More on the Topic of Design
In a recent post we invited you to consider the value of delivering an overnight experience/accommodation on the traditional center console. This week the second part of the question, what next, takes a look at the explosion of ever larger open or center console boats: think 41, 42, 46 and recently 54′. Wow, some of us at Southport have been at this for a long time and can remember when a 43 Egg Harbor, 46 and later 54 Bertram or a 50 Hatteras was a BIG BOAT. Of course, unlike cars which keep getting smaller, boats have been getting longer for some time, think: megayachts once considered 80′ are now 300-400+; currently popular cruisers that began as 24′ I/O’s are now 50 – 60′.
But, to the question, would the boating public be happy with a well-executed express style model on our 33 platform? The obstacle for Southport is the hull form that makes a Southport ride so well, the fine entry and robust Carolina flare. This was the problem the original builder faced as well. That is, other builders who have included an express model on mid-thirties product have in most cases a hull form with a fuller or more rounded forward section. With the additional interior volume a less aggressive forefoot offers these builders have enough room to approach what some would consider a spacious interior.
Since we would never compromise the exceptional ride of a Southport, we are challenged on the present 33’s narrow forefoot to deliver the same space and wonder if we should wait to offer a more spacious overnight experience when the time comes for Southport to have a 38-40′ model, which while continuing to have a fine entry will have enough room in the boat to move the cabin bulkhead aft enough to deliver a “ball room” sized interior.
The walk around concept is the second alternative deck plan in which to offer overnighting, but once again too often the brands who have offered this while maintaining the center console positioning have either had to add a step to the deck (potential for tripping on the rise when walking fore or aft to fight a fish) or raised the forward section of the console (coffin box/sun-pad) to a height that makes the line of sight a challenge and approaches the same height as the gunnel (ring deck), which makes the seating surface less than a safe perch in a rough sea.
So. We at Southport are keen to know what you think: deliver a great product, which the folks at C Raymond Hunt & Associates (our naval architects) believe is possible and endorse on the current 33 Southport, but which like others may be somewhat of a compromise – OR – wait for a larger platform