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Spring Cleaning? Don’t Miss the Engine Room!

Spring Cleaning
Spring cleaning

Spring cleaning your engine room has long-term benefits.

A dirty engine room is like dirty fingernails; it says a lot about your boat’s overall cleanliness. The accumulation of dust, sea spray, oil, and other fluids in the engine room can affect a boat’s value as well as the boat’s seaworthiness. The boat may look great outside, but it is sick inside and may be dying. “A boat that’s a mess down below can be difficult to repair when there is a problem,” explains Issy Perera, owner of Apex Marine in Miami. “That’s why a clean engine room and pre-flight check at the dock is so critical. Keeping a tidy engine room offers three advantages: It preserves the value of your boat, prevents issues before they start and helps you spot bigger problems faster.”

With some vigorous spring cleaning, boat owners can separate engine room clean-up into three areas:

• Mechanical issues associated with the engine

• Electrical issues with batteries and connections

• Auxiliary systems such as seacocks, sea strainers and watermakers

When it’s clean, problems are seen.

Perera puts down clean, oil-absorbent pads in the engine room so that he can see immediately if there are drips or leaks. During his frequent checks of the engine room he scans for dust that may be a sign of a worn or slipping belt, or if there’s smoke or residue from a leaking exhaust hose.

Anything out of place—loose clamps, wires or hoses—is obviously a sign that something is amiss and needs to be checked out. “There’s an awful lot of stuff in play in the engine room,” says Perera, who runs his 51-foot sportfishing boat to The Bahamas with friends and family. “Once you make a habit of getting down there and cleaning every time you go out, you’ll begin to notice things. You become very in tune with your boat and can also perform vital fluid maintenance.”

Making sure oil is at the proper level and changing it regularly benefits your diesel engine in innumerable ways. While a diesel engine may run at low rpms, it’s still working hard whenever it is running, and the engine oil does more than lubricate moving parts and reduce friction. Oil also keeps pistons and cylinders cool, and protects the walls, valves and turbochargers by acting as a sealant to stop corrosion.

Whether or not to change your own engine oil depends on your mechanical skill level. Most new boats have oil-changing pumps that make it easy to get the oil out, but older boats don’t have such conveniences. You’ve got to get down and dirty to find the oil pan and drain the oil. The bottom line is changing the oil can be a big job that’s not worth the hassle. However, it’s a great idea to know how to change filters and add oil when needed.

Eye on electricity

“Some people will start to spray water all over the engine room, and that’s when things can really get screwed up,” warns Perera. “You have to know what you can and cannot spray. That’s why it can be a benefit for some boat owners to have a qualified marine professional do the maintenance on their boat so they can just turn the key and go.”

Many diesel engines use sacrificial anodes known as “pencil zincs” to counter galvanic corrosion. It’s important to check the zincs often and replace them when they are worn out. “If you let those zincs expire you can have major problems,” Perera cautions. “I’ve seen them wear out after three or four months. Now, they don’t use zincs on all brands, so boat owners need to check their book and find out and then know how to change them when needed.”

Many of today’s diesel engines use covered plugs and connectors for the electrical system, but if you do have exposed connections, there are ways to ward off corrosion. Boeshield T-9 is a spray-on product that creates a film over the exposed connection and protects it from the saltwater environment.

Focus on the fluids

Many boat owners don’t give thru-hulls and seacocks much thought regarding maintenance. They might think of thru-hulls, made of bronze or plastic, as finished-off holes in the boat, and seacocks, also available in bronze or plastic, as simply valves that can be opened or closed. However, when there’s a serious failure of a below-the-waterline thru-hull and seacock, the boat can sink or an engine can burn up when deprived of cooling intake water.

Thru-hull fittings and the seacocks attached to them function as gatekeepers, allowing water to pass into and out of the boat. Thru-hulls are both above the waterline for bilge and A/C water discharge, and below the waterline in combination with seacocks for raw-water intakes for engines, generators, A/C systems, washdown pumps, and more.

