The extended flybridge has become a popular feature on motoryachts and large express cruisers as boaters spend more time together in this open area. Trawler builder Kadey-Krogen Yachts has been upsizing its flybridges to create what company vice president Larry Polster calls “social zones” — first with the 44 AE and 48 AE and now the 58 Extended Bridge. “We’re getting a wider variety of boaters used to spending a lot of time outside and not in a pilothouse,” says Polster.
Regulator Marine has eclipsed the 40-foot mark with its latest boat, and its creation was more a response to Regulator owners than simply joining the trend of offering bigger center consoles.
Today’s express fishing boat must make good on a threefold mission: a smooth and dry ride, enough deck and storage space for fishing, and a spacious, well-appointed cabin for the family. The Stamas 390 Aegean delivers all three, says company president John Stamas.
“The Aegean is for [the owner] who wants a huge fishing cockpit but also a boat that the rest of the family is going to like,” says Stamas.
Boatbuilders are now offering center console bay boats as large as 27 feet, but Yellowfin Yachts has bucked the trend by opting to improve its popular 24 Bay instead of upsizing.
“We are seeing bay boats in today’s industry that years ago would be considered offshore boats,” says Yellowfin vice president Heath Daughtry. “Draft is an essential characteristic of our bay boat. Customers want the ability to cross open water at will and also have complete maneuverability in shallow water.”
Center consoles have dominated boat shows for the past few years, but the dual console — with its bow-to-stern seating and starboard sit-down helm — has grown in popularity, as well. Boston Whaler’s new 320 Vantage is the largest model in the builder’s lineup of dual consoles, joining the 230 and 270 Vantage.
With these boats, the focus is on seating, storage and a deck layout that’s conducive to everything from barbecuing to swimming to water sports.
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