Browsing: On Watch

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The Hamiltons Cruise from Amsterdam up to Sweden on Their Nordhavn 52

The worldwide cruising adventures of James and Jennifer Hamilton continue, as the Seattle couple arrived earlier this week in the Swedish town of Kalmar on the Baltic Sea on their Nordhavn 52 Dirona. Pushing the season, they left Amsterdam at 0500 on March 19, with frost on the deck, to head for a spring and summer in Sweden, Finland and Norway. The Hamiltons had been in Amsterdam for five months, and they wrote on their blog that it was time to go. “We’re loving being underway again. It’s been such a long time since we were at sea.” They hit…

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New Zurn 60 Powercat, Filled with Light, Space and Innovation

With his new Zurn 60 Powercat, Doug Zurn has definitely stepped out of the box – again. There’s a lot going on in this boat, originally designed for an experienced ocean-cruising owner, from its innovative layout to its 23-knot top speed, but the main themes are privacy, space and light. Ever since he drew the first Shelter Island Runabout two decades ago, Zurn has designed low-profile, long-sheerline, Downeast-style boats with generous tumblehome, head-turning looks and head-snapping performance. Bob Johnstone saw that boat and had Zurn design the first MJM, a 34z (the “z,” of course, is for Zurn), in 2003.…

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Popular Palm Beach Boat Show Opens March 28 with Strong Showing of New Cruising Powerboats

The increasingly popular Palm Beach International Boat Show starts next Thursday, March 28, and runs through Sunday, March 31. The show’s location, in downtown Palm Beach along the Intracoastal Waterway, makes it easy to get to and easy to enjoy; it does not have the logistics problems and large crowds that hampered the big Miami shows last month. It also has the reputation as both a buyer’s and seller’s show, as people get ready for the spring and summer boating seasons. As a result, it will have a strong showing of a wide variety of new cruising powerboats. This will…

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Is Your Boat Smarter Than You Are?

We already have smart phones, smart cars, and perhaps even smart refrigerators. Now we’re getting smart boats too. Consider this: Numarine will introduce its new 78HTS as “the world’s most innovative smart yacht” at the Palm Beach International Boat Show, starting March 28. The boat actually was displayed at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January to promote its new artificial intelligence systems worked out with Furrion, the luxury innovation company. The Numarine 78 (pictured above) is indeed smart. On board, you can interact with Angel, a virtual onboard concierge, and with a series of Smart Mirrors that…

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Florida Couple “Enjoyed Every Second of Every Day” on Great Loop. Plan To Do It Again

Steve and Jane McKinney just completed the Great Loop in Sabbatical, their 1988 Albin 36, crossing their wake just north of red day beacon 74 in Charlotte Harbor in Florida. The trip took 369 days and lasted for 6,845 miles, and they had such a good time they’re going to do it again. “We enjoyed every second of every day,” Jane told me. The McKinneys are not life-long cruisers. Indeed, they didn’t start thinking about the Loop until two years ago. They’d been married for 33 years and have four grown children, and they were approaching a time in life…

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Virginia Couple Cruises Puget Sound on Their Brand-New Ranger Tugs 29

Before last summer, Jackie and Mike Quinn did most of their boating near home in Hampton, Virginia. They live in an inlet there, and they’d take day cruises on the James River or the lower Chesapeake on their 24-foot Crownline. But last August they expanded their cruising area, by about 2,900 miles. They spent five days cruising Puget Sound in Washington State on their brand-new, red-hulled Ranger Tugs R-29 CB, as part of Ranger’s Pacific Northwest Factory Delivery Experience.  They loved it. “We had a great factory delivery experience and continue to have an awesome post-delivery experience,” they told me…

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Miami Recap: More Energy, More Enthusiasm, More Innovation

It’s easy to sum up the just-ended Miami boat shows with one word: Energy. There was so much going on, between the boat show on Virginia Key and the yacht show downtown, that the energy was almost palpable. The logistics of traveling between the shows was not easy, but once you arrived there were new boat intros just about everywhere, new hull shapes (foils, anyone?), boats with seven outboards (yours only has two?), boats with hybrid power to keep your cruising quiet, green and potentially unlimited, and  boats with artificial intelligence that prevents you from running into the dock (you…

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Report from Miami: More Power, More Smart Boats

The big Miami shows just opened with a new emphasis on high-tech, artificial intelligence and power and more power. Mercury introduced a brand new 400-hp outboard, it’s most powerful yet for recreational use, while Volvo teamed up with Tiara to launch a new outboard version of its revolutionary IPS pod drives for inboards (see the picture at top), and Raymarine showed off its artificial intelligence assisted docking system that I just tested – and I’m still smiling. To celebrate Mercury’s 80th anniversary, Mercury President John Pfeifer unveiled the new 400-hp Verado, which he said was an upgrade from the 350-hp Verado,…

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Miami Shows Open Soon: Here Are Some New Boats, and New Trends, To See There

With the huge Miami boat shows rapidly approaching, they start on Feb. 14, I’ve put three brand-new cruising boats, and two brand-new artificial intelligence docking systems, at the top of my must-see list. The three boats are all quite different from each other, but each one in its own way illustrates particular trends that spill over to many of the other 2,000 boats on display in Miami. (There are actually two separate shows going on at the same time in Miami. One is on Virginia Key, and the other has one location downtown between the MacArthur Causeway and the Venetian…

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How Warmer Water in the Gulf of Maine is Affecting Lobstermen, for Better and for Worse

Here’s a dramatic video-story from The Washington Post about how the warming waters in the Gulf of Maine are changing people’s lives and disrupting economies there, for better or worse. The Continental U.S. is 1.8 degrees F warmer now than it was a century ago; seas on the coasts are nine inches higher. Water in the Gulf of Maine is warming faster than water in 99 percent of the world’s oceans, changing patterns of marine life, particularly for lobster fisheries, and upsetting a way of life that many families enjoyed for generations. “There’s no doubt things are changing,” one lobsterman…

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