Boat Review: Hines-Farley 66

You don't hear much about Hines-Farley boats, but don't let that lack of in-your-face marketing fool you; these are some of the finest boats available anywhere.

Hines-Farley 66_03

Hines-Farley 66_03

Sonny Hines represents the quintessential Southern gentleman: quiet, gentle and humble. That's why you don't hear too much about Hines-Farley boats. But don't let that lack of in-your-face marketing fool you; Hines-Farley builds some of the finest, fastest custom sport fishing yachts available anywhere. In fact, this year, The Robb Report ranked Hines-Farley as the No. 1 sport fishing boat in the world!

Hines' newest boat -- a 66-footer -- compliments the existing 47- and 63-foot designs the company already builds to perfection. Hines-Farley built the new 66 with Airex foam laminated between E-glass and Kevlar and encapsulated with vinyl ester resins. The company tightly controls every aspect of construction, building virtually everything, right down to the furniture, in-house. And Hines-Farley prides itself on its tasteful use of exotic wood veneers throughout each boat.

I once picked up a 7-foot-tall, cherry wood French door with beveled panels only to discover it weighed about 2 pounds. Every time material goes aboard a Hines-Farley yacht under construction, the workman, along with the material he's carrying, must step on a scale prior to boarding. That allows Hines to know exactly how much each boat displaces.

Hines, who has been based on a picturesque backwater creek in Suffolk, Virginia, since 1985, not only leads the field in advanced technology, he blends it with unmatched intuitive engineering.

For example, he was convinced that over a certain speed, the amount of air flowing into the engine vents in the hull sides decreased rather than increased. He performed his own "wind tunnel“ tests by attaching tiny telltales all over one of his hulls before running it. He was right: Above a certain speed, every hull experiences a detachment of laminar airflow, the separation being as much as several inches off the hull's surface. This prevented air from being scooped into the engine room vents in the hull. When he pressurized the engine room with an air-handling system, the performance improved substantially.

This Hines-Farley 66 builds on the already successful 63 by extending the main salon 2 feet and adding another foot to the cockpit. These expansions were completed without compromise to the exacting power-to-weight ratios for which Hines-Farley yachts have become famous. Thanks to improved diesel technology that offers lighter, smaller-footprint diesel engines with more power, the 66actually runs faster than its smaller siblings do.

And although you can basically create your own custom interior, the first 66 comes with three staterooms, each with a private head. Furthermore, the 66 boasts the same outstanding running surface as the 63.

Hines conspired with Don Blount -- perhaps the best high-speed planing hull designer in the business today -- to assure that these hulls won't have anyone passing them at top speed. I distinctly remember running up Sailfish Alley along the Florida coast one morning aboard an earlier Hines-Farley and having a boat pass us by. It had a several-knot edge at top speed in the flat-calm conditions.

We met up with that same boat again that afternoon while running home in the 4- to 6-foot seas that had sprung up during the day, but it had to drop back to about 20 knots to avoid beating itself up. The Hines-Farley continued along at the same top speed it had in the morning, despite the sea conditions. Now that's the true definition of a fast, offshore boat.

.

Specifications
LOA 66' 0"
BEAM 18' 8"
DRAFT 5' 0"
WEIGHT 66,000 (dry)
FUEL 1,600 gallons
WATER 225 gallons
POWER Twin Detroit Diesel 16V2000 DDEC
MSRP Price on request

Hines-Farley Offshore Yachts
757-484-5702
www.hinesfarley.com