Few 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.
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?
A careful, methodical approach
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.
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
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.
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