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August 13, 2010

F&S 72

This big girl can still dance...

People talk about Oregon Inlet being rough, but I promise that Jupiter Inlet down on the east coast of Florida can match it in a wind-against-tide condition. Yet running out of there in four- to six-footers at 25 knots proved no problem for this new F&S 72.

Drifting beam-to outside the mouth where the seas dropped a foot or two, the F&S had a long roll moment with gentle transitions. It backed down hot, straight and true at up to 7 knots before taking any water over the transom, and what water did enter the cockpit drained very quickly.

Spinning on a fish with rudders over, the 72 started out somewhat slowly but quickly picked up speed. Add a slight bit of bow thrust, and it moves along in a sprightly fashion. It took about 10 seconds to plane when running beam-to the seas. A simple lift with the tabs on the upwind side made the wind-driven spray disappear. At 30 knots, the F&S turned to starboard on a dime and to port on a quarter.

Engine Room
You'll find all your fuel valves right at the base of the engine-room ladder and a bracket up against the bulkhead at the base of the stairs, which holds a removable bait tray/cutting table. Twin Cummins Onan generators sit against the aft bulkhead with all the other noisemaking machinery - well away from the living quarters. If you turn around and face aft just above the hatch opening to the cockpit, you'll find multiple digital displays of the temperatures of the various freezer and refrigerators found in the mezzanine.

You could easily hold a debutante's ball in this spacious, wide-open engine room. I could climb outboard of both engines without difficulty. Along the aft bulkhead, I found a Dolphin 24-volt/80-amp charger, Cruisair air conditioning and an FCI Max-Q watermaker. The latter comes with two cool features: Dockside water runs through the reverse osmosis system, removing chlorine and anything else, and when the system detects a low water-tank level, it automatically fills the tanks and turns itself off again.

F&S salonThe monstrous MTU 16V2000CR engines rated at 2,400 hp each seem small in this space. Each shaft sports a Sea Torque shaft-seal system. Walk forward and access the crew quarters with over/under singles, head, shower, washer/dryer and plenty of storage via a crash door in the forward transverse bulkhead.

From the crew quarters, a beautiful S-shaped companionway leads to the forward cabin, with a V-berth and an oblique double berth above. You'll also appreciate the mirror-image hanging lockers and the private head with shower.

Farther aft, there's a portside master stateroom featuring an athwartship king-size berth. The wood here is gorgeous, and the stateroom reflects a somewhat Asian theme, with rice-paper lattice screens for a headboard. Starboard and opposite the master, another head with shower services the three-person guest cabin on that side.

I really liked the interesting flooring designs below with plush carpeting bordered by teak stripping.