence in the vessel’s ability to spur them on to their eventual goal of cruising Europe.
  2. First inspired by Vincent Mausset’s Atlantique 50, further refined by the prestigious design team at Sparkman & Stephens, along with Dan's specifications, the Sea Spirit 60 became the ideal yacht to fill a void in the specialty passagemaking market. Offering safety, comfort, luxury, a sea-kindly ride and transoceanic range all in a finely crafted, aesthetically pleasing yacht, the new Sea Spirit can easily be handled by a couple and at a price based on practicality rather than hype. Based on a conventional sailboat hull shape, the integral swim platform was refined until it became the exact proportion for increasing speed, minimizing hull drag, and reducing the squat associated with canoe sterns. The resulting design allowed the vessel to ride up and over waves in a following sea rather than being pushed around by them.
  3. Emphasis at the bow was placed on the precision of the bulbous bow’s configuration, one that was eventually designed as an upside-down tear shape, to reduce resistance both underway and upon water re-entry in a seaway. The full-length keel and the keel shoe, which protect the prop and rudder, were concluded with the intention of creating a vessel with roll dampening properties that would not be stabilizer dependent as the tendency of so many fiberglass full displacement trawlers. The unique construction of the Sea Spirit 60 continued with Dan Fritz striving for safety with the best in technological advances and materials. Kevlar is used extensively throughout the keel and the solid hand laid-up fiberglass laminate which is used to 10 inches above the waterline. Kevlar is also integrated from above the waterline from the collision bulkhead to the bow. The topsides and superstructure are constructed with Corecell offering increased strength with reduced weight. The transverse framing and longitudinal stringers have additional fiberglass reinforcements as well as the elimination of all wood products traditionally used in fiberglass yachts. All cored laminates are vacuum bagged.
  4. Aside from being built to ABS standards, the overall safety of the vessel was of primary importance. Ease of maintenance and durability were also guiding principles. Blister-resistant gelcoat epoxy barrier primer below the waterline and Isophthalic gelcoat base primer are standard. The hull is further protected from piling rash with the rubrail integrated structurally into the hull laminate; the rubrail has a 2 x 1/2” stainless steel rubbing strake providing additional strength and protection. The five watertight compartments offer additional integrity created by the 4 collision bulkheads built in excess of ABS standards. Each of the watertight compartments has independent bilge pumps, a total of 10; labeled and lighted bilge alarm layout panels are affixed in the pilothouse, master stateroom, and flybridge.
  5. Great attention has been given to noise suppression throughout the vessel. Accommodation soles are cored with sound attenuating honeycomb Nidacore. The main deck sole has additional Quadzero flexible foil face and Wavebar noise barriers. The engine room walls, ceilings, and bulkheads include dampening sheets and layers of mass composite acoustic barriers with an exterior layer of white powder coated perforated aluminum sheeting. Pumps and motors are isolation mounted where possible. Aquadrive anti-vibration flexible coupling and generators set on isolation mounts above 12mm of Sylomer cell structure further reduce the transmission of vibrations. In Dan Fritz’s continual search for improvements with discovery of new technology, later hulls have additional layers of sound insulation. The supplemental sound attenuating system uses a semi-soft putty that literally soaks up noise. Then there is a liner of special composite and metal alloy tiles that are embedded into the putty and converts the sound energy into heat which is drawn out of the engine room by its blower system.
  6. Entertaining space for the family is generous with an L-shaped settee and the hi-lo table for outdoor dining. The forward area of the flybridge, easily accessed by gentle stairs from the pilothouse through a watertight door, has a sink along with many storage areas conveniently located. Just aft, the hinged electronics mast lowers to give an air draft of less than 20’. Since Ed knew he would be single handling at times and passing under fixed bridges, he asked Dan to install a winch beneath the settee for raising and lowering the mast himself.
  7. Design elements that were import to the K.’s were maximum interior space and exterior usability. Ed knew his family would spend a great deal of time in warmer climates and appreciated the comforts a flybridge would afford. The underway visibility from the flybridge station was crucial and Sea Spirit’s fore/aft placement of the helm seemed ideal. The duplicity of electronics on the flybridge makes the driving and navigational aspects as thorough from the upper helm as from the pilothouse. This steering station boasts a Furuno GPS and radar overlay, Furuno AIS, 2 ICOMs, Simrad autopilot, Ritchie compass with backlight for night running, rudder angle indicator, search light control, Lugger engine gauges, ZF controls., and the Sidepower hydraulic bow and stern thruster controls. Extra conveniences include the chain counter for the anchor and the alarm panel which highlights any bilge or fire activity. Electrical outlets, both 110 and 12v, flank the helm area.
