Boat Review: Davis 52 Express

The Davis 52 represents one of the company's most successful designs.

The Davis 52 represents one of the company's most successful designs. But to keep things fresh and to update/upgrade as technology allows, the new Davis 52 promises to be even more desirable than her older sister.

In keeping with the old adage "If it ain't broken, don't fix it," this 52 Express retains the classic lines and unmatched sea-keeping ability that made Davis famous, but provides considerably more living space belowdecks, thanks to a wider beam. That extra width allows for two staterooms each with its own private head.

The bridge deck's centerline helm provides unobstructed 360-degree visibility, while deluxe helm and companion seats flanked by L-shaped settees to port and starboard let the captain and guests access the cockpit and side decks instantaneously without negotiating a ladder. That leads to the other obvious advantage to the express layout: The captain can stay in the thick of the fishing action and socialize with guests rather than be isolated on a flybridge. Other standard bridge-deck features include a refrigerator and an ice maker. Adding a hardtop and weather curtains lets you take advantage of the optional air conditioning, as well.

Every Davis boat draws on many years of experience borne of chartering. The cockpit responds to the needs of every hard-core, offshore angler. Unless you request otherwise, expect to find features such as a built-in livewell, large fish boxes with macerator pumps, a deep freeze for bait and extended-cruise provisions, as well as fresh- and saltwater washdowns. Since every Davis comes semicustom, Davis Yachts stands ready to set up the cockpit to your requirements.

Every Davis hull expects to be called on to cut through monster head seas, track straight and true down-sea, and be quiet and stable in a drift. Not to disappoint, like its predecessors the Davis 52 Express sports a knife-sharp entry, substantial keel, and a solid skeg that provides all that and more.

You also get to choose from one of two belowdecks layouts. Both include an amidships cabin beneath the bridge deck, with a fore-and-aft double berth and a head. Forward of that, the main salon offers a C-shaped settee to port with loads of storage beneath and the galley opposite. The settee lifts up, forming Pullman berths. Also opposite the settee is the master bathroom with a separate head. The master stateroom in the foc's'l'e is where you actually get to choose the layout. One has a double-sized island berth on centerline and the other, a portside double and a starboard-side single berth in over/under fashion.

Davis Yachts believes that to attain the highest quality possible, a boat must be built in one, single facility rather than having everything outsourced. That's why, at the company's New Jersey factory you'll see not only hull, decks and superstructures under construction, but also all the interior joinerwork and even tuna towers and hardtops being built by the same, meticulous craftsmen. Attention to detail is a must. Look under the engines and inside compartments to see a fully faired and finished surface. If an owner wants to personalize his boat with exotic woods or custom fabrics or leathers, he need only ask. Davis Yachts promises semicustom flexibility and custom-yacht quality in its fiberglass production boats. Built with the latest in lamination technology and materials, each Davis stands to be a durable fishing machine over many years of hard, offshore punishment. Would that we humans could age
so well.