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The azimut atlantis 45 shares the same next-generation design cues as the line’s flagship, the 51. Both are snub-nosed open cruisers with hardtops, and both have that smart, new Azimut look. Check out the latest S Collection flagship, the Azimut Grande S10, and you’ll see much of the same sheer and stem, despite the fact that the S10 is twice the length and more than five times the displacement of the 45.
The only power option for the Atlantis 45 is a pair of Volvo Penta D6-440 diesels well-matched to IPS600 pod drives. Azimut quotes a full-load maximum speed of 33 knots and a fast cruise of 28 knots for this model.
We were registering a little better. According to the yacht’s Garmin instrumentation, the 45 topped out at just over 34 knots in Trim Assist mode, but with it switched off and a little tinkering, I coaxed the yacht north of 35 knots. Theoretically, the useful range at a moderate-to-fast cruise would be 200 to 240 nautical miles.
Thanks to a V-hull form with a 15-degree transom deadrise, the 45′s handling is precise throughout the engines' rpm ranges. And Volvo Penta’s Electronic Vessel Control joystick aids in close-quarters handling.
Azimut’s ergonomics are usually pretty good, and to that end, two bolster seats to starboard address the console with the driver’s seat inboard. To port of the helm is a double bench seat that converts to a 4-foot square lounger. Personally, I’d keep it that way. Who needs the on-the-bus seating? Given the shade of the hardtop—providing you have the 92-by-75-inch retractable fabric sunroof closed—this is the place to curl up with a good book.
But then, perception of space aboard the 45 is slightly skewed because the companionway is off-center, so what you may suppose to be the middle of the yacht really isn’t. Abaft the helm seats, there’s booth dining for as many as eight guests, if you have a couple extra seats handy to complete the ring around the four-piece cockpit table. The table is mostly protected by the hardtop, and there’s an extendable awning, stretched taut by stainless-steel struts, delivering more shade to the aft seating and about half of the stern sun pad.
Belowdecks, the 45 has a two-stateroom, two-head layout with a galley/salon amidships, made all the better for hull windows and an opaque skylight above. The owner’s stateroom is in the bow with facilities en suite. The headroom where you need it is 6 feet, 3 inches. The aft stateroom is surprisingly good, especially for those with younger children. There are three single berths, with an option for a double-plus when the two athwartship beds are combined. The booth sofa in the main salon converts to a double berth too.
The Atlantis 45 takes the builder’s midsize offerings in a new design direction, one that has proved popular on larger models. For yachtsmen looking for big-boat styling in a family-size express cruiser, the 45 may be worth a look.
Take the next step: azimutyachts.com
At 22 feet,9 inches long, the Williams Evojet 70 is the largest model in the British builder’s range. It is designed for mega-yachts 130 feet and up, and can seat 13 people. The RIB has a 250 hp Yanmar 4LV diesel engine and a 53-gallon fuel tank, as well as an integrated water-ski pole—all features that should help the Evojet pull double duty as a dayboat. There’s also ambient lighting, in case the sun sets before guests return to the mothership.
Whom It’s For: The Evojet 70 is for yacht owners who want the sea-splitting ride afforded by a deep-V hull, as well as the solid construction and attention to detail for which Williams is known.
Picture This: Your 164-footer bobs placidly in the calm seas off Corsica. It’s a perfect day for water-skiing. And with your Evojet 70 ready, willing and able, it’s time to have some fun.
Take the next step: williamsjettenders.com
Royal Huisman in the Netherlands has unveiled the Apex 850, calling it the yard’s “most ambitious and inspiring concept yet” developed with designer Malcolm McKeon.
The Apex 850 would have a length overall of 279 feet, with a 351-foot air-draft rig. The yacht’s superstructure would be all glass, encompassing 2,150 square feet of cockpit and salon space for guest use. The superstructure design, according to Royal Huisman, “scarcely seems to be there—an understated, almost ethereal presence.”
“The sailing experience of Apex 850 will be sensational, with speeds in excess of wind speed in most conditions,” McKeon stated in a press release. “Her retractable keel, optimized weight distribution and limited heel angle will provide stability, comfort and safety for all on board. Her twin high aspect rudders will provide a rapid response to her fly-by-wire helm.”
Would the Apex 850 be bigger than other Royal Huisman builds? Yes. Here’s how yard CEO Jan Timmerman put it: “Two of the world’s 10 largest sailing yachts, Athena and Sea Eagle II, are Royal Huisman builds, and Apex 850 would make a fitting third, easily becoming the largest member of this elite circle.”
Take the next step: go to royalhuisman.com
Covid-19 has caused some of the biggest changes to the crewed yacht-charter industry in decades. Like everything travel-related, the charter business has adapted to the pandemic’s realities. That means new types of contracts, new safety procedures for guests and crew, and more.
By mid-July, after a few months of the pandemic’s initial problems, major charter companies worldwide were reporting bookings starting to resume. The summer season was, by all accounts, slow, but it offered a chance to test out new policies and ideas ahead of the winter season in the Caribbean.
Many charter yachts can now be booked with contracts that outline contingencies and refunds should a COVID-19-related illness or government shutdown occur. There are new sanitation protocols aboard many yachts, as well as plans for handling an illness that may emerge on board.
If you’re ready to get away for a break (and who among us isn’t?), then the opportunity awaits. The Caribbean is calling.
Quite a few charter yachts are accepting inquiries for this winter in the Caribbean.
- Okto is a 216-foot ISA that’s part of the Camper & Nicholsons International fleet. She can hit 18 knots.
- Relentless is a 145-foot Trinity in the RJC Yachts fleet. She just had a refit in 2019.
- Lady J is a 142-foot Palmer Johnson in the Churchill Yacht Partners fleet. She offers scuba and fishing.
- Pure Bliss is a 143-foot Burger in the Ocean Independence fleet. She takes 12 guests.
If there is one thing all boaters can agree it would be nice to have more of, it’s stowage. Whether the itinerary is two days or two weeks, there always seems to be more stuff than places to put it.
Enter Voormi, a Colorado-based company whose goal is to get all the clothes a sportsman needs into a single duffel bag. Each T-shirt, hoodie and additional piece is built from custom-made textiles that, chief marketing officer Timm Smith says, can go from hot to cold and rain to shine while keeping boaters comfortable.
“I’ve taken the River Run hoodie on our two-week sailing trips to Anegada,” he says of his family’s cruises in the British Virgin Islands. “I sailed for two weeks with that thing on every single day. Wool is naturally anti-odor; it doesn’t hold odors like polyester and other sun shirts do, so you don’t have to wash it. Wool also recovers well, so when you put it on for day six, it fits the same as on day one. And I was taking kitesurfing lessons when I was down there, so I wore it for sun protection, and it dried out super fast when I got back on the beach. Our river guides in places like the Grand Canyon love it for all those reasons too. It’s the killer piece.”
Voormi makes its textiles and does its sewing in the United States, combining natural fibers such as wool and cotton with advanced manufacturing for qualities such as moisture-wicking. The company also came up with a way to add a waterproof membrane not by gluing it to other fabrics but instead by inserting it into the machine while the textile is made.
“We call that core construction,” Smith says, adding that the process eliminates the stiffness of, say, a big winter coat."It basically gives you the comfort of a sweater with the protection of a shell—and you get rid of all the crunching noises."
After nearly a decade in business, the company offers not just tops but also base layers, vests, outerwear, socks, gaiters and more.
“We’re for people who appreciate good stuff,” Smith says. “Anybody can make a jacket, but making one that you’re truly blown away by every time you wear it, and you’re excited to be a part of a company full of good people, that’s what we are.”
Hargrave Custom Yachts has added a new listing: the 78-foot Kismet, which launched in 2003. The asking price is $1.75 million.
Kismet accommodates six to 10 guests, depending on whether there is crew aboard. There’s a full-beam master stateroom and six heads. The décor is from Yacht Interiors by Shelley.
According to Hargrave’s team, Kismet’s Caterpillar 3412E engines are showing 2,150 original hours. The yacht has twin 33 kW Northern Lights generators in the machinery space.
Creature comforts include a sky lounge with a bar, an upgraded spiral staircase, a country kitchen-style galley with 180-degree views, and 7-foot ceiling heights throughout the yacht.
Where is Kismet available for showings? The yacht is in Fort Lauderdale.
Take the next step: go to hargravecustomyachts.com
The Ferretti Yachts 1000 is not just the Italian builder’s largest vessel in length overall at 98 feet, 10 inches. It’s also the beamiest at 22 feet, 4 inches. The yacht’s wide-body design means more living space, inside and outside, than many motoryachts in this size range.
