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Sneak Peek Miami

South Florida’s winter classic provides one of the world’s biggest stages for new boats, engines, gear and more. Here’s a look at what you’ll see while strolling the docks

Dozens of new boats will be introduced at the Miami International Boat Show, and our roundup of 2009 models that will be at the Feb. 12-16 show ranges from a 21-foot Triton bay boat to a 92-foot Lazzara sport-yacht. In between, the fleet includes boats from such well-known builders as Tiara, Hinckley, Four Winns and Regulator, as well as a sampling of models from overseas.

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These builders are heading into the show excited about their boats. Case in point is Wyatt Lane, Regulator Marine’s Mid-Atlantic sales representative. “This boat is awesome,” says Lane about the new Regulator 34 center console. “Without a doubt, it’s one of the best-balanced boats we’ve built. You could take away trim tabs, and the boat would behave like it’s supposed to. [Designer] Lou Codega and the team here literally nailed it.”

In addition to center consoles, our group includes express boats — for both fishing and cruising — and Down East-style yachts. And from across the Atlantic comes Sessa Marine’s 36 Open. “Our presence at the boat shows has made a difference,” says Craig Muir, general manager of Sessa. “We’re trying to follow the success the company has had in Europe.” The 50-year-old Sessa Marine is the oldest privately owned boatbuilder in Italy.

In the propulsion department, Volvo Penta will showcase its new IPS900 pod drive system. The IPS900 is a completely different package than the IPS500 and IPS600. The engine, pod, drive and props are bigger, and the system delivers 700 hp compared to the IPS600’s 435 hp. Four IPS900s power the $9 million Lazzara.

Even if you can’t get south, this preview should provide you with a well-rounded sampling of the boats and propulsion technology for the new model year.

Triton 218 Bay Explorer

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The 218 Bay Explorer is part of a new four-boat series from Triton that aims to “give people the Triton quality at a reduced price,” says Dave Brown, Triton’s sales manager for Florida.

In addition to the 218, the builder now offers 17-, 19- and 24-foot bay boats. Only the 218 will be on display at the Miami show. Triton backs all of its boats with a lifetime hull warranty. The 218 comes with two live wells, two fishboxes and two lockable rod compartments. A 94-quart cooler doubles as the helm seat. A pair of stainless-steel grab rails are mounted in the cockpit, along with another pair just forward of the console.

Two different option packages allow the boat to be rigged for fishing or family day-tripping. The family package includes a Bimini top, bow cushions and an aft seat cushion with removable backrest. The fishing package includes a trolling motor, two-bank battery charger and a foredeck fold-down fishing chair with base plate.

Triton will hang Mercury, Suzuki or Honda outboards on the 218. With a 150-hp Mercury OptiMax, the boat hits the mid-40-mph range. Fully loaded, it will still surpass 40 mph, says Brown.

LOA: 21 feet, 8 inches BEAM: 8 feet DRAFT: 1 foot DISPLACEMENT: 2,200 pounds (without engine) HULL TYPE: modified-vee TANKAGE: 56 gallons fuel POWER: 150-hp Mercury OptiMax 2-stroke SPEED: 45 mph top, 33 mph cruise PRICE: $32,186 CONTACT: Triton Boats, Ashland City, Tenn. Phone: (888) 887-4866.

Pursuit S 280 Sport

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The S 280 Sport is a smaller version of the S 310 Sport that debuted in 2007. “We designed this boat to appeal to the customer who wants the performance of a deep-vee center console, but uses the boat to cruise and entertain more than fish,” says Matthew Colbert, Pursuit director of product development and engineering.

The standard fiberglass hardtop provides more sun protection than a center console T-top, says Colbert, and the boat also has more seating — in the cockpit and on the back of the leaning post — than a center console. (Both seating areas fold up and out of the way to clear the cockpit for fishing.) Plus, the standard helm seat includes a 12-volt cockpit refrigerator in place of the live well.

The S 280 and C 280 center console share the same deep-vee hull, with 24 degrees of deadrise at the transom. Pursuit backs the hull with a five-year warranty, along with a five-year gelcoat warranty.

The S 280’s standard fishing equipment includes four flush-mounted rod holders, a bait prep station with a sink and freshwater washdown, and three fishboxes — two under the cockpit sole and a third (raised) just forward of the engines. This space can be converted into a live well, says Colbert.

With a pair of 250-hp Yamahas, the boat gets nearly 2 miles per gallon at 28 mph, for a range of about 360 miles (based on 90 percent of the 220-gallon fuel capacity).

