Waterline 50: Seriously Skookum
A big boat from a small builder, Isolabella is capable of taking on any ocean. And her owners plan to one day do just that. From "Yachtstyle" in our December 2008 issue.
Opposite the galley and a step up is seating forward and aft of a dinette table. A spectacular view through the pilothouse windows greets the crew from both seats. This is the couple's cool-weather hangout. Its inviting comfort nearly persuaded me to spend the day there. But, as the television commercial says, that ain't all: At the forward-facing seat, one can press a button and from the center of the table a pod slowly rises containing Raymarine instrumentation, including a screen that combines radar, chart plotter, and display from a video camera that's mounted on the mast. In inclement weather, a Raymarine autopilot allows the boat to be steered from here while the skipper keeps an eye on the screen for the ubiquitous floating logs, deadheads, and kelp that make cruising in the Pacific Northwest a challenge. Engine controls and a VHF radio sit unobtrusively out of the way of loungers in a cubby by the navigator's right hand.
Jeff says the pod was hard to design and execute, and it took some persuading to get the builders behind the idea, but now all future boats from the company will have this feature available.
There's room for four to eat and hang out at the table with the pod down, and since Holly and Jeff don't fill Isolabella with a crowd, they decided to replace the large dining table to port in the main saloon (a few steps down and forward) with a cushioned ottoman for sybaritic lounging. A settee opposite can double as a berth and rounds out the area. Musician Jeff keeps a guitar strapped to the bulkhead just forward of the mast.
Forward of the saloon is a large guest cabin with its own head and separate shower. The comfortable double berth lies well aft of the bow, thanks to deck storage and chain lockers forward of the watertight crash bulkhead that forms the front of the cabin.
The master cabin is aft of the pilothouse, a few steps down to starboard. Entering it, to starboard is a seven-foot-tall heated hanging locker for the drysuits that the pair use when they indulge in another pastime, scuba diving. A large island double sits on centerline, with a nice-sized head and shower combination forward to port.
Beneath the sole in the pilothouse lurks the 160-horsepower Yanmar diesel that drives a conventional propeller shaft. There's good access to the systems in the well-lit and immaculate engine room.