Sea Ray's Secret, New Tests: Regal 44, Formula 34 - 06/25/2009
Offshore Motoryacht Newsletter June 24, 2009 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust
- Regal 44 Sport Coupe
- Hatteras 72 Motor Yacht
- Devastation of Luxury Tax
- Hargrave Film Festival
- Why Some Models Aren't Tested
- Bayliner 300 Cruiser
- NMMA Certification Video
- New Test on the Formula 34 PC
- New Cheoy Lee 83
- New Nordic Tug 49
- Shurhold Product Removes Mold
- Viking 48C Is Impressive
- Wall Street Meets Joystick
- Secret Sea Ray
- Fleming 65 Goes to Galapagos
- Veem Interceptor Props
- Seafood Runs Out in 2048
- BoatTEST Moves Into Marine Web
- Bill Introduced to Study E15
- Autopilot Malfunctions
- Nordhavn Transatlantic Journey
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
Ducky Award Winner

New Regal 44 SC
Tested with IPS500

Regal 44 Sport Coupe
Regal’s 4460 Commodore was one of the most popular boats in its class for nearly eight years. You are now looking at the new Regal 44 SC which hit the market just days ago.

Two years ago the Regal 5260 took the boating industry by storm and within the space of a few short months 56 people had plopped down deposits to secure their name in its production line. Regal is still building this exceptional boat as fast as it can -- which is two units per month. Long awaited, the new Regal 44 SC is the younger sister to the 5260 and she does not disappoint. Regal has not thrown out the baby with the dishwater, keeping the basic hull and deck, but modified or changed elements that clearly could be improved. For example, the hull was modified to optimize for the IPS pods, the sport coupe hardtop has been completely changed and joins the windshield. The cockpit has been changed to have two distinct seating areas and to be more in touch with current trends. Down below the boat looks completely new and much more up-scale, even though the basic layout is the same. The wheel wasn’t broken, but it sure has been fixed up. Most importantly, the performance is substantially improved, with the 44 SC having about the same WOT speed, but getting 25% better fuel economy, and 15% better mileage at best cruise than it did with the twin 480-hp diesels in the 4460 Commodore. Perhaps the best thing of all about the boat is its price vis-a-vis the competition. And as a sign of the times, Regal is not requiring that dealers stock this boat, thus saving floor planning, freight and insurance costs – all expenses that were buried in the old 4460’s price. As a result, each boat will be built to customer order at a considerable savings. Capt. Steve has thoroughly tested and gone over the new 44 Sport Coupe and gives us a full report --

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Hatteras News

Hatteras 72 Motor Yacht:
Ideal for Owner/Operators

Hatteras 72 Hatteras 72

We think the Hatteras 72 Motor Yacht is an ideal size for cruising, entertaining and even living aboard for several months at a time. By day a helm, by night a disco. Where are the babes?

The first time we saw the Hatteras 72 was when she was introduced at the Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show in October of 2007. Since that time this model has proven to be popular, and little wonder since she hits the “sweet spot” of room, utility, versatility and price. The buyer pool for a boat like the Hatteras 72 is a diverse one, and that is why Hatteras as a number of different layout configurations and engine options. This week we are going to take a close look at this fine motoryacht and make a few recommendations of our own for people considering this boat. Step into our saloon--card the mouse

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Tax Fiasco

New Video Shows How Congress
Almost Killed Viking Yachts

Rising 1 Rising Tide 2 Rising Tide 3
The first President Bush promised “No New Taxes” then proceeded along with the Democratic Party led by Rep. Dan Rostenkowski to impost a 10% Luxury Tax on boats.

A new documentary will be airing in New Jersey this week called “The Rising Tide” which captures how the 1991 10% Luxury Tax nearly put Viking Yachts out of business, and did put over 100 boat builders and related companies under. In the process 25,000 direct jobs were lost in the marine industry and an estimated 75,000 more were lost due to the indirect impact of the tax. Congress pretended to be soaking the rich to distract the attention of the media and Joe Six-Pack from the fact that it was also lowering the long term capital gains rate from 33% to 15%. There were conga lines on Wall Street. The high-profile boating industry was sacrificed by Congress to act as camouflage for the biggest payday the rich had gotten in 30 years. America had been a net exporting nation of large yachts and three years later it was a net importing nation, and that has never changed. Learn more about this important new documentary --

See the video trailer for “The Rising Tide” --

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Hargrave News

Welcome to the “Hargrave Film Festival”

Hargrave Sandrine 
120’ Sandrine: Story behind Hargrave’s largest build.
Hargrave Sandrine 
120’ Sandrine: From a woman’s perspective.
Hargrave Sea Legend 
114’ Sea Legend: Built to be a world cruiser.
Hargrave Seafarer 
101’ Seafarer:
A custom world-class interior.
Hargrave Mar Azul 
84’ Mar Azul:  Disappearing raised pilothouse.

