Boat Review: Tribute 72

Every once in a great while, the look of a boat really gets me. As I walked up to the new 72-foot Tribute, Alican, I told her builder, Rich Scheffer, "She's really pretty!"

Every once in a great while, the look of a boat really gets me. As I walked up to the new 72-foot Tribute, Alican, I told her builder, Rich Scheffer, "She's really pretty!"

I repeated myself when I looked down on her from the tower, when I saw the photos of her running, and several more times when Scheffer and her owner Andres Fan Jul were showing me her interior. Alican is beyond pretty - she's gorgeous!

Scheffer designed the boat with a traditional look on the inside and a sleek, fast and modern look on the outside. He also used the most advanced light and strong construction methods (composites) available. Everything I saw indicated success on all counts!

Since Alican was in dry dock, I didn't get to do a sea trial, but was proudly informed by the owner, builder and her professional captain that she was dryer, and even softer riding, than an earlier Tribute I praised highly in a
previous boat review.

I normally start my appraisal of a boat in the engine room, where functionality must reign over form. Redun-dancies abound in all systems, and a fuel-polishing system by Reverso moves fuel between tanks using a gear-type pump that allows centrifugal forces to spin out impurities before forcing the fuel through a proprietary filter. Well-labeled manifolds designate all tanks. No bad fuel will get to your main engines or generators with this system in place.

All preventative maintenance is easy to handle, and Capt. Doug Heaton's detailed explanation of backups on backups and things like a "Brownie's third lung" would allow most jobs, even ones like propeller changes, to be done in remote island locations by Alican's crew.

The Headhunter marine toilets are plumbed to run off salt water in the unlikely chance that fresh water is in short supply, and the reverse-osmosis systems are set to work off raw salt water or any dockside supply. All fresh water - even good, clean, stateside, dock-supplied water - runs through RO membranes before being stored in the vessel's tanks.

On the bridge, I couldn't find fault with the helm-station setup. Scheffer told me he leaves many details up to the captain and owner when he builds a boat. It was easy to read all the electronics at a glance, and from the raised helm platform, you could see both the bow and fighting chair with ease.

The helm control console sported a lovely Release Marine stainless-steel steering wheel and single-lever gear and throttle shifters with a bow-thruster push button on the shifter handles.

"I build custom boats," says Scheffer. "Owners tell me what they want; then I build it right."

The interior was extremely tasteful and had some of the best utilization of available space I have seen. You'll find little tricked-out cabinets and sliding drawers in what would have been wasted space on lesser boats, as well as an innovative wine-storage space under the sole of the dinette that's kept cool by ductwork from the air conditioner's air handler.

This is the first boat I've reviewed in ages that provides adequate hooks and racks in the head for wet towels. The master stateroom shower alone sports two handhold/towel racks and two hooks. The cheery wood inlaid with black walnut galley and head soles create a classy and unusual look, yet they are functional and easy to clean.

Nowhere in the boat did fine cabinetry, tasteful and decorative artwork or any of the elegant curves interfere with what is an extremely user-friendly sport-fishing boat. In the cockpit, the Carolina-style transom fish box doubles as a livewell and is plumbed for tuna tubes.

Alican is fast (43 knots at wide-open throttle), beautiful, functional and designed by, and for, serious fishermen. If you know exactly what you want in your ideal dream boat and are looking for a boatbuilder with the skills and knowledge to turn your dreams into reality, get in touch with Tribute Performance Boats.

Specifications
LOA 72' BEAM 19'
DRAFT 5'6" WEIGHT 92,000 pounds
FUEL 1,800 gallons WATER 425 gallons
POWER T 1,825 hp BASE PRICE Price on request
Tribute Performance Boats Jupiter, Florida 561-775-6060 www.tributeboats.com