Offshore Motoryacht Newsletter - 04/01/2009
Offshore Motoryacht Newsletter April 1, 2009 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust

New Boats & Video Reviews

- Cruisers Yachts 420
- Carver 44 Sojourn
- Hargrave 84 Mar Azul
- Jeanneau 38 S

Also Inside:
- Meridian 580 Is Turning Heads
- Which Brands Will Survive?
- NFL Player Wanted to Save
- Sunseeker 64 Predator
- PT Boats
- Maxum's 3100 SE
- Brighten Your Gel Coat
- OceanLED News
- Thai Boat Robbery Goes Wrong
- The Recession & Boat Building
- 3M Water Filters
- U.S. Navy Photo Essay
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
Ducky Award Winner

Meridian 580 Pilothouse
Is For Serious Cruising

Meridian 580 Pilothouse
Stylish, seaworthy, affordable and built in the U.S with significant warranties, this 58’ pilothouse motoryacht from Meridian is an important milestone for the builder.

We just completed our test of the Meridian 580 and we’re here to tell you that this motoryacht is a tremendous value no matter how you want to look at it. Capt. Steve put the 580 through her paces and he was impressed both with the boat’s handling and the execution of her interior joinerwork. She has a surprising list of standard equipment that is usually optional on many boats. Moreover, a lot of good, solid design planning went into the 580 which shows us that this is the builder to watch during the next several years. The Meridian 580 is an outstanding contender in her class – and a million dollars less than some of her competition! Don’t miss Capt. Steve’s full report --

See BoatTEST's cruisability video of the 580 Pilothouse -- test drive 
See more tests of Meridian Yachts --

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Boat Tests & Reviews

Cruisers Yachts 420 Sports Coupe

Cruisers Yachts 420 Sports CoupeCruisers Yachts have some new kids on the block and the 420 Sports Coupe is one of them. This model addresses one of the age-old issues some of us have with a hardtop. Rather than have the last foot or so open with Isinglass that you have to tangle with, on this model the windshield wraps around the entire top and you need only add the camper canvas across the back when the weather turns on you. The cockpit has lots of seating that can be converted into a sunpad.  Take a look at the Cruisers Yachts 420 Sports Coupe.

 Carver 44 Sojourn

Formula 400 Super Sport

Carver's new addition to its 11-model family from 36' to 56' sits squarely in the middle. The concept of this boat is to provide affordable comfortable cruising accommodations for two couples or for a family. The emphasis in boat building these days is at the stern, and Carver has certainly zeroed-in on that aspect to provide plenty of space for all sorts of activities.  Take a tour through Carver's 44 Sojourn.

Jeanneau 38 S

Jeanneau 38 S

For the last eight years Jeanneau has been building powerboats and now has 10 express and flying bridge models in their line, from 30’ to 50’. Jeanneau calls its powerboat line “Prestige.” They are modern, innovative and because the company is trying to break into the U.S. they are extremely low priced. If you are interested in something a little different with a European flare you should check out the Prestige line.  Come aboard the Jeanneau 38 S. 

Hargrave 84 Mar Azul

Hargrave Mar AzulHargrave Custom Yachts has long sought to drive home to the motoryacht-buying public how far customers can go to “personalize” the boats they build. Nothing dramatizes the point better than this innovative new design concept which looks like a raised deck pilothouse motoryacht on the outside, but on the inside does not waste valuable main deck real estate as do conventional pilothouse configurations. According to Hargrave owner Mike Joyce, “This boat was designed to be handled by a husband and wife,” and is equipped with everything a cruising couple will need.  Take a look at the Mar Azul from Hargrave.

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Industry News

Which Brands Will Survive the Recession?

Uniflite Trojan  Jersey
Three brands, all different types, did not survive the U.S. Congress’ 10% Luxury Tax:
(l to r): 46’ Uniflite, 40’ Trojan, 40’ Jersey.

Recently we have received quite a bit of mail from readers asking if we think this or that brand will survive the current recession. Typically, readers tell us that they are thinking about buying a new boat but a salesperson from a competing brand (usually a bigger one) has said the brand the buyer has their heart set on will not survive the recession. Above you can see examples of three out of more than 20 brands that did not survive the devastation caused by the 10% Luxury Tax promulgated by the U.S. Congress in 1991. So, which builders will survive this rather large bump in the economic road? We think you might be surprised by our answer --

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Boating Safety

NFL Player Wanted
To Save a $95 Anchor

capsize1_41 capsize2_41  Pad eye with line tied
The FFWCC accident report reveals that an improper anchor retrieval attempt in rough water caused the boat to swamp, then it capsized.
Note: Line in the picture at right still tied to the stern pad eye.