When doing maintenance, test bronze thru-hulls with a pocketknife by poking into the flange. If you see bright shiny bronze you are okay, but if you uncover pink, flaky material, it’s time to replace it. Likewise, plastic thru-hulls can crack and leak. Thru-hulls can be fouled by barnacles, and you want to check the seacocks to make sure they open and close smoothly and that there are no leaks.

One cool tool

Finally, Perera recommends every cruising boat owner have a wet vacuum that’s always at the ready. Wet vacs allow for the fast removal of accumulated water, which helps prevent bacterial growth as well as keeping the area clean. “We can help customers clean up their engine rooms, but sometimes it’s a do-it-yourself job and that’s where you have to have the wet vac,” Perera says. “You don’t want standing water or fluids in your boat, and again, any fluid is a sign that something is wrong. Fix the problem, eliminate the fluids, and you’re going to be a much happier boat owner.”  

— By Doug Thompson, Southern Boating Magazine January 2017

A New Type of Formula

new type of Formula

“Formula’s new 430 Super Sport Crossover does much more than just raise the bar. It radically transforms the boating experience by offering everything sport cruiser buyers want in one single model.”

In addition to putting in a full workweek few people actually volunteer to work their weekends, unless you’re a workaholic. But when an opportunity for a Sunday afternoon cruise (i.e. sea trial) on the new Formula 430 Super Sport Crossover (SSC) is offered, you take it.

In a post-recession market economy where every boatbuilder seeks to introduce the newest and best flagship model in time for the fall boat shows, Formula’s 430 Super Sport Crossover presented itself as one of the strongest contenders at the 57th Annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show last November. That shouldn’t be a surprise for cruiser-style aficionados since Formula has been debuting revolutionary new products for some time. Their original, very successful line of Super Sport models bridged the gap for boat buyers wanting a sleeker version of their cruisers. Then about four years ago, Formula debuted its 350 Crossover Bowrider.

The 430 SSC concept followed, was two years in the making and designed from the outset for outboard propulsion as the market grew significantly. Formula designer John Adams used the glass grid, stepped-hull concept of the 370 and 400 Super Sport models from which to base Hull No. 1 of the new 430 SSC design. This first hull is not for sale but is being featured exclusively at boat shows and for sea trials. Consequently, it’s decked out with every possible option imaginable.

Even at first glance the high-tech and somewhat futuristic styling is immediately apparent with its sharply angled edges, window design elements and strong color accents. (It almost reminded me of the “Transformer” toys my sons used to play with.) On the 430 SSC “high-tech” is more than just an exterior design style, and more examples become evident once you’re on board.

Starting at the side console helm, each of the three seat bottoms adjust individually for three different positions with adjustable footrests. While adjustable seats may not necessarily qualify as high-tech, what does qualify are the strategically placed air conditioning vents in the seat backs that keep the skipper and crew cool on hot summer days. A Yeti cooler that slides out from under the helm seat provides easy access to beverages. The dash accommodates either three 16-inch or two 19-inch Raymarine chartplotters in addition to the Raymarine gS95 master control and wireless iPad™ control with Mercury DTS with SmartCraft VesselView. Quad Mercury 300 Verado outboards are standard, but you can upgrade to Quad 350s or 400s.

Now, in case you suspect the high-tech on board is limited to the helm, think again. The 430 SSC ensures that your digital-savvy passengers—especially those with a penchant for taking selfies—have fully charged devices at all times. USB charging ports are located throughout the boat in all the seating areas. To keep your tweens and millennials further entertained, their playlists can be synched with the Rockford Fosgate® AM/FM stereo system mounted at the dash with iPod/USB port and Bluetooth. Ten JL Audio® blue LED lighted speakers in the cockpit complement the blue-white LED lighting in every zone on the boat. For extra tech appeal and entertainment, opt for the “Sound-to-Light” upgrade with Wi-Fi control features to sync their music to the underwater lights for a fun light show.

