• <p>They may be loaded with family-friendly features, but many open boats are still fish chasers at heart.</p>
<p>Fifteen years ago magazine articles routinely referred to center consoles as “hard-core fishing machines”—overbuilt open boats with a couple of pedestal helm chairs or a leaning post, rod holders, a livewell, fishboxes, and a cooler. That was pretty much it.</p>
<p>How different the story line is today.</p>
<p>Center consoles now include sunpads, wraparound seating, wet bars, and barbecue grills—along with bigger consoles that house a head, berth, and sometimes a flat-screen television. The changes serve as a microcosm of boating’s metamorphosis to a multipurpose activity. Center console boats now offer something for the entire family, not just the anglers.</p>
<p>“Because the amount of time we all work is greater, when we find time outside of work we figure out how to use that family time in a way we are all together,” says Joan Maxwell, president of Regulator Marine. “Being in a boat provides that platform.” </p>
<p>Center console boats have gotten bigger, with a few models about 40 feet, and faster, with quad-outboard setups no longer a rarity. They can run offshore 100 miles or more and often do so burning less fuel than most diesel convertibles. Today’s center consoles may include plenty of seating and other amenities, but they still have the soul of a fishing boat—50-gallon live wells, outriggers, insulated fishboxes, dry rod stowage, and more.</p>
<p>And it’s not just the larger boats that have gone through a metamorphosis. Smaller models also offer more in the way of performance, comfort, electronics, and fishing features than earlier generations.</p>

    Center Consoles

    They may be loaded with family-friendly features, but many open boats are still fish chasers at heart. Fifteen years ago magazine articles routinely referred to center consoles as “hard-core fishing machines”—overbuilt open boats with a couple of pedestal helm chairs or a leaning post, rod holders, a livewell, fishboxes, and...

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  • <p>The relaxation of a cruise is very nice. Picture your family lounging in the cockpit in a secluded anchorage on a warm summer afternoon—perhaps you’re dozing between paragraphs of a book you’ve long wanted to read. The reason you’re so able to relax? Chances are your boat was built to do something else. The hull was built robustly enough to stand up to wild offshore seas in a squall, and get you home safely. The helm electronics do more than just play your favorite tunes on an entertainment system—they can track your position accurately, even in dense fog and driving rain. And those engines can do more than just putt-putt-putt into that sandy lagoon to drop the hook. When push comes to shove, you push them and they respond.</p>
<p>Now you’re getting to the heart of the convertible, a type of sportfishing boat that was built to do everything offshore fishermen ask of her—which is a lot—and also provide comfortable accommodations, a cockpit the size of a squash court, and a galley and saloon so well suited for entertaining you may forget why you brought all those fishing rods along.</p>
<p>But then it’s time to head out to the grounds.</p>
<p>Wave-cleaving bows and smoothly shaped running surfaces let the denizens of the engine room do their thing. And oh, those engines: growling, snorting, barely caged diesel beasts, straining at their mounts. And lately they’ve been mated to pod propulsion and other systems that allow for improved maneuverability.
All that power and capability lets you chase fish all over creation, if you want. Or you can just relax. </p>

    Convertibles

    The relaxation of a cruise is very nice. Picture your family lounging in the cockpit in a secluded anchorage on a warm summer afternoon—perhaps you’re dozing between paragraphs of a book you’ve long wanted to read. The reason you’re so able to relax? Chances are your boat was built to...

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  • <p>The Down East express cruiser is anything but a converted lobster boat. Sure they have a traditional, classic profile, but these boats are built with modern materials and methods—resin infusion, cored decks and hulls - and are powered with the latest propulsion systems, including pod drives, and joystick controls.</p>
<p>Simple and clean, the Down East express has a proud bow and a tall rail surrounding a foredeck with a raised trunk cabin. A windshield and side windows join a hardtop, and wide side decks lead to a cockpit that’s usually large and elegantly appointed. Varnished wood - perhaps a faux wood material - dominates the interior, and the cockpit and cabin soles usually are teak and holly. Hinckley, Hunt, Sabre, Back Cove, and Palm Beach Yachts are good examples.</p>
<p>“The technology over the past 30 years has changed dramatically,” Hunt Yachts president Peter Van Lancker says. “The standard of everything built has increased in that regard.”</p>
<p>Despite the significant evolution that has taken place from lobster boat to lobster yacht, contemporary Down Easters still harken back to their workboat roots, if only in certain design and styling clues. “People really respond to that feeling, emotionally, of themselves going to sea,” says Michael Arieta, executive vice president of The Hinckley Company.</p>
<p>Down East express builders don’t sacrifice rough-water capability for overly commodious interiors. These boats are designed to get the crew and passengers to their destination comfortably and, if need be, quickly. Once the boat’s tied up, everyone on board can enjoy the creature comforts of a modern cruiser.</p>

    Down East

    The Down East express cruiser is anything but a converted lobster boat. Sure they have a traditional, classic profile, but these boats are built with modern materials and methods—resin infusion, cored decks and hulls - and are powered with the latest propulsion systems, including pod drives, and joystick controls. Simple...

