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11 Boats that wow

More than 1,500 boats were on display at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show this fall, so it was no easy task choosing what we believe were the stars of the show — the boats that Soundings readers might find interesting or want to own.

The big boatbuilders — Boston Whaler, Sea Ray, Tiara, Pursuit and Viking, to name a few — rolled out some impressive new models. But smaller builders — such as MJM, Everglades and Regulator — also had a lot to offer. We shine the spotlight on boats from 22 to 92 feet with power ranging from 250 to 5,200 hp.



Winterize right: The effort will pay off

Fellow boaters who know me will probably accuse me of sounding like a broken record, but that’s fine because this is worth mentioning over and over. There is much more to laying a boat up for the winter than switching off the batteries, locking her up and walking away.



The Smart Buyer - How to tell if that core is wet

Jeff Perette tap-tests hulls and decks with an architect's hammer when searching for wet core material.Let’s say you’re in the market for a used powerboat. It might be a center console, a dual console or a walkaround from the 1970s or ’80s. Many builders back then used plenty of wood to core the stringers and transoms of their boats, so you’ll want to find out if the cored material is wet, which compromises the structural integrity of the hull.



The essentials of good seamanship

There's a reason the Coast Guard's motto is Semper Paratus, or 'Always Ready.'There's much more to being a competent skipper than knowing how to run a boat.

Check yourself by reading these five articles.



Eyes in the back of your head

Situational awareness is one of the essentials of good seamanship

One of the most important elements of good seamanship - in good weather and bad - is staying alert. It's important to take your head out of the electronics and look around for other boats, wind shifts and a host of potential hazards while underway.Along with life jackets, a VHF radio, the right anchor and ground tackle, and a handful of other safety items, the most important thing you can pack aboard your boat is a mind-set known as “situational awareness.”



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