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Diana & Martin Rosansky Said:

It all started almost 10 years ago when we decided that the perfect boat for our cruising lifestyle should be a raised pilothouse design, in the 50-55' range. We spend our time in the winter cruising the gulf coast of Florida (we have a home in Sarasota), and the summers in the northeastern part of the US and Canada...with the base being our mid-coast Maine residence.

We were introduced to Kerry Alexander, one of Galati's top salesmen, when he showed us a Grand Banks Aleutian 53RP...exactly the style boat we had been searching for.

It took us about a year to make up our minds to place an order for the 53RP...Kerry's continued support ( prior to placing an order ), and Galati's outstanding service reputation were key in our decision making process.

Several months after agreeing to buy a 53 Aleutian, we were informed that Grand Banks was essentially replacing that model with a 55 RP. This permitted us to upgrade our purchase to the improved 55' Aleutian with it's many new features including a redesigned more modern interior.

One of the highlights of our purchase was being able to see our boat under construction at the Grand Banks Plant in Johar Bahru, Malaysia. Of course we were joined by Kerry and were welcomed by the Grand Banks staff including their sales and production managers. The staff and workers could not have been more gracious, welcoming and knowledgeable. We were able to make suggestions and were pleased to find that many requests (the worthwhile ones!) were beautifully incorporated into our boat.

Prior to our boat leaving the Grand Banks plant, Kerry paid yet another visit to the plant to insure that everything agreed to was incorporated into the build. We found that Kerry's attention to detail is outstanding and he's certainly the type of person that one wants on his team.

To put it simply, the boat has exceeded our expectations...It 's interesting that Galati's motto is "Consistently Exceeding the Expectations of our Customers."

We took delivery on December 10, 2014 and have found Mike Galati to be super responsive with regard to service. Send Mike an e-mail on Saturday and don't be surprised if you get a answer by Sunday evening. We have been boat owners for more than 30 years and find that the three most important factors in purchasing a boat are service, service, service!

In honor of our trip to see the boat being built in Malaysia, and in honor of the boat builders of Southeast Asia, we named our boat, "Dragon". Aside from dragons having major spiritual significance in many Asian culture and various religions, they are often associated with wisdom, longevity, strength, power and good luck.

Find out more about this yacht broker:
Kerry Alexander
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Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe - Captains Report

The all-new Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe was designed both for entertaining underway and at anchor, as well as to be a comfortable, stylish family cruising yacht. The manufacturer’s goal was to achieve more main deck space and functionality for all sorts of uses -- and, provide more space than any boat on the market in class.

One of the advantages of being the newest design in class is the opportunity to survey everything on the market and do them one better. With a main deck living and entertaining space of 157 sq. ft. (14.58 sq. m), a seating scheme that can be rearranged depending on the occasion, full standing headroom at the helm and a sleek, very Euro hardtop profile, the Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe has a lot to offer. Clever innovations make the boat quite versatile -- much more so than traditional express designs.

Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe running shot

The Cruiser Yachts 390 Express Coupe has a 39’0” (11.9 m) LOA, with a 12’8” (3.9 m) beam with a draft of 39” (1.0 m) with the sterndrive lower units down. Her dry displacement with gas engines is about 20,000 lbs. (9,071 kgs).

Distinguishing Features

• Large cockpit/aft deck

• Moveable on-deck dinette seating module

• Sleek hardtop with large standard sunroof

• Forward cabin salon for maximum seating

• Sterndrive or IPS pod drive propulsion

• Sleeps 6 in two cabins

• Full beam master with love seat

• Large in-hull windows throughout

• Large engine room

Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe aft deck

This is one of the most innovative -- and useful -- aft deck/cockpit arrangements we have ever seen in this size and style of boat. The image above is what we might call "cocktail party" mode -- there is plenty of seating, but also lots of open deck for walking around and mingling. Note the centerline passage to the stern.

Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe dining mode

In what might be called "dining" mode, the port seating module slides to the centerline, creating comfortable place settings for six. Add two folding chairs and make it eight. Passage to the stern is on the port side. There is nothing like it on the market in nearly any size yacht.

Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe full beam aft deck

The afterdeck of the Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe is nearly full beam thanks to the foredeck access being to the right of the wet bar in this image.

Innovative Main Deck

The most distinguishing feature of the new Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe is her cockpit/afterdeck. This is where boaters spend most of their time, so this is where the yacht's designers decided to create something remarkably large and functional. There is truly nothing quite like it on the market.

Living Large. The 390 Express Coupe's 157 sq. ft. cockpit/afterdeck was made possible by means of several design decisions. First, the hardtop's windshield was moved forward 3'6" (1.06 m). By doing this the designers could give the boat full standing headroom at the helm and have far better visibility forward than we find on many Euro designs.

Second, instead of running the side decks outside of the afterdeck, it went full-beam with the space available between the gunwales and moved the steps to the side decks forward, just abaft the hardtop enclosure.

Thirdly, afterdeck seating has been moved all the way to the rear of the main deck and has eliminated the traditional transom bulwarks that inevitably push seating forward.

Two easy steps up from the swim platform, the main deck is all one level from the transom gate to the companionway steps. With the expansive, one-piece windshield pushed so far forward, this space feels bigger than its actual measurement. Open the sunroof and it seems ever bigger. The flow of the space is comfortable and can be easily rearranged at the aft seating area.

Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe styling

Styling on the new 390 Express Coupe takes her cues from the builder's popular Cantius Series (the angled treatments of engine air intakes and the dunnage boxes aft), as well as the sleek coupe profile that is very Euro in inspiration. Here she is in dining mode.

Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe stern passageway

With the port seating module moved outboard the boat has a classy centerline passageway to the stern, something rarely seen on boats this size.

Two Decks in One

Unique is a word hard to apply to yachts, but we can honestly use it when describing the 390 Express Coupe's afterdeck. Because the port side L-shaped settee can be moved athwartships to create a huge U-shaped banquette with a passage way to the stern on the port side -- or, be moved outboard to the port bulwarks with the passage way aft on the centerline, this space has versatility we have never seen before on an express cruiser this size.

How it Works. By the lifting of one locking pin at the deck, on the port side seat, the entire L-shaped assembly effortlessly glides to the center of the cockpit to meet up with the starboard side seating. Once in place, the locking pin engages into the deck and now a U-shaped seating arrangement has been formed, in seconds. There is no visible track or rail in the deck to trip over or get fouled with water and debris. In either position the afterdeck looks as if it were designed that way as nothing looks temporary or improvised.

Dual Entertainment Modes. With both L-shaped settees pushed out to the yacht’s bulwarks, the afterdeck is entered through low transom gates on the center line. For a cocktail party, the table to starboard can be lowered. Some guests will enjoy sitting there with their drinks easy at hand. Others will prefer sitting to port where they can get up and move around more easily to mingle.

Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe wet bar

Forward, just behind the double helm seat, is a standard wet bar with an attractive faux wood lid. This counter can act as a side board during cocktail parties for beverages, ice buckets and the like.

Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe sink and grill

Below the lid on the wet bar console is a sink (covered at left) and an optional electric grill. Below is an optional refrigerator or icemaker.

Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe grill

Every boat this size should have a wet bar console and the 390 Express Coupe has a large one. Note the hatch on the left side for a trash container or an optional icemaker. The snap-in carpet is sea grass.

The wet bar counter is polyethylene faux wood that eliminates maintenance and looks remarkably good due to the realistic grain pattern. This console can be optioned-out to fit each owner’s individual life style or entertaining needs.

Al Fresco Dining. Anyone who has been to waterfront marinas in the Mediterranean knows that Europeans love to have dinner with a large number of friends and family on the aft deck of their yacht with the stern facing the quay. In this way, they can keep an eye out for passing friends and be seen as well by passersby. There, it is a sundown ritual that adds great value to the European boating experience because of the fellowship and bonhomie that good food and wine engender aboard an elegant yacht.

Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe faux wood

This is a close-up view of the polyethylene faux wood counter top. This material is extremely had and is UV resistant, to say nothing of being waterproof. Using this material eliminates maintenance yet gives the ambiance of real hard wood. Cruisers Yachts has used it both outside and below.

The Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe was made for just his sort of evening-dining scenario. By moving the port L-shaped settee to starboard, and opening the leaf on the all-weather table and the addition of two folding chairs, 8 people can comfortable sit on the afterdeck.

Port Side Access. Access from the stern is to port between the seating and port bulwark. This makes it convenient for guests to board without interrupting those who have already seated themselves. Typically, it would take a boat at least 50’ (15.24m) LOA to seat these many people on the aft deck in comfort for dinner.

A Moveable Feast. Depending on the formality of the occasion, fresh fish or burgers can be prepared on the optional grill under the wet bar counter, or dinner might come from the full galley below -- or catered, for that matter. Families will like the versatility of the arrangement as well. Perhaps the starboard side seats and table will be used for a light breakfast and coffee in the morning. Lunch may be served picnic-style at anchor or underway in either configuration depending on the number of people aboard. Dinner can be served here or below, depending on weather or whim.

Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe dining table

The dining table has been lowered to create a platform for a filler cushion to form what must be the largest sun pad play pen in class. The seat backs will protect sun bathers from a breeze that might be chilly.

Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe aft seat backs

With the aft seat backs powered down there is room for 4 sun worshipers when at anchor…

Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe sun pads

…or, create his and hers sun pads by moving the port module outboard. There is nothing like it in class.

Sun Bathing Fortissimo

The seatbacks of the two settees can be electrically powered down horizontally to create a huge sun bathing pad. With the addition of a filler cushion, when the two seating modules are together, one giant sun bathing playpen can be created to rival anything available in the Mediterranean no matter what size the boat.

The Bow Pad. Everyone should get a healthy dose of vitamin D aboard the 390 Express Coupe and not just on the stern sun pad. Like most boats in class, the 390 can be equipped for sunning on the foredeck when at anchor and access there is easy from the aft deck. But, there’s more…

Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe bow sun pads

No, Captain Jim isn’t laying here to get a sun tan, but rather to show the size of the bow sun pads. He is an even 6’ (1.83 m) tall. (Actual measurements: 63" x 82"/159 x 206 cm). Note the thoughtful drink and condiment/sunscreen black container at left. There is another one behind the captain over the galley.

Largest Sunroof in Class: The hardtop comes standard with a canvas sunroof operated by a control toggle at the helm. At 42 sq. ft. (3.90 sq. m.), it baths the helm deck in sunshine. The sunroof sits in a channel in the hardtop frame and is retracted by a motorized system that neatly folds the canvas and stows it in the aft section of the hardtop.

When the top is opened, it gives the feeling that the entire top has been retracted, like a convertible top on a car, because it goes so far to the edge of the coupe roof. The builder tells us that this is the largest sunroof in class.

Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe frame

The exoskeleton of the coupe frame is another one of the secrets of the 390 Express Coupe’s design. Note how thin the structure is, yet it maximizes what boaters want -- sunshine and good visibility.

The portside companion seat is made for sunning as well as lounging in the shade or facing forward. It is fully under the open sun roof and a sun worshiper can sit facing forward or aft. When not in sunning mode, this seat can handle two people comfortably underway – one seated upright facing forward and one in the chaise position facing aft, or sitting upright facing the captain.

Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe chaise backrest

Note the angle of the chaise backrest facing aft. We cant think of a more comfortable place on the boat when riding offshore. A companion can also sit facing forward and help with the piloting of the vessel.

Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe design

To be truly successful, any boat has to be not only practical, but also a thing of beauty. Cruisers Yachts has managed both of those missions by designing a coupe profile that is both sleek-looking and high. Note that the helm and standing captain are centered 50% of the way back from the base of the windshield, not under the windshield header (white arrow) as we see in some Euro-styled express coupes.

The Hardtop Design

The Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe is built for the world market, not just the U.S. For that reason her design, styling and functionality must be accepted all over the planet -- and be perceived as attractive by boaters with different cultural backgrounds. Europeans prefer a sleek profile with a windshield approaching the 17-degree rake of the famous Lamborghini Gallardo. While Cruisers Yachts hasn’t gone quite that far, the rake of her windshield is about 20-degrees, noticeably less than most American boats her size.

Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe helm head room

There is 6’4” (1.9 m) headroom at the helm with the sunroof closed. Captain Jim is 6’0” (1.83 m) and has an ideal line of sight forward. The hardtop with retracting sunroof is standard equipment on the 390 Express Coupe. Note that the forward support for the roof is relatively thin for this style and type of vessel.

Standing Headroom. Many boaters all over the world like to stand at the helm of their express cruiser, as well as sit, and for that reason it became imperative that the 390 Express Coupe have both full-standing headroom at the helm with excellent visibility forward while standing. The builder accomplished this feat by moving the windshield 3.5’ (1.06 m) forward. In that way, the hardtop of the 390 could have both a sleek profile and full standing headroom.

Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe helm deck

Note the open feeling of the 390 Express Coupe’s helm deck under the hardtop. Side windows come up just halfway in order to defect any wind-blows spray, but the rest is open. Note the sleek pilasters coated in black to be unobtrusive.

Cockpit Enclosure. Optional canvas and isinglass enclosure is easily installed and removed from the track system that encompasses the whole super structure from the windshield area, aft. When all buttoned up the forward cockpit area can be completely climate controlled. Cruisers Yachts uses durable plastic channels both on the side isinglass windows and on the after curtains as well. We like this system because it makes it easy and quick to install and minimizes the number of snaps. We particularly like the sliding aft isinglass door.

Placement of Foredeck Access Steps. The foredeck access steps have been moved forward, to midships, allowing for a full beam cockpit seating and entertaining area. Transitioning from the cockpit to foredeck is made easy with side decks that measure 10” (25 cm) wide on deck. However, because the cabin sides are angled in as they rise to the coach roof and the safety rails are angled out, there is plenty of hip room for even portly men to pass along this deck. The bow rails are 25" (63 cm) high.

Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe deck steps

These are the starboard side deck access steps. They are one of the secrets of the 390 Express Coupe’s large cockpit/aft deck. They are self-draining.

Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe helm

As all of the images in this report show, the helm of the 390 Express Coupe is ergonomically correct. While 6' Captain Jim does not need it, a flip-down platform adds 3" (7.5 cm) of elevation for operators wishing it.

Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe helm console

The helm console has everything easily at hand and note that both the throttles and the joystick are not placed outboard as we usually find them. We particularly like the placement of the joystick as it is convenient when facing forward or when the captain is standing to starboard facing aft when backing in. Note the stylish, leather-wrapped wheel.

Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe running shot

Underway going 4000 rpm, note the running angle and visibility forward. Also note that the test captain is standing at the helm and has a good view forward with the sunroof closed. The top of the windshield frame is above his line of sight.

Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe visibility

This hardtop express has superior visibility from the helm thanks to a single piece windshield and relatively narrow forward roof supports.

The Helm Deck

Helm Seating. The helm is designed for both the operator and a companion and has a double, richly upholstered seat, with attractive, contrasting stitching. The soft seat slides fore and aft. A foot rest flips down from the seat base and extends a few inches off the deck. Forward in the helm console there is an angled foot rest. All of this makes the helm seating comfortable and practical for both the operator and a companion.

The helm console itself is ergonomically designed with both the throttle and joystick easy at hand whether facing forward or aft. A raised instrument console has room for two navigation screens and is richly detailed in dark , simulated leather vinyl which has classy stitching. The steering wheel itself is stainless steel wrapped in leather and is a work of art. Perhaps most important, the console for the navigation screens is not so high as to impede forward visibility for a short person.

Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe throttle and joystick

This is an unusual throttle and joystick arrangement and is indicative of the out-of-the-box thinking that goes on at Cruisers Yachts. We like the drink holder forward as it is an ideal place for a cell phone.

Full-Front, One-Piece Windshield. One of the critical areas of yacht construction on an express design such as the 390 Express Coupe is joined where the roof structure meets the upper edge of the windshield. When underway and going through wakes, we kept an eye on the fixed frame and hardtop super structure to see if it would sway or shimmy a bit when encountering some rough water. That never happened. The hardtop is strong and well designed with the supports in the right places and most important, not particularly intrusive in the line of sight for the operator.

Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe stern

The stern of the 390 Express Coupe is both attractive and practical. (“A”) Both stern quarters of the swim platform are angled 45-degrees so as not to hit the dock when departing bow-first. (“B”) shows the fiberglass seat module that can be moved to the centerline on hidden tracks. (“C”) is the recessed opening for the shore power cord. (“D”) is the 10” ss cleat that is positioned to be used in several directions for mooring. (“E”) provides a handy place to tie a fender to protect the topsides aft.

Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe seats

Here we see the 390 Express Coupe with the seats in the closed position with the passageway forward to port. Note the absence of track on the deck and the two low-rise steps up from the swim platform to the aft deck.

Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe dunnage boxes

The two dunnage boxes astern are part of the seat moldings and offer good utility. The one to port typically stores fenders and lines, while the one to starboard handles the shore power cord, water hose and cleaning supplies. They are a comfortable place upon which to sit when at anchor.

Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe faux teak material

This faux teak material made by SeaDek is the best imitation teak decking we have ever seen. Its color and texture are remarkably "wood-like", but the material is softer (“A”) without being mushy, and feels good on bare feet. All of the “planks” are beveled (“C”) on a CNC machine exposing the black (“B”) color beneath which simulates traditional Thiokol sealant. But unlike Thiokol, this won’t peel out.

The Stern

For years, Cruisers Yachts has built aft decks with moveable seating modules. With the new 390 Express Coupe we think they have finally perfected the concept in the largest moving seat module ever. From the perspective of the stern it looks attractive and natural whether the seats modules are in the port passageway or center-opening position.

The height of the swim platform is close to that of most floating docks, and with the platform extending beyond the bulwarks it is easy to step aboard. Likewise, the two low step risers makes entrance to the aft deck easy for both kids and grandparents. A shower wand is concealed in the port gunwale away from the shore power connector which is in the starboard dunnage box.

Faux Teak. As noted in the photo above we were particularly taken by the faux teak treatment on the stern storage boxes which is made by SeaDek. The material is Ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) which has excellent resistance to UV radiation, in addition to having stress-crack resistance, and a remarkably pleasing texture and feel. Not surprisingly, it costs 25% more than standard vinyl decking, but it seems certainly worth it.

Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe running shot

Here we see the 390 Express Coupe at about 4500 rpm going 39 mph. WOT speed was 42.3 mph at 4800 rpm. Note her 5-degree running angle and clear view forward for the captain.

Performance

We tested the Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe on a sunny day with a 10 knot breeze out of the west and a slight chop in semi-protected fresh water at an altitude of 577' (176 m). The 390 Express Coupe has a 39' (11.9 m) LOA, with...

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Prestige 550 Flybridge - BoatTest.com

On the heels of the highly-awarded Prestige 500s and 500 Fly, Prestige is introducing yet another three new boats for 2012, including this Prestige 550 motoryacht which is set to debut in the US this year at the Fort Lauderdale boat show. Featuring similar design, engineering and styling as current Prestige yachts, the new 58' 10" (17.92 m) 550 will carry three staterooms plus crew's quarters below, a galley, dining and lounging areas on the main deck.

Prestige 550 Fly

All Prestige Yachts share a family resemblance with large windows in the topsides and an overall timeless profile. The 550 Flybridge looks poised to leap ahead, thanks to her raked stem and transom. Standard power is twin 600-hp Cummins diesels with Zeus pods.

Mission Statement

The mission statement for the Prestige 550 Flybridge is basically the same as the rest of the Prestige line. Build the best boat possible, and make her affordable by focusing on form and function and leave out the fluff. You will find solid composite countertops, wall-to-wall carpeting, and fiberglass overheads maximize interior room and utility. Prestige designers stay away from “flavor of the month” styling.

