Dean Salthouse Next Generation Boats has an enviable standing in the boatbuilding community for offering immaculate quality at a competitive price and a reputation for delivering boats that exceed their clients’ expectations. The all-new Salthouse Corsair 53, Dreamtime, is such a boat.
The first time I saw the new Salthouse Corsair 53 I thought I was looking at a Corsair 49 on steroids. What Dean Salthouse Next Generation Boats has produced is not just a larger version of the already successful Corsair 44 and 49, but a boat that embodies all that is good about both and then some. Layout for layout there is a huge similarity between all three – it’s just that the Corsair 53 comes in a much bigger package.
When the owner of Dreamtime first approached Dean Salthouse about a Corsair to be used for luxury charter on Sydney Harbour, he ordered a Corsair 49. However, in the earliest stages of the build process it looked like maybe the 49 just wasn’t going to be big enough.
Dean Salthouse, co-designer with father Bob Salthouse of the Corsair range of boats, explained that as the original 49 build progressed and more equipment was added, such as a Twin Disc Seakeeper and a jet tender, he soon realised that it might be pushing the displacement envelope of the 49 hull a bit too far.
Fortunately, help was at hand by way of the last Salthouse 50 hull laid up by Salthouse Marine. That hull was still languishing in the mould. After discussions with the client, it was decided to buy the hull and simply transfer everything that had already been purchased or built for the Corsair 49 and put it all into the new hull.
Being a much bigger volume boat this required some very interesting layout changes, but according to Dean the transfer and required alterations went exceedingly well. There was the addition of a second internal head, a much larger shower and bathroom and both the galley and dinette area have increased considerably. So too has the cockpit, which measures a huge 17.6sqm. Overall the Corsair 53 is around 20% larger internally and has a 40% larger cockpit than the Corsair 49. The Corsair 53 is 500mm higher in the topsides, carries 1m more beam and is 1.2m longer. The displacement has increased from 11.5 tonnes to 15tonnes and the comparable base boat price from around $NZ1.355m up to $NZ2.0m.
However, as Dreamtime is destined to be a top-end charter boat for Sydney Harbour, it was built to NSW Survey requirements, which has added considerable weight and extra cost to the boat. Constructing it to Lloyds standards meant another 450kg in extra hull laminates, plus larger anchor tackle, a full bilge system, fire system and pumps, plus twin life rafts, all of which has helped bring the weight up to around 15.5 tonnes.
The layout is identical to the 49, albeit everything is somewhat bigger. Accommodation is split into two voluminous cabins and there is a variation of berth layouts available. Dreamtime has the two-cabin, two-head arrangement that provides the owner’s forward stateroom with its own head and vanity but no shower.
The forward cabin has a large central island berth, with drawer storage under and raised access either side. Four side port windows with shutters and an overhead hatch provide extra light and ventilation, although the cabin is fully air-conditioned and has ample built-in lighting. There are gunwale lockers either side and a couple of hanging lockers providing extra storage. To port is the head and vanity area complete with raised bowl on a teak vanity top and custom-made timber toilet seat. Teak and holly finish off the sole and for those who require it, a third shower in here is an option.
The master cabin, like the rest of Dreamtime, blends a simple yet practical style with both traditional and innovative interior comforts. It is all very relaxed, with a nice mix of teak and softly toned fabrics and furnishings. Bright bedspreads throw a dash of colour into the cabins.
The guest VIP has the benefit of another 300mm of width, which is quite noticeable when compared with the 49. There is a massive double berth that runs back under the raised dinette in the saloon and can be changed into two extra-large singles by simply removing the infill cushions. You can have an optional single berth overhead, which is great for kids, plus there are plenty of storage options throughout.
To starboard is the shared en-suite with glass tile lined shower cubicle, and again teak has been used for the vanity surface and all timber joinery. Compared to the standard Corsair, the bathroom is huge, especially the shower cubicle which is 300mm wider.
Dreamtime also has a separate and very compact laundry, complete with washer/dryer nicely tucked away behind the companionway steps between the accommodation and saloon areas.
Apart from the extra beam, the saloon/galley/helm area is the same as that in the 49 and as such all flows easily together. This has allowed for a wider dining table with an extra seat, more drawer storage and a larger bench space in the galley and allows more room for a dishwasher.
The U-shaped galley is designed to service both inside and outside, with generous composite bench space. Equipment includes a top-loading freezer, F&P dishdrawer, microwave, Caprice oven and hob. Opposite is a fridge and pull-out pantry.
The dining area in front of the galley is laid out with a U-shaped settee surrounding three sides of the table. The teak table is mounted on a high/low stainless pedestal, which can be dropped down and made into yet another large double berth.
Opposite the for/aft settee has drawer storage under as well as access to the 32000 BTU air conditioning system. Behind is a pop-up TV that is positioned so those outside in the alfresco dining area can also see it.
