The United States Powerboat Show in Annapolis is always a popular show – for a whole lot of reasons. It’s fun, it’s easy to get to, and it’s easy to see a lot of new boats and gear there. And it’s in Annapolis, the hub of the Chesapeake, a cruising mecca with boatyards and marinas – and waterfront restaurants and bars – all around.
Centered around City Dock, in the middle of town (also known as Ego Alley), this year the show, the 47th annual, runs from Thursday, Oct. 11, through Sunday, Oct. 14. It has many more boats than ever before – about 700 of them in fact – ranging from 8 to 80 feet LOA.
There’s lots to do at the show itself, with dock after dock of new boats, plus tents full of displays of everything from new electronics to knife sharpeners. The show offers free seminars from the Annapolis School of Seamanship, and it has a Demo Dock, where you can try out new boats, engines and stabilizing systems. There also are on-the-water, boat-handling courses given by BoatUS Foundation. When you return to land, Pusser’s Painkiller Party Barge is always a popular destination throughout the show.
In conjunction with the show, there’s also the Brokerage Cove of used boats in St. Mary’s Cove on Spa Creek, just a five-minute walk from the main show; if you want to relax, you can take a water taxi from City Dock to the Brokerage Cove show, which is just inside the Spa Creek Bridge.
For me, the Annapolis show is a place to see new boats and accessories, to bask in history, and to take in some crab cakes at McGarvey’s or the Boatyard. I also try to work in my annual boat show breakfast at Chick & Ruth’s Delly on Main Street, just a few blocks up from the show, where everyone stands up and recites the Pledge of Allegiance at 8:30. For more about the show:
Read our reviews of 32 new cruising boats you can see at the show here:
AMERICAN TUGS 435
A sturdy cruiser, well-equipped to handle the coast of Maine, the Great Loop, or the Waterway down to the Keys or the Bahamas, the new American Tugs 435 has two staterooms, two heads, a raised pilothouse, a comfortable salon with forward galley and enough storage and living areas to keep a couple or family comfortable for a long time onboard. American Tugs are made in LaConner, Washington, but about half are now sold on the East Coast as more and more owners appreciate all the boats have to offer. The no-frills approach to cruising, with a single 500-hp Cummins diesel, a Side-Power bow thruster to help with docking, and a solid hull (with a 10-year warranty for workmanship and blistering) is increasingly popular both with experienced cruisers and people just starting out.
Inside, the master is midships with a walkaround queen bed, a cedar-lined hanging locker, side tables, lots of storage areas and an en suite head. The second cabin is in the bow, with the berth to port and an en suite head to starboard; both heads have large showers. In the pilothouse, the helm chair is centered, with an Edson stainless wheel, a large console for electronics, and a seat for four adults, with a table, behind the helm. Doors open out to the side decks, and the pilothouse has six opening windows, with screens, for visibility all around. The salon has an L-shaped settee to starboard, with the galley forward to port.
Below the waterline, a molded composite skeg protects the prop and supports the rudder, while both the main engine and the 9kW Northern Lights genset have underwater exhaust. Specs.: LOA: 43’7”; Beam: 15’10”; Draft: 4’10”; Disp.: 29,200 lbs.; Fuel: 640 gals.; Water: 210 gals.; Power: 1×500-hp Cummins diesel.
Beneteau has just launched a new line of outboard-powered pocket coastal cruisers. Called the Antares, the new line has a 27, 23 and 21, all products of the Beneteau design team and meant to be introductory boats for coastal or lake cruising.
All powered by Mercury outboards, the 27 has twin 200-hp engines; the 23 a single 250-hp engine, and the 21 a single 175-hp engine. A bow thruster is optional to help with docking.
The Antares 27 has a glass sliding door opening to the salon from the cockpit. With light coming in from a panoramic sunroof and large windows all around, the salon is bright and warm, with visibility all around from the helm. A U-shaped dinette settee is on the port side with a table, and galley is to starboard. The co-pilot’s seat on the port side swings around to either face forward or aft to join the group at the dinette. A sliding door next to the helm gives immediate access to the starboard side deck.
The cockpit has a large bench seat aft that slides forward to raise the engines easily with a settee on the port side. The whole area can be covered to make a huge sunlounge. Another sunpad is on the foredeck. Below, the cabin is in the bow with a V-berth for overnights. A head and shower are to starboard.
Specs. for the Antares 27: LOA: 27’0”; Beam: 9’8”; Draft: 2’11”; Disp.: 9,387 lbs.; Fuel: 158 gals.; Water: 42 gals.; Power: 2×200-hp Mercury outboards. For more:
With its 21’6” draft carried all the way forward, the Aquila 44 catamaran has space – and more space – just about everywhere. The three-stateroom, three-head boat also has a lot of privacy. The master stateroom is forward with a king-sized bed, a small settee in a separate seating area and a large head and shower. The two separate hulls, meanwhile, mean the two more staterooms, one on the port side and one to starboard, are totally private, a major advantage during cruise with family or friends.
In the salon, the galley is aft, with a dining/sitting area forward; it’s bright and light, with windows all around. Up top, the bridge deck can hold a crowd. The upper helm seat can hold four, there are settees on each side and a wet bar and grill, with more seating, is aft. If you need to reach the bow for, say, anchoring or line handling, built-in stairs lead from the bridge down to the foredeck. For power, the Aquila 44 has two 225-hp Volvo diesels, which produce a cruising speed of 14 knots and a top speed of 19 knots. MarineMax Vacations uses the Aquila 44 in its charter fleet.
Specs.: LOA: 43’8”; Beam: 21’6”; Draft: 2’8”; Disp.: 35,053 lbs.; Fuel: 290 gals.; Water: 206 gals.; Power: 2×225-hp Volvo D4 diesels.
ASPEN POWER CATAMARANS C120
Here’s the first showing of the Aspen C120 power cat, Knot Wafflen‘, that just completed its 10,000 Mile Tour of the United States, going from Anacortes, Washington, up to Alaska and then back down the West Coast to the Sea of Cortez, where it was trucked to Texas and then cruised around Florida and up to its owner’s home in Annapolis.
The new 42-foot Aspen C120 power cat is anything but just another pretty boat. Developed by Larry Graf, one of the more creative people in boating, the new C120, like all Aspens, has an asymmetrical proa hull (think of native boats in the South Pacific), where the port side is 35 percent narrower than the starboard side, which houses the single 330-hp Volvo diesel. The point: Stability, performance and above all, fuel efficiency. Graf says the boat burns just 11 gph at 17 knots.
Graf founded Aspen Power Catamarans in Burlington, Washington, in 2008; he had founded Glacier Bay Power Catamarans earlier. At Aspen, he developed the patented proa hull, with the deckhouse offset slightly to port, and launched a 28, then a 32 and now the flagship 42. I tested the first 28 in Miami and have to admit that I was somewhat skeptical of the entire concept until I put the boat through her paces. I came away a believer.
The C120 provides a smooth, stable ride, with all the advantages of extra living space found on a cat.The salon is 24 feet long and more than 10 feet wide, with excellent visibility from every seat. A 15-foot-long galley, filled with Corian countertops, occupies the port side. A six-person U-shaped dinette, with a high-gloss teak table that lowers, is to starboard; the primary helm is forward.
Below, the full-beam master is forward with a king-sized bed on the centerline and a large owner’s en suite head. The guest cabin is on the starboard side with a queen-sized bed, with a full head and shower, while a third smaller cabin is on the port side aft, tucked under the galley, with twin beds. Up top, the flybridge has a wraparound seat on the starboard side, across from the helm, plus an aft-facing seat. The bridge extends aft to cover two-thirds of the cockpit.