Whether your guests like sun or shade, wind or calm, the 430 SSC’s multiple seating zones ensure every guest experiences the ride and view they prefer. There truly is not a bad seat on the boat, and I tried every one of them. Two defined seating areas in the 430’s SmartZone design—a U-shaped lounge with a settee on the port side—are cushy and comfortable. The lounge backrest can be pushed forward to be used as a backrest for the aft sunpad, but if there’s not enough room for everyone wanting sun, just open the motorized glass sunroof, lower the cockpit table and insert the filler cushions. The forward seating area also transforms into a sunpad by lowering the table and inserting filler cushions, or a sunshade can be inserted for a welcome respite. With separate stereo control, a dual-compartment cooler and trash container, the bow area transforms into its own private, onboard oasis.

The chef on board has his choice of two locations for food prep. The outdoor kitchen with optional electric grill includes a storage drawers, Corian® countertop, fiberglass molded sink, stainless pullout fridge, dedicated trash container, and paper towel holder.

Below deck, the well-appointed cabin—with impressive 6′ 6″ headroom—affords a cruising couple overnight accommodations in a queen-sized Sensus® memory foam bed. A U-shaped Ultraleather lounge electrically lowers and converts to an additional sleeping area for occasional overnight guests. Corian countertops are in the stand-up head and small galley to starboard, which comes equipped with an LED-lit wine cabinet and Keurig coffeemaker. (Formula uses exclusive Corian colors for their boats that are not available for any other customers.) A large pullout Vitrifrigo stainless steel refrigerator is situated across from the galley on the port side along with a stereo remote control, air conditioning and light controls, and a LaunchPort charging system for the Formula-provided iPad. (My sea trial host said they tested the ability of the LaunchPort to hold the iPad during a particularly rough sea and the iPad didn’t move one iota, another testament to the technology used on the 430 SSC.)

For buyers of outboard models in this size range, I’d be hard-pressed to decide exactly who wouldn’t like the 430 SSC since it addresses so many needs. It’s as if all the high-demand elements of Formula’s very successful models were transformed into a completely different package with a personality all its own: part open bow, part cruiser, part center console, but still all Formula, all fun!


LOA: 43′

LOA w/Outboards Trailered: 48′

Beam: 12′

Draft: 40″

Displacement: 25,200 lbs.

Fuel/Water: 500/56 U.S. gals.

Power: Mercury Quad Verado® 300 w/Joystick Piloting Q-1200 2.6 (standard); Mercury Quad Verado® 350 w/Joystick Piloting Q-1400 2.6; Mercury Racing® Quad Verado® 400 w/Joystick Piloting Q-1600 2.6

Cruise/Top Speed (w/300s): 35-40/51-53

Range: 300 miles (estimate)

MSRP(base): $1,054,000; $1,346,460 (this model with upgrades)

Formula Boats
2200 West Monroe Street
Decatur, Indiana 46733
(800) 736-7685

—By  Liz Pasch, Southern Boating Magazine January 2017

Saint Patricks Day Menu

Saint Patricks Day Menu

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a traditional Irish menu. While Corned Beef and Cabbage is often associated with St. Patrick’s Day, Irish stew made with lamb is the national dish of Ireland. Slainte! 

Irish Lamb Stew
3 1/2 lbs. lamb shoulder or leg, cut into 2-inch cubes (may substitute beef chuck)
Salt and pepper
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 small onions, quartered
8 garlic cloves, crushed (or ½ tsp. garlic powder)
6 tbsp. olive oil
6 tbsp. flour
1 cup wine
4 cups beef stock (canned or made from bouillon cubes)
4 cups of water
½ lb. carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
¾ lb. potatoes, cubed
Pinch parsley and dried mint (optional)
Crusty bread and butter, for serving
Season the lamb with salt and pepper. In a large covered soup pot, heat 3 tablespoons of oil until hot. Add lamb, onions and garlic, and cook over moderate heat until browned, 10-15 minutes. Transfer meat mixture to a large plate. Add 6 tablespoons of oil to pot, then whisk in flour, cooking for 1 minute. Add wine, stock and water; whisk until smooth and bring to a simmer. Add lamb and onions back in, cover and cook stirring occasionally until the lamb is tender, about 1 hour. Add carrots and potatoes and cook another 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, parsley and mint. Serve with crusty bread and butter.

