Wednesday, March 29

The new Princess F65, the flagship of the British builder’s popular F Series, is making its U.S. debut at the Palm Beach show this week. A four-stateroom, three-head flybridge cruiser, the new Princess is powered by twin 1,200-hp MAN diesels, producing a top speed of about 33 knots. The trip should be comfortable at any speed; the Princess F Series has earned a reputation in the luxury cruising market for providing a safe and easy ride. The F Series now consists of the new 65 plus a 55, 50, and 40 flybridge yachts. The 65 is marked by its sculpted…

 
Who knows what a properly outfitted, highly capable vessel looks like better than a lifelong professional mariner? The owner of Tugnacious, an ocean-crossing Nordhavn 76, knew exactly what he was doing when he purchased this beautiful boat in 2019. Filled with system redundancies, state-of-the-art equipment and electronics, Tugnacious is quite literally a boat captain’s dream. She was meant as a gateway to family adventures, comfortably sleeping 8 guests within a luxurious master suite, two VIP guest staterooms, and a pilothouse berth, all with ensuite heads. Professionally styled by an interior decorator, Tugnacious provides welcoming, comfortable spaces for guests to lounge whether on long passages or at anchor. Is this the perfect adventure yacht? See for yourself by visiting her at the Palm Beach Boat Show next week. READ MORE.

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JetCar: 56-Knot Combo PWC and Corvette

If you’re looking for a different experience on the water, see the new JetCar, an off-the-wall combination of a PWC and a Corvette C8. The 15-foot vessel is not legal on land, but the Florida-based manufacturer says it’s approved by the U.S. Coast Guard for the water. JetCar USA offers a variety of power options, starting with a 4-cylinder, 4-stroke Yamaha Marine engine. Other options include both Yamahas and Sea-Doo engines, up to supercharged 300-hp models. The price ranges from $25,000 for the bare hull, where you can install your own engine, up to about $55,000 for the big supercharged…

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Stephens Waring Designs New 40-foot SUV

Stephens Waring, the classic yacht design firm in Belfast, Maine, just announced plans for Paradigm, a 40-foot sport utility vessel that they say is meant for modern living on the water. The new  boat, appropriate for two couples or a family, features an almost plumb bow, a raised foredeck, and an open SUV-type platform aft for easy access to watersports or a dinghy.  It has a modified-V hull laid up with cored composite construction and laminate technology. Standard power comes from a single 370-hp Yanmar diesel, with a fuel-efficient top speed of 20 knots. Twin diesels could boost that to…

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U.S. Debut for 31-Knot Numarine 26XP Fast

Numarine just held the world debut for its new 26XP Fast, an 85-foot explorer yacht with lots of light, space, and a 31-knot turn of speed, at the Palm Beach show. The Turkish company says it’s the fastest 85-footer in its class. The new 26XP Fast is powered by twin 1800-hp MANs and carries slightly more than 2,900 gallons of fuel, giving it a range of 1,800 nm at 8.5 knots. The four-stateroom, five-head Numarine is much more than the sum of its numbers. Walking through it at the show, I was struck by the idea that this is a …

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New Jet Shark: Fun On and Under the Water

If you’re looking for something new and want to ramp up your fun factor, take a look at the Jet Shark, a 20-foot prototype that can hit 45 mph on the surface and dive 5 feet under the water. The Jet Shark is the brainchild of Rob Innes, who’s been working with semi-submersibles for the past decade, or more. He previously designed the Seabreacher, which was smaller and slower. Jet Sharks are being built in Redding, California. The Jet Shark prototype holds four passengers; the production version will have six. It’s powered by a 420-hp Kodiak Marine engine, which is…

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Ray Hunt Designs Alaska Pilot Boat

There’s been a lot of interest in expedition yachts lately, go-anywhere, anytime vessels of all sizes and shapes, ready to tackle rough waters all around the world. That’s all well and good. We all need dreams, and sometimes they come true. But here’s the real thing. Take a good look at the Emerald Island, an aluminum pilot boat designed by Ray Hunt Design of New Bedford, Massachusetts. It runs up and down Prince William Sound, all year, in any kind of weather, delivering pilots to tankers serving  Valdez, Alaska. At 75 feet, the Emerald Island is large enough to deal…

