Now Qualifies for
Let’s face it, not all of us are witty enough to win one of the coveted BoatTEST.com Ducky Awards in the weekly photo caption contest. But don’t despair! Now, you can win a coveted Ducky by submitting an e-mail letter commenting on something that you think would be of interest to our readers on any boating subject. Our panel of graybeards will select what they think is the most interesting or unusual letter each week and award a coveted Ducky. (Which might be a little stiffer than the ones seen above.) Pictures aren’t necessary but they may help.
BoatTEST.com members are a diverse lot. They live and boat all over the world in all manner of powerboats from 12-footers to megayachts. But all have one thing in common and that is a deep and abiding love of boats, the activity of boating, and the water -- be it fresh or salt -- and all want to know more! You don’t know what you don’t know and you know it! Likewise, we don’t know what we don’t know – and we want you to tell us. Often, we find that the things that are most interesting to us are aspects of boats or boating that we had never before contemplated. So send us your thoughts – maybe you’ll win a coveted Ducky! And, this week’s winner is…
The Dynamic 1700 from VanDerHeijden:
A Dutch Treat in Steel
Fiberglass is nice, but skipper a steel boat just once and you won’t want to ever go with glass again. There’s something reassuring about having a steel hull under your top-siders, but not many builders work in steel on this side of the Atlantic, and not many boat owners know the pleasure of metal. Steel is popular in Europe, though: the Dutch have been leaders in steel boatbuilding for generations, especially small steel motor- and sailboats. From what we can see the Dynamic 1700 from VanDerHeijden Shipyards will do nothing but enhance steel’s reputation. Even more surprising is the price – comparable to what you will pay for a production fiberglass boat. Better still, it’s a custom yacht and the yard’s naval architect will work with you to create one that’s just right for you.
So if you’re ready for a real boat, read on...
Grand Banks Heritage 41 EU:
Powered with Zeus Pod Drives
Speed has always been a touchy subject with Grand Banks. The brand started out being a displacement cruising vessel, but once the company started to expand its market it discovered that slow wasn’t fast enough for most powerboaters. The solution was to put in bigger twin diesels and make the bottoms flatter and keep the weight down as much as possible. In 2005 GB retired its classic 42 Heritage, then in 2008 launched the boat you see above, the new Heritage 41 EU. Powered by twin 425-hp CMD diesels driving through Zeus pod drives the boat is said to cruise in the mid teens in knots
and have a WOT speed of 25 knots. If you want to go faster, you are really in the wrong category of boat. Try something other than a trawler-type.
To find out more...
Carver 44’ Sojourn:
Maxes Out Livability
You probably have not seen or heard much about Carver the last year or so. That’s because it was involved in the Genmar Chapter 11 proceeding that followed the financial meltdown 18 months ago. Last January, Carver came out of Ch. 11 and is being run by the same veteran hands that have been guiding the company for most of the last decade. That is good news because these folks know the dealers and their customers and know how boats should be built. Best of all for boat buyers, Carver plans on keeping its same vision of providing a lot of boat for the money.
Let’s join Capt. Steve as he takes a look at this innovative vessel...
Midnight Express 39 Cuddy:
Life, Love, Fishing in the Express Lane
Midnight Express was started in 1999 and the first model the fledgling company launched was the 39. Now, if the government can ever be a yardstick of whether a boat is a success or not, this is one of those times. Correctly figuring that bad guys had fast boats, and something faster but still smooth running was needed, the 39 was immediately snapped up and put to use by the military and law enforcement community as a high-speed interceptor. With its “don’t even try to outrun me” lines and performance, it was an instant success. But just like the Humvee, a target audience for a civilian version was identified and the 39 saw new life with civilian clientele. Today, the 39 is available to us mere mortals in two versions, the open and cuddy. But for those of us looking for a boat with style and speed, step aboard as we take a detailed look at one hot boat-
Midnight Express 39 Cuddy...
The Sealine SC47:
Choose IPS or Zeus Pod Drives!
About five years ago the Brunswick Corp. bought Sealine, a brand that had been started in 1972 in the U.K. and had grown substantially over the years. Today, Sealine builds 11 models ranging from 35’ to 60’ and sells them through 40 dealers world-wide – except in the U.S. and Canada. Last year this boat also caught the eye of some magazine writers in England who bestowed on her a “Highly Commended” Motor Boat of the Year Award. At first glance, she may look like an average sport cruiser, and outwardly, well, she may be. But look closer. Notice all the portlights in the hull. Check out the size of the windshield – the helmsman can actually stand up without having to poke his head through the sunroof! Moving inside reveals even more noteworthy design features that we think are worth sharing.
