Clipper Cordova 60

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Clipper Cordova 60

I learnt years ago that assumption is the mother of all screw-ups. Looking at the very traditional trawler style Clipper Cordova 60 from the dock at Gold Coast City Marina recently, I naturally assumed that once aboard I would be looking at yet another typical trawler interior. A timeless style, classic design with a heavy timber dominated layout and joinery.

While recreational trawlers are subject to fashion, tradition usually wins over any radical change. Well no longer. One look inside the Cordova 60 is like seeing into tomorrow and a vision of how we might view trawlers and pilothouse cruisers in the future. Brett Thurley, owner of the Clipper Motor Yachts brand world wide for the Clipper range of boats to Australia, calls the latest Cordova 60 the first of a new generation of Clippers, with a complete change to the interior layout which sees the entire saloon and pilothouse area ‘turned on its head’. Different certainly. Modernist definitely.

Gone are the soft curvaceous lines and heavy timber interior, in favour of a sleek, modern and on the edge layout with angled corners, light coloured fabrics and a lot less timber joinery. It’s ‘in your face’ the second you step inside from the cockpit and you can’t help but be impressed.

The large oversized galley has been moved aft, with an island bench in the middle, complete with swing out ultra–leather covered stools. Something very reminiscent of an Italian sports cruiser and not what you would expect in a trawler of this style.

Where in previous Clipper 60’s there would be a lounger or cabinets on the starboard side at the aft of the saloon, the new layout calls for twin tub chairs and maybe a small coffee table. Ahead is a super yacht style stainless staircase with wooden treads to the flybridge. This ‘work of art’ custom built staircase by Aritex in Taiwan, comes complete with lighting inset into the handrails elliptical profile and stainless treads inlaid into the walnut steps. 

This is also the reverse of previous 60’s where the wooden staircase runs from forward of the pilothouse and aft up to the flybridge. The result is a more open and expansive space with unbroken sightlines from the transom to the lower helm.

“This new modern style is the direction we are going and while we are still staying true to our traditional exterior, shaft drive, keeled hull, which we will not be changing, we want to do more contemporary interiors,” says Brett. He adds that attention to detail and custom requests are now very much the norm and by listening to his customers and making the changes, every boat is an improvement on the last. However he points out that they will not be abandoning the traditional interior, which is still available, and says the new style as just another option in this very customisable boat.

Timbers are all horizontal grain Amercian Walnut, with all cabinetry squared off, clean and very much to a European style. “What you see is certainly the new direction we are heading and the positive feedback we have had so far has been exceptional”, added Brett. Even the sole has been modernised, changed from the traditional teak and holly to walnut planking and edged sisal carpet throughout the boat. When you go through all the fixtures and fittings, the quality upgrades are very noticeable.


The massive galley is well equipped for entertaining or family cruising and like the rest of the saloon is unlike anything that has gone before. The island bench layout is very practical and makes great use of the space available as well as adding another style dimension to this very modern concept.

The galley is equipped with double Vitrifrigo under bench fridge/freezers, recessed Meile appliances under the Staron composite counter tops and a Meile 4 burner convection oven and F&P dish drawer. In keeping with the new open styling, the exhaust fans have been placed at bench height, so there’s nothing to impede your eye level viewing. Large open side windows also help expel any cooking odours.

To finish off the contemporary look, there is a double under bench square sink and a $7500 Zip tap that offers instant boiling, cold or filtered water all from the same faucet. Certainly something that you would expect to find more in a luxury home or super yacht.


Forward is a large dinette space with a folding table that can change from a coffee table to full dining table. The L-shape settee also  converts to another berth should you have the need. With the expansive nature of the saloon and pilothouse, sitting around the lounge also brings you in direct contact with someone working in the galley or at the helm, making this a very friendly and social space. Due to the size and shape of the dinette, the portside Pantograph door has been eliminated, although there is still one opposite, beside the helm.

The helm with a single helm seat designed and built by local Coomera based company, Pacific Trim, is another area that has come in for a totally new look. The single high profile dash pod has been replaced with two. Both finished in walnut and stitched leather, a smaller one to port carries a set of flush mounted Carling switches and a pair of 16” Simrad glass screens dominates the central dash. 

