Brisbane, Australia's Moreton Bay is foaming with short-spaced three- to five-footers and a brisk spring breeze. The just-launched Warren S87 speeds across the water at 25 knots as if the surface is glass, while a 50-foot sport yacht with a flailing photographer on the foredeck tries fruitlessly to keep up. I've flown halfway around the big, blue marble to get a first look at this Down Under
I have grown used to waiting for ladies. It no longer bothers me that my female friends take a bit longer to get ready than I do. Heck, I'll even go out on a limb and say that waiting is a treat. Why? Because I've come to value these moments as precious down time for catching up on reading, channel surfing, or sneaking in 40 winks.
Recently, I had to remind myself more than once of my Zen
I crossed the equator the first time onboard the oceangoing tug Betty Wood, and, barring a few initiation pranks by guys who were already card-carrying members of the "Royal Order of Shellbacks," the event consisted mostly of a party, or what passes for a party on a merchant vessel in the midst of the Pacific. And it was fun, partly because revelry, when practiced miles from nowhere, is
Increasingly over the past several years, builders of custom yachts worldwide have been adding semicustom series to their offerings. It's a move that's paid off handsomely for some yards: Not only have they been able to retain more control over design and construction costs, but also they've fulfilled the desires of buyers looking for lower-priced yachts that can be ready months—and, in
Now and again, you've got to push the ol' envelope. You've got to take a vessel you're testing offshore in edgy weather and really slam her around. Of course, under such conditions, you hope for a good boat—or at least a safe boat—and prior to heading out, you like to know that everyone onboard is down with the upcoming vicissitudes.
"You okay? You're not gonna get sick, are
The morning I passed over the Spa Creek Bridge and entered Annapolis, Maryland, I was greeted with a sign that read “Annapolis: America’s Sailing Capital.” I snickered and promptly ignored it, but I couldn’t help but think of sailing’s influence on both Annapolis and Beneteau, the French boatbuilder of the Flyer 12 that I was slated to sea trial.
Sandwiched between the busy ports of
It was a picture-perfect Sunshine State day, the mid-September morning I arrived in Melbourne to test the Sea Ray 38 Sundancer. Bright blue sky, puffy white clouds, sun beating down—the kind of day Florida is famous for, the kind of day that makes you want to slow down, take a deep breath, and relax. My flight from New York City had landed early, there was nobody in line at the rental car
With any luck, my wife won't read the following test of the Cruisers 385 Express Motoryacht, a speedy, extraordinarily comfortable aft-cabin cruiser that'll debut at the Miami International Boat Show in February. Not that I've tossed in anything inflammatory. Far be it from mois to shoot my mouth off about personal stuff just to keep readers reading Power & Motoryacht.
I was sitting on my boat at my hometown marina in Freeport, New York, when a voice called out from down the dock, "Hey kid, you gotta see dis" in a distinctly Brooklynese tone. It was the captain of a Silverton 48 Convertible dubbed Caribbean Queen. The boat was spending the summer in my marina, and since Capt. Joe and I had exchanged hellos and shared dock talk over the season, he was
Stern drives—you either love 'em or hate 'em. It seems there's no middle ground. Those who love 'em cite the I/O's superior handling, performance, and space-efficiency compared to straight inboards. Those who hate 'em deride all that machinery housed in aluminum hanging off the transom. Stern drives are fine for small boats that are trailered, they say, or if they can be tilted clear of the
It was a lifelong passion for yachting that led the Scaburri brothers, who had no experience as boatbuilders, to start a boatbuilding company in Bergamo, Italy, in 1987. It was also the family's success as industrialists in a field that couldn't be further from the sea that has helped ensure its success. The four brothers that founded Uniesse Marine are fourth-generation owners of the largest
As I made my way through downtown Green Bay, Wisconsin, to the Harborside Yacht Center, I expected the Carver 43 Motor Yacht to look unlike any Carver I'd ever seen. I'd been told her exterior design resulted from a collaboration between Carver and industrial design guru BMW Group DesignworksUSA, and as she came into view, sitting stern-to at the marina on the Fox River, the result of the
Truthfully, I was a tad amazed by the formal introduction of Aicon's 72 in Taormina, Sicily. While the big, muscular performance cruiser's exterior was pretty much finished, her interior was only about 90 percent done. Not that I'm a stranger to this sort of thing. I've tested plenty of yachts that were officially a couple days away from completion, mostly because the test had to accommodate a
What a gorgeous, New England day it was and what a pretty blue-hulled, China-built 40-footer docked there behind Eastern Yacht Sales, Albin Marine's dealership in Hingham, Massachusetts. For a moment I stopped to study her profile from afar—boxy perhaps, particularly minus the bimini top most owners will opt for, but muscularly built and undeniably salty-looking. Thick, welded-stainless
First impressions are often the standard by which we measure things. While we may change our minds, it's usually our gut reaction that endures. The initial reaction I had upon stepping through the transom door of the Hatteras 64 Motor Yacht on to the teak aft deck and into the saloon was that this was a boat that would impress me for a long time to come.
