Certified Special Find
Last week BoatTEST.com was contacted by the folks at Windsor Craft and told that we could let our readers know about what we consider may be a “once-in-a-lifetime”
opportunity (because the price has been dropped nearly 40% and there are only a few available). If you are a yachtsman who appreciates handmade wooden boats that are right out of the Great Gatsby era, then you will understand the incredible value built into these rare wooden day boats. In fact, because no expense was spared when these Windsor Craft boats were built, heretofore they could only be afforded by multi-millionaires. A few new boats are available in three models – 30’ open, 36’ open, 36’ hard-top and 40’ open – and are being made available at greatly reduced prices exclusively through BoatTEST.com.
These boats were built with cold-molded mahogany West System epoxy, which means that their laminated hulls are impervious to water, are very strong, require only a minimum of maintenance, and can last virtually as long as a fiberglass hull. Every detail of these twin-engine (some are gas, some are diesel) boats has been executed with old-world TLC using only top-of-the-line gear and materials. If you have always been in awe of vintage wooden day boats from the 1920s and ‘30s from such builders as Chris-Craft, Consolidated, Elco and others, but never thought you could afford one in pristine condition yourself, then your ship might have just come in. These boats are available for immediate delivery and Windsor Craft will ship them anywhere in the world. Thanks to the Great Recession, these Windsor Crafts are being sold at hundreds of thousands of dollars below MSRP. If you are seriously interested in buying one of these rare yachts, then BoatTEST.com staff will personally assist you with special pricing and VIP treatment.
Capt. Rob’s video of the Windsor Craft 36 –
See pictures of four models available --
Request form for special BoatTEST.com pricing and BoatTEST.com VIP handling --
“Docking On Command” System
Is 1/3rd Cost of Joystick/Pods
Docking is the #1 cause of stress among most owners of larger motorboats. Until the last few years the only solution was lots of experience and practice. Then along came “Docking On Command” sandwiched between the introductions and hoopla of the
IPS and Zeus joystick/pod drive systems. All of the happy-talk about joysticks and pods overshadowed a simpler, far less costly solution – namely, a bow and stern thruster operated by one clever control knob and a bare minimum of software to
go wrong. You see it above, and it can do almost everything that the expensive IPS and Zeus systems can do when it comes to docking – and at one-third the price. (However, it cannot overcome the inherent inefficiencies of angled inboard shafts and props vs. pods.)
We asked Capt. Steve to test the “Docking On Command” system on a Meridian yacht. See his video report --
Capt. Steve Critiques A Formula Yacht
Last week Capt Steve took a critical look at a 20’ boat and this week he puts his critical eye on a Formula yacht, a brand that many veteran industry observers consider the finest production powerboat built in America under 50’. But Capt. Steve is no pushover, and the more expensive a boat is, the higher are his expectations. As Capt. Steve goes through the Formula he is also pointing out the finer points of yacht connoisseurship and you can apply his rules to any boat you buy. Start with the fairness of the hull. Does it look like your great grandmother’s washboard?
Tune into the (sometimes) grumpy captain and find out how a boat should be built--
Ocean Alexander 80 Motoryacht
Has Serious Potential
There are currently three new versions of the 80’ Ocean Alexander motoryacht on the market and available on the American West Coast. They are all Ed Monk, Jr. designs, but all three are different and they illustrate the great latitude that owners have in customizing when having a “production” large motoryacht built. Truth be told, these size boats by all manufacturers are really built one at a time, and the only thing “production” about them is the fact that the hull, deck, superstructure and large fiberglass parts come out of fixed molds. Beyond that, owners have a high degree of latitude to modify the new builds, and even change existing boats, to suit one’s taste in décor or boat usage.
Join us as we look at three Ocean Alexander 80’ motoryachts and explore their possibilities --
A Woman Looks At the
120’ Hargrave Interior
Class and elegance is always in style no matter what is the fashionesta flavor of the month. That is one reason we have always liked what the owners of the 120’ Hargrave Sandrine, working with Yacht Interiors by Shelley, did in every cabin of their terrific motoryacht. But you don’t have to have a multi-million dollar boat to have good taste, just a good sense of what works – and if you are unsure of yourself, just ask Shelley. This week we look the 120’ Sandrine from the woman’s perspective.
