More and more European-built boats are making their way to U.S. waters, and you may have noticed some design traits that many of them share. For starters, wide-open interior layouts that unite the saloon, helm and galley areas are a common theme, as are glass deckhouse doors aft that make for easy passage to the cockpit and swim platform. “Sunroof-style” powered overhead hatches and large hull-side windows often flood the deckhouse and staterooms with natural light.
These boats are set up for socializing while bringing a lot of the outdoors inside. “European boaters have always been keen on bright, barrier-free interior spaces,” says Cos Constantino, vice president of Absolute Yachts North America, which is based in Italy. “They love soaking up the outside and enjoying the environment when they’re on a boat.”
Like their counterparts in the United States, these boats feature the latest propulsion and navigation systems, including gyroscopic stabilizers and joystick helm controls. Their profiles are distinctive, with swooping lines and rounded corners, and some boast that these yachts have the kind of modern look that will age well. “I don’t think boaters will be calling these boats unattractive in 10 years,” says Constantino, a native of Cyprus who came to the United States 20 years ago to work for Sea Ray. “I think their aesthetic appeal, at least some of them, will last for a long time.”
The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show has become one of the best places to check out boats built in Europe. And with the European economy still sagging, expect to see more of them than ever this year. The boats highlighted here represent a small sampling of those that will be on display at the show, which runs Nov. 5-9 (flibs.com). Of course, you’ll want to see what’s new from Hatteras, Viking, Sea Ray and other U.S. builders, but give our friends across the pond a chance. You might like what you see.
Sunseeker Predator 57
With its striking, swept-back profile, there’s no mistaking the Predator 57’s European heritage. Huge hull-side windows and a deckhouse overhead that opens bring lots of natural light into the boat. Aft deckhouse doors can slide to open or drop flush with the deck. The cockpit has an L-shaped seating arrangement, a wet bar and a grill. A raised sunpad takes up the remainder of the stern, and most of the main deck is filled by the saloon, with a full galley placed below. The two-seat starboard helm station has a glare-reducing black dash. A center companionway leads to the galley, two heads and three staterooms, including an amidships master with a breakfast nook.
LOA: 57 feet, 9 inches
BEAM: 15 feet, 5 inches
DRAFT: 4 feet, 3 inches
DISPLACEMENT: 61,509 pounds
FUEL: 484 gallons
POWER: twin 800- or 900-hp Volvo Penta diesels (conventional shaft), twin Volvo Penta 725-hp IPS950
SPEED: 32 knots top, 23 knots cruise (IPS)
PRICE: $1.56 million (IPS), $1.44 million (900-hp diesels), $1.41 million (800-hp diesels)
LOCATION: E Dock 502-502 A-D sunseeker.com
Absolute 52 Navetta
The 52 Navetta contains seating areas in the saloon, galley, on the foredeck, in the cockpit and on the flybridge — all great gathering places for friends and family. The galley sits between the saloon and the cockpit, which is completely covered by the flybridge. The upper deck has a wraparound settee with a dinette table and twin inboard-facing settees that sandwich the center helm. An island foredeck sunpad dominates the bow area, and there’s an aft bench seat. She has three staterooms, two heads and crew quarters. The 52 Navetta is powered with Volvo Penta IPS600s.
LOA: 52 feet, 6 inches
BEAM: 15 feet, 3 inches
DRAFT: 4 feet DISPLACEMENT: 48,000 pounds
FUEL: 528 gallons POWER: twin 435-hp Volvo Penta IPS600
SPEED: 18 knots cruise, 24 knots top
PRICE: $1.39 million (includes U.S. delivery)
LOCATION: Bahia Mar, F/G Dock absoluteyachts.com
Designer Christian Grande describes the 270FX as having a “muscular look” with a wide bow he likens to a hammerhead shark. This center console is designed for versatility. It can be outfitted for day cruising, with plenty of seating, a bow table, and bow and stern sunshades. In its fishing iteration, a bait prep/tackle storage center with live well replaces the transom bench seat. The console has a frameless wraparound, tinted windshield and dual helm chairs with armrests. In both the fishing and cruising versions, the console houses a head with a stand-up shower. Powered by single or twin outboards, you’ll cruise from 20 to 30 knots.
LOA: 26 feet, 5 inches
BEAM: 9 feet
DRAFT: 1 foot, 9 inches
DISPLACEMENT: 5,070 pounds
FUEL: 140 gallons
POWER: single 300- or twin 150-hp outboards
SPEED: 43 knots top, 30 knots cruise
LOCATION: unavailable at press time invictusyacht.com
Monte Carlo MC6
Beneteau builds some fine models across several brands, including Barracuda pilothouse boats, Gran Turismo and Monte Carlo cruisers, and the Swift Trawler line. With her plumb bow, round port lights and aerodynamic deckhouse, the MC6 will be tough to ignore. She deserves some attention below the waterline, too. The plumb bow is handsome and also cuts through rough seas for a smoother ride. This flybridge yacht has three staterooms, two heads and crew quarters. The skipper pilots the pod-driven boat from a lower center helm or a starboard station on the flybridge.
