power_boat_review-buzzards_bay_33-largeWe were pacing along side a nice new deep vee express cruiser heading deep into Halifax harbour. We were making an easy pace for the water conditions but the express cruiser was dragging a huge wake with its bow way up. The Buzzard's Bay 33, at the same speed, was leaving a wake like a 14-foot aluminum boat would with two fishermen aboard.

Russell Hunt, the creator of the Buzzard's Bay 33 and founder of Multihull Development, summed it up this way, "our owners are already knowledgeable boaters and they chose their Buzzards Bay 33 because they plan to use it much more than the average."

Russell's family had a boatyard in Buzzard's Bay, Massachussetts and North Atlantic Yachts in Halifax, Nova Scotia build the boats. Between the Nova Scotia and Cape Cod influences, you can bet the Buzzard's Bay 33 is a capable sea boat. Then, Chris White, who has specialized in multi-hull designs and lightweight composite construction for a quarter of a century is the designer.

Every boat is a combination of styling, accommodations, construction qualities, sea keeping qualities and performance. What I find endlessly fascinating is that you need to find the right balance for your own particular needs and tastes. There is no "right answer".

Power catamaran designs offer especially interesting alternatives. This one has been dialed in to emphasize performance although the design offers appealing accommodations as well. Maybe this is the recipe for your ideal boat.

Measuring 33'6" with a beam of 12'6", the boat is currently offered in a Pilot House configuration and the builders give you your choice of twin 225 hp Mercury Verado 4 stroke outboards or twin Volvo Penta diesel stern drives in 130, 167 and 190 hp levels. While the diesels will be attractive to long range cruisers, the top power option and lowest weight too, is the twin Verados. They are a great choice because the big attraction is the performance.

With a load of seven grown men and full tanks, we still accelerated from a standing start to 35 mph in only 15 seconds and hit a top end of 36.1 mph at 5,850 rpm. At the other end of the range, the Verados silently held 2,000 rpm doing a canal-happy 9.4 mph and with the SmartCraft Vessel View instruments showing 4.5 gph for a fuel burn of 2.08 mpg.

If that seems slow for your cruising tastes, how about 3,000 rpm doing 18.4 mph and burning 10.9 gph for 1.68 mpg? We were still better than 1 mpg at over 30 mph.

You are starting to see the delightful side of this power cat; it is happy at almost any speed. The tunnel is uniquely tall in this boat as well, so when we encountered the big rolling swells of a fast Coast Guard Patrol boat, the Buzzard's Bay just knifed through, smooth and stable. The tracking was impressive and the Simrad Autopilot will be a favourite on long cruises where the great ride and sea-keeping qualities will minimize the need to drive for the sea conditions.

The test boat had the Furuno NAVNet system with radar overlaying the chart plotter, GPS and depth functions – very neat and compact. The iCOM VHF radio and SmartCraft information systems complete the helm with all the information you could reasonably want at your fingertips.

We'll come back to impressions at the helm, but first, let's talk about the layout.

An aspect of catamaran design is that you are able to lay everything out around a wide, flat floor. The Buzzards Bay 33, ordered with either the diesel stern drives or the Verado outboards, still comes with a wide, flat cockpit floor; great for fishing, entertaining or diving. With the built-in full width swim platform, center post type dive ladder and two large transom doors, the cockpit is a real action area.

Our test boat was rigged with a stern station consisting of additional cockpit engine controls, fish-finder and autopilot controls – very neat. A special bracket to hold a small outboard safe in the cockpit was included and a dinghy could easily be accommodated on the Pilot House roof. The test boat also had fresh and raw water washdowns, a large combination seat and storage box and massive scuppers to quickly drain overboard.

Where the flat floor really starts to pay off is that the cabin sole and cockpit are at the same level; you simply swing open the substantial door, latch it open and walk in. There is the galley immediately to port.

The galley stretches out ahead with a very deep and usable double stainless steel sink, Dometic fridge and freezer combination with stainless steel door, built-in microwave, three drawers on stainless steel slides and two very spacious lockers.

