John martino, annapolis school of seamanship and annapolis yacht         management
The following review was written by John Martino and prepared by the marketing department of Chesapeake Bay Magazine. Mr. Martino is the founder and president of Annapolis Yacht Management and Annapolis School of Seamanship. He develops and teaches hands-on training courses for recreational boaters and professional mariners, and offers yacht delivery and onboard training services for powerboaters as well as sailors.
Sea Ray 370
DECEMBER/JANUARY 2014
 
   
Length 39'
Beam  13' 2"
LWL  36' 11"          
Draft 4'         
Fuel 2 x 125 gal
Water 100 gal
Price as Tested $875,000


On the way to Oxford, Maryland, Matt Benhoff drove as I was completely wrapped up in a conference call on my cell phone, complete with iPad on my lap taking notes. We were headed to Campbell’s Boatyard at Bachelor Point to test the Campbell 39. I wanted to bring Matt along on this review as he not only heads up operations for me but he also grew up in nearby St. Michaels, so I was certain he wouldn’t mind driving! Everything from the Bay Bridge to Oxford blew by and I was not in a great mood as I finished my call and we rolled up to Campbell’s. What happened next reminded me how seductive the Chesapeake Bay boating lifestyle truly is.

I opened the car door and stepped through a time warp. The smells of freshly cut grass, the Bay and the woodshop made me excited to be at a traditional Eastern Shore boatyard complete with boat sheds, docks and water fowl. It took approximately 1.7 seconds for all the bad juju from my call to melt away into oblivion.

After receiving a warm welcome from Tom and Susan Campbell, we headed down to Halcyon, a Campbell 39 Downeast style yacht. From the dock she looked sharp with a red hull, varnished teak accents and just enough tumblehome at the transom to give nice lines without making it difficult to board her.

Her extended deck makes the saloon quite spacious and airy without cramping the cockpit, which has plenty of room for some nice deck chairs and a small cocktail table. I also noticed that the Campbell is fitted out with stout stainless hardware including a high rail that starts at the cockpit and goes all the way forward to keep the crew safe while walking up and down the side decks. Rub rails have protective stainless strakes as do the tops of the toe rail near all of the mooring cleats. There is also a stainless steel handrail on the cabin top that offers a handhold from the cockpit to the foredeck. With a high ceiling and large windows all around, visibility is excellent from the helm and opening the double doors to the cockpit and the side door by the helm gives you excellent access to the deck for line handling.

As we prepared to get underway I noticed we had a moderate cross wind which can make any docking scenario challenging but the Campbell 39 is equipped with variable-speed bow and stern thrusters which make close quarters maneuvering a breeze. Underway on the Tred Avon the single six-cylinder Cummins diesel provided ample power but without the usual noise heard from engines of this size. In fact, Campbell’s has done such a great job of insulating the engine room from the interior that I commented to Tom that I couldn’t believe I was standing no more than 12 inches above a nearly 600 horsepower diesel and having a relatively quiet conversation.

After returning to the dock and tying up, I was standing barefoot on the dock and taking a moment to soak in a little more of the ambiance when my cell phone started vibrating in my pocket. I knew my temporary escape on the Bay was drawing to a close.