LOA: 28 BEAM: 9 feet, 6 inches DRAFT: 1 foot, 7 inches DISPLACEMENT: 8,245 pounds HULL TYPE: deep-vee TANKAGE: 220 gallons fuel, 20 gallons water, 20 gallons waste POWER: twin 250-hp Yamaha 4-strokes SPEED: 54 mph top, 28 mph cruise PRICE: $172,715 CONTACT: Pursuit, Fort Pierce, Fla. Phone: (772) 465-6006.

Pro-Line 32 EC

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The Florida builder has taken its 32 Express and enclosed the helm area, effectively creating a pilothouse. The new 32 Express Cruiser’s windshield and side windows extend all the way to the hardtop, and the sides of the helm area’s superstructure join an aft fiberglass bulkhead. This bulkhead contains a centerline pilothouse door flanked by windows.

“The 32 EC combines all of the great features of our 32 Express with an enclosed helm area and more,” says Pro-Line general manager John E. Walker. “With the ability to heat and air-condition this area, you can boat anywhere, anytime.”

Two molded-in steps outboard of the pilothouse provide access to the bow. There’s a bow rail that extends to the cockpit, a horizontal rail mounted to the hardtop and a vertical rail on the corner of the pilothouse.

The cabin sleeps four — two in the forward V-berth and two in the aft berth. The optional tournament cabin adds two bunks above the vee berth. The head to port includes a VacuFlush marine head and shower. The forward berth doubles as the dinette area.

The galley comes with the essentials: two-burner cooktop, refrigerator, microwave, a big sink and storage. The electrical panel is recessed on the bulkhead abaft the galley — a spot quickly accessible from the cabin as well as the pilothouse.

The builder outfits the 32EC with such standard equipment as a windlass, battery charger, trim tabs and the VacuFlush head. Air conditioning and heat are options. The Pro-Line can be powered with twin 225-, 250- or 300-hp outboards. It cruises at 33 mph with a pair of 300-hp Suzukis.

LOA: 32 feet, 4 inches BEAM: 10 feet, 10 inches DRAFT: 23 inches DISPLACEMENT: 9,500 pounds HULL TYPE: deep-vee TANKAGE: 300 gallons fuel,

39 gallons water, 10 gallons waste POWER: twin 300-hp Suzukis SPEED: 33 mph cruise, 47 mph top PRICE: $234,723 (with twin 300-hp Suzukis) CONTACT: Pro-Line, Crystal River, Fla. Phone: (800) 344-1281.

Regulator 34 SS

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The 34SS isn’t just 2 feet longer than Regulator’s 32-footer. It’s a whole different animal, with forward wraparound seating and a console that houses a head, mini galley and a full-length berth. The builder’s flagship, powered by twin Yamaha F350 4-strokes, made its first appearance at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in the fall.

“With a top speed of 59 mph, there’s no need for triples,” says Regulator president Joan Maxwell. “The 34SS is a true 34-foot sportfisher with an exceptionally large cockpit — the largest in its class, in fact.”

In addition to the forward seating and accommodations, the builder has introduced a new curved tempered glass windshield and a T-top with smooth, radiused edges. Regulator uses an Armstrong outboard bracket to move the engine mounts aft and free up cockpit space, says Maxwell.

Designed by Lou Codega, the 34’s deep-vee hull should do a fine job of delivering anglers through rough water and to the fishing grounds. Regulator loaded the boat with fishing features, and the console is big enough for two 12-inch electronics displays. Inside, there’s a standup head with a microwave and a berth that extends forward.

The Yamaha F350s push the 34SS to a cruise of 34 mph at 4,000 rpm. At this throttle setting, the boat’s range is 500 miles.

LOA: 38 feet, 6 inches (with engine and pulpit) BEAM: 10 feet, 11 inches DRAFT: 2 feet, 3 inches DISPLACEMENT: 11,115 pounds HULL TYPE: deep-vee TANKAGE: 380 gallons fuel, 32 gallons water, 6 gallons waste ENGINE OPTION: twin Yamaha F350s SPEED: 59 mph top, 31 mph cruise PRICE: $229,000 CONTACT: Regulator Marine, Edenton, N.C. Phone: (252) 482-3837.

Sessa Open 36

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Built in Italy, the Sessa Open 36 excels as a fast and fun dayboat or a comfortable overnighter. The design combines the characteristics of an express cruiser, large outboard center console and open sportyacht. “It really has the features of a big yacht, with two galleys and an aft cabin,” says Sessa general manager Craig Muir.

Abaft the three-seat helm area is a topside teak galley unit that includes a sink, cutting board and two-burner stovetop. The port-side settee slides inboard on deck tracks to join the L-shaped settee and form one large cockpit seating area. When the port seat slides inboard, a path to and from the transom opening emerges. A teak dinette table can be inserted in the teak cockpit sole. The foredeck is set up for sunbathing, and the sunpad can fit four people.