Overview

In 2011 Prestige earned praise in Europe for four new boats introduced: the 350, 400, 500 and 500S. Success breeds success – in the boating world just like anywhere else. The company has designed for two versions on a 58' 10" (17.92 m) LOA hull: The 550 express and 550 Flybridge motoryachts. All four of the new 2011 models were innovative in one sense or another, and we think the new intros are equally interesting.

Prestige 550 Fly

This is becoming the layout we expect for pod-powered yachts: A full-beam master stateroom amidships, guest quarters forward of that and a crew's cabin aft, atop the pods. We like that Prestige includes a mix of doubles and single berths in the 550 layout, making her suitable for a range of guests. Each cabin benefits from large windows in the topsides; the master has essentially picture windows on either side.

Distinguishing Features

Engines mounted forward. Instead of putting the Cummins diesels directly in front of the pods, they are moved farther forward to more evenly distribute the weight around the boat's longitudinal center of gravity. This keeps the 550 from having excessive bow rise and allows for the ride at a more sedate 5-degree bow high attitude. The Zeus pods are located well aft, under the crew quarters berth, and a jackshaft connects the engines to the pods.

Low draft. Because her pod drives are in tunnels and she is of a moderate displacement her draft is only 3’ 8’’ (1.17 m), which is shoal for this size boat.

Two control stations standard. Typically we see a standard flybridge helm station and an optional control station below. Many builders will use this plan to create a roomier salon. Prestige feels, and we agree in this case, that the salon is roomy enough and chooses to put in a lower helm station as standard. In addition, an optional third station in the cockpit is available.

Versatile VIP sleeping. Virtually every boat on the market in this class has a queen bed in the forward cabin. This is fine for a couple, but what if you are have two gents or ladies, or teenage children to accommodate? Prestige has thought of that and had built its queen bed so that it can be split into twins with each berth being moved to the hill sides. We think this is a super design.

Private entrance to a huge master. Most yachts in class have one access to all accommodations. One problem with this design is that much valuable space is wasted on a long passageway. By creating a separate staircase to the master stateroom Prestige provides not only more privacy, but also more usable space for a walk-in closet and larger head.

Price. At just a little over one million dollars this is a lot of yacht for the money. Just look around and you’ll see what I mean.

Prestige 550 Fly

The Prestige 550 motoryacht is able to go most anywhere, and should be easy to handle by most owner/operators.

Major Features

Three stateroom layout. The VIP guest stateroom is located forward. The port side guest stateroom has twin berths that can easily be converted to a queen.

Cockpit access to the flybridge. This is the only access to the flybridge, which eliminates a salon staircase that only takes up space, in our opinion.

Performance and Handling

With a pair of 600-hp Cummins QSC8.3 diesel engines powering our test boat we reached a top speed at 3080 rpm up 30.2 kts. At that speed we had a fuel burn of 62.85 gph for a range of 251 nautical miles. Best cruise came in at 2500 rpm and 22.4 kts. Now the fuel consumption to dropped to the 41.2 gph giving us a range of 284 nautical miles. We reached planing speed in 8.5 seconds and accelerated to 30 mph in 21.7 seconds.

Prestige 550 Fly

The Prestige 550 hull was designed specifically for the Zeus 3800 pod drives. You can also see a flat keel at the stern which acts as a lifting pad giving the 550 a quick 8.5 sec time to plane. Note the tunnels which permit a draft of just 3'8" (1.17 m). The hydraulic platform is optional.

When accelerating, the bow comes up roughly 8-degrees which means the horizon remains in clear view from the lower helm. Once on plane she'll settle into a 5-degree bow high attitude. Because of the maneuvering characteristics of pods, you won't find any break-neck turns on the 550. The throw of the pods is limited at speed so you will only get a 5-degree bank angle which allows for very slow turns. In fact, it took 70 seconds for the 550 to come around a full 360-degrees. Of course this is perfectly adequate for the short maneuvers, such as dodging the occasional trap buoy that seems to pop up all over the world. When you take power off, the 550 will settle back into the water and a level attitude, again producing no loss of visibility to the horizon.

Steering Considerations

While on the subject of visibility, the 550 Flybridge has outstanding sightlines. From the lower helm you'll find yourself looking through the bow rails, but the bow itself remains well below the horizon line. Naturally, from the flybridge you have a nearly unobstructed 360-degree view. More importantly, you have a clear view of the port quarter through the companionway hatch.

Prestige 550 Fly

The helm of the 550 Fly has a double wide seat for more eyes looking forward. The leather wrapped grab handle is a nice touch. Side windows are electrically actuated and open from a button to the left side of the helm.

One interesting feature to note is that the upper and lower helms are on opposing sides so you can choose which helm to operate from based on which side of the boat you will be tying up to. Of course for backing into a slip or med-mooring you can't beat the optional cockpit control station.

The 550 Fly had a very solid feel to her. While we were saddled with a relatively calm day I was able to pass through some sizable wakes which showed that she throws spray well off to the sides and down low producing a very dry ride. Her hard chines give her excellent stability and she shoulders beam seas off quite nicely with little effect to be felt from the flybridge helm.

Prestige 550 Fly

The rails continue all the way back to the cockpit making transitions to the bow a safe affair, even when underway. The unique geometry to the hullside windows really serves to identify the brand.

Docking Manners

In my opinion, the combination of Cummins diesels and Zeus pods is outstanding, and nowhere can this be felt to its maximum benefit than when maneuvering in close quarters. I easily brought the 550 in between two other yachts in the very close confines of a med-moor while controlling from the cockpit station.

Even while standing in close proximity to the engines and pods, there was no "clunking" into gear and the operation was silky smooth. So smooth in fact, that the only indication that things were working normally was the gentle response that the 550 Flybridge had to my slight movement of the joystick. More to the point, when you make a control movement on the joystick the 550 follows precisely as opposed to you making a control input, seeing where the boat goes, and then correcting that movement to what you want it to be.

Accommodations Deck

The 550 Flybridge motoryacht is set up to sleep six guests in three cabins, plus a crew cabin aft that we predict will serve as added guest accommodations in this boat that can and should be an owner/operator vessel. With pods making handling easier, yachts this size are should be owner-operated in most cases. No crew means the aft cabin will surely be taken over by one of the owner's kids who want to sleep as far from the adults as possible (and wash down the boat at night.)

Prestige 550 Fly

The master stateroom is full beam and in the most comfortable place in the boat. The table for two and the large hull-side windows will make this a wonderfully scenic cabin.

In keeping with Prestige's practice of building master stateroom's as comfortable as possible given the length of hull available, the midships cabin on the 550 has a large centerline bed, a small booth-type seating for two to port and a walk-in closet. Of course, there is a large en suite head with separate shower stall. We especially like the private access via a curved companionway leading from the salon. The forward two cabins share a head.

Prestige 550 Fly

This is a huge master stateroom and 80' motoryachts usually don't have one much bigger. Everyone loves walk-in closets and this one is good-sized with plenty of creative space for storage. Notice the separate shower stall that separates the head from the walk-in closet. It has glass door access from both sides. We would eliminate the door from the closet and put in another clothing rack. We'd also get rid of the bidet, move the toilet over and put in a second sink.

Prestige 550 Fly

In the VIP forward stateroom look closely and you will see dotted lines indicating how the queen bed can be split in two and swung outboard, making twins. We very much prefer this arrangement as it accommodates a variety of guests better. The head is shared with the guest stateroom and has a separate shower stall.

Prestige 550 Fly

The forward VIP has split berths that pivot together, and latch, making a queen berth. This is a great use of space and adds to the versatility of the types of guests you can accommodate, whether kids or a couple.

Prestige 550 Fly

While the lower deck is given over completely to accommodations, the main deck is where the real living takes place. There's a large galley aft with an L-shaped countertop and an island for more counter and storage space. It's at the aft bulkhead, so will be bright and well-ventilated. Forward there's a large dinette and a lounge opposite. The lower helm is to starboard.

Main Deck

The main deck houses the galley and dining areas, making preparing and serving food less of a trial for the cook. The tri-doors open onto a large aft deck almost completely covered by the flying bridge overhang – maybe not good for the sun tanning crowd, but overall more functional in a variety of weather. And -- it can be buttoned up with isinglass to prove for three-season living.

Prestige 550 Fly

The aft galley is handy to serve both dinner in the main salon or lunch on the aft deck. The chef will like it because the galley is close to conversations in both venues.

There is a sunpad forward, big enough for several to bake together. And, of course, there is the flying bridge.

Prestige 550 Fly

Even the most ardent sun worshipers will agree that too much sun is a bad thing, but that doesn’t mean you have to go inside. This pop-up shade is a great feature to have, and at the forward end of the pad is an innovative bench seat that deploys easily.

The 15'6" (475 cm) wide stern platform will be hydraulically adjustable as an option, making it fine for carrying a tender.

Prestige 550 Fly

This area is the heart of the boat. The table can be set low as a coffee table when in conversation and socializing mode, or raised with leafs that pull out for a dinner.

Prestige 550 Fly

The aft deck is large and Prestige has correctly not placed a standard table in front of the bench seat as each owner has his own ideas as to how this space will be used. Many people will add folding director’s chairs or something of the like. Because the overhead extends so far aft, the aft deck can be fully enclosed. The crack in the lower part of the bench seat marks the hatch to the crew's quarters below.

Prestige 550 Fly

The aft deck will surely be one of the most popular gathering area on the 550. It’s also right next to the aft galley. Notice the optional retractable sunscreen allowing you to extend your time outside. What a place for al fresco dining.

Prestige 550 Fly

The Prestige 550 has a huge swim platform, which we like. It becomes a "teak beach" or mini marina when friends come by tender to visit. The passerelle is an option that those Med mooring will want to order. Note that there is only one stairway to the aft deck, thus saving space, and the crew's cabin has a large window in the transom to allow natural light to enter. This detail makes what would otherwise be a dank lazerette become a useable cabin.

On the Flying Bridge

Access to the flying bridge is a stairway from the forward port corner of the aft deck. The bridge is mostly seating and sunning space, with its after section taken by a shallow U-lounge, a big sunpad adjacent to the helm and room for chairs and a table.

Prestige 550 Fly

The lower helm is to starboard, but the upper helm is to port. If we were docking portside-to, we'd run the boat from the bridge; starboard-side to, from the saloon. With the maneuverability of pods, either way would work fine, we believe. We'd prefer more forward-facing seats at the helm instead of such a large sunpad.

Observations

There are several important things that we like about this new motoryacht. First is her size. She is not so large that she needs professional crew, but on the other hand she is big enough to take most anywhere and be able to handle snotty conditions without much fuss or concern.

Secondly, her design is not the flavor of the month. It is not "Euro," nor "American," nor "Downeast," nor "Expedition" nor whatever. Rather, the 550 is a modern design based on classic lines that will stand the test of time and be as much in style 40 years from now as today; sort of like a pin-striped business suit or a herringbone sport jacket -- they are always in style anywhere in the world.

She is a big motoryacht and people looking at larger yachts should ask themselved is they really need that much room. Conversely, people looking at smaller express cruisers should ask themselves if they might not be happier in the long run by spending a little more money now and get a boat that will probably last a lifetime.

While the 550 Flybridge has a top speed of 30 knots we would probably cruise her at 2250 rpm, going almost 18 knots and burning 33 gal. (126 L) per hour. That is about as efficient as a boat this size can be operated. Drop her down to displacement speeds and she has a range of 1,000 nautical miles.

We've been aboard several Prestige yachts over the past year and have been impressed with each one.

 Originally published by BoatTest.com

Captain's Report by Capt. Steve--

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Maritimo M50 - BoatTest Captain's Report

Maritimo M50

Maritimo’s M50, with a full-beam master suite, blends the look of a convertible with motoryacht features including walk-around side decks, a cockpit intended for entertaining, and a large open deck abaft the enclosed bridge.

Key Features at a Glance

• Sedan with motoryacht features

• Enclosed flying bridge provides 360-degree visibility in any weather

• Extended outdoor deck abaft of the enclosed bridge

• Midship galley convenience and forward salon panoramic views

• Full-beam master suite of a significantly larger yacht

• Low-maintenance conventional shafts and propellers with optional joystick

Mission of the Maritimo M50 Cruising Motoryacht

OffshoreSeakeeping. From the forward quarter, the M50 looks very much like an enclosed-bridge sportfisher or convertible. Many cruisers prefer this style boat, which tends to handle seas well, provides particularly good visibility forward and aft from the helm, and leaves the foredeck open. With the addition of a davit this makes a fine place to mount a tender. Because the boat is built in Australia where virtually all boating is in the open ocean, she is designed accordingly.

Motoryacht Entertaining. While there are a few fishing-friendly options and the boat certainly lends itself to occasionally bending a rod, the M50’s cockpit is more typical of a motoryacht, intended for outdoor entertaining and dining. The large aft deck abaft the enclosed bridge should be a popular place for guests.

The Best of Both for Some. In short, this M50 appeals to boaters who appreciate the cruising virtues of a classic convertible, but would prefer a cockpit and flying bridge not devoted specifically to fishing, but more for entertaining. By having a large salon on the main deck and two large sleeping cabins below in addition to a third guest cabin, she is very much a motoryacht. Thus Maritimo classes her as the Motoryacht 50.

Distinguishing Features

Maritimo M50

The M50’s cockpit, large open deck abaft the enclosed bridge, and walk-around side decks are well suited to outdoor living, not just casual fishing.

Convertible or Sedan? Maritimo, more than any other builder we can think of, has blurred the lines between a classic convertible and a classic sedan. By extending the coach roof overhang far back and nearly to the aft edge of the cockpit, she has the design of a sedan rather than a convertible. That together with her integral swim platform and open port and starboard transom gates pretty much relieves her from professional big-game action. Having said that, she certainly can be used for sportfishing, and many of the M48s did just that. Maritimo calls her a "motoryacht" for she is certainly that no matter how one looks at her. The blurring of the lines between a sedan and convertible is a trademark of this builder and gives the M50 what we consider a distinctive "Maritimo look".

The Enclosed Flying Bridge. Her enclosed flying bridge provides 360-degree visibility -- much better than the lower steering station on most motoryachts, yet the bridge is air conditioned and dry through inclement weather. It creates another enclosed living area and small entertaining venue that is sure to be popular. Further, it adds an important enclosed living area to the yacht in a cost-effective way.

The Outdoor Deck Abaft the Bridge. This unusually large deck is 31.5’’ (800 mm) longer than it was on the older 48’ (14.63 m) model, adding outdoor living space here and covering the cockpit considerably more. This is an ideal place for a couple of chaise lounges for sunning or folding chairs for viewing watersports. Again, this is a Maritimo design signature.

The Cockpit and Stern. The stern is intended for entertaining with occasional fishing, rather than sacrificing these key areas to fishing only -- the way most sportfishers/convertibles are configured. Once again, there are few boats quite like this design on the market.

Standard Bow and Stern Thrusters. While most builders makes thrusters available as options these days, few make both bow and stern thrusters standard. They come in handy when docking in a slip with a strong cross current or maneuvering in a tight marina with a strong current or in high winds.

Full-Beam Master Suite. This layout gives the owner the luxury of space typical aboard a significantly larger motoryacht.

Internal Staircase to Flying Bridge. One of Maritimo's signature features is an internal stairway from the main salon to the enclosed flying bridge. This obviates the need for a nearly vertical ladder that many convertibles have in the cockpit. Because of its user-friendly stairway, guests -- particularly older ones -- will feel more comfortable ascending to the flying bridge.

Putting the stairs inside has the obvious advantages of keeping people dry and also makes taking lunch aloft easier. It is also safer in a seaway. Its drawback is that it takes living and storage space from the main cabin and can be an eye sore, something that Maritimo has minimized with its careful design of a "flying" stairway.

Joystick Control. Finger tip docking control comes from either Twin Disc, Yacht Controller or Xenta systems that marry joystick software smarts with engines, bow thruster and stern thruster.

Maritimo M50

Maritimo’s well-balanced boats with low shaft angles and faired underwater hardware approach provide good performance without the added expense or maintenance of pod drives.

Major Features

The Midships Galley. A midships galley is no longer so unusual, as nearly every builder of large boats, including motoryachts and convertibles is doing it these days. Nevertheless, all are agreed that it is a sensible layout scheme which makes serving food to either the aft deck, salon, or bridge as handy as possible -- and keeps the chef involved in the action.

Midships Engines with Conventional Shafts. There is a strong case to be made for conventional shaft drives and running gear, although we rarely see it put forward these days. In a word, the old system reduces initial purchase price and upkeep costs when compared to pod drives. Conventional shafts also mitigate local service availability concerns while cruising.

Further, conventional drives keep the engines where they best serve the sea-keeping abilities of the boat, keeping the weight where it ought to be, low on the center axis of the vessel and a bit more forward. This is particularly important with the enclosed flying bridge and the added weight and windage of the top-hamper. With the addition of a bow thruster, a big twin screw boat like this can be easily handled in strong cross currents. Remember, boaters handled them for nearly 100 years without a bow thruster or pods.

Bi-Fold Aft Door. Maritimo has incorporated a well-designed bi-fold aft door that nearly completely opens the galley area to the aft deck. This is a big upgrade from the M48.

Propulsion

Maritimo has long favored conventional shafts, maximizing efficiency with close attention to a low shaft angle. The company also balances weight carefully, so boats don’t drag a heavy stern or push a heavy bow through the water. Maritimo also fairs underwater appendages well.

This results in fuel efficiency approach pod drive boats, says the builder. Since we have not tested the boat we cannot confirm or deny these claims. However, if true, it is certainly a strong selling point.

In any case, there is no doubt that conventional running gear is less expensive initially and requires less maintenance than pods.

Maritimo M50

Volvo Penta’s D11 common rail engine, the M50’s standard power, is clean-burning Tier-3 emissions compliant and are available from 670-hp to 725-hp for the M50.

Maritimo M50

Cummins 715-hp QSM11 optional power is available as another engine option.

Maritimo M50

Twin Disc’s Express Joystick System ties into the company’s transmissions to provide smooth engine shifting and very low shaft rpm control for precise dockside maneuvering.

Joystick maneuvering systems from Twin Disc, Yacht Controller or Xenta can be installed on either Volvo Penta or Cummins engines.

In addition to joystick docking, electronic engine controls from transmission manufacturer Twin Disc provide smooth, quick shifting in and out of gear. Twin Disc’s controls, placed in “express mode,” also slow shafts below engine idle speed for easier dockside maneuvering or trolling.

Maritimo M50

With or without the added joystick, both Twin Disc’s QuickSHIFT system adds many conveniences for better maneuvering and engine control.

Bow and stern thrusters are standard with or without an optional joystick docking system. Standard thruster controls at the helm can also be included along with engine controls on the optional handheld remote, Yacht Controller wireless docking system. In our opinion, experienced boaters will not need the joystick system on this boat, because of the two thrusters.

Hull Design and Construction

Maritimo M50

Maritimo keeps weight out of the ends of the boat and places engines low to mitigate motion in a sea.

Seakindliness, the overall comfort and handling of a boat in varying sea conditions, is another area Maritimo considers carefully, thanks to the waters surrounding Maritimo’s Australian home -- the Coral Sea, Tasman Sea and Indian Ocean are all notoriously rough.

A full keel aids in keeping a straight course in a following sea and also helps to protect running gear if/when the boat does touch bottom. (As everyone does sooner or later.)

Weight is concentrated in the center of the M50, not in the ends, which tends to reduce pitching in a head sea. This becomes another advantage of conventional drives versus pods.

Construction methods are somewhat traditional, although the company employs new technology where it sees benefits. Fiberglass is carefully laid and rolled out by hand. The deck, cabin and hull above the waterline are cored with end-grain balsa. Cabinetry is precisely cut by computer controlled routers, varnished in gloss or satin, and then assembled by Maritimo’s carpenters.

In-house foundry and metal fabrication allow Maritimo to produce much of the boats’ equipment, from stainless steel railings to 5-blade Nibral propellers. Spares of critical parts are stocked locally, typically eliminating shipping time from Australia, says the builder.