In all likelihood, three men lost their lives  because NFL player Marquis Cooper didn’t want to lose another anchor, as occurred on a fishing trip the week before. (Mistake #1) After William Bleakley tied the boat’s anchor rode to a pad eye on the port side transom of the boat, (Mistake #2) Cooper shoved the throttle of his 200-hp outboard forward in an attempted to free the snagged anchor (Mistake # 3). With the anchor holding the boat down and the thrust of the engine trying to push the boat forward, it is little wonder that topping seas in what may have been 40 knot winds spilled over the boat’s transom and swamped it. Survivor Nick Schuyler told FFWCC officers that once the boat swamped, it quickly capsized to the port side. To read the official report of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s report -- read on.

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New Boat

New Sunseeker
64' Predator

Sunseeker 64
Sunseeker’s latest addition is unquestionably the most stylish and sexy express cruiser built in the U.K.

For the last 20 years we have stood in awe of the rapidity with which Sunseeker Yachts in Poole, England has introduced exciting new models and taken much of the world by storm. The company’s founders started as boat dealers in the 1970s and were quick to get the message that those stogie, hide-bound British yachtsmen were ready for a little excitement in their lives. Once started, they never looked back, each year introducing still larger models culminating a couple of years ago with the 120’ beauty that is the production queen at boat shows around the world. Recently Sunseeker launched its new Predator 64 -- mouse aboard.

See BoatTEST's video review of the new Predator 64 -- 

Maxum News

3100 SE: Largest Maxum
Sport Cruiser

Maxum 3100
The standard buff black gelcoat on the 3100 SE makes it stand out from many of the other boats at the marina.

The 3100 SE is the largest boat in Maxum's Sport Cruiser series and the second largest boat in the builder’s whole line. Maxum is a Brunswick-owned builder and is generally considered to be a step-up boat from the Bayliner brand. The 3100 SE is designed to be a versatile express cruiser suitable for day cruising and water sports, as well as a weekender for a couple or small family. A bimini and cruising canvas comes standard on the 3100 SE which lengthens this boat’s season, something we like. To find out our take on the boat’s standard equipment --

See tests of Maxum boats --


Shurhold Banner

Larson Banner

Bayliner Banner



Cruisers Yachts Banner



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PT Boats

PT Boats Spawned High-Speed Cruisers

PT Boat
Thousands of men in their late teens and 20s who ran America’s PT boat fleet in WW II never forgot the thrill of high-speed cruisers.

Perhaps it is a coincidence that in the 1970s and ‘80s high-speed cruising powerboats had a dramatic rise in popularity. Could it have been it was because thousands of former WW II PT boat crews were then hitting their peak earning years? Certainly the quest for speed in convertibles and motoryachts caught the engine companies by surprise as they scrambled to cobble together Rube Goldberg diesels that could generate the horsepower to power these brutes. The PT boats used triple V-12 Packard engines which feed on aviation gasoline. To find out what the PT boats were like and why they captured the imagination of a generation --now hear this.

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OceanLED News

Free Haul-Out For Underwater Lights!

Underwater lights attract fish! This bait ball was attracted by OceanLED lights off of Palm Beach inlet.

Starting today (April 1, no fooling!) OceanLED will pay up to $1000 for a haul- out for any customer buying four or more of their 3010 Pro-Series underwater lights. The offer is good for the first 250 customers from now until June 30th. You can select any color, any style, in 50-degree or 180-degree lens options. The lights must be purchased through an authorized dealer (not online) or boatyard. OceanLED is suggesting that while your boat is hauled-out, why not get the bottom painted using Interlux paint, which is co-sponsoring their promotion. We love it! While you’re on OceanLED’s nickel, why not check your cutlass bearings, change zincs and have your props re-balanced, too? To find out who your local OceanLED dealer is -- turn on your mouse.

Safety Tip

Thai Robbery
Goes Very Wrong

Malcolm and Linda Robertson had been cruising around the world in their 44’ sailboat.

