As you step aboard the Uniesse 65 MY -- or any other model this company builds -- take a close look at the seams between the interior structures. You won't find any silicone. Why? Because this Italian manufacturer takes at least one extra step when building its boats. All the structures are fitted into place in the hull, then removed and finished in the factory, and then fiberglassed permanently in place. This construction process is so precise that no space is left between the structures that the assembler would need to fill with a blob of silicone.
Extra care such as this makes a solid boat. I defy anyone to detect a rattle while a Uniesse is running. It also helps that this company is one of the few to construct its boats according to Europe's Class A ratings, which classifies the vessel as being capable of handling Force 8 winds (40 knots) and a minimum of 13' seas.
The bottom is laid up with as many as six alternating layers of solid fiberglass, and the hullsides are cored with Airex foam, which minimizes flexing and makes it easier for the boat to stand up to side-to docking maneuvers, when chances are that the hull will rub against pilings. Stringers comprise multiple layers of Airex encapsulated in fiberglass, and the hull-to-deck joint is bonded inside and out.
From a maintenance standpoint, veteran cruisers will love the access hatches throughout the 65 MY's interior. Based on my experience, you won't find as many hatches on the Fairline Squadron 68 ($3,592,600 powered like my test boat). Ditto for the Azimut 68E ($2,960,000 with the 1,360-bhp MANs). The Azimut's price looks much lower, but it includes no electronics and its standard equipment list is a lot smaller.
Throughout the boat there's plenty of easy access to mechanical gear. Near the crew quarters is a service room that houses the battery isolater, the Glendinning shorepower cable retractor, and other items. In keeping with the Class A requirements, a gasketed and dogged sea door closes off the engine compartment bulkhead. Once inside, I found outstanding headroom and a convenient quick-check hatch that you can open from the cockpit.
In keeping with the silicone-free approach, the ends of the stainless-steel motor mounts are bonded with fiberglass to prevent water intrusion. Twin gensets are positioned aft for easy service. The fuel system is plumbed with stainless-steel lines to prevent chafing, and each engine's diesel fuel is filtered with the traditional two fuel/water separators plus an additional MAN in-line unit. Pull-up panels allow good access to the batteries.
After resurfacing in the cockpit, I headed confidently forward thanks to mid-thigh-height bulwarks. The 65 MY's anchor locker hatch opened on a stainless-steel pneumatic strut to reveal a dedicated chainbox. Returning aft and into the cockpit, I found an uncluttered area with plenty of seating space.
The flying bridge offered more of the same with a huge aft lounge. I liked that the hatch that closes off the upper area slides on a track. This eliminates the slamming caused by hatches with hinges. Forward on the bridge, the well-equipped wetbar included a barbecue, stainless-steel sink, refrigerator, and stowage. To port, passengers can have lunch around a fixed-height table while seated on a wraparound lounge.
To minimize the short- and long-term effects of strong sun -- glare when you're running and fading of materials over time -- the upper helm panel raises electronically. My test boat featured Raymarine chartplotters, twin MAN digital control screens, and the usual assortment of ancillary gauges. Engine and thruster controls were well placed, and -- what do you know! -- there was even a small glovebox.
I took control of the 65 MY on a boringly calm day in the Atlantic. I've come to expect good rough-water performance from Uniesses thanks to its combination of a sharper-than-usual bow entry and full-length keel. The 65 MY has a shallower deadrise at the transom than its competition, but the keel maintains lateral stability. Handling is crisp and responsive.
At the lower helm, Uniesse has a smart arrangement. The equipment is all the same as on top. The feel is compact, yet uncluttered, so it doesn't dominate the boat's interior.
What immediately catches your attention is the length of the 65 MY's single-level salon. It's 22'. Aft to port is the requisite entertainment center with a retractable flat-screen TV and wetbar. A horseshoe-shaped lounge and chair to starboard provide a comfortable area to relax and catch a movie.
Uniesse is a custom builder, so there's a good chance there won't be another 65 MY laid out like my test boat, which had a full-sized glass dining table. You can opt for a breakfast bar in the galley. The galley in my test boat was on the salon level and was equipped with all the necessary appliances including an extra freezer drawer, handy on a long cruise.
Having the galley up means more accommodations belowdecks and on the 65 MY, there's sleeping for 10, including the crew quarters. A cabin to port at the bottom of the salon stairs has twin berths that convert to a large full. Directly across to starboard, the stateroom has twin upper and lower bunks. You can enter the day head from the portside cabin.
In the bow, the VIP quarters has a queen-sized berth plus a doublewide hanging locker. In the head, the shower stalls are bigger than usual and they opened with hinged hatches rather than sliding sections that often jam.
Aft, the master stateroom has a just-about king-sized berth offset to starboard, a small refrigerator, and a dinette-style lounge-table area. The table could double as a work area. I'd get rid of the snap spring that the top raises on. Uniesse says it's working on a scissor hinge.
In the head, the ivory sole added a warm glow that was enhanced by a crystal countertop. And guess what? There wasn't a trace of silicone anywhere .
MSRP: Standard power - $3,700,000 Test power - $3,700,000
Contact: 954.759.3424 www.uniesseusa.com