For extra strength, the bow sections are reinforced with Kevlar, and watertight bulkheads are glassed into place a few feet aft of the bow with Coosa, a fiberglass-reinfored polyurethane. In addition, each hull has three watertight bulkheads. A molded keel with a stainless steel shoe protects the single prop and rudder.
Specs: LOA: 42’6”; Beam: 13’10”; Draft: 3’3”; Disp.: 22,500 lbs.; Fuel: 180 gals.; Water: 100 gals.; Power: 1/Volvo 330-hp D6.
The long, low, slender Axopar 37 Cabin, along with its smaller sibling, the Axopar 28 Cabin, caught my eye as I was walking down the dock at the recent Maine Boat Show in Rockland. The Axopars are definitely distinctive; they don’t look like any other boat out there. And they did attract a lot of attention, for two obvious reasons: They look like they’re fun, and they’re built for the way a lot of people are using their boats today.
Axopars, it turns out, have impressed a lot of people around the world. Indeed, the 37 was voted Motor Boat of the Year 2017 in the sportboat category by the British magazine. The jury called it “a boat with dazzling performance, effortless seakeeping and cutting-edge style, with a choice of deck layouts at a price that never ceases to amaze us.”
A Finnish yard, Axopar has been building boat since 2014. They have a reputation as well-made, immediately recognizable boats with cool looks and a reasonable price. And they’re said to be fun to drive. So far, Axopar has sold more than 1,000 of them, with 500 orders for 2018 alone.
Powered by twin 350-Mercury outboards, the 37 tops out at 45 knots or so; the company says it has a range of 280 nm at a lower cruising speed. (The 28 is powered by a single 350-hp Merc.)
Much of the appeal of an Axopar, in addition to the looks, lies in its simplicity. It’s fun because it’s functional. You use the boat for a few hours or a day or weekend cruise, you wash it down and you put it away. This is no-fuss, no-muss boating that is gaining in popularity across the United States.
The 37 comes in an open T-Top, Sun-Top or Cabin versions. The cabin boat drew attention in Maine because of the protection it offers from the weather, giving owners a chance to extend their boating seasons. The fully-enclosed cabin, with doors opening to the side decks, can seat four or more adults around a dining table, with an L-shaped settee across the back of the cabin. Two matching seats are at the helm; an optional fridge can be ordered under the co-pilot’s sat. A sunroof can be opened for more fresh air and light.
The forward cabin has a large queen-sized bed and seating, plus an electric-flush toilet with privacy curtains. There’s also a sun-lounge on the foredeck. The company has various interior and cockpit configurations, including room for an aft cabin if you want to go cruising with guests or children.
Specs.: LOA: 36’9”; Beam: 10’10”; Draft: 2’9”; Disp.: 8,310 lbs. plus engines; Fuel: 203 gals.; Water: NA; Power: 2×350-hp Mercury outboards. For more:
BACK COVE 34O
The picture above is a first look the brand-new Back Cove 34O running with twin 350-hp Suzuki outboards. The first outboard Back Cove (and the first twin-engine Back Cove), this new made-in-Maine cruiser topped out at a rapid pace of 39 knots right out of the box. We just tested it on Long Island Sound it we registered a steady 36 knots, tipping into 37 knots, on the engine gauges for the standard twin 300-hp Yamaha outboards. The acceleration was outstanding, the ride comfortable, and the boat was simply fun to drive.
The 34O (the O stands for “outboard”) is a big change for Back Cove, which is part of Sabre, and an acknowledgement that the market, even for Downeast-styled cruising boats, is tilting toward outboard power. “It’s very exciting for us,” Bentley Collins, the Back Cove and Sabre VP for marketing and sales, told me. “We feel we have a unique proposition in that we have a great cruising interior and sheltered helm deck with the convenience and performance of the outboard drive line.” Younger buyers want the Back Cove styling but they also want more speed, he said.
Kevin Burns, the builder’s VP of design and product development, drew a completely new hull for the 34O, but the deck and interior are the same as the Back Cove 32 that was introduced in August, 2016. He needed to change the hull shape of the 32 to maximize the outboard performance.
Yamaha 300s will be the standard power, with Yamaha 350s or Suzuki 350s as options. Collins says the cruising speed should be in the 30-35 knot range, with a top speed of 35-40 knots. To reach those speeds, Collins said, they “put the boat on a diet.” The new topsides will be cored instead of solid fiberglass, for example. Another benefit of the new outboards, he said, will be increased storage capacity. The engine hatch for the original inboard 32 will still be on a hinge so owners of the 34O will have room for bikes or paddle boards or other water toys.
I spent a beautiful day on the original Back Cove 32 just after it was launched in Rockland, in time for the Maine Boats, Homes and Harbors show there, cruising down to Portland. That boat had an optional 435-hp Volvo D6 diesel, and topped out at 28 knots. It had a range of about 260 nm at an easy 15.8-knot cruising speed. The boat was named Best New Powerboat Under 35′ at the Newport International Boat Show a month later.
The 32 is a comfortable couple’s cruising boat, with classic Downeast lines and a long sheer. There’s a convertible U-shaped settee on the bridge deck to port (protected by the optional hardtop) and a cruising galley to starboard. Below, a generous island berth is forward; the head compartment is to port and a separate shower stall is to starboard. Interior highlights are in American cherry.
Specs. for the new 34O: LOA: 38’11”; Beam: 11’10”; Draft: NA; Disp.: 17,000 lbs.; Fuel: 250 gals.; Water: 60 gals.; Power: 2×300-hp Yamaha outboards.
BENETEAU SWIFT TRAWLER 35
The Beneteau Swift Trawler 35, an update of the popular Swift Trawler 34, is making its debut at the Newport show. The new 35 has all the features of the 34, plus upgrades inside and out, the most obvious being new twin transom doors that open out to create a massive open space from the swim platform through the cockpit into the salon.
I have a very warm spot in my heart for the Beneteau Swift Trawler 34. Five years ago, I spent more than a week on one with George Sass Sr., the photographer, as we cruised 700 miles of the Great Loop from the top of Lake Michigan down to Chicago and then down the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers to Hoppie’s Marine Service, 20 miles below St. Louis. We found that living aboard was easy, with a large master and smaller guest cabin, a single head with shower, a bright open salon and a large cockpit where we relaxed each morning with coffee and each evening with something else.
The 34 was particularly easy to drive; visibility from the helm was great, and the door next to the helm opened to the starboard side deck, making line handling easy. Best of all, the single 425-hp Cummins diesel produced an all-day-long comfortable cruising speed of 16 knots, consuming just under 16 gph. The 34 was a solid-running, fuel-efficient, long-range cruiser on a semi-planing flared hull, and its modern French looks drew second- and third-looks everywhere we went.
The new Swift Trawler 35 has the same engine, so the performance should be the same, but it seems to have more windows to let in lots of natural light. The U-shaped galley on the port side opposite the helm has been redesigned a bit, there’s a new awning that extends from the flybridge out over the cockpit, and the flybridge itself comes with either a soft top or a Bimini, both with built-in LED lights.
Specs.: LOA: 37’0”; Beam: 13’0”; Draft; 3’8”; Disp.: 18,187 lbs.; Water: 80 gals.; Fuel: 211 gals.; Power: 1×425-hp Cummins diesel. For more:
The new Bracewell 41 trawler, built from the tooling for the popular Camano 41, will make its east coast debut at the Annapolis powerboat show, starting Oct. 11. The Bracewell has already been shown in Seattle.
