Run­ning Fast, Run­ning Silent

Passage Maker - - News & Notes -

What­ever else might be said for the Belize 54 Day­bridge, her strong­est suit is her over­all per­for­mance—han­dling, run­ning in a se­away, sus­tain­able speed, and the like.

The IPS units are fit­ted with dy­namic po­si­tion­ing and vec­tor­ing joy­stick con­trols. When we pulled away to sam­ple the yacht’s per­for­mance, it was only nec­es­sary to push the joy­stick di­rectly to star­board and her IPS drives vec­tored her away from the dock on an axis ex­actly 90 de­grees to the face of the fuel dock, with­out bow or stern thrusters. Low-speed ma­neu­ver­ing was easy and sure, with joy­stick con­trol that is more re­spon­sive and pre­cise than tra­di­tional rud­der and throt­tle. At slow speed in-har­bor, she moved with min­i­mal wake and once clear of the in­let en­trance, ac­cel­er­ated smoothly up through the 20s to a gen­uine 30-knot max speed at WOT (with full fuel aboard and con­firmed by mak­ing mul­ti­ple runs in op­po­site di­rec­tions).

That was with the twin 600-horse­power D8 7.7 liter Volvo Pen­tas that are fit­ted stan­dard. Ac­cord­ing to McCaf­ferty, the op­tional 700-horse­power ver­sion of the en­gines will yield a top speed of a solid 33 knots at WOT.

Dur­ing our test, wind and sea con­di­tions were rel­a­tively mild, even out­side in the ocean. At most, a two-foot sea was run­ning on­shore with a breeze com­ing from the same di­rec­tion. But the crests were pretty widely spaced and seemed more like swells than seas, so the best we could do was cre­ate our own dis­tur­bance

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