The aft cabin includes a full-size berth and a hanging locker. The head with shower is to port, just forward of the stairs. The galley, across from the head, has a three-quarter-size stainless refrigerator, two-burner stovetop and a microwave. The forward dinette converts to a full berth.

The boat can take twin or triple outboards. With triple Yamaha 350s, the Sessa pushes 60 mph. “We have not sold a 36 with twin 350s, but engineering estimates 42 knots with the twins,” says Muir. The boat comes with Yamaha power, but owners can choose a different engine brand if they want, he says.

The Open 36 can be ordered with a rigid hard top that has a retractable stern extension. (The Open series boats are sold under the Key Largo name in Europe.)

LOA: 37 feet, 7 inches BEAM: 11 feet, 5 inches DRAFT: 2 feet, 3 inches DISPLACEMENT: 13,216 pounds HULL TYPE: deep-vee TANKAGE: 307 gallons fuel, 60 gallons water POWER: twin 300-hp outboards (minimum), triple 350-hp outboards (maximum) SPEED: 57.5 mph top, 40.3 mph cruise (with triples) PRICE: not available CONTACT: Sessa Marine, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Phone: (954) 925-1955.

Back Cove 37

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The 37 is Back Cove Yachts’ largest model and its first offering with two staterooms. “This is a reliable, easy-to-keep and easy-to-own Down East-style boat that’s perfect for cruising with family and friends,” says Bentley Collins, vice president of marketing and sales for Back Cove.

The 37’s hull and deck are resin-infused, which reduces overall weight, increases speed and improves mileage and range, says Collins. The builder went with an island berth in the forward stateroom, and the hull ceilings are cherry, which Collins says gives the space a warm feeling. The second stateroom, aft and to port, has a double berth and ample storage. The head with a separate shower stall is on the port side.

The helmsman and companion sit in Stidds pedestal seats. A fully equipped galley across from the helm includes a two-drawer refrigerator, freezer, microwave/convection oven and a stainless-steel sink.

Seating in the saloon includes a two-person settee on the port side that faces inboard and an L-shaped settee on the starboard side. The saloon doors open completely to the cockpit, where there are settees in the cockpit corners. The boat is boarded through a centerline transom door.

A 9 kW genset, air conditioning for the staterooms and saloon, and a windlass are standard. Standard propulsion is a single 480-hp Cummins MerCruiser diesel. A 600-hp Cummins MerCruiser is also available.

LOA: 38 feet (without anchor roller and swim platform) BEAM: 13 feet DRAFT: 3 feet, 3 inches DISPLACEMENT: 22,000 pounds HULL TYPE: deep-vee, with centerline relief pocket for prop TANKAGE: 300 gallons fuel, 120 gallons water, 50 gallons waste POWER: single Cummins 480 QSB SPEED: 28 mph top, 23 mph cruise PRICE: $410,000 CONTACT: Back Cove Yachts, Rockland, Maine. Phone: (207) 594-8844.

Hinckley Picnic Boat

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The new Hinckley Picnic Boat, the T37, replaces the EP 36 (Extended Pilothouse). The T37 is 13 inches longer and 14 inches beamier than its predecessor, and it’s powered by twin 300-hp diesels instead of a single 480-hp diesel. Hinckley kept the waterjets.

“The boat’s mission is the same: to provide a manageable cruising platform in an elegant, easy-to-manage package,” says Ed Roberts, Hinckley vice president of sales and product development. “Our feedback from customers indicates that they were looking for a bit more speed.”

The redesigned Hinckley now has more deadrise aft and a fuller forefoot to improve the ride and handling characteristics, according to designer Michael Peters. “It’s a modern bottom melded with a classic-looking boat,” says Peters.

With the two engines installed below the deck, the boat now has more space aft. There’s room for two inboard-facing settees between the bridge deck and the cockpit, and two aft-facing settees on the port and starboard sides of the cockpit replace the single seat that was on the engine box. Hinckley also improved on-deck visibility with oversized, power side windows.

LOA: 36 feet, 11 inches DRAFT: 2 feet, 1 inch DISPLACEMENT: 16,000 pounds HULL TYPE: modified-vee TANKAGE: 220 gallons fuel, 40 gallons water POWER: twin 300-hp Volvo Penta diesels with Hamilton jets SPEED: 37 mph top, 32 mph cruise PRICE: $715,000 CONTACT: Hinckley Yachts, Southwest Harbor, Maine. Phone: (207) 244-5531.

