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NOR-TECH 340 SPORT / SAILFISH 360 CC / REGULATOR 26XO
JEANNEAU LEADER 7.5 CC / MALIBU WAKESETTER 20 VTX
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L U X U RY S P O R T I N M OT I O N

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REMEMBER to always observe all applicable boating laws. Never drink and drive. Dress properly with a USCG-approved personal floatation device and protective gear.
© 2020 Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. All rights reserved. 1-866-894-1626
Your time on the water is precious. You return, season after season to make unforgettable memories, fight a few fish,
reconnect with friends and re-center yourself. If you count on having this time, you need an outboard you can count
on to power it. That’s why boaters choose Yamaha for the long run. For life. Because reliability starts here.
02.20
BOATINGMAG.COM
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020

F
FEATURES

ILLUSTRATION: TIM BOWER

P.106

ON THE COVER BOAT OF THE YEAR ARE YOU IN GOOD FLYBRIDGE VS.
The Regulator 26XO is We tested hundreds of HANDS? EXPRESS
designed and built to fish boats and selected the Here are 12 boat-insurance We pit two Viking 38s
the skinny water inshore or one category-buster to details every boater against each other to
run offshore to the blue win the crown. Who won needs to ask about before see which style is best
water with equal ability this year? they buy. for you.
BY KEVIN FALVEY BY KEVIN FALVEY BY PETER FREDERIKSEN
and aplomb.
Photo by Bill Doster P.104 P.106 P.112
MEET THE LEGEND
FEBRUARY 13-17, 2020 / B TENT: B229

T H E L E G E N D L I V E S O N • B L AC K F I N B OAT S.C O M

212 CC 242 CC 242 DC 272CC 272DC 332 CC


02.20 MOTORHEAD P.100
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C ELECTRONICS P.122
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CERTIFIED
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P.80 SAILFISH
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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Kevin Falvey
DEPUTY EDITOR Pete McDonald
ELECTRONICS AND WEST COAST EDITOR Jim Hendricks
PRESENTS
MANAGING EDITOR Sue Whitney
WATERSPORTS DIRECTOR Garrett Cortese
ART DIRECTOR Ryan Swanson
STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Jon Whittle
SENIOR COPY EDITOR Nicole Paskowsky
EDITOR-AT-LARGE, FISHING AND MARINE GROUPS Randy Vance

MISS CONTRIBUTORS Chris Caswell, Dean Travis Clarke, Capt. Vincent Daniello,
Bill Doster, Ken Englert, Michael Folkerts, Peter Frederiksen,

JANUARY/
Joe Friedman, Steve Griffin, Michael “Mick” Hannock,
Jeff Hemmel, Forest Johnson, Tom King,
Craig Kotilinek, John Linn, Charles Plueddeman,

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JEANNETTE H. / REGULATOR 26XO
ILLUSTRATORS Tim Barker, Tim Bower, Colin Hayes
GROUP PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Rina Murray
ASSOCIATE PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Kelly Weekley
PRODUCTION MANAGER/ARTIST Pete Coffin

VICE PRESIDENT / MANAGING DIRECTOR


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EDITORIAL By Kevin Falvey

BA H A M AS B O U N D
N o w i s a g r e a t t i m e to c r u i s e to t h e B a h a m a s .

D
ionisio D’Aguilar, currently a member of Parliament and minister of tourism for the Bahamas,
and formerly a foreign consul for that nation as well as a private-sector CEO, possesses the
worldly, confident mien and dignified air one would expect of a high-government official. But
when I asked D’Aguilar what message he most wanted to communicate to Boating’s readership and digital
audiences, the cloak of stateliness dropped, revealing the earnest mantle of sincerity.
“The Bahamas is open for business.”
D’Aguilar acknowledged that Abaco, in the northern section of the That’s good news for boaters,
archipelago nation’s territory, suffered immensely following Hurricane whether they run their own
Dorian. Expanding, he noted relief efforts underway and stated boats across the Gulf Stream to
that more aid is still needed and welcome. In fact, I caught up to the visit the Bahamas or fly in and
minister just prior to his attendance at a fundraiser for One Bahamas cruise aboard a chartered boat.
(onebahamasfund.org). But he also emphatically reminded me that the
Bahamas is a chain of 500 islands stretching from offshore southeast Florida to near Hispaniola. In short,
there remains myriad opportunities to cruise the Bahamas. That’s good news for boaters, whether they run
their own boats across the Gulf Stream to visit the islands or fly in and cruise aboard a chartered boat.
Even in the hardest-hit areas, boating already shows signs of rebounding. Raul Bermudez, vice president
of charter for MarineMax, which operates facilities in the Bahamas, offers an encouraging message for
GIVING cruising boaters.
SAFELY
Scan this tag
“The Abaco Beach Resort fuel dock is open.  Our MarineMax Vacations operation does not have
or visit this link a set date yet. The resort will be 100 percent operational by April 2020 for a big fishing tournament
to confidently
hosted there,” he said.
make relief
donations for Bermudez adds that MarineMax will be evaluating the cruising area in January (while you are reading
the Bahamas: this) to determine when the company’s fleet of power catamarans will be returning for charter duty.
samaritans
purse.com. Just how bad is it in Abaco? According to Duane Kuck, president of Regal Marine Industries, the
devastation is catastrophic. The Kucks have family ties in the Bahamas and have been chartering aircraft to
fly in supplies. Kuck recommends Samaritan’s Purse as a relief agency to which one can donate.
While Abaco recovers, the Out Islands (Bimini, Eleuthera, Crooked Island, the Exumas and more) are in
full swing. Also open are Nassau, Paradise Island and Grand Bahama Island. Air service should be restored
by the time of this publication. So, ready your boat and plan your trip—there are plenty of reasons to cruise
to the Bahamas right now.

Kevin Falvey, Editor-in-Chief


editor@boatingmag.com

2 2 | B O AT I N G M A G . C O M | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0
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BOATINGMAG.COM
CAPTAIN’S TEST / NEWS

FIRST IMPRESSION

GEAR HEAD / 5 THINGS

S C AN ME
To read the full
interview online,
scan this tag or
go to boatingmag
.com/lou-codega.

Lou Codega is a celebrated naval architect perhaps best


Lou known for designing smooth-handling, sweet-riding recre-

Codega ational fishing boats for the likes of Regulator Marine, Seeman
Composites, Carolina Classic and others. He’s considered
one of the best in the business at getting the most out of the
Naval deep-V hull form. We caught up with Codega on a recent sea
Architect trial of the new Regulator 26XO. —John Page Williams

What is most important in designing fishing boats? as sharp, so there is more twist in the hull bottom. The
I want to make them controllable, predictable, safe and transition is key—how much and where to change the shape.
efficient, especially in rough seas. Safety is particularly Getting it right is a blend of engineering science and experi-
important when families are involved. ence. And yes, there’s art too, but it’s not like I guess.

What is different about Regulator’s new 26XO? Are you bored yet, drawing fishing boats?
PHOTO: JAY FLEMING

The 26XO is a versatile design, at home in the shallows but I learn constantly, even when I run a hull I’ve drawn, like
still capable in reasonable offshore waters. The transom my own 23 Offshore Flyaway. I watch a wave coming, how
deadrise is shallower than in Regulator’s offshore hulls it runs under the hull, how the structure responds, what’s
(17  degrees vs. 24 degrees), but the bow deadrise is nearly moving, what’s not. It’s kind of a Zen.

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INDUS or bottles cold in place while
on your boat. underway.

COLEMAN TOADFISH YETI


LOUNGER KOOZIE NON-TIPPING CAN RAMBLER COLSTER

PHOTOS: (FROM TOP) GARRETT CORTESE, COURTESY COLEMAN, COURTESY YETI,


COOLER
THE CHILL: Made of THE CHILL: Designed to
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double-walled and vacuum- cup holders? The Toadfish cans, this stainless-steel
features a suction cup under- drink holder is double-

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sealed, the Coleman touts
a sweat-resistant exterior neath that keeps it in place walled with vacuum
body and a grippy bottom, and upright while cruising. insulation to keep your
built a first- rate reputation, so it doesn’t slide around It’s also double-walled and beverage chilled. The
providing expertise that’s second to on deck. Flexible interior vacuum-sealed, and has a load-and-lock gasket twists
none. You’ll get custom-tailored gripper fins hold cans and rubber locking gasket to keep to keep the can securely in
bottles in place while you’re cans and bottles in place. place. It fits in standard
insurance — agreed value hull,
keeping your beverage cool cup holders.
liability and special coverage, plus THE SPILL: The slim-can
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personalized service and rates that adapter is an option. THE SPILL: The fit for a
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12-ounce can is so snug that
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ONLINE
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INSURANCE
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TIPS!
Member: Professional Insurance Agents Association It’s boat-show season, and if you’re
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Toll Free: 800-962-5659 tips to get the best show experience
Fax: 516-704-2285 • Web: www.totaldollar.com and the best deal. Go to boatingmag
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The new 345 Walkaround. All the luxury of a larger yacht.
Now available in a smaller version.
The 345 Walkaround is a smaller version of the yacht you’ve dreamed of owning but big on features. With a galley,
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u-shaped settee maximizes space and includes a hi-low table that can become a filler at the touch of a button. For
easy access to the water, a dive door features a fold-out ladder while an aft-facing seat beside the helm console and larger
seating inspire interaction. A folding rear seat even disappears for more space when you’re battling the fish. In other words, it’s
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MAKING WAVES /// C A P TA I N ’ S T E S T / N E W S

WINTER for 15 minutes, ensuring it gets into


the engine. Tilt the outboard/drive
BLAHS all the way down. Cover the boat
and engine.
So, it’s wintertime. Your D. A and B
boat is covered and E. None of the above
asleep (northern readers),
or resting and waiting for 4. You’ve put your boat on the trailer and
those occasional warm, notice that after a couple of weeks
sitting, it’s still dripping water from
sunny days when you somewhere along the keel line. What
can ride. What are some is your next move?
things you can do in the A. Nothing. It’s normal for boats to drip
meantime? —John Tiger water all winter.
(Answers on page 30)
B. It’s likely you have some hull damage
that is allowing water to drip out. Get
under the trailer and check out the
keel and hull. If you have damage,
schedule time with a qualified repair
shop for inspection.
1. You live in the South, and your season A. Stand guard with a varmint rifle. C. Put a bucket under the hull to catch
has just slowed. Your boat is not win- B. Keep mouse/rodent traps in the drips.
terized. What should you do to keep your boat. D. B and C
it ready? C. Put boxes of mothballs in the interior. E. All of the above

PHOTOS: (FROM TOP) COURTESY YAMAHA, COURTESY MERCURY MARINE


A. Keep a trickle charger on the battery D. Keep your boat indoors in a controlled
so it’s ready to crank. environment. 5. The offseason is when marinas slow
B. Keep the outboard tilted all the way E. B, C and D down. Is this a good time to go in and
down so if it does freeze, there’s no F. None of the above schedule repairs and service?
water in the gear case to freeze and A. No, don’t bother them. They’re in
potentially crack it. 3. You’ve taken your outboard boat to winter mode, which means time off
C. Trailer it around the block a few times the river for a short midwinter ride and sleep.
with the cover on. on a nice warm day. After, what is the B. Yes. This is the best time because they’re
D. A and B minimum you should do to keep it OK slower and welcome offseason work.
E. None of the above until your next outing? C. No. Schedule all your repairs for late
A. Nothing. It needs no maintenance. spring, just as the season hits. You’re
2. What should you do to ensure that no B. Drain the lubricant and leave it empty sure to get the best response then.
rodents or other pests make a home for the winter. D. A or B, depending on the dealer and
in your boat in the offseason? C. Run fuel conditioner in the fuel supply the locale; best to call and check first.

A HELPING HAND Mercury engines, such as


Nor-Tech, MTI, Fountain
FOR THE BAHAMAS and Outer Limits, posted
photos of their employees
Like everyone in the for the T-shirt grew so fast in the T-shirt to Facebook
boating community, the that Mercury had to print and Instagram, inspiring
people who work for more and extend the sales their customers to buy the
Mercury Marine were sad- time into November. shirt. Sales of the shirt,
dened to see the devasta- “The generosity of ev- which features a map of the
tion wrought by Hurricane eryone who purchased the Bahamas on the front and
Dorian in the Bahamas last shirt, many of whom were the Bahamian flag on the
September. So, Mercury inspired by some outstand- back, raised over $15,000 for
started selling a T-shirt on ing social media engage- Hurricane Dorian relief.
its website, mercurydock ment by Mercury’s partners, Our friends in the
store.com, promising to made this fundraising effort Bahamas still need our
donate the profits to the a big success,” says Michelle help, so if you didn’t buy the
Hurricane Dorian relief Dauchy, Mercury Marine’s shirt, consider donating to
efforts of the American Red chief marketing officer. Hurricane Dorian relief at
Cross. Customer demand Boatbuilders who use redcross.org. —P.M.

2 8 | B O AT I N G M A G . C O M | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0
DESIGNED FOR THE ONES THAT
REFUSE TO COMPROMISE

32cc: YOUR NEXT BIG CATCH


When you’re at the helm of our 32cc Tournament Edition, you’re always
poised to reel in your next big catch. With its 60 gal. XL tournament
pressurized livewell centered on the transom and three independently
macerated and insulated fish boxes, all that’s missing is some live bait and a
few lucky friends.

VIS I T BE LZONA B OATS .CO M FOR M ORE IN FO


MAKING WAVES /// N E W S

FLYING
ON THE
WATER
If there’s an activity that
involves riding a board on
the water, I’m all in. But most
board sports are depen-
dent on waves generated
by the ocean or boats, and
sometimes it’s hard to find
access to either. So, when
I recently got to test-ride
the Fliteboard, an electric-
powered hydrofoil, I loved
that I had all the power I
needed to ride under my feet.
The Fliteboard is powered activates the Newton-Rader
by a marine battery em- propeller mounted on the
bedded in the board’s body, foil. You can use your thumb
inside a patent-pending to increase or decrease the
waterproof compartment. thrust to control the board’s
The rider holds a magnetic speed. Choose between a
remote-control leash that “cruiser wing” foil for more
stable riding and a “flyer
wing” foil for more advanced trick riding. ride with just the foil’s wings
The Fliteboard has three gliding through the water. It
body styles—the standard was a blast. I rode for an hour
model, the Pro for advanced and had a ton of fun learning
riders, and the Air. I got to carve and playing around
the opportunity to test the in small boat wakes. The next
super-stable Air, which has a step? Big waves and faster
body like an inflatable stand- speeds. The Fliteboard can
up paddleboard, perfect for reach 28 mph and typically
beginners. After a five-minute lasts for 90 minutes before it
tutorial, we hit the water, and needs recharging.
I was able to stand up on the The only drawbacks? The
board and start cruising on board tends to glide away
the first try. It took about 10 from you when you fall, and
minutes to learn to work the its current price puts it most-
foil by adjusting my weight ly in the domain of yacht
on my front or back foot. owners looking for the next
Once I mastered that, I could awesome toy. $12,935; flite
elevate the board’s body and board.com —Pete McDonald

C A P TA I N ’S chance of a freeze. 4. D. B and C are the be open. Some welcome these


T E ST best answers, and northern dealers types of jobs.
(Answers from page 28) 2. E. B, C and D are especially C if your close up shop and
PHOTOS: COURTESY FLITEBOARD

1. D. Trickle charging all good ideas to boat is kept in the go south for the CAPTAIN’S
will help ensure a keep pests away. garage. winter. But typi- TESTS ONLINE
hot battery when cally, wintertime Test your knowledge
you want to use it. 3. C. This is the best 5. D. Depending on is best for major of boating with more
Keeping water out practice to keep the local dealer’s work because Captain’s Tests at
of the engine is a your boat ready practice and when dealers are gen- boatingmag.com/
must if there’s any for your next ride. it may or may not erally slower and captains-test.

3 0 | B O AT I N G M A G . C O M | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0
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FI
FIRST
IMPRESSION
By Kevin Falvey

INTREPID
345 WALKAROUND
A new boat inspired by customer
requests for roomy overnight accom-
modations in a smaller model is Intrepid
Powerboats’ 345 Walkaround. “Our goal
was to take luxury features from our
larger cabin models and create a mini
yacht with the 345 Walkaround,” says
Ken Clinton, president of Intrepid.
With its galley, head with shower,
and a large forward berth area, the
345 Walkaround offers comfortable swing-in dive door with folding ladder twin or triple outboards to 1,350 hp. It
overnight digs. Note that the forward makes water access easy, and anglers runs on Intrepid’s transverse step hull
berth converts to a U-shaped settee that will appreciate the abovedecks corner and starts at $390,000.
includes a high-low table. livewells and a folding rear seat that
· LOA: 34'6" · BEAM: 10'6" · DRAFT: 24 degrees · DISPLACEMENT:
An ideal dayboat as well, the 345 provides more cockpit space. 15,000 lb. · FUEL CAPACITY: 320 gal.
Walkaround features an aft-facing seat The 345 Walkaround can be custom-
I N T R E P I D P O W E R B O AT S
beside the helm console. A hullside styled and rigged with your choice of Largo, Florida; 954-922-7544; intrepidboats.com

STINGRAY
225 SE
Stingray Boats’ 225 SE delivers the
nimble handling, smooth acceleration
and unobstructed transom boaters expect
from sterndrive-powered sportboats.
The 225 SE features a classic layout
that starts with two richly upholstered
swiveling seats behind its sleek wind-
PHOTOS: (FROM TOP ) COURTESY INTREPID POWERBOATS,

shield. Aft, crew relax on a comfortable


bench lounge. Stowage is readily available
under the gunwales, and oversize drink
holders are in place. Forward, V-shaped
bow seating works for reclining or facing system, and three-year blister-protection hull. Look for more details coming soon
each other, and offers easy access to the plan leading the long standard equipment about the new 225 SE.
COURTESY STINGRAY BOATS

anchor locker. All upholstery consists of list, value is ensured.


· LOA: 22'11" · BEAM: 8'4" · DRAFT: 2'9" · DISPLACEMENT:
stain-resistant nano-blocking vinyl. Aft, Offered at $61,000 with a 300 hp Volvo 3,364 lb. · FUEL CAPACITY: 56 gal.
the walk-through to the swim platform Penta Duoprop sterndrive, the 225 SE
S T I N G R AY B O A T S
can be filled with a standard cushion. runs on Stingray’s proprietary Z-Plane Hartsville, South Carolina; 843-383-4507; stingrayboats.com
With power steering, a stainless-steel
ski tow eye, automatic fire-extinguishing

3 2 | B O AT I N G M A G . C O M | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0
PREMIUM PERFORMANCE
EVEN WITH THE ENGINES OFF
Yamaha Boats set the standard for reliability, versatility and craftsmanship. Thanks to Yamaha’s
unique engineless design that enhances drivers’ experience both on and off the boat, every model
delivers a sense of freedom and confidence that can’t be enjoyed anywhere else. Powered by
legendary Yamaha Marine Engines, the 2020 lineup of Yamaha Boats gives owners the ability to do
anything they want with their time on the water.

# R U N T H E WAT E R

YA M A H A B OAT S . C O M
GH
GEAR HEAD

SLIP-ON SHOES UPF 50 BUCKET HAT


Here is the ideal boating hat. It’s light-
Full-grain leather uppers and suede interior leather make
PHOTOS: COURTESY SUZUKI MARINE (PROP),

weight, fast-drying, floatable and ventilated,


these shoes not just cozy-comfortable but also long-
with a perfectly adjustable, one-size-fits-all
wearing and suitable for business wear. Casco Bay shoes
hatband for a comfortable fit. Its UPF 50
GARRETT CORTESE (SHOES, HAT)

are hand-stitched and only get more comfortable with age


rating means it provides the best possible
as the leather is conditioned by wear. So, as you keep those
sun protection, and when you don’t need it,
nonmarring, oiled leather-upper shoes tap dancing away
roll it and tuck it in a hip pocket. It’ll look
on your deck—without leaving a mark—they get ever
just fine the next time you wear it. $29.99;
more comfortable. $89.99; llbean.com
westmarine.com

3 4 | B O AT I N G M A G . C O M | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0
YETI CROSSROADS
BACKPACK 23
This streamlined version of the
Panga 28 is far more convenient
on boats, planes and automobiles.
Now with exterior water-bottle
pockets that magnetically collapse
when empty, the bag is sleek while
carrying nearly as much as the
Panga 28, with interior bottle hold-
ers. A padded, zippered pocket on
the top holds pens, earbuds, a flask
and meds for easy access. A larger
MARINCO EEL compartment holds a laptop and
PIGTAIL ADAPTER books, and there’s an additional
A part of the EEL shore-power connector pocket for 10-inch tablets.
system, Marinco’s P504-30 pigtail adapter lets $199.99; yeti.com
you connect from a 50-amp dockside recepta-
cle to a 30-amp boatside inlet or power cord. STAR BRITE PREMIUM
The EEL (Easily Engaged Lock) adapters are RESTORER WAX
fully molded and equipped with Marinco’s Star brite’s Premium Restorer
unique sealing collar and covers for use in Wax is designed to produce
wet locations. UL-approved, the EEL patent- professional-grade results, even by
ed jaw-clamp design provides one-handed op- first-time users. It safely removes
eration and a secure, waterproof seal, which medium to heavy oxidation when
completely eliminates the need for a locking applied by hand or with a buffer.
ring. $159.03; wholesalemarine.com Special polymers and UV inhibi-

GARRETT CORTESE (BACKPACK AND WAX), COURTESY SATPAQ, COURTESY HRC


tors seal and protect the restored
surface from stains and fading.
Afterward, an annual application

PHOTOS: (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT) COURTESY MARINCO,


of Star brite Premium Marine
Polish will help keep the boat
looking its best. $18.99 per
16-ounce bottle; overtons.com

SATPAQ SATELLITE
MESSENGER FOR
SMARTPHONES
SatPaq from Higher Ground is a
clip-on smartphone accessory that
enables pay-as-you-go messaging
HRC ROD RACK by satellite. It utilizes geostation-
HRC’s two-part, vertical wall-mount rod rack ary satellites for faster and less
accommodates up to six fishing rods to keep expensive communication than
them organized. The interlocking design allows using low-Earth-orbit satellites. In
you to connect multiple rod-rack sets. Made of addition to two-way text messag-
durable ABS plastic, the 16-inch-wide rod rack ing, SatPaq allows users to access
is easy to set up, and the base section secures location-based weather services;
the rod butts with EVA foam grips. All mount- on-demand, artificial-intelligence-
ing hardware is included, as is a bonus stain- guided first-aid advice; and 24/7
less-steel fish dehooker. $19.99; amazon.com emergency assistance from any-
where. $249 plus messaging fees;
satpaq.com

3 6 | B O AT I N G M A G . C O M | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0
MAKING WAVES /// 5 T H I N G S

FIVE THINGS YOU


DON’T WANT TO
DISCOVER UNDER A bunch

YOUR WINTER A family of


of
clowns
beavers
SHRINK-WRAP

That
chum
brick you
forgot
5
THINGS
A puddle
about

ILLUSTRATIONS: COLIN HAYES


A mutant
fungal MORE THAN 5
colony See more humorous things at boatingmag.com/
five-things.

