Offshore Newsletter 7/9/2008 - 07/09/2008
Offshore Motoryacht July 9, 2008 If you cannot view the see the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust

Test & Video Reviews

- Cruisers Yachts 330 Express
- Henriques 42 Express
- Grady-White Express 330
- Formula 48 Yacht
Hargrave 82' Capri
- Hunton RS 43
- Viking Sport Cruiser 54
- Maritimo 48 Convertible
- Pearl 60

Also Inside:
- New Rampage 34
8 Models Tested with Yanmar
- Murkowski Responds
- Boat Buying Advice
- Advanced Marine Inflatables
- AC Condensation Problem Solved
- Buckle Your PFD
- BoatTEST on Russian TV
- BoatTEST in India
- Ferry Rams Tender's Stern
- New Educational Videos
- Ducky Award Winner

New Rampage 34
with IPS Pod Drives

New Rampage 34 with IPS
The new Rampage 34 will be one of the first production express fishboats built in the U.S. with Volvo Penta’s
IPS drive system.

It is hard to find an express fishboat with sweeter lines, in our opinion, than the latest Rampages. As you can see in the drawing of the new Rampage 34 (above) the sweeping sheer line and soft curves of the bridge profile turn this offshore fishing boat with a high bow and a low transom into a work of art. The big news is that the new 34 (due to start building in October 2008) will be powered by twin IPS 500 pod drives. To find out more about the new 34…troll this bait.


For complete specs, Volvo interviews and video on Volvo's IPS System...maneuver here.

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Boat Tests & Reviews

Cabo 38 Flybridge

Cabo 38 flybridge

The 38 Flybridge is Cabo Yachts’ first new Flybridge model in three years. It is available with engine options from Caterpillar, Cummins, Yanmar, and MAN that range from 715 to 800 hp. Capt. Robert Smith takes a good look at the 38. Its 15'1” beam makes it roomy and adds stability. See Video.

Oyster LD 43

Oyster LD43

Oyster has been one of the finest names in British sailboat building for decades, and now is putting a salty toe in the powerboat market. The LD 43 (for lunch and dinner) is intended for day tripping with a huge cockpit that seats 6 for lunch and in the salon another 6 can join in a seafood feast. She’ll be just fine on this side of the pond.  See our video review…

Formula 353 FASTech

Formula 353 FASTech

In the world of high performance, offshore power boating, one company stands out from the rest. That company is Formula, and they provide their customers with quality construction, satisfying features, and heart pounding speed.

The 353 FAS³TECH offers electrically powered footrests and racing-style bolsters. The helm has a tilt steering wheel and all the controls are within easy reach. The cabin is fixed with UltraLeather lounges, entertainment center, CD/stereo, and a stainless sink and demand system. There's enough room for four to spend the night on the double V-berth and the couches which can sleep two. An enclosed head to starboard offers good room to move around.  See complete test and video...

Mainship Pilot 45

Mainship Pilot 45

Mainship introduces its latest generation of trawlers with the introduction of the flagship Pilot 45. Mainship knows the cruising life and how the trawler style and design fits into it. With many years of experience, Mainship knows what customers want and deliver it at a price many would not expect possible. They are the largest builder of these style boats, building over 250 units per year. See Capt. Smith’s video test…step aboard.

Hargrave 82' Capri

Hargrave 81 Hargrave Custom Yachts is an American company that has its boats built of fiberglass in Taiwan.  Virtually all components are U.S. made.  The terrific thing about Hargrave (after the price, of course) is that you can totally customize the boat anyway you want it.   See complete test and video.

Hunton RS 43

Hunton 43Hunton seamlessly joins the power and performance of a raceboat with the accommodations and space of an express cruiser. The RS 43 we reviewed came equipped with triple 315-hp Yanmar Bravo I diesel engines and according to Hunton this model can exceed a top speed of 50 knots. Come aboard for the video tour with Captain Robert Smith.

Viking Sport Cruiser 54

Viking SC 54Editor-in-Chief Jeff Hammond reviews the Viking Sport Cruiser 54 Flybridge with James Noble the Marketing Manager for Viking Sport Cruisers. The 54 features a three stateroom, three head layout with a full beam master.  These boats are built by Princess in the U.K. and combine the best features of both cultures.  See video review.

Maritimo 48 Convertible

Maritimo 48Founded by Bill Barry-Cotter who has been building boats since 1968, the mission of the Australian Gold Coast company is to build distinctive long range cruisers. Unlike the American concept of displacement hulls going 9 knots, Maritimo makes convertibles into long range cruisers with the addition of a sky lounge, smaller engines, and keeps them very lightweight. We checked out the 48 Convertible and found that with an emphasis on range and reliability, this 3-stateroom boat has a lot to offer. Watch video review.

Pearl 60 Pearl 60

The Pearl 60 from Pearl Motor Yachts is the flagship of their model line.  There is no doubt the Pearl 60 was made for entertaining.  The model has plenty of space for guests to relax and sunbathe as well as an al fresco dining space complete with a canvas sunroof for either letting in or keeping out the sun.  Learn more about this model and its four stateroom cabin here.

