Hydra-Sports 3400 CC
One Very Cool Hot Boat
The Hydra-Sports 3400 CC is certainly a boat you could fall in love with at
first sight. We sure did. She has a soft gentle curve to the sheer line that is
offset by the rakish angle of the powder-coated tower, and together the
combination is nothing short of gorgeous. And for someone who is sick and tired
of nothing but white, the red hull was a very welcome sight indeed. It seems the
first impression is contagious, for when this boat was shown at the Ft.
Lauderdale Show she was scooped up on the spot, and her new owner sat vigil
throughout to make sure his precious new boat wouldn’t fall victim to the
uncaring coming aboard to gawk. We can’t say we blame him, but we still need to
dig a little deeper than looks, so we proceeded to do what we do:
Put this beauty through a full test. The video is ready to roll, so let’s take a look at how Hydra-Sports has done.
Full test video is here...
Cruisers Yachts 520:
New Features Video
When you think of a world-class long-distance cruising yacht, you may not at first think of an express cruiser. But the
Cruisers Yachts 520 Sports Coupe is an example of the new breed of large express cruisers that have been introduced in Europe
and the U.S. by a couple of builders. The 520 is an outstanding example of that type built in America. Designed with open spaces and different venues
for entertaining large groups of friends, Cruisers 520 is well-executed.
When it comes to performance, we tested this model with triple Volvo Penta IPS diesels and
she felt like an open sport boat at the wheel. She weighs in at about 42,000 lbs and has a 15’6” beam. We found top speeds in the low 40’s and cruising speeds in the low 30’s.
Princess 85 Motor Yacht:
The Royal Family Grows by One
Princess Yachts made a splash with their sleek-styled 95 Motor Yacht, and now
the company has launched a smaller cousin, the 85 Motor Yacht. She shares the
same angular, exterior styling with the larger boat, but like all Princesses is built to heart-of-oak standards. At 84' 3" (25.68 m) overall, she's big enough to cruise virtually anywhere, but small enough to fit in any marina the owner of a yacht like this will want to go. She will sleep eight in four cabins, with a nice mix of double and single berths, so any assortment of guests can be accommodated. A pair of Caterpillar C32As will produce speeds in the high-20-knots, and long range when throttled back. In short, the Princess 85 MY might be exactly the right-sized yacht.
To learn more, follow us to our Captain's Report.
Absolute 42 Hard Top:
A Med Express by Italy's Newest Boatbuilder
Many long-established yacht builders are struggling to stay afloat, but Absolute, a young Italian boatbuilder, seems to be thriving: The company has just launched another sexy sport yacht, the Absolute 42 Hard Top. Joining a fleet that ranges from 40 to 70 feet, the 44-foot (13.4 m) LOA 42HT is a boat to consider if you're looking to jump into the world of Med-style yachting. Like so many first-class Italians, she combines a sleek exterior with tasteful minimalist decor belowdecks (why are the Italians so good at this?) to create an inviting yacht for high-profile dayboating or short-range cruising. She sleeps four in two cabins, both with heads; has a small galley adequate for preparing lunch or casual dinners; and lots of room on deck for sunning, swimming or just sitting and talking around the cockpit table.
Jump in to learn more about this interesting yacht.
Intrepid 350 CC:
Sex Appeal Meets Innovation
After the 200-something foot luxury yacht tied up to the dock, a large section of the starboard side opened up and revealed... an Intrepid Center Console. Now why would this owner, who can clearly afford any boat he desires, choose an Intrepid as
his yacht’s tender? As it turns out, with very good reason. Intrepids have a long history of bringing more to the table, including luxury, class, and style, than you might find in a typical center console or nearly any boat for that matter.
There is no boat built guite like the Intrepid 350 CC.
Meridian Yachts 441 Sedan Bridge:
Performance and Handling Video
“Before you buy, try!” But let’s face facts... it’s not always practical to get
on the water to drive every boat you are interested in, particularly those you think
may be more than you can handle. That’s where we come in. Our reader feedback
has been showing marked interest in the 441 SB for boaters wanting to trade up,
but they weren’t sure if they could handle a bigger boat, or more specifically...
this boat. So, to show how the boat handles, and reveal her performance
figures, we brought the cameras on test day and showed exactly what to expect for
handling when bringing her into the dock, and what economy you can look forward
Sunseeker Manhattan 70:
Their Largest Flybridge Motor Yacht
Sunseeker is one of those names that allows you to immediately put your mind onto a particular class of boat, but not necessarily a single boat in particular. We would even say the name could be regarded as iconic for style, quality, and yes, high cost. Some may view that last feature as a negative, but not Sunseeker. To them, it means that their customers are specific people who are looking for a certain style that few can provide. A style that says “I’ve arrived” and perhaps even “I’ve arrived looking better than you.” Think of taking a Bentley to your high school reunion. At 73’ (22.28 m) the Manhattan 70 is just at that size where you can have four staterooms. But are they real staterooms or berths in a closet? Has Sunseeker simply stuck with looks and speed and left out the comfort?