The full-beam main-deck master stateroom has a full-beam en suite head forward of the berth, with double sinks separating the toilet and shower. The master also has a walk-in closet, and a desk/vanity is forward and to port of the berth.
Belowdecks, there are four equally sized double-berth guest staterooms, all en suite and facing athwartships, two to port and two to starboard. All the way forward are three cabins accommodating up to five crew.
On the main deck and amidships, there is formal dining for up to 10 guests at a table to port, with views out the sole-to-ceiling windows flanking the table. If owners choose, the windows can be built to open for salt air and cross breezes. The 107-square-foot galley is forward of the table, and it can be partitioned off for privacy during formal affairs.
While the salon has an L-shaped settee, two ottomans and a table abaft the formal dining space in the standard layout, Ferretti says the 1000 was penned to be modular, allowing owners to personalize the furnishings, materials and styling.
When it comes to materials, Ferretti is using carbon fiber in the construction of the yacht’s superstructure and hardtop. The lightweight carbon helps keep the yacht’s overall heft down without compromising strength and keeps the longitudinal center of gravity relatively low.
These measures should enhance the 1000′s overall performance. According to Ferretti, the yacht should have a 24-knot cruise speed and 28-knot top hop when powered with optional 2,638 hp MTU 16V 2000 M96L diesels. (Standard power is 2,200 hp MTU 16V 2000 M86 diesels, which reportedly will provide a 20-knot cruise and 24-knot top-end speed.)
For watersports fans, the 1000′s tender garage accommodates a Williams 445 Dieseljet, a PWC and two Seabobs.
The 1000 takes Ferretti Yachts into new territory in terms of size, scope, layout and construction. And for owners ready to level up to the crewed-yacht life, this vessel could be a contender.
Take the next step: ferretti-yachts.com
First things first: the Outback 50 has nothing to do with the Australian wilderness or the casual-dining chain restaurant. Instead, the Outback in this case refers to the yacht’s optional 16-foot-long “infinity deck” cockpit, which is large enough for a pingpong table, should an owner desire one.
Let’s talk a little more about the boat. Florida-based Michael Peters designed the Outback 50, which is built at Kha Shing—the same Kaohsiung City, Taiwan, factory that produces finely finished yachts for Hargrave and Offshore. The 50 has that same level of finish and a design inspired by pilot boats, with their smaller interior accommodations and larger exterior areas, coupled with a smooth-riding and seaworthy hull. In addition to the Infinity Deck model, Outback offers an Extended Deck model with 2 more feet of space in the salon and the same large cockpit.
Exterior space and interaction with the marine environment are integral to Outback’s ideas about boating. To that end, the cockpit on my test vessel had modular teak furniture and a Magma grill, perched on a railing aft, as well as a Fusion sound system for the day’s soundtrack. Notably, the Outback 50 has a completely open transom—save for safety railings—a design that lets green water drain more quickly. This feature was inspired by workboats. Running all the way around the bow are 15-inch-wide teak-soled side decks with thigh-high bulwarks—an excellent setup for safety while docking.
The other major exterior entertaining area on the Outback 50 is its flybridge. The yacht’s tender can be stowed in the cockpit, but should the owner want a dining settee there instead, the flybridge can house a davit as well as the 10-foot-long tender aft. Forward of that space is L-shaped seating to starboard with an accompanying table. The upper helm has twin pilot seats built by Todd Enterprises, as well as a Garmin screen. The Outback’s vertical clearance is 15 feet, which makes her suitable for most bridge-encumbered waterways, including those along the Great Loop.
The yacht’s interior is highly customizable, though the standard layout has an L-shaped dining settee to port with a high-gloss teak table, which is foldable for better maneuverability. Across from the settee is a 42-inch pop-up TV to starboard. This space has nearly 360 degrees of visibility, helping to connect the exterior with the interior and fitting with the running theme of this boat’s overall design.
A galley forward of the dining settee is ready for meal prep with a three-burner Kenyon cooktop, a Sharp microwave and a Vitrifrigo refrigerator.
The lower helm has good sightlines thanks to all the windows surrounding the interior, and because of the boat’s minimal 2 degrees of trim at running speeds. The low trim numbers are in large part due to a shallow shaft angle of 8 degrees, a design choice that allows the engines' forces to be applied nearly completely forward and not up. This design also gives the boat a shallow draft of 3 feet, including a keel.
Underway, the boat is designed to have water slough off as quickly as possible (hence the aforementioned open transom). To that end, the entire boat slopes aft. If you were to place a golf ball at the bow tip, it would run unimpeded all the way aft until it plopped into the water. The boat is also solid below the waterline, while Outback used coring above. Twin 425 hp Cummins straight-shaft diesels are housed in the orderly and easily accessible engine room. Twin 270 hp Volvo Penta D4 sterndrives will be on Hull No. 2, which is an Extended Deck version.
I manned the Outback 50 from the upper helm, and was pleased with how smoothly she got on plane and shot up to her top hop of 24 knots with her bow barely rising. It was a beautiful South Florida day, and the seas didn’t give Peters' hull much to work with, but she did feel solid in the gentle swells. The control I felt at the wheel during S-turns at a 19-knot cruise was confidence inducing.
This vessel is effectively a picnic boat on steroids. She is fun to drive and has lots of exterior entertainment space, with enough interior space for family cruising. The Outback 50 is a well-designed and straightforward “boater’s boat.”
Take the next step: outbackyachts.com
I was social distancing with my pal Ted the other day. We’d been killing time in the COVID-19 stir, ogling yacht-brokerage listings and dreaming of escape. Like most hardworking folks supporting a boating addiction, Ted had invested too much time dreaming instead of doing. “I can’t seem to get very far from the dock,” he groused.
His comment made me think of Eli’s Barber Shop in Glenbrook, Connecticut, circa 1962. Eli was adding the Butch Wax grill to my monthly flattop when Pop returned to collect me after a supply run to the package store. As he opened the door of his new Ford Falcon, a more substantial vehicle executing a two-whistle pass completed the task for him. Eli suggested a tow truck, but Pop simply collected the door, stuffed it in the trunk and drove us home. I was impressed.
From that day forward, I saw things differently. I liked to fix and build stuff. Not very well at first, mind you, but I now realized that a lack of innate skill was not an issue. Pop was not particularly handy, but his shortcoming had made him an expert in accident mitigation. Grill fires, plumbing disasters—he not only expected them, but he also planned for them. Pop was a problem solver.
An ability to anticipate and plan for problems at sea is the trademark of a competent skipper too. I’ve always counted on waterborne problems, and while optimists have poked fun at me for the bags of tools and spare parts I pack, they rarely hesitate to ask for my help. My Plan A for cruising in remote areas is to have all I need to keep the boat afloat and operational so I don’t need Plan B: a life raft and bailout bag.
For years, industry pundits have claimed that boaters can be independent aboard a floating home or office. Cellular and satellite connections can keep overachievers and their iPad progeny in touch from offshore. The sales pitch seems particularly prescient now, with the world trying to exist at a social distance.
Unfortunately, these technologies along with joysticks, gyrostabilizers and smart diesels have also shortened our umbilical cord to marine service. The more stuff there is on board, the more problems there are to solve.
Read More from Jay Coyle: Tell Tales
Boats built in the past 20 years are complicated affairs with computers screwed to almost everything. Even the best problem-solving skipper can be rendered helpless by a display flashing threats like “fault 680, call a technician.”
“The only way to minimize your dependence on the boatyard is to keep things simple. Go analog,” I suggested to Ted.
He was a step ahead of me. “Check out this listing,” he replied.
Ted’s find was a ride nautical newbies don’t get: a 1990s 65-foot Hatteras enclosed-bridge convertible.
“I’d lose the 16-cylinder two-strokes and plug in smaller analog four-strokes that don’t talk in code and slurp fuel,” Ted said, dreaming. “Coyle, ya can’t buy a 25-foot center-console for what they’re asking.”
The 65 was as solid as the Ark and had volume Noah would have envied.
“The listing suggests she’s the perfect place to ride out the world’s problems,” Ted gushed.
Perhaps, I thought, she’d be the perfect place to solve problems while riding out the world’s problems.
Italy’s Canados says Hull No. 1 of the Oceanic Yachts 140 Fast Expedition has been sold. Construction is underway, with delivery scheduled in March 2022.
The 140 is the flagship model in the builder’s Fast Expedition series, and Hull No. 1 will be the largest yacht Canados has built to date.
According to the shipyard, the yacht will also be the first in Europe powered by triple Caterpillar C32 B Series engines. Range is expected to be more than 6,000 nautical miles at 10 knots, and about 800 nautical miles at 21 knots. Top speed is projected to be 25 knots.
