Boat Reviews/Brochures


Here's a small collection of third-party boat reviews to enhance your boating knowledge before you purchase, or as you shop!

Nordic Tug 37 Review - POWER PROFILE 2006
Nordic Tug 37 Review - POWER PROFILE 2006
A tug with a little panache... Whatever big waters boaters have faced, Nordic Tug has been providing sturdy and reliable vessels to take on the challenge for more than 25 years. The Nordic Tug 37 is no exception. This tug can eat up anything Canada’s coastlines or Great Lakes want to dish out. Just like its siblings, the 37 offers both practicality and style, while utilizing all the power and brawn of a traditional tug boat. On the smaller side of Nordic Tugs models, which range in size from 32 to 52 feet, the 37 boasts all the qualities upon which the company has built its reputation: performance, safety and reliability.
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Century 2400 Walkaround Review: READY ROOM. WALK THIS WAY
Tired of walkarounds with limited accommodations? On most fishboats less than 26' with walkarounds, the cabins seem like an afterthought. But that's not the case with Century's new 2400 Walkaround. Its upscale decor should make your family feel more at home.
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Silverton 45 Convertible Review - WARM WELCOME
Silverton 45 Convertible Review - WARM WELCOME
Civility meets ability... Crash pumps, straight-shaft diesel inboards, and surge tubes on the exhausts are just some of the features that make the Silverton 45C at home a hundred miles from shore- just like any good convertible fishboat. Yet its large swim platform, relatively low horsepower engines, and opulent three-stateroom, two-bead accommodations make its cruising mission as large and clear as its expansive cabin windshield. Oh, this boat will hunt, but it's also happy romping around a field.
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Jannace 430C Sportfish Yacht Review: INTO THE BLUE
When you have bigger fish to fry. Going to the bow on many convertibles means stubbing your toe on rail stanchions, tripping over cleats, and worst of all, clinging to the side of the cabin while hoping you don't end up in the drink. No such worries with the new Jannace 430C Sportfish. When I went up the side decks, I discovered well-placed grabrails, a 2’-wide walkway, and a 3" toe kick that kept my tootsies inboard. Plus, elevated cleats and stanchions are where they can do no damage - every sportfish should have sidedecks like these.
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Tiara 4300 Sovran Review - THE REVOLUTIONARY IPS
Tiara 4300 Sovran Review - THE REVOLUTIONARY IPS
The first boat in the U.S. specifically designed for IPS... Tiara took a revolutionary step by equipping the 4300 Sovran with Volvo Penta's Inboard Performance System. This model was the first American boat to be designed from the keel up specifically for IPS drives. IPS is the innovative drive system that puts the horse before the cart, so to speak, by placing the propellers in front of the drive housing. The idea is to put the props in clean water, unaffected by turbulence from anything hanging off the bottom of the hull.
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Cavileer 44 Convertible Review: KEY WEST QUEST
Fishing off America's southernmost tip in a family's brand-new CAVILEER 44 "THE FlSHlNG'S BEEN AWESOME," ANNOUNCES Jack Thomas as he greets me from the cockpit of his new Caviler 44 at Conch Harbor Marina in Key West. “Tyson got 1,000 pounds of kingfish yesterday.”
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Boston Whaler 235 Conquest Review: HEAVY METTLE
Boston Whaler’s new 235 Conquest rides as rock-solid and true as any other boat in the builder’s unsinkable fleet... It only took a few stacked rollers to judge the mettle of this walkaround fishboat. As Dean Kuti, Boston Whaler’s own fish guru, manned the wheel, I kept my eyes peeled for cobia cruising off Cape Canaveral beach. Inclement weather the day before had churned the ocean into a washboard of waves, yet the company’s latest cabin boat rode as rock-solid and true as any other Whaler I’ve been on. Some things never change.
