One of two CL Yachts models that premiered at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show last October, CLB65 is a completely different proposition to the flagship CLX96 that debuted alongside it. For starters, it’s for buyers keener on island-hopping than doing a non-stop, 1,000-mile voyage.
I’d consider owners of this motor yacht to be boaters rather than yachties, for one big reason: CLB65 can be handled by a couple with many sea miles under their belts, although CL Yachts has included a captain’s stateroom at the rear of the boat.
Even though it’s the baby of the CL Yachts portfolio, the interior size is impressive since it’s built on the CLB72 sistership’s hull. Along with the 65ft 9in overall length is a 19ft 10in beam, which is 2-3ft wider than many European-built models of similar length. That adds up to a lot of extra living space.
The exterior areas offer generous spaces with smart layouts that should please any cruising couple. The aft cockpit has a table and lounge, while the two side walkways lead to a lounge and sunbed in front. This bow area is significant because it’s divided between socialising and the working end for anchoring. The high stainless rails are designed for moving around safely in choppy seas.
The flybridge also has plenty of room to roam, with a hardtop, upper helm station, two separate lounging zones, outdoor grill and open area at the rear. The deck can easily accommodate 10 to 15 guests.
There’s also an outsized swim platform at the stern for either carrying a tender, or just providing easy access to the water. It’s about 4ft deep and spans almost the full beam of the hull, so three or four guests in bathing suits could use it as another place to hang out, at least in calm seas.
Hull number one at Fort Lauderdale was powered by twin Volvo Penta 1050s with IPS drives. This standard engine option will deliver a top end of about 27 knots, which given the IPS manoeuvrability, is highly respectable. If you want a bit more oomph at top end, upgraded Volvo IPS 1350s are also available.
A Boat for Boaters
My first impressions of the interior, with its galley aft, side aft cabinets and forward saloon, were mixed. The white upholstery and other materials, mixed with the walnut woodwork, were nice, bright and functional, but basic compared to some of the brand’s Italian and British competitors.
But then it hit me: this boat doesn’t have to be flashy or ultramodern. It has to be practical for that boating couple wanting to use it as a second home on the water. It doesn’t need the Italian marble, the leather-clad walls or mirrored insets to appeal to that real-boater couple, who might well be embarrassed by the excess anyway.
There was a nice sense of simplicity about the main deck, especially in the open-plan saloon forward and dining area starboard of the aft galley. Due to the rear opening window and cockpit door, both interior and exterior can be joined for dining, so two groups can eat simultaneously if there are a lot of guests.
The galley has a convection stove, large fridge, freezer and sink, with windows that give the chef an ocean view. Just forward, portside, is a large lounge with a C-shaped sofa and a table beside an electric up/down window.
To starboard, the raised helm platform with two seats allows a measure of privacy for driving the yacht, which offers excellent navigation, due to the large windows and easy-read consoles on the dash.
Behind the helm is a storage cabinet with a white top that matches the rest of the interior. You could spend many hours in this saloon, either under way or at anchor. The design firm Interiors by Carmen created two interiors for the boat, the walnut version we viewed and another with hickory.
Light & Bright
On the lower deck, the three staterooms are divided into a VIP forward, a midships master suite, and a twin cabin, all with en-suite bathrooms.
The master is a handsome combination of walnut cabinets, drawers and trim, with a queen-sized bed placed in the centre. The en-suite features two stylish round sinks, large toilet, and an enormous glassed-in shower with enough space for a wood bench for seating. Details like this emphasise the 65’s liveability.
Considering it’s in the bow, the VIP is also generously sized, with the bed in the centre and cabinetry around. The head, while not as large as in the master, also has a glassed-in shower area (again with wooden bench seat) that delivers on the sense of space. To port, a twin guest cabin with en-suite bathroom rounds out the accommodation.
From the crew cabin accessed from the swim platform, I had a chance to peek inside the engine room, and while it was clean and tidy, headroom was tight, which is slightly problematic if you’re a cruiser who likes to do preventative maintenance. Still, all things considered, it’s a minor problem considering the smart layout of the rest of the yacht.
With its conventional profile and staid interior, CLB65 isn’t the flashiest new boat on the water, but then again, who wants that? The folks who want this boat will appreciate the generous spacing in both the exterior and interior, plus the down-to-earth layout that will make it easy for a cruising couple to navigate.
This article first appeared on Yacht Style.
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