MIAMI — Boat and engine companies packed opening day of the Miami International Boat Show with press conferences announcing new products. I ended up covering the introduction of five boats in five hours — models from Regulator, Boston Whaler, Contender, Chris-Craft and Scout.
I squeezed in an announcement from Seven Marine, too, the manufacturer of a 557-hp outboard, plus a well-attended event with Scout, Mastervolt and Garmin announcing a collaboration for a glass bridge, touch-screen setup.
Joan and Owen Maxwell introduced their latest Regulator, the 23. It's longer and beamier than its predecessor, but has the same performance. The new version, designed by Lou Codega, makes use of an engine bracket to extend the length and improve the ride. “We took back the transom,” Owen Maxwell told me.
Boston Whaler's new 42-foot center console should be out soon. Whaler’s Charlie Foss said the boat is more cruising-oriented than other “fishy” center consoles. It will have innovative seating throughout and a two-step-up foredeck — with a surprise design beneath the deck.
Foss designed the boat above the waterline and Bobby Garza took care of the hull design. The company also showcased its new “swim patio,” a 39-by-24-inch section of the port side that swings down and locks into place as a platform for diving, swimming and fishing.
Seven Marine introduced new versions of its 557-hp outboard with different drive offerings, such as a surface drive and a counter-rotating propeller. The company said it has focused on increasing its service level and outlets. The new drives, which deliver a range of speeds, will open up different markets for the company, which is run by former Mercury veteran Rick Davis and his two sons.
Les Stewart introduced Contender's new 24-foot center console with twin Yamaha F300s, which comes with lots of standard family-friendly equipment and amenities. “This is what people want — the seating, the accommodations and the comfort,” he said. “It was smart to make it all standard.”
The new boat replaces the Contender 23.
Chris-Craft’s new Launch 36 was one of the finest-looking boats I toured on Thursday at the show. The model on display was powered with Volvo Penta V-380s.
I expect to sea-trial the boat soon.