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Boat Tests

By Capt. Richard Thiel | Posted October 2008

When I learned that I was going to test the newest Sea Ray Sundancer, the 350, I wasn’t exactly ecstatic. Nothing against the boat, mind you. Sundancers are fine craft. But they...

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By Capt. Richard Thiel | Posted October 2008

If you want to get a real feel for what’s going on in the economy these days, try testing boats. One of the less glamorous but more enlightening aspects of this job is meeting...

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By Capt. Patrick S...Photos by Fores... | Posted October 2008

A lot can change in seven years. Heck, I went from being a college student to a working professional (yes, this is actually a job) to a daddy in that amount of time, and from...

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By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted September 2008

It was a spectacular morning. The sun was sparkling like diamonds on the Pacific, and a cobalt sky vaulted over the Gold Coast of Australia. Denby Browning, marketing honcho for...

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By Capt. Richard ThielPhotos by Jim R... | Posted September 2008

I'm not sure exactly when it was—maybe the summer of 2002—but I do remember the conversation as clearly as if it had happened yesterday. Bob Van Grunsven, president of...

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By Capt. Grant Rafter | Posted September 2008

If you plan on building an 80-foot sportfisherman that's capable of more than 40 mph, you'd better build her strong. Donzi Yachts believes it's done just that. Bob Roscioli...

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By Alan Harper | Posted September 2008

The fuel berth in Palma, Mallorca, seemed unusually popular considering the recent rocketing price of oil. Sailboats drifted about, patiently awaiting their turn. Three or four...

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By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted August 2008

Not your average boat test. Not by a long shot. Way back in 2001, off the coast of California, I'd sea trialed a raised-pilothouse motoryacht that would set a new course for Grand...

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By Capt. Patrick S... | Posted August 2008

The flags stood at attention. I directed my eyes toward the horizon and gazed at the "buffalo" (big swells) running across the Gulf Stream. It was about this time that I began to...

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By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted August 2008

The only other time I can remember getting myself into something that sounded this stark-raving mad was a dozen years ago. I'd just finished wringing out a high-performance...

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By George L. Petrie | Posted August 2008

During a boat test, it's always a pleasure to speak with the owners and to hear about the yacht from their point of view. When those opportunities arise, one of my main goals is...

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By Capt. Grant Rafter | Posted August 2008

Italy is renowned for setting the high-water mark in style. From the right slacks to the right hair to the right yacht, it's all got to be impeccable. It was in this atmosphere...

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By Capt. Grant Rafter | Posted July 2008

Zaffiro is Italian for sapphire, a gem known for its strength; sapphire ranks 9 out of 10 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness (diamond is a 10). The jewel's strength owes much...

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By Capt. Grant Rafter | Posted July 2008

Italy has hundreds of little museums, most with something worth looking at behind their engraved doors. Sometimes the art is inspiring, sometimes just surprising, but usually...

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By Capt. Patrick S... | Posted July 2008

Robert Moss really likes boats. He enjoys them so much that he's owned nine new ones since 2004. I met Moss because he kindly let me test his most recent addition, a Viking Sport...

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By Capt. Grant Rafter | Posted June 2008

Architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe defined the minimalist art movement of the mid-1900's with the oft-quoted statement "Less is more." Both the quote and the movement have been...

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Sometimes a boat is built around the engines. At least that was the case with the Symbol 75 Flushdeck Motoryacht I recently tested out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida's Bahia Mar...

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By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted June 2008

I heard an industry spokesperson say something the other day at a press event that seemed a little strange, at least at first. "The competitors for the products we build are not...

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While casting about for a way to convey my overall impression of San Juan Yachts' new 40 FB (Fly Bridge), I kept coming back to my good buddy Don. Some years ago he and I had...

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In David Marlow's hands are two coffee stirrers buttressed at either end with the lids from our large Styrofoam cups. "You see," he explains as he leans his elbows on the granite...

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By George L. Petrie | Posted May 2008

Alongside the dictionary definition of the word unconventional, one might rightly expect to find an image of the Fjord 40. Quite simply, she looks like no other 40-footer around....

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By Capt. Patrick S... | Posted May 2008

The moment was bordering on silly fun. I took over the wheel of the Cabo 38 Flybridge (Hull No. 1) and with minimal input from the ZF electronic controls made her spin like a top...

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By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted April 2008

It's funny the way I first found out about OPS, a deceptively ho-hum-sounding acronym for Regal's new Optimized Performance System. I was sitting in the engine room of the company...

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By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted April 2008

When the first sailfish hit, we were running along the eastern edge of the Gulf Stream. The day was perfect, with the wind northerly, seas averaging six feet or more, and the sun...

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By Capt. Grant Rafter | Posted April 2008

The 350 Abaco is the biggest boat Scout has ever built, and because of that you'd assume that the builder would keep it simple—create a vessel with time-tested features that...

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