Jupiter 39 Express

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The new 39 Express is Jupiter’s largest boat and its first express model. The Palmetto, Fla., company previously had built only center consoles — 29-, 31-, 34- and 38-footers.

“You can take this boat on a weeklong trip and live on it,” says company president Carl Herndon. “The boat is totally self-contained. It has everything you need.”

Overnighting amenities include forward and midcabin berths, a dinette area, galley and a head with private shower. The boat also comes with a 7.3 kW genset, a windlass and high-performance trim tabs.

Jupiter will hang triple Yamaha 350 ($499,990) or 250 ($476,490) 4-strokes, as well as twin Yamaha 350s ($459,770). With a trio of 350s, the boat tops out at 55 mph with a cruise speed of 40 mph. It gets about 1 mile per gallon. The 39 Express was designed in conjunction with naval architecture firm Donald L. Blount and Associates.

LOA: 41 feet, 2 inches BEAM: 12 feet, 6 inches DRAFT: 2 feet DISPLACEMENT: 18,600 pounds HULL TYPE: deep-vee TANKAGE: 420 gallons fuel, 80 gallons water, 18 gallons waste POWER: triple Yamaha 350-hp 4-strokes SPEED: 55 mph top, 40 mph cruise PRICE: $499,990 CONTACT: Jupiter Marine, Palmetto, Fla. Phone: (941) 729-5000.

Four Winns V408

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With the V408, Four Winns brings European design styles to its fleet of express cruisers. Large cabin windows and an atrium window above the forward berth afford plenty of natural light. The coupe-style hardtop is retractable, moving aft with the touch of a button. The swim platform has a see-through section for viewing marine life.

“This style of boat has typically offered a dark and dreary cabin,” says Four Winns vice president of sales and service Rick Fulmer. “I don’t think you’ll find a boat like this with as much light in the cabin.”

The V408 comes in three different aft-cabin arrangements, one of which consists of a fixed double berth and head.

Standard power for the V408 is twin Volvo Penta IPS550Gs (gas engines, 400 hp). The boat can also be ordered with diesel propulsion — IPS 500s (370 hp) or 600s (435 hp).

LOA: 43 feet, 6 inches BEAM: 13 feet, 4 inches DRAFT: 3 feet, 8 inches DISPLACEMENT: 28,000 pounds (with engines) HULL TYPE: modified-vee TANKAGE: 300 gallons fuel, 85 gallons water, 45 gallons waste POWER: twin Volvo Penta IPS500s (370 hp) SPEED: 37 mph top, 28 mph cruise PRICE: $612,308 CONTACT: Four Winns, Cadillac, Mich. Phone: (231) 775-1343.

Rockharbour RH 42

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From a design standpoint, the Rockharbour 42 has characteristics of both a Down East-style lobster yacht and Carolina sportfisher, according to Hakan Bolel. Bolel is the managing member of Lazmar International LLC, the U.S. importer and distributor of Rockharbour Yachts, which is based in Turkey.

The hull is a modified-vee with fine sections forward, starting with 66.5 degrees at the entry, reducing to 22 degrees amidships and flattening gradually to 15 degrees at the transom. The hull, deck and pilothouse are cored with closed-cell foam for weight savings, and the fiberglass skins are bonded to the core using the vacuum-bagging process.

The builder offers three different layouts. The first includes a master stateroom forward and a starboard-side double-bunk stateroom. For the second layout, the galley is moved from the saloon area and takes the place of the second stateroom. With the third layout, the second stateroom has a large single berth, and the galley in the saloon area moves from the port to the starboard side.

The swim platform and cockpit sole are teak. The boat is boarded through a centerline transom door. There’s ample seating in the cockpit, and a dinette area in the saloon.

The RH 42 is powered by twin Volvo Penta IPS500s (370 hp). Twin IPS600s (435 hp) are optional.

LOA: 42 feet, 4 inches BEAM: 13 feet, 8 inches DRAFT: 3 feet DISPLACEMENT: 26,400 pounds HULL TYPE: modified-vee TANKAGE: 264 gallons fuel, 106 gallons water POWER: twin Volvo Penta IPS500s (370 hp) SPEED: 38.5 mph top, 31.7 mph cruise PRICE: $555,077 CONTACT: Rockharbour Yachts, Severna Park, Md. Phone: (410) 777-5172.

Tiara 4800 Convertible

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With the 4800, Tiara adds a second convertible to its lineup. The boat is the big sister to the 3900 Convertible, which was introduced at the Fort Lauderdale boat show. “The 4800 is fishing-capable and cruiser-viable from its proud bow and sheer line to its roomy and well-equipped cockpit,” says Tiara director of marketing Dave Walsh. “The wide-open design of the cockpit features aft-facing mezzanine seating that’s a luxury on a boat this size.”

