Davis 70 : Long and Strong
By Jon Meade
When Dr. Ira Trocki acquired Buddy Davis yachts back in 2003, he invested millions into modern tooling and molds, then went about incorporating the company into his Jersey-based boatbuilding empire, which includes such brands as Egg Harbor, Topaz, and Predator. Today with the launch of its flagship 70-footer, Davis Yachts unleashes a modern, Carolina-influenced hull, with abundant comforts and boatloads of class.
Nothing makes for a smooth ride like weight and waterline length, and the new Davis 70 sports plenty of both! Descended from designs that braved North Carolina's Outer Bank, the Davis 70's dramatic bow flare, ample tumblehome and razor-sharp entry enable this handsome boat to negotiate rough water.
The New River, with its rolling current, heavy two-way traffic and narrow bridges, creates a serious maneuvering challenge as it winds its way through downtown Fort Lauderdale. The Davis 70 excelled in navigating the tight quarters. A bigger challenge, however, came outside the inlet. Steady 20-knot winds stacked rows of six-footers coming out of the East. With each set, the bow on the big girl gallantly rose to the occasion and separated the oncoming seas.
Running in the troughs, the 70 reached 32 knots turning 2,350 rpm. Pulling back to a more comfortable 2,000 rpm yielded a 27.5-knot cruise while burning 114.8 gph. Drifting, the 70 exhibited a moderate roll moment with relatively easy transitions.
Finally, buyers get to choose between standard V-bottom running surface or, if you spend time in the Bahamas or poking your nose into shallow bays around Chesapeake, you might opt for the tunnel hull that reduces draft to less than 4 feet to the bottom of the running gear.
Our boat featured a fly bridge enclosed with EZ2CY panels and cooled with air conditioning. An optional true enclosed bridge is also available. Our test vessel also sported an optional interior spiral staircase from the salon. The result is a safer design -- especially for kids and the elderly. However, hard-core fishermen can request a conventional bridge ladder.
The elevated helm chair places the pop-up electronics console (with triple 19-inch screens) at your fingertips. I found visibility on the enclosed bridge version a bit limited to the tip of the bow and cockpit, despite the large, frameless windows -- a small compromise for a bridge that's clearly the biggest I've ever experienced. The air-conditioned lounge forward of the helm is larger than most salons.
High-gloss teak and beautiful burl inlays accentuate the interior. In the salon, a leather settee to port faces a 50-inch flat-screen television. I appreciate how the pullout fridge drawers, ice maker and bar, all situated just inside the salon door, make entertaining hassle-free. Farther forward, the roomy galley allows for more sociable dining thanks to a large table and leather settee, which affords guests the ability to visit with the chef without getting in the way. And with the ability to pull up additional chairs, you'll be able to spend hours with your guests chatting around the dining table -- a rarity on a sport-fisher.
Kitchen appointments include a four-burner cook-top, dishwasher, bountiful storage, pullout SubZero refrigerator and freezer, drawers, and custom granite counters. Those who venture far afield will appreciate the optional pantry/utility room with its storage lockers, washer and dryer, freezer and loads of custom rod storage. An alternative standard layout morphs this space into crew quarters complete with a full head and shower.
Heading below, a curved companionway yields access to the four-stateroom/three head layout. For starters, the full beam master aft features a queen berth. But if you truly plan to spend time aboard, you'll be taking advantage of the executive "office space," including the matching his-and-hers heads with a huge tile shower/sauna and a 52-inch flat screen television in the stateroom. And with the massive hanging lockers on board, you'll have no problem meeting any dress code, from beach burn to black tie.
Father forward you'll find mirror-image double cabins with over-under berths, though on our test boat the lower berth in the starboard compartment featured a washer/dryer replacement. A large VIP guest stateroom with an island double bed sits all the way forward. And, of course, all staterooms boast Davis' old-world carpentry that showcases the exquisite glossy teak for a rich ambience.
Another especially nice feature places separate heads with showers for each guest cabin, assuring that whether cruising with couples or family, everyone still enjoys some privacy.
Below a large mezzanine hatch, a stainless-steel bulkhead door dampens noise from the engine compartment. Between the big C32 ACERTs, I marveled at the plentiful elbow space and six-plus feet of headroom. Stainless-steel thru-hulls compliment the chrome on the engines and overhead mirror. A pair of Caterpillar generators sit outboard of the engines, and Davis still affords crew easy access to all pumps, fuel filters, batteries and other items that require routine maintenance.
Our test boat sported gorgeous teak decking, mezzanine and covering boards, accentuating the richness of this basketball-court size cockpit. The lack of a bridge ladder and spiraling steps to each side add to the cockpit's dramatic appeal. A huge in-deck fish box, transom livewell and tons of freezer space for food and bait ensure that long-range fishing excursions will be a breeze for your crew. And if you prefer to eliminate the extra bait cooler sliding around the cockpit sole while you troll the troughs, Davis' insulated drink box comes with bait trays that keep your rigged baits cool and dry. A built-in tackle-prep stations also makes rigging those baits amazingly convenient.
Another great feature protects your interior from slimy, alt-laden crew and guests. The Davis 70 sports an optional day head that's accessible from the cockpit -- and it even includes a shower.
Design and Construction
The Davis 70 strives to retain the sharp entry, sweeping flare and gracious tumblehome that made its predecessors legendary. Each 70 boasts an all-glass hull and advanced composite coring from the keel to the waterline. Davis constructs the boat from a two-piece split-hull mold, with laminates forming the solid fiberglass bottom and a Divinycell-cored topside. A one-piece fiberglass cabin house and the separate fly bridge top off the deck, and the one-piece fiberglass cockpit drops into place. But make no mistake, the owner has tremendous say in the design layout and construction on every one of these 70-foot, semi-custom builds. With that said, there is only one thing that Davis will never let a prospective owner change: Davis will never sacrifice comfort and style.