Boat Tests

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,

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

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

Vetus Maxwell Tip of the Week

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