It is no secret that one of the greatest challenges in production yacht building is keeping the line moving. Building boats that have long lists of options creates inconsistency and bogs down the process.
With that in mind, Maxum introduced the 4600 SCB in 1998 and priced her aggressively with a reasonable standard equipment list. The boat offered modern styling, attractive interior appointments and pleasant performance ("Maximum Return," April 1999), all for less of an investment than many yachts in her category. While the boat was successful, Maxum noticed a trend: most 4600 SCBs were being delivered fully equipped.
And so the new 4600 SCB Limited Edition was born, a compilation of small refinements including powder-coated window frames and a beefed up list of standard features, including Cummins power.
The Limited Edition's most significant new feature is her fiberglass hardtop. This attractive, practical solution replaces the SCB's low-slung arch, which served little purpose. The hardtop, whose finished interior surface is fitted with lighting and speakers for the Bose sound system, provides a proper footing for antennas and adds valuable all-weather real estate. The air-conditioned bridge (one of the Limited Edition's few options), when fitted with an isinglass enclosure, will cool the summer swelter.
Aft on the bridge are an L-shape lounge, a table, a wet bar and a sunpad area. The helm has adjustable split-bench seating with a flip-up bolster. Visibility is excellent for an enclosed bridge design. The dash panel is finished in simulated burl wood and outfitted with analog instrumentation and Teleflex hydraulic steering with a tilt wheel. A remote switch at the helm commands the Lewmar vertical mount anchor windlass at the bow. (While such systems are common these days, I still feel it is important to secure ground tackle manually.) The standard electronics package includes a 24-mile radar, a digital depth sounder and a VHF radio. Serious cruisers should consider the optional package with the 48-mile radar/GPS plotter, autopilot and hailer.
The Limited Edition's interior arrangement is essentially unchanged from that on the SCB, whose saloon and open galley needed little improvement. An upgraded entertainment system with a flat-screen TV and Bose surround sound stereo requires less space and created room for a settee opposite the sofa. Frankly, I prefer the look of the layout with the standard entertainment center, but if entertaining guests is your thing, the extra seating will come in handy. An ice maker is standard.
Finish in the galley includes teak and holly hardwood flooring and solid surface countertops. A stovetop, a double stainless-steel sink, a convection/microwave oven and a dual-voltage refrigerator fit comfortably in the layout with room to spare for stowage. The adjacent dinette area seats six and has a teak and holly sole.
The accommodations include a master stateroom forward with a queen-size island berth and a full entertainment center. There is plenty of stowage, including a lighted, cedar-lined hanging locker. The master head has a tub/shower. The guest stateroom has two single berths that convert to a single queen. The guest head has a shower and second-door access, making it convenient as a day head. Both head compartments are finished in molded fiberglass, and a VacuFlush MSD system is standard.
Cabinetwork is finished with a laminated product that melds cherry wood veneer with a protective acrylic skin. Corner moldings and trim are solid wood. This is a durable solution, considering conventional high-gloss finishes are easily scarred in high-traffic areas.
Attractive fabrics, pleated window treatments and contemporary interior hardware and fixtures add to the upscale atmosphere.
Maxum is a division of Brunswick Corporation, which is a formidable force in recreational boating. The 4600 Limited Edition's design was drafted on a computer at Maxum's product design and development facility in Arlington, Washington. After full-scale mockups confirmed the concept, a five-axis, computer-driven gantry router cut the plugs for the hull and superstructure. After successful prototyping, the project was transferred to Maxum's Salisbury, Maryland, production facility, where all Maxums longer than 41 feet are built.
The hand laid hull laminate is composed of woven and stitched fiberglass reinforcement, polyester resin and a vinylester skin coat to minimize the chance of blistering. Stringers are fiberglass-encapsulated wood, and plywood bulkheads are glassed to the hull. Numerically controlled routers are used to cut structural bulkheads, non-structural partitions and joinery. Fiberglass soles and liners form the interior.
All Maxum yachts include a "Seven-Five-One Limited Warranty." That means seven-year protection against structural failure, five-year protection from gelcoat blisters and one-year coverage on materials and workmanship.
Access to the engineroom is via a saloon hatch and stainless-steel ladder. Exterior cockpit access would also be preferred on a boat this size, allowing service when the owner is not on board and eliminating the risk of trashing the interior when major work is needed.
There is good access to the inboard side of the engines, and separate hatches provide access to the expansion tanks. Access outboard of the engines is limited by the aluminum fuel tankage, but a section of the saloon sole above the engines can be removed.
The lazarette area, common to the engineroom but accessible only from the cockpit, houses a 12.5kW generator fitted with a sound shield. A compartment housing the waste- and freshwater systems is forward of the engineroom and can be reached by removing an interior panel in the guest stateroom.
Roughly one-third of the 4600 SCBs delivered this year will display the Limited Edition nameplate. The model's $499,995 price tag is a bump up from the standard offering, but considering the boat is essentially turnkey, the figure is reasonable.
Like her sister, the 4600 Limited Edition is expected to appeal to cruising couples and the married with children set. I suspect all will appreciate the good value she represents in today's pricey sport cruiser market.
Contact: Maxum Marine, (360) 435-5571; fax (360) 403-4263; www.maxumboats.com