Fall boat shows offer a bonanza

Author:
Publish date:

Events promise plenty of great new offerings in power and sail

EdgeWater 368CC

The fall and winter boat shows promise a diverse fleet — motoryachts, convertibles, express cruisers, coupes, sedans, high-performance racing and fishing boats. But it’s the open boat — primarily center consoles, now up to 53 feet — that has become the dominating class.

Center consoles fit the needs of time-strapped boaters, who call upon their craft for fewer overnights, preferring shorter (and more) make-the-most-of-every-minute outings — diving, swimming, fishing, gunkholing, water sports. And center consoles do a fine job for sunset cruises, too.

Dual consoles also fall under the umbrella of open boats, attracting families with a nice balance of seating, storage and functional layouts, with walkthrough windshields and bow seating.

Dual and center consoles have growing lists of creature comforts, such as air conditioning, stoves, grills, flat-screen televisions and Wi-Fi connectivity.

There are cruising boats in the new mix, too, from Tiara, Sea Ray and Intrepid. Intrepid has been focused on propulsion for a while, powering center consoles with 557-hp outboards and propane engines. Now it has turned its sights on luxury with the 410 Evolution. “For two years we have been secretly working on this,” says company president Ken Clinton. “You’ve got to come and see this.”

There will be more in this category at the Miami shows in February, when Sabre debuts its Dirigo 66 and Carver unveils its Command Bridge 50.

In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek at what to expect this fall — there’s no time like the present to start planning for a great time on the water next season.

Regulator 41

Regulator 41

The new 41 is the largest boat that the North Carolina company has ever built. “Who would have thought we’d have a boat this big back when the first Regulator 26s were being built?” asks president Joan Maxwell. The 41 rides a deep-vee hull designed by naval architect Lou Codega, and its rough-water ability gives anglers “more dates to head offshore and fish,” Maxwell says. The console houses an enclosed head and shower, a fully equipped galley and a double berth. Features include cabin heat and air conditioning, an 8-kW genset, a hardtop and a starboard dive door. The console can hold up to three 16-inch displays. The boat has 960 quarts of insulated fishbox space, 1,060 quarts of storage and an 80-gallon live well. It’s powered with four outboards mounted on an engine bracket. Yamaha’s Helm Master joystick system is standard.

BOAT SHOWS: Newport, Norwalk, New York, Atlantic City, Annapolis, Fort Lauderdale, Miami

LOA: 41 feet, 3 inches BEAM: 12 feet, 6 inches DRAFT: 2 feet, 8 inches DISPLACEMENT: 20,100 pounds (quads) FUEL: 600 gallons POWER: quad Yamaha F350s SPEED: 62 mph top, 35-45 mph cruise PRICE: $649,995 CONTACT: Regulator Marine, Edenton, North Carolina, (252) 482-3837. regulatormarine.com

Seaway 24 Sport

The Seaway 24 Sport will attract those looking for a simple center console with fewer features but no shortage of utility and efficiency. The plumb bow will cut through a stiff chop, and with a 150-hp outboard she planes at only 14 mph and hits 40 mph at full throttle. At 24 mph she gets 7 mpg. The builder discontinued its previous 24-foot center console two years ago. “That boat never worked for us — too many bells and whistles and not enough room for crew,” says director of sales and marketing Bruce Perkins. The new version has 4 more inches of freeboard. The self-bailing boat (no liner) is outfitted with a portable head in the console, a storage box that doubles as a seat on the aft side of the leaning post and a forward coffin box with a removable pad.

BOAT SHOWS: Newport, New England, Annapolis

LOA: 24 feet BEAM: 8 feet, 6 inches DRAFT: 1 foot DISPLACEMENT: 2,300 pounds (dry, no engine) FUEL: 60 gallons POWER: single 115- or 150-hp outboard SPEED: 32 mph top, 20-24 mph cruise (115); 40 mph top, 25-28 mph cruise (150) PRICE: $52,900 (115), $56,165 (150) CONTACT: Seaway Boats, Milton, New Hampshire, (603) 652-9213. seawayboats.com

Grady-White 191 Coastal Explorer

Grady-White 191 Coastal Explorer

Looking to get into skinny water? This boat draws 14 inches but also holds its own when the wind and waves kick up, riding the SeaV2 variable deadrise hull from C. Raymond Hunt Associates. Grady-White deftly balances fishing and dayboating in this model. The bow area is home to a divided insulated locker with fishbox/storage and a separate anchor locker. The platform transforms into a lounge area that connects with an insert pad to the forward console. The console holds four rod holders and a 70-quart cooler or 17.5-gallon live well. Aft, you have a centerline 48-quart fishbox or an optional 12.5-gallon live well and a standard swim ladder. The boat can be powered with a single Yamaha F150 or F200. With the F200 it tops out at 51 mph and gets 5 mpg from 21 to 28 mph.

