HCB 65 Estrella Boat Review – That’s Just Sick

HCB Center Console Yachts (formerly known as Hydra Sports Custom Boats) has beaten their own benchmark, with the new 65 Estrella.

What could possibly be better than a 53-foot center console fishing yacht powered by four massive Seven Marine outboards with a grand total of 2,508 blazing horsepower? Why, a 65-footer with a fifth powerplant on the transom, pushing the power mark up to 3,135 horses, of course. And just a few years after building the 53 Suenos, which quickly became recognized as the largest center console on the market, HCB has broken their own record with the 65 Estrella.

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Now THAT is what we call gobs and gobs of power!

Speaking of breaking things: when this beast eased down “Ego Alley” in downtown Annapolis, MD, we thought we heard necks snapping, from all the people swiveling their heads at light-speed to gawk. The boat prompted not just looks but even cheers from the crowd (seriously), which was down-right awestruck. And it’s no wonder. With this much LOA it can house far, far more than the usual center console yacht.

Seating is the first abnormally expansive feature to greet the eye. There are two full rows of seats at the helm, with the aft row being more accurately described as an outdoor settee. Swing the forward seats (with room for five) to face aft, put up the dinette table (with the press of a button), and the bridgedeck more closely resembles an al fresco salon than the command center of a fishing boat. When the weather calls for it, the entire area can be enclosed and you can fire up the AC or heat, as desired. And behind it all, there’s a substantial mezzanine with aft-facing seating.

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With six or seven anglers aboard, the Estrella looks virtually empty. Seating a dozen guests is not a problem.

Naturally, the cabin is another shocker. In fact, it’s so extensive that the boat could be called a walkaround just as accurately as a center console. After all, that “console” runs from around amidships to four-fifths of the way to the entry. And what that creates below decks is just as spectacular as you’d expect from a boat of this size and expense. (List cost: there is no list cost. But if you don’t have at least three mil to toss around, you’re playing in the wrong league). It includes a full galley, a dinette, a stand-up head with a separate shower, and a master stateroom forward. Sleeping accommodations can be expanded by converting the dinette into a double berth, and swinging down a single Pullman berth. The design includes an excellent use of the available space and prior to construction the entire area – the entire boat, actually – was mocked up out of Styrofoam, to ensure the best possible ergonomics.

Throughout the cabin you encounter richly lacquered mirror-like glossy-finish wood, polished stainless-steel fittings and handles, and solid-surface countertops, set off by detail work like a curved semi-circle stowage locker with multiple compartments and shelves. Picture a mix of yacht-quality finish and Miami chic, and you get the picture.

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It’s no surprise to discover a yacht-quality cabin interior, in the HCB Estrella.

What about the Estrella’s armaments? This is, after all, a fishboat, right? Well, again you have to use certain terms loosely when addressing a custom creation like this. While it’s a far cry from a blood-and-guts center console, it certainly does have the goods for a productive day offshore. The gunwales are lined with rodholders from stem to stern – there are nine in the transom alone – there are 10 rocket launchers on the hard top, a pair of telescopic outriggers (that honestly look rather puny on a boat this massive), rigging stations with sinks to the sides of the mezzanine, and a set of transom livewells that would be large enough to contain Shamu if they weren’t divided to keep your goggle-eyes from messing with your cigar minnows. Yes, they’re also pressurized, lighted, baby-blue inside, and have viewing ports on the front. But remember, an Estrella is more or less a custom boat. They’ll build one set up for whatever sort of fishing you like, just as long as your checkbook can handle it.

Obviously you’re not going to focus on light tackle casting from this boat, and accordingly, HCB doesn’t make much of an effort to keep the bow fishable. Instead, it has a long U-shaped lounge with backrests and a center dinette table. Just aft of that, there’s a pair of gloriously luxurious lounges built into the cabin-top.

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Are you ready to rumble? On this monstrous fishing machine, the answer to that question is undoubtedly “yes.”

And now for the question everyone’s been waiting for: Just how fast does this quintuple-outboard boat run? With the throttles slammed down this is a 50-knot boat, and HCB believes they can get more by tweaking the props a bit (there’s only one Estrella currently on the water and it hasn’t been around long enough for extensive testing as of yet). Cruising speed is a leisurely 40-knots. And if someone produces an outboard that’s even more potent than the Seven Marine 627, no worries – this boat’s official maximum horsepower rating is “unlimited.”

HCB 65 Estrella Specifications

  • LOA – 65’0”
  • Beam – 16’’0”
  • Draft – TBD
  • Displacement – 40,000 lbs
  • Transom deadrise – 23 degrees
  • Fuel capacity – 1,700
  • Water capacity – NA

For more information or just to make your eyes bug out, visit HCB Center Console Yachts.