430 HTC

Boating - - CERTIFIED TESTS - —Chris Caswell

Crea­ture com­forts? Cruis­abil­ity? Fam­i­lyfriendly? Check, check and check.

CClearly de­signed by Darth Vader’s naval ar­chi­tect, the Galeon 430 HTC (Hard­top Coupe) is a de­light. Swoopy black-and-white ex­te­rior styling is matched on the in­te­rior by a helm ev­i­dently nicked di­rectly from Vader’s flag­ship, com­plete with a mez­za­nine style raised plat­form. Sur­rounded by a stain­less-steel rail, it pro­vides the skip­per with not only su­perb all-around vis­i­bil­ity but also the chance to growl, “I will show you the true na­ture of the Force!”

Most gal­leys are ei­ther up (in the salon) or down (out of sight be­low), but the Galeon has a sort-of-up gal­ley. It’s ac­tu­ally in a sunny atrium un­der the huge wind­shield,

so it doesn’t take up salon space be­cause, re­ally, you prob­a­bly don’t spend enough time cook­ing to waste a big chunk of salon. On the Galeon, the semi down gal­ley lets the cook stay in the con­ver­sa­tion and makes it easy to pass munchies to Darth at the helm or to the Wook­ies at the salon dinette. Points for big hull win­dows, large counter space, in­clud­ing a cover over the dou­ble stain­lesssteel sink, and clever stowage in ev­ery nook. Cook-friendly good­ies in­clude a two-burner Kenyon cook­top, un­der­counter mi­crowave/con­vec­tion oven, and full-height fridge.

The mas­ter state­room has a king-size berth (ac­tu­ally 2 inches wider than a king in the mid­dle), and Galeon thought­fully pro­vides a full-height hang­ing locker that doesn’t rum­ple the bot­tom half of your cloth­ing. Big win­dows on each side of the cabin have open­ing ports for fresh air, plus an over­head hatch. The spa­cious en-suite head fea­tures a ves­sel sink as well as a full­size stall shower — ahh, lux­ury — with an in­tri­cate Euro-style

con­trol panel that prob­a­bly comes with its own man­ual.

Tucked aft, the guest cabin with twins that eas­ily con­vert into a queen-size berth will prove suitable for ei­ther a fam­ily with kids or a week­end­ing cou­ple. This cabin boasts full­stand­ing head­room and a full-height bu­reau for stowage. Find the day-head with shower just for­ward to serve the guest cabin. An optional third-cabin ver­sion is avail­able but, frankly, this is cave­like and low.

The salon basks in bright­ness with an over­size open­ing sun­roof and tinted moon­roof, and even the cock­pit over­hang has a moon­roof. The set­tee is to port with a large dinette op­po­site, and the three-piece slid­ing cock­pit doors dis­ap­pear be­hind the dinette. Galeon gets points for a high stan­dard of fin­ish from the di­a­mond-pat­tern up­hol­stery to the suede-cov­ered walls.

The raised helm, which has full-stand­ing head­room, is ar­ranged to suit the cap­tain of Darth’s Star De­stroyer and is in nonglare black (of course) with a pair of Ray­ma­rine 22-inch screens up top, then a layer for the Volvo Penta en­gine mon­i­tor and the Galeon-pro­pri­etary mon­i­tor that shows lights on an out­line of the 430 for ev­ery sys­tem in use. A row of well-la­beled rocker switches and a Side-Power bowthruster lever com­plete the dash pack­age.

The dou­ble-wide helm seat has flip-up bol­sters and arm­rests, as well as a prop­erly po­si­tioned footrest for longer run­ning, and look­ing for­ward, the huge one-piece wind­shield is un­marred by mul­lions and cleaned by a pair of long pan­to­graphic wipers. Be­sides the er­gonomic dash, what I like about the helm is the open­ing win­dow next to the skip­per, who can lean out for a full side view when dock­ing.

Galeon also gets points for putting sea rails on nearly ev­ery coun­ter­top, un­like some builders who ap­par­ently don’t re­al­ize that boats can roll, caus­ing ev­ery­thing from sun­glasses to chart books to slide off.

The L-shaped cock­pit lounge is more flex­i­ble than a Trans­former toy, shapeshift­ing from dinette to set­tee to sun pad. Galeon im­porter MarineMax com­pletes the 430 with an ex­tra-wide (5-plus feet) hy­draulic tran­som plat­form high­lighted by clever au­to­matic stairs that un­fold as the hy­draulic plat­form is low­ered, mak­ing it safe and easy to de­scend from cock­pit level.

Im­pec­ca­bly welded stain­less-steel chocks re­cessed in each side of the cock­pit gun­wale lead to equally im­pres­sive cleats, but the clever touch is the open­ing bin with a fiber­glass lid just be­hind each cleat to stow the tail of your dock lines. No more spaghetti all over the deck.

Stan­dard power aboard the 430 HTC is a pair of Volvo Penta D6 con­ven­tional shaft diesels of 435 hp each, and our test boat sported a Fis­cher-Panda 12 kW genset tucked un­der the cock­pit. We topped out at over 35 mph (30.3 knots).

If you’re shop­ping, the Tiara 44 Sport Coupe ($903,704) is 2 feet longer, uses Volvo Penta IPS pod drives for sim­i­lar speeds, and also of­fers a two-state­room/ two-head lay­out.

The Galeon 430 HTC proves a most im­pres­sive im­port, with a num­ber of touches that are both thought­ful and sea­man­like. Put this one on your short list.

“Hey, Leia, it’s me, Luke. Grab the kids and check out this Starfighter!”

Galeon has found ev­ery nook and cranny and turned it into much ap­pre­ci­ated stowage space.

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