The Back Story
The yard that builds the Selenes is Jet Tern which is located up the Pearl River about 90 minutes by high-speed ferry from Hong Kong. It was started by Howard Chen who is a very achievement-oriented man in a country full of over-achievers. He got his BA degree in naval architecture in 1985 from a university in Taiwan, and he hasn’t stopped working since. Along the way he has picked up a Masters in architecture, and an MBA from Sun Yat-Sen University in China. From 1985 to 1997 he worked in several boat yards in Taiwan building yachts, rising to manager. Of course, it’s hard in that business not to own one’s own yard, and he started one in 1998. A year later his first boat was built.
The Selene 62
We picked the Selene 62 to investigate because we like its size, price range ($1.7 to $2.0 million, depending on number of engines and how it is equipped), the fact that it can be built with one engine or two, and it has three staterooms with ensuite heads plus a crew cabin aft. Now let’s start looking at the specifics:
First, her LWL
is 58’2” (17.73 m). The square root of her LWL is 7.626 x 1.1 = 8.4 knots and x 1.2 it is 9.2 knots. So now we know in what speed range this boat can be economically cruised if properly powered. Selene gives buyers an option of fitting a bulbous bow on the 62, which, it says, will give it a S/L ratio of from 1.31 to 1.57. If that is true, then perhaps the boat will be able to cruise at 10 knots and have a top speed of 12 knots as its website says. We have never tested a boat with a bulbous bow so we cannot offer any guidance and published technical papers on bulbous bows rarely cover boats this small.Next we’ll take a look at her other specs, and as we do we must judge them against other benchmarks, so we have picked three other brands in the class with which to compare the Selene 62.
Second, when fully loaded she displaces 143,000 lb.
(65,000 kg.) which makes her one of the heaviest boats in her LRC class. She draws 6’5” (1.96 m) which is slightly less than one of the other boats that we are comparing her, and a foot deeper than two of the others. At this point you must ask yourself where you want to cruise and do you want the added comfort that this deep draft might provide. At 6’6” you can get around the Abacos, but you will have to be careful. How much water do you have behind your house during a moon tide, if that’s where you plan to keep her?
Third, her beam is 18’8”
(5.69 m) which puts her almost in the middle of her class. A question that always needs to be asked is where is that beam measurement taken? These days many builders count the rub rail and not the hull width at the sheer. A second question we should ask about beam is how far is it carried aft? Many cruising boats are full forward but taper aft. That may not make much difference to living space, or may, and this needs to be checked out. The Selene seems to have its max beam right at the master stateroom and tapers slightly farther aft. Because the Selene 62 has fairly wide sidedecks her salon is slightly pinched, which is normal, but one should always spend some time aboard before deciding if there is room enough in the most important cabin of all.
Fourth, the fuel capacity
of the 62 is 2,200 gal. (8,360 l) which is the same as two of the other boats and less than the third. While we don’t know what kind of fuel mileage the Selene 62 will get because we have not tested her, our guess is that she will be able to make the 2,200-nautical mile passages from Bermuda to the Azores or from California to Hawaii. That means she’s a trans-oceanic vessel, and that provides an important aspect to this boat’s character.
Fifth, is her power.
She comes standard with a John Deere 6125AFM 525-hp diesel. John Deere engines are the brand of choice in many LRCs because of their continuous load ratings and fuel economy. The question here is whether you go with the standard single engine, to a smaller twin engine installation. This is one of the major forks in the road when choosing a LRC. Happily, Howard Chen gives you an option, and will also work with buyers on get-home alternatives if you would prefer a single. One Selene owner we knows has a “wing” engine, which is smaller than the primary and has its own shaft and folding prop and is said to be able to propel a 57-footer at 5 knots in ideal conditions. There are any number of other devices that can be used, including using a hydraulic PTO on the generator to drive the main shaft.
In any case, the twin installation will just give the boat redundancy; but it will not make the boat go appreciably faster. Having gone through the basics of speed, range and propulsion, let’s now address the important areas of the boat from an operational standpoint:
Since this is a 62’ boat we assume that it will be run by an owner/operator.If you plan to have a captain, you still need to go through the following drill because you may one day find yourself without a captain. Also, we have seen many times over, the paid captain will have a lot more respect for you if you know your boat inside and out.
The Engine Room
Do you have full standing headroom, or must you crouch over, and if so how uncomfortable is it? Can you get outboard of the engine or engines to work on or inspect the outboard sides? Can you easily get to all thru-hulls, seacocks, and other devices needing checking, maintenance or repair? Only you can answer these questions. Clearly the single engine has plenty of space around it for even the most rotund owner/operator.While we’re on the unpleasant topic of body fat, if you are overweight you need to make sure you can get through all of the important hatches in the boat, and into all of the nooks and crannies in the engine room which might need your attention. If you cannot easily reach thru-hulls and the like, lose weight or find another boat.The Selene 62’s engine room with twin engines looks tight to us for many people on the outboard side of the engines due to the fact that the fuel tanks are placed outboard of the engines. This will be a critical measurement for you.
Selene says that its lazarette bulkhead is water tight and we like that. Surprisingly, some boats in this class do not have a Freeman-style hatch to the lazarette. Don’t even consider a boat without it. Again, you must be able to get through the hatch and be able to access the steering gear and the autopilot mechanism. This will be tight for most men, but you need to be able to get in there and work in a pinch.
