Archive for the ‘new boats’ Category

Chris craft center console Catalina 34 coming

triple engined outboard center console


Chris Craft joins the triple engine center console choices in an upscale, “Mega Yacht” type tender style, rather than as a pure fish boat. She is offered with 900 Horsepower in triple outboard engines with joy stick controls from either Mercury Marine or Yamaha. Expect the boat to be introduced 10.30.2014 as a 2015 boat model. Specs will be 34’ with a beam of 10’ 10” with a 21 degree deep vee bottom. The beam allows for a double sun lounger with arm rests, triple helm chairs, and a L-shaped bench across the transom that allows walk-thur access to the swim platform without removing seating cushions. A Glass Cockpit style of engine and electronic controls all displayed in two big, side by side 15” screens will be the way to go at the helm station.

A special optional feature is the “summer kitchen” with grill, inverter, refrigerator / freezer, sink and storage areas. What a way to entertain on the water! This should prove to be popular.

Note that Chris Smith built his first boat ( for hunting ducks) around 1874 at the age of 13 in Michigan. Speedboats/runabouts, and racers soon came along after that. By 1927 Chris Craft was the largest maker of wooden mahogany boats. Chris’ son, Jay, took over before W. W. II and did an outstanding job of running the family business. During the war, they build 10,000 small boats for the war effort. 1959 saw Chris Craft with 5,000 employees in over 10 plants. Hansen then took the reins and made the cover of Time magazine.

After World War II, Chris-Craft recommenced commercial boat production with renewed vigor. By 1959, Chris-Craft had 10 factories and more than 5,000 employees. Leadership of the company passed to Chris Smith‚Äôs grandson, Harsen. When interviewed by Time magazine, he attributed Chris-Craft’s success to the family rather than any individual within it.

After some hard times under various owners, Chris Craft has now had steady ownership and good management.

chris craft center console 34 fiberglass triple engined outboard

One of several top choices

Two or Three Engines for you?

Caution, if you pick the three engines choice for your boat, watch your propeller selection, lower unit life, and fuel mileage. Both choices are good choices for a $350,000 new Center Console boat. Say, one in the mid-30s in length.

Prop selection. In a three engine power set-up, the center engine uses a different spec prop than the two outside ones to properly match the engines to the boat. With two engines, the two propellers are the same spec and mount on the transom at a uniform height. This mounting height may, or not, be true for a triple engine boat.

With the different prop spec and other correcting mounting adjustments necessary for a three engine boat, the life of trouble-free use of the center engine seems to be in question. Often, the lower unit below the cavitation plate has a shorter life within the center engine, compared to the two outside engines. Make sure that the warranty of all your engine parts are covered by a factory guarantee plan with your three engine boat and that it clearly states that all three engines on your one boat are equally covered and any warrantee plan extension is also available with the same equal engine coverage -FOR ALL THREE ENGINES.

Seabuddy took two center consoles listed below, one with two engines, one with three. In all of these sets of rounded numbers the three engine boat is listed first. Length 35’ 6”, 33’ 6”; Beam 10’ 10”, 11’ 7”; 90 GPH fuel burn at 54 MPH, 68 GPH at 51 MPH; 33 MPH with 33GPH fuel burn, 31 MPH with a 25 GPH fuel burn.


$364,000 Center Console 35’ – Part One

New boats are selling in smaller numbers than in the past. Sales forecasting requires a boat builder to account for their direct costs as always, but today one must divide company overhead over far less units. This new boat market demands a new pricing model, which makes for a state of the art boat, but with each unit shouldering a high percentage of the overall company’s basic cost of business per boat unit expected to be sold. Administration, advertising, and keeping-the-doors open expenses add more money onto each boat – than ever before.

When Seabuddy was the fifth largest Wellcraft boat dealer in the world, the new boat business was different.  All of us in the marine industry were eyeing the coming shorter work week and more time for fun on the days off from work. So, we had long conversations on how boats should try beat out other recreational choices for the consumer fun dollar.

But the home builder’s got us. They built bigger/fancier houses and that made the shorter work week impractical. Heck, it even put Mom to work to afford those houses. Then there was always a series upon series of more issues that pounded boat pricing and made a new boat higher priced.