Creamy Caesar Dressing
2 anchovies, chopped (or 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce)
½ cup mayonnaise
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tbsp. vinegar (any kind except balsamic)
¼ cup olive oil
¼ tsp. each, salt and pepper
4 tbsp. lemon juice
Place all ingredients in bowl and whisk well.

Kale Caesar Salad
6 cups kale leaves, washed, dried and torn into bite-sized pieces
2 tbsp. finely grated Irish cheddar or Parmesan cheese
1-2 tbsp. Creamy Caesar dressing
2 slices of bread, toasted and cut into croutons
Place kale in salad bowl. Drizzle dressing over kale, sprinkle with parmesan and toss. Place croutons on top just before serving.

Irish coffee
4 cups strong, hot coffee
6 oz. Irish whiskey
6 tsp. brown or white sugar
1 cup whipped cream
Pour 1 cup coffee each into 4 mugs or Irish coffee glasses. Divide whiskey and sugar between the mugs and stir each to combine. Top each with whipped cream and serve immediately.

Guinness Brownies
1 cup stout (Guinness)
16 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. (2 ¼ sticks) unsalted butter
1 ½ cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla (optional)
¾ cup flour
1 ½ tsp. kosher salt
Bring stout to a boil and cook until reduced to 1/2 cup. Melt 12 ounces chocolate and 1 cup butter in microwave on 20 percent power or in medium saucepan on low until melted and smooth. Whisk sugar, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in chocolate mixture, then 1/4 cup stout from pan. Fold in flour and 1 1/4 teaspoons salt. Pour batter into a standard 8×8 prepared pan. Bake brownies until surface begins to crack and a tester inserted into center comes out clean, 35-40 minutes. Let cool for at least 20 minutes. Melt remaining 4 ounces of chocolate as above and add reserved 1/4 cup reduced stout, remaining 2 tablespoons butter, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Whisk until well blended. Pour warm glaze over brownies. Let stand at room temperature until glaze is set, about 40 minutes. Remove brownies from pan and cut into squares. 

With Lori Ross, Southern Boating Magazine March 2017

Top 15 Tenders and RIBS

15 Tenders and RIBS

Tougher fabrics, lighter accessories and more powerful engines have continued the trend of making today’s tenders and RIBs more versatile than ever. For some, a RIB is their only vessel, a do-it-all wonder that is easy to operate, gentle around other boats because of the rubber collar, and filled with features (like a head) that make them comfortable for all.

While the highly functional 12-foot RIB has become popular, one builder has expanded the idea further to make a RIB that also goes on dryland—Sealegs’ Interceptor 9000. Equipped with three retractable wheels, the Interceptor 9000 can transition from the water to shore and the roads, and back again. While a boat with wheels may not be what you’re looking for, today’s top RIB models for 2017 are sure to offer a surprise or two.

Here’s a look at some of today’s top RIB builders and their models, and how one may perfectly suit your needs.Without further ado, our Top 15 Tenders and RIBs!

By Doug Thompson, Southern Boating Magazine March 2017

1Nautilus 12 DLX

The new Nautilus 12 DLX (12′ LOA, 6′ beam) blends thoughtful design, striking lines and elegant style. Powered by a 50-hp outboard engine, the Nautilus 12 DLX has snappy maneuverability that makes it an exhilarating ride behind the wheel and good range with the 13-gallon NMMA-certified aluminum fuel tank. The boat’s V-hull design cuts through rough water and offers a dry ride. Key features include a mechanical steering system, stainless-steel steering wheel, LED navigation lights, and LED anchor lights that extend around the boat. In addition, comfortable upholstery, built-in coolers and ample storage make days on the water exploring coves more enjoyable. Models in AB Inflatables’ flagship Nautilus line range from 11 to 19 feet.