Some of the most beautiful videos we have ever produced are of Hargrave Custom Yachts, so today we are offering you a free ticket to the “Hargrave Film Festival.” We don’t know which video is your nominee for the Palm d’ Or, but everyone we know seems to have their own favorite. Each video has its own story and unique slant. Here and there you discover some surprises, and while not exactly of the Alfred Hitchcock variety, if you love classic motoryachts, we think you’ll find them compelling. They are also good tutorials on the details of fine yacht connoisseurship. Custom yachts are not built in a month or two, so if you are thinking about enjoying next summer on the motoryacht of your dreams, now is the time to contact Hargrave. Visit their website --

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BoatTEST News

Why BoatTEST Does Not Test Certain Brands

Not Tested Not Tested Not Tested

Not all boats are built the same, or built for the same people, or uses. tests boats and lets the ships fall where they may.

Virtually everyday we are asked why we don’t test one brand or another. The answer is simple: these brands don’t want to be tested. Like UL Labs and virtually every other testing company, we charge for our tests. So, if a company is unwilling, or unable, to pay for a test, we don’t test them. However, over nearly 10 years of being in business we have found that the companies that truly want to be tested find a way to pay for it, even in these tough times. Not surprisingly, they are usually the ones with the best products. The converse is equally true: companies with inferior products do not want their boats tested. They simply don’t want our captain’s running numbers and taking measurements. They want to avoid scrutiny, accurate performance data and our Captains Reports of the compromises they have made. Unfortunately for these builders and fortunately for consumers, the Internet has changed the old ways of doing business. It is the age of transparency, honesty, good customer service, reliable warranties, and documented performance sooner or later, with or without a BoatTEST full report, informed consumers will discover the turkeys. Some brands are a little slow to figure that out. So if you don’t see a brand tested that you are considering, you’ll have to ask it – and yourself –why.

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Second Look

The Bayliner 300 Is All New and Affordable

Bayliner 300 bayliner 300

With her sleek lines and standard twin 220-hp Mercs, the Bayliner 300 makes a good step up from a sportboat. Now the weekends are your playground and the horizon is your destination. Sleeps 4 comfortably, and 6 in a pinch.

Leave it to Bayliner to step up and make an affordable cruiser. The company has long been known for low price-point boats, but the days of thinking of them as “cheap” boats are long gone. The watchword these days for everybody is “value for money” and Bayliner owns that space. Their streamlined business model, construction techniques and relatively high volume help keep the prices where they need to be. For an in-depth perspective, we asked Capt. Steve to give the Bayliner 300 a once over. Here’s his report --

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Boat Buying Tip

NMMA Certification
Is Quality Assurance

NMMA Certification

NMMA-Certified boats are 7 times less likely to be recalled than ones that are not certified.

Most people don’t realize it but other than meeting a few UCSG regulations, boat builders are not required by law to meet any particular building standards. And for many years boats were built pretty much the way a company wanted to. But now the NMMA (National Marine Manufacturers Association) certifies that every model built by every certified builder meets or exceeds American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) standards. The ABYC has hundreds of standards and virtually all are designed to make your boat safer and more seaworthy. That is why NMMA-Certified boats are 7 times less likely to be recalled than ones that are not. To find out more about NMMA certification, watch Capt. Steve’s short video --

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New Test

New Formula 34 PC
Tops 48 MPH in Test

Formula 34 PC
She’s a performance cruiser (PC) which means you can really go places over a long weekend.

The great thing about a Formula 34 performance cruiser is that you can cruise at any speed you want up to 48.2 mph. Most summers we take an annual cruise up to Maine, making three hops up the coast: Stamford to Newport (5 hours), then to Provincetown on the cape (4 hours), thence to Portland, Maine (6 hours). Once up there we often poke along at 8 knots enjoying the incredible coastline and wildlife – and avoiding the pots! But coming back home, we usually shove off at dawn and make it back to Stamford in one long day. But with the Formula 34, you can sleep in, then run her at 38 knots—nearly twice as fast – and be in Stamford for dinner. Capt. Steve will be writing a full captain’s report soon on the boat, so stay tuned for his video. In the meantime, take a look at our new test numbers and see exactly how far and fast you can go in her --

New Boat

New Cheoy Lee 83
Has 3,000-Mile Range

Cheoy Lee 83
The new Serenity 83 has a 21’ 9” beam, a round bottom, displaces 180,000 lbs. and is powered by twin Cat C-12 diesels.

