Every boat we test leaves an impression in our minds, sort of mental reference points like the labels on a file folder. “Oh, yeah, that was the boat with the extra-large shower,” or “I know, that’s the one with the unique galley.”
In the case of the Altima 45 Euro Sedan, I have three reference tabs as reminders: a huge upper deck, gracefully curving stairs from the cockpit to the bridge, and the engineroom. Let’s take a look at the engineroom first, because that really surprised me. With a hull length of 45 feet, the Altima doesn’t seem unusually tall, which is the way that many builders create a spacious engineroom. But the fact is, the 4 feet, 4 inches of headroom and easy accessibility to the engines, generator, and systems blew me away. Service technicians will love this boat.
Push a button in the cockpit, and a big hatch rises on electric lifts, and stairs lead you to the commodious lazarette. From there, you have access to the Sea- Star steering hydraulics and the rudder posts, as well as the standard Glendinning Cablemaster and its 70 feet of 50-amp shore cord. On each side of this space is a water tank, with sight gauge, and just forward past a bulkhead, is the engineroom. The space between the two 425-horsepower Cummins diesels (upgraded from the standard 380s) is wide, which makes routine checks easy. The 11.4 kW Onan genset is forward in a sound box, and the Marine Air compressors are to port. Fuel and seawater filters are within easy reach, and the entire compartment is finished in either white gelcoat or aluminum sound panels. Soft panels in the saloon sole allow the engines to be removed easily, leaving the rest of the teak-and-holly sole undisturbed.
Altima is the pride of Frank Sciortino, who builds the yachts to his demanding specs at the Activa yard near Shanghai, and each reflects his years of experience on the water. I saw some of that wisdom in the curving stairs that lead from the cockpit to the upper deck. Not only are they protected with welded stainless steel rails, they are the right spacing and height to make them comfortable, even in a seaway. I’m uncompromising when it comes to stairs because I have ancient knees, but too many builders don’t pay attention to this important detail.