Let’s take a closer look and see how they’ve done.
Regal 42 Sport Coupe:
A Twin Stateroom Express
The Regal Yachts 42 Sport Coupe is an open and airy yacht with two staterooms and two heads that fit nicely into a 42'4” (12.9 m) hull. It took three tries for us to finally get the test numbers on this boat, and in that three times we had a good opportunity to feel how this boat handles in varying sea conditions, wind conditions, and even docking in crosscurrents. As it turns out, throwing adverse conditions at a boat can tell you a lot about how she'll handle on nice days too. For the
whole picture take a look at our full test video as we explore the handling and performance of the all new Regal 42 Sport Coupe.
Luhrs 35 Convertible:
The Best of Both Worlds?
When was the last time you took the family to a boat show, and your wife said something like, “that’s a good boat for you dear, you should get it?” Yeah, we never have either. That’s why more and more manufacturers are making boats that fill dual, or even triple, roles so that everyone can be happy with the purchase. Such is the case with the Luhrs 35 Convertible. Luhrs markets the 35 with the tagline “The Best of Both Worlds” and we’ve seen that line blurred between what is built and what the customer wants when striving for a combination. While Luhrs is well known for having tough offshore capable hulls, does the 35’s layout make this an ideal weekender when the rods are staying in their storage racks? Let’s take a look and see how they’ve done, and hope that it’s not called a “convertible” for nothing!
Grady-White Canyon 366:
Tough Fishboat Has a Tender Side
The 36' 7" (11.15 m) LOA Canyon 366 is Grady-White Boats's entry in the fast-growing class of large center-consoles, 35-plus footers intended to compete with convertibles in the sportfishing arena. Thanks to a center-console's inherently lighter weight, and with power options up to triple 350-hp Yamaha outboards, the big Canyon 366 can run faster than 55 mph (88.5 kph), according to builder-supplied test data – similar-sized convertibles would have to struggle mightily to match that. Faster out and back means more time over the fish, a critical advantage especially for tournament fishermen, and helpful even for weekend warriors with limited time on the water. But for most folks life is about more than fishing (or so we're told), and since any boat this size is a major investment, it's one that the whole family has to be on board for. By adding a few options, the Canyon 366 can also double as a family dayboat.
To find out more about this biggest Grady-White, click here
Carolina Classic 32:
No Frills, Get-the-Job-Done
Carolina Classic is well known for making no frills boats designed with two things in mind… getting the job done and getting you back safely. Yard owner Mac Privott is well known in the Carolinas as being a no-nonsense boat builder who makes a good boat and stands behind his products and their components, even when some of the component makers won’t. That’s why we like the guy. Now with this newest launch, Carolina Classic is hoping they can entice
center console owners looking to step up into stepping into an offshore battlewagon that costs far less than the sportfish boats it’s competing with. So if you’re looking for dress-to-impress style that will turn heads as you pull up to the restaurant, you’ve come to the wrong place. This is a
solid, well-finished work boat out to get the job done.
ZF Joystick Maneuvering 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.
Boats Trimming Themselves?
Volvo Penta Powertrim Assist
Properly trimming your boat to get the best performance is one of those things that you are either good at, or not. This is one of the reasons that the team at Volvo Penta has developed the "Powertrim Assist" feature. The name says it all: it automatically assists in the operation of trimming your boat. As a feature of EVC, (Electronic Vessel Control). The Powertrim Assist feature will automatically monitor your boat's speed and drive position, then adjust the trim of your sterndrive to maximize performance while you drive.
Take a close look with this short review video...
Boat Buying Tips
Boat Pricing May Be
For the last nine months we have been seeing new boat prices actually coming down here and there. It seems not yet to be a sea change, yet something is definitely going on. Several companies that have historically had pricing in the top tier of their class are now competitive with mid-tier boats. This is being done without fanfare. Rather, something else seems to be afoot -- at least here and there. Certainly corporate overhead has been minimized and the new, reduced overhead costs are making their way into product pricing in a positive way for consumers in some brands. Many builders are removing the frills, lowering the horsepower of the standard engines, and moving some non-essential standard equipment to the option list.
A Profit for F2010
For the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, MarineMax posted a net profit of nearly $2.5 million on sales of over $450 million, or .0055% of sales (slightly over ½ of 1%). That recorded profit was thanks to a change in the tax law, according to a MarineMax press release, that allowed for additional years of loss carrybacks which amounted to nearly a $19.6 million tax benefit. This compares to a net $77.7 million loss after taxes in F2009. Top line sales numbers were higher in 2009 because of the company’s liquidation strategy, and while sales volume was lower in fiscal 2010, gross margin was 9% higher.
Read the complete press release...
