On my first day in Istanbul, on a trip to test the Numarine 60 Flybridge, I found myself lazily wandering around the city’s historic center somewhere between the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia. My aimlessness — not to mention my foreignness — must have been patent because I soon found myself being hounded by a middle-aged Kurdish man intent on selling me a rug.
I didn’t need a rug, and I didn’t want a rug, but for some reason, I dutifully followed this man into his shop, where he handed me a cup of tea. And so began the ancient Turkish art of haggling, as his family members appeared from around corners and behind doors, twirling various beautiful carpets of all colors and sizes while the man shouted out prices.
Dazzled by the display, I found my senses softening. Maybe … maybe I needed a rug? My eyes almost convinced me of this as I thumbed my wallet. Finally, I snapped to and pried myself from the hypnotic performance and, with the shopkeeper still yelling prices behind me, burst into the bright afternoon sun outside.
I rubbed my eyes. What did I just see? How did that happen? It would not be the last time my eyes deceived me in Turkey.
The next day at the Ataköy Marina on the city’s outskirts, I saw the Numarine 60 Flybridge for the first time. She was a typically sleek, sweetly lined motoryacht. I’d seen many boats like her — or so I thought. Then I stepped aboard.
The trick with the 60 Flybridge — the thing that really sets her apart from her peers — is enormous interior volume encapsulated in a design that simply doesn’t look like she could possibly be this big. And yet, somehow, she is.
For example, the amidships master, with its athwartship island king berth, takes full advantage of the 16-foot-8-inch beam. A chair and makeup vanity are built into the starboard side. Matte-finish, tinted-oak hanging lockers aft have mirrors on their exterior doors that make the space seem even larger, while about 7 feet of headroom throughout lends the master the feel of a loft — a true feat on a 60-foot yacht. A sizable en suite forepeak VIP and another stateroom to port round out the accommodations level, but the master’s enviable volume is doubtlessly the star.
Another area where the 60 Flybridge evinces some truly surprising amounts of space is in her engine room — and since this vessel could easily be an owner-operator choice, that’s an important quality. The engine room on my test boat, which housed twin 725 hp Volvo Penta IPS950s, had impressive volume. And the use of pod-drive technology, of course, is one reason she is able to have so much interior space.
The economically sized pods also allow the boat to have relatively large fuel tanks that hold 845 gallons total, which gives the 60 an estimated cruise range of 375 nautical miles at 28 knots. The engine room has about 6 feet 6 inches of headroom throughout, which almost feels like showing off. It’s a luxury that’s not often seen on competing models. Access is, as you might guess, a high point (no pun intended), and the space is orderly and well-ventilated to boot. Simply put, this is an engine room people will almost certainly get excited about once they see it.
A third aspect of the 60 Flybridge that gives this midsize cruiser a big-boat feel is an unusual layout option for yachts in this range: The galley can be situated up or down. Obviously, for the American market that Numarine so covets for this model, the usual placement will be galley-up, to facilitate social cooking. In that layout, the food-prep space is amidships to starboard, highlighted by not only plenty of stowage, but also by a Turkish-marble countertop. If the owner chooses galley-down, it will replace the portside guest stateroom.
To the best of my knowledge, there was no actual Ottoman sorcery employed while building the 60 Flybridge. Instead, the admirable interior volume is a function of the aforementioned pod technology, combined with a sandwich construction process that uses PVC coring, which allows for a strong, but not bulky, frame and precise concentration on how each piece of the yacht fits together, so there is no wasted space. Add elegant windows in the hull and superstructure that trick the eye into seeing a sleeker shape than actually exists, and voilà: The 60’s volume mystery is essentially solved. (Though honestly, I’d be a little surprised, but not entirely shocked, if a bit of sorcery were involved.)
Even if the yacht’s interior felt much larger than it actually is, out on the Sea of Marmara, the 60 handled like a much smaller yacht. Her steering was remarkably smooth and nimble, and her top speed of 30 knots was all the pop you could hope for, or want, in a 60-foot motoryacht. At a comfortable cruise speed in the high-20-knot range, I could carve the boat through the water forcefully and cleanly. In straightaways, a quick glance aft confirmed my suspicion that tracking on this boat was excellent.
Sight lines were predictably good from the flybridge helm and surprisingly good at the lower station, thanks to a single-pane windshield that flooded the salon and parts of the accommodations deck with natural light. The large windows that line the 60’s salon also came in handy when making hard-over turns because I could get views of almost 360 degrees around the boat — always a comforting thing when performing maneuvers in a high-traffic waterway.
As I corkscrewed the boat through the silvery blue water, winding around the scads of cargo ships in the harbor, I felt a familiar feeling. It was the same as the feeling I had enjoyed the day before in the carpet shop: a sense of wonder, a sense of being mesmerized.
I might not know exactly how Numarine pulled off its magic tricks with the 60 Flybridge, but far be it from me to argue with the result.
With all the focus on the 60 Flybridge’s interior volume, you might think the outdoor entertainment areas went overlooked. You’d be wrong. The 60’s namesake flybridge is big for her class, with a sweptback after section that helps lengthen the yacht’s profile. Meanwhile, a separate entertainment area on the bow deck is composed of a bench seat and two sun pads, which any sun worshipers on board will surely appreciate. That area will make for an excellent (and private) place to hang out if you find yourself moored stern-to in some exotic port of call. No prying eyes from the dock-walking public? No problems.
At 60 feet, this yacht is by no means a dinghy, but she’s actually the smallest in the Numarine line, which stretches up to the nearly 130-foot-long 40XP expedition yacht. While new to the U.S. market, Numarine is confident that its expertise in design and construction will help it gain a quick foothold. Even better for Florida-based yachtsmen is that with a draft of 5 feet 3 inches, the 60 is Bahamas-ready. That’s no accident. Numarine thought ahead with this yacht and realized that an American boat had better be set to go to the islands too.