Boat Tests

Lazzara LSX Quad 75

The most memorable part of the sea trial I did on Lazzara's LSX Quad 75 started an hour or so after I'd maneuvered her free of her slip via a nifty joystick control and the most radical propulsion system on the market: four 435-hp Volvo Penta IPS-600 pod-type drives. I'd already relinquished my spot behind the wheel to Lazzara honcho Dick Lazzara, who, having switched from joystick to binnacle

Viking Sanlorenzo 88

Several years ago New Jersey-based Viking Yachts embarked on a major collaborative effort with England's Princess Yachts to create the Viking Sport Cruisers line. To say that the effort was successful would be an understatement; the line now comprises more than a dozen models of flying bridge, express, and motoryacht styles ranging from 43 to 84 feet. But the Sport Cruisers are production yachts,

Riviera 3600 Sport Yacht

When Riviera Yachts announced plans to premiere a 36-foot sport cruiser at last year's Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, I didn't know what to expect. Because of the success Riviera has enjoyed stateside with its convertibles, I was keen on investigating what direction the Aussies would take to contend in a hotly contested cruiser field. So when I got an invitation from Riviera's director

Camano 41

Being skipper has its perks. I did the driving during Neil Rabinowitz's recent photo shoot on the immensely comfortable, Canadian-built Camano 41 and at some point in the midst of our peregrinations of Lake Washington unilaterally decreed a midmorning coffee break. What the heck? The shoot was going smoother than a hound dog's nose; the morning was sunny, warm, and refreshingly redolent of

Sparkman & Stephens 65

For some people the end of the rainbow leads to gold, but for the owner of the custom-built, Sparkman & Stephens-designed, 65-foot cruiser I recently tested, the end of the rainbow leads to the next horizon, and the next, and perhaps even one or two more. And if you’re a serious cruiser like this vessel’s owner, that kind of gold is priceless.

This stately, semidisplacement,

Viking Sport Cruisers V53

It starts with hull design.

A 15-mph northerly is blowing up a short but steep two- to three-foot chop off the coast of Riviera Beach, Florida. I position the knife-like bow of the Viking Sport Cruisers' V53 Yacht into the oncoming chop, shove the single-lever Volvo Penta electronic controls to the pins, hold the wheel, and prepare for impact. But there isn't any.

The Bernard

Atlantis 50

Seems you can't turn around for five minutes these days without Atlantis launching a new model. The company has been burning the candle at both ends ever since it was set up in 2001 by Azimut-Benetti, which bought the high-tech Gobbi shipyard in Piacenza, Italy, for the purpose.

It started with a 42 and a 47, both nice-looking craft, and then came the radical-looking 55 with her domed-glass

Alden Yachts 53

Originally this story was supposed to be all about Peter Lehrer, a highly regarded New York City construction maven whose resume includes Big Apple skyscrapers, Euro Disneyland, infrastructure for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, and restorations of the Statue of Liberty, Grand Central Station, and Ellis Island. I'd been told Lehrer had recently purchased an Alden Yachts 53 Motor Yacht, a custom vessel

Ocean 54 Super Sport

The torrential rain is falling as if someone is attempting to wring the blackening storm clouds dry in one twist. Forty-knot northeasterlies cause large rain droplets to quantum leap past me, horizontal to the fast-moving, outgoing, full-moon-affected tide at Atlantic City's Trump Marina. The flags are double-starch stiff, and the wind groans through the towers and rigging of nearby boats. I look

CNM Continental 80

There are lots of ways to arrive at the Monaco Yacht Show, some more stylish than others. The airport bus is quick, efficient, and air conditioned, but perhaps a little humdrum for a man who wishes to be taken seriously on the quayside at Port Hercule. People often overlook the train, but the views are spectacular, and it's by far the fastest way if you're staying in a pretty coastal resort like

Rinker 350 Express Cruiser

As I peered down from my motel window into the sloshy, early-morning darkness, noting how deeply the palm trees in the parking lot were bowing to the whims of the wind-driven deluge, it seemed pretty obvious: testing Rinker's new 350 Express Cruiser before nightfall was gonna be challenging, if it was doable at all.

"We'll call 'er off this morning," I told photographer Jeffery Salter, who

Oceanus Voyager 45

The midsize express-cruiser segment is a tough nut to crack, mainly because a plethora of stateside and European builders already offer so many choices. So while flying to Charleston, South Carolina, I asked myself why would someone—facing a nearly saturated marketplace—launch a new brand of express cruiser? I assumed the answer was because there's always room for a new

Buzzards Bay 33

Just about any boatbuilder will claim its vessel has the "latest(!), innovative(!) technologies" and "represents an entirely new direction." Yet, once you get onboard, you often discover that while the boat may be nice, she's not necessarily the "next big thing" in boating.

