Dibley 57

2010 March 2

Performance cruiser

Kevin Dibley always sends me very nice design packages for my reviews. I appreciate that. It makes my job fun and helps with the accuracy component. This new 57 is intended as a high-performance cruising yacht. I have no information on the builder and perhaps this design is available for a custom project.

It's great to have a set of hull lines. I can actually tell you what the hull shape is. The 57 has a D/L of 134 and a L/B of 3.61. There is deadrise forward and amidships but the hull fairs out to a dead, flat run aft. Deadrise is interesting and designers treat it differently. After sanding far too many bottoms I can't see the point of getting the bottom really smooth then designing a big crease running the entire length of the hull. That looks like drag to me. But I like to have some deadrise aft on cruising boats so the stern won't slap when the boat is tied up. Kevin likes his deadrise forward. The half-angle of entry for the DWL is 14 degrees, and that is identical to that of Scoot. The overall hull shape is very pleasant looking. The prismatic is .542 and the LCB is 54.2 percent of the DWL aft. The keel lifts to vary the draft from 6 feet, 6 inches to 10 feet, 6 inches. The bulb looks kind of fat to my eye. Compare Kevin's bulb proportions to those of Scoot. There are twin rudders. I think rather than focusing on a performance advantage Kevin used the twin rudders to open up the middle of the stern so he could fit the dinghy into the garage, killing two birds with one stone.

There are several level changes in this layout. There is a very narrow area of cabin sole at the companionway, you then step down to go aft into the staterooms, head and nav station. You step down forward to get to the galley and the forward accommodations. All this works and you do get a great galley. But, my problem with this layout is that the area where we would normally find the main saloon is invaded by the lifting keel trunk. This divides the area into two distinct spaces with the galley to starboard and a dinette to port. There are double berths for three couples and two extra stacked single berths, but I think that dinette would be a press fit for eight sailors. If you have B.O. you had better stay in the cockpit. I like big, spacious saloons where you can sprawl out. This small dinette combined with the narrow sole area is going to make this interior initially feel a bit small. For comparison consider that the forward head with its shower stall is almost as big as the entire dinette area. "I'll take my dinner forward, dear."

The tall, carbon, double-spreader, frac rig has an SA/D of 23.85, so combined with this slippery hull I suspect you will slide along just fine in light air. The furling boom will make reefing a snap in a breeze. The sailplan shows both a 100-percent working jib and a staysail. The headsails sheet to tracks on the low cabintrunk forward. The sheeting angle for the jib is 10 degrees and for the staysail 7 degrees. It might be nice in a blow to sheet the staysail to the outer jib track to open up that angle a bit. I like options in sheeting angles. Despite the elongated masthead crane the main roach still overlaps the backstay by about 18 inches, so this might be annoying in light air.

The deck plan shows twin wheels aft with the area of the cockpit sole in way of the wheels depressed below the cockpit sole level between the wheels. This is to provide more vertical height in the garage for the dinghy. You step down again to go from the wheels to the forward part of the cockpit. Sail controls are all push-button hydraulics. With the traveler right behind the helmsman this cockpit is well set up for the singlehanded sailor. I might be a bit concerned in a jibe that the mainsheet could take off the helmsman's cap though. But looking at this layout aft the options for traveler position are limited.

This is a good-looking boat. I'm certain that Kevin would be happy to customize the basic design to suit your preferences.

LOA 57'; LWL 51'5"; Beam 15'9"; Draft 6'6" (keel up), 10'6" (keel down); Displacement 40,785 lbs.; Ballast 13,670 lbs.; Sail area 1,528 sq. ft.; SA/D 23.85; D/L 134; L/B 3.61; Auxiliary Yanmar 4JH3-DTE 125-hp; Fuel 260 gals.; Water 260 gals.

Dibley Marine, P.O. Box 46-167 Herne Bay, Auckland, New Zealand, 64-9-940-9745, www.dibleymarine.com.

OBE: $1.3 million
Our Best Estimate of the sailaway price