Maritimo M50

Both the M50 and the company’s S50 sport cruiser are built on identical hulls with similar accommodations below.

Enclosed Flying Bridge with Aft Deck

Maritimo M50

The extended deck adds outdoor living space behind the enclosed bridge.

Whether traversing the ICW through the Carolinas and Georgia, where range markers often replace channel markers and require 360-degree visibility, or cruising the Bahamas where there are no markers at all, but only water color differences to indicate intricate channels, there is no dispute over the benefit of a helm raised well above the water with good visibility all around. (The M50 also draws only 4'4"/1.3 m which is also a help in skinny water.)

Advantages of Enclosure.

On most sportfishers or motoryachts, cruising through such waters means operating from an open flying bridge exposed to the elements. Clear soft enclosures help, but they can be difficult to see through in rain, spray or in fog because they usually can't handle windshield wipers. Isinglass enclosures also invariably leak somewhere and the bridge can become a steam box when weather dictates all panels remain closed.

One main helm station, with one set of electronics to customize and master, is much simpler than running below and powering electronics on when weather suddenly dictates. Windshield wipers with freshwater wash clear away salt spray and rain, and air conditioners cut heat and humidity. There also are defoggers on the windshield.

Maritimo M50

The bridge on the M50 includes the helm to starboard, two helm seats and a settee and table aft. Note the outstanding visibility all around. (The aft bulkhead and sliding door are glass, too.)

Maritimo M50

We like the identical captain and companion seats on the bridge deck which allows both husband-and-wife to take part in the piloting of the ship. Note the table aft can seat four with the addition of two folding chairs.

On the bridge there are a few changes from the M48. Overall, more wood and fabric and less fiberglass are more in keeping with larger motoryacht interiors. The full-beam helm and chart table have been reconfigured from the M48 with an eye toward the aesthetic of larger yacht helms. Two helm chairs are accompanied by more seating aft, which includes a table that folds out for dining, or in for cocktails. We consider this space a helm/sky lounge.

An opening skylight and opening side windows bring fresh air in when desired, while a fixed windshield and air conditioning keep water and humidity out when needed without sacrificing the visibility gained by driving from aloft. So in this respect, the M50 offers the best of both worlds.

Maritimo M50

The helm includes considerable room for electronics, including three 15" navigational screens. The dark color is a wise choice here as it mitigates reflection onto the windshield when running at night.

An elongated outdoor deck abaft the enclosed bridge includes the option of a removable table, or Maritimo keeps this space open for chaise lounges or whatever an owner envisions. An optional awning provides shade here, if desired.

This extended deck does hinder fishing purists, though, who dictate that the captain can see what anglers are doing anywhere in the cockpit. Optional controls aft on the upper deck and in the cockpit at the foot of the stairs to the bridge mitigate this concern for casual fishing. Both of these additional control stations are located to port, where they augment the starboard-side main helm for side-to docking.

Main Deck Outside

Maritimo M50

This plan view gives subtle hints to the boat’s entertaining-friendly exterior. Note the walk-around side decks, port and starboard gated openings to the stern platform, and the island between, which includes a sink, fridge and grill.

Stairs to the bridge are just inside the salon door, where it is convenient to the cockpit but remain indoors for privacy while at the dock.

Maritimo M50

The optional Euro cockpit includes a forward-facing seat and removable teak table. Additional controls here allow a quick shift from topside to the cockpit while docking or fishing.

Cockpit and integrated stern platform are separated by a pair of open stainless steel gates typical of a motoryacht, not the solid transom of a sportfisher.

The extended deck of the flying bridge covers much of the cockpit turning this area into a covered aft deck. An optional canvas awning extends weather protection the full length of the cockpit. Cruising canvas could totally enclose this cockpit making it a three-season venue when cruising.

The island at the aft end of the cockpit includes a sink, a grill and a dual-use fridge/freezer. A pair of top-opening lockers aft as well as cabinets forward, provide additional storage. Keen anglers can have this console converted at the factory to more fishy purposes. By not molding in a conventional bench seas, Maritimo has left the deck space open so owners can place a table in the center with folding chairs around, setup scuba gear, or just keep it open for cocktail parties.

Maritimo M50

This boat with optional Euro cockpit seating includes a top-loading chest refrigerator/freezer to port, a sink and electric grill beneath the lid to starboard, and access to the lazarette through the center. (Note: This photo is of Maritimo’s S50 sport cruiser, which features a stern arrangement identical to the M50.)

Optional cockpit aft seating moves the dual-use refrigerator/freezer (chosen simply with the thermostat), sink and optional electric grill to the back side of the island, accessible from the stern platform. The resulting forward-facing seat and removable table are much more reminiscent of the covered aft deck on a 60-something motoryacht than the cockpit of a 50’ (15.24 m) convertible.

The lazarette is accessed from the stern platform. The entire center of the transom island lifts to reveal stairs. There is actually enough room here that at least one buyer turned the lazarette into tight crew quarters. On a 50-footer intended for the American market, this space will likely be used for fishing tackle, dive equipment, bicycles and similar gear that comes along when cruising.

Maritimo M50

Maritimo M50

The hydraulic stern platform raises above the stern platform to aid boarding high docks or lowers to launch a tender or PWC.

An optional hydraulic stern platform measures a bit more than 43’’ (1,100 mm) fore and aft. It raises 15.75’’ (400 mm) above deck level to keep it out of the water while underway and also to aid boarding from high docks. The lift similarly lowers 15.75’’ (400 mm) to launch a tender or PWC weighing up to 882 lbs. (400 kg).

Wide side decks with bulwarks and railings provide secure passage to the bow. Bow walk around decks sit a bit lower than a low trunk cabin, while bulwarks with stainless steel railings atop provide a cleaner look than ordinary railings do. The flat foredeck also offers an ideal place to carry a tender for those who want the stern to remain clear for fishing or diving -- one more advantage not available aboard most motoryachts which usually have a lower helm.

The anchor rides in a bow roller, which is integrated into the bulwarks. Maritimo offers either a standard anchor and windlass or an upgrade to a larger anchor with more chain and a stronger windlass.

Main Deck Inside

Maritimo M50

Maritimo moves the galley aft, open to the aft deck through wide bi-fold glass doors, and places the salon forward.

Maritimo M50

The aft glass bulkhead opens completely in two sections, securing just at the right hand edge of this photo. Note that the flying stairway up is relatively unobtrusive and that the designers have managed to work in a credenza under the stairs and cabinets to the side.

The midships galley allows access directly from the cockpit without traversing salon carpet. Since the stern of the boat generally moves less in a sea than the bow, locating the galley farther aft also makes the chef more comfortable while preparing lunch underway. Within just a few steps, food can be delivered easily to the salon, the aft deck or up to the flying bridge.

The entire aft glass bi-fold door opens to connect the galley and salon with the cockpit. It secures out of the way on the starboard side of the boat. During cocktail parties the centerline galley island becomes a handy place for snacks and beverages.

Maritimo M50

By moving the galley aft, Maritimo includes a full-height pantry cabinet while retaining the unobstructed view out the cabin front windows. The island counter can be a good place for food prep or serve as in impromptu bar during parties.

Galley Features. The galley itself is fairly straightforward with a sink recessed beneath the Corian countertop, a cooktop set within the countertop and a microwave oven tucked beneath the cooktop. The refrigerator and pantry cabinet are just abaft the cooktop. Both the fridge and pantry are full-height, which becomes possible without the aft galley blocking the view out the front of the cabin, as it would if the galley were in the more traditional forward location.

The galley island adds considerably to counter space and allows two chefs room to work simultaneously. It can be eliminated or made longer or shorter as requested. A standard dishwasher fits beneath, facing the galley. A stainless steel handrail aids passage from cockpit to salon or the stairs to the bridge while underway.

Maritimo M50

From the salon, located forward, cabin-side and cabin-front windows provide panoramic views.

Moving the salon forward and including windows across the front of the cabin house gain sweeping views of the harbor off the bow while dining or relaxing. Side windows open for air.

Salon seating on the port side includes an L-shaped settee and table, folding out for dining or in for cocktails....

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BoatTest.com Prestige 750 Review

Prestige has created the 750 to provide consumers with most of the amenities found in yachts in this class as well as providing a seaworthy hull more easily propelled for operational efficiency. Further, because of Group Beneteau's infrastructure and inherent efficiencies it is able to provide a substantial value in this size range, while maintaining all of the demanding standards of CE construction.

With 4 staterooms and three heads, plus an optional crew cabin aft, the Prestige 750 makes a yacht suitable for both an owner/operator and the charter trade.

Distinguishing Features

Main Deck Master. The master stateroom of the Prestige 750 is forward and down a couple of steps but is virtually on the main deck. This important detail alone sets her apart from all other boats in class. Why is this important, aside from the fact that this design is rarely seen on any motoryacht below 100'? The answers are obvious: 1) the owners are only a couple of steps from their guests and the action; 2) there are no steep stairs to negotiate; and, 3) the owner/operator is only a few steps from the lower helm.

Lighter/Narrower. At 17'10" (5.46 m) beam, the Prestige 750 is the narrowest motoryacht in class from anywhere from a few inches to a foot or more. This detail has its pros and cons and the consumer will have to decide where to come down on this subject. Because the boat is narrower it is naturally lighter. Because she is lighter she draws less water and the combination of these three aspects of her design makes her easier to push through the water. That means her engines can be smaller, saving more weight, and therefore all things being equal she will be able to burn less fuel or go faster – or both – compared to her competition.

Profile drawing of the Prestige 750 shows the running gear and the forefoot of the vessel. Note that virtually all of her length is used for living spaces.

The con of this design profile is the distinct possibility of less interior volume, more narrow side decks, and slightly less stability. Our suggestion to consumers on the first point is to simply get aboard the boat and compare her ergonomics with other boats in class. (Our experience suggests that measuring the width of the single berths below and the space between them will tell the tale.)

As far as stability goes, this is harder for us to measure. Other aspects of the boat come into play here, including, but not limited to: CG, deadrise, displacement, keel shape, and chine design. In boats there is no such thing as a free lunch, so most of the time everything is a trade off.

Our test weight was 98,362 lbs. (4,618 kgs.). That means when it comes to displacement this vessel -- while lighter than others in class -- is not a featherweight. She has gravitas. How much weight is needed to nudge aside 6-footers? See our "Handling" report below.

Less Draft. This detail was mentioned above but at 5'2" (1.59 m) it deserves special mention as draft is often the controlling factor for deciding which boats can be tied behind the manse during a moon tide and those that cannot.

Flush Deck/Formal Dining. The Prestige 750 is not the only boat in class with a flush deck and a formal dining area, but she is one of the few. Consumers looking in this size range should be careful to note these two details. We like the ability to have formal dining for entertaining and many boats in class require that the salon cocktail table be raised to double as a dinner table. The Prestige 750 avoids this compromise.

Private Entrance to Master. This is, of course, a corollary to having the master virtually on the main deck. It means that guests coming back to the yacht late at night are less likely to bother the princess and her consort.

The galley, dining area and salon of the Prestige 750 are all on virtually the same level (there is a slight step up from the galley to the salon).

Up a small step from the galley/dining area, the main salon of the Prestige 750 is one of the largest in class stretching fully across the cabin to a love seat on the starboard side. prestige_750_fwd.jpg

Looking forward from the aft deck we see the dining table to starboard and the galley to port. We like the use of the glass table as it opens up the boat and it can be used both on formal and more informal occasions.

Main Deck

Deck plan for the new Prestige 750.

First of all, the main deck plan is symmetrical. Prestige considered doing an asymmetrical deck in order to get more room in the main house, but by carefully designing the superstructure it was able to build an interior that was nearly 14' (4.26 m) wide, which could handle not only the salon, but the galley and dining area as well -- and still have adequately wide side decks.

Galley Placement. The trend that we have been seeing lately -- that is of moving the galley aft and opening it up -- was confirmed by customer feedback and Prestige has placed the galley on the port side next to the opening to the aft deck. By making the galley an L-shape, the designers were able to both separate it from the salon and have more counter space. An island adds even more counter space and separates the galley from the dining area to starboard. We like the island galley concept because it eliminates the "dead end" alley of a U-shape that makes it hard for two people to work there at the same time. The location of the galley is handy to all four entertaining venues -- the dining table to starboard, the salon, the seating area on the aft deck and the stairs ascending to the flying bridge.

The galley is well equipped with full-size appliances from a choice of three manufacturers.

Dining Area. The drawings seen here show six chairs at the table, but the folks at Prestige assure us that the table can seat eight -- two for each the boat's four staterooms. We like this layout because too many boats in the 72' range -- particularly in raised pilothouse vessels -- do not have a proper dining table. Usually they have an L-shaped settee next to the helm of the raised bridge deck.

The dining table is fabricated from glass and seats as many as 8 for meals.

Salon. The salon is up a small step from the galley. This area is about 14' x 11.5' (4.26 x 3.50 m) and can seat eight people in three sofas. The center of the salon is open which facilitates two-way flow through the house as well as providing room for a crowd during a cocktail party.

The salon can accommodate many guests in comfort. A flatscreen TV is on an electric lift. All windows provide clear sightlines to the horizon from the seated positions.

Lower Helm. The Prestige 750 is a flushdeck motoryacht with all of the advantages that the design implies, but it has raised the helm itself on a special platform. The deck level itself was not raised. This arrangement serves several purposes: 1) it provides better visibility for the captain; 2) the double-wide seat back and the large flat screen TV behind it facing the salon have the combined effect of serving as a half-bulkhead to separate the helm from the salon. When entering from the aft deck the first thing seen is the salon, not the helm; 3) it makes the use of the watertight side door adjacent to the helm for the nearly exclusive use of the captain rather than being for general use.

The lower helm is on a raised platform but it is not a raised pilothouse. Note that the screens are kept relatively low to maximize visibility. Owners should work with the dealer to layout the helm to best suit their use and needs.

Aft Deck.

From the swim platform there are port and starboard stairs up to the aft deck instead of one side being blocked by a wraparound settee. Second, there is a large amount of deck space on the aft deck which aids traffic flow and provides room for lots of people to stand during a cocktail party. The aft bench seat is remarkably wide, over 7' (2.1 m), and can obviously handle a large extended family or a small board of directors. The overhang of the boat deck above means that the aft deck can be enclosed, making this space appropriate for three-season use.

The optional hydraulic swim platform lowers to form both a launching point for a tender or PWC as well as the ever popular teak beach. Because the yacht has a proper boat deck, this optional expense can be avoided.

Flying Bridge and Boat Deck

The flying bridge can be divided into four sections: helm and forward observation seating, sun pad, U-shaped seating area with table and boat deck. The 750 comes standard with an arch with the hardtop as an option.

Upper Helm. The helm seat is double-wide and can seat two people, but what we like most about this area is that on the starboard side three or four people can sit looking forward to enjoy the adventure.

Sun Pad. A dedicated sunning area is located near the starboard forward seating. This placement has the advantage of being protected from the wind when the boat is underway.

Bird's eye view of the flying bridge, boat deck, and foredeck.

The aft area of the flying bridge is the boat deck and can accommodate a tender launched by a hydraulic davit. Once the tender is launched and the chalks removed, the boat deck becomes a space for chaise lounges and sunning or cocktail parties.

On the flying bridge looking aft.

The outdoor galley has a sink, ample counter space, a grill, refrigerator and a separate icemaker.

On the flying bridge looking forward.

The flying bridge helm consists of a fixed pod with complete instrumentation and functionality.

Flying Bridge Entertaining Area.

The U-shaped settee with table is as large as it should be for a 4-stateroom boat. Opposite is a large console along the port rail that can house a refrigerator, icemaker, sink and grill. Overhead is a massive hardtop with the center being a soft-touch retractable sunroof.

Boat Deck.

Behind the seating area is a hydraulic davit and a boat deck that measures nearly 14' x 6' (4.26 x 1.8 m). This will handle a good-size tender (3.25 m max / 400 kgs.). We would not be concerned if the outboard motor extended beyond the railing, which can be modified. When in port or at anchor the tender will probably be in the water, which means this space can be used for chaise lounges so long as removable chalks are used for the tender's cradle.

At the Bow

At the bow we also have some entertaining functionality particularly for those into sun and fresh air. Forward facing seats can accommodate six people and behind is a sun pad that can hold four-across. This pad also has an optional cabana type shade that can be deployed easily.

The bow seating will allow a great spot to watch the scenery go by, and if it's sunbathing that's desired, then look no further than the wide sunpad just behind.

Under the bow seats is storage and the windlass. That storage goes all the way down to the hull. Shelves inside hold the fenders. Chain is easy to access to untangle a rats nest after rough seas. Note that the anchor chain runs under the teak grate to the windlass. This is a classy detail which also promotes safety.

The accommodations layout of the Prestige 750 has three staterooms, two heads, plus crew quarters abaft the engine room.

Accommodations Deck

Master Stateroom.

To starboard of the helm is a dual companionway with the forward section being a private entrance to the master stateroom. This placement is quite an accomplishment in a 74' (22.56 m) boat, and something rarely seen. This placement harks back to the Golden Age of yachting that emphasized the comfort and status of the vessel's owner.

Inside there is a lounger to port and a desk to starboard that serves double duty as a vanity. Forward is a walk-in closet to port and head to starboard with a separate large shower stall, double-wide single sink, toilet and optional bidet.

The master stateroom is just a few steps down from the main deck. This is the most desirable location for the master and something rarely seen in boats under 100' (30.5 m).

At the forward end of the master stateroom is a walk-in closet to the left, and a head to the right.

This cut-away image shows the secret of the Prestige 750's master stateroom design. By dropping down a couple of steps to a landing by the helm, then having two steps more in the stateroom itself, the designers were able to pull off a private entrance to the master stateroom. It is certainly what most owners of large motoryachts want. Just ask them.

Guest And VIP Staterooms

Back to the companionway, the aft section leads to the aft staterooms, and on the Prestige 750 there are three, a king size VIP and two guest cabins with twin beds. By having the master, plus three other staterooms, the boat becomes quite attractive on the charter market as the weekly rate, which might run from $20,000 to $30,000 or more, and can be divided among four couples.

VIP Stateroom.

This stateroom is full beam and would be the master on most boats this size. Most of the time owners of motoryachts this size cruise with just one other couple, so for that reason Prestige decided to give them the royal treatment. To port is a long storage credenza and to starboard is a large walk-in closet. Forward is a desk that will be appreciated by most guests so they can check up on their email in private.

The head is also to starboard, just forward of the walk-in closet. The sink has a diffused-drain basin and the separate shower is behind an acrylic door. Opening portlights add naturel light and ventilation. An electric vent is also included.

This is the VIP stateroom below, but it looks fit for a king…or, at least a prince or a sheik.

Guest Staterooms.

Forward there are two nearly identical cabins both with twin berths, with the one to port having a private entrance to the day head. These two staterooms share a single head that is located on the port side.

The guest berths both feature twin berths and hull side windows.

Like all heads on the 750, the guest head has a separate shower stall. It is noteworthy that the designers did not resort to the circular, "beam-me-up-Scotty" design with a curved Plexiglas door in order to save space. These round tube showers can be problematical for portly guests. Rather, Prestige has created a large rectangular shower stall.

The guest head also serves as the day head.

Engine Room And Crew Cabin

At the swim platform there's a watertight transom door leading to the crew cabin and engine room. Three steps down finds one at the entrance with a combination washer/dryer to the left and the door to the crew cabin to the right.

The crew will be in a small space but it's adequate for sleeping and utilizing private rest facilities. The engine room is well laid out with adequate headroom and more than enough room to get all around the MAN engines. At the forward bulkhead, the twin generators are stacked one over the other.

