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Yachts - February 2010 - New Beginnings

Written by Jerry Stansfield

Equally noteworthy was the yard's decision to leave the William Garden-designed hull virtually unchanged, and to create a new mold from an existing master pattern. It was a wise choice, because its slippery, balanced underbody delivers an uncannily smooth, quiet ride and corners as if on rails. So, apart from a few revisions in the size, shape and location of hull-side port lights and a re-styling of engine room ventilation ports, the new 85 boasts the same proven geometry as that its predecessor.ding buffet-style cabinet housing a popup television screen, a choice of peninsula cabinets extending from one or both sides is available.

By the time the two additional 65s were completed and sold, the spanking new deck tooling fabricated in nearby Sedro-Woolley by Janicki Industries, was ready to begin producing the renewed 85 series. The first of these eased into the Swinomish Channel last February for delivery to its owner. That project, hull number 15 of the 85 series, was to have been the earlier-style 85, but emerged as the first of the new-look subset; its owner has embraced the new design wholeheartedly.

While the new 85's interior arrangement also remains largely the same – three guests suites forward on the lower deck plus a full-beam master with private access just aft – the new, taller, deckhouse profile has allowed an increase in headroom at the pilot house, and the addition of an overhead cabinet above the peninsula counter in the adjacent galley. As before, the main-deck salon features separate sitting, bar, and dining areas. As before, quarters aft of the engine room accommodate a crew of one or two, or in the case of an owner-operated boat, additional guests.

Among the more functional exterior changes is a broader top deck area, which extends outboard on either side to the point of allowing athwartship storage of a tender up to about 16' in length, a configuration that opens up a larger portion of the boat deck for sun pads or lounge furniture in addition to a sizeable storage cabinet and spa tub, and a service bar with grill and open-air dining settee beneath a composite hardtop. The stairway leading down to the after main deck has been relocated to the starboard side. Other pragmatic refinements include moving the shore tower, TV and telephone cable ports to a covered compartment accessible from the swim platform instead of the aft main deck, and installing substantial mooring bollards in gunwale recesses in lieu of cleats mounted inboard of hawse holes. A modular design concept simplifies installation of composite exterior components – storage cabinets, settee and bar – and allows some flexibility of positioning to meet specific owner requirements. While worth a look on its own merits, the 85 also offers testimony to its builder's resilience and commitment, not only to its clients but to its employees as well, and to the wisdom of turning adversity into an opportunity to take a good thing and make it better. When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.

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