NIBS #2, mostly big boat bits


That’s the helm of the Hinckley T55 with the wireless JetStick I discussed yesterday in my first entry about the Newport International Boat Show. It’s undeniably gorgeous but it’s also fairly terrifying to a guy like me who changes electronics frequently. I so believe in mounting as many electronics as possible in panels that are easily replaced. And I’m really not all that odd; electronics get updated a lot these days. Heck, that ST70 on center is already being replaced with the i70 which would way better compliment those twin E-Wides, but the simple hole-saw i70 cutout is quite different than the ST70 hole. Here’s betting that it won’t be too long before sweat and money is expended chopping into that fine joiner work. Note, too, how many different little control systems are sprinkled around this helm, which is no fault of Hinckley, but rather an indication of how much further the marine electronics industry has to go toward truly integrated helms…

On the flip side, the photo below shows a neat solution to a growing electronics install issue. What’s happening is that twin helms are becoming more and more common on cruising sailboats like the Hanse 495 I toured in Newport and even on motor sailers like the sumptious Moody 45DS, and it makes good sense in terms of sailing sight lines and easy movement around the cockpit. But the general solution for how to use one MFD for two helms is to bolt it to the aft end of the cockpit table, which not only seemed ergonomically awkward to me but in some cases created sharp corners sailors are going to hurt themselves on. So this swiveling, soft-cornered MFD case mounted under the end of a soft-cornered table on the Beneteau Oceanis 45 solves several problems at once. Well done!…


Incidentally, one difference between this year’s show fleet and last’s was the significantly larger number of new boats equipped with Simrad systems. But now Navico has challenged itself with persuading cruisers and club racers that new B&G gear like the Zeus MFD and Triton instruments are really meant for them. Of course that’s because we’re used to seeing the B&G brand on gear like the 13-inch wide HV 40/40 instrument displays seen on the mast of the mighty J Class Ranger below. The street price for each of those 40/40’s seems to be about $5,000, though the market may be quite small!…


Admittedly, Ranger wasn’t in the Newport Show, but there was a parallel brokerage show at the nearby Newport Ship Yard, and besides any boatnut visiting Newport really must attempt to wander around NYS without dragging their jaw on the docks. I’m not sure there’s such an intense concentration of notable large yachts anywhere else. Stern-to below, for instance, is the 157-foot geeked-out Hyperion illustrating that another way to deal with the dual helm dilemma is to put three huge touchscreens in front of each one…


Beyond Hyperion are numerous notables like the Velsheda and Bystander team which I enjoyed in Maine this summer. And, yes, the boom of Mirabella V really is higher than the upper deck of the 140 foot Bystander. In fact, her 294-foot masthead was nearly invisible on this damp overcast morning. Meanwhile, the 122-foot Moonbird looked a little dinky in this crowd, but she was new to me and I was later disappointed to find so little about electronics and systems on her web site. But no amount of black paint will hide the fact that Moonbird has domes…


I couldn’t see the decks of the high performance Perini P2 at all, but are we not impressed with 60 hp retractable bow thruster and the 265-pound below-waterline stainless anchor. And I gather that I did make the foredeck I’d find a 397-pound CQR on a “rotating arm”…  


Are you getting the picture? NSY is an amazing big yacht yard as Newport is an amazing boat town. I’d never seen the S/V Huckleberry either, and I only walked a fraction of NSY because I had to get back to work…


…if it really is work to oggle what may be the most beautiful, sexy head I’ve ever seen. That sink just off the master stateroom of Apreamare’s Maestro 82 is carved from one solid piece of marble — “like Nero’s bathtub” the company CEO told us — and floor inlaid certainly came from somewhere nearby. Seriously, isn’t it fun to open up this normally cloistered part of the boat both to the outdoors and the bedroom?


Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

4 Responses

  1. Quitsa says:

    I think what you do is call Hinckley and have them come pick up your boat so the factory can modify the helm and preserve the look of the joinery. That’s one of the services the owners can get along with the annual varnish for the exterior brightwork. You can’t seriously think someone would want a removable starboard panel on there?

  2. Bill Bishop says:

    Ben, it is just my imagination, or does Hyperion not seem to have a mast in the picture? Here is another shot of the boat.
    Got NMEA stuff, and read it to death, many thanks.

  3. Ethan Maass says:

    What expedition-type yacht is to the right of Hyperion?

  4. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Quitsa, I think Starboard is quite poor for electronics panels and certainly the stuff I use, Azek, isn’t quite up to yacht standards like this. But I was just on a nice boat this morning that had almost the electronics mounted on edge trimmed cherry veneer panels that wouldn’t be too hard to replace. Flat black laminate over plywood can look good too, I think.
    Admittedly, none of these options would be as clean as what Hinckley has done here, so there is a trade off, but I believe you could get a pretty nice look that was better designed for the inevitable changes. And of course it’s not just Hinckley. I see lots of boat helms that weren’t built for change; it’s just that the Hinckley’s are so extra fine you’d hate see a power saw looming over one.
    Bill, you’re right that Hyperion is mastless. I found the huge stick in the back corner of the yard completely stripped. There must be 20 cables dangling from the masthead.
    Ethan, I think that’s an Inace Explorer (built in Brazil) next to Hyperion but don’t know her name. Some of the Billy Black header slides at the Shipyard site must have been taken very recently and show all these boats:
    They often show on too, but today most seem to have their AIS transponders turned off.

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