Offshore Motoryacht Newsletter - 11/12/2008
Offshore Motoryacht November 12, 2008 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust

Test & Video Reviews

- Baja 35 with X-haust
- Cruisers Yachts 360 Express
Doral Intrigue
- Larson 330 Day Cruiser
- Formula 370 Super Sport

- Regal 5260

Also Inside:
- Seakeeper Anti-Roll
- New Cruisers Yachts 460 SC
- New 54' Member of Battleship
- Buddy Davis 52 Express
- New Navy Ship Uses Joysticks
Rivieras Sell at Shows
- Man Overboard Safety Alarm
- USCG Recalls
- Fuel Cost and Summer Boating
- Boosting Cell Signal Onboard
- Ergonomics for Comfort
- Boating Safety Tip
- Beached Sedan Mystery
- Cruising in the South Pacific
- Formula Founder Celebrates 50
Captain Steve Lesson #12
- Ducky Award Winner

Does Seakeeper’s Anti-Roll Gyro Really Work?

Seakeeper 7000 Rolling Horizon
Boats roll and always have, but is Seakeeper’s new anti-roll gyro a solution? We tested it to find out.

We must admit that when we first heard about anti-roll gyro stabilizers dampening the roll of a yacht we were skeptical. After all, how could something inside a boat, with no contact with the water, slow the roll? Well, we’re not rocket scientists otherwise we would have known some basic principals of physics that say such a gyro could work. Last month we tested Seakeeper’s Gyro Stabilizing System on a new Azimut 50 in Baltimore Harbor. So that you could see the test results we videotaped it. If you want to see how this unit works and how successful it is at dampening roll -- hold on here.

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Boat Tests & Reviews

Baja 35 with X-haust

Baja 35 with X-haust

Baja is one of the first manufacturers to employ the new Mercury Racing X-haust Systems in their performance engine packages. Mercury Racing’s X-haust is a fully integrated stern drive exhaust noise reduction system that was developed so that performance boats like Baja’s will meet the European Union and most U.S. requirements. The new noise reduction system package is installed on this Baja 35 Outlaw. Captain Rob takes you on a brief review of this exciting system that Baja uses to bring the sound levels down.

Cruisers Yachts 360 Express

Cruisers Yachts 360 Express

The Cruisers Yachts 360 Express has been doing just fine with multiple engine options from MerCruiser, Volvo Penta and Yanmar, but now they are adding Volvo Penta IPS joystick drives, either gas or diesel, to the mix. This will open up the opportunity for more people to enjoy the pleasures of cruising without the stress associated with docking and tight maneuvering. Women love it. See complete video and test results of the Cruisers Yachts 360 Express.

Doral Intrigue

Doral Intrigue

Doral built the Intrigue with a “cabin forward” design so you can have more entertainment room topside. At just over 30’, you are likely to spend most of your time on the bridge and in the cockpit with family and friends, with occasional nights aboard in a local cove. The interior has all the comforts of a cruiser for day and overnight use, including a head, galley, dinette and sleeping accommodations. This year, Doral added several new engine combinations bringing the choices to sixteen packages from Yanmar, Cummins-MerCruiser, Volvo Penta and MerCruiser. This time, we tested with the new Axius system from MerCruiser. See how the Doral Intrigue performed.

Larson 330 Day Cruiser

Larson 330 Day Cruiser"Spacious" and "33-footer" usually don’t go hand in hand, but with the new Larson 330 Day Cruiser, they do. Larson has managed to pack in the interior space of something more like a 40-footer with a few design changes, making this an entertaining platform good enough for a weekend aboard. Both above and below decks, this model is set up for gracious entertaining that will simply astound your guests with the features and ambiance. Come aboard the 330 Day Cruiser.

Formula 370 Super Sport

Formula 370 Super SportThe Formula 370 Super Sport is popular and that means continually keeping its design fresh and amenities updated. A new optional hull treatment makes the 370 Super Sport standout even more. The standard Imron graphic A or B accent striping can be substituted for the optional Designer hull side design, which includes polished stainless steel and Imron Flagship graphic with full hull side color or Imron Flagship Elite graphic design. Check out the updated 370 Super Sport from Formula.

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New Boat

Cruisers Yachts’ New 460
Aft Cabin Has 6’4” Headroom!

cruisers yachts 460

When we first entered the aft cabin of Cruisers Yachts’ 520 earlier this year we thought...“Now this is a real yacht.” Amazingly the Wisconsin builders’ designers have done it again, this time in a 46’ boat that we think may change the way express cruisers in the mid-40s are built not only in the U.S., but all over the planet. This one important design breakthrough catapults the new 460 SC into a category of an ideal cruising boat for two baby-boom couples. And now one of those adult couples doesn’t have to get down on their hands and knees or crouch into the aft cabin. This is simply a huge advance in a popular-sized boat. To find out more--stand up here.

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New 54’ Member of Battleship Row

540ocean yacht
viking 54hatteras 54
The new Bertram 540 was launched at the Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show and joins three other mighty battlewagons. We took a look at all four and found some surprises. See above (top l to r) Bertram 540, Ocean Yachts 54, (bottom l to r) Viking 54, Hatteras 54.

