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Boat Review: Mikelson 43

Mikelson Yachts of San Diego, California, is best known for its line of luxury long-range sport-fishermen, ranging from 50 to 78 feet in length.

October 12, 2001
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Mikelson Yachts of San Diego, California, is best known for its line of luxury long-range sport-fishermen, ranging from 50 to 78 feet in length. A new addition to that line, the 43 Sportfisherman, is designed to bring the same spacious interiors, efficient performance and seagoing capability to a smaller, entry-level boat.

All Mikelsons (including the 43) are built with their engines placed aft, under the cockpit. This offers several benefits. The engines are easy to access, exhaust length is minimized, machinery noise and odor are kept away from the living areas, and fuel can be stored around the center of buoyancy for minimum trim adjustments from full to empty tank conditions. The fact that the engines are not under the salon also translates into a much lower salon sole, which renders the boat more stable and results in less windage.

The 43’s hull shape is fairly unique, even among other Mikelsons, and features three chines. The lowest chine is designed to catch spray and deflect it, and the main chine runs the length of the hull and provides lifting surfaces aft, allowing the hull to break clean and rising forward to provide very high deadrise. The third or upper chine is a deep step in the hull providing increased interior space, improved stability and wave deflection forward. The transom aft has a pronounced inverted bell shape that allows lower placement of the engines and provides lift outboard of the chine.

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Foam-core fiberglass is used throughout the boat except for the bottom, which is solid fiberglass. This means a strong boat that weighs little more than many boats built with a cored hull.

The 43’s layout features a cockpit that is roughly 9 feet long by 12 feet wide, a huge salon (she features one of the widest beams in her class) and two staterooms with one head below. The flybridge incorporates Mikelson’s trademark circular settee, though a tournament bridge is also available. Interior finishes are available in ash, cherry and teak. A huge space under the salon contains batteries, water heater, pumps and copious storage areas.

Powered by twin Caterpillar 3126s with 420 hp each, the 43 reaches a top speed of 30 knots and burns 28.6 gallons per hour at a cruise of 24 knots. At cruise, she offers a range of 528 miles – better by nearly a third than some 43-foot convertibles, the manufacturer says.

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Up till now, most Mikelsons have been sold on the West Coast. But compare this boat’s features and its low base price to many in its class, and you’ll take notice no matter where you fish.

For more information on biodiesel additives and fuel blends, contact NOPEC at 941-683-7199.

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