Author : Barry Thompson
Continuing the Tradition
MV Fresham is the first Offshore 72 into New Zealand and as the name, Offshore suggests, is designed for offshore cruising. Something that owner, Ron Long and his wife certainly intend to do.
Offshore Motor Yachts was started just post WWII, when Richard Hunt began with fibreglass construction. There was a lot to learn about this new material, and his sons joined the venture in the late 1950s. He got together with designer William Crealock to foster the growth of fibreglass yachts in America; a hook-up that is still productive for Offshore, as Robert Hunt now runs the business. Today the boats are built in Taiwan to a very exacting standard and sold worldwide.
Offshore’s have been arriving in local waters since 1988, through Offshore Motor Yachts Australia PTY Ltd and today there are close to 50 examples from Perth to Brisbane, Christchurch to Auckland. In 2004 the company released the Offshore 72, a boat that incorporates the same-well proven design concepts that have given Offshore the reputation for building exceptionally sea kindly, safe and comfortable cruising boats.
The reasons for her seakindliness are clear. For the 72, Crealock specified a deep forefoot and a 12-degree deadrise at the transom to make the boat easy in a seaway. And the long keel, substantial displacement (70 tonnes) and low centre of gravity give her a gentle motion. One set of chines is below the waterline, while another above the boot top knocks down spray. The planing hull has a deep entry with generous flair in the bow sections and runs the prop pockets.
The only difference between the Offshore 66 and the Offshore 72-footer is the extended cockpit, which some owners choose for fighting fish and others because it suits the mode of boating in New Zealand and to a lesser extent in Australia. This aft cockpit, when coupled to the upper California deck increases the area available for storage and provides better space for outdoor living. Fresham is well equipped for el-fresco dining, with a bbq, fridge, freezer and twin outdoor tables and lounges, plus deck chairs. The lower deck has a central lazarette with a watertight access door and rope/fender storage lockers either side. The full width boarding platform has a set of swim steps neatly stowed out of sight when not being used. Engine room access is from the lower deck.
Ron Long, NZ agent for Offshore and owner of the Offshore 72, Fresham (hull # 12) reviewed by PMY also feels the extra waterline does a lot to balance the overall aesthetic looks of the boat, especially when the flybridge hardtop is included. “The proportions look right and the extra hull length also makes the ride and sea keeping of the boat even better”.
One of the first impressions you get when you step aboard the Offshore 72 is the quality of the build. The beauty of this boat is in the detail that is so evident in every aspect, from construction to fit-out. The fibreglass hull reflects a smooth exposure. Complex moulds are used to form one-piece components and all exterior cabinets are push/lock and sealed. With many of the sub-components moulded in, the result is a clean, fluid finish with no bolt-on additions. Even the side deck overhang is detailed with faux planking to break up the otherwise monotonous panels.
The hands-on type will love the huge engine room because the 72 are arranged for ease of service and maintenance. But, again, the beauty is in the details. Check the bilges, and you’ll find them gleaming with glossy gelcoat. All facets of the plumbing, electrical and engineering aspects of the 72 are to superyacht standards. In fact the 72 is built at the same yard in Taiwan that builds the 80, 85 and 90 Offshore Voyager Series so many of the systems and componentry is duplicated in the smaller 72.
Comfortable and homely would be probably the easiest way to describe the interior of the Offshore 72. The oversized saloon windows make an imposing sight from any direction, inside or outside and perpetrate the feeling of space. The 72 are a wide-bodied pilothouse cruiser and with over 5m beam the saloon and accommodation areas have been maximised.
Offshore set certain constraints in the layout design, such as bulkhead positioning, but overall there are a lot of opportunities to customise the boat.
“We encourage our clients to customise the boat so it gets their personal touch and they feel really comfortable with what they get in the end”, said Kirralee Hills, Sales & Marketing Manager for Offshore Yachts Australia.
The owners of Fresham certainly made use of the customising aspects and after two previous Offshores had a good idea of what they wanted. The saloon and galley are on the same level with just a few steps up to the pilothouse. By simply removing some cabinetry from above the galley, the saloon area has been transformed with sightlines from the helm to the transom door. There is an open and cosy atmosphere inside that makes it a pleasure to stay aboard.
The galley is large, with generous granite counter tops with, double sink units, excellent storage areas above and below, a full size fridge, wine cooler, microwave, hob, trash compacter, dishwasher and more. Cherry woodwork with a satin finish, recessed panelled cabinet doors and solid timber mouldings surround the galley, the same timbers as used throughout the boat.