Some came from within the industry. The first outdrive boat engine was only 80 horsepower. Now what is an acceptable power level? Bow rider seating and a walk-thru windshield to access those cushy seats added costs. Boat builders added better quality.

Some price increase pressure came from government. California banned many bottom paints, requiring research dollars to invent new ones. The EPA wanted cleaner engines. Safer fuel tanks. Anti-siphon valves.

This boat is a 35’ 6” Center Console with a 10’ 10” beam that weights roughly 7 tons. She goes 0 to 30 MPH in around 11 seconds and its top speed is right at 55 MPH.

Well, the boat business is back to where it was in the 1920’s. Boats seem to be affordable to the rich only. Question. Do you agree?

Mouse Block that roars

What happens when a knowledgeable marine engine builder starts down the waterway towards a High Performance Go-fast small block “mouse” marine engine? 570 horsepower at 6,000 rpm from a mouse engine block that roars.

ilmor 570 engine marine image sport boat race, pleasure, go fast, offshore

Side profile of Ilmor 2014 small block 570 HP marine engine

Chevy (GM) makes lots of blocks just like they make lots of engines. They make a LS-series small-block V-8 that is the basis of an engine that makes 750 horsepower at 7,100 RPM. But, it is only intended for short-burst runs. Think 12 seconds at a time. Question, can one start with that small block and modify it for marine use where a run down the lake may take 25 minutes or longer?

Paul Ray decided that it could be done. He is president of Ilmor. Ilmor started in 1983. Seabuddy believes that the seed money for Ilmor was provided by Roger Penske.

Seabuddy attended a charity roast for Roger in Palm Springs, CA a long time ago. Unfortunately, the racers on the dais that night cared that Mr. Penske did not really want to be roasted, so they did not say a lot of dirt. And Roasts are about good-fun dirt. Only, Augie Pabst, who had raced against him in the late 1950s to middle 1960s, told the stories that we, in the audience, carne to hear. Augie is heir to the Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer Company, and basically stated that he was beyond any future blackmail pay-back from Roger, so he let it rip. Good fun and a great story about a rental car left in a swimming pool after one race. Seabuddy will say no more.

Back on topic, Ilmor built engines for Mercedes Benz, Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, Honda, Me Laren and Indy Cars, among others. Within CART races their engines won 64 out of78 races in five years. Ownership of Ilmor has changed over the years and Paul Ray got more ownership of the company each time from Penske, Chevrolet, and Mercedes Benz. Also, Ilmor Engineering has since expanded to facilities in NC, MI, and the UK.

Marine engines began with a racing presence with Skater for catamarans and Fountain for vee- bottoms in 2002. These were often with an Ilmor V-I 0 engine set that started with a Chrysler Viper block. By 2010, Paul Ray expanded his pleasure boat line-up with a 5.7 liter 320 horsepower at 5,000 RPM, a 6.0 382 HP at 5,200 RPM engine, and a 430 Hp at 5,400 RPM engine. All with Chevy blocks and all are catalyzed. These engines are used by Mastercraft and are considered tow boat water sports engines. To top off that line up, for 2012, Ilmor made a 454 cubic inch mouse motor small block (also catalyzed) which is good for 522 horsepower at 5,800 RPM. This is the most powerful CAT engine and it runs on 87 octane gas. This CAT converter engine runs 70% cleaner in emissions testing than a non-CAT would.

These 2010 engines were first used by boat builder Mastercraft in their water ski tow boats, wakeboard boats and family tubing usage. See their 2014 Prostar, for example. The last engine (522 HP) was developed for use in their over 25′ and their heavier family ski boats (see their X-55 model). They have sold at least 300 of these 522 engines now.

Ilmor engineering tow boat engine for Mastercraft

Ilmor 522 Hp small block marine engine for Mastercraft boats

Now, the Mouse block motor that roars! Hey, 570 horsepower at 6,000 RPMs is a roaring mouse.  They used the Chevy (GM) Racing LS-X block as a starting point. That block has a 4.185 bore and a 4.l25 stroke. That makes it a 454 cubic inch displacement in a small block V-S. Then Ilmor modified the block in house, primarily in taking steps to keep up good oil pressure while running very fast down the bay.

