"Synergy" is a word often tossed about with regard to international boatbuilding but seldom is executed. The Bradford 92 Offshore yacht is an exception. She is an attractive yet rugged little ship, designed and built in Holland to American specifications. The result is a yacht that is of manageable size and proportions, yet fully capable of taking on the oceans of the world.
The Bradford 92 is a cockpit motoryacht based on classic Doggersbank designs by Dick Boon of Vripack. Boon is well known for his seaworthy designs both larger and smaller than the Bradford. I have taken several out for sea trials over the years, including two Doggersbanks of 84 and 95 feet, as well as Boon's personal yacht, a 62-footer styled to resemble a 1920s cruiser. Clearly, this is a man who knows and enjoys yachts and yachting, and is skilled at his craft.
Construction, with a steel hull and aluminum superstructure, was entrusted to Moonen Shipyards, another first-class choice. Moonen, too, has completed yachts larger, smaller and of various styles, but the Bradford 92 is right at the heart of its range. She is a craft deserving of Moonen's attention to detail in metalwork and insistence on using only the best in systems and equipment.
I was in the yard while the Bradford 92 and her non-cockpit sistership, the Bradford 90, were under construction. Beneath the 92's teak interior and the 90's mahogany, it was clear the yard was not about to cut corners for the sake of saving a buck. Every bit of craftsmanship, whether it would show after completion or not, was neat, orderly and well-executed. It was apparent that the workmen understood this vessel was intended to go to sea and brave the worst of it, not run for cover when things get a little rough.
This ship was conceived for American owners, and Bradford Yachts utilized its experience in the market to ensure the owners would be comfortable with her. Major equipment is of American supply with ready parts availability, and systems are American standard, so there will be none of the little annoyances, such as looking for off-voltage light bulbs or odd-size filters.
There have been other considerations by Bradford, including the arrangement plan. The Bradford 92 carries only three staterooms for her owner and guests, but they are quite spacious and afford lots of stowage space. There is also a large compartment below the stair landing in the lower foyer. This emphasis on quality versus quantity of cabins is highly appropriate for a yacht intended for extended cruising.
Also appropriate is her proven Doggersbank design. She sports a high bow and full bulwarks to keep seas off the main deck as much as possible. The house is stepped well back from the stem, and is further protected by a Portuguese bridge. Full side decks allow easy movement for crew and guests. They span from the open afterdeck and spacious cockpit to the large foredeck, which has an orderly anchoring system and riding seats that are sure to be popular spots in fair weather.
The owner's full-beam suite and the two guest staterooms are positioned deep in the displacement hull, amidships, where pitching motions and slamming impacts will be at a minimum. The pilothouse, separated from the saloon and galley for safer night operation, is ideally located to give the captain a feel for the sea conditions. Such physical feedback is essential to allow operational adjustments to maximize guest comfort and minimize vessel damage in heavy weather.
The engineroom is aft, and it is among the best I have seen on a yacht this length. Access to all areas of the space is quite good, and operation of the fire, bilge and fuel manifolds is easy and straightforward. Steel dampers automatically shut down ventilation ducts in the event of fire. There are twin sea chests, and three entrances, including one directly from inside the saloon, make access to or escape from the engineroom safe and easy, regardless of the weather. A small workshop is in the lazarette, abaft the engineroom and extending under the cockpit.
Some vessels designed for serious offshore cruising tend more toward the rugged than the comfortable side of the trade-off equation. The Bradford 92 seems to deliver both. Her interior is clean and slick, relying on reveals and layering rather than heavy moldings to create visual interest in her warm teak joinery. Overheads are white, and carpeting is an ivory Berber.
The master suite has a settee forward and a freestanding desk just to port of centerline. The master head is outfitted with a full-size tub, and adjacent to it is a dressing room with five hanging lockers, seven drawers and three cabinets with shelves. In the berth area are two more cabinets and another six drawers.
The two guest staterooms, one with a queen berth and one with twins, are equally comfortable. The guest heads have showers that are especially large. Like the master bath, they are fitted with towel warmers, a typical European touch that Americans will surely enjoy, as well.
The main deck, as is the accommodations deck below and the open upper deck above, is a split-level forward and abaft the central spiral stair tower, which spans all three decks. Its layout does not unduly disrupt movement fore and aft; rather, it provides a degree of separation and privacy between spaces that belies the Bradford 92's length. Forward of the stairs and on the main deck is the galley, which includes a small dinette to starboard. Equipment includes a Jenn-Air refrigerator/freezer, Whirlpool microwave and upright commercial-grade freezer, and Miele dishwasher, range and oven. Forward of the galley is the pilothouse, which includes a small table and companion seating for four.
Abaft the stairs, the saloon boasts a curved settee and two loose chairs aft, as well as a bar-with a sink, an icemaker and a wine cellar-to starboard and a dinette to port forward. The dinette has a spacious table and seating for the full complement of six. It can seat a couple of extra guests in a pinch, and for larger day parties, the bar seats three.
Topside, the flying bridge carries a central helm, as well as wing controls. To starboard, seating for six surrounds a Hi-Lo table, and to port, the bar can seat another four. Abaft the radar arch and stair tower, with circular skylight, are a grill, sunpad and open deck space. Service of antennas and navigation lighting is made easier by a ladder up the after side of the arch and steps welded to the mast. A tender and crane sit outside the bulwark aft, and liferafts are easily launched from either side.
The synergy between Vripack, Moonen and Bradford in completing the Bradford 92 offshore cockpit yacht is readily apparent and highly successful. This is a vessel that would be equally at home cruising the crystal-blue waters of the Caribbean or dodging ice floes in extreme latitudes. If I were planning an extended cruise, this is definitely a boat that would be on my shortlist of possibilities. n Contact: Bradford Yachts, (954) 791-2600; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.bradfordyachts.com. For more information, contact: (866) 922-4877; www.yachtingnet.com/yachting/productinfo.