Nestled among the rolling cornfields of coastal Maryland, Titan Custom Yachts is situated right in the backyard of the white marlin capital of the world. Owner Russ Garufi progressed to boatbuilding in 2001 after a lifetime career as a custom-home builder, and with nine delivered yachts to his name, Titan is just starting to hit its stride. After only a few months in operation, the new 63-footer, Lunatico, has already proved her worth—most notably with a 682-pound fish landed by owner Lance Converse to take the Blue Marlin Jackpot in July’s Bermuda Billfish Blast.
I first visited Titan in August 2021. The build was halfway complete but was starting to take form, and Palm Beach Towers was on-site to measure for what would surely be the proverbial cherry on top. As I combed through the boat, I was impressed to see the construction methods that were being used. All items were not just fastened but bonded, to ensure a tight, quiet ride, and I was looking forward to experiencing all of this for myself after delivery.
The call that Capt. Cory Gillespie was en route to Florida with Lunatico came in late spring. Under the gun to fish the Bahamas tournaments before heading directly to Bermuda in July, I was lucky to jump on during a rare gap in the boat’s schedule. As I walked down the dock, Lunatico’s unique and custom-crafted Titan Gray hull set this boat apart from all others, and I marveled at how such a flawless finish could be achieved in a barn in the middle of farm country. When I asked Gillespie and mate, Capt. Andrew Kennedy, what their favorite aspect of the boat was, both exclaimed in unison, “The ride.”
Bridge and Tower
Wasting no time, I settled in on the bridge in the Release Marine Trillion navigator chair as we made our way toward Lake Worth Inlet. Two supersize 24-inch Garmin multifunctional displays straddled the single-lever helm pod. An additional Furuno display was mounted on the port side of the electronics suite and was paired to an Omni sonar. The all-star lineup was rounded out with a Furuno radar, Garmin autopilot and Sirius satellite-weather module.
The flip-down box located in the overhead provided room for the MAN engine displays and both Icom VHF radios. Another box housed twin Miya Epoch Super US-9 teaser reels and an Optimus steering display. The bridge featured wraparound seating with storage below, topped by attractive pleated cushions, and the three-piece Lexan enclosure nearly eliminated any blind spots. Knowing Gillespie personally, as well as his impressive resume, proved to me that this bridge was the result of years of experience at the helm and was laid out in perfect form.
Before pushing offshore, I scaled the tower, noticing that no expense was spared in this build: a Rupp triple-spreader Bigg Rigg outrigger system, recessed LED navigation lights, and forward and aft molded-in LED spreader lights that could provide daylight conditions on deck at the flip of a switch; up top found a near-full helm setup with Twin Disc controls, a Garmin display and a comfortable seat.
As we cleared the inlet, Gillespie pushed up the controls, and the MAN V-12 2000s jumped to life as we quickly got up to cruising speed, making passes up and down the beach in all directions while the engines quietly sang under our feet. This was a chamber-of-commerce type of day for Palm Beach, with air temps in the mid-80s, winds hovering around 5 knots, and the seas exhibiting a long Atlantic swell. Hardly challenging for this Titan hull, although the boat was full of fuel, tackle and supplies for the trek across the pond.
At 70 percent load, turning 1,800 rpm, the combined speeds netted 32 knots while burning an average of 113 gallons per hour. Pushing it up to a robust cruise of 38 knots, the boat projected an 80 percent load, turned 2,150, and burned 164 gph. The top end turned 2,350 rpm for a speed of 42 knots burning 200 gph.
As we slowed down, Gillespie worked the controls to really get this 63 dancing. As we backed around on imaginary fish, he put her through the paces. Lunatico was not only quiet, but also quick and nimble. The throttles were effortlessly bounced between forward and reverse, and the boat spun around on a dime as you felt the 4,000 horses instantly transferring the commands to the CJR propellers—a most important feature when tournament fishing with an unpredictable fish close to the leader.
Cockpit and Mezzanine
Beneath the fighting chair and hidden under custom cutouts in the teak deck were livewell inflow and outflow ports for external tanks to seamlessly blend in, with no visible hardware on the deck. The Seakeeper 18 HD is housed in the lazarette, as well as the Optimus steering pumps and livewell pumps. With a double-hinged deck hatch, there is plenty of room to slip in and out to service the equipment. The transom box was set up as a fish box, but it could also double as a livewell if needed.
Mezzanine seating provides a good vantage point, and an air-conditioning vent blows directly onto the seating area to provide relief from the tropical heat. Within the step there was no lack of refrigeration; nearly every box could cool or freeze, depending on the crew’s needs, with an additional giant freezer located under the mezzanine seat itself. A 600-pound-per-day Dometic ice maker filled an ice box on the starboard side. And last, but certainly not least, a Garmin display was hidden in a flip-down hatch overhead, with the ability to stream the sonar information and keep an eye on a pending bite.
A L-shaped sofa commands the portside salon aft, and beautiful teak cabinetry and trim gave off a gentle satin sheen. The plush, light-colored carpet is soft under the feet, and a flat-screen TV—motorized to drop out of sight—is paired to a Bose theater system. The galley sports Amtico flooring, four refrigerator/freezer drawers under custom Corian countertops, a cooktop hidden beneath the counter forward, a stainless-steel undermount sink, and a convection microwave oven behind the cabinetry.
One of the overhead panels possesses a latch and hidden hinge to reveal an impressive custom drop-down rod-storage locker with LED lighting to bank 14 custom rods, as well as rod butts—certainly an unexpected showpiece. Touches such as this are what make a custom build truly custom.
Down the companionway you’ll find a three-stateroom/three-head layout. The starboard side features a double split-bunkroom, the master stateroom sits on the port side with a full-size king bed, and all the staterooms employ cedar-lined hanging closets with plenty of storage. The generous master head contains a full stand-up shower with a molded seat. Moving forward, a full head is on the starboard side with a full-size Bosch washer and dryer directly across from it.
One of my favorite features of this build is the forward stateroom. Instead of a single VIP berth, Garufi created one of the largest bunkrooms I’ve ever been in. Two stacked beds are mounted to starboard, with a single bed port. The amount of room between the two feels like you could really stretch out without worry of getting in your bunkmate’s way. A private head is located here as well, as is plenty of storage, and all the natural light you can handle—or not—via an overhead Bomar safety hatch.
With more transoceanic plans ahead, Lunatico certainly checks all the necessary boxes needed for a traveling gameboat, including speed, range, space and storage. My first experience on a Titan was an extremely positive one, and Gillespie is certain she will be raising big fish for years to come. And based on her performance so far, I agree.
Read Next: We review the Titan 62, Effie Mae.
Titan Custom Yachts 63 Specs
- LOA: 63′
- Beam: 18’8″
- Draft: 5′
- Displ: 87,000 lb.
- Fuel: 2,300 gal.
- Water: 280 gal.
- Power: MAN V-12 2000
- Gear/Ratio: Twin Disc/2.25:1
- Propellers: CJR, 5-blade
- Hull Paint: Awlcraft, Titan Gray
- Climate Control: Dometic