Boat Review: Paul Mann 76

Paul Mann built his first Carolina boat back in 1988. Since then, he has garnered a reputation as one of the "new breed" of Carolina builders, giving offshore anglers exactly what they want in the most luxurious and seaworthy ways...

Paul Mann built his first Carolina boat back in 1988. Since then, he has garnered a reputation as one of the "new breed" of Carolina builders, giving offshore anglers exactly what they want in the most luxurious and seaworthy ways. Today, Paul Mann Custom Boats is housed in a 40,200-square-foot facility in - of all places - Mann's Harbor, North Carolina.

"We're continuing the heritage of the true Carolina plank-on-frame sport-fisherman," says Mann. "Our boats are designed by Carolinians - in North Carolina - and are built from lumber cut and milled in North Carolina. This is about as 'Carolina' as you can get!"

The new 76 will use the same materials and construction methods as the company's other boats: an inner layer of 1¼4-inch clear white cedar, or juniper plank, followed by a layer of fiberglass. Over that goes a layer of 3¼8-inch plywood, another layer of glass, a
second layer of 3-inch plywood, and an outer coating of 3406 fiberglass. When fastened to the boat's sturdy wood frames, this lay-up creates an extremely strong yet relatively light hull. And as if that weren't enough beef, Mann adds an additional layer of marine plywood in the hull between the stringers underneath the cockpit to support the fuel tanks and the boat's running gear.

Cockpit
As you'd expect, the cockpit design calls for a mezzanine deck, housing storage, refrigerators, freezers and the engine-room-access hatch on the centerline. Since Paul Mann (like so many other Carolina builders) is a former charter captain, you'll find plenty of tackle storage throughout this boat.

Interior
Mann's boats seem even more luxurious than most. Previous hulls boast custom leather couches, beautiful cherry and burled woods, granite countertops and every convenience you can imagine. I expect the 76, as the largest hull Paul Mann has built to date, to take that luxury to new heights.

Accommodations aboard this hull come in a three-cabin layout consisting of a large cabin with twin beds to port (and a Pullman berth that hides in the outboard bulkhead), an island-berth double on centerline in the forepeak and a large master stateroom with a queen berth to starboard amidships. All three include private heads with shower stalls. The companionway below curves substantially, preserving a greater sense of privacy between cabins.

The salon appears fairly traditional with an L-shaped settee aft, a galley with breakfast bar to starboard and a banquette dinette to port. Plans call for a cork floor and five-burner cooktop in the galley, along with the normal full complement of appliances. In addition, this Mann offers up a full pantry with an additional custom freezer, washer and dryer, fold-down table and tons of storage space. Finally, the interior schematic shows a day head on the starboard side as part of the aft bulkhead. What you don't read about here are the loads of little innovations Mann builds into every hull. I'm always amazed when I board the finished product and look forward to sniffing out the tiny yet significant improvements that every Mann boat offers.

Specifications

LOA 76' BEAM 22'4"
DRAFT 6' WEIGHT 125,000 pounds
FUEL 3,750 gallons WATER 400 gallons
POWER T 1,825 hp BASE PRICE Price on request
Paul Mann Custom Boats Mann's Harbor, North Carolina 252-473-1716 www.paulmanncustomboats.com