Preloved: Chuck Paine 72 'Adagio'

Graham Lloyd — 13 August 2020
When heading out to sea, you want confidence in the vessel underneath your feet. The Adagio ensures that’s what you get.

When you are planning genuine long-distance ocean voyaging far from land and help, you need to have a great deal of confidence in your vessel for a truly enjoyable cruising. Confidence comes partly from the ‘facts’ of proven design, excellent technical specifications and build quality. But confidence also comes from the more ‘psychological’ aspect of the impression the vessel creates. 

On the latter count, one look at this Chuck Paine 72 Adagio and you know it is a genuine ocean-going, small-ship, with enduring traditional lines, safety-aware decks, generous freeboard and powerful forward hull sections.

The big cruiser was designed by Mark Fitzgerald, who now runs his own company called Fitzgerald Marine Architecture after working and learning with the famed Jack Hargrave — a designer for legendary marques such as Hatteras, Burger and Halmatic, among others — for five years. Mark later became lead designer at Chuck Paine Yacht Design in Camden, Maine, where he created Adagio with a style that exudes an air of competence. Such an unmistakable impression gives a flying start to the ‘factual’ confidence that comes after learning what lies within.


Under the gently upswept forward gun’l above beautifully flared shoulders that sweep aside taller waves, the undersides encompass a double bottom amidships. As well as the hull itself, the decks of Adagio also comply with the demanding scantling requirements for offshore motoryachts set out by the American Bureau of Shipping. In fact, the use of Alustar/Sealium aluminium alloy, which is some 20 per cent stronger than the more commonly used 5083 alloy, means Adagio exceeds the ABS requirements. Alustar is especially resistant to corrosion in weld areas, giving structural endurance including where access is limited or impossible.

In addition to safety at sea, the design objectives for the vessel included comfort underway and when moored, plus a true level of luxury in fit-out and finishes. Constructed by Vitali/Bjorklund Yacht Construction Management in Auckland and launched in 2008, the Adagio is 22m (72ft) with a beam of 6.29m and a displacement of 67,000kg. Fuel tankage of 10,750L gives a range of around 2,000 nautical miles at a cruise speed of 8 knots, with the twin Caterpillar C12 340hp diesels consuming a modest 35L/h. Top speed is 12 knots.


Well proven and greatly enjoyed by her previous owners, Adagio has traversed more than 40,000 nautical miles in explorations including: return trips from Auckland to New Caledonia and Fiji; cruises around the New Zealand coastline, such as through the scenic Fiordland and circumnavigating the North Island; crossing the Tasman Sea to Brisbane; winter-cruising the Great Barrier Reef nearly every year from 2010–2017; and heading from Queensland to Hobart numerous times, with circumnavigations of our southern-most state in 2014 and 2016. 

Mark Fitzgerald’s design, which he acknowledges is based on the work of the late highly respected naval architect Jack Hargrave, evolved over 32 years of experience, research and development. Of interest to students of hull design, and to potential owners and skippers, Mark explained, “Steering and control are the most important aspects of a hull design. We fulfilled the low-resistance, high-stability requirement with the transitional chine hull shape and fine forward sections. 

“The ability to steer and stay in control through large ocean swells is a function of the rounded forward sections, built-down keel, and NACA foil shaped rudders. Built-down keels are almost unknown today in modern poweryacht design. The keel sides and hull bottom surface come together in a large gentle radius. Thus, the keel is not causing the hull to bow steer or create high directional pressures that the rudders cannot overcome. The large foil shaped rudders provide good control even at idle speeds. This, combined with a powerful bow and stern thruster system, makes mooring the vessel easy and worry free. The other benefit to built-down keels is a lower centre of gravity, and they are immensely strong should grounding occur,” he said.

“The subject of safety was also addressed in the yacht’s ergonomics and comfort. A vessel at sea that keeps crew secure and well rested is far safer than with a fatigued and stressed crew. The vessel must provide security to move about both the interior and exterior. The Portuguese bridge, deep bulwarks, and full one-metre railings allow safe movement on deck even in large ocean swells. The interior spaces were laid out to provide security within them — the galley is a good example as it is located centrally in the vessel and at the centre of rotation. Staterooms are well insulated, well ventilated, environmentally controlled with Cruisair air con/heat, and have proper lighting. Adagio was designed to be an honest ocean-going vessel, unlike many of the available production counterparts whose life is spent largely moored or in a berth,” he added.

How true is that latter statement!

