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A new world order

Builders are descending on the fall boat shows with a fresh lineup of cutting-edge powerboats.

New boats are back in town. Builders will come to the fall and winter shows armed with more truly new models than we’ve seen since the Great Recession.

The majority of the 12 boats in our preview are new from the keel up, which means the entire boat, including the hull, is new. During the recession, boatbuilders modified existing designs — redesigning deck and cabin layouts or adding flybridges — and presented them as "new” boats. Show goers will find more true new boats this season.

“We’ve done a lot of product improvements over the last few years and made some new models based on old models, but this boat was a major investment because every piece from the keel on up is new,” EdgeWater president Peter Truslow says, referring to the EdgeWater 280CX dual console. “This is the first 100 percent new boat since the end of 2008.”

Expect boatbuilders and dealers to be standing proudly on the docks, ushering you to products that have never been seen before. “We are participating in the same number of boat shows this year, but the displays will be larger, and our dealer network is larger and stronger than ever before, so our dealers have the resources to really have a great presence at these boat shows,” Truslow says.

Florida builders such as EdgeWater, Contender, Pursuit and Boston Whaler will have new boats. So will companies from the North, such as Sabre, Hunt and Hinckley, each of which will showcase at least one new model at the major shows. Check out the Hunt 44, the Hinckley T34 and the Sabre 38 Salon Express. And Beneteau has several new models.

“We’re going into Newport with a very optimistic outlook,” says Bentley Collins, vice president of marketing for Sabre and Back Cove yachts. “Boaters this summer were buying and we’re hoping that will continue. We are happy Mainers right now.”

The powerboats in our preview range from 17 to 44 feet and the fleet consists of three center consoles, five express cruisers (including three Down East-style boats), one walkaround pilothouse express fishing/cruising boat, one dual console, one express sportboat and one bowrider.

Three builders are using pod drives. There also is one waterjet boat, two with sterndrives and six with outboards. Top speeds range from 33 mph to 68 mph. The Contender 30ST with twin 300-hp Yamaha F300s runs fastest, and the Rossiter 17, with its Yamaha F90, gets the best mileage — about 7.5 mpg at 25 mph.

Boat shows are a good way to get a look at today’s propulsion and helm-control systems. For example, Hinckley will showcase its new wireless remote control joystick, the PalmStick. Here’s a sampling of the new boats you’ll see at the upcoming shows and where you’ll find them.

Rossiter 17

This Canadian company has built a 14-foot deep-vee dayboat since 1999. Customers have been asking for something with the same big-water ride but a few feet larger. Rossiter owner and designer Scott Hanson responded with two boats: the 17 Centre Console and the 17 Closed Deck Runabout.

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“We know that some people like to feel the wind in their hair, but others want the protection of a full windshield and canvas,” Hanson says, describing the difference between the two models.

These boats can be powered with either a 90- or 115-hp Yamaha. With the latter, both models top out at about 50 mph and cruise from 22 to 30 mph, Hanson says. The 90 burns 3.4 gallons an hour at 25 mph for a 7.4 mpg rating.

The runabout and center console share the same hull design. “With 90 horses she’s quick out of a hole, has little to no bow rise and needs no trim to run efficiently,” Hanson says. “It has a deep-vee, a lot of flare, strong chines, lifting strakes that run all the way forward and a lifting pad on the aft part of the keel.”

Rossiter designed both boats for inshore cruising, runs to the beach and towing water-sports riders. The center console makes for a decent fishing platform, too. Hanson expects to show the center console and runabout at the New England Boat Show and either the Miami or Palm Beach show.

LOA: 17 feet, 4 inches BEAM: 7 feet DRAFT: 2 feet, 5 inches (engine down) DISPLACEMENT: 2,340 pounds SPEED: 50 mph top, 22-30 mph cruise FUEL: 27 gallons POWER: Yamaha F115 PRICE: $37,000 (with power) CONTACT: Rossiter Boats, Markdale, Ontario, (866) 251-2380.

Boston Whaler 210 Montauk

No surprises here. The 210 Montauk stays true to its practical design. “It has the classic styling of a Montauk,” says Lenn Scholz, Boston Whaler vice president of development and engineering. “It’s a fishing boat and can be set up to cruise. It’s easy to use and clean, and it’s just a big, open 21-foot boat.”