This is a cast iron engine part that uses a 6-bolt cylinder head attachment pattern. GM makes a drag racing 6-bolt head that matches up to this block that takes 2.25 inch intake and 1,625 exhaust valves. Again, Ilmor modifies this part, too. Let’s just say, a lot of longer wide- open throttle running durability improvements is tied to special oil circulation and engine temperature control. These are hand built engines with many parts custom-fabricated to Ilmor’s design specifications- including forged cranks, rods, and pistons. This last engine does not have CAT Converters.

Ilmor engineering small block chevy 570 Hp marine engine

Another view of the Ilmor most powerful, 570 Hp small block chevy


Ilmore engineering 570 small block chevy

Green finished 570 Hp small block chevy by Ilmor Marine Engieering

Jeff Hunton 2014 Powerboat coming to US

Offshore racer Hunton designs and builds fast boats for Europe and the Med. He has raced in major races across the pond back to 1975.  His boat designing and fast pleasure craft boat building  started in 1979. Now one of his sport boat designs is coming to the USA.

hunton powerboat go fast 37 marine boat photo image

Jumping a wake shows her bottom shape

She is a 37’ 3” 65 MPH Go-Fast with luxury that has a 8’ 6” beam.  Boats destined for the United States will have 860 horsepower, while, due to fuel taxes, European boats use Volvo diesels. Watch a part of the video… skip forward to 96 seconds into the 2:21 second video and then watch for a minute.

Hunton Powerboats crafts this boat in Hampshire, England for the bespoke crowd. She is not a racer. She is a fast pleasure boat (or day boat) with overnight (extended weekend) accommodations.  The boat comes with a bow thruster, an electric anchor winch, and teak accents in the cockpit/ side decks. Think Gentleman’s Racer, not boat racer.

The company is well known in its current marketplace, thus the expansion to the U S. This is not an easy market to conquer as it is a big one (with many sub-sections), one that requires that all the electronics, mechanical, and systems be changed here, or installed here by a sub-contractor (thus requiring Hunton shipping incomplete boats across the Atlantic), or all these things shipped in from the U S, installed on a boat, and then the completed boat package being shipped back to the U S. Check for yourself how they are handling this, including service manuals and local warrantee support details.

cabin 37 hunton powerboat boat photo image

upscale cabin interior


powerboat gentlemens racer boat photo image

coming in 2014 powerboat

Wood Runabout takes off level and rides level

Here is a modern boat that brings a real flat take-off and ride to a sport classic style wooden boat. Take a look here..  and see her flat take off and running angle. It is really something else if you are used to a deep vee bottom boat.

Why? Where is the magic that delvers that wonderful take-off? Bottom shape, chine width at the transom, a good weight balance point accomplished by engine weight location, and direct drive shaft angle; all combine for the accomplished goal.

clarion boats 23 wooden runabout straight shaft inboard sport boat

take a look at her bottom

She is a straight inboard with a double cockpit forward layout. That allows the engine to come forward within the hull. Plus she can have a straight drive, not a vee-drive. And she is family friendly design while underway.

This is a 23’ 4” hand-crafted boat with a 6’ 6” beam.  She is a planked, cold molded original design. Clarion does not stretch or shorten boat designs to fit different model lengths like Fountain Power Boats. They computer cut their frames and hand fit their layers of planking.

Most boats use a 350 Chevy Mercruiser engine of 300 horsepower for a great push in the back take-off and a equally thrilling top speed at WOT. Other engines are available but few owners choose them.

A wood runabout with a cockpit trimmed in fine leather and with proper chrome hardware sparkles at pier side or on the open water. Nickel hardware is a special order item. The level of finish on all three materials is stunning.

Does this boat builder build and restore “over-the-top” boats? Yes. Their shop has been around for years. A wooden boat shop servers the boating market via it’s craftsmanship in 2013.

Buyers want quality in their wooden boats. A good ride is not enough. Few utilitarian wood boat builders are around anymore. Folks want a bright finished mahogany runabout or utility now. At sunset, a wooden boat owner wants a piece of art that one rubs a hand over and says, that is my boat and she is a beauty.

clarion boats wooden runabout planked mahogany

low flat wake


clarion boats 23 planked wooden runabout

dual cockpit forward with a straight shaft inboard


clarion boats canada runabout planked inboard

engine in the straight shaft wooden inboard


clarion boat cold molded planked mahogany cedar fir frame hand made crafted

cold molded construction for this mahogany runabout


computer drafted cut framing for wood clarion boat

computer cut framing for Clarion Boat



Did Don Aronow race Donzi boats?

