Hailing from Aliso Viejo, California, is a brand-new build with an old-school outlook—the SeaPiper 35. If you want a modern take on an economical, trailerable, go-the-distance trawler with an emphasis on seamanship over seven mini bars, this could be your dream come true.
From a distance, the SeaPiper 35 looks like a cross between a small yacht and a classic U.S. Coast Guard Motor Lifeboat 36, with an enclosed aft wheelhouse, large center cockpit, and cabin forward. The split interior layout is counterculture in 2018 as most trendy motoryachts vie to offer the most palatial, single-level, open interior. Not so with the SeaPiper 35, although both cabins seem plenty for a couple or small family on the go with headroom consideration for those of us over 6’.
Another defining feature is apparent upon approach; the modest 8’ 6” beam. Once again counter to the trendy yachts of today, who are growing girthier in a quest for maximum interior space, the SeaPiper 35 is narrow like an arrow and proud of it. Not only does this harken back to traditional seamanship-focused designs, which should make for excellent handling, but the narrow beam also makes the SeaPiper 35 trailerable. No waters will be safe.
The SeaPiper 35 gives off the vibe of a steel or aluminum build, but the hull is made of a completely solid laminate FRP (fiber-reinforced polymer) and above the waterline is a polypropylene honeycombed cored sandwich superstructure. This vessel has a whopping four watertight bulkheads to allow for six watertight hull compartments. In other words, this should be one hard boat to sink! Another commonsense feature not seen on most new boats these days is the flat bottom section of the hull to allow easy gunkholing. If you’ve spent extended time cruising the Pacific Northwest waters, you’ll know how handy this can be in a pinch.
As far as performance is concerned, the SeaPiper 35 is powered by a single Beta 85-horsepower engine as standard. While this is on the conservative side for a 35’ yacht, the manufacturer touts a cruising speed of 7 to 9 knots, with a top speed of around 10 knots. The published maximum range of 2,000 nautical miles at 7 knots is almost jaw dropping, about enough to go from Puget Sound to Alaska and back. Hopefully we’ll be able to hop aboard one sometime soon and put it thought its paces.
Adjectives like practical, versatile, seaworthy, low-maintenance, and economical are often used to describe the stout-looking SeaPiper 35 that’s clearly made for long distance cruising. If these descriptors get you excited, you should probably check out the manufacturer’s website and inquire about pricing, availability, and the like.
SeaPiper states that they are building the first five hulls (which are already sold), have hulls 6 through 10 spoken for, and are taking more requests now. In the not-too-distant future, seeing a SeaPiper cruise by could be a common Pacific Northwest sight.