Boat Tests

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

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

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

Ovation 52

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

VIking 60

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

Riva SportRiva 56

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

Sea Ray 47 SB

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

Bertram 700

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

Pershing 72

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

San Juan 30

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

Africat 420

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

Hampton 580

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

Formula 350 Sun Sport

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

Ocean 37 Billfish

Remember when you could just go into a place and order a cup of coffee? Not anymore. Now it's got to be half-caf, half-decaf cappuccino with extra foam and a sprinkle of shaved chocolate. Or something like that. Well, it seems like the same thing has happened to sportfishing boats. Not only have they been supersized, but they're often loaded up with frills like automatic blinds, pop-up TVs, and

Baia Italia 70

The Neapolitan shipyard of Baia has always been known for its boats' distinctive styling. Wraparound windscreens and long, convex foredecks were a design signature, which still gives the older boats in the range an unmistakable look.

But then two years ago came nearly 43 feet of spiky, new-edge attitude, in the shape of the Baia One. Something was changing—and now we have the

Savannah 54

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

Maritimo 48

Maybe it was just the way things looked that morning around the marina at Roche Harbor Resort, a lovely little spot on the northern coast of evergreen-fringed San Juan Island just a short floatplane ride west of Bellingham, Washington. Or maybe it was just the weather, which was absolutely spectacular, with an air temperature of 68F,

Symbol 59 Classic

I couldn't see what was making the sound, but the pitter-patter of paws approached from across the optional teak cockpit sole. Then the first mate, a four-legged friend named Willow, barked hello and welcomed me aboard Off.Line, a Symbol 59 Classic Pilothouse. With a greeting like that, I knew the test was going to go well.

Following Willow was Philip Tyson, a former Cruisers Yachts

Tiara 5800 Sovran

My day onboard Tiara Yachts' new flagship, the 5800 Sovran, began unusually on two counts. First, thanks to a contest-winning letter that sincerely and super-entertainingly described why he'd like to take part in a real-deal boat test, Power & Motoryacht reader David Young of Aurora, Canada, was walking down the dock beside me, helping carry the test gear. And second, the 5800 prototype

Jeanneau 50

My first reaction on hearing that Jeanneau was introducing a big express to the United States was, "What does a French sailboat builder know about designing cruisers for Americans?" The answer, I learned, was "quite a lot." For this French builder traces its powerboat roots all the way back to 1956.

The 50 is unabashedly French. Like all Jeanneaus, she's built in an enormous factory in Les

Fairline Phantom 48

My introduction to serious wheel time at PMY was onboard a Fairline Phantom 43 back in 2000. She was our company boat that year, and I was running numbers with senior editor Capt. Ken Kreisler. Up to this point my boating background had been primarily focused on sportfishermen, and I remember being awed by the 43's high-gloss wood, the volume of her interior, and just how different to me

Mochi Craft Dolphin 64 Fly

There were plenty of snickers and a few guffaws back in 2001 when Norberto Ferretti announced to a group of American journalists that he'd built an "aragosta boat." It wasn't enough that here was an Italian builder trying to copy the lobsterboat, a uniquely American creation, but he was doing it under a name, Mochi, that the few of us who'd seen one considered to have all the charm of a