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The Smart Buyer - A surveyor may be only one of the experts you need

A prepurchase survey on a yacht with complex systems may call for hiring a mechanical or other experts in addition to a marine surveyor.A dentist friend of mine asked me to help a patient of his find a reputable surveyor for a 2013 64-foot Italian sport yacht that he was about to pull the trigger on. I spoke to the buyer for about 30 minutes, getting the basic specs on the yacht and making sure his intended use for it lined up with its overall strengths and capabilities.

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The Golden Age is now

Perhaps no other period has seen as many advances in boating as the past two decades. Experts give us their top picks

3-D computer-aided design of the Pandion 25 runaboutWhen Michael Peters began designing boats in the 1970s, he thought he had missed boating’s Golden Age. “If only I was old enough to be a designer in 1959 or 1960 when you had fiberglass replacing wood boats, the deep-vee coming on, the invention of the sterndrive,” says Peters, president of Michael Peters Yacht Design in Sarasota, Fla. “I always thought that must have been an incredible time to be developing boats.”

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No more rock ‘n’ roll

Seakeeper says its gyro stabilizer technology virtually eliminates boat roll at low speeds and at anchor.Some designers and boatbuilders say gyroscope stabilization will be part of most boats’ standard equipment in the coming decade.

“I see in boats from 45 feet and up a continued growth of gyro stabilization technology,” says Bill Blount, CEO of Donald L. Blount and Associates, a Chesapeake, Va., design firm.

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Advances in innovation over the last 20 years

Here is our list of the top 10 and honorable mention innovations in recreational boating during the past two decades, compiled through interviews with leading designers and engineers:

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A peek into the future

Volvo Penta's Glass Cockpit collects navigation, engine and other system data and feeds it to Garmin multifunction displays.What innovations and technologies are on the horizon? Boatbuilders and designers say the focus will be on the helm station. Engineers are dabbling with simplifying electrical and electronic control systems with more intuitive controls for propulsion, electronics and accessories. “We should see major advances in the coming years, with cleaner helm stations and less clutter,” says Doug Zurn, president of Zurn Yachts in Marblehead, Mass.
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