Lights, action --
Formula 45 Coupe
The Formula 45 Yacht is the top of that builder’s line. She is a coupe with a power sunroof and not surprisingly just about every trick Formula has is built into this magnificent express yacht. Virtually everything on this boat is done right, like being able to stand at the helm with the sunroof closed, unlike some European-style yachts. Then there are the subtle things that are only picked up by the eyes of veteran yachtsmen and boat connoisseurs; things like windshield defrosters, shower stalls that slope to the drain, and a hull finish that is polished 18 times before it leaves the factory.
See Capt. Rob’s report --
New Video Review
Marquis 720 Tri-Deck
Has a Skylounge/Helm Layout
It’s always a pleasure to step on a boat that really maximizes space. Believe
it or not, space is limited, even in a 72-footer. The Marquis Yachts 720 has a true sky lounge/ bridge which we think is one of the best uses of space in this class of motoryacht and preferable to a raised pilothouse design. The 720 comes in two versions, the sky lounge version seen here, as well as an open flying bridge version. Today, we take a look at the accommodations and layout of the Marquis Yachts 720 to see her strengths, and some possible areas for improvement.
Join Capt. Steve for a video tour --
Capt. Steve Says
Nordhavn 47 Classic:
Your First Passagemaker?
This venerable cruiser has so many qualities that make it an ideal companion for long trips that it may very well change the way you think about distance cruising. Not only is the Nordhavn 47 a comfortable coastal cruiser, but her intended mission is really ocean passages. The 47 is a development of the company’s very first boat, the Nordhavn 46, first built in 1989. There are now dozens of boats on the market
that are designed for exactly this same mission (even the Italians are getting into the act), so while Nordhavn once shared this market with only a couple of other builders, now there are many – and many good choices. Check out Capt. Steve’s review of this very successful yacht.
Your dreams are calling --
Regal 44 Sport Coupe:
Her Handling and Performance
We sent Capt. Steve down to Regal’s Florida plant to check out their new 44 Sport Coupe and run a performance test. He discovered a boat that was not only stylish and easy to handle, but a surprisingly capable cruiser as well. If he can easily picture cruising on this yacht to remote destinations for the weekend, then it’s likely that you can, too. It’s all about the boat and Capt. Steve’s test video will give you a hint of the possibilities with the Regal 44 Sport Coupe. While Regal dealers take the orders for the 44 SC, they do not have to stock them, and Regal passes on the savings from floor-plan interest to the buyers. The Regal 44 has long been one of the most popular 44-footers on the market from any brand, and now a good thing has just gotten better.
Check out Capt. Steve’s performance and handling video here --
Sea Ray and Doral
Offer Joystick Options
With joystick maneuvering systems now a proven reality, it is important for boaters to know what their options are before they buy. Did you know that you can now order a Zeus joystick/pod drive system that is powered by three different diesel engine brands -- CMD, Yanmar, or Cat – in many (but not all) brands? You can also have what we consider an excellent option for boats under 35 feet with the Axius system which is MerCruiser’s joystick control for stern drives. We have found that these systems are intuitive, easy to master and add not only to the safe handling of a boat, but also help build the confidence of any operator. Mom and your younger skippers will love it. Then, when it comes to resale time, you will have the boat buyers
prefer. We think you'll not only get more money for your boat, but also move
it much faster. By special arrangement, you can take a test drive of either Zeus or Axius drives where they are available from these two boat builders --
See our video on
the Zeus system --
See our video on the Axius system --
USS New York
Last Saturday the United States Navy welcomed its newest ship into the fleet and former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton were on hand along with other dignitaries and Pentagon brass at the commissioning in NYC. Our own former Marine,
Christopher Hughes, COO of BoatTEST.com, participated as a Commissioning Committee member. The New York is a multi-roll amphibious assault ship that carries not only aircraft, but also tanks, armored assault vehicles, 105MM howitzers, plus up to 800 Marines – and can deliver them all to shore on two huge hovercraft powered by four jet engines.
Find out more about the ship --
All Oil Filters Are the
This is the 21st century, folks, and nothing is as simple as it used to be, because it is now high-tech time and many products have evolved out of the dark ages of yesteryear. And that includes engine oil filters. The Gear Heads at Royal Purple have come up with the Mercedes of motor oil filters. There is much more to it than simply replacing paper with micro-glass fiber that reliably filters out stuff down to 25 mc.
