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Over the top

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The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is a feast for the senses, a nautical extravaganza unlike any other. Here’s a sampling of boats that’ll be part of the festivities.

It’s boating’s Super Bowl. The grand affair. The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show stands out as one of the biggest marine events in North America, presenting a wide range of boats, from 10-foot dinghies to 200-foot superyachts. If you’re passionate about boats — and perhaps in the market for a new one — this is the show to attend.

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Though the boats are the stars of this five-day show (Oct. 31-Nov. 4), you’ll also find the latest in navigation and communication electronics, mechanical systems, propulsion technology, fishing equipment and safety gear, as well as a host of seminars and other attractions.

With so much to see and do, where does one begin? We’ve put together a short list of 15 boats to check out — some must-sees from 25 to 80 feet, though we did include a 151-footer from Vicem Yachts. No trip to the Lauderdale show would be complete without checking out the megayachts.

Let’s start with some of the well-known names. Boston Whaler, Grand Banks, Tiara and Viking have new boats on display. We’ve also included the new 37-footer from Back Cove Yachts, as well as an innovative fishing and cruising boat from Florida builder SeaVee. With the show’s international flair, we threw in models from such builders as Monte Carlo and Magellano (Italy) and Vicem (Turkey).

The fleet carries out a multitude of missions — fishing, coastal cruising, day cruising, water sports, long-distance passagemaking. Many of today’s boats must multitask, says George Hetzel, vice president of sales and marketing of S2 Yachts, parent company of Tiara and Pursuit.

“Our boats are going to fit the lifestyle of how people go boating today,” says Hetzel. “Time is precious for people, so whether they are just going to day-boat or do extended cruising, our boats need to accommodate them.”

Tiara will show its new 50 Coupe, a pod-driven sport yacht and the first in a “new generation” of Tiaras.

Regulator also is ushering in a new generation. The builder has retired its venerable 26-foot center console after more than 20 years, replacing it with a 25-footer that’s less expensive than its predecessor.

“The 26 was special, but so is the 25 because we took the input of our customers and dealers who spend year in and year out on their Regulators,” says company president Joan Maxwell. “We can’t wait for people to see it.”

Here’s a closer look at our fleet. And before you hit the docks to board these boats in Fort Lauderdale, be sure to download the free MyBoatShow app at www.showmanagement.com. It’s an invaluable tool for navigating the show’s six venues and 3 million square feet of space.

Regulator 25

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Company owners Joan and Owen Maxwell built 15,525 Regulator 26s since its introduction in 1991, so this new boat has some big shoes to fill. The 25 has a flush deck, unlike the 26, and is 4 inches beamier than its predecessor. Lou Codega has designed all of the Regulator models.

“I’m very pleased with the ride and the handling of the new 25,” he says. “We did not sacrifice any sportfishing characteristics, either. As good as the 26 was, I think the new boat is better in handling and seakeeping. I think in a side-by-side comparison, people would choose the 25.”

The company also added a recessed bow rail to the 25, which is designed with more rounded edges to match the rest of the boats in the fleet. The new boat is easier to build, according to the company, so it’s about $15,000 less than the 26. $130,395 with twin Yamaha F200s. www.regulatormarine.com

Sea Born FX25

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The Sea Born FX25 functions well for inshore and offshore use, says Wally Bell, president of Composite Research, which owns the Sea Born, Sundance and Spyder brands. Offshore anglers will appreciate the roomy cockpit and inshore fishermen will make use of the forward casting platform. The sea chest, with centerline strainer, stores raw water to feed the live well and other pumps, erasing the need for multiple through-hulls.

The boat combines style and technology with its tumblehome transom and stepped-hull design by naval architect Jeff Seyler. The boat tops out at 60-plus mph and has a cruise of 29 mph (4 mpg) with a single Yamaha F300. $61,953 with Yamaha F300. www.seabornboats.com

Cutwater 30

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The Cutwater 30 excels as a multiseason cruising and fishing boat with its enclosed deckhouse. In warm weather, there are ample seating opportunities, thanks to some creative thinking by the Monroe, Wash., builder. Starboard and port two-person seats in the cockpit fold outboard to save deck real estate, and the two-person transom seat can face forward or aft. There is also seating at the bow, with two flush hatches that hide cushioned seats.

