For the last year or so Yanmar engineers and those at ZF
have been working hard to mate ZF’s tried-and-proven Zeus pod drive and joystick system
to Yanmar’s diesel engines from 380-hp to 500-hp. In November Yanmar began shipping
their diesels with Zeus pod drives. This is good news for boat buyers because it meas
they can now have the lightweight, low profile and cost advantages of Yanmar diesel
power and a pod Sdrive/joystick system too. Our head-to-head testing of boats has
repeatedly shown that at best cruise speeds diesel-powered boats are 30% to
49% more fuel efficient when they employ pod drives vs. conventional inboard drives.
This massive fuel savings means not only lower operating costs, but also significantly
more range. Those two benefits, together with the ease of joystick docking, means
that Yanmar diesel power should be seriously considered by anyone. To find out more about this happy marriage, join Capt. Smith as
he fills us in on the details.
The Windy 44 Chinook hardtop sports cruiser was named
“European Powerboat of the Year” in the under 50 ft. category at the Dusseldorf
Boat Show Jan. 17-25. New boats launched in the last 12 months were judged by an
editorial panel from seven leading European powerboat magazines. The three double stateroom,
two full head express cruiser has a deep-V hull and is powered by twin IPS 600 diesels.
BoatTEST.com COO Christopher Hughes was in Europe at the time and has a full video
report on the exciting new Windy 44 Chinook -- watch video.
Jim Viestenz is president of KCS, which owns both Cruisers Yachts and Rampage. He is one of those presidents who cares passionately about the boats his companies build and about what his customers want. He will be at the Miami Boat Show, Feb. 12 to 16, and we invite you to stop by and ask him your toughest questions. If you are in the market for an express cruiser or fishboat you need to find out why they build boats the way they do. If you own a Cruisers, Rampage or a competing model, you should let him know what’s on your mind. Click above on three questions that we asked Jim. You may be surprised at some of his answers.
Attending the Miami Boat Show?
Schedule a meeting with President Jim Viestenz.
It is not often that we get a mash note from one of our
testing captains, but when Capt. Steve saw the Wellcraft 340 Coastal at the New
York Boat Show he fell hard. We don’t know if this is true love or just a passing
infatuation, but in any case he likes the lines of this lady and now wants go out
on a serious mission. He says she is full of clever
little ideas, such as a touch screen electrical panel, a slide-out wine rack, frig
and freezer drawer on the bridge deck, cutting board on the transom, two Pullman
berths in the bow and a mid-cabin sleeping area. After our captains have a close encounter with boats that they test
or review, we ask them to send us a little “de-briefing” note to tell us what we
should know that wasn’t captured on camera. Here is a copy of the remarks we received from Capt. Steve last
|Last Wednesday 45,781 unique visitors came to BoatTEST.com – more than can fit into Boston’s Fenway Park!|
Visitor traffic has grown steadily since BoatTEST was founded nine years ago. Last year BoatTEST had an average of 19,152 visits each day, according to Webtrends, up 43% from the year before. That’s nearly 7 million visits a year! Last Wednesday the website had 51,508 visits from 45,781 unique visitors, setting an all-time one-day record for BoatTEST. That increase in 2008 traffic can be attributed to word-of-mouth as more and more boaters have discovered the treasure trove of buyer information available on the site. With about 3,000 videos available on demand, over a thousand boat and engine tests, data on over 6,000 boats, and more than 100,000 classified boat listings, BoatTEST. is the largest repository of recreational boating content on the planet. Thank you one and all for helping make BoatTEST so popular.
2500 Years of
|Tall ship sails past the Burbo Bank wind farm on the approach to the Port of Liverpool.|
For most readers of this newsletter -- no matter where you live in the world -- boating is not a sport, but rather a way of life. Professor Bill Noble, at Coors University, reminds us with this photo essay why boats are so thoroughly ingrained into our collective soul. Taken around the world last summer, these photos chronicle ships from Ancient Greece up to the 18th century taken around the world last summer. Step into civilization’s salty past --
It has something to do with water,
it could save a life, and you
should not get near it.
Two recent accidents have us wondering if anyone remembers what this is for -- or if it’s even being used. In one incident, a man had to have his legs amputated. In another, two women were hit. Both accidents had one thing in common: they involved divers. Were their dive flags handy or just ignored? Put on your mask and follow us.
Think you can be a good skipper,
little buddy? Hah!
So you want to be a captain? Get in line. With the bags of money and beating back groupies with your GPS -- who wouldn’t want to be one? But do you have the right stuff? Do they crowd around you at the yacht club bar? Do you wear one of those fancy baseball caps with the scrambled eggs?
