Boat Review: Ebony 65

Even if you aren't in the market for a boat as fine as this, it's worth your time to see fine marine craftsmanship combined with creative art.

Have you ever stayed at the Peninsula Hotel on Salisbury Road in Kowloon, Hong Kong? Those in positions to know about such things have long considered it the finest, most luxurious hotel in the world. When I walked aboard Ebony Yachts newest model, the Ebony 65, the lobby of the Peninsula Hotel immediately sprang to mind. The Ebony looks like a fairly standard, classic sportfishing convertible from the outside, but once you enter, you step into another world.

Ebony's first yacht - an 80-plus-footer - boasted an interior the likes of whose elegance and uniqueness I have not seen before or since. And, of course, true to the company's name, you'll find rare ebony wood throughout all its boats.
The new 65 debuted at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show and quickly became the talk of the angling community. Despite being built in Indonesia, the 65 sports the latest American equipment such as Simrad electronics, ICOM radios, Eskimo ice maker, Sea Recovery watermaker, Detroit MTU diesel power and an Onan generator. It also benefits from having the lines drawn by Australian naval architect Frank Woodnutt, who enjoys a reputation as one of the finest sportfishing designers today.

Starting at the top, the ebony wood helm on the flybridge has an unusual shape with beautiful radius curves circumventing the steering wheel. The electronics suite rises on rams when needed. Forward of the console, Ebony lines each outboard bulwark with theater-style seats, complete with individual arms and drink holders. The seats face inboard toward the gorgeous ebony centerline table.

The cockpit approximates classic, Palm Beach-style vessels with a varnished ebony bulkhead and modules atop a teak mezzanine. And, of course, you'll find all the fishing appointments you'd expect in a world-class fishing machine here, from the 600-pound-per-day ice maker to the hidden tuna tubes, stainless-steel freezer and refrigerator, in-deck livewell, dive tank compressor and prep center. Ebony even makes the fighting chair, transom and covering boards out of ebony wood.

But the interior has to be the most impressive. Yes, you'll find ebony everywhere. But consider the master head as just one example of the sophisticated elegance that abounds on the Ebony. It features an 18- by 6-foot-long mother-of-pearl bulkhead with polished stainless-steel trim that is nothing short of breathtaking. It has a wardrobe, steam room, custom whirlpool bath, Bose sound system, Axor Hansgrohe water mixer and shower head, and a beechwood cabin sole with ebony trim. The attendant master stateroom features a rod locker worthy of the Louvre.

Though not quite as resplendent as the master's quarters, the guest cabins each have private heads and certainly equal the master cabins of any production boats on the market today.

The salon and galley offer fine leather upholstery, granite counters and fine gloss finishes. The galley's Gaggenau appliances complement the custom refrigeration and freezers. And, of course, everywhere you look you find ebony wood or ebony trim.

Even if you aren't in the market for a boat as fine as this, it's worth your time to see fine marine craftsmanship combined with creative art.