Mother Goose Cruise
Alaska and Back
One of the 10 Greatest Cruising Grounds on earth is the famous "Inside Passage" that stretches from Olympia, Washington north to Glacier Bay and Skagway, just beyond Juneau, Alaska. Last month our editor took time out from his normal duties and chartered a 42' 1990 Grand Banks Motoryacht from Ketchikan, Alaska through the bottom two-thirds of the Inside Passage to Bellingham, Washington. The 18-day trip covered 700 miles and put 75 hours on the engines. What made this cruise a bit different and also interesting is that it was a "cruise-in-company" organized by NW Explorations out of Bellingham, Washington, with four chartered GBs and one leader GB -- thus it is called the "Mother Goose Guided Flotilla." This program has been going for six
years, and our editor reports that it was a first-class operation from beginning to end. To find out what the cruise was like, how much it cost and should
you do it...
Formula 34 PC:
A Stylish Cruiser with Upscale Fit and Finish
The Formula 34 PC shows another example of the quality that goes into Formula Boats. Yes they’re more expensive, but even a cursory look at the details video shows the workmanship that makes the difference. Ultraleather, dovetail joinery, solid wood instead of glossy laminates... it’s all part of the adage that you get what you pay for, and with Formula, you get a lot.
Take a look at our Formula 34 PC details video and see the examples for yourself...
Hydra-Sports 4100 SF:
Center Console Battlewagon
If you take a Convertible Sportfisherman and then take the Hydra-Sports 4100 SF and put them side by side you’ll have some interesting comparisons. They both have over-the-top features, and can catch a fish with the best of them on both, but there is a big difference between the two. The 4100 SF can cost half as much, costs less to operate, and handles with much more sportboat-like capability. That combination makes this a very attractive boat for someone interested in trading up from a smaller center console, as well as someone trading down from a larger convertible.
This is a boat you have to see, and it’s all here in our full test video.
A Dazzling Departure
There’s so much new and different in the MasterCraft 300 that we had to take a second look, and so should you. Not only is the cockpit layout unique, but there’s no cruiser with the layout of this cabin either. Not only is it unusual, it’s functional and comfortable. But there’s more… MasterCraft seemingly bought stock in a teak lumberyard as it’s literally everywhere in this boat. Power choices include a pair of 350-
or 400-hp gas engines and a 350 CMD diesel. It’s a cruiser with a sportboat pedigree and it all comes together in the MasterCraft 300.
Our video tour is proof in the pudding.
Volvo Penta Sterndrive Joystick:
Easy Docking for Everyone
Are you the type who has trouble docking your sportboat? Are you also sick and tired of seeing how the boats with pods are the ones that get joysticks and can move any
way the stick moves? And are you equally sick of the thought of having to pay for pods just to get a joystick? So are we, but there’s good news. The design team at Volvo Penta (yes the pioneers of pods) have decided that joysticks should be for everyone, even the lowly sterndrive boat owner. Today, we take a look at the capabilities of the Volvo Penta Sterndrive Joystick, and whether it takes a complete retrofit to get it onto the average boat.
It’s all here in our full test video.
Four Winns V475:
A Boat With Super Utility
The last time we visited this boat, back in 2008, Four Winns called it the V458; today it’s the V475. What’s in a name? We don’t know, but whatever you call it this is an interesting boat for folks craving a comfortable floating weekend home. A huge swim platform can handle a couple of lounge chairs, the enclosed deckhouse has enough creature comforts for the most sybaritic – and can be made even more luxurious with a few options – and the cabin will sleep the owner and mate and a couple of guests, too. In short, if you want a cottage on the water but don’t want to see the same scenery day after day, maybe the V475 is worth a look.
We think so, and will tell you more if you hit the jump...
Dynamic De Luxe 1700:
What’s the Biggest Advantage of Steel?
Building in steel has many advantages: Steel boats are strong, long-lasting, osmosis-free and easy to repair. But one advantage is often overlooked: Because they are built without molds or other expensive tooling that locks-in many aspects of the design, steel boats are easy to customize, too. One builder that's making the most of this is VanDerHeijden Steelyachts in The Netherlands. VanDerHeijden is a master at creating elegant smaller boats in steel, and from what we can see, the yard's Dynamic De Luxe 1700 will do nothing but enhance their reputation.