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Island Packet 440 Review - All Bases Covered
Island Packet 440 Review - All Bases Covered
For many sailors, the Island Packet 440 will fill the bill as a rugged, long-legged passagemaker Brand loyalty, an accountant will tell you, is an intangible asset, but around an Island Packet display at a boat show, it's palpable: a living, breathing demonstration of how it can boost a company's balance sheet by contributing to the value of "goodwill." Among owners of Island Packets, brand loyalty verges on the cultish. Island Packet Owners identify with the company and each other, most visibly at the well-attended regional rendezvous, notorious for their extravagant raft-ups.
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Silverton 45 Convertible Review: DOUBLE DUTY
Silverton's 45 Convertible can troll for bluefish or blue marlin, but it also draws heavily on the builder's motoryacht expertise. You've heard of the gentleman's runabout - a boat with some speed, but whose emphasis is on soft leather and hard wood. Well, Silverton has produced a family "fishboat" - a boat with some fishability, but one that draws heavily on the firm's cruiser and motoryacht expertise. 
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Rinker 390 Express Cruiser Review: JUST LIKE HOME
Rinker raises the bar for accommodations in a sterndrive cruiser on its new 390. When you descend the five steps from the helm deck into the main cabin of the new Rinker 390 Express Cruiser, you may forget that you're in a boat. The squared-off corners, the generous headroom, high counters and the tall door to the forward master stateroom all contribute to a sense of spaciousness. The cherry cabinetry and the teak-and-holly sole are nautical chic. This squared-off salon is just one of the ways Rinker has achieved a decidedly big-boat feel in a sterndrive express boat model.
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Regal 2565 Window Express Review: MAGIC ACT
Regal packs a surprising amount of living space into a trailerable cruiser, the 2565 Window Express. I remember my first circus, especially one act that left me dumbfounded: A dozen tall clowns emerged from a tiny car that looked as if it could scarcely hold two of them. Regal could replicate this confounding feat by having two dozen people ascend the cabin steps and debark from the company's new 2565 Window Express, which replaces the 2465. Never has a 25-footer provided such comfortable accommodations for so many as does this breakthrough pocket cruiser. What's visible from the outside - even though there are windows - belies what's available inside.
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Four Winns 318 Vista Review: THIRTY SOMETHING
The Four Winns 318 Vista proves that a serious cruising boat begins somewhere near 30 feet. How big must a boat be before you can call it a true cruiser? Ask someone who's squeezing his family into an express boat with one overworked sterndrive and a legally trailerable beam and he'll probably say real cruising begins at 30 feet, for two good reasons: twin engines and accommodations for four. There's a variety of boats in this category, a number of which are well-built, good-looking and offer excellent value. The new Four Winns 318 Vista is among them.
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Meridian 341 Review - CROWD PLEASER
Meridian 341 Review - CROWD PLEASER
Meridian 341: A roomy and maneuverable sedan bridge that the whole crew will love... *TWIN 320-HP GASOLINE MERCRUISER HORIZON MX 6.2L MPI INBOARDS FOR TEST. TO VIEW SEA TRIAL FOR TWIN 240HP CUMMINS 4B-250 DIESEL INBOARDS , CLICK HERE* It's the smallest model in the builder's line of nine boats, but like its larger siblings, the all-new Meridian 341 was designed for this mission: To make cruising more enjoyable with areas that are more livable. Functional spaces. More comfort. These are the qualities you'll find on the latest sedan bridge from this popular American boat builder.
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Mainship 34 Trawler Review - The Main Event 2005 PassageMaker Magazine
Mainship 34 Trawler Review - The Main Event 2005 PassageMaker Magazine
Newest in the Mainship trawler line is its midsized 34, a boat I predict is going to be as popular as the 900 34-foot cruisers Mainship built between 1978 and 1988. For many couples, the earlier Mainship 34 (a version of which was called the Nantucket) was the epitome of a no-frills cruising classic, capable of doing just about any adventure most owners might undertake, economically and safely. The new Mainship 34 is a hugely updated version of that classic. Let’s face it, most couples can do more with less, and in the case of the new Mainship, that means an easy-to-handle boat that offers not a floating hotel, but a terrific value in a trawler designed for a couple. Available with various engine packages to satisfy a range of performance desires, the Mainship 34 is about ideal for that low-maintenance summer home. The basic boat has lots of neat features, and it is refreshing to talk about a boat that puts simplicity ahead of other elements. Let’s go aboard…
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Island Packet 445 Review - Under Way and Livin' Large
Island Packet 445 Review - Under Way and Livin' Large
The Island Packet 445 delivers the solid comfort and ease of use that have become the hallmark of designs by Bob Johnson DISCUSSING THE ISLAND PACKET 445 during the 2005 Boat of the Year contest, judge Alvah Simon noted that designer Bob Joh nson has created an "almost cult like following" among buyers of his boats, who love his approach to creating solid, well-equipped cruising craft. No small reason for the company's success is Island Packet's exclusive stem-to-stern three-year limited warranty. Also, new boats are covered by 10-year limited warranties on the hand-laminated solid-fiberglass hull and the PolyCored deck.