The interior includes a port-side galley with a sink, refrigerator and electric range with an oven. The dinette converts to a double berth. An island berth anchors the forward stateroom, which has a hanging locker and a desk/vanity. A single diesel pushes the Cutwater along at 16 knots, for an impressive 2 nmpg. At a displacement speed of 6 knots, she’ll get 6 nmpg. $279,937 with Volvo D6. www.cutwaterboats.com

Boston Whaler 350 Outrage

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Boston Whaler offers Mercury power exclusively, and the 350 Outrage comes standard with triple 250-hp Verados, with triple 300-hp Verados offered as an option. The fish-cruise boat has a large cockpit and “summer kitchen” that includes a solid surface countertop, freshwater sink, drink holders, a cutting board and a grill. When you’re not fishing, stow the rods and pick up the spatula.

“The 350 Outrage really takes all of the features that make the Outrage successful and fills the void between the 32 and the 37,” says Lenn Scholtz, vice president of product development and engineering.

The bow holds a large lounge with armrests, with an optional bow table. Pricing unavailable. www.bostonwhaler.com

Back Cove Downeast 37

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The mission: to satisfy both the day-cruising and weekending crowds. With its galley-down arrangement and single stateroom, the Downeast 37 fully uses the bridge deck and cockpit as social space, filling these areas with seating and creature comforts. The original Back Cove 37 is geared more toward long-range cruising, with a guest stateroom, forward stateroom and galley-up arrangement. The builder offers three power options: a 480- or 600-hp Cummins diesel or a 530-hp Yanmar. She tops out at 24 knots and cruises at 20 with the 480; 29 knots top, 25 knots cruise with 600; and 27 knots top, 22 to 24 knots cruise with the 530. $433,500 with 480-hp Cummins. www.backcoveyachts.com

Jupiter 41

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Featured on the October cover of Soundings, the Jupiter 41 is the flagship of the Palmetto, Fla., builder’s fleet. The builder has taken its high-end approach to building boats and applied it to a 41-footer, available in a Sport Bridge version option with coupe styling. Jupiter builds the 41 with closed-cell PVC coring, multidirectional knitted biaxial and triaxial fiberglass fabrics, and vinylester resin. The hull and deck are joined with mechanical fasteners and fiberglass. The company hand-lays the hull with a solid glass bottom, and there’s no skimping with fiberglass. Accommodations include a forward V-berth, full galley, head with separate shower and a midcabin. At a cruise speed of 30 knots, the triple-outboard boat gets 0.7 mpg, with a range of 262 nautical miles on her 480-gallon fuel supply. $549,760 (Express), $599,950 (Sport Bridge). www.jupitermarine.com

Viking 42 ST

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The 42 ST (Sport Tower) uses the same proven hull as the builder’s Viking 42 Open, with a twin 600-hp Cummins Zeus pod drive system. The 42 ST reaches a top speed of 35 to 36 knots and cruises at about 30 knots. The entire aft portion of the bridge deck lifts to provide access to the power plants. The highlight of the yacht? The Palm Beach Towers tuna tower and Atlantic Marine Electronics navigation and communications package, says director of communications Peter Frederiksen. (Palm Beach Towers and Atlantic Marine Electronics are subsidiaries of Viking.) The helm displays and controls surround the stainless steel steering wheel mounted on a teak-covered fiberglass Palm Beach pod. Bench seats flank the centerline helm station, which includes its own three seats. A queen-size walkaround berth anchors the master stateroom, and the aft cabin holds twin berths. The galley is to starboard with a dinette area opposite. She carries 525 gallons of fuel and draws 3 feet, 5 inches. $1,198,275. www.vikingyachts.com

Magellano 43

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Italian builder Azimut has added another trawler to its Magellano line. The Magellano 43 combines trawler performance and Italian design. Powered by twin Cummins 355-hp QSB5.9 diesels, she has a range of 316 nautical miles at about 15 knots. Fuel supply is 433 gallons. At a displacement speed of 10.6 knots, her range is 665 nautical miles. Waterline length is 42 feet, 11 inches; beam is 14 feet, 5 inches; and she draws nearly 4 feet. Tinted windows surround the saloon and helm areas.

The aft galley allows the chef to serve guests in the main saloon, aft deck or flybridge. A master stateroom joins two guest staterooms in the lower deck layout, along with guest and master head/showers. The starboard-side helm station is raised for visibility over the foredeck with sunpad. You can drive from the flybridge (starboard-side helm), and guests can choose between forward and aft seating arrangements. $780,000 with twin 350-hp Cummins. www.azimutyachts.com