Creature comforts will include a nearly 1,200-square-foot aft deck with a hot tub, sun pads, a bar, dining and a day head. The owner’s stateroom will be on the upper deck. The tender bay will house a nearly 20-foot dinghy, and a garage for two electric cars will be at the transom. When the cars are in use, the garage converts to a beach club.
Interiors are by Rome-based Michela Reverberi Studio, which previously collaborated with Canados on the Canados 888. The 140′s interior is expected to have a mix of saddle-stitched leather panels, washed gold color-embossed hard leather panels, bronze inserts, and woods including tay, rosewood and mahogany. According to Canados, “The entire main deck will be dressed with a tatami-textured European oak silver finished with gold dust.”
Where is the first Oceanic Yachts 140 Fast Expedition likely to cruise? The builder says the owner plans to base the yacht in the French Riviera.
For more information, visit: canados.com
Every season in the National Football League, the thousands of fans who stream through the entrance to Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta are treated to quite the visual feast. A four-story-tall falcon made of polished stainless steel, its massive wings outstretched, is so remarkable that it appears to be in motion. Adding to the drama, its talons clutch a bronze football, scoring a touchdown.
A similar bird of prey is on the bow of the 295-foot Oceanco DreAMBoat. Both the stadium’s statue (the world’s largest avian sculpture) and the one aboard the yacht are by the same contemporary artist. Both were commissioned by Arthur Blank, who owns the Atlanta Falcons and the yacht.
While Blank isn’t the first to commission art for his superyacht, he is among a growing number of owners who recognize that the possibilities for onboard artistic expression aren’t limited to nice pictures sprinkled here and there. In fact, from fixed and removable sculptures adorning bows to entire stateroom and spa walls serving as canvases, art aboard yachts is heading in imaginative and inspiring directions.
Aboard the 220-foot Amels Aurora Borealis, David Knowles of the UK-based art-consultancy firm Artelier helped the owner treat an entire wall in the yacht’s master stateroom like a canvas. Opposite the bed, there’s a gold-leaf depiction of a mountain, with a lacquer for protection. The first step saw the wall assembled in the studio of the artist, who moved from the United States temporarily to Amels' home country of the Netherlands, Knowles says. The artist spent several months applying the gold leaf there, and Artelier then transported the wall to the shipyard.
Knowles says owners and designers especially want spas to be onboard focal points. “We’ve developed artwork for inside saunas and steam rooms, for the walls behind Jacuzzis,” he says. These pieces present technical challenges because of moist, warm air. “In terms of working with artists, that’s where our collaborations are really valuable,” Knowles asserts. “We can work with the artists to develop specialist fixings and to do tests on various materials to make sure that they’re suitable for the space.”
A close collaboration with Winch Design in London ensured beauty and durability with the myriad flowers on the curved wall abaft the spa tub aboard Plvs Vltra, an Amels 242. Each flower is porcelain, adorned with gold leaf that was sealed, and adhered to the wall with specially developed glue. Artelier worked with Winch Design on many other areas throughout the yacht too. “A yacht like that might involve 20 or 30 pieces, all highly bespoke and individual to the project,” Knowles explains.
While some owners commission an extraordinary amount of one-of-a-kind artwork, others want one standout piece—in the form of a bow sculpture. Such sculptures may seem like a novelty, but they’re actually rooted in ancient-era figureheads that adorned wooden sailing ships. And, as with those early expressions of the form, today’s bow sculptures often relate to a yacht’s name. There’s a phoenix, for example, aboard the 295-foot Lürssen Phoenix 2, as well as a shapely female posing with her arms behind her head aboard the 240-foot Lürssen Titania, the name of the queen of the fairies from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
A giant gleaming jaguar, its front left paw raised and the other paw resting on a football helmet, is at the bow of the 312-foot Lürssen Kismet . That yacht belongs to Shahid “Shad” Khan, owner of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars. Constructed with a metallic coating that is as durable as it is bright, the jaguar has equally bright teal eyes. The removable sculpture’s dimensions make it all the more impressive: 6 feet, 6 inches high and 13 feet, 5 inches long. It weighs a hefty 220 pounds.
Blank wanted the falcon on DreAMBoat’s bow to be removable as well because a helipad is in its proximity. Budapest-based Gábor Miklós Szőke, who created the falcon outside of Mercedes- Benz Stadium, visited DreAMBoat in build at Oceanco to better comprehend the yacht’s scale and study its technical details. He determined the sculpture needed to be “extra light and strong at the same time due to the extreme wind load and weather conditions, such as the salty and humid air,” he says.
For the design, Szőke was determined “to keep as much of the original character of the falcon as possible.”
DreAMBoat’s falcon design, in cast aluminum, mimics the thousands of welded stainless-steel feathers in the stadium’s statue. It stands nearly 4 feet high, with a wingspan exceeding 5 feet.
“The movement of the bird is similar, but it is more symmetrical in order to align it with the DreAMBoat design,” Szőke says. In fact, because the artist liked the yacht’s streamlined edges, “I’ve redefined the design of the big falcon to accommodate this.”
In other words, the artwork became not just an element aboard the yacht but also an integral reflection of it. That’s a far cry from an owner choosing a painting to hang on a bulkhead. It’s form and function combining to create beauty with new meaning.
For boaters who prefer to cruise in US waters, a Great Loop itinerary is ideal. After a first leg northward along the East Coast, the route turns inward toward the Great Lakes and American heartland.
“For people who are used to international cruising and looking for a US option right now, this is it,” says Kim Russo, executive director of the America’s Great Loop Cruisers' Association.
Cruisers continuing along a Great Loop itinerary from the Erie Canal will go through Lake Erie, Lake Huron and Lake Michigan, in that order. These lakes are called great for a reason and require skippers with some boating experience. Lake Erie alone is home to more than 1,000 shipwrecks. Lake Huron, with 30,000 islands, has the most shoreline among all the Great Lakes, while Lake Michigan is so big that it touches four states: Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. When weather descends on bodies of water this big, yachtsmen need to know how to stay safe.
And, of course, during the good cruising days, some of America’s best-known cities are here to be explored. Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee and Chicago can all be part of a Great Loop itinerary, along with visits to some of their top attractions: the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Henry Ford Museum, the Harley-Davidson Museum and Wrigley Field. (Go, Cubs, go!)
From Chicago, Loopers have a choice of how they want to cruise south to the Gulf of Mexico. The Illinois River is one option. Another is to join the mighty Mississippi farther to the north (the part that Mark Twain liked the best). And cruisers can take the
Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway all the way to Alabama. The ultimate destination on this leg is the Gulf of Mexico, putting the boat in position for a final leg back to Florida or the East Coast.
Making the choices is part of the Great Loop fun. As Russo says, “People have really discovered there’s as many different ways to do this as there are types of boats.”
The Great Lakes
If the first leg of a Great Loop cruise includes the Erie Canal, then Lake Erie is the first of the Great Lakes on the second leg. The Lake Erie Islands are an area the locals call “Vacationland.” Put-In Bay on Lake Erie’s South Bass Island has beach attractions, wineries and pubs, hiking trails and more. Lake Huron will be next, with one possible stop being Mackinac Island. If you go ashore, you must go by foot, bicycle or horse-drawn carriage. Lake Michigan awaits after that, with a western shoreline that has cities to explore. The two biggest are Milwaukee and Chicago, with museums, sports teams and five-star restaurants.
Boaters looking to head ashore for an authentic meal and cultural experience have many choices in Chicago. Paseo Boricua is a Puerto Rican enclave where restaurants serve pasteles (pork tamales) and arroz con gandules (rice, pigeon peas and pork). Greektown, as the name suggests, is the neighborhood to visit for dolmades (rice and ground beef in grape leaves), moussaka (kind of like eggplant and beef lasagna) and spanakopita (spinach and feta in phyllo dough). Little Italy serves up all kinds of pasta, bruschetta and gnocchi, while Chinatown is all about spicy rabbit, made-to-order dumplings and dim sum (served, of course, with tea).
The moment we’ve all been waiting for has officially arrived. CL Yachts is ready to reveal their latest innovation, the CLX96, to the world - and we got the first look. Yachting Magazine’s Patrick Sciacca sat down with CL Yachts' Hans Lo and Jozeph Forakis, designer of the CLX96 and owner of Jozeph Forakis Design, for an exclusive walk-through of some of the most compelling aspects of this new creation. The CLX96 will officially debut at FLIBS 2021.
