David Marlow, the founder of Marlow Yachts clearly marches to a different drummer. Obviously that appeals to us since we are easily bored with me-too designs and concepts. The thinking behind Marlow Yachts is sophisticated and somewhat complex. Further, some of David Marlow’s thinking is contrary to conventional wisdom, so we find ourselves wondering – as must many of his prospective customers -- who is right, or who is right in which circumstances?
For the Cruising Man
First, let us describe who this boat is obviously designed for: the more adventuresome veteran yachtsman (from either power or sail) who has reached a point in his life when he wants to -- and has the time to -- and can afford to -- do some serious cruising both with friends and family, and on more than a few occasions cruise only with just his significant other (the only person in all likelihood who could put up with him for any appreciable time, anyway.) That means the boat needs to be easily handled by a couple, yet also has to have comfortable accommodations for six or eight people. Depending on the physical condition of the couple, perhaps they would like a mate aboard to help schlep the fenders and change the oil. Or a cook! There is now an active business in “part-time” cooks that one can book through an agency just for the two or three weeks that you are planning on having guests aboard.
The Basic Specifications
LOA, including the bow pulpit and the swim platform, is 62’ 2”/18.95 m, the LWL is 53’ 0”/16.15, the beam is 18’ 2”/5.54 m, draft 4’ 2”/1.27 m, displacement 61,000 lb/27,669 kg, fuel capacity 1,358 gal/5,140 L (optional: 2000 gal/ 5,600 L). The standard engines are twin Caterpillar C-9s. 575-hp each. One 17kw Onan generator is standard.The beam of 18’ 2” is appropriate for this length boat and is slightly wider than some boats in her class. Her draft is fine for the Bahamas, and we like the optional 2,000 gallon fuel tankage. The 61,000 lb (27,727 kg) displacement is one of the lightest 57' yachts we can find, and -- until recently -- she was lighter than almost anything in her class. The entire hull is cored to make the boat light, plus Marlow has gone to considerable trouble and expense to save weight all over the boat. Light is good when it comes to speed and fuel economy, but the question remains as to how comfortable a light boat will ride in a seaway.
How About a Single Engine?
We asked David Marlow if we could order the boat with just a single engine. Here is his answer—“Yes, but we feel the twin-engine option is the best choice for ours and all other yachts of this type. I note virtually all "passage maker" type yachts over 50' today are offered with, and are being purchased with, twins in lieu of single, as the single has not shown to provide a measurable increase in range, absent a corresponding loss in speed. "In speeds approaching 1.1- 1.2 X the sq. root of the waterline length (around 8 knots on the 57E CB) the open water efficiency of the propeller allows at least as good economy (n.p.m.g.), often exceeding the single trapped behind a large center skeg and inherent disturbed flow. The mechanical function is a few simple equations.”This is a fascinating answer. And Marlow is right, most expedition-type boats are going out the door these days with twin engines. In any case, with 2,000 gallons of fuel the boat at 8 knots – her displacement hull speed sweet spot according to Marlow -- she should be able to go well over 1,500 nautical miles, far enough for most any cruise save going from Bermuda to the Azores, or west from the Americas to one of the Pacific’s first fuel stops.
As we look over designs in the 55’ to 65’ foot range, we find it more difficult than what one might think to find a boat that sleeps 6, has a crew cabin, has both a formal dining area and a proper parlor/saloon, has a helm that can be operated at night without the glare of internal lights, and that can be handled easily by a couple -- all of this at a reasonable price. The Marlow 57E CB fits the bill, and is one of the few boats being built that does. Consider these points: 1) 57’ is an easily handled length, 2) With twin engines and a bow thruster, docking is easy.3) Twin engines give one peace of mind because of redundancy.4) The boat's speed gives the owner the choice of going slow or fast.5) The galley is large, bright and airy so the chef is not in a dungeon.6) There is a proper helm in its own pilot house unbothered by lights from the galley or saloon for night running, 7) There are comfortable sleeping accommodations for six forward, plus two more aft in what could be the crews quarters, or those a place for your best-humored friends.
8) There are 5-6 different places on board this 57-footer for guests to hang out to enjoy the other guests, the passing scenery and to just find some privacy now and then. 9) There is a boat deck above so you don’t have the problem of your tender on your swim platform,10) There is 6’ 2” of headroom in the engine room so working there is a pleasure instead of a frog walk.11) There is room for a work station (and internet connection!) in the main saloon in addition to the one in the guest stateroom. Frankly, the only thing we find ourselves wishing for in the Marlow 57E CB is a small private head for the guest stateroom.
The fuel tanks on the Marlow 57E CB deserve special notice. In addition to the proprietary level monitoring system and approved sight gauges, the tanks are fiberglass, have sumps and clean out ports. We prefer fiberglass tanks to aluminum because they won’t rust. The sumps are to collect sludge and the cleaning ports are so that sludge can be periodically sucked out. The Achilles heel of expedition boats is dirty fuel. If gunk gets past the Racors (it can) you will have problems, and the Marlow 57E CB seems to have a tankage system designed to help the owner keep his fuel clean.
The world is changing fast and it is now beginning to look as if David Marlow might have been well ahead of his time. Beneteau's Swift Trawler 52 and Azimut's Magellano 50 are both relatively -- given their length and beam -- lighter than the Marlow 57E CB. Both claim max speeds in the low 20 knot range and cruising speeds in the high teens. Our guess is that Beneteau and Azimut will help to popularize the concept of a fast-option/long range cruiser. They, of course, can't be both fast and long range at the same time, but one or the other at any given time. We very much like the layout of the 57E CB. By combining the dining area and the galley in the front of the boat, and putting the pilot house above, Marlow has solved a lot of functional problems one normally encounters in 57'. Build time for the Marlow 57E CB is 14 months. None are in stock.Again, the base price is about $1.550, which we think is very competitive for this quality boat.
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!