Marlow Explorer 80E

Marlow Explorer 80E

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A Star Is Born

Sometimes the stars align properly. The heavens over the Manatee River were cloudy, cold and gray to start, but the air warmed as dreariness gave way to sundrenched blue skies by photo time. It was review day at the Marlow Yachts facility on Snead Island, Florida, for two new launches—the new Marlow Explorer (ME) 80E Command Bridge and the new 58E (for a later review). The 80E—the “E” stands for European-style transom—proudly carries on the Marlow style as the replacement for the 78E in a well-proportioned hull, superstructure, deck, and enclosed command bridge combination. The form is masterful. The pedigree is all Marlow.

Making its debut at the 2013 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, hull number one for the ME 80E was the showpiece du jour. A gleaming white finish accentuates the length, while properly sized and located hull-side ports complement the overall style and classiness of the 80E. Whether slicing the water at speed or nonchalantly plying at a slower clip, the 80E is tuned to deliver inside and out. On board the foredeck offers twin bench seats on the forward side of the Portuguese bridge for commanding vistas, and a covered aft deck with teak table to see where you have been. In between, there’s form and function focused on comfort and enjoyment. The saloon is, well, immense. Equally suitable for a family room or an evening cocktail gathering, you’d need a lot of bodies to fill it up. To port is a sectional sofa and coffee table with storage, while way across to starboard are twin chairs that flank their own coffee table. Teak and holly flooring throughout need nothing more than a throw rug if desired. Marlow uses primarily teak wood for walls and cabinetry for a classic and timeless interior finish. Couple that with the masterful craftsmanship attained at the Norsemen Shipyard in China where all Marlow Explorers are built, and it’s evident that those in charge do it right. Additional features include a wine locker, entertainment center with wet bar, sink and icemaker, TV cabinet, bookshelves seemingly everywhere, and overhead handrails (always a nice touch). Illumination is from recessed ceiling lights and wall sconces.

Three steps up forward finds the spacious galley and dinette. With a U-shaped layout the galley takes up about two-thirds of the yacht’s beam—any chef would be delighted—and flaunts acres of granite honeycomb counter space for prep, plating and cleanup. A Kenyon four-burner cooktop with potholders and Wolf microwave/convection oven take care of the hot stuff, while four under-counter fridge/freezer drawers chill it all. Add in a Franke double sink with Grohe faucet, louvered cabinets, exhaust blower, dish lockers, cutting boards, and well, you get the idea. Lest the chef feels left out of the conversation, the galley aft wall is open to the saloon for visibility and conversation. The dinette is forward and nestled under the windshield—no lower station needed here. U-shaped in style, large in size and able to accommodate at least eight plus two more on the fixed stools, it’s close to the galley for meals or morning coffee.