Inspired by life’s great adventure, a love for exploration, and a passion for pushing luxury into uncharted waters, CLX96 is the purest expression of CL Yachts' innovation to date. Read “CL Yachts: A Brand is Born” to learn more about the new yacht brand descending from the pedigreed Cheoy Lee Shipyards, or visit clyachts.com to learn more about the brand’s latest launch.
Outer Reef Yachts is preparing for the debut of two yachts—the 720 Motoryacht Tailwinds and a 620 Trident—at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, which is scheduled to take place October 28 through November 1.
Tailwinds applies a new feature to the Outer Reef Classic Series: a lowering glass wall to the aft deck. There’s also a swivel TV nearby, so guests can partake in indoor-outdoor gaming, watching sports or movies, and the like.
The 620 Trident expected to be on display also has new features, including a mid-galley and aft salon layout, a hydraulically lowering hardtop (for Great Loop cruising), Seakeeper gyrostabilization, an updated master stateroom layout, an office/study and custom stowage in the lazarette with a wet locker.
Will any other Outer Reef yachts be at the Fort Lauderdale show? Yes. The 610 Motoryacht Equiessence, built in 2018, is expected to be there too. She’s for sale while the owner builds a larger Outer Reef.
For more information, visit: outerreefyachts.com
The Argos 350 forward-looking sonar guides yachts safely through unknown waters and risky environments. Yachting Editor-in-Chief Patrick Sciacca sits down with FarSounder to discuss the technology and how it can benefit yacht owners.
The Argos 350 Forward Looking Sonar system is the ideal solution for mid-sized vessels ranging from 18 - 40+ meters (60 - 130+ feet).
- More compact and lighter transducer
- Ability to detect objects in water column up to 350 meters ahead
- Operational speeds up to 18 knots
- Two installation types - easy fixed installation or hoist installation in 10-inch diameter sea chest
To learn more about the Argos 350 forward-looking sonar, visit FarSounder’s website.
Inspiration is a powerful force inside the design firms and shipyards that create truly modern yachts. While today’s visionaries of course stay grounded in the lessons of naval architecture, more and more often, they are allowing more vibrant inspirations to reshape the way yachts look inside and out—a process that, by definition, also reshapes the way yachtsmen and guests interact with the vessels.
Vripack, the award-winning firm in the Netherlands, is among the leading designers and builders that fully embrace yacht-design inspiration. For its 216-foot Futura concept, Vripack looked to the natural world for everything from propulsion to deck layout.
“Her flowing, curvaceous lines denote an elegant femininity that draws from a collection of shapes found in nature,” the company stated in the yacht’s introduction. “An aerial view of the cocoonlike superstructure reveals a streamlined bow and a rounded middle, like the silhouette of a whale.”
Heesen Yachts, similarly, embraced inspiration with its 164-foot Project Triton, drawing not on modern automotive styling but instead on the more curvaceous, sexy shapes of years gone by.
“Clifford Denn created an elegant profile characterized by flowing curves with elements inspired by classic car design,” Heesen says of the yacht’s exterior. “Her bold and elegant profile won’t go unnoticed when sailing off the coast of the south of France or in the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean.”
She can go a lot farther than that too. According to Heesen, Project Triton has a transoceanic range of 3,800 nautical miles at 12 knots, with a top speed of 15 knots. Her powerplants are twin MTU V-8 4000 M63s, and her full-displacement hull is steel, which should ensure a comfortable cruise, even in some sizable swells.
Inside Project Triton, nature-inspired shapes seem to flow free. The designers at Reymond Langton chose elements such as rounded sofas and sculpted carpets to offset the square windows in places like the master stateroom, calling the interior a “linear and clean environment.” Note the use of lines on the ceiling and bulkheads as a kind of architectural design element, creating the effect of artistry without the bulk of framed artwork or mounted sculptures. That design approach, along with the decor’s neutral color scheme and light pops of color, fulfills the “linear and clean” vision that Reymond Langton sought to achieve.
Not to be outdone when incorporating nature-inspired elements, Dynamiq Yachts, with its GTT 160, actually integrates the environment into the vessel itself. The main deck is partially open—on a 162-footer—the way a beach club far aft might be open aboard other superyachts. Aboard this yacht, the beach club starts on the main deck proper and extends to fill a space of nearly 1,300 square feet. That’s as big as some two-bedroom apartments—and the yacht still has room for staterooms accommodating 12 guests, plus quarters for eight crew.
The inspiration for the GTT 160 concept, according to Dynamiq CEO Sergei Dobroserdov, was a focus not on traditional features but instead on general well-being for owners and clients when they are aboard. “We asked ourselves, ‘What can we bring to the market that makes more sense for our clients?’” he says.
The answer to that question seems to be truly inspired design, not just for Dynamiq but for all the builders now encouraging creativity to flow through form and function alike.
The swish of cardboard costumes. The clang of cowbells. The thrumming of goatskin drums. These sounds of the Junkanoo make Arlene Nash-Ferguson’s heart soar. This musical masquerade parade is so beloved in the Bahamas that it not only dances through the streets of Nassau on Boxing Day, as is the tradition, but it’s also celebrated during the Junkanoo Summer Festival in July and August.
Nash-Ferguson is the grand dame of Junkanoo in the Bahamas. She’s the founding co-host of the weekly Junkanoo 242 radio show and author of I Come to Get Me: An Inside Look at the Junkanoo Festival. For 20 years, she has provided the world with an inside look at the festival through her organization Educulture Bahamas.
The Educulture Junkanoo Museum, located in Nassau, includes not only sponge costumes from decades past but also the requisite ramshackle “shack,” where contemporary cardboard-and-paper costumes are painstakingly pieced together. “You can’t buy a Junkanoo costume,” she says. “When you make your costume, it is part of this tremendous expression of community spirit, camaraderie and pride. That’s what makes Junkanoo such a unique experience.”
What distinguishes Junkanoo in the Bahamas? We create our own music; we don’t dance to taped music. Our musicians play the drums and bells and horns in costume and parade with us.
How old were you when you first participated in Junkanoo? I was 4. Back then, if you were from a “good” family, you didn’t participate—especially the women. But my Uncle Ivern had helped get Junkanoo reinstated in 1948. So a few years later, when I asked to Junkanoo, they thought, ‘How nice, she takes after her uncle,’ and let me join in."
After all these years, how does it feel for you to take part in Junkanoo? It is so natural to me, as natural as breathing.
Arlene’s Nassau A-list
Debbie’s (Grant’s Town): The cracked conch at this takeaway counter is absolutely delicious.
Fish Fry (aka Arawak Cay): There is a whole slew of local eateries there that fix conch in so many different ways. I especially love the conch salad.
Old Nassau: The area is so full of history, with many beautiful historic buildings. It has such warm memories for me from my childhood.
Gyrostabilization company Smartgyro has partnered with electronics maker Simrad to integrate data from stabilizers with multifunction displays.
The Smartgyro interface is now available for Simrad NSSevo3S, NSSevo3, NSSevo2, NSOevo3S, NSOevo2 and GO series displays, as part of the evolving Simrad Command feature.
One cable is required to connect the stabilizer with the display. The stabilizer’s data then transfers via an HTML5 server through an Ethernet network. In addition, the Smartgyro user manual can be accessed through NSSevo3S and NSSe models.
“With this development, the Smartgyro stabilizer becomes part of the onboard ecosystem of all boats that use Simrad MFDs,” Smartgyro Sales Manager Carlo Gazerro stated in a press release. “Now it is possible to operate and monitor the boat’s stabilization directly using one or more MFDs without needing to use the dedicated Smartgyro display, with all functions now available on the Simrad network.”
What models does Smartgyro offer? The SG40 stabilizer is for boats from 50 to 60 feet length overall, while the SG80 is for boats 60 to 70 feet length overall.
For more information, visit: smartgyro.com
Absolute Yachts in Italy calls the 50 Fly its “absolute achievement” in terms of size, comfort and livability.
The design of the 50 Fly includes uninterrupted windows for broad views of the surrounding sea. The cockpit can connect directly to the galley, where a sofa becomes a sun lounger. Up on the flybridge, guests will find a table, seating, sun loungers and more. An additional sunbathing area is at the bow, accessed via a protected walkway.
Also on the Absolute 50 Fly are practical features for extended cruising. Furniture on the main deck is designed to create additional stowage. New air conditioning systems also should enhance the onboard experience during longer cruises.
Accommodations include a full-beam (14′6″), ensuite master stateroom in the center of the yacht, which is the location that usually has the most comfortable motion at sea. There are no pillars in this stateroom’s windows, allowing for wide views.
