There is a growing niche market for luxury pickup trucks, like the Cadillac Escalade EXT or the Lincoln Mark LT, which seems hard to comprehend at first. We all know that you're never going to pile a bunch of tree cuttings in that oh-soexpensive pickup bed, and you're certainly not going to have those roughnecks at the local lumberyard shovel a few cubic yards of gravel onto that highly polished paint. And there's no way a bunch of construction workers in filthy work boots will get to sprawl across the soft leather seats.
No, those tasks are better suited to a bare-bones Ford F-150 with vinyl seats and paint that is already dinged and chipped.
So why do people want these luxury pickups? Because (and, please, don't try to interpret this as sexist) she wants to sit up front in luxury, and he wants a place to easily carry that antique rocking chair they found at a garage sale.
And that's exactly the reason for the Symbol 60 Yachtfish.
The forward area of the 60 is all luxurious yacht. The back porch is rough-and-tumble sportfishing turf. And, like those uber-luxe pickups, it's a combination that will work perfectly for many people.
Symbol has built a line of yachtfishers for several years, but considerably larger and (from a sportfishing viewpoint) less nimble. The 60 Yachtfish was conceived by the team of Captain Chris Hall and Jason Nasiatka of Symbol Yachts of Florida who, like the designers at General Motors and Lincoln Mercury, saw a need. Says Hall, a dyed-in-the-wool sportfishing guy whose last personal yacht was a Bertram 46, "We wanted to create a yacht that was versatile enough to carry four guys on a long weekend of fishing just as easily as it could take the whole family on a vacation cruise." So the Symbol 60 Yachtfish is destined to serve two masters.
How does it fare? Magnificently on all counts. It isn't as fast as many 60-foot convertibles, but it's going to get you offshore very comfortably and without pounding your fillings loose, too. On the other hand, the gourmet chef of the family is going to find the galley fit for Cordon Bleu cuisine. And when it comes to tucking in for the night, that master stateroom has all the comforts of a four-star suite. Also, pardon me for being crass up front, but this is a whole lot of yacht considering a base price of about $1.3 million.
Since 1998, Jack Sarin has been the exclusive designer for Symbol Yachts, and he worked closely with Hall and Nasiatka on the 60 Yachtfish.
The starting point for the 60YF was the well-proven Symbol 55 Classic hull, which was stretched by the addition of the fishing cockpit. Besides creating a cockpit to rival many sportfishing battlewagons, it created an immense lazarette for storing all the junk that we add to our boats, and it also gives the yacht a leaner, more purposeful look.
The cockpit is going to please the serious fisherman, because the coamings have been widened and padded for comfort, and a 32-gallon livewell is in the transom, complete with lights and macerator pump. There is a solidly hinged transom door, and dual fishboxes in the cockpit sole. A console against the cabin has a fully equipped tackle station with sink. On our test boat, the cockpit had an aggressive nonslip surface but, having seen a teak cockpit on another Symbol, I think I'd opt for the teak underfoot.
The fishing side of the Yachtfish doesn't end with just the cockpit, because serious fishermen want, as they say, a lot of sticks in their quiver, so there has to be stowage for rods. And stowage there is in spades. The sofa in the saloon has dedicated rod racks underneath, as does the settee in the pilothouse, and there is also vertical rod space under the inside stairs to the bridge.
For the 60, Hall and Nasiatka specified the galley on the saloon level, although it could also be raised to become part of the pilothouse. I like this arrangement, however, because it creates a pleasant flow to the saloon. There is a breakfast counter on the after side, and the full-sized Sub-Zero refrigerator/freezer/ice maker is against the forward bulkhead. Corian counters wrap around on three sides, inset with a three-burner cooktop and a double stainless steel sink under the large window.
The saloon is straightforward, with a settee to port, a pop-up TV to starboard, and space for a couple of loose chairs. The standard teak interior was upgraded on this yacht to a warm cherry, giving it a bright and airy ambiance.
The pilothouse level is, like the rest of the yacht, an interesting blend of seaworthiness and luxury. The skipper has a Pompanette helm chair on centerline, facing a raised instrument panel with a full array of electronics. Our test boat had Side-Power bow and stern thrusters (bow is standard).
With a fore-and-aft settee next to the helm and an L-shaped settee to port, there's plenty of seating for everyone. Diamond SeaGlaze watertight sliding doors give easy access to the side decks for short-handing.