Six Big Reveals from the Miami International Boat Show

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The first day was a whirlwind at the Miami International Boat Show, with a bevy of new boat introductions literally every half hour from open to close. Soundings editors were on the ground all day getting in on the action, soaking up the sun and tropical breeze along the way. Here are six of our favorite new boats and products launched during the first day of the show.

Scout 530 LXF

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In the bigger is better category, Scout Boats took the wraps off its long-awaited 530 LXF, now the longest and largest member of the South Carolina builder’s lineup. The boat can be equipped with four, five or six outboards ranging from 400 to 627 horsepower each. The model we sea-trialed was equipped with five 425-hp Yamaha XF425 outboards and topped out at 52 knots. Outboards from Mercury, Yamaha and Seven Marine are available. Aside from the boat’s immense size, the most notable feature we found was the port and starboard “teak beaches” formed when the cockpit topsides are hydraulically lowered at the touch of a button, creating a vast expanse of open space in the cockpit, with easy access to the water. scoutboats.com

Chris-Craft Catalina 27

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Chris-Craft yesterday introduced the gorgeous and newest member of its Catalina center console family, the Catalina 27. Powered by a pair of 200-hp Yamaha F200 4-strokes, the model includes some unique Chris-Craft firsts, including the use of S-Tech synthetic teak decking, which looks convincingly like the real thing, and a center console that is fully supported without the use of the pipework or metal framing that can reduce walk-through space on the side decks. We like the inclusion of a starboard-side dive door, a generous leaning post live well and rich touches of varnished Brazilian mahogany. chriscraft.com

Pursuit DC 266

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Pursuit launched the freshest member of its dual console lineup yesterday, the DC 266. Now the smallest member of the builder’s seemingly ever-expanding dual console model line, it’s equipped with a pair of 200-hp Yamaha F200 4-stroke outboards. Like its larger brethren, the DC 266 is built with a flair for both fishing and family fun. Hard top rocket launchers and copious rod holders, as well as a transom live well and fish box round out some of the fishy features on the new boat. As you’d expect, there is oodles of comfy seating throughout. An enclosed compartment with plumbed head sits under the port console. pursuitboats.com

Regulator 26 XO

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Fewer fishing boats are more legendary than Regulator’s original 26, so we were pretty amped yesterday when the North Carolina builder showed off its new 26 XO, a fusion of the best characteristics of bay boat and offshore battlewagon DNA. “It’s a boat designed to do well as a coastal fishing boat and for offshore fishing on the right weather days,” said designer Lou Codega. The boat has tried and true Regulator lines, but with a lower freeboard and shallower transom deadrise (17 degrees) than the other members of its model line. A 300-hp Yamaha F300 4-stroke outboard is the standard power plant. There’s even a tow post for watersports. regulatormarine.com

Mercury Marine Verado 400-hp outboard engine

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Ever since Mercury Marine launched the 350-hp Verado and the Mercury Racing 400R outboard engines four years ago, the company’s customers have been clamoring for more horses. Today, at the Miami International Boat Show, Mercury gave the consumers what they wanted when the engine maker unveiled the 400-hp Verado outboard. This is now the company’s highest horsepower Verado-branded outboard engine. It weighs in at a svelte 668 pounds. That may sound like a lot of weight, but for an engine of this size, it’s not. According to Mercury, the lightest outboard in the 400+ horsepower category weighs nearly 300 pounds more. The Verado 400 horsepower engine will be available in four colors, Phantom Black and three shades of white. The engine will be compatible with JPO (Mercury Joystick Piloting for Outboards) and work with RayMarine’s new DockSense technology, for assisted joystick docking—in essence a virtual fender. On the completely opposite end of the power spectrum, Mercury also announced a 5-hp propane-powered outboard. mercurymarine.com

Aviara AV32

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Most boat shows see new models announced, but not every boat show sees a completely new brand of boat announced. On the first day of the Miami International Boat Show, MasterCraft Boat Holdings, Inc. debuted the first model of the Aviara brand. The Aviara AV32 is a 32-foot luxury bowrider that the company says will fill a gap in the market they believe is underserved, a segment they call “progressive luxury.” The AV32 debuted with both an inboard and an outboard version on display. The sterndrive AV32 features twin Ilmor MV8 6.0L MPI 380-hp engines with optional twin Ilmor MV8 6.2L GDI 430-hp engines. The standard outboard configuration is twin 300-hp Mercury Verado engines with 350-hp Verado engines as an option. Performance for both includes top speeds above 43 knots. The announcement was made in conjunction with MarineMax, which will use its 62 stores in 17 states to sell and service the Aviara line. aviaraboats.com