There’s also a full-beam, ensuite VIP stateroom. The third guest stateroom has a walk-in closet, and the crew cabin aft can be used for extra guests.
Owner-operators, take note: There is a side door near the helm on the Absolute 50 Fly. The door is a useful feature during docking and other maneuvers.
For more information, visit: absoluteyachts.com
Look at the CL Yachts CLB88 in profile, and you’ll notice a combination of key design elements.
There’s the fine entry and high freeboard forward, and the form transitions into a straight sheerline gently descending in height as it stretches aft, resolving at the cockpit. The subtle drop helps create a relatively aggressive profile. It’s a look that the CLB88′s raked windows forward enhance, and that the lean-forward look of the hardtop and flybridge supports. The yacht’s amalgam of shapes creates a singular, salty aesthetic.
Beneath the seafaring look is function. The yacht has a resin-infused build in a combination of fiberglass and carbon fiber, reducing weight and maintaining strength. The hull form is reinforced by a 3,000-gallon integral fuel tank, essentially creating a double-hull bottom.
The CLB88′s interior is “floated” too, meaning interior elements are not directly tied into the yacht’s support structure, resulting in reduced vibration and what should be a quiet ride.
This motoryacht’s ride could be spirited as well. Twin 1,600 hp Caterpillar C32 Acerts reportedly push it to a 25-knot top hop.
This yacht has four staterooms, plus two crew cabins. There are five guest heads and one crew head. The master stateroom is full-beam amidships.
A lower helm and country kitchen are forward on the main deck, with the dinette across from the helm. The CLB88′s flybridge is set up for alfresco meals with L-shaped seating and a table to port, as well as a bar with five stools to starboard. Forward on centerline is the helm station, and to port is companion seating. Far aft is room for chaise-style chairs and a davit.
The CLB88 is for yachtsmen ready to transition to a crewed vessel. It has room for a cruising family, offers solid performance, has an open floor plan, and is a bluewater build with a high level of customization.
Take the next step: clyachts.com
U-boat Worx’s Nemo is the world’s first production-built submersible vehicle. Power is a lithium-ion battery, and steering is via a thruster system, delivering speeds up to 3 knots. The two-person sub can dive to 330 feet, and it employs air scrubbers for eight hours of run time. Nemo weighs 5,510 pounds and requires less on-deck space than two personal watercraft. It comes with a single-point hoisting system and can be stored on flat surfaces sans cradle.
“Creating a submersible that is truly pilot-oriented was the hardest part,” says Roy Heijdra, U-Boat Worx’s marketing manager. “We created a short list of features and technologies we really wanted to incorporate in this design to have it meet our standards.” Still, Heijdra says, creating a production model was “one of the more difficult submersibles we’ve designed to date.” U-Boat Worx overcame the challenges by leveraging its extensive knowledge of building bespoke subs.
Nemo submersibles are meant to be owner-operated. They employ U-Boat Worx’s Manta controller and pilot-assistance functions (such as auto-heading and auto-depth). Purchase price includes a 12-day training course for owners or captains at U-Boat Worx’s Sub Center Curaçao.
Take the next step: nemo-submarine.com
Whether it’s tossing bikes and kayaks on the hardtop for weekend jaunts, or day-tripping and cooking alfresco at the cockpit island grill, the Tiara Yachts Q44 was penned for active yachtsmen.
Tiara worked with bike-rack-makers Yakima and Thule to design the roof rack. There’s an on-deck island with an electric grill, fridge and freezer, as well as a galley belowdecks. A scissor berth belowdecks converts to a lounge. The Q44 also has a glass-helm system.
At press time, there were six Tiara Q44s for sale, ranging from $549,000 to $649,000.
From the Archive
“We ran the boat on a blustery day in 3-foot seas on Lake Michigan. The builder says it connects Volvo Penta’s 435 hp engines via jack shaft to IPS pod drives to lessen vibration and give the Q44 excellent maneuverability. It works. Our test boat hit a top speed of 33 knots at 3,600 rpm. Joystick steering makes it a fun ride, even in tight turns.” — Yachting, January 2016
It’s a common scenario on my home waters: A cargo ship heads south on Puget Sound, its bow aimed for the Port of Seattle’s always-hungry cranes, as a ferry steams west from Edmonds for Kingston and the Kitsap Peninsula. Compounding the situation is Seattle’s notorious rain and fog. While the ships are situationally aware thanks to robust commercial-grade radar and Class A AIS systems, the same isn’t always true of the recreational yachts with older radars. To the yachtsmen, the ship and ferry could appear as a single onscreen blob…provided that the radar can even penetrate the rain.
Fortunately, today’s high-powered solid-state radars can mitigate this potentially confusing situation.
Radar systems have long employed cavity magnetrons to transmit radio-frequency energy in extremely short, high-powered bursts. While effective, radar technology didn’t fundamentally change for recreational mariners until 2016, when multiple manufacturers released fully digital radars that replaced magnetrons with solid-state transistors. These radars broadcast lower-powered bursts of RF energy over significantly longer intervals using pulse-compression technology (think chirp sonar). Critically, solid-state transistors transmit highly predictable frequencies that enable Doppler processing, allowing these systems to color-code targets based on their threat levels (red means danger).
While these radars work well, next-generation solid-state radars are offering higher power and new software features.
Furuno’s first-generation solid-state radar—the radome-enclosed DRS4D-NXT—offered 25 watts of power and Target Analyzer, which delivered color-coded Doppler processing. Furuno’s newest offerings, the open-array DRS12ANXT ($7,430 to $8,275) and the DRS25ANXT ($9,430 to $10,275), offer 100 and 200 watts of power, respectively. Both radars are available with 41-inch, 4-foot or 6-foot arrays transmitting narrow wedges of RF energy in horizontal beam widths of 2.3, 1.9 and 1.35 degrees, respectively. Like many other Ethernet-enabled sensors, these radars pack their smarts and processing power into the unit’s pedestal and use networked Furuno NavNet TZtouch multi-function displays.
Garmin uses similar architecture and Ethernet connectivity with its radars. Garmin’s first-generation solid-state radars, the GMR Fantom 4 and GMR Fantom 6, employed 4-foot and 6-foot open arrays to deliver 40 watts of power and MotionScope Doppler processing. Additional GMR Fantom radars followed, and Garmin’s latest open-array radars, which are expected to hit the market by the end of this year, will each deliver 250 watts of power and beam widths of 1.8 and 1.25 degrees (depending on antenna).
The transmitted power of Furuno’s and Garmin’s solid-state radars is significantly less than the peak outputs of magnetron units, but Eric Kunz, Furuno’s senior product manager, says magnetron radars are rated for their peak power transmission, while solid-state radars are rated for their average power output.
“The [total] power transmission between solid-state and magnetron radars is the same, and they both use the same frequency spectrum,” Kunz says. “It’s a different way of creating transmissions, but the result is the same.”
Dave Dunn, Garmin’s director of sales and marketing for marine, agrees. “A 120-watt solid-state radar delivers the same total energy as a 15 kW magnetron-based radar,” Dunn says, explaining that the conversion between solid-state and magnetron radars is (roughly) a factor of 10 and change. “Solid-state radars get better information at greater distances because the RF energy stays on the target longer,” he adds.
Overall, Furuno’s and Garmin’s solid-state radars now deliver the same (or greater) overall power as each company’s highest-end, recreational-level magnetron radars, which offer 25 kW of peak power.
“The overall performance is equal to or better than magnetron-based radars,” Kunz says, adding that while cavity magnetrons need to be replaced after 3,000 to 5,000 hours of use, solid-state transistors typically outlast the radar pedestal’s motor drives.
Both experts also say that narrower beam widths enable higher-resolution imagery.
“I use the analogy of a wide-tip Sharpie marker,” Dunn says. “You can’t draw the picture you can with a narrow-tipped Sharpie.” In radar parlance, this means that beam width is the difference between having a general idea about targets and having a specific picture.
Kunz agrees, adding that target separation is improved: “We’re taking energy and squeezing it into a narrower area. This improves onscreen resolution and puts more-effective radiated power onto the target.”
Solid-state transistors open the door to advanced digital-signal processing, enabling Doppler processing and other features. For example, Furuno’s DRS12ANXT and DRS25ANXT radars are equipped with Furuno’s RezBoost, which can digitally decrease beam width to just 0.7 degrees; Bird Mode, which helps anglers spot birds using the radar’s gain function; and Rain Mode, which helps mariners peer into squalls.
“Signal processing can discern rain reflections from hard-target reflections,” Kunz says. “Boaters can see rain, but it doesn’t obscure targets.”
