Marlow Explorer 62E
The new Marlow Explorer 62E replaces the 61E—which having been introduced in 2004 has had a lengthy run of its own. Mainly, there are two changes: The transom now has the stylish compound curvature that is found on other new Marlows, which allows for a more convenient center staircase down to the swim platform, a larger lazarette/rudder room, and the addition of two L-shaped settees on the aft deck, each with its own table. The other is lamination using the second iteration of the builder’s vacuum-infusion process. In Chairman David Marlow’s world, this is the more important change.
By now most everyone is familiar with both the mechanics and advantages of resin infusion. Essentially the process places a laminate in an enclosed container, introduces a vacuum, and then injects resin, which is drawn through the laminate by the vacuum. Compared to conventional layup, resin infusion results in much more consistent saturation of the laminate while using substantially less resin, which increases strength and reduces weight. All Marlow yachts have been resin-infused, starting with the first hull in 2000.
But David Marlow has never been one to be satisfied with the status quo. He realized some time ago that resin infusion is limited by the amount of vacuum applied to the laminate: The higher the vacuum, the more effective the dispersion of resin and the more consistent the strength of the laminate. In turn, the amount of vacuum that can be applied is limited by the centipoise of the resin. (Centipoise is the amount of force required to move a layer of liquid in relation to another liquid. It is closely related to viscosity and in fact is measured with a viscometer.)
Working with his supplier, Marlow has been able to source a resin of significantly lower centipoise, which has allowed him to apply a higher vacuum to laminates—on the order of 4,000 pounds per square foot. He has combined this with a totally automated infusion process that he says allows him to infuse a 78-foot hull in less than an hour using just three 55-gallon barrels of resin—roughly 35 percent of the resin required by hand lamination. All of this means a boat that is not only stronger but also lighter. According to Marlow, the 62E exceeds the 61E in speed by five percent and in fuel efficiency by 10 percent.
There is also the much-covered Velocijet Strut Keel drive system, of which the 62E’s is the second generation, using oil-filled shaft tubes that virtually eliminate vibration as well as the friction produced by conventional cutless bearings. Another feature is the internal thrust bearings that absorb propeller force and allow the mains to sit level (allowing for more lube-oil capacity) on comparatively soft engine mounts. Engine-generated vibration is virtually banished, something that was palpable during our sea trial.
Yet another benefit of resin infusion is greater interior volume. Because the process creates a stronger laminate, the skin can carry much of the loading, allowing for smaller and fewer stringers and crossmembers. Internal supports are largely unnecessary; many bulkheads can be simply nonstructural dividers. The upshot is near-7-foot headroom in the saloon, and an engine room so capacious, you expect to see a basketball hoop at one end.
It is this attention to detail and the underlying philosophy of continuous incremental refinement that explains why Marlow Yachts stay competitive for so long: They are engineered without compromise so that follow-on models need only evolve, not be redesigned.
Performance and longevity: It’s what sets apart the great performers from the also-rans, no matter the game.
Marlow Yachts, 941-729-3370; www.marlowyachts.com
: 75,000 lb.
: 2,280 gal.
: 500 gal.
: 2/1,015-hp Caterpillar C18 ACERT diesels
: 2/715-hp Caterpillar C12 ACERT diesel inboards
: 20-kW Cummins Onan
: 2/1,135-hp Caterpillar C18 ACERT diesels; MAN and MTU diesels available on request
: ZF500A with 2.57:1 gear ratio
: 39x44 5-blade Nibral
*Range based on 90% of advertised fuel capacity.