The new two-stateroom Bracewell uses Camano’s seaworthy hull and keel design, with its low center of gravity, and it include lots of upgrades for more comfort and aesthetics. Powered by a standard 435-hp Volvo diesel or a 480-hp Cummins, the Bracewell cruises efficiently in the 8- to 16-knot range.
The boat has a pronounced bow flare to knock down spray. The side decks are wide and safe and provide access to all points of the boat. The hull is solid laminate below the waterline, with Corecell above and vinylester resins in the outer layers.
Built for cruising and living aboard, the Bracewell has lots of storage space throughout. The pilothouse is integrated into the main salon, to keep the captain and guests together. A side door leads from the helm station to the starboard side deck, to help with docking. The boat also has Max Power bow and stern thrusters.
With large front and side windows, there’s visibility all around from the lower helm station. A settee in the salon has a pull-out section to make it a double berth. The galley has a three-burner propane stove and a Nova Kool fridge/freezer. The cockpit is covered to afford protection against the weather. A 10-foot dinghy with a 150-hp outboard is standard, as is the crane.
Bracewell will work with buyers to customize their own boat. You can choose mahogany instead of cherry for the interior, for example, or order a different engine, a custom built-in deep freeze or a full-blown entertainment system.
Specs.: LOA: 41’0”; Beam: 14’0”; Draft: 3’9”; Disp.: 28,000 lbs.; Fuel: 400 gals.; Water: 200 gals.; Power: 1×435-hp Volvo D6 diesel.
The trend toward outboard power keeps getting stronger and stronger. Now Cutwater Boats is introducing a new 30-footer with twin Yamaha 300-hp outboards because, says Cutwater President John Livingston, “We’ve had customers asking us to build a boat like this for a while now.” Livingston also says the new boat is “our biggest, fastest and most exciting Cutwater to date. The boat absolutely screams across the water.”
I haven’t tried the new 30 yet, but two summers ago I drove a Cutwater 28, with a single 260-hp Volvo diesel, from New York Harbor to Quebec City, and it cruised easily at about 16 or 17 knots. I think the new 30 with 600 horsepower would easily double that, particularly since Cutwater redesigned the hull to accommodate the higher speed. The new boat has a fuel-efficient, double-stepped hull to get the boat on plane faster and what Cutwater calls a Laminar Flow Interrupter to make for positive turning at speed.
The 30 sleeps six people in three separate areas. The forward cabin has an island double berth, a hanging locker, four portlights in the hull sides and an opening hatch overhead. The master head has a vanity, toilet and separate shower with a curved sliding door. Two more people can sleep on the convertible dinette, while two more can fit in a 6’8”-long cabin that’s tucked under the raised dinette.
The cockpit is made for fishing with a 30-gallon live well and large fish boxes, but it doubles as an entertaining center, with seats that extend out from the hull sides and a drop-in BBQ grill, sink and shower. On the foredeck, two flush hatches open up to reveal cushioned seats with a forward lounge.
As with all Cutwaters, the new 30 comes ready to cruise, with bow and stern thrusters, a nav package that includes a Garmin autopilot, Garmin 7612 GPS/chartplotter andGarmin radar, plus a 5-kW gas genset and Kyocera solar panel. The boat also is trailerable with a bridge clearance of 9’9” with the mast down; its height on a trailer is 13’2”. The Cutwater line now goes from 24 to 30 feet; all the boats are made in Washington state.
Specs: LOA: 30’; Beam: 10’; Draft: 2’5”; Disp.: 10,200 lbs.; Fuel: 300 gals.; Water: 80 gal.; Power: 2xYamaha 300hp counter-rotating outboards. Price: $299,937.
GRAND BANKS 60 SKYLOUNGE
Grand Banks is moving up. After the successful launch of its new, highly acclaimed 60 last year, it has just launched the Grand Banks 60 Skylounge, designed for comfortable cruising in any conditions. The Skylounge is fully enclosed and climate-controlled, and offers more living space above the bridge deck with 360-degree unobstructed views while cruising or on the hook. Laid up with fully infused carbon fiber, the Skylounge keeps the 60’s graceful proportions and lines, while essentially adding another deck to the boat’s classic profile.
The original 60, which comes with a flybridge, is a fast, fuel-efficient, and strong long-range cruiser with Grand Banks’ iconic fit and finish. It also is an extraordinarily smooth performer; while cruising on it last fall in Long Island Sound I looked aft and the wake at 24 knots was almost flat.
That boat had the optional twin 1,000-hp Cat diesels, and topped out at 31.1 knots. Dialed back to 7.3 knots, it burned just 2 gph, giving it an incredible range of 5,026 nm with a 10 percent fuel reserve. At a cruising speed of 18 knots, it burned 32 gph, with a range of 774 nm.
The Skylounge version has a low center of gravity and long legs for cruising. Indeed, it has a range of more than 2,500 nm at 10 knots, and you can run from New York to Palm Beach at 21 knots without having to refuel. Standard power comes from twin 900-hp Volvo diesels with shaft drives. With optional power, the boat tops out at 36 knots and cruises at 27 knots.
Built under the leadership of Grand Banks (and Palm Beach) CEO Mark Richards, the 60 is stronger and lighter and made with more sophisticated materials than previous Grand Banks, reflecting Richards’ decades of experience as one of the leading sailboat racers in the world. It has a warped hull shape with a fine entry and only 8 degrees of dead rise at the transom. The deck and flybridge are carbon infused, while all vinylester resigns and a cross-linked Corecell foam core make for a highly efficient power-to-weight ratio. Monocoque construction bonds all the bulkheads and interior furniture directly to the hull and deck for extra strength and quiet.
Specs.: LOA: 65’4”; Beam: 19’2”; Draft: 4’7”; Disp.: 61,730 lbs.; Fuel: 1,530 gals.; Water: 300 gals.: Power: 2×900-hp Volvo D13 diesel engines, traditional shafts. IPS is optional. For more:
GREENLINE 39 HYBRID
Operating in two cruising modes, the Greenline 39 Hybrid can run under its 220-hp Volvo diesel at an 11-knot cruising speed, topping out at 18 knots, or under its electric power at 4 knots, topping out at 6.5 knots. Under diesel power, range is 1,000 nm at 7 knots; under electric power, however, range is only 20 knots. What this means is that under its green, electric, low-carbon footprint, the Greenline 39 Harbor can cruise around a harbor or two, or enter a quiet anchorage at night, silently and efficiently.
Either way, the Greenline 39 is a low-profile, light-filled, two-stateroom, one-head cruising boat with a fold-out transom that extends the swim platform to give more open space to the cockpit and make watersports super-accessible. A flip-up window opens the galley aft to the cockpit, making it easy to serve food and drinks inside and out. To maximize space inside the salon, the Greenline designers made the side decks asymmetrical; the port side is quite narrow, while the starboard side is wide enough to make going forward easy and comfortable.
Four solar panels on top of the salon can power all systems on board for three hours in the electric mode. The Volvo diesel connects to a Mahle electric drive system. A clutch allows the boat to be powered by diesel alone, or electric alone. The diesel and an electric motor connect to a bank of rechargeable lithium battery packs. Built in Slovenia, the Greenline 39 Hybrid will be available in the U.S. early next year.
Specs.: LOA: 39’6”; Beam: 12’3”; Draft: 2’11”; Disp.: 16,535 lbs.: Fuel: 185 gals.; Water: 80 gals.; Power: 1×220-hp Volvo D3 diesel and 10 kW electric motor. Price: $359,000. For more:
HAMPTON ENDURANCE 658
A high-quality, unusually spacious, long-range cruising boat, the Hampton Endurance 658 is designed to be run by a couple, and it’s designed with redundant systems throughout to keep them safe at sea. And if they want to cruise with a large family, or entertain a crowd back in port, there’s plenty of room for that too.