The 64 is a revamped version of
I drove over the two-lane bridge to Somers Point, New Jersey, a quaint, 16-square-mile waterfront town just seven miles south of Atlantic City, and thought that I'd gone back in time. I cruised along the narrow streets and listened to waking gulls warble, breathed in the sea air that envelops this intoxicating place, and watched the harbor-side tackle shop and restaurant workers flip the
I like stories about individuals who through determination and fortitude not only pursue a vision but also achieve it. Take Paolo Vitelli, the president of Azimut-Benetti. In 1969, with little more than a vision, the young university student started a yacht-chartering business that eventually evolved into the Azimut brand of yachts. Thirty-six years later, after acquiring the Fratelli Benetti
The convertible market is brutal—ask any of the established builders who compete in it. It's tough enough to succeed when you're a recognized name, but when you're an unknown with a new boat—well, just having a good boat isn't enough. You need a hook, something that'll get people to give you a look.
The folks at Heart Marine think they've got a hook—two actually. One is
Once in a while, I forget what boating’s really about. I get all tangled up in a particular vessel’s construction, say, or her engineering. I crawl around on all fours for hours, exploring engine rooms, examining the wonders of electrical systems or hull-to-deck joints. Or I spend hours checking out the latest laminating techniques on plant tours. And although most of this stuff is interesting
It’s hard for a newcomer to make a mark in an arena dominated by key players who have been around for years. This is particularly true in boatbuilding, where some of the most successful players are often veterans who continuously refine an established product, as opposed to creating something really new and different. While a formula for success, that can rob buyers of the chance to try something
When someone calls to tell me he wants me to see a new boat that’s really different, it’s hard not to be skeptical. "Different" is a continuum; a change in nomenclature or even color may be all that’s necessary to justify it. "Really new"? To earn that description, someone’s got to come up with a whole new take on an existing concept. Well, Cruisers has. Its 477 Sport Sedan represents a
Cavileer Boatworks is named after 18th-century boatbuilder John Cavileer, whose boats—built in Lower Bank, New Jersey, the current home of Cavileer Boatworks—were integral players in America’s fight for independence. George Washington, then a young general, was purportedly so impressed with the stout construction and seafaring abilities of Cavileer’s boats that he used them to send
My time aboard the Viking Sport Cruisers 67 Motor Yacht took place on the same long weekend I also boarded and tested the Viking V70 Express Yacht, which turned out to be our July cover boat. The occasion was a trip from Miami to Marathon to Key Largo during which I not only tested both boats but also
Recently, I’ve had a string of bad luck with South Florida weather. The past few times I’ve been on the water there, the skies have opened up, the seas turned snotty, and I’ve been subsequently drenched by quarter-size raindrops. Although this doesn’t bother me so much—moderate chop’s good for a sea trial—I prefer not to be in a constant state of panic about keeping our plethora of
It's all in the details.
After testing boats for more than five years, I've found it's that philosophy that makes the difference between okay, good, and exceptional vessels. And one builder I've noticed that is consistent in its attention to detail is Tiara. I've always been impressed with its helm layouts, clean wiring, and good performing, solid-fiberglass, modified-V hulls. But what