So if you’re ready to build a custom steel yacht, read on...
Jeanneau NC 11:
Scandi Sedan for Three Seasons
When Jeanneau introduced the NC 11 at this year’s Dusseldorf Boat Show, the company intended to sell the boat primarily in Northern Europe. Its enclosed pilothouse, lack of a flying bridge and optional cabin heater and stern windlass shout “Scandinavian” loud and clear. But you don’t have to live on a fjord to take advantage of these features, which will extend the boating season for anyone who lives in the temperate zones. And thanks to Jeanneau’s knack for styling and décor, even when its cold outside, you might feel just a hint of warm Mediterranean breeze in the cabin.
For more on the NC 11’s unusual effect on meteorology, click here...
Beauty And Brawn
Cobalt Boats says their 373 cruiser, the largest in the company’s stable, is “beauty matching brawn bow to stern.” OK, marketing folks have never been known for understatement, but this is an express cruiser, and as a class of boat this type is not known for
being stressed by its owners. Typically, express boats are used in sheltered waters under friendly summer skies – they don’t have to be built like icebreakers, and most are not. But is Cobalt different? Have the folks there gone over the top in hype, or does this boat really have something special under its sleek fiberglass skin?
To find out, click here and let’s see what gives...
Intrepid 430 Sport Yacht:
Only For Discriminating Buyers
Intrepid was started in the early 1980s just as the U.S. economy was coming out of one of its down cycles, and founder/CEO John Michel got just about everything right from the start. He sensed that there was an opportunity at the high end of the center console market so he started there and never looked back. His boats were beautiful, innovative and semi-custom, so veteran boaters who were high rollers and knew exactly what they wanted could get it at Intrepid. For the last 25 years or so Intrepid has been the most powerful force in offshore open fishing boat design and conceptualization. Even though the Largo, Florida company builds only a relatively small number of boats each year its influence on the industry is huge, going far beyond its numbers. It has largely set the trend in the offshore, outboard-powered open boat class. This week we take a look at one of the most influential Intrepids, the 430 Sport Yacht.
Let's go back to the future...
Dutch Vri-Jon Contessa 40RX:
For European Cruising
One of the great things about cruising Europe is the incredible system of canals and rivers that connect the continent from the English Channel to the Black Sea. European yachtsmen can spend a lifetime exploring the quaint towns and historic waterways which make their way through 11 countries without ever having to enter open water. One of the limited factors, however, is the height of the boat, as many of the bridges were built in the 19th century when barges were relatively small and low (and pulled by animals.) For that reason, the profile of many European boats is low, and they often have hinges on arches and the superstructure to make them even lower.
Join us for a video look at the Contessa 40 RX powered by a single 166-hp diesel...
A Serious Cruising Boat
When you get up to 75' virtually all of the fiberglass boats produced are pretty well built. The boats cost so much to construct and competition is so keen, a substandard boat that size will quickly become the white elephant at the boat show, and few builders can afford that. Most builders use the same engines, equipment, and construction materials. For many of the models on the market there is even a remarkable similarity in design profile. However, there are still significant and important differences in the boats in this class. Those distinctions among brands -- in addition to obvious things such as displacement and beam -- are in how the boats and their many systems are put together, the orderliness of the what you can't see behind the bulkheads and below decks, the experience of the engineers and shop foremen who make dozens of decisions a day on minor details which were not covered by the naval architect as the boat goes together, the reliability of the warranty promise, the financial health of the builder, and the actual after-market service rendered. The Fleming 75 and the brand itself has a sterling reputation on all counts.
Let's take a video look at the Fleming 75 as our editor interviews a captain who has cruised and maintained one...
CMD (Cummins) QSC 8.3:
In a 37' Strike Yacht
Our Capt. Rob Smith interviewed Capt. Rick O'Neil of Strike Yachts about the Cummins 540-hp diesels in the company's 37-footer. Capt. O'Neil had recently returned from a round trip run from Florida to Corpus Christi, Texas and reports on their performance. Several years ago Cummins partnered with MerCruiser for marketing and sales purposes, thus the CMD (Cummins MerCruiser Diesel) appellation that you often see associated with Cummins Marine diesels.
Watch the video...
