Offshore Motoryacht Newsletter - 05/27/2009
Offshore Motoryacht Newsletter May 27, 2009 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust
- Bertram 540 Convertible
- Four Winns V358
- Rampage 34 for Both Seasons
- Cruisers Yachts 520 SC
- Meridian Yachts 580
- Doral Intrigue
- Hargrave Yachts Reduced
- You Want to Downsize?
- Sea Ray 52 Sedan Bridge
- Nordhavn Transatlantic Rally
- Yanmar-Powered Carver 36
- Brunswick Offers "Protection"
- BoatTEST Runs 180 Pages
- Cruiser Sinks in Lake Ontario
- Maintenance Genie
- Recession Hits Megayacht Yards
- Fleming 65 Cruises Sea of Cortez
- BoatTEST Certified Special Find
- Victory at Sea
- Featured Product: Pro Polish
- Light at the End of the Tunnel
- Phil Bolger: 1927-2009
- Oregon USCG Wants PFDs
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
Ducky Award Winner

Capt. Steve Tests
the New 
Bertram 540 Convertible

Bertram 540
The 540 has a very sharp entry at 44-degrees and a deadrise at the transom of 16-degrees. Notice the level ride. Bow rise at cruise was only 5 degrees. Great for visibility.

The original Bertram 54, which came out in 1984, was arguably the best convertible Bertram built in its glory days that ended about 20 years ago. The 10% Luxury Tax rocked the company to its foundations in 1991 and it was sold, sold again, wandered in the wilderness, and then in 1998 the Ferretti Group finally bought it. Ferretti began a process of renovation and renewal that reached full circle with the introduction of the Bertram 540. The Ferretti Group is building a slightly different kind of Bertram, one more for a sophisticated sportsman, a man who takes good fishability for granted, but who also wants a luxurious cruising boat and a classy entertainment venue all rolled up in one marquis brand. Enter the all new Bertram 540. We think she’s a lot better than the old 54 and we’ll tell you why --

See video of the 540 test in the Gulf Stream --

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Second Look

Swept Away by the Four Winns V358

Four Winns V358 
The beautiful flowing lines and new pastel colors of the new V358 will grab attention wherever she goes, or even at rest. (Reminds us of those great old Thunderbirds in the early 1960s.)

The folks in Cadillac, Michigan like nothing better than blowing off the socks of their competition with new ideas and reinventions of old ones. Their latest why-didn’t-we-think-of-that creation is an all-new pallet of pastel colors and a dozen new features sprinkled all over the boat. We love the new pastels on the V358. They work, and draw one’s eye to the other details about this express cruiser which might otherwise have been missed. The V358 has been around for a couple of years but if you haven’t seen the changes made for 2009 then you have missed a treat. This boat is so well executed we think it can become a classic. We were blown away the new model as we think you will be too when you see the pictures --

See test video of the V358 --


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IPS Fishing

Rampage 34 Is a Boat
for Both Seasons

Rampage 34
Rigged for action with a half tower the Rampage 34 is a fighting machine and a comfortable cruiser.

More and more these days boaters are looking for boats that can be versatile, either cruise or fish, and be darned good at both. The Rampage 34 fits the bill. Below she is open and comfortable for dinner, drinks and hanging out; but when it’s time to turn in, she’ll sleep six family, friends, or fishing buddies. The boat comes with gas, diesel, or IPS, take your pick. Mom and the kids will like the joystick docking. When you have a truly big fish on, you need to keep the stern of the boat facing the action and keep the angler fighting astern rather than over a stern quarter, or worse, to the side. The boat should be as agile as a ballet dancer at the Met, and with the IPS the helmsman can turn, spin, back down, gun her forward and do whatever it takes to keep the line taught, the rod bent, and the fish in on the defensive. Capt. Rob Smith takes an in-depth look at the Rampage 34 --

See BoatTEST video of the Rampage 34 --

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Second Look

Cruisers Yachts 52 for Serious Yachtsmen

Cruisers Yachts 52 Sports Coupe Cruisers Yachts 52
With 15’6” beam this hardtop express cruiser has something few others have in class – 6'+ headroom in the full beam master stateroom aft.

