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Boat Tests

By Capt. Richard Thiel | Posted May 2009

If you’re a boatbuilder, one of your most difficult challenges is knowing when to replace a model. After all, designing a new boat is a costly endeavor, to say the least. Way...

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By Capt. Patrick S... | Posted April 2009

I turned my back to the optional teak helm, and with an unobstructed view of the cockpit, I pictured my angler—complete with his gold Penn VSX16 loaded up with green high-vis line...

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By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted April 2009

Having sea trialed a fair share of European boats with highly styled but outrageously impractical steering stations, I was a little surprised at the savvy design and comfort of...

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By Capt. Grant Rafter | Posted April 2009

The border between a boat you’re comfortable handling yourself and one that requires a captain is a delicate one. The Manhattan 70 sits right on the cusp, filling a gap between...

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By Alan Harper | Posted April 2009

Similar, but different; familiar, yet unique. Platinum may be the latest in Benetti’s Golden Bay series (Hull No. 8) but she is, of course, a totally custom build. It is only from...

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By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted March 2009

It was an iffy spot. There was no sign proclaiming “Live Bait For Sale” and no structure I’d rightfully call a dock. Just an old guy in a big straw hat, a blue work shirt, and...

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Six-thousand-two-hundred-sixty-two miles. Man, that’s a long time between fill-ups. But that’s the maximum statute-mile range I computed for Cheoy Lee’s new 68 Serenity, a 116,000...

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n the bigger scheme of things, 2005 doesn’t seem like very long ago. But four years in the pleasure-boating industry brings lots of change: an influx of European styling, upgraded...

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By | Posted March 2009

Having enough stowage space while maintaining a luxurious aesthetic was a major concern for everyone involved in the build of Jarrett Bay’s latest beauty Waste Knot. “The owners...

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By Capt. Patrick S... | Posted February 2009

They make fishing boats, too?That was the question I asked myself when I tested the first Vicem-built sportfisherman four years ago. (Based in Turkey, Vicem has 20-plus years...

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By Capt. Richard Thiel | Posted February 2009

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about big sportfishing boats, it’s this: They’re not just about speed. Still, when I saw “38 kts” pop up on the center 19-inch KEP helm monitor,...

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By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted January 2009

I was prepared to not like the Hamilton waterjet-propelled Huckins Linwood 56 all that much, primarily because some of the waterjet vessels I've driven over the years have evinced...

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By Capt. Patrick S... | Posted January 2009

Putting pen to paper, I've often found myself mentioning horizons, the ones I've seen and the ones I hope to. Experiencing endless stretches of sky and water, fireball sunsets...

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By Capt. Grant Rafter | Posted January 2009

Design and practicality are often at odds. A feature may look pretty but that doesn't mean it will serve its purpose. The design team at Sessa, headed by Christian Grande, worked...

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By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted December 2008

Imagine spending a whole string of sunny summer days cruising along like Huckleberry Finn, leapfrogging from anchorage to anchorage on solar-generated electric power alone,...

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By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted December 2008

The first thing I noticed about Sea Ray's so-called "Green Boat" was her conventional appearance. Sure, there was something atop the bimini—a Sharp solar collector—but the gizmo...

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By Capt. Richard Thiel | Posted December 2008

Of all the boats I've ever tested, only a few were really new. That's not surprising. Boatbuilders are, after all, a cautious lot, and for many reasons—mostly financial—they're...

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By Capt. Grant Rafter | Posted December 2008

When a boatbuilder replaces its best-selling model, it must ensure that her replacement not only incorporates all of the positive features of her predecessor, but surpasses them....

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By | Posted December 2008

Dick Lazzara loves pods—pod drives that is. As I crank his new 92-foot LSX into a high-bank turn at 31 knots, he looks at me, extracts his cigar from his mouth, and announces, "...

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By Capt. Grant RafterPhotos by Fores... | Posted November 2008

The mold for the 3900 sat on the far side of the plant, a rust-colored shell wrapped in a scaffold, and in it was Hull No. 3 with its balsa core already enshrined in AME 6000...

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By Capt. Grant Rafter | Posted November 2008

Back in 2007, we tested the Jeanneau Prestige 42 ("The French Connection," April 2007). You might assume that the new Prestige 42S ("S" stands for "Sport...

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By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted November 2008

Marine propulsion is undergoing a paradigm shift these days, mostly due to fuel costs and the need to address the problem with improved efficiencies. Diesel-hybrid systems, fuel-...

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By Capt. Patrick S... | Posted November 2008

Once our test-boat's captain deftly maneuvered the Fairline Targa 64 Gran Turismo around the crewless and sinking sportfisherman, I knew things had to get better. One of the...

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By Capt. Grant Rafter | Posted October 2008

There’s one more model squeezing into Mochi Craft’s Dolphin line of lobsterboat-style cruisers. But why add a 54 when the Italian builder already offers a 51? Because, according...

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By Capt. Richard Thiel | Posted October 2008

When I learned that I was going to test the newest Sea Ray Sundancer, the 350, I wasn’t exactly ecstatic. Nothing against the boat, mind you. Sundancers are fine craft. But they...

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