2Achilles HB-310AX

The new HB-310AX (10’2″ LOA, 5’2″ beam) takes the builders’ popular HB-AL series to the next level by adding a full-length deck liner and a roomy bow locker both of which have non-skid patches for better traction, safety, and comfort. The bow locker provides both ample storage and acts as a “step”, making it easier to get into or out of the boat from a dock or another boat. The tough powder-coated marine-grade aluminum hull with keel guard will stand up to frequent landings on rocky coastlines or beaches, and the double heavy-duty rubbing strake offers additional protection from docks and pilings. In addition, standard features include Achilles’ CSM reinforced fabric, four-layer seam construction, and powder-coated aluminum hull with keel guard.

3Airship 330

Airship 330 As the largest model in the builder’s line, the Airship 330 (33′ LOA, 10′ beam) rides on a twin-step hull design that is built with a vacuum-resin infusion process. The tapered tubes offer the benefits of a RIB yet also provide unique styling that makes the Airship 330 stand out on the water. This construction features varying density foam cores and vinylester resins that help make the boat lightweight and extremely strong. A result of the lightweight structure is a 50-mph cruise speed and fuel economy of two miles per gallon. The 200-gallon fuel capacity allows for extended time for cruising, fishing and water sports. With the standard tow eye the craft exhibits excellent towing characteristics for use as a yacht tender. The base Airship 330 comes nicely equipped and has numerous options to support virtually any use for this rugged SUV of the water.

4Aquascan Storm 17

Aquascan Storm 17 The Storm 17 (17′ LOA, 7′ beam) serves as a yacht tender to take guests from the yacht to shore in safety. The fiberglass hull of each model is carefully designed and made of hand-laid composite materials. Quality and performance have been carefully constructed in this rigid hull inflatable tender following the exact specifications of the client. Aquascan Storm 17 tubes are made of Hypalon neoprene and double-seamed at the hull with two trims providing a double-barrier point. The Storm 17 offers a dry ride even in the worst sea conditions or at full speed with large waves. Maximum power for the Storm 17 is a 115-hp outboard, and the boat carries a 30-gallon fuel tank. All Aquascan inflatables are hand-built to customer specifications at manufacturing plants in South Florida from the highest quality materials. 

5Argos Nautica 396

Argos Nautic’s new flagship is the 396 (13′ LOA, 6’8″ beam), which offers contemporary styling from the pen of famed yacht designer Patrizio Facheris. A master of the use of space, Facheris created a boat that seats five and has ample storage. Powered by a single outboard engine ranging from 40- to 70-hp, the 396 runs to a top speed of 36 mph. Weighing in at approximately 925 pounds, the boat offers the stability needed when going ashore. High-end components on the 396 include stainless-steel Italian cleats and fittings, a tilting Isotta steering wheel, supple upholstery, teak and holly flooring, and an audiophile-quality Fusion sound system. Argos Nautic builds semi-custom luxury RIB tenders, including the 11-foot long 305 model.

6 Avon Seasport 400 Deluxe

The new Seasport 400 Deluxe (13’1″ LOA, 5’10” beam) is one of eight boats in the Seasport series that is the evolution of the proven Zodiac Yachtline Deluxe. The 400 Deluxe and her sister ships range from the 320 (11’2″ LOA) to the new 490 (16’11” LOA). They offer improved styling and added comfort, which are the crowning touches to an already successful deluxe tender line. The Seasport 400 Deluxe benefits from the aid of Zodiac-Nautic’s “slide on, slide off” tube system. This allows the Seasport Deluxe line to be available in three different shades of tube sets, with a choice of grey, blue or camel accent tubes. The Seasport 400 Deluxe’s standard features include bilge pump, navigation lights, lifting points, color matched upholstery, courtesy lighting, internal fuel reservoir, glove box, and 12-volt receptacle. The Seasport 400 Deluxe is powered by a 50-hp outboard for a top speed of 35 mph and a cruising range of more than 100 miles.

7Caribe Nautica DL11

The Caribe Nautica DL11 (11’1″ LOA, 5’7″ beam) is one of more than 35 models built in 13 different sizes by this manufacturer that’s been in business since 1983. The DL11’s construction places a premium owner usability, with a fuel tank located in the bow compartment allowing for easy access for maintenance and fuel service. The DL11 also has a built-in water tank that feeds a handheld shower attachment for rinsing off after a swim or a dive, and the boat is also equipped with a swim ladder. Other standard features include a bilge pump and an ice box for storing drinks, food or the day’s catch. The DL11 carries a maximum of five passengers including the driver and is powered by a 40-hp motor equipped with a 20-inch shaft.


