For the Canadian Yachting readers who are not yet familiar with Beneteau’s broad range of power boat models, the Gran Turismo 35 may come as a bit of a surprise. Our test boat is a head-on competitor to the North American built express cruisers and the latest day boats that are coming on the market.
There seems to be more and more talk these days about the “bucket list” and amongst people who are keen on boating, making that cruise to the Caribbean is a big one.
It's a long run, but your skill and knowledge is perhaps just as important as your boat, assuming that has the accommodations and reliability to make such a journey. But, it wouldn't be a dream if you didn't dream about doing it in style and comfort would it?
It's our opinion that the Back Cove 34 is ideally suited to delivering on the dream of cruising to the Caribbean while also offering the accommodations and features that you'd enjoy every weekend here in Canada.
While the name Monte Carlo is a new marque in the Canadian marine industry, this newcomer comes with a rich history. It’s been developed by the Beneteau Group, one of the world’s leading boat builders for the past 130 years.
Big fast day boats have been hot news recently, but there is absolutely a market for a flying bridge boat, especially one that offers spacious live aboard accommodations and a rich list of amenities. The Monte Carlo line are high style yachts developed for the luxury market.
I have had the pleasure of going through the Cruiser's Yachts design department in Oconto, Wisconsin on more than one occasion as I travelled there to review newly released designs. They are creative bunch!
The company seems to really have its finger on the pulse of the changing boating tastes and yet their 328 SS model really took me by surprise. Cruisers Yachts calls this a Sport Series yacht. You might also call it a day boat with overnight accommodations, but it seems that many buyers are calling it their get away machine.
Testimony to the originality of the design, after the debut of the 328 SS at Fort Lauderdale in late 2013, the American boating press gave the 328 Sport Series their coveted Boat of the Year award for 2013. Editors named the 328 SS "Boat of the Year" after reviewing performance data and commentary from the magazine's Tech Team.
The latest designs stress versatility and the brand new Chris-Craft Catalina 34 is another example of the evolution of the centre console fishing boat to become an elegant entertaining vehicle. Yes, it’s a capable fish-raiser and with the latest big Yamaha outboards, it’s super fast as well as efficient and quiet.
For ease of entry at dockside, the Chris-Craft Catalina 34 has a door built into the side of the hull but it’s more than a way to board…it’s a dive door with a drop down boarding ladder – just one of many features on this new boat.
Somewhere beyond the sport utility vessel is the Swiss Army Knife vessel and we think it just might be the Boston Whaler 420 Outrage. ‘Gotta like the lines on this – it’s clearly much more than a fishing boat. The 420 Outrage is designed for onboard entertaining, with an expansive bow area designed with clever backrest configurations that provide 360-degree seating around the large, removable bow table. An available sunshade easily deploys over the area, providing welcome protection from the sun even when anchored far from shore. Another sunshade extends aft beyond the hardtop to shelter passengers in the cockpit.
The helm area of the 420 is spectacular in its ability to accommodate up to six passengers while underway, all facing forward, standing or sitting. The quad Mercury Verado outboard engines deliver breath-taking speed as well as quiet trolling…remarkable! An actuated captain’s seat and dual forward-or-backward facing companion seating is accompanied by an entire second row: a conversion bench that flips to face forward, or aft for when the main action is in the rear cockpit. What action? Fishing of course!
This is the largest bowrider on the market. Period. It’s so new that the Four Winns people didn’t even have running shot photography for this issue of Canadian Yachting but we wanted to share this boat with you right away. All 44 feet are designed for comfortable living and generous entertaining. Among the many amenities is the hydraulic table in the bow area. At the touch of a button, this dining table lowers to convert to a spacious sun tanning area.
You can order a Four Winns Horizon 440 with a cabin that looks like this – very elegant and with amenities that can include a large head with enclosed shower. Other features are an available 40” TV, cockpit grill, refrigerator and ice maker and a retractable hardtop for access to the forward bow area.
Just as the world has turned away from sedans and embraced sport-utility vehicles in the automotive world, changing tastes and lifestyles have driven the design of the new Chris-Craft Launch 36 to deliver far more versatility.
The Launch 36 still has considerable cabin space to accommodate cruising, but the emphasis is on above-decks features to support a broad range of family activities. One reflection of this is the galley-up design. The galley unit is positioned behind the helm seats, facing the big cockpit area, ready to serve a hungry and thirsty gang of guests.
It was a particular pleasure to visit the home of Neptunus Yachts in St. Catherines, Ontario to review their new Neptunus 55 Express because for many years, this builder served a high-end clientele who generally kept their yachts down south. Seeing a Canadian-built Neptunus in Canada was at least a bit uncommon. Also, their yachts have been mainly in the larger sizes – up to 80 feet and there have been limited facilities in the Great Lakes for such a big private vessel.
Today, the Great Lakes Canadian market for larger boats is strong and the facilities are being built for the growing number of owners with yachts over 50 feet. Addressing this market, Neptunus introduced their 55 Express in the summer of 2014.