The first Gunboat, a 62 named Tribe, started out as a fairly spartan family cruiser (well, for Gunboat, anyway). Then came the 48. And then came the 66.
For many, the best Gunboat
As the orders came in, new owners wanted more space and the ability to carry more load for luxury kit, and so Peter Johnstone with Morrelli & Melvin added feet to meet the demand while keeping performance levels up and the Gunboat 66 was born.
This length has since become the “sweet spot” for Gunboats with the new Gunboat 68 coming in at a similar length.
The extra feet gave room for four en-suite staterooms plus crew quarters with a huge living platform.
Photo credit from Instagram: @safeharbornewportshipyard, @gareth.m.reeves, @eastcoastsailor, @bruceslayden, @seabreezeart
- Blistering sailing performance on all points of sail. The aim? Regular 300 nm days.
- The organisation of the boat, highlighted by that forward working cockpit
- The visibility and ventilation in the saloon
- The price. At least you won’t be spending as much as you would on a brand new Gunboat 68!
- Not as pretty as some of the other Gunboats. Thats subjective, I know, but she does look like they stretched the 62, but hey, I’m splitting hairs here. I’ve got to put something in the “Cons” section.
This is a Gunboat, and the Gunboat 66 doesn’t disappoint in this department of course. Even with all of your kit on, you will be sailing faster than the wind in single digit wind speeds and when the breeze fill in, the Gunboat 66 takes off onto a mid teen to 20 knot gallop. This is a boat that has inspired a number of newer designs such as the O-Yachts Class 6 catamaran and the HH66.
The forward cockpit feels like the nerve centre of the Gunboat 66. It’s the trademark for this luxury brand, a configuration inspired by Chris White’s Atlantic cats, and the perfected for this 66 footer.
You can control all of the sail systems from here and it’s organised to Space-X levels. Many Gunboats have a secondary wheel in the cockpit (another Chris White innovation) so that you can helm and manage your lines at the same time. 2 powered winches help with the considerable loads, with a manual winch for the mainsheet and traveller. The anchor windlass is also controlled from this space with foot controls. Although this is a 66′ performance cat, the systems have been designed for a short handed crew.
The aim is for 300+ mile days. The self-tacking jib track allows you to head upwind easily with dagger-boards in each hull maximising your VMG. Because the 66 sails at such a clip, she generates her own wind, so you’ll be packing plenty of flat-cut sails to move you upwind in lighter winds.
It’s Carbon Baby
Pretty much everything on these boats is built of carbon fiber. The designers went over the 66 with a fine toothcomb to keep the weight down and the result is a ultra-weight cruiser with the sail power, beam and length to carve up the field in a regatta.
The fully protected roomy aft deck flows seamlessly into the open plan saloon with it’s galley and sofas with the traditional Gunboat forward helm that spills out into the forward cockpit and working area.
Views. And Then Some.
The most astonishing feature inside the saloon is the 360-degree views. Do you like a sea view? Prepare to spend much of your time with your mouth hanging open and with that forward cockpit door open, there is no need for air con: the breeze flows through the length of the boat. Most owners have fitted A/C anyway for marina days.
Down below are 4 queen sized en-suite cabins.
The original power package was twin Volvo 55s, but many owner’s have upgraded to 75s. They’ll push those fine cut bows along at 8.5 knots on one engine in a kind sea and 9.5 knots with both engines going.
66-01 Coco De Mer
(ex Flash, (ex-Panthera, ex-Mayhem, ex-Sugar Daddy first to circumnavigate)
(ex Tiger Lily, ex-Gazelle)
(8/2012 – finished at Jaz Marine)
66-07 Extreme H2O
(finished on West Coast at Westerly)
Gunboat 66 Polars
Another design classic from Gunboat. The 66 slips fast upwind, tacks tightly and roars away down wind while giving you all of the comfort and space of a luxury cruising cat. With its dagger-boards and retractable rudders, the 66 can take you places in the Bahama Banks and other shallow water destinations that luxury monohulls can only dream of.