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Posted by on Oct 26, 2011 in Boat Show, Megayacht, News and Events, UK, US |

Boats.com Swarms the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show

With ongoing reporting of FLIBS, the Boats.com team covers the waterfront. Stay tuned to this blog.

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Interlux Waterfront Challenge Award Goes to the Rozalia Project

The Rozalia Project has been taking out the trash at a whole new level. At the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, this Granville, Vermont-based group was awarded the $20,000 grand prize in the annual Interlux Waterfront Challenge for the clean-up efforts it has spearheaded in eight ports throughout the Northeast. In recent months, the group has collected thousands of pieces of trash and debris, and miles of monofilament fishing line and rope.

With the help of 1300 volunteers, trash was collected at community sailing hubs, yacht clubs, and waterfront centers from Albany, New York to Portland, Maine. “On our trash tour, we found everything from plastic plates to derelict lobster traps that were collecting nothing but Bud Lite bottles,” said Rachael Miller, one of the founders of the Rozalia Project.

In addition, debris was removed from the water’s surface down to the sea floor with remotely-operated, sonar-equipped vehicles.

During their travels, the Rozalia Project educated its growing and enthusiastic volunteer base on the scope and nature of the marine pollution problem, and encouraged these hands-on citizens to become an even bigger part of the solution.

The project founders have plans to use the $20,000 award from Interlux to further their clean-up efforts on the waterfront, and to inspire more people to get involved. Says Miller, “We hope to get twice as many people working with us and to collect twice as much trash in the near future.”

– Jeanne Craig

Rachel Miller (right) of the Rozalia Project is presented with a $20,000 check from Interlux for the annual Waterfront Challenge. Miller will use the award to help increase clean-up efforts.

Rachael Miller (right) of the Rozalia Project is presented with a $20,000 check from Interlux for the annual Waterfront Challenge. Miller will use the award to help increase clean-up efforts.

Boston Whaler 210 Montauk – Nice Package!

You think boats are too expensive these days? Me too! So check out Boston Whaler’s package offer for the new 210 Montauk: $54K gets you the boat with a 150 Verado four-stroke outboard and a galvanized trailer. That’s a pretty sweet deal.

For a close look at one of Whaler’s bigger boats, watch the Boats.com video review of the 285 Conquest.

– Lenny Rudow

Whaler's 210 Montauk is offered in a great package with engine and trailer.

Boston Whaler's 210 Montauk is offered in a great package with engine and trailer.

Rinker Unveils the 290 Express Cruiser

Are you interested in getting a sneak peak into the future? Then look into the crystal ball at Rinker Boats. At the Fort Lauderdale international Boat Show the Indiana-based builder of family cruisers and sport boats staged an early introduction of a new model that will headline the company’s 2013 product line. The new 290 Express Cruiser is an open-cockpit style, sterndrive-powered family cruiser that’s designed to perform in the 47-mph range with a single engine, which allows the builder to offer a boat with solid performance at a price that will get attention. Think approximately $75,000 for a base boat with a 350 Mag.

The 290 is based on the same hull that supported Rinker’s 280, a cruiser that was in the builder’s line for more than five years. Like its predecessor, the 290 has an LOA of 31’8″and a 9’1″ beam. Unlike the older model, this cockpit has been reconfigured to improve flow. “It’s much easier to get around on this boat; the traffic pattern is more organic,” says J. Kelly Payne, Rinker’s director of design and product enhancement. Convertible seats also make this 29 more entertainment friendly. She’s a real social animal, right down to the rumble seat at the stern, which Rinker had the good sense to lift from one of the larger cruisers in its line. Another new feature is the retooled forward deck, which now accommodates two sunpads that fit snugly into a recessed area.

By modifying the angle and rake of the radar arch, Rinker ratchets up the sporty lines of the 290. The addition of space for a gelcoat color above the sheer line creates a fresh look, too.”Our goal was to create an exciting profile and dramatically improve the ergonomics,” says Michael Kamaloski, director of sales. “I think we really hit the mark.”

– Jeanne Craig

The cockpit of Rinker's new 290 Express Cruiser is all about traffic flow and crew comfort.

The cockpit of Rinker's new 290 Express Cruiser is all about traffic flow and crew comfort.

Wider 42: The Transformer

Tilli Antonelli found his inspiration for the new Wider 42 while boating with his family on a small Riva in the Mediterranean. “We needed more room onboard, and so I started thinking about the motor homes that fold out and expand.” That idea generated the creation of one of the more unique boats to hit U.S. shores in recent years. The Wider 42, which makes its North American debut at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, is a space-age-style sport yacht that morphs from a slim-beamed, sexy, carbon-fiber dart to a beamy cruiser with enough deck space to satisfy an active crew of divers or a pack of antsy kids. Simply push a button at the steering wheel and the port and starboard topside sections forward of the helm smoothly fold out to double the width of the forward cockpit.

The narrow-beamed Wider 42 expands forward of the helm to greatly increase cockpit space.

The narrow-beamed Wider 42 expands forward of the helm to greatly increase cockpit space.

“If you want a boat that is completely different, this is it,” says Antonelli, who is best known as the founder of Pershing Yachts. “And in this market, being unique is a good thing.”

Antonelli’s pioneering vision doesn’t stop with the cockpit expansion. Among the other unusual features of this decidedly exotic sport cruiser is the dashboard, which isn’t really a dashboard at all: All of the gauges and controls are consolidated at a single touch screen embedded into the sci-fi steering wheel that is part engineering wizardry and part work of art. “When you have too many gauges, you just get confused,” says Antonelli.

 On the Wider 42, gauge functions are displayed on a touch-screen display embedded in the steering wheel.

