The way the Senator behaves gives the impression it would be completely unflappable – easily capable of handling whatever long-range offshore adventures Dan has in mind.
- Lots of entertaining options, a large, well-equipped galley and great outdoor living
- Amazing amount of space on deck for a 47-footer
- Efficient displacement hull design delivers comfort, economy and speed
Businessman and philanthropist Dave Sutherland has teamed up with celebrity chef Ben Bayly to launch Coastal Adventures, a new venture offering bespoke food experiences on the water for up to 24 guests, with the option of multi-day charters for smaller groups.
Sutherland and Bayly are partners in the fine dining restaurant Ahi in Commercial Bay and another more family-oriented restaurant in Henderson called The Grounds. Sutherland’s life partner Candace and their friend Dave Saggs, who skippers the boat, round out the Coastal Adventures crew.
The on-water vehicle for their new venture is a Nautitech 47 Power displacement catamaran, built in France and sold in New Zealand by Busfield Marine Brokers. Named Nautibuoy, it is the first example of this model in New Zealand and also the first Nautitech 47 Power to leave the factory with dual helm stations – most have a single helm on the flybridge.
Because it will carry paying guests, Nautibuoy must meet New Zealand survey requirements, an involved process that was still underway when we enjoyed our fine dining experience on the Waitemata Harbour. The two Daves have embraced the survey process, in many cases over-delivering in the interests of safety. For example, all the vessel’s adult-sized Spinlock lifejackets are fitted with GPS/AIS. Dave jokes that people sometimes refer to him as ‘Safety Sutherland’.
The two Daves once owned a boat together, a sailing catamaran which they and their families loved, but while Sutherland was sold on the amount of deck space catamarans offer, he didn’t want sails for the new boat.
People today are generally time poor, says Sutherland, so he wanted a vessel that would get to where it was going in good time, preferably without burning vast quantities of fossil fuel. Unlike some boaties, Dave says he’s more about the destination than the journey, a sentiment partner Candace shares, so being able to travel faster than a sailing boat and in the direction they wanted appealed to them both. A modern, efficient displacement catamaran fitted the bill nicely – fast enough for their purposes but relatively miserly on fuel.
The French do catamarans really well. This Nautitech 47 Power has a top speed of 24 knots, but cruises happily at 18-20 knots, transporting owners and guests in comfort. Dial the boat speed back to a leisurely 8 knots and the vessel has the ability to motor to Fiji without refuelling, something that’s on the cards for the future, though Dave Saggs suggests they’ll probably carry extra fuel and travel at 18 knots to shorten the journey.
Upon stepping aboard Nautibuoy, it’s easy to see the appeal for an events and hospitality business, but also for families after space, versatility and chic modern styling. As with most catamarans, the main deck is all one level, which makes for a seamless transition between the cockpit/rear deck and saloon. The Nautitech’s layout is especially good in this respect, the cockpit and saloon merging into one living space.
Between the teak cockpit and the laminate floor of the saloon, stacking glass doors and a teak grate link but also demarcate the two zones. In inclement weather, or to shut out engine noise, simply close the doors – the Volvo Penta D4 300hp diesels are positioned well aft, one in each hull, accessed through deck hatches.
The teak-soled cockpit – more an aft saloon, really – is ultra-spacious with plenty of built-in seating, a large table and weather-resistant upholstery in nautical blue. It’s ideal for entertaining a large group al fresco, protected from sun and rain by a moulded hardtop. Clear covers enclose the cockpit, so it’s useable year round.
Like the cockpit, the aft platforms, accessed via stairs on either side, are a good size. Between them is an optional Tenderlift hydraulic lifting platform, which on Nautibuoy accommodates the RIB tender, making launching and retrieving a breeze. With the RIB launched, it’s can be used by swimmers and divers – Candace is a keen scuba-diver and the platform is jokingly referred to as hers. Dave has also fitted rodholders and a bait board, so fishing is another option.
With as much space on deck as a monohull twice its length, the Nautitech 47 Power offers so many options for socialising. Aside from the cockpit and rear platforms, there’s a wonderful entertaining zone on the vast foredeck. The sunken lounge area moulded into the foredeck features sofas, sun pads, cup holders, a folding dinette table and a sunshade, complemented by traditional trampolines forward. Access is either via wide non-slip side decks or the teak stairway/ladder from the flybridge.
Dave and Candace upgraded Nautibuoy’s ground tackle to better suit New Zealand conditions. The anchor, usually deployed with a yoke to prevent the vessel crabbing across the anchorage, is substantial enough to ensure secure holding.
Yet another entertainment zone is the flybridge. Protected by a moulded bimini and able to be fully enclosed with clears, it is a natural gathering place when the boat’s underway.
The main helm station is on the flybridge, but instruments and electronics are mirrored by the second helm in the saloon.
Electronics include two Simrad 12-inch touchscreen displays with keypad, GoFree Wi-Fi and GPS for each helm station. The VHF radios, with AIS, are also Simrad, as is the Halo 24 radar, autopilot and OP50 remote control upstairs. The sound system is Fusion.
When the weather’s bad, the downstairs helm is the go, but after dark helming’s from the flybridge because the saloon has tinted windows.
