Full boat test video taken during our trials of the first PC55 – a modern composite built Hoek design inspired by the timeless shape of a pilot cutter
The PC55 is a performance cruiser with a difference – it’s looks. It owes its aesthetic inspiration to the original pilot cutters – working yachts that gained a legendary reputation thanks to their speed, manoeuvrability and ability to be handled by just two crewmembers.
The traditional pilot cutter is oft described as the best yacht design ever. It seems strange then that there is not a greater choice of pilot cutter inspired designs around today.
One person who is onto their enduring appeal more than any other though is Andre Hoek. Hoek’s ‘Pilot Classic’ range spans the whole size spectrum, from the 33ft Essence and 37ft Wally Nano to the 152ft Royal Huisman built Elfje and even a 200ft+ project currently on the boards.
Performance Classic Yachts (PC Yachts) has created a production yacht business around these Hoek designs from this PC55 up to a 85 footer. It is a five-year old British company that sub contracts the semi custom builds to Metur Yachts in Bodrum. Metur, a classic yacht specialist, has built numerous Hoek designs over the last two decades, including two for Andre Hoek himself.
The first PC Yacht was a wood epoxy built Pilot Classic 66 in 2014, followed by this composite PC55. The designs retain the generous sail area of a pilot cutter, albeit with a Bermudan rig, combined with a modern underwater shape. Weight is reduced and centralised wherever possible to optimise performance.
The PC55 has a carbon reinforced composite hull and deck and foam-cored furniture as standard. The combination of classic-inspired lines together with a modern lightweight shell and appendages looks quite irresistible. We travelled to Bodrum to see if the mix works on the water. Here’s the video:
We had perfect trial conditions, with winds averaging 15 knots over calm seas. The PC55 is designed for the yacht to be powered up in typical Force 3–4 Med conditions.
And she was quick to establish why the word ‘performance’ belongs in her title. We clocked 9–9.5 knots beam reaching, 8.5 knots when fetching and 7.5–8 knots upwind tacking through 85º. I was impressed.
Our test was a good representation of how a potential owner would want to sail the PC55. It’s an ideal concept for those who want to keep their yacht in a Med marina – to be able to take it out for a sail with partner and/or friend and maximise the moderate breezes.
The PC55 is around €300k less than a similar-sized luxury cruiser from the likes of Swan, Spirit, Oyster or Contest. So in production market terms, it’s more comparative to yachts like an XC55 or an Italia Yachts 15.98.
But much rests on the looks of the PC55 and whether they hook you in. The PC55 represents a cool blend of modern styling on a dreamy pilot cutter shape. It’s a yacht that has that ability to turn heads anywhere.
This extract is taken from the full test report of the PC55 in the November 2017 issue of Yachting World.
Pictures and video shot by Richard Langdon, Ocean Images
LOA 18.54m 60ft 10in
LOD 16.62m 54ft 6in
LWL 13.38m 43ft 10in
Beam (Max) 4.23m 13ft 10in
Draught 2.7m 8ft 10in
Disp (lightship) 15,570kg 34,722lb
Price (ex VAT) €775,000
Design: Hoek Design