The Hampton Endurance 658 essentially is a three-stateroom, two-head cruiser, but it also has a crew cabin, which you reach via stairs from the aft port side of the salon, with another head, separate shower and small galley. It’s just aft of the large stand-up, user-friendly engine room, where there’s space all around the twin 1,000-hp Cat 12.9 diesels. The boat’s in-line backup systems include a spare genset, dual Racor fuel filters, water pumps and twin PTOs for hydraulics.
The salon is bright with windows all around. Two lounge chairs and a TV are on the port side, across from a sofa that’s also a pull-out queen berth. The fit, finish and craftsmanship are excellent. The galley is two steps up and is filled with home-style GE appliances; it has a breakfast bar with three chairs. All the way forward on this boat, the Compass Rose, is a large U-shaped dining table that offers guests great views forward and on either side. Two ship’s doors lead to the side decks, while on the port side interior stairs lead up to the flybridge for safety underway.
The aft deck has twin wing stations, port and starboard, for docking, with controls for the engines and bow and stern thrusters. There’s a day head here (the fourth on the boat), and a fridge is under a gleaming teak table. Forward, a Portuguese bridge offers another spot to relax or enjoy the passing scene.
Up top, the fully enclosed and air-conditioned flybridge is massive, with three helm chairs, an L-shaped lounge and teak table. The boat deck holds an AB inflatable with a 40-hp Yamaha and a Steelhead crane.
On the accommodation deck, the midships, full-beam master has a king-sized bed and lots of closets and moving-around space. The head is aft, and full-beam, with his-and-hers toilets, separated by a large, frosted-glass shower in the middle. A VIP stateroom with a queen-sized bed is in the bow, and a guest cabin, with either convertible twins or a queen bed, is to port. A large head with shower is across to starboard.
The 658 has a hybrid, semi-displacement hull, designed by Howard Apollonio, to make it efficient across the speed curve. The boat has a range of 1,300 nm at 8.5 knots, and tops out at about 20 knots. It burns only 24 gph at 14 knots.
Specs.: LOA: 68’0”; Beam: 18’0”; Draft: 5’2”; Disp.: 102,500 lbs.; Fuel: 1,750 lbs.; Water: 400 gals.; Power: 2×1,000-hp CAT 12.9 diesels.
Helmsman Trawlers, single-engine cruisers built in China and popular on the West Coast, are designed for owners who want a quality cruising boat but don’t want to overpay for one. They are sold factory direct, to reduce costs to consumers. The Helmsman line runs from 31 to 43 feet.
The 38E has a unique “low rise” pilothouse, with great visibility; it’s open to the full-beam salon. A convertible settee in the pilothouse doubles as a pilot berth; an L-shaped settee in the salon converts to a bed. An appealing feature of the Helmsman 38E is that the dinette and day head can be enclosed to create a private suite; an optional layout includes a dedicated second stateroom for guests. The interior is filled with warm teak, and there’s a teak and holly sole, although there is no exterior teak in order to reduce maintenance.
Up top, the flybridge is set back on the boat a bit to maintain a lower profile and reduce windage. The cockpit aft is protected by the overhang from the boat deck. Wide stairs leading to the flybridge from both sides of the cockpit are practical and safe.
The boat is powered by a single 250-hp Cummins QSB 6.7 electronically controlled common rail diesel. Other engine options go up to 480-hp. A Vetus bow thruster is standard.
Specs.: LOA: 40’10”; Beam: 13’9”; Draft: 3’6”; Disp.: 32,000 lbs.; Fuel: 400 gals.; Water: 145 gals.; Power: 1x 250-hp Cummins QSB 6.7 diesel; Base Price: $409,000. For more:
HINCKLEY SPORT BOAT 40c
Here’s another first from Hinckley, the Maine builder who created an entire genre of boats with it launched its first single-diesel, jet-powered 36-foot Picnic Boat in 1994. Copied around the world, the Picnic Boat is regarded as one of the most successful boat lines of all time. Indeed, Hinckley has just launched a 40-foot version. But now, continuing its reputation for breaking the rules, Hinckley has introduced its first outboard-powered boat, the Sport Boat 40c, and in keeping with company tradition, it’s a beauty.
For the new sport boat, Hinckley turned to Ray Hunt Design for the hull, which is a modern iteration of Hunt’s legendary deep-V that has been driving fast offshore boats for more than half a century. And, powered by standard three 300-hp Mercury outboards, the 40c is fast, topping out at 47 knots. Twin massive 627-hp outboards from Seven Marine are optional.
The new Hinckley sport boat is built with epoxy-infused carbon throughout, for strength and light weight. The hull and grids are infused at the same time, then an inner layer of carbon fiber and an outer layer of Kevlar are added. The boat should be bulletproof.
In keeping with the company’s upscale reputation, the boat is meant for luxury and comfort on the water. In integrated and retractable sun guard can cover the seating area. The leaning post has an optional ice maker and electric grill. A door in the hull side makes boarding easy, unless you want to use the integrated swim platform.
A full-size companionway door leads to the protected living area. The galley is to port, with a fridge, cappuccino machine (standard), cooktop and microwave. To starboard is a full head with shower. A U-shaped settee is forward in the air-conditioned center cabin, with seating for three; it converts to a queen-sized berth. An optional Seakeeper 3 gyro stabilizer eliminates unwanted rock and roll.
Specs.: LOA: 42’7”; Beam: 12’5”; Draft: 3’1”; Disp.: 19,000 lbs.; Fuel: 450 gals.; Water: 50 gals.; Power: 3×300-hp Mercury Verado outboards.
The beautiful Hunt 72 was named Best Powerboat at the Newport show two years ago, a particularly significant honor given competition from several other important and eye-catching new boats. But once you climb on board the Hunt, it’s easy to see why it was chosen. The classic lines are gorgeous; the proportions are just right, the sheer is long and graceful; standing on the aft deck and looking forward the teak side deck and railing seem to stretch on forever. Then there’s the 72’s exquisite fit and finish and virtually entire forests worth of varnished teak inside and out, not to mention the legendary Hunt deep-V hull that ensures safety and performance in all kinds of sea conditions. All in all, the boat took 80,000 man-hours to build.
The latest in Hunt’s Ocean Series of luxury offshore yachts, the 72 has three staterooms with ensuite heads (plus a crew cabin), an elegant salon, granite countertops throughout, a large aft deck and an expansive flybridge that’s accessible from the aft deck or from an interior staircase from the salon. The midships, full-beam master has a king-sized bed, a walk-in closet, a settee, lounge chair and extra space all around. For privacy, the crew cabin is accessed by stairs from the aft deck; it’s just aft of the engine room.
And the Hunt 72 performs. Powered by two CAT 1900-hp diesels tops out at 34 knots. Range at 20 knots is 400 nm, with a 10 percent fuel reserve. The boat has bow and stern thrusters, automatic trim and list controls, and the new CAT fingertip joystick for easy maneuvering around a dock.
Specs.: LOA: 71’3”; Beam: 19’6”; Draft: 5’5”; Disp.: 125,000 lbs.; Fuel: 2,050 gals.; Water: 490 gals.; Power: 2×1900-hp CAT C32 diesels.
JEANNEAU NC 33
The brand-new, French-styled Jeanneau NC 33 is a two-cabin, one-head, light-filled cruiser powered by twin 220-hp Volvo diesel sterndrives, which make it both nimble and quick. The NC 33 already has been nominated for the European Powerboat of the Year 2018 award.