Additionally, Furuno radars have an automatic radar plotting aid that acquires and tracks an unlimited number of potentially dangerous targets.
Garmin’s newest GMR Fantom radars will be equipped with MotionScope Doppler processing and proprietary features such as scan-to-scan averaging and advanced mini-automatic radar plotting aid. Scan-to-scan averaging compares each frame of radar data with its previous radar returns to eliminate intermittent noise and clutter—say, when tracking fast-moving targets, detecting distant shorelines or searching for fish-finding birds—while advanced MARPA automatically acquires and tracks up to 10 targets sans any user input.
Another noteworthy point is that while magnetron radars have “main bang” blind spots (such as 65 feet for a 25 kW radar), solid-state radars can detect targets as close as 20 feet. Moreover, the radars discussed in this article have a 96-nautical-mile range; however, their long-range performance is limited by how far above the waterline the radar array is physically mounted. The long-range features are likely best used to detect weather systems and birds rather than distant vessels.
So, if you’ve been considering a new radar but have been waiting for the technology to mature, now could be the time to make it happen. As for yachtsmen cruising Puget Sound’s challenging waters, today’s high-power solid-state radars have no trouble color-coding and distinguishing between cargo ships and ferries at ranges that were previously the province of commercial- or military-grade hardware.
Horizon Yachts has long been known for building seaworthy vessels that emphasize interior volume, entertainment spaces and customization. The builder’s sweet spot is in the 80- to 120-foot range, and it has incorporated all the lessons learned from those larger yachts into the E56, the smallest E-series model it offers. She’s a yacht that out-punches her weight.
One thing that stood out during my time on board the E56 was the number of custom elements the builder was able to include—rare for a 56-footer. There was custom cabinetry in the salon and amidships galley, both designed for longer voyages. In the after section of the salon, the owner wanted a glass-and-stainless-steel dining table. That table is serviced by a galley with some pleasing touches, including a wenge-and-sapele sole (and excellent joinery), a four-burner cooktop, a convection oven/microwave and granite countertops.
Forward of the galley is the lower helm, with a carbon-fiber dash and twin Garmin screens. I found visibility to be excellent, and the optional sunroof opened up the space nicely.
Down below, this E56 had a custom three-stateroom layout. The forepeak VIP was so large, I initially mistook it for the master stateroom. The walk-around queen berth has plenty of space on each side, thanks in part to the yacht’s 15-foot-9-inch beam that carries farther forward than beams tend to do on other yachts. That’s a design trick that Horizon uses on many of its vessels, and one that pays dividends when it comes to interior space.
Walking aft past a washer/dryer, I grabbed the door handle to the amidships master stateroom and noted how the egg-shaped knob fit perfectly in my hand—a reminder that Horizon’s design team thought as hard about the details as they did about the larger elements. I opened the door, and it was immediately apparent that Horizon had put on a clinic in how to fit extra stowage aboard a boat. The stateroom had no fewer than 23 cabinets and drawers, more than enough for owners to add an extra leg or two to a summer cruise. Sapele wood throughout, and blackout shades on the hullside windows, made the space both pleasing to the eye and secluded all at once.
The Horizon E56 carries 660 gallons of fuel and, according to the builder, has a 230-nautical-mile range at a cruising speed of 23 knots. But she’s more than a vessel that owner-operators can use simply for long weekend getaways with friends and family; she is a true midsize motoryacht whose custom detailing makes her feel like a mega-yacht.
Take the next step: horizonyacht.com
Cairns, Australia, feels like a modern-day pioneer town. Nestled between two of the world’s great wildernesses, it strikes a balance between beachy normalcy and something otherworldly. Directly to the north and west lies the Outback, an arid moonscape so sparsely populated that in 1993, when a mysterious explosion occurred, some speculated that it was an atomic bomb set off by a Japanese murder cult, and only a handful of gold prospectors and cattlemen even knew it was happening in the moment. To the east lies the mighty Pacific Ocean and the Great Barrier Reef, a living organism so large, it’s visible from outer space. At night in Cairns, flying foxes hang in the trees that line the sidewalk, fruit bats the size of well-fed Chihuahuas, screeching and flapping their wings as revelers hop blithely from waterfront bar to waterfront bar 10 feet below. The people are blithe because the ever-present live rock ‘n’ roll and blues music drowns out the bats' screeches—plus beer. In Cairns the rule is never gaze up looking for answers, instead keep your eyes on the path forward.
This is where I met the charter yacht Aroona, a 70-foot Outer Reef that is as singular as the port it calls home.
As I arrived at Yorkeys Knob Marina 15 minutes north of the Cairns central business district, I was greeted by warning signs: a saltwater crocodile with its mouth open and the words, “Do not go in the water.” Considering the Australian folk logic that “99 out of 100 shark attacks aren’t fatal, but 99 out of 100 croc attacks are,” suffice it to say that Yorkeys Knob is an excellent place to have a nice, big boat from which to enjoy the water.
And luckily, I did. Aroona is built for adventure. The boat offers an array of itineraries centered around fishing, diving, kitesurfing—you name it. Indeed, Aroona served as the mothership for a band of kitesurfers who, in 2015, broke the world record for longest kitesurfing expedition.
For charterers looking for thrills, Aroona is nothing less than a nautical Humvee, locked and loaded for the promised land.
The crew is trained in all aspects of the reef and ways to enjoy it. Capt. Ross Miller sets the tone. A slender man with shaggy brown hair and a lilting Aussie accent, he doesn’t at first appear to be the swashbuckler that he is. However, on the first day, he casually mentioned a recent hang-gliding accident. At first, I thought he was joking—because, seriously, who hang glides?—but he had been knocked unconscious when he hit his head on one of the aircraft’s bars during a race. He was rather, let’s say, surprised when he regained consciousness while plummeting Icarus-style from the sky. Thankfully, he managed to regain his wits (and his lift and drag) fast enough to escape with a broken foot. The offhanded nature of the tale he told led me to believe it was one of many in a life saturated with stories that will someday impress his grandchildren.
The crew includes a dive instructor, a stewardess who doubles as a spearfish guide, and a chef whose first offering was ceviche and ripe fruits, soon to be followed by Asian dishes with spices that sizzled and popped. I took home the chef’s recipe for salmon because it was probably the best I’ve ever had. (Cook it hot and quick, skin side down, using wax paper with something heavy on top, and thank me later.)
After meeting the captain and crew, I stepped aboard Aroona alongside Ron Martin, and our journey began in earnest. We shoved off in the afternoon and chugged toward Fitzroy Island, where we dropped anchor just before nightfall. Big Fitzroy is a patch of rainforest hovering above the reef like a puffy olive-green cloud. It has a resort on the beach. As we sat in the cockpit enjoying a cold beer and contemplating the next day’s dive, the laughter of children mingled with the sound of the ocean gently slap-slap-slapping on the hull in the inky darkness. Thousands of minnows danced in the purple-and-green light below our transom. I retired to the forepeak guest and had the best sleep I’d had in days—jet lag always messes me up.
In the morning, I awoke to the steely clatter of the anchor being pulled in. After coffee, it was time to squeeze into a 3 mm wetsuit and make my way to the swim platform to survey the water over Milne Reef. It was grayer than I’d expected, much more like the northern Atlantic I’d grown up with than the turquoise green I’d seen in photos. With that grayer water of course comes less visibility, which makes me think of sharks. And this is when an old childhood fear crept in. Starting when I was 5, I began watching Jaws the way most tots now watch Frozen. And while time in the water with sharks of varying species has dulled that irrational fear, I still have a healthy respect for them—and in particular Australian sharks, because, c’mon, don’t they just seem a bit bigger and hungrier?
As I was telling myself it would be fine, a whale breached 15 feet off Aroona’s transom and blew a stream of mist straight up in the air. And then it did it again. And again and again, timed with the rhythm of the waves.
Wait, that was no whale … I had just become acquainted with “whale bommie.” In Australian vernacular, a bommie is a wave that breaks well offshore onto a reef. Some bommies are famous as big-wave surf spots. This particular bommie has a break that looks like a whale spouting. It was a surreal scene, one that did nothing to dispel the pangs of shark doubt I was feeling. In that moment, the ocean just seemed so utterly, impossibly huge—and I had a feeling I was too small. But, as my mother always told me, you only go round once. So, I followed the dive instructor’s lead and plopped into the abyss. I kicked around a bit and acclimated to breathing underwater; it had been some time since I had last dived. When I was ready, I followed the instructor down into the dark, cold water. The hiss of the bommie above dampened as we dived deeper, spiraling our way around the coral head. We kicked our way over to a small sand flat, and I saw … a shark. It was a 5-foot-long reef shark—not Jaws or a marauding tiger shark with a belly full of California license plates, just a sleek little fish minding its business in its own home. We kicked onward.