On the Wider 42, gauge functions are displayed on a touch-screen display embedded in the steering wheel.

The Wider 42 is powered by twin 370-hp engines installed race-boat-style in a staggered formation for both efficiency and stability. The engines are coupled to Twin Disc surface drives that can push the stepped hull to speeds of 45 knots while consuming 28 gph.

– Jeanne Craig

Riviera Ramps Up the Grill

Check out what’s built into the transom of Riviera’s newest boat, the 53 Enclosed Flybridge: It’s not just a grill, it’s a complete grilling station. You could throw a whole lot of shrimp on that barby, or burgers for the whole team.

– Lenny Rudow

Grilling is taken seriously aboard Riviera's new 53 Enclosed Flybridge.

Grilling is taken seriously aboard Riviera's new 53 Enclosed Flybridge.

Grand Banks Announces New 54 Heritage EU

At a press conference on the first day of the 2011 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Grand Banks announced that it is building a new 54 Heritage EU. The new three-stateroom Heritage “Europa-style” flagship will also have a modified-V hull like other newer Heritage models.

In fact, it will have the same hull as the 53’ Aleutian RP, giving owners the flexibility to travel at trawler speeds for best fuel economy and range, or higher cruise speeds up to 18 knots. The extended overhang of the boat deck significantly expands flybridge space and there’s an unusual foredeck seating area sporting a teak cocktail table for some unique al fresco dining. First delivery is expected in the Spring of 2012.

– Tom Tripp

A rendering of the upcoming Grand Banks 54 Heritage EU.

A rendering of the upcoming Grand Banks 54 Heritage EU.

Inmarsat Announces New Sat Phones

Hot off the FLIBS docks: Inmarsat, the big marine communications company,  has brought out a new handheld phone called the ISat Phone Pro and fixed-mount units called FleetPhones. This could be big news for owners of smaller boats. For more on this, read Inmarsat Expands Communications Options for Boaters.

Seven Marine’s Engines, Intrepid’s Platform

Word has it that Seven Marine and Intrepid Powerboats are combining forces at FLIBS to display a pair of  behemoth 557-hp outboards on an Intrepid 370 Cuddy. We’re going out to have a look-see. For more on this, read Biggest Outboards Yet Tune Up After Sea Trials.

Sea Ray Introduces the 410 Sundancer and 190 Sport

Sea Ray VPs Mike Burke and Rob Noyes unveiled two new boats as the show got underway. Burke modestly dubbed the 410 Sundancer the best sport yacht the company has ever built. It’s out-fitted with Cummins V-drives or a Zeus pod drive option and can be fitted with multiple versions and accommodation layouts.

The Sea Ray 190 Sport is a bowrider offered with a 135-hp Mercruiser 3.0 liter stern-drive. It features swiveling, sliding bucket seats and hinged cushions to keep everything in its place and a cleverly engineered engine cover that flips up easily.

Here’s a video of the 410 Sundancer in action.

– John Burnham

The Sea Ray 410 Sundancer (above) was introduced at FLIBS along with the new 190 Sport.

The Sea Ray 410 Sundancer (above) was introduced at FLIBS along with the new 190 Sport.

Viking 66 Thruster Button

Here’s a nifty item spotted on the new Viking 66. See the little black button located on the side of the throttle? That’s a bow thruster control, so you can hit the thrusters without moving your hands from wheel and throttle.

– Lenny Rudow

The black button on the end of the Viking 66 throttle handle controls the bow thruster.

The black button on the end of the Viking 66 throttle handle controls the bow thruster.

Raymarine’s e7 Wireless Interface for iPad

Here’s a sneak peek from FLIBS –Raymarine’s new e7, wirelessly interfacing with an iPad! Any iPad, iPhone, or iPod. GPS, fishfinders, and radar go mobile! For some background on e7, read Raymarine Introduces Next-Generation e7 MFD. That was only back in July. What a difference a few months make…

– Lenny Rudow

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Raymarine's e7 system interfaces wirelessly with an iPad

MyBoatShow App for Smartphones

If you’re coming to FLIBS and plan to travel the show a bit, the MyBoatShow app for smartphones will be well worth the minute or so needed to grab it from your app store. It’s free, and the boatshow maps alone are worth it. The entire show — all locations, dock sites, and booths, as well as street maps, can be referenced, and with your phone’s geolocation features turned on you can macro-navigate the waterfront in “street view” mode.  Exhibitors can be searched by name or product/boat type, then located on the maps. The app has a lot of other great features, too. Well done, developers.

– Doug Logan

The MyBoatShow app for smartphones can give you fingertip access to all the FLIBS exhibitors and locations.

The MyBoatShow app for smartphones can give you fingertip access to all the FLIBS exhibitors and locations.

Here’s Comes FLIBS 2011

The 52nd annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show  (known by the cognoscenti as FLIBS) is getting underway on Thursday October 27th.

Boats.com and YachtWorld.com will have a team of editors on the docks at Bahia Mar, the Las Olas Marina, the Broward Country Convention Center, and all the locations in Fort Lauderdale where the world’s greatest yachts and other pleasure-craft are gathered, along with the people who build them, sell them, and buy them. With hundreds of boat and yacht exhibits, new-launch announcements, a continuous series of seminars and demonstrations, and a transportation network of shuttle buses and water taxis to whisk visitors from location to location, there’s going to be an amazing amount to see and do. And when you need to get off your feet for a few minutes, there are always the cocktail barges. Quite the festivity indeed. In case you need to plan for rain or shine, here’s the latest on the weather. Hope to see you at FLIBS!

– The Boats.com Editors