If Only They Had Watched BoatTEST.com’s Smart Boating Course!
Learning from home is the way to go, and videos keep the lessons in your mind long after the classroom lectures are forgotten. This is a perfect course for both beginners, and seasoned salts wanting to brush up on their knowledge. The lessons are by subject in 4 DVDs in a boxed set and the course is filled with information that every boater needs to know. Learn how to dock, anchor, handle rough inlets, put out fires, and...how to keep from running aground.
Order your copy here...
Dual Action Polisher
The team at Shurhold has been at it again, this time their aim was to improve on, the buffing & polishing process. With many boaters turning to a more DIY approach over the last year, Shurhold wanted to give them something to help out. This new Dual Action Polisher is a marine specific professional grade tool designed for everyday boaters to provide the ability to buff, wax, and polish their boat like a professional. Couple this with the proper pads and Shurhold's award winning compounds and you will have a shiny new finish in no time.
You be the judge, see the video...
As an added incentive when purchasing a dual action pack you will receive a FREE $40 bonus pack with purchase of buffer. The pack includes ProPolish Pad, ProPolish, and a Microfiber Towel. Offer Exp. 9/30/2010.
Visit Shurhold and order now...
Only In Dreams
Picture of the Week
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First Time Boat Buyer
How to Target The Right Boat For You
As you begin to evaluate your many boating options, you may feel overwhelmed by the selection -- there are literally dozens of types of boats available, hundreds of brands, and thousands of models to choose from. How can you possibly select the appropriate type, brand and model that is absolutely the best boat for you? If you are a veteran boat owner, have you analyzed why you want a new boat and what it will take to keep you happy for more than the first season? If you are a first time powerboat buyer, you might wonder of you should start with a small boat, then get a bigger one in a year or two? Or, can you start with a boat the size of the one you would eventually like to end up with? In order to get some sage advice from someone who has helped boat buyers find their dream boat for over 20 years, we went to a respected West Coast yacht broker and author of The Boat-Buying Handbook, Martha Comfort. This is the first article in a series designed for both veterans and first time boat buyers to help them get their next boat purchase right! (Pay attention, there will be a quiz at the end.)
The fun starts here...
On nearly 1 acre in Shippan's most prestigious waterfront location, this newly renovated 5 bedroom, 5,100-sq. foot home invites you to experience your own permanent vacation! Watch a constant parade of yachts as they pass out the harbor from Stamford's many marinas and clubs. Moor your boat in front of your house in deep water. One of only 12 houses in Stamford with views of Manhattan both day and night. Ideal for a yachtsman’s retreat with a 50-min. commute to GCT.
The fun starts here...
Tiger Shark Eats Man In the Bahamas
Just as the deep sea fisherman was about to cut the hook from the shark’s wide open mouth and let him go, out jumped a human foot. “Everything was intact from the knee down,” said Bahamian investment banker Humphrey Simmons, “it was mangled, but there was still flesh on the bone.” That ended a day of fishing for Mr Simmons and his two companions who spent most of the morning trying to get away from sharks.
The rest of the gory story...
Lesson of the Week
It's the Law:
You Must Help a Disabled Boat
This week Capt. Steve goes over new lessons and guidelines on the importance of helping other boaters that may require assistance. There are countless numbers of reasons why a boater may need assistance. For example, their motor may have broken down, or they ran out of gas, or perhaps there is a life threatening situation aboard with only minutes to spare. Whatever it may be, it is the law to help out another boater that’s in distress. If you fail to render assistance or choose to ignore them and the accident results in someone’s death you could be prosecuted for a felony. Even if no one dies, you can still be prosecuted for a misdemeanor. So the lesson here is, be a smart boater -- but be a friendly one too. These are basic procedures which all recreational boaters should be aware of. The videos presented this week are part of BoatTEST.com’s Smart Boating Course which is USCG-approved. Watch these video boating lessons every week on BoatTEST.com.
To view this week’s lessons --
To view all lessons --
Ducky Award Winner
"Mom's home!" - T. Zizzo
"He said put it anywhere!" - R. Mathias
Honorable (almost) Mentions
"Good! There's still room for another two."
- R. Black
"I don't mind splitting the slip fee, but remember next month, I am on top!"
- G. Beasley
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