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Owner Spotlight: custom built for extended liveaboard cruises

Submitted onMay 18, 2011 No comments yet, share your thoughts
We recently had a chance to speak with Phil & Susi owners of Off.Line a 59′ CPH.

Owner spotlight - long range cruising yacht

If you spend enough time around Phil, Susi, and their canine crew you will immediately notice passion is a key ingredient in their life. It was no surprise that when they decided to custom build their go anywhere/anytime classic motoryacht they followed the same recipe. Off.Line is an ideal cruising motor yacht for long offshore adventures, especially if you plan on exploring the seas without crew. Here is their story we hope it will inspire you to tinker with your current boat -OR- buy one (psst Off.Line is for sale) for the adventure of a lifetime.

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Hello my name is Phil I am the owner, captain, operator, boat washer, cruising guide, etc. along with my soul-mate & wife, Susi, who handles lines, performs chef activities, organizes and generally keeps me inline. ;-)

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Susi and I have owned three boats from a 25’ Cobia, a 36’ Cruisers Inc. and now a 63’6” Symbol Classic pilothouse, Off.Line. Being owner operators all our life we wanted a boat that will be easy to handle.

It’s true! Thank goodness. Our Symbol is so easy to dock. People are always commenting on our skill but the truth is, she’s just easy to dock! … Susi

To make it even easier to dock I had a Yacht Controller installed and I can now safely and efficiently single-hand Off.Line into just about any dock situation.

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We designed Off.Line to cruise and she has proven to be the ideal cruising motor yacht. We made a trip to the Bahamas and spent over a month crusing the Bahamas… Cat Cay, Chub, Great Harbour Island, Cape Eluethera, Spanish Wells, Harbour Island, Staniel Cay, Waderick Wells, Shroud Cay, Norman’s Cay, Highbourne Cay, the Abacos, Shark Cay and the West End of Grand Bahama spending half the time on the hook. We then left west end for Fort Pierce. The entire trip was run at 8-10 knots and after all of that, we had not burned a full tank of diesel.

Notable Long-Range Cruising Features of our Symbol Yacht

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Portuguese bridge with high side bulwarks

Portuguese bridge with high side bulwarks is a great security feature for a motor yacht, especially if you plan on taking on any open-water voyage; not-to-mention dockside security for pets and children.

1,200 Gallon-per-day watermaker & Water purification system

This is a definite “Do NOT leave home without it” item. Good-tasting, fresh, safe water is not assured anywhere in the Bahamas and Caribbean. Your watermaker should be sized to produce at least 40 gallons per hour. We produce 52 GPH of water on Off.Line and only run the unit 2-3 hours daily. We find that serious water conservation is unnecessary. This is a true comfort factor when living aboard on the hook for extended periods. Who wants to travel to a dock every 3-4 days for .50 per gallon water of questionable quality?

Clean, pure water becomes a nectar of the gods if you don’t have it. Off.Line filters ALL on-board water using a special Sparkle-Pure system that removes all contaminants and impurities leaving only pure, clean water. The filter is changed every 5,000-8,000 gallons. Simple effective and safe.

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16kw & 12kw generators with 25kw inverter

Two gensets provide a level of redundancy enabling this Symbol Yacht to be truly self-sufficient. We manage the use of the gensets based on the day’s electric useage. If we are washing and drying clothes and making water, we use the 16kw. If we are only making water and running a couple of AC units, we use the 12kw.

The high-capacity inverter with 4-house batteries can provide enough power to run the fridges, ice makers, lights, TV’s and the Garmin chart plotters for up to 4 hours. This makes for a very quiet time aboard with no gensets or engines running.

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Solar Power

Off.Line, our 59′ Symbol, sports two solar panels on the hardtop connected to the 12 volt battery system. The panels are not adequate for all of our electrical needs, but is sure helps keep the batteries in good condition. Great if you anchor out and like to shut things down and run off the inverter.

Hydraulic 25hp bow and stern thrusters

Thrusters are marriage savers. If you will be handling the boat as a husband and wife team, thrusters will be your best friend. Even ff you have an experienced crew running your yacht, you will still want both bow and stern thrusters.

In my opinion, hydraulic thruster are a clear choice over electric. The hydraulic can be run indefinitely. The electric thrusters I used in the past can overheat popping a breaker at the most inopportune moment.

Westmar hydraulic stabilizers

Stabilizers are universally hydraulic with electronic controllers. A good set of stabilizers properly managed will make a difficult passage less stressful and even fun for an unsure crew or passenger.

They do cause some drag but the comfort level derived way offsets the extra drag. The stabilizers require the largest percentage of your hydraulic system power; so to add hydraulic thrusters and a hydraulic winch is a payback of sorts. If you consider the extra batteries and the HEAVY wiring for electric thrusters and winch, the upgrade is not that much.

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Dual anchors

Anchoring out is one of the most pleasurable aspects of cruising. A good night’s sleep is also high on the list of pleasurable things one enjoys while cruising. There are many areas where you can anchor securely using one anchor. However, there are some locations where two anchors are necessary.