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Some discounts, coverages, payment plans and features are not available in all states, in all GEICO companies, or in all situations. Boat and PWC coverages are underwritten by GEICO Marine Insurance Company. In the state of CA, program
provided through Boat Association Insurance Services, license #0H87086. GEICO is a registered service mark of Government Employees Insurance Company, Washington, DC 20076; a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary. © 2019 GEICO
I LEARNED ABOUT BOATING FROM THIS …

as I pushed us off and jumped onto the bow, my


wife inquired about water in the bilge.
In my rush to get us out on the lake, I had
A P R E PA R E D B OAT E R neglected to put the transom drain plug in. At
this point, we had drifted several yards off-
I S A SA F E B OAT E R shore. I grabbed the paddle and got us back to
the ramp, got everyone off the boat, and ran to
Even old pros can learn from this new get the trailer. The boat was so heavy, I could
boater’s experience. not crank it onto the trailer. Thankfully, several
other boaters came to my rescue and pushed the

I
was excited to launch my brand-new 15-foot MFG Skiff at our
local lake back in 1984. I thought I had taken every precaution
to ensure a safe maiden launch that sunny July morning. My
wife had packed a picnic lunch, and both my daughter Deb,
age 9, and son Rich, age 5, were thrilled at the thought of catching
a few sand bass. I brought life jackets for everyone, fishing licens-
es for the wife and me, fishing
In my rush to get us rods, minnows for bait, plenty
out on the lake, I had of fuel for the Mercury 25XD
outboard, a weather radio, and
neglected to put the an ice chest for the catch.
transom drain plug in. I thought it would be best to
load the wife, kids and fishing
gear in the boat, and back the trailer down the ramp to make it easier
ILLUSTRATION: TIM BOWER; PHOTO: COURTESY WEST MARINE

to get us on the water fast. Everything went smoothly, and the boat
slipped off the trailer with no effort. I attached a line to the front cleat
and gently pulled the boat onto a sandy spot adjacent to the ramp so
that I could park the van and trailer. Then I returned to the boat, and

WANTED: YOUR STORIES Share your boating mistakes and mishaps so that your fellow
boaters might learn from your experience. Send us your first-person accounts, including
what went wrong, what you’d do differently, your name and your city, to editor@boatingmag
.com and use “ILAB” in the subject line. If your experience is selected, we’ll send you a $100
West Marine gift card.

4 0 | B O AT I N G M A G . C O M | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0
boatingsafetymag.com/boatingsafety
SEAMANSHIP By Jim Hendricks

the rpm exceeds the max rating at a range of cruising speeds. Most
(perhaps even bumping the rev outboards offer the best mpg at
limiter), it’s underpropped. 3,500 to 4,000 rpm, gas inboards
Having said this, we’ve tested a and sterndrives at 2,500 to 3,000,
number of lightly loaded new and diesel inboards at 1,800 to
boats that rev slightly over the 2,100 rpm. Multiply mpg by fuel
limit at wide-open throttle, and capacity to calculate your range.
so appear to be underpropped.
This is intentional on the boat- PLANE ON ONE ENGINE If
builder’s part. Once the boat is you’re sea-trialing a twin-engine

P OW E R laden with crew, fuel and gear,


revs come down to within the
outboard or sterndrive, shut one
engine down and tilt it up, then

POINTERS
rated rpm zone. see if the boat will plane on one
motor. This will tell you how
TOP-END SPEED While at quickly you’d be able to get home
Judging a propulsion system during a sea trial. WOT, check top speed. Velocity if one engine or drive goes kaput.
might not be all-important to
Boat-show season is here. Time to you, but you will have a strong MINIMUM PLANING SPEED
look at new boats and perhaps con- idea of what to expect. If the top Having a low planing speed can
speed disappoints, talk to your be helpful when bumpy seas
duct a sea trial. We’ve written more dealer about ways to boost top- force you to slow down. Plan-
than once about sea-trialing boats. end, such as power upgrades, ing at a lower speed keeps fuel

TIP
But let’s focus here on efficiency, hamper watersports,
propulsion, one of the most and decrease safety in nasty seas. Take into account the load a boat is carrying, including
fuel and passengers, during a sea trial. Remember, a
important performance factors. Over-propping—turning pro-
relatively empty boat will display better speed and fuel
How do you judge the propulsion pellers with too much pitch—also
efficiency than when laden with a real-life load.
system? Here are eight facets to hurts hole shot. Propping is easi-
consider as you sea-trial a boat. er to fix than insufficient power,
but either way, you need to know different props or, with out- efficiency higher versus slogging
HOLE SHOT Not all powerboats what’s at play before moving boards, changing the mounting it out at displacement speed. So,
require head-snapping acceler- ahead with the buying process. height of the engines. try to see how slow you can go
ation, but neither should they and still keep the boat on plane.
struggle to climb on plane. You TOP-END RPM Once you get a TROLLING SPEED Do you like For V-hulls, planing at 15 knots
want a crisp hole shot, and this is feel for the handling and have  a to slow-troll for fish? If so, make is good; at 12 knots, consider the
largely a seat-of-the-pants feel. clear runway, ask the dealer if sure the engine(s) moves the performance stellar.
Measuring the time to plane can you can briefly peg the throttles boat at the low speed you need.
be somewhat subjective, depend- to see what kind of rpm you get If it’s too fast at dead idle, think PERFORMANCE IN REVERSE
ing on when you perceive the hull at wide-open throttle (WOT). about another power choice or Boats often need to back up,
breaks to plane. Pontoons and The engine(s) should rev up to adding an auxiliary outboard for usually when docking. See how
step hulls are especially hard to or near the maximum rpm rat- slow-trolling. responsive the boat is in reverse,
PHOTO: (TOP LEFT) COURTESY SUZUKI

gauge but, generally, it should be ing. You might need to trim up or if it “crabs” to one side when
less than eight seconds. the outboard(s) or drive(s) to FUEL EFFICIENCY Find out backing up. This demo will re-
You’ll know a sluggish hole achieve max revs. This will tell what kind of miles per gallon to veal maneuverability quirks
shot when it occurs, and this you whether or not the propping expect—it’s easy to do with new and might lead you to consider
often points to an underpowered is correct. If the rpm falls short, boats that have digital helm dis- a joystick control system or bow
hull. It only gets worse as you the boat is likely over-propped. If plays. Take note of fuel economy thruster to make docking easier.
add gear and passengers. An
underpowered boat can hurt fuel

4 2 | B O AT I N G M A G . C O M | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0
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CHANGE YOUR
FILTER It is im-
portant to change
oil and fuel filters
regularly. Removing
BOAT an oil filter helps oil

Q&A
flow faster.
DOCTOR
BOATINGMAG.COM
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020

BOAT DOCTOR /// Q&A

Q:LOWER-UNIT
QUESTION
I run a 2003 130 hp Honda four-stroke with about 500 hours
on it. I do most simple maintenance myself (engine and gear
oil, plugs, etc.). Bigger stuff I trust to the pros at my local
Honda dealer. A couple of years ago, I drained the gear oil at
the end of the season, and it came out looking like mustard. I
suspected water in the oil and took it to my dealer. He checked
it out and could find no leaks, although he had trouble getting
the drain plug out. He replaced the bolt/seal on the drain and
fill plugs, and filled it with new oil. The next year, same deal.
Not wanting to incur the dealer cost again with no appreciable
solution, I changed the oil myself to give it another try. This
spring, I drained the oil and got the same result—still yellow.
Last year, I did not flush the lower unit with clean oil. I just
drained and refilled it. This year, I noticed the yellow oil kept
draining out even as I filled it with new oil. Is it possible there
is just residual water in the lower unit from the initial plug leak
that keeps ruining the oil each year? This time, I flushed the
lower unit with oil until almost no yellow oil was draining out
(it took several quarts) before I filled it. Do you think that will
do the trick?
Jim Soukup
Auburn, New Hampshire
A:
Hi, Jim. If your tech pressure-tested the gear case and found
PHOTOS: COURTESY WEST MARINE (2)

no leaks, and you have new drain plugs and are using new
gaskets on the same, you are good to go. You can flush the gear
case again, as you have done, using some “sacrificial” gear oil
if you like, but otherwise, fill up, torque the drain plug to spec,
and go boating.

STOP THE GLUG, GLUG, GLUG Liquid from a jug can splash out and make a mess instead
of pouring out smoothly and neatly. To prevent—or at least severely limit—the amount of
“burping” that occurs when pouring oil or antifreeze from a jug, pour it with the spout to the top
instead of underneath the bottle. Put another way: The spout should be above the level of liquid
in the jug when pouring. —Kevin Falvey

B O AT I N G M A G . C O M | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 | 4 5
BOAT DOCTOR /// Q & A

TOO COOL?
Q: I own a 2005 Tahoe
Q4 powered by a 3-liter
MerCruiser sterndrive. The
temperature gauge functions
normally until it reaches
temp, and then it just drops
back down below 120 degrees
and never comes back. I
replaced the sender and
checked the wiring for con-
tinuity. I replaced the gauge
with a new OEM gauge. The
problem persists. I have also
replaced the thermostat.
I have never had an alarm,
so I am sure I am not over-
heating. One thing I need to
mention is the sender looked

Q: Doc, this is not a boat ques-


tion exactly, but how can
I keep my dock hose from
DOCK HOSE
physically the same but had a
different number.
Any suggestions on where
to go next?
getting completely tangled?
Marc Robertson
Lewes, Delaware
TANGLES Robert Carnes
Via email

A: Normal operating

A:
loops (2 feet in diameter). Four, every
Hi, Marc. No problem. This now and again, stretch the hose out temperature for your boat’s
is a pet peeve of mine too. to full length on the dock, remove the engine is between 140 and
Here’s what I do. One, make sure the nozzle, and coil it in. With the noz- 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Giv-
hose is drained before coiling. Two, zle off, the twists built into the hose en the troubleshooting steps
always coil from the end on the faucet, you have taken, I suggest you
untwist themselves as you coil it up.
replace the thermostat.
not the nozzle end. Three, use big Happy boat washing!
A BET
Q: My friend owns a mint
1996 31 Scarab with twin
454 MAG EFI MerCruiser
engines. Is there a limit on
the rpm when running these
engines with the exhaust
through the water instead
WE
of through the hull? He states
TEST that when over 30 mph, it
STUFF needs to go through the hull.
My dealer back then told me I
could run the exhaust howev-
er I choose at almost any rpm
PHOTOS: (FROM TOP) COURTESY WEST MARINE, COURTESY RHEOS

with no damage being done


R H E O S F L OAT I N G frame construction and inset pads for the to the engines. A cold drink is
S U N G L AS S E S bridge of your nose. The polarized UV400 on this wager. Thanks.
This test started with a minor accident. lenses are shatterproof and grant excel- Todd Willets
My son had placed his old sunglasses on lent protection from direct and reflected Via email
his cap as we cruised under cloudy skies, sunlight. They cut through glare to let
but a gust of wind sent his cap into the you spot fish under the surface. A slight A: You can run the exhaust
however you choose at any
drink. The hat floated; the shades sank. wraparound offers side protection from
rpm with no damage being
The wisdom of cap stowage notwithstand- the sun and wind. The scratch-resistant, done to the engine. However,
ing, Rheos sunglasses will not suffer the anti-fog coating causes water to bead bear in mind that there may
same fate. Because, as we confirmed, they up and roll away. Available in amber, gray be local noise ordinances
float. The new Rheos Coopers style—rem- and mirrored lens options in gunmetal and that limit open-exhaust
iniscent of old-school Wayfarers—that tortoise frame colors. $50; rheos.com sound levels (usually 88 to 90
we tested offer ultralight, TPX composite —Jim Hendricks decibels at 50 feet).

4 6 | B O AT I N G M A G . C O M | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 9
BOAT DOCTOR /// Q & A

BOTTOM PAINT completely off come spring. (It plates, or will fender washers a source for the four washers.
Q: Dear Boat Doc, I just may require some hand work suffice to spread the load? If the substrate was just fiber-
bought a new (to me) Grady- to get 100 percent clean.) glass or cored with foam, I’d
White that is three years old. A: Plywood does a great job recommend a backing plate.
The boat will stay in the water BACKING spreading loads. I’d go with
in New Jersey for the winter. PLATES NEEDED? fender washers and call it good,
The marina has bubblers. Q: Hi, Doc. I’m installing and in fact, I know of many ASK THE DOCTOR
My concern is bottom paint. new rod holders aboard my in-use installations that have Send questions to Mick with
Eventually, the boat will go on Grady-White. The deck (gun- worked just fine like that for your name and address to:
a lift at my summer house and wale) is cored with ½-inch many years—and many hours boatdr@boatingmag.com or
won’t need paint. It has no plywood, which can be seen of trolling. If the plate comes The Boat Doctor, Boating, 460
paint on it now, and I’d rather looking up from above. Do with the rod holders, though, N. Orlando Ave., Suite 200,
it didn’t, for aesthetic reasons. I really need to use backing you might as well just use it as Winter Park, FL 32789.
Must I bottom-paint it? Or
will the cold winter waters
keep growth at bay?
Jim Haskell U N C OV E R E D NAUTICAL

Philadelphia BAT T E RY T E R M I N A L NO-NO


The centered placement of the retaining strap
A: Your boat will certainly ac- on these flip-up backrest supports allows the

PHOTO: PETE MCDONALD


cumulate some growth on its metal snap, when unfastened, to contact the
hull bottom over the winter. I exposed positive battery terminal. Changing the
recommend applying one coat snap location is an easy solution, but the real problem is
of an ablative paint, which can that the positive battery terminal has been left uncovered,
then likely be power-washed which goes against ABYC recommendations. —Jeff Hemmel

INTELLIGENT DESIGN
ON EVERY HORIZON

GIVE YOUR BOAT A WHOLE NEW


DIMENSION OF CONTROL.
Optimus 360 gives your boat a whole new dimension of control. By
developing the joystick function to be intuitive, Optimus 360 allows you
to move your boat not only forward and back, but also sideways, by
pushing the joystick to the left, or to the right, and even, rotate on a
dime, all with a simple twist of the joystick.

dometic.com
BOAT DOCTOR /// W E E K E N D W O R K B O O K

DIY + Weekend
eekend
end
orkbook
Workbook

SKILL LEVEL

3.5 OF 5

FINISH TIME
Approx. 4 to 5 hours
INSTALLING
TOOLS AND
SUPPLIES AN OUTBOARD
• SeaStar Solutions
JP5060R standard
jack plate with 6-inch
JACK PLATE
Jack plates optimize performance and enhance the shallow-water operation of outboard boats.
setback ($1,100,
fredwarner1.net) Jack plates perform two key some flats skiffs. There are of travel via a hydraulic
• Hoist for removing functions. One is setback, manual jack plates, but the actuator. Featuring
and reinstalling out-
which distances an outboard most versatile models allow corrosion-resistant
board ($45 per day for
1,500-pound capacity from the boat’s transom, for vertical adjustments powder-coated aluminum
hoist, Sunbelt Rentals) allowing the propeller to while underway using construction and stainless-
• Outboard lifting eye (if run in less-turbulent water. electric controls at the helm. steel hardware, it’s available
the motor is not already Jack plates also move an Brands such as Bob’s in setbacks ranging from
equipped with one) outboard up and down to Machine Shop, CMC, 4 to 12 inches. We chose one
• Stainless-steel engine optimize performance and SeaStar Solutions and T-H with a setback of 6 inches for
and jack-plate mounting
enable a boat to venture Marine offer a wide range our 200 hp outboard on a
hardware (as supplied
or recommended by the into shallower water than of models. For this retrofit 21-foot bay boat. With the
engine manufacturer) it might otherwise. Jack installation, we chose a boat on a trailer, we removed
• Socket wrench set plates find the greatest SeaStar standard jack plate, the outboard prior to
• Box/open-end applications on bass boats, which is rated for up to beginning the installation.
wrench set bay boats, tunnel hulls and 300 hp and offers 5.8 inches —Jim Hendricks
• Torque wrench
• Transom stiffener plate
for upper transom
mounting bolts ($22.95
for T-H Marine TSP2DP, SELECTING THE SETBACK
iboats.com) “There is no set rule on setbacks,” says Davor Baros, the builders because they know their hulls the best.
• Marine below-the- product manager for SeaStar jack plates. “Boat- “For an aftermarket installation, the best thing to do
ILLUSTRATIONS: TIM BARKER

waterline sealant, such builders test different setbacks to find out which one is look at the setbacks similar boats get from build-
as 3M 4000 UV provides the best performance.” Performance can be ers,” Baros says. “With all that being said, it seems
• Jigsaw affected by flotation at the back of the boat because smaller boats favor bigger setbacks, as it provides
• Crimping tool more setback means moving the center of gravity the engines with cleaner water and more of a fulcrum
• Mounting screws for farther back. Also, the location of trim tabs can af- for hole shot. For bigger boats, they typically go with
relays fect the need for greater setback to get the prop into 4 inches, as more setback just adds weight without
cleaner water, Baros reveals. This decision is left to speed or hole-shot advantages.”

5 0 | B O AT I N G M A G . C O M | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0
+
CHECK FOR
CLEARANCE

TIP
Starting with the jack
plate at its lowest
position, verify full
steering travel through
If the setback is 10 inches or the
the entire trim range.
outboard is over 250 hp, six bolts are
At the full down po-
required for mounting the engine to the
sition with steering at
jack plate, and the jack plate to the
center, carefully tilt
transom. A transom stiffener for
the engine to verify if
the upper bolts is recommended
interference occurs as
regardless of setback or
the outboard is tilted,
horsepower.
paying close attention
to the steering cylin-
der, tie bars, steering
hoses, engine rigging
and the outboard
itself. If interference
exists, add a tilt-limit-

TIP
ing device or move the
motor up to a higher
set of mounting holes.

Many jack-plate brands also offer


gauges to indicate outboard height.
The optional SeaStar SmartStick/
gauge kit ($290.86, boatstore.com),
for example, includes a sensor,
wire harness, and 2-inch
gauge for the dash.

INSERT ENGINE BOLTS BOLT IT UP Use 1/2-inch INSTALL THE WIRING INSTALL THE SWITCH REINSTALL THE OUT-
The four 1/2-inch OD OD bolts with locking nuts HARNESS Find a dry, Cut an appropriate rectan- BOARD Use a hoist to lift
outboard manufacturer- and washers supplied or accessible place near the gular opening in the dash. and maneuver the out-
supplied mounting bolts approved by the outboard stern of the boat to mount Route the two switch wires board. Select the mounting
must be fitted to the jack manufacturer. Each bolt the two relays. Use mount- (blue/white and green/ hole on the outboard brack-
plate prior to installation. must be long enough to ing screws (not supplied) white) from the relay har- et that will best suit your
Insert each through the pass through the transom to secure them, using the ness to the hole. Connect a boat and application. Move
SeaStar-supplied 1/2-inch and jack-plate mounting mounting holes on the up- 10-amp-fused wire to a 12- the engine into position.
washers, and then from surface, and provide and down-relay brackets. volt source on the breaker Feed the outboard bolts
the transom side of the enough thread for the Plug in the wiring harness panel and route through on the jack plate into the
outboard mounting plate washer and locknut. Apply to the relays and route the the hole. Crimp on female mounting holes on the en-
through the bolt holes. below-the-waterline marine other end of the harness to spade connectors to each gine bracket. Fit each bolt
Loosely thread on the sealant to the mounting the starting battery. Attach wire. Connect the 12-volt with a washer and locknut,
mounting nuts to prevent holes in the transom and the ring terminal from the wire to the center spade on and use a torque wrench to
the bolts from falling out insert the mounting bolts circuit breaker to the 12-volt the switch, with the blue/ tighten to 90 foot-pounds,
ILLUSTRATIONS: TIM BARKER

until you’re ready for step through the transom (from DC-positive post on the white lead to the bottom or the engine manufactur-
five. Temporarily connect- the inside) and through the starting battery, and the spade and green/white to er’s recommended value.
ing the wire harness might jack-plate mount. Attach black ring terminal to the the top spade. Don’t seat Use the rocker switch to
also allow you to actuate a washer and locknut, and negative post. Plug in the the switch into the dash test for clearance (see
the jack plate to access the tighten to the recommend- actuator connector to the until after the rest of the above), then seat the
engine mounting holes. ed torque specs. pigtail from the jack plate. installation is complete. switch on the dash.