8Highfield DL340

The new DL340 (11’5″ LOA, 5’7″ beam) is the latest in the builder’s deluxe line and the smallest in the lineup that includes eight models, the largest of which is the DL640 with an LOA of 21’1″. All Highfield RIBs feature aluminum hulls and transoms—a lightweight alternative to heavier fiberglass-hulled RIBs. While marine-grade aluminum is highly resistant to corrosion and does not rust, Highfield goes one step further and powder coats all aluminum parts. The powder coating process electrostatically bonds the powder to the aluminum. Every Highfield model includes a high-volume air pump, aluminum paddle and a repair kit, and tubes feature a heavy-duty fender or rub rail, flush-mounted valves for each chamber and are available in either CSM synthetic rubber or PVC fabrics.

9Mercury M350

The M350 (11’5″ LOA, 6′ beam), a blend of comfort and performance, is the smallest in the M-Series line that includes the M400, M570 and M620. The M350’s hull consists of a deep-V and strategically placed lifting strakes. This results in a race-engineered aft-hull geometry for outstanding performance. Powered by a Mercury 40-hp FourStroke outboard, the M350 runs to a top speed of more than 40 mph and weighs 675 pounds. The M-Series is manufactured in the U.S. using state-of-the-art fiberglass techniques such as resin infusion and bagging, and materials used in the construction include vinylester and foam core. A custom interior, designed to impress tender owners, features marine-grade stainless steel, LED lights and a carbon-fiber gauge panel. The EPA-approved, pressurized eight-gallon fuel tank eliminates overflow and hazardous fumes.

10Novurania Catamaran 24 Diesel

Novurania’s newest addition is the Catamaran 24 Diesel IO (23’7″ LOA, 8’6″ beam), and is powered by a Volvo Penta D3 220-hp diesel engine. This engine package pushes the Catamaran 24 to a top speed of 45 mph; cruising speed is 30 mph for a range of 271 nm. This 24 Catamaran is a versatile vessel with a twin hull design and inflatable collar. The opening bow ramp is operated at the push of a button and fulfills many functions for loading or offloading guests at the dock, on the water or at the beach. The construction process includes a fiberglass, vacuum-bagged and cored hull and deck. Standard features on the Catamaran 24 include a self-bailing deck, navigational and deck lights, boating steps, compass, and fresh water tank with pressure pump and extendable hose. The Catamaran series is available in several lengths from 18 to 28 feet with various configurations, options and engine packages to meet the needs of yacht owners. 

11Ribcraft 9.0

The newly designed Ribcraft 9.0 (29’7″ LOA, 10’3″ beam) is built for rough offshore conditions. The 9.0 is a performance machine featuring a deep-V hull and full-length lifting strakes. Powered by twin 300-hp Yamaha outboard engines, the Ribcraft 9.0 runs to a top speed of 64 mph; cruising speed is 42 mph and a range of 400 miles. The 9.0 features an updated deck arrangement, and the new layout includes a large wraparound bow seating area, teak table that converts into a generous sunpad and improved comfortable helm and aft seating. An oversized T-top with hard top helps protect occupants from the sun and weather, and the boat features an onboard head. Ribcraft is a leading manufacturer of professional-grade RIBs for military agencies, safety professionals and recreational cruisers.

12Sealegs Interceptor 9000

The Interceptor 9000 (30′ LOA, 10’3″ beam) is the largest amphibious RIB ever built according to the manufacturer. The Interceptor 9000 follows the proven Sealegs’ formula, constructed with a marine-grade aluminum (5083) hull and flotation via two, three-chambered Hypalon tubes. Where it breaks from the mold is the size—the Interceptor with wheels up offers users unparalleled internal space for seating, gear and more. The Interceptor 9000 is powered by a single Yamaha 300-hp outboard engine and has a 66-gallon fuel capacity. The Interceptor runs to a top speed of 40 knots, with a cruising speed of 28 knots and a range of 158 nautical miles. A large center console allows for all manner of electronics, while the transom bulkhead offers space for rod holders, lights and tow-eye for watersports. Sealegs operates out of Bristol, Rhode Island. Other Sealegs models start at 20′ LOA and come in both RIB or full aluminum hull versions.

