3 SR/3 Heads
3 Layout Options
As we have been saying for a couple of years, Jeanneau is producing some compelling boats at very competitive prices. The Prestige 50 is a terrific example of that. This 50’ fly bridge yacht has three en suite staterooms and three different layouts to choose from. It even has a small cabin aft for crew, if you wish, or a tender garage instead. This boat was made for cruising in the fast lane on the French Riviera, where romance is just around each headland and you don’t have to be a Russian oligarch to get a piece of the action. The Prestige 50, depending on the options, sells for something just north of $750k, depending on options and where you buy it. There are not many three en suite stateroom boats you can get for that kind of money.
Jeanneau’s Prestige 50 is full of good, practical design work and it is a pleasure to see such a pleasing blend of romance and utility – perhaps that is because France stands halfway between Italy and the UK! In any case, we think the boat is noteworthy and no matter what size or type boat you are considering, you should take a good look at this boat to see what is possible.
Behind the Scenes
Factory Video Tour:
We previously brought you into the new Meridian Yachts factory in Palm Coast Florida to see how they’ve streamlined their operation and to show you their busy production
line. Today, we continue the tour and look at how the components are made, finished, and fitted to the yachts. Since Meridian has done a massive re-hire it seems that their boats are catching on more than ever. (See article about Meridian sales
in this issue.) The construction plays a big part in that success story, because
the boats are getting a good reputation for being both strong and reliable.
So let’s head back into the factory and learn more...
A 21st Century "Cabin Cruiser"
While we were at the London Boat Show, which is held each January, a boat caught our eye which we would like to see a lot more of. It was the Broom 395, with what the builder calls a “2 plus 2” layout. It has two cabins and two heads, a galley down, a salon up, and a helm/bridge deck cockpit that is high, but not a flying bridge. This concept harks back to boats built in the 1940s and ‘50s. In this day of nearly omnipresent express cruisers, it is a breath of fresh air to see a modern version of a great old idea. And the more we looked at the Broom 395, the more we liked it.
Let's see more...
Nautica X-36 RIB:
The Civilian-ized Version of a
Military Assault Craft
Nautica started out life building RIBs (Rigid Inflatable Boats) for military and
law enforcement uses. As such, they had a short list of standards since their customers
always added agency-specific items to the boats themselves (like machine guns).
But like the Humvee, it was inevitable that a civilian version would take hold.
Now to be clear, Nautica has also made more relaxed versions for uses as tenders
and such, but the X series... is made for intense and hard-driving jobs. Now you can have your own version.
Strap yourself in and see our review of the Nautica X-36.
World Cat 320 CC:
Layout and Features Video
Recently we showed you the World Cat 320 CC performance and handling video that drew a lot of attention because it busting apart some myths and old wives tales about power catamarans. Now we take you on a video tour of the layout and features of the World Cat 320 CC. While we were going through the boat, it seemed at every turn there was another place to store something in addition to another fishbox. Perhaps a label maker should be on the list of standard features for this boat, so you can keep them all straight. Couple that storage with redundant fuel and electrical systems and you’ve got a functional and seaworthy fishboat on your hands.
But wait! Just as we were going to press, we got a special email announcement from World Cat that reads: “Customers who purchase a 2010 World Cat, 290 model or bigger, will get $5,000 towards their purchase. (Visit a href="http://www.worldcat.com/rebates" target="_blank">www.worldcat.com/rebates for more information and for rules that apply.) Past and present World Cat owners can receive up to $10,000 towards the purchase of a 2010 World Cat, 290 model or bigger. Visit www.worldcat.com/ownerrebates for more information and for rules that apply.”
Come aboard and take the tour of the World Cat 320 CC and you’ll see what we mean.
And if you missed it, BoatTEST.com’s catamaran-myth-busting performance and handling video of the 320 is here...
Formula 400 SS:
Let's Take a Look at the Layout
Now you can see how the "Formula Difference" is applied in the new Formula 400 SS. Upon inspection, we found the fit and finish was up to Formula standards, but also found the interior layout was a bit different. The forward V-berth is used primarily as a dining area that converts to a berth, while the primary sleeping area was the mid cabin with all the features one would expect. This allowed
a separate dinette to be eliminated from the salon and gave a much larger feel. Check out our video tour of the Formula 400 SS and you’ll see what we mean about the "Formula Difference".
Step aboard right here...