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Horizon PC68 Making Palm Beach Debut

The Horizon PC68, with a creative Portuguese bridge and expansive living and entertaining areas on all three decks, is making its debut at the Palm Beach show this week. Up top, you can order the bridge to be open or as an enclosed sky lounge. Either way, it comes with a day head and shower, a grill, freezer, and a bar with a fridge and an icemaker. It also has the upper helm, of course, and enough seating areas to hold a dozen or so of your friends. The boat deck aft is large enough to carry a 17-foot RIB.…

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Azimut Unveils New Hybrid Seadeck Series

Azimut just announced that it’s starting a new line of luxury hybrid cruising yachts that will cut emissions by 40 percent. Azimut said the new line, called Seadeck, will be built with lightweight carbon exteriors and planing hulls for efficiency. The new Seadecks, starting with the Seadeck 6, a 56’ 7” motoryacht, will be fitted out with recycled and recyclable materials. The yachts will have solar panels on the roof tops, and a battery pack that’s strong enough to power the boat’s systems for four to eight hours at anchor. They also will have energy recovery systems to create hot…

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Sunreef Building New Line of Fast Ultima Cats

Sunreef, which has been making luxury catamarans in Poland for the past 20 years, just announced that it’s building a new Ultima line of fast, high-tech, hybrid cats, starting with a 45 and a 55. Francis Lapp, the yard’s founder and president, said the new cats will have “the ultimate hull shape for all those who are looking to enjoy quick getaways in speed, comfort, and style.” The new line, he said, is “all about fast cruises, vast living space, and energy efficiency.” The new cats have sleek, aerodynamic lines and bulwarks that fold down from the aft decks to…

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New Electric Hovercraft Hits 50 mph

Michael Mercier built his first hovercraft when he was 13 years old, working with plans from Boy’s Life magazine. Mercier’s now 36, and after studying mechanical engineering at Virginia Commonwealth University and  years of dreaming and tinkering, he’s launched his first personal hovercraft. It’s the VonMercier Arosa, an all-electric craft that can hover about six inches above the surface (ground, water, or a combination of the two) and cruises at 20 mph but can top out (briefly) at 50 mph. The Arosa is powered by three electric motors producing 240-hp. Potential owners can choose either an 18 kWh battery that will…

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Numarine Building Explorer Yacht with a Pool

Numarine, the upscale Turkish builder, just announced that they’re building a new 40MXP global explorer yacht with transatlantic range. Standard power on the new 128-foot 40MXP is twin 800-hp MAN diesels, producing a range of 6,000 miles at 8 knots. Numarine says it has already sold the first two hulls of the yacht, and both clients, who are existing Numarine owners, have ordered the optional 900-hp MANs for a bit more power. Numarine specializes in high-performance, luxury explorer yachts. Umberto Tagliavini, the Italian naval architect who has worked on many of the company’s yachts, drew the hull for the 40MXP.…

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New Motorola Link Connects Anywhere in World

Motorola is unveiling its new Defy Satellite Link that enables two-way satellite messaging anywhere in the world on a smartphone at the Mobile World Congress this week in Barcelona. The Defy Satellite Link means you can add satellite communications to any iPhone (iOS14 or higher) and any Android phone (10 or later) using a dongle. The Link is not integrated into the hardware of the phone; it connects to the phone via Bluetooth, and it comes with a device so you can clip it to your jacket or gear. The Link has a 600mAh battery that’s supposed to support a…

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New Sharrow Props Win More Recognition

The revolutionary no-blade Sharrow propellers, introduced just two years ago, are gaining in popularity and notoriety. Sharrow, which represents the first major design change in fixed props in a century, won an Innovation Award at the 2020 Miami show. And it just won another award, for Marine Power Innovation, at the latest one. Sharrow, developed by Greg Sharrow, a graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston, basically solved the problem of cavitation in traditional props. His props use loops to produce thrust, not blades. The loops eliminate cavitation and vortices that form around traditional props, reducing their efficiency,…

