Special: 8 Express Cruisers//How to Avoid Capsize! - 08/05/2009
Offshore Motoryacht Newsletter Aug 5, 2009 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
- Cruisers Yachts 470 SC
- Formula 37 PC
- Sea Ray 330 Sundancer
- Meridian Yachts 391 Sedan
- Larson Cabrio 330 DC
- Sabre Yachts 34 Express
- Regal 44 Sport Coupe
- MasterCraft 300
- Cranchi Zaffiro 36
- Premium Cleaning Products
- Synthetic Engine Oil
- Yacht Transport Companies
- Stop Global Warming
- Detroit Diesel Website
- All Is Quiet in St. Tropez
- Moby Dick on Steriods
- Nordhavn 57 Cruise to Greenland
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
Ducky Award Winner

New Cruisers Yachts 470 Gets Bigger and Better

Cruisers Yachts 470
The first new Cruisers Yachts' 470 Sports Coupe is under construction and is planned to premier sometime later this year.

When we first published the plans of Cruisers Yachts new sport cruiser she was planned to be 46’. In the last six months she has grown a foot to the 47’ she is now and the builder has added some amenities. The molds have been made and hull #1 has been started, and Cruisers Yachts has just released the list of standards and options for the boat which we are going to report on in the jump. The Cruisers Yachts 470 has 6’4” headroom in the mid cabin, which is the big news. And she has one other important design aspect that sets her apart from most Euro-styled boats. There are not many 47’ express cruising boats built in America, so she is something exceptional. To find out why the new 470 is so special --

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New Test

Formula 37 PC Tested:
2 Staterooms & 30 MPH Best Cruise

Formula 37 PC

We’ve talked about the “Formula Difference” time and again in the pages of BoatTEST. So it should come as no surprise that this new 37 PC is yet another example of what you get from a company that, -- yes -- charges more for its boats. While it may not set new standards for innovation, this Formula 37 PC does give you a solid feel that you’ve justified your choice for buying a real yacht rather than yet another plastic fantastic. We asked Capt. Steve to give his critical eye a once over and report back to us. And true to form, he had complaints, but as we expected, more compliments, so score one for Formula against Mr. Cranky. Deck shoes only as you come aboard please --

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Sea Ray 330

Sea Ray 330 Sundancer:
Use It As a Benchmark

Sea Ray 330 Sundancer
The Sea Ray 330 Sundancer has had legs for years and continues to be one of the builder’s bread and butter. But, why do people like it?

In the mid 1970s Sea Ray did more than any other brand in the U.S. to pioneer the concept of the express cruiser. That design, called by Sea Ray the “Sundancer”, popularized the express cruiser concept and that along with the best dealer network in the country took the Sea Ray brand to market dominance in the 1980s. Sea Ray’s 330 Sundancer is a descendent of those early 1970s “dancer” models. The current 330 was a development of the 320 which was six years old when replaced in 2007. So even though this basic design is over a decade old she has the staying power to stay in the Sea Ray line-up. For that reason we think she makes an ideal benchmark for people in the market for an express cruiser in the 33’ size range. Let’s take a detailed look at this classic design, consider alternatives, and compare her to other, newer boats in class --

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Meridian 391

Meridian Yachts 391 Sedan:
Best Choice in a Weak Niche

Meridian 391 Sedan

This stylish sedan cruiser is everything one would want in an express cruiser, but with the added functionality and room of a sedan. To us, it’s a no brainer

Go on BoatTEST.com’s "new boat search engine", scroll down to “Cruisers” and see how many 40’ sedans you come up with. They’re few and far between. That’s because manufacturers seem to have decided that all boaters want an express cruiser. Meridian Yachts decided early that this just wasn’t good enough and they would build to fill a gapping market void. Virtually their entire fleet consists of sedans and flybridge motoryachts. And, go figure, they’re selling like hotcakes in this economy. So much for the competition knowing what everyone wants. We sent Capt. Steve to give us his opinion of the Meridian Yachts 391 Sedan, and true to form, he’s never short of opinions. He says he can see Russia from the bridge deck --

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Larson Cabrio 330 DC:
It's a Floating Party Animal

Larson 330 DC

The Larson 330 DC is one of the hottest day cruisers (DC) on the market because of its single-purpose entertaining aspect. (Go for the blue hull.)

