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Review: Marlow Explorer 72E Skylounge Motoryacht

Discussion in 'Marlow Yacht' started by YachtForums, Mar 19, 2011.

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  1. Marlow Explorer 72E Skylounge Motoryacht
    Reuniting With A Timeless Beauty

    by Capt. Tom Serio​

    The term "First Love" conjures up soul stirring moments from the past. You may recall certain qualities
    that were endearing and perhaps even outstanding. And then one day, out of nowhere, you see her.
    You find yourself stepping back, reminiscing and possibly gazing upon her with a renewed interest.
    YF brings a review of a former and likely current “love”: the Marlow Explorer 72E.​

    David Marlow designed the 72E to be a seaworthy craft, handled by a couple if desired, and almost literally to let the builder sail off into the sunset. But fortune has found David Marlow in that his “swan song” turned out to be anything but sailing away. Marlow’s 72E immediately caught the eyes of other Marlow owners, and so David continues to build them, to rave reviews. The Explorer series debuted in 2001 with the 65 and is now counted as part of the 150 total Marlow Yachts cruising the world today. Although the look is classic, the Marlow 72E is really a modern yacht. The 72E has a sharp entry, augmented with lifting strakes and a hard chine, while a gentle flare forward keeps spray at bay. Although the styling is asymmetric, it gives way to flowing lines and a workable interior that Marlow has filled with lustrous wood finishes and top-quality materials.
  2. David Marlow has been tinkering with things that float ever since he was a lad growing up among the mangroves and estuaries along Florida’s west coast. His mind continues to find ways to make the yachting experience more enjoyable, safer and more efficient, including ways to be a good steward of the environment. The “E” designation after the 72 notes that this is a Euro-styled model with a transom that sweeps aft at an angle instead of the conventional transom that is straight. It adds about 4-feet to the overall length.
  3. Protection from the elements and an unobstructed view are the obvious benefits of an enclosed bridge. Marlow has done this without compromising the classic lines that define the marque. Adding to this, a low-profile radar arch compliments the aspect ratios and fits comfortably over the skylight.
  4. Access to the foredeck is via the center walk-thru Portuguese bridge. Built-in seating against the bridge allows for unobstructed viewing. The center walkway and fore deck areas are trimmed in natural Burmese teak and flush with the non-slip side decks. With a near-level deck and a beefy form-fitting handrail system of 316L stainless steel, sure-footedness abounds in rough seas or reaching for a dock line. Set aft from the bow peak are the hawspipes, which help to keep sea water from flooding the foredeck and you from getting a face full of spray while heading into large waves.
  5. Ground tackle consists of two Maxwell anchor systems with options for different anchors/bottoms or dual anchoring. Chain blocks keep the links from slapping the teak. Marlow manages the 250-feet of chain with chain chutes that lead below deck to dedicated boxes, lowering the center of gravity. Flanking the anchor gear are flush mounted compartments for line/fender stowage and water/electric hookups, good for keeping shore power cords to a minimum.
  6. Stability, both yours and the yachts, is essential. Super-wide, covered side decks let you transverse the 72E from stem to stern like a human without two left feet. The overhangs keep the elements overboard and prevent drips down your backside. Cleats are mounted on the sides and recessed.
  7. The fun begins topside with a large enclosed skylounge bridge and deck. Starting aft of the bridge on the open deck is an L-shaped lounge with hi-lo teak table to starboard. Padded seating offers comfort and large aft windows offer great visibility in and out. The double aft doors are an inviting aspect to opening up the feel of the yacht. Nix the tender storage and the deck becomes the sun lounge or gathering place for the see and be seen. Barely discernable but evident is the convex contour of the upper diamond-pattern nonskid deck that flows water to the side drainage channels, which are large enough to ship out gallons in seconds.
  8. For those days when captain and guest clamor for more of the outside inside, Marlow designed the bridge with cavernous windows, port and starboard sliding doors, aforementioned double aft doors and a large skylight. Want more light, pull back the skylight shade. Want more fresh air, activate the power skylight window and you’ll have a bridge drenched in ocean air and sunlight, or moonlight if you enjoy nocturnal cruising.
  9. Yachting is often a spectator sport, and Marlow has taken that into consideration with a large raised settee along the aft of the skylounge. Deep seating and an accompanying large teak table should keep the crowd here and not up against the helm.
