Boat Review: Rybovich 60

You'll keep a picture of this boat in your wallet, right next to the baby portrait.

What does a famous country-western singer who can afford anything he wants choose in a boat? A new Rybovich 60 named Dixie, of course.

There's no mistaking this new 60 for anything but a Rybovich. From the triple-planked, cold-molded mahogany and cored bulkheads in the interior to the varnished trim and classic lines, every nuance says Rybovich. Belowdecks you'll also find everything you've come to expect from Rybovich, such as the rich teak with flawless finishes, a standard master stateroom with private head in the bow and two over/under berth guest cabins just aft.

So what's the big deal about Dixie? What makes her anything besides another Rybovich?

Most of the new touches can, as usual with a custom boat, be found in the interior. A unique galley with an island in the center is a first for Rybovich. The island houses the custom half-height refrigerator and freezer units, and can be accessed from all sides. (Rather than finished wood stools at the island counter, the owner supplied some bar stools with sculpted bases in the form of fish tails made of polished stainless.) The entire interior is varnished teak, mostly 1/8-inch matched veneer - another company first. A particularly neat feature is the black granite counter, which looks better than Corian but actually consists of a veneer over an aluminum honeycomb core, obviously saving loads of weight.

One other unusual (and hopefully trend-setting) appointment is the 360-degree glass enclosure. Once upon a time, the front of the salon house in most convertibles was glass. Then most companies fiberglassed it under the guise of protecting the boat if serious green water came over the bow. Well, few owners go out in those conditions, and the added light in the salon from the front windshield is awesome.

But the greatest innovation in this new 60-footer must be in its performance. The well-planned engine room hides twin 12-cylinder MANs set for 1,200 hp each. With just the standard 1,300-gallon fuel capacity (up to 2,000 gallons is available), Dixie has a cruising speed range of 840 nautical miles. In other words, a trip to Bermuda on a single tank lurks within the realm of possibility. Top speed with a radar gun hit 48.3 knots, and that's truly novel for a Rybovich.

No one would dispute that building a boat as beautiful as a Rybovich takes enormous skill. But combining the old-world elegance with space-age technology - now that's a fine art.
- Dean Travis Clarke