So, come aboard the Sealine SC47...
Cruisers Yachts 560 Express:
Room With a View
If your favorite song is “Don’t Fence Me In,” you’ll love the Cruisers Yachts 560 Express: it’s a cavernous vessel with room for the whole gang, even if your “gang” plays on the Packers’ offensive line. Did we say this boat is huge? One of the widest beams in class at 16’ (4.92 m), and possibly the most spacious bridge/cockpit in class. A pair of Volvo Penta 715-hp diesels will push her over 40 mph, too – fast enough to run down most other yachts in class.
But don’t take our word for it, hit the jump seat and see for yourself...
Formula 382 FAS³Tech:
High Speed and High Class
Companies have been making "go-fast" boats for decades, but some of those companies do things a little differently. Formula decided long ago that they weren’t going to compete in the high end of the speed scale, at least with their recreational version. Instead, they chose to make their boats go “fast enough,” and then attack the market by doing what they do best: add the “Formula Difference” to the design. This means that the creature comforts and added touches to the fit and finish are now present, in addition to the “fast enough” performance characteristics. By the way, we are talking about factory engine options up to 700-hp each. In effect, Formula sacrificed weight savings in favor of strength and amenities, and some top-end speed for reliability. Now you have Formula’s version of “go-fast,” and it’s a formidable opponent in the performance boat market.
Let’s look at the features of the Formula 382 FAS³Tech and see how it’s done.
The 45’ Doral Alegria:
There Is Nothing Like Her
Canada has a lot to answer for: frigid winds slashing down from Nunavut, unusual rules for playing football, people who end every sentence with “Eh?”, Celine Dion. It will take more than one boat to offset all of that, but the 45’ Doral Alegria is a step in the right direction. Who would think that the Great White North, where the water is frozen most of the time, could send us a boat like this? The fact is that it is probably the most elegantly-styled and sophisticated yacht in class built in North America. And it is for that reason that the Alegria is sold to discriminating buyers around the world.
For more fun, read on...
Hydra-Sports 4100 SF:
The Largest CC on the Planet?
Last week the first Hydra-Sports boat rolled out the door from its new production facility in Vonore, Tennessee. Now owned by the same company that owns MasterCraft, every new Hydra-Sports boat will be tested on Lake Tellico, just like every MasterCraft. And for a boat as large and as complex as the Hydra-Sports 4100 SF, the attention to detail, fit and finish, and aftermarket customer service, and the corporate culture at MasterCraft’s plant is vitally important. Over the last 18 months many bluewater fishermen moving up and those moving down have both keyed onto the 4100 SF because she has such remarkable capabilities. The big secret of the boat is that she is far more versatile than huge battlewagons, at a fraction of the cost both to buy and to operate. Check out our video of the Hydra-Sports 4100 SF and see what surprises she has in store.
La Dolce Far Niente
When it comes to elegant design, whether you’re talking fashion, cars or Sophia Loren, Italians are hard to beat. The same holds true for yachts, like this Azimut 62S. In 2007, the British boating press voted the 62S “Boat of the Year” in the over-45’ sport cruiser category. A couple of weeks later, it won European Boat of the Year at the Dusseldorf Boat Show. What’s so special about this boat that the Brits and the Germans, not always known to agree on things, would both give it awards? Find
Repower of Choice
With any luck, you’ll never have to repower – your engine will last as long as you keep your boat, and your next boat will have a shiny mill with lots of life left. But maybe not – maybe you’re looking at a rusty hunk of bilge iron right now, facing the fact that it’s got to come out. Or, maybe you have found a fairly large boat for a song that with some rehab could be worth as much as, or more, than what you put into it. If you are thinking about repowering, we’ve got some good news for you. Unlike most diesel engine makers who don’t have time to diddle around selling one and two engines at a time, Yanmar loves that kind of business. They have built their reputation on it. So, while there are a number of new, compact, lightweight diesels on the market today, there is only one company that is happy to spend the time it takes to get repowering right, and not just pay it lip service. That’s Yanmar.
Let’s look at the Yanmar 6CX530...