Boston Whaler 210 Montauk

Whaler builds the boat with some of the trademark safety components of a Montauk, such as waist-high gunwale rails and a tall bow rail. It has the same type of reversible helm backrest as the 170 Dauntless, but it also houses a portable head in the console. Another noteworthy safety feature is the swim platform and ladder. The ladder is mounted at a 45-degree angle to port, so it’s farther away from the propeller, Scholz says.

With a Mercury 150 FourStroke, the boat gets 4.5 mpg at a cruise of 26 mph and 3.4 mpg at its top speed of 43 mph. The builder also offers three other Montauks — the 150, the 170 and 190.

LOA: 21 feet, 4 inches BEAM: 8 feet, 6 inches DRAFT: 1 foot DISPLACEMENT: 2,500 pounds dry, no engine SPEED: 43 mph top, 26 mph cruise FUEL: 66.5 gallons POWER: Mercury 150 FourStroke PRICE: $46,790 with power and a galvanized trailer CONTACT: Boston Whaler, Edgewater, Fla., (877) 294-5645.

Sea Ray 230 SLX

The 230 SLX bowrider is the first boat that can be ordered with Sea Ray’s new Active Trim Control, an option that optimizes performance and running attitude. “These trim tabs will automatically adjust to the conditions when running the boat,” says vice president of marketing Rob Noyes. “So if you’re a big guy and you move from the port to the starboard side, the operator doesn’t have to worry about the boat listing.” The system also changes wake height and shape to improve water skiing and wakeboarding.


Sea Ray designed the 230 for day boating and water sports and ripping around your favorite bay, lake or coastal waters. It has a split windshield with walkthrough to the open bow, but the design eliminates the windshield side supports to improve visibility. The builder scatters handholds throughout in recessed areas and packs the boat with comfortable seating and storage. A transom sun pad converts to an aft-facing seat. The swim pad is integral, not bolted on, and it includes a stainless three-step ladder mounted underneath. Power options range from 260- to 300-hp MerCruiser sterndrive packages. Noyes expects the 230 SLX to be on display at all of the major boat shows.

LOA: 23 feet BEAM: 8 feet, 6 inches DRAFT: 3 feet, 2 inches (drive down) DISPLACEMENT: 4,100 pounds FUEL: 50 gallons SPEED: 47 mph top, 31 mph cruise POWER: 260-hp MerCruiser 5.0L MPI ECT Bravo III sterndrive PRICE: $58,230 with power, Active Trim Control and trailer CONTACT: Sea Ray, Knoxville, Tenn., (865) 525-5977.

EdgeWater 280CX

EdgeWater designed the 280CX (crossover) dual console to function as “one big dayboat that does it all,” EdgeWater president Peter Truslow says. “It’s a great dayboat if you have a lot of people,” he says. “It could be used for overnights and could be a good fishing boat. It’s a big deep-vee hull designed to run offshore, but you can also load it up with the family with picnic supplies and fishing rods and run around locally.”

EdgeWater 280CX

With its surplus of seats, the boat can certainly pack ‘em in — and comfortably, Truslow says. There’s a foldaway lounge in the cockpit, wraparound seating in the bow and yacht-like helm seating for four, Truslow says. And EdgeWater builds the boat with enough freeboard to accommodate a cabin with galley and head. She rides a deep-vee hull with 21 degrees of deadrise at the transom that probably will be used to build a center console version, Truslow says.

The 280CX becomes the largest dual-console model in the builder’s fleet, which includes 18-, 20- and 24-footers. “We developed this boat because the 24, in particular, has been so popular and a lot of customers were looking for a larger open boat, and the dual console has become increasingly popular,” Truslow says.

LOA: 28 feet BEAM: 9 feet, 6 inches DRAFT: 1 foot, 9 inches DISPLACEMENT: 9,400 pounds SPEED: 53 mph top, 35-40 mph cruise FUEL: 200 gallons POWER: twin Yamaha F250s PRICE: $205,294 (with power) CONTACT: EdgeWater Powerboats, EdgeWater, Fla., (386) 426-5457.

Beneteau Barracuda 9

With the 29-foot Barracuda 9, Beneteau Powerboats America launches an outboard line of boats. “The inspiration for the Barracuda was to build a fishing/cruising crossover which could easily be customized based on use while providing more protection than ever,” says Laurent Fabre, division vice president of sales and marketing.

