New ZF Joystick System:
We Test It on a Viking 60C
We recently reported on the breakthrough JMS that ZF Marine had recently introduced, and we told you then that we thought it might be the next “big thing” to hit our industry. Developing joystick control on large inboard boats is a huge step and we were skeptical about how well it was going to work. We also questioned whether it was as simple as it was hyped to retrofit into an existing boat, and if the station keeping aspect worked well enough to walk away from the helm when in a tight spot.
These questions, and more all get answered in this test video as we put the system
through its paces.
Contact ZF Marine 954.441.4040
Meridian Yachts Factory Tour:
How Meridians Are Made
One of the quiet success stories during the last difficult year in the boat industry, which has seen some companies down as much as 70%, is that of Meridian Yachts. Meridian
has weathered the Great Recession probably better than any major brand in class and, in fact, is currently experiencing a significant back-order of inventory. There are many reasons for Meridian’s startling success over the last 18 months, and
if our mail is any indicator, one is good word-of-mouth testimonials from current owners. Owners seem to be generally pleased with the performance and how the boats hold up in real world conditions. To find out more about how Meridians are manufactured, we took time out from testing to have our video crew document the company’s construction techniques and practices.
Check out the first of our two factory videos and see the inside story on how Meridian
Yachts are built.
New Hatteras 60 GT:
Designed for Type-A Anglers
Last month at the Miami Boat Show Hatteras introduced its new Hatteras 60 GT. The exterior design looks similar to the previous Hatteras 60 Convertible, but there are other design elements that remind us of the classic Rybovich look. For example,
the addition of teak cap rails and trim at the base of the flying bridge are all the Palm Beach-look. The boat’s ample 19’ beam permits spacious accommodations and the saloon has been reconfigured. The cockpit has been redesigned to give it more utility. Hatteras now offers an optional flying bridge arrangement which includes
a more traditional
layout with a navigator/companion seat to the right of the skipper plus more comfortable seating. Further, Hatteras tells us that the pricing on the new boat is sharp and is about the same as boats several feet shorter. And there is even more that sets this boat apart than the refinement of features mentioned above.
Let’s dig deeper...
Contact Hatteras Yachts 252.634.4896
A Large Displacement LRC
Having launched its first boat in 1999,
Selene is a relatively new motoryacht brand.
Since that time it has quickly created 13 different models which range from 38’ (11.7 m) to 86’ (25.5 m). All are heavy displacement cruising boats. Obviously Selene is taking aim at the same market Grand Banks, Nordhavn, Kadey-Krogen, Cheoy Lee, Fleming, and several other brands address. Starting about the same time as Marlow, Selene was late to the party, so has had to have some very special sales propositions of her own – and it does!
Let’s take a look at the Selene 62 and see what they are...
Contact Selene Yachts 410.280.0066
Formula 400 SS with First-in-the-World
Volvo Penta Diesel Sterndrive Joystick
We tested it first! The Volvo Penta Sterndrive Joystick has been installed for the first time in a production powerboat and BoatTEST was there it see how well it works and to bring you the video results. The test boat was a 2010 Formula 400 SS with twin Volvo Penta 370-hp D6 diesels, so not only did we want to see how the new Formula performed, we also wanted to check out the new system and see how well it handled in close quarters... and remember, no bow or stern thruster this time. It’s all independently steered outdrives. We also check out the full performance figures and see what sort of economy you can expect from this 17,000+ lb (7,711 kg) boat.
To see the results for yourself, check out the video.
Contact Formula Boats 1800.736.7685
Marquis 720 Tri-Deck
Maximizing the Space
Wasted space is the bane of most yacht builders' existence. We’ve seen instances of how some builders have a gift for wasting space and others use what they have to its best advantage. We think the Marquis 720 Tri-Deck is a fine example of just how much boat you can fit into a 72’ (21 m) hull without feeling crowded or claustrophobic. Not only did they manage to get in the requisite three ensuite staterooms, Marquis also found room for crew quarters and a sky lounge. They also did a great job of putting together an interior that seems to be able to stand up to the rigors of boating rather than having to be treated as if it was under glass.
