Sleek styling is matched by peppy performance on the new Marquis 630, which offers a fine space for entertaining guests in a spacious main lounge.
On style points, it’s hard to beat the boats from Marquis Yachts. The US builder has famously employed Italian designers and naval architects Nuvolari Lenard to create a very sleek and distinctive look that is recognisably Marquis. Stepping aboard the Marquis 630, brought to Hong Kong by Discovery Marine, the first thing you notice is the rather large swim pad. It would not be unreasonable to spend an afternoon with some fold out chairs enjoying a pleasant drink. Here, there is access via transom door to the engineering section and a small crew cabin.
The engineering of the new 630, released earlier in 2012 at the Miami boat show, is worth noting. Marquis Yachts all come with Volvo Penta IPS systems. The 630 comes with twin Volvo Penta IPS 3 1200s, each producing 900 horsepower. This is the largest in Volvo Penta’s line of IPS systems for pleasure boats, and the results can certainly be felt when you are out on the water. The engine room can also be accessed via a hatchway in the aft cockpit, and a quick inspection revealed it to be very open and user-friendly.
As our captain for the day and his assistant fired up the genset and warmed the engines, it was time to have a look around the yacht. Removing all the protective covers revealed a solid wood table and comfy settee in the aft cockpit, while heading through the straightsliding door showed what usually gets attention for Marquis from first time buyers – the interiors. Here, one finds a space that matches (or exceeds) what you’d expect from a luxury flat on the water.
The flooring is something called Oyster Pinewood with a satin finish. It’s spectacular looking, but be careful if you’re in socks. Marquis and their design partners aimed at a single-level open main deck with a lot of space. Big windows and sumptuous interiors certainly make you feel at home (or wish you were in this home) when you relax in the saloon. The settees are of fine leather finish and feel fantastically comfortable. Walnut and zebrano woods have been used throughout the yacht to excellent visual effect.
The layout was, however, a touch confused to me. The designers have created two discrete areas for sitting and socialising, separated by a low partition to leave sightlines undisrupted. There is the main lounge area adjacent to the aft doors with the TV located on a portside mounting that faces forward. Opening it up reveals the electrics. The partition that separates the two settees effectively creates a truncated dining area right next to the centrally-aligned main-deck helm station. This positioning seemed a bit unusual to me – it was right opposite the very open galley station, making food service easy, but it was somewhat cramped as it was right next to the helm station. Though this is the standard layout, Marquis offer a fair degree of customisation, so it may well be possible to adjust this.
The galley is superb, with some gentle steps down on the portside in a very open way to the workspace. Thanks to the use of sturdy handrails, the galley, though on the lower deck, feels completely connected to the rest of the saloon area. The person assigned to be chef for the day can either engage with everyone on the main deck, or go about their business quietly if they are crew. An optional version has the galley up, with steps leading down from the galley to the accommodation areas. Either version would be pleasing. There’s plenty of space for food storage, from beverages for the day or for overnighting meals.
Down below, the Marquis styling keeps coming at you. Our test boat had a three-cabin layout, though a fourth stateroom can be added as an option with the galley located up on the main deck. With a VIP cabin located in the bow and full beam master cabin amidships, there is a twin cabin on the starboard side separating them. The master cabin in particular is grand, with a lot of space on either side of the bed and sizeable windows letting in plenty of light. The master bathroom is behind the bedroom and covers two-thirds of the yachts’ beam, with the remainder given over to a wardrobe/changing area. Down here, the finery of Marquis reallyshines through, and you have a very luxurious space to relax and unwind.
The bath in the master is lovely and spacious, but the VIP shower feels a bit cramped, as does the day head next to the twin cabins. The positioning of the master bath behind the master cabin has the nice effect of dampening the already quiet operations of those Volvo Pentas and the gensets. The air conditioning, handled by a Marine Air split system with independent controls for different areas of the boat, cooled things off quite quickly thanks to the 86,000 BTU HVAC capability.
Heading up to the flybridge, you find a pleasant space for enjoying the seaview and perhaps a bit of lunch after a swim. Our test boat came with the flybridge hard top, though without some of the usual accoutrements of modern flys, such as the wet bar. However, it is available as an option. Marquis have thrown in several features that are sure to find favour with on-water wine lovers, thanks to the specialty wine-bottle storage drawer that is tucked into the partition between two c-shaped settees (our yacht had the optional Alfresco bridge arrangement).
Here is where your captain will be spending most of his time when the yacht is underway, as the visibility is much better and all the systems have been integrated. The smaller settee near the helm station is a nice touch for guests wanting to enjoy the breeze while underway. One minor niggling note: on descending from the flybridge, there are several handholds, but one is tempted to hang on to the windscreen, and this had been noticeably loosened.
With the yacht ready to go, our captain demonstrated that while Mediterranean yacht captains may be super-skilled at mooring stern-to, Hong Kong captains have to be expert and manoeuvring in and out of tight fore-and-aft moorings. Once out, we rounded into Hong Kong’s Repulse Bay to see what those Volvo Pentas would do.
Acceleration was remarkably quick for this yacht, with speed running up to match RPMs in short order. There was some wind, but as we were on a lee shore, there was little in the way of waves to test the boat’s ride and cushioning. There is every reason to expect that the yacht will do well with some chop. Marquis Yachts claim to build all their yachts to CE A Ocean going standards, which means that the boat must be able to handle waves over four metres and wind conditions to Beaufort 8 (wind speeds up to 40 knots). Most Hong Kong and Singapore users won’t go out in those conditions, but it’s good to know that the boat can handle a bit of turbulence should a sudden change take a boater by surprise. As we turned about repeatedly to get the yacht in position for a photo, we had the chance to run through some of our own wake, and the ride seemed very cushioned.
At full throttle, with engines at 2330 RPM each, we topped out at just over 30 knots. At this rate, our recorded fuel consumption was running at a total of just over 300 litres/hour. Given the fuel capacity of 3900 litres, that gives you a theoretical range of about 380 nautical miles going full tilt. Not bad. Throttling back to about 2000 RPMs, we managed about 23 knots with consumption running around 228 litres/ hour, for a range just under 400 nautical miles. Strangely, the speed was only shown on chart plotter rather than a broader readout display.
Handling proved to be superb, with turns executed very quickly and the helm being very responsive. With the good views and easy control, it’s not hard to imagine an owner being able to pilot his own yacht for most of the day, should he (or she) so desire.
Marquis Yachts are built to a high standard, yet their pricing doesn’t seem to be out of line with other yachts in this category. The style (and their marketing) would indicate that they see owners of Marquis Yachts using their boats for nighttime entertainment of guests, or even clients, just as much as they might be at anchor somewhere beautiful and private. In this, they have developed a fine yacht with the 630.
– with special thanks to Discovery Marine HK
Technical Specifications – Marquis 630 Sport Yacht
Air draught: 5.4m
Weight (dry): 34t
Fuel capacity: 3899l
Water capacity: 965l
Holding tanks (standard): 568l
Cabin headroom: 1.9m
Engines: 2 x Volvo Penta IPS3 1200 (900hp)
Genset: Kohler 23kW 60Hz