By John Shinnick
Pacific Mariner 65 Diamond Edition: Sea Trial
Pacific mariner 65 Diamond Edition: Good value and performance in a (Bill) Garden variety hull.
Until now, Pacific Mariner’s crew built just one model — the 65 — at its La Conner, Washington facility, located on some prime real estate in one of the most picturesque corners of Puget Sound.
All that changed last fall, when the company’s new 85-footer emerged from the mold. At the same time, an all-new 65 was introduced: the 65 Diamond Edition.
We tested the latest version of the 65: Hull #37. The boat has changed significantly since the first Pacific Mariner 65 was launched back in 1996.
The new Pacific Mariner 65 Diamond Edition sells as a complete cruise-away package, with a standard equipment list that includes everything from docklines and spare engine parts to china, linens, a home theater system and Naiad stabilizers.
The Hull Idea
The PM65′s hull and profile are from the drawing board of veteran naval architect Bill Garden, updated by naval architect Greg Marshall, with interior design by Pacific Custom interiors.
The 65 boasts an unconventional hull (as Garden’s hulls tend to be) with a conventional fiberglass layup to the waterline, Airex foam-cored stringers and Airex coring above the waterline. The result is a fair hull with many of the classic Garden touches in a thoroughly modern design.
The hull even includes a streamlined molded outlet for the bow thruster, making this one of the few boats of any size to go so far as to integrate the thruster as an actual feature of the hull design, rather than the usual ?hole in the hull” outlet.
We entered the engine room via a stairway leading from the lower aft deck. This is definitely a machinery-enriched environment.
Stacked washer and dryer units are located in the adjacent lazarette, along with isolated double bunks to starboard for crew, kids or last-minute guests. A separate head with a marine toilet and a sink is just outside the watertight bulkhead that separates this area from the engine room.
The 65′s twin 825 hp MTU diesels are a snug fit. Greg Marshall maximizes the use of space in the engine room, managing to get plenty of headroom — but with the tanks and all the small bits, there’s not a lot of room left over.
To keep the engine room civilized for anyone doing maintenance down here, all systems boxes, tubing and wiring have been kept at eye level. I saw nothing buried behind the engines. Even the plumbing from the facilities above is accessible.
The auxiliary generators are double insulated and set on double isolators. Pacific Mariner has been working overtime to eliminate sources of onboard noise, and it shows — not only in the generators, but even in smaller pieces of machinery. For example, the cooling water for the gensets is evacuated underwater, eliminating a major source of noise that neighboring boats in a remote anchorage will also appreciate.
Two fuel tanks, providing a total of 1,100 gallons of fuel capacity, are located against the forward bulkhead. A crossover system allows the fuel tanks (and even the water tanks) to be filled on either side. Sight gauges on the tanks are a nice touch — and they are rare on such a modern boat.
At 70 feet in length overall, including the swim platform at the transom, the 65 is still within the range of the owner-operated vessel, and the engine compartment shows the thinking that can make that possible. Even the high tensile chain is marked — an indication that the boat’s owners are as likely to anchor out as they are to cruise from one marina dock to another.
The lower aft deck, with its upholstered settee and teak table, will definitely serve as the boat’s main gathering spot on a summer’s day. Our test boat had teak decking (an option), and a stainless steel ladder with teak runners led to the upper deck.
Capstan winches on both sides can be used to draw the boat to the dock when the wind is pushing and your helper is diminutive.
The test boat also had an optional aft deck control station, port side. Every boat should have one of these for short-handed docking and departures.
The saloon is a stylish entertainment area with a 42-inch plasma flat-screen television. While the aft deck is the prime party destination, the saloon is a veritable floating home theater. It also offers a 120-watt surround-sound stereo system, a DVD player and a KVH Tracvision G4 satellite television antenna system.
Against the forward bulkhead, a counter runs transversely with built-in drawers and storage lockers.
The joinery here is crafted of Jatoba wood, otherwise known as Brazilian cherry. The joinerwork is tight and bright, with a satin finish. With accents from the carpeting, white surfaces on bulkheads and overheads, the effect is closely akin to being inside a piece of fine Swedish furniture.