Access to the engine room and crew quarters is through this watertight transom door. A separate entrance is through a hatch in the cockpit deck.

The crew can be comfortable in twin berths with plenty of light through transom windows. The toilet is to the left, behind the door.

The Prestige comes standard with twin MAN 1000-hp engines, with an upgrade to 1200-hp available.

Performance

The Prestige 750 has a LOA of 74' (22.58 m), a beam of 17'10" (5.46 m) and a draft of 5'2" (1.59 m). With an empty weight of 91,271 lbs. (41,400 kg), 67% fuel, and 4 people we had an estimated test weight of 98,366 lbs (44,618 kg).

With the optional MAN 1200s turning 33.9" (86 cm) 4-bladed Detra propellers, we reached a top speed of 28 knots at 2390 rpm. At that speed we were burning 114.1 gph (432 lph) giving us a range of 252 nm.

There really is no "best cruise" speed as the fuel burn is perfectly linear as speed is increased. It's basically a matter of setting the speed for a target range if distance is the goal.

However, with that said, most will cruise her at the MAN recommended cruise setting of 80% load which was determined to be at 1850 rpm and 19.2 knots. At that speed she'll burn 61.6 gph (233 lph) producing a range of 326.5 nm.

There is no boat quite like the Prestige 750, which we think can fulfill most of the functions of far larger motoryachts.

Handling

As for her handling, it's nothing short of "yacht quality" in that her 91,271-lb. (41,400 kg) displacement dampens nearly all maneuvers. Nothing happens fast, and even with a heavy handed captain at the helm, all maneuvers will be calm and sedate. She starts each turn with a slight roll into the turn and then her weight takes over and she levels out through the remainder of the turn. But clearly this is not a boat that will be making any radical maneuvers. That is to say, the 750 is a real motoryacht, not an express cruiser with a toadstool flying bridge slapped in her overhead.

At nearly 100,000-lbs., she's more of a "set-the-course-and-speed-and-engage- the-autopilot" type of yacht.

In that sense she's right at home presenting a stately ride. We had a relatively relaxed sea state on test day but the harbor was a popular yachting center and as such large vessels were steaming through the test area all day. Crossing through and across these large wakes was quite telling and showed that the 750 remains comfortable and takes no more spray over the rails than we would have expected. She has a fairly narrow entry and therefore cuts cleanly through waves rather than pounding through them. In the staterooms sound is minimized and all that can be heard is the water rushing across the hull.

The new Prestige 750 is a large motoryacht any way you look at her.

Pricing

Luxury on this level has its worth and the Prestige 750 carries a price tag in the area of $4m USD well optioned. She certainly garners her share of attention and has proven that the Prestige line is not only growing, but doing so in a way that has it competing on a world stage.

Observations

Buying a motoryacht in this class deserves some consideration. After all, at $4 million it may cost more than her prospective primary owner's house, and most likely more than the second one. As well she should, given the fact that the 750 is like a small town all to herself – producing her own electricity, treating her own sewage, making her own water, navigating the high seas with as much electronics as most cruise ships, to say nothing of propelling a four-bedroom condo with amenities anywhere in the world that her owner desires.

Enduring Style. Please note that there are no exterior styling excesses on the Prestige 750. No tail fins. No retro affectations. She is not an express cruiser on steroids. To our eye the Prestige 750 has a somewhat conservative and universal nautical design that will probably out-live the styling of flavor-of-the-month yachts in class. Not only now but in years to come she will be equally at home in Antibes, Hong Kong, or Ft. Lauderdale.

That means she is less likely to be dated on the used boat market. We think she will also appeal to veteran boat owners who know what they are doing and want substance, rather than buyers who have just scored a big trading bonus and want something with a lot of sizzle.

Yet, at $4 million the Prestige 750 is hard to beat given her utility, size and performance. She is probably not ideal for all applications, but we think she should be in contention for most of them.

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The Mission of the 540 Sports Coupe - Boattest.com

The Cruisers Yachts 540 Sports Coupe was designed to be the ultimate express yacht built in class for genteel cruising and superior performance both in terms of top speed and fuel economy at cruising speeds.

The watchword for this boat is "comfort." That means high headroom, large beds, plush reclining seats and settees, and plenty of room in which a number of people can move around without being in each other's way.

Finally, her builder wanted to create a entertaining venue where an owner could host a dozen or more guests and seat them all for dinner or cocktails.

All of that is tall order, but as we will see the Cruisers Yachts 540 Sports Coupe is a very special yacht.



Note the room inside, the amount of open deck space both in the cabins in the salon/galley. This is, perhaps, the most important feature of the boat for most people. It is made possible because at 15'6" she is the beamiest yacht in class and she has pod drives which gets the engine room aft leaving more space for accommodations.

Distinguishing Features

Triple IPS Power System. With three 370-hp IPS drives the 540 has the most efficient system available in class -- yes, that means more efficient than two engines when it comes to total fuel burn. (See below.)

Walkthrough Windshield. While this is something fairly common in smaller boats, the 540 is the only boat that has it in class. Women prefer it to access the bow rather than going forward on the "cat walk" side decks.

6'10" Headroom in Salon. The boat looks huge below and one of the reasons is that it has such high headroom.



Capt. Steve looks at the arch in the header frame for the door to the day head. Just picture this squared off as you see in most boats (and houses). This is a yacht not a bungalow.

Arched Door Frames Below. Most boats in this class have squared-off door frames as used in most houses. The 540 has arched, nautical-looking door frames. There is no comparison between the two.

Moveable Aft Deck Seating. The 540 has an attractive crescent-shaped bench seat at the transom which can be moved to join the port side settee to seat two more people at the aft deck table.

Two Full Galleys. Many boats have a galley down to open up space on the main deck, but the 540 is so large the builder was able to install a full galley on deck as well.

Seats 8 for Dinner in Two Locations. Because of the sliding seat mentioned above and the sheer size of the space, 8 people can be seated for dinner both on deck and in the salon below.

Air Conditioning is Standard. The 540 comes with 32,000 BTUs of reverse cycle air conditioning. People in northern latitudes can simply reverse the cycle and turn on the heat.



The clever crescent-shaped bench seat when centered allows passage up from the swim platform both port and starboard. This is a good configuration for cocktail parties or when running. Note the full galley to starboard.

364 Miles Range at Best Cruise. At 23.1 mph our test boat burned only 28.5 gph giving her a range of 364 stature miles or 316 nautical miles.

Superior Fuel Economy at Best Cruise. At 23.1 mph the 540 with triple engines burns only 28.5 gal. (108.3 L) per hour giving her a .81 mpg. At 27.6 mph she got .80 mpg. This is the long suit of the IPS system.

Pod Drives for Efficiency. The Cruisers Yachts 540 is one of only two boats in class that uses pod drives.

Elegant Entertaining Venue

The fortunate owners of the 540 will be able to host gatherings on the aft deck that range from civilized evenings of wine and champagne to rocking the docks with a gang of party animals. The seating is commodious and versatile. The boat's ample beam and layout permits good flow for cocktail parties.



Capt. Steve unlatches the aft seat and begins to slide to port.



With the seat to port a large, comfortable banquette is created. The table is seen here in cocktail party mode.



In dining mode. Note that the table can handle 10" (25 cm) across from each other. Three or four fold up stools can be placed inboard when there is a crowd.

Versatile Seating. When it is time to dine al fresco, the on edeck table can easily handle eight guests. The high gloss cherry electric hi-low table is an attractive and versatile piece of furniture. It electrically moves into any of three positions: full height table, cocktail table height, or to make a sunning platform. It folds inward to create more room for moving around.

Cockpit Galley. Opposite is the cockpit galley and it has it all: solid surface counter top, sink with pressure water, electric grill, refrigerator and ice maker. These standard appliances are all stainless steel so they will be looking like new for a long time.



No need to worry about going below for cooking. The cockpit has it all. The 26" (66 cm) cockpit TV is the only optional item in this shot. Alternatively, the kids can eat in one venue and the adults in another.

The Other Party Deck



Here the tables are set up in cocktail party mode. It’s hard not to imagine entertaining in this salon. Cherry woodwork creates a warm, yachty feel. Six portlights bathe the interior in natural light. Both center seats of the sofa are recliners. The tables are versatile -- just tell the dealer what is needed.

The 540 Sports Coupe is so large that two groups of friends can be entertained or served dinner in two locations at the same time. Below there is a huge salon with seating for eight to ten people. It has a long J-shaped banquette with two stools opposite. To port is the below-decks galley.



There is 6’10" (2.1 m) of headroom in the salon and galley. Note the classy soffit similar to what is seen in megayachts.

Six vertical portlights bathe the salon with light. Under foot is 44 oz. carpeting. The interior cabinets and bulkheads are all cherry with a mat finish. There is hardly a bit of fiberglass to be seen! This is what gives the 540 its rich, classic yacht feel.



The good captain points out the bowed overhead cabinets and the subtle air conditioning system that waft cool air from the overhead without resorting to ugly grills. These are details usually only seen on much larger motoryachts.

Lap of Luxury. The crescent shaped dinette sofa is standard with double incliners and Ultraleather upholstery. An optional sleeper sofa can be ordered instead of the incliners. Two stools are inboard of the table. A standard 20” LCD TV with Dolby Digital Surround Sound and 5-disc DVD player are standard in the salon.



This is the optional pull-out drawer dishwasher. A trash compactor is also optional. An oven, coffee maker and microwave are standard. The ceramic stove top has two burners.



The counter and back splash are Mystera, the double sink is stainless steel and the faucet is meant for real business. Inserts fit over the sinks for more counter space.

Galley. The galley is to port. The sole there is Amtico synthetic cherry and maple which can be added to the salon sole as well instead of the carpet. The counters are solid surface Mystera which is a synthetic solid product that is 4 times lighter than stone, easy to clean and is "Food Prep" rated by the National Sanitation Foundation. The cabinetry follows the cherry theme and Cruisers Yachts kept all of the grains aligned and colors matching as one would expect from a fine cabinet maker.

Appliances in the galley include coffee maker, microwave (with convection oven), Nova Kool refrigerator/freezer and two burner electric cooktop. A couple of options include a dishwasher or a wine captain for chilling up to 17 bottles of wine. A trash compactor is optional. The stemware cabinet is lighted with a clear door to show crystal or colorful bottles of party juice.



The 15’ 6” (4.72 m) beam is put to good use allowing for lots of room in the galley while not impinging on the salon space.



Capt. Steve steps down to enter the full beam master. Note the wood-inlayed companionway stairs.

Genteel Cruising Accommodations for Two Couples

When cruising a boat in this class typically it is done by two couples or a family. When two adult couples are cruising for, say, two weeks together, it's important that each couple have its privacy. Here the 540 excels.

Privacy is a Good Thing. The two cabins are separated by the salon and galley, as well as thick bulkheads and two solid doors. The forward stateroom's head is also the day head and a door from the salon has access. The forward stateroom, or VIP, has a double island bed with therapeutic foam mattress. There is 6'2" (1.9 m) of headroom. The door swings out to the salon to maximize deck space in the cabin.



Each stateroom has an en suite head with separate shower stall.

The VIP head cabinetry has the same treatment as the galley with solid surface counter and cherry cabinets. Cruisers Yachts uses tile on the sole in the heads and the separate shower has a door to enclose it so two people can simultaneously prepare for the day.



This version has two single berths in the forward cabin. We think this is the way to go because it is so versatile and has more usable deck space.

Optional Layout. An optional layout for the forward stateroom features two single berths instead of the queen berth. We like this layout better than one bed as it is more versatile and better for families or a stag cruise. It also opens up the middle of the cabin creating more deck space and makes a big forward cabin even bigger. Cruisers Yachts can make one of the beds wider than the other if desired.



The standard bed in the VIP stateroom is a double that is 6'6" (1.98 m) from head to foot. Note the storage cabinets above the portlights providing much-needed space for small folded garments.

The Master Stateroom

The master stateroom is full beam (15'6"/4.70 m) and also has a walk around queen-sized island bed with therapeutic foam mattress. Headroom measured 6’ 2” (1.9 m). To port is a cozy settee to relax and read a book, enjoy television, or use as a dressing bench. There are large aisles on three sides of the bed. Four large portlights allow the owner and partner to have a clear view outside.

The head has an enclosed shower and premium fixtures. Counters are solid surface Mystera with decorative tile backsplash and the cabinetry is cherry.



The décor of the master is modern but all of the wood warms up the space. Note the tasteful soffit over the head of the bed and the indirect, unobtrusive air conditioning venting.



This is the sofa on the port side of the master. Note rich materials and wood used in this tastefully executed interior.



The Cruisers Yachts 540 is a big yacht no matter how you look at her -- just look at the size of the people in the photo. This is the only yacht in class that has a walkthrough windshield.

Triple Diesels for Performance and Economy

One of the most unusual aspects of this boat is her triple 435-hp diesel IPS600 propulsion system. While one may think that three engines simply means that the boat will burn 1/3 more fuel, in actuality, it's more efficient than others in class with just two engines. That is one reason the builder installed them. The other reason was to get the 540 past the 40 mph barrier.

(Volvo Penta calls this the IPS "600" instead of "435" because the system with the pod drives and forward-facing dual props has the performance of a 600-hp diesel even though it is only 435-hp when compared to inboard power. And 3 x 600-hp is 1800-hp.)

Designed Right. The hull was designed from scratch specifically for the IPS drives. Volvo Penta engineers were involved along with the naval architectural firm of Donald Blount & Associates, one of the world's leading firms in high-speed recreational boats. This is an important pedigree and is one of the reasons the boat performs as it does.

With three IPS 435-hp IPS600 engines the 540 has better performance and economy than most models her size and weight that have only two engines. So, by doing something a little out of the box, the engineers at Cruisers Yachts have come up with a huge express cruiser sport yacht with remarkable performance both in terms of speed and fuel efficiency.



We conducted speed trials on the Cruisers Yachts 540 as well as to crank her and bank to see if we could find any bad habits.

The Test

With an empty weight of 42,000 lbs. (19,051 kg), 65% fuel, and two persons onboard, we had a test weight of 44,300 lbs. (20,094 kg). With three Volvo Penta 435-hp IPS600's powering our test boat, we reached a top speed of 41.4 mph at 3621 rpm. At that speed we were burning 65 gph while getting .64 statute miles per gallon for a range of 287 statute miles.

Best cruise came in at 2500 rpm and 23.1 mph where we had a 28.5 gph fuel burn and a range of 364 statute miles. Bump the revs up to 2750 and go 27.6 mph and only suffer a 5 mile penalty in range -- 359 statute miles instead of 364. That's probably where I would run her on a long leg in most conditions. This range is noteworthy for this class of boat.

We had a quick time to plane of 5.4 seconds, reached 20 mph in 6.5 seconds, and accelerated through 30 mph in 10.9 seconds. This is almost sportboat performance in a large, heavy yacht, and is truly remarkable.



The 540 has a level running angle and gets lift from her hard chines and moderate deadrise stern sections.

Comparison With Twins. The 540 Sports Coupe is only offered with triple Volvo Penta power in either 370-hp IPS500s or 435-hp IPS600s. When we compare the Cruisers Yachts 540 with other boats in class we discover that she has the highest WOT speed at 41.4 mph. Part of the reason is that she was lighter than some of the boats, but she was heavier than others. The Cruisers Yachts 540 has 1305 total horsepower (3x 435) which is from 105-hp to 495-hp less than the other boats we checked.

Best Cruise Fuel Economy. Best cruise fuel economy is the IPS system's strong suit. At her best cruise she gets .81 miles per gallon. All of the boats we compared with twin engines got from .48 to .61 mpg and their best cruise. When we compared all of these boats at about 27.6 mph, the 540 got .80 mpg and the others at about the same speed ranged from .48 to .57 mpg. These figures are for the total fuel consumption of each boat, not per engine.



With the helm hard over the 540 leans about 10-degrees into the turns which is comfortable and safe.

Comparison With Other Models on the Market

Power Comparison. There are not many 54' express hardtops or coupes on the market. When we compared them we were surprised to find that most still have inboard power. Only one other yacht in class has pod drives, and it is noteworthy that that builder also uses triple IPS engines, (and claims exactly the WOT speed we recorded on the 540.) When it comes to performance, the pods make all of the difference. One builder offers surfacing piercing drives -- which extend five feet beyond the swim platform -- as an option, so this boat could probably be the fastest in that configuration (and have the highest rooster tail).

Beam and Displacement Comparison. At 15'6" (4.72 m) the 540 has the greatest beam in class, and nearly 1' more than one boat . At 42,000 lbs. (19,051 kgs.) the 540 is at the light end of the displacement scale, about the same displacement as two of the other boats we checked.

Accommodation Comparison. When it comes to accommodations, three boats had two staterooms below and three had three small staterooms with two heads. Only one other boat had two large staterooms in a layout similar to the 540.

Galley Comparison. Only one other boat we checked was promoting an on deck "entertainment center" plus a galley below. A second boat had room for a on-deck galley but normally uses it for other purposes. Three of the boats had no room on deck for even a partial galley and theirs were all below.

What Does All of This Mean? First, it means that the Cruisers Yacht's 540 is one of the best performing boats in class. Second, it means that she was purpose-built for comfortable extended cruising for two couples in courtly style. Third, it means that she is one of the most versatile entertaining platforms in class.

On Deck Inspection

Hydraulic Swim Platform. For distance cruisers especially, a welcome option is the Nautical Structures hydraulic platform. A dinghy in a cradle can be kept on the platform and it is as easy as pushing a button to launch and recover. Submerge it just below the surface, and add a few deck chairs and guests will never want to leave.

For parties the swim platform is the best place to meet and greet, and tie up their tenders. While the party is full roar it becomes a good overflow space for people to chat.



The rumble seat with its rubber matted seat is a great staging area for anything that entails a wet bathing suit. Kids love to hang out here when at anchor, and so will mom and dad.



Cruisers Yachts knows there is never enough storage on any boat so has utilized every bit in the transom with the four compartments shown above.



The optional hydraulic swim platform can handle a 13' (3.96 m) tender which is more than adequate for this size vessel -- no launching and retrieval system is faster or easier.

The Foredeck. Our test model had the optional chaise lounge on the foredeck. Fully forward, the 540 Sports Coupe has a standard Maxwell VWCLP 1200 windlass, plow anchor and 180’ (54.9 m) of 3/8” chain that should suffice in up to 25’ (7.6 m) of water.



The foredeck features an optional sun pad/chaise lounge that is available in two colors, blue or taupe.



At first glance the one extra mullion required for the walkthrough window's frame seems like a distraction of forward vision. However, Capt Steve reports that after a few minutes of operation his eyes got used to it and forward visibility was fine.

At the Helm

Forward seating includes a companion lounge and two, wide seats at the helm for the captain and navigator. An optional electric helm seat goes up and down as well as fore and aft and we would recommend it. The Coupe’s top has an electric sunroof that opens up enough to let lots of sun shine through, and a sun shade will mean the standard 32,000 BTU air conditioning system won't have to work so hard.

Visibility at the helm was pretty good, although the aft support and mullions for the walkthrough windshield do block some of your vision. When I first saw it I was concerned, but after running the boat for 15 minutes my eyes got used to the extra mullion and it became a non-issue.

Instrument Panel. The helm console is huge and well laid out with the instruments all angled for clear view from the skipper's seat. There is no standard instrumentation, so owners can specify exactly what is needed made by the brand wanted, or buy in the after market. In any case there is plenty of real estate available.



Cruisers Yachts consistently delivers the most ergonomic and well laid out helms we’ve seen.



Capt. Steve was caught here relaxing on the lounge seat to port on the bridge deck.



Both the helm and companion seats have robust bolsters.



There is room to slip between the engines sideways but out board there is plenty of room. Capt. Steve says it is easy to get to all fluid checks. Remember, with IPS pods all raw water intakes and exhaust are in the drive units not through sea cocks in the hull.

