Boat Tests

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

Azimut Magellano 74

The Voyager

Azimut takes a look at the past and steps into the future.

When a production boatbuilder sends its latest prototype on a 2,000-mile shakedown cruise right after the boat’s first show, you know it must be serious. Especially since the show was in October and the shakedown lasted into the Mediterranean winter.

Azimut is indeed deadly serious about the

Azimut 53

Owner's Delight

One look at this boat’s master cabin and you can see why she was named boat of the year.

Anyone familiar with the Mediterranean will know from hard-won experience that the weather isn’t always as it’s shown in the tourist brochures. But a blizzard was a new one on me. A huge low-pressure system had marched in from the Atlantic, and by the time it was

MERIDIAN 541

Home Sweet Home

The Meridian 541 takes interior furnishings and layout to a uniquely residential level.

What I saw at the top of the stairway pegged my practicality meter, but not in a good way. Over the years, I’ve come aboard any number of midrange cruisers with residential furniture in the saloon, much of it either unsecured to the underlying deck or secured in

Beneteau Swift Trawler 34

Franco-American

Beneteau introduces a single-engine cruiser that’s got some American soul.

I admit to harboring a prejudice when it comes to single-diesel-engine cruising boats—I like ‘em. Maybe it’s because I do most of my boating in New England where there are a lot of practical Yankee boaters. Whatever the reason for my affection, I admire the fuel efficiency,

Hinckley 37

There are no second acts in American lives.” This famous quote from author F. Scott Fitzgerald buzzed in my head as I arrived at Old Port Marina in North Palm Beach, Florida, ready to board Friendship, a new Hinckley Picnic Boat MKIII. The 37-footer, a redesign, represented a second act of sorts for Hinckley, which defined the category when it launched its original 36-foot picnic boat in 1994.

Vicem 54

Heart Throb

How about an affaire de coeur with a singularly gorgeous cold-molded mahogany beauty?

I’m a romantic at heart. And quite frankly, I believe that most true boat lovers are similarly constituted. Yeah sure, most of us appreciate top-of-the-line mechanicals, wallet-warming operating efficiencies, calm-inducing dockside maneuvering characteristics, and

Hunt 52

While Sanibel Marina is one of the prettiest places on earth, it’s also small and a tad cramped. So I wasn’t surprised to see proprietor Mynton Ireland, a crusty old gent who’s undoubtedly seen his fair share of docking disasters over the years, watching me like a hawk as I began pivoting our sparkling Hunt 52 test boat in front of the offices of Ireland Yacht Sales, preparatory to backing into a

Riviera 70EB

The best match for Riviera’s new 70? a salty, seasoned, well-travelled owner.

After arriving at an Adelaide hotel late the night before, semi-starved and tuckered out from a long trip to Australia, I nevertheless decided to stroll down to the port to see if I couldn’t scare up a decent meal, preferably of the Japanese variety. I mean, how often does a North Florida boy get to

Bluegame 60

They say it’s not what you know, but who. In the case of Bluegame, it’s a bit of both. The name may be new to most stateside owners, with the first 60 not due to appear until the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show show in October. But this new Italian brand has an excellent pedigree and powerful friends.

The pedigree is unassailable: Lou Codega drew the hull lines, MAN supplies the

Horizon Vision 74

New and Improved

How Adding a cockpit made a good yacht better. Much better.

Nothing piques the interest of a boat fanatic like a new model. But as all of us know, some “new” models are newer than others.

Take the Horizon Vision 74 CMY. She is new but she’s also basically a Vision 68 to which a six-foot hull and cockpit extension have been added. So technically

Ocean Alexander 83

Bad Weather Warrior

This 83-footer out-Punches Poseidon on a foul test day.

The sky was as gray as a battleship, and raindrops the size of marbles fell so hard onto the wooden-plank dock beneath my feet that the water hit me coming down and bouncing back up. Winds were out of the northeast at 25-mph-plus, and waves were forming eight-foot vertical walls just outside

2010 Viking 76 Convertible

One Big, Bad Boat

Thoroughbred Speed, Cat-like Agility, and Linebacker Brawn Define this Jersey-built Battlewagon.

The seas off windy Riviera Beach, Florida, were set in a three- to four-foot steep chop. The twin and optional ($550,000) 2,400-hp MTU diesels sitting on steel-frame engine beds (which are secured to fore and aft bulkheads below decks) roared at their

Bertram 511

A Blast from the Past

Bertram's new battlewagon is suffused with the spirit of her ancestors.

