Express cruisers for warm seas

Open Yachts

Express cruisers for warm seas

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Category Description

These are yachts with an open deck for warm seas. They are small — from 30 to 50 feet — and usually fast. They have a large open cockpit with an al fresco dining area and a large sunpad in the bow. The control post can be fully exposed to the elements or partially protected by a T-Top. Below deck, open yachts usually have two cabins and a small salon. Open express cruisers often act as tenders for megayachts. They are also great as day-cruise boats or party boats.

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How are open yachts built?

Open yachts are mostly built from composite using the sandwich construction method. First, a 'female', or negative, mold is made – basically a plastic tub, the inside of which is shaped like the hull we are building. The inside is then sprayed with gelcoat, a resin-based finishing material used by most yacht builders. A gelcoat finish can last for decades without major repair works. To last this long, gelcoat should be waxed every 3-4 months and buffed when necessary – usually when it becomes faded and chalky to the touch.

After the gelcoat hardens, the first layer of fiber mats is laid into the mold to be vacuum-infused with resin and laminated. Foam core is laid between layers of fiber mats, forming a sandwich, hence the name of the whole process. 

The helm station usually sits in the fore (front) section of a hardtop yacht's main deck. The words "walk-around" in the description of a yacht mean that there are open deck passages on both sides, literally allowing you to walk around the boat, from bow to stern.

Which types of engines are used on open yachts?

There is not much space onboard an open yacht. This is the reason designers prefer outboard engines and sterndrives for this type of vessel. On smaller boats, in order to keep the swimming platform at the stern, the designers even came up with a configuration in which the swim platform goes around the outboard engines.