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Rigid hull inflatables: bigger is better

targa30When it comes to boats these days, “supersize me” seems to be the trend. This year saw introductions of a 53-foot center console with quadruple 557-hp engines strapped to the stern, a 31-foot pontoon boat with triple 300-hp outboards and a few big sportfishing yachts powered by as many as 5,200 ponies.



The Smart Buyer: Boat survey essentials

smartbuyerEditor’s note: Knowing how to take your boat search to the next level is what BoatQuest.com, one of Soundings’ sister properties, is all about.



The Smart Buyer: Establishing baselines can help you avoid troubles

smartbuyerModern marine engines have come a long way from the sputtering, oil-dripping beasts they used to be. Electrical systems with smart chargers, inverters and advanced sealed batteries are light years ahead of the leaky blocks of energy that used to start our engines and power our coffee makers.



The Smart Buyer: Get to know the boat you’re going to buy

smartbuyerFew purchases generate the excitement and anticipation that buying a boat does. You spend hours reading boating magazines and scanning the Web, dreaming of summer fun and cruising adventures. When the time comes to look at a boat, it’s easy to throw objectivity to the wind. This can make assessing a boat’s suitability for your needs very challenging.



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?



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