SeaVee 430 Fish Around

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The center console meets the express in the latest offering from this Miami builder. “It gives you the single-level, 360-degree walkaround capabilities of a center console, but also the raised bridge deck with additional seating and cabin of an express boat,” says SeaVee president Ariel Pared. Thoughtful on-deck features include dual 50-gallon live wells at the bow, a fishbox under the deck and storage along the gunwales. The 430 Fish Around will be available with triple or quad outboards, twin inboards or twin Volvo Penta IPS600 pods. With four Yamaha F350s, top speed should exceed 60 mph, and triple 300-hp Mercury outboards will push the boat into the mid-50-mph range. With IPS600s, fuel efficiency and speed should be comparable to smaller models, such as the SeaVee 340, with twin 300-hp Verados. $610,000 with twin 600-hp Cummins, $597,000 with twin IPS600s. www.seaveeboats.com

Grand Banks 50 Eastbay SX

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The latest entry in the East Bay line, the 50 Eastbay SX combines modern propulsion (joystick and pods), resin-infused construction and a deep-vee hull from C. Raymond Hunt Associates in a package that shows off Grand Banks’ quality craftsmanship. Also available in a flybridge version, the yacht reaches 35 knots with the throttles down. The 50-footer has an open layout that promises social interaction — in style, of course. Case in point: The cockpit has a built-in transom seat, a teak sole and a teak dining table. The boat comes with a cockpit SureShade retractable awning. Grand Banks offers a choice of midlevel, galley-up or galley-down layout options with either two or three staterooms and two heads. Price available on request. www.grandbanks.com

Monte Carlo MC5

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With its plumb bow, round port lights and aerodynamic deckhouse, the 50-foot Monte Carlo MC5 likely will grab your eye — and beckon you to board for a closer look. But she deserves some attention below the waterline, too. The MC5 rides Beneteau’s AirStep hull — Monte Carlo is part of the Beneteau Group — which “creates a cushion of bubbles in contact with the surface area of the aft step,” reducing drag, preventing squatting and allowing for faster acceleration and a gain in fuel efficiency, says co-designer Patrick Tableau.

With Volvo Penta IPS500 pods, the MC5, indeed, should deliver an efficient ride. Accommodations include three staterooms, two heads and a full-beam master stateroom. The saloon has a settee that wraps around the dinette table, a straight settee opposite, and the galley is between the dinette and cockpit. There’s plenty of seating up on the flybridge. Pricing unavailable. www.montecarlo.montecarloyachts.it

Tiara 50 Coupe

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Fort Lauderdale will mark the 50 Coupe’s first appearance at a major boat show, representing the beginning of Tiara’s new generation of yachts. With its curvaceous lines and oversized hull-side windows, she departs from the more traditional Tiara profile. The Holland, Mich., builder uses such contemporary interior elements as modular settees and angular door handles but maintains some brand characteristics, such as the swept sheer and deck wings, according to Tiara. She’s powered with Volvo Penta’s new D11 diesels and IPS 950 pods. Features include a center galley open to the cockpit and saloon; flexible cockpit seating; a forward berth that converts from split bunks to a single berth; glass windshield, side windows and aft deckhouse doors that deliver 360-degree visibility; and the master stateroom’s hull-side windows. The boat is also equipped with Volvo Penta’s Glass Cockpit, an integrated helm system that collects all navigation, engine and mechanical information and delivers it to touch-screen displays. $1,324,392 with IPS850s, $1,377,725 with IPS950s. www.tiarayachts.com

Marlow 58E and 80E

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Marlow Yachts debuts two models at the Fort Lauderdale show: the 58E and 80E, which replace the Marlow 57 and 78. Marlow has increased fuel capacity, speed, range and interior volume with the 80E. Twin C-32 Caterpillar diesels propel the vessel to a top speed of 30 knots. The yacht carries 4,000 gallons of fuel and has a centerline length of 84 feet and beam of 21 feet, 6 inches. The 58E has a centerline length of 59 feet, 1 inch and a beam of 18 feet, 6 inches. The yacht makes better use of space than the 57, with a 40 percent gain in fuel capacity (1,500 gallons), and the port side guest stateroom is larger. The new rounded transom design increases lazarette space by 30 percent. Prices available on request. www.marlowyachts.com

Vicem Vulcan 46m

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The 151-foot megayacht is powered by twin 3,650-hp MTU engines, for a 25-knot top end. The tri-deck design features five cabins, and the master suite on the main deck uses all of the yacht’s 30-foot beam. It includes its own gym and an office space. The signature “Atrium” design provides 45 feet of unbroken natural lighting, from the top of the sundeck to the lower deck. The interior “can be fully integrated with exterior colors, styling and finish due to Vicem’s ‘total customization attitude,’ ” according to the builder. The Vulcan series also includes 35- and 32-meter models. The Turkish builder offers an extensive lineup in several series, including Classic and Flybridge, Cruiser and Sportfish. $32.5 million. www.vicemyachts.net

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November 2013 issue