The full displacement Serenity 83 motoryacht is a seaworthy and economical member the new Cheoy Lee Serenity Series. Designed by Michael Burvenich, the S83 is available in two different forms, a more traditional canoe stern design, or a European model, including a Euro-transom with twin stairs from the aft deck to the swim platform. The hull is designed with flatter sections aft that enable the hull to run faster than a traditional displacement hull of the same waterline length, says the builder. In our opinion, this boat is one of the most exciting new yachts to be introduced this year and she captures the traditional yacht look, yet is modern, and certainly is one of the most seaworthy and seakindly designs we have seen of late.  See the innovative interior, full specs, and to get our commentary on this new motoryacht --

New Boat

New Nordic Tug 49:
Roomy Coastal Cruiser

Nordic Tug 49
The new Nordic Tug 49 has the range and livability to go long range cruising in comfort and style. Her freeboard ranges from 8' 9" /2.7 m at the bow to 5' 4” / 1.60 m at the cockpit.

With more and more people discovering that long distances are not just for the realm of blow-boaters, companies making affordable passagemakers, like Nordic Tugs, are finding success in this ever increasing niche market. These max-cube boats are a good choice for taking long cruises, while still being able to spend the nights in the comfort of a marina or just on the hook, but with resupply close at hand. That’s a combination that is too good to resist for more and more boaters who want to put some adventures in their lives. Come aboard and check out what the Nordic Tug 49 has to offer --

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Shurhold Products Has What It Takes to Remove Mold

Shurhold Product-- Moldaway

One of the unpleasant discoveries made when commissioning time arrives is the abundance of mold and mildew that often has grown on cushions, bulkheads, fabrics and in dark, hard to reach places in your boat. Mold can be a health hazard and it will certainly spread if it isn’t removed. Once the mold and mildew are properly removed, then you have to take steps to keep it from coming back. For more information about Moldaway and how to order it--

Second Look

Viking 48C Is An Impressive Battlewagon

Viking 48SC
Viking didn’t forget that sometimes you need to walk up to the bow. You’ve got to love that graceful sheer line. And low transom.

More and more, convertibles are appealing to the casual cruiser and casual fisherman as well as the dedicated angler. We have always liked convertibles as strictly cruising boats because of their low center of gravity and large cockpits which are idea for entertaining. The Viking 48C has a comfortable interior as well as hard fighting features combined into one package. Great for going into battle, or hosting the black tie affair. Come aboard and with one look, you’ll see what we mean--

Industry News

Wall Street Meets Joystick Technology

Dusty McCoy
 Brunswick chairman and CEO, Dusty McCoy, gave the nation’s financial community a lesson on the joys of joystick boat handling.

Dusty McCoy, chairman and CEO of Brunswick, wins’s “Boating PR Coup of the Month” Award for getting 4 minutes 41 seconds of prime broadcast time last Wednesday on the program that virtually all members of America’s financial community watch every morning – CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” program. Mark Haines, the program’s congenial co-host seems to own a trailerable boat but didn’t know a pod drive from a jet drive and McCoy gave him a gentle tutorial about modern boat handling. CNBC’s “Chief Nautical Correspondent” Ryan Ruggiero demonstrated docking a Sea Ray at Surfside 3’s Hudson River marina while the country’s financial tycoons listened to McCoy explain the product’s virtues as the market dropped 40 points (later to recover). Take a look at a very entertaining and informative, boating-promoting video --

Covert Ops

Frogmen Video
Secret Sea Ray

Sea Ray -- New
A never-before-seen video of a top-secret Sea Ray project was captured by Backwater frogmen swimming off Merritt Island, Florida.

A usually reliable source told us recently that Sea Ray was working on something really big and very “hush-hush”, so we hired some unemployed Backwater frogmen to stake out the company’s dock in Merritt Island. Lots of secret stuff goes on there because it is just a few miles from the Cape Canaveral Kennedy Space center. Homeland Security patrols are everywhere so it is an ideal location for Sea Ray’s covert skunk works. Prototypes of new boats are usually only taken out for testing in the dark of night to foil the prying eyes of industrial spies, so our frogmen had to be patient. But late last week the Sea Ray engineers slipped up and we got some video footage of what could be a design breakthrough. First time ever seen by the public --

Fleming Cruise

Fleming 65 Makes It to the Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Islands
Charles Darwin spent five weeks in these islands and got the idea of evolution.

This week we join Tony Fleming as he makes his way to one of the most unique places on the face of the earth in his Fleming 65. Not only did these islands give rise to the theory of evolution, during the period from 1977 to 1982 it was actually observed for the first time, in real time, among ground finches. Today penguins from Antarctica play there, as well as sea lions from California, albatross, flightless cormorants, and of course the giant Galapagos turtles. Join Tony has he tours several of the islands in his 65-footer --

Read review of Fleming 65 --


Veem “Interceptor” Props Popular on Convertibles

Note the narrow plastic strip on the trailing edge of the prop. These change the pitch. Each color strip is a different height, thus creating a different pitch.

