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Author Articles

by Capt. Grant Rafter

Ted Hood Coastal Explorer 52

By Capt. Grant Rafter | Posted June 2009 | Add a Comment

Designing boats for more than 50 years has given Ted Hood a pretty good perspective on what pleases owners. And one of the things he says makes them really happy is discovering new ways to make their lives easier. It’s not surprising then that Hood’s new 52-foot passagemaker is full of such innovations.Take the placement of the dinghy. An innovative crane design allows the tender to be

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Cabo Yachts 52 Flybridge

By Capt. Grant Rafter | Posted June 2009 | Add a Comment

Laid up in the desert, this boat is built for serious ocean travels.The new Cabo Yachts 52 Flybridge (FB) and last year’s Cabo 52 Express may share the same Divinycell-cored hull and 1,675-hp Caterpillar C32s in their engine rooms, but that’s about it. From her Pipewelder’s tower to her saloon, the 52 FB is both a new and

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A Riviera Runabout

By Capt. Grant Rafter | Posted May 2009 | Add a Comment

An offshoot of the Rodriquez Shipyard, which was founded in 1887, Morgan Yachts has been building Italian versions of classic U.S. workboats since 1991. Traditionally, downeast-style and commuter-inspired vessels over 45 feet have been the company’s mainstay, but now it’s venturing down to the 30-foot range. The 33 Dinghy (an oxymoron for most of us) is

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Top of the Charts

By Capt. Grant Rafter | Posted May 2009 | Add a Comment

An extravagant interior makes this an exceptional charter yacht.When a yacht is intended to join the crowded South Florida charter circuit, she has to stand out. In order to make their new 100-foot Hargrave King Baby into one of the more memorable vessels around, the yacht’s owners hired Yacht Interiors by Shelley, which gave her a

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Customizable Monitoring

By Capt. Grant Rafter | Posted May 2009 | Add a Comment

Nauticomp glass-bridge displays give a great aesthetic to this yacht’s bridge.Few will argue that the iPhone doesn’t represent a giant leap in digital technology. Its LCD touchscreen with myriad applications allows owners to download an entire album, listen to it while checking the tide tables, and even have songs automatically

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Boston Whaler 370 Outrage

By Capt. Grant Rafter | Posted April 2009 | Add a Comment

At just over 37 feet, the 370 Outrage is the largest boat Boston Whaler has built in its more than 50-year history. The patented Unibond construction method has been a feature of all of its boats, and the 370 is no exception. But can a boat this big really be unsinkable? According to the company, a foam cross section that extends to the top of the hull means that if this boat ever gets swamped, she will still be able to support 3,000 lbs of gear or people.

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An Owner's Options

By Capt. Grant Rafter | Posted March 2009 | Add a Comment

Entering a line that includes a 36-, 44-, and 47-footer, the new 63-foot Riviera 5800 Sport Yacht was designed to provide not only more luxury but also more layout options. Owners will be able to choose either a three- or four-cabin arrangement. In the three-cabin version there’s a galley at the base of the stairs and to port, while in the four-cabin version, a

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Patience In Paradise

By Capt. Grant Rafter | Posted February 2009 | Add a Comment

Part 1: The HuntWe ride east in a black Mitsubishi SUV. This part of Grand Bahama Island is desolate. The sun cuts through low-lying conifers, scrub brush, and burnt forest. Oil-depot casks, rusting and caked in beige paint, are one of the few intrusions among the sparse growth. A few gravel driveways leading to bonefishing

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Horizon Bandido 148

By Capt. Grant Rafter | Posted February 2009 | Add a Comment

When you’re packing a six-figure Leisure Craft Classic 700 runabout in your yacht’s tender garage, you know you’ve got something special. That’s exactly what Juan Carlos “J.C.” Espinosa intended when he added this feature and a mix of other high-class elements to his design of the Horizon Bandido 148. According to Espinosa, Drettmann, the exclusive

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The Hidden Tradition

By Capt. Grant Rafter | Posted January 2009 | Add a Comment

Although the builder True North has only been around since 1999, its parent company, Pearson Composites, has a heritage that stretches back 48 years. (Sailing enthusiasts will recognize it as the manufacturer of J-series boats, one of the standard classes in competitive racing.) But True North's relatively recent arrival on the scene doesn't prevent it from harkening from the same traditions. Her

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