The Chain Locker
Selene has port and starboard chain lockers for your two bow anchors. The question is can you get through the hatch to physically get inside them to untangle the chain? Since this boat is designed for long range cruising, at some point you will probably find that you have to punch through nasty seas. Unless you have made special provision to snuggly secure your pile of chain in place, it will lift and tumble as the bow falls off seas into the trough, and basically give your chain a washing machine-type treatment. It can become a rat’s nest of galvanized links.No builder we have ever seen makes provision for this possibility. As an owner/operator, you must address it. And that starts by making sure you can get in the locker – even if that means through the forward cabin. Since the Selene 62 has a watertight bulkhead, that probably means that you have to get through the deck hatch, which should be the dogged-down type.A powerful electric windlass comes standard. We would investigate the possibility of an optional hydraulic one, which are slower, but more reliable.
The Lower Helm
Selene offers three main deck layouts and we prefer option “C” hands down both in the pilothouse and in the saloon – with some modifications. First of all, as regular readers know, we insist on a navigator/companion seat next to the skipper’s chair. Only option “C” has that and a chart table that can be easily used. Most important, two sets of eyeballs can be looking forward – or one set checking the chartplottter and the other looking forward.Our modification would simply be to have a bulkhead closing off the galley to the pilothouse, as well as having a door installed, so that the lower helm can be used at night while the galley and salon are also being used. Otherwise the helmsman must go topside to drive the vessel. Secondly, we would put a comfortable bench seat along that bulkhead so guests can join the owner/operator, enjoy the view forward and keep the skipper company.There is a Dutch Diamond Glaze, dogged-down door leading to the starboard side deck, which is much preferred to a sliding door or a normal door that swings open.
The most important piece of equipment in the galley is the refrigerator/freezer. Selene installs as standard a Sea Freeze JT26 refer that has an 11.2 cu. ft. capacity. Sea Freeze specializes in marine refers and freezers. They require fewer amps and their condensers can be installed as far as 15’ away. You must make sure that you have enough cu. ft. capacity for both your freezer and refer. Our experience is that for long range cruisers you need plenty of freezer space which necessitates placing a second freezer somewhere else on the boat.Next comes the stove top. Selene offers a three-burner electric or a four-burner propane unit as an option. We like cooking with gas but if you don’t care to take the precautions that requires, we understand. Selene has two sinks, which is good. You’ll have to carefully measure out the stowage space in the galley and make sure there is room for all of your pots and pans and other galley tools. Also make sure there are enough places to stow all of your plates, bowels, cups and glasses. Many builders neglect this detail.
You’ll have to consult with Selene on whether or not to have a dishwasher aboard. Howard Chen has obviously set the boat up with a certain kind of cruising in mind, so you’ll have to make sure that squares with your own. Some of that has to do with the utilization of electricity and water. The 62 has a 550 gal. (2,090 l) water capacity which is about as much as you’ll find on any boat these days under 90’. Nevertheless, it is easy to run through 550 gallons with a few loads of wash – both dishes and cloths, to say nothing of the freshwater heads, wash downs a showers. Of course you will have an optional watermaker.
Flying Bridge Helm
The helms on many flying bridges of LRCs often seem to us as a builder’s afterthought. Selene’s seem to be particularly well thought-out. Nevertheless, make sure that it fits your modus operandi, and of course you need two chairs at the con, and happily Selene provides them.Selene makes available a hardtop which you see in the pictures. It looks to be strong, now all you need is cruising canvas and isinglass to button up the bridge. The flying bridge is accessed both from the cabin opposite the galley and from the aft deck. Regular readers know that we consider the inside stairway a waste of space in this size boat. If you agree, don’t hesitate to discuss this with Selene.
The Boat Deck
This is an important area of the boat, and on the Selene 62 it is particularly large because it stretches over all of the aft deck. As a result you can easily get a large tender (Selene says up to 14’), davit, other water toys and your life raft on that deck. Carefully measure out the space. When in port or at anchor the tender and the toys can be put in the water, the tender’s chalks can be removed and now you have a great entertaining area or lounge area for sun bathing. Our advice is to think of this space for both uses.
Now we come to the accommodations and we don’t have much to add here. We like the three ensuite staterooms, plus the crew quarters with wet head. We wouldn’t change a thing, which means to us that the designers have learned over the years in consultations with their owners what works and what does not.
Most Far East boat builders expect the national importer to pay warranty claims out of his pocket. Be sure that no matter what brand of boat you buy you have a written contract as to what the warranty covers, for how long and who pays. This is a good reason to take the measure of your dealer during the sales process, and to be clear about what is and is not covered. We have never heard of a new boat of this size and complexity that didn’t have a punch list of things to fix or change after a couple of month’s use. Make sure both your expectations and those of the dealer are in sync. Consider an extended service contract on the engine, which is usually not too expensive if purchased at the time of sale.
Selene is Flexible
One of the things that we like about Selene is its stated intention to work with customers on picking the right interior plan and equipment list to meet their cruising needs and dreams.
On the company’s website is says, “There are many more choices that will become part of a discussion as we begin to work together in the design stage of our process. But why not start thinking now? “Simply select the model you are interested in, and then select the configurations and choices of options that make the best sense for your own cruising style and plans. If it helps, we can set up a phone appointment and go through this together. “Once done, we will confer with the factory and return to you by mail a detailed proposal and specification for review and discussion. It will lead us all closer to the day when you can welcome yourself, your family, and your friends aboard your own Selene and launch years of cruising pleasure.”
We like that approach. By taking things step at a time, you can get to know the folks at Selene and at the same time in working through plans and equipment, you will zero-in on the boat that makes your cruising dream come true.
Standard and Optional Features
|Dripless Shaft Seals||Standard|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Boats More Than 30 Feet
|Oil Change System||Standard|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
(It's quick and FREE!)