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Cruisers 385 Motor Yacht Review: CRUISING IN COMFORT
We sea-trial the new Cruisers 385 Motor Yacht on a run up the coast from Ft. Lauderdale to Wilmington, N.C. Somewhere north of Daytona Beach, mangrove gave way to mallow along the banks of the ICW and we saw the beginnings of the great spartina marshes that stretch northward into Georgia and the Carolinas. It was the second day of our journey from Ft.Lauderdale to Wilmington, N.C., to deliver the new Cruisers 385 Motor Yacht to the facility where it will be made. 
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West Bay Sonship 54/50 Review - IN SYNCH
West Bay Sonship 54/50 Review - IN SYNCH
The West Bay 50/54 blends the builder's custom yacht expertise in a midsize raised pilothouse that's just right for a couple... West Bay Sonship Yachts is a family business. Ben Vermeulen founded the company in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1967 and ran it for many years with the help of his wife, Leidy. Today, their children-sons Wes and Bas, daughter Rochelle and their respective families- manage the operation. At West Bay, family comes first, and that philosophy extends to the way this company builds its boats, including its newest model, the 50/54 Raised Pilothouse.
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Contender 36 Fish Around Review - PLAYING TOUGH
Contender 36 Fish Around Review - PLAYING TOUGH
Fishability meets civility... Contender boats are noted for showing up high in the standings in the big-money kingfish tournaments- and for good reason. They're light, fast, and tough. What they're not known for, however, is being family friendly. With the new 36 Fish Around, that could be changing. The interior of the boat looks a bit like a cross between a walkaround and a center console, but the sidedecks and foredecks are much deeper and broader than the norm. And unlike most walkarounds, this boat is eye candy, with sleek fairing on the cabin and console and a low-slung smoked Plexiglas windscreen. The design is functional, too. By bringing the sides of the console area well aft, a spray-proof mini-enclosure is created. There's still plenty of air circulating, but you're not going to get wet.
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Tiara Sovran 4300 - DIAMOND CUTTER
Tiara Sovran 4300 - DIAMOND CUTTER
The shape of things to come? I tested Tiara's Sovran 4300 powered by Volvo Penta's new Inboard Propulsion System (IPS). I've read in other magazines that IPS is "revolutionary;' "innovative;' and in the ad-kissing pronouncement I like best, "will stand the inboard boat industry on its ear." Get a grip. IPS is remarkable. IPS is noteworthy. IPS has advantages. But in concept, it isn't even new. BOATING reviewed a progenitor, the Yachting Level Drive, in our August 1963 issue, and ships have used Z-drives with the props mounted forward for years. So let's get down to what IPS is-and isn't-and give the Sovran 4300 a thorough review at the same time.
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Morris 48 Review - A Gentleman's Racer
Morris 48 Review - A Gentleman's Racer
I could produce over a hundred reviews of Chuck Paine designs. A 40-footer that's being finished up for the Cabo Rico company is design number 112! Among all those rolls of blueprints, virtually every one is intriguing enough to warrant publication.