The boat is designed for easy and comfortable cruising. The interior is bright and open, with large side and front windows and a glass door that slides all the way open between the salon and cockpit. A large sunroof lets in more light overhead.
Visibility from the helm, on the starboard side, is excellent. There’s also a door next to the helm to provide easy access to the side decks – an unusual feature on a boat this size; so is the side access door aft, which makes boarding more comfortable. The salon and cockpit are all on one level.
The salon has a large settee on the port side with a nice touch: The forward seat flips so it can face forward or aft; the passenger can either enjoy the view underway or join the social area around the dining table. The galley is opposite, on the starboard side.
Below, the large master stateroom is forward, with a double berth and a large head with separate shower. A guest cabin, with twin berths, is aft. The cockpit has a retractable awning and convertible seating for lounging or dining, with access to the swim platform on the starboard side.
With a hull by Michael Peters, the acclaimed Sarasota, Florida, naval architect, the NC 33 cruises at about 23 knots and tops out at about 31 knots. A joystick to make docking fingertip-easy is optional.
Specs.: LOA: 34’5”; Beam: 10’10”; Draft: NA; Disp.: 11,830 lbs.; Fuel: 137 gals.; Water: 46 gals.; Power: 2×220-hp Volvo diesels sterndrives.
KADEY-KROGEN 50 OPEN
Kadey-Krogen does one thing – it builds blue-water, full-displacement, passagemaker trawlers – and it does that very well. Indeed, Kadey-Krogen just delivered its 600th yacht. The company is not known for change for the sake of change. But now Kadey-Krogen has come up with a major change – the new Kadey-Krogen 50 Open, where the main deck is continuous from the cockpit to the salon and the galley and then just one step up to the pilothouse. Indeed, Larry Polster, a Kadey-Krogen partner and vice president, says, “The Krogen 50 Open is revolutionary for our brand. She’s a model all her own.” Polster believed in the boat so much that he just took delivery of hull number one for himself and his wife.
You enter the new 50 Open through one of five boarding doors, so you can easily board the boat even if the fixed piers are high or the floating docks are low. From the cockpit, you enter the salon through a weather-tight sliding door. An L-shaped settee is to port and more seating is to starboard. Large picture windows are all around. Forward, the galley is like a kitchen in an upscale home, with a Sub-Zero fridge/freezer, Viking range, optional dishwasher, lots of counter space and a large pantry. The pilothouse is just one step up, and a retractable partition wall between the galley and the pilothouse can be raised for privacy or running at night.
Below, owners have a choice of accommodations, either a midships master and a VIP cabin forward, or a forward master and two other cabins. These arrangements can be highly customized. Either way, the master has a queen island bed with storage below, a private head with shower, and large closets (not hanging lockers). The guest stateroom has a similar head, and there’s a closet for a washer and dryer.
The 50 Open, of course, has Kadey-Krogen’s Portguese bridge, with port and starboard wing stations. And you’ll feel safe going forward, with waist-high bow railings. Up top, the flybridge is large enough to serve as another entertaining area. It has a large boat deck and an optional summer kitchen.
Also true to the Kadey-Krogen brand, the new 50 has a large, walk-around engine room with 6’ 6” headroom. Standard power is a single 231-hp John Deere; twins are an option. With standard power and a 10 percent reserve, range is 5,000 nm at 6 knots; 3,000 nm at 7 knots; 2,100nm at 8 knots; and 1,200 nm at 9 knots. Top speed is 9.4 knots; cruise is 8 knots.
Specs.: LOA: 52’9”; Beam: 17’5”; Draft: 5’4”; Disp.: 68,000 lbs.; Fuel: 1,240 gals.; Water: 400 gals.; Power: 1×231-hp John Deere diesel, or 2×125-hp diesels. Base price: $1,549,000. http://kadeykrogen.com
KROGEN EXPRESS 52
Even with a flying bridge and raised pilothouse, the Krogen Express 52 manages to carry a classic low profile, enhanced by a long, flowing sheer line that emphasizes the boat’s distinctive profile. And the “Express” part of its name is not a misnomer: With twin 480-hp Yanmars the Krogen Express tops out at about 22 knots. Dial back to 8 knots and the boat has a range of 1,680 nm. With a semi-displacement hull, this express offers the best of a get-home-fast speed and a go-anywhere-without-refueling range.
Inside, the Krogen Express exudes fine craftsmanship and cherry finishing everywhere. A raised bench seat aft of the helm in the pilothouse converts to a double berth; Dutch doors open to the wide side decks. Below, the master in the bow is bright, with six portholes and hatches, and massive, with 7’4” standing headroom; an en suite head has a separate shower stall with a seat. A guest stateroom can be configured as an owner desires, including an L-shaped settee that converts to a bed plus a desk. The engine room is one of the best in the business; you can stand up and walk around. Specs.: LOA: 57’6”; Beam: 15’11”; Draft: 4’0”; Disp.: 43,000 lbs.; Fuel: 700 gals.; Water: 370 gals.; Power: 2×480-hp Yanmar diesels. Price: $1.6 million.
Take a good look. Have you seen this boat before?
Well, yes, at least a lot of it. Think of a Blackfin Combi, circa 1991, one of the best-riding sea boats ever. Back then Blackfin and its major competitor Bertram were building rock- solid boats with deep-V hulls that earned reputations for taming oceans.
But that was then and this is now. Now, this great-looking inboard cruiser, is a brand-new Manchester 29, built by Crocker’s Boat Yard in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts. And everything about the boat is new – except for the hull. And that’s the ’91 Blackfin.
A new company, Manchester Yachts is remanufacturing old Blackfin hulls into new boats with a Downeast twist and new-and-improved parts, equipment and interiors. Manchester took the old hand-laid fiberglass Blackfin hull and stripped it bare, replaced the wiring, plumbing, seacocks and fuel system, installed two new 375-hp Crusader engines and – voila – produced the new Manchester 29.
Manchester didn’t do all this on its own. It enlisted Doug Zurn, the Marblehead, Mass., designer, to redesign the teak windshield and seating, and Onboard Interiors, also from Marblehead, to work on the interior. The new Manchester 29 has a V-berth that converts to a dinette with a teak table, a small galley with fridge, and an enclosed head.
The hull still has a 23-degree deadrise at the transom; Manchester says the boat should cruise at 17 knots. It comes with a five-year hull warranty and a two-year engine warranty. After the 29, Manchester also will work on Blackfin 32s.
Specs.: LOA: 33’0”; Beam: 10’6”; Draft: 3’6”; Disp.: 12,000 lbs.; Fuel: 205 gals.; Water: 30 gals.; Power: 2×375-hp Crusader gas engine.
Maritimo just launched a new 60-foot, three-cabin, two-head motoryacht at the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show in Australia that has a unique space aft that can be arranged in many ways: As a traditional aft cabin, with an en suite head and shower and access from the salon or swim platform; as a “beach club,” essentially an upscale extension of the large swim platform for access to the water and water sports; as a garage for a pretty good-sized tender; or basically anything else a potential owner can think of. In other words, you decide.
Tom Barry-Cotter, the lead designer of the new Maritimo X60, says it is one of the most versatile yachts on the market. “The additional aft cabin is completely unique and is resonating with buyers…Its ability to add extra accommodation space that is similar in size to an additional master cabin in terms of volume is clearly something special.”
