Boat Tests

Tiara 4500 Sovran

American Beauty

The Tiara 4500 Sovran is everything a sportscruiser should be . . . and more.

As some of you may have noticed, I’m new here. I came onboard PMY back in July in part to help write some of our boat test columns, and have been apprenticing for the good

Absolute 64

Aboard Absolute’s newest sport yacht, the compromises are few and well-considered.

The first time I heard there was a new boat company called Absolute, I got it. Or I thought I did. Unfortunately I’d conflated the name with that of the vodka, failing to notice the elided “e”. (I don’t drink vodka.) Still, the mental images of slim, sleek, jet-setters

Maestro 65

American Master

The gozzo morphs into a cruising boat that’s been tailored to American tastes.

Take one look at the Maestro 65 and you can tell she’s got fishing in her bloodlines. No? You don’t see it? Okay, I have to admit, I didn’t see it either at first. But believe it or not, she does.

The 65 is one of three Maestros from the Italian builder Apreamare,

Monte Carlo Yachts 76

Avant Garde

An award-winning newcomer from France by way of Italy.

You may not recognize the name of Carla Demaria, but in Europe she is boatbuilding royalty: 20 years a senior manager with Azimut-Benetti, driving force behind the Atlantis brand, and now tasked by Beneteau, the world’s largest boatbuilder, with creating a brand-new line of luxury

Princess Yachts V52

At-Sea Royalty

This across-the-pond import is the very definition of performance and elegance.

I sit on the starboard-side black leather helm seat, one of two on this sleek 52-foot express cruiser from British-builder Princess, and gaze at Lake Worth’s buoy-dotted route in front of me. The view reminds me of a giant slalom course where skiers take their performance

Princess Yachts

At-Sea Royalty

This across-the-pond import is the very definition of performance and elegance.

I sit on the starboard-side black leather helm seat, one of two on this sleek 52-foot express cruiser from British-builder Princess, and gaze at Lake Worth’s buoy-dotted route in front of me. The view reminds me of a giant slalom course where skiers take their performance

Spencer 70 Enclosed Bridge

Super Star

Spencer Yachts and Volvo Penta build a custom battlewagon that does it all.

I love stuff that’s new and different. And from the hints I’d gotten from the guys who had designed and built her, the triple-IPS Spencer 70 Enclosed Bridge was going to be unlike any custom sportfisherman I’d ever sea-trialed. Not only did she showcase the very first

Buzzards Bay 34

Wild Cat

Lean on the throttles a little and you get economy. Lean on ‘em a lot and you get a ride you won’t believe.

While the Buzzards Bay 34’s ride was no doubt explainable in terms of naval architecture, it retained a certain ineffability nevertheless. I mean, here we were—Buzzards Bay honcho Russell Hunt and yours truly—slicing blithely through a half-crazy

Viking 70 Convertible

Riding the Edge

This 70-footer was born to run hard and fast, turn on a dime, and chase big fish.

A sleek feature line is worth a thousand words.

That was my first thought as I gazed at the superstructure of the Viking 70 Convertible lying quayside in Riviera Beach, Florida. Like all Vikings, she had a sleek and aggressive look, but the razor-sharp feature line

Cruisers Yachts 48 Cantius

Radical Chic

 

IPS maneuverability, a split-level saloon, and design sensibilities that rock

As I pulled my car into the parking lot of Oconto, Wisconsin’s Breakwater Park, I certainly wasn’t expecting to be amazed by my test boat du jour’s appearance. After all, I’d seen a few pre-production drawings of the new Cruisers 48 Cantius Sports Coupe last year, and although

Riviera 43 Open Flybridge

It’s All About the Boat

Riviera builds a boat that makes you forget about pods.

Over the last few years I’ve tested quite a few boats that were equipped with pod drives. Some were more successful than others, but in every case I found it impossible not to focus on the pod system and how it dictated both the boat’s performance and accommodations. Whether they were IPS

Hampton 650 Endurance

More Better

Hampton’s 650 Endurance is now a turnkey yacht.

When a boatbuilder tells you he has revamped a boat, you’re wise to be a little skeptical. And when you show up and the “new” boat looks pretty much like the old one, you have reason for outright suspicion.

That’s exactly how I felt when I saw Hampton Yachts’ 650 Endurance in August. Hampton CEO Jeff

Hatteras GT60

Hatteras enhances its GT60 Convertible’s form while maintaining her at-sea performance. Sometimes messing around with something already very good can make it even better. I recently came to this realization after heading down to North Carolina to take a look at Hatteras Yachts’ revamped GT60 convertible.