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Sea Ray 48 Sundancer Review - TIMELY DANCER
Sea Ray 48 Sundancer Review - TIMELY DANCER
Sea Ray adds the latest trends in yacht design to its popular line of express cruisers and fashions a real stunner- the new 48 Sundancer. Most people I know wouldn't wait in line for an hour to take a short, out-and-back spin on a boat, particularly in 50-degree temperatures. Yet that's what dozens of guests did when Sea Ray opened up the new 48 Sundancer for test rides at its two-day, invitation-only Yacht Expo in November. Despite the fact that the line to board the 48 snaked around the docks at the builder's Merritt Island, Florida facility, the curious were determined to get a close look at this new luxury express yacht.
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Tiara 4300 Sovran Review - PRIZE PACKAGE
Tiara 4300 Sovran Review - PRIZE PACKAGE
Built explicitly for Volvo Penta's revolutionary new IPS propulsion system, the Tiara Sovran 4300 is in a league of its own... I was psyched! I've probably tested a dozen new Tiara yachts over the years, but never with the degree of anticipation I felt as I arrived at Galati Yacht Sales in Destin, Florida, with Dave Walsh, Tiara's marketing director, to sea-trial the new Tiara Sovran 4300. My curiosity was intense because this boat had been built entirely around Volvo Penta's radically new Inboard Performance System (IPS)- a diesel propulsion package whose drives mount beneath the boat, rather than on its transom, and whose four Duoprop propellers face forward rather than aft (See Motorboating, January). The concept is revolutionary, I was about to witness the application.
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Sea Ray 48 Sundancer Review - SUN CITY
Sea Ray 48 Sundancer Review - SUN CITY
BOAT TEST 2349: On the lighter side... Ever been belowdecks on a boat and felt as if you were entombed? So often, this area is dark and foreboding, which was one of the few complaints customers had with Sea Ray’s 460 Sundancer. An upgrade was in order, and when Sea Ray’s designers set out to make the 48 Sundancer, one of their priorities was to lighten up the cabin.
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Fountain 38 Sportfish Tournament Edition Review - SPORTING CHANCE
Fountain 38 Sportfish Tournament Edition Review - SPORTING CHANCE
Fountain's 38 Sportfish Tournament Edition lets you pursue your quarry by day and return home in short order. As we headed out toward poen water on the Gulf of Mexico, lead test driver Bob Teague slalomed the Fountain 38 Sportfish center-console through a series of left and right turns. "Fountains always handle nicely," he said, almost under his breath. He was right. The 10-foot, 6-inch beam center-console transitioned from side to side just as it should, with no grabbiness on entry or bobbles on exit, all the while still 'on the bubble' and freed up from the water's surface. It felt just right, the way a boat should."
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Azimut 116 Yacht Review - DOUBLE VISION
Azimut 116 Yacht Review - DOUBLE VISION
Two very different Azimut 116s prove this Italian yard’s ability to tailor a yacht to match nearly any customer’s tastes. The first Azimut 116 is actually two boats. There is the one that Azimut built and delivered to her young Mexican owners earlier this year. And there is the one that Azimut probably wished it had built but which existed only in its imagination. To present a true impression of Azimut’s vision for this sleek new flagship motoryacht, with her stylish yet traditional cherrywood interior designed by Carlo Galeazzi, the boatbuilder had to wait several months for boat number two to be completed. For the interior of the first 116 is so very different in feel, flavor, and finish from any of the original concept renderings, that the Azimut staff privately admit to thinking of her as a “preproduction” example—a custom, one-off yacht that could easily have emerged from Azimut’s sister company, the custom shipyard of Benetti, located next to where the 116 was built in Viareggio, Italy.
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Cabo 40 Flybridge Sportfisher Review: TOP BILLING
Show the marlin who's boss.  Equal but different: Sticking your finger into an electrical outlet, and firewalling the throttles on a new Cabo 40 Flybridge Sportster. Both give you one hell of a charge, and both leave your hair standing on end. Test this boat, and you’ll walk away feeling as if you’ve been wired during an electrical storm.
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Meridian 411 Review - BIG SMILE
Meridian 411 Review - BIG SMILE
Make yourself at home... Launching a kayak or wetting a line from the aft deck of many motoryachts—even those with a standard swim platform—can be clumsy. But a sedan, like Meridian’s 411, offers good interior accommodations plus the convenience of a cockpit. It’s a balanced design for boaters who spend lots of time aboard, cruise with a big crew, and want to get to the water with minimal hassle.
