Mercurial. It’s a fitting word to describe the weather in our beloved Pacific Northwest, especially during the upcoming spring shoulder season, when a day out on the water can bring everything from abundant sunshine and mild temps to dark clouds and sleeting rain, or maybe even a rogue hailstorm or two.
With that in mind, boaters here naturally demand a vessel that can withstand the ever-changing elements and perform well throughout the seasons. However, the question has long remained: Could there be a singular design that allows adventurers to fully enjoy any kind of weather Mother Nature dishes out?
Billy Gilbert, sales manager for Silver Seas Yachts in Seattle, sure thinks so. His proposed solution is the Galeon Yachts line, a Poland-based, family-operated yacht builder founded in 1982, then introduced to the U.S. market in 2016, and now will make its Northwest debut at this month’s Seattle Boat Show (SBS).
One of the trademarks of Galeon-built boats are the customizable, flex-use spaces found as part of what the brand calls “Beach Mode,” with design features such as fold-out extendable wing platforms, full beam hydraulic swim platforms, stunning stretches of aft and side glass paneling, and lower helm power sunroofs that open to expand the vessel’s overall footprint. Created in collaboration with Tony Castro Design Studio, these attributes allow for spacious open-air social zones while at rest, with everything then tucking back in so that the vessel can run fully enclosed or shelter passengers against any challenging weather conditions.
It’s the same basic concept as a Transformer toy, bur recreated in real life to stunning effect.
For example, in the Beach Mode package of the 470 Sky model set to appear at SBS, there are two of the aforementioned fold-out terraces located both port and starboard that expand the vessel’s 14’ 2” beam out to a roomier 18’7”.
To port, this platform can be configured as an alfresco bar that connects directly to the light-bathed galley. Hullside windows run the length of the vessel, providing natural light belowdecks in the roomy owner’s suite and to the main level salon. This area further benefits from an oversized, steeply raked windshield that spans the lower helm, which also has a retractable side window and power sunroof overhead. Operational aft side windows allow for cross breezes to flutter through on fine days, while folding, accordion-style glass doors open the galley up to the aft deck itself, where a U-shaped sofa is primed for lounging and easy access to the full beam, almost four-feet wide swim platform located a few steps below. (An additional package also offers up a hydraulic stowage compartment and a pull-out grilling station.) Up top on the skydeck, there’s more versatility to be found, with another seating area as well as an elevated helm station that can all be covered up with retractable clamshell doors to protect against the elements.
In addition to the jigsaw-puzzle design that spans all three levels, and the three berths that can be configured to whim, the finishes aboard are smartly sophisticated with dark walnut matte cabinetry, diamond-stitched upholstery, and supple suede details. Attention to detail has also been paid to the exceedingly streamlined, Volvo Penta-powered fiberglass hull that has been crafted bow to stern in one of the brand’s two Poland shipyards. (Galeon is one of the most vertically integrated yacht builders in Europe, controlling every part of the design and manufacturing process.)
In addition to the skybridge designs, Galeon also offers flybridge models—a subsection Gilbert states would also suit the Northwest’s variable weather conditions, touting such features as a fully rotating aft seating unit to take in the surf and helm access doors to make maneuvering in the slip or through the Ballard Locks that much simpler—as well as hardtop designs like the buzzy new HTC 450 that debuted at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show back in October. This sporty model is highlighted by such weather-ready features as an expansive hydraulic glass roof that spans the full length of the vessel, as well as a drop-down platform on each side of the cockpit to provide more outdoor recreational space beyond the vessel’s 20’8” beam. They’re just more innovative perks that provide true enjoyment for all onboard—weather or not.