You’ll see what we mean as you watch this video on the Marquis 720 Tri-Deck.
Contact Marquis Yachts 920.822.7240
The Rinker 400 EC:
Speaks (Loudly) for Itself
Rinker sells a lot of boats because the company tries hard to give consumers a big boat with as much stuff as possible packed into it as standard, at a low price. And low price in a big boat is an offer many people can’t refuse. For example, the first glance at the Rinker 400 EC shows a typical express cruiser profile, but this one is also a little higher than most (but not all). There’s a lot of freeboard between the waterline and the side decks, that at first may look a bit awkward, but it doesn’t take long to get used to it, and the tradeoff is 6’10” (2.08 m) of headroom in the main salon!
Let’s take a look at the Rinker 400 EC and see what else we can find...
Contact Rinker Boat Company 574.457.5731
Cruisers Yachts 420 SC
Attracting Thumbs Up from Women
Given an unlimited amount of time and money, a custom builder can provide you with your dream boat, but few people can afford that or want to take the time it entails. So the question begs, what can a production or semi-production boat builder provide? It is here that we think Cruisers Yachts shines. The Cruisers Yachts 420 SC is a case in point. This popular model has two staterooms, two heads, and is powered with a Volvo Penta IPS500 for an MSRP of $675,710. But most important of all for many boat buyers is Cruisers Yachts’ willingness to make changes possible to give buyers their dream boat. We are passing this information along because lately we have received several letters from women giving positive feedback on the buying process on the 420 SC. This boat is functional and easy to handle and is as big a yacht as most couples will ever need.
See if you agree with us by coming on board...
Contact Cruisers Yachts 920.834.2211
Cabo 40 Flybridge:
A Big Change Up
Cabo has never been known for doing anything halfway. They have a success story on their hands with the Cabo 40 Express, but that didn’t stop them from improving on the model. The next step was to make a new model by adding a flybridge. Not surprisingly, it was another hit. But still, not willing to sit on their laurels, Cabo correctly surmised that the convertible market is not entirely dominated by fishermen alone. Time and again, these boats are being bought by baby boomers wanting to use them as both hard-core fishing machines and utilitarian cruising platforms, largely due to the breed’s outstanding capacity to handle blue water so well. This led Cabo to redecorate the interior of the 40 Flybridge (which wasn’t too shabby to begin with) and add a more elegant, yacht-like decor that will only help close the deal both with you-know-who, as well as the angler.
To see exactly what Cabo has done, let’s take a look onboard...
Contact Cabo Yachts 252.634.4896
Regal Makes Boat Research
Easier in a "No Sales" Showroom
On Saturday, March 20th, Regal Marine will have the Grand Opening of its new and exciting Factory Showroom for consumers in Orlando, Florida. All 26 current models will be there on display and for inspection six days a week. It is like a Regal Boat Show 12 months a year, except that boat sales transactions will not be done there! This marketing innovation is a response to the changing marine retail environment that makes it difficult for all dealers to have all models in stock all of the time. Consumers from all over the country – and the world – can fly to Orlando for a boat-buying experience of a lifetime. Sales will still be handled by a customer’s local dealer, but now buyers will have the opportunity to see all Regal models in one place, take a factory tour, meet Regal management, and maybe even take a little vacation at the same time. (What youngster wouldn’t want to visit Orlando?) By opening this
showroom, Regal is starting a whole new way for consumers to do their boating research.
Get the full story --
For more information on the
Regal Factory Showroom Grand Opening
To schedule a factory tour email Mark at email@example.com
or call 407.447.9360.
