Used Boat Review: Pacific Mariner 65
The Pacific Mariner 65 is a reminder that a good cruising boat begins with sound engineering, durable systems, and salty lines.
Whenever I step aboard a boat for the first time, I absorb the feel more so than the visual. Beautiful fabrics and plush throw pillows can all too often camouflage what really lies beneath. I recently spent several hours absorbing the feel of Lady Leticia V, a 2000 Pacific Mariner 65 (PM65) listed for sale by HMY (www.hmy.com) in Stuart, Florida for $749,000. Owners Ticia and Joe Piazza met me on my second visit and gave me a personal tour. Normally I prefer to walk through a boat without interference, but my first visit with the broker left me impressed with the knowledge of her hands-on owners and the care this boat had received.
During my initial visit with the HMY broker Sean O’Heron and subsequent visit with Ticia and Joe, I learned that this PM65 was in need of attention when the Piazzas purchased her. They were able to see beyond the tired state of the vessel and understood the strength and value of a solid platform.
There are two areas of a boat that I’m normally the most critical of; the helm, whether it has a flying bridge, wheelhouse, or both, and the engine room. Typically you won’t find many throw pillows in either of these areas, but never say never! The wheelhouse on the PM65 is forward of center giving excellent lines of sight port and starboard via large windows. Helm seating on Lady Leticia V is a pair of black leather Stidd seats. All instrumentation and navigational equipment was in the line of sight and easily reached. An L-shaped dinette abaft the Stidds easily doubles as a chart table—yes I still think that function is important. Behind the dinette is a very generous space. The line of sight aft is limited, however, a docking station is located on the portside aft deck, and the port and starboard wheelhouse doors are an easy step away. The wheelhouse certainly ticks my boxes.
Before we get into the frilly stuff, let’s focus on the engine room. This is where the Pacific PM65 really shines. Entering from the aft deck you walk through a small crew cabin with room for a washer and dryer. The engine room is spacious and with my 6-foot 1-inch frame I can stand nearly upright. The owners’ hands-on approach to maintenance really takes hold in the engine room. Every system is meticulously maintained and detailed, made easier with the generous spaces and accessibility. Twin 800-horsepower Caterpillar 3406Es have plenty of breathing room and provide a cruising speed in the low 20-knot range, according to the owners. Two 20-kW Northern Lights generators provide more auxiliary power than needed while cruising, and again are easily serviced.
The saloon is open and airy with a large sliding glass door and oversized port and starboard windows, no water staining was noted, indicating proper installation during the build process. There was a time that I referred to any vessel smaller than 70 feet as an 8-4-2; 8 for cocktails, 4 for dinner, and 2 overnight. Of course that originally started as smaller than 50 feet, but as times changed so did the size of the 8-4-2. The PM65 could seat a baker’s dozen either at the custom hi-lo table in the saloon, the teak dining table on the aft deck, or the dinette located in the wheelhouse. As for the overnight, let’s call this one a 6. The master stateroom, guest stateroom, and VIP are designed for many nights on board.
Up top, the side decks are flat and wide, not giving way to interior space, with the rails catching me at my waist. The foredeck chain locker could nearly double as a forecastle that you literally step down into. Bridge access is either from the covered aft deck via a ladder or steps from the wheelhouse. The bridge offers great 360-degree sightlines, seated or standing. The exterior profile of this William Garden-designed classic has a purposeful look when facing her bow. The swim platform is accessed by traversing three steps down from the aft deck and is wide with safety rails. A small lazarette on the port side aft deck provides additional stowage.
The first PM65 was splashed in 1997 and continued to be produced through the 2012 model year by Westport Yachts. At the time of this writing, there were nine PM65’s listed for sale. Edison Chouest Offshore of Cut Off, Louisiana, builder and operator of the majority of the Gulf of Mexico deep-water support and supply vessels, owns and operates their own shipyards, and purchased Westport Yachts in 2014. The company had previously purchased American Custom Yachts (ACY) of Stuart, Florida, rounding out a family of boatbuilding expertise and diversity rarely seen in the industry.
Supposedly I’ve been referred to as a boat snob! If it didn’t come from the East or Gulf Coast, I was not too interested. I must say I have had a big change of heart, regardless of the new ownership residing in Louisiana. I truly like the PM65 and upon a close and lengthy observation, I came away a bit less snobby. Those west-coasters can build and deliver a sexy brute and I liked her.
Power & Motoryacht spoke to three brokers who had Pacific Mariner 65s listed on BoatQuest.com. See what they each had to say about these sought-after three-stateroom cruisers and the boaters looking to buy and sell them. ▶
Price as Tested $495,000 – $1.2 million
Displacement 66,000 lb.
Fuel 1,100 gal.
Water 285 gal.
Power 2/750-hp MTU series 70 Detroit Diesels, 2/800-hp Caterpillar 3406Es
Cruising Speed 23 knots
Years built 1997-2012