Because these boats are hand built in low volume, owners can specify what they want and this owner wanted a propane system onboard. So, there is a two-burner Princess propane stove.

Opposite the galley is a large L-shaped settee with a tremendous amount of storage inside. This also houses the optional air-conditioning system and the test boat was fitted with a very clever hi/low table that folds out from compact cocktail size to dining. The whole area can convert to a double berth when guests are aboard.

The aft bulkhead includes the rubber gasketed Diamond Sea Glaze door with a window; another large window can be latched closed, opened to a vent position, or swung wide open overhead making the whole cockpit and cabin feel like one big living space.

Up the port side hull, forward of the helm, is a sliding, locking hatch that you pass through, down four steps to the head. This is quite spacious, has a large storage locker, sink in the vanity, two opening ports, and the VacuFlush MSD mounted forward where the area can be curtained off for a shower. The test boat had elegant teak grate flooring. A feature to note is the opening hatch on the inside wall.

The opposite hull is down four steps with great access to the cabin berth. There is a generous hanging locker, storage area and the full queen berth is cleverly located above the tunnel. There is generous sitting height, two more opening portables and a large deck hatch overhead. Now, the designers have cleverly included the sliding hatch panel we mentioned when describing the head, that opens the stateroom full beam for a spacious feeling and cross ventilation at night. It's a very comfortable and livable arrangement.

Equally livable and accessible is the exterior with side decks that are particularly wide and with a flat forward deck. The anchor locker is large enough for a man to get into and the test boat was fitted with a Maxwell windlass and a big anchor. There are eight oversize cleats are fitted on both sides of the bow, double springs and stern.

Getting back to the helm, our test boat was fitted with a remarkable, orthopedic quality Stidd seat that has an extremely wide range of adjustment in height, reach and foot rests. The instruments and controls are mounted on the binnacle, centered in the pilot house. Stand or sit. The Furuno navigation system, Simrad autopilot, Mercury SmartCraft Vessel View systems and the control levers are all in easy reach. A companion seat is located to starboard. Everybody has a good view forward. At top speed, the boat is a blast to drive and you can crank hard into a turn at wide open throttle and it tracks right around, leaning out a little but remaining impressively flat.

You can run the Verados like this was a sport boat for fishing excursions but with the Furuno system that combines GPS, chart plotter, depth sounder and radar including a full radar overlay as well as split screen functions, this boat was rigged for long distance cruising.

Strong performance, impressive fuel efficiency and excellent sea-keeping qualities distinguish the Buzzards Bay 33. Remember too, at 33 feet, this boat will find it easy to get transient accommodation at marinas as you travel and the shallow draft means you can anchor out or literally beach it if you are lucky enough to find that deserted Caribbean island. The Buzzards Bay 33 can take you there.

By Andy Adams

To see if this boat is available, go to www.boatcan.com to check listings!

Destinations

  • Prev
We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set ...
The Halifax waterfront has been attracting more and more large yachts in recent years. However, a ...
Ah Canadian simplicity at its finest; small town, big marina. Little Hilton Beach (population ...
Vancouver-based Big Blue Yacht Charters Worldwide owner Emma Murdoch explains that luxury crewed ...
In the 1920s, a small cove in Canoe Bay was used as a shipping point and safe-haven for rum runners ...
Here’s an update from Caroline Swann with some news for the adventurous types who may be heading to ...
The New Glasgow marina is located about six miles up the East River of Pictou in the heart of the ...
The British Virgins took a huge hit last fall from Irma. Boats were stranded on the shore by the ...
Located about half way between Shediac and the Miramichi on New Brunswick’s Acadian Coast, the town ...
Suddenly the once forsaken city of Hamilton, Ontario is booming for at least two good reasons.

An Abacos Adventure

Great Guana CayBy Mark Stevens; Photos by Sharon Matthew-Stevens

It’s a perfect Sunday morning jaunt.

We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set for a close reach out of a harbour guarded by a necklace of tiny emerald islands decorated by palms that dance in fifteen knots of wind.

