At 6 feet 7 inches tall, Bud Koch casts a long shadow on the dock. He spends a great deal of time fishing with his son, who happens to be an inch taller than Bud, so they need a lot of headroom in the salon and belowdecks, as well as a roomy cockpit. Koch has owned and built many boats in different configurations, so when he was researching to build a new one, he had some specific needs for himself and his family.
“I had some wacky ideas and looked around for the builder that could create what we wanted,” he says. “We found Roscioli, and it delivered.” What the longtime builder of Roscioli Donzi Sportfishing Yachts built was a proven 58-foot hull in an enclosed salon express style, known as the 58 Sport Cruise. Bob Roscioli is no stranger to building highly customized fishing boats. He and his established team have built 63 boats to date — a darn good run for any custom builder.
As I walked through Classic Coke with Koch and Roscioli, I didn’t see any wacky ideas. What I did see was a good deal of efficient, commonsense use of space, with a layout that offers plenty of room for comfortable living, plush soft goods and quality components, married with an excellent execution of systems installation and integration.
To get the results Koch and his family were looking for, the team at Roscioli built a complete plywood mock-up of the interior spaces with cabinets, bunks and head areas. This allowed them to get a true sense of how the living spaces would feel and how they could be best sized and used. The mock-up process not only revealed some spatial things the family wanted to adjust, but it also gave the Roscioli team the chance to connect with the owners and build them the boat they really wanted, as well as offer the ability to refine storage spaces and take advantage of underutilized space.
The Salon and Belowdecks Layout
Starting belowdecks, the three-stateroom, two-and-half-head layout offers two full staterooms. The forward stateroom has a raised-island queen berth with storage under and over in outboard cabinets along the ceiling. The head with full shower and custom stone counter-tops is to starboard just outside the door, so it can be shared by guests and crew. Along the port side of the companionway is the guest/crew stateroom with over-and-under bunks and storage under. Just aft of the guest stateroom is the day head.
Along the aft bulkhead to port at the bottom of the companionway stairs is the full galley with two U-Line undercounter refrigerator drawers and two more undercounter freezer drawers. Stone countertops, over-counter storage cabinets, cooktop, a convection microwave, and a stainless sink and stainless-faced bin dishwasher round out the cooking space.
The other master/VIP is aft to starboard across from the galley and features a king berth, the inboard side having the lower hanging locker that opened up the room. The large head is forward.
The Command Deck
The helm deck salon features a centerline helm forward with two large Garmin screens and the CAT engine displays, as well as digital navigation and autopilot. On either side are the fuel transfer controls, power switches, VHF radio, Fusion audio and Seakeeper gyro control. Visibility is excellent, with a stylish custom full-width windshield that has no mullions to block vision.
Starboard of the helm and forward is a lift-up lid that opens to reveal full-length rod storage, an awesome use of space gained from the mock-up process. To port of the helm is all open to go down the stairs to the galley, so there is no direct overhead ceiling in the galley — another mock-up find that really opens the galley to the helm deck so it does not feel as though it is down in a hole.
A large L-shaped settee with huge storage under and ultra-easy lift-up seats to access it all is to port with a custom high-low table. Along the starboard side is a full-length stone-top cabinet with undercounter wine cooler, ice maker, electric distribution panel, pop-up television and two U-Line refrigerated drink box drawers, which are fully aft at the salon door entry.
Mezzanine and Cockpit
Moving out to the mezzanine deck, Koch needed an aft helm so he could see the kites when fishing because there is no bridge deck or tower. Roscioli built a fully functional helm in the starboard corner of the mezzanine with a comfortable custom stool, electronics and full controls. Remarkably, there is enough room to accommodate his height even while standing on the mezzanine deck. Electric teaser reels are mounted overhead in a concealed compartment, and the hydraulic outriggers are deployed directly from the helm.
Ladders were off the list for this longtime boating family, having had plenty of boats with them. “It takes some getting used to, running the boat from down here when you are used to a flybridge,” Koch says. “But my wife didn’t want to climb the ladder anymore, and I didn’t want to be alone on the bridge away from the action. This layout gives me everything we need to fish hard and be safe.”
The aft bulkhead window is another custom piece that Koch required, and Roscioli pulled it off perfectly. It is fully retractable — like a car door’s window — with an airbag system that inflates as it goes down, sealing it off to keep water out. This opens the salon to the cockpit and puts his guests right in the action.
The Engine Room
Moving into the engine room, there are mechanical spaces on both sides with watermaker membranes, main engine electrical distribution, fuel transfer valves and the like. The twin Caterpillar C32 ACERT engines are nestled in the brightly lit engine room with good access all around to inspect and service vitals.
An Onan 21-kilowatt generator is aft to port, and custom Von’Widmann underwater exhausts are in each aft corner of the engine room. As they have always done, Roscioli’s engineers integrate all components to be oversize and heavy-duty. There is nothing dainty about these boats. The performance is also impressive: At 1,600 rpm, Classic Coke is cruising at 31 knots and burning 100 gph; wide-open throttles produce a top speed of 41 knots at 2,200 rpm.
The cockpit is all fishing, and taking center stage is the massive, custom-built pressurized transom livewell. No getting on your knees to get bait from in-deck wells; this transom aquarium will hold a host of bait for their fishing in Florida and the Bahamas. There are large lazarette hatches on either side of the Release Marine Battle Saddle with beefy, positive lock handles, and the Seakeeper 16 gyrostabilizer is positioned beautifully on the centerline just aft of the engine-room entrance.
Classic Coke is an excellent example of the things that can be done when a customer and custom builder come together to build a boat that is not so specialized that it will be hard to sell, but instead create a rig that can cruise, travel and fish at the highest level while giving the owner the things he needs to keep his family involved in a safe, well-built platform.
LOA: 58′ | Beam: 17’8″ | Draft: 4’10” | Displ.: 140,500 lb.
Fuel: 1,400 gal. | Water: 181 gal. | Power: Twin Caterpillar C32 ACERT 1,925 hp diesels