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Raymarine Launches New MFDs, Sonar, Camera

Raymarine just rolled out a new series of faster and more use-friendly chartplotters and sonars plus a new marine camera. The five new launches include Raymarine’s Axiom 2 Pro and Axiom 2 XL family of multifunction chart plotter displays. The Axiom 2 Pro MFD is Raymarine’s most  powerful yet, with a six-core processor and Raymarine’s LightHouse 4 operating system. It’s available in 9-, 12- and 16-inch screens in two variations and it includes embedded High CHIRP sonar for cruising boats. The new Axiom 2 Pro RVM includes standard, brand-new, RealVision MAX 3D built-in sonar. It has CHIRP DownVision, SideVision, and…

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Best EPIRBs and Personal Safety Devices

Every year, the people at nmeaboater.com (the National Marine Electronics Association), ask manufacturers to name a model in a particular category that they consider their best. It’s not necessarily the most technically advanced, or the newest, or the one with the most bells and whistles, but rather the one they rate highest in that category for one reason or another. Here’s the list for boating safety and survival devices – three personal survival devices and two EPIRBs. Take a look: Personal Survival Device ACR Electronics ResQLink View RLS Introducing two-way confirmation between a 406MHz beacon owner and search and rescue…

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Illinois Waterway Will Close This Summer

There’s some bad news for anyone contemplating the Great Loop, or just cruising in the Midwest, this summer. The Army Corps of Engineers is closing three locks on the Illinois Waterway that connects Lake Michigan to the Mississippi for repairs all summer. The entire Waterway along the Illinois River has eight locks and dams that the Army Corps says are long overdue for repairs. The Corps had a short closure in 2019 and a longer one in 2020. This summer will also be a long one, but the closures are scheduled to occur simultaneously to lessen the impact to the…

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New Safety Problems in Panama Canal

By Charlie Bartlett (The Loadstar) – OOCL Utah‘s near-collision on Sunday with a Panama Canal lock gate suggests a tragic and costly accident is waiting to happen, say experts. Video footage shows a fore-positioned ‘alpha’ tug almost crushed between the Hong Kong-flagged containership and the canal’s Agua Clara lock gate. There was no aft-situated ‘delta’ tug to stop the vessel. Representatives of the Panama Canal Captains and Deck Officers Union told The Loadstar how a lack of procedures and under-resourcing by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) left pilots – paid per vessel – calling the shots. “They [pilots] want to finish fast, because the more…

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Ecuador: Home of 2,800 Giant Manta Rays

If you want to see some giant manta rays, lots of them, head to Ecuador this summer. A new study says that more than 2,800 of them gather there in August and September, more than ten times the number of rays found anywhere else in the world. A recent study by the Marine Megafauna Foundation and the Manta Trust said the overall population of oceanic manta rays could be as high as 22,000, if you counted those off the coast of Ecuador and neighboring Peru. Oceanic manta rays are indeed giants. They grow to be as large as 29 feet…

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Hawks Cay: Popular Keys Resort

Hawks Cay Resort, sprawling over 60 acres in the Florida Keys, about half way between Miami and Key West, has become an increasingly popular boating destination. It’s easy to see why. First off, as the real estate saying goes, it’s all about location, location, location. The resort is on Duck Cay, mile marker 61, about 90 miles south of the Miami airport and 61 miles north of Key West. It’s just a bit north of Marathon, where you can cut under the bridge if you want to head up the Gulf Coast of Florida, and a bit south of Islamorada,…

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NOAA Satellites Saved 397 People Last Year

Here’s some very good news from NOAA: NOAA satellites, which are crucial in weather and climate forecasts, helped rescue 397 people from potentially life-threatening situations throughout the U.S. and its surrounding waters in 2022. NOAA’s polar-orbiting and geostationary satellites are part of the global Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking system, or COSPAS-SARSAT, which uses a network of U.S. and international spacecraft to detect and locate distress signals sent from emergency beacons from aircraft, boats and handheld Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) anywhere in the world. A graphic showing three categories of satellite-assisted rescues that took place in 2022: Of the…

