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The pursuit of power

Scout 345XFS

This high-end center console debuted at the 2010 Miami show. Since then, sales have been healthy, says Alan Lang, Scout Boats' national and international sales manager.

"Our Fort Lauderdale dealer has sold five of them himself," he says. "It's doing very well."

26_pursuitofpower_04The boat has a lot going for it, including meticulous workmanship and attention to detail, a wave-piercing deep-vee hull and the fuel economy of new Yamaha outboards, Lang says. "I've taken the boat on demo rides maybe 40 times and have yet to get a drop of water on me," he says. "It's a very dry boat and has a soft ride."

The 345XFS is sort of a hybrid in the center console market, marrying the characteristics of a hard-core fishing boat with the comforts of a dayboat, says Scout Boats owner Steve Potts. He says he kept the boat relatively narrow to maximize ride quality on long hauls to and from the fishing grounds.

The 345XFS will appease the day-cruising crowd, with side-by-side, forward-facing foredeck lounge seats and port and starboard bow seating. If you want to relax in the shade, the hardtop extends aft under power. In the console, you'll find a galley with sink, refrigerator, microwave, head, shower and a two-person berth.

"There are a lot of wow factors on this boat," Potts says. For instance, the helm seats are covered with a vinyl-and-Sunbrella hybrid fabric that's more comfortable than conventional upholstery, Potts says.

A bow thruster, generator and air conditioning are options. The boat will be shown in Fort Lauderdale and Miami, and possibly at the New York show.

LOA: 34 feet, 11 inches BEAM: 10 feet, 9 inches DRAFT: 27 inches DISPLACEMENT: 9,100 pounds (without engines); 10,300 pounds with twin F300s HULL TYPE: deep-vee TANKAGE: 330 gallons fuel, 30 gallons water, 10 gallons waste POWER: Twin Yamaha F300s or twin F350s TOP SPEED: 55 mph with F300s; 64 mph with F350s BEST MILEAGE: 1.4 mpg at 40 mph (with F300s); 1.2 mpg at 29 mph (with F350s) PRICE: $283,871 with F300s; $292,321 with F350s CONTACT: Scout, (843) 821-0068. www.scoutboats.com

Boston Whaler 345 Conquest Open

Here's an example of an existing boat being offered in a new configuration. The 345 Conquest hit the market three years ago. Front and side windshields that extend to the hardtop enclose the helm deck on three sides. The new Conquest Open's side windshields are much lower, stopping well short of the hardtop in a sloping design. Customers in South Florida and overseas warm-climate markets, such as the Mediterranean, wanted a 345 with a "more open, airy feeling," Berman says. "We're also offering the Open with a new marlin tower and we've made a few enhancements to other parts of the boat that affect this version and the existing [closed helm deck] version."

27_pursuitofpower_01Those changes include a new cockpit tackle center, added galley storage, redesigned companionway steps and a center windshield panel for ventilation. The marlin tower comes with 23-foot outriggers. If the customer orders Raymarine electronics, the outboard engine data can be routed to the upper station's Raymarine displays, Berman says.

The Open and original share the same interior, mechanical systems, cockpit and hull design, Berman says. Customers can get the marlin tower on the original 345 for the 2011 model year. The Open will be displayed at the shows in Fort Lauderdale, New York and Miami.

LOA: 35 feet, 6 inches BEAM: 11 feet, 8 inches DRAFT: 22 inches DISPLACEMENT: 14,200 pounds (no engines) HULL TYPE: deep-vee TANKAGE: 421 gallons fuel, 20 gallons waste, 45 gallons water POWER: Twin Mercury Verado 300-hp outboards SPEED: 43 mph top with twins; 53 mph with triples MILEAGE: 0.83 mpg at 26 mph with twins; 1.0 mpg at 31 mph with triples PRICE: $358,140 with twin 300s; $396,353 with triple 300s CONTACT: Boston Whaler, (877) 294-5645. www.whaler.com

Nordic Tug 39

The 39-footer replaces the Nordic Tug 37 in the Burlington, Wash., builder's fleet of pilothouse trawlers.

"We've made some substantial improvements in terms of visibility, comfort, convenience and systems to produce a boat that is better than our 37 ... with only about a 2 percent price increase," Nordic Tugs president and CEO Andy Lund says. The company has built 214 Nordic Tugs 37s since 1998, when the model was introduced.

27_pursuitofpower_02Improvements to the 39, a Lynn Senour-designed semidisplacement hull, include larger pilothouse and saloon windows. The helm console has been expanded to accommodate large chart-plotter and radar-display screens. A standard Llebroc captain's chair provides better comfort - critical for proper watch-keeping during lengthy passages, Lund says.

"What drove all of this were customer comments and owner comments," Lund says. "For instance, our window mullions in the pilothouse were too thick and impeded visibility, so we listened and reduced the size of the mullions."

The L-shaped settee in the saloon has been converted to a U-shaped version, which is a better setup for conversations, Lund says. The redesigned head features a new Tecma toilet, a fully molded shower stall with a bench seat and a door that slides open and closed on a space-saving curved track. The 39 will be shown in Newport, Norwalk, Annapolis and Miami.

LOA: 40 feet BEAM: 12 feet, 11 inches DRAFT: 4 feet, 4 inches DISPLACEMENT: 26,000 pounds (full load) HULL TYPE: semi-displacement TANKAGE: 320 gallons fuel, 144 gallons water, 41 gallons waste POWER: Cummins QSB 380-hp diesel TOP SPEED: 17.5 knots BEST MILEAGE: 3.8 nmpg at 8 knots for a 1,000-nm range PRICE: $492,800 CONTACT: Nordic Tugs, (360) 757-8847. www.nordictugs.com

Tiara Sovran 4500

Tiara's Sovran series - high-end express cruising yachts - includes the 3500, 3900, 5800, and now the 4500. Customer input resulted in a windshield and hardtop design to eliminate the center window and improve visibility; a longer swim platform for a wider variety of dinghies; transom trunk with more storage, a lounge seat and a grill; and cabin skylights and more storage. Also available is a new sunroof-employing technology currently available on the 5800 Sovran.

27_pursuitofpower_03At press time, the builder had limited performance information. "I don't have performance data yet, but we certainly expect this to be a 30-knot," Walsh says. "We're shooting for a 30-knot cruise."

The 4500 Sovran will take the place of the Sovran 4300.

Tiara expected to launch the new Sovran 4500 at the Fort Lauderdale show.

LOA: 46 feet, 10 inches BEAM: 14 feet, 9 inches DRAFT: 3 feet, 7 inches (full load) DISPLACEMENT: unavailable HULL TYPE: modified-vee TANKAGE: 375 gallons fuel, 110 gallons water, 50 gallons waste POWER: undetermined TOP SPEED: undetermined BEST MILEAGE: undetermined PRICE: undetermined CONTACT: Tiara, (616) 392-7163. www.tiarayachts.com

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