B O AT I N G M A G . C O M | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 | 5 1
without the proper fuel-related boat fire.
tools. See your local Instead, replace it with
marine-supply store. a quality anti-siphon
valve. Hint: High-
TANK Finally, check quality valves cost three
the tank carefully for times as much as the
leaks, cracks, and loose cheap ones.
mounting. Unless it’s
leaking fuel into the
FUEL and refill quickly after
squeezing. Primer
bilge, you might not
even notice it. I’ve ser-

SYSTEMS bulbs have check valves


inside that can fail and
leave you stranded. Use
viced fuel tanks that
had all mounting tabs
broken or cracked;  the
CHECKUP a factory primer bulb;
aftermarket models are
only thing keeping
the  tank in place was
Tips from tank to filter. typically of lesser quali- the weight of the fuel
A fuel-system problem might leave you stranded ty and won’t flow fuel as and the tank-hose con-
on the water, or cause a fire or explosion. Problems well as OEM units. nections. While a new
caused by poor fuel quality and ethanol-extended tank can be expensive,
(E10 and now E15) fuels increase maintenance CLAMPS Fuel-line it’s still a lot cheaper
and service costs, and even cause engine failure clamps are critical. than a boat fire.
for boaters. Utilize these six tenets to help prevent They prevent fuel leaks
inconvenience and tragedy. —John Tiger and, just as important, ANTI-SIPHON VALVE
air leaks. Air leaks can These are installed in
FUEL LINE Replace FILTER The fuel filter ruin an engine in no the outlet fitting from
fuel lines older than should be replaced at time because the fuel- the tank to the engine,
three years with least annually. If your air mixture will become usually threaded into
EPA-compliant hose. rig doesn’t have a water- lean and starve the en- the fitting, with a hose
Install new clamps. The separating fuel filter, gine for fuel. Use new nipple on the other
innards of older fuel now’s a good time to add clamps if the old ones end where the fuel line
hoses are susceptible to one. Check the filter’s won’t hold, are corrod- connects. They keep
alcohol deterioration. flow rate against your ed, or are falling apart. fuel from flowing into
Hose clamps are cheap the bilge if a fuel-line
compared to a damaged failure occurs. If you
Difficulty pumping fuel to the engine? QUICK engine. Many engine experience valve fail-
Position your primer bulb vertically manufacturers use ure, don’t simply re-
with the arrow pointing straight up. TI P Oetiker (oetiker.com) move the check-valve
clamps for fuel-hose ball and spring from
connections. These are inside the anti-siphon
They can collapse or engine’s maximum secure, high-quality fitting. It’s against Coast
fall apart, clogging the fuel-burn rate. A filter clamps; however, they Guard regulations and
fuel system and starv- with a drain bowl is su- are single-use only, could get you in trou-
ing the engine of fuel. perior. However, the and can be difficult ble insurance-wise,
Newer fuel lines use standard spin-on types to remove and install and might cause a
PHOTOS: (FROM TOP) JIM HENDRICKS, JOHN TIGER (4)

a tough inner liner, also work. Placement in


visible by looking into the fuel line should be
the end of the hose. It between the tank outlet
makes the hose stiff-
er and harder to work
and the engine inlet.
S TA B I L Z E I T
The best fix for long-term storage of ethanol fuel is to add a stabilizer. Read the
with, and it’s more ex- PRIMER BULB Many
pensive. When routing outboards use prim- directions on the bottle, and ensure the conditioner mixes thoroughly with the
the hose, make bends er bulbs, which may fuel aboard. (If necessary, shake the boat back and forth for a few minutes). At
with a radius of at least be damaged by eth- idle speeds, it may take 15 to 20 minutes to circulate the mixture through the
6 inches to prevent anol fuels. A primer fuel system. Ideally, you’d stabilize for storage before making your last run of
flow reduction. bulb should feel stiff the season, which ensures proper mixing and full system protection.

5 2 | B O AT I N G M A G . C O M | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0
Also presenting
Unlock your
next adventure
with Axopar
Whether you are new to boating or an
experienced skipper, an Axopar provides
an unmatched blend of performance,
seakeeping and practicality

A
xopar is a brand that defines a genre.
Now the biggest motorboat builder in
the Nordics, since its conception
the company has sold over 2,500 boats and
changed the way we think about outboard-
powered sportsboats. predictable handling, be it when mooring or at
By listening to its customers Axopar builds higher speeds, while others who have many sea
boats with broad appeal that can be specified to miles under their belts will like the accomplished
meet a huge range of cruising requirements, be seakeeping in tough conditions, and the smooth
that blasting through the piercing blue waters of power delivery of the outboard motors.
the Florida Keys or keeping passengers safe and In a world where boaters want to maximise
warm within the Arctic Circle. their enjoyment on the water by combining
Those new to life on the water will appreciate boating with other hobbies like stand-up paddle
the safety and versatility of the deck spaces and boarding, fishing or scuba diving, no other range
offers such boundless flexibility, meaning that
with an Axopar you can unlock a new world of
adventure.

A X O P A R 2 S T O R I E S
A X O P A R 3 S T O R I E S
The Axopar promise

Performance.
With unmistakable, head-turning looks, an Axopar’s narrow entry bow will
cut through rough seas. The low planing threshold soon has you powering
out of the hole giving rapid acceleration and superior cruising and fuel
economy when paired with Mercury Marine’s latest lightweight 3.4-litre V6
or 4.6-litre V8 four-stroke engines and digital boat handling aids.

Adventure.
From first-time boaters all the way up to the most skilled skippers, Axopar
customers are increasingly using their boats as a springboard to enjoy other
land or on-water activities. Be it scuba diving, stand-up paddling, wake
boarding or mountain biking, Axopar’s unique design allows owners to
take all of their sports and adventure equipment with them. The Axopar
range enables the spirit of adventure like no other.

Handling.
Axopar owners and passengers can look forward to a fundamentally dry,
safe and rewarding ride from an air-lubricated, twin-step, low centre of
gravity hull with deep-vee configuration for good directional stability and
fantastic grip during cornering.

Value.
Our quality to price ratio is the core of our offering, allowing you the most
‘bang for your buck’ and an assurance of Nordic reliability. All boats can
be enhanced and upgraded with a line of options or modules to suit your
budget and adventure needs.

Versatility.
For island-hopping adventurers, through to serious water-skiers, scuba
divers and sports fishermen, every type of boater will satisfy their needs
from one of Axopar’s Open, T-Top, Sun-Top, or Cabin models.

A X O P A R 4 S T O R I E S
KEY WEST, USA AXOPAR 37 ST AXOPAR OWNERS

Why Key West is best


After years of he pursuit of an adrenaline fix has always

T
“It reminded me of my dirt bike days where you
hiring boats, been in Jack Thomas’ nature. In a previous try to ride the top of the obstacle; the boat handled the
life the hit was administered through dirt conditions brilliantly.”
Jack Thomas
bike racing and marathons but now, in his Beyond Amazing, which Jack believes is the only Axopar in
took the plunge 50s, Jack needed a new way to find that buzz. the Keys, fits perfectly with his active lifestyle. “The best
on his Axopar Having settled on an Axopar 37 ST with a optional extra I fitted was a roof rack, which allows me to lash
37 ST, Beyond pair of 350hp outboards Jack, with his son and a skipper from my stand-up paddle board to the T-top and head off to the
Amazing dealer Nautical Adventures, did the delivery trip local islands for a paddle. The outboards and shallow draught
from Fort Lauderdale to Key West electing to gives me access to the amazing world on my doorstep,” he says.
take the offshore route south through Now with his new business – Beyond Amazing Key West
the Atlantic. – Jack is offering people the chance to experience the stunning
“We experienced consistent 4ft waves cruising grounds with bespoke tours of the reefs, islands and
KEY WEST, USA with the occasional 8-footer in the mix,” Keys. The 37, with its combination of performance,
24.5551° N, 81.7800° W Jack says. seakeeping and luxury is the perfect tool for the job.

A X O P A R 5 O W N E R S
A launch like no other
HELSINKI, FINLAND

U
nveiling a new range of boats in the depths of
60.1699° N, 24.9384° E
a Helsinki winter may not appear the wisest
decision but the biggest launch ever held in
Finland for a marine brand deserved a special event.
Inside a former train factory on the outskirts of the conditions of a Finnish winter provided the
Finnish capital, Axopar showed the world’s press and ideal environment in which to experience the
over 100 of its dealers from around the globe the all-new 37 exceptional handling, seakeeping and efficiency of
in a joint showcase with BRABUS Marine and BRABUS. This the new 37. An added bonus was the presence of the BRABUS
exclusive event would precede the public unveiling of the Shadow 900 pre-production mule, capable of over 60 knots
new range at Boot Düsseldorf 2020. with a pair of 450hp Mercury Marine racing engines. Prior to
The occasion gave press and dealers alike the opportunity its global launch at Boot Düsseldorf 2020, press and dealers
to crawl over the new boats and get to know them in their were given a chance to drive the fastest boat that BRABUS
own time amongst intimate yet fascinating surroundings Marine has ever built.
and with the world of Axopar and BRABUS Marine at We were impressed that so many dealers and journalists
their fingertips. had the courage to join us for a Finnish “Sisu” traditional
Driver’s boats like these need to be on the water to best smoke sauna experience at Saunasaari (Sauna Island). Sisu
demonstrate their talent however, and it was the UNESCO roughly translates as strength of will, perseverance and
World Heritage site of Suomenlinna island in the archipelago determination and after a long day out on the water in cold,
that played host to sea trials so the assembled guests rainy conditions, the smoke sauna and a (short) swim in the
could drive the boats in their natural habitat. The tough bracing sea was the perfect way to unwind.

A X O P A R 6 R E V O L U T I O N
A X O P A R 7 R E V O L U T I O N
Axopar 37 –
the market leader reborn
Experience the revolution at Boot Düsseldorf 2020

T
he saying goes that if it ain’t broken don’t fix it so in being the same weight as the previous model is far more
developing the all-new 37 the Axopar design team efficient and delivers a softer, more compliant ride with a
was wary not to meddle unnecessarily with such significantly reduced time to plane.
a successful formula. This doesn’t mean there isn’t room In combination with Mercury Marine’s latest range
for enhancement though, and the new model is the result of outboard engines, fuel economy improvements
of a painstaking and rigorous R&D effort that demanded are considerable, with cruising range improved by an
countless engineering hours to make the new 37 even better. additional 75 miles compared to its predecessor and a 35%
This is a boat for the entire world, available in three increase in cruising speed at 3,500rpm, up from 22 knots to
distinct styles: the 37 S, 37 ST and 37 XC. The open Spyder 29 knots.
offers an unparalleled connection to the environment while The driving experience has always been at the heart of
the Sun-Top model, with its extended hardtop and sunroof, Axopar products and this boat is even more driver-focused
offers the perfect balance of exposure and protection. than the model it replaces. The helm’s ergonomics and
The fully enclosed XC (Cross Cabin) is the all-weather practicality are outstanding meaning the skipper
performer, offering a protected wheelhouse with total shelter will always feel in control whether they are coming
one minute and, thanks to a pair of sliding doors and a alongside or cruising at speed.
sunroof, the proper open boat sensation the next. The award-winning original 37 earned plaudits around
The range runs on a vastly improved hull that despite the globe but, in this case, the best just got better.

A X O P A R 8 R E V O L U T I O N
A X O P A R 9 R E V O L U T I O N
Gullwing doors
In a first for a boat, the doors add excellent
functionality and superb access to the
forward cabin, totally transforming the
concept of bringing the outdoors indoors.
Customers can enjoy their surroundings
like never before

Axopar 37
World premiere
at Boot
Düsseldorf
2020

Multi-storage aft deck layout options


Open, wetbar and aft cabin deck layouts are available plus
a new multi-storage module for the Spyder and Sun-Top
designed to stow watersports and adventure equipment

A X O P A R 10 R E V O L U T I O N
Digital helm
The Axopar helm is a fully digital glass bridge with
exceptional functionality that delivers a user experience
previously unseen on a boat. The driver ergonomics are
outstanding and the integrated screens ensure the
dashboard remains uncluttered but still delivers all
necessary information quickly and clearly

Fuel efficiency
The new hull design, in tandem with Mercury Marine’s latest
range of outboards, boasts some staggering efficiency
figures over its predecessor. The boat is up to 30% more
fuel efficient between 20 and 40 knots than before

Camouflage wrap
Axopar will wrap your
boat in the same
distinctive
camouflage as the
launch boat if
requested

New levels of
comfort
In reaction to owner
feedback there is
now an optional
separate toilet
compartment, with
the option of a
First class cabin shower, to boost
The front cabin has been privacy and comfort
enlarged, meaning it is
even more comfortable,
spacious and welcoming

A X O P A R 11 R E V O L U T I O N
AXOPAR OWNERS AXOPAR 28 CABIN CONNECTICUT, USA

90-year-old
Paul Kempner Age is just a number
hadn’t been
aul Kempner has owned boats for nearly 50

P
He has only had his 28, named Julie, for the last month of the
planning on years but it was after a three-year break season but when it’s back in the water the couple will mainly
from boating that he visited East Coast use the boat for day trips and “hotel cruising”, as Paul calls it.
buying a boat at
Yacht Sales at the Norwalk Boat Show. “We “Here on the Sound we have so many wonderful areas to visit
the Norwalk live on the water in Stamford, Connecticut,” with lots of restaurants and nice hotels, we don’t need a boat
Boat Show… until Paul explains. that we can sleep on,” he explains.
“We were looking for a 15ft runaround to keep on our dock With its fully enclosed wheelhouse and effortless
he saw the and hadn’t even heard of Axopar before performance the 28 Cabin allows Paul and Julie to cruise to
Axopar the show.” He and his partner Julie, 76, clapped eyes on their destination in sheltered comfort and means they don’t
a 28 Cabin with a single 300hp Mercury Verado and have to be out on the water for too long.
28 Cabin were blown away by how different it looked. “It’s Much to Paul’s delight the boat proved itself a worthy
nothing like a Grady White or Pursuit but the level of companion in rough seas on the day he collected it: “We were
protection is so much better and that was a priority for in 3-4ft seas but the boat dealt with it brilliantly and it brought
CONNECTICUT, USA us,” Paul says. home what a quality machine it is.”
41.0534° N, 73.5387° W

A X O P A R 12 O W N E R S
SAN DIEGO, USA AXOPAR 37 CABIN AXOPAR OWNERS

“My son said two words to me: aft cabin”


The Stroms had ans and Liza Strom were aboard a

H
Their son Harrison, who was ten at the time, caught wind of
not heard of friend’s sailing yacht in San Diego bay the new boat and did his research online, soon discovering the
Axopar until a when they first clapped eyes on an boat was available with an aft cabin. Hans says: “On the way to
Axopar 37. “We had decided we wanted school he said to me, ‘Dad, two words: aft cabin.’” Opting for
chance sighting
a faster boat so that we could travel to the extra cabin has paid off and the four of them have spent
of a 37 Cabin watch our son and daughter compete many happy nights on board, including a week away on
transformed in sailing races,”explains Hans. “We were looking at Cobalts Catalina Island.
the way they go and the like and Axopar wasn’t even on the radar.” “The Axopar is like no other boat I have ever driven,” Hans
boating As they sailed through the bay the local continues. “The bow does not rise and you look down and
Axopar dealer, Jeff Brown, went past in a 37 realise you are doing twice the speed you thought you were.
and their interest was piqued. Before long When I first saw the boat I assumed it would be $500,000 but
they were on sea trial with Liza, who wasn’t in reality it’s half of that.”
SAN DIEGO, USA sold on the idea of a new boat, behind the Whether it’s a 160-mile round trip to watch a sailing regatta
32.7157° N, 117.1611° W wheel and loving every minute. “Now that is a or a blast to the local cove for a paddle board, the 37 is the
boat we can buy,” were her words. Stroms’ perfect companion.

A X O P A R 13 O W N E R S
RABUS Marine is the

B result of a cutting-
edge partnership
between two of the most
renowned companies
in their respective fields, producing an
individualist’s range of yachts with an
automotive bloodline.
Hand crafted to the highest standard, the
BRABUS Marine range is one of bespoke
luxury, fastidious attention to detail and
scintillating performance.
Outstanding performance, power and
superior acceleration, together with easy
handling and best-in-class drivability,
forms the core of a BRABUS Marine product.
The partnership between BRABUS
and Axopar will be strengthened at Boot
Düsseldorf 2020 with the world premiere
of the BRABUS Shadow 900. Based on the
outstanding underpinnings of the all-new
Axopar 37, this flagship of the BRABUS
Marine range is capable of over 60
knots thanks to a pair of 450hp Mercury
Marine Racing outboards.

B R A B U S 14 M A R I N E
B R A B U S 15 M A R I N E
Our US Dealer Network

Locate your nearest Axopar / BRABUS Marine US dealer

Nautical Ventures Group, Inc. Jeff Brown Yachts East Coast Yacht Sales
sales@nauticalventures.com jeff@jeffbrownyachts.com yachts@ecys.com
www.nauticalventures.com jeffbrownyachts.com www.ecys.com

Dania Beach - Main Office San Diego - Main Office Yarmouth - Main Office
50 South Bryan Rd, Dania Beach, 2614 Shelter Island Drive, Suite A, 106 Lafayette Street, Yarmouth,
FL 33004 San Diego CA, U.S. 92106 ME 04096
Tel: (954) 926-5250 Tel: (619) 222-9899 Tel: (207) 846-4545
(619) 709-0697
Palm Beach Office Belfast Office
139 Shore Court, North Palm Beach, Los Angeles Office 101 Front Street, BLDG 1 Belfast,
FL 33408 Los Angeles, 4514 Spencer St., ME 04915
Tel: (561) 612-7076 Torrance, CA 90503 Tel: (954)701-1072
Tel: (310)717-0775
Fort Lauderdale Office Camden Office
4470 Anglers Avenue, Ft. Lauderdale, San Francisco Office 44 Bayview Street, Camden, ME 04843
FL 33312 298 Harbor Drive Sausalito, Tel: (954)701-1072
Tel: (954) 926-5250 CA. 94965
Tel: (510) 701-4880 Salem Office
Sarasota Office 23 Glendale Street, Salem, MA 01970
8050 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Seattle Office Tel: (978) 744-7070
FL 34243 3215 NW 57th St., Seattle, WA 98107
Tel: (941) 355-5500 Tel: (619) 709-0697 Portsmouth Office
1 Maritime Drive, Suite 1, Portsmouth,
Tampa Bay Office RI 02871
1925 U.S. Highway 19, Holiday, FL 34691 Tel: (401)682-2010
Tel: (727) 939-8900
Mystic Office
47 Water Street, Suite 200A Mystic, CT,
US 06355
Tel: (860) 415-8282

Follow the adventure with Axopar and BRABUS Marine on our social media channels

Axopar Boats @Axopar


Brabus Marine @brabusmarine
BOAT DOCTOR /// W H AT T O L O O K F O R

BOAT
edges of the blade tips. Hale UPGRADE MATERIAL
compares it to flaps on an air- The traditional bronze used

PROPELLERS
plane wing. Like pitch, cup on inboard props and the alu-
changes load, but adding cup minum on outboards both flex.
can also reduce cavitation, For inboard boats, nibral—
“Before spending money on new propellers, do some help lift the stern as a boat nickel, bronze and aluminum
homework,” says Randy Hale, co-inventor of the Hale MRI comes on plane, or affect trim alloy—or stainless steel on out-
propeller-measuring instrument (halepropeller.com). Take once on plane. boards and sterndrives holds
time for proper sea trials, identify shortcomings in boat per- shape better. While this often
formance and handling, and set realistic expectations, he CHANGE RAKE Rake increases performance, Hale
says. “More often than not, we’ll look at modifying existing quantifies how much of a pro- says inboard diesels and out-
propellers before suggesting new ones.” peller’s blade area is in front boards of 150 hp or more typ-
Here’s a look at how propeller design parameters of or behind the propeller hub. ically employ this advantage
affect performance on both inboard and outboard boats. Combined with other propeller best. Stronger material is also
—Capt. Vincent Daniello characteristics, altering rake more durable.
is a powerful tool for changing
INCREASE DIAMETER boatbuilders marketing based boat handling or trim.
All things equal, larger-diam- on top speed might choose
eter propellers deliver better less-efficient but faster props. ADD SKEW Skew is a
efficiency. Inboard-powered Adding blades often mitigates banana-shaped curve of the
boatbuilders balance this vibration or noise too. blades from hub to tip. It length-
against boat draft and aperture ens the leading edge of each
clearance; outboard- and stern- PITCH Pitch refers to blade, which can mitigate cavi-
drive-powered boats are lim- how many inches a propeller tation and smooth interference
ited by gear-case dimensions. would travel in one revolution from turbulent water flowing
Improper replacement props, through a semi-soft medium, off propeller shaft struts.
years of grinding during repairs, such as Jell-O. It’s really a way
or even wear from sand, silt to quantify the angle of the
and water may leave props un- face of the blade—more pitch
(TOP RIGHT), COURTESY MICHIGAN WHEEL MARINE (3)

dersize. Bigger props decrease


the blade-tip-to-hull clearance,
is closer to horizontal, while
less pitch is closer to vertical.
SWITCH TO
though, which may increase Altering pitch adjusts propeller COMPLEX
PHOTOS: COURTESY ACME PROPELLERS

propeller noise. load and therefore engine load,


which ideally utilizes all of an
BLADE SHAPE
ADD BLADES Increas- engine’s horsepower while also Small-boat propellers facturing now allow propellers allow more
ing the number of propeller hitting its maximum rated rpm. typically utilize the prop pitch changes precise loading to
blades often increases cruising same pitch across the along and across better match engine
whole blade, but this each blade, creat- horsepower curves,
speed and cruising fuel econo- CUP Cup—which can be is changing. Sophis- ing more-efficient mitigate cavitation,
my. This often comes at a loss light, medium or heavy—is a ticated computer cambered foils. These and decrease noise
of top-end performance, so slight inward curve along the modeling and manu- complex-geometry and vibration.

