The Serenity 83
Virtually everything about this boat is different from the gin palace-type Palm Beach motoryacht style of motoryacht that we are used to seeing. The Cheoy Lee Serenity 83 has been designed for the cruising couple or family that wants to do some serious long range cruising and not be constrained by lack of bunkering locations or foul weather. That means the boat must be a displacement vessel capable of carrying a large load of fuel and burning it efficiently.The Serenity 83 is not one of those almost bare-bones expedition-type vessels that is short on amenities and long on design affectations. Rather it has a ship-like hull that reminds us of a classic Benetti or Feadship from the 1970s and ‘80s, or even Aristotle Onassis’ Christina, which was a converted commercial vessel. There are a surprising number of yachtsmen out there who love the basic design with a shippy bow, rounded bilges and a canoe stern.
Canoe Stern or Not
While canoe sterns have their visual appeal for many yachtsmen and if properly executed with abundant buoyancy aft may be beneficial in a high, following sea, they are not universally acclaimed. So, Cheoy Lee’s designers have taken the best features from those old hull shapes and melded them with the practical evolution of motoryacht design over the last 30 years. Frankly, while the canoe stern is pleasing to the eye and might remind some of us of the romance of a bygone era, the fact is that they have some serious drawbacks for cruising in the 21st century. Namely, virtually every owner we know loves the solid “swim platform.” “teak beach,” or “ship’s marina” that most large motor yachts now have from 40’ to 400’ at their transom. The utility, convenience, ease of boarding the boat, ability to launch and receive a tender or PWC, handy docking water toys and visiting dinghies, to say nothing of actually using the “swim platform” for swimming – all of these benefits has relegated the canoe stern or the true double-ender to scrap books and brokerage pages, in most cases.
A World Cruiser
The Serenity 83 has a very functional swim platform with double stairways leading to the aft deck, but at the same time has kept the general rounded shape in the stern quarters, and a bottom shape that should be sea-kindley. The Euro-transom can also be configured with an optional passarelle. The hull is designed with flatter sections aft (more like those of a sailboat) that enables the hull to run faster than a traditional displacement hull of the same water line length, says the builder. Because of this design, Cheoy Lee says that the boat is “calculated to be approximately 30% more efficient at cruising speed than a similar sized semi-displacement hull at an equivalent speed.”
Sophisticated, veteran cruising yachtsmen will appreciate the economy and reliability of a displacement cruiser, a stern bustle that reduces drag (and permits a swim platform), round bilges that take the snap out of rolling, and the many good seamanlike features that Cheoy Lee naturally builds in. Because the yard’s primary business is building commercial vessels, Cheoy Lee knows how to build important seakeeping features into a pleasure boat.First, the Serenity 83’s bottom does not have hard chines as do many motoryachts in this class. Rather, she has round bilges. Round bilges are the key to a sea-kindly boat offshore because they allow a rolling moment that is much slower than a hard-chined motoryacht, which tend to jerk back and forth as the buoyancy of the hard chine abruptly stops the boat’s motion. That is one reason why cruise ships have round bilges and not hard chines. If you put a stop watch on the amount of time it takes a hard-chine motoryacht to complete one roll compared to one with rounded bilges, you will see that the boat with the round bilges will be slower to complete the cycle. It is this slower motion, rather than the quick, jerking return experienced by hard chine yachts, that makes properly designed displacement boats more comfortable in a seaway.
This Cheoy Lee 83 is the only new yacht this size we can think of that has three full-beam staterooms. Not only does the master reach all the way across the boat’s 21’ beam, but so does the VIP stateroom, and the second VIP is in the bow. In the stern, there are two crew cabins both with en suite heads. Back in the 1970s and ‘80s Benetti and Feadship vessels normally had only three guest staterooms in yachts as large as 135’ simply because that was how people cruised in those days. It was thought that genteel cruising entailed just three couples and that having more people aboard was simply “too many” people to have a harmonious, restful, and “serene” voyage. (Little wonder that Cheoy Lee calls tis boat a member of its “Serenity Series.”)The advent of high charter rates in the Med in July and August changed all of that as owners discovered that they could pay much of their annual operating expenses by simply chartering it out in prime time for high rates. These sums were happily paid by Europe’s new rich keen on being seen in the tony bistros and marinas on the French and Italian Riviera. But these folks wanted four staterooms because their agenda was not serenity. By having four staterooms, or even five, the high charter expenses could be amortized across more guests. As a result, large motoryachts with three-staterooms were rarely built anymore.
Big Beam Pays Off
With the Serenity 83, Cheoy Lee has brought us back to a more sedate way of yachting in many respects. She has a 21’9” (6.63 m) beam which is from one to three feet wider than one might find on most boats of this length. Not only does the added beam make the boat more comfortable in a seaway, but it also makes the accommodations below all the more roomy. All three staterooms have large heads, large stall showers (not “beam-me-up-Scotty” narrow tubes seen on many motoryachts this size). All three staterooms have lots of hanging locker space, even in the bow stateroom which usually gets short shrift.
