Yes, there’s a large-screen retractable television. Watermaker? Check. Galley fit for a gourmet chef? Absolutely. KVH V-Sat broadband? Of course. Fifteen-foot center console aluminum rib with a 40-horsepower outboard? Yep. And a washer and dryer? You bet.
As expected, the bells and whistles are all there. But when I stepped aboard the stern platform of the custom Shannon Motorsailer 60 Ruby Kiss for a tour, my interest wasn’t just about the toys, it was also in the dual nature of this well-crafted motorsailer.
I love boats of all shapes, sizes, makes and models. New or old. Wood or fiberglass. Steel or aluminum. If it travels on the sea, I’m interested in finding out what makes it go, what makes it unique and what the owners have done to make it right for them. That is the whole premise behind our “Boat Notes” features. And that is why I wanted a full tour of this truly one-of-kind world cruiser. (Actually, I wanted to help deliver her from Hawaii to Seattle, but that didn’t work out.)
What makes Ruby Kiss so distinctive is her ability to take the “motorsailer” moniker to a whole new level. The knock on many motorsailers is that they motor and sail, but do neither very well. From what I can tell, and from hearing from the delivery crew and those who’ve sailed and motored Ruby Kiss, she bucks that trend and is just as capable a sailor as she is while under power.
On the one hand, you’ve got an impressive ketch rigged sailboat with Schaefer in-boom furling main and mizzen sails, and furling genoa and staysails. Her hull shape appears to be every bit a sailer forward and the boat looks as though she does quite well with canvas up. And from the top deck cockpit, you’d have quite a vantage point to watch the world whiz by.
On the other, you’ve got a powerboat with an inside helm station that includes a 270-degree view. Twin 110-horsepower Yanmar diesels with 640 gallons of fuel housed in five separate tanks give the boat plenty of power and range — 3,000 miles to be exact. And if the forward section is the look of sailer, the aft section is that of a spacious powerboat with stern platform set at dock level and an aft deck that would make an excellent fishing platform.
Ruby Kiss is the result of many years, a circumnavigation and over a hundred thousand miles of combined cruising by her owners. Thinking that a voyage through the Northwest Passage would be in their future, they wanted a go-anywhere yacht that was adept under sail and efficient with the engines running — and that’s exactly how she was designed and built.
What they decided on was a custom Shannon Motorsailer hull that was constructed in Bristol, Rhode Island and then finished by a team of independent contractors to meet their exacting needs. Redundancy of systems was a must for a boat that would be in remote locales for long spells and that is the cornerstone of her build.
When I got a chance to climb aboard Ruby Kiss in Seattle for a walkabout, I found myself oohing and ahhing more than normal at the thought and detail put into every system. There’s too much to list, but here’s a small for instance. The boat’s three Glenndinning engine controls are located inside at the helm and then outside at each helm in the top cockpit. But just in case one or all were to fail, the owner had backup cable controls hardwired in and ready to use, along with a fuel shutoff and halon fire extinguisher pull.
On the sailing side, Ruby Kiss’ sail systems have clearly been set up with ease of use in mind. Boom preventers are rigged and ready to go, furling lines run cleanly and the sheets and halyards all meet the crew’s hands in a centrally located position at the opulent top cockpit. This is a flat out cool place to operate a sailboat from.
Dual helms with bench seats are positioned aft of L-shaped benches. Winches are located within reach from the helms or by stepping forward to the base of the mizzen mast. The whole cockpit area is enclosed and would be comfortable on a rainy day in the Pacific Northwest or while sailing under a bright sun in the trade winds. The full enclosure, which includes bug screens, can be taken off and stored in nice weather.
For accommodations down below, she’s got room for owners, guests and crew. Heck, the galley even has a sea berth and a nearby head! A large master cabin and head are located aft once you walk in from the aft deck. But the V-berth, with an ensuite head, is large enough to be considered a master as well.
Walking forward from the aft stateroom, you pass a workroom that can also be a berth to starboard before stepping up into the main salon and inside helm station. The view from here is incredible and one that clearly feels trawler-esq. I could imagine sitting here with a cup of coffee while powering up the Inside Passage.
Keep going through the salon and you’ll step down into the most impressive galley I’ve seen on sailboat. Its wraparound shape creates lots of storage and counter space and with the nearby accommodations noted above, you could literally live here.
Forward is a large V-berth with head. My favorite feature here has nothing to do with the bunk itself but in the storage system for Ruby Kiss’ impressive ground tackle. At the foot of the berth is a clever sealed hatch that provides a view and access to the chain for both anchors.
To take a full tour of Ruby Kiss yourself, walkthrough the 3D view below.
Though I realize that with a price tag of over a million dollars, this isn’t the boat for the common sailor, my interest in reviewing Ruby Kiss was to share some of these oooh and ahhs for the dreamers and boat lovers out there like me. When all was said and done, it was an entertaining afternoon getting a tour of this truly custom motorsailer. She’s an adventure mobile like none other and a place where your dreams could run wild.
To find out more about the Shannon Motorsailer 6o Ruby Kiss, visit swiftsureyachts.com.