B O AT I N G M A G . C O M | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 | 6 9
livewell, washdown,
transom shower, sink or
whatever water circuit
is protected against
freeze damage.

MAKE A MULTITOOL
super neat. Remove BAILER For this use, I Cut the scoop shape

SIX USES the cap—I find the jug’s


threads mate with those
of some fill pipes, which
suggest leaving the cap
on, unless you assign
the bailing task to a
using a utility knife.
Retain the cap; it will
come in handy, as the

FOR A can make the jug a


hands-free tool.
shipmate with a sense of
humor. So, the livewell
or fish-box pump goes
accompanying text
explains. Add a lanyard
to make it easy to hang

PLASTIC FILTER CHANGER


Whether it’s the
side-mounted oil filter
kaput? Break out the
jug and bail out the box.
Have a dinghy or kayak?
up or secure in the boat
or dinghy. Round bleach
and soap jugs make

JUG on my engine or the


fuel filter located at
arm’s length through an
Tie the jug to a thwart
or frame to eliminate
paddle drips and spray.
the best all-around
multitool, but a narrow
oil or antifreeze jug can
Real reasons for repurposing.
8-inch-diameter deck be useful if you have a
plate, I use the jug to en- PUMP WINTERIZER need to scoop or bail
I keep a plastic jug—one with sure filter changes don’t Close the seacock, if in a narrow area. Feel
a handle—aboard my boat and include spills. After applicable, and remove free to add your boat’s
loosening the filter with a pump’s intake hose. name, apply stickers or
use it several times a year. It the wrench, I hold the With the cap on the jug, otherwise personalize it.
takes the place of items I might jug under the filter and fill it three-quarters Have fun, and consider
buy anyway, so it saves money. then spin it off by hand, full with nontoxic
antifreeze. Insert the
other ways you can
repurpose plastic or
catching the element,
And it performs multiple and any fuel or oil, for intake hose and turn minimize its use aboard.
functions, so it saves space. proper disposal. on the pump so your —Kevin Falvey

the boat. Keep the cap

W
on in this application.

HEAD The jug can


prove convenient when
nature calls. Use the jug
with the cap on for this
purpose, retaining the
With plastic filling our end product for disposal
oceans at an increasing upon completion of
rate, anything we can the deed. Bleach-based
do to keep it out of the disinfecting is recom-
waste stream helps. If a mended following use.
lot of people do a little
bit, it really does add up. FUNNEL Most boaters
know the trick of
SCOOP Whether it’s pouring over the handle
the cubes from the ma- to make pouring fluids
PHOTOS: GARRETT CORTESE

rina’s ice machine or the a neater job. Even so, a


sand your grandchild is funnel makes filling oil,
molding into a castle at adding fuel from a can,
your favorite cove, beach or topping off coolant
or sandbar, a scoop
comes in handy aboard

7 0 | B O AT I N G M A G . C O M | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0
LIFE’S ABOUT

Our 2020 fleet has arrived with big boat


features like wraparound windshields
and leading-edge Garmin® electronics
now standard on every model. Build yours
today at regulatormarine.com

powered by

regulatormarine.com | 252.482.3837 | Edenton, NC | @regulatormarine


PORTABLE
ONBOARD
SAT TV
Easy and affordable onboard satellite
HDTV—anywhere.

Your boat might not be


suitable or have enough
mounting space for a
permanently installed marine
satellite TV dome. What’s
more, with marine satellite TV
“We’re very passionate go. Adding HD sports Playmaker for watching
systems from companies such about the Playmaker programming such as TV while docked. The
as Intellian starting at around program,” says Amir the NFL Network or antenna comes with
Ahmed, senior vice pres- NFL Red Zone ramps up 25 feet of coaxial cable
$2,200, you might not want to ident of sales at Dish. the cost. One of the most to route back inside
spend the money either. “The Playmaker is both popular is the American the boat and connect
affordable and easy to set Top 120 Plus for $84.99 to the receiver. The
tall, the Playmaker is up in minutes.” per month. Wally includes a 6-foot

B
based on the Carry- The Dish “Outdoors” There are two caveats: HDMI cable to connect
Out antenna from HD programming One is the Playmaker with a TV, as well as a
Winegard, which has packages start at $39.99 needs a clear view of power cord to plug into
gained popularity in the per month for 50 the southern sky with your 120-volt AC shore
RV market. Dish bun- popular channels, with no obstructions, such power, generator or
dles an easy-to-connect no long-term contract as the flying bridge of inverter.
Wally receiver (one- required. If you already the boat in the slip next After hooking up your
But there’s another and two-TV models are have Dish, it’s a $7 to you, nearby trees, new system, there will be
option. Thanks to a available) and the cables per month additional buildings and the like. a quick setup procedure
new portable satellite you need to quickly programming charge, Secondly, and more that includes select-
system, you can enjoy hook up everything to and it too is pay as you problematic for boats, ing the state you are
sports, movies and other an onboard flat-screen the dome is designed currently in and pressing
programming in high TV set. The hardware UNDER to work on a stationary “Scan” to start scanning
definition as you relax package starts at $348. THE DOME surface. That means the for satellites. Then the
or overnight aboard The Playmaker movement of boats and programming loads.
dish automati-
your boat, whether in a floating docks might After that, you can start
cally locks in on
marina or pulled up on available satel- result in signal loss. watching TV.
a beach, while paying lites for the best Dish recommends us- I assembled the
far less for the satellite HDTV reception. ing a fixed dock, seawall, Playmaker dome and
equipment. or the shoreline where Wally receiver in about
PHOTOS: COURTESY DISH NETWORK

Dish Network has you’ve beached your five minutes, and while
designed an afford- boat for a party. A clever the initial setup took
able system utilizing DIY boater might be about 20 minutes, each
a 7½-pound satellite able to build a shelf that subsequent connection
dome antenna it calls attaches to a piling to took only a few minutes.
Playmaker. Measuring temporarily secure the —Jim Hendricks
roughly 16 inches in
diameter and 13 inches
The road to paradise Isn’t Actually a Road.
Where you’re going there are no roads.

No stop lights. No traffic jams. Because paradise doesn’t have a street address.

It’s the water kissing the sky along the horizon. The sun on your face.

Paradise is out there for you to find.

You just have to pick a Cobia and go.

www.cobiaboats.com
BL
BOATINGLAB

By Randy Vance Zip Tip


Some zippers
sport a storm
flap, but YKK
AquaGuard Vision
zippers work well.

R AI N G EA R
Quality rain parkas cost from $200 to $500, and you can
pay more. But before you do, take stock of whether you
want just-in-case protection for a summer shower or
stay-on-the-float-plan protection in an icy white squall.

WATERPROOF MEMBRANES of zippers, and some of the jackets


Gore-Tex is the most notable water- we tested used a variation of it with a
proof membrane thanks to its lifetime water-resistant barrier over the zip-
warranty, which is based on rigid man- per’s teeth. Others had storm flaps
agement of how clothing-makers use that diverted water striking from
its membrane in a garment. Gore-Tex ahead or above the zipper. Some
strictly monitors assembly methods for zippers had both flaps and gaskets.
GRUNDENS
sealed seams, fabric flexibility and du- STORM RIDER
rability, and the shell’s water repellency. HOW WE TESTED $185 to $195; grundens.com
There might be a dozen or more mem- MEMBRANE TEST
SIZES: Small to 5XL
brane fabrics with less expensive test- Waterproof membranes are tested
ing, but if properly used, Gore-Tex will by pressurizing water to a level equal DWR: Yes
return good value for the dollars spent. to about 15 feet in a 1-inch-diameter HOOD: Fixed, with collar drains to prevent pooling
tube. That was alotta pipe to handle, when not worn
DURABLE WATER RESISTANCE so we used a 6-foot-by-4-inch pipe LINER: Removable fleece, optional
Durable water-resistant coatings, reduced to 2 inches at the bottom, CUFFS: Neoprene gaskets with neoprene bias tape
known as DWR, are applied to the sealed that water-filled pipe with edges and Velcro adjustments
surface fabric of all garments to cause the jacket membrane, and measured ZIPPERS: YKK water-blocking
the shell to shed water, preventing the how much water leaked in three SEAMS: All taped and welded
clammy feeling of a wet membrane. minutes. Spoiler alert: None leaked. WARRANTY: Lifetime
All the zippers are water-repellant YKK AquaGuard
MULTIPLE LAMINATE FABRICS DWR TEST
coil zippers to complement the waterproof, breathable
Most membranes are bonded to a We tested the efficacy of the durable shell. Bellowed chest pockets are fleece-lined for
polyester shell, though L.L.Bean uses a water-resistant coating by spraying warmth and zippered with these YKK zippers, likewise
recycled nylon shell for environmental water on the shell, allowing it to bead are the hand-warmer pockets. One inside vest pocket is
benefits. Some have a third layer, called for several minutes, and then shak- zippered for credit cards, a fishing license or a smaller
a comfort layer, of tricot, mesh or fleecy ing it off. All fabrics passed this test. smartphone. Another fleece pocket is open at the top
fabric. Jackets by Bass Pro Shops and for gloves or gear. The jacket is nylon-mesh-lined with a
Cabela’s are BlueSign-certified to be SEALED ZIPPER TEST soft, comfortable fabric that enhances wicking.
made with sustainable processes. We put napkins in the main pockets WE SAY: This could be at home on the ski slopes as
and showered them from above for well as at sea. At first, it appeared the seams were un-
CUFF PROTECTION three minutes to test water blockage. taped, but closer inspection revealed they were sealed
Cuffs in some of the more hardcore with transparent tape. The waist and hood drawstring
rain gear feature stretchable wrist SEALED ZIPPER SPRAY TEST
locks are hidden inside the fabric and snag-free. The
mesh liner assisted in a dry, comfortable feel.
gaskets to prevent water from enter- Some of the jackets failed the sealed
ing. All the jackets we tested also had zipper test. Instead of expensive SEALED ZIPPER TEST: The zipper allowed only a
hook-and-loop wrist closures to assist watertight zippers, they used water- drip at the YKK pull, but resisted water all along its
length, keeping the napkin dry.
PHOTOS: GARRETT CORTESE

in shedding water. blocking zippers that were cheaper


and deflected sprayed water. When SEALED ZIPPER SPRAY TEST: No leakage.
WATER-RESISTANT ZIPPERS sprayed directly with a hose, they MEMBRANE TEST: No leakage.
YKK AquaGuard Vision is the Cadillac indeed prevented water entry. DWR TEST: Water beaded and rolled off.

7 4 | B O AT I N G M A G . C O M | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0
V E R S AT I L I T Y F O R A L L A D V E N T U R E S !

NEW
NC 695 SPORT NC 795 SPORT NC 895 SPORT

Introducing the new NC 895 SPORT! This 29-foot V-shaped hull was designed to be stable and
fast. From exploring quiet creeks to discovering new coves to anchor in overnight, it’s time to gear
up and plan your next adventure.

POWERED BY

jeanneau.com
FIND MORE BOATINGLAB TESTS AT BOATINGMAG.COM.

Backfield
The exterior
shoulder mem-
Rugged branes are lined
Both an elastic inside for com-
cuff and Velcro fort and style.
fastener provide
watertight cuffs.

BASS PRO SHOPS COLUMBIA


GORE-TEX 100 MPH PFG TERMINAL OUTDRY HYBRID
$219.99 for jacket, $189.99 for bibs; basspro.com $150; columbia.com
SIZES: XL to XXXL; LT,XLT,2XLT CUFFS: Neoprene and Velcro SIZES: Small to XXL ZIPPERS: YKK water-blocking;
DWR: Gore-certified DWR closures DWR: Yes main zipper has only storm flaps
HOOD: Removable ZIPPERS: YKK water-blocking HOOD: Fixed SEAMS: All taped and welded
LINER: Removable fleece, SEAMS: All taped and welded LINER: None WARRANTY: Lifetime Limited
optional WARRANTY: Lifetime CUFFS: Neoprene gaskets and
Bass fishermen travel in excess of 75 miles per hour, and they don’t Velcro adjustments
slow down for the rain, so Bass Pro designed the 100 mph Jacket and Columbia calls the system Outdry, which describes the alternating
Bibs with Gore-Tex. The fabric stretches and moves with the wearer. fabric alignment. The membrane is on the outside of the sleeves, shoul-
Waterproof-coated knit wrist cuffs prevent water from running up the ders and hood, and lined on the inside there. The breast and back have
arms. YKK AquaGuard Vision zippers with water-repellent surfaces an exterior shell, and the jacket has an inside mesh liner in the front,
and a storm welt behind the main closure keep water out. Breast and but there is no liner in the back. Seam tape alternated from outside on
hand-warmer pockets are similarly protected. A zippered inside vest the sleeves and hood to inside on the body. Hand-warmer and breast
pocket holds large smartphones or other gear. Elastic waistband and pockets are sealed against leaks, but the front zipper does not appear to
hood adjustments use exterior push-button clamps, and the jacket have a waterproof gasket. Instead, a storm flap on the outside deflects
has an extra-long tail for protection when sitting, but snaps hide it from water, and a storm flap on the inside is designed to channel any that
view if unneeded. Fleece linings in the collar and hood add warmth, and penetrates downward and out the bottom. Elastic waist and hood
Velcro closures add more protection. It is designed to accept a fleece adjustments tighten the fit.
jacket as a liner.
WE SAY: This comfortable jacket is one of the most packable to carry
WE SAY: This jacket is ideal for the extreme conditions faced by anglers as a precaution against rain and a useful trooper as your main defense.
who can’t quit. It’s ready for four-season use with the optional fleece It makes a comfortable shell for boating in cooler weather when worn
liner. As required by Gore-Tex, the fabric shell is flexible, and the DWR over a sweater too. The elastic hood closures are stitched in at the ends,
caused water to bead and roll off. The smooth nylon lining slips over leaving loops to pull to adjust. Friction holds them in place, with no risk
clothes easily, but the three-layer garment seemed warmer than the of a “snap back” like we experienced with the L.L.Bean and Grundens
others with mesh or bonded liners—a boon for Northern boaters. It hoods. When we hosed it down, we did it with energy, looking for chinks
lives up to its 100 mph designation, adding bass and walleye anglers to in the armour—and found absolutely none.
the list of potential customers.
SEALED ZIPPER TEST: The pocket zipper held out water
SEALED ZIPPER TEST: The zipper held back water, keeping the completely. The main zipper did not leak a drop.
napkin dry as a bone, including near the zipper pulls and ends. SEALED ZIPPER SPRAY TEST: No leakage.
PHOTOS: GARRETT CORTESE

SEALED ZIPPER SPRAY TEST: No leakage.


MEMBRANE TEST: No leakage. In our membrane test, the fabric
MEMBRANE TEST: No leakage. bulged and stretched, as intended, meeting flexibility requirements.
DWR TEST: Water beaded and rolled off. DWR TEST: Water beaded and rolled off.

7 6 | B O AT I N G M A G . C O M | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0
350 REALM
TO THE HORIZON AND BACK
MEET THE INNOVATION AWARD-WINNING 350 REALM: More than a
cabin cruiser, more than a center console, for more possibility than ever before.
The Realm combines breakthrough technology and innovative design to deliver
effortless operation, new remote-monitoring capabilities, and seamless enjoyment,
whether you’re chasing the horizon or just enjoying the view.

WWW2.BOSTONWHALER.COM/HORIZON
BOAT DOCTOR /// B O AT I N G L A B FIND MORE BOATINGLAB TESTS AT BOATINGMAG.COM.

Zippered
The zipper pull
nests in an
overhead pocket
to protect its
Light and weak spot.
Watertight
Not a drop of wa-
ter came through
the zippers in
both zipper tests.

CABELA’S L.L.BEAN
RAINY RIVER PARKA WITH GORE-TEX TRAIL MODEL RAIN JACKET
$130 to $140; cabelas.com $100; llbean.com
SIZES: Medium to 4XL; XLT to CUFFS: Elastic with Velcro SIZES: Small to XXL ZIPPERS: Gasketed breast, and
3XLT fasteners DWR: Yes open coil zippers for main and
DWR: Gore-Tex-certified ZIPPERS: YKK water-blocking; hand-warmer pocket zippers
HOOD: Fixed
DWR coating main zipper is unsealed but has SEAMS: All taped and welded
LINER: None
HOOD: Fixed storm flaps WARRANTY: 100% Satisfaction
CUFFS: Velcro closures, no
LINER: None SEAMS: All taped and welded Guarantee
gaskets
WARRANTY: Lifetime
Similar in design to the Cabela’s Rainy River Parka, this is made
Gore-Tex construction means this jacket was extensively tested to of a dual-layer fabric, but L.L.Bean chose recycled nylon rather
meet the Gore-Tex protection standards. Seams are taped, pocket zip- than polyester for the outside of the jacket. The seams are sealed
pers are water-resistant YKK AquaGuard, and the main coil-type zipper inside, and the entire garment is waterproof-lined with a breath-
is protected with front and rear storm flaps. The Gore-Tex Pac-Lite able membrane on the inside. Hand-warmer pocket slots open
membrane is bonded to a tough recycled polyester shell, keeping the to mesh pouches and close with unsealed coil zippers protected
jacket lightweight and easy to pack away when not needed. And it has behind storm flaps. One breast pocket is media-friendly, or cell-
a soft, bonded liner inside. In addition to using recycled fabric, both fab- phone-ready, as we say. That pocket has a sealed coil zipper that
rics are BlueSign-certified by an independent authority, ensuring fabrics did not leak a drop in our tests. The waist has an adjustable elastic
were constructed in the most sustainable methods. waistband, and the hood has dual drawstrings without latches
WE SAY: It’s comfortable to wear and cut roomy for mobility. The fixed or spring clamps. Beware of them: When I pulled them tight, the
hood and waistband have adjustable elastic for a snug fit—elastic ends small end caps slipped from my fingers, popping me in the face.
are stitched down to stop the rubber-band effect. Velcro holds the Cuffs have Velcro closures to snug them around the wrist.
storm flap and hood collar in place. In breezy boat testing, we found WE SAY: This is an ideal garment for a windbreaker shell or a light
the jacket provided windbreaking warmth in addition to rain protection. rain. It is packable for just in case. By their appearance, we did not
When the sun came out, we took off the jacket and rolled it into a back- think the unsealed coil zippers would provide adequate protec-
pack, out of the way. Anglers should appreciate the sleek design of this tion from rain, but we were absolutely wrong. We like L.L.Bean’s
jacket, with minimal snags for catching lines. sustainable approach to manufacturing the jacket, and felt its use
SEALED ZIPPER TEST: Pocket zippers are bone-dry, allowing no of recycled materials took absolutely nothing away from the jacket
water to penetrate in our tests. Main zipper was dry as a bone in in terms of efficacy, style and comfort.
both our tests and deflected hard spray as well. SEALED ZIPPER TEST: The sealed breast zipper was damp but
SEALED ZIPPER SPRAY TEST: No leakage. not wet; the other pocket and main zippers leaked.
PHOTOS: GARRETT CORTESE

MEMBRANE TEST: No leakage. The fabric bulged under the SEALED ZIPPER SPRAY TEST: No leakage.
pressure and stretched, without leaking. MEMBRANE TEST: No leakage.
DWR TEST: Water beaded and rolled off. DWR TEST: Water beaded and rolled off.

7 8 | B O AT I N G M A G . C O M | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0
FIND MORE BOATINGLAB TESTS AT BOATINGMAG.COM. BOAT DOCTOR /// B O AT I N G L A B

Light Speed
Reflective fabric
adds an element
of safety to
Inner Pockets this watertight
Its value is en-
jacket.
hanced by inner
pockets to keep
phones or other
gear dry.