Yes, and he won three times in Donzi boats. That was in 1965 and in1966. Don had also won the year before, in 1964 in his 27’ Claudia II. However, #seabuddy would not call his win in 1964 in a Bahamas race in his Claudia II boat as a Donzi Marine boat.



May 2, 1967 the first Claudia race boat. Made of wood. Designed by Howard Abbey.

I believe that her wood hull pre-dated the design team that made Formula Boats, as well as the Donzi Brand team that followed Formula Marine in Don’s stream of boat companies. There are photos of Claudia II inside one of Don’s boat factories, but it was in for service, not construction, in my opinion.

Thus, Don raced and won first place three times in Donzi Boats which was in the 1965 -1966 time frame. These wins were in Donzi Marine boats, either named Donzi 007 or Donzi 008. Both were 28’ Donzi Marine boats.

By the way, the Claudia II 27’ boat design was sold to Marlin Boatworks an out of state boat builder, while a 23’ design became the very popular 233 for Formula Marine which he sold to Merrick Lewis and his Thunderbird operation.

Back to the story subject here, we all know that Don Aronow won 1st place in more than 4 races. So, what boat brands did he drive to a 1st place win in all his other races in?

The simple answer is 27’ Magnum and 32’ Cary brand name boats. The confusing issue is the boat names and as they compared to the boat brands registered with the race organizers of his boats. Second, depending on the race, Don Aronow would race his outboard, inboard, or a sterndrive version boat of the same boat name with one, two or three engines. His six Magnums were named/ called Maltese Magnum. He called /named his Carys The Cigarette as he often had a business deal that kept his name off boats companies or out of being registered as the boat builder of record. Hey, racing is fun and busiess should not slow down racing!.

Finally, Don was named World Champion in 1967, 1968, and in 1969. Plus, he won so many races in that 1969 racing year that his name will always be remembered.


donzi race boat 008

Donzi Marine race boat. Fiberglass. Race winer in 1966

Cobalt Boats Sets the Runabout World on Fire with its New R 5 Model

Her hull is designed for big lakes, open sounds, and expansive bays. Her interior is especially “yachtesque” with a dance-floor-wide cockpit in a bow rider configuartion. Exceptional water and pier access has been designed-in, not offered as an option. The new R 5 Cobalt is a customer’s boat. Understanding functional luxury requires study of this boat.

fiberglass boat photo image cobalt r 5

The running surface of the new 2013 Cobalt R 5

Cobalt listens to its customers and then it designs a boat to meet their needs. This Cobalt boat has a 21 degree transom deadrise, narrowed strakes, a sharper bow entry angle, and a careful respect to boat balance. Take a ride, experience how a sport boat can perform on your waters.

A driving push for this boat is the cockpit experience for boat owner and guests alike. Take a look for yourself—Cobalt has done something way different here than others have done in the past. The main seating offers many surprises that delight all onboard. The bow cockpit seating is huge and provides a wonderful place to lounge in the sun on the water. Shade is available for the main cockpit. The on-board storage on this boat is outstanding The head is easy to enter and generously big once inside. This runabout defines “ergonomics” for this class of sport boat. Vinyl, leather, hi-tech fiberglass, custom crafted metal, and a touch of wood accent trim sets an ambiance that few can match, even when one compares this new boat model boat to a classic boat from the 1930s.

fiberglass inboard outboard cobalt boat photo image bow rider

The new R 5 Cobalt bow rider, factory boat photo

Cobalt’s new R 5 has a LOA of 25’ 8” with a beam of 8’ 6” and a weight of around 4,900 LBS. She is certified by the Coast Guard to carry 14 passengers or 2,250 LBS of passengers and gear. Cobalt offers a selection of engines from 300 to 430 horsepower.

seabuddy thanks Cobalt for its photos.

Baglietto Ship Yard; new 30 knot, 144 foot Aluminum Monokini mega yacht w/ fold down balconies, Monaco boat show

Using all of her 7,200 horsepower, Monokini  is a fast mega-yacht with her top is 34.5 MPH. This 44-meter yacht uses an aluminum hull and deckhouse with all of her naval architecture and engineering done in-house by Baglietto. The yacht’s styling was done by designer Alberto Mancini.