The bommie itself was a totem pole of coral, jutting up from the matte navy-blue water in quilted reds, greens and browns. Gorgonian sea fans shot out into the water with rugged delicacy, and thickets of staghorn coral provided a playground and protection for a rainbow of little fish.
A Maori wrasse floated by, bigger than I was, with its unsettlingly humanlike countenance wholly unperturbed, if it even noticed us at all. It might as well have been saying, “Beat it, geek.”
Soon, I felt a chill expanding in my torso. The water was unseasonably cool at about 72 degrees, and even with my wetsuit, my core temperature began to dip. I headed up to the surface for more hot coffee and heaping plates of bacon and eggs.
Eat. Sleep. Repeat. I awoke again to the anchor clanking in and engines roaring to life. Our second day of diving was on a reef formation known as the Three Sisters. The three bommies here were swarmed with thick schools of reef fish: snappers and sweetlips, surgeonfish and garden eels. The waters teemed with all the denizens of the Great Barrier Reef’s shallow waters. The Three Sisters also acts as a gateway of sorts to deeper water, and huge pelagics often pass through en route to some of the greatest sport-fishing grounds on Earth, probably looking for a snack.
It’s no secret that Australian waters are a murderer’s row of animals that could kill you. They don’t necessarily want to; it’s just that sometimes they do. Consider the scene a shoulder shrug from Mother Earth. Crocs and great whites, box jellyfish and stonefish, even the cute little blue-ringed octopuses that populate Sydney Harbour—about the size of a human thumb and deadly as hell.
That day at Three Sisters, we happened upon one of the most deadly animals these waters have to offer: the unassuming cone snail. The largest cone snails are about the size of a salt shaker, and their shells come in a dazzling variety of colors. This one happened to be blah beige. It was tucked onto a small ledge on the reef, and I would have swam right by it had the dive instructor not stopped with his sketch pad to scribble a face with X’s for eyes and “Don’t touch! Cone snail!” I just stopped and stared, steering clear of its hollow needle that delivers toxic venom. Floating in the abyss, 50 feet down and breathing canned air, I stared at this massively unimposing animal and marveled at death’s insidious ability to be so terribly mundane. I shook my head and kicked on.
The current was strong that day, and by the time we headed to the surface, we had been dragged from Aroona by at least a few hundred yards. The captain spotted us and sent the crew to come snatch us up. The tender was probably doing 25 knots coming toward us, but it felt like 5. Floating there in a hundred feet of water, 20 miles offshore of the northeastern Australian coast … there’s no feeling in the world like feeling like bait.
Eat. sleep. repeat. The next day, we chugged off to a ledge to do some spearing. The weather had warmed up, and the ocean was brimming with life. Turtles bobbed on the surface like apples in a basin. Dolphins played in our wake for a half-hour, eventually making their way to our bow, jumping up so close that I could nearly touch them from the foredeck with my arms dangling overboard. At one point, a whale—an actual whale this time, a humpback—surfaced about 50 yards off, and smashed its fluke onto the water’s surface, shooting spray up into the gulls that fussed overhead like a squadron of highly aggrieved mothers-in-law.
An hour later, I was in the RIB with spears and fins, zipping over to the fishing spot. We got skunked because fish ain’t stupid. While the dive spots full of fish are protected zones, the spearfishing spot was not. And thus, we spent an hour chasing a lone coral trout across the reef, watching it dip in and out of holes and change colors to blend in with its surroundings.
Later, we dropped anchor off a deserted island, like the kind you might see in a New Yorker cartoon. It was nothing but a lonely spit of sand surrounded by endless miles of ocean. We loaded up the RIB again, this time with ice-cold cans of beer, and headed off to explore it. As the day grew dark, I sat in the sand with my feet in the water and cracked open my beer. Directly ahead of me on the horizon, the sun was a fiery tangerine orb about to douse itself in a Champagne-colored sea. The indigo sky around it shimmered as it turned the color of orange and cherry sherbet.
I breathed the salty air deeply and felt so keenly grateful, so very alive. I welcomed the night and the dreams that come with it.
Take the next step: aroonaluxuryboatcharters.com.au
AB Inflatables is planning for the premiere of two models—the ABJET 350XP and 465XP—at this fall’s Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.
The 350XP, with a length overall of 11 feet 3 inches, has a removable lateral seat that the builder says should add to the boat’s versatility. Beam is 5 feet 10 inches, and top speed is reportedly 37 knots.
The larger 465XP, with a length overall of 15 feet, can seat eight people. It has a bow seating area that converts to a sun pad. Beam is 6 feet 7 inches, and top speed is reportedly 40 knots.
Where will the 350XP and 465XP go after the Fort Lauderdale show? Both models also are expected to be on display at Germany’s Dusseldorf boat show in January.
For more information, visit: abinflatables.com
Cobia 350 CC
This fishing-centric design is outfitted with dual 45-gallon livewells, two tuna-size in-sole fish boxes, a tackle station, and a rod locker belowdecks.
Power Play: How about 54.4 knots at top hop with twin 425 hp Yamaha V-8s? The 350 CC slow-cruises at 28.7 knots. Triple 300 hp outboards are available.
Notable Features: There is a chop-dicing, deep-V, twin-stepped hull form and triple helm seats for the kingfish tourney-circuit crew.
Known for its convertible sport-fish boats, Bertram enters the center-console market with its 39CC. The boat has a deep-V hull form with 22 degrees of transom deadrise and a fine entry for slicing chop. The infused hull is solid fiberglass.
Power Play: Power is either triple 300 hp (standard), 350 hp or 400 hp Mercury outboards. Fuel capacity is 500 gallons.
Notable Features: A berth and head are belowdecks. Standard angling items are two 45-gallon livewells, two 420-quart fish boxes and 20 flush-mount rod holders. Options include Garmin electronics, tuna tubes, a 45-gallon foredeck livewell, teak trim and Gemlux outriggers.
Boston Whaler 325 Conquest
The Boston Whaler 325 Conquest has a side door for bringing in big fish. Two 40-gallon in-deck fish boxes will hold that catch. A cabin with a V-berth, head and galley offers a place to rest and eat between bites.
Power Play: Twin 300 hp Mercury Verados are standard, with 350 hp or 400 hp Verados optional. Top speed with standard motors is reportedly 42.9 knots, and 44.6 knots with the 400s.
Notable Features: There are 12 hull colors, with names like Wasabi, Ice Blue and Jadestone. Other options include a Seakeeper, Raymarine electronics system, radial outriggers, a cockpit fridge, a 7 kW Westerbeke generator and a 12-volt bow thruster.
Grady-White Canyon 326
The Canyon 326 has a variable-deadrise hull form with 20 degrees of transom deadrise. Supporting the form are a hand-laid fiberglass hull and deck.
Power Play: The Canyon 326 can have twin 300 or 350 hp Yamahas.
Notable Features: Fish stowage is in a 152-quart and a 318-quart fish box, and two 180-quart boxes. A 32-gallon livewell keeps baits frisky. Nine rod holders are standard. A bow casting platform and 15-foot outriggers are optional.
With a deep-V hull (23.5 degrees of transom deadrise), the Edgewater 340CC is built using a single-piece infusion process, combining composite and foam structural stringers, fiberglass and resin into a monocoque and solid structure.
Power Play: The 340CC is designed for twin Yamaha outboards to a maximum of 850 hp.
Notable Features: Anglers may opt for the 38-gallon pressurized transom livewell with a 2,000 gph pump to keep baits in place and alive. The standard livewell is 32 gallons. Also standard are 28 rod holders. Some options include a Seakeeper, Garmin electronics and Lumitec LED lighting.
Invincible 35 Cat
The Invincible 35 Cat has a single-level deck and semi-asymmetrical hull design for a smooth ride over rough water. It reportedly handles quartering and following seas well.
Power Play: With quad 300 hp outboards, the Invincible 35 Cat can sprint at a reported top hop of 62.6 knots. Twin outboards are also available.
Notable Features: Angling options include a folding tower with a second helm, Rupp or Gemlux outriggers, six hardtop rocket launchers, spreader lights, a 70-gallon in-sole livewell, outlets for powering deep-drop electric reels or kites, gunwale and undergunwale rod holders, and a clear lid for the transom livewell.
Scout 305 LXF
A porpoiselike profile makes the Scout 305 LXF easily noticeable. This dayboat also has 360-degree fishability, a hand-laid fiberglass hull, and a center console with a head and berth.
