Hardy 65DS Review by Motor Boat & Yachting

“Hardy 65 – Tackling the beast”

AUDIO TRANSCRIPT

Hello and welcome to a literally freezing Gospel Marina. There is snow underfoot on the pontoons and someone’s even taking their time to build a little snowman here. The reason we’re here in these conditions is to test this, the Hardy 65. And the plan is to take it over to Guernsey tomorrow. The only issue being, the forecast is saying Gale Force 8, very high winds (68km/h) and very rough seas in the channel.

So the plan is to get up, pop our heads out the window. See what it’s like and go from there but for now, the kettle’s on so we’re gonna head inside.

This is bed for the night. Tucked up here in the VIP cabin. Fingers crossed for better weather than they forecast for tomorrow but for now, it’s good night.

Good morning! Well, there hasn’t been a miraculous weather change and the forecast is the same. So it looks like plan A may have been scuppered a bit. We felt it’s a bit irresponsible given freezing temperatures and Force 8 forecast in the middle of the channel no matter how capable the boat. It’s a bit irresponsible to do that if you don’t have to go over there. So we’re gonna go to plan B, which is to take the boat down to Pool. In what should be, some quite tasty weather and we’re gonna stop by as well to get some photography so that’s the plan.

Credits: Jack Hanes
TEST DRIVE

That’s the first time I’ve had to scrape snow off the decks before leaving a berth. Lovely! Well, it all seemed a bit benign when we left Portsmouth but we’ve decided to go to Yarmouth the long way around and head around the southern side of the Isle of Wight. And as we’re heading east now, into the breeze it is beginning to kick up and I think it’ll kick up even more as we leave the Solent and head around the South side of the island. But you know we’re punching along at 18-19 knots here. We’ve got the vector fin-stabilises on here and just taking the sting out of the motion. Yeah, I mean all is well, but we’ll see what we find as we head around the South side of the island.

So we’re just rounding the eastern tip of the Isle now and it is beginning to properly kick up, there’s some quite steep waves out here. And they’re coming along in our port quarter. There are occasions where we’re just getting slightly caught in the wave pattern and the speed is rocketing from between 25 knots and sort of 12 knots as we go up the backs of these waves but you know we can see it all going along. They’ll be extremely isolated from in here. The fins are doing that thing, the engines are just a little bit distant hum ticking along in the background and you know we’re doing sort of 100 litres per hour on each engine but you’d have no idea really of you know how quite severe the conditions are. It’s lovely and calm and tranquil up here in the wheelhouse.

We’re closing in on the Needles now and things have calmed down way better. So we’d probably talk a bit about the engines and performance on this boat. Hull number one, the Hardly 62 as it was called then, had 1200 horsepower. I mean this has got 800 horsepower MANs. So that’s the top speed in the region of 20 knots depending on how much fuel and water you’ve got onboard.

So performance isn’t as high as that original boat. So really you’re gonna find that you’re fast cruising speed is in the region of 16 to 17 knots which is what we’re doing right now. That’s giving us a fuel burn of 110 litres per hour per engine. Of course, you dropped down to 10 knots of displacement speeds. That range is gonna shoot up but for what we’re doing now this speed of sort of 16 to 17 knots feels very comfortable and that is probably the sort of speed you’re gonna find yourself travelling at most of the time, to be honest.

Well, we’ve made it round. Horrible little short choppers. We came into the Western Solent there but we’re just hovering outside Yarmouth and decided on a plan of action.

“16 to 17 knots feels very comfortable”

It’s high tide and the swell is really rolling in there. We’ll pop our heads and then see what it looks like before we make our decision.

Well, we’ve had to abort that plan. High tide, wind and swell whisking straight into Yarmouth with so little protection in there that it just wouldn’t have been safe really to come alongside and we’d have to do it twice to drop Rich off to take some snaps. So we’re gonna have to move on to Pool and hope we get something there. Wow, you really get to appreciate the conditions when you leave the safety and comfort of the wheelhouse.

Well, it takes a little trip up to the flybridge to realise quite how high the winds are today. It really is blowing hard now and the angle of the wind and the swirl going into Yarmouth there. We may well have got on to one of the pontoons but I think we’d have struggled to get off with the wind the way it is. So the safest thing to do was to leave the harbour sharpish and now we’re gonna head directly to Pool from here and hope we can get something at the other end.

Almost five hours on the water exactly now and we are coming through Pool Harbour all safe and sound and that’s been a great run down for the Hardy 65.

We’ve had a really good selection of sea conditions, big rolling, following sea, shorts, a big head sea and the boat has dealt with everything really comfortably and honestly we probably could have crossed the channel today but with the winds increasing to Force 8.

