Boat Tests

Maxum 3700 SY

I’m all for skin treatments like facials, but I’d rather have them courtesy of relaxing experiences at a spa than the continuous pelting of horizontal rain at the helm.

Actually, it felt more like I was being sandblasted. I was steadily pushing the throttles forward on the Maxum 3700 Sport Yacht (SY), getting a sense for how she handled the two- to four-footers stirred up by heavy traffic,

Krogen Express 52

Shhh...

I’m listening intently as the standard twin 440-hp Yanmar diesels on the Krogen Express 52 run up from idle to WOT. You know what I hear? Only the 52’s sharp entry slicing through a one- to two-foot chop on New York’s Long Island Sound. I’m getting a 78 dB-A readout on my decibel meter at WOT (65 db-A is the level of normal conversation). The reason: an efficient Jim and Kurt Krogen

Shannon 38 SRD

When I first asked designer/builder Walt Schulz what his motivation was in designing the radically different hull form for the new Shannon 38 SRD, his answer was disarmingly candid: bad knees.

Apparently sensing my perplexed reaction, he launched into a more complete reply. His company, Shannon Yachts, has been building sailboats for some 30 years and powerboats for almost 20 years. His

Ocean 46 Super Sport

In the early 1980’s, Ocean Yachts gave naval architect Dave Martin a task: design a hull that would be seakindly and quick. How quick? The goal was 30 knots on the top end with twin 450-hp Detroit Diesel 6-71TIs. Martin’s solution was a planing-hull form that measured 46 feet LOA and transitioned from a 24-degree deadrise forward to three degrees at the transom (more on this later). He met the

Cruisers 400 Express

When I was a young boy, I loved going to the circus and seeing the clowns. One of my favorite memories was seeing a dozen of them pile out of a tiny little car that seemed no bigger than a golf cart. How could they pack so many people in such a small space?

Observing the trend over the past decade to squeeze more and more sleeping capacity into boats, one might surmise that a lot of

Pershing 62

They named the company after the missile, not the general, and you can see why. In more than 20 years there hasn’t been a Pershing motoryacht that wasn’t fast, sleek, and powerful, and the 62 upholds this tradition. Sometimes, the marine equivalent of a tactical nuclear weapon is the best tool for the job.

It was on a late-September morning at around 1500 rpm that this analogy somehow

Atlantis 55

It’s been two years since Paolo Vitelli, head of Azimut-Benetti, absorbed the family-run Gobbi into his empire. The yard was a successful producer of midpriced sports cruisers, known for its advanced production facilities, but not a force to be reckoned with outside Italy. Vitelli installed Carla Demaria, one of his most senior managers, at its head and gave her a mission to recreate, rebrand,

Viking 74 Convertible

Whoever coined the phrase, “Good things come in small packages,” would probably have changed his or her mind had they been strolling the docks of Atlantic City’s Trump Marina one day last summer. For there, among a myriad assortment of battlewagons and other craft, sat the largest convertible Viking Yachts has ever built, the 74. A formidable, eye-catching machine, she’d grown several feet from

Fairline Targa 62

Ben and Valentina Bethell only caught the boating bug seven years ago, but since discovering the lifestyle this cruising couple has learned, embraced, and lived it full throttle. After relocating from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Naples, Florida, the duo thought owning a boat went hand in hand with living in the Sunshine State, so they started out with a 15-foot jet boat. That quickly escalated to a 42

Azimut 50 Flybridge

I found a lot to like about Azimut’s 50 Flybridge. Sightlines from the lower helm are excellent; there’s only a single, narrow mullion in the windshield, and the forward side windows are at eye-level from the helm. The aft side windows are a bit lower, giving guests in the saloon a great view from the plush Ultraleather settees, and affording good visibility while docking alongside a pier, and

Cruisers 300 Express

I love drivin’ boats. Always have. Particularly when they’re even a little bit like the new 300 Express from Cruisers Yachts. Not that the 300’s a guts-and-glory go-fast, with engines high-strung and rebuild-prone. Nope—she’s a bonafide express cruiser, with all the standards that make weekending on the water (or even vacationing now and again) as kickback comfortable as it is fun. More to

Vicem 54 Classic

The first time I saw a Vicem was more than a year ago, but that brief encounter made a lasting impression. I was on a trawler with friends making a leisurely trip along the coast of Rhode Island, heading for the Newport Boat Show, when off to the south we spotted one of the handsomest yachts I’d ever laid eyes upon. Like a distant apparition she appeared, a beautiful dark-blue hull gliding

