Story and Photos by DinaRella.
We at LuxuryCenterConsoles.com inspire to bring you the watercraft creations that dreams are made of. This cannot be truer than with HCB Yacht's stunning Sueños. In Spanish Sueños means dreams and HCB Yachts, formally known as Hydra-Sports Custom Boats, has pulled out all the stops bringing this artfully crafted dream to life.
Does it incorporate characteristics of both a center console and yacht? Yes. Does it stand in a league of its own due to its intuitive design and accomplished engineering? Yes. Does it run between $1.7 to $2 million dollars? Yes. Is it worth every penny? Yes... and we can't wait to show you why!
To begin, HCB Yachts is a custom manufacturer. This means once you have given a deposit, next comes your road-trip to the factory where you orchestrate and assemble your 53-foot mega center console from bow to stern. For the avid adult boater, (or anyone for that matter) this is more thrill-inducing than Christmas morning when you were an eight-year-old kid. And it's even better if you bring the troops along and make it a family affair letting everyone have a voice in fulfilling the "dream".
Coined as the Crucero (Cruise) Experience, HCB Yachts invites new owners to a special design room to look over varying fiberglass options and upholstery samples. Examining the meticulous craftsmanship options from the in-house custom cabinetry department is another stage of the day where you select the desired finish including high gloss options or even using 80-year-old reclaimed wood for an impeccable fit.
There are actually two Sueños models to choose from -- the recreational cruising variation or the hardcore fishing vessel. Before your personal Crucero Experience at the factory, you will have elected your preferred model, and to facilitate this decision, we will discuss the differences between the two with a multitude of photos from the tour Michael Yobe, the vice president of product strategy, gave me during the Palm Beach International Boat Show.
The recreational version's given name speaks for itself and is splendid for entertaining and enjoying la dolce vita. The new aft fiesta patio option features a grill, two refrigerators, ice maker and yes there is even an integrated blender station that can be swapped out and replaced with a morning coffee pot for those in need of a hot brew in place of a frozen mudslide at 10 a.m.
A Garmin screen has been mounted up top in the back of the boat to display charts or a depth finder and can be linked to satellite TV to enjoy a football game or Top Gear weekend marathon while sprawled out on the roomy aft bench which easily holds four to five guests. Dual dive doors that open inward and are watertight when closed can be found on each side of the luxurious "sofa-esque" bench with monogrammed HCB Yachts pillows.
On the fishing version, in place of the fiesta patio, the traditional summer kitchen boasts of a middle refrigerator accompanied by side compartments for tackle gear and boxes, yet can be conveniently converted into wine storage racks. Hey fishermen get thirsty too!
An extendable fresh water faucet handle in the sink keeps bait ready for the reels and two large Garmin screens sit above the counter top in a lower position than the recreational model. Again there are many different ways to configure the Sueños and these are just two of the options outfitted on the boats displayed at the show.
An appealing automotive style dash comes outfitted with an electronic throttle and shift, joystick and electric steering capabilities and a bow thruster to facilitate the skipper when docking duties call. Ignition controls are housed in a small pop-up door directly below the wheel and digital switches along the dashboard are tactile to provide immediate access to the items used most frequently.
Sitting in the center of the helm is a large 24-inch Garmin screen with dual 22-inch monitors to the left and right, all of which are integrated to monitor engine functions and media system controls. Up above on the recreational model, the speakers have been melded into the hardtop which has eliminated the bulky cans hanging down and reflects a clean and polished look. Elements on the dash of the fishing model have been color matched, and the smaller screens were used to highlight and make the classic teak finishing stand out.
Workmanship in the three forward bucket seats is fanatical. Moveable armrests, footrests and flip down swivel seats will remain firm and comfortable thanks to the injection molded foam that is build directly into the seats in place of using upholstery. The trim on the back of the first row of seats also functions as a set of grab handles offering a more secure journey for the three occupants in the second row of non-moveable seating. Another notable cue from the automotive world is the classy stitching and HCB branded tags throughout the boat.
The European inspired loungers on the bow contain a colossal sized electric refrigerator underneath which can be dialed up to freeze. A middle bow cocktail table raises up electronically and can also be set in a higher position and turned into a sunbed for the bronzed and beautiful once the additional cushions have been added.
The table also settles back into the floor permitting the area to be used as a walkway to the anchor locker. On the fishing version of the Sueños, a strategically placed 65-gallon livewell takes the place of the center frontal seat. Cushions are also removable along the bow awarding anglers the option to stand and cast their lines.
Rod holders are housed on the port side and two long Frigid Rigid coolers are located across the boat under the starboard gunwale. On the recreational version all the speakers are recessed so the grills along the sides are not visible. In the cabin there is a full walk-in head with an enclosed shower (which can double up for more rod storage if needed) and a queen-sized berth with a table that serves as a great spot for taking a break and grabbing a quick bite in air-conditioned comfort. Add the filler cushion and two people can sleep the night away counting sheep in pure comfort.
The gray toned fishing model in this feature was conceived for the competitive Florida fishing team Sir' Reel and includes a collection of custom items including two additional 50-gallon livewells next to the rear rocket launcher.
The team has about ten members but I lost count of the number of rod holders up above on Sir' Reel. A unique and special feature well versed fishermen will appreciate on the Sueños is the placement of specific rod holders in designated zones of the craft depending on the various types of fishing taking place in the different areas while on board.
After these 1,500 words of nautical knowledge, if you are still perplexed as to who is this boat right for? There answer is simple... it is honestly for just about anyone with the means to afford it.
Performance gurus will love how it comes out of the water flat, is on plane in a matter of seconds and stays horizontal whereas competitor boats in the same field tend to ride higher at the bow. Secondly, it slices through five-footers like a knife through melted butter. When running in the 50s you can hear the stereo as clear as can be. Possibilities for power include quadruple Yamaha Marine 425s or the more potent Seven Marine 627s which reach the mid 60s at wide open whack on the sticks.
Day trippers will be delighted to know it has a 1,000-gallon fuel tank and they can jet down from South Florida to Bimini and back without a fill up, or take advantage of the cabin and make it an overnight weekend jaunt. And even better, rig it with the Sea Keeper Gyro Stabilizer and eliminate the boat roll and motion feeling after 40 minutes of spooling up, for a stable comfortable stay at sea.
Maybe you currently have a large-scale yacht and are looking for a tender to joyride around in that will run close to 60 mph. Or do you fall on the opposite end of the spectrum? You want to downsize from your sportfish yacht and are in the market for something less mechanical that requires minimal maintenance? This boat is also for you because at the end of the day, you can rinse down this dream with a hose and be done with it!
If you're in the market for a larger-size luxury center console, the Eurythmics said it best in 1983 with their song Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This. This has never been more evident than with the HCB Yacht's 53-foot Sueños.