With a top speed of 41.4 mph the 520 Sports Coupe from Cruisers Yachts is virtually the fastest yacht on the market with triple 435-hp IPS diesels. And at her best cruise speed of 22.5 mph those three mills are just loping along, burning only 28.7 gph, again pretty much best in class, giving her a 335-mile range. But there is a lot more to the 520 than performance. Her styling, room, layout, fit-n-finish, her beefy construction, and her full standing head room in the aft master, make her nothing short of compelling. For most people a 52' boat is all that they will ever need in life. This boat can cruise virtually anywhere in the civilized world and do it in comfort with reliable systems and a joystick to boot. To see what we’re talking about check out our complete test with performance numbers, video and Captain’s Report --

See BoatTEST video test on Cruisers 520 -- 

Request a factory price quote --

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Meridian 580’s Range:
766 or 324 Nautical Miles?

Meridian Yachts 580 Steve on the Meridian Yachts 580
Capt. Steve wrings out the Meridian 580 motoryacht during a long day of testing. But what is its “best cruise” speed?

Capt. Steve spent the better part of a day testing and carefully going over every inch of the Meridian 580 before he made the videos presented here. After the speed trials were done he and the president of BoatTEST got into a lively debate as to what is the “best cruise” speed for this 60,000 lb. vessel. Capt. Steve maintained that a displacement speed of 8.6 knots was better than most “expedition” yachts make so that should qualify and it gives the boat a 766 nautical mile range on 90% fuel capacity. Our company’s president maintained that Meridian owners wouldn’t use the boat that way and would more likely cruise the boat at 20.1 knots, giving her a 324 nm range. We’d like to know which way our readers would use the boat so we can report the “best cruise” speed accordingly. Please email your answer to:

Read Capt. Steve’s “Captain’s Report” --

See BoatTEST 580 cruising video --

See BoatTEST 580 living aboard video --

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Boat Builders

Doral 30' Intrigue
Is Huge Below

Doral Intrigue

The Doral Intrigue is quite possibly the largest 30-footer on the market when it comes to interior space.

Doral built the Intrigue with a “cabin forward” design that maximizes the interior volume of this 30’ boat like nothing else we have seen. Below, she has two cabins plus what amounts to a sleeping “loft” up forward, separated from the salon by a privacy curtain. Her mid-cabin even has a seat. Like all Dorals her exterior styling and execution of details places her firmly in the ranks of the world’s top boat builders. She has a comfortable cockpit for both cruising and entertaining. You need to take a tour of this boat to fully appreciate what the creative designers at Doral have done. This year, Doral added several new engine combinations bringing the choices to sixteen packages from Yanmar, Cummins-MerCruiser, Volvo Penta and MerCruiser. We tested with the new Axius system from MerCruiser. Find out how the Doral Intrigue performed.

See all tests of Doral boats --

Schedule a sea trial of a Doral Intrigue --

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Nordhavn Transatlantic Rally

Largest Transatlantic Motoryacht Crossing

Part I

The concept
and the prep
for crossing.
Part II

Skippers, their spouses and crew get ready.
Part III

The start from
Ft. Lauderdale, group one.
Part IV

Into the
Gulfstream and good weather.

This video "mini-series" of the Nordhavn TA rally was so popular last year when we ran it, we thought you'd enjoy seeing it again.  Call it a "re-run."  The video series gives you the feel of the historic 2004 transatlantic power crossing. 18 power owners call it – “A Piece of Cake.”

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Hargrave News

Used Hargrave Motoryachts
Take Big Price Reductions

Hargrave Cocktails
The 97’ Raised Pilothouse Hargrave “Cocktails” reduced to $4,900,000.
Hargrave Freedom
The 108’ Raised Pilothouse Hargrave “Freedom” has been reduced to $5,700,000.
Hargrave One 2 Sea
The 68’ Hargrave motoryacht “One 2 Sea” now selling for $1,595,000.
Hargrave Crab Pot
The 78’ Hargrave motoryacht “Crab Pot” now asking $3,875,000.