BOAT SHOWS: Fort Lauderdale, Miami

LOA: 19 feet, 4 inches BEAM: 8 feet, 2 inches DISPLACEMENT: 2,360 pounds FUEL: 52 gallons POWER: Yamaha F150 or F200 SPEED: 51 mph top, 28 mph cruise (F200) BASE PRICE: $58,700 (F150), $63,395 (F200). CONTACT: Grady-White Boats, Greenville, North Carolina, (252) 752-2111. gradywhite.com

Hunt 32CC

The 32CC has a classic New England look, with its Navy blue gelcoat and teak accents. You’ll get the most out of your time on the water with this boat, says company president Peter Van Lancker. “It’s a great boat for offshore fishing, cocktail cruising, swimming, day trips and transporting kayaks or scuba gear to your favorite harbor — in comfort and style,” he says. The console extends all the way to the port side of the boat. With 6 feet, 2 inches of headroom, it houses an enclosed head with a shower, a “gallette” with a microwave and icebox, and a berth. Hunt placed the companionway outboard of the helm and facing aft. “You can actually go below while you’re underway,” says Van Lancker. She can be powered with twin outboards from 250 to 350 hp, as well as I/O or inboard propulsion.

BOAT SHOWS: Newport, Norwalk, Annapolis, Fort Lauderdale

LOA: 31 feet, 1 inch BEAM: 10 feet, 6 inches DRAFT: 2 feet, 1 inch DISPLACEMENT: 9,000 pounds (loaded) FUEL: 225 gallons POWER: twin Yamaha F250s (optional F300s, F350s; single Volvo Penta EVC 6.2 380-hp gas engine with jackshaft or OceanX sterndrive; single Volvo Penta D6 370-hp diesel with jackshaft) SPEED: 50 knots top, 35 knots cruise (F300s) BASE PRICE: $269,000 (F250s) CONTACT: Hunt Yachts, Portsmouth, Rhode Island, (401) 324-4201. huntyachts.com

Southport 292TE

This second iteration of the 29 rides the same deep-vee hull as its predecessor, but Southport has made several changes topside. A larger hardtop holds more lighting, as well as integral stereo speakers. It’s designed to accept a retractable sunshade, too. The redesigned console has a more contemporary look and can hold up to a 19-inch display. The company also narrowed the deck cap, or ring deck, especially in the bow area. “The new ring deck will open up the seating and deck without compromising the forward casting platform that fishermen enjoy,” says product manager Skip Robinson. The 292 will be offered in a Family Edition and Tournament Edition. The Southport 29TE makes its debut in Newport.

BOAT SHOWS: Newport, Annapolis, Fort Lauderdale, New York

LOA: 28 feet, 6 inches BEAM: 10 feet, 6 inches DRAFT: 1 foot, 9 inches DISPLACEMENT: 5,800 pounds FUEL: 232 gallons POWER: twin Yamaha F250s, F300s, F350s SPEED: 55 mph top, 35 mph cruise (F 300s) PRICE: $226,900 CONTACT: Southport Boats, Augusta, Maine, (207) 620-7998. southportboats.com

Sea Ray 400 Sundancer

Sea Ray 400 Sundancer

Sea Ray will bring two new yachts to the Fort Lauderdale show: the 400 Fly and 400 Sundancer. “The 400 Fly and 400 Sundancer are spacious, well-appointed and competitively priced while delivering fresh interior and exterior designs,” says Ron Berman, vice president of product portfolio. “We are giving our customers just what they’re asking for, including a large saloon with minimal divisions and deck elevation changes, and a spacious bridge and galley-up.” The flybridge has become a key gathering place, says Berman. “They want to be outside in the open air, in touch with their surroundings, feel the wind, and see and smell the water,” he says. Sea Ray made sure the saloon area can comfortably accommodate six to eight. For the past several years, the builder has focused on opening up the layouts to promote a social atmosphere, as well as brightening interior spaces and improving helm sightlines.

BOAT SHOWS: Fort Lauderdale

LOA: 40 feet (standard platform), 43 feet, 7 inches (extended platform) BEAM: 13 feet, 6 inches DRAFT: 40 inches DISPLACEMENT: 30,500 pounds FUEL: 320 gallons POWER: twin Cummins QSB 480 diesels SPEED: 35 mph top PRICE: not finalized CONTACT: Sea Ray Boats, Knoxville, Tennessee, (865) 544-0600. searay.com

Intrepid 410 Evolution

Intrepid has stepped up the luxury level on its latest boat, the 410 Evolution, mixing outboard power with the coupe concept. The boat, with an enclosed helm deck and cabin, emphasizes cruising and entertaining with overnight capabilities. “We engineered the best in customer requests from over the years into this new model right from the start,” says company president Ken Clinton. Features include wood veneer cabinetry, a hardwood cabin sole, a tiled head, quartz and granite countertops and a powered hardtop sunroof. Air conditioning and a gyro stabilizer are optional. Florida boaters are familiar with Intrepid, but Clinton wants his brand to become a household name in the Northeast, as well. This summer he toured boatyards on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, and Newport, Rhode Island. “It was the first time we debuted a boat outside of our home state,” says Clinton.