  10. Twin Crown helm seats gives the captain/crew or cruising couple an extra set of eyes or at least some company on a long trip. Raised pedestals grant a good view over the L-shaped helm. As Marlow’s from the old school, he built in a work area to the right of the helm for paper charts. Hey, they don’t need batteries.
  11. Our Marlow 72E was equipped with a complete Raymarine electronics package including three 17-inch displays, a VHF, autopilot, FLIR night camera, Francis searchlight, Morse throttle controls and twin CAT engine displays. Stabilizer controls and assorted rocker switches were laid out to keep this busy helm organized. Overhead is a low-profile dash with meters, gauges, several breakers and a ship warning system, all within easy view.
  12. On the main deck, the salon just beckons for you to come in and sit down. Slightly curved couches (they’re more than settees) to port and starboard flank an eight-drawer center coffee table and are long enough to lay out flat (I know, I did). Recessed ceiling spots and lamps on end tables offer different lighting configurations, depending on mood. Forward in the granite-topped credenza there’s storage below and the upper center panel opens to reveal an entertainment center with center-line TV. The salon walls are of hardwood teak, with teak and leather accents on the tables and around the credenza. Window treatments included blinds and valences. Underfoot is wool-blend carpeting from the Philippines. Marlow said that he builds his yachts “not like a house, but like an airplane”, with the outer parts like a fuselage, being the skeleton and eliminating weight-bearing walls and bulkheads.
  13. The salon has a teak-framed tray ceiling inlay flanked by fore/aft leather wrapped grabrails (there’s that stability thing again). Marlow knows that his yachts are not just for going up and down canals but for searching out blue water and destinations near and far, and accounts for such with handles and grabrails in many spots, inside and out.
  14. Based on the aforementioned thoughts of blue water cruising, and the fact that man has to eat, the U-shaped galley forward of the salon works, in that it’s wide enough for two to create culinary surprises, but also close-in where you need just a few steps to get from point to point. With generous granite counter space, this really is a chef’s delight. Under-counter appliances include four-drawer Sub-Zero fridges, two-drawer freezers and a Fisher & Paykel dishwasher, none of which are obtrusively jutting into the line of vision. A Gaggenau stove top and oven, dual sinks, pull out drawers, cabinets and five overhead cabinets add to the galley features. There is a pass through to the salon along the aft counter, so basically you have access and visibility all around. Speaking of innovation, Marlow took the space on the forward counter backsplash and created a “cutlery locker”. Figuring you don’t need wide drawers for narrow utensils, simply flip up the top wood cap and find individual compartments of silverware.
  15. Another key gathering location on board is the forward dinette. U-shaped to serve eight or more, the leather settee is on a raised platform that yields to improved panoramic visibility out the forward and side windows. It’s such a neat area that you can imagine yourself anchored in a cove, watching wild birds search out a morning morsel while you sip hot java and nosh on a croissant. Okay, back to reality. There’s plenty of room for kids/grandkids. The table’s pedestal is for storage, as are many other hidden nooks.
  16. With a full upper bridge, why take up valuable real estate below with another huge helm area? Marlow created the small helm, starboard of the dinette, for close-quarters control from the main deck. A few mounted controls include wipers and gauges, and a cabled handheld controller, with full engine/transmission operation as well as thrusters, allows for operation from either side deck.
  17. Access to the staterooms is next to the dinette (makes it easy when you’re looking for that midnight snack). In the aft full-beam master stateroom, you are the master of your domain; with a queen centerline bed flanked by night tables, sofa, vanity table, 20-inch LCD TV, walk-in cedar lined closet and bath with his/her sinks. A drop ceiling over the bed houses direct lighting and AC/heat ducts, allowing for the tempered air to fill the room and not blow directly on the bed area. Ornate bed posts of teak and leather accentuate the warmth of this room while tying in fabric colors and wood grain.
  18. His & hers sinks are inlaid in fine granite just outside the shower stall with tray floor drain (no unsightly multi-hole center drain here). Room abounds for a Teema toilet or toilet/bidet combination for that stay-fresh feeling.
  19. In the forepeek is the VIP queen island berth with plenty of drawer/cabinet storage, cedar-lined hanging lockers and a 20-inch LCD TV. An en-suite head includes a separate angled, tiled shower stall that yields ample elbow room.
  20. Speaking of the loo, the one in the guest stateroom has a pedestal toilet and single sink. Handy in all are the towel racks that are sometimes missing from other builder’s yachts. A shower stall is standard.
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