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Author Articles

by Capt. Grant Rafter

Immigration Doesn't Take American Express

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

Making sure your crewmembers have the proper visa documents is essential in maintaining a well-run yacht. If one of them doesn't, you may have to quickly substitute a crewmember untrained in the ways of your vessel, which can both burden the rest of the crew and add risk to your onboard operations. A little forethought in obtaining the appropriate visas will help the boat operate more smoothly

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The Quiet Alternative

By Capt. Grant Rafter | Posted December 2008 | Add a Comment

Photos courtesy of Glacier BayGlacier Bay's electric motor, the keystone of its full propulsion system, is on the cutting edge of diesel-electric pleasure boating.There's a dilemma that prevents diesel-electric propulsion from being widely adopted in boats and yachts, and it involves one of the

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Viking Sport Cruisers V78

By Capt. Grant Rafter | Posted December 2008 | Add a Comment

The partnership of New Jersey-based Viking Yachts with England's Princess Yachts has produced yet another express cruiser on the drafting board. The project, which is meant to fill the gap between the Viking Sport Cruisers V65 and V85, includes the largest fully resin-infused hull the company has built to date. This Bernard Olesinski-designed vessel should align with Viking's long-held reputation

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Cut Loose

By Capt. Grant Rafter | Posted October 2008 | Add a Comment

Nordhavn 86If you’re considering a ‘round-the-world cruise, Nordhavn’s new 87'1/4-foot trawler might be just the ticket. The builder says that she should have a 4,000-NM range at 10.5 knots with the help of twin MTU Series 60 diesel inboards. A pair of 48-inch wheels attached to four-inch shafts shouldn’t hurt efficiency either.

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The Hybrid Future

By Capt. Grant Rafter | Posted September 2008 | Add a Comment

Ferretti GroupMochi Craft Long Range 23I was attending a press conference in Ancona, Italy, earlier this year when I first heard the news. Norberto Ferretti, co-founder of Ferretti Yachts and president of the Ferretti Group, announced that the Group had just launched a hybrid-powered

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Creature-Catching Comforts

By Capt. Grant Rafter | Posted August 2008 | Add a Comment

Viking YachtsViking 50 ConvertibleThere are few things that say comfort like a Sunbrella-covered cockpit mezzanine. But that's far from the only fine amenity aboard Viking's new 50 Convertible.Her saloon has two leather-clad, C-shape settees, and both provide good views of the retractable

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Extend the Ends

By Capt. Grant Rafter | Posted July 2008 | Add a Comment

Altima 61 PilothouseThe Altima 61 Pilothouse is a scaled-up version of the builder's 56 Pilothouse. But the addition of 5'1" did not necessitate a significant increase in either clearance or freeboard—the freeboard of 7'7" forward and 5'5" aft remains the same, while the clearance to the top of the radar arch increased three

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The Return of the Motorsailer?

By Capt. Grant Rafter | Posted June 2008 | Add a Comment

For a long time there has been a stigma attached to motorsailers: They're neither good motoryachts nor good sailboats. But in a world where "going green" has become a chief concern and "the rising price of fuel" has become a clich, many manufacturers of both boats and engines are looking toward hybrid machines. And although most motoryacht builders are still staying clear of sail power in favor

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Cruising Decorum

By Capt. Grant Rafter | Posted June 2008 | Add a Comment

Global Arrow 68 ExpressThe Global Arrow 68 Express is the newest offering from Taiwan-based Global Yacht. The low-sheer, rakish design, courtesy of C. Raymond Hunt Associates, also comes in a flying-bridge version called the Global Arrow 68 FB. Aside from the added space, weight, and vertical clearance the flying bridge brings and

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Cranchi Zaffiro 36

By Capt. Grant Rafter | Posted June 2008 | Add a Comment

Making RoomThe space-conscious layout of the Cranchi Zaffiro 36 begins in the cockpit, where the L-shape settee flips forward to allow access to the engine compartment. A molded step and and a hollow under the helm give more headroom to the full-beam master stateroom below. The entrance to the interior is to port via a garage-style aluminum

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