An experienced owner and skipper with 50 years of boating and 15 cruises to Alaska under his belt, Bruce Jones knew exactly what he wanted when he ordered his Selene 66, Escapade. Having previously owned a series of DeFever and West Bay yachts as large as 80 feet, and as the chairman of Lake Union Drydock in Seattle, Jones knew he needed a builder that would customize a yacht to fit his needs.
He found that with Howard Chen of Jet Tern Marine and with the crew at Selene Seattle, the Northwest dealership. “I’m an engineer and a project person,” Jones says, “and it was a pleasure working with this team. We sent lots of pictures and diagrams back and forth, and I went to the plant in China 10 times to inspect the yacht at various points. Even though I challenged them with major changes and a lot of hidden complexities, they carried it off with great skill. And I can’t remember them ever saying no.”
The standard 66 offers three interior layouts, and Jones started with the version that has the galley in the pilothouse and three staterooms. He also upgraded to twin John Deere diesels rather than the standard single.
His list of changes and modifications is thoughtful and seamanlike. In the full-beam master stateroom, which normally has both a stairway from the salon and a door from the forward guest passageway, Jones had the forward entry eliminated. “It was redundant,” he says. “And [this change] allowed room for a second washer and dryer in the guest area.” He also added a watertight teak-faced door from the master into the engine room so he could check the engines without having to go through the lazarette. The portside guest cabin was reconfigured from twin singles to a wider lower berth with a Pullman above, which, he says, “gives lots of room for grandkids.”
Though he had originally considered the Selene 62 (same hull as the 66), Jones chose the larger yacht because the added volume in the stern allowed enough space to reconfigure the standard layout. The results include a full commissary that permits Escapade to carry provisions for extended cruises, an oversize workshop in the lazarette, a laundry and a crew cabin, which is finished to the same high standard as the rest of the boat with a mini galley and a full head with shower. “When I have a full complement of guests, I usually stay in the crew cabin,” Jones says.
Considering Jones’ experience, it’s no surprise that he also made changes in the engine room. Rather than a single 20 kW genset, Jones ordered 25 kW and 9 kW Northern Lights generators to provide main and nighttime power. The two 1,250-gallon fiberglass fuel tanks were modified with inner walls that create 150-gallon reserve areas with separate fills, and all the feed and return lines run through an ESI fuel-polishing system. Two-inch crossovers allow Jones to refuel both tanks from either side, and a Headhunter Tank Sentry monitors the levels.
Both main engines have hydraulic power takeoffs, plus there’s a third on the 25 kW genset, to provide redundant power for the Wesmar hydraulic windlass and zero-speed stabilizers as well as the Steelhead davit on the boat deck. Other systems include a Kabola diesel heater, a Village Marine 1,500-gallon-perday watermaker and Racor duplex fuel filters. A sophisticated Krill Systems vessel monitor provides Jones with full information on the electrical system, plus bilge pumps, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, door and motion sensors, temperature and fire systems, and all tankage.
Interior designer Sylvia Bolton finished the interior of Escapade with (what else?) an array of original native Alaskan artwork, including inlaid tables and a custom sculptured carpet. Among the changes Jones made to the interior are an all-electric galley (“It’s easier for guests to understand than LPG”), electric warming of the marble soles in the heads to take the edge off cold mornings, and a full removable enclosure for the cockpit.
Below the waterline, Escapade is wellsuited to adventure cruising, since her props are protected by twin skegs and she has a full-length keel. Jones fitted her with line cutters (a necessity in the Pacific Northwest!) as well as Amartech shaft tubes and propellers.
Under way, Escapade is a delightful cruising yacht. A full Soundown package was used to reduce noise and vibration to an absolute minimum, creating a below-60 decibel level at the lower helm that was unreadable on our sound meter at most speeds.
“I like a gallon a mile,” says Jones, and, at a bit over 8 knots, Escapade achieves exactly that. Top speed is 11.7 knots, and she runs flat and comfortably at all rpm levels. At around 10 knots, she has a cruising range of about 1,400 miles.
Proving her thoughtful planning and her capabilities, Jones single-handed Escapade to Alaska on her maiden voyage, with guests joining and departing at stages along the way.
As a fine example of what can be accomplished between an experienced, detail-oriented owner and a “can-do” builder willing to go the extra distance, Escapade is truly a seaman’s delight.
Displ.: 151,200 lb.
Fuel: 2,500 gal.
Water: 600 gal.
Test Power: 2 x 267-hp John Deere diesels
Standard Power: 1 x 525-hp John Deere diesel
Base Price: Approx. $2,229,000 w/2 x diesels
Jet Tern Marine, www.selenetrawlers.com