Outer Reef has long been known for building seaworthy passagemakers that can head offshore for long distances. The 640 Classic Azure is the builder’s first attempt at producing a yacht for a different style of cruising and entertaining.
“The launch of the new Outer Reef 640 Classic Azure is largely in response to requests from our discerning clientele who desire the perfect yacht for Med cruising and beyond,” European Sales Director Trevor De Faoite said, adding that the owner of Hull No. 1 plans to combine family and corporate entertainment on board.
In many respects, the 640 Classic Azure is yet another of Outer Reef’s beacons of sane, sensible yachting. Her style harks back to builds of the past, with a high bow and built-in flare, and a hull that sits in the water rather than on the water for a reassuring feel. She has an exterior that’s classic Outer Reef right down to the simulated planking in the composite hull, and she has a range of more than 1,000 miles at 10 knots—perfect for some of the longer passages in the Mediterranean.
The difference between this 640 and her sisterships first becomes evident when you enter the salon. There’s a galley aft to serve guests in the cockpit and in the dining and seating area that’s three steps up abaft the helm—a layout well suited to the open-air Mediterranean lifestyle. Corian and rich wood finishes create an upscale feeling, and a wine chiller to starboard stands ready for a party. At the after end of the salon, the cockpit door slides open and a window drops down to create what Outer Reef calls “the perfect alfresco dining and socializing environment,” with the flybridge overhang protecting the cockpit seating.
At the forward end of the salon are panoramic views. A helm station is here, as are stairs that lead up to the flybridge and down to the staterooms. A laminated wood steering wheel provides a traditional touch, while a settee near the captain’s chair means driving this yacht can be a family affair. Three electronic displays are below the sloping windshield, with supplementary displays and the VHF radio overhead. Analog engine gauges add a nice touch, and sightlines are clear.
Up on the flybridge is another helm, this one with two displays and a stainless-steel steering wheel. A hardtop extends over the forward part of the flybridge, leaving the after end free for sunpads and tender stowage (a crane is fitted here for launch and retrieval). Abaft the helm are a barbecue and dining table, and a twin seat is forward of the helm—in a spot Outer Reef calls the Bridgeview Deck—creating a space for a couple to soak up the sun while staying protected from the wind.
Outer Reef paid attention to practical needs, too: The life raft is fitted into dedicated stowage on the rails, allowing for easy launch. At the bow, two anchors are provided.
Belowdecks, the full-beam master stateroom has traditional portholes, an ensuite head and a walk-in closet. Rich woods are used in the finishing here, creating a warm feeling. Forward, a double-berth guest stateroom shares a head with the twin-berth guest stateroom that’s aft and to starboard. Farther aft, with access through a transom door, is a cabin with twin bunks and a smaller head that could be for crew or for kids.
While Outer Reef says optional 476-horsepower Caterpillar C9.3 engines can get the 640 Classic Azure up to 20 knots with a cruising speed of 17 knots, the standard 500-hp John Deere 6090 diesels have a top speed around 14 knots with a cruise speed of 10 knots. With the standard package, which Hull No. 1 had, noise and vibration levels were low enough that I mainly heard just the sounds of the sea while cruising off Cannes, France.
Bow and stern thrusters aid with docking, as does a joystick control. A Humphree interceptor system combined with fin stabilizers helps to control pitch and roll.
Access to the engine compartment is through the transom door (there is also a cockpit hatch). The engine compartment is almost surgical in its cleanliness, with all of the important bits readily accessible.
With the 640 Classic Azure, Outer Reef has managed to combine a seaworthy vessel with enough creature comforts to keep family, friends and corporate visitors comfortable. This yacht is intended for the Mediterranean, but I suspect she’ll win fans far beyond.
Specifications for the Outer Reef 640 Classic Azure
LOA 63ft. 1in.
Beam 17ft. 2in.
Draft 4ft. 10in.
Engines (standard) 2 x 500-hp John Deere 6090
Engines (optional) 2 x 476-hp Caterpillar C9.3
Speed (max.) 14 knots (standard); 17 knots (optional)
Fuel 1,000 gal.
Water 300 gal.