FROGG TOGGS HUK


PILOT II RAIN JACKET LEVIATHAN JACKET
$174.99; froggtoggs.com $380; hukgear.com
SIZES: Small to XXXL POCKETS: Dual breast pockets, SIZES: Small to XXXL CUFFS: Neoprene gaskets and
DWR: Teflon dual hand-warmer pockets DWR: Yes Velcro closures
HOOD: Removable CUFFS: Neoprene gaskets and ZIPPERS: YKK water-blocking
HOOD: Fixed
Velcro closures SEAMS: All taped and welded
LINER: Removable quilted puff LINER: Removable fleece,
jacket, optional ZIPPERS: Water-blocking
optional WARRANTY: Lifetime
SEAMS: All taped and welded
The three-layer fabric is treated with Huk’s Reflectek reflective
WARRANTY: Lifetime
coating to add repellency and reflect light. The inner lining is soft
This jacket is made from a three-layer fabric, beginning with a and smooth. An elastic waist drawstring cinches it down over
fine, flexible tricot inner liner that helps keep the wearer cool, the overalls for a snug fit to keep water from seeping upward. The
which is bonded to Frogg Toggs’ Dri Pore 2 breathable, flexible and overalls have a right-side chest zipper and knee-high leg zippers
lightweight fabric. Bonded to that is a tough, flexible, breathable, to slip them on over boots. Welts behind the zippers deflect
abrasion-resistant polyester shell. Optional overalls have water- penetrating rain. Velcro secures the pant cuffs, and a webbed back
resistant full-leg zippers, and adjustable elastic suspenders that distributes the tension of the shoulder straps. Breast, hip and thigh
snap on or off with nylon buckles. pockets—two each—keep small gear handy. The hood is fixed to
WE SAY: The supple jacket flexes with your body, moving, docking,
the jacket, and the drawstring is adjustable.
line handling and fishing easier all day. The coat tail is long for opti- WE SAY: The zipper does not appear to be water-resistant, but
mum coverage, and the sleeves have inner closures to block water a welt behind it is designed to shed water downward and away
from running up the arms. This isn’t the least expensive of the rain from the body. Dual breast and hip pockets are zippered, but
jackets in our test, but its value is impressive, considering the full the closures are not rain-protected. While they didn’t fare well
list of features including ample pockets, contrasting fabrics for in the standing water test, we ultimately decided this jacket
style, soft mesh lining for comfort and a removable hood. Sleeve was a top contender for the money. The finely woven lining is
gaskets were snug but comfortable and an improvement over the softer to the touch than some, the fabric is supple, and comfort
still-wateright Frogg Toggs jacket I’ve worn for three years. is important.
SEALED ZIPPER TEST: In our standing water test, the zippers SEALED ZIPPER TEST: Our test garment’s zippers leaked with
leaked through in less than five minutes. water pooled on them in five minutes.
SEALED ZIPPER SPRAY TEST: No leakage. This was one of the SEALED ZIPPER SPRAY TEST: No leakage. It would have been
jackets that required testing to construction. Because it failed the a nice bonus if it had repelled water pooled on the zippers, and we
standing water test, we expected problems in the spray test. How- wouldn’t downplay its importance, but being able to deflect a hard
PHOTOS: GARRETT CORTESE

ever, we were dead wrong about this worthwhile design. spray from a hose impressed us.
MEMBRANE TEST: No leakage. MEMBRANE TEST: No leakage.
DWR TEST: Water beaded and rolled off. DWR TEST: Water beaded and rolled off.

B O AT I N G M A G . C O M | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 | 7 9
#3167

C SAILFISH
360 CC
CERTIFIED A luxury center-console fishing boat with family
TEST appointments at an attractive price.

Sailfish Boats sets a standard with its new 360 CC, a wide-beam 36-footer. It’s elegant and

S
sophisticated, well-planned and well-executed. With the 360 CC, Sailfish blends a hardcore
fishing machine with a comfortable family cruiser.
PHOTOS: SAILFISH BOATS

You certainly get a sensation of mass when boarding. Unusually high gunwales offer
security to passengers, and everywhere you look has someplace to sit—comfortably.
An expansive forward area for bow fishing converts to lounges with an electric table on
centerline. Removable backrests let you face forward—or sprawl on the huge centerline
lounge hiding tons of stowage for fenders, lines, tackle, dive gear and cleaning supplies.

8 0 | B O AT I N G M A G . C O M | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0
SCA N ME
To see our photo gallery of the
Sailfish 360 CC, scan this tag or
visit boatingmag.com/3167.

Sailfish also insulates it so it can double as a coffin box for all those and head, all capped by a handsome T-top with tinted opening
fish it will raise. In fact, throughout the 360, a masterful use of vents and molded channels to carry water away from passengers.
space provides copious storage. Sailfish employs a “dot-matrix” nonskid pattern that grips well
PHOTOS: SAILFISH BOATS

A through-stem anchor roller and a windlass work in concert yet doesn’t tear up your bare feet or knees and cleans more easily
with another big-boat feature: a freshwater washdown outlet than more aggressive patterns. Additionally, all lights aboard are
(along with transom and amidships outlets) to clear the mud off LED and can flood the boat with 360 degrees of illumination. Un-
the anchor and rode. derwater lights come standard as well. The only options include a
The console houses a stand-up shower, berth, Corian counters Garmin electronics package and the outriggers.

B O AT I N G M A G . C O M | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 | 8 1
Pricewise, this boat is middle of the third of the bottom is a panel with slightly
High Points
road for its type. Compare the Sailfish 360 less deadrise. And the most outboard hull X Impressive standard equipment list.
CC to Cobia’s 344 CC ($222,583 with twin panel, terminating at the inside edge of the X Boat is roomy, with elegant styling, fit
Yamaha F350s). Also check out Boston reverse chines, is a different deadrise angle and finish.
Whaler’s 350 Outrage ($414,991 powered by again. For a simple visual, imagine an in- X Auto-engine flush system inlcuded.

triple 300 hp Mercury Verado outboards). verted shingled roof, in which each course
Triple Yamaha F300s powered our test of shingles is at a slightly steeper angle. Low Points
X Runs flat without any tabs; would prefer a
boat admirably. It’s a big, heavy boat, so we A side door opens inward so you can little higher bow angle for following seas.
didn’t experience head-snapping accel- easily board from a floating dock. This one X A little more “slide” in hard-over turns
eration or frightening top speed, but these also has an excellent four-step ladder for might be welcome.

engines delivered ample performance. climbing out of the water. However, such
The 360 proved stable and dry. It runs doors and ladders are no substitute for a · LOA: 36'0" · BEAM: 11'2" · DRAFT (HULL): 2'4"
· DISPLACEMENT (APPROX.): 12,700 lb.
flat, so you won’t need to use tabs ex- real boarding ladder that you can deploy · TRANSOM DEADRISE: 22 to 24 degrees · BRIDGE
cept for lateral trim. If anything, it would while in the water. The 360 CC transom has CLEARANCE: 9'10" · MAX CABIN HEADROOM: 6'5"
· FUEL CAPACITY: 400 gal. · MAX HORSEPOWER:
be nice if the bow rode a bit higher in a one of those as well. Space has even been 1,050 · AVAILABLE POWER: Twin or triple Yamaha
outboards to 1,050 hp total
engineered into the 360 to fit a Seakeeper
Your choice of optional stabilizer, should you choose that option.
In addition to comfortable seating for
Price: $430,995
(base with test power)
joystick controls is a three at the helm (with impact cushioning
worthwhile investment; on an adjustable-height platform), mez-
zanine seating faces aft for another three,
AVA I L A B L E P O W E R :

so equipped, anyone can O U T B OA R D


and a foldout transom seat accommodates
capably maneuver this more. The huge console fits a pair of 16- or
triple 12-inch multifunction displays.
boat into or out of the slip With 34 rod holders, two pressurized HOW WE TESTED
without anxiety. baitwells of 42 and 32 gallons with a dedi- ENGINE: TRIPLE 300 HP YAMAHA F300 OUTBOARD
cated sea-chest pump system, built-in tackle MOTORS DRIVE/PROP: OUTBOARD/15" X 20" GEAR
RATIO: 1.75:1 FUEL LOAD: 160 GAL. WATER ON
following sea. However, prudent sea- storage, outriggers, insulated coffin box and
BOARD: 35 GAL. CREW WEIGHT: 499 LB.
manship combined with all that internal choice of several fish boxes, the Sailfish 360
volume in the bow should alleviate any CC leaves little doubt as to its angling chops.
problems. The boat responds instantly, —Dean Travis Clarke S A I L F I S H B O AT S
Cairo, Georgia; 229-377-2125; sailfishboats.com
and if you turn the wheel hard over at
speed, it grabs and turns sharply rather
than sliding the transom around. It’s a

C
good riding hull, and unique too. SPEED EFFICIENCY OPERATION
naut. stat. n. mi. s. mi. sound
Sailfish boats ride a hull design the rpm knots mph gph mpg mpg range range angle level
1000 5.69 6.55 3.60 1.58 1.82 569 655 NA 84
builder calls a variable degree stepped hull,
1500 7.99 9.20 6.30 1.27 1.46 457 526 NA 89
or VDS. Rather than a transverse step—or 2000 9.95 11.45 11.10 0.90 1.03 323 371 NA 95
steps across the beam—with chine vents, 2500 14.25 16.40 16.80 0.85 0.98 305 351 NA 95
PHOTO: SAILFISH BOATS

3000 21.33 24.55 20.90 1.02 1.17 367 423 NA 95


as is more common, Sailfish’s VDS hull 3500 29.46 33.90 28.60 1.03 1.19 371 427 NA 85
features longitudinal steps. 4000 33.46 38.50 37.30 0.90 1.03 323 372 NA 90
CERTIFIED 4500 37.63 43.30 51.50 0.73 0.84 263 303 NA 92
From the centerline along the keel to 5000 42.28 48.65 66.50 0.64 0.73 229 263 NA 88
about one-third of the hull bottom’s width TEST 5400 46.36 53.35 78.90 0.59 0.68 212 243 NA 92

is a panel with a deep deadrise. The middle RESULTS MOST ECONOMICAL CRUISING SPEED

8 2 | B O AT I N G M A G . C O M | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0
RETHINK POWER.
2.3L | 310 HP | 350 lb-ft Torque
S C AN ME
To see our video
review of the
Nor-Tech 340
Sport, scan
this tag or visit
boatingmag
.com/3168.

Hull blueprinting, the process of meticulously finishing a hull’s bottom so that mold variances

H
are eliminated and dimensions remain as true to the original design specifications as possible,
is often thought of as a process reserved for race boats. Nor-Tech deems blueprinting worthy of
every boat. The builder also goes so far as to fill and core all the hull strakes for added hull rigid-
PHOTO: TOM KING

ity, strategically add high-density foam, Kevlar and carbon fiber to key areas, and completely
encapsulate its composite stringer grid in fiberglass.
It’s an almost obsessive attention to even the smallest detail that could instantly be felt on the
340 Sport. I brought the craft’s triple Mercury Racing 350 outboards to life, cruised into open water,

8 4 | B O AT I N G M A G . C O M | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0
#3168

C NOR-TECH
CERTIFIED
340 SPORT
TEST Luxury, high performance and fishability in a race
for the fulfillment of your boating desires.

and then anxiously firewalled the throttles. The boat hurtled forward for upscale cruising above the waterline, but a performance heart
with nary a twitch, the numbers on my GPS advancing in rapid suc- clearly beats below its glamorous finish.
cession until I was flirting with 80 mph. Throttling down into the 50s, Step into the cockpit via the starboard-side dive door, and Nor-
I barreled into a hard-over turn and experienced sure-footed stabil- Tech’s Club Sport bench offers the first hint of the luxury that is to
PHOTOS: TOM KING

ity, the 340 almost begging me to pile on more speed. Many boaters come. With plush contours and diamond-pattern stitching, it offers a
might be wary while pushing such limits, especially on a stepped hull full 7 feet of seating space, spanning the entire width of the transom,
bottom, but the 340 Sport proved worthy of my confidence, hugging enough to accommodate a sizable crew. Corner cushions lift out to
the water with utter tenacity. This particular 340 Sport was outfitted step out onto the swim platform. Just forward, a custom-painted

B O AT I N G M A G . C O M | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 | 8 5
Frigid Rigid cooler backs up to the deluxe
leaning post. With its plush upholstered lid,
it creates an aft-facing, double-wide bench
while keeping refreshments within arm’s
reach of all. Slide the Frigid Rigid backward
on its tracks to open up some legroom, and
you can create a second row of forward-
facing seating along the centerline.
At the helm, a trio of segmented spots generous depth offers a notable sense of secu- High Points
await the captain and mates at the deluxe rity for occupants when the boat is running X A-plus for organization; wiring and cabling is
meticulously laid out behind the helm, and
leaning post; flip up the bottom cushions at speed. Raise a powered, trapezoidal panel accessed via a zippered vinyl panel within
to take a seat during more casual cruising. atop the deck to sit level, and throw in a filler the console.
Contoured backrests and generous divid- cushion to fashion a sun bed. Raise it higher, X Acrylic windshield offers protection from
ers provide the locked-in feel you’ll want and it doubles as a table for entertaining. the elements; flared sides deflect wind away
from the captain and crew.
at speed. Storage awaits on the back side, The helm befits Nor-Tech’s performance-
X Large anchor locker includes windlass and
behind the padded wall that doubles as that oriented approach. The expansive dash freshwater shower.
shows off Nor-Tech’s attractive, hand-laid
carbon-fiber panel. On its face sat twin Low Points
Nor-Tech might be a Garmin 8616 16-inch displays, the port of X Don’t twist an ankle—the powered bow
filler/table platform does not recess into the
production builder, which brought up pertinent engine and floor, resulting in a trip point.
fuel info large enough to allow those of us
but the end product with tired eyes to leave our cheater readers
X Premium boat deserves pneumatic shocks
or articulating hinges on all seat bottoms
is highly customized. in our pockets. Dual throttles and shifters and hatches; Nor-Tech uses the occasional
inexpensive stainless-steel hatch spring.
sit adjacent to a stainless wheel. Within the
Exterior paint schemes, console, 6 feet of headroom awaits, along
X Screwed-in panel blocks easy access to the
fuel sending unit.
motors, upholstery colors, with a marine toilet and stainless-steel sink.
flooring, and even details A skylight and twin screened ports provide
natural light and ventilation. A 6-foot-deep
· LOA: 34'0" · BEAM: 10'0" · DRAFT (MAX): 2'8"
· DISPLACEMENT (APPROX.): 9,500 lb.
· TRANSOM DEADRISE: 21.5 degrees · BRIDGE
as minor as cushion berth may get tight from the knees down, but CLEARANCE: 9'6" · FUEL CAPACITY: 275 gal.
· MAX HORSEPOWER: 1,350 · AVAILABLE
stitching can all be chosen it offers a spot to nap or overnight.
Given Nor-Tech’s impressive level of cus-
POWER: Twin or triple Mercury Marine outboards
up to 450 hp each

by the customer. tomization, it’s difficult to find a direct com-


Price: $453,000
petitor, but Fountain certainly has a similar (base with triple Mercury
Racing 350 R outboards)
Frigid Rigid’s backrest. Opt for a tackle cen- taste for speed. Like the 340 Sport, the Foun-
ter should you desire a fishier focus. In fact, tain 34 CC features a double-step hull, and
add a transom livewell, convert the pair of in- similar layout and helm. With triple Mercury AVA I L A B L E P O W E R :
sole storage lockers to fish boxes, and include Verado 350s, it starts at $409,400. O U T B OA R D
plenty of rod holders and inwale storage, and Clearly, performance of this level has a
you’re ready to bag that trophy fish. price. But in the case of the 340 Sport, I’d ar-
Overhead, Nor-Tech’s custom hardtop gue you get what you pay for. The proof is ob-
offers ample shade. It’s created from a viously found in the amenities and attention HOW WE TESTED
two-part mold, giving the bottom stylized to detail topside, but don’t overlook the time ENGINES: Triple Mercury Racing 350 R PROPS:
contours, and incorporates lights and an that’s gone into the hull. Because, as my test Mercury Rev 4 14.625" x 25" 4-blade stainless steel
GEAR RATIO: 1.75:1 FUEL LOAD: 69 gal. WATER ON
overhead electronics box with a cushioned ride showed, that’s where the magic happens.
BOARD: 0 gal. CREW WEIGHT: 600 lb.
interior liner. Extend the top’s shade aft with —Jeff Hemmel
N O R -T E C H B O AT S
the optional SureShade. The latter’s hard- Fort Myers, Florida; 239-567-5030; nor-techboats.com
ware is likewise built right into the hardtop
for a seamless finished appearance.
SPEED EFFICIENCY OPERATION

C
Nor-Tech’s focus on passenger comfort naut. stat. n. mi. s. mi. sound
continues forward of the console. Two ad- rpm knots mph gph mpg mpg range range angle level
1000 5.82 6.70 4.20 1.39 1.60 343 395 1 68
ditional crewmembers can relax in what 1500 8.08 9.30 8.00 1.01 1.16 250 288 3 70
can best be described as a 4-foot-wide sun 2000 12.34 14.20 14.80 0.83 0.96 206 237 5 77
2500 20.94 24.10 16.00 1.31 1.51 324 373 2 83
pad with full-size, forward-facing back- 3000 27.98 32.20 19.40 1.44 1.66 357 411 2 84
rests. Stretch out and flip down the center 3500 36.93 42.50 30.10 1.23 1.41 304 349 2 85
4000 41.10 47.30 36.40 1.13 1.30 279 322 1 89
armrest, and you’ve possibly got the most 4500 47.53 54.70 54.00 0.88 1.01 218 251 0 95
PHOTO: TOM KING

comfortable—and cozy—seats aboard. CERTIFIED 5000 53.88 62.00 59.00 0.91 1.05 226 260 0 97
5500 57.53 66.20 83.40 0.69 0.79 171 196 0 94
Stainless-steel grab rails stretch nearly the TEST 6000 63.70 73.30 92.30 0.69 0.79 171 197 0 95
full length for peace of mind. Opposite, more RESULTS 6400 68.74 47.70 97.30 0.71 0.49 175 121 0 98
seating rings the squared-off bow cockpit. Its MOST ECONOMICAL CRUISING SPEED

8 6 | B O AT I N G M A G . C O M | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0
INTRODUCING THE ALL NEW

SERIES
38

338 | 35 | 38GLS | 39EC | 42C | 46C | 50C | 54C | 54F | 60C | 60F

For more information on the 38 GLS or to locate a dealer, visit


cruisersyachts.com
S C AN ME
To view a photo
gallery of the
Regulator 26XO,
scan this tag or
visit boatingmag
.com/3169.

Crossover boats are all the rage. Regulator Marine’s answer is in its new 26XO. Are there

C
trade-offs with such a boat?
Understand that the 26XO’s territory consists of estuaries and near-coastal waters. It’s not the
boat for 70-mile canyon runs, but its Lou Codega-designed modified-V hull (17-degree transom
PHOTO: BILL DOSTER

deadrise) is more than capable of running gnarly inlets and venturing a few miles offshore. The
design’s combination of sharp bow entry, flare, subtle curves, reverse chines, lifting strakes, care-
fully shaped running surface, and weight results in predictable performance and inspires confi-
dence. We shook out the test rig in sharp, choppy bay waters, and it ran dry without pounding at

8 8 | B O AT I N G M A G . C O M | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0
#3169

C REGULATOR
CERTIFIED
26XO
Regulator’s 26XO blends family amenities with the features of both
TEST offshore and inshore fishing boats.
PHOTOS: COURTESY REGULATOR MARINE

speeds from the mid-20s to low 30s with six people aboard. drilled with jigs, for precision. From hull and liner lamination to
The strength that Codega engineered into the design and assembly and quality control, we got to see the process firsthand.
Regulator’s rock-solid construction make it safe and stable at This is a long-legged boat for both fishing and exploring.
rest and underway. Design details such as rounded corners on Loping along easily at 27 to 32 mph (4,000 to 4,500 rpm), it
the transom for maneuverability at low speeds, a subtle crown boasts a range of over 200 miles. The standard Yamaha F300
on the sole leading any water to a gutter system that drains over- outboard offers appropriate power for realistic cruising speeds
board, and secure glove boxes at the helm make the boat easy to and efficient operation in big waters, with plenty of pull for
live with. Hatches fit. Holes for all bolts that mount fittings are casual tow sports when equipped with an optional, removable

B O AT I N G M A G . C O M | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 | 8 9
tow bar. Top speed is in the mid-40s.
Meanwhile, the hull’s 14-inch draft, mod-
erate deadrise, transom hull pocket, and
standard SeaStar Solutions hydraulic jack
plate with a 6-inch setback make shallow-
water operation easy, whether fishing or
beaching at a sandbar. but a pair of 12-inch Garmin 7612 XSV dis- High Points
X New shallow-draft hull design works on
Other features appreciated by families plays ($3,195) are available with the same inshore and near-coastal waters.
and anglers alike include a hardtop that VHF and transducer setup. You can also opt X Graceful hardtop provides ample shade, a
shades the helm and the seat forward of for a Garmin XO Convenience Package with wraparound safety-glass windshield and
the console, well-placed grab handles, cup autopilot and GMR 24xHD radar ($7,295). handholds.
X Large casting platforms forward and
holders, and USB charging ports. The con- The 26XO is also a competent inshore
aft convert to comfortable seats with
sole houses a vented, lighted compartment vessel, which we saw clearly while jigging abundant stowage beneath.
with 60 inches of headroom and a standard for stripers along a channel edge. With the X Easy access to wiring, plumbing and
portable toilet, but it can be fitted with a cushions off, the forward lounges become mechanical systems.
a casting deck, with lockable horizontal
Low Points
Uniquely, Regulator’s rod stowage beneath. Even more impor-
tant, our test boat carried an optional
X Some boaters will want larger engine
options.
single-piece stringer 36-volt Minn Kota Riptide Ulterra trolling X Make sure the vent for the hull’s transom

system is bonded to the motor with i-Pilot, a 36-amp charger, and pocket is open when running, or a vacuum
will form that hurts performance.
three deep-cycle batteries neatly stowed in
hull in the mold, resulting a dedicated compartment under the fore- · LOA: 26'9" · BEAM: 9'3" · DRAFT: 1'2" (engine
in tremendous structural deck. The three seats behind the livewell/ up) · DISPLACEMENT: 5,900 lb. (with engine)
· TRANSOM DEADRISE: 17 degrees · FUEL
tackle center fold down to form a huge
integrity and a rock-solid stern casting deck.
CAPACITY: 107 gal. · WATER CAPACITY: 20
gal. · BRIDGE CLEARANCE: 9'0" · MAX CABIN

feel in waves. This boat’s rigging proved immaculate,


HEADROOM: 5'4" · MAX HORSEPOWER: 300
· AVAILABLE POWER: Single Yamaha F300
and I saw why on the assembly line, watch-
permanent model, holding tank and elec- ing skilled technicians take care in their Price: $134,995
(as tested)
tric pump-out. Snap in the cushions for the work. The 26XO should prove easy to care
bow’s port-and-starboard storage com- for. And by careful design and execution, it
partments, and tilt up their forward-facing handles multiple missions well. It may be AVA I L A B L E P O W E R :

seatbacks to create a pair of lounges. The Regulator’s most versatile model. Shop- O U T B OA R D
forward console seats two in comfort, with pers will want to check out Pathfinder’s 26
a cooler beneath, as does the helm’s lean- TRS (about $128,000 with a Yamaha F300
ing post. A 32-gallon livewell is built into and comparable equipment) or Boston
the tackle center behind the helm seats, Whaler’s 270 Dauntless ($136,928 with a HOW WE TESTED
with tackle storage beneath. Forward of 350 hp Mercury Verado), a well-proven ENGINE: 300 hp Yamaha F300 DRIVE/PROP:

hybrid of similar layout. Outboard/Yamaha Saltwater Series II 15.5" x 17"


the console’s front seat is an illuminated
3-blade stainless steel GEAR RATIO: 1.86:1 FUEL
70-gallon in-sole fish box. Don’t take my word for it. Schedule a LOAD: 40 gal. CREW WEIGHT: 600 lb.
The stern deck offers three cushioned sea trial of all three and see for yourself.
seats side by side, plus storage and a swim —John Page Williams R E G U L AT O R M A R I N E
Edenton, North Carolina; 252-482-3837;
platform with retractable ladder to port. regulatormarine.com
A 20-gallon freshwater system serves a
shower wand at the transom. A Bluetooth-
SPEED EFFICIENCY OPERATION

