Born to Ride
All of the highlights of the Absolute 72 Fly—her stylish, semi-custom interior, megayacht-sized flying bridge, wide teak side decks, and high-end equipment—are just background noise that will divert your attention from the main event: Taking this baby for a ride.
Power on the Absolute 72 Fly is from twin 900-horsepower, 13-liter, dual-turbo Volvo Penta D13s joined to IPS1200s. During my test the 72 Fly maintained a near linear running angle from 900 rpm throughout the speed curve. At wide-open throttle we ran at an angle of approximately five degrees. During the test run, I simply applied more throttle, and the running attitude barely changed; she simply went faster. The combination of smart hull design and the low-end torque of the Volvo D13s certainly contribute to this smooth acceleration curve and optimum running attitude.
Notably, the 72 responded to fingertip adjustments of the wheel. When I put the helm hard over at 30.1 knots, we barely shed any speed, dropping only to 27.5 knots while in the turn. She responded through a series of “S” turns with doses of smaller sport-boat peppiness, yet with the stiffness of a larger yacht.
Absent was the sound of creaking bulkheads and protests from doors and cabin soles. Boats certainly work and will let out a few yelps while they’re put to the test, yet the 72 shrugged off waves without even a snivel thanks partly to an elaborate stringer system, supporting the floor liner, which is bonded on top of the stringers. The interior is built outside of the boat, and then tabbed into place.
Access to the engine room is through either the crew’s quarters or a cockpit ladder. There is more than sufficient space all around each engine for service, even with the two outboard fuel tanks. I would like to see the dual fuel filters in a more accessible spot to allow for easier, and perhaps less messy, service. Currently they are above the respective fuel tanks and will be a little awkward to access. All wiring runs and plumbing were neat and beefy.
The full-beam master feels more like a beachfront suite in St. Barths. Waking up here with a view of a secluded cove and clear water will surely wash all your stress and troubles away with one simple glance outside. Two additional staterooms are amidships and the huge VIP is tucked in the bow.
I applaud Absolute for making an effort to eliminate sharp angles in the joinery and furniture. Anything at adult kidney level or a young kid’s eye level carries a slight radius. (Next time you’re walking through a new boat at a show, check out how many sharp angles are incorporated into furniture. It’s crazy.) There are still a few areas where function could probably trump form with the addition of a fiddle and grab rails here and there, especially in the shower stalls.
However, when considering the 72’s thoroughbred riding characteristics, top-notch build, and the builder’s semi-custom approach, it’s easy to turn a blind eye to the fact that the shampoo may end up on the floor while sprinting to the next destination. I have no doubt this 72-footer will open eyes on this side of the Atlantic.
: 49 tons
: 925 gal.
: 265 gal.
: 2/900-hp Volvo Penta D13 diesel engines linked to Volvo IPS1200 pod drives
: 32 kW Kohler
Air temperature: 72°F; humidity: 80%; seas 1 to 2 feet; load 600 gal. fuel, 200 gal. water; 8 persons. Speeds measured with Raymarine GPS. GPH estimates taken via Volvo Penta display. Range is 90% of advertised fuel capacity. Sound levels taken at the lower helm. 65 dB(A) is the level of normal conversation.