A high-low table can comfortably accommodate dinner for six, and a small wet bar with a refrigerator and ice-maker has been inset into the port side of the large Formica counter. Large windows on both sides of the saloon, trimmed with Hunter Douglas blinds, provide abundant light and visibility,.
The galley, four steps up from the saloon, presents a bright, cheery working environment flooded with light from a large skylight and windows all around. The galley also has an abundance of hot water.
The boat is plumbed with an instant hot water heating system, and 60 psi pressure at all taps. No matter how many guests run the showers on a summer day, you will never run out of hot water.
The countertops are molded Corian, and the cook’s arsenal of tools includes an upright stainless steel double-door GE refrigerator/freezer, a Dacor four-burner range, a KitchenAid dishwasher and deep stainless steel sinks with a Grohe faucet and a pullout spray nozzle.
A dining table is incorporated in the seat behind the lower steering station. A high-low table rises to a level that allows those in the Stidd helm seats to turn and sit comfortably at the table. An insert added to the table expands it to full dining width, seating up to eight adults for a sit-down dinner. The table is finished to a high gloss.
Sleeping accommodations include three staterooms: a master suite amidships, an executive suite in the bow and a pair of single berths in a small stateroom just off the companionway, at the foot of the steps leading from the galley.
All staterooms feature en suite heads with Head Hunter marine toilets. The master stateroom gets special treatment, with a spacious king-size island berth, a tub and a flat-screen plasma television. The executive suite has a queen-size island berth and a head with a shower, and the test boat had an optional flat-screen television.
The pilothouse has doors to port and starboard, allowing the helm crew easy access to the sidedecks during docking or anchoring maneuvers, or just when hailing another boat. The centerpiece is a full-size wood-trimmed stainless steel wheel.
At first glance, the pilothouse’s interior layout may seem somewhat Spartan, but it’s not — it’s simply a clean, clutter-free use of the space. The electronics array is positioned squarely ahead of the wheel in two tiers, with the DDEC engine display panels prominently centered and easy to read. Under way, we found this to be an especially convenient system to monitor.
MTU electronic controls are positioned just to the right of the wheel, and a backup system — in case of electronic problems — is located just below the shifters. This offers an unusual redundancy, which would be especially welcomed by long-range cruisers. So many other redundancies are built into boats these days, such as having spare electronics receivers, that it makes sense to back up the shifters with a simple control system.
Pacific Mariner president Jack Edson, sales manager Mike Osborne and I took the boat out for a spin on the waters off Whidbey Island. It was a calm day with a thin overcast as we ran the boat through its paces.
It remained remarkably quiet in the pilothouse, with normal conversation possible all the way from idle speed to wide-open throttle.
With 10 degrees of deadrise at the transom and a fine entry, the hull has a lot in common with those of seaworthy lobster boats on the East Coast. Our test boat came up to speed readily — and it got downright frisky above 2,000 rpm. Every 100 rpm seemed to produce nearly 2 knots of additional speed.
There is a lot of boat here. The Pacific Mariner 65 is engineered well, runs well and is laid out for comfort. It’s truly a boat that can be easily owner-operated — a rarity in this size range.
Pacific Mariner 65 Diamond Edition Specifications
|Length (with platform||70′|
|Fuel capacity||1,100 gallons|
|Water capacity||286 gallons|
|Power||twin 825-hp MTU 60 Series diesel engines|
|Price as tested||$1.825 million|
|Top speed||27 knots|
|Miles per gallon at 21.7-knot cruising speed||.41|
|Sound level at 21.7-knot cruising speed||68 dBA|
Flybridge hardtop; teak on aft deck; aft deck control station on port side; wing control station on starboard side; 30-inch Sharp flat-screen television and satellite TV receiver in master stateroom; swim step stainless steel rails; upgraded saloon table and chairs.
Fiberglass hull; vacuum-bagged Airex foam coring used above the waterline; Airex-cored stringers encapsulated in fiberglass; three watertight bulkheads constructed with 2-inch-thick Divinycell. Streamlined molded outlet for bow thruster.
For More Information
Pacific Mariner Yachts
La Conner, Wash.