Symbol 59 Classic

Attention to cruising detail suits this Symbol Classic 59 for runs offshore.

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If ever there were a textbook case of what an experienced yachtsman can achieve when a boat builder is responsive to his needs, the new Symbol 59 Classic, Off Line, is the perfect example. Owners Phil and Susan Tyson are eight-time boat owners, not counting a period as yacht dealers, so they had a clear idea of what they wanted as they planned a two-year liveaboard cruise through the islands.

"I liked the Symbol the minute I first saw one," says Phil, "but it was the company's flexibility and ability to meet my must-have list that made all the difference."

Off Line is actually the first of the new Classic Series with extra modifications that are the result of collaboration between the Tysons, designer Jack Sarin, and Barin Cardenas, founder of Lucid Marine (the southeast's Symbol dealership). The starting point was Symbol's 58-foot Pilothouse hull, which Sarin modified to carry greater loads and more fuel. He also deepened the keel to provide protection for the running gear that's been tucked into prop pockets to accommodate shallow draft.

The profile was also redesigned to reflect a more traditional exploration-style yacht. The raised pilothouse now has a Portuguese bridge for on-deck safety, and has been extended across the full beam for more interior space. In Off Line's case, the bridge has been stretched aft as well. The importance of these subtle changes was immediately apparent during a walk through.

The cockpit benefits from the longer boat deck, allowing a full enclosure with doors to the side decks. Open the twin sliding stainless steel doors to the saloon, and you create a much larger, air-conditioned living area. The saloon also benefits from the bridge overhang on each side deck, which gives it shade from the tropical sun and in colder climates, weather protection on the side decks.

Since the Tysons will occasionally work from sea, the saloon had to double as a floating office. Rather than convert a valuable guest cabin to an office, they've outfitted the saloon so they can set up laptops on the high-low table, use the credenza for files and storage, and still have a pair of concealed hassocks for putting their feet up when the day is done.

This will be their home, so the Tysons didn't stint on amenities: all the counters are marble or granite topped, a huge pop-up flat-screen TV has surround-sound, and a wine cooler keeps their favorite vintages at just the right temperatures. The sole is teak and holly with an area rug to keep the maintenance easy, and finishes throughout are cherrywood. Despite the luxurious touches, the sturdy handrail running overhead is a reminder that Off Line is a home designed to go offshore.

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The galley and dinette share the pilothouse. The Tysons are serious cooks, not just casual dinner-warmers, and Susan wanted a galley large enough for the couple to comfortably share. As a result, the counter wraps nearly all the way around the galley. The sink is forward, the stove is in the aft corner, and there's plenty of room to drain linguini while making clam sauce without stepping on each other's toes.

Two under-counter refrigerators are complemented by twin freezer drawers in the saloon. There is also exceptional storage in roll-out drawers designed to hold all a cook's necessities, plus food. Susan is a devotee of television cooking shows, so the galley has a swing-down LCD TV linked to the satellite system for simultaneous cooking and watching. A Fisher Paykel stainless dishwasher handles clean-up.

The helm is Phil's territory, with a single chair behind the leather-trimmed dash, and a convenient counter to the right that holds the electrical panel. Placing the yacht monitoring system above the windshield freed up space in the instrument panel for a full array of engine and navigational displays. Phil is a pilot, so he chose a Garmin 5212 electronics package because he was familiar with the system and comfortable with its reliability. The 12- inch screen has full chartplotting and networking via touchscreen, and uses Garmin's Bluecharts cartography.

A curving stairwell leads from the pilothouse down to the cabins, with the master suite spanning the full beam aft. Here the Tysons specified a full king-sized bed with an innerspring mattress, and a vanity and bureau to port. The portholes are covered by sliding Shoji screens.

One of the more unusual and thoughtful features of the Symbol 59 Classic is the arrangement of the head in the master stateroom. Situated to starboard, the compartment is split: Aft is a large shower with onyx seat and Lucite stall door, but the head is forward, in a private compartment with a separate door. Between the two is the sink and vanity area, open to the stateroom.

Forward, there is a pleasant and airy VIP cabin that shares a spacious day head with a twin bunk guest cabin to port. Both forward cabins are spacious and light. Pocket doors are used for all the cabins and the head, so you never have to fight your way around a hinged door to enter or leave a stateroom.

Storage is important for the Tysons' cruise, so the entire forward VIP berth swings up on gas lifts to reveal a cavernous locker (bureau drawers are under the berth). A full-sized washer and dryer are located in the foyer.

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With the Islands on their horizon, the bridge is sure to be a major living area, and the Tysons have outfitted it with that in mind. For easy access, there is an inside stairway opposite the galley as well as one on the after deck. Forward, the helm is a fiberglass console that has duplicates of the electronics and engine controls at the lower station. There's the usual centerline captain's pedestal chair and an offset companion seat, but they've also added a padded area around the console, providing a comfortable place to sprawl while at anchor or underway. Just aft to port is a bench seat with a fiberglass table, but the real highlight of the upper helm on Off Line is the "kitchen." Extending the bridge added about 60 square feet and allowed the Tysons to create the ideal outdoor grilling station and room for a Rigid Boats 12-foot tender with a 40-hp Yamaha.

Power for Off Line comes from a pair of 800-hp Caterpillar C-15 ACERT diesels that give her a top speed of about 20 knots, although they will run at a conservative 11 knots most of the time, giving Off Line a range of over 600 nm. As you'd expect, the Tysons have all the proper systems, from 16kW and 12kW Northern Lights gensets to a Wesmar hydraulic system for powering the bow and stern thrusters as well as the stabilizers.

The Tysons are looking forward to quiet nights at anchor, so Off Line has a pair of solar panels mounted to the hardtop. Paired with a Xantrex inverter, they should be capable of running the entire boat without AC power. As a bonus, this green power system will extend battery life by half.

Very thoughtfully designed and outfitted In a most seamanlike manner, this Symbol 59 Classic should perfectly fit the needs of her owners as they head "off-line" on their extended liveaboard cruise.