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
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
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
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'
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
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.
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
You don't have to have the windows.
That may be the most important message I can convey to hardcore anglers interested in the Bertram 700. I know a bunch of you are this very moment looking at the running shots of our test boat and thinking, "Phew! No real fisherman would have those on his boat."
So all you hypertestosteronics can relax. While the master stateroom hull-side
After hiding my mouth under a respirator and slipping on protective eyewear, I entered the Sea Ray plant in Palm Coast, Florida, where workers were grinding away on a column of vessels that stretched the length of the massive building. I was there to test a 47 Sedan Bridge (SB), a boat that had just made it less than a hundred yards from that very building to a small, murky inlet off the
Even after all these years, a new Riva is an event. All that iconic imagery—so carefully cultivated by the Ferretti Group's marketing people—of the 1960's jet set aboard its classic mahogany runabouts has given the shipyard a priceless cachet, one that to this day remains unique among boatbuilders. And even though Riva has endured its share of strife over the last 20 years or so, it
The wind may have been blowing 25-plus, but the 60 feet of battlewagon beneath my feet easily beat down the blowhard wind, and the four- to six-foot seas topped with a seething chop. This latest bluewater machine from New Gretna, New Jersey's, Viking Yachts made a true 27 knots (31 mph) without so much as a hiccup.
I've had the opportunity to crew on five different Viking models—from
I'd say I'm a reasonably humble guy. Now and again I let the cat out of the bag, so to speak, but mostly I manage to restrain my grosser ego-driven tendencies, a state of affairs that makes life a little humdrum sometimes. At least for me.
A few days ago, though, a veritable vortex of events swirled into place near Sea Isle Marina behind the Marriott Biscayne in Miami and magically, if
The first Pershing I ever drove was the 88. She was big and fast and looked like she'd been designed by George Lucas' props department. But the thing most people remember about her was that she was silver. The only silver rockets any of us had seen before were at Kennedy Space Center.
What I remember most
Due to life's vagaries and vicissitudes, I was warned that our test boat, a sporty little San Juan 30 with a super-gorgeous optional "wood package" (teak helm, sea rails, and seat caps), had endured more than a little wear and tear. For starters, she'd been trucked across the country from the Pacific Northwest for display in all of the major East Coast boat shows. And then, in addition to the two
Nearing the end of the Port Everglades breakwater off Fort Lauderdale, our Africat 420 was making about 12 mph. Noting the two- to four-foot seas rolling in from the southeast, I placed my right hand firmly around a nearby stanchion and waited for the jolts that would splatter my new cup of coffee onto the dual Raymarine E120 chartplotters and Volvo Penta IPS joystick. I decided I'd better grab
I never got the chance to talk to Lane Scelzi, owner of All Wet, the Hampton 580 Pilothouse I tested in early November, but I wish I had. I'd love to have heard him tell me why, among all the many motoryacht candidates in this size range, foreign and domestic, he picked this boat. But even without talking to him, I think I can figure out the reason. There's a war going on in the 50- to
My first experiences with dayboating were some of the most pivotal of my life. And at the heart of almost every one was a riveted-aluminum Lone Star skiff outfitted with a 40-hp Evinrude. The ol' Lone Star was robustly powered for her era (the 1950's), and my dad used to let my brother and I steer for short stints almost every time we hit the watery trail, convincing me to stick close to boats
I'm in Ohio, the home state of two dozen NASA astronauts and the official birthplace of aviation, so it's in this spirit that I prepare for liftoff.
Standing at the helm with the wheel under my left hand, I have my right hand resting on the easily adjustable, single-lever Rexroth electronic controls. It's a natural fit and feel that inspires confidence while driving at any speed. The