Well first you have to get past those Coast Guard guys and their test books. Want to give it a try? Here are three questions from the Coast Guard License exam. As is usually the case with the Coast Guard, sometimes there is more than one correct answer. You need to pick the most right.
Now shove off and make your choices --
"We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give."
~Sir Winston Churchill
|Ferretti becomes the first large yacht builder to get into used boat refurb and certification.|
Ferretti Yachts and Mochi Craft announced the launch of a “Platinum Selection” service
program for pre-owned yachts, a program previously only available for newly registered Ferretti
Group boats. The program will be first launched in Italy by the Luxury Yacht Corporation
(LYC), the exclusive Ferretti Yachts and Mochi Craft dealer for the country. The
pre-owned yachts in their portfolio will be supervised and certified by the shipyard
itself. The program will then be extended across the dealer network for all the
Ferretti Group companies. Once refurbishing and certification work have
under the shipyard's supervision, the yacht can become a “Platinum Selection” pre-owned
model, according to the company. We like the program and we’ll keep you posted if and when
it is rolled out to the rest of the world.
To see boat tests of Ferrettis --
See video of Riva 33 --
Boating Buying Tip
Buying a Used Boat:
|Is it a new deal, square deal, fair deal, or dealt off the bottom of the deck?|
A favorite indoor sport of many boaters these days seems to be searching for unbelievable deals on used boats. Most people think that there will never be a better time than now to get a great deal on a used boat. Blood is in the water and deal sharks are circling, hunting for vulnerable prey that are willing to give up pearls for the price of a sow’s ear. BoatTEST.com studies indicate that about 65% of the boaters currently in the market for a boat are searching for used boats and while there are definitely some great deals to be had, there are also some pitfalls. We’d like to help our members avoid the turkeys and score the peacocks. Here are some tips for the used boat buyer --
PETA is calling fish “sea kittens” in order to brainwash America’s
We could not make this stuff up: The folks at PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) are at it again and this time they have trained their mighty political guns on fish and fishing. They are out to save all the fish of the world by re-programming our children. Surely, every child will stop daddy from fishing if the fish are called “sea kittens”. To promote this concept, PETA is embarking on a large scale (or is it scale-y?) social engineering program to convince children of this before dad can get to them with the concept that fishing is fun. Moreover, they are also taking aim at federal and state programs that promote fishing and are urging people to write to Congress. There’s more to this story -- here kitty kitty.
|An example of database lists for Palm OS.|
Programs that help navigate or obtain information on weather, tides and currents are some of the better uses for a mobile phone aboard a boat. But there is a whole family of additional applications that can make your boating experience easier, safer and more manageable. As mobile phones grow in popularity, there are applications to help manage lists, maintain a blog, streamline email and perform web browsing that helps with dozens of other common boating tasks. Read more --
|Powerboats – both new and used – have never been so attractive as now.|
BoatTEST is leveraging its nationwide contacts and world-wide reach with dealers, brokers, builders, and its staff’s decades of experience in the marine business to offer its members exclusive boat-buying help. This service is free to BoatTEST members (new sign-up is required) seeking new powerboats 20' or larger and new and used powerboats 30’ and larger. BoatTEST will identify specific boats meeting buyer criteria that we feel offer exceptional value to members contemplating purchase prior to August 2009. Already over 100 members have taken advantage of this service. To take advantage of BoatTEST.com’s Member Service Boat Buying Program -- sign up here.
Website for Global
The University of the Aegean’s Dept. of Product & Systems Design Engineering has created a website called MarineTraffic.com which shows the way to boating of the future. It currently tracks several thousand AIS transponders around the world including 225 recreational vessels most of which are megayachts. But AIS units can be placed in any size boats and, in fact, in the Med all recreational vessels over a certain size must be equipped with them. Since 2005 the International Maritime Organization has ruled that all vessels of 300 gross tons or greater and all passenger vessels must carry AIS transponders. There are services for commercial shipping, such as AISlive.com which tracks over 25,000 vessels, but increasingly the benefit to recreational boaters of AIS are becoming apparent. Our guess is that most cruising yachtsmen with boats 35’ or larger will want to be equipped with AIS units in the future. So what are the benefits? --
Capt. Steve's Lesson #22
Basic Rules of the Road
|Capt. Steve brings us the basics.|
Capt. Steve covers some of the basic rules of the road in these new lessons which all recreational boaters should be aware of. You’ll learn about lines of demarcation, traveling at safe speeds, how to determine your risk of collision, why one should steer clear of large vessels and who has the right of way. Part 1 is the first installment of a multi-part series on Basic Rules of the Road. These videos presented this week are part of Capt. Steve’s USCG-approved boating course called “Smart Boating.” Watch Captain Steve's video boating lessons every week on BoatTEST.com.
To view this week’s lessons --
To view past lessons --
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