Specifications
LOA 63 ft., 10 in.
Beam 17 ft., 4 in.
Draft 4 ft., 10 in.
Displacement 74,900 lbs.
Fuel 1,200 gals.
Water 300 gals.
Engines Twin Caterpillar C-18, 930 hp
Base Price as tested $2,378,000
Construction
Hand-laid solid fiberglass hull to the rubrail with two layers of Kevlar from chine to chine and three layers in the forward collision section. Decks and superstructure cored with Divinycell foam.
Standard Equipment
Twin Caterpillar or Cummins diesels, hydraulic engine controls, Wesmar stabilizers, dual Racor fuel filters on each engine, Side Power bow thruster, Hynautic hydraulic trim tabs, foredeck lounge pad, Bose stereo system in salon, AGM batteries, two separate air-conditioning units, granite flooring in galley and heads, rope lighting, individual LED TVs and DVD players and stereos in every stateroom, large corner cleats aft and more.
Optional Equipment
Skylounge with complete engine controls, steering and electronics, Caterpillar C-18 930 hp engines, Caterpillar electronic engine controls, Side Power stern thruster, second genset, flybridge barbecue, RIB tender, camera monitoring system, water-maker, flybridge canvas and more.
Builder
Hampton Yachts, Shanghai, China; hamptonyachts.com
West Coast Dealer
Hampton Yacht Group of California, Newport Beach; (949) 515-0006; hygofcalifornia.com

Hampton Yacht Group, Seattle;
(206) 623-5200; hamptonyachtgroup.com

Hampton 620 Pilothouse

Posted: February 1, 2013  |  Boat Type: Motoryacht

Feature-rich, sumptuous and head-turning

By: Zuzana Prochazka

Coming into Newport Harbor after our sea trial, I tucked into one of the two Pompanette chairs in the pilothouse on the Hampton 620. We cruised casually through the harbor on a warm day in what California calls winter. I was chatting with brokers Bill King and Chris Elliott of Hampton Yachts of California when I noticed a party boat to port. All of its passengers were on deck looking our way, some even smiling and pointing. At first, I thought maybe we were dragging fenders or had committed some other faux pas. Then I snapped out of it and realized that it’s ridiculously easy to become accustomed to the lap of luxury. I forgot I was on a head-turning yacht, and our audience was doing what you do when something beautiful floats by: You look, and maybe you even point.

The Hampton 620 is based on the successful 580 model and comes in two flavors — a pilothouse with a hardtop on the flybridge, and an optional skylounge model that eliminates the inside helm and moves it up to the flybridge, which is then fully enclosed. Our hardtop test boat, hull #22 of the model, has a pilothouse steering station, another on the open flybridge and two wing controls on either side of the cockpit, all with ZF electronic engine controls, JMS joysticks, and Side Power bow and stern thruster controls. You can drive this boat from four different places, which is pretty unusual for a 62-footer.

Like all other Hampton yachts, the 620 gives a nod to safety in its construction. The hull is laid up with solid fiberglass to the rubrail and reinforced with two layers of Kevlar that run chine to chine aft, with a third layer forward in the collision zone. Anyone who has run at 15-plus knots in the pitch-dark nights off the coast of Mexico or up in the fog-shrouded Northwest will appreciate that kind of strength.

Also like all other Hampton yachts, the 620 is what can only be described as “feature rich,” which means the concept of a “base boat” is tossed out the window. Our test boat has just about everything on board, including the upgraded twin Caterpillar C-18 engines with electronic controls, all navigation electronics and every amenity imaginable. Company CEO and second-generation boat builder Jeff Chen prides himself on understanding the cruising lifestyle, and chief designer Howard Apollonio sets pencil to paper only after he fully understands the intent of the user and, therefore, the mission of the boat. Between the two, the Hampton cruising lifestyle will never resemble camping.

