You might be surprised that San Juan Yachts, a manufacturer of high-end Down East-style coastal cruising boats, is now offering a rigid hull inflatable — the SJ32, a pilothouse RIB with twin outboards.
“We are not moving away from what we have historically done,” says Donald M. Campbell, owner of the Anacortes, Wash., company, which offers a half-dozen boats from 30 to 48 feet. “We are adding to what we offer. The [luxury day cruiser] market has slowed down for us out West. This is a departure, for sure, but a very good one, and we’re very excited.” With twin Mercury Verado 300s, she cruises at 30 knots and tops out at 55-plus knots.
Campbell had the boat in display at the Palm Beach International Boat Show in March. He says he has watched the rise in popularity of pilothouse RIBs for recreational use. “We thought we would look at what is on the market and offer some improvements,” he says. “We offer a nice separate head and ample headroom [6 feet, 2 inches in the cabin]. We have galley and fridge modules. We have tried to make the pilothouse roomier.”
The pilothouse RIB market has great potential, especially on the West Coast, says Campbell. “Seas can be rough on the West Coast, and with this boat you don’t have to pick your weather — you can run,” Campbell says. “There is a reason the military uses RIBs; they give you a soft, predictable ride in nasty weather.”
The pilothouse can be closed off with either a canvas enclosure or a removable composite bulkhead aft with windows and a door. Twin berths in the cabin sandwich a centerline walkway to the separate forward head. The majority of the hull is built with solid glass infused with resin. The transom is cored, as are the deck and pilothouse. Tube receivers, or channels, are built into the hull sides to hold the polyurethane inflatable tubes. The pilothouse can accommodate four helm chairs.
Standard equipment includes a battery charger, electric head and trim tabs. Mercury’s Joystick Piloting for outboards, a diesel heater, a triple-axle aluminum trailer, and port and starboard pilothouse galley modules round out the optional amenities.
LOA: 32 feet, 3 inches
BEAM: 10 feet 3 inches (8 feet, 4 inches deflated)
DISPLACEMENT: 7,000 pounds
DRAFT: 2 feet, 8 inches
HULL TYPE: RIB
STANDARD POWER: twin 250-hp Mercury Verados
TANKAGE: 182 gallons fuel, 35 gallons water, 18 gallons waste
PRICE: $325,000 with 250s, $343,500 with 300s
CONTACT: San Juan Yachts, Anacortes, Wash.
PHONE: (360) 299-3790.
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June 2014 issue