BOAT SHOWS: Fort Lauderdale, Miami

Intrepid 410 Evolution

LOA: 41 feet, 2 inches BEAM: 12 feet, 6 inches DRAFT: 2 feet, 6 inches DISPLACEMENT: 25,000 pounds FUEL: 449 gallons POWER: triple or quad 350-hp outboards SPEED: 55 mph top, 40 mph cruise PRICE: $725,160 (triple 350-hp Yamahas, Mercury Verados); $807,476 (quad Yamaha 350s) CONTACT: Intrepid Powerboats, Dania, Florida, (954) 922-7544. intrepidboats.com

Scout 420 LXF

With her Carolina bow flare, broken sheer and reverse transom, this center console will likely draw a steady stream of visitors at the boat shows. She’s pretty but powerful, too, running with quad 300- or 350-hp outboards. With the 300s, the 420 LXF tops out in the mid- to upper 60-mph range and cruises around 38 mph, getting 1.1 mpg for a range of just under 500 miles. Innovation on deck has become a trademark for Scout — for example, the boat’s hydraulic hull-side platform. “People want to swim, dive and go beach-hopping, and this makes it super-easy and convenient,” says company president Steve Potts. The 72-by-30-inch teak-covered platform folds into the hull side when closed. “You wouldn’t even know it’s there,” he says. In the cabin you’ll find a twin berth with a large drop-down table, a galley and an enclosed head with a separate shower.

BOAT SHOWS: Fort Lauderdale, New England, New York, Miami

LOA: 42 feet, 2 inches BEAM: 13 feet, 1 inch DRAFT: 26.5 inches DISPLACEMENT: 23,700 pounds (loaded) FUEL: 500 gallons POWER: quad Yamaha F300s or F350s SPEED: 71 mph top, 42 mph cruise (F350s) PRICE: $650,000 (F350s) CONTACT: Scout Boats, Charleston, South Carolina, (843) 821-0068. scoutboats.com

Sea Trial: Regulator 41 I had an opportunity to sea-trial the new quad-outboard Regulator 41 center console this summer. I also was able to pilot Regulator’s largest boat through North Carolina’s notorious Oregon Inlet. I was psyched because this was my first time in these waters. I have tested most of the Regulator center consoles — the 25, 26 (first version), 32 and 34. These boats deliver a soft ride in challenging seas with minimal pounding. The 41 was no different. The Lou Codega-designed deep-vee (24-degree transom deadrise) shouldered off the cut’s 2- to 3-foot chop and then knifed through 4-foot swells just off the coast. I ran the boat in every direction to the sea and through a wide speed range, from 25 mph to a top end of 62 mph. The boat nestled into a 32 mph cruise (3,300 rpm), and the ride was comfortable enough in these conditions to maintain this speed for an hour or more. At cruise, the boat gets 0.85 mpg for a 408-mile range (with a 20 percent fuel reserve). That’s pretty good mileage for a 41-foot, 1,400-hp boat (four Yamaha F350s). Performance-wise, I was impressed with the Regulator’s ability to climb out of the hole at a flat angle without trim tabs — and with nearly no bow rise — a sign of a well-designed and engineered hull. The boat has toekick space and handrails all around, high gunwales and wide washboards. I felt balanced and secure and had no complaints with the helm station ergonomics. The wheel and throttles were easy to reach while standing, leaning or seated. Sightlines are clear through the frameless wraparound windshield. Regulator Marine president Joan Maxwell, customer service manager Al Partin and dealer Jud Black were on board for my two-hour sea trial. Partin and Maxwell gave me a 45-minute walkthrough before we got underway, pointing out the attention to detail in such components as the hull-side door, with its beefy hardware and fold-out boarding ladder, which hides beneath a hatch that’s flush with the sole. The side-door installation is a good example of the boat’s quality construction and fit and finish, traits that have helped make Regulator one of the most respected center console builders. Back at the marina, I used the Yamaha Helm Master joystick to slide between pilings. It was no surprise: The joystick made docking the boat — 47-plus feet with the bracket-mounted engines — a breeze. TEST CONDITIONS AIR TEMPERATURE: 82 F HUMIDITY: 70 percent SEAS: 2-4 feet LOAD: 480 gallons fuel, 60 gallons water, four people PROPELLERS: 21-inch pitch, 15-1/4-inch diameter. OPTIONS Dual-station tower with controls and hardtop ($57,995); deluxe tackle center ($6,795); Carolina blue hull ($5,795); tow eye ($4,995); white paint quad engines ($9,995); refrigerated fishbox ($2,495). RPM MPH GPH MPG RANGE 1,000 6.9 5.8 1.2 576 1,500 9.8 12.3 0.8 384 2,000 11 18.3 0.6 228 2,500 20.4 25.5 0.8 384 3,000 29.1 36.4 0.8 384 3,500 36.1 42.5 0.85 408 4,000 41.5 52 0.8 364 4,500 47 58.8 0.8 364 5,000 52.2 87 0.6 228 5,500 57.8 115.6 0.5 240 6,000 62.8 125.6 0.5 240 Speeds measured with Garmin GPS, GPH with Yamaha gauge. Range is 80 percent of advertised fuel capacity.