Hargrave Custom Yachts not only builds new, large motoryachts, it also specializes in brokering used Hargrave motoryachts. Because the folks at Hargrave are intimately involved with every detail of the boats they build, it stands to reason that they would be the “go-to” people when buying a pre-owned Hargrave. Each of the four boats pictured above have had significant price reductions during the last 30 days and all are available for delivery in June. The 97’ “Cocktails” has been reduced $400k; the 108’ Freedom has been reduced $700k; the 68’ “One 2 Sea” has dropped $155k; and, the 78’ “Crab Pot” has taken off $620k. For more information and interior pictures --

See BoatTEST videos of new Hargraves --

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Second Look

Sea Ray 52 Sedan
Is Versatile for Cruising

Sea Ray 52 Sedan Bridge
The 52 Sedan Bridge model looks good in blue, one of two optional gel coat hull colors.

Sea Ray’s 52 Sedan Bridge started life as a 48 and has evolved over the last 11 years into a versatile yacht for both local entertaining, short hops, extended cruising, and can even be used for fishing by putting a few options aboard. That’s right, you really don’t have to have a $2 million fishing machine to go offshore fishing! With three staterooms, standard cruising canvas for the flying bridge, sun pads for the babes, and two venues for al fresco dining, this 52 can do almost anything within reason.  To get our take on the 52 --

Request a VIP viewing

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Boat Buying Tip

So You Want
To Downsize?

Downsizing has a lot going for it, but room, comfort, stability, amenities and getting cash out are usually not among its benefits.

Downsizing. We saw it coming last year. Fuel prices spiked to $5 a gallon and almost immediately powerboat owners began talking about downsizing. It didn’t make much difference what size boat they owned, they wanted to downsize. The owner of an 80-footer wants to downsize to a 60-footer; the owner of a 23-footer wants to trade down to a 20-footer. We asked why, and invariably the answer was the same: to lower operating expenses. When fuel prices got back to normal we expected to see the scramble to downsize disappear. But it didn’t. It’s still there among tens of thousands of boaters. Many would like to downsize to take cash out. We take a reality check and look at the dollars and sense of downsizing --

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255-hp Yanmar-Powered
Carver 36 Mariner as Fast as 375-hp Gas Engines!

Carver 36 Mariner
This is a 2007 Carver 36 Mariner, but 36 Mariners were also built in the mid-1980s. Almost all had gas engines.

Carver has built a “36 Mariner” at two distinct periods during the last 30 years. From 1984 to ’88 it built the model with two staterooms, then in 2004 the 35 Mariner morphed into the 36 Mariner and it is still being built to this day. It has one stateroom. Most of the Mariners no matter from what era they were built left the factory with twin gas engines. But in 2004 one of those Mariner 36s was powered by a 255-hp (continuous) 6LPA-STP Yanmar diesel. Amazingly, its top end was within 3/10ths of a mph of what we recorded in a sistership two years later powered by twin 375 Crusader 6.0 L HO MPI gas engines. This presents some interesting possibilities for someone looking for diesel power in an affordable 36’ boat. See what we mean --

Research all Yanmar engines --

Boat Buying

9 Months
“Payment Protection” for Bayliner, Maxum & Trophy

Bayliner Maxum Trophy
Bayliners, Maxums and Trophys are all eligible for the “Payment Protection Plan” until July 6, 2009. Pictured are a Bayliner 3400, Maxum 2400 SR3, and a Trophy 2902 WA.

Last Friday the folks at Brunswick announced a “Payment Protection Plan” for three of the company's brands: Bayliner, Maxum, and Trophy. The program will be extended to qualified consumers taking delivery by July 6, 2009 – just over a month away. In a statement issued on Friday the company said that the marketing plan is intended to help boat sales during this year’s peak boat selling season which ends with the July 4th weekend. Division President Andy Graves said, “People are understandably anxious in this economy. Payment protection can help allay some of those fears, and help more of our customers experience the joy of boating this summer.” To read full details about the plan --

BoatTEST News

BoatTEST Runs 180 Pages of Editorial Each Month

BoatTEST Newsletter BoatTEST Newsletter
BoatTEST Newsletter BoatTEST Newsletter
Each month’s staff produces 4 weekly newsletters that contain a total of over 180 editorial pages, more than almost any 3 print boating magazines put together.

