May 18, 2024

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When Palmer Johnson delivered its full-carbon motor yacht Khalilah in 2014, it was the shiny, gold James Bond exterior that caught the eye of every passerby. What onlookers weren’t aware of was the tri-hull lurking beneath the water, which made the 157-footer more fuel efficient than most other similar-sized monohulls. Eight years on, the American boatbuilder’s newly launched 63 Sport Cruiser takes its refined lightweight hull technology to the next level, offering reduced fuel consumption and 33 to 50 percent fewer carbon emissions.

Propulsion comes from standard Volvo IPS units, but it’s the slender main hull with sponsons and curved sections aft that deliver a smooth ride all the way to a top speed of 34 knots. That means no slamming, a level ride and a low banking angle in high-speed turns for easy handling.
“The PJ63 hull is designed for comfort,” Timur Mohamed, owner of Palmer Johnson, told Robb Report. “Even with diesel propulsion the hull is significantly more fuel efficient than standard monohulls.”
The open sports cruiser is achingly good-looking too. Palmer Johnson’s signature unibody design and blended sculpted surfaces intersect with sharp crisp lines and a clean flush deck. The boat’s all-carbon superstructure glimmers in metallic paint, with a shoulder that sweeps from bow to aft giving a hint of sporty aggression. From the open helm, uninterrupted views spread far. A partial hardtop throws shade when needed.
There are sun loungers aft for relaxing at the water’s edge, steps for convenient access to the water and lounging sofas for cocktail hour. The 20.6-foot beam also gives the PJ63 the largest open deck lounge in the 60- to 70-foot class. That allows enough room for a full-beam master on the lower deck, along with a large salon, an open galley and a forward guest cabin.
Another key feature is that top speeds can be comfortably sustained in a seaway when typical planing yachts need to throttle back. “A 30-plus knot cruise is not a spine-jarring or white-knuckle experience, nor a conversation stopper,” says Mohamed. “It’s more Bentley, less Lambo.”
What’s more, the PJ63 is a hint of what’s to come from the US boat builder, which has its first fully electric small yacht currently in build for a 2023 launch.

“While the industry is now starting to see electric yachts, these are only in the 20-30-foot range with limited operating profiles given the current state of battery technology,” says Mohamed. “The PJ63 is proof that our tri-hull technology is a good platform to enable larger zero-emission yachts, and that’s where we have set our sights.”
Sounds like there are exciting times ahead for Palmer Johnson.
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