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Posted by on Mar 27, 2009 in News and Events, UK, US |

Bargain Boats and Charters; Fun for Less

We've got some good deals for you, from runabout to megayacht.

Our team of writers at Boats.com has been looking for deals for you in recent months. They were on the trail of discounts well before I took the helm last month, and I’ve only encouraged them since. If you’re looking for coupons to clip, you’ll have to go elsewhere, but here’s a sampling of what they’ve come up with recently. I’ll warn you, though, that these run the gamut.

Glastron's new outboard-driven SSV 170 costs less than the stern-drive versions.

Glastron's new outboard-driven SSV 170 costs less than the stern-drive versions.

Charles Plueddemann had a go late last year aboard a new Glastron outboard-powered runabout, the ssv 170. It’s a 17-foot, entry-level bowrider and with Evinrude 90-hp E-TEC and trailer, it sells for $14,000, about $2,000 less than the stern-drive version (SSV 175) now that the latter are required to carry catalytic converters. While he’s writing about it in his Outboard Expert column, Charles also makes some favorable handling comparisons between the two boats.

Keeping a steady eye on the fact that you don’t need to spend big-time to have your days on the water make a difference, Big Picture columnist Matt Trulio posted a story today with a different kind of comparison. In Private Charters Beat Love Boats, Matt preaches to the choir here, giving all of us ammunition should our friends need to be set straight on why a private charter with 8 or 10 great friends can be a much better experience than a cruise with 3000 aboard, and quite possibly at the same price. Matt also wrote a funny and poignant column a couple weeks back titled Fun on the Cheap. If you missed it, go have a look. You won’t regret it.

Of course, you can spend more at the top end of the scale, but event there, blue-chip stocks aren’t the only investments that have been coming down in price.  Kim Kavin’s latest Yacht Insider column details how asking prices are slipping by the millions. And if you have a late-season Caribbean charter in mind, she describes how you can save tens of thousands of dollars…or extend your vacation for several bonus days.

Conceptual views of the Lagoon 400 sailing catamaran.

Conceptual views of the Lagoon 400 sailing catamaran.

One brand-new-boat note I’ll leave you with for the end of the week is word from Nick Harvey of Lagoon America, who told me that he’d just had his first sail on the Lagoon 400 cruising catamaran in the Vendee region of France. Nick had to restrain himself from telling me more; for some reason, he’s promised his first reports to Lagoon’s dealers and the two dozen people who have already made deposits on the new model. But he should have a more public announcement later next week. We’ll look for it, Nick.

—John Burnham