The murder of the owner of a 44’ sailboat last week off the Thailand coast has shocked the yachting community and provides warning for boaters cruising in unfamiliar waters. Malcolm Robertson tried to stop thieves from making off with his dinghy and paid with his life. Mrs. Robertson said she was “trussed up naked like a chicken” for nine hours by thieves. Yachtsmen cruising in waters outside North America and Western Europe would be well advised to keep a person on watch throughout the night and be prepared with emergency measures in case of trouble. Radar units are available that sound an alarm when a perimeter is crossed. To find out more about this tragedy and to add your comments for cruising safety --

Industry News

How the Recession Is Changing Boat Building

Boat building the old fashioned way
– one at a time.

There has been much in the news about what is happening in Detroit, in housing, on Wall Street, and elsewhere – but what exactly is the current recession doing to the industry that builds the boats that we love? Everyone knows that sales are down, but what exactly is going on among the companies that dream up, design and build our boats? Will some positive changes come out of this economic trauma? To find out, we surveyed some of America’s premier builders --

Water Filters

3M Water Filter Saves Money & Taste

Captain Rob & 3M
Capt. Rob explains how to install 3M’s boat water filter and change cartridges.

Bottled water for drinking often costs more than gasoline and that’s why a good on-board water filter is a great way to lower your annual boat operating costs. Water from boat water tanks is notoriously foul and, with good reason, most boaters we know won’t drink it. Yet lugging costly bottled water aboard is a pain, takes up space and is expensive. You only need room to fit one 3M water filter to the freshwater line in your galley, for example, and you can have pure water to drink or to make iced tea, lemonade or whatever. It’s a practical, low-cost way to upgrade your boat this spring. Watch Capt. Rob explain it all --

Noble News

2008 U.S. Navy
Photo Essay

The best 2008 U.S. Navy pictures American taxpayer money can buy.

Last week we reported on the U.S. Navy entering the ranks of Samurai Seamanship with the collision of two of its vessels in the Strait of Hormuz. Our trusty contributor -- and American jingoist -- Bill Noble, has asked us this week to publish the U.S. Navy’s 2008 pictorial slide show so that this newsletter can stay “fair and balanced.” To those 25% of our readers who are not American, we would be glad to publish the slide shows of your country’s navy in action, or inaction, as the case may be. That this is propaganda is no doubt, but we think that you will agree with us that most of the photos would win 1st prize in most any art show. These pictures are in the finest tradition of that truly great WWII Navy band of photographers – the Steichen Unit. Pictures that are hard to forget --

Maintenance Tip

Brighten Your
Old Gel Coat

Buff Magic
Buff Magic
A boat's heavily oxidized gel coat (left) can be restored to it's original high gloss finish with a treatment of Yacht Brite's Buff Magic

Have you ever seen a new boat that has a gel coat finish that is so bright and glossy that you want to rub your hand over it and feel its soft, "silky" contours? Have you ever seen an old boat where you have wanted to do that? Weather, UV, oxidation, abrasions, scratches and just plain normal use all take a heavy toll on delicate gel coat. We have found a product that the bobuffatyard pros use that is economical, easy to apply and can make an old boat look like new for under $29. It is called Yacht Brite "Buff Magic," and in 2003 it won the NMMA’s Innovation Award. To find out more and where to get it -- polish your mouse.

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Capt. Steve's Lesson #30

Staying on Course and
Taking a Bearing

Capt. Steve

Wind and current can push you off course, so pay attention to the compass to make sure
your heading is correct.

This week Capt. Steve goes over nine new lessons and guidelines on setting a course and taking bearings. Capt. Steve explains that bearings are the basic forms of determining your position, and you should always look around to get your bearings with a point on land. Other basics covered in these lessons are the differences between nautical and statute miles, and using speed and distance to find out time to travel. These are basic lessons which all recreational boaters should be aware of. The videos presented this week are part of Capt. Steve’s USCG-approved boating course called “Smart Boating.” Watch Capt. 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

whats going on here?

First Place
"Sea Tow - yeah it's me again. You won't believe what just happened."  - J. Giles

Second Place
"As Darwin's theory suggests, after millions of years the boat ventured out of the water and evolved into a car." - R. Meiners

Honorable (almost) Mention
"Savage Angry Trees Capture Boat! Hold on bank in protest for the 'Green Party.'"
- L. Youngblood 

"If you aim for the stars, you will probably reach the trees." - S. Hedman

What's Going on Here?


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