Absolute 52

Absolute is turning heads in Europe. Can it do the same in America?

If you’re a boatbuilder who’s bent on competing in the United States, you better have two things: a lot of boatbuilding experience and a good idea of what Americans like and what they don’t. America’s financial landscape is littered with the bones of companies who entered what is

Intrepid 400 Cuddy

Shape Shifter

This highly customizable 40-footer is equally effective as a daytripper, a sportfisherman, or a Bahamas weekender.

Would you like your ice maker to make clear ice or cloudy ice? I didn’t even know you could get an ice maker that does that. But you can, and this is the level of customization that Intrepid Powerboats offers its owners. For 24 years, this

Bertram 800

Wicked Tough

Fast and supremely seaworthy, this 80-foot battlewagon is the biggest, baddest Bertram ever.

The day was certainly getting off to a serene start. The canal behind Bertram’s Fort Lauderdale office was glass-flat, with nary a riffle, thanks to lots of wind protection from all the nearby buildings. And our test boat, the new 800, seemed rather tranquil

Sabre 52 Salon Express

Downeast Easy

 

 

This Maine-built Cruiser employs IPS to offer duck-and-slip maneuverability and straightaway performance.

 

The plethora of lobster-pot buoys that dotted the waters outside Dimillo’s Yacht Sales in Portland, Maine, looked simply unavoidable to this New Yorker. Heck, I could run a tanker between the pots I see in an average trip down here. But that’s not

Riviera 5000 Sport Yacht

Steadfast Aussie

A seaworthy cruiser that combines speed and al fresco livability.

Because it’s the semi-formal staging area for the annual Sydney-to-Hobart race, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s marina in Sydney seemed to be a wholly appropriate spot to crank up Riviera’s 5000 Sport Yacht for a sea trial out on the infamous Tasman Sea. The race, after all, is

2010 Riva 86 Domino

The Domino Effect

An import geared for those with champagne taste and a thirst for performance.

It isn’t easy being Riva. There’s all that heritage to live up to: pictures of Brigitte Bardot in her little Florida runabout, and an endless succession of magazine articles proclaiming the Aquarama to be the most beautiful boat ever built. Then there is the need for

Nordic Tug 39

Wind in the Willows

If ever there were a perfect boat to go messing about in, the Nordic Tug 39 is it.

I was immediately captivated when I arrived at Wayne Carroll’s Brewerton Boatyard that morning. For starters, the place itself was pure poetry. Hunkered alongside the riverine waters of the Erie Canal, at the west end of New York State’s Oneida Lake, with grassy

Maritimo C47

More Than Meets The Eye

Sometimes it’s not just about the boat

You probably assume that the most interesting part of a boat test is evaluating how she performs. Or maybe observing how accommodations and living spaces are arranged and fitted out. But every now and again I come across a boat that’s about more than these things, a boat with a backstory just as

Ferretti 800

Imagination Mover

Elegant, spacious, and Speedy, the Ferretti 800 opens up a world of at-sea possibilties.

When the going gets tough, the secret of success is much the same as it is when the living is easy: keep moving. You can be certain that’s what your competitors will do, and if you don’t, you won’t be competitors for very long.

In the boat business,

Formula 400 Super Sport

Born to Boogie

Formula puts race-bred vitality into its latest family-friendly cruiser.

I’m cool with the fact that most of the boats I test drive these days are a bit ponderous. Although most big contemporary motoryachts take a measured approach to top speed, they typically compensate with a veritable trove of charms, from living areas that seem impossibly elegant

Tiara 4300 Open

Flying the Flag

The new 4300 Open has earned its place as the linchpin of Tiara’s open fleet.

The wind blew steady from the east and pushed some hefty rollers toward the coast. Meanwhile, the outgoing tide ripped through the narrow confines of the Fort Pierce inlet, meeting those swells head-on. The resulting mess could be described as a confused headsea or as a

Sessa C68

Bronze Beauty

Sessa builds a sporty, sea-worthy monument to style, panache, and the good life

We boat testers at PMY like to tout ourselves as professionals, but sometimes it’s awfully hard to leave our emotions at the dock and focus on just the boat—especially if the boat is located in the South of France. And when she is precisely the type of vessel you’d

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