Boat Review: Miller 70

Quiet, unassuming and conservative, Miller Marine painstakingly crafts a limited number of truly gorgeous custom sport-fishing yachts for those knowledgeable enough to look off the beaten path...

The Miller Marine shop sits on a secluded, tiny cove in the Florida Panhandle, just a stone's throw from a top-secret government marine training center. Quiet, unassuming and conservative, Miller Marine painstakingly crafts a limited number of truly gorgeous custom sport-fishing yachts for those knowledgeable enough to look off the beaten path - those who don't just want what the sport-fishing public at large considers the current "trendy boat to have."

Performance
The Miller 70 - launched only days prior to this writing - has sea trials and fine-tuning to suffer through, as does any brand-new design and build. With lines drawn by Applied Concepts, there's little doubt that the running surface will prove exceptional. However, as anyone who's been around the block knows, propping a boat qualifies as voodoo - as much an art as a science. With its twin 2000 series MTU engines rated at 2,000 hp each, the performance projections call for an impressive 35-knot cruise and a top speed of at least 40 knots. Despite what the photo shows, it will sport a Bausch tower and full electronics by the time you see it at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show.

Interior
Unlike some "custom" builders that build a standard hull and let you choose from several already existing interior configurations, Miller starts from scratch with each owner. This particular vessel offers a four-stateroom layout with a private head and separate, stand-up shower stall with each.
Below to port, the master stateroom holds an athwartship queen island berth with tons of storage space beneath. It also boasts one of the largest hanging lockers I've seen on a boat under 100 feet. In the forepeak, the main guest quarters feature an island double on centerline, plus a raised single berth along each hull side. These singles fold up and away when not in use.
Another guest cabin with over/under singles faces the master cabin, followed by a virtually identical over/under cabin that serves as crew's quarters or another stateroom farther aft to port.

**Engine Room
**You just about need a 70-footer to house engines the size of the new MTU 2000 series. The Miller 70's space provides more than enough room for those and more. The aft bulkhead abuts a pair of 25-kW diesel generators. All raw water enters a sea chest first before distribution to various cooling efforts. Miller builds in a glycol-filled tank for superb sonar transducer housing. No matter the speed, this boat never loses bottom-lock. Of course, the engine compartment also shines with Awlgrip-finished surfaces for easy maintenance. Miller also installed a fuel-polishing system, underwater exhausts for all diesels, an oil change system, dripless stuffing boxes, crash pumps and voltage stabilizer transformers in the air conditioning and stereo speakers for when you must perform maintenance.

Cockpit
I'd love to see a law requiring mezzanines on every sport-fishing convertible. It makes life so much easier. The Miller 70's mezzanine hides all sorts of features, like a stainless-steel drink box and refrigerated bait tray. The mezzanine also contains tackle drawers, copious storage and a huge freezer.
You'll find both fresh- and saltwater washdowns in the cockpit, along with a tuna door, insulated transom-mounted fish box/livewell, stainless-steel reel holders and 12-VDC outlets for downriggers and electric reels under the gunwales. In addition to the in-transom fish box, the owner opted for another under-the-cockpit sole. Underwater exhausts leave more space under the decks for fish boxes and lazarette storage.

**Design and Construction
**Watching this boat underway, the sleek lines and dramatic rake of the sheer line and cabin/flybridge fronts reminded me of a bullet. Applied Concepts has obviously done a good job too, as the boat runs flat and the hull spray doesn't climb high enough to block the view of people in the cockpit. The lower the spray, the less water the hull is pushing out of the way.

Prop pockets lift the draft of this 70-footer up to a Bahamas-capable 5 feet. They also lower the shaft angle so prop thrust more closely parallels the water's surface for better efficiency and fuel economy.

The Miller 70 consists of a CoreCell composite hull and house combined with biaxial fiberglass and layers of Kevlar in the hull bottom.

The design team at Applied Concepts headed by Steve French has been very busy, creating the lines for some of the most beautiful and highly regarded custom and production yachts of the past few years. Obviously, they've hit another homer with the Miller 70.

Specifications
LOA 71' * BEAM 21' 6"
DRAFT 5' * WEIGHT 95,000 lb
FUEL 2,150 gal * WATER 320 gal
POWER T 2,000-hp MTU * BASE PRICE by request
www.millermarineyachts.com