C
capable, four-speaker marine stereo is naut. stat. n. mi. s. mi. sound
standard, with a Polk Ultramarine package rpm knots mph gph mpg mpg range range angle level
1000 4.4 5.1 1.3 3.4 3.9 328.3 377.8 0 64
optional. 1500 6.0 6.9 2.1 2.9 3.3 275.0 316.4 1 65
OK, it’s comfortable, but after all, 2000 7.1 8.2 3.7 1.9 2.2 185.5 213.4 3 70
2500 7.8 9.0 5.6 1.4 1.6 134.5 154.8 4 73
Regulators are fishboats at their cores. For 3000 8.5 9.8 8.0 1.1 1.2 102.5 118.0 6 76
bluewater duties, opt for Taco Grand Slam 3500 13.6 15.6 10.0 1.4 1.6 130.5 150.2 4 80
4000 23.8 27.4 12.5 1.9 2.2 183.4 211.1 4 82
390 outriggers ($3,495) and T-top rocket
PHOTO: BILL DOSTER

4500 27.5 31.6 15.1 1.8 2.1 175.1 201.5 4 84


launcher ($1,895). A 16-inch Garmin GPS- CERTIFIED 5000 33.0 38.0 21.1 1.6 1.8 150.7 173.4 3 86
5500 36.9 42.5 26.2 1.4 1.6 135.7 156.2 3 89
Map 8616 chart plotter/sounder comes TEST 5700 38.3 44.1 26.4 1.5 1.7 139.8 160.9 3 92
standard, with a VHF and Airmar CHIRP RESULTS MOST ECONOMICAL CRUISING SPEED
transducer mounted to the through-hull,

9 0 | B O AT I N G M A G . C O M | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0
uncomfortable
ιQӌNιP S I WιUEιO >XKQNXKPIWXKEXKO@
adjective
Having to explain why your boat still rolls.

“HONEY... WE’RE ROLLING”

seakeeper.com
High Points
X Michael Peters’ 20-degree transom
deadrise hull performs well in
choppy seas.
X Cockpit seating is ingenious and highly
flexible.
X Great storage around the helm, with
chargers and USB plugs.

Low Points
X Bow roller and anchor are quite a spear
over the bow.
X Grab handles would be appreciated by

JEANNEAU
bow riders.
X We’d like to see more fuel capacity in a
boat rated for 300 hp.

Leader 7.5 CC Toughest Competitor


X The Release 24 R ($85,810 powered
like our test boat) offers loads of seat-
ing and a generous head, but no mini
“Convertibility” is a word privacy and lots of stor- entire bow is a sun pad. galley or berth in the console.

that pops up often when Nick age equals happy families. We tested with the
Harvey, president of Jean- Showers are located not just Yamaha 300 outboard and, · LOA: 24'4" · BEAM: 8'4" · DRAFT (MAX): 1'10"
· DISPLACEMENT (APPROX.): 3,064 lb. · TRANSOM
neau America, talks about at the stern but also forward, while a 250 is available, go for DEADRISE: 20 degrees · BRIDGE CLEARANCE:
the new Jeanneau Leader and 32-inch-high gunwales the 300. It has yank power for 5'8" (with hardtop) · FUEL CAPACITY: 75 gal. · MAX
HORSEPOWER: 300 · AVAILABLE POWER: 250 to 300
7.5 CC center-console. Born keep kids secure. wakeboarding or skiing. We
and bred in France and now The cockpit almost re- topped out at 50-plus mph,
Price: $81,800
living in Maryland, Harvey quires a manual. It can be and you’ll want to warn your
might be melding French wide-open, it has fold-down crew before you put the ham-
and English, but it perfectly seats on three sides and mer down—it’s hang-on time!
AVA I L A B L E P O W E R :
describes this 25-footer, a central table, and it can Jeanneau understands
service access; the battery O U T B OA R D
box is right there in a transom
To see a photo gallery of the Jeanneau MORE locker, the gas tank is under
Leader 7.5 CC, visit boatingmag.com/3170. ONLINE a cockpit hatch, and the neat, HOW WE TESTED
color-coded wiring is easy to ENGINE: 300 hp Yamaha F300 DRIVE/PROP: Yamaha
trace for troubleshooting. 17" x 15.5" Saltwater Series II 3-blade stainless steel
which can be what you want become a sun pad. The skip- This delightful French im- GEAR RATIO: 1.75:1 FUEL LOAD: 75 gal. CREW
WEIGHT: 400 lb.
it to be and then convert per and a companion get port is as welcome as a choco-
back easily. two comfy pedestal chairs late croissant. —Chris Caswell JEANNEAU AMERICA
Annapolis, Maryland; 410-280-9400;
Center-consoles tend behind a tidy dash with a 12- jeanneauamerica.com
toward fishing, so the 7.5 CC inch Garmin display, Lenco
has all the usual amenities. trim tabs and stylish wrap-
SPEED EFFICIENCY OPERATION
These include a 52-inch around windscreen. Our test naut. stat. n. mi. s. mi. sound
fish box, rod racks in the boat boasted the optional rpm knots mph gph mpg mpg range range angle level

C
1000 4.8 5.5 1.3 3.7 4.2 248.2 285.6 0 71
coaming, and so forth. But (but no-brainer) hardtop 1500 6.3 7.2 3.3 1.9 2.2 128.0 147.3 1 73
PHOTO: COURTESY JEANNEAU AMERICA

Jeanneau positions the with power-coated frame 2000 7.5 8.6 3.6 2.1 2.4 140.1 161.3 2 76
2500 9.9 11.4 5.4 1.8 2.1 123.8 142.5 2 78
Leader 7.5 CC as a “cruising and canvas sunshade. 3000 17.4 20.0 6.5 2.7 3.1 180.5 207.7 3 80
center-console” for family Forward, get the manual 3500 23.5 27.1 8.4 2.8 3.2 189.2 217.8 2 80
4000 28.2 32.4 11.9 2.4 2.7 159.7 183.8 1 82
fun, and here’s where it again. We started with a ta-
4500 31.5 36.2 15.3 2.1 2.4 138.8 159.7 2 82
shines the brightest. ble with seating that wraps 5000 36.2 41.7 18.7 1.9 2.2 130.8 150.5 1 84
First of all, the entire around on four sides—per- CERTIFIED
5500 40.4 46.5 22.7 1.8 2.0 120.2 138.3 1 89
5900 44.1 50.7 26.6 1.7 1.9 111.8 128.7 1 89
center console is a private fect for afternoons at the
TEST
head (with either a built- sandbar. Pull out a support MOST ECONOMICAL CRUISING SPEED
RESULTS
in or portable toilet), since framework and voila—the

9 2 | B O AT I N G M A G . C O M | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0
PASSION. PRECISION. PERFORMANCE
T
TESTS

#3171

High Points
X Affordable price point doesn’t mean a
bland, single-color interior. Choices
include cognac, tan or gray.
X In-floor ski locker is supersize, with a
wide access hatch to accommodate
larger items.
X Deep bow and swim platforms are ideal
for fishing, coving and watersports, as
well as boarding at a dock or beach.

Low Points
X Storage liner is not fully finished above
the gas tank, leaving gaps that may
swallow up smaller items.

STARCRAFT X Outboards may be visible, but novice


captains would still benefit from a
standard trim position gauge.

SVX 211 OB
X Pull straps would make it easier to
open the hinged seat cushions that
conceal stowage within.

Toughest Competitor
X NauticStar’s 203 SC (promotional
Starcraft’s SVX 211 OB won’t pedestal seats. Get fishier A Suzuki 200 powered our pricing of $32,269 with a Yamaha 115).
break the bank, but it will with a trolling motor. test boat, an upgrade from the
entertain a crowd, perform Watersports junkies will base 115 hp engine. It planed · LOA: 20'11" · BEAM: 8'6" · DRAFT (MAX): 2'11"
· DISPLACEMENT: 2,685 lb. · TRANSOM DEADRISE:
admirably, and tow your appreciate a ski-tow pole. in 4.3 seconds, powered past 14 degrees · BRIDGE CLEARANCE: 4'0" · FUEL
favorite watersports. Additional options include 30 mph in 7.6, and peaked at CAPACITY: 45 gal. · MAX HORSEPOWER: 200
· AVAILABLE POWER: Single gasoline outboards to
The price is kept down gelcoat hull striping, full a respectable 46.6 mph. The 200 hp
by offering fewer stan- snap-in Marine Mat cockpit 200 offers welcome growing
dards and allowing buy- flooring, bow filler cushions room as a novice boater’s skill
Price: $38,170
ers to option to suit their and cockpit table, and addi- and comfort levels increase. (with 115 hp)
lifestyle. Still, we didn’t tional rear-facing speakers. Below, a new hull design
carries the load, featuring a
dihedral V with a stern pad AVA I L A B L E P O W E R :
To watch our video review of the
Starcraft SVX 211 OB, visit
MORE that promises to improve O U T B OA R D
boatingmag.com/3171. ONLINE performance and maximize
fuel economy by delivering
water to the prop with less HOW WE TESTED
notice much scrimping. The SVX’s layout proves resistance. At 3,500 rpm, ENGINE: Suzuki 200 DRIVE/PROP: Outboard/Suzuki
The fiberglass helm sports a practical. Seating essentially we noted a 6 gph fuel burn 16" x 21.5" 3-blade stainless steel GEAR RATIO: 2.50:1

faux-leather-wrapped steer- rings the perimeter, starting while running at 25 mph. FUEL LOAD: 34 gal. CREW WEIGHT: 340 lb.

ing wheel, Bluetooth-ready with parallel couches in the —Jeff Hemmel S TA R C R A F T M A R I N E


New Paris, Indiana; 574-831-2950;
Jensen stereo (coupled to bow and culminating in an starcraftmarine.com
four speakers), and bucket L-shaped bench that spans
helm seat with flip-up bol- the port side and across the SPEED EFFICIENCY OPERATION
naut. stat. n. mi. s. mi. sound
ster. Telescoping ladders transom. Combined with rpm knots mph gph mpg mpg range range angle level

C
bow and stern ease water the pivoting helm seat, that 1000 4.00 4.60 0.70 5.71 6.57 231 266 0 61
1500 5.56 6.40 1.20 4.63 5.33 188 216 1 66
access whether nosed into makes 14 seats. Lone in- 2000 6.78 7.80 2.00 3.39 3.90 137 158 3 67
the beach or anchored out. terruptions include a step 2500 8.52 9.80 3.00 2.84 3.27 115 132 5 69
3000 10.17 11.70 4.10 2.48 2.85 100 116 7 76
Stainless-steel grab rails, onto the forward platform,
3500 21.72 25.00 6.00 3.62 4.17 147 169 4 79
a Bimini top, and comfy starboard-side transom 4000 27.72 31.90 7.90 3.51 4.04 142 164 3 83
PHOTO: BILL DOSTER

Marine Mat flooring on both walk-through, and a simple 4500 29.63 34.10 8.20 3.61 4.16 146 168 3 83
5000 33.89 39.00 12.10 2.80 3.22 113 131 3 84
the bow and stern platforms portside galley with sink 5500 37.89 43.60 16.20 2.34 2.69 95 109 3 87
were likewise included. and cup holders. Option up CERTIFIED 6000 39.10 45.00 17.00 2.30 2.65 93 107 3 89
6300 40.49 46.60 18.00 2.25 2.59 91 105 3 89
Options? A fishing pack- for the freshwater tank and TEST
age adds a livewell and two pump faucet system. RESULTS MOST ECONOMICAL CRUISING SPEED

9 4 | B O AT I N G M A G . C O M | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0
You own a boat because you love spending time on the water. Choose the outboard that allows you to make the most of it.
Honda’s legendary reliability, durability, ease-of-maintenance, and powerful performance keep you going strong.

GET UP TO 700 OFF SELECT OUTBOARDS!


$ *

JANUARY 2, 2020-MARCH 31, 2020, ONLY AT PARTICIPATING DEALERS


*At participating dealers only. Qualifying retail customers may receive instant savings off the selling price of a Honda powered boat package or Honda Marine engine(s) sold for repower. This promotion is limited to new Honda Marine
40 HP through 250 HP outboard engines, 2014 and newer models, sold and delivered between January 2, 2020 and March 31, 2020 and registered by the Dealer in accordance with American Honda Motor Co., Inc.’s sales registration
requirements. Only Honda Marine outboard engines sold for personal use qualify for this promotion. Fleet, commercial & government sales are ineligible. Engines sold under special pricing / promotions including (but not limited to) demo
and tournament fisherman engines are also excluded. Honda Marine reserves the right to modify, amend, cancel or revoke, in whole or in part, this promotion at any time without prior notice. © 2020 American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
Always wear a personal flotation device while boating and read your owner’s manual. All Honda outboards meet EPA and CARB emission levels.
High Points
X Diamond Hull allows for a soft, easily
crossed slalom wake and minimal
spray, plus good-size wakes and waves.
X Attention to detail and styling is as good
as it gets.
X Choice of towers and options, such as
center-mounted ski pylon and short
wing windshield.

MALIBU Low Points


X We’d add a windshield wiper.

Wakesetter 20 VTX X Our test boat’s ski tower rattled


somewhat at high speed.

Toughest Competitor
X Shopping? Look at the Nautique Super
Can one boat do it all? helps generate respectable is no 25-footer, but it gener- Air Nautique GS 20 (starting at $110,040
with a 355 hp PCM ZZ5 5.3L DI).
Malibu’s Wakesetter 20 wakeboard and wakesurf ates really respectable wakes
VTX excels for skiing, wake- waves, yet still allows slalom and waves.
· LOA: 20'0" · BEAM: 8'2" · DRAFT (MAX): 2'3"
boarding and wakesurfing. skiing. We noted a soft, read- How to do it? The 12-inch · DISPLACEMENT (APPROX.): 5,843 lb. · TRANSOM
DEADRISE: NA · BRIDGE CLEARANCE: 3'6" (top
Our test boat was pow- ily crossable wake at slalom MaliView touchscreen uses of windshield) · FUEL CAPACITY: 38 gal. · MAX
ered by a 360 hp Malibu speeds and little spray graphics, and it affords finger- HORSEPOWER: 360 · AVAILABLE POWER: Single
Malibu Monsoon M5Di or M6Di inboard to 430 hp
Monsoon M5Di engine. De- during our test. Option up tap control of the ballast,
veloping 400 foot-pounds for the short wing wind- Power Wedge III, Surf Gate
of torque at 3,600 rpm, this shield, center-mounted ski and navigation. After a few Price: $105,690
(with test power)
engine delivered awesome pylon and TXi Performance trips, you’ll discover how to
set up presets for rider pref-
AVA I L A B L E P O W E R :
erences, media controls and
To see a photo gallery of the V- D R I V E
MORE a variety of gauge displays.
Malibu Wakesetter 20 VTX, visit
boatingmag.com/3172. ONLINE Really, it’s easy.
Seeking a top-of-the-line,
HOW WE TESTED
triple-sport boat that’s easily
ENGINE: 360 hp Malibu Monsoon M5Di DRIVE/
throttle control whether Tower, the mounting geom- trailerable and will even fit in PROP: V-drive/15" x 13" 3-blade bronze GEAR
ballasted down or running etry of which allows a sla- many garages? Go ahead and RATIO: 1.50:1 FUEL LOAD: 19 gal. WATER ON
light and fast. I’ve visited the lom tow line to swing across demo a Malibu Wakesetter 20 BOARD: 0 gal. CREW WEIGHT: 400 lb.

facility where Malibu builds the cockpit. VTX. —Kevin Falvey M A L I B U B O AT S


these engines and came Then pro rider Massi- Loudon, Tennessee; 865-458-5478; malibuboats.com

away impressed with the miliano Piffaretti broke


attention to detail in build out his board. We deployed
SPEED EFFICIENCY OPERATION
that enables them to earn the Malibu Power Wedge naut. stat. n. mi. s. mi. sound

C
the highest efficiency rating III—a hydrofoil delivering rpm knots mph gph mpg mpg range range angle level
1000 4.61 5.30 1.08 4.26 4.91 146 168 0 60
there is, the CARB five-star response equal to 1,500 1500 6.08 7.00 2.09 2.91 3.35 100 115 1 63
rating. Key service points pounds of ballast—and the
PHOTO: COURTESY MALIBU BOATS

2000 7.13 8.20 3.60 1.98 2.28 68 78 3 66


2500 8.78 10.10 6.00 1.46 1.68 50 58 5 71
are easy to access and, as wake grew. Then we filled 3000 18.38 21.15 7.00 2.63 3.02 90 103 3 74
our chart shows, the M5Di the ballast tanks and adjust- 3500 22.94 26.40 8.60 2.67 3.07 91 105 3 79
4000 26.07 30.00 10.70 2.44 2.80 83 96 2 83
proved quiet underway. ed Malibu’s Surf Gate (ver-
4500 29.68 34.15 13.30 2.23 2.57 76 88 2 85
The feature that best be- tically mounted trim tabs 5000 32.85 37.80 16.90 1.94 2.24 66 76 1 90
stows three-sport cred upon that help shape waves) to CERTIFIED 5603 35.58 40.95 23.20 1.53 1.77 52 60 1 96

the 20 VTX is the Diamond Massi’s liking, and things got TEST
MOST ECONOMICAL CRUISING SPEED
Hull. Specially shaped, it cool fast. Hey, the 20 VTX RESULTS

9 6 | B O AT I N G M A G . C O M | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0
There’s a reason they say, Curse like a sailor.
That’s why we offer basic plans starting at $100 a year with
options that won’t depreciate your watercraft and accessories*.

1.800.PROGRESSIVE | PROGRESSIVE.COM
T
TESTS

#3173

High Points
X All EX models boast the best capacities
in the Rec Lite category, with 13.2 gal-
lons of fuel capacity and 7.7 gallons of
standard storage.
X Two-tone Hydro-Turf EVA traction
mats, a spring-loaded boarding step,
and dual mirrors are all standard.
X Glove box is exceptionally deep, with
room for multiple water bottles,
sunscreen, a towrope, etc.

Low Points
X Bow storage is shallow; many items,
including a spare life jacket, won’t make
the cut.
X Taller riders may feel oversize on

YAMAHA
the craft and have trouble seeing the
information display.

