Galeon 650 Skydeck
Courtesy Galeon Yachts

Sea Trial: Galeon 650 Skydeck

Foldout features turn the Galeon 650 Skydeck into a cruising bistro.

The Galeon 650 SkyDeck has port and starboard gunwales aft that fold out electrically, creating balconies with rail stanchions, guidelines and inserts for bar stools. With the salon windows open and countertops flipped up, the space becomes an open-air oasis with a bar and lounge area. Add the aft deck's eight-person, U-shaped settee with a table, wet bar, sink, electric grill and ice maker, and you have a teak bistro for sundowners with friends.

Inside, low-profile furnishings and nearly 360 degrees of glass provide unobstructed vistas from stem to stern. The portside galley is aft, with a two-burner electric cooktop, a microwave, a ­dishwasher, dual sinks and an under-counter fridge/freezer. Across to starboard is a breakfast nook with two swing-out stools. There’s also a portside settee dinette with a high-low table across from a credenza that houses a pop-up 50-inch LED TV.

The 650 SkyDeck has beechwood-gray cabinetry and a marble-gray oak sole. Light Alcantara suede is used for soft goods and seats. All the materials blend to create a contemporary, warm setting in the salon.

A faux-leather-wrapped, tiered helm station forward and to starboard houses twin Raymarine HybridTouch multifunction displays, a monitor for the boat's Seakeeper 16 gyrostabilizer, a Raymarine autopilot, a Humphree Interceptor controller and an EmpirBus digital-switching keypad for wipers, horn, blowers, navigation lights and more. The elimination of bulky rocker switches results in a clean-looking helm. A dedicated Volvo Penta engine display is on the top tier. Twin bolstered helm seats have armrests and diamond stitching.

At first, I didn’t notice the steps leading to the windshield’s center pane. When actuated, the framed center window panel rises and retracts into the forward section of the hardtop. Guests can swing open the lower gate from inside for walk-through access to the foredeck. This is a neat and safe way to access the forward section of the yacht, almost as easily as on a 20-footer.

In that forward area are twin lounge islands separated by a walk-through space, which is actually the top of the skylights for the VIP stateroom belowdecks. Each island has flip-up backrests for side-to seating, and high-low tables for dining. A fridge and ice maker are tucked into drawers in the interior center companionway.

Galeon 650 Skydeck
With twin 1,000 hp Volvo Penta D13 diesels, the Galeon 650 Skydeck we were aboard hit 30 knots on the pins.Courtesy Galeon Yachts

According to Kyle Pillsbury of MarineMax in Pompano Beach, Florida, the company sees the 650 SkyDeck as an owner-operator yacht with an occasional need for a captain. “It’s also great for those moving down from larger yachts that still want to run their own yacht,” he says.

Belowdecks accommodations are split, with access to the full-beam master stateroom from a staircase amidships. The master’s queen berth on centerline is flanked by nightstands, and twin seats to port with a desk and vanity. Panoramic side windows bring in light as well as allow for views. The en suite head has a silver metallic tile mosaic in the shower stall. An en suite guest stateroom is amidships with twin berths.

Galeon 650 Skydeck Layout
The profile of the 650 SkyDeck looks like an express cruiser, but with the touch of a button, the aft hardtop glides forward, exposing a low-profile bridge deck. A U-shaped settee with a high-low table converts to lounge seats, and there are three helm seats with side lounges as well. A pop-up windshield should reduce windage for the captain.Courtesy Galeon Yachts
Galeon 650 Skydeck
The flybridge shades guests at the C-shaped seating and dining table. At night, LEDs overhead illuminate the space. Two speakers keep the music going.Courtesy Galeon Yachts
Galeon 650 Skydeck
The aft position of the 650 SkyDeck’s galley, ­combined with a flip-up window, allows for easy service to guests in the cockpit.Courtesy Galeon Yachts
Galeon 650 Skydeck
It’s an unusual element to find on a boat this size, but this 65-footer has a walk-through window to the foredeck lounge from the helm deck.Courtesy Galeon Yachts
Galeon 650 Skydeck
The forepeak stateroom has stand-up headroom, a queen-size berth, and lots of sunshine from the skylight and hullside windows.Courtesy Galeon Yachts
Galeon 650 Skydeck
Foldout terraces, like the ones found on this 650 SkyDeck, have become a Galeon trademark.Courtesy Galeon Yachts

Forward in the salon is a separate staircase to the VIP stateroom, which is en suite with a queen berth, windows and a skylight. Each stateroom provides ­stowage for extended cruising in drawers, cabinets and lockers.

I found the uncluttered, stand-up engine room impressive. Power is twin 1,000 hp Volvo Penta D13 diesel engines. The 12.8-liter in-line 6-cylinder blocks with inboard shafts propelled the 650 SkyDeck to 30 knots on the pins. At 1,800 rpm, the yacht cruised at 18.2 knots. Burning 53 gph at this speed, and considering the yacht’s 686-gallon fuel capacity with a 25-percent reserve, her range is 177 nautical miles. Not bad for a 68,300-pound yacht (light load). Pillsbury says Galeon will likely increase fuel capacity to around 1,000 gallons in the near future.

To withstand the seas, the 650 SkyDeck’s hull is constructed of solid fiberglass below the waterline. Foam-cored sides retain rigidity while reducing weight. The stringers are added while the hull is still in the mold, adding backbone.

“You can’t get a bigger boat for less money,” ­Pillsbury says, adding that the 650 is “heavy on features that work in perfect harmony together.”

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