“the boat has dealt with everything really comfortably”

It just didn’t seem sensible to go out in the channel and potentially put ourselves, the boat and the people we might have to put the rescuers at risk, if something did go wrong. So probably the right decision but no doubt the boat could have handled it. And the overwhelming feeling is just how well this thing insulates you from the conditions. We’ve been boiling the kettle or having cups of coffee, barely had to touch the throttles. It just chugs along pushing everything out of the way and you know it does what it’s designed to do. Brilliant!

INTERIOR

Now we’re safely tucked up in Pool quay. We can have a look at the interior because it’s significantly different from hull number one which we tested a few years ago. That interior was traditional, a bit dark, galley tucked down below. This is the interior. This boat should always have had, it’s warm, it’s modern and it’s very comfortable.

And the layout changes really improve the way the boat works. Having the galley here where it is at midships is great for a boat of this style. Where you’re gonna be doing long-legged cruising. We’ve had it today, people were up and sat at the helm but you can easily come back to the galley, make a cup of tea, make a sandwich and you’re still on the same deck as the skipper and you can still be on watch.

You have two main seating areas. You have the more blade back area aft and then you have your internal dinette here. This is great for breakfast. It’s also a good impromptu chart area as well.

And then moving forward we have a helm station which we’ve already talked about. This is a boat that is equipped to go a long way. You have everything you need here for all different conditions.

“This is a boat that is equipped to go a long way.”

It has night vision for this particular boat. You have cameras so that you can see all different corners all from the helm. It’s a boat that is set up to go places and that is obvious from the off.

And this is a really great little spot as well. Spent a lot of time here [at the copilot station] on the five or six hours we’ve been on the boat today. It means that you can keep the skipper company but you also have a bit of space for charts to have some instruments out here. Works really well but now we’re gonna have a look at the accommodation.

For a 65ft boat, if it’s shared sleeping space you want, this particular layout may not work particularly well for you because this third cabin here is just a single bed, not double bunks but the two main cabins are nice and spacious and very comfortable.

You have a forward VIP here, which has got scissor action beds, so you can easily change them from a pair of twins to a double and that is ensuite. Really nice ensuite with a separate shower cubicle and that also acts as the day heads.

And then at midships, you have a major change over the hull number one that we test a couple years ago because you have a proper luxurious midships master cabin with big hull windows, walk-in wardrobe, really enjoyable a separate ensuite and like the saloon, it’s finished to the right standard as well.

Now, this is a lazarette that belongs to a serious cruising boat. Full standing headroom, mountains of extra storage, there’s a sink down here, water maker, your washing machine, some extra cooling space and then just all the room there is, to store cruising gear. This is a boat that’s designed to be at sea for a very long time.

And going hand-in-hand with that is the engine access. You just step through this watertight door into an engine room that is like a surgical theatre. Clean as a whistle, Brilliantly lit, everything is really easy to access. Again, headroom is superb. You can get around all sides of the engine and it’s so beautifully neat and laid out. It’s exactly what you’d expect of a category A boat that is designed to tackle big journeys.

FLYBRIDGE

The flybridge demonstrates another significant improvement over hull number one. It’s a much better layout, far more usable and practical and much more comfortable too. So you have a really good central helm location there with two seats and then it is flanked by more seating so that guests can join the captain navigator when the boats on passage.

And then you have your main seating area focal point round here, under the shelter of the radar arch which of course has a Bimini if you want it as an option.

This boat has an enormous spec on it so it has the tender up here with a crane up on the flybridge but it also has a high-low bathing platform, so feasibly you could keep your tender down there and leave this space here free for whatever you’d like to do with it, really. But in general, the reworking that they’ve done of this flybridge makes it such a more effective living area.

“the reworking that they’ve done of this flybridge makes it such a more effective living area”

SUMMARY

Of course, all of this equipment and capability does not come cheap. This boat on the water came in at two point one seven million pounds before VAT. That said, it does now have an interior that justifies that price tag and as it proved on this test, it’s a boat that will look after you whatever the weather.

The Hardy 65DS is just one of the many impressive models in the Hardy Motor Yachts range.  If you want to know more about Hardy yachts, here’s an article about Hardy Motor Yacht’s history, what they are good at, and whether they are as tough as they claim. Also, check out Motor Boat & Yachting’s review on the Titian Tender – one of Cockwells’ fantastic Superyacht Tenders, and find out why they call it “The exquisite synthesis of speed and style”.


See more details on the Hardy 65 here:

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