13Walker Bay Generation 525

In celebration of Walker Bay’s 20th anniversary, the builder launched the Generation 525 (17’2″ LOA, 8’4″ beam) RIB that drives like a sports car. The proprietary polyurethane composite, micro stringer system makes for a smooth ride as the Generation 525 hops on plane. The builder’s proprietary jig-and-alignment process absorbs wave chop and makes the boat easier to handle. Powered by a 115-hp outboard engine, top speed is 44 mph. Practical features include a 32-gallon fuel tank, flip-up driver’s seat, hydraulic tilt steering, stainless steel handrails for boarding and safety, and five gear lockers.  Stylish luxury features include teak boarding steps, fresh water shower, insulated cooler locker, stainless-steel cup holders, and deluxe cushions. Retractable ski pole, boarding ladder and sunpad are optional features.

14 Williams Minijet 280

The new Minijet 280 (9’2″ LOA, 5’1″ beam) is the latest model to join the extensive range of Williams jet tenders. This lightweight model has been designed to function as an exhilarating and practical tender for yachts 38 feet and longer. With a dry weight of under 500 pounds, the boat is powered by a 45-hp Rotax ACE 900 engine and runs to a top speed of 36 mph. The Minijet 280 offers seating for four including the driver. The Williams model lineup of jet propulsion boats allows for a much larger tender in the space available onboard the yacht because there is no tilted outboard or outdrive wasting valuable space.

15 ZAR Tender ZF-3

The ZF-3 (13′ LOA, 6’8″ beam) is in the Tender Line by ZAR and offers improved design, function, performance, and reliability. The ZAR ZF-3’s deep-V hull offers a sharp entry, and the rigid bow allows for a more spacious interior and longer waterline length. With its generous interior space, the ZAR ZF-3 has room for seven people in seats with cushions. Powered by a 60-hp outboard engine, the ZF-3 comes on plane with a full load of passengers. For owners who want more speed, the ZF-3 is available with up to a 70-hp engine. The boat’s reverse chines on the hull not only act as large spray rails to offer the driest ride possible, but they also work as lifting rails to allow the boat to get on plane with minimal bow rise.




Buying a Boat? Dues, do’s and don’ts

Due Diligence

Buying a boat? Your banker, attorney and insurance agent need you to come fully prepared.

Purchasing a boat is not like buying a car or a house, although it has elements of both. In addition to acquiring an (often) expensive and mobile asset, you’re dipping your toe into admiralty law, which can hearken back to the rules and regulations of a century ago. Being prepared to answer questions in areas of finance, insurance, and legal details could save you time and money, not to mention serious headaches, down the road.


Boat financing is on the rise from a few years ago as rates have held consistently and are at historic lows. “Instead of paying cash for a depreciating asset, people are taking advantage of higher yields elsewhere,” says Dan Markow, a market executive at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Palm Beach. “A boat is typically owned for 2-5 years, so it’s better to finance it and hold on to the cash for other uses.”

Boat loans today can be for 10-30 years although most loan periods hover around 10-15 years. Major marine lenders specialize by the size of the loan. Some may work with loans of $25,000 while others, like Merrill Lynch, focus on loans in excess of $3 million. “Larger loans like ours employ creative security-based lending that works more like a revolving line of credit,” adds Markow.

Lenders need to know the age and value of the vessel. Older boats may require larger down payments or higher interest rates. Today’s rates range from 3-5 percent and loans typically require 20 percent down, although this can vary.

Dana Scott, vice president of the Southeast region of the Intercoastal Financial Group, notes that discounts may be available. “You may receive a 1/4 point off special at a boat show or get deals for a higher down payment,” she says. “Those with exceptional credit scores (800+) may receive preferential rates while older boats may have points added.”