Tiara Q44

Tiara Q44

The Q44 is a purpose-built cruising boat with the storage and layout to excel as a “luxury SUV,” says Tiara president Tom Slikkers. Tiara began revamping its cruising boats with the 50 Coupe, a more contemporary design with lots of open space and luxury conveniences. The 44 Coupe followed and now the Q44, which rides the same hull as the 44 Coupe but has a different topside and deckhouse configuration. “We are building into the boat more storage space and accommodations for kayaks, paddleboards, bicycles — all the things that boaters want to bring with them,” says Slikkers. The Q44 is an entertaining platform, as well, equipped with an island galley in the cockpit.

BOAT SHOWS: Newport, Annapolis, Fort Lauderdale, Miami (Yacht & Brokerage Show)

LOA: 45 feet, 6 inches BEAM: 14 feet, 11 inches DRAFT: 3 feet, 9 inches FUEL: 350 gallons POWER: twin Volvo Penta D6 IPS600 SPEED: 35 mph top, 25-30 mph cruise PRICE: $798,000 CONTACT: Tiara Yachts, Holland, Michigan, (616) 392-7163. tiarayachts.com

EdgeWater 368CC

With its double-stepped, resin-infused hull, the 368CC is a light and strong center console that excels as an offshore fishing boat or a feature-filled dayboat, says company president Peter Truslow. EdgeWater builds the boat with its proprietary SPI (single piece infusion) closed-mold vacuum infusion process, which bonds the hull, deck and other components to create a single structural unit. The 368CC’s console holds a berth, a lounge, a head, a shower, a microwave and a sink. There is seating in the bow and cockpit, with an aft-facing seat abaft the three-person helm chair. The boat has an integrated hardtop, windshield and helm seat. It’s built with a 70-pound carbon fiber hardtop with composite support legs and a single-piece wraparound windshield for excellent sightlines. The 368CC gets about 1.5 mpg at 37 mph with triple Yamaha F300s.

BOAT SHOWS: Newport, Annapolis, New York, New England, Fort Lauderdale, Miami

LENGTH: 36 feet, 8 inches BEAM: 11 feet, 4 inches DRAFT: 2 feet, 1 inch DISPLACEMENT: 8,200 pounds FUEL: 380 gallons POWER: triple Yamaha F300s SPEED: 65.2 mph top, 35-45 mph cruise PRICE: $424,988 CONTACT: EdgeWater Power Boats, Edgewater, Florida, (386) 426-5457. ewboats.com

Viking 80

After introducing the 92 Convertible last year, Viking returns to the boat shows with a new 80-footer. “She’s an open bridge convertible powered with the new MTU 16V 2000 96L diesel engines, the same power we have in the 92 Convertible, so we expect excellent performance and range,” says director of communications Peter Frederiksen. Viking subsidiaries Atlantic Marine Electronics and Palm Beach Towers will outfit the 80 with communication, navigation and entertainment accessories, and a custom tower. The yacht’s beam is carried well aft for buoyancy and balance, as well as volume that allows additional fuel and a gyro stabilizer, says Frederiksen. Viking builds a resin-infused hull cored with end-grain balsa and foam. “Our advanced boatbuilding methods do make a significant difference, enhancing performance and making better use of the propulsion system,” says Frederiksen. The five-stateroom layout includes a full-beam master suite with a king-size walkaround berth.

BOAT SHOWS: Fort Lauderdale, Miami (Yacht & Brokerage Show)

LOA: 80 feet, 6 inches BEAM: 21 feet, 4 inches DRAFT: 5 feet, 7 inches DISPLACEMENT: 145,461 pounds FUEL: 2,600 gallons POWER: twin 2,635-hp MTU diesels SPEED: 40 knots top, 30 knots cruise PRICE: $6.75 million CONTACT: Viking Yacht Co., New Gretna, New Jersey, (609) 296-6000. vikingyachts.com

This article originally appeared in the October 2015 issue.