Beneteau Barracuda 9

The Barracuda 9 can be equipped with twin outboards as large as 225 hp or a single as large as 350 hp and is available with or without a flybridge. Beneteau says its patented Air Step hull design reduces fuel consumption, provides better acceleration and enhances maneuverability. The high side rails and freeboard bolster safety, and the enclosed wheelhouse makes for comfortable cruising in any weather conditions.

Enter the pilothouse via doors on both sides. The space includes pedestal seats for the skipper and companion and a dining settee that stretches across the house’s width. A pair of dinette tables accompanies the settee. Accommodations include a forward V-berth and a separate head. The flybridge is a two-seat arrangement with the helm to starboard. You can walk around the entire pilothouse. On the foredeck you’ll find a two-person seat on the house’s forward end and single seats forward in the bow.

The Barracuda 9 will be on display in Newport, R.I.,, Norwalk, Conn., Annapolis, Md., Fort Lauderdale, Fla., New York, Montreal and Toronto. Beneteau also is launching its Swift Trawler 50, powered with IPS 600s, in Europe and North America beginning this fall.

LOA: 29 feet, 3 inches BEAM: 9 feet, 7 inches DRAFT: 1 foot 10 inches DISPLACEMENT: 6,279 pounds (without engines) SPEED: 42.5 mph top, 23.6 mph cruise FUEL: 106 gallons POWER: twin Yamaha F225s PRICE: $90,000 (HT version without power), $95,500 (Fly version without power) CONTACT: Beneteau Powerboats, Annapolis, Md., (410) 990-0270.

Contender 30ST

Fuel-conscious and performance-minded boaters should like the new 30ST center console. “We wanted to create a boat that wouldn’t empty wallets on purchase price or at the pump,” Contender marketing director Les Stewart Jr. says. “We also wanted to create a boat that was big enough to run offshore quickly and safely.”

Contender 30ST

The 30ST rides on a stepped vee hull. The significant deadrise smooths the ride, and the steps help the boat run more efficiently. “We are seeing an 18 percent increase in fuel efficiency and a 10 percent increase in overall performance over its sister ship [the 30 Tournament] with our twin-step design,” Stewart says.

The builder will hang either a pair of Yamaha F250s or F300s. With the latter, the boat gets 1.8 to 2.1 mpg at 28 mph to 46 mph. Pin the throttles to see 68 mph (1.3 mpg). The best mileage, at 2.1 mpg, comes at 3,500 rpm and a cruise of 38 mph. At that speed and using 90 percent of the 265-gallon fuel supply, the 30ST can run about 500 miles. Standard equipment includes hydraulic steering, recessed trim tabs, lockable rod storage, four insulated fishboxes and two 40-gallon round live wells.

LOA: 29 feet, 8 inches BEAM: 9 feet, 6 inches DRAFT: 1 foot, 11 inches DISPLACEMENT: 5,450 pounds; 9,250 pounds full load FUEL: 265 gallons POWER: twin Yamaha F250s PRICE: $162,331 (with power) CONTACT: Contender Boats, Homestead, Fla., (305) 230-1600.

Carver 34 Fly

The Carver 34 Fly debuts in December, making it the first model in a new series. “We’re starting with the 34, and in 2013 we will come out with a 39 and then a 45, which will be offered in a flybridge and coupe version,” marketing manager Scott Grall says.

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Carver has designed the 34 Fly for families and couples, with a master and guest stateroom, a head with a separate shower, a galley and a saloon. “It can be even more than a weekend boat,” Grall says. “It has accommodations and comforts for extended cruises.”

The helm and an L-shaped lounge sit on an upper deck that extends over the cockpit and its wraparound seating. Full swing glass doors lead to the port saloon with dining area and a starboard galley that includes an L-shaped counter, a two-burner stove and a refrigerator. The builder expects to present the 34 Fly at shows in New York and Miami.

LOA: 35 feet, 6 inches BEAM: 13 feet DRAFT: 3 feet, 6 inches DISPLACEMENT: 16,500 pounds SPEED: unavailable FUEL: 250 gallons POWER: unavailable PRICE: unavailable CONTACT: Carver Yachts, Pulaski, Wis., (920) 822-3214.

Hinckley T34

The Hinckley Company calls the new Talaria 34 a “go-anywhere, do-anything” dayboat equally suited for taking the kids tubing or cruising at sunset with friends. Hinckley customers were looking for a simpler boat with fewer systems but still wanted a fast boat, says CEO James McManus. With twin 260-hp diesels, the T34 reaches 32 knots.

