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Review: Queenship 74' Motoryacht

Discussion in 'Queenship Yacht' started by YachtForums, Oct 20, 2009.

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  1. Queenship 74’ Motoryacht "Meriweather"
    Boat Building At Its Best!

    by Carl Camper

    What makes a “Yacht?” The many facets of boat building – a swarm, a galaxy of them – must be catalogued, assembled, finally installed; one by one, until “they,” that mass, becomes a single, glorious – One – an opus. Individual elements – sometimes outstanding in themselves – blend together to become the “soul” of the final structure... a striking, magnificent, even precious “Yacht”. Certainly all builders strive for excellence; a select few produce a vessel that is more than simply notable, but outstanding in every way. Queenship 74’ is one of those; endowed with that rare, particular quintessence to fulfill the dreams of many cruisers; their “Yacht.”
    In the summer of 2009, I visited several yards in the Pacific NorthWest, saving our last stop to visit an old friend, Jim Hawkins, the project manager and engineer behind Queenship/Crescent Yachts, located in Maple Ridge, BC. As a veteran boat builder, Jim is one of the most knowledgeable people in the business; a hands-on builder juggling everyday details from spreadsheets to spreading resin. Jim started as an apprentice boatbuilder in New Zealand building sail boats before heading to Canada, later heading-up Crescent Yachts during the ramp-up years. Recently, he teamed up with another industry veteran, Lee Taubeneck, who was previously the general manager of Westport Shipyards. Lee was the man who implemented and oversaw the development and building of the Westport 164’ - not just the boat - but the entire facility! Prior to his tenure at Westport, Lee was vice president of the U.S. Marine Division of Brunswick Corp. Talk about a dynamic duo!
  2. Lee gave us an extensive tour of something very exciting from Queenship that had been cloaked in secrecy until our visit… the Queenship 74' Motoryacht. If you're looking for a boat in this size range, you MUST take a look at this boat! The new 74' is loaded with ideas, but most importantly... access to them. This is a boat built by people who know boats. Not just building them, but living with them. Let's face it; on a boat... stuff happens. Often, it's not the fault of the builder, but the 100's of suppliers making components and parts that a builder incorporates. One day, those parts will need service and Queenship has provided access to them.
  3. Before we get into the nuts & bolts, let me just say from an editorial standpoint, the expanded build sheet and specs supplied by a builder is the wisdom to our words. Without them, we are navigating at night with one eye closed. If the spec sheet is any indication of the attention to detail a builder puts forth, then I say again, you MUST take a look at this boat. It’s loaded with details.
  4. Founded in 1991 and located in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Queenship’s 90,000 square foot shipyard fronts the Fraser River and draws on a rich heritage of skilled boat builders in the area. Enlisting world-renown architects such as Jack Sarin, Greg Marshall and most recently, Jonathon Quinn Barnett, Queenship has launched some very notable yachts, including the 86’ Oregon Mist and the 88’ Sportfish ‘Mary P’, one of the largest tuna tamers of her time.
  5. The Q74’s hull form was developed by Greg Marshall and George Roddan with tank testing at Oceanic Consulting Corp. An interlocking grid of infused Corecell bulkheads and stringers create 4 watertight compartments and lay the foundation for a SOLID fiberglass hull carried to 8” above the waterline. From this point (the spray knocker, up), the hull sides and superstructure are constructed using vacuum-bagged foam core and hand laid-up FRP laminates. Isophthalic Resin is used on the outer skin for increased blister protection. Principal soles are constructed from sound-attenuating honey-comb Nidacore™ and FRP laminates. Insulation is applied to the salon and pilothouse deckhead to prevent condensation and provide additional thermal insulation. The final finish is Interlux primer with an Alexseal topcoat.
  6. It’s interesting to note the type of customers that Queenship attracts. For instance, ‘Mary P’ was commissioned by a very knowledgeable and experienced cruising family, who went on to build an even larger yacht under the same name. The same holds true with the star of this review. ‘Meriweather’ was contracted by an experienced yachting couple who previously owned an Ocean Alexander and a Westbay Sonship. Seeking to build a semi-custom boat based on a proven hull form, they came to Queenship with a protocol… to build the finest yacht in its class, integrating the experience and ideas from many years of yachting. Upon final delivery and sea trial, they stated… “Queenship under-promised and over-delivered”.
  7. With the new 74’, Queenship strikes an elusive balance of contemporary architecture blended with traditional elements that will appeal to a broad range of yachtsmen. While the style will almost certainly evoke emotion, the most important elements remain the integrity of the build, the finish and how the equipment is integrated. In this respect, this boat - in many ways - rises to a very short list of desirable yachts in this range.
