Kevin Koenig's blog
We tracked down the inside scoop on what boatbuilders are up to next.
I had an interesting conversation onboard a super-posh Bertram 64 yesterday during the company’s dark n’ stormy party. I was standing in the cockpit chatting with the nattily attired yacht designer about his background and where he wants to take Bertram. Ullberg got his start alongside nautical legend Tom Fexas, and eventually made his way into designing serious fishing boats with a concentration on speed. He was talking so much about beating the other guy back to the docks that I asked if he had a racing background.
Princess has its hands on a proprietary outboard system for tenders which should offer a nice option to owners that are sick of cleaning gunk out of their jet tenders. The system, which seems fairly simple to me, allows the outboard to tip forward, and tuck into the aft portion of a RIB, allowing it to stow more easily on relatively smaller yachts. A Princess rep who gave me a demonstration of the system assured me that it ain’t cheap, but it might just be worth it. Especially when you factor in ease of maintenance.
I have to be honest with you; I’m not overly familiar with Hydra Sports, the Knoxville-based builder of fast, flashy center consoles. But I’ve been really impressed with what I’ve seen from them in the Convention Center.
A bit of a theme I’ve noticed after the first day of the show that I hadn’t seen (or maybe noticed) before, is companies trotting out vintage models of their boats at the docks. Hatteras has the very first Hatteras ever built, Knit Wits, floating outside of their display, and Fairline has one of their first builds, a classic-looking little riverboat, at theirs. It’s cool to see the evolution of the boats as well as the companies’ ties to their past in these vessels. I’ll be sure to keep my eyes peeled for more.
Last night Monte Carlo debuted their all-new MC5 stateside with the help of racecar driver Townsend Bell and a whole lot of champagne. The party was, as expected, populated by all of the beautiful people, as well as a handful of marine journalists. The MC5 is the smallest Monte Carlo yet, with an LOA just under 50 feet. She is the first in a line of smaller Monte Carlos, including her sistership the MC5S (an express version of last night’s boat) and the even smaller MC4.
I tested the all-new Viking 52 Convertible recently off beautiful Cape May, New Jersey. Well, it’s usually beautiful. The day I was there it was raining pretty hard and the wind was gusting off the Atlantic at about 30 knots, give or take. The seas were an outright slop of 5- and 6-foot swells. It was messy, but it was perfect for a test. Especially with a boat like the 52, which is built for that kind of stuff. Her fine entry and high bow cleaved right through the waves like they weren’t even there. We rode comfortably at speeds approaching 30 knots.
Sometimes the fishing is bad. Sometimes the fishing is good. But sometimes the fishing is so good, it’s actually pretty freaking bad.