Viking, Bertram, Cabo, Riviera and other major builders of high-speed convertibles are using Veem props because of the Interceptor technology you see pictured above. Several things can affect the performance of sportfishing boats as they try to maximize speed, including tuna towers, fuel loads and weight distribution. Changing prop pitch to maximize performance used to mean changing props – but not with Veem's Interceptor props. Now all builders have to do is change the plastic strips on the trailing edge of their props. Watch Capt. Smith explain the technology in this short video--

Visit Veem's website--

Fishing News

Seafood Runs Out
in 2048

End of the Line
With over 6 billion people on the planet the pressure on seafood is incredible and in a few short years the world’s oceans will simply be fished out.

By 2048 there will be 9 billion people living on planet earth – a 50% increase from today. Ecology experts predict that at the current rate of consumption by that time the world’s oceans will be fished out. Imagine oceans without fish. Already there are many “dead zones” around the world, and in places as close to home as Long Island Sound and the Chesapeake Bay. Many fish species are beyond rescue and dozens more are on the brink of extinction. Last week a terrific documentary movie was released that explains the problem – and also presents a solution! It is called “The End of the Line.” We invite you to view it's short trailer--

Find out what fish NOT to eat and which are sustainable --

BoatTEST News

BoatTEST Moves Into Marine Web Solutions

Marine Web Solutions
With possibly the world’s most complex website in the marine field, is now offering web solutions at big savings to companies world-wide. was the first website in the marine industry to have streaming video, going live with 100 of them on Sept. 15, 2000. Now we have over 3500 videos playing on the site every day. is responsible for many other firsts in the marine field, including the Price Quote and Test Drive contact buttons in 2001, the popular “Compare” feature introduced in 2003 and Owners’ Reports in 2005. Now by popular demand, we are making our video-making, video- streaming, and Internet hosting available to companies wishing to both save money and receive experienced, expert web consulting. Interested parties should contact Christopher Hughes, 203-323-9900;

Ethanol Fiasco

Bill Introduced to Study E15 Problems

Opposition is growing all across the country to increasing ethanol content in fuel. This sign was seen in Minnesota.

Even in the Midwest, the area of the country that is benefiting most from the ethanol fiasco, opposition is growing to the further expansion of ethanol in fuel. Not only because this solvent is playing havoc with outboard motors, but also because people are beginning to realize that even OPEC supports the ethanol cause in the U.S. because it takes more gasoline to make than it replaces. Recently, Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn., introduced a bill in Congress to study the affects of adding E15 to our fuel. Chew on this cob --

Accident of the Week

Autopilot “Malfunctions” While Skipper Sleeps

Tollycraft 45
Whidbey Island interrupted the much-needed sleep of four occupants of a 45 Tollycraft when it got in the way of the vessel traveling at 12 knots on autopilot.

A collision at sea can ruin your whole day – or wake you up. Two couples on a pleasure cruise from Tacoma to La Conner, Washington made an unscheduled stop on Whidbey Island a mile from the Clinton ferry dock when their 45-foot boat slammed into the shore June 16 after the crew at the controls apparently dozed off. No one was hurt in the mid-afternoon mishap. At high tide, two tugboats pulled the boat off the beach and she suffered no serious damage. To find out exactly how the autopilot malfunctioned -- wake the mouse.

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Nordhavn Transatlantic Rally

Final Installment: Nordhavn Transatlantic Rally

The hospitality on Horta was memorable.
Bad fuel can kill good engines. Keep it clean.
Frolic and fun in the deep blue Atlantic.
Gibraltar at last! Nordhavn rules the waves!

Even though this epic voyage of 18 vessels took place 5 years ago, it is still remembered as one of yachting’s great cruising achievements. Since that time several Nordhavns have rounded Cape Horn – two within mere weeks of each other. Nordhavn is now the largest builder of expedition-type yachts in the world, something that the company has worked hard to attain and deserves.

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 called it – “A Piece of Cake.”

See first installment of T.A. videos --

See second installment of T.A. videos--

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Capt. Steve's Lesson #42

Navigating US Rivers and Understanding
the Lock System

Capt. Steve

This is a lock system which is used to travel up and down rivers.

This week Capt. Steve goes over five new lessons and guidelines on navigating the rivers of the United States and understanding how a lock system works. There are dams built in quite a few places in rivers across the US, and without them, boaters would be restricted to traveling only on one side of a dam. Capt. Steve will also explain why it’s important to always wear your life jackets at all times when transiting through them. These are basic procedures 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

"HONEY, please! I know what I'm doing."
- L. Weidersheim

Second Place

"How you pass your ex-wife's house when you're two years behind on child support."
-R. Davis

Honorable (almost) Mention
"Maybe a weeee bit more tab."
-A. Drotschmann

"I told them that the pitch on the prop was wrong." -C. Magory

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.

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