The Engine Room

People might think that triple Volvo Penta IPS600 engines in 15’ 6” (4.72 m) of beam would stuff the engine compartment, but there is room to get around and take good care of the power plant, generator, filters, sea strainers and batteries. Everything is labeled and the wiring is orderly. We found enough room to do a complete overhaul on any of the engines with this installation. The engine room is accessed through a hatch in the aft deck.



The Cruisers Yachts 540 is not only a big boat but she is a versatile one. With the addition of some isinglass across her stern we'd take her most anywhere.

Observations

It may take a bit of counter intuitive thinking to get acclimated to the concept of three engines, but if the price of the...

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Naples Community Hospital Safe & Healthy Children's Coalition



Naples Community Hospital Safe & Healthy Children's Coalition of Collier County Update:


This is our 12th life jacket loaner stand location now at Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park. Representative Kathleen Passidomo who has been a great advocate for us, is helping us to hopefully grow statewide! Our support is getting stronger daily from the FWC, Collier County Police Department, the Collier County Parks & Rec, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, West Marine & so on.

We now have city & county locations, are supported by Naples Mayor Sorey, are receiving great press coverage & are growing strong...so exciting! Our next event will be held February 3rd at the Naples Yacht Club which will be a special night of appreciation to all of our sponsors. We ask for NO money at this time, just an event to be social, view a slideshow of our growth & express our gratitude for each & every sponsor. To follow in April, Steve & I will be hosting an evening at Hamilton Harbor Yacht Club for our fundraising event.

 

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The PRESTIGE 420 receives the 2014 “Nautic Design Award”

Prestige Yachts Announces their most recent sales achievement for the 2014 Nautic Design award presented at the Paris Boat Show in France for the new Prestige 420 FLY. The 750MY is nominated for the Motor Boat Award at the upcoming Dusseldorf Boat Show in January.

Congratulations to Prestige Yachts! Both these yachts will be on display at our upcoming Miami Boat Show Prestige Yachts Display.

 



The Paris International Boat Show has organized the second issue of this prize for power boat design in partnership with Moteur Boat, Neptune and Sport&Style magazines. After a public vote and the votes of a jury of professionals to elect the overall winner amongst the five finalists in each category, the Nautic Motor Boat Design Award prize for the “Cruiser” category has been awarded to the PRESTIGE 420.

The prestigious jury, who awarded the prize, comprised: - Alain Pichavant – General Organiser of Nautic - Nathalie Bigaignon – General Secretary of the French Federation of Nautical Industries - Odile Decq – 2013 architect and designer of the year, represented by Hugo Duchiron - designer at Odile Decq Design - Stéphanie de Loustal – Editing Director, Moteur Boat & Neptune Yachting - Michel Luizet – Editor in Chief, Neptune Yachting - Frédéric Pelatan – journalist, Sport&Style and Editor in Chief of the Journal du Nautisme - With the additional participation of Philippe Starck, Ole Nissen-lie (Batliv.com), Morten Brandt (Badnyt)

The prizes were handed out this Friday, December 12th, 2014 at 7 pm in Hall 4 at the Paris Boat Show. This competition was open to all power boats launched after 2013; all categories and all prizes taken into account, this prize rewards the following criteria: - the exterior silhouette, - the originality and aesthetics of the hull, - the ergonomics, - the choice of materials (trim, upholstery etc).

Come discover the Prestige 420 at the Düsseldorf Boat Show from January 17th to 25th, 2015, and her coupé version at the London Boat Show from January 10th to 18th, 2015.




Contact: Aurélie Marie - 0033 (0) 2 51 64 20 46 - a.marie@jeanneau.fr



Orignially published by Prestige December 2014

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BoatTest.com Review of the 2014 Rampage 41 Express

Rampage 41 Express (2014-) Captain's Report



Rampage 41 Express profile shot

The Rampage 41 Express has a LOA of 44’ (13.41 m) and a beam of 16’ (4.88 m).

Mission Statement

Flexibility is the operative word with the Rampage 41. She can be had in either the 41 "Express" or "Open" version. The Express is a serious fishing machine fully equipped for big game. The Open is a "crossover" version that is intended for both family cruising and day-boating, as well as fishing. Multiple cockpit configurations are available for different specific applications. By offering a boat that can truly morph between a hardcore fishing machine and a luxurious/entertaining cruiser, the Rampage 41 Express has important utility that most boats in class lack.

Distinguishing Features

Among the Widest Beam in Class. At 16’ (4.88 m), the Rampage 41 Express has what we’ve found to be one of the widest beams in class, 1’ to 3’ wider, in fact. This has huge benefits to the interior space as a crowd can feel more relaxed and less cramped. Cockpit and helm deck space are also robust as a result, and side decks are not neglected.

Heavy Dry Weight. With an estimated 30,000 (13,608 kg) dry weight, she’s heavier than most express cruisers and in the middle of express fish boats. That translates to a more solid feel to her handling characteristics, which we’ve verified during our tests.

Cabin Headroom, 6’7” (2.0 m). This puts her headroom at the top of the class and really gives her an open, expansive feel when in the lower deck. When combined with the added beam, the result is a boat that seems much bigger than her 41'.

Helm Deck Seating. We think that this helm deck is one of the most functional in class. We like the helm on the centerline and the port and starboard companion seats that are independent and swivel. Further, the port and starboard banquettes are comfortable and with them, 4 to 6 more people can be seated.

Two-Cabin Layout. Rampage has added an optional aft bulkhead to the rear of the salon creating a second stateroom with a Pullman-style berth over the lower berth. This adds privacy and makes the boat into a family cruiser, a vessel that can be cruised by two couples, or one that can host a gang for an extended fishing tournament.

Greater Fuel Capacity -- Greater Range. The Rampage 41 Express carries 700 gallons (2,650 L) of fuel. That is 100 gallons (379 L) more than her closest competitor and 175 gallons (662 L) or 33% more than most boats in class. This gives the 41 Express prodigious range, particularly at moderate cruising speeds.

Built by KCS International. Most express boat builders specialize in either the cruising or the sportfishing categories. KCS International builds boats in both. It cruising boat line is Cruisers Yachts, which is a premier line of luxury boats. All of the materials and designer fabrics that are used in the Cruisers Yachts are also used in the Rampage 41 Express.

Rampage 41 Express docking

The Rampage 41 Express turned out to be an extremely easy boat to maneuver around the dock, even without the expense of pod drives.

Performance

Caveat. Before we get into the performance aspect, it’s important to note that we were testing on a sloppy day with the winds blowing across Lake Michigan creating 2’ to 4’ seas. Not ideal conditions but it certainly gave us a good indication of how well she handles in this sort of mess. We say "not ideal" because any boat will slow down and use more fuel when battering against seas of this size vs. flat-calm conditions. On the other hand, we like to also get a feel for how the boat will handle in challenging conditions, knowing that performance numbers are a "worse case" scenario. So with that said….

The Test Boat Specs. The Rampage 41 Express has an LOA of 44' (13.41 m) with pulpit, a beam of 16' (4.88 m) and a dry weight of 33,725 lbs. ( 15,329 kgs.). Fully laden with all tanks full she would have a displacement of 38,860 lbs. (17,773 kgs.). The boat as tested had an estimated displacement of 37,455 lbs. (17,025 kgs.), or 96% of her fully laden displacement. Most boats are tested with half fuel or less, so in addition to the sea conditions, her nearly maximum weight also makes our test numbers a "real world" indicator.

Speed and Fuel Consumption. With a pair of 715-hp CAT C-12 ACERT’s turning 29x43 Veem Interceptor props, we reached a top speed of 35.5 kts at 2300 rpm. At that speed we were burning 68 gph for a range of 328.7 nm. Best cruise came in at 1750 rpm and 24.3 kts. That speed reduced the fuel burn down to 37 gph, giving us a range of 414.6 nm.

Now the Rampage factory test captain tells us that he has easily reached speeds of 36 to 37 kts. Considering that he probably did so on a calm day, we could believe that with no problem. But the fact that we came darn close to that in 2’ to 4’ seas is a huge testimony to how well this boat handles this type of conditions. And she did it with no pounding.

Handling

Our test captain's report read as follows:

"This is an exceptionally well-mannered boat. She carves through snotty conditions with ease and remained comfortable throughout the entire test. Her wide flared bows throw a lot of water, and with gusty conditions there was no way to expect a dry ride. However, we did find that the wipers were sufficient to keep the windshields clear, and we appreciated the delay feature as well as the fact that they’re self stowing."

"In a head sea, the test numbers speak for themselves. We hardly slowed down from the 37 knots the factory captain got in calm conditions. As good as she was in a head sea, she was even better in the beam and following seas. In all conditions, the autopilot held the course steadily with no corrections needed.

"In following seas, there was no tendency to plow into the forward waves, but she would slice through with more than enough buoyancy to rise to the top every time. We tried increasing speed at select times to see if the bow would stuff but she was having none of it. She just kept slicing through and rising to meet the next wave, all while we were able to stand with barely a need to hold onto anything."

Rampage 41 Express hawse holes

Hawse holes leading to 12" (30.5 cm) cleats keep the caprails snag free.

Getting the Shaft?

We’re seeing that there’s a trend in the industry favoring pods for this class of boat. The truth is, that this is a trend that favors the marketability of the boats rather than the boats themselves. Don’t get us wrong, there are distinct advantages with pods regarding fuel burn and the all-important joystick functionality. But those come at a hefty price increase over straight shafts and rudders. And that price can be hard to justify.

So here, Rampage stayed with the tried and true shaft/rudder system. We’ve already validated how well she performs, so what about at the dock? Can she still be maneuvered in close quarters?

Dock Envy

Any concerns about being able to handle this boat around the dock should be alleviated by a simple test ride. She is among the easiest boats to dock that we’ve been on. A large part of that ease of maneuverability comes from the addition of the optional bow thruster ($10,735) that represents a fraction of the cost of pods. With this, and the big props, we were able to make this boat practically deal cards.

Rampage 41 Express cockpit

With 100 sq. ft. of open space three’s plenty of room for fishing or entertaining. The shore power cord is connected to an electric cord reel.

Docking the 41 Express. She moves well on her own momentum and there’s a lot of thrust coming from those 43" pitch props. To start, shift into "low" mode on the controls to activate the trolling valves. Then, just control her with pulses -- in and out of gear -- using the separate engines to control speed and direction. We had her sliding sideways to, and used the thruster to gently hold her OFF the dock, and that translated into a gentle kiss against the dock just as we ran out of momentum.

Backing into a slip, we lined up the stern and drove her back in with the engines pulling the stern gently one way or the other. The bow thruster would then keep the hull lined up properly for the narrow entry. All that was needed was a tap or two on the thruster stick. Our captain reported: "She’s quite intuitive and seems to follow the command on her own with very little input from the helm. It was eerie, and comforting at the same time."

Rampage 41 Express cockpit layout

Here we have the basic cockpit layout with twin aft-facing seats and a livewell at the transom. Note that these are real seats and not a console with a pad on top.

Features Inspection

By starting our inspection in the cockpit we can begin to get a feel for the versatility that makes the Rampage 41 Express such an attractive boat. Everything that can be added is modular so components can be selected at will to dial-in to the type of boat wanted. For example, based on the owner's experience and comfort level, the boat can come equipped with bow or bow and stern thrusters, or no thrusters at all.

Cockpit. Our test boat was laid out with the basic setup of two aft facing seats ($4,260 ea) and a livewell at the transom. The seats are unusual because they can actually be sat in by most anyone without having to climb up on to a console or mezzanine. Likewise, when wanting to get up and grab a pole, the angler does not have to hop down from a perch.

The livewell in the transom is standard and has a capacity of 65-gallons (246 L) but tuna tubes can be added that will reduce the capacity to 45-gallons (170 L).

The Fighting Pit. The cockpit itself is 100 sq. ft. -- as big as any in class. For those who want to fit a fighting chair, support has already been laminated in underneath the deck in the center, and there is room behind the chair for a mate to guide the chair and another hand to move from port to starboard with gaff or net.

Plenty of LED courtesy lighting is conveniently placed to satisfy both the night fishermen and the owner entertaining a group for an evening cruise across the bay.

Cockpit bolsters are removable but they’re comfortable for whatever the itinerary calls for so no need to bother. Seven gunwale-mounted rod holders are strategically placed, and we’d certainly consider dropping a grill into one. The transom door is to starboard and it can be used for boarding guests or tuna, both will be equally welcomed. There’s both a fresh and raw water washdown spigot under the gunwales. Caprails are kept snag-free thanks to large hawse holes with cleats below.

Rampage 41 Express molded steps

Molded steps lead to the side decks. Switches to the side control the recirculating pumps, courtesy lights and elevate the helm deck for engine room access.

Rampage 41 Express fishboxes

Dual fishboxes are large and both are equipped with macerators.

Add-ons

Additional modular components can be added as desired to create the layout suitable for the type of plan one has for the boat. To port, choose from an aft facing seat with a Frigid Rigid cooler below, a bait prep unit with sink and tackle storage or a bait prep unit with either a 120V or 220V freezer box. To starboard, add the same freezer boxes with voltage of choice, the bait prep with sink, or the aft seat with cooler.

Helm Deck

The helm deck features wrap around seating to both sides of a center-mounted helm. The forward ends have swivel pedestal seats to either side and these can face forward when underway, or swivel to the sides to create a conversational area. However, when facing forward the seats could really use footrests against the forward bulkheads. There are footrests below, but in a seaway, putting feet forward to wedge into the seat can be a major advantage in the quest for stability.

Rampage 41 Express wraparound seating

Seating wraps around the operator so all get to be involved in the action while underway. We like this unusual arrangement, not only are there port and starboard companion seats which means three sets of eyeballs can look forward, but those sitting abaft the helm can also help out.

Rampage 41 Express flipdown footrests

Both companion seats have flip-down footrests but we’d add another to the forward bulkhead.

Helm

The helm is well laid out with quality components including digital engine controls. The test boat was fitted with the optional Raymarine package with twin 16” (40.6 cm) displays, a 4 kW open array radar, autopilot and a Raymarine 55 VHF. It bears noting that the panel is angled so that both displays are facing the operator, rather than simply being flat. Our test boat was also fitted with a bow thruster ($10,735) and we’ve touched on the benefits of that feature in the docking section of this report.

Rampage 41 Express helm deck

Three-across seating makes for more eyes looking forward and all seats swivel. Teak ladder back seats are offered as an option. Note the high windshield for weather protection and visibility.

Rampage 41 Express helm console

The helm console is large and designed so that all components are within easy reach.

Rampage 41 Express easy access

The helm is hinged so it comes forward to provide easy access for service and installations.

Between the windows and the optional hardtop, there’s open space that is sure to be fitted with isinglass. We had a wet test day and it didn’t make the helm any drier having it open. The other advantage of putting isinglass here is that on hot days it can be unzipped for fresh air.

Hardtop

Our test boat was fitted with the optional hardtop by Bausch American ($40,850) and it included a 3-degree forward angle radar mount, tri-color LED lighting, spreader lights, perimeter handrails and ladders to both rear corners.

Rampage 41 Express hardtop

Our test boat was fitted with the optional molded hardtop. By buttoning up the helm deck with isinglass, the 41 Express is easily turned into a three-season boat.

An upper station can be added to the 41 when a tuna tower is selected. Feel free to also add outriggers and a full canvas enclosure.

Engine Compartment

A switch to the right of the starboard aft-facing seat actuates the hinged helm deck, which raises and lowers automatically providing wide-open access to the engine compartment. Steps to the center make the access even easier. Entering a day hatch in the center of the helm deck makes for even quicker access.

Rampage 41 Express deck hatch

An electrically actuated deck hatch that lifts the entire helm deck provides access to the engine compartment.

Rampage 41 Express engine access

A day hatch allows quicker access to the engines and utilizes the same entry steps as the full deck access.

Rampage 41 Express standing head room

Captain Steve was just about able to stand inside the compartment at the forward end. The day hatch is just over his head. Note the clean, uncluttered nature of the engine room, the space outboard of the engines and the lights on the overhead.

Inside we have a well laid out compartment with easy access to all sides of the 715-hp CAT C12 ACERT engines. All of the batteries and switches are forward. Each engine, plus the genset, has it’s own battery. A fourth bank powers the house systems.

Rampage 41 Express

A 24V battery charger is at the forward bulkhead along with the interface panel for the digital controls. Note that all wire runs are held in place with padded anti-chafe rings.

Fuel. The 700-gallon (2,650 L), total, fuel tanks are one of the secret weapons of the Rampage 41 Express both for offshore fishermen wanting to go down island, and for cruising folks who need serious range. The dual fuel tanks have a crossover system that requires electrically transferring fuel between the two tanks as need be. Racor filters are mounted to the tanks themselves. The 10 kW generator is standard and mounts just behind the entry steps.

Rampage 41 Express

Rampage made the 10 kW generator standard on the 41 Express.

Rampage 41 Express

The bow is easily accessed with roomy side decks. Fully forward there’s an optional windlass ($5,030) with hatches to both sides to manage the rode.

Below Decks

Upon entering the accommodations deck, it immediately becomes apparent that there’s a definite advantage to being owned by KCS, the same parent company that builds Cruisers Yachts. The same quality Cherry wood interior, vinyl headliner and solid Cherry table that we’ve come to admire in the company’s yachts is right here as well. Standard flooring is removable carpeting over fiberglass decking but it’s a rare individual that won’t spring for the classy look of the teak and holly sole with removable carpet ($13,305).

Rampage 41 Express

The interior of the Rampage 41 Express serves four important functions: sleeping, cooking, dining and relaxing and personal hygiene.

Salon

The main salon is over to the port side and consists of an L-shaped, Ultraleather upholstered settee wrapping around a solid cherry pedestal table. A custom made oval mirror is fitted to the aft bulkhead. Overhead hatches provide natural light but there are no hull side windows or opening portlights. This is in keeping with the clean look of the exterior hull favored by most avid sportfishermen. The space is used for added storage.

Rampage 41 Express

The dinette area seats 4 for comfortable dining. Notice the high 6’7” (2.0 m) overhead clearance.

Rampage 41 Express

The settee is softly padded and upholstered in Ultraleather.

Rampage 41 Express

A classy feature is the rounded tops to the doors. It’s much easier, and cheaper, to simply make them all straight, but it wouldn’t have the rich look of these doors.

Galley

The galley is as pleasing as it is functional. Both the stove and sink are covered to add additional working space to the solid surface counter for food prep. Instead of the traditional microwave, Rampage added a convection microwave. The refrigerator and freezer are separate drawer units, which means that items will not come dumping out on the deck when opened.

Rampage 41 Express

The cover to the double-burner stove is reversible to allow use as a cutting surface. Same for the cover over the sink.

Rampage 41 Express

Options include teak flooring throughout the deck level ($13,305), the 15” (38 cm) TV ($1,435), and central vacuum.

Rampage 41 Express

Beautiful hardwoods contrast the light color of the solid surface counter and all the necessary appliances are present.

Master Stateroom

Forward of the salon is the master stateroom. In the standard configuration there is a privacy curtain to pull across, but we’d prefer the option that was fitted on our test boat that includes a solid bulkhead both fore and aft of the salon ($22,145) creating two private staterooms. The forward bulkhead also includes beautiful Wenge wood doors with elegant frosted glass inlays.

Rampage 41 Express

With the double stateroom option, the master gets this Wenge wood with satin finish bulkhead that includes a pair of glass inlayed doors.

Once inside, we are presented with an island queen berth with access steps to both sides. An overhead hatch allows natural light and ventilation as well as an emergency egress. All bedding is included and there’s storage both below, and in the often-neglected space above the sides of the compartment in the bow flare. And naturally there are the usual cedar hanging lockers.

