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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
In China this is the year of the pig. But in Sweden it's clearly the year of the IPS, as numerous builders in multiple countries introduce models designed to accommodate Volvo Penta's innovative propulsion system. In this regard Cranchi was no exception, having promoted its first IPS model (the Mediterranee 43 Open) for nearly two years prior to its debut earlier this year. Then recently Cranchi
When Americans hear the name Mustang, they often think of the classic car that helped define road cruising in the United States. Remember the Fastback? The Mach 1? The Shelby? The 5.0? These and many other models vaulted the name to auto-industry-icon status. However, my friends, there is another Mustang. One that is attempting to create a new stateside icon in a different genre: the
Even on a day fraught with showers and thunderstorms, you can't beat driving a sporty express cruiser straight down Tampa Bay with the Sunshine Skyway bridge dead on the nose. There's nothing like the sensation of freedom 40 mph produces as you swoop left and right, dodging sporadic squalls. Or the lift you get from cranking the wheel hard over and the boat banks balletically into a turn, losing
The Sea Ray 330 Sundancer replaces the Sea Ray 320 Sundancer, a six-year veteran to which it bears striking similarities in both design and appearance. Both boats can be ordered with stern drives or V-drives, in either case yielding a roomy interior comprised of forward and midcabin staterooms (the latter under the
When I was a kid, I always heard the name Bertram mentioned among boaters. The conversation usually involved someone wanting to buy the now-legendary 31-footer or someone else who had just purchased one. That vessel was—and to many diehards still is—the ultimate in solid-fiberglass, deep-V fishing boats. Aside from the dock talk, I remember the picture of Moppie, the first 31 that was
While the larger world grapples with thorny issues like disappearing polar ice caps and nuclear proliferation, the boating industry wrestles with its own conundrums, one of which rivals those in thorniness if not scale: Galley Up Versus Galley Down. Pretty much since the day someone first put a lid on a hull, designers and owners have debated which is the better location for the food-preparation
Ah, the Mediterranean in early June, when every yachtsman feels he has a right to decent weather. And sure enough, when I got there it was warm, with low humidity and calm seas. Perfect conditions—except for boat testing.
In the new marina at Varazze, 15 miles west of Genoa on the Ligurian coast, Azimut's new service and delivery center was abuzz with activity. The shops all looked
Aficionados of large custom yachts may be familiar with the Astondoa marque; founded in 1916, the Spanish yard has been building custom pleasurecraft through three generations of family ownership. Steeped in tradition, the builder is known in the United States for its line of motoryachts ranging in length from 66 to 138 feet. But during the past few years, the company has also been building a
The twin-engine Embraer turboprop I was aboard slid and skipped along the flag-stiffening breeze like a boat that was being beaten by breaking seas. The approach to the Bahamas' Marsh Harbour—and the end of this interesting voyage across from West Palm Beach, Florida—was in sight, but it wouldn't be my last tangle with this blowhard of a wind. However, the next time we'd meet, the
Sometimes I wonder how I find my way out of bed in the morning. Here I was looking for Turkish builder Vicem Yachts' latest offering targeted to the American market, the 85 Classic, maybe the largest lobster yacht afloat, and I couldn't find the darn thing. Huh! After giving me the address of a canal-side residence in Fort Lauderdale, Michael Landsberg, president of Vicem's stateside distributor
From the driver's seat of my rental car, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, glimmered like the Emerald City as I neared the drawbridge that connects the barrier island with the mainland. With its well-manicured, cedar-shingle homes and gorgeous beach, the island is indeed a jewel, but as I reached the bridge’s apex, I realized the radiance was the sun's reflection off tuna towers and outriggers
Can a thousand-boat-per-year builder be considered a startup business? The answer is yes and no. Milan, Italy-based and family-owned Sessa Marine has been a household name in the European boating scene since the late 1950's, but it decided to take on the highly competitive American boating market only in the last year or so.
A couple of factors have played a part in that decision.