No equipment is considered superfluous, and redundancy is a mantra, as is evident in the engine room of our boat, where twin Racor filters sit alongside each of the engines, which are also plumbed to crash pumps for emergency dewatering. This belt-and-suspenders approach continues with two Kohler gensets (20 kw and 12 kw), two pumps for the Headhunter freshwater system and backup hydraulic steering. The standup lazarette abaft the engine room is accessed via a transom door from the swim platform as well as from a hydraulically operated hatch in the cockpit sole. Here, I found a bank of AGM house batteries, two Glendinning Cablemaster reels, a Magnasine 4 kw inverter and plenty of room for storage of everything including the fenders. Sometimes, more is better.

On Board

The Hampton 620 has port and starboard boarding gates, or you can come up from a swim platform that has steps along either side to the aft cockpit. Here, a transom settee and a narrow table serve as the aft deck lounge, which also includes a 20-inch TV that drops down from the hardtop overhead, a sink and a small refrigerator. Recessed decks on either side lead forward to a sunpad and two small lockers next to a Maxwell VWC3500C windlass that manages a 110-pound claw anchor. On my way to the bow, I noticed the air plenums that are inboard on the sidedeck bulwarks (so the engine room will stay dry even in a sloppy seaway), the oversized elliptical stainless steel railing imported from Japan and the embedded frame­less glazing on the fixed windows, which means no leaks. Good thinking on all the details.

There are two ways to get to the flybridge — inside from the pilothouse or outside from the cockpit via teak-covered steps. The helm here has two Garmin 7215 multifunction displays (MFDs), full engine controls and twin Pompanette chairs. The visibility from the helm is 360 degrees, plus you can see down through the stairwell to the starboard quarter, which is a nice touch. The flybridge is covered with a hardtop and is perfect for entertaining, with everything you need including an L-shaped settee with a dining table across from a built-in unit that holds a refrigerator, a wetbar with a sink and a 30-inch TV. An electric Kenyon grill aft is optional, near the 1,200-pound Brower dinghy davit.

Accommodations

If you enter the pilothouse from the flybridge, you first land between the galley and the dinette. The high-gloss Makore cherry finish that graces the entire interior is striking for two reasons: first is the impeccable craftsmanship, with dovetailed drawers and flawless joinery, and second is the consistency of the wood grain and color, because Hampton interiors are clad in 55-mil veneers that are peeled from the same log. There doesn’t seem to be a hard angle anywhere, but redwood-burled inlays abound. The interior is all curvy, and the shine of the finish makes you want to just sort of slide along the surfaces.

The galley is a full-sized kitchen with bullnose granite countertops and a granite floor that, like the floors in the heads, is heated by the Olympia hydronic diesel heater, so your feet stay warm no matter the weather. Appliances are plentiful, including a full-sized cherry wood-covered SubZero refrigerator with two freezer drawers, a SubZero ice-maker, a GE Profile ceramic cooktop below a GE microwave, a GE 27-inch electric oven, a Fisher & Paykel dishwasher and a Broan trash compactor. Two bar stools are included and have their own storage system where the front legs fit into cutouts in a custom floorboard to keep them contained under way. A small dinette is to port where three can sit on the L-shaped settee while the captain turns his helm chair to join the dinner party.

The main helm is state of the art, with twin touchscreen Garmin MFDs for the radar, chartplotter, autopilot and depthsounder, and display feeds from the cameras in the engine room and on the aft deck. Complete engine and thruster controls are within easy reach, as are monitors for all the ship’s systems and a windlass remote control. The three-panel windshield with a defroster system and wipers also has Hunter Douglass custom blinds for privacy and minimizing the afternoon sun at anchor. In the skylounge version, the side dinette disappears and the entire helm dash is replaced with a larger, U-shaped dinette, because the helm moves upstairs.

A feature I’ve always found eminently useful on boats this size are doors leading to the sidedecks, so the owner/operator can reach the bow quickly or step out to help with dock lines. The Hampton has pantographic doors on either side that open out. Not only is this a better design than sliding doors that seem to warp or corrode over time, but the doors, with their stainless and wood combination, are like little works of functional art.