Power Play: The 305 LXF can have twin outboards up to 800 hp total.
Notable Features: The 305 LXF comes with a leaning post with a livewell, four rod holders and a 65-quart Yeti cooler. Options include Garmin electronics and five hardtop rocket launchers.
The Valhalla Boatworks V-33 is the builder’s entry-level model and could make a good companion to a larger yacht.
Power Play: The V-33 has a maximum horsepower rating of 900, and it can be matched with Mercury or Yamaha outboards.
Notable Features: The boat has a stepped-V hull, which should make for a relatively dry ride. A joystick for close-quarters handling is available. There is a 52-gallon transom livewell, five in-sole fish boxes, and options for a second in-sole livewell and on-deck livewell. A hardtop option includes spreader lights and six rocket launchers. Telescoping outriggers, a marlin tower and a Seakeeper are also options.
Pursuit S 378
Like its name implies, the Pursuit S 378 was penned for angling adventure. The boat has a wave-chopping deep-V hull form. It’s built with a hand-laid fiberglass hull and an infused fiberglass structural grid that adds backbone.
Power Play: The S 378 has triple 425 hp Yamaha outboards. Reported top speed is 52.2 knots, with a 27.8-knot cruise speed.
Notable Features: There are 10 standard rod holders to create an enticing spread. A 36-gallon livewell, four 41-gallon fish boxes, and a tackle center with four Plano trays are standard too. Angling options include a transom livewell, a fridge/freezer and 18-foot Taco outriggers.
With a single-level deck and 360-degree fishability, the Everglades 395CC can handle a four- to six-man crew with real estate to spare.
Power Play: The 395CC has triple 425 hp Yamaha outboards standard. Performance data was not available at press time.
Notable Features: Anglers get 39 rod holders, two fish boxes (in-sole and transom), a rigging station built into the after fish box, two 40-gallon livewells and 22-foot Gemlux outriggers.
The SeaVee 450Z has a twin-stepped hull form designed to grip the water for confident handling at speed. The cored fiberglass hull is vacuum-infused, helping to reduce weight.
Power Play: The 450Z is built for quad outboards. The total maximum horsepower was not available at press time.
Notable Features: The cockpit is 9½ feet long. Live-bait anglers will appreciate the four 40-gallon livewells. (A fifth is optional.) There are two 100-gallon in-deck fish boxes. A Seakeeper 5 and diesel generator are standard. Owners can add items including a tuna tower and second helm, three 22-inch helm displays and integral seating forward.
Southport 30 FE
Southport’s 30 FE has noticeable bow flare to knock down spray. A deep-V hull should cut down whitecaps with purpose. The boat’s hull, deck, console and hardtop are vacuum-infused fiberglass.
Power Play: Twin 300 hp Yamaha outboards are standard. Reported cruise speed is 29.5 knots.
Notable Features: A 30-gallon transom livewell and two in-sole macerated fish boxes flank the helm seating. Mezzanine seating is abaft the helm seats and forward seating. The builder will customize the 30 FE’s hull colors, rod-holder placement, outriggers, livewell placement and engine-paint colors.
It was a great misfortune that the day I got aboard the Hunt Ocean 63, there was a bluebird sky with flat-calm seas off Bristol, Rhode Island.
The first thing you need to know about this boat is that her bottom is penned by Ray Hunt Design. C. Raymond Hunt, of course, invented the deep-V hull, which carries its wave-slicing deadrise all the way aft. Military and pilot boats use the deep-V design, and it is famed for its ability to slice and dice the rough stuff as if it were pond water. The Hunt Ocean 63 has a deadrise of 20 degrees at the transom, with quite a pedigree going on below the waterline.
The only lumps I could run the yacht through were her own wakes after churning up a mini maelstrom doing hard-over turns in two boat lengths at 20 knots. The hull did, however, fire right through those wakes without so much as a bump. So I’d project that if a prospective owner were to handle her on a rougher day, he’d be happy with the results.
The top speed I saw was 31 knots. We cruised at 27 knots, where her range is 390 nautical miles. Hunt says that at a slow cruise of 10 knots, she has a range of 1,000 nautical miles, about the distance between Greenwich, Connecticut (where this particular boat, Defiance, will live), and Jacksonville, Florida. Standard power is twin 1,000 hp Volvo Penta IPS1350s. Steering is smooth and agile. Carving S-turns through the water, I felt more like I was wheeling a 30-foot center-console than a motoryacht that displaces a cool 78,000 pounds dry.
But the spirit of the Hunt Ocean 63 is not simply summed up by her performance. The boat exudes a certain character, both timeless and livable. It’s akin to the love you can feel in a home built from the foundation by its owners. Seemingly everything aboard is overbuilt. That’s particularly true of the stainless-steel pieces, from the hinges on the watertight door to starboard of the lower helm, to the Muir windlass, to the cleats and rails. It all looks and feels chunky, solid and safe. And the welding is nearly flawless.
The main deck on the Hunt Ocean 63 is all one level, making it easy to maneuver in a seaway, as well as more comfortable for boaters who are getting on in years. Overhead handrails run the length of the space. They’re a safety feature that I always love to see.
The lower helm is forward and to starboard, and is uncluttered. Twin Stidd helm chairs face twin Garmin screens and Side-Power thruster controls. The windshield rises electrically to let breezes into the salon, heightening the immense feeling of space on the main deck as the yacht takes full advantage of its burly 18-foot beam. A forward-facing settee is opposite the helm to port. This is an optimal place to keep the captain company, particularly in a rousing seaway—trust me, on any boat, you’re going to want to be facing forward when it starts to blow.
The other main entertainment area is the flybridge (though the Hunt Ocean 63 also comes in an express-cruiser version). Defiance has an upper helm with twin Stidd chairs. A third is optional. Controls for the Humphree Interceptor trim tabs are within easy reach of the captain’s seat. Seakeeper gyrostabilizers are an option, though Defiance doesn’t have them because of weight considerations. The after end of the flybridge on Defiance is dominated by a barbecue setup that serves an L-shaped settee with a fixed dining table. A standard hardtop provides cover from the sun for nearly the entire area.
Down below, the galley is to port opposite a breakfast nook that, through the use of a creative sliding partition, can convert into a guest stateroom, with the starboard-side day head making it en suite. The forepeak VIP makes good use of the boat’s beam, which carries well forward. It’s so roomy, I initially thought I was in the master, which is actually located amidships abaft the washer and dryer. The master also benefits from the yacht’s beam and is notable for its stowage. I counted nine full-size drawers to port. The woodwork throughout the vessel is well-done but really shines on the accommodations level, where beautifully grained woods sit as snug as could be against one another.
The Hunt Ocean 63 is a boat designed by boaters, for boaters—particularly those looking to do long stays aboard. In my notes, I wrote, “You could stay here for a month.” With the interior volume, attention to detail, and slick and seaworthy hull, I have no doubt that you really could.
Take the next step: huntyachts.com
Benetti Yachts in Italy made the first public showing of the Oasis 40M at the Genoa Boat Show in early October.
The Oasis 40M, according to the builder, “offers a new take on the concept of a lifestyle yacht. The exteriors show the beach house as an elegant lounge on the biggest pool ever, the sea. The interior’s glamorous soul welcomes guests into spacious interiors that feature an elegant and sophisticated design.”
Specs on the Oasis 40M are a length overall just under 134 feet, a beam just shy of 28 feet, and a draft of 7 feet. Displacement is 310 tons, and range at 11 knots is reportedly 4,000 nautical miles.
Accommodations are for 10 guests in five staterooms, and there are quarters for nine crew in five cabins.
Who worked with Benetti Yachts on the Oasis 40M? Bonetti Kozerski Architecture handled interior design, and RWD did the exterior styling and concept.
For more information, visit: benettiyachts.it
Princess Yachts says its X80 is scheduled to debut in autumn 2021, following on the heels of the X95 and adding another model to the builder’s “superfly” X Class.
According to Princess Yachts, the X80′s “super flybridge” increases interior space by 30 percent when compared with a traditional flybridge yacht of the same length overall.
The X80 also is available with an optional main deck master stateroom that has a private sundeck.
“The X80 follows the X95′s open-living approach, defined by large distinctive spaces which flow into one another to offer the most versatile and accommodating experience, while keeping all Princess Yachts' familiar characteristics of quality in craftsmanship and materials, placing design and style at the forefront,” the company stated in a press release.
Who designed the Princess Yachts X80? The builder, in collaboration with the Olesinski naval architecture firm in the United Kingdom, and the Italian design house Pininfarina.
Take the next step: go to princessyachts.com