  8. As one of the requirements for a cruising couple short a crew, two auxiliary control stations are located on the main aft deck, to port & starboard. These flip-out units provide gear and thruster control with a line of sight that makes backing down a slip a non-event.
  9. The flybridge was purposely kept clean and simple, leaving little to the elements. The fly settee answers this etiquette with a perforated teak table. It’s not only light where weight is critical (up top), but it won’t hold water. This same thought process literally symbolizes the entire yacht; a boat that engineers would appreciate. Notice the layout of instrument on the helm, orderly and concise. Looking aft, a 15' Nautica tender with a Nautical Structures davit awaits, athwartship.
  10. With the cool air of the Pacific Northwest as a cruising playground, a full bridge enclosure was designed with a track incorporated into the hard top to create a concealed, seamless look (see ‘details’ following review). For ventilation when cruising in Eisenglass mode, a pair of fresh air skylights are positioned over the helm. At 12 knots in November, it’s an instant spot-cooler.
  11. Zooming in on the helm, notice the hinges located at each side of the instrument panel. An astute reader might ask “what’s the big deal, a flip down panel?” Well, it’s actually more than this. Not only does the panel grant easy access to nav equipment on the fly, but it can be easily replaced with a fresh sheet of Starboard or FRP when the time comes to upgrade the displays. Don’t like your current layout? Cut-outs don’t match your previous equipment? Throw it out and start over. Now that’s thinking ahead!
  12. The interior décor displays rich, flat-sliced sapele panels with quarter-sawn door frames; all clear coated satin in deep reddish brown tones. Utilizing an Italian poplar light ply for the interior wood saved nearly 5,000 lbs. That’s smart boat building!
  13. “Overboard” isn’t a good word on boat, but all too often, that’s what interiors have become. Meriweather’s décor takes a minimalist approach, keeping the interior soft, warm and cozy; perfect for the Pac-NW. At far starboard, a pop-up flat screen can be viewed in both the up and down positions, so as not to obstruct the surrounding view. All hardwood interior joinery (cabinets, doors, panels and counter-tops) are finished with 3 double coats of polyurethane sanding sealer and a polyurethane satin top-coat. Standard woods used throughout the vessel are Mahogany, Cherry and Maple. Aft, full-length ‘French Style' doors swing open to link the salon and aft deck into a large, open veranda at sea.
  14. Meriweather makes provision for extended cruising with a super-size fridge and freezer. Countertop space and overhead storage is abundant for a nook-style galley and a double basin, stainless steel sink, which is properly placed for whoever gets dish washing duty. Appliances include an electric range, microwave, dishwasher and compactor all within arm’s reach.
  15. And forward, a full 270 degree view! A raised settee doubles as a dinette, which doubles in size with a foldout leaf. Forget the fruit? No problem, reach over your shoulder to the cache. It’s all about convenience and access. And when space is limited, it’s all about space utilization. Smart boat building begins with a good layout. And finally, watertight pilothouse doors on a pantograph hinge provide direct access to either side deck.
  16. A custom Queenship 32” wooden, hand-crafted wheel rules the helm while a pair of Stidd chairs take a back seat to all that flickers and glows. Four glass displays transmit vital stats, all kept legible by blacked out windshield pillars. At the time of writing this review, a list of nav-com equipment was being complied for YF, but was not complete. Details will be added as they come available.
  17. The full beam master is located midship with a king-size island berth and plentiful storage underneath. His and hers walk-in closets are to port & starboard, as well as twin vanities, each with their own pair of portholes, providing cross ventilation. Rich wood cabinetry surrounds the master berth, and soft but sturdy carpeting pave the way for barefoot, padded comfort.
  18. An oversize master bath features marble countertops and a sink that jettisons out from the counter. Large mirrors, both vanity and ceiling add volume to the room. Opposite the sink is a standup shower with the Queenship logo engraved into the drain. Notice the door behind the toilet. This is one of many access points for plumbing and cooling systems throughout the vessel.
  19. Not quite as roomy as the master, but equally well appointed, the VIP is located forward. With portholes to each side of the hull and skylights in the deck above, it’s a cozy place for weekenders. The VIP also has an ensuite head.
  20. The guest twin follows the same motif as the other accommodations, including walking space between the single beds; plus its ensuite head’shower.
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