Big, elegant, and capable
Families with young people who are seriously into waterskiing or wake boarding face a difficult choice: Buy a dedicated tow sports boat and make the kids happy or buy a more traditional family boat and make everyone comfortable.
In our opinion, the Vanquish 24 Runabout offers up a big, elegant, and capable solution that could make everybody happy. This is not a cheap solution, but it's an impressive one. Last August, we traveled to Gravenhurst, Ontario, and got our first look at the Vanquish 24 Runabout, tied up at Muskoka Wharf Marine. One glance told us this was a special boat.
Called a “24,” the 24 Runabout is actually 25’ 8” in overall length and has an eight-foot beam. This is a lovely big boat for areas like Muskoka, Georgian Bay, or the Thousand Islands. The test boat had a very classic ‘down east’ navy blue hull with white bottom and trim. The custom matched mooring cover and convertible roof were immediately evident, as were some special details of fit and finish.
The engine box tilts forward for open access to the Crusader inboard engine.
The welded stainless steel bow rail and other deck hardware were highly polished and the entire boat was set off by a varnished teak toerail. Executive Yacht is the dealer for Vanquish Boats in this part of Canada and they had ordered this boat built with many upscale touches. As we walked the length of the boat, admiring the lines, we realized that the swim platform was also finished in teak and then saw that the entire transom was done in teak as well. It would certainly look elegant with a gold leaf name across the stern, sitting in a Muskoka boathouse.
It only took a few minutes to remove and stow the mooring cover. Our immediate first impression was that the interior is very accommodating. On first glance, there is a full aft bench seat and then the classic inboard engine box amidships. From my personal experience, owning a classic inboard boat with a similar layout, everyone loves to sit on the engine box!
It's a great vantage point on a sunny day and this big engine box would allow two or three people to sit up on the comfortably padded top. This convenient area also includes four recessed drink holders. We appreciated the fire port in the box for safety. Ahead of the engine box is the start of a stretch of seating that faces forward and wraps up the port side all the way to the dashboard.
The test boat was finished with a beige (or taupe)coloured upholstery, stitched in a custom diamond pattern. It's light enough to be cool on a sunny day but dark enough not to show the wear, and it matches nicely with the special finish on the non-skid floor. The same finish is also on the forward deck, giving better footing when you go forward to anchor, and it will also reduce glare for the driver.
The nonskid finish on the deck matches the Sunbrella mooring cover and top material. It also reduces glare for the driver. Notice the beautiful varnished teak toerail.
The Vanquish 24 has a full fiberglass inner liner, which is a feature we really like. We noticed two big scuppers to quickly drain off any water that might get in. In the interior side panels are three different storage areas - two on the starboard side and one to port.The reason there's only one on the port side is that there is a port side refreshment area that includes a couple more drink holders and a stainless steel sink. The test boat also had a Novakool refrigerator to keep snacks and beverages cool andwell-organized for a long day on the water.
Although the test boat was not yet fitted with a barbecue, that would be a natural addition, and the test boat included a gorgeous varnished teak table that mounts just ahead of the aft bench seat. This can be relocated forward if you prefer. Another amazing comfort feature is the fact that there is a head compartment up under the bow. This assures guests of privacy so people can be comfortable for a full day out on the water.
Although we didn't put the convertible roof up on the gorgeous sunny day we had for our test, being able to shade the interior will be much appreciated for those who want to get out of the sun. The top bows are polished stainless steel and we noticed that the hardware was first-class with oversize cleats; three down each side to hang fenders or run spring lines, and a centre bow cleat with fairleads ensuring you can tie the boat up securely anywhere you might take it. That includes anchoring out for a picnic and there is a cavernous anchor locker in the bow.
Near the stern, there's an underfloor storage locker for storing the fenders and there is a place for the picnic table until it's time to get that out.
Part of the special order features on our Executive Yacht test boat included a varnished teak dashboard with a glovebox and a varnished wooden steering wheel. In addition to the classic features, the test boat was equipped with the latest Garmin GPS Map 741 multifunction display and navigation system,as well as a VHF radio and a high-end Fusion stereo system with several big speakers throughout the interior.
Make a comfortable living area with the removable teak table. The refreshment center is just ahead on the port side.
Other features to mention include the walk-through windshield, which is the safest way to step out on to the forward deck, and we appreciated that the fire extinguisher has a special place by the helm.
The captain’s helm seat adjusts and swivels and also has a flip up bolster cushion for comfortable seated or standing operation. Of course the views out are unimpeded and the classic windshield gives good protection from wind and rain.
We liked that the interior is nice and deep, giving everyone a feeling of comfort and security even at high speeds - and this boat can knock off some high speeds! Another part of the special Muskoka order package assembled by Executive Yacht included the 6.0 litre375 Crusader V-8 engine, which is also equipped with a Centeckmuffler system. It's quiet enough for passengers to be comfortable but there's no mistaking the sound of power from the big engine.
If you've ever driven a high-powered inboard runabout, the Vanquish will immediately be familiar. The very sophisticated bottom shape delivered precise handling and a lovely smooth ride during our test run, but it also leaves a tiny wake at slalom ski speeds, much like a tournament ski boat would. Another thing about an inboard runabout that has a big V-8 engine is the tremendous acceleration.
Even with a big load of passengers and their belongings for a day on the water, you feel like nothing would slow this boat down. Steering is effortless and quite precise. The boat banks gently into a turn and really hangs on for excellent maneuverability.
That reminds me – another part of the Muskoka Package was a bow thruster. This makes it really easy to position the boat even in winds or current, to get it safely into a boathouse or up against a dock. You don't customarily find a bow thruster on a boat of this size, but it's a great feature and it really works.
The traditional varnished wooden dashboard and steering wheel incorporate classic analog instruments along with the latest Garmin navigation screen, Fusion stereo and VHF radio.
Another great performance feature is that the boat doesn't really have a ‘hump’ to get over to plain off. It smoothly holds practically any speed from idle to wide-open, making it very enjoyable to drive and quite effortless.
A ski pylon was included with the Muskoka Package, and for taking people waterskiing or pulling tubes, the boat would be perfect. The folks at Executive Yacht have done a brilliant job of taking an already beautiful boat and really dressing it up with the sort of equipment and custom touches that a high-end buyer will appreciate.
While the Vanquish 24 Runabout looks to be a traditional or classic design, the passenger comfort and on the water performance is right up to date!
Engine: Single 6.0 Crusader, 364 ci V8 gasoline engine, multi-point fuel injection, regular fuel, 375 hp, freshwater cooled, GM Vortec block.
LOA: 25'8" / 7.62 m
BEAM: 8'0" / 2.4 m
DISPLACEMENT: 4,200 lbs. / 1905 kg
FUEL: 75 gal / 294 L
CRUISE SPEED: 32 mph/28knots (Est.)
MAX SPEED: 40 mph/35 knots (Est.)
PRICE: $200,000 est.
Test boat and price provided by Executive Yacht Canada, www.executiveyachtcanada.com