Harkers Island in North Carolina and its inhabitants are ? well, different. The island enjoys a seafaring history that goes back to before the Revolutionary War, and the thick accents here sometimes confound even the local people just across Back Sound on the mainland. Jamie Chadwick is from Harkers Island, and he draws upon centuries of boatbuilding heritage to create some of the region’s most exquisite sport-fishing yachts.
The 61 boasts a beautiful profile – in addition to being low to the water, it also sports a lovely sheer line and a great reverse transom. But that low profile means space must be taken from somewhere, and in this case it comes from the engine compartment where the twin 1,675 hp Caterpillar C32s reside. The top of the motors come within about two inches of the overhead, but with that said, the compartment is extremely clean and well engineered.
As is common on Carolina boats, you’ll find sight gauges for the fuel tanks just at the base of the engine compartment ladder and a spacious tunnel running aft connecting the engine room to the lazarette.
One signature feature common to every Chadwick is the beautiful teak insert in the cockpit sole. On Stream Machine the deck forms a beautiful star with the fighting-chair pedestal at its center.
Chadwick uses what I consider ideal scuppers: drain holes cut right through the transom that let the water out amazingly fast. The mezzanine seating hides storage and a huge amount of freezer space.
A mammoth console rises on rams to expose the vast electronics suite. You’ll find a straight settee forward of the console, with another L-shaped seat moving forward. One feature I especially like is the ability to access the Bausch-American tower without having to climb over and outboard of the flybridge rail. I also found plenty of room behind the portside companion seat for a passenger to pass without disturbing the helmsman.
Chadwick also included lots of innovative lockable storage within reach of the helmsman in the console that holds the electronics suite.
I’ve been aboard some of Chadwick’s other boats, and they were nice but comparatively plain and functional. I can’t express how far Chadwick has come with this boat! Fabulous indirect designer lighting bathes everything in a warm glow – I’ve never seen a better lighting job on any yacht. Other unique salon features include a built-in armchair, a built-in wine cellar and a terrific liquor locker that rises on rams like a dumbwaiter. The lights under the crystal decanters provide a dramatic effect.
In addition to the sleeping quarters belowdecks, Chadwick installed a spectacular, dedicated tackle locker with slide-out rig storage. The crew comes and gets whatever tackle they need for that particular day and target species and leaves all the rest in the tackle locker. Rods and reels stay stowed away on the flybridge in special heated compartments that help the gear stay dry.
I’ve never been on a 62-footer that got up on plane and ran at 25 knots while turning 1,785 rpm – on one engine! Top speed with both engines just exceeded 43 knots with full tanks. At optimum cruising speed running 33.2 knots, the vessel burned 106 gph. At cruising speed, the Chadwick runs slightly bow high – the ideal attitude in my humble opinion. You want a slightly raised bow when running down-sea so you still have room to trim it down when you start plunging into a head sea and need to smooth the ride.
With both engines idling at 650 rpm, the 9-knot trolling wake exhibited moderate surface and subsurface turbulence with two distinct alleys for your lures.
Running out of Beaufort Inlet into three-foot seas at the southern end of the Outer Banks proved to be a nonevent for this boat. Roll characteristics in a beam-to drift were very gentle. I purposely backed hard up-sea and did everything I could to take water into the cockpit. What little water I did manage to take aboard drained in the blink of an eye.
Watching Chadwick transition from boat to boat has been like watching a child grow into adulthood – and Jamie Chadwick can be rightfully proud of the builder he’s become.
Power:……T 1,650 hp Cat C32 diesels
Deadrise……7 degrees at transom
Price: On request
Chadwick Boatworks / Beaufort, North Carolina / 252-728-3903 / [email protected]