Rampage 41 Express

The master consists of an island queen complete with bedding. Note the copious amount of cabinet storage making use of the bow flare.

Aft Cabin

Behind the salon is an optional feature that we think makes the Rampage 41 Express even more attractive, an optional second cabin ($22,145). This one has a bench seat for sleeping on, and the seat back lifts up, Pullman-style, to create an upper berth. We like this arrangement because it maximizes space for one person, and maximizes sleeping potential with the Pullman. There’s plenty of room to move about and get dressed. This is also where the ship's main electrical panel is located.

Rampage 41 Express

The aft cabin has a bench seat that is well padded for sleeping. The seat back becomes the base of the Pullman.

Rampage 41 Express

Lifting the seatback creates an upper berth. Guests will appreciate the privacy of their own cabin even if it is small. Remember, this is a boat, not the Taj Mahal.

Head

Directly across from the aft cabin, or to the starboard side of the entry stairs, is the head. We expected to see a wet-head but this one features a full walk-in shower. There’s storage both over the toilet and behind large mirrored doors over the sink. The sole and...

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BoatTest.com Review of the 2015 Prestige 620

Prestige 620 (2015-) Captain's Report


By Captain Steve

Prestige 60

We think the Prestige 620 is extremely well-executed in virtually every detail, obviously the work of veteran cruising boaters who know how such a motoryacht is used and what it must have.

I got a chance to test this boat that I had become so enamored with, the Prestige 620, and see if she really was the ideal cruiser that I had made her out to be. Would she be as captivating in reality offshore as she was in my daytime reveries?

Prestige 60

Captain Steve tested the Prestige 620 in Cannes, France.

Handling Characteristics

Before I get into the handling characteristics, I have to point out that the Prestige 620 was powered by the IPS900 drives. It's important to know this, and to understand that there are particular characteristics of pods that directly affect how a boat handles, most notably, in the turning performance.

At full speed, the range of motion of the pods is limited so that one doesn't suddenly bolt off at a 90-degree angle at full speed. This assures gentle turns that don't send the dishes and crockery tumbling out of the cabinets and your guests will appreciate that as well. This is yachting, and not the time for a heavy hand.

Prestige 60

The Prestige 620 is nimble with only 2-1/2 turns of the wheel lock-to-lock. It was easy to dodge trap buoys as we sped along the French Riviera.

With that said, the Prestige 620 is still quite responsive to the helm, thanks to the 2-1/2 turns from lock-to-lock at the wheel. The operator will still get very agile handling, and that's an important feature to someone like me from New England where someone can't swing a rudder without hitting a lobster pot.

Even off the south coast of France, we were testing in an area littered with trap buoys, and regardless of how quickly they managed to "pop up", the quick but gentle response to the helm made dodging them a non-event. The 620 exhibits roughly a 3-degree roll into the turn at full speed, and I find that to be quite comfortable.

There's really no bow rise to speak of upon acceleration. Once on plane the 620 seems to settle into a roughly 3-degree bow high attitude, so there's no concern about loss of visibility. That means that whether operating from the lower helm or not, the skipper can see what is in front.

Prestige 60

Her bottom shape and keel notwithstanding, the IPS900 drives make this boat far more docile than she would have been with rudders and conventional inboard propulsion.

Wake Me Up

One of the sad realities of boat testing is that one can't pick their weather, and on test day with the Prestige 620 we had clear skies and calm winds. That's great for getting fast speed runs, but for testing the handling characteristics… not so much. However, we did manage to come across a few megayachts that were kicking up sizeable wakes for us, so we made the best of them.

Hitting the wakes head-on had us slicing through nice and cleanly, with the water being thrown well off to the sides. When doing that the spray stayed very low, so while we had no wind to prove my observation, the 620 appears to be a very dry boat.

On the beam, we stuck to our 3-degree roll and simply rode up and over with no deviation from our heading. Again, try as I might, I failed to get any spray onto the windshield. With a following sea, I expected to get at least some plunging with the 620's heavy 56,000 lb. (25,401 kg) test weight, but again we stayed level and stable, but granted the conditions were mild.

While this wasn't a rough-water test, I get the feeling that she can handle lumpy seas as well as most any boat. And remember that in following or quartering seas that this boat has no rudders, and the boater can rely on the thrust of the two big IPS900s to keep the boat's bow going where they want it.

Prestige 60

The aft deck is an important aspect of any motoryacht. As you can see, chairs can be placed facing aft so that 6-8 people can sit here. Note the stairs with teak treads to the flying bridge. This is the only way to the bridge which means space is not wasted in the saloon with an internal stairway.

Test Numbers

So now we get to the meat of it. Our test Prestige 620 had an empty weight of 50,706 lbs. (23,000 kg), and with full fuel and five people onboard, we had a test weight of 56,021 lbs. (25,411 kg).

The twin 700-hp Volvo Penta IPS900 drives reached a top speed at 2350 rpm and a respectable 30.0 knots. At that speed we were burning a combined 69.5 gph while getting .4 nautical miles/gallon for a range of 287 nautical miles.

Best cruise is subjective as we were getting virtually the same MPG from 1500 rpm all the way up to WOT. Technically speaking, her best cruise is at 17.7 knots turning 1750 rpm. That is a good speed to run a motoryacht like this and there she was burning 39.4 gph/149 lph. That's pretty efficient fast cruising for a boat that is nearly 60,000 lbs./27,272 kgs.

But if I had to choose a comfortable best cruise, particularly if I was driving the boat from the flying bridge, it would be at 2000 rpm and 22.2 kts. At that speed we were burning 52.8 gph for a range of 280 nautical miles, just 20 less than our technical best cruise.

To see the complete set of data points on our test, click on the "Test Results" tab at the top of this page…

Prestige 60

There is visibility for docking and Mediterranean mooring is through the open stairway to port but the optional controls on the aft deck are the preferred method.

The Walkthrough Starting with the Flying Bridge

Here is a sun worshipper’s dream boat. The center console helm on the flying bridge is surrounded on three sides by sun pads and an aft facing sun lounge to port. The helm seat is double wide, and the forward sun pad hides a storage locker and even storage for a life raft -- something that you see on most large European-built yachts.

The radar arch not only looks great on this boat, but it serves its primary function to support the antennae array as well as a Bimini top. Abaft the helm seat is what looks like a leaning post on a fishing center console, but here it conceals a grill and sink. The refrigerator is to starboard, and farther aft is the L-shaped lounge with dining table and storage below including storage for another life raft. (Remember, in entertainment mode this boat can carry quite a number of people.)

Prestige 60

This bird's eye view gives you a good idea of the space available on the Prestige 620. Picture a teak table with three facing chairs on the aft deck…or, racks for scuba tanks...or, two deck chairs for sunning...or…

The Main Deck

It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a saloon that is this open and uncluttered. In the Prestige 620 glass is everywhere, making visibility from the lower helm, and for the onboard guests, stunning.

Prestige 60

If there were a better way to get this much natural light into a main saloon, we aren’t aware of it. There's even a moonroof overhead. Please take note of the stand-alone sofa and chair. We prefer this treatment of furniture rather than built-in banquettes because it makes the yacht look more elegant to our eye.

Prestige 60

Now we are in dinner mode. The cocktail table is raised and the five light-weight and stylish chairs are taken out of storage for the occasion. In this way the 620 creates both a large saloon and a formal dining table.




Prestige 60

So much for the galley up or galley down argument. Prestige settled on galley aft and it works well because it is handy to both the aft deck and the saloon.

Prestige took the galley up or galley down argument in a better direction... galley aft. I’ve seen this on other boats and it works very well, more so here as the galley is nestled between the two dining areas both in the main saloon, and the aft deck. I love the island in the galley, and the woodwork is well-done. Notice how the overhead cabinets are hinged at the top and open from the bottom.

Prestige 60

If there were ever an argument for a double-wide helm seat, this is it. In America this will be an owner/operator boat, and most operators we know like company. And, we always prefer two sets of eyes keeping watch, particularly at the speeds this boat can travel.

Prestige 60

The platform can be fitted with optional hydraulics for lowering a tender. The windows in the transom allow light into the crew quarters. The passerelle is optional.

The Accommodations Deck

There are comfortable accommodations for six plus crew, all staterooms are ensuite. This is exactly how a yacht of this stature should be arranged, and we think that motoryachts 60' (18.3 m) or larger that have shared heads are not using their space properly.

The master is full beam and the master head features dual basins. The berth is located on the centerline, where it should be for maximum comfort in a seaway. A desk/vanity combo lies to port, and a sofa lies to starboard, directly in front of the large hull side windows. The berth, and deck to either side, is a mere step up from the main deck as one enters. This makes it that much easier to get into the berth, and improves sightlines out the hull side windows, while still providing ample storage underneath.

Prestige 60

Notice how the deck is raised around the master berth. The desk at the right is also a vanity. The sofa to the left gives a great view out the hull side window.

The VIP stateroom lies forward, and features a centerline mounted island berth with storage to the sides and beneath. There are two hanging lockers and direct access to the private head.

Prestige 60

Here is the VIP stateroom with its centerline mounted double berth, large windows and ample storage.

The third stateroom features twin single berths that easily convert to a large double. This stateroom also has large windows, with opening portlights and access to a private head.

Prestige 60

A three stateroom layout with two centerline mounted island berths, and two singles that convert to a double. There are two bunks in the crews' quarters.

The 620 is the first in the large Prestige motoryachts line, and the goal of combining cruising and luxury has been met.



Prestige 620 (2015-) Test Result Highlights



    • Top speed for the Prestige 620 (2015-) is 34.5 mph (55.5 kph), burning 69.50 gallons per hour (gph) or 263.06 liters per hour (lph).

    • Best cruise for the Prestige 620 (2015-) is 20.4 mph (32.8 kph), and the boat gets 0.52 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.22 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 345 miles (555.22 kilometers).

  • Tested power is 2 x 700-hp Volvo Penta IPS900.
For complete test results including fuel consumption, range and sound levels
go to our Test Results section.



Click on the below image to view the video review by Boat Test.

take a virtual tour of this yacht



Originally Published by BoatTest.com - December 2014.

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FOX 13 Tours The Viking 75 MY

 

 
Darren Plymale of Galati Yacht Sales interviews with Fox News 13 aboard Viking Yachts 75 Motor Yacht at this years St. Pete Boat Show. For more information about the 75 Motor Yacht please Click Here.
 
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Maritimo Appoints Galati Yacht Sales as the Distributor for the Americas

MARITIMO PICKS UP THE PACE IN THE AMERICAS

Media Release
Date:November 29,2014

Leading Australian luxury boat manufacturer, Maritimo, has appointed one of the top marine dealerships in the world to be its lead distributor for Maritimo motor yachts in the Americas.

Galati Yacht Sales was launched in 1970 and today it has six dealerships across the Americas and an international location in Costa Rica, all contributing to an annual turnover in excess of $US350 million.

Maritimo founder Bill Barry-Cotter said the Galati family is an institution in the marine industry in the US.

“We are delighted to have the Galati team representing us as the wholesale distributor in the Americas and feel they will be an excellent fit with the current dealership network that has been established by Maritimo USA,” he said. Galati Yacht Sales will partner with Maritimo in a new distribution entity, Maritimo of The Americas, and will be based in Tampa.

The appointment of Galati Yacht Sales follows the departure of long serving Maritimo USA president, Dave Northrop, who has represented Maritimo for more than nine years.

“Dave has done an excellent job for us in building up our presence in that market and there are now more than 200 proud and passionate Maritimo owners in the Americas where less than 10 years ago we were unknown,” said Barry-Cotter.

“We wish Dave all the best in his future career pursuits and we look forward to our ongoing friendship.”

Dave Northrop said “Today Maritimo is one of the best and most exciting motor yachts in the Americas and we have grown from introducing a new, unknown brand to a position of more than 200 owners and with new products rolling out this Fall that success will continue.”

Galati Yacht Sales has company owned centres in Anna Maria, Florida; Destin, Florida; Naples, Florida; Tampa Bay, Florida; Galveston, Texas; Orange Beach, Alabama; and Costa Rica.

The company was started by Michael Galati Sr and his wife Anna Marina Galati in 1970 when they purchased a tornado-devastated marina on Tampa Bay and set about turning it around. It was a hands-on family affair with the Galati siblings catching fish to sell for bait and working the fuel pumps at the marina.

Michael Galati passed away in 1992 and the company’s ownership was passed to his children. They have expanded it to become one of the largest privately held yacht dealerships in the world.

Company President, Joe Galati, said the company had been associated with Maritimo since 2008 and had sold numerous Maritimo’s in that time.

Galati Yacht Sales also represents brands such as Viking, Princess, Tiara, Prestige and Rampage.

“We are thrilled to have been given the opportunity to become the leading wholesale distributor for Maritimo in the Americas and I believe we can build on the very sound base that Dave and his team have established,” he said.

“We have more than 200 employees involved in everything from sales to maintenance and repairs and our client base is extensive.

“Our cruise in company Musters are legendary and we have had a number of Maritimo owners join us in various events over the years so we know the brand and its performance very well."

“We have visited the Maritimo manufacturing centre at Coomera on Queensland’s Gold Coast a number of times and have had a long relationship with founder Bill Barry-Cotter."

“We are thrilled to be given the opportunity to partner with Bill and his dedicated team and look forward to building our share of market in the US and elsewhere.”

Maritimo sales and marketing manager, Greg Haines, said the appointment of Galati Yacht Sales ‘was a natural fit’ as the Galati team already knew the Maritimo story and were familiar with the model range and its popularity with US boaties.

“Dave did a great job for us and we wish him well in his new endeavour, but we are confident that the involvement of the Galati team will see Maritimo lift to a new level in that market,” he said.

Mr. Haines said Maritimo of The Americas would service the existing Maritimo dealer network and would work with them and people like Bill King on the west coast of the USA in selling and after sales servicing. “Joe and his team will work well with Bill and the others to make sure the Maritimo brand continues to be pushed and marketed and the growing number of Maritimo owners in the Americas are well looked after,” he said.

FURTHER INFORMATION

Jay Dee Jackson Galati Yacht Sales
Phone: 941.720.5081
Email: jdjackson@galatiyachts.com
Galatiyachts.com

Greg Haines, Sales & Marketing Manager, Maritimo
Phone: 07 5588 6001
Email: ghaines@maritimo.com.au

MEDIA CONTACT Paul Wilson
Phone: 07 5593 2011
Mobile: 0438 761 785
Email: paul@promedia.com.au

ABOUT MARITIMO Australia’s youngest luxury boat building company, Maritimo, is continuing to expand its product development program and to grow its distribution network around the world. Founded in 2003, Maritimo is born of the passions of one man – an icon of Australian luxury boat building, Bill Barry-Cotter. The Maritimo fleet now covers 17 separate models across five different lines – Cruising Motor Yachts, Sedan Cruisers, Offshore Convertibles, Sports Cabriolets and Mustang Sport Yachts.

 

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Comments by Jay Dee Jackson Galati Yacht Sales

After 25 hours of flight and a short drive, I arrived at Maritimo's manufacturing facility on Queensland, Australia's Gold Coast. Kicking off the trip with an educational tour of the factory I was able to see firsthand how efficient and effective the factory is. Bill Barry-Cotter, founder of Maritimo, has it running smoothly to produce a quality vessel in a short amount of time. Mr. Barry-Cotter likes to spend his days on the manufacturing side of the operation, constantly walking the boats in production and making sure the vision is consistent throughout every model and embraced by his team. During my visit he took me through the new Maritimo M48. It may still be in its early stages but it's easy to see what an amazing vessel it will be.

Lights, camera, boating! The brand new 2015 Maritimo M65 launch party was one for the history books. It took place at night with an abundance of lights, music, food and a massive crowd anxiously awaiting her arrival to the show. Ambient music played as the spotlight shined on the M65. Everyone there was thoroughly impressed by her. The boat is a true work of art! Greg Haines and his team made sure that their passion for the vessel was shared with their guest. Along with the M65 there were 3 beautiful M58 models available for viewing. Every vessel attracted the masses. Everyone was eager to board and take a look.

 

  

  

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Somervilles fishing adventure in the Keys!

We took a long family weekend down in Key Largo in the keys and had an extra day to go offshore fishing together. I called Captain Bill to take us out for the day and by 11AM we had over 30 bites with Mahi being the main catch of the day.

We later went further offshore to target Wahoo and Billfish. Wahoo came to the plate and the Billfish were nowhere to be found. Seas were 1' to 2’ and the winds were perfect.

Lots of fresh fish to clean and donate…. we ate like Kings.

Another great day in paradise…

Till next tide, The Somervilles.





Find out more about this yacht broker:
Gregg Somerville
(813) 495-0301
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Marine Dealer Conference and Expo 2014



“More games are lost than won” This is a quote that I never gave true thought to until attending the keynote speaker at the 2014 MDCE. As it sounds it should be an equal amount of games won to games lost, correct? Wrong, the meaning behind this is actually a very valuable lesson I learned in the first 10 minutes of the expo. The true meaning is that there are more times where a game (sale) is lost by lack of marketing, sales skills, leadership techniques than actually won by having a perfect set of all three items. The customer will eventually buy a boat somewhere from someone, but how many people lost them along the way. This was a very simple idea that made so much sense when applied to the marine dealer business. You must not wait for sales to “fall in your lap” you have to be motivated and inspired to consistently exceed the expectations of the buyer. I believe Galati Yacht Sales does this on a regular basis, making our company culture extremely hard to compete with.

From the keynote speaker to the top 100 award ceremony the MDCE was outstanding. There is a large amount of information and motivation, to not only better your company but yourself, given out in these short few days. I cannot wait to attend next year!

-Jay Dee Jackson

It was my second year attending the 2014 MDCE and I thought for sure they couldn’t surpass what they did last year, I was wrong. The attendance this year was higher then ever, the speakers were top notch and the Top 100 Gala was elegant, fun, and memorable.

We started the kick off with the Opening Keynote Speaker, Chester Elton. His speech encompassed the meaning of having great culture within your company, employees and how it should radiate out to your customers. I believe Galati Yacht Sales has a culture of family and doing the right thing. We want our customers to feel and be treated as family. We always do the right thing in business, even when no one is looking. The rest of the three days were filled with amazing seminars and fun and knowledgeable presenters. I took the marketing tack that included classes like: FILLING IN THE HOLES IN YOUR ONLINE BUCEKT, INCURESE YOUR SEO THROUGH SOCAIL, and HOW TO MARKET TO THOSE NOT LIKE YOU. Each of these classes and others provided insight and ideas I have taken back to my team. I have already started to apply some of them.

The Top 100 was wonderful. This was their 10th year of holding the gala and awards. We were honored to be there representing the Hall of Fame again this year. Congratulations to all 100 dealers for their success this year!

-Angela Jackson

As a first time attendee of the Marine Dealer Conference and Expo I attempted to do my homework and gather some information about MDCE before heading to Orlando so that I would have an idea of what I was getting involved in. During the opening minutes of the conference I quickly learned that no amount of reading beforehand could have prepared me for the sheer amount of knowledge, experience, and motivation that were shared with me during my time in Orlando. From the opening keynote speaker, to networking receptions, to classroom sessions, to the Top 100 Gala & Awards Ceremony the education never stopped. With over 800 attendees including many vendors and sponsors the MDCE was truly the place to be this week for anybody who’s anybody in the marine industry. I divided my time between sales and marketing classroom sessions and was able to bring home several ideas that I believe will immediately benefit our whole team here at Galati Yacht Sales. Just as important as the classroom sessions was the opportunity to network with some of the most knowledgeable and experienced boat dealerships in North America and the exchange of ideas through the week was incredible. The week culminated with the Top 100 Gala & Awards Ceremony where Galati Yacht Sales was recognized for being in the Top 100 Hall of Fame and many of our fellow dealers were recognized for not only being in the top 100 dealers but also for various other awards for their contributions to the marine industry. Two days later I’m still reflecting on all of the information that we were given over the course of the conference, and I’m already looking forward to a great event next year.