2013 Baglietto 144' mega yacht

Monokini, the Baglietto mega yacht is stll in her slings in this factory photo

Baglietto was founded in 1854 in Varazze, Italy near Genoa. The first two memorable boats were the 1906 boat for Pope Leo XIII at 74’ in length (Giuseppina), and the 44’ motorboat for Giacomo Pucini, the composer of Madame Butterfly, in 1911 (Cio—Cio-San). The yard also built airships, seaplanes and naval vessels. One of their planes/pilots held the world’s altitude record at one time.

Both powerboats and sailboats from the yard did well in competition also. The powerboat competition hull shape was developed into an effective anti-submarine naval craft. A Baglietto MAS (Motoscafo Armato Silurante or Italian for: “Torpedo Armed Motorboat”) was the desired craft for several governments and other shipyards were asked to build to the MAS Baglietto plans and specs when the need for more boats exceeded the yard’s capacity.


wooden yacht from Baglietto yacht yard med italy

Wood Baglietto Yacht


By the 1950s, Baglietto directed itself to wood pleasure boat yacht building. First they built planked wooden yachts and then they switched to marine plywood constructed wood yachts, much the same path as fellow Italian boat builder Riva followed. Their production series of yachts were introduced at this time. Four sizes were offered. The smallest was the 37’, followed by the 45’, 65’ and finally the 72’. These boats were sold world-wide and seabuddy understands that one size had a multi-year run of something like 43 units. By 1975 aluminum yacht construction  replaced wood boat building at Balietto.

production Baglietto boat yard yachts

Factory photo from the late 1950s- early 1960s of their wood yachts

Monokini is the name of the newest Baglietto mega yacht. But, she is not the largest at 144’. That title goes to a mega yacht that measured 190’. Monokini will be at the Monaco boat show, although she is a SOLD boat.

wood baglietto motor yacht cabin cruiser photo image

One of several production Baglietto motor yachts

Jet Boats, Glastron, Scarab, Chaparral, Four Winns, Sea Ray, Callinectes Boat Works, and Yamaha

Buy now or wait as more are coming!

Only one of these boats comes with a wood hull and wood deck, this 16’ Runabout is from Maine boat builder, Callinectes Boat Works or . However, most of their customers, after a lot of discussion, go with a wood deck-fiberglass hull boat model. Talk about a classic styled, fun runabout! This boat will knock your socks off!

classic wood boat with jet power inboard engine

New 16' water-jet powered Classic Styled Maine-built Runabout

She is not a reproduction, she is an original design by Glen Shivel and Scott Lambert featuring a soft-riding, semi-vee bottom shape. This boat is easy to look at, quick to plane and fun.  She runs around a lake like she is a classic Riva Junior or Chris Craft Riviera. If you go with a fiberglass hull and a wood deck selection, she is a light weight (1,100 LBS) and about a $49,000 modern boat.

classic wood runabout inboard don aronow 188th street jet powered water

Nice lines and curves for a 16' two cockpit boat

She is a water-jet boat, an inboard, as classed by the U.S. Coast Guard. Yamaha jet boats are best sellers in 19, 21, and 24’ sizes. Sea Ray, using the same brand engine and water jet drive as this Callinectes Boat Works model has already introduced one for themselves this year.

SHH! Scarab, Chaparral, Four Winns, and Glastron will have theirs by this coming Xmas, 2013! They will have one or two models each by then. These last boat builders intend to use the “inboard jet propusion system” from BRP. It, like an outboard from the fifties, has the engine, controls, fuel and jet pumps, exhaust, electrical, propulsion, and cooling systems as a package. It is an easy and one-stop shopping experience for a boat builder to install. Note, BRP has spent $15 million and added 137 employees at its Evinrude outboard factory to bring this power package to market.

Seabuddy has inspected this boat (the one I looked at had the fiberglass hull choice, which he prefers for this boat) and hopes to do a sea trial once the weather warms up in Kennebunkport, ME.

water jet boat engine BRP glastron four winns scarab yamaha sea ray

Rumors suggest that the engine color will change for boats