Royal Purple Synthetic Oil
The film strength of a lubricant is its inherent ability to withstand the effects of load, speed and temperature without breaking down. Higher film strength results in reduced wear, better fuel economy and more power. Take a look at this video made by Royal Purple --
Shurhold Water Blade,
Dry It Faster
We want to pass on a helpful hint when it comes to drying your boat: the
Shurhold Flexible Water Blade helps. When we put this product to the test, we were not very excited, let’s be real, drying your boat is a pain, and nothing will change that. Or so we thought. We found that the Flexible Water Blade actually conformed to the shape of the hull and removed all of the water. It leaves a nice dry streak, like when you squeegee your car's windscreen. Windows, deck, hull, every place we
used it, it worked great. We even went back and sprayed the boat again to dry with a chamois and towel. And the winner is? The Water Blade, hands down. Streak-free and very easy on the arms and back. See one for yourself...
With the coupon code: btwb, you can get a free Water Blade adapter
with the purchase of a Water Blade. The adapter will allow the Water Blade to be used on any Shurhold handle to get to the hard to reach places.
Ride of the Week
10'-12' Seas Off Cape Cod
In the 12 years we’ve had a berth on commercially busy Stamford Harbor, CT, we have never seen a wayward barge, no matter what the conditions. Tug boat captains are out there 24/7, struggling with a single engine to keep 100’ barges in the channel and off the rocks, so that fuel, heating oil, sand and gravel for concrete, and coal is delivered on time around the clock. This video was taken aboard the tug Nicole L. Reinauer on its way from Portland, ME, past Stamford, to New York City. The video shown here was taken off Cape Cod on March 1, in 10’ to 12’ seas in 35-knots of breeze. Bless these skippers...
Private “Cruise 4 Two” in Belgium
On An Absolute 39 Express
If you have never enjoyed a cruise on northern Europe’s river and canal system, then we have another suggestion for your “bucket list.” (In case you didn’t see the movie, that’s the list of things you want to do before you kick the bucket.) And the best way to travel in a foreign country is to do so with a local guide who
can take you to all of the neat spots that normal tourists will never find. And – what better way to do all of that than on a boat, with your personal captain and Jeeves all rolled into one? While doing all of that, you can also spend eight days on an Absolute 39 (which is the express version of its new 40 Hardtop) and see how you like this European brand of express cruiser.
To find out more...
Are You Looking
For a New Boat?
If you are currently researching new yachts 30' or larger, the BoatTEST staff will be happy to provide their expertise and guidance to you via email or phone. This is part of our member services program and there is no charge. We do not sell boats and we are not a dealer. Our purpose is to provide you with our insights and recommendations and to leverage our industry relationships in your favor.
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Calling Viking Yachts Owners
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 Viking
Yachts model you own...
Burial At Sea Memorial
Helps Miami Fish Habitat
As we often say at BoatTEST.com: you are not getting any younger. So, why not plan now for a destination burial in the largest underwater memorial of its kind in the world? It is a place that has become a tourist attraction where scuba divers from all over the country come to visit. The folks at The Neptune Society say that “more and more baby boomers…are looking to do something different…and by being buried underwater they are giving back to the environment.” Indeed, the memorial park owners say that the local fish population has increased from hundreds to thousands. So far, the remains of 47 people are said to be resting there.
Learn more about swimming with the fishes...for eternity.
See the promotional video...
Hermes Backs Out Of Wally Yacht Partnership
We’re sorry to be the ones to break it to you, but the world may not be graced with the WHY yacht seen above. WHY stands for “Wally Hermes Yachts,” a partnership formed in 2008 between the Monaco design firm called Wally which designs different things including seven different powerboats that are all incredibly angular and odd-looking. Hermes, of course, is the Paris-based design and marketing firm which proffers expensive watches, jewelry, hand bags, accessories and such to the world’s carriage trade. We asked ourselves, WHY, indeed? Hadn’t they heard there is a Great Recession on? Well, last week, just after the project was displayed at the Abu Dhabi Boat Show, it became unrivaled. Goodness knows why. To read about the rise and fall of WHY and to see computer drawings of one of the most unusual boat designs ever dreamed up...
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