All too often, we see boats that are built to do everything but fail to excel in any one particular area. You’ll find this most in the 26-35 foot range. Boats in this range typically have galleys, heads and cabins, because you’ll always want to spend the night whenever you’re on your boat -- right? But do you ever really spend the night? In many, perhaps most cases, we don’t think so. So why bother with the cabins? How about converting “sleepability” to “entertainablity”? It's called a "day boat!" And while you’re at it, toss in a heap of luxury! This evening's attire is “casual elegant” --

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Sabre 34 Report

Sabre 34 Express:
A Cruising Couple's Getaway

Sabre 34 Express
Designed for sailors transitioning to power, or owners of larger, more complicated cruisers downsizing, the Sabre 34 Express is a cruising couple’s dreamboat.
The smallest of the Maine built downeasters that has made Sabre Yachts so easily recognizable, the 34 Express is a one stateroom, one head layout that a cruising couple will feel right at home with. And in keeping with Sabre’s philosophy of “spend nights below and days above” she features a galley up layout that leaves plenty of room for living below. We asked our died-in-the-wool New Englander, Capt. Steve to check her out and report back to us. Check out his opinion of this classic cruiser here --

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Regal 44

New Regal 44 SC Video:
Why She's a World-Beater!

Regal 44 SC
The Regal 44 Sport Coupe is a two-stateroom, two-head design with a salon below that is hard to beat.

It is well-known in the boating industry that the Regal 44 Sport Coupe is tough competition for any brand. She is not a new design, but she just keeps getting better and better with age as Regal updates, modernizes and tweaks its 44, making a good thing better. This week we asked Capt. Steve – that oh, so traditional downeaster – to take a video look at the interior accommodations of the Euro-styled Regal 44 so perhaps we can discover what makes her such a giant killer in the 44’ express cruiser class. Now that Regal has instituted its new program of direct factory involvement in the 44 sale, prospective buyers are making deposits to own production spots to insure May 2010 delivery. Watch the video and see why --

MasterCraft News

New MasterCraft 300 Makes
A Grand Tour of U.S.

MasterCraft 300
The new MasterCraft 300 throbs to a different beat with up to 400-hp twins and interior accommodations that are designed to spark the romantic fire in even the most reluctant landlubbers.

Of all the new boats BoatTEST.com has written about this spring, probably the one that got the most reader interest was the announcement of the new MasterCraft 300 -- the world’s first pickle-fork day yacht. Now – after months of sea trials, testing and tweaking by the perfectionists at the Vonore, Tennessee factory – the new MasterCraft 300 will be taken on a grand tour of the U.S. Everyone who salivated at the beautiful lines of this new MasterCraft, or has just been curious, can run their hands over her topsides and take her out for a test drive for the next 100 days.  Find out the MasterCraft 300 U.S. Grand Tour schedule and when she will be visiting a port near you --

New Boat

Cranchi Zaffiro 36:
Finding La Dolce Vita

Cranchi Zaffiro 36
The Cranchi Zaffiro 36 is a boat for the young at heart, spirit and mind where the pursuit of sun, sea and fun knows no boundaries.

