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The Smart Buyer: Is a stepped boat right for you?

Stepped hulls (like the one on this Contender 30 ST) deliver improved performance and efficiency, but they're not the best choice for everyone.Does the new season have you thinking about a new boat? Many of today’s center consoles are great multitasking boats that can serve you well for day cruising, fishing or as a platform for swimming, diving and water sports.

During your research, you’re sure to find center consoles that ride stepped hulls. Speed, fuel efficiency and a smooth ride have helped fuel the stepped hull’s popularity. But is a stepped boat right for you?



The Smart Buyer - Case Study

A careful, methodical approach

Kelmith Lopez has sea-trialed the Southport 33 FE (shown here) and several other center consoles as part of his boat-buying research.I was about to test the Southport 33 FE center console with twin Yamaha F350s at the Miami International Boat Show in February with two representatives from the builder. Moments before we cast off, two prospective customers joined us. I would have preferred to put the boat through its paces without the extra crew because I tend to drive a boat hard, but I’m glad the two gentlemen — a father and son from Puerto Rico — were aboard because it resulted in some good information about buying a boat.



The Smart Buyer - Marine Electronics: Determining what’s essential

Your choice of electronics in large part should be based on how and where you use your boat.When it comes to marine electronics, the sky’s the limit these days, literally, as satellite services cover almost every corner of the globe. With seemingly unlimited choices and technology on a relentless advance, individual budgets play a large role in choosing your electronics setup.




New power products from Fort Lauderdale

Evinrude's new E-TEC G2 outboards are available in 200-, 225-, 250- and 300-hp models.Today’s engines and helm controls are designed to accomplish a common goal: make driving a powerboat easier than ever. The easy-boating theme was apparent at this fall’s Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

There has been an explosion of new non-pod-drive joystick helm control systems, including joysticks for inboards and outboards. Depending on the system, they work with or without thrusters. Some of these products allow you to retrofit a boat with a joystick system.



Half full or half empty: winter storage and fuel

Winter is upon us, and for those living in cold-weather areas, this unfortunately means a season on the hard. Boaters who winterize are faced with a question: Should I fill my fuel tanks for winter storage or leave them empty? The answer has generated much debate.

A brief history of how fuels have evolved over the last half-century may help to shed some light on your choice. Several decades ago, the U.S. government began to focus on reducing our dependence on foreign oil.



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