Hargrave 76 Interior Video:
Four En Suite Staterooms and Crew Quarters
It’s a stunning interior to be sure, but the most notable aspect of the Hargrave 76 interior layout is that there are four staterooms with ensuite heads, a separate day head, and crew quarters aft with head. No small feat, but Hargrave did it without having the guests feel cramped or confined, and still left an open floor plan for the saloon, galley, and lower helm. To see how it all came together, check out our inside story on the Hargrave 76’s layout.
Because Hargrave is a custom builder, you can have it your way.
Step aboard here...
New Bavaria 42:
Express or Hardtop Version
Bavaria was founded 32 years ago and is one of the largest builders of fiberglass powerboats in Europe. Before the Great Recession, the company was building about 3,000 boats a year, both power and sail, and has built over 30,000 boats since its founding. It is an industry leader when it comes to the use of robotics, five-axis routers and other SOTA boat-building techniques. The company has recently been recapitalized and while Bavaria powerboats are not currently being
sold in the U.S., it is carefully watching
for opportunity in the states. Since 85% of its production is exported from Germany we guess it is only a matter of time until Bavaria yachts are offered
in the U.S. However, the Bavaria 42 express is available in much of the rest of the world in both open and in hardtop versions.
There are many details of this boat that we think you will appreciate, so let’s take a look...
Bertram 540 Test
In the Gulf Stream
Bertram Yachts builds just 10 models from 36’ to 80’. All are convertibles with a strong emphasis on fishing, except the 36’ express, which is the fishiest boat in class. But throughout the long history of this legendary brand, the 54 has been the battlewagon that most captured the imagination of big game blue water anglers around the world. Several years ago Bertram redesigned their 54, bringing out a completely new, and much-improved version of the classic 54 that the old-timers used to drool over. Owned by the Ferretti Group for over 10 years, the new Bertram 540 was the product of that company’s culture of sophisticated design and people-friendly comfort, married to the old Bertram offshore grit. It is a collaboration that we think has given birth to an exceptional boat, and one that will be around for a long time to come.
Let’s take a look at Capt. Steve’s video and Captain’s Report...
The New Cabo 44 Express:
We Ask: Hardtop or Open?
The Cabo 44 hardtop is a new design and is unlike any boat that the company has built before. The builder says that the integrated
hardtop signifies the “next step” in express design evolution for Cabo. Utilizing its
three-sided enclosure to offer better protection from the elements, improved visibility, and greater comfort on the bridge deck, Cabo has adopted for its new express fishboat what has been going on in express cruisers for a number of years. The new 44 replaces the old 45, yet the new boat is same size below thanks to a clever utilization of space and a different layout. The new 44 will have two sleeping cabins in addition to a dinette and galley below.
To find out more about this new Cabo and how she stacks up against the competition...
Important Changes Made
To The Hatteras 60 MY
At the Miami Boat Show Hatteras rolled out the Mark II version of its 60’ MY, otherwise known as its “entry level” motoryacht. The most important change is the elimination of the stairs from the galley area to the flying bridge, a configuration that most builders of motoryachts make for some reason. With motoryachts in the 60’ to 75’ range, the taking of valuable space in the saloon area and then once again on the flying bridge for a redundant stairway is a waste, to our way of thinking. Evidently Hatteras thought so, too. We applaud Hatteras for breaking with convention and going to practicality and added utility. Not only that, by eliminating a needless set of stairs, Hatteras has catapulted its 60’ motoryacht’s interior from a me-too interior design reminiscent of a trawler yacht interior, to something elegant. Editor Jeff Hammond, our resident motoryacht expert, weighs in on this one.
To see the exciting changes...
Hunton RS 43:
Powered by Triple Yanmar Diesels
Designed by UK Offshore Powerboat racer Jeff Hunton, the RS 43 brings racing performance and a racing heritage to the luxury high-performance market. His first boat was originally designed to be a one-off, but he tells us that it generated so much interest, that plans changed immediately, and the company has been growing ever since. This Hunton RS 43 is the culmination of years of building and racing experience all packed into one of the best looking high-performance express cruisers we’ve seen.
Join us for a brief look inside the Hunton RS 43 and see what we mean.