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McKinna 58 Pilothouse Motor Yacht Review: PATIENCE AND FORTITUDE
McKinna 58 Pilothouse Motor Yacht Review: PATIENCE AND FORTITUDE
A true-born son of the sea. Step aboard McKinna’s 58 Pilothouse Motor Yacht and you feel as if you've entered something much bigger than its LOA would lead you to believe. Start in the engine compartment where the twin 800-bhp 3406s are lashed to the bearers with full-length steel channels that through-bolt to the boat’s structure. If you need to move hundreds of gallons of water out of the area quickly, there are crash pumps.
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Fairline Phantom 50 Review: GHOST STORY
It’s alive! At 1800 rpm, I was cruising comfortably in Fair line’s Phantom 50. The ride through the three-to four-foot seas with an occasional six-footer was smooth and steady, typical for a 50' inboard cruiser. When I advanced the levers to 2100, a big smile crossed my face. The Phantom 50 came to life, lifting up and accelerating as the turbo on the Volvo Penta D12-675s kicked in. We had gone from ho-hum typical inboard boat to hey, this is downright fun to drive - in seconds.
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Ocean Alexander 42 Altus Review - CLASSIC ECONOMICS by Kevin Falvey
Ocean Alexander 42 Altus Review - CLASSIC ECONOMICS by Kevin Falvey
Run away from home,-for less. I'm a fan of the galley-up arrangement on boats. The setup aboard the Altus 42 is particularly appealing because of its lower control station abeam of the galley. Think about it: What's better than playing Master and Commander, the dry, quiet, teak-ensconced comfort of a lower helm, spume flying outside, fresh coffee perking within reach?
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Tiara 3200 Open - ROYAL CARIBBEAN
Tiara 3200 Open - ROYAL CARIBBEAN
We live like royalty aboard the Tiara 3200 Open on a run from San Juan to the Bitter End... We were, in a very real sense, following in Columbus' wake, only in reverse. On his second voyage in 1493, his discoveries included the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, making landfall first at what is now St. Croix. It is not hard to imagine his fragile fleet ghosting over the diamond-scattered sea, coasting the exposed tops of marine mountains, remnants of extinct volcanoes, peering at their dense thatch with hungry, Hidalgo eyes.
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Sea Ray 390 Sundancer Review [2004] - EYE CANDY
Sea Ray 390 Sundancer Review [2004] - EYE CANDY
When an opportunity strikes, I say grab it. So I drag raced a diesel-powered Sea Ray 390 Sundancer while testing a sister ship powered by twin 370-hp MerCruiser 8.18 Horizon gasoline.inboards. It proved that if you opt for twin 375-bhp Cummins MerCruiser QSB 5.9 diesels, you won't ever suffer from performance anxiety. Though I have certified test results only from the gas-powered engine, the diesel raced me to a dead heat. Also, both boats came on plane in nearly equal time and achieved comparable top speeds.
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Formula 382 FasTech Review - LEADING THE PACK
Formula 382 FasTech Review - LEADING THE PACK
Formula's 382 FAS3Tech redefines the poker-run boat. Air conditioning, a galley and an entertainment system are amenities rarely found on boats labeled "poker-run editions." But in creating its 382 FAS3Tech Poker Run boat, Formula wanted to prove that a boat doesn't need to be as empty as a pop song to perform. The 38-footer Formula brought to our Performance Trials was packed with more creature comforts than most buyers would need and still delivered near 80-mph speeds. We suggest you find your own sponsorship decals, though.
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Cruisers Yachts 455 Review - UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS
Cruisers Yachts 455 Review - UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS
The new Cruisers 455 offers livability both above and below decks. If you want the sun-filled pleasures of an express cruiser but can't bring yourself to give up the spacious interior layout of an aft cabin motoryacht, then the new 455 Express Motoryacht from Cruisers will fulfill your need for both. This Wisconsin-based builder has created an efficient hybrid by fusing an express cruiser deck to a capacious motoryacht hull.