An automatic electric opening aft door divides the saloon from the cockpit. The low profile windows give exceptional all-round visibility for those using the port side dinette seating or the two freestanding lounge chairs. There is a drop down LCD TV, surround sound stereo system, and plenty of Cantalupi lights providing both direct and indirect lighting. Wooden venations are used on the windows for privacy and to keep the harsh UV rays off the timber joinery and leather upholstery.
Fresham is equipped with three steering stations, with the centre of attention being the pilothouse. Here every function on the boat can be monitored with safety systems in place that all help towards having a safe and comfortable long distance passage. From the comfort of twin Ultra leather covered Navigator helm seats you are looking at twin screens and a burl walnut facia that is able to handle a very complete array of electronic and navigational equipment. Primary navigation is the PC based Nobletec on one screen and this is backed up with the Furuno Navnet system. There’s also a satellite compass and a couple of spare GPS units.
Thick timber mullions support the five glass forward windscreens, with excellent visibility from the helm. If you need to go outside articulating doors open to the side decks, which makes it easy for the skipper to handle lines in short-handed docking situations. Guests can relax around the raised leather L shape longer and dining table behind the helm or make use of the custom designed 25-bottle wine drawers built into the starboard vanity.
When the weather’s right you can do the driving from the open flybridge. Whilst the optional fibreglass hardtop offers some protection, a set of forward clears makes the area well protected. There is an optional fully enclosed hardtop should you wish for all weather shielding. Twin Navigator chairs are again a feature of the helm area, with a guests lounge aft and wet locker opposite. The tender and Opacmare crane are accommodated on the upper deck. Access to the flybridge is either from the pilothouse or a ladder from the cockpit.
Four Cabin Layout
Fresham has three main cabins, a VIP forward, port side with twin singles and an owner’s stateroom aft. There is also a crew’s quarters under the aft deck with two single berths, complete with en-suite, which in the case of Fresham is simply used as an ‘overflow’ cabin for unexpected guests.
The VIP cabin has a queen size island berth with drawer storage beneath and is surrounded with ample cupboard and cedar lined hanging locker space. Like all areas in the Offshore 72, practical use has been made of available space. There is an overhead safety escape/ ventilation hatch as well as opening side ports, powder coated to match the gelcoat. All accommodation areas have individual air conditioning and Polk audio speaker systems.
The forward starboard side head/shower en suite is shared by the guests, with entry both from the companionway and VIP cabin. Granite is used for the vanity top with brass faucets and towel holders, and a mahogany sole with a black African timber border. The shower is generous in size and even includes a granite seat.
The mid guest cabin in Fresham has come under special treatment from the owners with twin single berths, one running fore and aft, the other athwartships. This has made the area more comfortable for adults and increases available space. The berths are larger than normal and there is a lot more opportunity for extra lockers and drawers.
A king size double berth takes centre stage in the owner’s stateroom which, along with the en-suite makes full use of the wide beam of the 72. The detailed solid wood crown moulding surrounding the stateroom adds a touch of class and luxury. Storage in lockers and drawers is exceptional and there is even a double full size wardrobe. The large en-suite features a granite vanity, large enough for twin sinks and mirrors the high level of fittings and features of the guests en-suite. While Fresham has a single door leading into the en-suite, a number of 72s have been sold with double doors, which increase the spacious feeling of the master stateroom even more.
While the accommodation areas in Fresham are serviced by a single companionway from the pilothouse, there is also the dual-companionway version, which provides a private entry down to the master stateroom from the saloon, with a second set of stairs from the pilothouse to the guest cabins forward.
Fresham is powered by twin 900hp MAN common rail engines which give a top speed of 16 knots and a comfortable cruise around 10-11 knots. At 8 knots that gives a cruising range of 2300nm and 1300nm @ 10 knots. Caterpillar C-18 diesels of 1,000 hp each will increase the top and cruise speeds by around three knots. At 70 tonnes this is not a light displacement boat. It is solidly built using hand laid grp, Kevlar and vacuum bagged core cell laminates. This is a boat that is built tough and built to last.
Fresham is destined to be moored in the Auckland area for around 12 months and there are plans for a passage to Tonga sometime soon. While Ron has no immediate intentions to cross the Tasman or venture further, the Offshore 72 is certainly more than capable of making long passages in safety and comfort.
- Boat Name: MV Fresham
- Year Launched: 2006
- Designer: William Crealock
- Builder: Offshore Motor Yachts
- Draft: 1.67m
- Displacement: 70 tonne (Heavy)
- Max Speed: 16 knots
- LOA: 22m
- LWL: 19.5m
- Beam: 5.94m
- Cruise Speed: 10 knots
- Range @ 10 knots: 1300nm
- Construction: GRP composite
- Fuel Capacity: 9200 litres
- Water Capacity: 2200 litres
- Main Engine: 2 x MAN 900hp