We left Ocean City, Maryland, at 5:30 a.m., heading out to the canyons to fish the Mid-Atlantic $500,000 tournament. Winds started out southerly at 5 to 10 knots with seas at 3 to 4 feet. Lisa K, Paul Mann Custom Boats’ newest 67-footer, didn’t even notice the seas, which steadily got calmer as the day progressed. I remember when the canyon run would take five or six hours. That day, we reached our first trolling spot in 2½ hours.
While cruising at 31 knots and turning 1,680 rpm, the sound level in the salon barely hit 86 decibels. That’s about the level of city traffic from inside your Lexus. Trolling at 600 rpm (6.5 knots), the twin Cat 32 ACERT Tier 3 diesel prototypes burned 9.4 gph. These Tier 3 engines are just the second set in existence and won’t be available to the public until next year. They produce 1,900 hp at 2,360 rpm. Tier 3 refers to an Environmental Protection Agency compliance rating, the most stringent to date. It makes a huge difference, I might add. After a full day of trolling, I pushed the throttles forward and didn’t see a lick of smoke.
Caterpillar calls another new feature the CAT 360 System. Press station select on the Cat 360 System, and the engines automatically ramp up to 950 rpm. Caterpillar’s system combines a bow thruster, standard prop-and-shaft propulsion and advanced software to afford the helmsman full joystick control for maneuvering.
Trolling at 8 knots produced very little surface turbulence coming off the hull. Whatever white water the wake displayed dissipated by the third wave back and framed two beautiful alleys for baits. At the same speed but with just one engine in gear, the wake turns crystal clear.
As is the case with every Paul Mann boat I have ever tested, this 67 performed flawlessly on every point of sea, even in a quartering down-sea heading. Running at 30 knots, a wheel-hard-over turn uses up about 2½ boat lengths. Lisa K took 16 seconds to plane and 25 seconds to reach 30 knots.
One of my pet peeves on any boat is the shower sump. When you go below on a boat and it smells like rotten eggs, that’s the shower sump. Soap scum builds up in the tank and turns rancid, causing that odor. Paul Mann has the same concern. Consequently, Paul Mann Custom Boats installs the most effective shower sump system known to man: Not only can you open the top of each sump and clean it out, but Mann also inserts double main motor strainers before the sump reservoir that you can open, remove the basket, clean and replace. Then he installs two diaphragm pumps in the line to suck everything out of the reservoir. In fact, every critical system aboard Lisa K has a redundant system.
The engine room is tight and lacks standing headroom, but it’s so organized and well designed that no spot or system is inaccessible, even outboard of the engines. All pumps can be readily accessed and easily changed out. In fact, you can sit in one spot at the forward end of the engine room and service just about every system aboard.
This boat also sports a Pyrogen fire suppression system, a new type of aerosol system whose principal chemical is a derivative of rocket fuel. First developed by the Russian space program, it came to market through civilian applications of military technology. A Livos Technology air-handling system and demister assures plenty of clean, dry air for optimal engine performance, crucial on boats that go fast.
Each owner configures a cockpit differently. In this case, the obligatory mezzanine seating and ledge hide both dry and refrigerated storage as well as the engine-room access hatch. Outboard to port is the dump for the Eskimo ice maker. It was put up higher, so you didn’t have to strain your back shoveling ice out of the cockpit sole. Lisa K has precious little in the way of electric or pneumatic actuators. The electrical engineer owner prefers simple and mechanical systems that can be easily repaired when far from home.
A Release Marine Contour fighting chair dominates the center of the cockpit, and Bausch-American built the full-size tower; Rupp Marine fabricated the Big Riggs triple-spreader outriggers.
Mann fitted a window in the lighted transom livewell, letting you monitor live baits by day and enjoy an aquarium at night. Mann is famous for his creative lighting, but he went the conservative route with Lisa K, putting in just four underwater lights in the stern just below the beautiful AirTeak transom by Applied Concepts Unleashed.
In all, 20 rod holders surround the cockpit. It bears mentioning that at the opposite end of the boat the anchor locker holds a unique, large cylinder that rolls up the anchor line neatly, leaving the bulk of the compartment available for fender and gear storage.
The flybridge features a centerline helm, a wide dash for electronics, multiple 15-inch displays and lots more. It also has a superb air-circulation system throughout all the storage spaces to combat mildew and odor as well as to keep the backs of the electronics cool.
Lisa K has three staterooms with ensuite heads, one of which doubles as a day head. “I like big heads and big showers,” Mann says. “If the head and shower are both comfortable, Momma will go with you. But if they’re not comfortable, Momma’s not going.”
Everywhere you look, the lines are clean. For example, you will never see an air-conditioning plenum aboard a Paul Mann boat. He hides the intakes in ingenious places and the outflow comes from above the windows or underdeck treatments. Unique storage under the master berth includes room for luggage and other gear as well as lock-away fittings for the electric reels and the footrest from the fighting chair.
Design and Construction
Paul Mann Custom Boats builds cold-molded boats on jigs, and Mann designs them himself. I have never heard a complaint about a Paul Mann boat’s performance or sea-kindliness. Inside, this boat has a solid cherry interior with Carpathian elm burl trim. You won’t see a seam nor any mitered corners. The company makes all of its own raised panels in the doors and cabinets, and I don’t know of any builder who can supply better joiner work.
Tabs are quarter-inch stainless steel plate through-bolted to the bottom, with a 1-inch rudder port with a dripless seal on the top and a 1-inch steel shaft. There’s nothing to break. Mann uses a unique lock on his refrigerator/freezer drawers. A paddle hidden by the carved wooden pull handle activates two pins for positive security without the need to lift the drawer open.
Mann fished the Mid-Atlantic with us. In a reflective moment on the way back, I asked him if he ever got tired of seeing the fruits of his labor, which are such beautiful works of art.
“No, I never get tired of it,” he says. “But I especially love it when I go out on a new boat with the owner and crew and they tell me that there are absolutely no issues with the boat. Everything works perfectly the way it’s supposed to. That’s what we always strive for, and that represents the brass ring for me.”
LOA: 67 feet
DEADRISE: 15 degrees
WEIGHT: 75,000 pounds
FUEL: 1,900 gallons
POWER: Twin 1,900 hp Cat C32 diesels
GENERATOR: Cummins Onan 21.5 kW
**Paul Mann Custom Boats