Sealine T60

In the week of my visit, the range of tide at St. Helier, the principal port on the pretty island of Jersey, was about 24 feet. An unsettling moonscape of jagged rocks would appear slowly, twice a day, as the water receded—and then just as slowly disappear again as the tide came in. For boat owners unused to displays of nature’s worryingly sadistic tendencies, such tides concentrate the

Sea Ray 500 Sedan Bridge

When Sea Ray invited me to do a ride-along boat test on its new 500 Sedan Bridge, the guys said they were leaving from the marina behind the Sanibel Resort at five o’clock in the morning. So I checked into a room at the resort the night before, caught a couple of winks, and wandered out into the dark well before dawn. Luckily, a glimmer of light emanated from the 500, which, for reasons too

Camper & Nicholsons 42 Endeavour

If a magazine is only as good as its current issue, then maybe a boatbuilder should only be judged by its latest launch. And if that’s true, Camper & Nicholsons (C&N) looks to be in pretty fair shape. The world-famous yacht builder (not to be confused with the yacht brokerage firm of the same name), tucked into a corner of Portsmouth harbor on England’s south coast, is emerging from a

Egg Harbor 43

How much difference can one foot make? In football it could mean getting in the end zone for six points vs. falling short for a goose egg, or missing the uprights on a field goal and losing three points that could’ve won the game. When it comes to boatbuilding, one foot can be the difference between a good ride and a great ride.

It had been two years since I tested the Egg Harbor 42 on the

Meridian 368

Although this is a test of Meridian’s new 368 Motoryacht, it’s impossible to talk about the boat without talking about the company that builds her. In fact, you could say this article is as much a report on the builder as it is on the boat.

Meridian was born in an unconventional manner when Brunswick, its parent company, decided to relaunch Bayliner’s motoryacht line (basically everything

Hinckley SC42

I had three questions in mind when I pulled into the parking lot behind the venerable, white-clapboard house that serves as the Hinckley sales office in Southwest Harbor, Maine. First, why was Hinckley, originator of the most popular jet-powered 36-footer ever built, the Picnic Boat, introducing two new sport cruisers, each offered with nothing but plain ol’ twin-screw inboard power? Second, what

Ocean Alexander 64 Pilothouse

Back in the 1960’s, some West Coast brokers discovered that if they built boats in Taiwan, where the labor rate was a fraction of what it was in the United States, they could undercut domestic manufacturers and increase their profits. The first hardy souls who embraced this gambit were quickly reminded that there is no free lunch. For while they possessed an inherent talent with the crafting and

Azimut 68S

Okay, let’s talk about those windows first—the square ones in the topsides. They’re real, and they work: You can actually see out of them. They’re clever, too, because while the area of each panel is relatively small, arranging them in a tight three-by-three rectangle actually fools the eye into seeing them as one big picture window with a view. They make quite an impression. Looking out

Alaskan 65

I was at the helm of a midrange motoryacht, idling into St. Augustine Inlet some while back, when a rather large vessel dead ahead spoke to me. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying the vessel came right out and said, “Hey Bill, how ya’ doin’?’” What I’m talking about is the ability of certain watercraft, irrespective of size, type, or age, to arrest one’s attention, in the same way a piece of

Ferretti 880

It’s a long-held (and long-proven) belief that Americans like their toys big: cars, boats, you name it. It’s not just an American male trait, either: Despite my 5’2” frame, I wanted&mdasah;no, needed&mdasah;a roomy SUV as my daily wheels. (Don’t even get me started about what size boat I want; suffice it to say it’s fitting that I’m nicknamed the Megayacht Queen in the Power & Motoryacht

Cruisers 500 Express

I tested a Cruisers 455 Express Motoryacht last year, and the most striking area of that boat was her enormous full-beam aft master stateroom. It wasn’t just the standard queen-size berth, vanity, full-length cedar closets, and en suite head that impressed me. It was how the builder also comfortably fit in a whirlpool tub concealed behind two French doors; another door connected the head and tub

Viking Sport Cruisers 50 Flybridge

I find it ironic that Viking Sport Cruisers owners typically take delivery of their yachts in Atlantic City rather than at Viking’s headquarters located a few miles north in New Gretna, New Jersey. The reason, of course, is convenience. The irony lies in the fact that amidst the gambling mecca of the East Coast, the only sure bet is that yacht owners will like the new Viking Sport Cruisers 50

Tiara 3600 Open

Not long after I’d topped off our 400-gallon composite fuel tank, I noticed the slip where I was supposed to dock our Tiara 3600 Open stern-to was configured a little differently. Instead of being perpendicular to the concrete bulkhead that constituted its inner end, the thing was angled toward the mouth of the fairway and the river beyond. If you’re old enough to remember diagonal, side-by-side

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