Alaskan 66 Mk II

Long-dis­tance cruis­ers cel­e­brate the re­turn of a brand as a reimag­ined model blends tra­di­tion and tech­nol­ogy.

Power & Motor Yacht - - DRAWING BOARD -

The se­ri­ous boater will rec­og­nize that the new Alaskan 66 Mk II is no joke. Alaskan Yachts dates back three decades, when prom­i­nent naval ar­chi­tect Art DeFever founded Grand Alaskan and de­signed a num­ber of long-range, trawler-style yachts. Fol­low­ing DeFever, the com­pany changed own­er­ship a cou­ple times, re­sult­ing in a com­pli­cated busi­ness tra­jec­tory and a dor­mancy since 2012. Peter Whit­ing of Seat­tle Yachts re­cently ne­go­ti­ated the pur­chase of the Alaskan brand and is rein­tro­duc­ing Alaskan Yachts to the mar­ket this year, along with a team de­voted to restor­ing an in­dus­try icon.

The new 66 is by well-known cruis­ing yacht de­signer Stephen Seaton. New-Build Man­ager Phil Fried­man is ex­cited to have Seaton on board as they work to re­vi­tal­ize the Alaskan brand. “Steve has de­signed a re­de­vel­oped hull form and we have brought the ba­sic par­tic­u­lars of the yacht up to con­tem­po­rary stan­dards,” Fried­man says.

One of the new de­vel­op­ments is a 12 per­cent broader beam— now 19 feet, 6 inches—that will al­low the semidis­place­ment hull to achieve greater oper­at­ing speeds. Elec­tron­i­cally con­trolled John Deere en­gines, cou­pled with the ad­vanced hull, should pro­vide ef­fi­cient op­er­a­tion over a wide range of speeds and dis­tances. “The boat can op­er­ate at 6 or 7 knots, pas­sage­mak­ing speed, but it can also get up and go to about 17 or 18 knots if you have enough power avail­able,” Fried­man says.

The yacht’s ver­sa­til­ity makes it a great can­di­date for both is­land hop­ping and long-range cruis­ing, and Fried­man ex­pects that it could be used as a fam­ily boat. More likely, how­ever, he sees the 66 as ap­peal­ing to re­tired cou­ples who want to cruise long dis­tances. “The 66 is large enough and com­plete enough to live aboard and to spend ex­tended pe­ri­ods of time aboard, but still slow enough to be able to man­age on your own,” he says. And with a pas­sage­mak­ing range of 1,600 nau­ti­cal miles, it is well­suited for the ad­ven­tur­ous cou­ple.

The first hull is go­ing to the Pa­cific North­west, to a buyer plan­ning to live aboard and cruise long dis­tance. The model will have a mas­ter and two VIP state­rooms, plus crew’s quar­ters aft. Fried­man de­scribes the in­te­rior as “mod­ern with a tra­di­tional fla­vor.” It can be con­fig­ured ei­ther as a flush-deck model or as a raised pi­lot­house (RPH) ver­sion.

With the rein­tro­duc­tion of a clas­sic brand and the reimag­i­na­tion of a tra­di­tional ves­sel, the in­dus­try has a lot to look for­ward to in the up­com­ing year. seat­t­ley­ —Carly Sis­son

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