Coastal Flyer relaunched - Soundings Online

Coastal Flyer relaunched

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Santa Cruz Yachts has reintroduced the Coastal Flyer, a jet-driven 41-footer built with the styling of a 1930s commuter launch. The California-based builder, known for its high-performance custom sailboats, originally introduced the Flyer in 2001. It has since re-engineered its first powerboat to save weight and improve performance.

The Flyer was first launched just days before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and initial public appearances either were canceled or were very subdued, says Santa Cruz president Lance Brown. He says it now seems like things are coming around for the small company after some difficult times.

Between the original introduction and reintroduction, the laminate structure of the Flyer was re-engineered completely, Brown says, saving almost 3,000 pounds, and improving fuel economy and speed, while preserving naval architect Dave Gerr’s original dimensions and hull form. The 41-footer now reaches a top speed better than 30 mph with a single 440-hp Yanmar diesel, according to the builder.

While Santa Cruz sailboats sport modern styling, the company says its powerboat is a throwback to a Midwest commuter launch. “We seem to be in the same kind of field as Hinckley or San Juan, and people are looking for something a little different,” says Brown, noting the difference in heritage among the competitors. “[The Coastal Flyer] is not a workboat turned into a yacht; it starts out as a yacht.”

Santa Cruz uses monocoque construction, Brown says, and the Flyer’s hull is built of E-glass and Kevlar. The design calls for bow flare to beat down spray and keep water off the deck and out of the boat’s optional bow seat. Gerr’s proprietary “Gerr-Vee” hull shape has 62 degrees of deadrise at the bow and flattens aft, according to Santa Cruz. Gerr’s design includes tunnel chines that Brown says improve directional and roll stability. The boat tracks well for a jetboat, he adds.

The Coastal Flyer is designed to run in the exposed waters of the West Coast, where there are few places to duck into for protection, Brown says. “It can just get ugly,” he says. “We power through some nasty stuff out here.”

He says the Flyer is a comfortable weekender or cruiser for a couple, and would be perfect for cruising Chesapeake Bay or Long Island Sound. On the bridge deck, anL-shaped settee to port converts to a queen-size berth, and the helm station has a standard Stidd seat and a joystick integrating the UltraJet jetdrive controls with the bow thruster.

Below, there is a forward double berth to starboard and a settee that converts to a single berth to port. A queen-size island berth is available in lieu of the double berth and settee. The head compartment with shower is to starboard at the bottom of the companionway, and the galley is across the way to port. The boat has granite countertops and a teak and holly sole, and the interior is finished in Honduran mahogany.

The Flyer’s open cockpit has in-sole lockers, port and starboard rod storage, and can be laid out with a removable transom seat and a wet bar. A transom door leads to the teak swim platform. Teak decking in the cockpit and on the bridge deck is available as an option.

The Coastal Flyer is available in soft- and hardtop models, and Brown says a flybridge version should soon be available. The first of the new boats was bound for East Coast dealer Annapolis Boat Sales.

LOA: 41 feetBEAM: 12 feet, 9 inchesdraft: 18 inches Displacement: 16,000 poundsHULL TYPE: Gerr-VeeTRANSOM DEADRISE: 16 degreesTANKAGE: 234 gallons fuel, 104 gallons waterENGINE OPTION:diesel jetdriveSPEED: 33 mph top, 25 mph cruiseSUGGESTED PRICE: $695,000 (soft top), $745,000 (hardtop) CONTACT: Santa Cruz Yachts, La Selva Beach, Calif. Phone: (831) 786-1440. www.santacruzyachts.com.