“Convertibles” have been known more for their similarities than their differences over the years, but that is changing. Two years ago Ocean Yachts brought out a 54 that was demonstrably different, and now Bertram Yachts' new entry into the 54’ field is taking several more steps away from sameness. We’ll be testing the Bertram soon to bring you our take on this formidable disruption of conventional American convertible boat building. In the meantime we thought it would be instructive to compare these four important convertibles from America’s most famous offshore boat builders -- size this up.

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Regal 5260

Regal’s 5260 Helm Layout Examined

Regal 5260 Helm 1Regal 5260 Helm 2Regal 5260 Helm 3
The helm is the most important place on the boat and it is done right on the Regal 5260.

We are constantly amazed at how haphazardly the helms are laid out on some large yachts. That is why when we got on the Regal 5260 we were pleasantly surprised at the thought, ergonomics, and amenities that Regal packed into this helm. Regal has delivered over 24 of these boats since its launch last year. With a base MSRP of $750k, there is a lot to like about this express beyond the price as Capt. Steve points out in a video report at the helm -- take this wheel.

See Charity’s onboard “woman’s perspective” of the 5260--

See boat tests of Regal boats --

Visit Regal special website for its 5260 --

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First Look

Buddy Davis 52 Express Means Business

Davis 52 Front Davis 52 Running
No one knows the conditions off the Carolina Coast better than
Buddy Davis, and his new 52 is designed for real fishermen.

Buddy Davis’ life’s work has been fishing the edge of the continental shelf off the Carolina Coast -- first as a crewman (gaffer, rigger, bait handler), then as a captain (responsible for raising fish, piloting the boat, and getting home safely), later as a big game charter boat owner (running the boat economically, keeping it running in all conditions, making the customers happy and comfortable), and finally as a builder putting everything he learned from the bilge up into his fishing machines. We have great respect for these kind of boat builders. The Buddy Davis 52 Express is not for everyone, but it should be considered by serious big game anglers who want to dash to the edge and back in a fully functional fishboat. Our Capt. Steve takes a first video look -- set this hook.

To visit Buddy Davis’ website --

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Navy News

New Navy Ship Uses
Joysticks and Water Jets

USS Freedom 1USS Freedom 2
The 377' USS Freedom is designed for inshore interdictions and special ops.
She is said to have a WOT of 40 knots. Can we believe what they say?

The littoral combat ship (LCS-1) USS Freedom was commissioned last week in Milwaukee, and is the Navy's first of a new wave of ships designed to patrol "close to shore" (which is the meaning of the Latin root of littoral). Built by Marinette Marine in northeastern Wisconsin, Freedom will be used within 200 miles of shorelines to neutralize pirates, mines, terrorists, subs, druggies and launch special ops teams. Steering is controlled by joysticks, not a wheel and the ship is propelled by twin diesels and twin jet turbines driving through four water jets. To see more pictures and get de-classified information -- launch your mouse.

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Boat Show Report

Riviera Yachts Has
Good Boat Show Sales

Riviera 1
The new Riveria 70 with sky lounge is one of several new introductions from the Australian builder.

A number of big boat builders reported strong sales at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show, and Riviera was a leader. Australia's largest luxury boat builder reported a strong result from the Fort Lauderdale and Genoa shows, which were both held recently. The company says that it sold eight boats during the five day Lauderdale show with a total value of more than $A6 million, while the Genoa Show saw the sales of three larger models with a total value of about $A3.3 million. To see Riviera’s new models and to get CEO John Anderson’s take on things -- go down under.

Product Reviews

New MOBi-lert Man
Overboard System

MOBI-lert Man Overboard System
Snap it on your belt clip, hang it from your neck or attach it to a PFD. The MOBi-lert transmitter is about
the size of a small beeper.

One of the most recent advances in safety equipment is the man overboard alarm system that automatically sounds an alarm for fast recoveries. We took a close look at one of these systems at the Marine Aftermarket Accessories Trade Show (MAATS). Andrew Hill, the Chief Operating Officer for the Australian-based Mobilarm Ltd., tells Director of Testing Rob Smith about the MOBi-lert -- watch our video interview.




Prop Info


First Again




yamaha pwc
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Safety Recall

Mercury Outboards and MasterCraft Boats

Coast Guard
The men and women of the USCG’s Office of Boating Safety work with manufacturers
every month to alert boaters
to potential safety problems.

Manufacturers of boats and engines work closely with the “watch dogs” (USCG) to insure the safety of boaters. Many of the recalls are instigated by the product-makers themselves and they notify the USCG and enlist their help in finding the owners of products with potential safety issues. But the most effective way to find the owners is through their friends. Please take a look at this month’s recall list and if you know someone with the indicated products, pass this notice along -- recall this.

Fuel Report

The Summer of
Our Discontent

Fuel Usage
High fuel prices this summer had some powerboaters modifying their activities, but surprisingly, overall usage was not wildly different -- and one type of boat was up!