Toughest Competitor

WaveRunner EXR X Sea-Doo’s three-passenger Spark


TRIXX ($8,099) boasts 90 hp and
weighs a mere 438 pounds, likewise
giving it punchy acceleration, albeit a
slightly slower 50 mph top speed. The
EXR is the superior craft in rough-water
Low-cost, recreationally now-110 hp engine also weight off the stern, and spun conditions, as well as roomier for the
minded personal watercraft features an increased 8,000 180s or power-slid into turns. occasional second and third person.
The Spark is the more playful craft, with
have proven to be a huge rpm rev limit, a 700 rpm The potential airtime is often adjustable-height handlebars, footwell
hit with new riders, but boost over the existing 7,300 missing with today’s heavier, wedges and an extended nozzle trim,
making tricks—like actual wheelies—
hardcore types also flock to rpm threshold. Other chang- bulkier models. a breeze.
them, due to agility and light es include a top-loading Though definitely perfor-
weight. Yamaha gave these intake grate to better feed mance-minded, the EXR does
· LOA: 10'3.6" · BEAM: 3'8.5" · DRY WEIGHT: 540 lb.
aggressive types the last the pump and provide in- feature a few notable extras, · DISPLACEMENT: 1,049 cc · FUEL CAPACITY:
13.2 gal. · MAX HORSEPOWER: 110
piece of the puzzle: a better creased traction in turns, a such as RiDE, Yamaha’s dual
horsepower-to-weight ratio. 40 mm pump extension to control system that gives for-
ward and reverse thrust sep- Price: $9,299
arate throttles on opposite
To see our online photo gallery
of the Yamaha WaveRunner EXR,
MORE sides of the handlebar. The in- AVA I L A B L E P O W E R :

go to boatingmag.com/3173. ONLINE tuitive system eases docking JET DRIVE


and tight-quarters maneu-
vering at low speed by redi-
The result is the EXR—what boost acceleration response, recting thrust via measured HOW WE TESTED
company reps enthusiasti- and even a slight change to a use of the reverse bucket. ENGINE: Yamaha Marine TR-1 High Output 1,049 cc
PUMP/IMPELLER: 144 mm high-pressure pump
cally dub a “crotch rocket.” throatier exhaust note. That same thrust redirection
with stainless-steel impeller GEAR RATIO: 1.00:1
Adding power and drop- The result is a significant can also provide significant FUEL LOAD: 10 gal. CREW WEIGHT: 155 lb.
ping weight proved simple. bump in overall fun factor stopping power when applied
YA M A H A
Swapping conventional hull and a nod to favored Yamaha at speed. —Jeff Hemmel Kennesaw, Georgia; 800-962-7926;
construction for Yamaha’s two-strokes of old. Grabbing yamahawaverunners.com

high-tech Nano 2 system a handful of throttle, I not-


PHOTO: COURTESY YAMAHA MOTOR CORP. USA

C
reduces the EXR’s weight ed the EXR responded with
to 540 pounds, a 60-pound a raw quickness missing in
drop from the otherwise the craft’s tamer EX siblings. NUMBER TOP SPEED S T O WA G E A P P L I C AT I O N :
OF RIDERS (MPH) CA PAC I T Y R E C R E AT I O N A L /
comparable EX Deluxe. Keeping it pegged, the GPS (GAL.) TOURING

Added power comes from edged upward of 54.5 mph,


modifying the engine con- nearly 5 mph faster than
trol unit (ECU), which ups other EX models. More fun 3 54 7.7
the 1,049  cc three-cylinder than the increased straight- CERTIFIED

TR-1 engine’s horsepower line speed came when I TEST


by roughly 10 percent. The punched it, shifted my RESULTS

9 8 | B O AT I N G M A G . C O M | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0
SOUND
BUSINESS
Inside the Mercury NVH labs can accommodate boats up to not far from a regional airport.
45 feet in length, used to rig and Engineers went so far as to con-
Our now-retired colleague Bob sensations we hear and feel, par- install instruments on boats for duct ground-vibration studies.
Stearns once remarked that he ticularly as related to vehicles. on-water NVH testing, and a The hemi-anechoic chambers
thought a two-stroke outboard Mercury constructed its first dedicated “modal analysis and are isolated within the building,
“sounds like it’s going to throw hemi-anechoic chamber (what MOI/CG” bay, used for mea- supported on giant springs—you
a rod right through the block.” some call a soundproof room) suring vibration characteristics can see a rubber gasket at the
This was 30 years ago, and to in Oshkosh in 1971, then opened and mass/inertia properties of entrance doorway threshold—to
be fair, Stearns spoke with a a larger and more sophisticated engines and components. shield them from vibration. The
bit of a cackle himself. But the NVH lab in Fond du Lac in 1999, Siting the building was a chal- walls and ceiling are covered by
point is, a marine engine’s sound with a single 665-square-foot lenge on property directly adja- a perforated steel wedge frame
makes an impression. Manag- hemi-anechoic chamber. The cent to a six-lane highway and filled with absorbing material
ing that sound is a science that’s new NVH Technical Center
important to both regulators features two 1,200-square-foot
and marketers; it’s so impor- chambers, each capable of test-
tant that Mercury Marine re- ing engines up to 1,000 horse-
cently invested $10 million in a power. Because these are ma-
new 20,000-square-foot NVH rine engines, water is required,
(noise, vibration and harshness) and there’s a 66,000-gallon
Technical Center at its Fond du tank below the floor of each
Lac, Wisconsin, campus. Merc chamber. The engine to be
says it’s the largest and most ex- tested is mounted over a hole
pensive facility of its kind in the in the floor in the center of the
marine industry. chamber. The new building
“Delivering superior NVH also houses a vessel bay that
characteristics provides an en-
hanced user experience for our
customers and ultimately gives
us a competitive advantage in Muffling predominate intake the NVH lab using an acoustic that source was the crankshaft
PHOTOS: COURTESY MERCURY MARINE

the market,” says Andrew Wai- and exhaust sound can reveal holographic array, a device position sensor that collects
sanen, manager of the NVH & new noises of curious origins. with an HD camera surrounded impulses from teeth on top of
Structures Group at Mercury During the development of the by 54 microphones used to the flywheel—the sound was air
Marine. “Engineering low vibra- Mercury 2.1-liter outboards, the visually project a sound field whizzing between the sensor
tion levels into the product also engineering team became puz- onto a test subject to discover and the teeth. The shape of the
leads to increased durability.” zled by a high-pitched whistle. the exact location of a noise. In sensor was changed, and the
NVH is the study of The source was pinpointed in the case of the 2.1-liter motor, sound disappeared.

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BOAT DOCTOR ///

that creates an environment


similar to being on a boat in
open water, where there are no
surfaces to reflect noise back
toward the operator. The new
chambers achieve a noise floor
that’s more than 10 decibels
lower than the previous facility,
according to Waisanen.
The collective cost of
microphone-related instru-
mentation and data-acquisition
equipment in each chamber is
about $150,000, according to
Waisanen. That includes a bin-
aural microphone system that

PHOTO: COURTESY MERCURY MARINE


looks like a human head and
torso to accurately mimic the
way we hear. The combination headphones; the listener can in- realistic, high-fidelity sound sound can be tuned for a specific
of microphones in each ear and stinctively identify the location recordings that can be used for market, which is why a high-
the shape of the head provide a sound is coming from, such as subjective analysis and jury performance Pro XS outboard
an accurate spatial dimension in front of or behind the listener. evaluations, analysis used to sounds much different than a
to the sound recording when The binaural microphone sys- identify sounds to eliminate or Verado. And neither sounds like
played back through a set of tem is primarily used to provide desired sounds to highlight. The it’s about to throw a rod.
SOLACE
345

PHOTO: FOREST JOHNSON

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SCA N ME
Learn more about the Solace 345 and past
Boat of the Year winners. Scan this tag or
visit boatingmag.com/boatoftheyear.

he mantra Boating’s editorial staff lives by with respect This year, though, after testing some 150 differ-

T
to choosing the Boat of the Year is “category killer.” We ent types of boats built by dozens of manufacturers,
don’t always get one. But we did this year. the Solace 345 (featured in the November/December
As time goes by, boats keep getting better and bet- 2019 issue) stood out as a killer design. Its arrange-
ter. One need not look too far back to a time when ment, which extends the cockpit aft between widely
some real junk boats coexisted with some mighty fine spaced outboards, is as much a stand-alone innovation
craft. Today, the spread between good and bad—be- as it is an integration of the latest in propulsion, with
tween innovative and run-of-the-mill—is narrower. courageous design and flawless execution. This feature
Market forces, technological advances, government may influence boats on the whole in the future, but the
regulation and more-informed boaters can all take Solace 345 center-console fishing boat stands out for
credit for this sea change. Recreational powerboating, numerous other attributes. For these reasons, we name
now about a century old, is a maturing sport. the Solace 345 our 2019 Boat of the Year. —Kevin Falvey

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1 0 6 | B O AT I N G M A G . C O M | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0
TOTAL-SALVAGE COVERAGE

L et’s say a storm deposits your boat


in a marsh hundreds of yards from
a road or the water. (This happens
to many boats during named storms,
WE ALL KNOW THE STORIES—SOME
MAY HAVE EXPERIENCED IT
according to BoatU.S.) Since equipment FIRSTHAND—OF TORN STERNDRIVE
can neither be driven nor floated over to
the boat, and because of environmental BELLOWS OR BROKEN THROUGH-HULL
regulations, retrieving the boat, which
might be basically unharmed, can cost FITTINGS CAUSING BOATS TO SINK.
tens of thousands of dollars. Consider this
coverage even if you want to purchase a
basic liability policy to simply meet the value, in essence making the boater pay for or oil leaks as a result. However it happens,
requirements of your marina and have more salvage costs out of pocket. environmental damage assessments
no interest in insuring the value of your levied for fuel spills can range to almost
boat—this is also a consideration for FUEL-SPILL COVERAGE $1 million, and the cost of cleanup may
boaters in hurricane-prone areas. BoatU.S.
recommends salvage-coverage dollar
limits that are separate from your hull
coverage but equal to it. That’s because
some companies limit salvage coverage
F ederal law makes boaters
responsible for fuel spilled for
any reason. It could be that oil in
the bilge from a sloppy oil change gets
discharged when your bilge pump kicks on,
be charged as well—a fee that may dwarf
the fine. Fuel-spill coverage should be
considered even if seeking a basic liability
policy, but it can be better to have separate
coverage because it will likely cover more.
to a small percentage of the policy’s hull or maybe the boat sinks in the slip, and fuel Fuel-spill coverage is a consideration

DON’T BE
COMPLETELY
SUNK
Boating creates boating
maintenance and DIY content
in large part to help prevent
the events that require
consequential-damage
coverage.

hull fittings causing boats to sink. Some policies, while they only applies to total losses, so ask about that. Other examples of
cover the sinking, will exclude coverage if it happens as a result consequential-damage situations include dismasting, collision,
of consequential damage such as a failed bellows or seacock. stranding, fire and explosion.

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KEEPING
YOUR HEALTH
AFLOAT
Watersports and offshore-
fishing coverage is common,
though scuba diving is an activity
excluded by most boat-insurance
companies. (Get it through the
Professional Association
of Diving Instructors.)

MEDICAL PAYMENTS COVERAGE


Medical payments coverage provides for out-of-pocket expenses this coverage at $1,000, but some offer higher limits for a higher
not covered by the injured person’s health insurance—things premium. Medical payments coverage might best warrant the
such as copayments and deductibles. It provides a per-person attention of boaters active in watersports, such as water-skiing
limit of coverage for any injury that occurs aboard the insured or wakeboarding, offshore fishing, or other boating activities
boat, regardless of liability. Many insurers cap the payout of wherein injuries might more likely occur.

for all boaters whose vessels have fuel HURRICANE HAUL-OUT COVERAGE in the article. In a nutshell, this coverage
tanks, but those who boat near sensitive
ecosystems such as coral reefs, oyster
beds and wetlands might want to give
fuel-spill coverage an even closer look.
O K, this one is pretty much a
well-known must for boaters
in hurricane country who keep
their boats in the water, but for those
boaters moving to the coast from inland
pays a portion of the costs to have the
boat hauled, prepared, and secured or
tied down by professionals, or moved by
a licensed captain. As an example, the
BoatU.S. Marine Insurance Program pays
UNINSURED BOATER areas, or new boaters, we’re including it 50 percent of the cost of labor up to $1,000

T his boat-insurance coverage likely


rings familiar for boaters with
automobile insurance because
it is similar to the uninsured motorist
coverage some auto drivers purchase. For
FUEL-SPILL COVERAGE SHOULD BE
the uninitiated, this provides additional CONSIDERED EVEN IF SEEKING A BASIC
coverage for bodily injuries aboard your
boat caused by a collision with a hit-
LIABILITY POLICY, SO ASK ABOUT IT,
and-run boater, where the other boater
either takes off without being caught or is
BUT IT CAN BE BETTER TO HAVE
operating without insurance, as the name SEPARATE COVERAGE BECAUSE IT WILL
implies. Note that many boats and boaters
are uninsured because boat insurance is LIKELY COVER MORE.
not required in most places.

B O AT I N G M A G . C O M | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 | 1 0 9
to have the boat hauled or moved or, if
you are out of town, have a professional
prepare your boat, and the haul-out does WHAT A PARTIAL LOSS DEPRECIATION
not penalize the policyholder. Before
purchasing this coverage, we recommend
WAIVER DOES, IF YOU ADD IT ON, IS
asking boat haulers for an estimate of the
cost of a hurricane haul-out as described
ESSENTIALLY STOP THE CLOCK AND
above. That way, you will be in a better CONTINUE TO PAY “NEW FOR OLD”
position to know whether you want it.
CLAIM RATES ON THESE ITEMS.
BOAT TRAILER COVERAGE

I f you were to get into an accident


while trailering your boat, your boat
policy may pay for any loss-related
repairs to the trailer (check—it is often
separate coverage and not included), but
boaters. Also, be sure to find out if there are
any geographical limits to the coverage.

PARTIAL LOSS
coverage and decide whether it is for you
or not. You see, many insurers depreciate
major items such as canvas, engines,
generators or sails at a steep rate after two
any damage caused by the trailer to other DEPRECIATION WAIVER years. That means as your boat ages, the
persons or property would be up to your
tow-vehicle insurance to cover. Naturally,
this coverage is best considered by trailer I f you are a boater who owns an older
boat, one that is, say, 15 or 20 years
old, you’ll want to know about this
“new for old” financial-advantage benefit
of some insurance coverage is lost. What a
partial loss depreciation waiver does, if you

CRUISING-
EXTENSION COVERAGE
Maybe you are a California boater who likes to
cruise into Mexican waters. Or perhaps you are GO AHEAD,
from Florida and like to visit the Bahamas. Your CROSS
boat insurance probably does not cover you in THAT LINE
these areas unless you procure cruising-extension
coverage. Typically, you purchase this coverage by e encourage you to cruise
calling your insurer prior to each trip. However, your boat over as many far
some companies offer upfront approval for certain horizons as possible. Just be
aware that your insurance
cruising destinations, which can eliminate the need
may not go along for
to call and order the coverage every time you cruise.
the ride.
Also note that coverage might not be available for
cruising to some countries, such as Cuba, Haiti
and Venezuela.

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add it on, is essentially stop the clock and
continue to pay “new for old” claim rates DON’T BE
on these items. A TOTAL
LOSER
DINGHY/MARINE Competitive fishing can cost a
ELECTRONICS ENDORSEMENT lot of money in entry fees, and

I nsurance policies for expensive vessels


often carry high deductibles. If the
boater has separate coverage for the
dinghy and electronics, the decision to file
a claim for a lost dinghy or stolen marine
requires liability insurance
and the necessary tackle. An
angling endorsement is for
such anglers.

electronics can be easier to make. Some


might think this is just for large boats, but
we can say that, as a result of testing so
many new boats, many boats as small as 23
or 25 feet are often equipped with $15,000
in electronics. If you cruise far and wide
or boat in an area where crime is high, you
might want to think about purchasing a
dinghy or marine electronics endorsement.

WATERSPORTS COVERAGE

L ike an angling endorsement,


expensive equipment is provided
with higher-limit coverage, and
entry fees into tournaments might be
reimbursed if you must miss out for a
covered reason. This coverage can be
bundled, as BoatU.S. does, combining
actual cash value for boards, skis, and
scuba or snorkel gear with increased
medical payments coverage and entry-
fee reimbursement for competitive ANGLER COVERAGE
wakeboarders or water skiers. If you own lots of expensive fishing gear and/or you fish competitively in tournaments,
If you can afford to own a boat, you give an angling endorsement a look. It is often offered as a bundle of fishing-gear coverage,
probably know all too well that insurance tournament entry-fee reimbursement and tournament liability coverage. For the gear,
companies are not in business to pay higher limits are placed than on policies without the angling endorsement. Also, should
claims—they make money collecting a claim—such as for an on-the-road accident or a stolen boat—cause you to have to with-
premiums. That said, make sure your draw from a tournament, this coverage will reimburse your entry fee. Ask if your insurer
boat-insurance needs meet your financial caps this amount, as some insurers may do so. As a side note, it’s important to understand
requirements as well as your tolerance for that many fishing tournaments will require you to carry $500,000 in liability coverage as
risk. Questioning the coverage proposed an entered angler.
to you is smart shopping. Hopefully, this
article helps you to do just that.

THREE TYPES OF INSURANCE POLICIES


The coverages listed prior are often optional. Before you even begin to select them, you must choose from
one of three basic policy types listed here.

AGREED HULL VALUE: An agreed hull ACTUAL CASH VALUE: This differs from LIABILITY ONLY: This policy pays for the
value policy is the most common one, and agreed hull value in that if the boat is a total damage caused to others, including bodily
with this policy you and your insurer loss, it pays out based on the market value injury (people) and property. It does not
agree to the value to be paid on the ves- of the boat at the time, and may have more cover the insured boater’s boat. Better
sel in the event of a total loss. Boaters of depreciation on partial losses. These cost liability policies include oil-spill and full-
all types might like an agreed hull value less, and appeal to frugal boaters or boat- salvage coverage. Not concerned with hull
policy. ers willing to shoulder more cost in a loss. value coverage? Select liability only.

B O AT I N G M A G . C O M | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 | 1 1 1
VIKING 38 OPEN BILLFISH

FLYING BRIDGE
VERSUS EXPRESS
PHOTO: COURTESY VIKING YACHT COMPANY

B
uilding a model within a model is a frequent theme With speed and range, the 38 Billfish
is a midsize convertible sport-fisherman
at the Viking Yacht Company, utilizing a hull to that doubles nicely as a bluewater
build a variation of distinct choices that cater to the tournament contender, with ample overnight
specific needs of its customers. The new inboard accommodations for the cruising family. The
result is a nice compromise that covers all the
diesel-powered Viking 38 Billfish and the 38 Open
bases when flexibility is required to meet a variety
Billfish are prime examples and provided a good of on-the-water missions and experiences.
opportunity to compare the two popular boat types. Despite the flying-bridge boat’s amenities and

1 1 2 | B O AT I N G M A G . C O M | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0
VIKING 38 BILLFISH

features, Viking provides alternate opportunities home for electronic navigation and communication
in the same length overall with the 38 Open equipment, as well as a fiberglass helm pod that can Viking’s debut of
Billfish, an express-style cruiser that checks all be customized with faux-teak finish, single-lever the 38 Billfish and
the boxes in a handsome, racy-looking package.
Faced with these choices, deciding which model
engine controls, and a stainless-steel steering wheel.
The SeaStar Solutions Optimus steering is obedient
38 Open Billfish
best suits your needs requires due diligence, but and responsive, and delivers swift maneuverability provides an oppor-
it’s a fun ride and worth the trip to examine each with a light touch on the wheel. A ladder-back tunity to compare
boat to appreciate what makes it special. Release helm chair is standard. The available
fiberglass hardtop and the Costa Clear enclosure
two desirable boat
RUNNING provide weather protection. The Viking-made layouts.
The 38 Billfish has an open flying bridge with a composite hardtop also features a compartment
By Peter Frederiksen
PHOTO: COURTESY VIKING YACHT COMPANY

topside walk-around helm station. The visibility for recessed teaser reels, additional engine
is excellent because of the height above the water, instrumentation and tri-color overhead lights.
giving the operator an unobstructed view to all In place of the flybridge station, the 38 Open’s
32 points of the compass, perfect for fishing while helm is on the main deck, a few steps from the
watching the baits, as well as negotiating the 109-square-foot cockpit. Unlike the flybridge
surroundings while underway. Flanking lounges helm where the operator is in his own world
as well as a seat forward of the console provide while running the boat and somewhat isolated
ample room for guests to spread out and relax from the activity in the cockpit, the 38 Open’s
while taking in the views. A raised fiberglass dash is skipper is in the middle of the action, a feature

B O AT I N G M A G . C O M | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 | 1 1 3
that appeals to fishermen who are apt to
go boating short-handed of regular crew.
Adding more conversation points, the
command-deck helm comprises its center
of attention with a companion seat to port
and flanking L-shaped lounges. Guests sit
high on the seats, affording good visibility
and sociability with the helmsman.
Electrically powered actuators lift the
lounges for engine-room access, similar to
the 38 Billfish. Mechanical installations—
like those found aboard its stablemate—are
top-notch.
To enhance visibility at the helm, the
operator stands on a raised platform or sits
in a Release Marine helm seat. A fiberglass
pod contains the engine controls and
steering wheel, while electronics and a
radio box nest forward and to port of the
helm. A Costa Clear enclosure keeps
the weather at bay.

OUR TAKE: Compared to an express-style


sans tower, a flybridge boat will always
have a better view from the helm thanks
to its height above the waterline.

PERFORMANCE
Performance-wise, the Open Billfish is
about 2 knots faster at top-end speed. Part
of this is due to the approximate 1-ton
difference in weight, but also the Palm
Beach Towers’ tuna tower produces less
wind resistance than the flybridge and
its enclosure. Visibility from the tower is factor. So, it makes sense for many boaters fiberglass table surrounded by a U-shaped
superb, and operating the 38 Open from to buy a tower for an express boat such lounge for four that converts to a berth for
the tower is an experience, not only for as the 38  Open, unless bridge clearance two. A nearby refrigerator keeps drinks
fishing but also when running through the is an issue. An express boat with the handy without the need for ice runs to fill
shallows while exploring the Bahamas, helm closer to water level needs to plane a cockpit cooler. A second lounge is on the
where reading the water is a critical quickly for better sightlines—a factor not starboard-side, which also conceals fishing-
as relevant with a flying-bridge boat—so rod stowage below.
check that it does so when shopping. Both If desired, the 38 Billfish also can be
Billfish models proved sturdy handlers. ordered with a lower helm station in
The raked entry and 12-degree transom place of the starboard bench-style seat.
deadrise smooth out the ruts in a seaway. This has become a popular option with
boaters choosing to extend their season
OUR TAKE: It’s a tie…with a slight edge in the northern climes, as well as for
to the express, if top speed is a hot button those in tropical areas looking for more
for you. sun protection. The lower helm also
PHOTOS: COURTESY VIKING YACHT COMPANY

can be equipped with reverse-cycle air


conditioning, and climate control can be
AMENITIES regulated by dropping the Costa Clear
The three-sided deckhouse of the 38 Billfish aft command-deck enclosure. Having an
with 81 inches of headroom is straightaway- inviting salon means that when you come
practical, with creature comforts and back from a day of fishing or cruising,
The upper station on the tower of the 38 Open
ease of upkeep. Molded nonslip on the there is a sizable and fully protected area
Billfish. Though optional, pretty much every- fiberglass sole provides sure-footedness to relax on the boat, an item that a large
one orders the boat with a tower installed. and fast cleanups. The port side features a center console simply does not offer.