Only $12.5 million
First All-Solar Powered
Last Wednesday, March 31st, the 100’ (31 m) PlanetSolar catamaran was launched
in Kiel, Germany. Christened Turanor (from Lord of the Rings), the largest solar
powered boat in the world is scheduled for testing in the Baltic then will be
taken to the Med. It will begin its Around The World trip in 2011. The vessel’s
owners are comparing their venture to Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days
adventure. Promoters say the vessel will take 160 days to circumnavigate the
earth on a 34,000 n mile track going 7.5 knots. Turanor weighs 85 tonnes and we are told will rely solely on its electric motors for propulsion and will have no backup power. The boat is said to be able to travel for three days without a renewed dose of sunlight at 7.5 knots, drawing power from its lithium storage batteries.
For more information and pictures...
Prevent Your Boat From Sinking at the Dock
Captain Vince says: "It was a remarkable chain of events. After an early morning fishing trip, I went to work while my buddy stayed to clean the boat. But when I returned for another excursion that evening, the 25-foot center console was sitting low in the water. The boat wasn’t leaking and skies had been clear, yet the bilge was full and the batteries were dead." Find out why this happened and how to prevent
it from happening to you...
What Do They Make?
Royal Purple manufactures several products with a direct application in
the recreational marine market. They are best known for their synthetic motor oil, which they claim, and BoatTEST has shown in two tests, improves performance. They also manufacture a premium oil filter that utilizes new additives and formulation elements to improve effectiveness and increase the time between oil changes. If you’re looking for lower gear oil, they have that too. Whether it’s two-stroke or four, gas or diesel, Royal Purple has products to meet your needs.
To learn more, pull the dipstick out here.
Shurhold "Serious Shine"
Cleans That Dirty Yacht
With warm weather now upon us it’s time to spiff up the yacht for the boating season. Serious Shine from Shurhold is designed for almost any solid surface, and we can verify that it doesn’t leave a nasty residue behind. Put it to work on all the areas of your yacht such as: the hull, cockpit, galley, head, isinglass, vinyl seating, fiberglass, and touch screens. Its unique formula provides high-gloss and a UV protective coating that also repels water and is ideal for the marine environment. It can be used as a detailer on glass, paint, fiberglass, plastic, burl wood, vinyl, leather, clear plastic, and even on flat painted surfaces for a streak free finish. You can have the peace of mind knowing that the team at BoatTEST uses this product.
Get the info on the product here...
Promo: FREE Microfiber Towel with purchase of a can of Serious Shine. Coupon Code:
BTMF Exp. 4/30/2010
Drunk Boaters Face
Serious Prison Time
Some boat operators think that that since rivers are not roads it’s ok to drink. The operator of this vessel in Latvia nodded off and took a bridge out in the process.
As a heads-up for this boating season, more state legislatures are passing tough jail-time penalties for boat operators convicted of accidents while DWI. Generally, a conviction these days of an accident on the water where the operator has been drinking will carry the same penalty as would be applied to a DWI automobile driver. Our home state of Connecticut is the latest to get aboard this trend in meting out justice to intoxicated mariners: the House just passed a tough bill and sent it on to the state Senate for passage. It is truly a bipartisan issue. We don’t know about you, but we would do nearly anything to avoid time in the slam – including making sure there is always a dedicated, sober boat driver.
Dark Colors or Black
We have never been able to figure out why many boat builders leave white fiberglass under their windshields at the helm. Perhaps, they have never been piloting at night in their own boats? Perhaps they are hoping their customers won’t notice. In any case, just as on every automobile built, the area under the windshield can reflect into the windscreen in the operator’s field of vision. To reduce this problem,
this area should be black or some dark, non-reflective color. Good visibility is important. At night, dusk, or in fog or rain anything that obscures vision is problematic, and can easily hide a floating log, buoy, kayaker, swimmer or rock. Even in broad daylight a white dash will reflect into the windshield and make piloting more difficult. Builders have improved greatly over the last five years or so, but many still have not gotten the memo -- and, the ABYC does not require that it be done! Savvy boat buyers will check this obvious attribute on the next new boat
Meridian Yachts is #1 in 35' to 60'
Last year Meridian Yachts was again the largest selling brand of flying bridge yachts in the U.S. in the 35’ to 60’ range. 2009 was the fourth year that Meridian has held that honor. Meridian seems to have hit upon just the right combination of styling, features, performance, price and marketing just when some other brands which once dominated this contentious niche rested on their laurels. Meridian has captured nearly 20% of this category, and currently there no fewer than 30 production builders selling 35’ to 60’ flybridge yachts of all types in the U.S. BoatTest.com has tested virtually all of the Meridian line and to see them, click below. To find out more about Meridian’s market hegemony...