In case you haven’t noticed, virtually all of the print boating magazines have become little more than pamphlets this year, some running as few as 30 editorial pages a month. The reason, of course, has been the precipitous fall in marine advertising this year due to the near catastrophic economic conditions that have hit the boating industry. The ad pages in these magazines pay for the edit pages, and with ad pages disappearing, so must the edit pages. Happily, has not missed a beat this year and continues to average over 180 editorial pages each month, combined, in it its four weekly newsletters. For example, during the last four weeks, published an astounding 68 articles and 76 videos spanning the size range from 16-footers to megayachts, giving buying information, 3rd party boat and engine tests, as well as boat handling, maintenance and seamanship tutorials. Why not send BoatTEST’s weekly newsletters to all of your boating friends? They’ll thank you for it. Sign up here --



Meridian Yachts

Larson Banner

Bayliner Banner

Maxum Banner



Cruisers Yachts Banner




yamaha pwc

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Featured Product

Pro Polish
from Shurhold

This PWC still has a showroom luster after a week of use and several washes,
all we did was towel dry.


When the team at Shurhold told us that their Pro Polish was “Better than an old fashioned wax” and one of the reasons was that it was a “polymer based formula with cosmetic grade ingredients”, we just had to send it to our skunk works for testing. Shurhold Pro PolishThe results: when applying you could see swirl marks and water spots disappear, and when buffed off, the resulting finish looked just as advertised, a nice deep luster with a showroom shine. But that was not enough, so after a week of use and four washings, with only drying the surface, we took a picture. We’d say this passed the test. 

Complete product information

Member Services

BoatTEST Certified Special Find

McKinna 62
McKinna 62 powered
by twin Cat C-18, 1000-hp engines.


The team at BoatTEST has spent the last few weeks searching for new and non-current boats which are exceedingly good values and are available at prices that you will not find anywhere else.  BoatTEST has reviewed several McKinna models in the past and has found that they have very fine fit and finish and exceptional joinerwork.  If the yacht above fits your needs and you have decided to buy in this class of yacht, then simply click on the image to see complete details and get the special price.   See full details on this yacht –

McKinna 62
McKinna 62 salon and galley.

Rescue of the Week

31' Cruiser Sinks
in Lake Ontario

Every boater's worse nightmare happened when water started rising in the bilge.

Last Saturday seven people were out on Lake Ontario fishing on their 31-foot cabin cruiser when the owner noticed that his bilge was filling with water. What to do? What would you do? The engines were running, so could it have been a faulty water intake hose? The skipper shut off the cooling water seacocks. Still the water came in. The boat began listing to one side and was clearly going down fast. The waters were frigid (40-degrees F) and all seven people would have only a few minutes in the water before hypothermia would set in. To find out what happened next --

Maintenance Tip

Maintenance Genie Saves the Day

The genie was kept tightly sealed in an old cigar box and it kept the boat’s gremlins away.

As we read the “Rescue of the Week” story which appears to the left, we could not help but think of a story told recently by Kiko Villalon, Pres. of Ancon Marine Consultants and a veteran of the U.S. marine industry. Kiko often does investigative work for the USCG, looking into why deadly accidents occur and the results of his work has appeared on these pages in the past. Every spring there are a rash of accidents – sinkings and explosions, for example – that occur in older boats usually because of a lack of maintenance and owner “boat diligence.” Kiko’s “maintenance genie” could help avoid many of these accidents and we highly recommend the genie to you. Open the box here --

Industry News

Recession Hits Superyacht Yards

Recession Hits Superyacht Yrads
The Danish superyacht builder Royal Denship went bankrupt last week meaning the recession has finally reached the rich.

The recreational marine recession which started in 2005 in 15’ aluminum boats in the American Midwest has now – 4 years later – not only rolled around the world, it has also climbed right up the boat size ladder to superyachts and hit the super rich. Last week Royal Denship, one of the largest megayacht-building yards in northern Europe, declared bankruptcy. This is the first major megayacht yard that has been brought to its knees by the world-wide recession. As recently as last summer, most superyacht yards had full order books going out at least three years. To find out what is going on among the rich and famous --

