April 15, 2010

Boat Review: Galeon 700 Raptor

Presentation
Flagships have always been the pinnacle of all the yacht brands, by which the smaller models are usually judged. While the big boat of the brand is only afforded by a small niche of persons it is very often an inspiration to buyers who choose a smaller model of the same brand. New bigger flagships also represent an improvement in quality which is afterwards transmitted to the rest of the fleet. When Galeon presented its new flagship the 700 Raptor in the Genoa show of 2009, it was surely a demonstration that the Polish builder and designer Tony Castro where pushing more modern looks which from followers a decade before today it makes them to be in line with the Western competition. Developed on an extended 640 Fly hull, Tony Castro presented an aggressive looking seventy one feet length over all sport yacht featuring all the latest comfort solutions. In some parts the 700 Raptor also exceeds the competition like its very clever single handed tender launch system, and the choice of a galley up or down, three or four cabin layout.
Accommodation
Choice is important in any fifteen metre plus yacht and Galeon gives two important layout options for both the lower and main deck. Choices give real freedom to customers and here the liberty is between three or four cabins below, and a galley up or down solution.
The 700 Raptor welcomes you aft with a two way entrance to the cockpit. In the middle aft deck and just away from the extended hard top is a central located two person sunpad. Underneath it is a tender garage which can be operated single handed. In the aft deck are also two L-shaped settees, for relaxing to port side with a low position table and for dining to starboard. Moving around the 700 Raptor is easy and a single step leads from the aft to the side decks. The side decks are extremely safe with the protection of moulded side bulwarks complemented by safety railings. To foredeck you get a two single person sunpads to both sides with an adjustable head rest. On the bow tip is the central positioned anchor winch with visible chain, and two hatches which open up to a well sized locker.
From the central of the main deck, going up two steps and into an innovative fully opening patio doors you enter the internal saloon living area. Here you have a galley bar combination to port side with three stools looking to the cockpit on the aft part. Opposite to this is a C-shaped settee complimented with a TV entertainment center. To fore part of the saloon you get the well designed helm station which features two luxury race car style adjustable bucket seats. With the three cabin, galley down choice this area actually changes the position of a larger C-shaped sofa to port, and a bar area with stools opposite. The saloon roof is for the major a tinted glass solid surface combination, which opens up for half its size.
Going down the central stairway leads you to the lower accommodation deck having a three or a hard to find for a sport yacht four cabin layout. The master stateroom is to midship with a queen sized double berth looking to the ships starboard side, a large en-suite shower head to aft, and a relaxing chaise lounge with breakfast table to port. To fore is the VIP cabin having a central located queen berth and en-suite shower head to port. The third cabin located to starboard comes with two single berths. This also features its own en-suite head. A fourth guest cabin with two L-shaped bunk berths is located to port side. The fourth cabin can be replaced with a more private galley down in the three cabins version of the 700 Raptor. An optional crew cabin for two with shower head can be located aft.
Performance
For the Galeon 700 Raptor, designer Tony Castro based himself on the 640 Fly underwater shape extending and warping it to a sixteen degrees medium Vee deadrise aft. The Galeon technical department also added the Humphree Interceptor System for easy to use trim. Powered by the large twin 1550hp MAN the 700 Raptor reaches a 40 knots top speed, while 1360hp engine give 36 knots max, and 1224hp deliver 34 knots. This is a remarkable high speed considering that here we are speaking of a standard line shaft propulsion system with props located in semi tunnels aft. Range is for a 380 nautical miles with speed at 24 knots from the MANs 1360hp engines revving at 1600 rpm.
Positive
Single handed tender launch system
Aft deck layout
Three or four cabins choice
Forty knots performance
Negative
Small galley
Competition
You might be surprised that just as with the 640 Fly reviewed here a couple months back, Galeon manages again to find two things for the 700 Raptor to make it stand out. First of these is the four cabins option in a 21 metre sport yacht, and second is the saloon patio door which can open or close all. The models which offer the four cabins are the Baia also being the only other with a fully opening patio door, the versatile Rizzardi, and the long range Couach Yacht. If you are looking for three cabins the competition is wider with all builders excelling in a different department to the other. Criteria was for an integrated hard top sport yacht twenty one metres in size, three or four cabins, with patio door.
Azimut 68S - reinvented sport yachts in 2003, 3 cabins + crew
Baia 70 Italia - surface drives = 52 knots, clever patio door, 4th crew or guest cabin
Couach 2100 Open - super range, 3 or 4 cabins, patio door
Fashion 68 - fat beam, 41 knots max with surface drives, 3 cabins
Rizzardi 73 HT - classic modern, patio door option, 3 or 4 cabins + crew for 2
Queens 72 - 3 cabins plus crew aft, living on main deck
Sessa C68 - new 2009 model, big view windows all over, 3 cabins
WILD CARD: Pacific P210 - steel built, semi displacement hull but sporty looks
Conclusion
A decade ago a sport yacht of this size would have been chosen mostly for its exterior looks. Today in 2010 it has to be a full package offering sporty exteriors, practical solutions, high performance, and a comfortable interior which can also compete with that of a flybridge motor yacht. The Galeon 700 Raptor which is the Polish Strazyn builder current flagship scores in all these departments and is a point of reference not only to compete with similar sized Sport Yachts from other renowned builders, but also to the smaller models of the fleet. The 700 Raptor has also the important element of choice which not only involves materials like wood types or colors, but goes into the planning of ones dream like that of a three or four cabins, and a galley up or down layout.
Technical Data
LOA. 21.74 metres (71.3ft)
Hull Length. 19.72 m
Waterline length. 17.20 metres
Beam. 5.25 metres
Draft. 1.16 metres
Displacement. 36650 kg light
Fuel Capacity. 2 x 1750 litres
Water Capacity. 1000 litres
Max Persons. 16
Accommodation. 6 or 8 guest berths, 3 heads
Engines. 2 x Man V10 1100hp, V12 1224hp, V12 1360hp, V12 1550hp
Propulsion. line shaft
Speed. 40 knots max with 1550hp, 36 knots with 1360hp, 34 knot 1224hp
Range. 380 nm at 24 knots economic cruise with 1360hp engines
Hull Shape. vee hull with sixteen degrees deadrise aft
Project. Tony Castro
Construction. hand laminated polyester resin, infusion used for some parts
Certification. CE 94/25 B
Picture Copyright Galeon. Data Galeon.