CL Yachts CLB65 Reviewed

The CL Yachts CLB65 is a 24-plus-knot motoryacht with a bluewater build and an ageless design.
CL Yachts CLB65
The beam is maintained well forward, enhancing overall volume. Courtesy Lightseed Studio

The CL Yachts CLB65 pairs traditional good looks and a timeless profile with impeccable planning for short-handed cruising by owner-operators. It’s also the first CL Yachts model with an aft galley, a design choice that underlines a clear objective: entertaining.

Seaworthy touches can be found in spots such as the cockpit, where a joystick control station is concealed in each cabin side to make docking painless, and where husky warping winches are on each stern quarter to take the muscle out of line handling. But at the same time, the entire after bulkhead of the yacht’s house is glass that folds up or hinges to the side, opening the salon for alfresco living. With the galley aft, the chef can pass food to the casual dining settee to starboard or across the cockpit bar to the outdoor table. Inside, a U-shaped couch is forward with a cleverly designed coffee table that morphs into a laptop desk.

The decor is also designed to look timeless and, for owner-operators, to be easily maintained. Off-white bulkheads are accented by exquisite joinerwork. The wraparound galley has Corian counters, a Bosch four-burner cooktop, a Vitrifrigo stand-up fridge, two under-counter drawer fridges and a convection oven.  Stowage reaches into the farthest corners, and dishware is secured in a dedicated pull-out drawer. A wine chiller is accessible from the salon or cockpit.

CL Yachts CLB65
Low-back salon sofas mean great views for guests. The aft-galley setup is a first for CL Yachts. Courtesy Lightseed Studio

At the helm, there’s a double-wide Stidd seat abaft dual 17-inch Garmin multifunction displays. The list of standard electronics spans three pages and includes Fantom 54 radar and VHF radios. Four cameras (aft, on the side decks and in the engine room) share the monitors, and the entire package is duplicated on the flybridge. Other controls include the Volvo Penta IPS joysticks, a CZone electrical panel and Volvo Penta active Interceptor trim tabs. Next to the skipper, a pantograph watertight door opens to the side deck.

The side decks are comfortably wide at 20 inches with high coamings capped by 40-inch-high rails for safety. They lead to a sitting area on the foredeck with a couch and chaises, ideal for a private moment at anchor or when Med-moored. A stout Maxwell windlass handles the 200 feet of chain rode.

Another interesting detail is that the CLB65 is built on a shortened version of the CLB72 hull, so this yacht has the nearly 20-foot beam of the longer yacht. Designed by Howard Apollonio, this hull design is noted for its comfortable seakeeping ability. Construction is of exceptional quality, with multiaxial E-glass using blister-preventing vinylester resin. Carbon fiber is used in load-bearing areas, and the CLB65 is built to the RINA class that starts with the original drawings and continues with regular inspections during construction.

CL Yachts CLB65
Natural light, white bulkheads, neutral tones and light-wood soles create a sense of airiness in the staterooms. Courtesy Lightseed Studio

When it comes to accommodations, the CLB65 takes full advantage of that wide beam. The full-beam owner’s stateroom is precisely amidships for minimum motion at sea. Its king-size berth is offset to allow for two full-height closets, bureaus and a vanity. The master’s head (with a one-piece ceramic sole) has Euro-style his-and-hers sinks with Grohe faucets, while the stall shower has a wall spray and a rain shower. Hidden outside in the companionway is a full-size GE washer-and-dryer setup.

The forepeak VIP has an island queen-size berth, a cedar-lined closet, hidden lighting and a vanity. Its en suite head also has the ceramic sole and stall shower. Off the center corridor is the en suite guest stateroom, with twin berths that convert to a double. On the CLB65 that I got aboard, a utility room abaft the engine room was optioned to become an en suite crew cabin.

Up top, the flybridge is accessed via gentle stairs. There are two wraparound seating areas, along with a dining table, a fridge, an ice maker, a grill and a sink. Much of this area is shaded by the fiberglass hardtop that is integral to the radar arch.

CL Yachts CLB65
Twin 800 hp Volvo Penta IPS1050 diesels give the CLB65 a 21-knot cruise speed and 24.4-knot top-end speed. Courtesy Lightseed Studio

The engine room showcases CL Yachts’ commercial shipbuilding experience with rails around the engines for safe underway checks, space to access all systems, and meticulously labeled wiring and plumbing that is secured to high standards. A shiplike electrical panel fills the forward bulkhead, and oil and water filters are at knee level. The 27 kW Onan genset sits on a raised platform, and a Delta-T system reduces moisture. The CLB65 I was aboard also had the optional Seakeeper gyro, CMC at-rest stabilizer, Blue Water watermaker and Besenzoni passerelle.

Power for the CLB65 is a pair of 800 hp Volvo Penta IPS1050 diesels, which provided fingertip precision for maneuvering and docking, and a surprising turn of speed. This yacht hit 24.4 knots and settled into a 21-knot cruise at a cost of about 50 gallons per hour, a testament to Apollonio’s slippery hull form when moving 40-plus tons of luxurious fitments.

With beautiful lines, impeccable detailing, a robust build and solid performance, the CL Yachts CLB65 is worth a look for owner-operators who want timeless styling, cruising adventures, and at-sea entertaining with friends and family.

Volvo Penta Interceptor System

Conventional trim tabs raise or lower a yacht’s bow when running, or correct heel from wind or weight. Volvo Penta Interceptors, part of the company’s Electronic Vessel Control setup, have an auto mode to adjust the boat to its most favorable running angle. But unlike hinged trim tabs, Interceptors drop vertically to create the same effect. They’re built with corrosion-free materials, so they do not require protective anodes.

What Is RINA Class?

RINA (Registro Italiano Navale) is an international classification society for boatbuilding safety in design, construction and maintenance. RINA’s team starts by approving yacht-design drawings, and then monitors vessel construction and provides periodic surveys to maintain a yacht’s RINA status. 

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