Victory at Sea

Saltwater Doesn't
Hurt Navy Chopper

That’s a $5.9 million Seahawk helicopter parked and chained down, near the bow of this U.S. Navy flattop. No fear, a little freshwater rinse and it will be fine. has just received a Top Secret video taken from the bridge of the USS Kitty Hawk in an undisclosed location. We’re told that this is a Navy test to make sure that its multi-million dollar helicopters can withstand repeated baths of tons of saltwater and keep on ticking. The ship’s flight deck is 88’ off the water. The Kitty Hawk is 1046’ LOA, with a beam of 129’ and a draft of 35’, displacing 82,000 tons. FYI – that’s a $32 million F/A 18 “All- Weather” (no kidding) fighter parked in front of the island. We assume the hanger below was full. If you would like to see how the Kitty Hawk and the Seahawk handle high seas, take a look at this video --

Cruising Grounds

Fleming 65 Cruises the Sea of Cortez

Fleming 65
The water at the southern end of the Sea of Cortez has a deep green color unlike what you find in the Caribbean. Fleming 65 Venture at rest.

This week we continue with Tony Fleming’s “world’s longest shakedown cruise” and visit the Sea of Cortez. Also called the Gulf of California, this body of water is about 800 miles long and is 75 to about 150 miles wide. It teams with several species of whale and dolphin, sea lions, and all manner of bird life. Game fishing is still good in the summer time and a large charter fleet is based at Cabo San Lucas at the very tip of Baja California. Everyone should see the Sea of Cortez at least once in their life. Let’s join Tony Fleming --

Read article on Fleming 65 --

Safety Tip

Oregon USCG Wants PFDs for Bars

Pilot Boat
This pilot boat works the Columbia River inlet in Oregon. It is probably the consistently most treacherous inlet in the U.S.

The Oregon Coast has some of the most treacherous river bar crossings in the country, but U.S. Coast Guard rules don't require charter boat passengers -- or recreational boat passengers -- to wear life jackets when braving those waters. At the suggestion of the USCG, the federal government is considering rules to require people on the decks of recreational and uninspected boats off the coast of Oregon and Washington to wear life jackets when crossing a restricted bar. (Bars can be restricted but not closed in severe weather.) We think that is a very good idea, and, further, we urge our readers to wear life jackets when entering any inlet when conditions are foul. Find out more and see pictures --

Buying Tip

Light at the End of the Economic Tunnel?

Light at the End of the Tunne
The second straight month of growing consumer confidence may signal that Americans’ fear of their economic future is ebbing away.

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index™, which had improved considerably in April, posted another large gain in May. The Index now stands at 54.9 (1985=100), up from 40.8 in April. The Present Situation Index increased to 28.9 from 25.5 last month. The Expectations Index rose to 72.3 from 51.0 in April. The Consumer Confidence Survey™ is based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households. The Index is now at its highest level since September, 2008 when the collapse of Lehman Bros. nearly caused a world economic meltdown. Confidence is stronger in some parts of the country than others. To get a regional breakdown and get the rest of the conference board’s full report --

Last Design

Phil Bolger

Phil Bolger
Bolger died as he had lived, by thinking out of the box by drawing the box -- with his own hand.

Phil Bolger was not the most famous of marine naval architects, but in many ways he was the most practical. He was known for off-beat designs, mostly sail, but of his 668 design, many were power boats, too. He was a master of simple design using 1/2” plywood and sold plans to a generation of Americans in the 1950s who built boats in their basements and back yards and made the dream of boating possible for thousands of people getting back on their feet after the Depression and WW II. For more about Phil Bolger and his body of work --

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Capt. Steve's Lesson #38

How to Dock with Twin Inboards

Capt. Steve

A twin inboard installation makes docking and close quarter maneuvering much easier.

This week Capt. Steve goes over six new lessons and guidelines on docking your twin inboard boat. Watch demonstrations with Capt. Steve approaching the dock, backing into a slip, and maneuvering the boat through close quarters. You’ll learn how to pivot your twin inboard, and how to “walk the boat” or move sideways without bow thrusters. 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

"Okay. So I pulled over to ask for directions -- are you happy now?" - J. Bohanan

Second Place

"No, really Dad, the funny thing is we were only going 5 knots --" - M. Mcnall

Honorable (almost) Mention
"Yep, twice a day, just like magic "
- Thompson

"We're here!" - M. Ross

"Hey Jim, did you get my text on how much I appreciate you letting me use your boat?"
- M. Burton

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 6/1


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