Author Peter Janssen

Boat Reviews
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Jeanneau NC 895: A Pocket Cruiser with French Flair – and Outboard Power

This new coastal cruiser from the prestigious French builder combines two major trends: the growing popularity of pocket cruisers, and the growing popularity of outboard power. It also packs a lot of comfort, innovation and living space into a 29-foot boat. For all-weather comfort, the helm deck is enclosed with a hardtop and surrounded by large picture windows. The hardtop itself has two separate opening hatches to let in more air. And the sliding door next to the helm on the starboard side gives immediate access to the side deck, which is a great advantage in docking or going through…

Electronics
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Stay in Touch, Anywhere in the World, With Garmin’s New inReach SE+

Now you can stay in touch with your family and friends, no matter where you’re cruising, for a reasonable price with Garmin’s new inReach SE+, a handheld two-way text messaging device that sells for $399.99, with satellite plans starting at $11.95 a month. The Garmin inReach SE+ uses the Iridium satellite network for pole-to-pole coverage anywhere in the world, giving you, and your family at home, some peace of mind when you’re cruising. And you don’t have to worry about running up large air time bills. The two-way text messaging connects with cell phones, computers and other inReach devices around…

Boat Reviews
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Lagoon 630: A Large, Luxurious, Long-Legged Cat

A large power catamaran from a highly regarded French builder, the new Lagoon 630 offers a combination of blue-water performance and luxurious living on board. Hull number one of the new 630 cruised on her own bottom from France to Florida, evidence of her sea-going qualities. And the cat’s twin hulls, with 32-foot-plus beam, provide stability at sea plus opening up enormous amounts of space for entertaining and relaxing underway or at anchor. Part of the Beneteau Group, Lagoon has made more than 3,000 large sailing catamarans over the years. The new power 630 is built on the successful Lagoon…

Destinations
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On Watch

Moving On – and Moving Up – With a Dedicated Cruising Couple It would be hard to find a couple more committed to the cruising life than Jim and Lisa Favors. Indeed, they’ve been boating for most of their lives, starting with a 20-foot Four Winns in their home town of Traverse City, Michigan, moving up to a 32-foot Silverton, a 42-foot Silverton and finally a 40-foot Fathom trawler. They lived aboard the two 40-footers full-time for five years after Jim retired, completing the Great Loop once and returning to favorite spots to almost complete it a second time, cruising…

Engine Room
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Volvo Penta IPS 15: Lighter, More Efficient, More Maneuverable

I tested the very first Volvo IPS drive back in 2005, when the engine company put two of their pod drives in a Tiara 38 to see how they would work on a recreational boat. Pods, of course, had been used for years on commercial ships, but this was the first on an American production boat. With two Volvo engineers, I cruised from Sandusky, Ohio, on Lake Erie, up to St. Ignace, Michigan, next to the Mackinaw Bridge at the top of Lake Huron. The test, of course, was a home run. At the helm, we turned a joystick to…

Electronics
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Simrad GO9 XSE: Radar and SiriusXM Weather Radar on a 9-Inch Display

Simrad’s new GO9 XSE brings radar and SiriusXM Weather radar to one 9-inch multi-touch display in an integrated system designed to expand the navigation capabilities of cruising boat owners. The new display is built for plug and play with Simrad’s broadband and Halo Pulse Compression radar systems, and it can connect with SiriusXM weather radar. The unit comes with built-in GPS, WiFi and NMEA 2000 connectivity. You can also connect the display with your tablet or smartphone, control the onboard sound system and even monitor engine data.  For a look at how all this works, see the video below or…

Boat Reviews
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Sirena Yachts 64: First of a New Brand of German-Frers Designed Cruisers

Just introduced at the large Dusseldorf boat show, the new Sirena Yachts 64 offers a world-class design pedigree and the promise of comfortable long-range cruising on a three-stateroom, three-head thoroughly modern yacht. The new Sirena 64 is designed by German Frers, one of the best names in naval architecture, with an interior by Spadolini Design Studio. It is built in Turkey, the first hull produced by Sirena Yachts, the powerboat arm of Sirena Marine. Founded in 2008, Sirena Marine has built some 250 powerboats so far, including the Magellano brand for Azimut. The new 64 has been an immediate hit.…

Boat Reviews
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Sunreef 60: A New Power Cat with a Luxurious Master Stateroom

One of the larger and more luxurious power catamarans, the new 60 Sunreef Power Ocean’s 11 comes with a seaworthy hull, spacious public and private areas (inside and out) offering panoramic views, and a cruising range of some 3,000 nm. Sunreef was started in 2003 by Francis Lapp, who was then running a catamaran charter company; he wanted to build his own large custom cats to supply his fleet using the historic shipyard in Gdansk, Poland. Today, more than 90 large Sunreef cats, power and sail, are cruising in waters around the world. But the new 60 Sunreef Power Ocean’s…

Miami Boat Show
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Big Changes for Both Miami Shows: More Boats More Accessible. Plus Reviews of 36 New Boats Here

The Miami boat shows, yes, both of them, won’t be the same this year. The big yacht show along Collins Avenue in Miami Beach, which has been free for years, now will charge $20 admission, and it will have both new boat and brokerage boat sections. Meanwhile, the Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show, down on Virginia Key, will have more boats than before (including many more in the water), and it will be much more accessible via more free shuttle buses and larger water taxis. Both shows run over Presidents’ Day weekend, from Feb. 16-20. The renamed Yachts Miami…

Charter
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Avoid the Crowds and the Roads: See the Gorgeous Amalfi Coast by Boat

By all accounts, the Amalfi Coast of Italy, stretching along the southern coast of the Sorrentine Peninsula south of Naples, is one of the most beautiful spots in the world. Sheer cliffs seem to tumble down to the azure-blue waters, while small towns are scattered along the coastline, filled with red-tile-roofed homes and inviting small hotels with outdoor patios opening up to incredible vistas. A tourist mecca in the season, over the years the Amalfi Coast has been celebrated in writing by John Steinbeck, in film by Federico Fellini, and in music by, well, Beyoncé and Jay-Z. The only problem…

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