Moorings 51.5: Mini Review
Andrew Burton reviews the Moorings 51.5 for the 2007 Cruising World Sailboat Show.
The Moorings 51.5 is, by any standard, a big boat. A 16-foot beam is enough room to hold a Laser stowed athwartships, with a foot left over on either side. The beam translates to a terrific amount of space-about twice the volume of more traditional 50-footers-and to comfort for the charter guests for whom it's designed. Five cabins make up the accommodations, with four double cabins, each with its own head and shower in the corners, and a single berth and head for hired crew way forward, accessed though a foredeck hatch.
The saloon is in the center of the boat, at its widest part, allowing for a first-class galley along the port side with huge refrigerators and a midships freezer opposite the eight-seat dinette. The five opening ports and two hinged hatches provide sufficient ventilation.
This boat is designed for the charter trade, and from the laminate cabin sole to the holding tanks located in lockers outboard of each head, the intention is to minimize maintenance. On deck, the cockpit is shaded by a large bimini top permanently mounted to a rail attached to the twin backstays and stanchions aft of the dodger. Seating for eight is forward of the twin wheels.
The boat sailed well in the light airs of my test sail. With the jib winches just forward of the helm on either side, it was easy to operate singlehanded. While the interior isn't optimized for long-range cruising, a buyer for the 51.5 will plan to use the boat with friends or a large family, just as charterers will enjoy the boat the rest of the time.
Moorings 51.5 Specs
LOA: 51' 3"
LWL: 49' 9"
Beam: 16' 0"
Draft: 6' 7"
Sail Area: 1,109 sq. ft.
Displacement: 30,142 lb.
Water: 246 gal.
Fuel: 116 gal.
Engine: 100-hp. Yanmar
Designer: Berret Racoupeau
The Moorings, (727) 530-5424, www.moorings.com