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Avikus’ AI Nav System Wins Award

Hyundai’s Avikus autonomous navigation system just won an Innovation Award at the big Consumer Electronics Show, a recognition that will surely give a boost to the use of artificial intelligence in recreational boating, The award was in the Vehicle Tech and Advanced Mobility category, and it was for Avikus’ NeuBoat, already in its second phase of autonomous navigation. NeuBoat uses a Navigation Assistant System and a Docking Assistant System to navigate and dock in real time without human intervention. It also works with an Augmented Reality screen that indicates risk levels with different color boxes. Humans can control the systems…

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Starlink Offers Fast Internet to Yachts

You now can have fast, reliable internet service to your yacht, thanks to Starlink, a new service from SpaceX. With download speeds up to 350 Mbps, it’s very fast. Right now it’s transatlantic, but it plans to offer full global coverage next year. Starlink now has 3,177 satellites in the sky, thanks to its SpaceX connection, and they fly on a scheduled pattern, meaning that some parts of the Earth are less visited than others. Since it started its launch operations in 2019, Starlink has completed 66 launches, and the company says it plans to continue launching “at an ambitious…

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New Sea.ai Collision-Avoidance System

The world of long-range, anti-collision systems is growing and becoming more organized and high-tech. Oscar AI, one of the leaders in the field, is consolidating its various business units around the world and rebranding as Sea.ai, using artificial intelligence to detect and identify floating objects and then alert the boat’s crew in real time about any potential danger. The Oscar system was founded in 2018, originally for blue-water sailboat and ocean-racing use. It was based in the U.S., Austria, France and Portugal, and used several names, including BSB Artificial Intelligence and BSB Marine for its various branches. Now, all those…

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Visit Movie Settings on European Waterways

If you’re looking for an excuse to charter a luxury hotel barge on some of Europe’s most beautiful rivers and waterways, think about this: Now you can charter a barge to visit the sites of some of your favorite movies and TV shows, in England, Scotland, France, and Italy on a European Waterways boat. Why not? These visits are what the travel industry now calls “set-jetting,” but I’d prefer to think of them as just plain fun, a fillip on an already memory-making vacation. European Waterways is the largest luxury hotel barging company in Europe. It started out 40 years…

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Ellis 36 Charter at Claremont Hotel in SW Harbor

If you’re thinking of heading to Maine this summer, you might want to treat yourself to a charter on a classic Ellis 36 express cruiser, appropriately named Downeaster, from the docks at the elegant Claremont Hotel in Southwest Harbor. Once you’re on board, you can cruise around Southwest Harbor, home to Ellis, Hinckley and other Downeast builders, across the way to even smaller and quieter Northeast Harbor, or head up Somes Sound, the four-mile-long fjord-like protected cruising ground that basically cuts Mt. Desert Island in half. To purists, Somes Sound is technically not a fjord, although it comes close. It…

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Le Boat Opens New Base in Ottawa

Le Boat is opening a new base this May in Ottawa, the capital of Canada, to make it easier to cruise along the Rideau Canal, one of the most historic and picturesque boating areas in North America. Le Boat also is adding two new cruisers to its fleet of houseboat rental boats on the Rideau, bringing the total to 32. Boating season starts there on May 19 (the Victoria Day long weekend in Canada). A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Rideau Canal opened in 1832, making it the longest continuously operated canal system in North America. It has a system…

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New Slowboat Flotilla Heading to Alaska

The Slowboat Flotilla just announced that this year’s voyage up the Inside Passage will be a six-week expedition starting on May 10 in the San Juan Islands above Seattle and ending in late June in Juneau, Alaska. During that time, the flotilla will travel through some of the most beautiful cruising grounds anywhere, with majestic vistas, tumbling waterfalls, icebergs, glaciers, and the ever-present possibility of a sudden appearance of whales, eagles, and bears, among other wildlife. Announcing this year’s schedule, Laura Domela, one of the flotilla’s leaders, with her husband, Kevin Morris, wrote that the scenery and sense of adventure…