Boat Tests

Uniesse 65 Motoryacht

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 appreciate the nearly two-inch-thick, solid-fiberglass core sample I'd seen earlier. Uniesse Marine USA vice president Ralph Barca had pointed to it, as well as an image of the 65 Motoryacht's beefy grid-type stringer

Grand Banks 65 Aleutian

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 Banks. Called the 64 Aleutian Class, the boat sported a complicated and decidedly untrawlerly Tom Fexas hull form designed to optimize

Viking Sport Cruisers 63 Motor Yacht

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 Cruisers 63 Motor Yacht. I arrived at the vessel's home at the Brewer Yacht Sales yard on Long Island's north shore, and this avid boater soon gave me the skinny on why he digs the 63.

"When I took delivery

Azimut 58 Flying Bridge

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 adding up to something fine and enjoyable. Moreover, it helps you understand what style and craftsmanship are supposed to be about.

You could say the same thing about Azimut's 58 Flying Bridge, specifically the

Cranchi Zaffiro 36

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 to its density—there's a lot of material in a compact space. Much like its namesake, the new launch from Cranchi is a tightly packed jewel. But the real feat of the builder is making the boat feel so

Bluewater Yachts Legacy 65

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 the manufacturers of other boats and engines," the guy said earnestly, "it's everything else—by which I mean golf courses, condominiums, RVs, motorcycles."

A couple of heads nodded. But otherwise the

Symbol 75

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 marina. A little more than 15 months ago, this boat's owner was seeking a vessel that could cruise in the low- to mid-20-knot range. She also needed to have four to five staterooms to accommodate his large family while

Apreamare Maestro 65

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 reworked in numerous ways since then, but the key aesthetic remains unchanged: reduce a design to its basic elements. The result is a creation that is inherently simpler, and it's been my experience that this simplicity is

San Juan 40 FB

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 dinner in a waterfront eatery in Panacea, Florida, and our conversation eventually got 'round, as it usually does, to a favorite topic, my beloved trawler Betty Jane. "She's quite simply a work of art, that little

Marlow Explorer 86 CMY

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 countertop in the galley of the Marlow 86, "these lids represent the Kevlar skins..." As the owner and founder of Marlow Yachts begins his explanation, I sip on my coffee and pay careful attention, knowing that he and

Fjord 40 Open

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. Her styling is about the boldest I've ever seen in a waterborne craft, rivaling the over-the-top Wally Tender for imaginative pizzazz. And for good reason, it turns out: Both projects were developed by Patrick Banfield

Cabo 38 Flybridge

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. As I throttled the optional 800-mhp MAN diesels, she whipped around to port in a perfect circle while the 27x33 four-blade nibral wheels ate up the cobalt water off Port Everglades inlet. Thus this pocket battlewagon

Regal 5260 Sport Yacht

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's new flagship, the 5260 Sport Yacht, with my back against the forward firewall and pen poised over a notebook, when I started wondering about a large, box-like fiberglass structure on centerline, back against the

Albemarle 290XF

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 bearing down just hard enough to ease the midmorning January chill. "Right kite," yelled Albemarle company captain Jamie Brandon from the cockpit of our Albemarle 290XF (Express Fisherman).

I'd been daydreamin'

Scout 350 Abaco

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 would subtly introduce the brand to the 30-foot-plus market without risking the pitfalls associated with new engineering. Well, the company didn't choose that path, and I say it built a better boat as a result. With at

Horizon 68

One of the things I've learned in my years of owning and testing boats is that when you're getting ready to buy a new one, you need to not only ask yourself some hard questions but answer them realistically. When it comes to motoryachts, two of the most crucial interrogatories are, "Do I want/need a crew?" and "How fast do I want/need to go?" (Distinguishing between "want" and "need" is an even

Meridian 441

A lot of boatbuilders struggle to find their groove. They just can't settle on exactly whom they want to appeal to. In fact, they seem to want to be all things to all boaters.

Meridian appears to be one of the few builders that really knows its target: average cruising couples and families. Not gold-chainers, 'round-the-world dreamers, or YAH-ting wannabes with blue blazers and khaki pants.

Nordlund Xpress LT 57

The spot where I found the Nordlund Xpress LT 57 appealed to me about as much as the vessel herself. She was tied alongside a pier on the Hylebos Waterway, just behind Nordlund's custom yacht-building facility. The Hylebos cuts through a hardscrabble slice of waterfront on the northern fringe of the Port of Tacoma, Washington, a vast maze of container terminals, concrete plants, grain elevators,

Sessa 36 Open

I couldn't stop laughing.

Craig Muir, Sessa Marine's U.S. general manager and my partner on a recent high-speed romp of a boat test, was laughing, too. Why? Torque. Every time I throttled up the three big-block, four-stroke, 350-hp Yamaha V8 outboards strapped to the transom of this 36-foot express cruiser, I felt what it must be like to defy gravity.

Sessa calls the 36's hull design

Marquis 50 SC

Sitting in a marina full of white fiberglass vessels of varying sizes and shapes was this dark-hulled, silken-looking, 50-foot, triple-IPS-powered express sport cruiser. While the Marquis 50 Sport Coupe's appearance was in stark contrast to a majority of the vessels docked at Bahia Mar, she shared a familial look with two Palmer Johnson megayachts out by the face dock. Why the resemblance? Both

Altima 56

Who among us has not, after boarding dozens of boats and talking to dozens of salespeople, wished we could just design and build our next boat ourselves so she would be exactly the way we want her? Well, that's precisely the position Frank Scortino found himself in some eight years ago. An experienced boater and successful businessman from Montreal, he was looking for a 50-something-foot

Davis 70

Under a low-hanging, leaden sky and dodging sheets of rain, we'd just finished our performance testing of the Davis 70 in the protected ICW off St. Lucie, Florida. Now we were headed out into the ocean for the real test. A cold front had bullied its way through a few hours before, but the wind was still up. As the big sportfisherman turned out of the calm channel and took up an easterly heading

Jarrett Bay 63

She first appeared as a dot on the radar. But in an instant, 63 feet of sparkling, metallic orange streaked up behind my tournament team's boat like a rapidly rising sun. This sun was hot, too, with more than 3,650 hp at her core. And just as quickly as she had risen from the horizon behind me, the blazingly fast battlewagon blew by me and disappeared into the horizon. I knew I had to get this

Riviera 45 Open Flybridge

Sometimes boat tests start problematically. Take my wring-out of Riviera's 45 Open Flybridge. The morning I was to fly down to Stuart, Florida, to jump aboard her at Riviera Yachts' facility, Brett Noble of Riviera called with bad news. "Bill, the weather's awful here, mate," he said in Aussie Speak. "There's no way the boat's goin' to make it from St. Augustine in time for the test. Can we

Vetus Maxwell Tip of the Week

Featured Brands

Cutwater
Azimut Yachts logo Ocean Alexander logo
Imtra logo Volvo Penta logo

Select Brokerage

Brokerage Listings Powered by BoatQuest.com