Enough looking around. The Palm Beach 65 begs to be driven, so Capt. Marvosh fired up the big Volvos, and we joysticked our way out of the marina, taking advantage of the excellent sight lines from the flying bridge to survey the surroundings. We would’ve had nearly as good a view from the pilothouse, because of the massive windows and the boat’s uncluttered exterior.
Although I’ve never driven a Bentley, the Palm Beach 65 behaves the way I imagine driving the Continentl GT would feel like — a deliberate grace coupled with soft tactile sensations through my hands and feet. The yacht is fast enough to satisfy her owner, but more horsepower would make her feel friskier. Speed-conscious owners may want to specify Volvo’s 800 horsepower IPS1050 or 900 horsepower IPS1200 or their D-series equivalents with straight-shafts or jets. Her response to steering input is quick and satisfyingly precise, and she feels nicely connected with the sea, inspiring the helmsman’s confidence. We had to drive through our wake to create waves, and she easily shouldered through those. Her motion in a real seaway ought to be equally friendly.
At the end of the day, I had to ask myself, “What’s not to like about the PB 65?” In order to discover any annoying traits in this boat, I’d have to spend weeks, even months, living with her. My gut says that I wouldn’t find many, so I now look forward to trying the PB 55, which will make her debut in the United States at the fall shows.
DISPL.: 62,700 lb.
FUEL: 1,320 gal.
WATER: 370 gal.
DEADRISE: 14 degrees
engine options: 2 x 800-hp Volvo IPS1050, 2 x 900-hp Volvo IPS1200; straight-shaft also available
engines tested: 2 x 700-hp Volvo IPS900
PRICE: Upon request
Test Conditions: Speed was measured by GPS off Santa Barbara, California, in light chop and less than 10 knots of wind, with full fuel, 125 gallons of water and four adults aboard. Fuel consumption was calculated by the electronic engine-monitoring system. Sound levels were measured on the flying bridge.
RPM Knots GPH dB(A)
600 6.3 3.0 64
900 9.0 5.75 67
1200 11.85 13.0 68
1500 15.05 24.5 69
1800 19.15 37.0 75
2100 23.90 57.5 84
2250 26.50 69.0 81
Palm Beach Motor Yachts, +61-2-4389-1244; www.pbmotoryachts.com; U.S. representative, Ballast Point Yachts Inc., 619-222-3620; www.ballastpointyachts.com