When Palmer Johnson took delivery of the Khalilah carbon fiber motor yacht in 2014, all eyes from passersby were drawn to her gleaming golden James Bond exterior. What viewers didn't know was that three hulls were hidden underwater, which made the 157-foot boat more fuel efficient than similarly sized monohulls. Eight years later, the American manufacturer's recently launched 63 Sport Cruiser takes its advanced lightweight hull technology to the next level, delivering 33-50% lower fuel consumption and carbon emissions.
Propulsion is provided by standard Volvo IPS units, but it is the thin-wing main hull and curved stern that make for smooth sailing up to 34 knots. This means no bumps, smooth ride and low lean when cornering at high speed for easy handling.
"The shell of the PJ63 is designed for comfort," Palmer Johnson owner Timur Mohamed told Robb Report . "Even with a diesel engine, the hull is more fuel efficient than standard single hulls."
An open sport cruiser is also very beautiful. Palmer Johnson's unique monolithic design and mixed sculptural surfaces intersect with clean, crisp lines and a clean, smooth soundboard. The boat's all-carbon superstructure shines with metallic paint, while its end-to-end shoulder adds a touch of sporty aggression. The views from the open wheel were not interrupted. A partial hardtop provides shade when needed.
The perimeter features decks for lounging in the water, steps for easy access to the water, and lounge chairs for cocktails. At 20.6 feet, the PJ63 also makes the PJ63 the largest open deck saloon in the 60-70 foot class. This offers the captain ample space across the full width of the lower deck as well as a large saloon, open galley and a forward balcony.
Another key feature is that conventional planing yachts can easily be held in high-speed waves when forced to reverse. "Sailing at over 30 knots is not scary and stressful and nothing to talk about," says Mohamed. "It's more Bentley, less Lambo."
Additionally, the PJ63 suggests what's in store for the American boat builder, which is currently building its first all-electric small yacht to be launched in 2023.
"While electric yachts are starting to appear in the industry, they are only 20 to 30 feet long with limited performance profiles given the current state of battery technology," said Mohamed. "The PJ63 is proof that our tri-helmet technology is a good platform for building even larger zero-emission yachts, and that's exactly what we're focusing on."
It looks like Palmer Johnson is having some exciting times.
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