Grape Escape is a 58ft semi-trad, built on one of Bourne’s own shells. While the firm has been fitting out boats for well
over ten years, they expanded into building their own steelwork only a couple of years ago, and this is the first one of their shells we’ve seen for a full boat test.
It’s worth pointing out, though, that full-fit customers don’t have to have a Bourne shell.
They also fit out shells from other builders such as Tyler Wilson. Many of Bourne’s shells are sold as just steelwork or as sailaways. The shell itself is good looking with an attractive bow and pleasing lines.
There’s a substantial stem post, and nice curved details to the ends of the handrails, which also have a finger-grip.
The boat sits in the water nicely, and looks just right. One reason Karen and Ian chose a Bourne shell was that they wanted a few changes from the standard specification, which seemed easier to achieve on site. For example, there’s a longer than normal well deck, as the couple like to sit outside in the evening.
And, in the same vein, the forward edge of the cabin sides has been extended, so there’s a definite corner to snuggle into when lounging on the lockers.
The well deck itself is nicely finished with Permateek, a synthentic deck which looks just like teak. There are lockers to
lounge on each side, and a little flip-up table for drinks. The water tank is under the well deck, while the gas locker is in the nose.
At the stern, there’s more Permateek on the engine boards. There’s storage in lockers either side of the deck and one has an outside tap to make it easier to wash the dogs after a walk.
The deck is also illuminated with little LED lights.
Wayne Payton, who set up Bourne Boats, was previously a coach painter and his boats have always been some of the shiniest we’ve seen.
His younger son, Ross, has recently joined the business and clearly been learning his father’s skills as he’s done most of the painting on this boat, which looks excellent. The colour scheme is classic dark blue with maroon handrails and name panel. The roof is pale blue.
Andy Russell did the sign-writing, including painting a red Lancashire rose on the slide. Karen and Ian already have their story sorted for when they venture into Yorkshire: then it will be referred to as a blushing Yorkshire rose!
LAYOUT AND FITOUT
This is a reverse layout boat with the galley at the stern. Next comes the saloon, which includes a built-in seating area. A walk-through shower room follows with the cabin at the bow.
The fit-out uses oak, with panels below the gunwales picked out by mouldings. The cabin sides are covered in cream faux leather, which gives a light airy feel, and should be both hard-wearing and easy to keep clean.
There’s more faux leather on the ceiling, which also sports a central feature made from oak. This has concealed LED lighting which washes the ceiling in light. In the more private areas of the boat (the shower room and the cabin) the ceiling changes to oak tongue and groove.
The floor throughout is hardwearing Amtico in a variety of finishes. The Corlesses have this flooring at home, so know it will stand up to their three dogs.
Comfortable curves in the cosy saloon
Eye-level cupbaords are limited to corners for open feel