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Holidays Before the Holidays

Funny thing about sunsets, a naturally groovy phenomenon you tend to see a lot of while traveling onboard a boat like my relatively slow, leave-at-dawn-arrive-sometime-after-the-moon-comes-up  trawler Betty Jane. On the one hand, there's a certain similarity amongst most of them I suppose, but on the other, most all have their unique characteristics, their foibles.

Volvo Penta Delivers 4,000th IPS Unit

Six years after introducing its IPS engine-drive package, Volvo Penta announced that it had shipped its 4,000th unit this summer. The engine manufacturer says its IPS package has replaced shaft-and-strut propulsion on thousands of boats, making them more maneuverable, fuel efficient, quieter, cleaner, and easier to drive. “Volvo Penta IPS fundamentally changed the marine marketplace,” said Clint Moore, CEO of Volvo Penta of the Americas. “For the first time in my experience, consumers start the boat-show buying experience at our booth, asking us which boat brands are available with Volvo Penta IPS. [IPS] owners report significantly higher overall satisfaction than owners of cruisers with traditional inboard propulsion.” The 4,000th IPS unit was installed in a Cruisers 48 Cantius.

New Year, New Boat?

By Jason Y. Wood

Another year has nearly passed, and boat buyers and sellers are peering into the great unknown and wondering what the coming season will bring. Just like with any challenges people face, the new year is a time for fresh starts and redoubled efforts. Make some resolutions and make 2012 the best year yet.

Bitter Sweet

I just returned from a wonderful five-day bareboat cruise thorugh the British Virgin Islands, courtesy of The Moorings, which lent me one of their brand-new 3900 PCs. (The PC stands for Power Cat.) Here's an aft view our boat with me and my daughter Rikki.

Perhaps a more literal eBay

In March 2010, the 219-foot Apoise was auctioned off. And while the peculiar mode of sale created some buzz, it made sense as the yacht's owner had co-founded Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers. And whatever your thoughts on her final sale price (reportedly approximately $46 million), the yacht was sold fewer than three months after the owners announced the sale.

But for all the skeptics, someone's ears perked up.

Why Do They Call It a Go-Fast?

Oh right, because it goes 100 mph+. I was down in North Miami at Lip-Ship Performance yesterday testing the Cigarette 39 Top Gun Unlimited for an upcoming story and heavens to Betsy does that thing have some pop. Twin 700-hp super-charged Mercury's had us cranking by A-Rod's house in South Beach at just over the triple-digit mark. So I crossed that one off the bucket list successfully. And by successfully, I mean without actually kicking the bucket while doing it. 

High Hopes

Boating, so the theory goes, is good for kids. It brings families together, it builds quality time, it creates memories. All great concepts. But, from my experience, be careful what you wish for.

Many years ago I brought three of my four children along for a long-planned, much-anticipated vacation on my new boat, a Grand Banks 36. I’d just been divorced, and I thought the boat would be the platform for us all to be together again. I had dreams of blue skies, lots of laughter, warmth, and family bonding. We would all start a new portion of our lives together, afloat. The possibilities were endless.  

Bye-Bye Fly-By Guy

What would you do if a single-engine plane looked like it had lost control and was heading straight for your cruiser? Take evasive action? Jump overboard? Several boaters did both near South Padre Island, Texas—after which the pilot pulled up at the last minute and flew away.

Rodolfo Gonzalez-Gonzalez, a 20-year-old novice pilot, was arrested in September for allegedly buzzing three boats in southern Texas. Police say the Mexico City man flew his small plane very low near Port Mansfield, as if he were going to crash into the boats, and then pulled up before hitting them.

Only in America

This job isn’t all bright sunshine, blue sky, and bodacious boats. There’s another side too, exemplified by the dozen or so boat shows we attend every year. The show locations—Cannes, Genoa, London, Monaco, Sydney—sound glamorous but they have their commercial aspects too. Besides first looks at new models, these foreign exhibitions offer a global business perspective because for builders there, export is such an important part of their livelihoods.