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Hinckley had Michael Peters Yacht Design pen seakindly hulls for this boat, the Picnic Boat MKIII and the new Talaria 48. “The boat carries its deadrise all the way aft and it gives the boat a very precisely controlled handling characteristic,” McManus says.

The T34 draws only 22 inches with its jetdrives and comes with the company’s third-generation JetStick helm control. And the company has added an option for a wireless remote joystick called the PalmStick, says executive vice president Michael Arieta. “This is a fully functioning mini-stick the size of your palm that you walk around with and control the boat,” he says. “It will be available in all Hinckley waterjet boats.”

The cockpit flows seamlessly forward on one level to the helm, making a generous open area for socializing. The T34 has a forward stateroom with V-berth, a head with separate shower and a galley. In the cockpit, two aft-facing seats sandwich the centerline walkthrough to the helm. Under the hardtop, large settees to port and starboard dominate the space. The skipper and companion sit in pedestal chairs.

LOA: 34 feet, 3 inches BEAM: 11 feet DRAFT: 1 foot, 10 inches DISPLACEMENT: 14,000 pounds FUEL: 160 gallons SPEED: 32 knots top, 29 knots cruise POWER: twin Yanmar 6BY2 260-hp diesels and Hamilton 242 jetdrives PRICE: $535,000 (base, with power) CONTACT: The Hinckley Company, Southwest Harbor, Maine, (207) 244-5531.

Pursuit 36 Sport Yacht

The new 36 Sport Yacht will be the first in a new fleet of posh outboard-powered Pursuit cruising boats. “This boat is probably in the middle of a whole family of product we are going to develop,” says George Hetzel, vice president of sales and marketing for S2 Yachts, Pursuit’s parent company.

Pursuit 36 Sport Yacht

That family will range from about 26 to 40 feet. “We’ll go where there is the most opportunity for success,” marketing director David Glenn says. “We certainly see an opportunity above and below this mid-30-foot boat.”

The 36 will be one of the first boats to be outfitted with Yamaha Marine Group’s new joystick helm control and steering system. “As soon as that technology is available we’ll have it at the retail level, and I understand that technology won’t be available for a while,” Glenn says. Yamaha communications manager Martin Peters says the joystick system will be available in 2013. Pursuit plans to display a 36 Sport Yacht in Fort Lauderdale and Miami.

LOA: 41 feet, 2 inches BEAM: 12 feet, 6 inches DISPLACEMENT: 17,000 pounds POWER: twin Yamaha F350s TRANSOM DEADRISE: 20 degrees FUEL: 275 gallons PRICE: unavailable CONTACT: Pursuit Boats, Fort Pierce, Fla., (772) 465-6006.

Sabre 38 Salon Express

This boat gives you the ability to cruise with the wind in your hair or cool off in an air-conditioned, completely enclosed pilothouse, says Bentley Collins, vice president of marketing for Sabre Yachts (and Back Cove Yachts). It also offers excellent visibility for the skipper and crew. “All of the seating is elevated, so your eyes are looking literally through the middle of these large windows, giving you an amazing sense of the outdoors,” Collins says.

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You won’t hear the diesels, either. With Volvo Penta IPS, noise levels at the helm are low — 72 decibels while cruising at 25 knots. That’s quiet for a powerboat. Designed for couples with occasional guests or a family, the 38 Salon Express comes with a full forward stateroom with queen-size berth and an en-suite head with separate shower. A double berth is under the bridge deck.

Sabre will display the 38 at boat shows in Newport, Norwalk, Annapolis, Fort Lauderdale and Miami.

LOA: 38 feet BEAM: 13 feet, 4 inches DRAFT: 3 feet, 4 inches DISPLACEMENT: 21,500 pounds SPEED: 31 knots top, 25 knots cruise FUEL: 300 gallons POWER: Volvo Penta IPS400s (D4 300-hp diesels) PRICE: $525,000 (base, with power) CONTACT: Sabre Yachts, South Casco, Maine, (207) 655-2396.

Cruisers 41 Cantius

Pack a large-boat feeling into a 40-foot hull — that’s the general mission of the 41 Cantius Sports Coupe from Cruisers Yachts. “Because of its open floor plan and size, the 41 Cantius provides the ideal space for both families and couples,” says Jon Viestenz, product manager for Cruisers’ parent company, KCS International.