  8. The funnel, more specifically the fake stack, houses a large slide-out grill and propane tanks on the port side. As throughout the vessel, every nook and cranny is well utilized, including the drop down prep table next to the grill. The starboard side of the stack is a dry area for stowing extra lines and fenders. The aft area of the flybridge. which can also be accessed by stairs from the lower aft deck, is convenient for launching and storing the 14’ RIB from the 1600 pound davit.
  9. The foredeck offers front row seating during light seas passages. The generous but stylish freeing ports with vertical line rollers provide the service for those other days. High bulwarks, 50 inches forward and 47 inches from amidships aft, also contribute to the solid and secure feeling on deck. The integrated hydraulic system is used to spin the 3500# Maxwell windlass.
  10. The Portuguese bridge offers greenwater deflection on roughwater days as well. In addition to quality stowage accessible from large doors on the aft side or from the deck seating forward, the bridge also provides a safe vantage point or for tethering when going forward through the double doors in severe conditions.
  11. One of the striking attributes of the Sea Spirit 60 is the proper assignment of proportions. No area was made large at the expense of another. The salon is generous in part because of the wide-body option implemented on Dauntless. A substantial starboard deck is used in lieu of full walk-around decks.
  12. Another of the great features of the Sea Spirit 60 is the aft deck. While this is an additional ideal area for alfresco dining, it is well designed to also allow access to the swim platform. Barrett Enclosures provided an outstanding foolproof clear enclosure with sliding panels and an intelligent finishing technique that prevents the typical enclosure deficiencies. Settees to port and starboard of the door access are built into the bulwarks with storage below and cabinets on the sides. Two varnished teak table tops serve the two settees. Cleverly designed, there is a removable table top and seat insert for extending the seating and dining area when entry to the swim platform isn’t needed. Port and starboard hydraulic capstans make line adjusting or stern anchoring a cinch.
  13. The centerline pantographic transom door swings out for easy access to the swim platform which includes a wet storage compartment, bait well, and retractable pocketed swim ladder. Forward of the transom door are recessed cabinets, one for the controls for easy dirty oil discharge with fresh and salt water hose connections and the other for hand-held hot/cold shower fixtures.
  14. Upon entry from the aft deck, one is struck by the expansive width of the salon, again due to the single side deck option. A combination of elegance and practicality with a traditional flair greets you. The honey colored teak is used extensively but it is all grain matched; routed raised panels, crown moldings, and fine satin finish demonstrate the artistry of the talented carpenters. The boxed windows have tinted glass but are large, symmetrical and numerous as to allow plenty of natural lighting. The boxed frames make sense for containing the wooden blinds to prevent swaying and they give an interesting look with all interior windows being symmetrical. Large floor hatches are a convenience you hope is never needed but makes for practical engine removal.
  15. Portside is the seating area with couch, recliner, 2 end tables, and hi/lo cocktail table. The optional loose furniture seems to be a testament to the yacht’s sea keeping ability. An abundance of storage cabinets is to starboard. There is an extraordinary amount of storage throughout the yacht presenting a noticeable absence of clutter; everything has a place and is well stowed.
  16. A desk area utilizes the corner space well and is nicely accessorized with a built-in clock, barometer, and thermometer. At 150 square feet, there is ample room for entertaining, dining, or lounging and with 6’10” headroom, even the tall fellas are comfortable.
  17. The salon is separated from the galley forward with a serving/eating counter and 2 bar stools. The granite counters provide good service areas for a galley that is very workable in spite of its compactness. The triangulation and design allow for easy access to all appliances necessary for gourmet prep even in a seaway. Concerns for safety at sea is also evidenced by the substantial fiddles on the stovetop.
  18. Convenient pullout pantries and shelves hold the provisions while numerous items can be stowed in drawers and cabinets; smaller items can be stashed in apertures that Sea Spirit so well utilizes in what would otherwise seem as unusable space.
  19. To starboard of the galley is the day head. Although this is an optional layout, it has almost become standard on trawlers for those understanding the near-helm convenience during long passages as well as an amenity for hosting day guests. The pilothouse doors are noteworthy. Nice to have the option of using the solid door to shut off reflecting light from the galley and salon into the pilothouse during night passages
  20. Entering the pilothouse, the attention grabber is the port and starboard panographic doors. Not only are the doors handsomely attractive, but they have side opening glass panels for allowing fresh air to enter while keeping the rain where it belongs. The teak and stainless steel trim on the doors of course matches with the right combination that blends all of the other teak with stainless accoutrements.
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