See tests on the Meridian line...
US Frigate Sinks Pirate "Ship" -- Captures
We must admit to suffering from pirate news overload, but there have been a few interesting wrinkles lately. One is that so much ransom money has flowed into the hands of the pirates’ backers that real estate prices in tiny Nairobi, Kenya neighborhoods has sky-rocketed. Could that be the reason that the Kenya government recently announced that it no longer wants to incarcerate and try pirates captured by patrolling navies? Last week a rent-a-cop succeeding in fending off pirates from a merchant ship, killing one perp. The French Navy seems to be bagging the most brigands. Last week the US Navy even got into the act. To find out more...
Capt. Phil Harris of
“Deadliest Catch” Dies
We have belatedly found out about the passing of Capt. Phil Harris in February. Harris was the skipper of Cornelia Marie, and one of the stars of the Discovery Channel’s “World’s Deadliest Catch.” He died of a massive stroke. Harris along with other skippers in Alaska’s king crab fleet have made the world aware of the rigors and dangers of earning a living in the Bering Sea. Capt. Harris was respected among his peers for his seamanship, courage, and good sense of humor.
For more about Capt. Harris
See BoatTEST.com interview with Capt. Phil’s buddies of Time Bandit...
School of Seamanship
Hits Reef at Full Speed
A freighter captain working for Cosco, the largest shipping company in China, is an obvious graduate from the Capt. Rod School of Seamanship. A few days ago he ran his large bulk carrier up on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef at full speed – and 9 miles off course! Capt. Rod would be proud such a feat of piloting. The reef is a World Heritage site, there is nothing remotely like it in the world, and it can be seen from the moon,
but evidently not from the bridge of the freighter. Clearly the Shen Neng 1 needs some feng shui.
For more on this breaking story...
See video of Capt. Rod's piloting instruction...
Calling Bertram 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. Give fellow readers
your input, no matter what Bertram model you own..
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. Sign in here --
Just For Builders
Are You Getting the Best Advice?
If your advertising and marketing partner is not providing you with feedback from boaters that helps you sell your boats, then maybe it’s time for a change. With the largest community of self-identified new boat buyers in the world, imagine what you could do with the knowledge we gather each day. As the only marine media organization that maintains constant communication with boaters who are researching their next new boat, we can provide the guidance and tools to increase your contact and engagement with new boat buyers. For a consulting call, please call Christopher J. Hughes at 203.323.9900 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"The market has changed, have you?"
BoatTEST.com Lesson of the Week
How to Read Charts
and Plot Your Position
This week Capt. Steve goes over fourteen new lessons and guidelines on reading charts and how to plot an exact position by using degrees, minutes and tenths of minutes to tell anyone exactly where you are in the world. If you’re going to be out in the open ocean,
or even doing coastal cruising, it’s important to learn how to read charts for your own safety and to help give direction to other boaters,
if an emergency should arise. Capt. Steve also suggests getting into the habit of checking the Local Notice to Mariners which the Coast Guard publishes to report any changes or deficiencies in aids to navigation. The videos presented this week are part of BoatTEST.com’s USCG-approved boating course narrated by Captain Steve Larivee. Watch these video boating lessons every week on BoatTEST.com.
To view this week’s lessons --
To view past lessons --
Ducky Award Winner
"Bob said we could troll for Muskie.....but I don't know." -B. Jones
"No problem, honey, I’ll just get the deicer plugged in and we'll be out of here in no time..." -R. Bixler
Honorable (almost) Mentions
"I don’t understand, I added antifreeze last month." - M. Martin
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.
We need reader help!
If you have a picture that you needs some explanation, send it to: email@example.com.
All articles, Captains’ Reports, video content or other
material which appear on BoatTEST.com and in its newsletters are accurate and factual
to the best knowledge of BoatTEST.com and its staff. All findings, beliefs,
experiences, or endorsements presented are the honest opinions of BoatTEST.com or
its contributors. In compliance with FTC 16 CFR Part 255 BoatTEST.com advises its
readers that content that appears in its newsletter or on its website may have been
produced for compensation or the prospect of future compensation. BoatTEST.com makes
no claims for the veracity or motivation of reader comments, Owners’ Reports, and
other contributions which are all clearly labeled as such.