Safety Check List
One of our video camera operators called in last week to get a new assignment and in the course of the conversation he mentioned that he and his assistant were having headaches and they smelled something funny at night. What are the chances of two people getting a headache at the same time? They weren’t in a boat, they were in an apartment. What they needed was a CO detector, and we told them to leave immediately and go get one. CO is odorless, but a prime symptom is a headache or nausea, followed by drowsiness and death. This spring make sure your boat is well equipped with CO detectors with new batteries. Also, it is time to check your US Coast Guard required safety items and required equipment.
If you want to refresh your memory on what federal regulations say you must have aboard, consult here...
Brought to you by the folks at Sea Tow
Shurhold Video Test:
Buff Magic Taken to Task!
Owning a fiberglass yacht with a shiny, gleaming surface is one of the joys of boat ownership. But the hard work that goes into creating that look isn't so much fun. In order to find out how well Yacht Brite Buff Magic and Pro Polish work, we recently tested on a severely neglected hull. Capt. Steve followed the standard procedures, applied the products, and all the while our camera crew was shooting video tape. See for yourself what our tests turned up...
Love Your Tender,
Love It True, Never Let It...
Elvis had it right, but some skippers get so wrapped-up in maintaining their big boat, they forget about their little ones – the tenders. They need love, too.
Almost every boat carries at least one tender, usually an inflatable or RIB. Whether it lives on chocks on the boat deck, hangs on davits or rests, tipped on its side, on the swim platform, a tender is a both useful and expensive accessory. A little TLC every now and then will make its life longer and happier. And it will make you feel good knowing that you showed a little affection for the little lady you keep on the side. Here’s how to keep her looking fresh and perky...
Attaway and Leigh
Recently two well-known names in the small publishing world of recreational boating passed away – Roy Attaway and Scott Leigh. Attaway was one of the best boating writers in the last three decades and his articles appeared in most boating journals at one time or another. We were fortunate enough to have known him and to have happily promoted him to be editor of Boating magazine in the mid 1980s, a position he thoroughly enjoyed. Scott Leigh is best known on the West Coast as publisher of Dockside magazine that brought a fresh spirit to marine journalism. Scott’s enthusiasm for the sport was infectious and it undoubtedly helped spawn a whole new generation of boaters out west. More...
Last Call for Europeans!
When it comes to boat buying, timing – and the right boat – are everything. For the last five years or so, U.S. boats sold in Europe were an incredible bargain because of the weak dollar and the high quality of many of the brands. It appears as if that window of opportunity on a good deal for Europeans is rapidly closing. It may be 10 years or so before the exchange rate pendulum swings back, if then (or, it could be tomorrow, of course.) In any case, if you plan on buying a boat in Euros, now could be the last chance to take advantage of the low prices of American-made boats. (Don’t say we didn’t tell you.)
Could the Gulf of Mexico
Become the Dead Sea?
Everyone in the world knows about the BP disaster but what most didn’t know until last Sunday night was why the well blew. That was explained on the American investigative journalism TV program 60 Minutes. In an interview Mike Williams, the head of electronic operations on the doomed oil rig, explained what happened and you can figure out who was to blame. (Want to take bets that no heads roll?) Now the oil -- both on the surface and under the surface -- is beginning to circulate in the relatively closed-in Gulf of Mexico, threatening to turn it into the ecological crime of the decade. And once it hits the Gulf Stream itself, it will go on a 6-knot ride right through North America’s fishery and on to Europe.
See the video, read what the scientists say...
Calling Doral 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 Doral model you own.
Are You Looking
For a New Boat?
If you are currently researching a new boat, 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
"The market has changed, have you?"
Lesson of the Week
Tips on Tying Up Your Boat
This week Capt. Steve goes over seven new lessons and guidelines on practicing docking and dock line etiquette. The more you practice docking, the more comfortable you will become with it. Capt. Steve goes over some examples on how to use bow spring lines and aft spring lines. It’s also important to be a good neighbor and show courtesy at the dock or local marina you’re visiting. When there are many boaters tied up at the same place dock lines can get a little hard to manage if not set up correctly.
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 boating course called “Smart Boating.” Watch these video boating lessons every week on BoatTEST.com.
To view this week’s lessons --
To view past lessons --
Ducky Award Winner
"Now all we got to do is wait here until the oil is gone." - R. Acevedo
"And the newest fad from dingbat California--the ARK-O-TEL!" - E. Jahoda
Honorable (almost) Mention
"Yup, my wife says I have ship for brains."
- G. Phillips
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