It is important to note that because the bow is more “ship-like” and blunter than many motoryachts that look low and sleek, that its forward cabin simply has much more room. Narrow, sleek motoryachts can go fast and look cool, but every boat is a compromise, and in such designs one of the first is the amount of usable room in the bow stateroom. Note that in the drawing above, the width and the length of the queen-size bed in the bow stateroom and the bed in the cabin further aft are the same. This is often not the case as boat builders have found clever ways to make pedestal berths in pointy bows look bigger than they really are.
The Cheoy Lee Serenity 83 has some of the largest crew quarters we have ever seen on an 83’ boat. Not only is there a large captain’s cabin with full head and separate shower stall, but there is also a large cabin with “L”-shaped bunks for the crew with large head and separate shower. They are both located in the stern where we think the crew should be. This is another departure from the way luxury motoryachts were built in the 1970s and ‘80s. Then, builders like Feadship, Burger and others generally put their crew quarters forward because the engine room was located more forward and the owner wanted his guests aft where it was thought to be more comfortable. We like the crew quarters aft on a boat of this size because it gives both the crew and the guests more privacy. The crew is by the engine room as it should be for constant vigilance, and after a hard day’s work they can relax on the swim platform, away from the guests who will be in the saloon or on the flying bridge.This boat is properly set up for a crew of three which many insurance companies are asking for these days on vessels of this size. Obviously if there were only two people in the crew, the captain’s cabin could be used for guests, making this a four stateroom vessel.
The Main Deck
On the main deck there is a large saloon, formal dining area, bar, day head and huge galley. Forward is the Portuguese bridge which is fully enclosed for night running. Having the lower helm closed off is important and something that we are seeing less and less in motoryachts of this class these days. If an owner wants to run at night – and in slow-moving displacement vessels that is how one covers the same ground possible in semi-displacement yachts – the lower helm must be used in bad weather. That can’t be done if the galley and saloon are open to the helm because of the reflection of light on the windshield. We would put two or three Stidd chairs at the helm instead of one.All of the areas on the main deck are large thanks to the 21’9” (6.63 m) beam. Note that this boat has wide side decks. Not only does that make line handling easier, movement fore and aft quick, but it also gives the vessel a pleasing appearance in profile. We like how a motoryacht looks with side decks – but they take up valuable living space on the main deck.
In order to have adequate interior space on the main deck, a number of builders which have boats in this class that do not have a beam this wide create a “wide-body” or an “asymmetrical” superstructure design. For example, on the Serenity 83 the side decks are about 2’ wide which means that if it were a “wide-body” the saloon could be 4’ wider – or, the whole boat could have 4’ less beam and still have same interior space in the saloon. The latter option is what some builders choose. The other option is the “asymmetrical” layout which eliminates the side deck on one side. In this example, the boat could have a 19’ or 20’ beam and still have the same width in the saloon. Added beam is expensive because it involves not just the cost of labor and material in the extra two feet the length of the boat, but also all of the interior joinerwork, plumbing, wiring, etc. throughout the boat. For that reason, together with the extra horsepower needed to push the extra weight around, many builders try to keep boats from becoming wide.
Some Noteworthy Details
Cheoy Lee has been building fiberglass boats longer than most any builder and so it knows what it is doing. First, it uses a single skin hull which means no core material below the waterline. Second, Cheoy Lee has placed the yachts’ fiberglass fuel tanks in the bottom of the boat creating a double-bottom for safety. We like this design because of the safety factor, but also because it gets the weight of the fuel in the lowest part of the boat which provides ballast for a more comfortable ride and increased stability. The fabrication of fiberglass fuel tanks is not as easy, and that is why many boat builders don’t do it, preferring to stick with fabricated aluminum tanks which must be located higher and which are susceptible to corrosion. The glass tanks are not going to rust with time and weep fuel. So there are a lot of advantages to fiberglass fuel tanks. The boat also carries 800 gallons of freshwater, which is the most we have seen on any boat under 100’. Remember, she is a displacement boat, so weight is not as critical as in a semi-displacement hull.
No Structural Plywood
The construction drawings were approved by Germanischer Lloyd classification society so the boat can be built to full class certification if an owner chooses to do so, and is willing to pay the up charge for it. (That could run another $200k.)Significantly, there is no plywood substructure used in the boat’s construction. This sets it apart from most other large motoryachts built not only in the Far East, but most anywhere. Cheoy Lee uses only composites. The hull is resin infused. Twin Cat C-12 660-hp diesels provide the standard power. The folks at Cheoy Lee tell us that these engines will drive the boat as fast as 15 knots, but at 10 knots she will burn just 10.6 gallons (40 liters) per hour. That is nearly one gallon per nautical mile which is terrific for a twin engine boat that is 180,000 lbs. (81,818 kgs.)
Because Cheoy Lee builds these boats one at a time, buyers can make virtually any modification they want to the interior of the vessel so long as structural bulkheads are not moved. As noted in the beginning the stern can be made one of two ways – canoe stern or modern. The accommodations deck can also be changed. If an owner wants four staterooms, instead of three, that can be done. Likewise, the main deck layout can also be modified, if a buyer wants a smaller galley, that can be arranged. Just tell Cheoy Lee what you want, the folks three aim to please.For complete list of Standard Equipment, visit Cheoy Lee’s website...
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!