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Carver 360 Mariner Review: NEXT GENERATION
Carver launches an updated version of the 350 Mariner family cruiser. Carver's first 36 Mariner was launched in the early 1980s. It was a design chock full of great ideas for families who cruise together. The builder's brand-new 360 Mariner is an updated version of that boat. It refines the look, layout and livability that made the original model an enduring favorite among Carver owners.
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Monterey Flagship 350 Sport Yacht Review: THE NEXT BIG THING
Monterey’s new flagship 350 Sport Yacht: an express cruiser with racy good looks and the performance to back it up. It's got legs. That's the kind of thing you can say about that will probably be embraced by the public and enjoy a long life on the production line. That’s how I would classify Monterey's new 350 Sport Yacht. Its perceived staying power is achieved in two ways. First, it can perform. Designed to harness plenty of sterndrive power, the 350 can top 50 mph and leave some similar-sized boats to scoot along in its wake. Second, its looks are smokin'. Monterey took its styling cues from steamy European builds when it drew the deck's sharp, angular lines. The 350 is both brawny and sexy. When it comes to surface appeal, this express cruiser has hot legs.
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WESTPORT 112 RAISED PILOTHOUSE MOTORYACHT REVIEW - YACHTS INTERNATIONAL - March 2004
WESTPORT 112 RAISED PILOTHOUSE MOTORYACHT REVIEW - YACHTS INTERNATIONAL - March 2004
They said 'no,'" said Buz Divosta, who wanted to upgrade his Westport 112' halfway through its build stage. His changes weren't monolithic - no modifications to the hull mold - but they were nevertheless significant. For example, on his 112' Betty Jane he wanted a hard top over the flybridge, widened aft deck doors and a saloon without a bar.
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BUSTING LOOSE - Boston Whaler takes its line of cabin fishboats in a new direction with the 305 Conquest (Review) Capt. Dave Lear
BUSTING LOOSE - Boston Whaler takes its line of cabin fishboats in a new direction with the 305 Conquest (Review) Capt. Dave Lear
Successful boat manufacturers are never content to rest on their laurels, and that maxim certainly applies to Boston Whaler. Over the last two model years, the company has made significant improvements to its line of Outrage center consoles by designing better hulls and adding more fishing features. The Conquest line of cabin boats is next on the upgrade list. The 305 is the first model in the new generation of Conquests. It incorporates many of the angling features I admire on the Outrages, but it has a softer side, too. In fact, I give it very high marks for both form and function.
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Fountain 38 Sportfish Cruiser Review: THE SPOILER
Fountain teams up with Mercury to create the sterndrive-powered 38 Sportfish Cruiser, a luxurious angling platform that will get you to the fish fast, but pamper you in the process.  When you think of Fountain, you think of a long, lean, racing machine with a sexy lip to its bow; and of course, you think of company founder and CEO Reggie Fountain, the man who wears his need for speed on the sleeve of his offshore racing uniform. But for 2004, the company's 25th anniversary year, Fountain also wants you to think of offshore fishing. 
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Doral 45 Alegria Review - LOOK SHARP
Doral 45 Alegria Review - LOOK SHARP
This elegant cruiser was introduced to the press with a theatrical presentation that would have done justice to Barnum's best. While the dignitaries and executives were oohing and ahhing on the dock and the PR types were handing out brochures with complimentary bottles of designer water, guess where the boat guys were? The marine writers, with their scuffed deck shoes and dog-eared notebooks, were all grooving on a little switch in the cockpit. Flip it and the aft center section of the foredeck hinges up and the middle of the boat's big, curved windshield disappears into it; then the hatch closes and all is as before- except now the windshield is a walk-through. How to get to it? By using the teak-planked ladder that's permanently attached to the companionway door, of course. Slide the door shut, unfold the ladder and voila- instant access. Was this feature a big deal? By itself, maybe not, but when added to all the other design innovations on Doral's new Alegria 45, it justified the hype associated with the launch of this new express cruiser.
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