1 1 4 | B O AT I N G M A G . C O M | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0
About Brunswick About Princecraft Boats Inc.
Headquartered in Mettawa, Ill., Brunswick Corporation’s leading consumer brands include Mercury Marine outboard engines; Mercury Since 1954, Princecraft Boats Inc., headquartered in Princeville, Quebec, Canada, creates unparalleled experiences on the water for fishing
MerCruiser sterndrive and inboard packages; Mercury global parts and accessories including propellers and SmartCraft electronics; and boating enthusiasts with "professionally rigged and ready" packages of aluminum fishing boats, pontoon boats and deck boats. Its
Power Products Integrated Solutions; MotorGuide trolling motors; Attwood, Garelick, and Whale marine parts; Land ’N’ Sea, BLA, Payne’s commitment is borne out of a deeply rooted heritage of unmatched craftsmanship, incomparable performance and the promise of years
Marine, Kellogg Marine, and Lankhorst Taselaar marine parts distribution; Mercury and Quicksilver parts and oils; Bayliner, Boston Whaler, of trouble-free boating. More fishermen, families and dealers than ever join the Princecraft family, and create some of the best moments
Crestliner, Cypress Cay, Harris, Heyday, Lowe, Lund, Princecraft, Quicksilver, Rayglass, Sea Ray, Thunder Jet and Uttern boats; Boating of their lives.
Services Network, Freedom Boat Club, NAUTIC-ON, OnBoard Boating Club and Rentals.
For more information, visit https://www.brunswick.com. Princecraft Boats Inc. C 2019 | A Brunswick Company
Similarly, if you are looking for a place to
have a meal, the deckhouse area is a well-
suited social area.
As much as the 38 Billfish brings to
the party with comfort and amenities,
the 38 Open Billfish matches its
sistership while approaching its mission
with a totally different outlook and style.
With its express panache, the 38 Open
appears in fluid motion even while tied
to the dock. The curved wraparound
aluminum-frame windshield melds
neatly in the fiberglass deck structure,
while the  Palm Beach Towers’ tuna
tower is the icing on the cake.
Aboard the 38 Open Billfish, a bi-fold
glass-and-aluminum door leads to the
air-conditioned lower accommodations.
A teak staircase descends to a spacious
cabin that takes full advantage of the
boat’s 14-foot beam. An in-line galley to
port carries the same appliances as the
38 Billfish, including the electric cooktop, and serves as a comfortable perch for full-fledged convertible. Nonetheless, one
microwave/convention oven, refrigerator watching the flat-screen television on step up from the Amtico vinyl sole is a pair
and freezer, Corian countertops and the aft bulkhead. A table would be a nice of berths in the forepeak that feature a
stainless-steel sink, and similar stowage addition, although none was available double and single bunk in crossover style.
capacity for cookware and utensils. on our test boat, hinting perhaps at the The enclosed head was surprisingly large,
The lounge on the starboard-side also builder’s approach to make the 38 Open especially the fiberglass shower stall.
includes nap space and stowage galore, Billfish a more casual vessel rather than a Aboard the 38 Billfish, a glass-
and-aluminum door leads to the air-
conditioned lower accommodations
with Amtico flooring, a galley, head
and private sleeping area. Viking’s
hallmark craftsmanship shines, with
abundant high-gloss teak joinery,
maple-lined cabinetry, drawers and
hanging lockers. The L-shaped galley is
equipped with an electric two-burner
cooktop, a microwave/convection oven,
stainless-steel sink, Corian countertops,
refrigerator, freezer, and an eye-level
AC/DC power-distribution panel.
Similar attention to detail is found in
the enclosed head with Corian counters,
vanity and medicine cabinet, fiberglass
shower stall and Dometic marine toilet.
The master stateroom with an island
double berth features an innerspring
mattress, flat-screen television, stereo
system with CD/DVD player, a pair
PHOTOS: COURTESY VIKING YACHT COMPANY

of maple-lined hanging lockers and


a Bomar hatch for ventilation. An
optional layout offers double and single
crossover berths.

OUR TAKE: With its semi-enclosed


deckhouse, the 38 Billfish has an
amenities edge over the 38 Open’s
express layout.

1 1 6 | B O AT I N G M A G . C O M | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0
VACATION WITH US AT MOORINGS.COM/BOATING | 800.669.6529

DREAM LESS. DO MORE.


COCKPIT/BOW RIGGING AND
The cockpits of both boats are nearly SERVICE ACCESS
identical and, as you would expect from On the 38 Billfish, a centerline hatch plus
Viking, proved well-equipped for fishing, both lounges, which lift with electrical
cruising, diving and entertaining, with four actuators, access the Awlgrip-finished
flush rod holders and rounded coamings engines and machinery compartment.
with tri-color lighting below. A walk-through Viking is well-regarded for its engine
transom door with a lift gate makes boarding rooms, and these smaller Vikings are
easy from the dock or from the water, if you cut from the same cloth. Finish, light
decide to add a fiberglass swim platform. and service access proved terrific. A
The molded transom fish box doubles as five-point oil-transfer system empties
a livewell or stowage compartment for and fills the engines, transmissions and
dive gear. Raw- and freshwater washdown generator. A Delta T ventilation system
systems are standard, and for convenience with supply and discharge fans induces
there is a dockside water connection with a proper fresh air for combustion and
pressure-releasing valve under the forward provides water-intrusion suppression to
gunwale. A pair of insulated fish boxes, each keep the engine room dry.
45-by-18-by-16 inches, drain out through an Fittings are labeled, wires for 110-, 24-
auto sump pump and double as dry-stowage and 12-volt service are chafe-protected
bins if needed. A lazarette hatch leads below and runs properly supported, plumbing
to steering and plumbing systems. Each the build cycle. However, Viking laminates fixtures are bonded, and there is even
lockable hatch is outfitted with a thick backing plates in the deck should you room for a Seakeeper SK 6 gyrostabilizer.
gasket and stainless-steel gas pistons. A choose to install a bow rail at a later date. A 9 kW Onan generator is standard with a
bait freezer, tackle and gear stowage, an Another foredeck feature on each boat is a fuel/water separator and provides ample

PHOTOS: COURTESY VIKING YACHT COMPANY


aluminum mounting plate laminated into freshwater line in the anchor-rode locker to power for equipment, other electrical
the sole to accommodate a fishing chair or rinse salt water or mud from the rode before accessories and entertainment items. A
a table stanchion, a fiberglass boarding box storing it in the well. It also serves as a way 13.5 kW Onan genset is optional. Viking
and a 50-amp/220-volt dockside electrical to clean off the bow area without dragging a also offers prep and pre-wire options for
connection are among a long list of standard hose aboard from the dock. later-to-be-installed accessories such as
items on both models. watermakers and ice machines.
Note too that an aluminum bow rail OUR TAKE: Tie: Both the Billfish and the
is standard on each model, though many Open offer excellent cockpit and foredeck OUR TAKE: Tie: Service access and rigging
owners opt to have this item omitted during accoutrements. are as good as it gets aboard both boats.

1 1 8 | B O AT I N G M A G . C O M | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0
Yachts and Boats | Boat Accessories and Services | Yacht Clubs and Rental Services | Outdoor Leisure Products
CONSTRUCTION
Both Billfish models feature a blister-resistant
modified-vinylester resin in the hull skin, with
a custom-blended polyester resin in structural
laminates, topsides, bridges and hardtops.
Isophthalic gelcoat shows well, with a deep, glossy
finish. The hull is molded fiberglass, combining
closed-cell foam and end-grain balsa in selected
areas to enhance strength and stiffness, along with
composite bulkheads and fiberglass stringers.
Fiberglass side through-hull fittings add a custom
touch to the boats.

OUR TAKE: Tie: Both boats naturally share the

PHOTOS: (FROM TOP) COURTESY VIKING YACHT COMPANY (2),


same excellent construction for which Viking
Yachts is renowned.

What’s the quick takeaway? The Viking


38 Billfish offers more comfort for cruising
or entertaining by virtue of its deckhouse.
The Viking 38 Open offers faster top speeds
and lower bridge clearance (if one forgoes the

COURTESY CUMMINS
purchase of a tower). If a midsize inboard is on
your short list and you can’t decide between a
flying-bridge boat or an express, comparing
these new Viking models is a great place to start.

VIKING 38 BILLFISH VIKING 38 OPEN BILLFISH


n. mi. sound n. mi. sound
rpm knots mph gph range angle level rpm knots mph gph range angle level
900 6.6 7.5 2.8 975 0.0 80 900 6.9 7.9 3.0 952 0.0 75
1200 7.9 9.0 5.6 584 1.0 81 1200 8.5 9.7 5.8 606 1.7 82
1500 9.1 10.4 11.2 336 3.5 87 1500 10.1 11.6 10.6 394 4.5 85
1800 10.3 11.8 17.2 247 5.0 88 1800 13.9 15.9 17.4 330 6.0 85
2100 17.1 19.6 23.2 305 5.0 91 2100 19.5 22.4 22.4 360 6.0 87
2400 21.6 24.8 29.8 300 5.0 91 2400 24.9 28.6 28.4 362 5.0 90
2700 26.8 30.8 34.6 320 4.5 92 2700 29.0 33.3 34.2 351 5.0 91
3000 30.3 34.8 44.6 281 4.5 93 3000 32.7 37.6 46.4 291 4.5 92
3350 34.2 39.3 56.0 252 4.0 94 3300 36.1 41.5 56.6 264 4.0 95
MOST ECONOMICAL CRUISING SPEED MOST ECONOMICAL CRUISING SPEED
CUMMINS QSB 6.7
DIESEL INBOARD
· LOA: 38'8" · BEAM: 14'0" · DRAFT: 3'4" · DISPLACEMENT: · LOA: 38'8" · BEAM: 14'0" · DRAFT: 3'4" · DISPLACEMENT:
31,810 lb. (full fuel, water) · TRANSOM DEADRISE: 12 degrees 30,100 lb. (full fuel, water) · TRANSOM DEADRISE: 12 degrees Both the 38 Billfish and the 38 Open
· MAX CABIN HEADROOM: 6'9" · FUEL CAPACITY: 460 gal. · MAX CABIN HEADROOM: 6'9" · FUEL CAPACITY: 460 gal.
· WATER CAPACITY: 69 gal. · BRIDGE CLEARANCE: 18'5" · WATER CAPACITY: 69 gal. · BRIDGE CLEARANCE: 15'5" Billfish we tested featured twin Cummins
(top of hardtop masthead light) (waterline to hardtop); 24'0" (waterline to top of tower
sunshade)
QSB 6.7 diesel inboard power. With
HOW WE TESTED common rail injection, the engine proved
ENGINES: TWIN 542 HP CUMMINS QSB 6.7 DIESEL
HOW WE TESTED quiet, responsive and essentially smoke-
ENGINES: TWIN 542 HP CUMMINS QSB 6.7 DIESEL
INBOARDS PROPS: 4-BLADE ACME NIBRAL GEAR RATIO: ZF free. Check these key specs.
280 1A 2.227:1 FUEL LOAD: 230 GAL. WATER LOAD: 69 GAL. INBOARDS PROPS: 4-BLADE ACME NIBRAL GEAR RATIO: ZF

CREW: 2 PRICE: $1,097,424 (AS TESTED) 2.227:1 FUEL LOAD: 285 GAL. WATER LOAD: 69 GAL.
· CONFIGURATION: Inline-six · DISPLACEMENT: 6.7 liters
CREW: 3 PRICE: $1,142,959 (AS TESTED) (408 cu. in.) · BORE/STROKE: 107/124 mm (4.21/4.88 in.)
V I K I N G YA C H T C O M P A N Y · WEIGHT: 658 kg (1,450 lb.) · LENGTH/WIDTH/HEIGHT:
609-296-6000; vikingyachts.com 1,263.8/910.6/857 mm (49.76/35.85/33.74 in.)

1 2 0 | B O AT I N G M A G . C O M | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0
E
ELECTRONICS

By Jim Hendricks

MERCURY
MARINE Ask KEN
1ST MATE
OVERBOARD ARE COMBINATION

ALERT SYSTEM functional, even if it’s removed


VHF/AIS RADIOS
AS GOOD AS
DEDICATED AIS
Marine propulsion systems are becoming from the vessel, without a secu-
SYSTEMS?
increasingly integrated with digital marine rity handshake from the hub.
Mercury 1st Mate works with Most VHF radios with built-in
electronics to offer more information, control, all SmartCraft-compatible
AIS are receive-only sets.
security and safety. One of the latest advances That is, they show AIS infor-
Mercury engines, including mation from other boats but
in this field is the Mercury Marine 1st Mate outboards, sterndrive systems do not broadcast your boat’s
wireless overboard alert system that lets and inboards. The 1st Mate ID and navigation data, so
system is also available under you will not be seen by other
crewmembers know if someone goes overboard. AIS-equipped vessels.
Mercury’s aftermarket label,
VHF/AIS radios usually
The 1st Mate Overboard mobile device with the app. If Quicksilver, and it’s designed have built-in GPS as well.
Alert from Mercury Marine the captain is solo, 1st Mate can to work with non-SmartCraft The combination of these
uses wearable fobs that pair also send messages to contacts Mercury motors and marine key instruments saves
wirelessly with a free mobile in the emergency list. If a engines from other leading money and mounting area
brands, but lacks some of the on space-starved helms.
app that in turn communicates crewmember falls over the side,
Simrad, with its recently
with an engine-integrated hub. audible alarms sound, but the integration and functionality announced RS40-B model,
The system will cover up to motor continues to run. In both of the Merc system, including is the first to integrate an
eight crewmembers (including cases, the app records the GPS the theft-deterrent feature. AIS Class B transponder
the captain). location at the time of the alert. The system starts at $571.41 with a VHF radio that can
If the captain (identified by The Merc system can also for a single engine, with incre- both receive and transmit

PHOTOS: (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT) COURTESY MERCURY MARINE (2), CRAIG HASHIMOTO, COURTESY SIMRAD
AIS navigational informa-
a special fob) goes overboard, act as a theft deterrent by mental price increases as the tion. It’s priced at $1,099.
the engine(s) immediately stop, locking the engines to prevent number of engines increase; This gives you the same
and an audible alarm sounds unauthorized use. Once locked, mercurymarine.com, capability as a separate VHF
from the hub and any nearby the engine will not be fully quicksilver-products.com. and AIS B transponder in a
single set.
The AIS targets and
information need not be lim-
The new Halo20+ and radar technology, the you the ability to view ited to the small screen on
HALO20 Halo20 marine radar 20-inch-diameter targets at a distance your VHF. The output from
systems from sister domes offer pinpoint and returns at tighter any AIS set (be it stand-
SERIES brands Lowrance and
Simrad feature
close-range target
definition for navigat-
ranges simultaneously.
The 24-nautical-
alone or part of a radio)
can be connected to your
MARINE compact radomes for
boats under 30 feet
ing harbors, rivers and
high-traffic waterways
mile-range Halo20
serves as a more
GPS/chart plotter to view
AIS icons overlaid on your
in length. Boasting in limited-visibility con- cost-effective radar chart plotter. Whether it is
RADARS pulse-compression ditions, such as in fog, solution. receive-only or a receive/
at night or both. Designed to easily transmit transponder, an
The Halo20+ fea- network with current AIS unit can be a powerful
tures a 60 rpm scan- Lowrance and Simrad boating-safety anti-collision
ner rotation speed, MFDs, models also system. —Ken Englert
VelocityTrack Doppler feature MARPA target
technology for eas- tracking, InstantOn,
ily tracking targets and harbor, offshore ASK KEN ONLINE
moving toward your and weather modes. For more exclusive
position, bird mode, $1,699 (Halo20), electronics content, visit
36-nautical-mile $2,199 (Halo20+); boatingmag.com/askken.
range, and dual-range lowrance.com;
operation, which gives sim rad-yachting.com

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* Estimated APR (Annual Percentage Rate) based on 5 year loan term; individual rate may vary based on loan amount, loan term, vehicle use, model year and type of boat. Subject
to consumer loan program requirements and credit approval. Rates and terms may vary with market conditions and are subject to change without notice. Certain fees, closing
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U.S. POSTAL SERVICE STATEMENT OF OWNERSHIP,


MANAGEMENT, AND CIRCULATION
(Required by 39 USC 3685)
1. Publication Title: Boating 2. (ISSN 0006-5374) 3. Filing date: 10/1/2019. 4. Issue frequency:
No More Wet, Dirty,
Monthly except Jan/Feb, Jul/Aug and Nov/Dec. 5. Number of issues published annually: 9.
6. The annual subscription price is $12.00. 7. Complete mailing address of known office
of publication: Bonnier Corporation 460 N. Orlando Avenue, Suite 200, Orange County
Damaging Bunk Carpet
Winter Park, FL 32789. Contact person: Kolin Rankin. Telephone: 305-859-0020 8.
Complete mailing address of headquarters or general business office of publisher: Bonnier N ew!

Corporation 460 N. Orlando Avenue, Suite 200, Orange County Winter Park, FL 32789.
9. Full names and complete mailing addresses of publisher, editor, and managing editor.

3
Publisher: John McEver PO Box 8500 Winter Park, FL 32790. Editor: Kevin Falvey PO
Box 8500 Winter Park, FL 32790. Managing Editor: Sue Whitney PO Box 8500 Winter
Park, FL 32790. 10. Owner: Bonnier Corporation PO Box 8500 Winter Park, FL 32790. YEAR WARRANTY
11. Known bondholders, mortgages, and other Securities: None. 12. Tax Status (for
completion by nonprofit organizations authorized to mail at nonprofit rates): Has Not
Changed during Preceding 12 Months. 13. Publication Title: Boating. 14. Issue date for
circulation data below: September 19; 15a. Total number of Copies: 116,135 (September
19: 117,964). b. Paid Circulation. (1). Mailed Outside-County Paid Subscriptions Stated on
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PS FORM 3526: a. Requested and Paid Electronic Copies: 21,493 (September 19: 18,580). · Prevents hull damage during trailering
b. total Requested and Paid Print copies & Paid Electronic copies: 99,046 (September
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manager, or owner: Robin Michaels. I certify that all information furnished on this form
is true and complete. I understand that anyone who furnishes false or misleading
information on this form or who omits material or information requested on the form
may be subject to criminal sanction and civil actions.

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OFF MY DOCK By Charles Plueddeman

was dripping down onto Amy’s


orange life jacket. It took Chuck a
moment to realize what had hap-
pened, but when he did, his heart
sank. He knew Amy’s injury was not
life-threatening, but Chuck thought
he might be doomed, for a cardinal
rule had been broken: Never bring
children home injured. And this was
an incident that couldn’t be covered
up with an ice cream and a request
to “not mention this to your mother.”
Chuck ascertained that removal
of the hook and management of
the hysterical child were tasks best
N OW O N D I S P L AY left to professionals. Lacking a cut-
ting tool, Chuck instructed Amy to
A muskie lure is offered as penance. support the weight of the Suicidal

M
y good friend Chuck Larson and I were heading north for a little Sucker so that it wasn’t dangling
late-season muskie casting, tires of the truck and boat trailer from her ear, beached the boat back
hissing over the wet pavement of Highway 45. The cold rain was at the landing, loaded up the kids,
a good omen—we feel the fishing gods reward misery. and raced in his truck to the ER in ER.
“We could stop at the ER in ER to see my lure,” Chuck said, referring to It’s interesting that the Suicidal
the hospital emergency room in Eagle River, Wisconsin, a comment that Sucker is not the largest lure, or
opened an old, forgotten file in the No Good Deed Goes Unpunished folder even the oldest, in the display case
of my memory. on the wall of the emergency room
Years ago, Chuck had offered to take his niece Amy and nephew Alan, ages lobby. More than 100 lures and
8 and 10, respectively, fishing on Long Lake. Chuck loaded the cooler with hooks are behind the glass, along
pop, buttered bologna sandwiches, and a fresh tub of Canadian crawlers, with small bottles of bird shot, some
anticipating a relaxing day of bobber-fishing for panfish. But Alan, being a large nails, and a really big wood
boy, wanted to go for more, and he splinter, each item removed from an
It’s interesting that the begged Chuck to tie on to his line unfortunate patient by the ER staff.
the biggest muskie lure in the tackle I think many of those patients never
Suicidal Sucker is not the larg- box, a vintage Water Wolf Suicidal wanted to see the offending object
est lure, or even the oldest, in Sucker that measured an impres- again. In Chuck’s case, giving up the ILLUSTRATION: TIM BOWER; PHOTO: MABEL PLUEDDEMAN

sive 8 inches. What’s the harm, Suicidal Sucker felt like appropriate
the display case on the wall of Chuck thought as he cinched the penance for his failure to safeguard
the emergency room lobby. knot tight. the children.
“OK son, give her a toss,” Chuck “My sister got over it,” Chuck said
said, and with that Alan reared back with all his might and heaved the as we looked at the lure, “although
rod toward open water. The next thing Chuck heard was not the singing the holidays were tense that year.
of the reel or the splash of the lure, but Amy screaming in agony. Somehow And Amy still doesn’t wear an
the angle of Alan’s rod and his position in the front of the small aluminum earring on the right side.”
boat had caused the Suicidal Sucker to intersect Amy’s right ear, and now Like I said: The fishing gods
one of its ancient treble hooks was securely embedded there, and blood appreciate misery.

BOATING (ISSN 0006-5374) (USPS 504-810), January/February 2020, Volume 93, No. 1. ©2020. Boating is published nine times a year (January/February, March, April, May, June, July/August,
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