To find out all about the Royal Purple SOTA filter and how it does a better job of both filtering, stopping drain-back and keeping clean oil flowing, just take a look at this --
Pro Buffer to Keep Gelcoat Shiny... Plus $47 BoatTEST Bonus Pack!
The folks at Shurhold tell us that their electric Dual Action Polisher can save you half the time and half the effort when maintaining your gelcoat. Further, they claim that the buffer’s oscillating head prevents burns and swirl marks. That alone is worth the price of admission as far as we’re concerned. Order now and use the BoatTEST.com special member coupon code of “BTT” and you will get a 16 oz. bottle of Pro Polish Wax (which you will need) and the buffer pad (also required) for FREE.
This way to order --
Calling Four Winns, Crestliner
& Malibu Owners... Comments, Please!
By harnessing the reach of the World Wide Web and the incredible number of visitors
to BoatTEST.com, we can literally focus the experience of the world’s boat owners
on each brand and boat model to help guide future buyers. Hundreds of readers have
already taken the time to pass along their experience on their boats to help new buyers. These “Owner Comments”
go unedited into our database. No matter what model
boat you own from the three brands above, let the boating world
learn from your experiences --
Time to Think About
Living in the north (Stamford, CT), we are faced each fall with the decision as to how and where to store our boat for the winter. We have tried virtually everything and the best laid plans all seem to have their pitfalls. Dry storage or wet...bubbler or ice eater...inside or outside...covered or not covered...frames or no frames...tarp or shrink wrap...this SOB’s boatyard or that SOB’s boatyard...Well, this year we thought we’d ask a genuine boatyard owner his suggestions. Paul Esterle, who recently
wrote the book “Maintain and Improve your Powerboat,” and who is the exception who proves our SOB, rule has given us the pros and cons to all of the above.
First open your checkbook --
Death by Chartplotter
July 18, 2008 was a sunny day in Buzzards Bay with a light 5 to 10 knot winds. It was a near-perfect day for boating and two men were sailing back to South Dartmouth in a 30’ sailboat when it was struck from behind by a 63’ diesel-powered express cruiser on plane. David Walsh, 64, former commodore of the New Bedford YC was in the cockpit of his sailboat. The collision knocked him overboard and killed him.
The danger of a helmsman in a fast-moving powerboat distracted by his chartplottter or radar and colliding with another vessel is all too real as this accident and trial proves.
To find out more about this tragic accident and the two veteran boaters involved --
Are You Looking
For a New Boat?
We know how daunting it can be to find exactly the right boat for one’s specific
application because so many boats look like they fill the bill. If you are in the
market for a NEW boat 18’ or larger, our veteran staff will be glad to help you,
one-on-one, by email or phone. It is part of our “Member Services” program and it
is free to you. We receive no fee from builders or dealers – so we can be objective,
and we can leverage our contacts in the industry to help you get what you want.
To use this service you must be in the market to buy NEW
within the next 6 months.
Sign in here --
Fire of the Week
Boat Burns in
Woman’s Fishing Tournament
The moral to this story is that when you abandon ship, not only should you have a PFD on, but also be sure to take a cooler or ice chest with you. Of the four people aboard the 38’ “Crystal J” (seen above) three had coolers or another large floating device and were rescued promptly. The fourth had to wait for an 18’ boat to come
along with a couple of anglers. All of this action took place during the 2009 Wahine Fishing Tournament for women in Hawaii. For more info --
Warren’s 77 & 87 Molds
The world-wide Great Recession continues to re-shuffle the boat building deck of cards. Warren Yachts of Brisbane, Australia recently sold the molds of its 77’ and 87’ express motoryachts to Mustang Marine in Gold Coast, Queensland. Started by Dave Warren in the early 1980s, the company was sold to Shipworks Group in 2003 and it stepped out on the world’s yachting stage. Mustang builds 12 models from 28’ to 56’ and these two new boats will help fill out the company’s line.
The 87 Warren was a beauty. For more info --
Notice to Mariners
10 Knot Speed Limit
Offshore until April 30
There is a 10-knot speed limit in effect in designated areas along the eastern U.S. seaboard for all vessels, commercial and recreational above 65’ (20 m). This is because North Atlantic right whales are an endangered species and there are fewer than 400 of them left. 85% of the right whales have been sighted in the designated areas (we wonder why), so mariners are asked to keep a sharp eye out elsewhere along the coast as well. There are restrictions in Massachusetts and Florida as well and to see those areas, and to read more about the situation please make the jump.
