Every boat builder welcomes repeat business. It shows they’ve met their clients’ wishlist and produced an outstanding product that they are proud to call their own and are happy to replicate. While they loved the Whitehaven 6400 Sports Yacht they’ve owned for a number of years, Darwin-based Ray and Denise David had a desire for something bigger. Not only did it need to be capable of longer-range cruising, it also needed to be big enough to carry a larger tender and handle the harsh NT tropical climate.
“We had no hesitation in going back to Keith Hanson and his team at Whitehaven for our next vessel and the new boat certainly fulfils all our wishes, and then some,” says Ray.
Finito was, like all Whitehavens, built by craftsmen at New Ocean Yachts in Taiwan and reflects the high-quality workmanship that this yard is renowned for.
While most of the electrical installations are done in Australia, Hanson sources as much componentry and equipment as he can locally and then ships it to the factory to install.
“Not only do I like to support the local distributors, but if we have any service or warranty issues after the boat arrives, we can call on them to fix it,” says Hanson.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
Finito continues the very distinctive Whitehaven styling, with a daring interior, offering large spaces for entertaining family and friends. It’s a simple style, not too elaborate, yet presents a new approach to saloon design.
“The art of good design is simplicity and that’s what we have tried to reflect in Finito,” says Hanson.
Dramatic windows surround the saloon and allow natural light to radiate throughout, and the entire single-level saloon, dining area, galley and helm boasts 360-degree views.
The luxurious and warm interior is an attractive combination of dark flooring, pale leathers and light fabrics accompanied by sand-blasted and lime-washed oak furniture.
To port aft is an extensive U-shaped galley with island counter. Beneath the Corian surface are the customary drawers and storage spaces, plus a convection microwave and dish-drawer. Interestingly, the full-size fridge/freezer is located forward and belowdecks, which allows for a larger rear drop-down window and massive indoor-outdoor servery.
While you might expect to see a built-in dining unit in a boat this size, not so in Finito. A free-standing, eight-seat dining table and chairs takes up the area opposite the galley. It’s eminently practical and really accentuates the spaciousness of the saloon.
Forward are twin loungers and two tub chairs, which were custom made by the boatyard and are matched by two custom coffee tables. There’s also a pop-up TV concealed in the forward port-side storage cabinet.
A trio of Garmin 7416 screens is spread across the wide helm facia, which is serviced by a pair of fully adjustable Besenzoni helm seats. The seats were stitched and covered with Italian leather, picked by Denise, which is duplicated on the spacious helm console. All controls, instruments and switches are easily at hand and there is ample space for just about every extra you’d want.
NO NEED FOR SPEED
Twin C18 ACERT Caterpillar engines power Finito to around 24 knots (45km/h). However, when I enquired about some fuel/performance data, Hanson pointed out that it wasn’t available as the owner was not that interested in top speed, but rather economy at low- to mid-range cruising.
My driving experience was confined to the shelter of the Broadwater and, at seven knots (13km/h), we recorded a total of just 20lt/hr (both) on the gauge, which computes to around a 2200nm range. At 10 knots (19km/h) that dropped to about 1550nm.
“It’s not about top-end speed – it’s more about how far I can cruise on 10,000lt,” says Ray.
With plans for trips from Darwin to the Kimberley and as far afield as the Bandar Islands in Indonesia, the requirement for good range is important. With 10,000lt fuel capacity and a moderate cruise speed, Finito is more than capable of going the distances required.
With full tanks, Finito easily slipped onto the plane with very little bow attitude and maintained a cruising speed that was marginally less than when under half load. We saw over 22 knots (41km/h) on the GPS, so the extra weight made little difference to the overall performance of the obviously very slippery and efficient hull.
BREAKFAST IS SERVED
A wide open atrium leads down to the forward and mid section accommodation, where there are three cabins, including two staterooms and a custom-designed breakfast room. While you could utilise the breakfast room space as a utility room or even a smaller fourth cabin, the owners of Finito wanted something a little different.
“If I decide to get up early and make a coffee or a piece of toast in the morning, I don’t have to go upstairs to the saloon – and it’s also proven a perfect place for our full-size fridge/freezer units. They are out of the way, but still handy enough when on a long trip,” says Denise.
The three-cabin layout is very similar to their previous Whitehaven 6400, but with more space. Each cabin has a TV and a superb sound system.
Executed in American Majilite panelling with wenge accents and Italian handcrafted leather bedheads, the interior typifies the timeless and sophisticated simplicity the owners wanted.
Storage spaces are plentiful throughout, with hanging lockers, under-bed drawers and shelves.
The two forward cabins are each unique, one with a king-size double, the other with twin berths. Both have en suite bathrooms, with the port-side one doubling as the day head.
Finito’s majestic full-beam master boasts an en suite dressing room and shower. The entry way is off to the port-side, where there’s also a vanity and storage drawers. A day bed and small office is built into the starboard side.
Finito is set up for boating in hot climates, with five separate Marine Air air-conditioning handlers – even the engine room has its own air-con.
Finito’s cockpit is set up for entertaining, with a servery area off the rear of the galley that comes with three bar stools, an icemaker, wine cooler and large bar fridge. There’s a built-in barbecue to starboard and a second set of ZF docking controls. A central transom settee serves as seating for eight around the Corian and teak table. Fishing is all done from the lower boarding deck, where there is also a spacious tender garage occupied by a 4m Haines Hunter.
Will there be an even bigger Finito or does the name provide a hint? Not according to Ray, who says this is the biggest boat he can moor at the end of his marina section in Darwin. Interestingly, the Whitehaven 7500 sits on a Dock Pro sea pen berth, the largest the company has ever built.
For those who don’t favour the saloon styling, the 7500 is also available as a fully enclosed flybridge model. While that certainly increases the space and opportunities aboard the 7500, I personally like the sports yacht layout, as it keeps the daytime and entertaining spaces all on one level.
The Whitehaven 7500 is certainly an outstanding evolution of Whitehaven’s popular Sport Yacht style.
WHITEHAVEN 7500 SPORTS YACHT
Length overall: 23.5m
Displacement (dry): 49t
Fuel capacity: 10,000lt
Water capacity: 1000lt
Power: 2 x 1136hp Caterpillar ACERT C18
Base price: $4.8m
As tested: $5.2m
More information: Whitehaven Motor Yachts, tel 1300 758 896. Web: wmy.com.au.