he hudson river’s southerly advance collided against a 15-plus-knot southerly zephyr whipping through the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and into New York Harbor. I was running the Galeon 485 Hardtop Sport (HTS) downriver at speed into a 3-foot-steep head sea. I rolled the Zipwake trim system’s control wheel forward to drop the vessel’s nose, and the 485 HTS’s fine entry and solid fiberglass hull dispatched the seas with malice. She skirted across the chop at a 31-knot top hop. This rate of speed — even in those conditions — was 1 knot faster than the builder’s 30-knot top-end projection. The yacht hit that speed as her twin 435 hp Volvo Penta IPS600s (the only engine option) spun at 3,500 rpm, spot on with the motors’ maximum rpm rating. At a 3,000 rpm cruise, the 485 HTS sped along at 25 knots. Dialing the engines back to 2,500 rpm jogged her along at 18.6 knots. And she was conversation-level quiet: no creaks or groans, doors or cabinets popping open, or sun pads flipping up. The 485 HTS, which displaces 37,930 pounds when fully loaded, always felt solid underfoot. Her impressive performance was due, in part, to her build process, which starts with getting weight down low. Galeon begins the 485 HTS’s hull construction with a layer of hand-laid fiberglass, using the resin-soaked glass to add weight where it’s wanted. Next, Galeon places a dry mat and then vacuum-infuses the hull, moderating the vessel’s overall weight, which, in turn, affects horsepower requirements, performance, fuel tankage, fuel burn, range and the like. The builder gives equal attention to the yacht’s layout and amenities, which I wish the conditions had allowed me to “test” as thoroughly as performance. Starting at the full-beam teak hydraulic swim platform (a fixed platform is standard), Transformer-style swim steps fold open as the platform is lowered. An owner can add chocks for a dinghy. The transom garage has stowage for a couple of paddleboards and an inflatable dinghy. A garage hatch provides access to the engine room, which had enough space to scoot around the motors and access regular engine service points such as strainers and filters.