This is a boat that does everything it is designed to do without getting to be too multifarious. My son is a diesel engineer and I know he would just love working in this full-height engine room. Spacious and somewhat clinical in fact, it is a perfect example of how an engine room should be designed and laid out. There is excellent working space between the engines and everything is clearly defined and positioned so it’s easy to get to or see the status of any particular piece of equipment. The same attention to detail is evident right throughout every facet of the vessel.
I had the chance to look over the first Alaska 59 Sedan at the recent Gold Coast Expo and it was particularly interesting that right alongside was a beautiful Norman R Wright 62, classic cruiser built in 1967, which the new owners had just traded on the Alaska 59. Very different in design and style but essentially still providing the same on-the-water experience.
The difference is that the Alaska 59 Sedan has been designed for the more mature boat owner who doesn’t want to walk up ladders or staircases to the helm, or drop down to the galley. All that is on one level with the saloon, galley, helm and cockpit all very interactive. Plus, the accommodation areas are spacious and the head height throughout the boat is overly generous. It’s also a boat that will be easily maintained, something that is essential when you are getting on in your boating years
The 59 Sedan has its roots in the Alaska 57 Aft-cabin, which while proving very popular isn’t for everyone. Alaska Motor Yachts decided to build a boat that offered all the same luxury and amenities as the 57 but without the flybridge and aft cabin. The 59 Sedan is the result.
The hull is based on the pilothouse model but has been raised in the sheer line with a much higher freeboard and features pronounced concave forward sections. It’s a big bullish hi-flare bow that is designed to make rough weather passages easier and drier on deck. The overall length of the 59 Sedan is a little longer than the 57 Pilothouse, but the same beam has been retained. This is also the first Alaska to have Wesmar stabilisers as standard. They’re great when underway and also when parked up in a bay for a few days. The layout is also totally different from the pilothouse version, with saloon and main deck area all interacting with each other seamlessly. Light radiates through high side and forward windows and the fully opening aft area complements the warm, appealing feel of the saloon. Have fresh air when you need it, or close everything up and the air con keeps the temperature inside as you want it.
The saloon is divided into two distinct areas – the forward space is taken up with the helm, galley and dining area, while the aft section is dedicated to relaxing living spaces. The galley, which runs along nearly 3m of the port side, features a huge Corian servery counter with fridge, freezer and convection microwave over, and dish drawer and storage beneath.
There’s even a very neat under bench foldout dry goods storage pantry which allows you to use space at the back of the cupboard that may otherwise be unusable. The side windows are all fixed, but an overhead specially customized Blanco extractor system looks after all the cooking odours.
The double helm seat is custom made by local upholstery company Pacific Trim and can be adjusted to suit different skippers. The helm itself is stacked with everything you need for serious passage making, be it finding your way around the sandbars of The Broadwater or cruising up the coast. While the electronics package is optional, our boat had twin Raymarine 15″ Hybrid Touch screens.
Surrounding these were all the necessary switches and instruments to make your boating experience that much easier and hassle free. A pantograph helm door provides easy access outside and is great if you are short-handed when docking.
The new layout allows for the booth style dining arrangement with seating for 6-7 for a meal. This is not only very handy to the galley, but gives diners great all round visibility of what’s happening outside the boat.
It’s one step down to the aft saloon area where you’ll find a drinks and entertainment cabinet to starboard flanked by a pair of loose tub chairs with the added bonus of a pair of slide-out ottomans. Opposite is the main lounger with a loose table and to the rear, three large hopper windows and a bi-fold glass door help to blend the indoor/ outdoor living areas together.
If you don’t like the layout of this particular Alaska 59 Sedan then you have the choice of change, as along as the customisation is done early in the build process. As for the decor, you also have a very wide choice and in the case of this particular boat, all the decor was chosen by Bev Schutt of Identity Marine Interiors, who said “We wanted to make the design very classy and give it the navy jacket look, so we used navy colour fabrics that reflected that image and incorporated them with the soft panelling and light timbers to give the boat a real quality appeal”.
The spacious aft deck is well equipped for entertaining and simply relaxing, with amenities such as a wetbar, ice maker and fridge/freezer and wing station controls all standard. Across the transom the sunlounger doubles as aft seating for the cockpit table, which has a hinged centre section to allow easy access to the massive lazarette beneath the teak laid cockpit sole. There’s also a large sunpad and a custom-made rod rack.
The solid GRP overhang can be complemented with clip-on curtains all round, plus acrylic side deck doors keep the wind and rain out of this now totally protected area.
While this is a coastal cruiser designed for an owner/operator, it does have the addition of a separate crew quarter aft. I said ‘crew’ because there is only a single berth, plus small toilet and vanity area.
Access is off the transom from the lower boarding platform, so the ‘crew’ can be separate from the owners and guests. However in most cases I see this being simply a fourth cabin or a great utility room.
While not fitted at Expo, the boat was due to have an ADC transom lift installed, which would also act as the tender stowage. However, there is an option of a roof-mounted crane and plenty of space above for a large tender.
One of the notable features when heading from the upper saloon to the accommodation area is the large, open foyer that separates the three-cabin layout. Forward is the VIP with a large queen size island berth with easy access both sides. Hanging lockers and plenty of storage areas are provided to stow your gear and you have the option of making the ensuite yours only or sharing when there are other guests.
The ensuite bathroom features Corian surfaces with a raised ceramic bowl, separate shower stall with glass doors and tiled self-draining sole. I was impressed with the head height not only in the ensuite but also throughout all the accommodation
area and in fact everywhere in the boat. If you are a bit over 2m tall then you’ll have no issues in the Alaska 59 Sedan!
The twin guest cabin has two full-sized single berths over and under, both of an “adult” size and a good height separation between the bunks. Again, making things a little easier Alaska has added a dedicated step and hand hold to help with access to the upper bunk, so the convenience of using it isn’t lost. It’s the small extras like that that make the difference. There are limited storage options in lockers and under the lower berth.
Earlier Alaskas that I have been on were often quite bland when it came to wall panelling, but in this boat there is a pleasant relief with sectioned textured panels split with stainless inserts to add that little extra touch of class. Add that to the timber trim and the accommodation areas take on a whole new fresh and very appealing look.
Like most boats of this size the 59 Sedan has a full-width master with a huge king size berth taking prominence. To port is a small two-seater settee, which can in fact be anything you want: vanity with swing-out seat, office, extra storage, etc. – you make the call. Opposite is a massive storage space with drawers and lockers.
But again, you have the option of customising this area to make it your own. Another nice touch is the separated large head and shower areas (to port and starboard of the entrance) which provide some extra privacy for the owners. The same appealing timber and textured panelling is evident in the master stateroom, plus you have expansive windows with ports either side. These are covered with multi positional blinds that allow you to control the amount of natural light they let in. A small feature but very functional.
The standard engine package for the Alaska 59 sedan is a pair of Cummins QSM11@ 715hp, but other engine options are available. Top speed is 22 knots, with efficient cruising anywhere from 10 to 18 knots.
I have noticed in recent years a shift towards sedan cruisers and the Alaska 59 Sedan is a great example of how this medium can be developed into a larger cruising boat. However Alaska is also offering the same boat in a flybridge version ($A100,000 extra), so you can get the best of both styles if you like the layout of the sedan version. If you are looking at a vessel to spend the next few
summers coastal cruising in comfort, then you should check out the Alaska 59 Sedan. It’s simply perfect!