The gloss teak finished helm console is fully customised and offers plenty of space for the biggest MFD screens. In Dreamtime the owner chose to install a pair of the very latest Raymarine E Series Hybrid touch screens. I liked the starboard helm door that opens onto the side deck and makes going forward a really easy task – perfect if you are short-handed and need to get to the anchor tackle in a hurry.
A custom made teak framed hopper window provides direct access to the alfresco dining area. When coupled with the bifold sliding doors recessed out of the way, the open plan effect can be fully appreciated. The transition from external to internal spaces is seamless and is one thing that certainly gives you a feeling of massive spaces.
The cockpit has benefited more than anywhere else by the extra length and it shows. Forward is the entertaining and party area featuring alfresco dining, extra seating, wet bar, icemaker and drinks locker. The teak and maple hand crafted table drops down to form a large sunpad or a fourth ‘accommodation’ space should it be required.
You also have the option of an external head/shower in the same space as the wetbar should that suit your needs better. Dean is quick to point out that every one of his boats is semi-custom, so most clients’ needs can be catered for. For example, the owner of Dreamtime likes plenty of teak so asked for teak locker doors, trellis cockpit doors, cap rails and coamings, all of which the builders were happy to do.
“We could make the cockpit shorter and the saloon longer by simply changing the position of the aft bulkhead or maybe completely redesign the galley or the helm – it’s only limited by the size constraints of the hull and deck mouldings”, said Dean.
Aft is an open space with all the amenities for outer living. The central transom island is equipped with a flat-grill barbeque and if you are into fishing then the Corsair 53 offers plenty of space for you and your mates. Storage options are plentiful and there is even a concealed overhead rod locker for those expensive rods and reels. If you want to keep the strong UV rays off then the rear half of the cockpit can be shielded by a retractable bimini.
One of the neat additions to the 53 is the dinghy garage that is tucked in under the teak cockpit sole. Dreamtime has a 2.9m Explorer Panther Jet RIB which is very easily manoeuvred in and out of the garage.
Dreamtime is powered by twin MTU 345s, through conventional shafts, which return a top speed of 25 knots @ 3850 rpm. Considering the extra displacement due to the survey requirements, that’s a very acceptable speed.
Fuel consumption at 3850rpm is 150L/h for both engines, 110L/h @ 3400rpm/20 knots, 75L/h @2900rpm/15 knots and 50L/h @ 2500rpm/11.5 knots.
In a non-survey specification the Corsair 53 should top 30 knots with a pair of 420hp engines and around 33 knots with a pair of 500hp engines. It is available in a variety of engine and drive options, including pods and sterndrives.
The Salthouse Corsair 53 is a natural progression for the builder which now offers a range of Corsairs from the Euro 44 (13.5m) through to the Euro 53 (16.15m. Owners who already love the 44 or 49 and aspire to moving up to something bigger would have to consider the 53. It offers everything the 44 and 49 does, and more.
- Boat Design Name: Salthouse Corsair 53
- Year Launched: 2012
- Designer: Bob & Dean Salthouse
- Interior Designer: Next Generation Boats
- Builder: Dean Salthouse Next Generation Boats Ltd
- Classification: NSW 1E & 2C
- LOA: 15.31m
- LOH: 13.63m
- LWL: 15.00m
- Beam: 5.18m
- Draft: 1.0m
- Displacement (dry): 15.5 tonnes
- Max Speed: 25 knots
- Cruise Speed: 20 knots
- Construction: GRP/Balsa core
- Fuel Cap: 1200 litres
- Water Cap: 1000 litres
- Engines Make: MTU 345
- Gearboxes: Twin Disc
- Drive Train: Chatfield Engineering
- Propeller: Austral Veem 23 x 26
- Generator: Onan 9.5kVA
- Inverter/Charger: Vectron 3000
- Air Conditioning: Marvair
- Watermaker: Aqua Whisper
- Bow Thruster: Side-Power
- Stern Thruster: Side-Power
- Gyro: Seakeeper
- Anchor Winch: Lofrans
- Anchors: Delta 32kg S/S
- Steering: Sea Star
- Engine Controls: Kobolt
- Lighting: Cantalupi
- Paint (Topsides): Copper Metallic
- Paint (Antifouling): International Ultra
- Hatches: Lewmar
- Wipers: Exalto
- Windows: Seamac/NZ Glass
- Porthole Hatches: So Pac
- Heads: Dometic
- Woodwork: Teak
- Liferaft: Hutchwilco
- Tender: NZ Explorer Jet Panther
- Stainless Steel Fab: Action Stainless
- Saloon Doors: In-house
- Trim Tabs: Volvo QL
- Helm Chair: Next Generation Boats
- Upholstery: Total Trim
- Searchlight: Jabsco
- Autopilot: Raymarine
- GPS/Plotter/Sounder: Raymarine E Series
- Radar: Raymarine HD
- VHF: Raymarine Ray 218E
- Entertainment Systems: Fusion
- Software System: NA
- Onboard Syst.: NA
- Base Price of Boat: $NZ1.355 million
- Price as Tested: $NZ2.0 million