SINCE ITS INTRODUCTION IN 2002, THE SELENE 53 HAS BECOME THE MOST POPULAR MODEL IN THE SELENE RANGE.IT'S EASY TO SEE WHY,WITH A POWERFUL COMBINATION OF LIVE ABORAD COMFORT AND EXCELLENT LONG RANGE CRUISING IN SAFETY FOR A COUPLE AND THEIR GUESTS.
TEXT BY BARRY THOMPSON
Auckland based Yachtfinders Global introduced the Selene brand to the New Zealand market in 2006 and since then has been inundated with enquires. "we have been amazed at the response we have had to the brand and our sales have certainly been proof of that", says Gary Erceg,MD of Yachfinders Grobal.Whilst the brand has been available in Australia for some time.It is only recently that potential Kiwi buyers have had the opportunity to see the Selene fist hand in their own waters.Currently YFG have four more boats in order – a Selene 40,two 53s and a 55 – and at least two will be on dispay at the 2008 Auckland international Boat in March.
Built by Jet-Tern Marine in Canton District of mainland China,the Selene brand typifies the symbolic blend of old world craftsamanship with modern technology to produce a trawler yacht of the highest standard.
The Selene 53,the first of the boats to arrive in New Zealand,has no less than eight different living areas to choose from,including three staterooms(two with ensuite bathrooms) a galley that’s integral with the saloon,and a spacious flybridge.
Like all Selene Ocean Trawlers,at its heart the Selene 53 is a serious long range cruiser.Explains Howard Chen,the designer and builder, "The hull form of the Selene 53 has a hard chine in the aft sections to reduce roll,but this merges into the traditional displacement boat’s round bilges by the mid sections(a "disappearing chine"),giving the selene 53 its impressive ranges of 2,000+ nautical miles and economical cruise speed of 10knots. "Maximum speed is 12knots with the standard power of a single Cummins QSL9/405hp,or the optional John Deere 6125AFM / 389hp.You do have the choice of just about any engine brand with the option of single or twin up to around 500hp maximum.
The selene 53 reviewed was powered by the John Deere 6125AFM,an engine that is certainly well suited to the vessel. Cruising on Auckland harbour at a sedate 10 knots,the sound of the engine that was well muffled by the excellent engine room sound insulation.Being one of those sunny but somewhat chilly days,the focal point was certainly in the wheelhouse area,where the benefits of an internal helm surrounded by plenty of seating areas for everyone was evident.
With a very tight berthage area to contend with our skipper did well and expertly maneuvered the boat using a combination of the bow and stern thrusters and a little engine throttle.Visibility to all corners of the boat is reasonably good from the filbridge. Once underway,this is a boat that takes little experience to drive,allowing you to relax,sit back and enjoy the voyage ,whilst still being vigilant to what's happening around you.
Where a full displacement hull will tend to "squat" in the stern as it approaches hull speed because of the trough from the bow wave,the flatter aft section of the Selene hull provides more lift and allows the hull to begin to plane.
The Selene design also incorporates a slightly concave or "hollow" area of bottom near the stern.This hollow bottom tends to increase the water pressure under the hollow,which is precisely where the propeller is. The most common drawback for a hull with flat sections aft is its tendency to yaw in following or quartering seas.The Selene hull design counters this tendency with a deep full ballasted keel and a large rudder for added directional stability.
The Selene 53 is offered with three different accommodation plans and even then there is the ability to customize what you want even further.The basic layouts feature three cabins,with a VIP suite forward and a full-beam owner's stateroom aft.In between you have the choice of a second guest cabin with twin or single berths,or having no cabin at all ,which transforms into an owner's ensuite or perhaps an office.The choice is yours and there are plenty.
In the boat reviewed,the popular three-cabin,six berth and two en-suite layout was chosen.
The forward cabin has a queen size berth with hanging lockers either side and a massive amount of cupboard storage space.Teak is used throughout the cabins and the entire boat,but this again is optional and if you find there is just too much timber,painted surfaces and fabric can replace it.
Light and ventilation is via opening side ports and a large overhead hatch,which is provides with a retractable ladder should you need a quick exit in an emergency.
