Salthouse 52

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Salthouse 52

Author : Barry Thompson

The latest Salthouse 52 from Salthouse Marine features a number of firsts for this model that have made an already exceptional boat even better.

The Salthouse 52, while being the smallest model in the Salthouse range (18m – 24m), it is nonetheless as impressive as the larger models, lacking for nothing in the finish, style and performance criteria. The 52 is essentially a reduced version of the 65 and designer Bob Salthouse has managed to retain the right proportions both internally and externally so everything looks right.

Built for an experienced New Zealand owner and destined to stay in New Zealand waters, “Pacific Pearl” is the first to unveil the latest interior styling for the range of Salthouse models.

 “We have restyled our interior design to provide a cleaner, more contemporary feel, and it is one which has been very well received by our customers”, says Troy Woods, Marketing and Sales manager for Salthouse Marine. “The new interior styling compliments the exterior styling released last year, and is now a feature on all our models. The owners’ of this vessel could visualise the new styling from the very beginning and played a large role in the overall scheme of the interior. It is one of the special characteristics of a Salthouse build where we can work in close conjunction with the owner’s to bring their ideas to reality”, says Troy.

Salthouse Marine boats are best described as a semi-production, and due to the flexibility of the design and production processes, provides the ability for the owners to stamp their individual mark on their boat. “We encourage our clients to participate in the build process and to personalise the boats to suit their individual needs and use. This can include layout options, colours, soft and hard furnishings, timbers and on board equipment and systems”.

That individuality has been a major bonus for Salthouse Marine, being able to offer something unique in the “production” market, whereas many of the competitors are more regimented in their layout and design offerings due to mass production constraints and efficiencies.

“We endeavour to understand from the owner exactly how and where they want to use their boats” said Troy. “A boat that will be used predominantly for family cruising as opposed to hard-out sportfishing requires a different approach to certain areas onboard.

Built with sports fishing in mind “Pacific Pearl” is the first 52 to feature the retrouse transom and built in live bait tanks, which have proven very successful on her bigger sisters. Whether they are used for live bait fish, cray fish or the storing of snorkelling gear or rubbish, the retrouse transom and tanks are an extremely practical and efficient design feature.

The cockpit is where the action is and “Pacific Pearl” has that covered. She is fitted with a central, single sliding door into the cockpit, (the standard is double sliding doors), removable game chair, padded coaming bolster for stand-up gamefishing, and coaming mounted handrails providing extra security in rough conditions.  However it is not all about fishing as she also sports an al fresco dining area forward to port connected to the aft galley with a wide, electric vertically opening window. The al fresco is a great addition when used for dining outside and also provides a handy seating area whilst waiting for the fish to strike. Completing the cockpit is a teak deck, cockpit head and shower, stainless rails around the boarding platform and large lazarette accessed via a teak covered deck hatch with extra storage in coaming lockers.

“Pacific Pearl” is the first Salthouse 52 to include the al fresco dining area and interior staircase which again have proven exceptionally popular, and practical in the 57 and 65 models. The al fresco area is upholstered in a linen style sunbrella material and features two inbuilt eutectic fridge / freezers. The standard layout on the Salthouse 52 has an external, enclosed spiral staircase to port.

Light Weight & High Speed

Designer Bob Salthouse is a strong advocate of building boats with a high strength to weight ratio, that are very efficient and easily driven with moderate horsepower. Their ‘warped plane’ hulls with fine entry bow and flat aft sections provide excellent efficiency and cruising comfort is also enhanced with Salthouse Marine’s underwater exhaust system, which eliminates fumes and greatly reduces engine noise.
At 26.5 tonne (heavy displacement), Pacific Pearl, whilst heavier than the standard Salthouse 52 with twin Cummins QSM11s, still returns impressive fuel and performance data.

Powered by twin MTU Series 60, 825 HP engines, Pacific Pearl has a maximum speed of 30 knots. However as she will spend a fair amount of its time at trolling speeds around 8 knots, the fuel usage at lower and cruising speed was important to the owner. In trials Pacific Pearl returned an impressive 16 lph total fuel usage at 8 knots. With 4000 litres of fuel that is an impressive 2000 nm range. Other engine options are available such as Caterpillar C12 (700hp) or Cummins QSM11 (660hp).

Each Salthouse hull and deck is built to Lloyd’s Register standard, using hand-laid end-grain balsa and fibreglass composite. Using this technology to reduce weight, provides for increased fuel capacity and long range cruising, higher speeds using less engine power and better operating economy.

