Heading home after a few hours of sailfishing off Miami Beach on board the custom Paul Mann 77 Full Time, Capt. John Travaline stretched the throttles and the ponies responded: The Garmin screen locked on 44.5 knots. Looking aft, a marriage of blue and white in the pancake-flat wake affirmed that the boat’s modified-V running surface and the 2,600-hp MTU 16V Series 2000 M96Ls were dead nuts on.
Mann is known for his detailed workmanship, which is immediately evident as you enter the salon through the electrically actuated sliding teak door courtesy of Marine Power Doors. Quality builders carefully select the interior woods to match the grain as much as possible, but Mann’s vision is different: Instead of buying sheets of wood, he purchases the trees to ensure that not only the grain matches, but that it carries its character from the ceiling to the floor. Throughout the salon and the galley, the satin-finished teak cabinetry is nothing less than stunning, with solid teak window frames adding more depth and richness.
With this attention to detail throughout the interior it would be easy to overlook the yacht’s true mission: This is a hardcore bluewater fishing machine. At a 34-knot cruise it didn’t take long for us to get a few miles offshore south of Fowey Light in 170 feet of water. The diagonally planked cold-molded hull met the 3- to 5-foot rollers with less fuss than stepping on grapes. Even the occasional 4- to 6-footer was ignored. Mann pointed out the cupped chine contributes much to the boat’s ride, trapping the water and tossing the spray outward while also providing lift. There is a seamless connection between the running surface, engine power and propellers that reveals itself in comfort and confidence and sets the mood for serious fishing.
Capt. Travaline said when needed, he can carry 100 threadfin herring, 80 goggle eyes and upwards of 1,000 pilchards. The plumbing is designed so the deck stays dry without any overflow. When seawater pours over the transom backing down hard, four drains evacuate the water quickly and efficiently, as I discovered releasing one of my sails. The teak cockpit sole has no hatches in the lower level and the lazarette was bone dry when I inspected it back at the dock.
The form and function in the engine room and various machinery installations throughout are just as impressive, if not more so. Mann is fussy with his mechanicals and it shows. Accessed from a large hatch in the mezzanine deck, the bright white Awlgrip finish is as pristine as the exterior. A watertight door opens to access the big MTUs and other equipment, including a pair of Mitsubishi gyrostabilizers and two 38-kW Northern Lights generators. Headroom on centerline is 6 feet, 4 inches. The engine room is air-conditioned as well, which makes working in this space comfortable whether doing daily checks, service or repairs. I had no problem spending an hour wandering through the engine space.
From the raked stem to the gentle tumblehome at the transom, to its gorgeous teak treatments and the glow of the Awlgrip White Cloud finish, you will never tire taking in this yacht’s ethereal beauty. It left an indelible impression of how the builder has achieved success over the last three decades: by keeping things ship shape. Clearly his latest 77-footer is aptly named. —Peter Frederiksen
Fuel: 3,100 gal.
Water: 436 gal.
Test Power: 2/2,600-hp MTU 16V 2000 M96L
Cruise Speed: 34 knots
Top Speed: 44 knots