Externally, Adagio has a superb finish with nine coats of Awlgrip, while internally there is a custom fit-out with delightful book-matched Beech veneers. Comfort is enhanced with excellent NVH (Noise, Vibration, Harshness) levels from Lattimar Acoustics ‘Acustop’ engine room linings and ‘Low-Rez’ engine mountings and flexible engine couplings. A professional crew has provided 24/7 maintenance, although intelligent design and excellent control systems could allow operation by a suitably experienced two-person owner/crew. 


The layout is logical, practical, welcoming and luxurious. A central entry port from the boarding platform leads into a spacious teak-soled cockpit with L-shaped lounges either side, as well as casual seating, twin extendable tables and entertainment facilities such as a Galleymate stainless barbeque. A wide doorway offers easy passage into the main saloon with comfortable lounges to port and moveable seating to starboard around a high-low extendable table. Further forward is the central galley with extensive stowage and work spaces, including a double Insinkerator and chef-quality Miele gas full cook-top, an electric oven, Miele microwave and dishwasher plus a Liebher fridge and freezer. There’s a superb pantry and wonderful wine racks as well. 

A neat feature is a dividing panel that powers up from the aft cabinetry of the galley to provide partial separation from the saloon when required. Elsewhere in the saloon, a TV also rises from concealment whilst powered blinds can create shade or privacy to appreciate music from the Marantz stereo system.

Across from the galley is a day bathroom, while in front of that is a superb wheelhouse with room for guests to relax on lounges aft of an excellent helm station. Doors provide quick access to protected side decks, and the Portuguese bridge and foredeck where there are lounges to enjoy the passing scenery.

Belowdecks, the owner’s stateroom is full beam and centrally positioned with the island queen bed right above the keel for optimum stability. There’s a great deal of space around the bed with extensive stowage in Satin Oak artisan-quality cabinetry plus the expected ensuite. 

Toward the bow is a VIP stateroom with island queen bed and its own ensuite, while a further guest cabin is between the two staterooms along with a utility room complete with Miele washer and dryer. Crew accommodations are separate aft of the engine room below the cockpit. A total of five bathrooms keep everyone within easy distance of feeling relieved. The engine room is bright and clinically clean displaying top-line engineering for the big Cats and associated equipment. 

The bridge level has another ergonomically-sound helm station with full displays for engine and ship’s systems. Navionics include a Furuno GPS charting system and radar, Simrad AP25 autopilot, Westmar Sonar and Garmin plotter/sounder, ICOM VHF and HF transceivers along with a Fleet 77 satellite dome. 

At this bridge level of accommodations aboard Adagio are more comfort-lounges ahead of storage for the Reef Rider RIB ship’s tender with a Honda 40hp four-stroke outboard along with its davit for launch and retrieval. There’s also a Tsunami Wave Ski, an Apollo AV-2 underwater scooter and dive equipment plus a Zodiac 12-man liferaft.

An aviation-quality Program Logic Controller monitors all the onboard systems while an internationally compatible power system includes an ASEA 30kW 240V/110V Frequency Convertor. Twin Onan gensets (27kVA and 11 kVA) are part of the power system’s ability to shut down for 12 hours a day and run silently on the house battery bank. 

Adagio has been constantly updated including: a new Furuno electronics package in 2015; a new monster 1500Ah house battery set in 2016; an eight-year full overhaul of the TRAC stabilisers in 2017; the watermaker membranes replaced in 2017; and a bi-annual refit in 2018 with paint touch-ups, antifoul, new anodes and strainers and Propspeed.

This unique vessel is immediately available and ready for her new owner to appreciate all of her design aspects, commercial-quality engineering and extensive facilities for entertaining, relaxing and comfortably exciting local or long-range cruising. 


Price $3,350,000 (GST Paid)

Location Sanctuary Cove, Qld

Year 2008

Length overall 22m (72ft 2in) 

Beam 6.29m (20ft 7in)

DrafT 1.60m (5ft 3in)

Fuel 10,750L

Water 2,600L

Weight approx 67,000kg

Sleeping Capacity 6 plus 2 crew

Generators Onan 1 by 27kVA, 1 by 11kVA 

Engines Twin Caterpillar C12 340hp

Designer Mark Fitzgerald, Chuck Paine Yacht Design, Camden, Maine, USA. 

Builder Vitali/Bjorklund Yacht Construction Management, Auckland


Leigh-Smith Yachts

P 07 5577 9200



Shop 42 D, Quay Street

Sanctuary Cove, QLD 4212


Preloved Chuck Paine 72 Adagio Ocean-voyaging