There is no place on earth quite like northern Italy, home of the Renaissance to say nothing of Ferrari, Lamborghini, Gucci, Bulgari, Versace, Armani and about any other high fashion product in any field you can think of. It is the home of the finest leather goods in the world, the finest knitwear and its cabinet-making is the envy of carpenters everywhere. In the middle of all of this industry, design talent, craftsmen, and taste, are several boat builders producing, not surprisingly, the world’s most elegant and refined small boats. One of them is Cranchi. Let’s take a look at the Cranchi Zaffiro 36 --




Larson Banner

Maxum Banner



Royal Purple


Cruisers Yachts Banner




yamaha pwc

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Product Feature

Premium Cleaning Products from Shurhold

Shurhold Products

Shurhold Products manufactures “The Complete Solution” handle and accessories kit for your boat and RV. With beautiful sunshine and 88 degree weather we decided to test this product and some of its 40+ attachments. Did it perform as advertised? Swab your deck here.

Shurhold Logo

Motor Oil

Royal Purple Improves MPG 10.7% in Test

Royal Purple
BoatTEST recently compared Royal Purple and a standard motor oil in two 5.0L Volvo Penta gas engines with 115 hours on them.

Several weeks ago we broadcast a video we made of our test on Long Island Sound comparing Royal Purple synthetic oil with standard motor oil. It was one of the highest rated videos that week for viewership and our testing methodology also generated numerous comments from cynics. The irony is that several months ago when Royal Purple first asked us to test their oil, we, too, were a doubting Thomas. So we understand the sentiment.  But the test speaks for itself: the twin 5.0L engines when being lubricated with Royal Purple actually averaged a 10.7% improvement in fuel economy over the rpm range measured  Let’s look at the specifics of the test and answer the skeptics --

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Yacht Transport

Cruise Anywhere
in the World

Yacht Transport
Yachts as deck cargo is an affordable way to go cruising in another part of the world.

Have you ever wanted to spend three months cruising the Med, the Baltic, the Inside Passage to Alaska, or Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, but didn’t want to pay the exurbanite charter rates to do so? Now with the merger of Dockwise LTD, the company that submerges its ships so yachts can steam aboard, and Yacht Path International, a company that specializes in smaller yacht transport as deck cargo, world-wide yacht transport is easier than ever before. Now you can ship your 40-footer to virtually any spot on earth and cruise to your heart’s content. Learn more --


Stop Global Warming By Saving Trees

Global Warming
50% of these logs are going to be used to make paper for U.S. newspapers and magazines. Egyptians invented writing on paper about 2200 B.C.

As everyone learned in grade school biology, trees take carbon dioxide, which is causing global warming, and turns it into oxygen through photosynthesis. Taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere is just as important as not putting it there in the first place. Call us tree-huggers if you want, but we think it is about time that Americans think seriously about leaving the “Wood Age” and entering the “Electronic Age.” Not only is electronic communication (such as the one you are reading right now) faster, cheaper, better – it also saves the trees which can help save us from global warming. Food for thought, courtesy of BoatTEST.com -- your comments please.

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Engine News

Detroit Diesel Website
for Old DDA Engines

GM Diesel Pacific
The Detroit Diesel 71 Series diesel saw lots of action in the Pacific during WW II. Please send us your Detroit Diesel stories (winner gets a coveted Ducky!)

Believe it or not there are still 300,000 of the old 2-cycle Detroit Diesel engines on the road and in boats all over the world – out of the 3.5 million that were built since 1940. A high percentage of those old diesels are in boats. Just look for the sheen on the waters in any marina with large boats and you’ll be able to find them -- most old DDAs drip oil which gets into the bilge water, which is pumped overboard. But the Detroit Diesel brand lives on under the wing of MTU and now the company has launched a new website specifically for owners of the old 2-cycle 71, 92, and 53 series engines. This is a god-send to owners nursing these old lumps of iron along as they blow injectors, weep oil from a dozen locations, and refuse to start on a cold morning. In addition to parts service there is also a place on the site to submit your DDA “stories.” Currently there are only three posted – so we are asking for your help to generate more stories of these “legacy” engines! To find out more and to submit your story (best one wins a coveted Ducky)-- diaper your mouse

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Riviera Report

All is Quiet in St. Tropez --
But Not Dead

St. Tropez
Megayachts still anchor off the 39 beaches of St. Tropez, but charter activity is far lighter than in years past and high rollers are being low key.

