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More bang, less bucks: Chart plotter/sounder combos

chartplotterYou can spend thousands of dollars — even tens of thousands — on marine electronics, but what if you want a big-screen chart plotter/sounder that’s easier on your wallet? Good news: Combo units with 9-inch screens can now be had for $1,500 or less, no matter which brand you prefer.

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Bertram reborn

bertram_moppieIt was 7:45 a.m., and Peter Truslow, the new CEO of Bertram Yachts, was already at his desk in the company’s 120,000-square-foot Tampa Bay, Florida, waterfront yard.

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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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