Let's say you're on an extended cruise with your new, non-aquatic trophy bride on the Atlantis 50. Buffy flushes things she shouldn't and shoves stuff down the galley sink that would choke a hippo. Not to worry-you can remedy the situation quickly. The 50 has four panels in the salon sole that pull up to provide easy access to myriad systems. One hatch is 6'7"-by-2'. You can find her missing hair extension or the Cialis you dropped and get back to cruising-or whatever-in minutes.
What's more, the 50's engine compartment layout makes it easy to maintain this boat. The fuel/water separators and strainers are on custom brackets just aft of each motor. Those for the Kohler genset are also conveniently positioned. Circuit breakers are forward on the compartment bulkhead. The air conditioning compressor, one of the Glendinning cord retractors, and the service batteries are to port, and to starboard are the autopilot pump, more batteries, and the other automatic cable retractor. The only service requirements that might be tricky to perform would be removing the batteries on the port side or having to crawl across the box that houses those batteries to get to the trim tab reservoir to add fluid.
Between the motors, there's about 2' of space so you can move about easily. Custom aluminum stanchions support the transmissions in the V-drive propulsion system, and abaft the genset is a hulking aluminum channel (it looks like a two-by-four) supporting the cockpit decking. Looking aft, I could see that the trim lines were sealed on the inboard side of the transom, but if you need to get aft to deal with a steering issue, get ready to crawl.
Although many 50' boats with three staterooms come up short on stowage, the 50 isn't one of them. Large lockers in the cockpit are dedicated for cushion stowage. On the bow, the anchor locker has good capacity, but the hatch needs something to keep it from lying against the rail, and inside the locker there should be a dedicated chainbox.
In all the staterooms belowdecks, the 50 has exceptional stowage capacity. In the starboard cabin, there's a 5'-by-2' box beneath the port single mattress. To port beneath the double berth is a 3'-by-2'-by-1'3" locker, and finally, in the master stateroom are extra-large drawers as well as twin hanging lockers and eye-level cabinets.
At the base of the cockpit stairs, aft to starboard is the cabin with twin longitudinally positioned berths, and just across the passageway, a couple can sleep comfortably on the double berth in the VIP stateroom. Each stateroom has a small flat-screen TV and stereo control plus a hanging locker with enough space to keep a sport coat wrinkle-free. Additional pull-up panels in the passageway decking provide access for more services. You enter the day head from the portside cabin. In addition to the requisite-on-any-Euro-boat freestanding glass sink, the head has a one-person shower stall and vacuum-flush commode.
In the forward master stateroom, the overhead deck hatch provides great natural light for the queen berth. The master head is laid out nearly identically to the day head but has extra shelf space and stowage capacity.
Moving out into the salon, there's an eight-person lounge to starboard. Again Atlantis provided outstanding stowage in lockers that run the length of the lounge.
To port, galley highlights include stainless-steel refrigeration drawers and pullout pantry-style racks, plus a large countertop. One low point: Snap springs are used to hold up the hatches on outboard lockers. Atlantis installed folding kickstands throughout the boat in other areas. Those would have worked better here.
The Atlantis sleeps six, but in this size range, you can choose to go with a boat that handles four such as the Sea Ray 48 Sundancer. It retails for $932,538 with twin 517-bhp Cummins MerCruiser QSC 8.3 engines. Like the Atlantis, the Fairline Targa 52 has sleeping space for six but only one berth that can accommodate a couple. Its sticker is $1,356,000 with the same twin 775-bhp Volvo Penta D12-800s.
Fun in the Sun
Moving into the Atlantis 50's cockpit, you'll find a lot more to like. Adjacent to the helm is a triple-wide chaise lounge that lets you sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. However, I'd prefer to be able to sit up a little straighter on a seat like this.
At the helm, I like the individual sports car-style pods for each instrument. The charcoal-gray finish on the dash kills glare and the controls are comfortably placed. While Atlantis, like every other builder that centrally locates the steering wheel ahead of the doublewide bench seat, calls it a two-person lounge, only someone the size of my four-year-old daughter can fit on it with me.
When I did take the wheel, I loved driving the 50. Because the gauges are set farther forward, you can easily keep an eye on the water and check the instruments with a quick glance. In turns, the boat reacted perfectly, completing a 180-degree course change in less than 90'.
While you're underway, Buffy can grab you a soda from the wetbar to starboard. If she wants to get some sun-and you want to show her off-she can lie out on the triple-wide aft lounge cushions and work on her tan. After all the grief she causes you during a cruise, she can at least make you look good.
EXTRA POINT: In the master stateroom, the switches for the reading lights are on one side, while the air conditioning controls are on the other, which should lead to some interesting bedtime discussions by couples.