Boat Review: Paul Mann 76

Big, bold and beautiful

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0109br_paulmann368

I find it interesting that the most successful custom builders such as Paul Mann share one philosophy: Build traditional yet luxurious boats that incorporate the most advanced technology in design, construction and performance.

To truly do the Paul Mann 76 justice, I'd need most of the pages in this magazine. Since that's not likely, I'll use my limited space to highlight just a few of Ann Warrick's more spectacular features.

Interior
As you'd expect from a boat this size, creature comforts and living space abound with four double staterooms and five full heads. A day head with access from the cockpit eliminates the need for wet crew covered in bait slime or fish blood to traipse through the entire length of the interior - a sensible feature that more builders should adopt.

As expected, you'll find flawless cherry joinerwork and Carpathian burls throughout. Exotic onyx counters in rainforest and Pakistan greens, as well as cappuccino and black, give the heads a colorful yet warm ambience - especially when combined with the incredibly well-placed lighting. Heads also sport colorful hand-painted, one-of-a-kind sinks by Lucky Bug in Costa Rica, depicting tropical flora and fauna.

Mann pays incredible attention to detail. Three gorgeous carved wooden bar stools line the starboard-side breakfast bar, and the counters sport matching backsplashes. Also, every counter features beautiful inlays around the fascia. In fact, Mann could spend days just pointing out the rare little touches found so commonly on his boats. All of his vessels seem more luxurious than most, but this 76, the largest hull Paul Mann has completed to date, takes 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 cleverly 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 gorgeous shower stalls, complete with etched-glass doors and dramatic lighting. The companionway below curves substantially, preserving a greater sense of privacy between cabins. The fourth cabin - for crew - provides over/under singles and its own private head.

The fairly traditional salon layout sports an L-shaped settee aft, a galley with breakfast bar to starboard and a banquette dinette to port. But what a dinette! It seats six adults comfortably without clashing elbows. I don't know about you, but guests at our house spend hours around the dining table in conversation. Most boat dinettes can't accommodate such social interchange.

The galley comes with an easily maintained cork floor and a five-burner cooktop in the galley, along with an exceptionally full complement of restaurant-grade appliances. In addition, this Mann offers up a full pantry (huge) with an additional custom freezer, washer and dryer, and tons of storage space. Finally, as you can see on the interior schematic, a day head on the starboard side constitutes part of the aft bulkhead.

Mann also defies tradition by including an electronics network that works silently behind the scenes at all times. In addition to a Niveus Media entertainment system, Ann Warrick integrates a full computer system with Wi-Fi and an Ethernet hub to tie together navigation, communications, surveillance and the entertainment systems.

Cockpit
As you'd expect, the cockpit mezzanine deck holds a tremendous amount of storage, as well as refrigerators, freezers and the engine-room-access hatch on centerline. The mezzanine overhang strikes me as larger than many, providing exceptional shade during a hot tropic troll. The added size also accommodates a drop-down video screen, affording the cockpit a view of the chart, sounder, a movie - or your favorite NFL team. Since Paul Mann is a former charter captain, you'll find plenty of tackle storage throughout this boat in drawers, under gunwales and elsewhere, as well as a pair of livewells - one with an aquarium-style window. Everywhere you look you'll find something unique, right down to the stylized scupper covers with the Mann logo emblazoned in the center.

**Engine Room
**Even my larger-than-average frame found plenty of headroom in the engine compartment. Built-in tool chests line the forward bulkhead. A Delta T ventilation system keeps enough air circulating for peak engine performance and removes salt and mist from the air for greater equipment longevity. Mann installs clean, white floorboards over the centerline bilge, allowing you to access fittings and the like when necessary, but keeping them hidden otherwise. The old saying, "A place for everything and everything in its place," never described an engine room more completely.

Flybridge
One thing I'm never willing to sacrifice aboard a boat is safety. Ann Warrick's flybridge not only looks great and provides amazing comfort for guests, but it exceeds industry standards for safety as well. For example, climb the ladder from the cockpit and feel the security of a hefty rail around the top of the hatch. Want to access the rather tall tower? The bottom of the comfortably angled centerline ladder lies well inside the flybridge rail. No need to risk life and limb climbing outboard over the rail on one of the corners! And at night, the innovative lighting design makes the flybridge and tower treads glow. Speaking of glow, between the overhead LEDs in the tower, flybridge and mezzanine overhang, the ladder treads and the underwater lights, this boat's nighttime facade makes your jaw drop.

The helm sits atop a low platform, affording the helmsman a remarkable view both fore and aft for a boat this size. This flybridge is not only larger, but packs in more comfort and amenities than some apartments I've lived in. It provides excellent settee seating all around, with tons of storage space, a refrigerated drink box and much more.

I particularly like the angled indents in the overhead to accommodate digital readouts. But when you close the drop-down instrument box overhead and the electronics pods that rise on rams, this control station becomes starkly clean and uncluttered.

Unfortunately, weather conditions have conspired against me taking Ann Warrick for a sea trial in the months since the boat's completion. And once completed, the owner immediately left for exotic ports. So I can't tell you definitively how this 76-footer handles. However, if you ever meet Paul Mann, you'll quickly realize that this perfectionist has more demanding requirements than you or I do. I trust completely that Ann Warrick didn't leave the dock with a single performance flaw.

Construction
In the case of this newest and biggest build, Paul Mann starts the process by creating the traditional wooden skeleton - a plank-on-frame soul. That's where the old world ends. From there on, Mann incorporates all manner of composites such as Tricell, aluminum honeycomb, Decolite, closed-cell foam and epoxy resins to assure optimum strength without sacrificing one iota of performance.

Mann applies even greater strength in stress areas such as under the areas of running gear where the hull thickness reaches 3½ inches. When fastened to the boat's sturdy wood frames, this lay-up creates an extremely strong yet relatively light hull.

I never cease to be amazed at the hype that many boat companies spout to promote their boats. However, in the case of Mann Custom Boats, "The Best Can Only Be Mann-Made!" represents much more than just hyperbole!

LOA......76'10"
BEAM......22'10"
**DRAFT......
6'
WEIGHT......122,000 pounds
POWER ......Twin 1,825 hp CAT C32A diesels
FUEL......3,591 gallons
WATER......324 gallons**
Price......On request

Paul Mann Custom Boats / Mann's Harbor, North Carolina / 252-473-1716 / www.paulmanncustomboats.com