-Josh Olsen

The MDCE is truly an exciting annual event. There were a # of strong training sessions under the Leadership track. My favorite was Hiring the Best Person for Job presented by David Spader. He articulated an interesting concept for rating and evaluating potential recruits during the interview process. Plus he presented research to emphasize the benefits (or lack thereof) of specific interview tools. After analyzing his hiring concepts, it’s clear that the same tools could be expanded to performance evaluations. I feel that these areas of my management performance will be improved.

The more important benefit of the conference and expo is interacting with other members of our industry. Face-to-face time with our business partners is so valuable. The opportunity to fully engage in discussion on our priorities allows us to move forward on a number of fronts. Listening and engaging others provided insight into products and services that spark ideas for the future. The positive energy that surrounds the event and the gala are so inspirational and motivating. It truly is an enriching experience!

-Tim Schaefer

I must say it was the best yet; this past few days were filled with excellent speakers and content surrounding topics such as Culture, Leadership, Sales, Marketing, etc.

The EXPO area was well attended; looking back on the years it was estimated to have 285 in attendance with 60 dealers represented in 2007; this past week has grown to have 300 plus dealers and 1,150 individuals attending.

Both organizations did an excellent job, with Matt and Liz from the MRAA and Jonathan along with his team from Boating Industry, combining their resources to host an excellent event.

We were recognized a number of times through out the week, namely our sponsorship with the Closing Key Note Speaker Ryan Estis. We sponsored his engagement along with the other 3 Top 100 Hall of Fame members, Ryan did an exceptional job. Between the completion of the conference and last night’s top 100 event, it is amazing how many fellow dealers shared their appreciation for our contribution to the event. I never engage the speakers and yesterday afterwards made a point to stay after and share my appreciation for his efforts.

Last night’s top 100 event was excellent, it was the largest attendance to date with over 450 participants last night attending. Gordy’s won and well deserved. The Top 100 acknowledged each of the Hall of Fame members with introducing us on stage and asking us for a few minutes at the microphone to address the audience. Legendary was represented by Sean the sales manager and announced the merger with Singleton, Prince William was represented by Carlton and Marine Max by Bill McGill. We were well represented with Angela, JD, Josh, Tim and myself attending. After being invited on stage, we had a photo opportunity and I addressed everyone attending and shared our support of the program and its contribution to the industry and how honored our Team is with being a HOF member.

I truly believe all of us attending left with excellent content and was well worth taking the time to attend. Again, it was their best effort to date.

This event continues to provide us an excellent opportunity to continue forging our relationships with those in the industry.

Thank you again for the confidence in me to represent Team Galati in such an event as last night. I am truly honored.

All my best, Darren

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FLIBS 2014 Interview with SuperYachts



At the start of the year we sat down with Darren Plymale of Galati Yacht Sales to gather his view on the fledgling American market; however, little did we know the US would provide so much activity throughout the year. We caught with Darren Plymale once again at the recent Fort Lauderdale Boat Show to discuss how 2014 has shaped America’s re-emergence.

Returning to sit on board the beautiful Westport built Amarula Sun, and with a record crowd sweeping the show, Darren Plymale gave us yet another informed view on the positivity across the yachting sector in America.

“First of all, Galati is ecstatic with what’s happening within our business. We continue to see growth, especially in our 80 foot and above market which has been very exciting … the large yacht and superyacht market is doing very well for us. As for the American market, we look at it more as a global opportunity for us. When you look at a yacht this size, it attracts people from all over the world – whether it’s China, Australia, Europe [or] South America.”

Increased market activity can not solely be attributed to the returning confidence of the high-net-worths of the world. Galati Yacht Sales is burgeoning and growing further into the superyacht market, which the brokerage firm attributes to a number of factors.

“I think when you take a look at the American market; we have a lot of wind in our sails. You take a look at the stock market which is hovering back and forth at 17,000, a record high. You have a lot of economic indicators, especially the prime lending rate is still down and low, and very affordable, and I think overall when you take a look at the consumer, we’re in a good spot right now. Land value continues to increase and there’s a lot of positivity.”

For more information from the US brokerage house, watch the fulll video above.

- Originally published by SuperYachts.com

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BoatTest.com Review of the Prestige 550 Flybridge

Prestige 550 Fly


All Prestige Yachts share a family resemblance with large windows in the topsides and an overall timeless profile. The 550 Flybridge looks poised to leap ahead, thanks to her raked stem and transom. Standard power is twin 600-hp Cummins diesels with Zeus pods.

Mission Statement

The mission statement for the Prestige 550 Flybridge is basically the same as the rest of the Prestige line. Build the best boat possible, and make her affordable by focusing on form and function and leave out the fluff. You will find solid composite countertops, wall-to-wall carpeting, and fiberglass overheads maximize interior room and utility. Prestige designers stay away from “flavor of the month” styling.

Overview

In 2011 Prestige earned praise in Europe for four new boats introduced: the 350, 400, 500 and 500S. Success breeds success – in the boating world just like anywhere else. The company has designed for two versions on a 58' 10" (17.92 m) LOA hull: The 550 express and 550 Flybridge motoryachts. All four of the new 2011 models were innovative in one sense or another, and we think the new intros are equally interesting.

Prestige 550 Fly

This is becoming the layout we expect for pod-powered yachts: A full-beam master stateroom amidships, guest quarters forward of that and a crew's cabin aft, atop the pods. We like that Prestige includes a mix of doubles and single berths in the 550 layout, making her suitable for a range of guests. Each cabin benefits from large windows in the topsides; the master has essentially picture windows on either side.

Distinguishing Features

Engines mounted forward. Instead of putting the Cummins diesels directly in front of the pods, they are moved farther forward to more evenly distribute the weight around the boat's longitudinal center of gravity. This keeps the 550 from having excessive bow rise and allows for the ride at a more sedate 5-degree bow high attitude. The Zeus pods are located well aft, under the crew quarters berth, and a jackshaft connects the engines to the pods.

Low draft. Because her pod drives are in tunnels and she is of a moderate displacement her draft is only 3’ 8’’ (1.17 m), which is shoal for this size boat.

Two control stations standard. Typically we see a standard flybridge helm station and an optional control station below. Many builders will use this plan to create a roomier salon. Prestige feels, and we agree in this case, that the salon is roomy enough and chooses to put in a lower helm station as standard. In addition, an optional third station in the cockpit is available.

Versatile VIP sleeping. Virtually every boat on the market in this class has a queen bed in the forward cabin. This is fine for a couple, but what if you are have two gents or ladies, or teenage children to accommodate? Prestige has thought of that and had built its queen bed so that it can be split into twins with each berth being moved to the hill sides. We think this is a super design.

Private entrance to a huge master. Most yachts in class have one access to all accommodations. One problem with this design is that much valuable space is wasted on a long passageway. By creating a separate staircase to the master stateroom Prestige provides not only more privacy, but also more usable space for a walk-in closet and larger head.

Price. At just a little over one million dollars this is a lot of yacht for the money. Just look around and you’ll see what I mean.

Prestige 550 Fly

The Prestige 550 motoryacht is able to go most anywhere, and should be easy to handle by most owner/operators.

Major Features

Three stateroom layout. The VIP guest stateroom is located forward. The port side guest stateroom has twin berths that can easily be converted to a queen.

Cockpit access to the flybridge. This is the only access to the flybridge, which eliminates a salon staircase that only takes up space, in our opinion.

Performance and Handling

With a pair of 600-hp Cummins QSC8.3 diesel engines powering our test boat we reached a top speed at 3080 rpm up 30.2 kts. At that speed we had a fuel burn of 62.85 gph for a range of 251 nautical miles. Best cruise came in at 2500 rpm and 22.4 kts. Now the fuel consumption to dropped to the 41.2 gph giving us a range of 284 nautical miles. We reached planing speed in 8.5 seconds and accelerated to 30 mph in 21.7 seconds.

Prestige 550 Fly

The Prestige 550 hull was designed specifically for the Zeus 3800 pod drives. You can also see a flat keel at the stern which acts as a lifting pad giving the 550 a quick 8.5 sec time to plane. Note the tunnels which permit a draft of just 3'8" (1.17 m). The hydraulic platform is optional.

When accelerating, the bow comes up roughly 8-degrees which means the horizon remains in clear view from the lower helm. Once on plane she'll settle into a 5-degree bow high attitude. Because of the maneuvering characteristics of pods, you won't find any break-neck turns on the 550. The throw of the pods is limited at speed so you will only get a 5-degree bank angle which allows for very slow turns. In fact, it took 70 seconds for the 550 to come around a full 360-degrees. Of course this is perfectly adequate for the short maneuvers, such as dodging the occasional trap buoy that seems to pop up all over the world. When you take power off, the 550 will settle back into the water and a level attitude, again producing no loss of visibility to the horizon.

Steering Considerations

While on the subject of visibility, the 550 Flybridge has outstanding sightlines. From the lower helm you'll find yourself looking through the bow rails, but the bow itself remains well below the horizon line. Naturally, from the flybridge you have a nearly unobstructed 360-degree view. More importantly, you have a clear view of the port quarter through the companionway hatch.

Prestige 550 Fly

The helm of the 550 Fly has a double wide seat for more eyes looking forward. The leather wrapped grab handle is a nice touch. Side windows are electrically actuated and open from a button to the left side of the helm.

One interesting feature to note is that the upper and lower helms are on opposing sides so you can choose which helm to operate from based on which side of the boat you will be tying up to. Of course for backing into a slip or med-mooring you can't beat the optional cockpit control station.

The 550 Fly had a very solid feel to her. While we were saddled with a relatively calm day I was able to pass through some sizable wakes which showed that she throws spray well off to the sides and down low producing a very dry ride. Her hard chines give her excellent stability and she shoulders beam seas off quite nicely with little effect to be felt from the flybridge helm.

Prestige 550 Fly

The rails continue all the way back to the cockpit making transitions to the bow a safe affair, even when underway. The unique geometry to the hullside windows really serves to identify the brand.

Docking Manners

In my opinion, the combination of Cummins diesels and Zeus pods is outstanding, and nowhere can this be felt to its maximum benefit than when maneuvering in close quarters. I easily brought the 550 in between two other yachts in the very close confines of a med-moor while controlling from the cockpit station.

Even while standing in close proximity to the engines and pods, there was no "clunking" into gear and the operation was silky smooth. So smooth in fact, that the only indication that things were working normally was the gentle response that the 550 Flybridge had to my slight movement of the joystick. More to the point, when you make a control movement on the joystick the 550 follows precisely as opposed to you making a control input, seeing where the boat goes, and then correcting that movement to what you want it to be.

Accommodations Deck

The 550 Flybridge motoryacht is set up to sleep six guests in three cabins, plus a crew cabin aft that we predict will serve as added guest accommodations in this boat that can and should be an owner/operator vessel. With pods making handling easier, yachts this size are should be owner-operated in most cases. No crew means the aft cabin will surely be taken over by one of the owner's kids who want to sleep as far from the adults as possible (and wash down the boat at night.)

Prestige 550 Fly

The master stateroom is full beam and in the most comfortable place in the boat. The table for two and the large hull-side windows will make this a wonderfully scenic cabin.

In keeping with Prestige's practice of building master stateroom's as comfortable as possible given the length of hull available, the midships cabin on the 550 has a large centerline bed, a small booth-type seating for two to port and a walk-in closet. Of course, there is a large en suite head with separate shower stall. We especially like the private access via a curved companionway leading from the salon. The forward two cabins share a head.

Prestige 550 Fly

This is a huge master stateroom and 80' motoryachts usually don't have one much bigger. Everyone loves walk-in closets and this one is good-sized with plenty of creative space for storage. Notice the separate shower stall that separates the head from the walk-in closet. It has glass door access from both sides. We would eliminate the door from the closet and put in another clothing rack. We'd also get rid of the bidet, move the toilet over and put in a second sink.

Prestige 550 Fly

In the VIP forward stateroom look closely and you will see dotted lines indicating how the queen bed can be split in two and swung outboard, making twins. We very much prefer this arrangement as it accommodates a variety of guests better. The head is shared with the guest stateroom and has a separate shower stall.

Prestige 550 Fly

The forward VIP has split berths that pivot together, and latch, making a queen berth. This is a great use of space and adds to the versatility of the types of guests you can accommodate, whether kids or a couple.

Prestige 550 Fly

While the lower deck is given over completely to accommodations, the main deck is where the real living takes place. There's a large galley aft with an L-shaped countertop and an island for more counter and storage space. It's at the aft bulkhead, so will be bright and well-ventilated. Forward there's a large dinette and a lounge opposite. The lower helm is to starboard.

Main Deck

The main deck houses the galley and dining areas, making preparing and serving food less of a trial for the cook. The tri-doors open onto a large aft deck almost completely covered by the flying bridge overhang – maybe not good for the sun tanning crowd, but overall more functional in a variety of weather. And -- it can be buttoned up with isinglass to prove for three-season living.

Prestige 550 Fly

The aft galley is handy to serve both dinner in the main salon or lunch on the aft deck. The chef will like it because the galley is close to conversations in both venues.

There is a sunpad forward, big enough for several to bake together. And, of course, there is the flying bridge.

Prestige 550 Fly

Even the most ardent sun worshipers will agree that too much sun is a bad thing, but that doesn’t mean you have to go inside. This pop-up shade is a great feature to have, and at the forward end of the pad is an innovative bench seat that deploys easily.

The 15'6" (475 cm) wide stern platform will be hydraulically adjustable as an option, making it fine for carrying a tender.

Prestige 550 Fly

This area is the heart of the boat. The table can be set low as a coffee table when in conversation and socializing mode, or raised with leafs that pull out for a dinner.

Prestige 550 Fly

The aft deck is large and Prestige has correctly not placed a standard table in front of the bench seat as each owner has his own ideas as to how this space will be used. Many people will add folding director’s chairs or something of the like. Because the overhead extends so far aft, the aft deck can be fully enclosed. The crack in the lower part of the bench seat marks the hatch to the crew's quarters below.

Prestige 550 Fly

The aft deck will surely be one of the most popular gathering area on the 550. It’s also right next to the aft galley. Notice the optional retractable sunscreen allowing you to extend your time outside. What a place for al fresco dining.

Prestige 550 Fly

The Prestige 550 has a huge swim platform, which we like. It becomes a "teak beach" or mini marina when friends come by tender to visit. The passerelle is an option that those Med mooring will want to order. Note that there is only one stairway to the aft deck, thus saving space, and the crew's cabin has a large window in the transom to allow natural light to enter. This detail makes what would otherwise be a dank lazerette become a useable cabin.

On the Flying Bridge

Access to the flying bridge is a stairway from the forward port corner of the aft deck. The bridge is mostly seating and sunning space, with its after section taken by a shallow U-lounge, a big sunpad adjacent to the helm and room for chairs and a table.

Prestige 550 Fly

The lower helm is to starboard, but the upper helm is to port. If we were docking portside-to, we'd run the boat from the bridge; starboard-side to, from the saloon. With the maneuverability of pods, either way would work fine, we believe. We'd prefer more forward-facing seats at the helm instead of such a large sunpad.

Observations

There are several important things that we like about this new motoryacht. First is her size. She is not so large that she needs professional crew, but on the other hand she is big enough to take most anywhere and be able to handle snotty conditions without much fuss or concern.

Secondly, her design is not the flavor of the month. It is not "Euro," nor "American," nor "Downeast," nor "Expedition" nor whatever. Rather, the 550 is a modern design based on classic lines that will stand the test of time and be as much in style 40 years from now as today; sort of like a pin-striped business suit or a herringbone sport jacket -- they are always in style anywhere in the world.

She is a big motoryacht and people looking at larger yachts should ask themselved is they really need that much room. Conversely, people looking at smaller express cruisers should ask themselves if they might not be happier in the long run by spending a little more money now and get a boat that will probably last a lifetime.

While the 550 Flybridge has a top speed of 30 knots we would probably cruise her at 2250 rpm, going almost 18 knots and burning 33 gal. (126 L) per hour. That is about as efficient as a boat this size can be operated. Drop her down to displacement speeds and she has a range of 1,000 nautical miles.

We've been aboard several Prestige yachts over the past year and have been impressed with each one.

 

Prestige 550 Flybridge (2014) Test Results

 

  • Top speed for the Prestige 550 Flybridge (2014-) is 34.7 mph (55.8 kph), burning 62.85 gallons per hour (gph) or 237.89 liters per hour (lph).

 

  • Best cruise for the Prestige 550 Flybridge (2014-) is 25.8 mph (41.5 kph), and the boat gets 0.63 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.27 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 327 miles (526.26 kilometers).

 

  • Tested power is 2 x 600-hp Cummins QSC 8.3.



Originally Published by BoatTest.com - November 2014.

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Rich Mongeau Said:

It's been a hectic 2 months with the arrival of my first grandchild and the replacement and recuperation of my other new hip. Just wanted to send you some words that you may want to use on the Galati site that express my thoughts on your abilities as a broker. Here goes.

"After several dealings with FL brokers in my search to buy my retirement vessel, I had the good fortune to bump into Greg while looking for a boat slip. I was immediately impressed with his energy, enthusiasm and knowledge. When it was time I gave him a call, and although he knew I wanted to buy a specific boat, he spent time showing me various other varieties to make sure my boat type was still what I wanted.

He made the buying experience easy and comfortable. The most important service that Greg provided me was his experience in helping me find wonderful, honest, and skilled maintenance, repair and insurance contacts. From that moment on he was always available to help in any way.

Years later when it was time for me to sell, Greg went out of his way to close the deal. He has all the tools to help anyone sell their vessel."

Find out more about this yacht broker:
Gregg Somerville
(813) 495-0301
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New From Maritimo

Since a recent change in representation and distribution for Maritimo Yachts in the Americas, Galati Yacht Sales has been discussing an expanded role with the manufacturer. Joe traveled to Australia to begin this process, and for the past few weeks, we’ve been working on a program that we feel makes sense in todays’ market. Some of our focus has maritimo yachts newsbeen on addressing new customer friendly warranty procedures, standard US equipment lists, simplified pricing, and consolidated model offerings. I’m happy to report that we have made great headway, and we will be representing the American Markets for Maritimo at the upcoming Fort Lauderdale Boat Show.

This comes on the heels of Maritimo’s best year ever in North America. The product continues to improve, and two models have risen to the top of the sales charts this past year, the M50 and the M58. Several of each of these have been delivered in the US and Canada in the past year, and I will be delivering an M50 myself after the show. The Australian currency has adjusted to a more historically typical level, and that has allowed us to get even more competitive than we’ve been in the last few years. Maritimo has also just introduced a new model, the M65, and 5 were sold within just a few of weeks of that announcement. This model will prove to be a great seller in the USA as well.

Here’s the BIG NEWS……..we will have two Martimo’s at the show this year, a 2015 M50 MotorYacht (hull 18), and the newly refined M58 MotorYacht (hull 12). Both are fresh, the M50 having arrived just a week ago, and the M58 discharging in Savannah this coming weekend. BOTH ARE AVAILABLE FOR DELIVERY NOW!

Specification sheets on these two boats will be available shortly, and prior to the show, will have new sheets and Maritimo pricing in place, including the new standard US spec packages, and Special Show Pricing.

Maritimo is showing their commitment to us at the show this year by having company founder and President Bill BarryCotter, International Sales Manager Greg Haines, Rosco Willaton and John McCarthy all in attendance. If there are any questions, please stop by and see us at the show.
maritimo facctory docksmaritimo factory docks second view

 

 

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BoatTest.com Review of the Cruisers 390 Express

The all-new Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe was designed both for entertaining underway and at anchor, as well as to be a comfortable, stylish family cruising yacht. The manufacturer’s goal was to achieve more main deck space and functionality for all sorts of uses -- and, provide more space than any boat on the market in class.

