|Price as Tested:||$1,240,139|
Not Just Another Pretty Face
Having slightly over 40 years experience in the yacht sales business and delivering more than 100 motor-yachts in Northern California, Richard Bolands passion for the new 55-foot Activa Motoryacht is off the chart. Thats because Richard played an extensive role in working with Activa Yachts designing the exterior styling and interior layout of the new 55-foot Motoryacht.
Richard spent almost two years working with famed naval architect, Howard Apollonio, and builder, Charles Chang, designing, building and perfecting the new 55 Motoryacht. The results are nothing short of remarkable.
Activa may be a fresh name to the yachting world, but the builder is not. Charles Chang, a Taiwanese yacht builder and naval architect, is the builder of Altima Yachts, the Hunt 52 Express and has produced more than 500 yachts under the name of Hi-Star. Hi-Star Yachts enjoys an excellent reputation for quality and value. Given Hi-Stars status in the competitive world of motoryachts, Activa Marine is bound to attract attention with its new line of motoryachts from 33 feet to 75 feet.
What you dont see can make a good boat a great boat. Such is the case with the 5500. The 5500 features a modified V design with hard chines, lifting strakes and solid laminated fiberglass construction below the waterline. The weighted keel extends mid to aft for added stability and comfort in heavy seas.
Additionally, the angular bow was not designed just to look good; it gives the 5500 great lines, but takes the edge off of a head sea and rough water. Undoubtedly, the 5500 was built for comfortable blue-water cruising in moderate to rough seas.
Exterior Safety Features
Richards input concerning the exterior of the 5500 was invaluable. The exterior offers such safety features as a 360-degree walk-around deck and 2-inch stainless rails running from the bow to the cockpit. Upon closer inspection of the rails, they appear to be seamless and manufactured in one piece. Moving around the deck unencumbered and safely is a must for any blue-water vessel and the 5500 doesnt come up short in this department.
The swim platform (Sport Box) on the 5500 features three large storage compartments that would be a great place to store fishing gear, fish or even dive equipment. The compartments are so cavernous that you could even store fresh water or fuel in bladder tanks for long voyages. I remember being very impressed with this feature on a Hi-Star that I reviewed a few years ago. As the saying goes, the apple doesnt fall far from the tree.
The large, open cockpit is that of a true sport fisher. Our test boat included options such as a lighted baitwell, cockpit freezer, tackle drawer and cockpit controls. Since all of the above are options, you can configure your 5500s cockpit to your own personal specifications. Our test boat had already been sold and the new owners plan on spending much of their time fishing. Another great alternative is to customize the length of the upper deck overhang depending upon your personal preference for sportfishing or cruising.
Inviting Interior Spaces
The exquisite salon and galley are what you would expect to find in a high end motoryacht of this caliber. The teak and holly flooring combined with the hand-crafted satin teak paneling provide a warm and inviting interior space. The attention to detail and old world craftsmanship are beyond compare.
Our test boat featured the galley forward arrangement, but Activa does offer an optional galley aft plan with a pilothouse helm station with side door access on one or both sides of the boat. Although this boat did not have a lower helm, Boland did add engine, bow thruster and autopilot controls next to the dinette to allow for a partial inside helm. Given the skylounge feature of the 5500, I cant imagine why an owner would opt for a lower helm.
The galley includes everything you would desire for extended cruising; however, the U-line drawer refrigerator and freezer are a great addition to an already perfect galley. Also included are dishwasher, convection microwave, and Corian countertops. In my opinion, Corian is the only choice in a galley. Its light, and if it chips or cracks, it can easily be repaired.
The dinette, located across from the galley, seats six and slides fore and aft to provide more space between the galley and dinette. The galley and raised dinette offer 360-degree viewing for owners and guests.
Extra Sleeping Area
Thanks to Richards attention to detail, the space below the windshield is not wasted on the 5500. A lounge was added as an extra sleeping area. This would be great for the kids or two adults. Where else can you lie on your back in a sheltered area, look up through the windshield and have a great view of the constellation?
Below, the master stateroom, guest stateroom and port cabin with a single bunk are spacious and comfortable. Headroom is usually sparse on motoryachts of this size; however, Activa provided a full 76 below deck. The additional headroom is a welcome element to spaces that normally feel cramped. Both heads offer full-sized stall showers with electric, marine heads and Corian countertops.
The well-lighted engine room with 52 of headroom is accessible through the lazerette or through four hatches located in the salon. There is more than enough space to service the mains without having to be a contortionist. I especially like the Cummins VesselView screens for checking diagnostics without having to run up to the bridge.
The most important aspect of the engine room is the back-up systems installed for both mains. If for some reason the electronic controls malfunction, manually operated controls can be used to get back to port. Ive yet to see this kind of redundancy on anything other than a commercial vessel.
The lazerette contains the auxiliary fuel tanks, a 13.5kW Onan generator, water heater and an extra freezer. The amazing thing is that there is still room for gear, tool boxes, extra parts or a water maker.
I saved the best for last: the skylounge! The skylounge is a flybridge, a pilothouse and a salon all in one 12-foot by 13-foot space. Featuring an L-shaped settee, teak table for six and a sink with refrigerator and icemaker, this is where most of the entertaining will take place. On the other hand, the low profile helm station is all business. Sitting firmly in the Admiral Series STIDD helm seats, visibility is beyond compare.
Our test boat, equipped with twin 670 HP Cummins QSM 11s with the 2 1/2-inch Aqua Met 22 Shafts and prop package performed flawlessly. At 800 RPM, the GPS read 7 knots while both engines burned little more than 3 gallons per hour combined. At 2000 RPM the GPS read 15 knots while burning less than 40 gallons combined. Wide open, the 5500 saw 21 knots.
Considering the fact that the 5500 weighs 30 tons, these performance figures are outstanding. Note: since Cummins has completed the hull modification to accommodate the Zeus system, the Cummins QSC 600 hp and the brand new 715 hp Cummins QSM 11 engines with the Zeus Pod Drives are now both optional.
Even though the Bay was less than rough the day of our test, the 5500 felt solid, handled well and the Zeus drives made maneuvering easy. There is no doubt in my mind that Activa built the 5500 for long range, blue water cruising.
Unfortunately, I cant even begin to describe or list all the options that the 5500 has to offer. I would need at least three more pages. Suffice it to say that whether fishing the Sea of Cortez or cruising San Francisco Bay, Activas new Long Range Skylounge Motoryacht is up to the task.
Contact Richard Boland Yachts, 1070 Marina Village Pkwy, Suite 107, Alameda, CA., at 510/521-6213. H
www.YachtsmanMagazine.com BAY & DELTA YACHTSMAN September 2009 59