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Boat Tests

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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By Capt. Richard Thiel | Posted October 2008

If you want to get a real feel for what’s going on in the economy these days, try testing boats. One of the less glamorous but more enlightening aspects of this job is meeting...

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By Capt. Patrick S...Photos by Fores... | Posted October 2008

A lot can change in seven years. Heck, I went from being a college student to a working professional (yes, this is actually a job) to a daddy in that amount of time, and from...

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By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted September 2008

It was a spectacular morning. The sun was sparkling like diamonds on the Pacific, and a cobalt sky vaulted over the Gold Coast of Australia. Denby Browning, marketing honcho for...

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By Capt. Richard ThielPhotos by Jim R... | Posted September 2008

I'm not sure exactly when it was—maybe the summer of 2002—but I do remember the conversation as clearly as if it had happened yesterday. Bob Van Grunsven, president of...

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By Capt. Grant Rafter | Posted September 2008

If you plan on building an 80-foot sportfisherman that's capable of more than 40 mph, you'd better build her strong. Donzi Yachts believes it's done just that. Bob Roscioli...

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By Alan Harper | Posted September 2008

The fuel berth in Palma, Mallorca, seemed unusually popular considering the recent rocketing price of oil. Sailboats drifted about, patiently awaiting their turn. Three or four...

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By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted August 2008

Not your average boat test. Not by a long shot. Way back in 2001, off the coast of California, I'd sea trialed a raised-pilothouse motoryacht that would set a new course for Grand...

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

The flags stood at attention. I directed my eyes toward the horizon and gazed at the "buffalo" (big swells) running across the Gulf Stream. It was about this time that I began to...

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By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted August 2008

The only other time I can remember getting myself into something that sounded this stark-raving mad was a dozen years ago. I'd just finished wringing out a high-performance...

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By George L. Petrie | Posted August 2008

During a boat test, it's always a pleasure to speak with the owners and to hear about the yacht from their point of view. When those opportunities arise, one of my main goals is...

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By Capt. Grant Rafter | Posted August 2008

Italy is renowned for setting the high-water mark in style. From the right slacks to the right hair to the right yacht, it's all got to be impeccable. It was in this atmosphere...

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By Capt. Grant Rafter | Posted July 2008

Zaffiro is Italian for sapphire, a gem known for its strength; sapphire ranks 9 out of 10 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness (diamond is a 10). The jewel's strength owes much...

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By Capt. Grant Rafter | Posted July 2008

Italy has hundreds of little museums, most with something worth looking at behind their engraved doors. Sometimes the art is inspiring, sometimes just surprising, but usually...

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

Robert Moss really likes boats. He enjoys them so much that he's owned nine new ones since 2004. I met Moss because he kindly let me test his most recent addition, a Viking Sport...

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