While the styling has been changed, in many ways the layout remains very traditional and follows well proven design parameters. There is a three-cabin layout with forward owner’s and port guest cabins and a twin berth cabin to starboard. The owner’s and port guest cabin have individual en-suites complete with large full size circular shower unit, electric head, corian vanity top and ample storage. Light and ventilation is provided via an opening side port and an overhead hatch complete with black out and insect blinds. The twin bunk cabin uses the cockpit head and shower.

Again there is the ability to customise the accommodation areas and past requests have included four singles forward, or three singles to port as well as having a two cabin layout with the starboard cabin transformed into walk in wardrobe.

The forward cabin features a Queen size, raised central island berth with drawer storage beneath, twin hanging lockers and wide side shelves with lockers fore and aft for storage. The cabin is complete with an LCD flat screen TV and DVD player.

The port guest cabin includes a generous double island berth, and certainly doesn’t lack for space. There are lockers and vanity units either side, plus a generously sized hanging locker and built-in cupboard. The starboard cabin features twin singles, with both cabins fitted with LCD flat screen TV’s and DVD players.

The gloss cherry interior is offset with the use of ultra suede style fabrics for wall and head linings.

Entering the saloon through the stainless steel and glass sliding door, the U shaped galley is sited to port. It features a corian bench top and gloss timber floor, with stainless steel appliances including gas and electric hobs, dish drawer, convection / microwave oven. There is a pull out pantry and the cleverly designed knife and spice drawer found on all Salthouse boats. Storage is copious under-bench as well as in a roller door locker above. The 240v fridge / freezer is located to starboard with an icemaker immediately forward.

A point of difference from the other Salthouse 52’s is that there is no glass front wind screen in the saloon, and instead she is fitted with gloss cherry timber joinery either side of the stairs to the accommodation. Once again this is a feature much admired on the Salthouse 65’s. Contained within are the flat screen LCD TV to starboard, with the entertainment equipment and storage lockers to port. A nice touch is the recessed alcove fitted with down lighting for a piece of art or a sculpture in pride of place at the centre.

The U-shaped dinette settee to port features a hand crafted table which converts from dining to coffee table size, and lowers to form an additional double berth. Sliding side windows offer plenty of air circulation and cedar blinds give evening privacy. To starboard is a 2  seater settee and custom bar / cocktail unit. Aft of the bar unit is the staircase to the fly bridge.

One of the areas that is certain to be modified to suit differing clients’ needs is the flybridge. In “Pacific Pearl” the owner chose the aft helm position which is ideally suited for sportfishing. There are two Salthouse designed and built helm chairs with clears aft. The helm is generous in size and has the space to pack in the latest electronics on large display screens such as the latest Furuno Navnet system on “Pacific Pearl”. Opening side windows and two overhead hatches provide plenty of ventilation.

Forward of this is a large wrap-around settee which also converts to a double berth, and a 240v drinks fridge hidden within a gloss cherry timber unit forward. The overall finish and level of detail is on a par with the Salthouse 65.

The other option is for a central forward helm station with twin helm seats and an L shaped settee aft to port. This option combined with the internal stair case enables an owner to specify an enclosed bulkhead aft with hinged door opening to the aft deck and electric vertical opening window.

The standard equipment package is impressive, with such items as a Side Power bowthruster, 3000-litre fuel tanks, 1000-litre water tank, Acoustop sound deadening throughout the engine room, Onan generator, Victron inverter and air conditioning.

The electronics package includes a Furuno Navnet system on two 12” colour screens, as well as a PC chart software from Maxsea, autopilot, sounder, wind instruments, VHF and SSB radios, loud hailer, GPS and auto anchor controls. On deck, a Muir winch takes care of the anchoring chores and Davco crane looks after the tender. All the equipment used throughout the boat is of the highest quality and user friendly for the skipper.

The owner’ s brief for was for a boat to combine serious offshore sportfishing as well as provide for luxurious family cruising. In “Pacific Pearl” they feel that they have achieved exactly what they requested.

This Salthouse 52 once again showcases the versatility, quality and style which are synonymous with the Salthouse Marine range.


  • Boat Design Name: Salthouse 52
  • Boat Name: Pacific Pearl
  • Year Launched:   2006
  • Designer:   Bob Salthouse   
  • Builder: Salthouse Marine Ltd  
  • LOA:  18.14m     
  • Beam: 4.98m       
  • Draft: 1.25m       
  • Displacement: 26.5 tonne
  • Max Speed: 30 knots    
  • Cruise Speed : 25 knots    
  • Construction: Balsa/foam/GRP composite 
  • Fuel Capacity: 4000 litres 
  • Water Capacity:  900 litres   
  • Engines:     2 x MTU Series 60 @ 825hp

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