Remember how horrified everyone was last summer about high fuel prices? More recent events have put that little economic hiccup in perspective. If you are wondering if your reaction to last summer’s spike in fuel prices was “normal” you might enjoy finding out what your peers were doing. The industry association (NMMA) recently released a study it conducted among several thousand boaters. One category of powerboat actually was used more than before; can you guess which one? To find out the affect $4+ per gallon fuel had on U.S. boaters -- pump this gas.

Boating Tips

Boosting Your
Cell Phone Signal

Cell Towers
Mobile phones depend on towers for a signal. Where they are located matters.

A mobile phone can provide a great deal of functionality onboard a boat, from obtaining weather forecasts to sending blog posts, but all this technology only works if you can get and stay connected to cellular towers. What good is an up-to-the-minute weather forecast if you can't connect to read it? Think back to the days when mobile phones were new (and much larger). Remember going in search of that sometimes elusive signal? With a small investment and a little work, you can greatly increase your mobile network access. Get connected here.

Boat Buying Tip

Ergonomics is NOT
a Dirty Word!

Michelangelo had it figured
out 500 years ago.

Ergonomics is the scientific discipline concerned with the interactions of humans with the designs in which they operate. Unfortunately, many naval architects and boat designers either skipped this course or flunked it. We all know that every boat is a compromise, and nowhere is this more true than when it comes to the ergonomics of a boat. As a new boat buyer you must be aware of a lot of things, and high on that list is the ergonomics of the boat. For a sampler of what we mean -- squeeze into this.

Boating Safety

After Fueling: Pop Goes the Weasel

Four people were blasted out of this 26’ boat shortly after refueling and leaving the dock.

Four people from Georgia had to be rescued from the waters of the Intracoastal Waterway in Jacksonville when their 26-foot boat exploded Oct. 31. Three of the people were hospitalized after the vessel burst into flames about a half-mile north of the Beach Boulevard (I-90) Bridge. The fourth person did not have serious injuries, authorities said. Reportedly they had just refueled, overfilled the tank, and had “cleaned the bilge...” There’s more to this story -- grab your fire extinguisher.

Mystery of the Week

Mystery of the Beached Sedan

Beached Sedan
This 40-something sedan found its way to a pristine Bahamian beach, but how and why? And, can it be saved?

Recently one of our faithful readers sent us a series of photos of a beautiful late model sedan that had washed up on a beach in the Bahamas. We were given no explanation as to what happened to disable the yacht or why it got into this unfortunate predicament. At our weekly captain’s meeting everyone had a different scenario for the causes of this vessel’s plight. But as believers in the power of “six degrees of separation” we feel confident one of our other readers will know what actually happened so we won’t have to guess. To see more pictures and find out what happened to this boat -- shovel this sand.

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Cruising Adventure

The Day it Rained Sand
In the South Pacific

South Pacific South Pacific South Pacific

Regular readers know that we rarely pass along the misadventures, foibles, and usually interminable sea yarns of sailors, but this reader submission deserves to be an exception because they were under reliable diesel power when they encountering something very strange, indeed. It all started with an email report from the yacht Maiken: “... and then we sailed into a vast, many miles wide, belt of densely packed pumice. We were going by motor due to lack of wind and within seconds Maiken slowed down from seven to one knot...[then]... we noticed that there was no cooling water was coming from the engine--” Pity that! To find out what these sailors had powered into--throw this stone.

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Formula News

Formula Founder
Celebrates 50 Years

USS Freedom 1
Vic and Kris Porter began building boats in 1958 in an ice cream plant with three employees.

One of the unique aspects of boat building is the presence of family-owned boat builders as opposed to corporations run by hired executives. Not coincidentally these boat-builder families are responsible for more than their share of the marquis brands in the sport. This summer Vic Porter – the man who built Formula into the platinum name you know today – celebrated his 50th anniversary in boat building. Vic started out in the corn fields of Decatur, Indiana and Formula is still there today building some of the most sophisticated and high-tech boats on the planet. If you own a Formula, or are thinking about buying one in the future, you should read Vic’s bio because it will give you a sense of the experience and integrity behind this brand -- read on.

To see more vintage photos of the Porter family and Formula employees -- step into this time machine.

See Formula boat tests --

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Captain Steve's Lesson #12

Requirements for Recreational Boaters

Captain Steve 12
Capt. Steve explains requirements for all boaters.

In the next few weeks Captain Steve will be dealing with the requirements for recreational boaters. In this week’s lesson, Captain Steve takes you through boat registration, boat lettering and points out the safety of and requirements for life jackets. The thirteen videos presented this week are part of Captain Steve’s USCG-approved boating course called “Smart Boating.” Watch Captain Steve's video boating lessons every week on

To view this week’s lessons --

To view past lessons --

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Ducky Award Winner

Dog with Life Vest

First Place

“If he works on this boat like he does at home, I’m wearing a life vest!!” – D. Zillig

Second Place

“Shhh, watch this...I just pulled the plug!” – A. Branton

Honorable (almost) Mention

“First my manhood, now the vest...” – J. Jackson

“What do you mean smile? Would you smile?” – G. Wolf

Pirate Duck

“You’d sit up here too if you saw what they were doing below!” – C. Etzper

What's Going on Here?

Whats Going On Crash

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 11/16/08.