Our boat, “Tropical Escape II” (perfect name for both the boat and our adventure), is a 44-foot Robertson and Caine catamaran, chartered from Sunsail’s Marsh Harbour base on Bahamas’ Great Abaco Island.

Read More about An Abacos Adventure...

 

Lifestyle

  • Prev
Stuart Walker a legend in competitive sailing passed away on November 12, 2018 in Annapolis. Stuart ...
“In Grenada, we had about 80 cruiser kids visit our boat...by dinghy of course! Sometimes you ...
Austin Edwards told students and parents at the Saanich School’s “Parents as Informed Partners” ...
As the sole arbiter of the Photo of the Week I, your editor, get to make the choice. This week, ...
Michele Stevens pointed us to this interesting project which recently came to fruition in Cape ...
Our Photos of the week this time come from BC where our friend Rob Stokes sent us a very nice ...
Our little treasure: Montague (Monte) taken at Pirate's Cove in the Gulf Islands. Monte is a ...
It has been a long, hot summer here on Georgian Bay and we miss Adamant 1 terribly. We did manage ...
On Thursday last week, at age 88, Bruce Kirby has been invested into the Order of Canada for his ...
The Olympic Qualification Regatta is now being held in Aarhus Denmark with unlimited entries. That ...

Hanse 388

Hanse 388By Katherine Stone

The Hanse group produced their second most popular boat of all time with the Hanse 385. The trick was to build on that winning formula when they upgraded to the Hanse 388, which they have done in spades. The German build quality is first rate and true to the Hanse tradition. Leaving the hull the same with a steep stern and straight stem for an optimal long water line, they went with a slightly stiffer, heavier displacement, new deck, interior layout and window line. Hanse’s highly experienced yacht construction team, judel/vrolijk & co., have combined ease of sailing, comfort and performance into the newly designed Hanse 388.

Read more about the Hanse 388...

 

 

 

DIY & How to

  • Prev
A recent conversation with a fellow contractor got me thinking: With all of the information out ...
As the cold approaches, shrink-wrapping is a hot topic, and I’ve heard more than a few debates at ...
Nothing stops a vacation faster than a problem with the fresh water system – be it leaks, smells, ...
Pyrotechnic distress flares have been around for decades, while electronic strobe distress flares ...
Most of us don’t give a second thought to our sacrificial anodes – those curious knobs of raw metal ...
In this time of boat show afterglow, many boaters are counting the days until launch. 
This one-day course consists of both theory and practical demonstration sessions, is designed to ...
 Since the initial article of this column we have identified a wide range of apps and ...

Ask Andrew – How to hire a boat repair contractor

hiring a contractorBy Andrew McDonald

A recent conversation with a fellow contractor got me thinking: With all of the information out there, including: Websites showing repairs, YouTube tutorials, Instagram pages and snapchat streams – let alone books, magazines, service manuals, and years of practical experience – how does a boat owner know which method(s) are ‘right’, who to trust, and who to hire to do the job? In short: How do you find and select a contractor?

Unfortunately, most people are forced to hire a contractor due to a circumstance where something has broken or failed, or the task...

Read more about hiring a contractor...

 

  

Marine Products

  • Prev
Sail shape is long gone. They have stained, feels thin and you see broken threads everywhere. Your ...
Stripping the antifouling paint from the bottom of a boat is physically demanding and is one of the ...
The 2019 Ultimate Sailing Calendar highlights the drama and excitement of blue-water sailing, as ...
Weather nerds and boaters of all stripes will be absorbed by Bruce Kemp’s account of the monstrous ...
Canada Rope promises that its new Night Saver Rope will illuminate at night and act as a reference ...
Take a look as a 68-foot yacht docks itself in between two Volvo Ocean 65 sailing yachts at the ...
Industry Firsts Include Direct Injection and Integrated Electric Steering System
Verviers, Belgium, 18 May 2018 — Mercury Marine, the world leader in marine propulsion technology, ...
Again, we return to the beginning. We started this column with a look at marine navigation for ...
Ga-Oh (spirit of the winds in Algonquin) creates bags and other items from re-purposed sails.