One of the advantages of being the newest design in class is the opportunity to survey everything on the market and do them one better. With a main deck living and entertaining space of 157 sq. ft. (14.58 sq. m), a seating scheme that can be rearranged depending on the occasion, full standing headroom at the helm and a sleek, very Euro hardtop profile, the Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe has a lot to offer. Clever innovations make the boat quite versatile -- much more so than traditional express designs.

Distinguishing Features

    - Large cockpit/aft deck
    - Moveable on-deck dinette seating module
    - Sleek hardtop with large standard sunroof
    - Forward cabin salon for maximum seating
    - Sterndrive or IPS pod drive propulsion
    - Sleeps 6 in two cabins
    - Full beam master with love seat
    - Large in-hull windows throughout
    - Large engine room

Innovative Main Deck

The most distinguishing feature of the new Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe is her cockpit/afterdeck. This is where boaters spend most of their time, so this is where the yacht's designers decided to create something remarkably large and functional. There is truly nothing quite like it on the market.

Living Large. The 390 Express Coupe's 157 sq. ft. cockpit/afterdeck was made possible by means of several design decisions. First, the hardtop's windshield was moved forward 3'6" (1.06 m). By doing this the designers could give the boat full standing headroom at the helm and have far better visibility forward than we find on many Euro designs.

Second, instead of running the side decks outside of the afterdeck, it went full-beam with the space available between the gunwales and moved the steps to the side decks forward, just abaft the hardtop enclosure.

Thirdly, afterdeck seating has been moved all the way to the rear of the main deck and has eliminated the traditional transom bulwarks that inevitably push seating forward.

Two easy steps up from the swim platform, the main deck is all one level from the transom gate to the companionway steps. With the expansive, one-piece windshield pushed so far forward, this space feels bigger than its actual measurement. Open the sunroof and it seems ever bigger. The flow of the space is comfortable and can be easily rearranged at the aft seating area.

Two Decks in One

Unique is a word hard to apply to yachts, but we can honestly use it when describing the 390 Express Coupe's afterdeck. Because the port side L-shaped settee can be moved athwartships to create a huge U-shaped banquette with a passage way to the stern on the port side -- or, be moved outboard to the port bulwarks with the passage way aft on the centerline, this space has versatility we have never seen before on an express cruiser this size.

How it Works. By the lifting of one locking pin at the deck, on the port side seat, the entire L-shaped assembly effortlessly glides to the center of the cockpit to meet up with the starboard side seating. Once in place, the locking pin engages into the deck and now a U-shaped seating arrangement has been formed, in seconds. There is no visible track or rail in the deck to trip over or get fouled with water and debris. In either position the afterdeck looks as if it were designed that way as nothing looks temporary or improvised.

Dual Entertainment Modes. With both L-shaped settees pushed out to the yacht’s bulwarks, the afterdeck is entered through low transom gates on the center line. For a cocktail party, the table to starboard can be lowered. Some guests will enjoy sitting there with their drinks easy at hand. Others will prefer sitting to port where they can get up and move around more easily to mingle.

The wet bar counter is polyethylene faux wood that eliminates maintenance and looks remarkably good due to the realistic grain pattern. This console can be optioned-out to fit each owner’s individual life style or entertaining needs.

Al Fresco Dining. Anyone who has been to waterfront marinas in the Mediterranean knows that Europeans love to have dinner with a large number of friends and family on the aft deck of their yacht with the stern facing the quay. In this way, they can keep an eye out for passing friends and be seen as well by passersby. There, it is a sundown ritual that adds great value to the European boating experience because of the fellowship and bonhomie that good food and wine engender aboard an elegant yacht.

The Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe was made for just his sort of evening-dining scenario. By moving the port L-shaped settee to starboard, and opening the leaf on the all-weather table and the addition of two folding chairs, 8 people can comfortable sit on the afterdeck.

Port Side Access. Access from the stern is to port between the seating and port bulwark. This makes it convenient for guests to board without interrupting those who have already seated themselves. Typically, it would take a boat at least 50’ (15.24m) LOA to seat these many people on the aft deck in comfort for dinner.

A Moveable Feast. Depending on the formality of the occasion, fresh fish or burgers can be prepared on the optional grill under the wet bar counter, or dinner might come from the full galley below -- or catered, for that matter. Families will like the versatility of the arrangement as well. Perhaps the starboard side seats and table will be used for a light breakfast and coffee in the morning. Lunch may be served picnic-style at anchor or underway in either configuration depending on the number of people aboard. Dinner can be served here or below, depending on weather or whim.

Sun Bathing Fortissimo

The seatbacks of the two settees can be electrically powered down horizontally to create a huge sun bathing pad. With the addition of a filler cushion, when the two seating modules are together, one giant sun bathing playpen can be created to rival anything available in the Mediterranean no matter what size the boat.

The Bow Pad. Everyone should get a healthy dose of vitamin D aboard the 390 Express Coupe and not just on the stern sun pad. Like most boats in class, the 390 can be equipped for sunning on the foredeck when at anchor and access there is easy from the aft deck. But, there’s more…

Largest Sunroof in Class: The hardtop comes standard with a canvas sunroof operated by a control toggle at the helm. At 42 sq. ft. (3.90 sq. m.), it baths the helm deck in sunshine. The sunroof sits in a channel in the hardtop frame and is retracted by a motorized system that neatly folds the canvas and stows it in the aft section of the hardtop.

When the top is opened, it gives the feeling that the entire top has been retracted, like a convertible top on a car, because it goes so far to the edge of the coupe roof. The builder tells us that this is the largest sunroof in class.

The portside companion seat is made for sunning as well as lounging in the shade or facing forward. It is fully under the open sun roof and a sun worshiper can sit facing forward or aft. When not in sunning mode, this seat can handle two people comfortably underway – one seated upright facing forward and one in the chaise position facing aft, or sitting upright facing the captain.

The Hardtop Design

The Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe is built for the world market, not just the U.S. For that reason her design, styling and functionality must be accepted all over the planet -- and be perceived as attractive by boaters with different cultural backgrounds. Europeans prefer a sleek profile with a windshield approaching the 17-degree rake of the famous Lamborghini Gallardo. While Cruisers Yachts hasn’t gone quite that far, the rake of her windshield is about 20-degrees, noticeably less than most American boats her size.

Standing Headroom. Many boaters all over the world like to stand at the helm of their express cruiser, as well as sit, and for that reason it became imperative that the 390 Express Coupe have both full-standing headroom at the helm with excellent visibility forward while standing. The builder accomplished this feat by moving the windshield 3.5’ (1.06 m) forward. In that way, the hardtop of the 390 could have both a sleek profile and full standing headroom.

Cockpit Enclosure. Optional canvas and isinglass enclosure is easily installed and removed from the track system that encompasses the whole super structure from the windshield area, aft. When all buttoned up the forward cockpit area can be completely climate controlled. Cruisers Yachts uses durable plastic channels both on the side isinglass windows and on the after curtains as well. We like this system because it makes it easy and quick to install and minimizes the number of snaps. We particularly like the sliding aft isinglass door.

Placement of Foredeck Access Steps. The foredeck access steps have been moved forward, to midships, allowing for a full beam cockpit seating and entertaining area. Transitioning from the cockpit to foredeck is made easy with side decks that measure 10” (25 cm) wide on deck. However, because the cabin sides are angled in as they rise to the coach roof and the safety rails are angled out, there is plenty of hip room for even portly men to pass along this deck. The bow rails are 25" (63 cm) high.

The Helm Deck

Helm Seating. The helm is designed for both the operator and a companion and has a double, richly upholstered seat, with attractive, contrasting stitching. The soft seat slides fore and aft. A foot rest flips down from the seat base and extends a few inches off the deck. Forward in the helm console there is an angled foot rest. All of this makes the helm seating comfortable and practical for both the operator and a companion.

The helm console itself is ergonomically designed with both the throttle and joystick easy at hand whether facing forward or aft. A raised instrument console has room for two navigation screens and is richly detailed in dark , simulated leather vinyl which has classy stitching. The steering wheel itself is stainless steel wrapped in leather and is a work of art. Perhaps most important, the console for the navigation screens is not so high as to impede forward visibility for a short person.

Full-Front, One-Piece Windshield. One of the critical areas of yacht construction on an express design such as the 390 Express Coupe is joined where the roof structure meets the upper edge of the windshield. When underway and going through wakes, we kept an eye on the fixed frame and hardtop super structure to see if it would sway or shimmy a bit when encountering some rough water. That never happened. The hardtop is strong and well designed with the supports in the right places and most important, not particularly intrusive in the line of sight for the operator.

The Stern

For years, Cruisers Yachts has built aft decks with moveable seating modules. With the new 390 Express Coupe we think they have finally perfected the concept in the largest moving seat module ever. From the perspective of the stern it looks attractive and natural whether the seats modules are in the port passageway or center-opening position.

The height of the swim platform is close to that of most floating docks, and with the platform extending beyond the bulwarks it is easy to step aboard. Likewise, the two low step risers makes entrance to the aft deck easy for both kids and grandparents. A shower wand is concealed in the port gunwale away from the shore power connector which is in the starboard dunnage box.

Faux Teak. As noted in the photo above we were particularly taken by the faux teak treatment on the stern storage boxes which is made by SeaDek. The material is Ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) which has excellent resistance to UV radiation, in addition to having stress-crack resistance, and a remarkably pleasing texture and feel. Not surprisingly, it costs 25% more than standard vinyl decking, but it seems certainly worth it.

Performance

We tested the Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe on a sunny day with a 10 knot breeze out of the west and a slight chop in semi-protected fresh water at an altitude of 577' (176 m). The 390 Express Coupe has a 39' (11.9 m) LOA, with a 12'8" (3.9 m) beam, a 16-degree deadrise at the transom, and a total tested weight of 21,365 lbs. (9,691 kgs.).

WOT Speed. The boat was powered by twin 430-hp MerCruiser 8.2 L Big Block gasoline engines driving through Bravo III sterndrives. The boat was equipped with the Mercury Axius joystick. At wide open throttle we were turning 4800 rpm and we recorded a top speed of 42.3 mph, burning 73.12 gph.

Best Cruise was found at 3500 rpm where we traveled at 27.8 mph and burned 35.7 gph for a range of 161 statute miles. In the test conditions we had we could let her rip because the ride was so comfortable. At 4500 RPM she went 39.0 mph. Range at best cruise is 161 statute miles which means the 390 was intended for local cruising.

Conversely, for those who like to smell the roses, at 1500 RPM she went 8.6 mph and burned 7.5 gph. That gives her a range of 236 statute miles.

Handling

The twin MerCruiser 8.2 MAG, Big Blocks had no problem getting the 390 Express Coupe up and on her way when we opened the throttles wide. When getting on plane we were surprised that she only had a bow rise between 8 and 9 degrees. When firmly on plane she had a running angle of 5-degrees and a small amount of trim to the drives got her settled into the groove.

Waves Bow-On. She was responsive to the controls and stable when maneuvering at speed. We took advantage of our camera boat’s wake a few times to see how she would handle the waves. The camera boat was the Cruiser Yachts Cantius 54 45 Cantius and she throws a hefty wake when hooked up and we put the 390 Express Coupe into the wake at a few different angles. Taking the wake on the bow was smooth as the 390 sliced right through them without any jarring.

When we took the wake on the beam, she was stable and well seated in the water, without much roll. When we took her through some confused seas in a tight turn at speed, she quickly settled down, providing a stable experience.

A solid Feeling. While it does not really come under the heading of "handling", one of the things that we particularly noticed when we were trying to get her to pound was how solid she felt -- and sounded. In some boats this size going 39 mph there can be a definite "crash" even in seas as low as two feet, but we did not hear or feel any such thing when we were driving through the photo boat's wake. The windshield stayed dry at all times.

Hull Design. The hull was designed by Donald L. Blount and Associates, which is one of the most respected naval architects in the recreational boating business. Blount and Associates have designed thousands of hulls from 20' all the way up to superyachts. In fact, some of the fastest large yachts ever built have been Blount designs.

This naval architectural firm has also been on the forefront of designed hulls for IPS pod drive boats. While the 390 Express Coupe we tested had sterndrives, diesel Volvo Penta IPS pod drives are available as an option and the hull has been specially designed for them.

16-Degree Deadrise. As noted above the bottom has a 16-degree deadrise at the transom. This is an important number as its not as deep as some in class which means that she should be more stable at rest and be more fuel efficient and, perhaps, slightly faster. Remember, the 390 is not an ocean racing powerboat which will be coming completely out of the water, so for that reason she does not need a deep-V in the stern. This is a detail consumers should understand when buying a yacht of this size and type.

Engine Options

Standard: Gas: Twin; Volvo Penta V8-380CE, 380-hp, DuoProp, EVC, with Joystick Control.

Optional: Gas: Twin; MerCruiser 8.2 MAG, 380 hp, Bravo 3X stern drives, Axius Joystick Control, SeaCore Anti-Corrosion System

Accommodations

Virtually all express coupes in this size range have permanent island berths forward, and a mid cabin above the companionway and a galley and settee with table, galley and head in between. The only question is whether the settee is to port or starboard. Cruisers Yachts has another solution, and after seeing it, we wonder why this hasn't been created more often in this size express.

Entertaining Below. Bearing in mind that one of the primary missions of this boat is entertaining, this builder quite rightly decided that a lower settee with table that seats three comfortably was not very functional, in addition to me just more me-too. What it has done was to simply banish the concept of an island berth -- which in this size range is often high, narrow, and impractical -- from the boat.

A banquette seating booth around a faux wood table that creates a convivial atmosphere, or a romantic venue, or whatever the occasion demands. Think Russian Tea Room, Sardi's, the Brown Derby, or a local waterside snuggery with low light and high times. Putting the salon in the bow of a boat is not a new concept, and it has been done for years in smaller powerboats and in sailboats this size quite effectively. So, the concept has already been proved. Now, Cruisers Yachts will prove it in a 39-footer express coupe.

There are several things going on in the bow that add utility that are worth mentioning. First, the seating is comfortable with inclined back rests rather than straight ones. Second, The banquette seating includes a comfort seat on the centerline in the bow making it possible for five or six people to have lunch or dinner here with adequate elbow room.

In the hull sides there are four safety glass windows that are remarkably large. This is one of the distinguishing features of the boat. In our test boat they were half obscured because of the Pullman berth arrangement, but without that option they are huge and -- make sitting below while underway a whole new experience. One of our crew sat below while running out to the testing grounds and was amazed at the amount of visibility forward.

Windows on the World. Imagine sitting there for dinner in an anchorage and being able to watch the latest arrival, and the anchoring fire drill while munching on lunch or dinner, or sitting there curled up with a good book during a summer rain shower.

Our test boat had all walnut joiner work, doors and bulkheads. This dark wood gives the interior an elegant look and feel. Above the windows were walnut cabinets port and starboard which put the bow flare to good use. The deck in the test boat had walnut Amteco vinyl decking which is used these days by many of the top quality boat builders. It is much easier to maintain and less costly to repair than real wood.

The table, just like the one on the afterdeck is made of a specially-made hard resin that has wood grain that is difficult to tell from the real thing. The whole boat is intended to be low maintenance and it starts right with the faux "wood" tables.

Of course, this table lowers in order to make a large V-shaped bed. Our test boat was fitted with port and starboard optional Pullman berths. The bed platform are the seat backs which swing up. It is in this configuration that a family, or even an extended family can do some fun summer cruising. For example, mom and dad can sleep in the mid cabin, and the four kids, or two kids and their friends can all sleep forward.

An alternative scenario is a 390 Express Coupe owned by the grandparents. Four grandchildren, or children and grandchildren can sleep forward as...

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The All New Viking 52’ Sport Tower

Like a Porsche, this sporty boat is Quick, Capable, and Timeless

Viking Yachts unveiled three new models last month, two of which were displayed at the VIP event held last month at Farley State Marina in Atlantic City – an awe inspiring 92’ Enclosed Bridge and a sporty new 52’ Sport Coupe with Tower. The 75’ Motoryacht was shown to dealers while still under construction at the Bass River factory located just up the road. Undoubtedly, you will read many articles on the incredible new 92’ and 75’ MY as they are indeed milestones for the Viking Yacht Company now celebrating its 50th year of building yachts. But, it was the smallest of these yachts that caught my eye. After a rigorous sea test with customers, I found the 52’ Sport Coupe to be a truly amazing machine.

First, let’s look at the stats. She’ll cruise efficiently at 34.5 knots and top out at 42 knots with the MAN V12 1,400hp ultra-smooth and smoke-free next generation engines. She carries 1,450 gallons of fuel with all tankage resulting in a range of over 400 nautical miles at cruise!!! Her massive 17’ 6” beam gives you an extremely roomy and stable fishing platform. And, here is a number you will not see on any other express boat: 6’ 3” engine room. Yes, over 6 feet of standing heading room in the engine room! Simply amazing and kudos to the designer David Wilson and team of Viking engineers – these guys really know what fishermen want.

We tested hull No.1 featuring an innovative 3 / 2 layout down below. This format gives you 2 private bunk rooms for your fishing buddies, and a nice queen size island birth forward with private head as the master’s domain. An optional open floor plan 2 stateroom layout is offered as well.

The whole idea behind an express boat is it keeps everybody in the action on main helm deck. You can’t fight a fish from the flybridge, right? The express design is perfect for owner-operators as well as hands-on captains wanting to be in the heart of the action. The innovative new 52 Sport Coupe (referred to as the 52 Sport Tower when so equipped) features a stylized hardtop with frameless hard glass enclosure. This is critically important because it eliminates plastic enclosures which leak and wear out over time. At speeds in excess of 40 knots, the wind and salt water come at you ferociously. But everyone stays bone dry and relaxed with the new 52 Sport Coupe because the glass enclosed helm keeps you and your crew feeling refreshed and ready to battle the fish.

My sea trial story... It was a memorable sea test. On board with me are my customers and Viking lead engineer Bill Gibbons at the helm. He had the boat running a quick 37 knots down sea in a blustery 4’ – 6’ Atlantic Ocean chop on an overcast day. She ran like a finely tuned Porsche on a circuit; sure footed, forgiving, and under total command. But, I was worried. I knew we would have to turn back into these seas. I am thinking - at some point we will need to turn around into this stuff. This is not going to be good! Just then Bill announces that not only is he planning to maneuver the boat into the nasty sea but that he wants to do a complete 360 degree turn in the slop so we can feel how the sea effects the hull. Now, I am getting really worried. I’m thinking; oh, heck (but I was using another four letter word in my head). This may be a 52 Viking, but that is the angry Atlantic. Am going to lose this sale for sure when we crash into these waves? Bill announces – “everyone ready, here we go”. To my shock, he holds the boat at a blistering speed as we begin to turn into the head sea. Wait…, wait…, wait… holding my breath…I am thinking the big bang is coming. Then, nothing. Still, nothing. No pounding. No shuttering. No slapping. As we complete the turn I finally take a breath of relief. I realize that we just experienced something special. Bill already knew this boat could eat up a head sea at speeds. He was like a proud parent showing off what he created. In a very calm and assuring voice he says; “She does ride nice, doesn’t she”. Nice? All I could think was OMG! We just did a full turn in 4’ – 6’ seas at 30+ knots without flinching! I would not have believed it had I not been aboard firsthand to experience it myself. We then proceeded to blaze home into the big seas without any fuss whatsoever. All I can think is - Wow!

On the way back, the customers’ captain pulled me aside and said “Matt, I’ve been running boats my whole life all over the world and it has been a long, long time since I’ve been surprised or impressed on a boat. I’ve got to tell you, I am impressed”. I was impressed too.

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