Maritimo is one of the most prominent builders in Australia, and Maritimos are built to perform. (I have driven some there and can attest to that; they’re solid and built for blue water.) The new X60 has an efficient hull with a deep-V bow and variable-deadrise aft. With optional Scania 925-hp diesels and shaft drives, it tops out at 34 knots. It cruises at 27 knots, where it burns only 52 gph. Standard power is twin 800-hp Volvos; twin 1,000-hp Volvos are also available. A Twin Disc joystick makes low-speed maneuvering easy and intuitive. The X60 also has Twin Disc Quickshift transmissions and electronic controls.
The boat’s profile is low and flowing. The salon is filled with natural light coming in from large side and front windows, plus two skylights overhead. The galley is along the port side with a long countertop; a sofa and entertainment center are to starboard. Forward, the helm station, with seats for two, is on the starboard side; a large U-shaped settee is to port.
Below, the accommodations deck features a full-beam master stateroom amidships, with a center walkaround bed and en suite head and shower. A VIP stateroom with a walkaround bed set at an angle is forward, with another head and shower, and a small guest cabin is on the starboard side.
And then you can choose to have an aft cabin with a walkaround queen bed and en suite head and shower, or you may opt for the beach club, or for anything else that you want back there.
Specs.: LOA: 63’7”; Beam: 17’0”; Draft: 4’7″; Disp.: 63,900 lbs.; Fuel: 1,110 gals.; Water: 211 gals.; Power: 2×800-hp Volvo D13 engines. For more:
The latest in the collaboration between Doug Zurn, the designer, and Bob Johnstone, the founder of MJM Yachts, the new MJM 35z is powered by two 300-hp Mercury Verado outboards, giving it both speed and power, while keeping the fuel-efficiency for which the brand is famous.
It’s no surprise that the new boat has all the classic Down East lines of earlier MJMs, with its low profile, gentle tumblehome and long sheerline. Or that it’s a serious offshore boat, with a 20-degree deadrise at the transom and an ISO Certified B “Offshore” rating for stability and seaworthiness.
The boat is a typical long, low, slender Zurn design, with a 3.5-1 waterline length to beam ratio. MJM’s wet, pre-preg, post-cure, epoxy composite construction makes for a stronger and lighter hull. And the MJM 35Z performs. On a recent test ride on Narragansett Bay with Johnstone and George Day, our publisher, we registered just over 39 knots as a top speed, and the boat gave a remarkably soft ride throughout the speed range. With its Seakeeper gyro stabilizer, it also was comfortable, even when we put it beam-to the waves.
A former sailor himself (and the co-founder of J/Boats), Johnstone knows what sailors are looking for in a powerboat. The bridgedeck is protected by sliding glass or roll-up Strataglass sides; side boarding doors make stepping on board easy from a floating dock. The transom is open, and it’s all one level from the swim platform to the companionway. The two windshields open for ventilation. At night, the bridgedeck doubles as a cabin with settees converting to two full-length berths surrounded by a privacy curtain. Matching Stidd Admiral helm seats on swivel bases can be turned to face aft for socializing at the dock or at anchor.
The 35z is meant to be used as a day boat or weekend cruiser. The interior is in the classic Herreshoff style with cherry-trimmed, off-white panels, and a teak and holly sole. The galley is to port, with Corian countertops. The Ultraleather V-berth lounge is forward, with an optional filler. And the head with shower is to starboard.
Specs.: LOA: 35’8”; Beam: 11’0”; Draft: 2’8”; Disp.: 12,614 lbs.; Fuel: 250 gals.; Water: 58 gals. Power: 2×300-hp Mercury Verado outboards.
NORDIC TUGS 44
There’s no mistaking a Nordic Tug. The iconic salty tugboat lines, even down to the faux smokestack, have identified the brand ever since the first one, a 26-footer, was introduced at the Seattle boat show in 1980. The new Nordic Tugs 44, which replaces the popular 42, has all the personality, performance and solid sea-keep abilities of its predecessors.
Nordic Tugs are built in Burlington, Washington, for serious cruisers, people who will go up the Inside Passage to Alaska or from Maine to Miami and the Bahamas as a matter of course. The 44 has a two-stateroom, two head layout with a large salon and U-shaped galley, a raised pilothouse (with doors leading directly to the side decks), and an optional flybridge. There’s inside access to the bridge from the pilothouse, for safe and comfortable cruising. The master stateroom in the bow is exceptionally large and comfortable, with more than 7-foot headroom. And almost as an extra surprise, an office/nav station is opposite the guest stateroom with a desk, leather chair and plenty of room for electronics and charts.
I drove a new 44 recently on the Connecticut River off Essex, home of Wilde Yacht Sales, Nordic Tugs’ largest dealer. With a full keel and large rudder, the boat tracked well, handled easily and was a solid, fuel-efficient performer. Top speed, with a single 510-hp Volvo diesel, was 17 knots. At 7.5 knots, the boat has a range of 1,400 nm.
Specs.: LOA: 44’8”; Beam: 13’10”; Draft: 4’6”; Disp.: 31,400 lbs.; Fuel: 600 gals.; Water: 175 gals.; Power: 1×510 Volvo diesel. Base price: $844,688.
OUTER REEF 610
Designed to be run by a cruising couple, the new Outer Reef 610 is spacious, fuel-efficient and easy to maneuver. The heart of the Outer Reef 610 is the pilothouse, with its adjoining galley and weathertight doors leading to the port and starboard side decks. It has an L-shaped settee on a raised platform (a great place to enjoy the passing view), with a teak table on a stainless-steel pedestal. There’s a Stidd helm chair and a custom Outer Reef wood steering wheel. A curved teak stairway leads to the accommodation deck below. Forward is a Portuguese bridge with seating and a hinged door to the foredeck.
The salon is large and comfortable with an L-shaped settee and a teak coffee table. Teak is everywhere, on the cabinetry, lockers and wall paneling. The galley has a teak and holly sole, as well as Corian countertops, freezer and fridge, an electric cooktop and oven, a microwave and a dishwasher.
Below, the full-beam master is midships with a centerline king bed, an L-shaped, walk-in closet, teak end tables and a large en suite master head with Corian countertops, large shower, and a teak and holly sole. The VIP stateroom is forward with a queen bed and two hanging lockers. The guest cabin is to port with side-by-side twin berths and one hanging locker. The guest head is large with a glass shower door and access from the VIP stateroom or the lower hallway.
The flybridge has a Stidd helm chair facing a stainless-steel destroyer wheel; two L-shaped settees provide lounging space. Stairs on the starboard side lead down to the pilothouse. A 1,000-pound davit is on the boat deck. The aft deck is protected by an overhang from the flybridge to make alfresco dining comfortable, and a large swim platform gives access to water sports.
Specs.: LOA: 61’2”; Beam: 17’2”; Draft: 5’0”; Disp.: 93,000 lbs.; Fuel: 1,000 gals. Water: 300 gals.; Power: 2×500-hp John Deere diesels.
PALM BEACH GT50
Palm Beach has just launched a new GT series of elegant, fuel-efficient, high performance and head-turning yachts. Indeed, take a look at the wraparound windshield, the low profile, the long sheer line and the gorgeous tumblehome that would do a Down East boat proud, all on hull number one of the new Palm Beach GT50 Express. That boat will have its world debut at the Newport show, while other models in the series, going up to a 70-footer, will follow.
Palm Beach said it developed the GT series after finding a void in the high-performance motor yacht market – a high-end cruiser with a top speed of 40-knots plus and an economical cruising speed in the mid-30-knot range that could easily be driven by an owner-operator.
The initial sea trials were encouraging. Powered by twin 600-hp Volvo IPS800s, the GT50 Express hit a top speed of 42 knots. At a cruising speed of 35 knots, it consumed 40 gph; at 25 knots, the fuel burn was down to 24 gph. The warped hull on Palm Beach yachts proved to be efficient in the new GT50.