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Classic Boat Building

Huckins Celebrates 80 Years of Yacht Building

huckins 56
With these classic lines that never go out of style, you can take your
56 Huckins anywhere and turn heads.

Huckins is one of the few powerboat brands in the world that has what can only be described as “cult status.” There are thousands of Huckins aficionados who think that powerboat styling began and ended with the famous Huckins Fairform Flyer. They oooh and aaah whenever one of the several hundred still in existence motors by. They approach them with the reverence usually only reserved for something like a Mercedes gull wing or a 1936 Packard. We recently spent a day at the Huckins Yacht yard in Jacksonville, FL and discovered several important things, the most surprising of which is that you do not have to be a gazillionaire to own one of these classy, custom-built yachts. To find out more about the boats and brand that has captivated Americans for 80 years…drink this Kool-Aid.

See interview of Huckins 56 Jet Drive Owner…

Cindy Purcell on What Sets Huckins Yachts Apart…

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In the Engine Room

7 Yanmar Diesel Tests Show Interesting Relationships

Bertram 31
Bertram 31 (1981)
Regal 4080
Regal 4080 Commodore
Sabre 42
Sabre Yachts
42 Express
Mainship Expedition
Mainship Expedition Trawler
Formula 40 PC
40 PC (2005-)
Cruiser 390 SC
Cruisers Yachts 390 Sports Coupe
Mainship 45
45 Pilot
Yanmar Banner
Learn more about
Yanmar engines.

Over the last couple of years we have tested seven boats with Yanmar diesels on boats ranging from a 9,400-lb. Bertram 31 (re-power) with a 24-degree deadrise powered by 2 x 315-hp diesels, to a 38,000-lb. Mainship Pilot with a relatively shallow deadrise powered by 2 x 440-hp diesels. It is instructive to note how weight, deadrise, bottom shape, beam and horsepower all effect performance. The number that most people care about these days is miles per gallon (MPG) at best cruise. Guess which of the seven boats above gets the most miles from each gallon of diesel – we think you’ll be surprised! (Click on the boats to see their test page.)

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Letter to the Editor

Sen. Murkowski Responds to BTC Article

murkowskiI am writing in response to your July 2, 2008, article “Alaska Senator Stops Permit Relief Bill.” There were a number of inaccuracies and innuendoes in your article and I wanted to set the record straight.

First of all, I want to make it clear that as an avid recreational boater and sport fisherman myself, I do not oppose S. 2766, the Clean Boating Act of 2008. I simply want the same exemption for small commercial vessels that S. 2766 provides the recreational fleet.  For the rest of the letter…read on.

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BoatTEST Opinion

Sen. Murkowski is Killing
The Clean Boating Act of 2008

17MontaukAlaska BoatIce2 Fishing Tour Boat

Recreational fishing boats in Alaska are a bit different than those in the lower 48.


The letter above from Sen. Murkowski speaks for itself. You can see by linking inclusion of her most ardent constituency – Alaskan commercial fishermen – to the Clean Boating Act of 2008 which was written specifically for recreational boats only, she has doomed the bill. Sen. Murkowski has twice been honored with the “Person of the Year” Award from the United Fishermen of Alaska (UFA), the state’s commercial fisherman umbrella association representing 37 Alaskan fisheries trade organizations. She has consistently introduced legislation to protect, exempt, subsidize, outright pay, buy back, or in any other way possible bestow Federal manna (i.e. your tax dollars) on the owners of Alaska commercial fishing boats both large and small. In her quest to wrestle a blanket EPA permit exemption for these fishermen, America’s 17 million boaters are simply collateral damage as far as she’s concerned, or so it seems. An aide to the Senator, Mike Brumas, called on Monday to say that she hasn’t killed S. 2766 and that there is “still time” for the bill to pass. With fewer than 18 congressional working days left before America’s boaters turn into EPA pumpkins, we doubt it. As for Sen. Murkowski, she is now sponsoring the “Fisheries Fuel Tax Relief Act of 2008,” and would like your Senators to support it. Sign up here…

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New Boat Buying Advice

Life-long boat dealer Larry Russo gives his views on how to get a good deal
in a soft market

Larry Russo Jeff Hammond soft market
Why do boats have high markups? Can all cash buy
a better deal?
How can buyers take advantage of a soft market?
dealer or brand Boat Loan Complaints on sportboats
Is the dealer or brand
more important?
Is it hard to get
a boat loan?
Any complaints on sportboats?

Larry Russo is one of the most universally respected boat dealers in the U.S. His father started Russo Marine in 1940 and Larry started working there when he was 8. Over the years he has been president of many industry groups, including the MRAA (the national boat dealers association), and he is currently chairman of the industry’s Dealer Certification Program. For the last three years his dealership has been rated in the “Top 10” in the nation by Boating Industry magazine. He is not bashful about saying what is on his mind, as you’ll see.

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Product Review

Inflatables for Every Need

Advanced Marin Inflatables
Advanced Marine Inflatables manufacture
small inflatables to 10-foot catamarans.