LOA: 59 feet, 9 inches
BEAM: 16 feet
DRAFT: 3 feet, 10 inches
DISPLACEMENT: 45,753 pounds FUEL: 580 gallons
POWER: twin 600-hp Cummins with Zeus pods
SPEED: 20-25 knots cruise, 29 knots top
PRICE: $1.41 million ($1.88 million as shown in Fort Lauderdale)
LOCATION: Bahia Mar, F/G Dock montecarlo.montecarloyachts.it
The C330 is a midsize coupe that Sealine says has the interior space of a larger yacht. Bill Dixon, who has designed megayachts and such production boats as the Azimut Magellano 43, 50 and 74, designed the Sealine C330. The two-stateroom boat is offered in open sport and enclosed cruiser versions. The saloon is separated from the cockpit with a glass enclosure, with one panel that slides to the side and another that folds up, creating a large uninterrupted space from helm to stern. Oversized pilothouse windows and a frameless windshield create clear sightlines. Gas sterndrives are the primary choice for this size cruiser in the United States, but Sealine went with single or twin diesels for the C330.
LOA: 33 feet, 10 inches
BEAM: 11 feet, 6 inches
DRAFT: 3 feet, 7 inches (single engine), 2 feet, 11 inches (twins)
DISPLACEMENT: 16,000 pounds FUEL: 125 gallons
POWER: single 330- or 400-hp Volvo Penta diesel sterndrive; twin Volvo Penta 220-hp diesel sterndrives
SPEED: 30 knots top, 25 knots cruise (single 400, twin 220s), 25 knots top, 20 knots cruise (single 330) PRICE: $222,072 (330)
LOCATION: Bahia Mar, F/G Dock 4AC sealine.com
Fairline Targa 53 GT
British boatbuilder Fairline introduces the new Targa 53GT to U.S. buyers at the Fort Lauderdale show. Design director Andrew Pope says the semicustom express cruiser “represents a dramatic step forward in motorboat design, using the Fairline design DNA to create a model that perfectly blends form and function.” The Targa 53GT features large cockpit seating and sunbathing areas, a single-level deck from the cockpit to saloon, a glazed retractable hardtop, companion seating opposite the twin helm, excellent helm visibility and a galley up. Options include gyro stabilization and a submersible swim platform. Resin-infusion construction reduces weight, noise and vibration while adding structural strength and rigidity.
LOA: 53 feet, 6 inches
BEAM: 14 feet, 10 inches
DRAFT: 3 feet, 11 inches
DISPLACEMENT: 42,990 pounds FUEL: 637 gallons
POWER: twin Volvo Penta D11-675 EVCs or twin Volvo Penta D11-725 EVCs
SPEED: 30-32 knots top PRICE: $1.5 million
LOCATION: Bahia Mar, F/G Dock 9-11, 34-39 fairline.com
The Arcadia Sherpa takes the European look to a whole new level. The Italian builder offers the 55-foot semidisplacement cruiser in two superstructure configurations: an open-deck layout for day cruising and a saloon-deck for passagemaking. Owners also choose among one-, two- and three-cabin interior arrangements.
The yacht’s storage below is more than 4 feet deep and can hold anything from scuba gear to fenders or a gyroscopic stabilizer. The carrying capacity is the reason she’s called Sherpa, a nod to the famous mountain guides of the Himalayas. This Sherpa also has a stern garage that can hold a tender and a personal watercraft. She carries some sophisticated machinery, too, including an electro-hydraulic tender davit and gangway.
The flybridge area has an electric-powered window system that encloses the entire upper deck. Well established as an eco-friendly builder, Arcadia integrates solar cells on the deckhouse superstructure. They supply enough power (3.5 kW) to recharge the batteries and run equipment, such as refrigerators, water circulation, heads, lights and electronics.
Twin Volvo Penta IPS600 pods give her a top speed of 25 knots. Cruising at a semidisplacement speed of 12 knots, the boat gets about 1.1 nmpg.
The Sherpa will be splashed in early 2016.
LOA: 55 feet
BEAM: 18 feet
DRAFT: 3 feet
DISPLACEMENT: 44,000 pounds
FUEL: 475 gallons
POWER: twin 435-hp Volvo Penta IPS600
SPEED: 25 knots top, 20 knots cruise
PRICE: $2.6 million (saloon deck), $2.5 million (open deck) arcadiayachts.it
Cranchi Eco Trawler 43 LD
Cranchi combines elements of a traditional trawler and contemporary yacht in this 43-foot cruiser, which is offered in two- and three-cabin layouts. The lower and upper decks are neatly packed with seating and lounging areas. The builder placed the galley between the helm area and the cockpit to foster social interaction. The covered flybridge should be a popular spot, thanks to unrestricted views, a wet bar and storage. Solar panels on the hardtop charge the batteries. The boat can be powered with 260-, 300- or 330-hp Volvo Penta IPS pods for top speeds from 21 to 23 knots. At a fast cruise of 17 knots, she has a range of 232 nautical miles.
LOA: 45 feet, 3 inches
BEAM: 14 feet, 4 inches
DRAFT: 2 feet, 11 inches
DISPLACEMENT: 26,445 pounds
FUEL: 385 gallons
POWER: twin 300-hp Volvo Penta IPS400
SPEED: 19 knots top, 14.5 knots cruise
LOCATION: Bahia Mar, F/G Dock 12-16 cranchi.it
This article originally appeared in the November 2015 issue.