90 Top Production Powerboats
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Dolphin Salty 16
A 16-footer with a flying bridge? This boat had to be on this list.
“I love this one! It’s only 16 feet long, has a flybridge, and sleeps four,” writes reader Tom Horan.
1955-Present Designed by Nick Potter
The Dyer 29 enjoys the longest production run in history. The classic New England-style bass boat was first launched in 1955 by fiberglass pioneer Bill Dyer. You can still order one today in several styles, including a center console that tugs at the heartstrings.
Ferretti 55 Motor Yacht
1995-1999 Designed by Ferretti Advanced Yacht Technology and Development and Zuccon International
When the Ferretti 55 was brought to the U.S., her striking, angular European style set her apart. Add in passionate performance and this Italian builder would have its foot in the door to America. She was introduced as the 165 (as in 16.5 meters), but renamed after just a few sales to simplify comparison. It wouldn’t be long until the rounded, swooping sleekness of the Ferretti 53 arrived.
Everglades 243 Center Console
2001-Present Designed by Bob Dougherty
The boat that started it all for Everglades remains the company’s top seller. The 243 introduced the RAMCAP coring system, wherein high-density foam is fit directly over the inside of the hull, vacuum sealed, and then sandwiched in by a top cap. The process is a more efficient way to foam core a boat than the “blind foam” process used by other companies in the class. The result is an exceptionally rigid boat that can handle very rough seas. The 243 in particular is also popular because she’s large enough to go offshore, but has a shallow enough draft to zip around the flats without a care in the world.
1986-Present Designed by Tony Fleming
The proportions of this boat are simply elegant. The balance, the low profile (which means you crawl in the engine room), and just the lines in general will make you stare. Plus more than 1,000 engineering changes in the boat’s nearly 30-year production run have resulted in a fine passagemaker today. Fleming was at the forefront of raised pilothouse designs built to exacting standards.
Formula 382 FasTech
1998-Present Designed by John Adams
When introduced, Formula’s 382 FasTech was an impeccably built raceboat that was wholly capable of family fun … especially if at least a few members of the family felt doing 74 knots was fun. The boat’s heritage goes all the way back to Don Aronow. And she’s family-tested by the Porter dynasty, one of the oldest, raceboat-bred families in the boatbuilding biz.
Fountain 42 Lightning
1990-Present Designed by Reggie Fountain
Reggie Fountain’s 42 Lightning (built and rigged at Fountain’s high-intensity, skunk-worksy facility in Washington, North Carolina) went on to become the fastest (149 knots) V-bottom boat in the world, a record that stood until just recently. Via his hands-on approach to driving, engineering, rigging, and bottom design, Fountain was able to take the sport of pleasure boating (or at least an aspect of it) to the ragged, high-wire edge, beyond which his fabled “need for speed” held sway. The 42 Lightning was, arguably, his most famous rocket. And yes, you can still buy one today, although Fountain sold the company some years back and his influence upon design and construction is long gone.
Grady-White 204C Overnighter
1975-1992 Designed by Eddie Smith & Wiley Corbett
In 1959 Glenn Grady and Don White set out to build darn tough boats, and the company continues to follow this mantra today. Under Eddie Smith Jr. the builder practically invented the wide-beam, walkaround, cuddy-cabin model. Take a look around at any boat show these days and see just how many walkarounds there are. That’s thanks to boats like the 204C and her big sister, the Grady-White 25 Sailfish.
Grand Banks 42
1966-2004 Designed by Ken Smith
The 42 was introduced shortly after the Grand Banks 36 in 1966 and more than 1,500 were built with only basic styling changes and one substantive mold change in 1992. The 42 created a niche for trawler-yacht cruising. The newer boats were often overpowered and thus wet, but the initial concept, with 120-horsepower naturally-aspirated diesels belowdecks, was spot on and fueled this market. In our opinion, her sweet spot with bigger engines is right around 12 to 13 knots. More than that and you’re just pushing water.
