Crafted for Cruis­ing

Power & Motor Yacht - - IN THIS ISSUE -

Used-Boat Re­view: The Mar­low Ex­plorer 78 se­ries was meant for se­ri­ous voy­ag­ing, with smart de­sign el­e­ments and bet­ter range with fewer fuel stops. By Capt. John Wooldridge

WWhen Ban­dolero be­came avail­able on the bro­ker­age mar­ket, she must have cap­tured the in­ter­est of more than a few in­de­pen­dent­minded yachts­men, par­tic­u­larly those with plans for long-range cruis­ing. Like all the Mar­low Ex­plor­ers in the 78 se­ries, she was de­signed by com­pany owner David Mar­low to be seakindly, with the equip­ment and lay­out her own­ers need to ac­com­plish lengthy pas­sages with fewer fuel stops.

This three-state­room de­sign is of­fered with crew’s quar­ters, up­graded Cater­pil­lar C32 in­boards with ZF trans­mis­sions and Aquadrives, two North­ern Lights gensets, Side-Power bow and stern thrusters, Na­iad sta­bi­liz­ers, an air com­pres­sor to fill dive tanks, and a 900-gal­lon-per-day Sea Re­cov­ery wa­ter­maker. On the fly­ing bridge, the ex­tended boat deck aft of the seat­ing and helm, which is pro­tected by a hard­top with full en­clo­sure, in­cludes a fully equipped out­door kitchen with re­frig­er­a­tor, ice maker, stain­less steel sink, and a large propane grill. The ex­tended deck also in­cludes a 1,600-pound-ca­pac­ity crane for a cus­tom Mar­low Sprite dinghy with a 60-horse­power Mer­cury four-stroke out­board.

High bul­warks topped with teak-capped stain­less handrails, a full-width Por­tuguese bridge ahead of the pilot­house, and teak plank­ing on all the weather decks—in­clud­ing the cen­ter­line walk­way on the fore­deck lead­ing to the wind­lass and bow plat­form (where there are stain­less steel Bruce and CQR an­chors)—are hall­marks of the 78 se­ries, which was de­signed for safety in re­mote an­chor­ages.

On this 78E, the lower and up­per helms are out­fit­ted with iden­ti­cal nav­i­ga­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tions elec­tron­ics, in­clud­ing a pair of Fu­runo NavNet 3D mul­ti­func­tion dis­plays, as well as ICOM VHF ra­dios, and the con­trol heads for a Sim­rad au­topi­lot. The gal­ley, lo­cated on the bridgedeck level for­ward, is like­wise well equipped for long voy­ages, with not one but three sets of SubZero 700BC re­frig­er­a­tor/freez­ers (there’s yet a fourth one in the crew’s quar­ters), a Da­cor elec­tric cook­top and oven, a Fisher & Paykel dish­washer, and much more.

The lower helm is sit­u­ated on cen­ter­line; an ad­ja­cent lounge and ta­ble of­fers pas­sen­gers the same unim­peded views for­ward that are en­joyed by the helms­man. Two wa­ter­tight doors al­low quick ac­cess to the side decks, which lead for­ward to the Por­tuguese bridge with dou­ble doors that open onto the fore­deck. If you travel aft along the side decks, you head down two stairs to the aft deck. An in­side stair­way to port of the helm pro­vides weather-pro­tected ac­cess to the fly­ing bridge. An over­head teak sear­ail makes mov­ing around the fly­ing bridge in a rough con­di­tions that much safer.

Ev­ery­one on the bridgedeck has un­ob­structed views of the sa­loon aft; this is in keep­ing with David Mar­low’s phi­los­o­phy of guest and crew in­clu­sion and his de­sire to cre­ate pleas­ingly large and open spa­ces within the deck­house struc­ture. For crews who plan to run overnight, the com­pany will cre­ate a bar­rier that serves to sep­a­rate the fly­ing bridge from the sa­loon, although Mar­low says he gets few or­ders for this type of lay­out.

Large side win­dows bring plenty of nat­u­ral light into the cabin and pro­vide ex­cel­lent views for those sit­ting at the eight-per­son din­ing ta­ble just abaft the gal­ley. A serv­ing area and bar, topped with the same gran­ite found on the gal­ley coun­ters, is just op­po­site the din­ing ta­ble. Far­ther aft, in the sa­loon

proper, are a C-shaped couch and cus­tom hi/lo cof­fee ta­ble to star­board. Two com­fort­able up­hol­stered easy chairs flank the teak en­ter­tain­ment con­sole that’s to star­board, which houses a large flatscreen TV on a lift. An­other over­head teak sear­ail, which you don’t see on many boats headed off­shore, adds safety. The hand-laid teak-and-holly sole, along with the finely crafted teak fur­ni­ture and pan­els, are sure to im­press.

Large teak dou­ble doors open wide for ac­cess be­tween the aft deck and the sa­loon. Built-in seat­ing and a cus­tom ta­ble near the tran­som are well pro­tected from the el­e­ments by the ex­ten­sion of the boat deck.