The port side guest cabin where a lot of the customisation is done had the twin single layout ,with a fold away upper single berth,small bureau and plenty of storage in hanging lockers and cupboards.Again it's all timber,but that was the owner's choice.
Both guest cabins share an en-suite bathroom which is finished with a granite or Corian vanity surface with integral wash basin,Tecma head and large shower cubicle with seat and teak grating sole.You have the choice from teak grating sole.You have the choice from teak,holly and granite tiles with stainless infills on the en-suite floor.
The owner’s suite can be configured with dual or single access,with entrances from both the pilothouse and main saloon.The Selene 53 reviewe had the twin-entrance option which still allows for complete privacy.A queen size berth is surrounded by copious storage areas including side cabinets and bureau drawers.A teak and holly sole continues the small ship appeal.
The en-suite mirrors that of the guests'en-suite with granite soles and vanity top,and large walk-in shower .When the saloon access is not included,the extra space is utilised by making the shower area larger as well as adding another hanging locker.If your choice is for a two-cabin boat,then the entire en-suite can be repositioned forward in place of the guest cabin and the area left transformed into a small open office or a lounge area with settee or loose chairs.
The engine room has three access areas,externally from the lazarette or internally via a watertight door aft of the accommodation area or through a hatch in the galley sole.The area is protected with a Fireboy system and alumunium and foam engine room insulation keeps noise to a minimum.Access around the engine and to necessary pumps and systems is good and aft lazarette area provides another massive space to stow more gear and ancillary equipment.
The raised pilothouse's Portuguese bridge with toughened glass screens shows that the Selene means business.The imposing teak timber facia is designed to take a number of large multi dispay screens and all the necessary navigational add-ons anyone would need for a safe ocean passage.Diamond/Sea-Glaze Dutch doors provide both port and starboard access to the wide bulwarks and the foredeck areas.
In true passagemaker styple,there is a watch berth situated up behind the raised aft seating and table area that even has a foldout extension to transform it into a full 2m berth.
To starboard is a dedicated teak stair from the pilothouse to the flybridge and another to the lower accommodation areas.You have the option of a completely open bridge,mast rig,a canvas binimi or a hardtop with clears.The second steering station duplicates the necessary controls and visual aids with a single or twin helm chair option.A wrap around lounger behind the helm comes complete with outdoor table and storage beneath.Opposite is a BBQ and wetbar area,with the rear deck used for the tender stowage and hydraulic davit crane.Cockpit access via a moulded staircase is also available as an option on the Selene 53.
Again there is a big emphasis on wood in the saloon and galley area,with light teak used throughout that imparts a warm and pleasant atmosphere.Cantalupi dome lights,exposed roof beams,teak overhead handtails and bamboo blinds with drapes complete the classic décor.
There are three standard saloon layouts offered,with the various seating arrangements-tub chairs or a built-in settee to starboard or an L-shaped or U-shaped dinning area – it's your choice .Selene will personalize the high/low adjustable dinning area with intricate inlay done by very skilled Chinese craftsmen.With the table dropped down and with infill cushions,the dinning area transforms into another double berth for those unexpected guests. The lounge and galley areas are divided by a high counter top and servery area,which is available in either Corian or granite with teak fiddle rails,this also includes an integral bar and in the case of the boat reviewed,pre-wired for a flat screen TV.The galley is complete with a full size fridge/freezer,three-burner stove,oven,convection microwave and deep sliding storage drawers.The sliding side windows provide plenty of light to the saloon and galley areas,with a Dutch door leading through to the cockpit.
Teak is used on all exterior deck surfaces,and while the cockpit of the 53 is usually a completely open area,the 53 reviewed had a build-in rear bench seat and cabinetry forward.There id three-way access to the cockpit from side and transom doors,which certainly makes for easy boarding when at a marina.
The Selene 53 is a comfortable home afloat and can still wants to make offshore trips but without the constraints if a crewed sailing yacht.The Selene 53 is ocean capable and owners who contemplate Pacific Islands or trans-Tasman tripd can do it with the knowledge that the Selene 53 is desiged for the task.