Galeon 640 Sets the Bar for Entertainment
The 640 Fly has been on the market a little while now, but it’s telling that it’s still the most innovative flybridge cruiser in the class, with a second unit in Asia arriving in Hong Kong last year, sold by Asiamarine.
Cockpit terraces have become a far more mainstream addition in the time since the 640 first hit the water, but the truth is this boat still possesses the most imaginative and usable deck spaces in her category.
Now more than ever, we want our boats to be secluded floating islands and there aren’t many better places to be than in the cockpit of this boat with the sides down and the water lapping gently over the hydraulic bathing platform. The drop-down wings, however, are just the tip of the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this boat’s party tricks.
As standard, the cockpit is fitted with an L-shaped bench, but with the carousel seating option, the entire dinette is mounted on a turntable and can be swivelled and locked every 45 degrees or turn the full 180 degrees and face out to sea. Surely, that’s where you want to be looking when you’re sitting in the cockpit?
It’s a brilliant bit of design that also incorporates a decent tender garage, meaning the aft platform is either kept free of obstructions or can be fitted with chocks to carry a jet-ski.
In Front and on Top
With the terraces down and the bar stools set up, it’s so easy to drift around the main deck of this boat. With equally inventive modular seating on the foredeck that can switch between dining and sunbathing space at the touch of a button, you’ll be able to find your own space to enjoy here, even if the boat has a large party of guests.
The outdoor spaces on the main deck are a winner, but the beauty of the 640 is that on top of the fun and games on the middle level, there’s a spacious, well-designed flybridge to enjoy.
The hard top is an optional extra and most customers will tick this particular box. If you don’t opt for it, a rear-raked radar arch and bimini are standard. The top deck stretches as far aft as the transom below, so the amount of space on the flybridge is extraordinary for a boat of less than 70ft.
The layout puts great focus on seated space, with a vast aft dinette served by a three-part opening table and a smaller coffee table midships opposite the imposing bar area, which is more of an outdoor galley than a wet bar.
Blurring Inside and Outside
The border between interior and exterior space is blurred almost into nonexistence such is the sheer amount of glass in the saloon, most of which slides open. The central pane of the windscreen even retracts into a cassette in the flybridge moulding to grant access through to the foredeck.
The iconic foredeck door, the side door at the helm and the aft cockpit doors offer three separate access points to the saloon and multiple options if you want to naturally ventilate the interior without resorting to firing up the air-conditioning.
For a full production boat, that amount of flexibility and customisation on offer is impressive and it’s not just the choice of woods, colours and materials.
The lower deck, which is home to the boat’s sleeping accommodation, can be arranged in a variety of configurations, always with separate access between the master suite and guest accommodation.
The master cabin is located forward and accessed via a companionway adjacent to the lower helm, while guests have their own stairway to cabins opposite the dinette. The heart of the guest accommodation is a spacious, full-beam VIP with the option to have an identical double forward, an athwartships twin or a pair of twins. The latter is a good layout if the boat is to be used for charter.
However you choose to use the boat, there’s an interior layout that will suit most needs. The fit and finish is excellent, too, with expensive-feeling materials, high-end components and superb timber work lending the 640 Fly an air of quality that’s right up there with some of the best production shipyards in Europe.
Performs on the Water
You might think that with all the added complexity and weight of the deck gadgets, the 640 might feel compromised out on the water in comparison with its more strait-laced competitors, but this isn’t the case.
Engine options range from twin 900hp to twin 1,200hp diesels from Volvo Penta or MAN and our test boat had the mid-range 1,000hp Volvo D13s for a comfortable top speed of 30 knots. The meaty MANs may add a knot or two to the top-end performance, but either way, the comfortable and efficient fast cruising speed is around 22 knots for a range of around 250nm with 20 per cent in reserve.
Even with all that weight at the stern and a jet-ski on the bathing platform of our test boat, the 640 settled into a level, composed fast cruise and ate up the miles in some light chop with ease.
The handling is equally compliant, with good response to the wheel and a steady turning circle, with the deep propeller tunnels and bite of the shaft-mounted propellers ensuring the boat feels incredibly planted in turns and on the straight and narrow. In essence, it’s an easy boat to handle, both at speed and when manoeuvring around a marina.
It’s easy to be distracted by the headline-grabbing toys that adorn the 640’s transom, but there’s so much more to this boat than its transformer-style party pieces.
It’s a high-quality machine with fresh thinking on display throughout its design and, most importantly, the gadgets are underpinned by sound boatbuilding and on-water dynamics that aren’t in any way compromised by their presence.
Galeon is a great example of a shipyard unshackled by tradition, one that’s assured of not scaring off its existing customer base with brave, innovative design. The 640 Fly embodies this spirit to its core.
This article first appeared on Yacht Style.
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