FYI- NOAA is monitoring all AIS transponders and can tell how fast the vessels
Right this whale --
10 Ton Boat
Just in case you are boating in the Sea of Japan this winter, beware of the Nomura jellyfish. They can become 7 feet large and weigh up to 450 lbs. (204.5 kgs). Three hapless fishermen found themselves in the soup this year when they tried to bring a net load of them aboard which sank their vessel. Luckily they were rescued by a nearby fishing boat whose skipper was smart enough to stay away from the jellyfish.
For more on this riveting story --
World’s Largest Cruise Ship
Lands in Florida Today
The Royal Caribbean’s newest cruise ship -- the largest ever built -- is scheduled to arrive today in Port Everglades, Florida to much hoopla. Her maiden voyage will be Dec. 1, so there is still time to book one of the 2700 cabins. We are not really fans of large cruise ships for all of the obvious reasons, but this vessel is truly exceptional – it has five times the volume of the Titanic – so we are taking a look at her this week because a lot of innovate thinking has gone into this $1.5 billion ship, the most expensive cruiser liner ever built. To see videos, pix and text -- take a number.
Women Increasingly Are Taking the Helm
Captain Jenna Stevens (above) will not divulge her height, but she will
say that she has her 200 Ton ticket and is close to receiving her 500 Ton USCG license. We have had the pleasure of watching her in action for a week this year in the Sea of Cortez when she was first officer on the 124’ yacht above. Though she can barely see over the nav screens at the helm she does an admirable and cool-headed job of piloting a very big boat. Let’s hear it for Capt. Jenna! Is there a lady captain you feel deserves some recognition?
High Speed Trolling
Our good friend Capt. Cefus is out fishing with his pal Capt. Tim Horton this week and they are after wahoo and marlin and going fast. All you need is 12’ of 400-lb. leader, a high-speed lure that makes lots of bubbles, a 16-oz. sinker and five rubber bands. Capt. Cefus McRae hosts a weekly cable TV show -- called Nuts &
Bolts Fishing -- that is shown throughout the American South devoted strictly to
fishing. Catch it if you can.
Watch Nuts & Bolts Fishing video to see how to do it --
Visit Nuts & Bolts
Fishing website for program times.
‘Tis the Season
BoatTEST’s Boating Course Makes a Great Christmas Present
BoatTEST.com has joined with Capt. Steve to present you with an 8 CD-ROM boating
course that comes in a handsome plastic box.
This course covers everything your
spouse, children, or friends need to know to be competent, safe boaters. It costs
only $69.95, plus shipping and handling. If that is over your budget, then why not
choose from one of five individual subject-area courses for only $19.95, plus shipping
and handling. Order here --
Capt. Steve's Lesson #61
Pre-Departure Tow Vehicle Check
This week Capt. Steve goes over seven new lessons and guidelines on pre-departure tips for your tow vehicle. Just because you have an SUV that doesn’t mean it’s fit for towing a boat. Check your vehicle towing capacity first and make sure all the paperwork for towing a boat behind your vehicle is up to date. Once you’re on the road remember to drive smoothly, no sudden starts, stops or turns, especially with a large load behind you. When towing, your vehicle will also burn more fuel, so be aware of this and check your fuel frequently. A few other items to take note of: When towing, your vehicle will not be able to stop as quickly, and when turning at an intersection prepare to swing wide. It may take a little practice, so just take it slow. Don’t forget your trailer must be registered, insured and inspected every year. These are basic procedures which all recreational boaters should be aware of. The videos presented this week are part of BoatTEST.com's USCG-approved video boating course narrated by Capt.
Steve. Watch Capt. Steve's video boating lessons every week on BoatTEST.com.
To view this week’s lessons --
To view past lessons --
Ducky Award Winner
"Go ahead and laugh Gringos, but we've all got million dollar major league baseball
contracts waiting for us in Miami. "
- R. Davis
"Capt Rob: 'Welcome model year improvements include optional Isinglass bulkhead
curtains and the new stern extension creates additional buoyancy and increases displacement
hull speed as well.'" - J. Hole
Honorable (almost) Mentions
"Still riding high on their success with 'cash for clunkers', General Motors decides
to expand into the marine market."
- B. Kenworthy
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