From the pilothouse, three steps lead aft and down to the living room-sized salon, which features acres of windows you can see out of even when you’re seated. To starboard, our test boat has a large L-shaped sofa and a high-low coffee table. Two chairs and a cabinet are to port. All furniture is crafted locally by Pacific Custom Interiors, so the owner has a lot of say in the layout, fabrics and décor. Other amenities in the salon include a Bose stereo and a satellite-enabled Samsung 42-inch LED TV that is revealed when a decorative etched-glass panel (a mirror on some boats) is electrically lowered. To port is a small, granite-topped bar with a sink and a wine captain. The most striking thing about this level is that you can stand in the pilothouse and see back through the salon all the way out to the transom. This gives the boat a much larger feel, while the skipper has great visibility for better control.

The three cabins are accessed via steps down from the pilothouse through a foyer that has a marble and granite compass rose inlaid into the cherry-and-holly sole and houses a full-sized Bosch washer and dryer along with a linen locker. Forward is the VIP guest cabin with a centerline queen bed and access to the head and shower it shares with the third twin-berth cabin.

The master stateroom is aft and is a real upgrade over the one on the 580, because it is now full beam with opening hull ports that let in plenty of natural light. The owner will never feel “buried” in the boat. The master bath and shower are behind the stateroom, which not only gives the cabin its width, but also serves as insulation between it and the engine room. The storage is clearly meant to accommodate all that anyone would need for extended cruising and even includes a cedar-lined walk-in closet with auto lighting. An anchor alarm in the master shows the builder really thinks about the practicalities of how these boats are used.

Every cabin has its own TV/DVD, stereo and climate control, and the soft LED lighting gives the boat a high-end hotel feel. The master even has a massage tower in the shower. There’s just no roughing it on a Hampton.

Under Way

The first thing that became evident as we made our way out of the harbor was how quiet the Hampton 620 is under way. That’s due partly to underwater exhaust that has a bypass to the transom and the Sound Down foam insulation in the engine room. A conversation in the pilothouse was at natural levels regardless of the rpm.

The second notable feature was how quickly the boat came up to speed. Hampton uses what it calls a hybrid hull design, which has an unconventional chine that minimizes wave resistance in its semi-displacement hull. With very little bowrise, the boat popped up to 18 knots before I looked down at the Garmin to confirm the speed. The standard engines are Caterpillar C-12 715 hp diesels, but our test boat is fitted with upgraded C-18 930 hp engines, which are similarly economical at the cruising speed of 18 knots but will give you an extra 2 to 3 knots at the top end. The Pacific Ocean cooperated on our test day and gave us calm conditions, so although the boat is rated to 23 knots at WOT, we just kissed 25 knots on flat seas with possibly a bit of current.

I made S-turns just to give us some waves to run through and found that the H620 runs on rails, slicing through the messed-up water I created without a hiccup. Sharp turns, quick stops and full-throttle starts did not rattle a thing in the boat. Slow-speed maneuverability was equally good without any wiggle or wobble as we idled in and out of the harbor.

The Wesmar electric three-axis stabilizers are a full 6 square feet, and their effect, which is quite noticeable, will be welcome on long cruises to Alaska or Mexico, both of which are doable with the 1,200-gallon fuel tankage. At 18 knots, the H620 will have a 350-n.m. range, but if you slow down to 10 knots, the fuel economy jumps and the range increases to 850 miles. A nonstop run from San Diego to Cabo suddenly becomes a possibility.

Dockage in Newport Harbor is always at a premium, and the H620 was shoehorned into a slip with just inches to spare. Backing in would be no small feat on a boat with straight shafts, but that’s the beauty of the joysticks that tie together the electronic engine controls and the thrusters. Standing at the port aft cockpit control, King brought it home and made it look easy. How come no one’s ever watching when I do that?

The Hampton 620 is designed to be an owner-operated vessel that is large enough to be comfortable and safe for extended passage-making but small enough for a couple to manage by themselves. It’s a safe and relatively economical distance cruiser with the right proportions. That it’s also beautiful inside and out just seems to be a bonus. On my way to the parking lot, I stood at the top of the dock and turned back for one more look. I stopped just short of smiling and pointing.

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