Controls for all the necessary equipment are at easy reach, with plenty of space for everything. I liked the hand-stitching grip on the large stainless steel steering wheel and the use of stitched ultra-leather around the helm. Another nice feature is the Fusion entertainment system that offers one remote that controls the DVD, surround sound and all the audio throughout the boat. Simple and a lot more effective than three different systems on three separate remotes.

Our Cordova 60 was fitted with the latest Twin Disc Power Commander Electronic Controls that give total propulsion control with electronic precision and fingertip ease. With only one lever required per engine, you can control the boat’s speed and direction with one hand. You get responsive control over the entire speed range. Maximum speed of the Cordova 60 with a pair of Cummins 715hp engines is 24 knots, with an economical cruise of around 16-18 knots. While the Cummins QSC-715 engines were a first for the Cordova 60, the 550hp Cummins QSC550 are another option. These will move the 32 tonne, Cordova 60 along at a maximum of 21 knots.


The accommodation layout has not changed a lot from the previous Cordova 60 models, with three cabins and two en-suites. There is an option for the third bedroom to be a double room or if you preferred it, twin Pullman-style or side by side. Again, customisation is available.

Under the saloon and virtually amidships, is the full beam master stateroom, complete with a king-size island berth lying fore and aft. The bed has been squared off and the headboard upholstery has been increased to give it all a more contemporary look. Plus all the cabinetry is changed to be more in keeping with the new modern styling. The doors have all been squared-off with the addition of black strip accents, that add another dimension to the quality finish of the interior.

The large port side ensuite, contains a separate full stand-up shower cubicle, Staron counter top with a raised porcelain bowl, vanity, and walnut planking on the sole. On the starboard side of the stateroom is full-length cabinetry with storage cupboards, drawers and a make-up setting with lift-up mirror lid and a cosmetic drawer.

The twin single accommodation is to port, and like the other cabins come complete with TV, DVD, plenty of storage lockers and custom made mattresses. The day head/ bathroom opposite and the guest stateroom in the bow,
complete the forward accommodation layout. The bathroom is a virtual duplication of the master.

By virtue of its shape, the guest stateroom, has a queen-size island berth plus large cedar wood-lined wardrobes each side. Interestingly this cabin is finished with shiplap paneling, so some of the traditional Clipper trawler heritage has been retained.


The open flybridge is available with a soft bimini or GRP hardtop and both come with full wrap-around strata glass clears. Not a lot has changed apart from the positioning of the seating due to the altered staircase access. A pair of Pacific Trim helm chairs faces a large central dash complete with a pair of twin Simrad 19” screens and a duplication of most of the controls and instrumentation from the pilothouse.

There are L shape settees either side with tables, which make this a very social area and provide plenty of seating in proximity to the skipper. Aft is an entertainment module complete with a bbq, fridge, icemaker and sink unit. As the owner had chosen a hydraulic transom platform for his dinghy storage, the upper deck has now been freed up as another entertaining area. A pullout awning has been added to provide extra shade for the entire aft deck while at anchor. Great spot to watch the sun go down while relaxing with a cocktail.


The cockpit is very conventional with doors both port and starboard down to the ADC rise and fall platform, which is also used to stow the Brig RIB tender. Most obvious difference to the traditional layout is there is no ladder from the cockpit to the flybridge. A central settee across the transom provides plenty of storage under and there’s also another fridge/ freezer in the cockpit to handle the overflow from the galley.

Wide bulwarks either side provides easy access forward, with swing doors fitted to help eliminate any wind or rain in the cockpit while at anchor. A sun pad area on the foredeck is certain to be a popular sunbathing area. One thing I didn’t expect to find under the cockpit was a crew cabin, with two single berths and small en-suite. An option on the Cordova 60, Brett points out that they now fit the crew cabin out the same as the rest of the boat. The basic totalitarian layout has been given a makeover, so this compact but cozy area is now more homely. If you don’t have a crew, and not many do in a boat this size, this makes a perfect fourth cabin, ideal for the kids. If you don’t want the crew cabin, then you can leave this as one very large storage space.


The first Clipper Cordova 60 arrived in Australia in 2010, with #10 being the first with the new modern interior. If you are a traditionalist and don’t like change, then you can still stay with the classic interior and customize it the way you want. Personally I like what Brett has done and for me it perfectly bridges the gap between an owner wanting apartment style living but still retaining a pilothouse trawler design. It’s certainly a quantum leap for the brand.

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