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  • <p>Looking for a boat that can do just about everything? Look no further than these fun, versatile cruisers.</p><p>A boat can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people, but for many, boating mainly means family fun. Load up the kids, grab the wife, strap a doggie life vest on Fido, and away you go, master of your own ship. For a versatile vessel that can accommodate the whole crew, you’ve got to check out this batch of express cruisers, which are at the top of their class for fun, luxury, and performance.</p><p>Whether you want a roomy layout with the bonus of a nice turn of speed like the Princess V72, a slick, statement-maker like the Riva Virtus (shown here),or something a little bit easier to handle such as the Atlantis 38, this class of boat has it all. They’ve got enough power to give dad a thrill, enough amenities and cabin space to make mom at home, and their sizable outdoor area is perfect for the kids. Oh, and if you’re not in family mode at the moment, these boats also make for great places to entertain, since they often have social spaces indoors, aft on the cockpit, and also on the bow. And on a warm day, you won’t have any trouble filling all those spaces.</p>

    Express Cruisers

    Looking for a boat that can do just about everything? Look no further than these fun, versatile cruisers.A boat can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people, but for many, boating mainly means family fun. Load up the kids, grab the wife, strap a doggie...

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  • <p>When baby boomers wanting to have distance-cruising adventures began to take to the water in earnest four decades ago, the popular notion was that seaworthy, efficient trawlers and sailboats were the only place to look for a proper voyaging boat. These days, well-found power vessels have come to the fore, welcomed by a rapidly growing group of new owners who are interested in boat types as varied as their cruising plans. <p>
<p>Builders are quick to acknowledge that there are vast differences in the intended itineraries and destinations of today’s distance cruisers. Some owners dream of ocean passages to distant lands or island paradises, while other prefer explorations along the coast of the U.S. and Canada. Still others are interested in open-water voyaging closer to home, to Alaska, the Caribbean, Newfoundland, or Mexico. A number of people plan to do the Great Loop, an extended cruise on inland waterways and canals, as well as the protected waters of the Intracoastal Waterway, that allows a circumnavigation of the eastern half of our country. </p>
<p>What all these owners have in common is a love of the cruising-under-power lifestyle, a powerful combination that targets quality of life, self-sufficiency, economy of operation, modern conveniences, and true liveaboard comfort. To that end, builders will provide bow and stern thrusters or pod drives for easier handling around the docks. They’ve selected clean-burning, fuel-efficient single or twin diesels for greater range and economy, and for speed when it is desired. And they provide a wide range of home-like comfort and conveniences to make distance-cruising more enjoyable than ever before.</p>

    Long Distance Cruisers

    When baby boomers wanting to have distance-cruising adventures began to take to the water in earnest four decades ago, the popular notion was that seaworthy, efficient trawlers and sailboats were the only place to look for a proper voyaging boat. These days, well-found power vessels have come to the fore,...

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  • <p>What cruiser wouldn’t ask for more if they thought they could get it? A secluded anchorage could become a secluded anchorage all to yourself. A long offshore cruise would be a long offshore cruise with fair winds and current. And a motoryacht could be a spacious, efficient, speedy motoryacht.</p>
<p>Thanks to developments in boat construction, propulsion systems, and yacht design, the motoryachts that are launching these days go a long way to scratching the cruiser’s itch. Yacht designers understand the importance of natural light and airy spaces for people to enjoy belowdecks, such as on the Absolute 72 with her huge hullside windows, and many others. By the same token they have grown more adept at concealing the rigging and machinery that keeps boaters safe and comfortable. And they’re more than just comfortable: Naval architects are creating hull shapes that slip through the water with the greatest of ease.</p>
<p>The art and science of boat construction today opens a world of possibilities for sturdier, lighter hulls. Strides in building techniques mean craftsmen practice their trades more comfortably and therefore do better work. One example is at Monte Carlo Yachts in Monfalcone, Italy, where interiors for the MCY 65 are constructed completely independently of the hull and deck, and then put in place as a single piece.</p>
<p>And then there are the latest options for engine setup. In some cases, pod propulsion is the solution, as on the Marquis 630 and others, with maneuverability that’s hard to top and a space-saving engine-room arrangement. Still others, such as Maritimo with its M58, are using conventional shafts and props, but in ways that make them more efficient than they’ve ever been. In the following pages, you may see a few motoryachts that make you stop and think, I can have more.</p>

    Motoryachts

    What cruiser wouldn’t ask for more if they thought they could get it? A secluded anchorage could become a secluded anchorage all to yourself. A long offshore cruise would be a long offshore cruise with fair winds and current. And a motoryacht could be a spacious, efficient, speedy motoryacht. Thanks...

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