Don't Give Up
The Cruising Dream!
Every day or so we get an email from a member asking us about whether this boat or that one will be adequate for cruising one place or another. Can two people handle a 55-footer, a 38-footer? Is a 29' express too small to take to the Bahamas? Will there be slip space available in the Med in three years? Is it reasonable to go offshore in a single-engine cruiser? Are there still pirates in the lower Caribbean? What is the bridge clearance for rivers and canals in Europe? Which boat is better, brand X or brand Y?
Not surprisingly a lot of boaters want to strike out for parts unknown (to them) with a minimum of cruising experience in "big water." It is primarily for that reason that they are unsure about which boats can handle the job and which cannot, as well as wondering if their own boating skills are up to the task. Of course money, or the lack of a sufficient amount, is the agenda of many boaters who have the cruising dream. Most don't want to give up the quest, but it is easy to tell that the Great Recession has delayed and dialed back a lot of people's dreams and hopes, no matter what they may have been.
We are reminded of Winston Churchill's famous 1941 address to the young students of Harrow School in the U.K. when he said, "Never give in, never give in, never; never; never; never - - in nothing, great or small, large or petty - - never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.” To those who might snicker that holding dear a dream of faraway cruising is not good sense, we say if it isn't then what is? Enjoying nature, the sea, the salt air and this earth is the very essence of being human, in our opinion. To our members we say hold on to your dreams and lay your plans to fulfill them. Here are a couple of things you should know about your cruising dreams that may help...
Viking 82 Convertible:
A Boat for All Seasons
Did you ever wake up not knowing if you want a tournament-ready sportfisherman
for chasing trophy billfish, or a long-legged motoryacht able to sleep half the
neighborhood? With the Viking 82 convertible you don't have to choose because it is both.
Constructed by one of America's most respected boat builders, the 83'5'' Viking is fast enough for canyon fishing, especially with the optional MTU diesels;
and thanks to a beam of 22'4'', the cabin is spacious enough for four double staterooms and crew's quarters. Viking is amenable to lots of customization, too: Of more than a dozen 82Cs built (hull no. 12 will be at this year's Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show), no two have been alike in layout. But all have been steered by VIPER.
To learn more, jump across by clicking here...
The Nordhavn 43 Workhorse:
The Nordhavn 43 is a boat built for one specific purpose: long-range bluewater voyaging. It's a nice balance of size (LOA is 43 feet), cost (base boat is $695,000), complexity (single diesel) and cruising range (over 3,000 n.m.), and is designed for folks who want to cross oceans in a reasonably sized, reasonably affordable powerboat. On the other hand, when the voyage is over, most folks will probably want to trade their Nordhavn for something more suitable for coastal cruising: Its top speed is just 8.5 knots, according to the builder. Or maybe they'll just plan another adventure of a lifetime.
If you've always dreamed of making bluewater passages, read on by clicking here...
Doral 325 Intrigue:
Well Beyond the Ordinary
It starts with the side decks, which are relatively rare on a 33' 2'' (10.1 m) boat. But even with the Intrigue’s 11' 2'' (3.4 m) beam, Doral makes it work nicely without introducing claustrophobia into the main salon. As the tour continues, we see more examples of how just a few clever touches, added to what would otherwise be ordinary features, can make a more comfortable feeling boat, and therefore increase the pride of ownership. As for the fit and finish, we found no rattling doors, no leaking windows, just a solid feel that we’ve come to expect from a company like Doral. Step aboard the Intrigue with us and see how Doral brings Euro styling to creative thinking.
Rampage 34 IPS:
Its Interior Is World-Class
Rampage hit one out of the park when it mated the popular 34 Express with twin IPS drives. The
builder created a very functional and incredibly maneuverable fishing machine that was a trend-setter,
only now being embraced by companies such as Viking Yachts. But as if to say “that’s not good enough” Rampage went on to create a stunner of an interior as well. We recently showed you the features topside, now let’s take a peek below and show you how they did on the cabin. Capt. Steve takes us below decks on the Rampage 34 IPS and points out -- chapter and verse -- exactly which details set this boat apart from the interiors you wash down with a garden hose.
Watch the video...
