It's a meeting of the Outer Banks and the Riviera, that's what it is, a Med-style yacht built with Hatteras quality; something you wouldn't expect from this New Bern, North Carolina, builder. The new Hatteras 63 Raised Pilot House Motor Yacht represents a radical departure from the traditional sportfishermen, convertibles and classic American-styled motor yachts they've been famous for building since 1959. But radical, in this case, means a racier sport-boat ride with stylish accommodations that are nothing short of fabulous.
The sleek, curvilinear profile provides just a hint of the performance provided by the twin Cat 3412E 1400 hp diesels. Yes, TWIN 1400-horsepower engines. Sitting at either helm, inside the pilothouse or up on the flybridge, you forget you're running 86,000 pounds of yacht; in fact, you'll feel this peculiar urge to rig a tow ring on the swim platform and take somebody water skiing off the back.
It's astonishing to see how little wake this big boat kicks up and how responsive it is to the touch of the wheel, until you see one out of the water and note the unique shape of the hull. There's a sharp entry at the forefoot, but it flattens out aft. The variable-pitched, four-bladed props are recessed in partial tunnels.
The flybridge is big and open for entertaining. It has a wet bar with an icemaker, and L-shaped settee aft and two comfortable pilot's chairs at the upper port-side helm station. There's also room to stow a dinghy on the hard top overhanging the cockpit, and a built-in davit. An open-stepped stair leads down into the pilot house.
The curved staircase that leads from the pilot house to the staterooms below is finished with 3" solid cherry tambour paneling, reminiscent of wainscoting. The over/under washer/dryer unit hides neatly behind a hidden panel along the stairwell.
There are three elegantly appointed staterooms, each with its own head and shower. The starboard room amidships has over/under single bunks, and the guest cabin in the bow has a roomy full sized island berth, head to the bow, with cedar-lined hanging lockers and cabinets.
Double doors lead aft from the base of the stairs into the master suite, with its queen walkaround bed, drawered night stands on either side, a large double-door cedar-lined closet, and multitudinous drawers in two built-in bureaus. In one corner there's a curved entertainment center with a Sony TV/VCR. The portside head is quite large, with lots of counter space on the curved cherry vanity and even a nice sized bath tub and shower unit behind sliding glass doors.
But it is the pilot house that is the most distinctive feature in the interior. Two captain's chairs man the console, which wraps around to the pilot's right, providing ready access to all the necessary controls and making it easy to keep an eye on all the gauges and electronic displays. The helm itself is centered, giving a good feeling of control over this beamy, 18' 3"-wide boat. Visibility through the broad, three-paned windshield and back-swept side windows is excellent, and because the pilothouse sits high above the saloon and there's no bulkhead separating the two areas, you can see back through the glass doors to the transom as well. The pilot house is large enough to accommodate a long L-shaped settee and a dining table. After all, why let the skipper hog the best seat in the house?
It's three steps down into the galley, which has an astonishing amount of countertop made of a faux marble called 'Avonite'. There's a large microwave convection oven, four-burner electric stovetop, small dishwasher, and a truly deep stainless steel sink. Refrigerator and freezer are neatly set up in the configuration of four massive drawers built into the cabinet under the counter. And there's lots of additional drawer and cabinet storage as well.
The main saloon is expansive, thanks to the beam, and there's a comfortable, deep 'U' shaped settee wrapped around a beautiful wooden inlaid oval coffee table. The settee faces the entertainment center, which features a 42'plasma Sony TV that rises up out of the countertop at the flick of a switch. The wet bar in the corner has a big icemaker.
The aft deck features a built-in bench across the transom with a sturdy built-in table. A large hatch in the sole leads to a big 'utility room,' which can be laid out with crew quarters, but is probably more useful for storage. From there, a hatch leads into the huge engine room, with stand-up headroom and 1400 hp diesels.
When boaters see the 63 Raised Pilot House Motor Yacht at boat shows, they're surprised to learn that it's a Hatteras, says that firm's Senior Vice President Bryant Phillips. "They're looking at a boat that has the styling appeal of a European boat, but with Hatteras engineering. They're also impressed with the interior volume. We've always emphasized making exceptional use of space. With this yacht, we try to provide an international influence in the exterior styling with all of the amenities of what people expect in an American built product."