But the Buzzards Bay 33, which I recently tested out of Plymouth, Massachusetts, is different. She's a no-frills

Tiara 3900 Sovran

Tiara Yachts is gutsy when it comes to technology. The successful, family-owned company was the first in the United States to seriously venture into pod-type propulsion systems some years back, partnering with Volvo Penta to launch the first American-built powerboat with Volvo's revolutionary Inboard Performance System (IPS). And now Tiara's upping the ante yet again with the intro of a sleek,

CW Hood 50

Napkins. They can catch mustard falling off your hot dog in a single swipe and clean a child's ice cream-covered face in no time. But they can also be the backbone of modern boatbuilding design (damn the CAD drawings!). At least in one case: an innovative, Downeast-inspired, 50-footer called Sea Blitz I recently tested, whose life began as a napkin drawing (in a bar, of

Mikelson 59/63 LRSF

If there's one rule of boatbuilding that's been proven time and again, it's stick with what you know. Even if you really do have the best designers and engineers in the world, don't try to build fishing boats if your forte is aft-cabin cruisers.

Based on that premise, the guys from Mikelson must have rocks in their heads. Over the past 23 years they've created a tidy little franchise

Hustler 49 EDS

Grumman Aerospace was once Long Island, New York's largest employer. Indeed, it was once said that everyone on the island either worked there or knew someone who did. After the huge facility near the junction of the island's North and South Forks closed nearly two decades ago, it sat vacant until being purchased by the town of Calverton for $1. Thus began the story of Hustler

Doral Mediterra

I'm almost there. My route to Jacques Cartier Park's marina, Rue Wellington Street, avoids Ottawa's business district and allows me to skirt traffic snarls while taking in stunning views of the midnight-blue Ottawa River. Lined along the banks of the waterway that the explorer Cartier once sailed en route from Canada's Maritime Provinces to Montreal are the capital city's Gothic Revival

Cruisers 390 Sports Coupe

Americans are notorious for buying more than they need. Whether it's cars, houses, or food, we can't resist the urge to supersize. Which is fine as long as we don't confuse desire and necessity. It's okay to want a Hummer, but don't fool yourself into believing you actually need one.

It's the same with boats. A lot of us buy more boat than we need. For example, we convince ourselves

Viking 64 Convertible

Usually the design of a new sportfishing yacht evolves around the cockpit. Fishing, above all else, is what the yacht is built for. But the design of Viking's new 64 Convertible was motivated by another equally significant factor: the imminent availability of the new, highly anticipated MTU 16V 2000 M93 diesel engine. Rated at 2,400 hp, the muscular MTU offers promise of substantially higher

Sea Ray 60 Sundancer

So when the second-largest-ever boat in the line, the 60 Sundancer, premiered earlier this year at the Miami International Boat Show, I expected a near riot on the quays. Fortunately there was plenty of room for a dozen at a time to tour a vessel that's the essence of a successful three-decade run.

Take the 41/2-foot-wide standard hydraulic swim platform, well-suited for a PWC or RIB. "We

Kadey-Krogen Krogen 44

As luck would have it, I beheld an unlikely but well-timed prospect while scanning the mouth of Spa Creek from an old dock in Eastport, Maryland, on a recent morning that was suffused with warm summer light. Off to the west my test boat, a Krogen 44 Classic named Travellers, floated dreamily in a mooring field, with the waterfront of Annapolis behind her. To the east another Krogen,

Cranchi Mediterranee 47 HT

As I write this, a commuter heading down I-80 in Kearney, Nebraska, may be getting an early-morning eyeful as 47 feet of Italian yacht passes him port to port. The yacht is a Cranchi Mediterranee 47 HT whose odyssey started in a lamination room back at the builder's Lake Como, Italy, headquarters several months ago and will end with Warren and Gail Dent taking possession of her in Seattle. And

Atlantis 39

Things have become a lot more competitive in Piacenza, Italy, since the Azimut-Benetti Group took over the family-run Gobbi shipyard a couple of years ago. Not that they weren't already in pretty good shape: Azimut always said that in addition to Gobbi's sports cruiser know-how, one of the yard's main attractions was its professionalism. It's just that while Gobbi was content to be successful in

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