“When I started Palm Beach almost 25 years ago, I had one overarching set of objectives: to design and build the best performing, most efficient and beautiful boats on the water,” said Mark Richards, the CEO of Palm Beach Motor Yachts. “The GT50 represents a culmination of Palm Beach, and there’s really nothing out there like it today.”
One of the best sailors in the world, Richards has won the grueling Sydney-Hobart Race a record eight times. He has used that ocean-racing experience in building light-weight, high-tech, low-CG and fuel-efficient boats. The hull of the new GT50 is built with fully infused vinylester cored e-glass construction; the deck and superstructure are built with carbon fiber. The deck and bulkheads are structurally bonded to the hull for strength and rigidity.
The new boat is meant to be easy to run and to maintain. “We designed the systems and built the boat to be turnkey,” Richards said. “We want you to step on board, turn on the engines and go out and enjoy the water.”
The GT50 has large social areas, starting with two L-shaped settees that frame each side of the transom door in the cockpit, opening to a large teak swim platform. The cockpit also has a fridge and ice maker.
The helm deck has an L-shaped settee and straight settee, for entertaining, lounging and dining. In the Express model, a large opening sunroof and Palm Beach’s customary side and aft opening windows all let in a lot of natural light and air. Twin helm seats face the carbon fiber helm station. With the large one-piece windshield, visibility from the helm is excellent.
Below, a master stateroom, with a large en suite head with shower, is forward, and a queen berth is aft. The galley is large. Options for interior woodwork include wenge, teak or ash.
After Newport, the GT50 Express will be displayed at the major East Coast shows. An open version, the GT50 Open, will be introduced at the Düsseldorf show in January. Production is already underway in the Palm Beach factory in Malaysia for a larger GT60, to debut in September, 2019, with a GT70 to follow. “Stay tuned for more,” Richards said.
Just launched at the Yachts Miami Beach show in February, the new Prestige 460 flybridge has the same French lines, creative use of space and large amounts of natural light that have become the company’s hallmarks. Nick Harvey, president of Prestige America, says the two-cabin, two-head cruiser “is the perfect size with outstanding performance and exceptional accommodations.”
Prestige makes five flybridge boats, from 42 to 56 feet, all using Garroni Design with engineering from JP Concepts. Part of the powerhouse Beneteau Group, Prestige was created more than 20 years ago. Since then, it has sold more than 2,500 yachts worldwide. With its raked windshield, radar arch and low profile (even with the flybridge), the new 460 carries an aggressive contemporary look that fits into the Prestige mold.
You step into the boat from the port side of the large swim platform. The cockpit has a large L-shaped settee across the transom and partially down the starboard side, for easy lounging or entertaining. The cockpit is well protected by an overhang from the flybridge. In the salon, the aft galley serves guests inside and out, while there’s a large L-shaped settee forward to port, opposite the helm, and a smaller settee behind the helm to starboard. Large windows all around let in lots of light.
Four steps down, the accommodation deck features a full-beam master stateroom midships. It’s large enough for a settee on the starboard side; the hullside windows make the stateroom seem bright and open. The guest stateroom is forward.
The flybridge serves as a major social and sunning area (although there’s a sunpad on the bow too), with a large L-shaped lounge aft and another lounge forward on the starboard side, opposite the helm to port.
Power comes from twin Volvo diesels. Owners have a choice of 370-hp Volvo IPS500s or 435-hp Volvo IPS600s. The boat tops out at about 30 knots, and cruises at 22 knots.
Specs.: LOA: 46’10”; Beam: 13’11”; Draft: 6’7”; Disp: 27,366 lbs.: Fuel: 328 gals.; Water: 106 gals.; Power: 2x Volvo IPS500s or 2x Volvo IPS600s.
Part of the international luxury giant LVMH (Luis Vuitton Moet Hennessy), the British builder Princess has launched the latest model in its V class of sport cruisers, a three-stateroom yacht that reaches 38 knots, powered by twin 1,200-hp MAN V8 diesels.
The salon on the new Princess is built on an open plan, with lots of natural light all around; there’s even an electric sliding sunroof overhead. The galley is aft, on the port side, with a fully opening window leading to the cockpit. An L-shaped settee with a table is across to starboard. Forward, to port, opposite the helm, is a massive U-shaped sofa with a table. A crowd will be comfortable here.
Sliding glass doors open aft to the cockpit, which is equipped with a wet bar, barbeque and fridge. The swim platform is large enough for everyone to enjoy water sports; an electro-hydraulic garage door is large enough for a ten-foot-plus tender. The foredeck has a large sunpad for an extra social area.
Below, the full-beam master stateroom is amidships, with a double bed, dressing table, sofa and en suite head with shower. The VIP cabin is forward, also with a double bed and dressing table. The third cabin is on the starboard side with two single berths with drawers below and a hanging locker. The VIP cabin and the guest cabin share a head with shower to starboard; it also serves as the day head. A crew cabin with a single berth and head with shower is optional.
Specs.: LOA: 62’11”; Beam: 16’0”; Draft: 5’0”; Disp.: 64,335 lbs.; Fuel: 858 gals.; Water 178 gals.; Power: 2×1,200-hp MAN V8 diesels.
RANGER TUGS R-31 CB
The flagship of the Ranger Tugs fleet, starting at 21 feet, the new Ranger R-31 CB (for Command Bridge) is trailerable, meaning you could cruise one part of the Great Loop, say, this summer, bring the boat back home and start off where you left off next year. And you probably won’t have to worry too much about highway bridges. The flybridge folds down to reduce air draft on a trailer to 13’2”; you just unlock the canvas cowling, drop the inner supports and fold it flat.
Ranger Tugs are run by the father-son team of David and John Livingston in Kent, Washington, and they have more experience building boats than just about anyone else on the planet. (Their company, Fluid Motion, LLC also builds Cutwater Boats). David Livingston designed boats for Wellcraft, Regal and Fountain, among others, and was the head of Bayliner when the company was making 56,000 boat a year.
The Ranger 31 has two staterooms and a convertible dinette and lots of innovations. A reversible settee across the transom lets passengers sit facing forward or aft, while gull-wing seats fold out of the cockpit hull on both sides. The flybridge seats four and is reached by stairs, not a ladder. Garmin GPS units are standard for the bridge and lower helm stations, as are bow and stern thrusters.
Specs.: LOA: 31’2”; Beam: 10’; Draft: 2’4”; Disp.: 11,500 lbs. Fuel: 180 gals.; Water: 80 gals.; Power: 1×300-hp Volvo D4 diesel.
The Reliant 40 is the first boat launched by two familiar faces in Newport and two of the most respected names in the business: David MacFarlane, the former president and CEO of Alden, plus Cal, Ranger and Rampage, and Jim Ewing, the former executive VP of Alden and president of Trumpy. Their new Reliant Yachts company is based in Newport, although the boats are made by Su Marine in Turkey. They know that things have changed in their 40 or so years in business, but MacFarlane says that “What hasn’t changed is the boating public’s passion for a beautiful boat.”
And, with its traditional Downeast styling, including a gorgeous tumblehome, wide teak decks, low profile and long sheer line, the new Reliant 40 is beautiful indeed. The fit and finish is elegant throughout. The large cockpit has an aft settee facing an inlaid teak table and two aft-facing seats. The helmdeck, protected under a hardtop, has settees on each side, as in a sailboat. Below, the galley to port has marble countertops, a two-burner stove, fridge and microwave. The master, with a queen-sized bed, is forward, with the head to starboard with mahogany finish and a large separate shower.