Vicem 78 Motoryacht:
Back to the Future
Vicem, the Turkish boatbuilder known for its cold-molded mahogany yachts, is making waves at the 2010 Cannes and Monaco shows: The company's new 78 Cruiser cuts a classic, angular figure, with lines straight out of the 1950s. She reminds us of the big Huckins and Matthews
yachts we used to envy when we were kids, but belowdecks she carries all the modern systems and conveniences 21st-century buyers demand. Intended for yachtsmen
-- and women -- who understand the benefits of cold-molded construction (and who can pony up the $5.7 million-plus a fully found boat will cost), the 78 is a boat worth investigating if you're looking for a comfortable medium-range cruiser
with classic lines.
Absolute 47 HT:
Absolutely, Positively Italian
The Absolute 47HT was introduced in 2007, where we found her in Southampton, England. This luxury sport coupe is built in Italy and found around the world. From the multi-paned retractable sun roof to the bright interiors, and down to the Volvo Penta IPS package, this well-appointed yacht has every modern amenity to make a day, weekend or short cruise relaxing and enjoyable for all. The builder appears to have considered almost everything, including how the dash affects visibility at night.
Find out what our captain thought and see a virtual walk through here...
Volvo Penta OceanX:
An Anti-Corrosion Outdrive
Outdrives are not without their problems. For one thing, just one look and you can see that the power generated by the engine has to take a fairly tortuous route before it gets to the propeller(s). Add to that the fact that they operate in water, and in a lot of cases, salt water, and you can see that there is a potential for
trouble. Some of the worst culprits are corrosion, water intrusion, and under-maintained drive oil. But there’s good news. The engineers at Volvo Penta have
developed the OceanX. It’s their latest outdrive that deals with lower unit
challenges before they become problems. And as far as corrosion goes, its
newest alloy and coatings have slowed it to a snail’s pace. Let’s take a closer look at the components and features that may make this the smartest outdrive yet.
The New Princess 42:
Updated and Now in the U.S.
Since 2005 Princess Yachts has been building its nifty 42 (LOA is actually 43'8") flying-bridge cruiser, an ideal boat for a couple or a small family. Since its launch, the 42 has been one of Princess's most popular models world-wide – but it wasn't sold in the United States. For 2011, things have changed, and the 42 is one of several new-to-America Princesses debuting at this month's Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show. With two staterooms, two heads, a compact saloon and a watersports-friendly cockpit and platform, the Princess 42 will appeal to folks looking for European styling and quality in a mid-sized package.
For more about the boat, and to learn why we were left out until now, click here...
Hargrave Sea Legend
How Hargrave Meets the Requirements
Woman in a 114’ Yacht
Meeting the needs of world-traveling yacht owners is never easy, especially when you consider that the needs of two -- the husband and the wife -- usually need to be met equally. The owners of the 114’ Hargrave, the Sea Legend, wanted a vessel that they could take on expeditions virtually anywhere in the world, yet they didn’t want something that looked like an island freighter. They wanted a long range cruiser that could cross the Pacific, go to the Med, and also be an elegant raised pilothouse motoryacht that would be at home in the world’s toniest locations. We asked Charity
Hughes to lend a woman’s eye to see how well Hargrave was able to make this boat stand out.
Permission to board here...
Hydra-Sports 4100 SF:
A Center Console on Steroids
Recently 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
small fry center consoles and those moving down from large convertibles 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.
The New Regal 42 Sport Coupe:
A Tour Thru Her Interior
The new Regal 42 Sport Coupe has a layout and features that are new to this brand in this size range. Regal's mission with its new 42 was to make the accommodations and cockpit more livable and to give the consumer lots of choices for interior decor. Counter tops can be granite or Corian in a range of colors. Upholstery, cabinetry and decks can all be selected from a variety of choices so new-boat buyers can customize the interior look to their own taste. The company has made good use of virtually every bit of space in the IPS400-powered express cruiser.
To see our new video...
Certified Special Find
Bluewater Yachts 52:
A Unique Yacht Cruiser
From time to time BoatTEST.com locates a unique opportunity in a yacht of high quality
with lasting value at a very good price. When we find such boats, we bring them to our members' attention as a “Certified Special Find” because we personally know the people who built or stand behind these boats. The Bluewater Yachts 52 is a one-of-a-kind double stateroom, galley down, express cruiser that has all of the interior warmth and charm of a Downeast cruiser with a hull that has a flared bow and tumble home stern quarters. From her flying bridge to her galley she is unique but
emminently practical and will be appreciated by veteran boaters. She is fully found, has been expertly maintained, and turns heads everywhere she goes. And there is nothing like her in the marina. And, the price is right.
