An open helm station where you can enjoy the breezes is fine for fair-weather boating. Having protection from the elements, however, is an important part of passage-making, because you cross Mother Ocean at her convenience. On the Jefferson 63 Pilothouse Motor Yacht, you can have it either way.
The 63 Pilothouse has a spacious bi-level flybridge for entertaining and cruising under clear skies. The forward deck has a pair of captain's chairs at the helm and bench seating along the side. A U-shaped conversation area is amidships, served by a wet bar. Continuing aft, there's space for a tender and an optional davit. Two stairways take you to the main deck. One leads to the salon, the other to the cockpit. Both have a weatherproof glass hatch.
Wide walkways line the perimeter of the main deck, and the cockpit is covered by the flybridge overhang to encourage outdoor entertainment. There's a bench seat on the foredeck, situated on the forward part of the pilothouse. Dual anchor rollers come standard on the boat, and you'll find a Simpson Lawrence windlass, a 60-pound plow anchor and 200 feet of chain rode.
The lower helm station is on the centerline and visibility is excellent forward and to the sides. You can see the stern through the glass doors aft of the salon, but for docking, Jefferson provides a remote throttle station in the cockpit — an excellent feature that comes standard, along with a bow thruster (a stern thruster is optional). There are exits on both sides of the pilothouse to the deck walkways. An L-shaped dining area with a hinged tabletop that adjusts to your needs is located immediately behind the helm station.
The salon and galley are on the lower portion of the main deck. The sleek, U-shaped black-granite galley countertop on our test boat had a double-basin stainless steel sink and a three-burner stove. That's it. The rest of the space was left open for food preparation, a refreshing sight. The refrigerator and freezer units, as well as a drawer dishwasher and a trash compactor, were under the counter, while a microwave oven was in an overhead cabinet.
The salon seating on our test boat included an L-shaped settee to starboard and another one running along the port side. An entertainment center is built into the cabinetry in the aft port corner and includes a 37-inch plasma-screen TV. An optional wine cooler was in the base of the cabinet.
Jefferson does a superb job when it comes to cabinetry. All of the wood surfaces have a flawless high-gloss finish. Several contrasting types of wood are used throughout the boat. I especially liked the burled wood on the instrument panels at the helm and on some of the small countertops. There was considerable attention to detail in centering the pattern to achieve a geometric look.
The lower deck on the 63 Pilothouse has three staterooms and two heads. A stairway coming down from the port side of the helm leads to a centerline companionway that connects the three. The master suite is amidships and has a center queen-size berth flanked by nightstands. The en suite head to port includes a combination tub and shower stall as well as a large vanity countertop. On the starboard side, there's a long, low cabinet with a dressing mirror above it. The master suite also has his and hers hanging lockers.
The forward suite has a pedestal berth and private access to the second head, located to port, which can be entered from the companionway. The third stateroom is along the starboard side. You can have bunk beds installed here or have the space furnished as an office. A standard washer and dryer are housed in a closet off the companionway.
Engine room access is gained through a large hatch that doubles as the bottom half of the molded stairway between the flybridge and the cockpit. Although headroom was at a premium, there was access on all sides of the Series 60 MTU diesels that resided there. There was also a separate full-beam storage compartment under the cockpit deck, accessible through a hatch in the sole.
The 63 Pilothouse was a sprightly performer for her size. She did a 360-degree turn in about four boat lengths. There was no lean while making turns at 20 knots. At wide-open throttle, turning 2,250 rpm, we hit a top speed of 22.7 knots. At a cruising speed of 20 knots, total fuel burn was 62 gph. With wind noise, I got a sound level reading of 82 dB at the upper station; it dropped to 75 dB below. The ride was smooth and stable.
Jefferson has long accommodated customization requests and provides a number of options that allow customers to personalize the interiors and accessories. One notable option is that you can eliminate the side walkways to make the salon full-beam.
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