F&S 72 - Boat Review

This big girl can still dance...

0810boat_FS_368

0810boat_FS_368

People talk about Oregon Inlet being rough, but I promise that Jupiter Inlet down on the east coast of Florida can match it in a wind-against-tide condition. Yet running out of there in four- to six-footers at 25 knots proved no problem for this new F&S 72.

Performance
Drifting beam-to outside the mouth where the seas dropped a foot or two, the F&S had a long roll moment with gentle transitions. It backed down hot, straight and true at up to 7 knots before taking any water over the transom, and what water did enter the cockpit drained very quickly.

Spinning on a fish with rudders over, the 72 started out somewhat slowly but quickly picked up speed. Add a slight bit of bow thrust, and it moves along in a sprightly fashion. It took about 10 seconds to plane when running beam-to the seas. A simple lift with the tabs on the upwind side made the wind-driven spray disappear. At 30 knots, the F&S turned to starboard on a dime and to port on a quarter.

Engine Room
You'll find all your fuel valves right at the base of the engine-room ladder and a bracket up against the bulkhead at the base of the stairs, which holds a removable bait tray/cutting table. Twin Cummins Onan generators sit against the aft bulkhead with all the other noisemaking machinery - well away from the living quarters. If you turn around and face aft just above the hatch opening to the cockpit, you'll find multiple digital displays of the temperatures of the various freezer and refrigerators found in the mezzanine.

You could easily hold a debutante's ball in this spacious, wide-open engine room. I could climb outboard of both engines without difficulty. Along the aft bulkhead, I found a Dolphin 24-volt/80-amp charger, Cruisair air conditioning and an FCI Max-Q watermaker. The latter comes with two cool features: Dockside water runs through the reverse osmosis system, removing chlorine and anything else, and when the system detects a low water-tank level, it automatically fills the tanks and turns itself off again.

The monstrous MTU 16V2000CR engines rated at 2,400 hp each seem small in this space. Each shaft sports a Sea Torque shaft-seal system. Walk forward and access the crew quarters with over/under singles, head, shower, washer/dryer and plenty of storage via a crash door in the forward transverse bulkhead.

Interior
From the crew quarters, a beautiful S-shaped companionway leads to the forward cabin, with a V-berth and an oblique double berth above. You'll also appreciate the mirror-image hanging lockers and the private head with shower.

Farther aft, there's a portside master stateroom featuring an athwartship king-size berth. The wood here is gorgeous, and the stateroom reflects a somewhat Asian theme, with rice-paper lattice screens for a headboard. Starboard and opposite the master, another head with shower services the three-person guest cabin on that side.

I really liked the interesting flooring designs below with plush carpeting bordered by teak stripping.

Up several stairs to the salon, you'll see a starboard-side dinette that seats four and a large galley opposite. The dinette rests atop a generous step, raising the height of diners enough to give them an unobstructed view out the salon windows. However, the height serves a second purpose: Touch a hidden actuator, and a large drawer slides out from under the dinette, where you'll find a full one-third of the vessel's hidden rod storage.

The owners of this boat love to cook, and the galley - which looks rather stark and unequipped at first glance - holds a plethora of great appliances and cooking facilities, including a GE Profile Advantium convection oven, built-in luxury coffee maker, ceramic cooktop, twin polished-stainless-steel sinks, refrigerator/freezer drawers under the counters and loads of storage.

The owner also happens to be a movie buff, so he installed a Kaleidescape system that stores thousands of moves electronically. Just scroll through the on-screen menu and choose your entertainment. All of the speakers for the massive surround-sound system stay completely hidden.

Flybridge
Each of the Palm Beach tower legs features a unique bulge that really adds to the radius-curve theme of the hull and house. And that curvy theme continues throughout the cockpit and flybridge - you won't find a single straight line.

F&S applied a sea-foam green nonskid to the overhead to attenuate glare on the bridge. A hatch covers the flybridge ladder hole, and as you climb up and down, you'll find plenty of secure handholds. Additionally, I discovered more than enough room to wind my way behind the captain's and companion seats without disturbing the helmsman. Yet when fighting a fish, I could still see the aft half of the cockpit.

Cockpit
On the starboard side, the cockpit boasts a Wolfe electric grill - not so unusual in itself - but F&S mounted a TV screen just forward of the grill inside the salon window so you can watch the game while cooking.

Outboard to port, the F&S comes with an unusual drink box that holds individual cans in cool roller stacks. As the stacks run short, the entire "dispenser" slides forward, exposing an additional storage area for nine cases of drinks - all already chilled.

You Never Know boasts four hidden tuna tubes built into the transom, two athwartship fish boxes in the sole and a big livewell/fish box with an aquarium window in the transom.

Design and Construction
F&S cold-molded this 72 using Mas epoxy and then shot it with Awlcraft paint. The lines and curve of the house are incredibly handsome from any profile. About the only thing I saw that I would change is a patch of glossy deck that lies between the front of the house and the foredeck. I'd prefer that the entire deck be nonskid. With 72 feet of new boat to consider, that's a rather piddling consideration!

Specifications

LOA......72'
Beam......20'2"
Draft......5'2"
Deadrise......Variable-deadrise step bottom
Weight......103,000 pounds
Fuel......2,800 gallons
Water......400 gallons
Generators......27.5 kW Cummins Onan
Power......T 2,400 hp MTU 16V2000 diesels
_
F&S Boatworks / Bear, Delaware / 302-838-5500 /_ www.fsboatworks.com