Fleming 75 A long-range cruiser that truly goes the distance.
The Brand-new Fleming 75 has that same charm and those same classic lines you've always loved on the company's 55 foot model, but with a significantly larger and much more upscale interior. If you've always loved the handsome styling and excellent handling of the Fleming 55, this new 75 will have you on Cloud Nine.
The 75 had just made its debut in May at the Newport Boat Show, where it was an instant hit. Hovey credits the boat's strong appeal to its true long-range ablility, quality construction and traditional, elegant design. The Fleming team believes that while European styles may come and go, the classic styling this boat has will be around forever. Hovey showed us a 1.5-inch-thick piece of the boatís beefy fiberglass hull, which is built like a tank. The no-nonsense chocks and cleats are big and heavy - and designed for serious cruising. There's remarkable attention to detail - from wiring and plumbing to fiberglass work and handcrafted wood joinerwork. No corners were cut in construction.
TESTING ITS METTLE
After leaving Newport Harbor's no-wake zone, we started putting the boat through its paces. We had four adults on board during the test, with light chop and confused seas.
The boat's top speed was 17 knots at around 2,300rpm. Cruising speed was between 10 and 11 knots, at around 1,300 rpm. Fuel consumption at cruise is .76mpg, which provides an impressive cruising range of 2,000 miles.
A pair of 800hp Caterpillar 3406E diesel engines powered our test boat; however, 1,400 hp Caterpillar 3412s are available as an option.
During our test, the boat remained quiet and rock solid in a variety of maneuvers. In fact, it was still remarkably stable even after we decided to run off the stabilizers, just for the heck of it. The 75 banked into turns smoothly and handled solidly, even when turning at 13 knots.
At a standstill in swell, the boat still wasn't rocked significantly. Eighty tons of boat gives you a rock-solid platform, and the Fleming 75's hull design offers seakindly performance. There was no pounding or banging under way, even in choppy seas.
Fleming has given the boat very little bow rise - in fact, almost none. The hull has a sharp, deep entry, flattening aft for a faster running surface, yet there is a full-length keel below for maximum stability.
A small amount of spray hit the aft side pilothouse windows as we did hard turns, but here was no spray forward. Most of the spray was knocked aside by the hull.
We steered the boat from the pilothouse, which had excellent visibility with big forward and side windows, and two side doors leading to walk-around decks. In fact, it even had a fair view aft, into the cockpit (through the saloon).
A big stainless steel captain's wheel sits at the helm, where we also found a TRAC stablilizer system with a touch screen control, a Furuno radar, a Simrad Robertson autopilot, a Northstar color GPS/chart plotter and electronic engine instrumentation for the Caterpillars. The panel located beneath the forward windows has seemingly miles of space for mounting just about any optional electronic equipment you could imagine.
For seating, the pilothouse offers Stidd captain and companion seats and an L-shaped settee. The area also has a table with stowage underneath and a day head.
There are lots of cabinets and drawers, acres of beautifully finished woodwork and easy access to wiring through doors below the helm sole. All wiring is neatlyl run and carefully labeled.
A LOOK AROUND
Heading aft from the pilothouse, you're greeted by a galley to port and a dinette.
Sporting beautiful black granite countertops, the galley is equipped with a double sink, a garbage disposal, a convection/microwave oven, a flush cooktop with custom potholders, a stand-up refrigerator with freezer drawers, an oven, a dishwasher and a trash compactor.
The boat's interior is brimming with teak. The bulkheads are done in teak, the sole is teak and holly, and the berths and doors are all constructed of teak.
The master stateroom, the forward VIP stateroom and the port guest stateroom are all belowdecks, accessible by steps leading from the pilothouse.
The full-beam aft master stateroom has a king-size berth, a television cabinet and vanity. The “walk-in” hanging locker and other stowage areas are beyond spacious. The master head has a full shower, a whirlpool tub and a head concealed beneath a dressing bench.
The forward VIP stateroom has a queen-size berth that lifts hydraulically to reveal storage space, two hanging lockers, numerous drawers and its own full-size head. Even the guest cabin with over/under berths (one single and one double) has its own head, plus a bureau with drawers, a hanging locker and a beveled-edge mirror.
THE REST OF THE BEST
The flybridge has repeat controls and electronics, and we found comfortable companion seating with fold-down footrests on each side of the helmseat. Its ìwowî feature is a concealed electronics console that rises from the dash panel at the touch of a button, for all-weather protection.
Aft, there's a big seating area with a Corian-topped table, a barbecue and a wet bar. The aft deck has a 1,500 pound capacity davit.
The 75's foredeck is expansive, and its bow has two hydraulic windlasses to pull in two big anchors. Its Portuguese bridge offers the ultimate in forward protection for full access while the boat is under way.
The first thing we noticed upon boarding from the boat's easy-entry walk-through transom gate was a California deck with a roomy settee and table a step above the cockpit. In addition to being a comfortable spot for entertaining guests, the step up to the deck allows for more room in the crew quarters, which are directly below.
When we stepped down into the crew quarters, we found a cabin space nicer than you'd find on most 40 foot cruisers. In addition to a pair of single berths, the crew quarters has a desk, its own air conditioning controls, and an adjacent head with a sink, a vanity and full shower. The quarters have separate systems for everything, including sanitation.
Right across the passageway is the engine-room, which has a sound proof stainless steel door with a window and skid-resistant metal flooring. In addition to being spotless and well arranged, the engine room is just plain BIG. It has over 6 feet of headroom, and numerous storage compartments, all neatly arranged.
The boat has a fuel transfer system and a day tank system (with an 800 gallon tank in the center, from which both engines draw fuel). The fuel is filtered going in and out of the tank, and then again by the engine's fuel filter (a total of three times).
The space also comfortably fits a Trace inverter and two 27.5kw Onan auxiliary generators.
Our test boat was only hull number 2 for the Fleming 75, but it is the company's 109th boat commissioned. Fleming boats have a success record of accomplishment, and they can be found cruising throughout the world.
For years, satisfied Fleming 55 owners have been clamoring for a larger, more luxurious Fleming model. The Fleming 75 promises to give them everything they asked for ñ and a whole lot more.
"Simply put, the Fleming 75 is one of the nicest boats we've ever been aboard. There was an abundance of headroom - a point we can't stress enough. We didn't have to lean over once - not even in the engine-room. Everything on this boat is as sturdy as it is attractive. You don't have to worry about dainty cleats, controls or anything else. Everything is meant to take a beating and keep on working."
Reprinted Power & Motoryacht July 2001