Powered by two 320-hp Yanmar diesels and straight shafts, the Reliant 40 cruises at 24 knots and tops out at 30. The hull is super-efficient: At 24 knots, the boat burns 24 gph.
Specs.: LOA: 40’3”; Beam: 11’3”; Draft.: 3’7”; Disp.: 16,800 lbs.; Fuel: 290 gals.; Water: 80 gals.; Power: 2×320-hp Yanmar diesels.
SABRE 45 SALON EXPRESS
A popular success for the Maine builder, the Sabre 45 Salon Express was introduced at the Newport show last year and is returning in the middle of the company’s lineup. Last year the boat had just come from its first sea trials off Jupiter Inlet in Florida, where the waves were stacked, as is often the case there. But the new Sabre came through with flying colors, running 27.5 knots at a continuous cruise speed, burning just 35 gph. It topped out at 32 knots, burning 44 gph. Like many of its predecessors, this new Sabre is a quiet boat, registering just 72 dB(A) at cruise and 75 dB(A) at wide open throttle.
The 45, fitting between the company’s existing 42- and 48-foot models, is an all-new design with two staterooms, two full heads, and the built-in-Maine lines and craftsmanship that help define all Sabres. The master stateroom is forward, with an island bed and several lockers and drawers for storage (this is a cruising boat, after all); the master head has a separate stall shower and ceramic tile on the sole. The guest cabin is on the starboard side, under the helm. It has twin beds on tracks so you can slide them together to form a single island bed if you want.
Aft the guest stateroom is a new storage room with space for a gyro-stabilizer, a washer/dryer, freezer or even a wine cellar. All the way aft, the cockpit is protected a bit by the overhang from the cockpit; an optional SureShade would provide full protection over the cockpit. A large bench seat is aft, against the transom, with a folding inlaid table for drinks or sandwiches.
Power comes from two 435-hp Volvo diesels, paired to IPS drives for fingertip control over slow-speed maneuvering and docking. The Sabre fleet now runs from 38 feet to 66 feet.
Specs: LOA: 49’0″; Beam: 14’8″; Draft: 3’9″; Disp.: 37,000 lbs.; Fuel: 450 gals.; Water: 150 gals.; Power: 2/435-hp Volvo D6 engines with IPS pod drives.
SAN JUAN 40
With its clean, sleek, Down East lines, the elegant San Juan 40 is the new iteration of the original San Juan 38, produced by new ownership of the Anacortes, Washington, high-end builder. Last May, San Juan Yachts was bought by Concorde Marine, also in Anacortes; Concorde also makes larger expedition yachts under the Northern Marine brand.
The new San Juan 40, to be followed by a 50, keeps all the head-turning looks and solid performance of the popular 38. Powered by two 370-hp Volvo diesels with IPS 500 pod drives (and joystick control), the new 40 cruises in the 30-knot range. And with a single stateroom and head with shower below, it’s designed to be a couple’s cruiser that, with the convertible dinette in the enclosed salon, can also hold another couple or a family.
Inside the San Juan 40, there’s teak and light everywhere. Large windows and a full-length glass door open from the salon to the cockpit, while the teak and holly sole provides a salty accent. At the helm, the wheel is teak, as is the elevated helm console. To port is the convertible dining table, with seats fore and aft, while on the starboard side, behind the helm, is a sink and bar unit with an ice-maker.
Below, down two teak steps, the queen berth is forward, with two drawers and small storage cabinet underneath, while the galley is to port and the head, with separate shower, is to starboard. In the cockpit, sunpads over the engine boxes provide nice lounging areas, while a settee is across the transom. The cockpit sole is teak; so is the swim platform.
Under the new management, San Juans are sold direct from the factory, except for the Essex Boat Works in Connecticut, which is the dealer for the Northeast.
Specs.: LOA: 40’7”; Beam: 12’2”; Draft: 2’8”; Disp.: NA; Fuel: 300 gals.; Water: 80 gals.; Power: 2×370-hp Volvo IPS 500 diesels.
VICEM 65 IPS CLASSIC
The new Vicem 65 IPS Classic, the Turkish-built yacht with classic Down East lines, will have its world debut at the Annapolis powerboat show. The new low-profile beauty with its long sheerline and built-in-Maine-like tumblehome is the 153rd yacht built in Vicem’s 27-year history, and its 12th in the 60-foot segment.
Powered by twin 800-hp Volvo diesels with IPS 1050 pod drives, the new Vicem cruises at 26 knots and tops out at 30 knots. At its cruising speed, the boat has a range of about 420 nm.
Because of its cold-molded construction process using marine mahogany, Vicem is able to customize its yachts to fit an owner’s desires. The new 65 IPS classic can be built with three or four staterooms and three heads. Vicem specializes in creating extra interior volume in its yachts; this one has an average of 7 feet of headroom, growing to 7’ 5” in the master stateroom.
Vicem’s proprietary construction uses high-tech fibers like e-glass and carbon fiber at stress points in the hull, but it uses a mahogany and epoxy laminate as an inner layer. On a strength-to-weight ratio, mahogany is stronger than fiberglass, the company says; it also reduces sound and pounding underway and is cooler in warm temperatures and warmer in cold temperatures.
The cockpit of the 65 IPS Classic has a large L-shaped sofa and a wet bar. The salon has a super-sized L-shaped sofa to starboard and two large lounge chairs, flanking an entertainment center, to port. The galley is up and forward to port, with lots of counter space for long-range cruising. The helm station to starboard has seats for two.
Below, the master stateroom is midships and full beam, with a walkaround bed and a large ensuite head with shower. The VIP cabin is forward with a walkaround bed and en suite head and shower; the third stateroom with two berths is on the starboard side, also with a head and shower. A fourth cabin could be built to port.
Specs.: LOA: 65’0”; Beam: 17’6”; Draft: 4’9”; Disp.: 65,000 lbs.; Fuel: 832 gals.; Water: 200 gals.; Power: 2×800-hp Volvo IPS 1050 pod drives.
The Dutch-made Zeelander 55, an upgrade from the company’s popular 44, is a head-turning, luxurious express-type cruiser with hints of both a Down East lobster boat and a Gold Coast commuter boat while announcing a style all its own. From its fine bow to its torpedo stern, the Zeelander 55 is as contemporary as it can be. It’s all curves; there doesn’t seem to be a straight line anywhere.
One of the most striking aspects of the Zeelander 55 is the 360-degree view from the helm; actually, from anywhere in the salon. The wraparound windows have narrow frames and double-curved glass and they stretch aft to a fully opening glass wall that, when closed, separates the salon from the aft deck.
In the salon, a raised L-shaped lounge behind the helm can seat eight, all under more light coming in from the sunroof. On the aft deck, one social area includes a wet bar with four stools, while all the way aft is another relaxing area for outdoor dining or sunbathing. There’s a side door for easy entry to the boat on each side of the cockpit, while the transom folds down to create a huge swim platform.
Below, the master stateroom is midships, with a walkaround bed running athwartships. The master head with shower is on the port side. A large VIP stateroom is forward, also with a walkaround bed and lots of storage. A guest cabin with over-and-under berths is between the two. The guest and VIP cabin share a head with shower.
Two Volvo IPS 1200 pod drives power the boat to a top speed of 40 knots.
Specs.: LOA: 55’7”; Beam: 16’4”; Draft: 4’5”; Disp.: 48,000 lbs. Fuel: 700 gals.; Water: 200 gals.; Power: 2×800-hp Volvo Penta IPS diesels with pod drives.