Royal Purple Motor Oil Outboard Test Results
Recently we received a letter from a reader who said he was an engineer in the oil
business. He said that he was an expert and all motor oils were the same, so how
could our tests of Royal Purple show that it enhanced performance? As always, we
replied that we were just as skeptical of Royal Purple's claims until we started
testing their oil. The test shown here was our second and the chips fell all over
-- and one landed in a very unusual place. One of the major marine engine makers
tells us that they have tested Royal Purple and gotten essentially the same results
we have. So, go figure. Under certain circumstances, Royal Purple seems to have
improved lubricity which translates into increased fuel economy and reduced motor
wear. You've never seen a test like this one...
How to find Royal Purple...
Donzi and Pro-Line:
Moving To The Fountain Plant
Last week Liberty Associates and American Marine Holdings Chairman Bill Gates announced that its powerboat brands Donzi Marine and Pro-Line Boats production would be moved from their Sarasota and Crystal River, Florida, locations to the Fountain plant in Washington, N.C., where Fountain and Baja boats are now built. The company's 250,000 sq. ft. plant on 66 waterfront acres is huge and the building and management efficiencies are obvious. It was also announced that Baja would be re-launched as a "stand-alone brand." Together Liberty Associates and American Marine Holdings own the four brands.
Drunk Ship Capt
Gets Slammer Time
If you have ever been coastal cruising and seen a large ship like the one pictured above and wondered what was happening on its bridge, now you know: Capt. Seong Ug Sin was found drunk by a USCG boarding party in Puget Sound last April. At trial earlier last month, the evidence revealed that Sin’s blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit. The citizen of South Korea, and captain of the STX Daisy, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to 14 days in prison, and 6 months of supervised release, during which time he is not allowed to sail in United States waters.
What do you do with a drunken sailor?...
Acident of the Week
“Sailing is Silly”?
In the premier issue of Power and Motoryacht magazine back in January 1985 yacht designer Tom Fexas wrote an article titled “Sailing is Silly.” His essay was a laundry list of all of the nutty things sailors seem to like, such as sitting out in the rain as they motor along at 5 knots, or going below and walking on the side of the boat because it is heeled over so far. We wished Tom had lived long enough to see the picture above proving how right he really was. The man sitting in the companionway is French artist Julien Berthier who will evidently do most anything to get a little media attention.
Down the hatch...
Arrives in Miami
The solar powered catamaran set a record with the fastest Transatlantic crossing by a boat powered solely by the sun. The Transatlantic crossing took 26 days, 19 hours and 10 minutes. The next stop for the Turanor will be in Cancun at the World Climate Conference. The boat is 102' long and 50' wide and cost about $20 million. Storage batteries aboard can power the boat for up to three days.
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Yes! You Can Be a Better Boater!
We would all like to be better boaters and wish we knew more of the basics, and
not so basics. With the BoatTEST.com DVD boating course our own Captain Steve will
walk you through everything from boat handling to navigation to safety. First time
boaters have told us this course was the “best way to learn proper boating” and
experienced boaters have told us they “learned many new things” that will help them
become even better boaters. It really is one of the best and most informative boating
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Caravelle Boat Company
Has New Owners
It was announced last month that two brothers have purchased the Caravelle boat company and will soon re-start production. Caravelle Powerboats was a victim of the recession and has been in limited production for about the last year. The company was founded in 1966 and managed to survive recessions, fuel embargos, and high interest rates, but the recent economic meltdown was devastating for the company which required recapitalization in order to ramp up production. BoatTEST.com has tested nine Caravelle boats over the years and has found them to be good quality and in some cases the best performing boats in their class. We are therefore happy to see that its products will once again be available in the market. The company will stay in Americus, GA.
How to Find
The Best Boat Trim
This week a BoatTEST.com member from Ohio wrote: "I like your 'how-to' videos. Can you do one on how to trim a boat? I have
a 2002 340 Sea Ray Sundancer with twin inboard V-drives, and I'm not really sure what is the best trim. Thanks, Bill P." This is a common question, and of course the answer is different for every boat. We will be making a video on the subject at our first opportunity, but in the meantime, Capt. Steve sends along some easy-to-follow advice about finding the ideal trim for your boat.
Bow down here...
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For a New Boat?
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is no charge. Sign in here...
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could do with the product feed-back 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 email@example.com.
Lesson of the Week
Negligent Boat Operation
Is a Federal Crime
In this week's lesson, Capt. Steve points out some examples of what boating negligence is and the penalties you face when operating negligently. The obvious lesson here is that if you practice smart boating you avoid all penalties of poor judgment. There is also a helpful video on what to do if the authorities stop you. The ten 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.
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Ducky Award Winner
"The best thing honey, is nobody ever comes in this cove! " - T. Kiser
"No, it's great security. Fill to leave, drain to stay. Water bill is a bit high. " - H. Knoblock
Honorable (almost) Mentions
"If this boat's rockin'..... its just the hull setting in the mud." - F. Baker
"Sometimes there is a reason anchorages are still available late in the day." - D. Bacon
"Next time I say we drive with the canvas OFF!!! " - S. Sullivan
"It looked better in the brochure. " - R. Mathias
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