Grand Banks Eastbay 38
1994-2004 Designed by C. Raymond Associates
You can argue that the Eastbay 38 ignited the production Down East express market along with the Hinckley Picnic Boat. Sure, when it was introduced in 1994, there were a few Maine builders creating one-off Down East express designs, but nothing really capable of doing more than 18 knots with anything like serious efficiency. It’s hard to imagine that this market niche was untapped way back then. This good-looking boat with twin 375-horsepower CAT 3208TAs was the ideal package—a heavy boat (28,000 pounds) with a Hunt hull and simple engines. Peter Boyce from C. Raymond Hunt Associates has said that this package represented the best of the Hunt philosophy.
Grand Banks Eastbay 49
1998-2008 Designed by C. Raymond Associates
You just have to drive this boat once to know why it’s on this list. In the late ’90s, large Down East production boats were rare, although semi-custom builders such as Alden Yachts were building fully customized models. (The first Alden 56 Prosit is one of our favorites.) More than 100 Eastbay 49s were built, and an enclosed saloon express model was added. The initial models relied on Cat 3196s, which were eventually replaced by the C12s.
2010-Present Designed by J&J Design
When Greenline Hybrid introduced its 40-footer with optional hybrid propulsion systems in 2010, it seemed like an idea who’s time had come. The boats can be spec’ed with Volkswagen diesels combined with 48-volt electric motors powered by batteries and photovoltaic cells to push a slippery “superdisplacement” hull. And the boat is packed with weight saving, space-saving amenities that let her feel much larger than her 39 feet 4 inches, thanks to J&J Design’s experience with building Seaway and Shipman sailboats and Skagen powerboats, so all boaters are giving up is bigger, louder engines and the fuel bill that goes with it.
1960-1963 Designed by Jack Hargrave
This boat arguably energized and facilitated the creation of all fiberglass sportfishing boats to come after. During those three short years, Hatteras built 93 of these boats. Lotta boats for three years.
Hatteras 58 LRC
1975-1985 Designed by Jack Hargrave
Diehard long-distance cruisers covet the Long Range Cruising line built by Hatteras. The series also included a 42, a raised pilothouse 48 (a model that renowned boating journalist and adventurer the late Carlton Mitchell cruised heavily), and a limited run 65. This slow-going ship with a large engine room, lots of interior volume, and GM diesels was one of the first American-made long-range cruisers. It may not appear so now, but in 1975 she was a trendsetter.
Hatteras 58 Yacht Fisherman
1970-1982 Designed by Jack Hargrave
Hatteras arguably coined the term “Yacht Fisherman” when it developed the, well, 58 Yacht Fisherman, in 1970. Since then it’s become a term that is fully entrenched in the boating vernacular today. The line eventually included a 48 and 53. All remain popular on the brokerage market.
Hatteras 60 Convertible
1977-1986 Designed by Jack Hargrave
This boat was simply huge for the market when it was introduced. Convertibles were not built larger than about 55 feet or so at the time. The enclosed bridge version was also a game changer. She was a natural evolution of the 53 Convertible and was stretched to the 65 Convertible leading the way for the larger production convertibles that we see today.
Hinckley 36 Picnic Boat
1994-2007 Designed by Bruce King
This little jewel turned 20 this year. The Picnic Boat put New England boat design smack dab in the midst of American culture ... even Martha Stewart owned one, for cripes sake. And long before every other boat at a boat show was equipped with a joystick, Hinckley put an innovative JetStick on the picnic boat. Read about the company’s latest launch, the Talaria 43, in our October issue.
Huckins Fairform Flyer
1928-Present Designed by Frank Pembroke Huckins
In essence a timelessly elegant and traditional piece of marine artwork, the original 42-foot Huckins Fairform Flyer Express Cruiser was designed by Frank Pembroke Huckins and launched in July of 1928. The boat soon found her way into the hands of David M. Goodrich of the B.F. Goodrich Tire Company. Since that first launch, a veritable fleet of Fairform Flyers, in a variety of sizes and configurations, have been built and sold to other discerning customers with an appreciation for the unique, albeit voluptuous look that has always been Huckins.