Accommodations below include three staterooms and two heads, each with a separate shower. The master stateroom has its own private head. The galley, located to port on the saloon level, comes with a three-burner stove, microwave/convection oven and two refrigerators. An optional dishwasher is available. A large countertop separates the galley from the saloon, which is anchored by an L-shaped settee. A teak-and-holly sole stretches the length of the saloon and galley. Oversized windows allow natural light into this area, and an optional skylight can be installed above the galley.

You could park a small car in the 140-square-foot cockpit. In the mezzanine seat, you can see everything while staying out of the way of anglers. The upper helm is accessed via a starboard-side ladder — you can opt for molded-in step — and there’s enough space to walk around the centerline helm. A settee wraps around the forward section of the bridge. There’s also a two-person seat on the forward side of the helm module. Rocket-launcher rod holders are welded to the aft railing, and there’s more rod storage under the forward seats.

LOA: 48 feet, 5 inches (without pulpit) BEAM: 15 feet, 11 inches DRAFT: 4 feet DISPLACEMENT: 45,012 pounds HULL TYPE: modified-vee TANKAGE: 1,000 gallons fuel, 150 gallons water, 50 gallons waste POWER: twin Caterpillar C18s (885 hp or 1,015 hp) SPEED: unavailable PRICE: $1.24 million (885 hp), $1.3 million (1,015 hp) CONTACT: Tiara Yachts, Holland, Mich. Phone: (616) 392-7163.

Viking 82 Convertible

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Viking’s largest yacht will debut at the Miami Yacht and Brokerage Show, which runs concurrently with the Miami International Boat Show. The 82-footer is the first Viking to come out of the boatbuilder’s new facility in New Gretna, N.J., which was specifically built to accommodate larger models in the 45- to 82-foot line.

The first 82 Convertible has five staterooms, including a full-beam master suite, and an open bridge. Several are under contract in both Open Bridge and climate-controlled Enclosed Bridge configurations. Base price with Caterpillar C32A diesels (1,825 hp) is $5.279 million. Powering with MTU Series 2000-V16 M93s (2,400 hp) adds $461,000.

Other new yachts from Viking include the 57 Convertible, the 46 Convertible and the 46 Open.

LOA: 83 feet, 9 inches BEAM: 22 feet, 4 inches DRAFT: 5 feet, 6 inches DISPLACEMENT: 157,700 pounds HULL TYPE: modified-vee TANKAGE: 3,100 gallons fuel, 470 gallons water POWER: twin Cat C32As (standard), twin MTU Series 2000 V16 M93s (optional) SPEED: 41 mph top, 34.5 mph cruise (with optional power) PRICE: $5.279 million (with standard power) CONTACT: Viking Yachts, New Gretna, N.J. Phone: (609) 296-6000.

Lazzara LSX 92

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The LSX 92 is the first yacht designed for four Volvo Penta IPS900 pod drives, according to Lazarra president Dick Lazzara. With each engine delivering 700 hp, the yacht cruises at 32 mph and reaches a top speed of 36 mph.

The LSX 92 is not just a lengthened version of the 75, says Lazzara. “It’s a completely new design,” he says. “It was very well received at the Fort Lauderdale show. We have a stunning, innovative product here. We have really stepped out of the box.”

For example, the 92’s swim platform and tender “garage” can be transformed into a lounge area with an aft-facing flat-screen television. The deck of the tender storage rises and becomes flush with the swim platform, and the television emerges from behind the forward section of that storage area.

A panel on the starboard side of the hull opens outboard and becomes a teak deck over the water. The power-controlled panel is part of the master stateroom, offering a private terrace of sorts. Two more staterooms are forward of the master suite, and a fourth is in the bow. There’s also an optional stateroom for the crew.

The builder uses balsa as a core material to construct the hull. The core and fiberglass skins are vacuum-bagged to ensure a strong, watertight bond.

LOA: 91 feet, 7 inches BEAM: 20 feet, 1 inch DRAFT: 4 feet, 10 inches DISPLACEMENT: 136,000 pounds (half load) HULL TYPE: modified-vee TANKAGE: 1,700 gallons fuel, 350 gallons water, 250 gallons waste POWER: quad Volvo Penta IPS900s (700 hp) SPEED: 36 mph top, 32 mph cruise PRICE: $8 million to $9 million CONTACT: Lazzara Yachts, Tampa, Fla. Phone: (813) 835-5300.

This story originally appeared in the February 2009 issue.