A Canadian boat builder’s original intention was to simply provide sturdy boats for commercial use. But his customers had other ideas. And so the Coastal Craft 65 was born.
The first Coastal Craft splashed down in 1996 in the small coastal community of Gibsons in southwestern British Columbia, a 45-minute ferry ride from Vancouver, Canada. With a background in the marine service industry and commercial fishing, Coastal Craft president Jeff Rhodes knew that aluminum boats could take the constant pounding that vessels in the working fleet are subjected to, and they were also impervious to salt water corrosion. Initially, the vessels he built were for commercial use. Soon, however, recreational boaters discovered Coastal Craft’s tough, honest boats and wanted the same type but with a more traditional “yacht” finish. The Canadian builder obliged and produced elegantly built, well-finished, high-performance hulls that were stylish and beautiful yet did not sacrifice strength and durability. Victoria, Canada’s Gregory C. Marshall, Naval Architects Ltd., an award-winning megayacht design and engineering firm known worldwide, designed Coastal Craft’s Concord 65, the builder’s newest offering.
Coastal Craft also incorporated much of the latest marine technology into its vessels and was the first North American builder to install the Volvo IPS system into an aluminum hull. In fact, it developed a debris deflector installed in front of the forward-facing IPS system props. They were also one of the first builders to integrate an onboard sensor system that allows the unmanned boat to contact the owner by phone or computer with system updates. While these systems had been incorporated into multi-million dollar megayachts, Coastal Craft was the first builder to bring the feature to 40-foot production models. This Concord 65 is Hull No.3 of the design and has the most recently updated sensor system.
Built to Lloyds Rules, Marshall’s design yields a sophisticated hull that’s equally comfortable poking along at 9 knots or running flat out at nearly 33 knots. The hull features a fine, clean entry forward, and the hull bottom deadrise decreases from its sharpest at about midships to 12 degrees at the transom. The hull chine flats turn slightly downward, which improves directional control in turns, an important feature on vessels with pod drives. A pair of hull bottom running strakes provides additional directional stability. Coastal Craft builds each hull upright in a steel jig securely fastened to a reinforced concrete floor. Each piece of CNC-cut aluminum is securely fastened into the jig and then welded to its adjacent aluminum plate. This process reduces welding distortion and leads to a very fair hull, each of which is built identical to previous hulls in the same line.
Access to the vessel is over the integrated swim step and then up port or starboard curved stairs to the aft deck. From the swim step one can also enter, through a transom door, one of the best designed and laid out engine room spaces in any boat on the water. A watertight bulkhead door offers access to the full-beam master; the ensuite flaunts marble floors, walls and ceilings, and the in-floor radiant heating keeps toes toasty when cruising northern climes to enjoy fall colors. EnOcean lighting controls enable owners to set the mood. Two additional guest cabins belowdecks are standard as is an open laundry area with plenty of stowage. The optional layout includes a crew cabin.
The aft main deck is complete with a beautifully finished wood table and comfortably upholstered bench seating. With a couple of chairs or stools, four people can enjoy a sit-down dinner in the open air even when it’s raining or the sun is too hot; the deckhouse roof extends aft to keep guests protected. The aft deck area also houses a pair of joystick docking controls on both port and starboard sides. Port and starboard side decks offer easy access to the foredeck and are well secured by solidly fixed handrails and a bow pulpit. Teak decking under foot provides a non-skid surface.
The Concord 65’s sophisticated deckhouse interior is inviting, with excellent fit and finish throughout. Plenty of windows ensure an interior bathed in natural light, and the judicious use of wood, carpet, upholstery fabric, and color gives the vessel a visually warm, bright interior even on a dull day. Full 6′ 6″ headroom throughout adds to the feeling of spaciousness.
Electrically heated floors provide an even heat throughout the vessel, and the premium ventilation system keeps the boat smelling fresh and clean and also helps to keep mold and mildew at bay. A pop-up big screen TV with Bose sound system ensures great entertainment. The three-receiver satellite TV antenna allows different channels to be watched in each stateroom. The helm station is forward and to starboard and equipped with two individual Stidd helm seats. The skipper’s chair features a joystick control on the armrest that falls easily and naturally to hand. There are also dash-mounted holders for an iPad or iPhone, either of which can control most of the systems on the boat, yet all of the Concord 65’s sophisticated electronic and electrical systems can also be operated manually.
It is seldom that a marine writer gets to compare Hull No.3 with Hull No.1 of a boat line. Sometimes builders simply can’t be consistent from one hull to another even in the same line, but that’s not so with Coastal Craft. I dug out my Hull No.1 data for comparison and noted they have the same engines—a pair of Volvo Penta IPS 12-liter (780 cubic inch) 900-horsepower in-line sixes. From idle speed to wide-open throttle, including several displacement speeds, the rpms, speed and fuel burn of Hull No.3 was identical to the data I gathered on Hull No.1.
Coastal Craft’s Concord 65 is without a doubt one of the smoothest operating, quietest and most luxurious boats in this market segment. Its price is not insignificant, but it’s an excellent value when compared to similarly sized aluminum production vessels. The Concord 65 puts this Canadian builder in the same league as the top-tiered builders whose names have been known for many decades and are considered among the best in the world. That’s just one reason this yacht should be on your must-see list at the 2016 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.
By Roger McAfee / ©Photography by Neil Rabinowitz, Southern Boating Magazine November 2016
LOA: 66′ 9″
Beam: 16′ 11″
Draft: 5′ 0″
Weight: 85,000 lbs.
Fuel/Water: 1,000/220 U.S. gals.
Power: 2 x Volvo D13 @ 900-hp
Cruise/Top speed: 28.1/32.6 knots
MSRP: Contact representative
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