A classic exterior and timeless interior make this ocean-ready couples cruiser an attractive and sturdy do-everything yacht.
In today’s world, it seems like everyone wants everything immediately, and with minimal effort. One can swipe to find a date, use an app to hail a car ride, or consult Google for an education. But like a fine wine or gourmet cheese, some things need time to make perfect, and that includes the selection of a yacht.
I was fortunate on the day of my sea trial of Outer Reef Yachts’ latest offering, the 610 Motoryacht, because the new owners were along for the ride. Well, not just any ride. It was their first time running Sandana since its recent delivery. And there I learned their process for choosing the 610: cautious, methodical and with a lot of research.
What first clued me in to the type of owners Dan and Sandy would be was their level of excitement. Dan was beaming with the exuberance of a kid on Christmas morning, not just wanting to show off his new “toy” but to unleash the yacht from the dock and see what it can do. Sandy, albeit a little less animated but just as enthusiastic, spoke about their plans for a shakedown cruise from Florida to her homeport in Rhode Island. (Note: They completed the 1,200-mile journey with only two stops in five days, six hours.)
If the owners didn’t know something about the 610, they were eager to find out. Dan proudly showed off some of the features, such as the twin displays that include video feeds from onboard cameras, and occasionally he had to inquire about others, quizzing Outer Reef’s commissioning captain, Randy Ives, our man on the wheel for the day.
What the Outer Reef 610 did was handle the seas very well. Dan’s excitement bubbled over as we exited the inlet into four- to six-foot choppy seas. Weighing in at 93,000 pounds, the 610 delivered sturdiness underfoot, and a set of ABT Trac 2200 stabilizers with seven-and-a-half-square-foot fins helped to keep the deck level. Response from the Teleflex hydraulic steering system and destroyer wheel was instant and assured. Asked how he felt about the ride, Dan explained that if the 610 ran this well in these seas and with this much comfort, it would be a breeze in anything less. And that’s important for this owner/operator team.
Since this is an owner/operator couple, a key aspect for the yacht is all access. From the lower helm, there are port and starboard weathertight doors to the sidedecks, making line handling or provisioning less troublesome. Full walk-around sidedecks with a non-skid surface add safety, as do the high gunwales — a huge consideration when children are on board.
Aft are side boarding gates on either side, twin staircases from the integrated-into-the-hull swim platform to the aft deck and a sliding door from aft into the salon. Access to the flybridge is via a staircase from the lower helm or a ladder from the aft deck.
Up top, the Deluxbridge full-beam deck offers commanding views, space to relax and a spot to house a water toy or two. Under the hardtop, the forward helm has all the controls and electronics needed for extended cruising. Port and starboard settees are in close proximity to the single Stidd helm seat, keeping family and guests in the conversation. With a barbecue grill and a wet-bar station on the boat deck, meals can be prepped, cooked and served in an open-air setting. These owners opted for an AB Nautilus 13-foot dinghy with a 60 hp Yamaha, which is stored on the boat deck. Doing the heavy lifting is a 1,000-pound aluminum davit with a nine-foot telescoping arm.
Outer Reef knows that yacht owners like to spend as much time on the outside decks as possible, but they do need to come in at times. Complementing the classic lines of the Outer Reef exterior is an interior that is elegantly timeless and comforting. Teak is used throughout this 610 and in each room, including the satin-finished wall paneling, cabinetry and lockers, handrails, door framing and tables. Generous interior volume and headroom ensure passengers don’t feel closed in; rather, there is a depth of openness.
On the main deck, the attraction starts in the aft area. A fully cushioned bench seat with storage spans the back deck between the staircases. Alfresco dining can be enjoyed courtesy of the twin-post high-gloss teak table, which is under the cover of the upper boat deck.
Change the view and have an after-dinner cocktail or morning java on the padded bench seat at the Portuguese bridge. The forward deck also houses a Maxwell 24v vertical windlass with a remote that drops and retrieves an upgraded 99-pound Ultra anchor. Who says cruisers must pull into a slip every night?
Other nice features include salt- and freshwater washdowns (even for the anchor and chain), stainless steel railings that increase in width toward the bow, deck lockers and drainage that is plumbed to exit at the boot-stripe, to prevent black streaks along the hull.
Inside, the salon has a simple layout with charm. Fixed 3/8-inch-thick windows are aptly sized and separated by posts with sconce lights. Overhead, the vinyl headliner is ringed by a teak-and-chrome grabrail. An L-shaped sofa runs along the port side, and two swivel armchairs are to starboard. Teak-and-holly flooring carries through the yacht. With three steps delineating the salon from the forward areas, it feels like its own oasis but with an openness that allows for flow.
Amidships is the galley, with everything needed for extended cruising. Granite countertops offer plenty of work space, and the island doubles as a serving area and storage cabinet. The GE Monogram appliance package includes a side-by-side refrigerator/freezer tucked under the starboard staircase next to the pantry, a dishwasher, a garbage disposal, a propane gas cooktop with a potholder, an oven and a built-in microwave. There’s also a galley window that slides open, a Grohe faucet with undermount sinks, seven overhead lights and a glass backsplash.
Forward to port is an L-shaped dining area that offers a great vantage point during a meal or for someone acting as an extra set of eyes for the captain. Everything is within easy reach even while the yacht offers breathing room and comfort, thanks to the 610’s space allocation and floor plan.
The single Stidd helm chair in the pilothouse is all that’s needed; a second chair would be in the way. The dash is full of electronics, including Furuno plotters/displays, a John Deere engine display and gauges, Glendinning controls, Side-Power bow and stern thruster joysticks, two Northern Lights generator control units (12 kw and 16 kw) and tank monitors.
Not to skimp on the accommodations, Outer Reef designed a full-beam, amidships master with a king or queen berth with a seven-inch layered foam mattress, a walk-in closet, a flat TV and more. Two highlights include the starboard desk with side drawers and lockers — perfect for Dan on those occasions when he needs to work — and a portside bank of dresser drawers. It’s composed not of four drawers or even six, but 10 drawers with a center locker. Knowing that a builder can accommodate such vastness can be a deal sealer.
Forward is the VIP stateroom, which includes a tapered queen berth, under-berth storage, two hanging lockers, carpet, and overhead and reading lights. The VIP shares the head — shower and a Tecma marine electric toilet — with the guest stateroom to port. It has twin bunks, a locker, drawers, LED lighting and a porthole.
A stickler for details, Dan pointed out that the Outer Reef team was willing to work with him on a few changes, and that they follow their own practices to ensure things are right, literally down to a bolt and nut. Here, Dan showed me how an access cover is secured with a through-bolt and wing nut, pointing out that the end of the bolt doesn’t exceed the top of the wing, reducing the chance for snags or injury.
Then there’s the interior teak steps. Each includes a Bolon weave inlay that adds style and, more importantly, traction, along with transparent non-skid edging.
As Dan and Sandy want this yacht to be everything to them, they included four rod holders in the aft deck staircase gunwale. They never know when they’ll want to troll up fresh fish for dinner or sit lazily on the swim platform casting to schoolies.
Down below, the twin John Deere engines are protected by railings that will offer a handhold and prevent one from falling on top of a hot block. There’s good access to filters, generators and the bilge.
Aft is a lazarette, where the owners opted for a custom stainless steel workbench with a mounted vise. Just the sight of that gives the impression that this owner is serious about doing as much as he can on his own, without cutting corners. There’s also storage for gear and room for ancillary systems.