The key is to determine if you will be able to sustain the loan long-term with your current and future cash flow. Working with a dedicated marine lender who understands the nuances will provide more options.


A yacht needs to be insured whether it is financed or owned outright, and you will want to work with an agent who represents underwriters specialized in marine assets. “There are only about 15-20 major marine carriers available,” says Michael Boyer, marine division leader at Brown & Brown Marine in Fort Lauderdale. “Don’t shop the rates because that won’t yield better results. Instead, work with an agent who has relationships with all the carriers and will be able to compare their rates for you.”

The size, value, and age of the yacht will dictate which underwriter offers full coverage and the lowest premiums. For pre-owned vessels, you will need a current survey attesting to the condition of the boat and its detailed description. Tenders and personal watercraft need to be added to the policy in case they are involved in an accident resulting in property damage or personal injury.

“Insurers will want to know where the vessel will operate, especially in areas that are known for hurricane season,” adds Jeff Specter, vice president of marine insurance at Brown & Brown. “There are endorsements available for certain seasons and geographies.”

If the boat is financed, the lender will need to be added to the policy. Professional crew will also need to be added in compliance with the Federally mandated Jones Act of 1920, which provides a sort of workman’s comp for those serving at sea. The insurance company will want to know if the yacht will be chartered—with or without crew—and that may affect the premiums and the scope of coverage.

Finally, coverage needs to start at the time the vessel is titled to you or your legal entity. If the yacht will be en route from the manufacturer’s factory but is in your possession, you will want it to be insured. One exception may be the availability of cargo insurance that is provided when the vessel is moved via a yacht transport ship. Be sure to ask for details.

Legal Considerations

Legal issues are a combination of the two categories above, and it’s important to complete your due diligence prior to taking possession. Danielle Butler of Luxury Law Group in Florida is very attuned to her clients. “I need to know exactly how they foresee owning, registering and operating their vessel,” she says.

First, Butler counsels her clients against private ownership and instead suggests using a limited liability company (LLC) or a full corporation, both of which protect, if not insulate, against liability. James McKenzie of McKenzie Law in Massachusetts adds that ownership via an LLC may have slight tax advantages over a corporation.

Second, Butler asks whether the vessel will have U.S. or foreign registry, such as in the Cayman, Marshall or British Virgin Islands. In order for the boat to be registered or “documented” in the U.S., the entity in possession must be at least 75 percent U.S. owned. Butler also needs to know where the vessel will operate primarily, if it is foreign-built and if it will be professionally crewed, since foreign registries have different rules depending on the answers. Even details such as whether you will finance the boat or purchase it with cash may impact your registration options.

A title search for liens is a must for any vessel, especially one that will be documented in the U.S. A lien is a debt that follows the vessel, not the owner, so you’ll want to discover if the vessel has any issues with outstanding payments to a yard or crew. You can do the search yourself directly with the U.S. Coast Guard, or rely on the expertise of dedicated agencies that provide this service for a nominal fee. In the process, you will also learn if there are any lawsuits against the vessel.

Almost all transactions are made with an offer contingent on the completion of a satisfactory survey. McKenzie warns that in addition to the hull, the engines should have a separate survey focusing on things like compression metrics and oil analysis to avoid costly repairs later. “Check with the manufacturer about any recalls on both new and used boats before you sign on the line,” he adds.

There are a lot of variables that go into yacht ownership, and there are as many different circumstances as there are potential owners. “There’s no canned answer,” says Butler. “If in doubt, get specifically qualified counsel because maritime law is its own beast.”

You may already have relationships with a banker, an attorney and an insurance agent for other assets you own, but consider a marine specialist in each of the above categories, especially if the vessel you are purchasing is expensive, will be chartered or is pre-owned. Referrals from other boat owners or from your broker are best. Once armed with the answers to these questions, you’ll be more than halfway to enjoying the best of boating.

By Zuzana Prochazk, Southern Boating Magazine January 2017