Hunt Surfhunter 25
Mid-’60s-Present Designed by Ray Hunt
If you find yourself in short-stacked wave patterns often experienced on bodies of water like Buzzards Bay or Long Island Sound and your ride’s a 25-foot Surfhunter, you’ll swear you’re on a much larger boat. This classic is well known for being dry and stable, and darn pretty.
Intrepid 475 Sport Yacht
2006-Present Designed by Intrepid
Along with the rise of the center console in the years following the Great Recession came another phenomenon: The rise of the just-a-bit-more-than-a center console. Utility, speed, and easily maintainable outboards were still in the mix, but now larger cabins and more creature comforts were part of the deal. Perhaps no boat exemplifies this way of thinking better than the Intrepid 475 Sport Yacht, the company’s flagship. With options galore and a cruise speed of 44 knots, this is truly a boat that can do all things.
Island Pilot DSE
2008-Present Designed by Reuben Trane
You gotta hand it to Island Pilot’s Reuben Trane who, with friend George Petrie, designed and produced what some folks in 2008 saw as the first truly cruisable solar-powered powercat on the market, the DSe (Diesel Solar electric) 12M Hybrid. With a couple of 75-horsepower Steyer hybrid diesels (one in each sponson, of course) and a whopping solar array from Sun Power topside, the DSe could do either 10 knots (or thereabouts) via carboniferous oomph or about 6 knots on solar power alone. Boating for free and for fun? Although the DSe was far from gorgeous when viewed in profile, for our money, Mr. Trane was ahead of the curve on this one.
Kadey Krogen 42
1976-1998 Designed by James Krogen
This collaboration between designer James Krogen and yacht broker Art Kadey captured the wanderlust of intrepid voyagers at a time when cruising under power was still not a mainstream boating endeavor. Today, notable passages are still being completed by the 206 42s built. In fact, at this writing a 42 is tied up in the Azores, while another arrived in Fiji en route to New Caledonia on a voyage that originated in Mexico.
Larson 176 Flyer
1999 Designed by Larson
Nothing new under the sun? When was the last time you read about, watched, or stumbled across an entirely new way to build boats? When Larson intro’d the 176 Flyer BR (BowRider) at all the boat shows in 1999, that’s exactly what the company was putting out there—VEC (Virtual Engineered Composites), a wholly closed-molded approach to creating a boat. The advantages of the VEC process—zip for VOCs, precisely weighted and dimensioned parts, lightweight unibody construction, and unparalleled production efficiency—still pertain today. Larson’s still building lots of skiboats, fishboats, and spicy runabouts the new-fashioned VEC way.
Lazzara 75 LSX
2006-2011 Designed by Dick Lazzara
Leave it to the boys at Lazzara Yachts to take the quiet power and maneuverability of the Volvo Penta IPS and multiply its benefits on an express design writ large. How did they do it? First, Lazzara used four of the IPS 600 systems, each spinning two forward-facing props with 435 horsepower to move the boat up to 33 knots (according to Executive Editor Bill Pike’s sea trial in 2007). Second, those four pod drives, moving in concert, combined to amp up the maneuverability in ways that must be driven to be believed. And third, Lazzara’s isolation system insulated the modular monococque interior from any vibration, while two engine-room bulkheads (and plenty of other tricks) further distance those aboard from the already-quiet IPS. Quiet, quick, quad power: Any questions?
1992-2003 Designed by Dick Lazzara
Brothers Dick and Brad Lazzara do not shy away from going all in and embracing innovation. The 76 was indeed a game changer when she was introduced in 1992. Think about it, what other model with contemporary styling and luxury appointments was available between 65 and say 85 feet in the early ’90s? The 76 remains a much sought-after boat on the used market today.