Advanced Marine Inflatables has been building recreational dinghies and tunnel-hulled catamarans for almost 10 years in China.  The company uses PBC materials which, along with the Chinese labor rate, keep prices down.  We hope to test these boats soon to find out if they are as reliable as higher-priced inflatables.  Learn more about AMI and their 21 models..see video.

Visit AMI's website.

Product Video

AC Condensation
Problem Solved

For decades A/C have been leaking all over interiors.
Dometic to the rescue.

A constant problem since the introduction of A/C in boats has been the condensation from the units which has dripped, spilled, seeped, drained or otherwise made a soggy mess and stained carpets, cabin soles, seats, bedding, hull liners and just about everything else. Only a few of the high-end builders ever did anything about it. The rest pretended that it was a non-problem.

Now, the world’s largest maker of marine A/C units has solved the problem. See Capt. Robert Smith’s Video Report…

To see additional Dometic product videos, visit our Video Library.

Safety Tip

Buckle Your PFD

Buckle up
Learn how to put on your PFD properly before
you head out on the water.

Boaters need to remember to buckle their PFDs—and buckle them properly—to maximize their usefulness. Personal watercraft riders in particular often forget to buckle up, or have become indifferent about wearing them correctly, says Dan McCormick of the Coast Guard Office of Boating Safety. The consequences can be deadly.  Wearing a PFD is smart.



Prop Info

EZ Dock

yamaha pwc

grady-white ad



boat history




Boat Attitude

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BoatTEST News

BoatTEST Videos
on Russian TV

Russian TV
This is a programming guide for Russia’s Ocean TV where’s test videos have been airing since April.

If you have any relatives or friends in Russia, please be sure to suggest that they watch the “Ocean TV” channel to view’s latest boat tests. Over 50 of BTC’s latest boat test videos are now regularly playing on Ocean TV. During the last two years Russia has become an important emerging market for American powerboats, as well as boats built in Europe. For example, Azimut has a sales office and marina on a lake outside of Moscow. Glastron is sending container loads of boats to St. Petersburg.
Ocean TV up-links to a satellite which transmits the signal all over Russia. Next year, we’re told, Ocean TV will be available in North America – in Russian, of course. All BoatTEST videos remain in English – the international language of boating.

BoatTEST News

BoatTEST Celebrates
1 Year on Middle East,
India, Asian TV
MarineBiz.TV is up-linked from Mumbai, India to Thaicom and Hotbird satellites reaching the Middle East, Asia and Europe.

In June BTC celebrated its first year of content syndication on MarineBiz.TV, a world-wide satellite TV channel that specializes primarily in commercial maritime subjects, but which also covers recreational boating. It also puts most of its videos on web TV so that its programming can be seen on the Internet world wide. Virtually all videos produced for’s website and weekly e-newsletter appear later on MarineBiz.TV. Calling itself the “first global maritime TV channel” the company was started by a group of naval architects, marine engineers and ship captains with important connections in Dubai. has the distinction of being the first marine website in the world to stream video on the world wide web, having commenced on Sept. 15, 2000, and is pleased to be partnered with MarineBiz.TV.


Capt. Rod School of Navigation

Ferry Rams
Tender Stern

Block Island Ferry
Bow of the 1,000-car Block Island ferry.

The Capt. Rod School of Navigation has graduated two more skippers Magna Cum Lapsus. On July 2, just after noon, in dense fog the 175' Block Island ferry hit the starboard stern quarter of the the 140' USCG buoy tender Morro Bay while horns on both vessels blasted away. The vessels were reportedly about 3 miles north of Block Island where Block Island was bound. Yes, both vessels had powerful radars and, yes, it is quite often foggy in those waters this time of year. And, yes, collisions occur there with some regularity as both the USCG and ferry captains undoubtedly knew. For the complete story, pictures and video...tap your mouse.

See video of Capt. Rod's School of Navigation...

Educational Videos

PPV on

Block Island Ferry
These videos are great learning aids.

Whether you have questions about seamanship basics, how to choose the right boat or learning about your new boat, Captain Cefus McRae has an answer for you. BoatTEST has made special arrangements with the DVD publishers to bring you these instructive videos--at a fraction of their $35 DVD price.

Just pick the PPV series that you want to view and show it to the entire family on your computer for up to 7 days for one low price.

Find out more about Captain Cefus McRae's instructional videos.

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Ducky Award Winner

whats going on here?

First Place

“Bette Midler’s arrival at Fire Island.”
– M. Antonucci


Second Place

“As you can see, the rare mating ritual of the human boater. Notice the female waiting to pick the first male to lift the boat!”
– M. Magello


Honorable (almost) Mention

“Dad, wouldn’t it be easier if we just buy a trailer?” – J. Adamo

“Angry environmentalists attack boater for running aground during the endangered spotted sandcrab mating season!”
– G. Wolf

What's Going on Here?


You write the caption! Will you win the coveted "Ducky Award" for best caption?

Simply fill in your caption and you may get lucky...quack here.


Please send all submissions by 7/13/08.

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