29 May, 2015
Galeon 660 Fly
The Polish shipyard proudly reveals its latest craft, the 660 Flybridge. Under the guidance of world-class yacht and aviation designer, Tony Castro, this Galeon uses the clever use of space to create light, open and luxurious living areas
Galeon’s Polish shipyard and its workforce of over 500 experienced employees has been producing innovative boats for 32 years now. It is well respected across Europe and it has lead to Galeon having a presence in North America, China and a little more surprising, South Korea. Its range of boats is extensive, featuring 20 models from 30 to 78 feet, in open, fly and Skydeck configurations. They also produce a number of small cabin-cruisers ranging from 4.40 to 7.70 meters – it’s fair to say, Galeon is a large and varied family. Many boats in the Galeon range have been designed in collaboration with the architect and designer Tony Castro and the 660 Fly, like the one we’re about to test, is one of his finest efforts.
After driving hundreds of nautical miles with her Owner at the helm, this 660 Fly made a special stop at Cannes during the last boat show to show the yachting world her elegant silhouette. Or, so it would seem, as some are not happy about the addition of the hardtop bimini system that protects the fly and supports the radar and antennae. But this certainly debatable aesthetic is defi- nitely an advantage, especially during the hot summer in the South Seas. We do not mind it at all, and it only appears to bother the purists. Climbing aboard, we were surprised by the huge surface of the bathing platform – covering 14 m2, which is a lot of area on a 20 meter boat. Even with the tender strapped on, there is still enough space to cross from one side to the other and to use it as it is intended. Two symmetrical staircases lead to the cockpit, which is fully protected by the fly’s cap and makes this a lovely place for an evening meal. Six people can happily share the bench, with a Teak finish being an option for the table, if the standard item is not to your taste – the same goes for the table on the fly, which for us, is a little narrow. The decent widths of the Galeon’s side decks, plus a 25cm-high bulwark are sufficient to enable you to move with a certain degree of security – the gunwale is lined with a stainless steel plate for its entire length, too.
Leaving the deck, we climb to the fly cockpit via the stairs. This open area, which covers almost half the length of the 660, is well furnished. In fact, our only note was that the table situated aft could benefit from a little extra width to happily accommodate 6 passengers and their barbecue-filled plates. A decent sized sunpad occupies the space between the inverted wind deflector and the steering console and as stated at the beginning of this article, the flybridge is topped with a canopy constructed of GRP and features a retractable canvas roof, for lovers of the sunshine. The Galeon tested, is powered by a pair of MAN turbo diesels, putting out 1000hp each, with a pair of 1360hp MANs available if you want even more power. In the old port of Cannes, there is no need for that sort of excitement as yet, as we use the bow and stern thrusters to help us navigate through the marina, still busy with traffic the day after the international boat show. Without drama, we progress onwards, until we get the chance to open the throttles and with a gentle push, the hull comes on plane and we find our perfect cruising speed with ease.
With the MANs turning over at a relaxed 1800rpm, we’re seeing 22.7 knots on the screen; at this pace, we would be looking at a range of 256 miles, not bad at all. A few seconds later and we’re up to 27.1 knots, the 660’s max – a speed that definitely demonstrates the capabilities of its hull. However, the Galeon is at its smoothest at 20 knots – a speed recommended for long crossings and one that ensures lower sound levels, especially in the open wheelhouse. As for the interior décor, the Owner has specified much of the furnishings to reflect his own taste, however, the layout is standard.
The main deck features an open plan that is divided into three distinct areas. Firstly, as soon as the bay window is opened, we discover a cosy lounge to port with a U-shaped sofa, a coffee table and face-to-face a sofa. Two steps lead to the dining room table, which seats four. Facing the table is a handy bar with the well-equipped kitchen enabling the owner to prepare his trademark gourmet dishes. The electrically adjustable and ergonomic captain’s chair marks the start of the wheelhouse and with its deep leather upholstery, it fits in well with the salon’s warm ambience. Taking the stairs, we head down deep into the 660 where we are met by no less than four cabins, the largest of which belongs to the Owner. This luxurious living space is located amidships and is separated from the engine room by the bathroom (featuring a sink, separate shower and toilet). The bed is positioned against the starboard side and faces the hull ports allowing the Owner to admire the sea whilst relaxing. To port, a head-to-head is equipped for a relaxed breakfast. VIP guests can enjoy the forward cabin, and despite the less generous dimensions, it’s a comfortable and luxurious place to stay. Between the master and VIP we find two cabins, one twin and one single, which both share a bathroom. The Galeon is the perfect example of the modern flybridge; luxurious and comfortable, it confirms that the Italian, British and French shipyards are not the only ones to master the genre.