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Ranger Tugs-inspired cruisers

Fluid Motion, the designer and builder of Ranger Tugs, has introduced two semidisplacement pilothouse boats designed for cruising, fishing and overnighting.

Cutwater 28

"The idea was to take one of the core strengths of Ranger Tugs, which is trailerability and the efficiency of one diesel engine, and add more speed, because the cruiser owner might want to run 30 mph or cruise at 25 mph," says Mark Mansfield, national sales manager of the new division, Cutwater Boats.

The first two boats in the lineup - the CW26 and CW28 - are trailerable and powered with a single Yanmar diesel. The 28's 260-hp engine pushes it to a top speed of roughly 30 mph, with a cruise of about 25 mph. CW26 performance data was unavailable at press time.

"Over the past six months, as I've gone to the boat shows, I can't tell you how many boat owners I've met running twin gas engines who want to get out of that boat due to fuel-operating costs," says Mansfield. "Everyone is looking at cost of ownership."

Designed by Fluid Motion owners Dave and John Livingston, these pocket cruisers combine a semidisplacement hull shape with reverse chines and a keel. The engine is mounted deep in the hull to keep the center of gravity low and the draft shallow, says Mansfield. The engine location also allows a 6-degree shaft installation.

The skipper pilots from a starboard-side helm, and the boats include such cruising amenities as a

V-berth master stateroom, a galley and a head with stand-up shower. The Cutwater 26 and 28 come with an impressive list of standard equipment, including a windlass, bow and stern thrusters and a spotlight, says Mansfield. A genset is optional. The CW28 has an aft steering option.

Both the CW26 and CW28 have 8-foot, 6-inch beams, draw 28 inches and have 9-foot, 1-inch bridge clearances with the mast down. The 26 carries 80 gallons of fuel, while the 28 carries 100 gallons.

The CW28's base price is $169,937 with the 260-hp 6-cylinder Yanmar, and the CW26 is $139,937 with a 180-hp 4-cylinder Yanmar. The East Coast debut of both models will be at the Feb. 17-21 Miami International Boat Show. Contact: Cutwater Boats, Monroe, Wash., (800) 349-7198.

In our wake

With the loss of two seal-hunting ships and 252 sailors, the sinking of the Southern Cross and the Newfoundland in a March storm became known as the "1914 Newfoundland Sealing Disaster." The Newfoundland lost 78 men when she became trapped in the ice in seal country. The Southern Cross was steaming for a sheltered port, heavily laden with seal pelts, in big seas kicked up by what was described as a blizzard. The ship disappeared with all hands. Despite two separate sightings of flotsam near where the ship was last seen, the cause of the loss was never determined. The tragedies resulted in legislation aimed at improving safety for the sealers, including prohibiting working at night, limiting the distance crew could roam from an anchored ship and requiring rocket signals, search parties, masters' and mates' certificates, medical officers, thermometers, barometers and better food and compensation. Also, ships were prohibited from returning with more than 35,000 pelts.

9-year-old saves his grandpa

A Coast Guard official and a congressman presented 9-year-old Matthew Drisko of Jonesport, Maine, with the Coast Guard Certificate of Valor for his heroic actions while assisting in the rescue of his grandfather while they were lobstering.

Drisko's grandfather became tangled in a line and fell into 44-degree water during the trip on May 26, 2009. After several attempts to lift him back on board the 34-footer, Drisko, the only other person on the boat, secured a life jacket to his grandfather and maneuvered to a fishing vessel transiting nearby for assistance. The fishing boat crew helped pull the grandfather aboard.

Drisko hopes to one day be a lobsterman like his grandfather.

Whaling protesters launch new 'Godzilla' boat

The Australia-based anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society launched a new vessel in time for its annual effort to interfere with Japanese whalers in Antarctica.

Named Gojira, Japanese for the science-fiction monster Godzilla, the trimaran is twice as long as the 78-foot Ady Gil, which sank when it collided with a whaling ship during last season's hunt.

Gojira is faster than any of the Japanese whaling ships and is expected to scout for the fleet ahead of Sea Shepherd's other two ships. With a crew of 10, the 115-foot wave-piercing trimaran made news in 1998 as Cable & Wireless Adventure, which set a benchmark for the fastest circumnavigation at 74 days.

The cable TV channel Animal Planet is on board all three vessels to document Sea Shepherd's efforts in the Southern Ocean for the fourth season of its hit series, "Whale Wars."

"This is the largest crew and strongest fleet we have prepared to defend the great whales, and I am confident this year's campaign will be the most successful yet," says Paul Watson, Sea Shepherd's founder and president.

This article originally appeared in the March 2011 issue.