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A modern classic yacht

The Atlantic 43 from Sterling Yachts is a new Brazilian-built cruising boat with classic motoryacht looks.

The Atlantic 43 from Sterling Yachts is a new Brazilian-built cruising boat with classic motoryacht looks. It has a broken sheer, similar to a vintage Elco, and the raised pilothouse and saloon aft can be planked with mahogany.

“It’s a modern cruiser from the standpoint of systems and construction, but it’s a replica of commuter yachts that were popular during the early 20th century,” says John Riley, president and founder of Sterling Yachts importer Reliance Marine of Chesapeake, Va. “There’s really nothing else on the market that looks like it at all.”

The Atlantic 43 was designed by American Greg Siewert, and is built in Itajaí, Brazil, by Sterling. The South American port city has a population of 80,000 and is home to a modest boatbuilding community, Riley says. The hull is all composite, with Core-Cell foam coring in the hull, deck and stringers. Extensive woodwork, in farm-raised Brazilian woods, is standard. The cabin sole, for example, is built of ipe, the same dense wood used for the Atlantic City, N.J., boardwalk.

Oliver Ilg, a former Mercedes-Benz executive, runs Sterling and has been building boats for about 10 years, according to Riley. He says Ilg’s automotive industry experience is apparent in the quality of the systems installation and wiring.

The builder was impressed by Siewert’s designs, and requested 39-, 43- and 47-foot versions. Riley had seen the 43 in an issue of PassageMaker magazine and began e-mailing the builder.

“At the time I was a potential buyer, and I just fell in love with the design,” says Riley, who after discussions reached an agreement to distribute Sterlings in the Eastern United States.

Riley describes the Atlantic 43 as a coastal cruiser, with a semidisplacement hull powered by a single diesel engine. A Cummins 220 is standard, though optional power from a Cummins 330 or 380 is available. With the 220-hp engine — which designer Siewert chose for his personal boat — the 43 cruises at about 12 mph, and reaches a top speed of 16 mph. The teak-decked boat has a range of about 700 miles, Riley says, and he expects them to be used extensively on the Intracoastal Waterway, Chesapeake Bay, the Great Loop around the Eastern United States, and on trips to the Bahamas.

The forward master stateroom contains a queen-size island berth with storage underneath, a pair of cedar-lined hanging lockers, and shelves along the hull ceiling. The head compartment has a walk-in shower with a marble seat and a custom glass door, Riley says, as well as a ceramic sink in a countertop of Brazilian granite.

The galley-down has granite countertops, and contains a stainless steel

double sink, two-burner electric cook top, microwave oven and refrigerator/

freezer. The sole is mahogany. It’s four steps up to the pilothouse, which in addition to the helm station contains a leather settee and a mahogany table.

Moving aft, the saloon is down three steps from the pilothouse. Furniture isn’t standard, Riley says, so owners choose how to furnish it. Flat-screen televisions in the saloon and forward stateroom, a satellite television dome and a wireless network, as well as a Bose stereo system, are part of the standard configuration, however. “We’re going to install all of that after it gets to the States, so we can install it to the owner’s liking,” he says.

A typical saloon layout might include a desk chair at the mahogany table forward, a convertible settee to port, and a couple more chairs flanking the wooden box that contains the stereo system’s woofer. A sliding door provides access to the cockpit, one step up from the saloon.

Ilg made sure on-board systems and components would be widely available and serviceable, Riley says, to alleviate any concerns about buying a Brazilian-built boat. All hatches, the autopilot, anchor windlass and bow thruster, for example, are supplied by Vetus den Ouden.

The builder should be producing 10 of these boats a year by 2007, Riley says. Base price is $400,000, and typically ranges from $475,000 to $525,00 once outfitted with such gear as electronics, air conditioning and a genset.

Tooling for the estimated $700,000 47-footer is being manufactured.