Fine Tun­ing

Cheoy Lee’s Bravo 72 IPS sets a new stan­dard for space and per­for­mance.

Yachts International - - Contents - By An­drew Parkin­son

To say I’m a mu­sic buff is an un­der­state­ment. You like iTunes? You’re wel­come. I’ve kept them afloat for years. I’m the guy whose dig­i­tal li­brary con­tains three ver­sions of the same song: the orig­i­nal, the re­mas­ter and the remix. They’re all good jams, but those se­cond takes al­ways seem to raise the bar.

The same can be said of Cheoy Lee’s re­cently re­mas­tered Bravo 72. Re­plac­ing the ship­yard’s orig­i­nal Bravo 68, this next-gen­er­a­tion model drops some tasty new hooks in terms of form and func­tion.

While tra­di­tional Cater­pil­lar power re­mains an op­tion for propul­sion purists, Volvo Penta’s pod tech­nol­ogy speaks to what this model was con­ceived to be: a yacht with big-boat char­ac­ter­is­tics that elim­i­nates the ev­ery­day anx­i­eties of owner-op­er­ated cruis­ing. Pow­ered by a pair of 800-hp Volvo Penta IPS1050 en­gines, she packs a top speed of 27.5 knots. A larger en­gine op­tion is avail­able, said to push the top speed over 30 knots. The IPS in­te­gra­tion al­lows for more en­gine-room space, which trans­lates to easier main­te­nance and full-beam crew quar­ters aft, with ac­cess through both the en­gine room and the side deck.

Cheoy Lee tapped naval ar­chi­tect Howard Apol­lo­nio for a com­pletely new hull de­sign to ac­com­mo­date the IPS drives. Well versed in the 147-yearold builder’s tra­di­tion of light but sturdy con­struc­tion, Apol­lo­nio added his ver­sion of a dou­ble-chine hull.

“The hull is some­thing I de­rived when I was do­ing Navy work and re­fined as tech­nol­ogy came along,” Apol­lo­nio says. “Based on a Navy fast-pa­trol boat de­sign, it’s a per­fect match for IPS drives on lighter­weight boats, and we mod­i­fied it for even bet­ter per­for­mance on the new Bravo 72. By de­sign, it will run with bet­ter fuel econ­omy than most dis-place­men­thull cruis­ing yachts of sim­i­lar size at any speed. It’s un­usual in that it ac­tu­ally runs on two bot­toms. At lower speeds, it runs on the outer chines; at higher speeds, it runs on the in­ner chines, and it tran­si­tions very smoothly be­tween the two. When you throt­tle back on the IPS, ef­fi­ciency is main­tained right on down to dis­place­ment speeds, and with a fine bow, it’s ex­cep­tion­ally smooth rid­ing in rough wa­ter.”

The Bravo 72 cruises very eco­nom­i­cally at 20 knots us­ing only 2.4 gal­lons of fuel per nau­ti­cal mile per hour, for a range of 400 nau­ti­cal miles. Ac­cord­ing to Apol­lo­nio, that’s about half the fuel con­sump­tion that a ma­jor com­peti­tor pro­vides. Thrusters? Not nec­es­sary with the pod sys­tem. Nei­ther are gear­boxes, shafts, stuff­ing boxes, rud­ders, rud­der posts, steer­ing com­po­nents, hy­draulics or muf­flers.

Also in­tended to make cruis­ing sim­pler is a set of Kohler De­ci­sion-Maker 3500 gen­er­a­tors with auto trans­fer and par­al­lel­ing. When the first gen­er­a­tor’s load is light, the se­cond gen­er­a­tor au­to­mat­i­cally drops off. When the load is heavy, the se­cond gen­er­a­tor comes on­line. If one gen­er­a­tor is in trou­ble, the other one senses the prob­lem, starts up and takes the load au­to­mat­i­cally.

Dur­ing our Fort Laud­erdale sea trial aboard the 72, a few sim­ple joy­stick ma­neu­vers nav­i­gated us off the dock and through the typ­i­cal Bahia Mar bus­tle into open wa­ter, where I took the helm and ran her through a gamut of zigs, zags and S-curves. She tracked like an

top to bot­tom: The ensuite mas­ter state­room spans the nearly 20-foot beam; With per­for­mance be­ing a bench­mark of the new Bravo 72, it’s no sur­prise the in­te­rior helm dou­bles as an invit­ing so­cial area; The day head is a nice touch for a ves­sel of this size, and stylist Sylvia Bolton spared noth­ing in its ac­cou­trements.

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