Trust me; two anchors are absolutely necessary unless you don’t intend to anchor out and enjoy Mother Nature to the fullest.

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State-of-the-art Garmin electronics

I can’t say enough about these magical devices. Let’s just say Garmin has produced the best, easiest to use and feature-rich suit of electronic gear available today.

Hear is the clue. The operator manual is only 10 pages or so. That means I have not even had to read it. This equipment is so user friendly it almost thinks for me. I had a Furuno Navnet on my last boat. I could hardly carry that manual much less understand it.

LED Lighting

We use LED lighting virtually everywhere. The energy saved is astounding.

Imagine each standard light on a yacht draws 25-40 watts of energy based on the size of the bulb. Off.Line had over 80 of these old Halogen lights each one drawing up to 40 watts and each one generating a lot of heat. Have you ever touched a halogen bulb while lit. Nasty burn huh! Well…

Off.Line sports over 80 of the new LED lights that draw only 3 watts each, generate no heat, last 5,000 hours plus and can be dimmed. The best part is they don’t cost any more than the old energy-wasting Halogen lights that burn out in as little as 25 hours. The energy savings: Halogen 3200 watts, LED lights 240 watts. WOW!

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EZ2CY Glass, 3/4 bridge enclosure

An easy to see through (EZ2CY) ¾ enclosure on the bridge with no distortions and even in a serious blow it did not leak or sag like other enclosures I have had in the past. EZ2CY glass enclosures are more like a real hard enclosure with the flexilbilty of being able to open when desired.

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Full outdoor galley including a full size gas grill

We have a full kitchen up here with REAL Barbecue gas grill, 2 side burners, Good-size sink, Uline refrigerator with icemaker, and much more. We love to cook, the ability to do so on the FB is huge.

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2 Crown helm chairs & lounge area by helm station

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Refrigeration

Refrigeration is an absolute necessity for any extended cruising. Off.Line has 2 under counter Subzero fridges in the galley and a two-drawer Subzero freezer with an ice maker in the forward area of the salon. That provides over 16’ of refrigeration.

We also added a U’line under counter fridge and a separate icemaker in the bar on the flybridge.

We found from experience that you would be in the fridge all day every day. The freezer was only accessed once or twice a day. The icemaker was most useful below when mixing drinks.

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Heavy-duty, secure, easy-to-open door to the bridge. Stairs are doggie friendly

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Complete pilot house helm

This Classic Symbol Yacht has a complete lower helm that adds another comfort factor. When we go on long runs, the skipper (me) can go below and operate from the pilot house during meal time, or bad weather without stopping/delaying the voyage.

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Full-size GE washer and dryer

Carrying clothes to a Laundromat is time consuming and makes the crew unhappy. This is a great comfort factor for everyone and they are full size.
There is a Linen closet to the left of the washer, cabinet to the right of the dryer is where I keep soap and dryer sheets.

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Large, functional Pilot House galley

By now you probably figured out we are passionate about food, the galley was highly customized to fit our needs.
Granite-topped counters and LARGE, deep sink (handy when we strain pasta).
Flip down TV with the Food Network playing daily (this is Chef Susi’s favorite TV).
Refrigerators galore – one drawer style and one swing style, and of course a dishwasher.
KitchenAid convection/microwave oven. Large enough for a turkey.

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Pull-out pantry for spices and “short items”

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Big-item storage, blenders, pots, cuisinart, Kitchen Aid Mixer, platters, etc.

King-size Dormia bed. Heaven! It is so comfortable.

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Dormia king-size bed

A good night’s sleep is essential to the health and well being of all aboard. This bed is the best I have ever slept on. At $5,000.00 it should be. In the staterooms we added Shoji screens to allow natural light with total privacy.

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We also added a Garmin bedside monitor, very convenient when checking the boat has not drifted-off late at night.

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Custom ramps for easy boarding

The teak/stainless steps can be hooked on either side as well as the gangplank.

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Gangplank makes for easy on and off. We also have a handrail now (not shown).

As experienced cruisers, we new Off.Line needed a reliable yacht tender for major snooping.

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14 ft. hard-body dinghy, 40hp Yamaha, Bimini top and 1,500 lb. Hydraulic rotation davit

The 14’ Rigid Boat tender “Who Cares” has been our reliable, safe taxi on all of our cruises and is drier, smoother running and the best sea-handling tender I have ever owned or operated. “Who Cares” is a real boat that is fast, will carry 4 and can handle just about any sea condition that lesser tenders would not even try.

Make certain your davit has power rotation. Off.Line has a 1,500 lb davit with power rotation. The rotation option enables one person to launch and retrieve a tender easily; especially if conditions are a little rough.

Hope you enjoyed Phil’s run down of his customized Classic motoryacht, Off.Line is currently for sale, and we could arrange a private tour if interested simply call 954.650.7353.

Leave a comment if you have any questions/suggestions for long-range cruising customizations and upgrades…

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