459 feet Meridian Motoryacht 2005
Meridian Yachts, formerly known as Bayliner, has been building innovative and distinctive motoryachts for the past three years. A subsidiary of the Brunswick Boat Group, Meridian Yachts shares the same bloodlines with the likes of Hatteras and Sea Ray. With nine Meridian yacht models to choose from, Meridian offers a quality yachting package at a modest price.
Unlike most of today’s mass-manufactured motoryachts, the 2005 Meridian Motoryacht 459’s stringers run from the bow to the stern providing superior hull strength. This system not only diffuses shock, it also relieves hull stress. Meridian Yachts also uses fiberglass on all load-bearing bulkheads to the hull and deck, and bonds hull-to-deck joints with urethane, providing even weight distribution. All of this extra effort on behalf of Meridian means a solid and stable ride in most conditions.
Meridian designed the exterior of the 2005 Meridian Motoryacht 459 to withstand the toughest of marine environments. All deck hardware is made of corrosion-resistant stainless steel as are all through-hull fittings. The only non-stainless metal I could find on the exterior of the 459 was the aluminum-framed Venturi.
Come to the Party!
Clearly, the 2005 Meridian Motoryacht 459 was designed for entertaining. The generous cockpit, large aft deck and spacious flybridge provide enough exterior room to accommodate numerous guests. The focal point of the 459 is the massive aft deck. With enough seating for five adults, a wetbar and the standard hard top, the aft deck could be this boat’s most popular space.
Access to the flybridge from the aft deck is easy via the molded-in steps located on the port side. Side deck access is also easy through the acrylic doors located on each side.
The flybridge features a large L-shaped lounge, a forward-facing seat next to the single-bucket helm seat, and a storage area with sink and space for an optional icemaker or refrigerator.
The helm includes standard instrumentation excluding any electronics, which are optional. Visibility is excellent forward and port to starboard but non-existent aft. When backing into a slip, you will need an extra set of eyes on the swim platform to prevent the obvious. Also, the helm seat does not move far enough back to allow standing directly behind the wheel.
From the aft deck, one can descend a second set of molded-in steps to the roomy cockpit. The large cockpit features handy fender storage compartments, ample access to the generator and massive compartments for gear.
No more tripping or stepping over that shore power cord. Meridian has thoughtfully designed a recessed channel for shore power cords into the swim platform. Simply feed the cord through the channel, close the door over the channel and the swim platform is obstruction free.
Foredeck access is simple from the wide, raised side decks. The foredeck has two molded-in areas for sun pads designed for those who enjoy sunbathing. Another great feature located on the foredeck is a built-in, self-draining ice chest located next to the windlass. Surprisingly, Meridian Yachts does not include an anchor as standard equipment.
The sumptuous salon is open and full of light thanks to two sets of frameless windows located on each side. Sitting or standing in the salon, you and your guests will have an unobstructed view of the water. The rich cherrywood paneling and tan-colored upholstery give this beauty a warm and inviting atmosphere.
The engine hatches located in the salon floor provide ample access to both engines and components. However, you may want to cover your carpeting with tarps prior to letting the mechanic into your salon to service your engines. Dirt and grease could ruin the attractive Berber carpeting.
Located forward on the port side, down a couple of steps, is the elegant galley equipped with a three-burner electric stove, microwave oven and Karadon countertops. Also included is a full upright refrigerator/freezer facing aft. Actually, I’m not fond of this arrangement with the refrigerator facing aft. Recently, we were testing a Meridian 490 with the same galley layout and when opening the refrigerator while underway, the contents shifted aft spilling onto the teak and holly floor causing extensive damage. One must be careful when reaching for a cold one.
Your overnight guests will be more than pleased with their accommodations located in the bow. The guest stateroom is roomy and includes its own head with a separate stall shower, under-berth storage and two cedar-lined hanging lockers. I found the 459’s guest stateroom to be as comfortable as many master staterooms on similar-sized yachts.
I was especially impressed with the aft master stateroom that features a queen-sized island berth with storage below and two cedar-lined illuminated hanging lockers. The glass slider with screen door provides private access to the cockpit and ample light to what could be a very dark stateroom. Also included in the master stateroom is a head compartment separate from the shower compartment and en-suite vanity.
Equipped with twin 330-hp Cummins turbo diesels, the 30,000-lb. Meridian was on plane within seconds. Without the assistance of trim tabs, the 459 came up level and smooth with little bow rise. In terms of handling, the 459 felt like a much smaller boat requiring little effort to steer and never dropping off plane even during hard maneuvers.
While cruising at 2400 rpm, the 459 achieved almost 20 mph while burning less than 22 gph and providing a 350 nautical mile range. Not bad for a 47-ft. motor yacht.
Using the standard D.O.C. or “docking on command” system, docking is a snap for even the most inexperienced of recreational boaters. The system integrates the bow and stern thrusters into one joystick on the helm allowing total control over the boat in most conditions. This system is by far the single most convenient feature of the 459.
The 2005 Meridian Motoryacht 459 is a thoughtfully designed boat built for comfortable cruising and entertaining. If “value” is a priority when shopping for your next boat, you may want to consider Meridian’s new 459.