The American-inspired and formerly Australian-built Palm Beach is a premium brand for the seriously discerning owner. The company—now based in Malaysia—is run by the champion skipper of the supermaxi Wild Oats XI and this degree of competitiveness and precision is inherent in the latest Palm Beach 65, as we found out during a sea trial in Sydney.
Its navy blue hull is low-slung with sheer down to the tumblehome near the elegant transom which looked understated yet distinctive amid the towering box-like fiberglass boats around it.
Available in express or flybridge models with a highly customized layout, our review boat was hull #9 in the flybridge style. The range goes from the 42 to this flagship (plus an upcoming 70) and includes some popular selling models such as the 55 which sold over 30 hulls. All have the distinctive sheer lines and wide transoms that ensure these boats not only look good but also plane well, while the flybridge models have carbon topsides for weight-saving and increased stability.
The layout of our review boat had the owner’s suite in the forepeak with guest cabins midship— two singles that combine to a double—while the galley was down here as well plus a small crew quarter. This left the saloon for lounging. The open plan saloon was classically styled with gleaming brightwork—varnished Burmese teak and chromed metal on the portside dinette table with lounge opposite; which were comfortable double settees.
On deck, thick teak cladding gave good grip underfoot as we moved to the flybridge; the climb up ladder was steep but the effort was worth it once there. Without being towering and avoiding too much windage, it blended in nicely with the low slung hull while giving the steerer commanding views on the centralized console.
At sea, with the throaty roar of the 1,000 HP Volvo shaft drives resounding we accelerated past the Sydney Opera House, with a tad over 30 knots showing on the Furuno GPS yet requiring only 30% tabs which showed the natural trim of this sleek 70 footer. After maximum speed was reached, we slowed to an economical cruising speed of 22 knots with fuel burn on the Volvo gauges showing 160 liters per hour in total; giving a large range of 800 miles.
For slow handling, the EJS joystick was used to control the fore and aft thrusters to ease us astern and then sideways, something that owners will appreciate when coming to the fuel dock and at those far flung anchorages that this Palm Beach 65 is eminently suited for. But see for yourself in Cannes in 2019 when the Palm Beach will have some vessels there.
Palm Beach 65 Specifications
- Price: AUD $4.2million (as reviewed)
- Length overall: 21.3m 70 ft
- Beam: 5.85 m
- Draft: 1.3 m
- Displacement: (dry): 30,000 kg
- Fuel: 6,000 l
- Water: 1,100 l
- Holding tank: 400 l
- Engine (standard): twin Volvo D13 1,000 HP shaft drives. (Rated to 2,400 RPM,12.8 liter in-line 6-cylinder D13, combines fuel injection with twin-entry turbo charging, 1,635 kg weight), Gearbox MGX 5126 A, Gear Ratio: 2.04:1
- Design: Palm Beach/Andy Dovell