Boat Tests

Spencer 43 Express

I was rigging baits in the cockpit of a 43-foot express sportfisherman at the 2005 White Marlin Open when a man who was fishing the boat next to my team’s came walking over. He asked if he could come aboard and take a look, and we happily invited him on. After about a half hour of going through the boat, he asked us what we liked and didn’t like about her. We shared some ideas, and then he

Azimut 43S

The slick exteriors and restrained yet contemporary interiors of Azimut’s flying-bridge models, courtesy of the dynamic design duo of Carlo Galeazzi and Stefano Righini, have succeeded where others have failed: executing striking design across a line of flying-bridge cruisers. And while they are now available in sizes ranging from 39 to 116 feet, the builder felt it needed to offer more than just

Riva 63 Vertigo

You don’t get to ride in a Riva every day. It’s not that they’re scarce, exactly. In the six years since the first of the “new” Rivas, the Aquariva runabout, came out, the company has launched no fewer than eight other new models. But demand appears to be outstripping supply to such a degree that few boats hang around long enough for mere journalists to get a hold of them.

So to turn up at

Sessa C52

They weren’t in a hurry or anything, but as I trundled my bag along the concrete quay toward the boat, I could tell not only that had I been spotted, but also that the engines were already running. Fresh from the airport, I was returning to Cannes, France, the day after the boat show closed, to join Sessa’s C52 for part of her return trip to Italy. However, I would only be riding along on part of

Jeanneau Prestige 42

“But don’t they build sailboats?” That was my first thought as I caught a glimpse of Jeanneau’s Prestige 42 cruiser sitting in her berth at Harbour Towne Marina in Dania Beach, Florida. I knew the company’s name by way of its wind-powered craft, but it turns out the French yard started building powerboats 50 years ago. The 42 is one of three models the builder is bringing to America (the others

Sea Ray 55 Sundancer

When I drew the assignment to test the Sea Ray 55 Sundancer, I wasn’t exactly thrilled. I’ve tested I don’t know how many Sundancers over the years, and I know they can be hard to write about. The basic Sundancer concept—a midcabin, V-drive, express cruiser—is long established, well-proven, highly successful, and essentially unchanging. Differences from year to year tend to be

Cranchi Atlantique 50

During the wintertime in Manhattan, I often forget that I'm on an island. Sure, I'm aware the Hudson and East Rivers are chockablock with ferries, tugs, Coast Guard vessels, and myriad commercial boat traffic, but walking along the skyscraper-walled canyon of Madison Avenue tends to skew one's perspective.

Spring can't arrive soon enough. In late May the PMY crew starts spending

American Tug 41

I was extra excited the morning I pulled into the parking lot of the Marine Service Center of Anacortes, Washington. The weather was crisp and clear—spectacularly Pacific Northwestern. To the east Fidalgo Bay sparkled like diamonds. To the west Mount Baker topped the Cascades with splendor. And in the marina out back, a freshly minted, dark-blue American Tug 41 with a 500-mhp Volvo Penta

Hatteras 77 Convertible

I stood awestruck. The mammoth, sun-blocking, Bausch American tuna tower stretched its neck more than 40 feet towards the seemingly endless blue sky. If that’s the tower, I thought, there’s got to be a behemoth big-game boat supporting it. And there was, 77 feet of it.

I turned the corner to the outside slips of Pier 66 Marina in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and next to the Pelican Grill was

Liberty 45 Flybridge

In addition to being a contributing editor for PMY, I’ve been a professor at Webb Institute for more than 20 years. During that time I’ve have had the pleasure of teaching courses in naval architecture to some of the brightest undergraduates in the marine industry. One particularly memorable student was a personable young man named Joe Corvelli, a motivated pupil with a passion for

Midnight Express 37 Full Cabin

I was headed for Midnight Express’ Fort Lauderdale, Florida, facility in my rental car when I got the call. “Bill,” the guy said, just as a big ol’ cardboard box blew across the road in front of me, “have you checked on the weather offshore lately? It’s terrible.” We were scheduled to sea trial a motoryacht in the 80-foot range later that day, so I’d indeed checked on meteorological prospects

Silverton 33 Convertible

I wasn’t expecting to be impressed with the appearance of Silverton’s new entry-level 33 Convertible when I hit the docks behind the Silverton dealer Sundance Marine in Fort Lauderdale, Florida—a couple of computerish drawings I’d seen a week or so before had made the little two-stateroom, one-head cruiser look plump, maybe even a tad chunky. So when I actually caught sight of her for the

Carver 52 Voyager

It was blowing a steady 15 knots, and I wondered if the windage offered up by the Carver Voyager 52's high sides (19 feet from water to radar arch) would mean difficult exiting and docking. But I soon discovered that the builder's standard docking system, which consists of 7.2-inch bow and stern thrusters, was made for days like this. It simply ignored the blow and pushed the vessel off her

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

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

Outer Reef 73

I love catching up with old friends. But it's gotten to be a challenge, as many of us are scattered up and down the East and West Coasts. When the holidays approach it gets easier, as we return to our hometown, although now instead of congregating at a local bar, we meet at various homes, surrounded by children, spouses, and parents. Many of my friends' parents are long-time powerboaters, and for

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,

Marlow Explorer 82

Try this fantasy on for size: It's a sunny afternoon in Seattle, and your new Marlow Explorer 82 Cockpit Motor Yacht is ready to go at last. You step aboard the fully commissioned vessel at Chandler's Cove Marina on the south end of Lake Union, hard by the offices of Venwest Yachts, Marlow Yachts' West Coast dealership. You spend some time savoring the moment and shooting the breeze with

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

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

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