We have some good news and some bad news about what is happening this summer in St. Tropez. The good news is that there are still boats there of all sizes from the smallest to the largest. The bad news (for some people anyway) is that going topless is now “out of fashion.” Yup, and string bikinis are gone, too. (Sorry, girls, you missed your chance!) Even in the playground of Europe’s rich and frivolous, things have taken a decidedly sober turn. That is not to say that it is now easy to book a table for lunch at Cinquante Cinq (Club 55) which has been the coolest spot to see and be seen since Bridget Bardot made it famous in 1956. No. Bookings at the home-away-from-home of Bernie Madoff is still on a who-do-you-know basis. To see our photo essay and to find out more about boating in the French Riviera this summer --

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New Design

Moby Dick on Steroids

This is a computer simulation with Photoshop of what a new 76 meter (247’) design being seriously proposed might look like underway. That’s Jonah on the aft deck.

Call us Ishmael. Or, call us Loony Tunes. It comes under the heading of "we couldn’t make this stuff up", but Kevin Schopfer, a Boston, Mass. architect, could and has. Now we believe in thinking out of the box, but Schopfer is clearly farther out than that. Hey, the man thinks big! This creation is supposed to be 247’ long and cost $95 million. Paul Allen and Larry Ellison already have boats, and we don’t think they need any more. But what do we know, yachting has never been about need, anyway. The project promoters claim to have gotten the world-renowned design firm of Sparkman & Stephens involved with this fishy stuff. Olin must be rolling over in his grave. See more pictures, it gets even better--harpoon your mouse

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Nordhavn 57 Makes It to Greenland

Map of Baffin Bay

The passage from St. Anthony’s on the northern tip of Newfoundland to Nuuk, Greenland – “A” on the map – is about 850 miles across the North Atlantic and Baffin Bay.

Last week we left the crew of the Nordhavn 57 as they made their way to Halifax, Nova Scotia on the first leg of their quest for the Northwest Passage. The trip so far has been a piece of cake, but now the good ship Bagan will have to start braving the strong tides and capricious weather in the Canadian Maritimes and beyond. What is like to power in these waters? What sort of precautions need to be taken? What sort of weather service do you need? These questions and others will be answered by the owner of the Nordhavn 57, Sprague Theobald. Adventure starts here --

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Capt. Steve's Lesson #47

MUST Viewing for ALL Small Boat Owners:
How to Prevent Swamping and Capsizing

Capt. Steve

There are several reasons why boats become swamped. One primary cause of swamping is overloading a boat. Do not exceed your capacity plate!!!

This week Capt. Steve goes over seven new lessons and guidelines on how to prevent your boat from becoming swamped and capsizing. Capt. Steve will go over the primary causes and reasons for swamping which include uneven distribution of passengers or weight in the boat, taking high speed turns in rough seas, overloading a boat, and anchoring your boat by the stern. If your boat does become swamped remember to stay calm, make sure everyone aboard has their life jackets on, and do whatever you can to keep more water from coming-- and get the water that is in the back out quickly -- until help arrives. 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 BoatTEST.com.

To view this week’s lessons --

To view past lessons --

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Ducky Award Winner

whats going on here?

First Place

"Yep, it's the new flat stable hull with optional lazy susan and 4-place setting! The chicks are gonna love this!" - D. Dale

Second Place
"Step right up -- Catch ‘em, clean ‘em, and eat ‘em, all from the same handy-dandy device. Only 4 payments of $19.95!"
- E. Sackman

Honorable (almost) Mention
"Introducing hull #1 of the new Hinckley outboard powered picnic boat. An evolutionary leap forward balancing the elements of seaworthiness and fine dining." - C. Lincoln

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 8/10/

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If you have a picture that you think needs some explanation by our witty and clever readers, please send it to: lis@boattest.com.

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