Author : Barry Thompson
The Pegiva Eclipse 33 is a boat inspired by tradition, handcrafted with passion and epitomises the builder’s obsession with perfection.
The Eclipse continues the Pegiva heritage with an elegance that is personified in the pure elegance and sensuous lines of this totally hedonistic vessel. From the finest details of chrome and timberwork to the comfort level of upholstery and design the Pegiva 33 makes a statement. From the handcrafted stainless bow cap to the aft deck’s timber handrails it is all about style and quality.
Built in Surfers Paradise, QLD, by Pegiva Boats, the Eclipse 33 is the latest release from the company that has made its mark until now with the Pegiva Retro Sun 7.5. With more than a dozen on the water in Australia, Europe and the US, (singer Billy Joel owns one) the Retro Sun has established this small Australian builder as one of the most respected classic boat builders and the progression to the larger Eclipse 33 is certain to enhance that reputation.
The first Pegiva Eclipse 33 was launched at Sanctuary Cove in 2007 and while aimed primarily at the European market, the Pegiva 33 Eclipse has also attracted considerable interest from the local market. The second Eclipse 33 was recently delivered to a Sydney owner where it will be put into charter on Sydney Harbour. As Pegiva already builds all its boats to the European CE standard, obtaining the NSW Survey requirements for its boats was not a big issue.
While traditionalists may feel that a boat like the Pegiva should be built to the old timber planking method, modern day technology has overtaken how we built such boats in the past and today it’s all about hand laid GRP using isophthalic gel coat, vinylester resin and balsa core. Construction time is around 15 weeks, with 8 to 9 weeks for the Retro Sun.
The deck is finished in 6mm mahogany with a silver ash inlay, with the handrails built in solid mahogany accented with the silver ash and LED strip lighting hidden underneath. To achieve the outstanding finish on the topsides, Pegiva chose Glazurit paint. Virtually any colour is possible, even if you want the boat to match your latest Bentley or Ferrari.
The comfort levels radiate right through the small cabin area under the foredeck that in fact is surprisingly spacious. Leather and suede are the predominant fabrics throughout, although as Eclipse 33 #2 is destined for charter on Sydney Harbour, the owner has chosen the more durable vinyl option. While this is definitely not a boat designed for weekends away, there are enough appointments aboard to make it quite practical for overnighting. There is a 2.1m long double bunk with a fully upholstered leather mattress, ruche leather upholstered side shelving and further storage under the berths. LED lighting is used throughout, plus there is a single opening deck port with tinted glass. A sliding tinted door provides privacy from the cockpit.
In the first Pegiva 33, the head was enclosed in a separate area along with the shower and vanity, but in boat #2 this has been redesigned in the interests of providing better space in the shower area. The head is now situated under the starboard squab and by repositioning the internal bulkheads the seating inside has also been greatly improved. The cabin still retains a separate shower area with a vanity basin set into a Corian surface plus an extendable shower rose.
The cockpit on the Eclipse 33 is all about being comfortable and enjoying yourself. It doesn’t matter if you are moored up in bay partaking of canapés and bubbles or cruising down the harbour heading for your favourite destination, you can’t help but feel relaxed and totally at one with the boat.
If the weather does change for the worse, a full bimini and clears, which are stowed behind the rear lounger, can be raised in place very quickly. There is full standing headroom beneath and this also doubles as a great sunshade for those extra hot days. The self-draining cockpit sole is finished in teak with a burl walnut (carbon fibre option) finish on the helm and passenger fascias. LED lighting with a dimmer function lets you set the mood.
There is an emphasis on seating, with a huge U-shaped settee aft that offers seating for up to eight. An optional adjustable-height circular table, complete with glass holders and an ice bucket recess can be stowed away until required. Forward there is a fully upholstered passenger seat large enough for two, with a lift-up bolster to port and another slightly smaller version for the driver.
Storage is available in conveniently placed lockers, including lockable glove boxes either side, under the settee and an area beneath the passenger seat. Cockpit sole hatches give access to the bilges and fender storage.
A built-in storage locker with stainless steel basin set in a Corian surface divides the helm from the aft lounger, with a fridge/freezer taking up similar space opposite. No hassles getting quickly to those cold refreshments. A nice touch is the port side cabinet with Pegiva engraved glasses behind a burl lid.
The helm features a Raymarine chart plotter, plenty of instrumentation, and a Livorsi chrome and leather wheel which is tilt adjustable. Glendenning digital electric throttle and gear controls and hydraulic steering make driving the Eclipse 33 a pleasure. From the helm position you have virtually uninterrupted 360-degree visibility. The tinted toughened glass Taylor Made windscreen that is held fast with a heavy stainless capping offers excellent protection from the wind. However, if you like to stand to drive, the adjustable bolster seat provides a comfortable option.
There is no need to go forward to do the anchoring as it can all be controlled from the helm. Pegiva has managed to retain the clean traditional deck lines by keeping the stainless steel anchor below deck level. If you do need to go forward, then using the deck hatch via the cabin is the safest option.
Under the large sun pad you have the choice of either twin petrol MerCruisers through Bravo 3 sterndrives or Steyr diesels running either the same Bravo 3 or ZF V-drives. Our test boat was fitted with a pair of 280hp 6-cylinder Steyrs coupled to MerCruiser Bravo 3 sterndrives. While the maximum speed is around 45 knots, it’s the sort of boat that you don’t feel you need to run to the limit. I found on our afternoon run on the Broadwater, I was more than content to sit at around 35 knots and enjoy the journey in a relaxed and un-hurried atmosphere. The engines were well insulated and all aboard were able to talk without raising our voices.
It’s a hull that is totally responsive to the helm, with an agile reaction when you want it, yet returns to a sedate and docile feeling when asked. With only a moderate deadrise at the transom, it was not designed to be a rough water boat, but it can more than handle a nasty short wind-against-the-tide chop on the Broadwater. The boat has a displacement of approximately 4000kg and with the sterndrive down, it has a draft of around 900mm.
Although I didn’t actually test the claim, the company reports that at 34 knots, the twin Steyrs consume around 28 litres per hour per engine, which with a 500-litre fuel capacity gives the Eclipse 33 a cruising range of approx 300 nautical miles.
The engine hatch cover is mounted on pneumatic stainless lifting cylinders, providing excellent access around the engines. The engine bay is well insulated with acoustic sound proofing, with a Fireboy engine room smothering system and LED strip lighting being standard features.
There are boats and there are boats, but the Pegiva Eclipse 33 is in a league of its own. The builders have a dedication and commitment to their product that is encouraging to see today, something that is seldom seen in the production boat market anymore. You have to be prepared to pay top dollar for the Eclipse 33, but then as the company brochure states, it is “Inspired by tradition and handcrafted with passion”. Sort of says it all really.
- Design Name: Pegiva 33
- Year Launched: 2009
- Designer: Grant Robinson
- Interior Designer: Pegiva
- Builder: Pegiva PTY Ltd
- LOA: 10.1m
- Beam: 3.10m
- Draft: 900mm
- Displacement: 4000kg
- Max Speed: 45 knots
- Cruise Speed: 34 knots
- Construction: GRP
- Fuel Capacity: 500 litres
- Water Capacity: 110 litres
- Engines Make: 2 x Steyr 280hp
- Base Price of Boat: $A544,098 (petrol)
- Price As Tested: $A592,718 diesel)