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Smooth sailing: Show-goers will find more refinement, fewer gimmicks

Beneteau_Oceanis_41_1After racing ahead for some time at breakneck speed, sailboat builders seem to have entered a period of refinement — which is probably a good thing. In recent years the sailing public has been witness to the addition of everything from lounging areas in places never before heard of to twin helms on 30-footers and full-foiling performance aboard everything from beach cats to “cruising” multihulls. Here are some of the boats you’ll see at the shows this fall.

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Boat show shoppers rejoice: powerful choices this fall

CarverC52CoupeBertram, Boston Whaler, Chris-Craft, Grady-White, Viking and Hunt. These are just some of the big names coming at you full throttle this fall with new boats. I can’t remember a boat show season packed with new models from so many respected builders. The powerboats here will be on display at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (Nov. 3-7) and some will also be shown in Newport and Annapolis. If there were a Hall of Fame for recreational boats, these builders would be shoe-ins for induction.

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Down East pedigree in the Rockport 44

design0716Love at first sight defies explanation, especially when the object of our affection (affliction?) is a boat. Asked why a boat has smitten us, we describe the sweep of her sheer line, the flare in the bow, the seductive tumblehome in the transom. Truth is, we really don’t know why — we just fall for it, hook, line and sinker.

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(R)evolutionary electronics

electronics1Marine radar just got a whole lot better. Raymarine, Garmin, Simrad and Furuno have introduced new solid-state systems that give you the power — and confidence — to extend your boating safely into the darkness, through fog and rain or in congested waters. Garmin’s and Furuno’s units use Doppler technology, which takes some of the guesswork out of reading radar by showing a live view of targets as they move.

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Bertram 35: Carrying a legend well into the 21st century

Bertram35If you’ve long had a crush on the original Bertram 31 but lacked the time and patience to restore one, your salvation has arrived. In a brilliant move, Bertram has teamed with yacht designer Michael Peters to produce the Bertram 35 in the image of her famous ancestor. Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding in Thomaston, Maine, will build two prototypes, and the first one will launch this year.

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