Yacht connoisseurs only...
Safety Check List
One of our video camera operators called in last year 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 a
motel room. What they needed was a CO detector, and we told them to leave immediately and go get one. CO is odorless, but prime symptoma are 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...
Serious Marine Cleaner
If you have ever tried a regular house cleaner on your boat, then you have probably learned quickly how stubborn saltwater spray and grime can be. We used Shurhold "Serious Marine Cleaner" on glass, plastic, vinyl, fiberglass, rubber and metal. We can report back that we were able to clean all the surfaces with very little effort. On plastics and rubber we liked how fast it cleaned up, but more importantly to us, it did not discolor the surfaces. What we found when cleaning glass was that the "Serious Marine Cleaner" rapidly dissolved the baked on salt spray and grime, and did not leave a film or streaks. On metal it easily removed the grime as well as the rust stains that were around some screws. On the vinyl and other surfaces it was equally as effective. We even went a little nuts and cleaned out the engine compartment and found it great for grease and oil.
Serious Marine Cleaner link...
Only In Dreams
Picture of the Week
See a larger picture, when and who took it -- and where!
Send us your favorite boating images.
When sending a photo, let us know what boat you were on, where and when the photo
Parker Hannifin, Ranger, Tracker
Last month three faulty items were recalled by the USCG. By working together the Coast Guard, boat builders, equipment manufacturers and the boating public can alert owners of the recalled equipment to prevent accidents, injuries and property damage.
To find out the models involved and the issues in these recalls...
EPA Approves E15,
Boats Are Exempt
Last week the Environmental Protection Agency waived a limitation on selling fuel that is more than 10 percent ethanol for model-year 2007 and newer cars and light trucks. The waiver applies to fuel that contains as much as 15 percent ethanol, known as E15. The decision excludes marine engines and other non-road engines, such as those on snowmobiles, lawn and garden equipment, and other small gasoline-powered engines. Marine industry groups, including the National Marine Manufacturers Association, the Marine Retailers Association of America and BoatU.S., have vigorously opposed E15.
Fill up here...
Smart Boating DVD Course
When one power driven vessel is overtaking another, which vessel has the right of way?
a) The one which is to the port or left of the other.
b) The one which is to starboard or the right of the other.
c) The vessel doing the overtaking.
d) The vessel being overtaken.
Did you know the answer? This question came straight from BoatTEST.com’s Smart Boating Course, the
perfect solution for re-learning what you may have forgotten, or for learning it
in the first place. This course will take you to the professional level with 4
DVD’s that you can view in the comfort of your own home.
Order your copy here...
Can You Hear Me Now?
One prolonged, two short every two minutes.... If you are sounding that signal in restricted visibility, you more than likely need the other guy to avoid you, as you may not be able to avoid him. So it stands to reason that you need your signal to be heard, and a simple electric horn just may not have what it takes. Now is the time for air. Kahlenberg Horns are widely known in Megayacht circles, but now they have a line specifically for smaller boats in the 25’ (7.62 m) to 45’ (13.7 m) range. Because once in a while, a boat that size may need to be signaling that she’s disabled, and can’t get out of your way. More...
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, experience and
recommendations, and to leverage our industry relationships in your favor. There
is no charge. 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
BoatTEST.com's largest community of self-identified new boat buyers in the world,
imagine what you
could do with the product feedback we gather each day. As the only
marine media organization that maintains constant communication with boaters who
are researching their next new vessel, 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.
Lesson of the Week
Performing Your Own Boat Maintenance
This week Capt. Steve goes over five new lessons and guidelines on tips for doing your own boat maintenance. It’s a great idea to keep a book or log with all your boat’s manuals, registration papers, instructions for electronics aboard, and any information on previous maintenance performed on the boat. This will not only save you time in having to dig around for these items since everything about the boat is in one binder or folder, but should you ever want to sell the boat, any interested buyers will have all the information and records about the boat right at their fingertips. In these next lessons Capt. Steve will also go over some tips on marine head maintenance, and battery care. 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 past lessons --
Ducky Award Winner
"There's a huge school of them holding on the east side of the sandbar!" - F. Baker
"I told you it was flooded..." - S. Huber
Honorable (almost) Mentions
"Two more dunks should get the salt off... "
- K. Choiniere
"Coming soon to a Craigslist near you."
- R. Davis
"The Salem outboard trials of 1992."
- R. Lee
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