Quality and quantity

Barry Thompson | VOLUME 30, ISSUE 4

Whitehaven’s 6000 Enclosed Flybridge packs a lot of luxury and lifestyle into its spacious and robust hull.

Keith Hanson, the man behind the new Whitehaven range of flybridge and sedan cruisers, is a man with a passion for perfection – his first boat under the Whitehaven brand unequivocally reflects that. However, there is more to the Whitehaven 6000 Enclosed Flybridge than what you see, or for that matter what you don’t see – it’s also about what you get. This is a boat that offers more ‘bang for your buck’ than many of its competitors.

Built in Taiwan at the Kaohsiung yard of New Ocean Yachts, the Whitehaven 6000 Enclosed is a superbly finished and presented craft that takes that same high level onto the water.

Along for the initial trials with the Whitehaven 6000 in the waters off Kaohsiung, it didn’t take me long to understand why Keith and son Ryan, who manages the boat-building projects in Taiwan, are so passionate about their new toy. Keith’s smile and enthusiasm after a reasonably successful first trial was infectious and soon it was thumbs-up all round and congratulations to the builders for a job well done.

I say reasonably successful, because the downside was the new Veem props – which were too big, with the 33in x 39in five-bladers only allowing for a 2220rpm maximum (and 29 knots), short of the optimum 2360rpm (30 to 32 knots). That’s what testing is for – a revised, smaller set was to be fitted for the then upcoming Gold Coast Marine Expo, the boat’s first official showing.

The hull design and styling of the Whitehaven 6000 is a collaboration of ideas involving Keith, son Ryan, and New Ocean Yachts’ resident naval architect, Jason Cao. While the New Ocean 68 is a deep-vee boat right to the transom, the 6000 has been softened at the stern sections to help make it an easily driven hull. The 6000 retains the same 5.33m beam of the 68, which makes it wider on the waterline than any of its competitors. The extra-wide chines alter from a reverse angle forward to almost flat aft and help keep the boat level in fast lock-to-lock turns.

While the sea conditions off Kaohsiung were reasonably smooth, I quickly got the feeling that the hull under the 6000 is something a little special. Keith explains that one of the main criteria for the hull was to have a particularly ‘dry’ boat when underway at speed: “This was something that impressed me about our previous model, New Ocean 68, so we utilised some of that hull design, such as the deep forefoot, wide planing strakes and a warped chine,” says Keith.

The 6000 is very easily to plane, with little bow attitude, and is exceptionally quiet inside when underway. In the light sea conditions for the test, the boat ran best in natural trim with no tab.

BIG BOAT HERITAGE

The DNA of the Whitehaven 6000 evolved from the New Ocean 64 and 68. In the 6000, Keith was looking for a boat in the 18 to 19m range that addressed the needs and wants of customers looking for a fully enclosed flybridge cruiser, running shaftdrives and yet still able to offer a full-beam, generously sized master cabin and finished to an exceptionally high standard.

The Whitehaven 6000 is the smallest boat built by the New Ocean yard, that has built its enviable reputation for boats in the 20 to 30m area. The benefit of that experience can be seen in the 6000, with construction and engineering a lot stronger, tougher and more robust that you might expect to find in a boat of this size. There is a lot about this boat that is over-engineered.

Spacious, airy, total comfort would be the best way to describe the saloon and mezzanine cockpit layouts. A large sliding door and hopper window bring the indoor and outdoor living together, making it feel like one exceptionally large space.

Perceptively, the galley is in the centre of the saloon/cockpit and not compartmentalised as in some boats. It caters beautifully to the saloon and cockpit, with a lack of separation between all the individual component areas. Being a boat that is destined to host more cocktail functions than fishing trips, Keith made the galley a serious element in the saloon layout, with an emphasis on usable bench space.

Forward are two ivory-coloured leather loungers – port side for dining/starboard for relaxing – that blend well with the tasteful use of Majilite black pearl textured leather inserts in the tables and dark timbers. Subtle and classy. A 40in LED TV is raised when required from forward of the port side dinette and can be swivelled, so it’s viewable anywhere in the saloon area.

HIGH LIVING

The enclosed flybridge is designed as another dedicated living space and not just as somewhere to drive the boat from. There’s a settee that converts to a double berth, Corian-top wetbar, icemaker, fridge, and drop-down TV neatly concealed in the roof.

The electronics package is owner’s choice. Standard in the stock boat package is a three-station Yacht Controller complete with remote, plus fore and aft Vetus thrusters, and Twin Disc Quick Shift gearboxes. Docking and slow-speed manoeuvring are effortless. Air-conditioning or the sliding side windows, overhead hatches, plus a rear hopper window and sliding door offer top-level climate control options. The rear deck comes with a double settee, and a Yacht Controller station built into another Corian-surfaced unit, complete with barbecue.

FULL-BEAM MASTER

The 6000 is a three-cabin, two-bathroom design, which offers some variants in layout to suit the owner’s requirements. One option is for two cabins, with the third being converted to a utility room for additional storage. Natural light radiates down into the atrium, with concealed strip lighting under the oak treads providing some added security at night.

The master stateroom exemplifies the versatile use of available space, with a king-size island berth, flush-mount TV, walk-in wardrobe with Corian floor, lounge and full-length bureau with lift-up case and mirror.

Large signature side windows with open ports, while providing natural light and ventilation, also give a panoramic view – a feature of all Whitehaven models.

The port stateroom comes standard with two extra-large single hi/lo bunks, but with the option of a third drop-down berth should you need more space for young children. Forward, the guest VIP has a queen-size centre berth which, thanks to the fullness of the bow, means the berth doesn’t have to be raised to maintain its full width at the head. Twin opening ports and an overhead hatch offer plenty of light.

The two bathrooms, the forward one being shared by the guest cabins, feature a similar Italian tiled décor and arrangement, which reflects the continuity and understated elegance of the design. Shower stalls with glass frameless doors and teak floors, rain showers, Corian vanity surfaces and raised porcelain bowls feature in both the private master and VIP en suites.

THE VERDICT

Flying all the way to Taiwan to review a brand-new boat on its first trial days can be fraught with danger, more so for the builders than the reviewer. It seemed the case when, on the first day, within the first hour, we had fuel issues, which saw us return to port after only a very short time on the water. However, it all turned out fine when, next morning, with clean tanks and new fuel, we spent a few trouble-free hours at sea. Despite having oversized propellers for our test, I am certain that, with the smaller props fitted, the boat will be a thoroughbred.

If I were to describe the Whitehaven 6000 Enclosed Flybridge in a few words, I would call it ‘vintage contemporary’. I would also have to agree with Keith’s early statement that this is a boat that gives you more for less. It’s robust, unquestionably overbuilt, performs as good, if not better than many of its competitors and is finished to the highest standards.

WHITEHAVEN 6000 ENCLOSED FLYBRIDGE

LOA: 18.48m

Beam: 5.33m

Draft: 1.47m

Displacement (dry): 36,000kg

Fuel capacity: 5500lt

Water capacity: 800lt

Power: Twin Caterpillar C18 ACERT 1100hp; Twin Disc Quick Shift; shaftdrive

Priced from: $2.13m

Price as tested: $2.4m

More information: Whitehaven Motor Yachts, tel: 1300 758 896. Web: wmy.com.au


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Cruiser
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