Nothin' else like it in the world," I yelled as our Bertram 511 prototype swung a broad, gracefully banked, highly exhilarating turn. I snatched a couple of anticipatory breaths, tweaked the width of my stance, stabilized my butt against one of two, optional, high-gloss

2010 Hatteras 72 Motor yacht

Full Beam Ahead

In all regards, this 72-footer feels like she's ten feet longer.

When I stepped through the push-button-activated, stainless steel saloon doors on the Hatteras 72 for the first time I had a creeping feeling of doubt: was I on the right boat? I’d been on more than a few of this builder’s yachts over the years, and this one didn’t mesh with the

Boat Test: Viking Sport Cruisers V62

The evening’s peripherals were perfect. A few lights had begun twinkling along Plymouth’s quaint English shoreline. Great drafts of bracing salt air whooshed across our open Skyhatch, a mechanically actuated moonroof of sorts, through which a faint moon shone, at least on some of my longer beeline runs. And the rain had quit, leaving a sunset sky washed with amber and red.

The

Prestige 60

The sea off the coast of Genoa, Italy, glistened in the sun-bathed but crisp mid-October morning. I walked down the dock with the ancient city off to my starboard. At the quay to my port sat 60 feet of modern engineering: a flagship flying-bridge motoryacht from the French builder Prestige.

While this builder’s parent company Jeanneau has a history in Europe almost as rich as Genoa’s

Benetti Delfino 90

Oftentimes when a boatbuilder updates a line, it does so with just a few tweaks and alterations to previous models.Indeed, Benetti did just this with the Classic 121 (previously called the Classic 120) and Vision 145, when it debuted plans for its new semi-custom megayacht line at Cannes this year.

However, the other five boats in the range, which is now called the Benetti Class, are brand

Grady-White 366 Canyon

Performance. After spending two days onboard the Grady-White 366 Canyon in some wicked 20-knot-plus winds, I concluded that this word pretty much sums up this mammoth center console.

The first and most obvious reason for this opinion came from the fact that my test vessel was outfitted with three, monster-size, 804-pound, 350-hp V8 Yamaha four-stroke outboards. Twin 350s are standard with

Ready to Go

A lot of new boats will have debuted at this year's Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show by the time this issue hits newsstands. Among the plethora of vessels, Horizon Yachts' first Vision 74 CMY to arrive stateside stands out, due primarily to the sheer amount of integrated gear aboard. The boat is part of Horizon's Green Initiative, and as such contains a number of eco-friendly features.

The Vaneer of History

The Gulf of Maine was for a long time a haven for smugglers. As a result of its sparsely populated islands, lax border enforcement, and heavy fog, running goods across the Canadian border became a tradition that went back centuries. Barrels of flour numbering in the tens of thousands were shipped to New Brunswick during the 1808Jefferson's embargo. Beginning around 1812 and continuing well past

Build By Numbers

There’s no replacement for skilledlabor. Anyone who’s ever held a jobdoesn’t need a lecture on the meritsof consistent leadership and the costsassociated with retraining andrehiring a work force. Few boatbuildersunderstand this as well asRegal, which currently employsmore than 100 workers who havebeen with the company for morethan 20 years. There’s a philosophy of continuity at Regal

Smooth Operator

I’m crankin’ up this test report with somethingthat’s gonna sound a little strange, at least at first.My sea trial of Hampton Yacht’s Endurance 650LRC (Long Range Cruiser) took place in two,totally different, geographically discrete installments.The first occurred on Lake Washingtonon a cool Seattle afternoon and the second on theIntracoastal Waterway on a steamy morning inDestin,

Sleek, Speedy, Spacious

Waiting for the bridge to Hillsboro Inlet off Pompano Beach, Florida, required about ten minutes of jockeying in a determined cross current. There was little wind, but the approach to this bridge is short, and it doesn’t leave a lot of room for error—a situation that could’ve quicklybecome “interesting.” I felt the current catch my sleek, lowprofile,Euro-style test boat, the Newport 71 SS4, and

Family Favorite

I felt slightly flummoxed after boarding VikingSport Cruiser’s new 50 Flybridge in the storiedold harbor of Plymouth, England. Certainly, thesource of my perplexity had nothing to do withthe vessel’s appearance. While shapes and stylelines were indeed bold and aggressive, the overallprofile was attractive yet undeniably mainstream.And I experienced no confusion concerningthe topside

Vetus Maxwell Tip of the Week

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