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A stern bar area, complete with bar stools on the swim platform, gives you an idea of the level of creature comforts on this cruiser. With its fully enclosed, climate-controlled main deck living area, it functions well in all climes, Viestenz says.

It’s laid out with two staterooms and two heads. The master stateroom has a queen-size island berth and an adjoining head with a separate shower. The midship suite’s split-bunk layout converts to a queen-size berth, and guests have a private wet head with a separate vanity area.

Other highlights include a standard 13.5-kW genset, a well-lit engine room with 5 feet of headroom and Volvo Penta IPS joystick helm control. Twin IPS450s (330 hp) power the boat to 31 mph for a mileage rating of 0.9 mpg and she tops out at 41 mph, according to test results from our sister publication, Power & Motoryacht. The builder also offers IPS500s with 370-hp diesels or Volvo Penta 370-hp diesels with dual-prop sterndrives. Cruisers also plans to unveil the 45 Cantius at the Fort Lauderdale show.

LOA: 42 feet, 8 inches BEAM: 13 feet DRAFT: 3 feet, 9 inches (with IPS) DISPLACEMENT: 25,000 pounds SPEED: 41 mph top, 30 mph cruise FUEL: 300 gallons POWER: Volvo Penta IPS500s (D6 370-hp diesels) PRICE: $725,000 (with power) CONTACT: Cruisers Yachts, Oconto, Wis., (920) 834-2211.

Hunt 44 Express Cruiser

The 44 makes its debut at the Newport International Boat Show and you can also see this traditional-style express cruiser at shows in Annapolis, Fort Lauderdale and Miami. The 44 is a smaller version of the Hunt 52. “Our express cruisers are unique in that they have this motoryacht flush-deck approach to the aft deck and forward saloon that ties the two spaces together,” Hunt Yachts president Peter Van Lancker says. “There’s a connection from the stern seating to the helm, so the party is all in one place.”

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For accommodations, the 44’s cabin includes two staterooms, two heads and a galley. The saloon has an inboard-facing couch on the port side and two single seats on the starboard side. The skipper drives from a starboard helm. On the aft deck, two boarding doors sandwich a transom settee.

The 44 can be powered with conventional diesels or pod-drive propulsion packages with joystick helm control. The Hunt 44 with IPS600s (435 hp) reaches 29 knots and cruises at 25 knots. The boat that’s expected to be shown in Newport and other shows will be powered with twin 600-hp Cummins diesels linked to Mercury Zeus pods. With 12 passengers and all tanks topped off, the 44 with this package reaches 32.4 knots at the top end with a cruise range from 23 to 27 knots.

LOA: 45 feet, 10 inches BEAM: 14 feet, 6 inches DRAFT: 4 feet DISPLACEMENT: 35,000 pounds SPEED: 29 knots top, 25 knots cruise FUEL: 450 gallons POWER: Cummins 600-hp diesels with Mercury Zeus PRICE: $1.35 million (base, call Hunt for Zeus pricing) CONTACT: Hunt Yachts, Portsmouth, R.I., (401) 324-4201.

What’s on deck

• Sept. 13-16: Newport International Boat Show, Newport, R.I.

• Sept. 20-23: Norwalk Boat Show, Norwalk, Conn.

• Sept. 28-30: Tampa Boat Show, Tampa, Fla.

• Oct. 4-8: U.S. Sailboat Show, Annapolis, Md.

• Oct. 11-14: U.S. Powerboat Show, Annapolis, Md.

• Oct. 25-29: Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

• Nov. 29-Dec. 2: St. Petersburg Power & Sailboat Show, St. Petersburg, Fla.

• Jan. 3-6: New York National Boat Show, New York City.

• Jan. 10-13: Atlanta Boat Show, Atlanta.

• Jan. 24-27: Strictly Sail Chicago, Chicago.

• Feb. 6-10: Atlantic City Boat Show, Atlantic City, N.J.

• Feb. 14-18: Miami International Boat Show & Strictly Sail, Miami.

• Feb. 14-18: Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami Beach.

• Feb. 16-24: New England Boat Show, Boston.

• Feb. 28-March 3: Baltimore Boat Show, Baltimore.

• March 21-24: Palm Beach International Boat Show, Palm Beach, Fla.

• April 19-21: Suncoast Boat Show, Sarasota, Fla.

See related article:

- New Attitude - sailboats

October 2012 issue