Author Peter Janssen

Boat Reviews
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New Longreach Power Cats from Australia

Longreach Power Catamarans from Australia are new players in the fast-growing international power cat market. They won’t launch their first boat until next year, but they’ve already sold several boats, including two of their most-popular 44-foot models to experienced cruisers in the U.S. The company, based just outside Sydney, is making 58-foot and 40-foot production models in addition to the 44 (shown above). Brent Vaughan, director of Multihull Central, which sells Longreach, says that most have been sold to experienced catamaran sailors, including some who have circumnavigated the world. All are built for long-range, blue-water cruising. The 44, powered by…

Cruising Life
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Volvo Developing Hybrid Boat for Arctic Tourism

Volvo Penta is working with Marrell Boats in Sweden to build a hybrid-powered boat for sustainable cruising in the Svalbard archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, about halfway between the northern tip of Norway and the North Pole. The boat, an M15, will be named Kvitbjorn, or Polar Bear in English, and it will have a top speed of 32 knots and a cruising speed of 25 knots. It also will have a range of 500 nm without affecting the delicate balance of marine life in the area. It’s designed to run for more than 1,000 hours in the season from…

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Princess Launching X80 Superfly Cruiser

Princess is launching a new X80 Superfly luxury cruiser, the second in its Superfly series and modeled after the earlier X95 flagship that has been well received. The X80 has all the same lines as the 95, and it was designed by Princess, Olesinski Design and Peninfarina, creating a yacht with lots of volume inside and some innovations that make it stand out on its own. First is what Princess calls the “super flybridge” that it says provides 30 percent more space than that found on other yachts of its size. The yacht’s only helm station is up there, and…

Cruising Life
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GM Gives Big Boost To Electric Boats

General Motors just gave a big boost to electric boating when Pure Watercraft, with the help of a major investment from GM, unveiled its electric-powered pontoon boat at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Founded 11 years ago in Seattle, Pure Watercraft says it wants to disrupt the boating industry with its new electric outboard motors. GM, the automotive giant, bought a 25 percent stake in Pure Watercraft in November, investing $150 million. GM said its goal was to help create a new generation of zero-emissions boats. The new pontoon boat that Pure Watercraft just unveiled is 24’ 7”…

Cruising Life
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Marlin Spears Hole in Ocean Rowing Boat

A marlin poked a hole in the side of one of the boats rowing 3,000 nm across the Atlantic in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. None of the four Englishmen on the boat, who call themselves “The Wrekin Rowers,” was injured in the attack, but the marlin speared a hole in the deck and through the lockers where the crew stored their food. The rowers left the Canary Islands on Dec. 12 as one of 36 teams in the race, and they were on target to reach the finish line in Antigua in 38 days before the marlin attack. But…

Cruising Life
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The Sad Story of an Abandoned Superyacht

The 147-foot Bella T superyacht, built for an American industrialist in 1973 and once owned by a sultan in Malaysia, is in a state of disrepair in Cape Town, South Africa. With multiple changes of names and owners, unpaid and overdue yard bills, lawsuits and countersuits, the yacht, which once hosted the first series of the TV show Survivor, now will be put up for a court-ordered auction on March 1. The yacht originally was the dream of Roy Carver, who made a fortune in the tire retreading business. He hired Arthur de Fever and Doug Sharp to design it,…

On Watch
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Sunreef Launches All-Electric 80 Eco Cat

Sunreef just launched its new all-electric 80 Eco catamaran at its yard in Gdansk, Poland. The company says it represents the next generation in green energy and offers unlimited range for luxurious cruising. The Sunreef 80 Eco can be ordered in sail or power versions. It uses ultra-light composite solar panels that are integrated into the cat’s hull sides, superstructure and Bimini; they can deliver up to 40kWp. Sunreef says its ultralight battery bank is 30 percent lighter than the average used in the boating industry; the big cat’s batteries can store from 360kW to 640kW. The advantages of the…

Cruising Life
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Fossil of “Sea Dragon” Found in Britain

British paleontologists have found the fossil of a 180-million-year-old, 33-foot-long “sea dragon” ichthyosaur in a lagoon about 100 miles north of London. They say it’s the largest ichthyosaur ever found in Britain. It had a long snout, big eyes and big teeth. Ichthyosaurs, marine reptiles, first appeared in the early Jurassic Period and then disappeared about 90 million years ago. The fossil’s skull weighs more than a ton. “It is a truly unprecedented discovery and one of the greatest finds in British paleontological history,” Dean Lomax, the leader of the group that excavated the fossil, said in a statement. The…

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Pardo Building GT52 Cruiser with Volvo IPS

Pardo, the two-year-old Italian builder, is on a roll. It introduced its new Endurance 60 cruising flagship last fall, and now its starting a GT52 that’s something like a combination of the 60 and the company’s earlier walkaround sport cruisers. The GT52 will use the same hull as the open Pardo 50, but with a longer swim platform. And the Volvo IPS650 pod drives have been shifted aft to free up more interior space in the middle of the boat. But the GT52 will still have Pardo’s trademark slightly reverse bow, its long flush foredeck and a forward-raked pilothouse. It…

Cruising Life
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Ten People on Boats Killed in Brazil Tragedy

In a freak accident, ten people were killed when a cliff face fell onto their boats on a popular tourist lake in Brazil. Another two dozen were injured, but only two remained in the hospital overnight. Local authorities said the rock face fell after several days of intense rain the area. The accident occurred on Lake Furnas in Minas Gerais state, about 260 miles north of Sao Paulo. The lake is along a series of picturesque destinations popular in the summer, and visitors take boats out to watch the waterfalls in the emerald-colored water. Brazil’s navy sent a team to…

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