“The 78 se­ries was built from 2002 un­til 2014, and we have de­liv­ered them in the Med, Aus­tralia, Mex­ico, Venezuela, Van­cou­ver, Chile and, of course, Florida,” says Mar­low, who is chair­man of Mar­low Ma­rine lo­cated in Snead Is­land, Florida. “The 78E

Ban­dolero was Hull No. 20 of the 78 se­ries, which also in­cluded three 72-foot mod­els with con­ven­tional tran­soms in the pe­riod. Her des­ig­na­tion as a 78E refers to her Euro­pean tran­som, with tran­som board­ing stairs built at a di­ag­o­nal as op­posed to the ver­ti­cal stairs of the 72C. I believe she was com­pleted in late spring 2006 and de­liv­ered early sum­mer of the same year in Florida.”

Mar­low also told me that the tool­ing for the 78 se­ries was pro­duced in a new fac­tory built by Mar­low Ma­rine in Xi­a­men, China, on the south­east coast, due west across the Tai­wan (or For­mosa) Strait from the is­land of Tai­wan. It was built in the first hall that was com­pleted, and was done en­tirely in­house by 15 Tai­wanese mas­ter tool­mak­ers that the com­pany had hired in 2001. To de­velop the 78 se­ries, the first hall was out­fit­ted as a com­plete boat­build­ing class­room staffed by the masters and their ap­pren­tices; here, they built a com­plete wooden 78-foot yacht, in­clud­ing su­per­struc­ture and de­tails, and taught the art of fine boat­build­ing in the process. To­day, the Xi­a­men fa­cil­ity has be­come a 150,000-square-foot se­ries of halls for tool­ing, lam­i­na­tion, met­al­work­ing, soft goods, and pro­duc­tion sta­tions, all lo­cated on 25-plus acres of pris­tine grounds.

“The later it­er­a­tions of the 78 se­ries have 3,400 U.S. gal­lons of fuel for very long range at 9 knots,” Mar­low says, “and on new boat sea tri­als, these mod­els rou­tinely reach speeds over 30 knots at half load with Cater­pil­lar C32 se­ries en­gines. With the in­line six-cylin­der C18s, a more than re­spectable 20-knot cruise can be main­tained at Cater­pil­lar’s rec­om­mended cruis­ing speed.”

Mar­low told me that re­sale of the 78 se­ries has been strong as there are few boats in the size range with com­pa­ra­ble power, other than a few sportfishing mod­els that can reach and main­tain sim­i­lar speeds. Yet few boats can com­pare with the range of the Mar­low mod­els built with 3,400 us­able gal­lons of fuel. That ca­pac­ity is made pos­si­ble by a trade­mark fiber­glass tank. Lo­cated at the front of the stand-up-height en­gine room, the fuel tank is well po­si­tioned to op­ti­mize the bal­ance of the yacht un­der way. Its lo­ca­tion also helps mit­i­gate sound that would oth­er­wise be passed for­ward to the ac­com­mo­da­tions deck.

Among the other fea­tures that own­ers greatly ap­pre­ci­ate are the Mar­low’s very mod­est draft (it’s made pos­si­ble by large tun­nels and 9-de­gree shaft an­gles), and the com­pany’s pro­pri­etary Ve­loci­jet Strut Keel tech­nol­ogy, which of­fers great pro­tec­tion for run­ning gear, espe­cially when gunkhol­ing. At the same time, the Strut Keels pro­vide ex­cep­tional track­ing in heavy fol­low­ing seas, act­ing like feath­ers on an ar­row to main­tain a straight course.

In 2015, af­ter a 13-year model run, the 78 se­ries was dis­con­tin­ued and the 80 se­ries was de­vel­oped in re­sponse to the de­mand among U.S. own­ers for larger crew’s quar­ters and the abil­ity to run non­stop at 22 knots for long dis­tances (think Florida to Ch­e­sa­peake Bay) with­out a fuel blad­der or aux­il­iary fuel tank. But the 78 se­ries still has loyal fans. Boats like

Ban­dolero were meant for se­ri­ous cruis­ing, and they have a lot to of­fer those who want to go the dis­tance in lux­ury and com­fort.

Space to walk be­tween and in­spect the en­gines is a Mar­low sta­ple through­out its line.

Ban­dolero idles in one of the many trop­i­cal lo­cales she’s fre­quented. While this mas­ter state­room is very tra­di­tional (right) the liv­ing spa­ces are cus­tom.

MAR­LOW EX­PLORER 78E LOA: 82'10" BEAM: 20'4" DRAFT: 4'10" DISPL.: 100,000 lb. FUEL: 3,400 gal. WA­TER: 550 gal. POWER: 2/1,800-hp CAT C32 diesel YEARS BUILT: 2002 to 2014 PRICE RANGE: $1,995,000 to $2,499,000

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