On a cruise to the Mokohinau Islands not long after taking delivery of Nautibuoy, 14 family members and friends relaxed on the flybridge, seated on the wraparound settee or reclining on the upper deck’s front-facing sun beds. Nautibuoy is equipped with an optional wet bar, complete with drinks fridge, while thn optional table turns the flybridge into yet another attractive outdoor dining space.
Dining outdoors is fine in the Caribbean or the Mediterranean where most Nautitech catamarans live their lives, but in New Zealand’s climate it pays to have an indoor option as well, especially in a vessel offering year-round hospitality. Fortunately, the saloon is as spacious as any of the outdoor dining choices and even more comfortable.
Positioned under the front windows on the port side, the saloon table and wrap-around settee are big enough for an intimate dinner. With the galley so close, guests can enjoy an unusual insight into fine food preparation, or a social occasion with family and friends.
The saloon benefits from lots of natural light, opening port hatches on the front windows for ventilation and the stacking rear doors. Dave and Candace chose darker walnut for the boat’s interior, but it’s also available in white oak.
The galley takes advantage of the space in the saloon, with generous stone-look work surfaces, a full-size gas hob, under-bench gas oven, dishwasher, double sink, in-bench fridge and rubbish bin and a microwave. There’s good drawer stowage, pantry space and a full height 325-litre fridge opposite the galley to port, with an additional 55-litre freezer in the owners’ suite in the port hull.
Nautibuoy has the three-cabin layout, but the model is also available in four-cabin and crew configurations. The three-cabin set-up gives the owners the whole of the port hull. The aft cabin with a queen berth, large hull window is separated from the luxurious bathroom at the front by generous hanging lockers, a spacious dressing room/office opposite the companionway stairs, the freezer and miscellaneous storage lockers. The shower cubicle is roomy and the heads are in their own compartment.
The starboard hull has cabins at either end, each with a comfortable queen berth, a bathroom (separate showers), plus a separate toilet for each (a vessel total of three to use as day-heads) – ideal for charter work. Nautibuoy enjoys air-conditioning and a watermaker, while an upgraded Onan genset complements the 2000W inverter.
We spent a lot more time at anchor than we did underway, but our cruise to Rangitoto Island on a breezy afternoon gave Nautibuoy the opportunity to demonstrate a stable ride and an ability to effortlessly cut through a sloppy seaway at 18 knots. Nobody spilled drinks and food prep continued in the galley.
The combination of a stiff crosswind and some steep, wind-against-tide waves directed the odd bit of spray over the boat, even reaching the helm station upstairs, but clears would normally have been fitted on the sort of day we went boating – they’d been left off for the photos.
Both the owners and the skipper confirm that the 18-tonne boat (heavy trim) handles nicely and is eminently capable of tackling rough seas. The bridgedeck is carried high off the water, so slamming is unlikely, while the slim hulls ensure good fuel economy, even with the uprated 300hp engines. These allow Nauti Buoy to cruise happily at 18-20 knots, an improvement on 15 knots with the standard 225hp Volvo Pentas.
Nautitech builds its catamarans using the latest bonding and vacuum-infusion technologies combined with sandwich construction, isopthalic resins, divinycell cores and vinylester resin hard coats. This results in catamarans that are robust, durable and relatively light.
Nautibuoy should be easy to spot on the Waitemata – for now it’s the only one in this part of the world – but given the Nautitech 47 Power’s spaciousness and versatility, along with its capable performance, easy handling and good fuel economy, I expect we’ll soon be seeing more. They should appeal not only to Auckland-based events companies but also to boating families around New Zealand.
Chefs Ben Bayly and Andrea Catalinni conjured up an amazing food experience aboard Nautiboy. The six-course meal was largely prepared in Nautibuoy’s spacious galley with help from the portable stainless-steel BBQ on the transom.
We were treated to a selection of some of Ahi’s signature dishes, each showcasing the finest New Zealand ingredients, beautifully presented and accompanied by carefully chosen local beers and wines.
The first course was a spectacular appetiser of tahr, wild-caught in New Zealand’s Southern Alps, served raw with fermented hot sauce. Called tahr tartare, it was visually striking and thoroughly delicious.
The tahr was followed by crayfish tail halves, skewered and grilled on the BBQ, then smothered in tomato butter, crispy capers and pancetta. Yum!
Next up was a course of seared dry-aged New Zealand yellowfin tuna, served with bull kelp, horseradish, avocado and pickled clam – a feast for the senses. Then came a divine dish of marbled waygu beef, cooked on the BBQ and served with seared cos lettuce and salsa verde – melt in your mouth.
A cheese course was next, followed by the final course, a sensational dessert of light and dark Miann chocolate with plum. Andrea even conjured up a spectacular vegetarian course for one of our party who doesn’t eat meat.
As each dish came to the table Ben or Andrea would explain its inspiration and talk about the ingredients’ provenance, right down to specific growers and suppliers. With the boat bobbing gently at anchor on the calm waters of Islington Bay, the commentary added even more flavour to a wonderfully intimate and engaging dining experience.
Coastal Adventures are poised to commence charters from October 2021.
Facebook: @CoastalAdventuresNZ www.coastal-adventures.co.nz email: email@example.com/>