February 13, 2015:
So, the thinking is, you go to a sailboat show to, you know, look at sailboats, right? Right! Of course! Now, do you have to necessarily be “shopping”? Heck, no! Looking is just fine. And, we did plenty of it. From the old to the new, the brown water to the blue, they had the whole gambit–tons of used and new, all in one place for (mostly) anyone to step aboard. Let’s go explore, shall we?
There were some pretty amazing boats we set foot on at the show, in a wide range of prices. Think yacht-price-guessing is something y’acht be good at? (Surprisingly, that did not take me long to come up with). Let’s see! How about a good old-fashioned Showcase Showdown! Who’s in?
Well, then, what are you waiting for … COME ON DOWN!!
First up — the GunBoat 55. Named Cruising World’s 2015 Domestic Boat of the Year, this high-performance, world-cruising luxury yacht offers a simplistic, clean, contemporary layout and style with full 360 visibility from the enclosed helm. Carbon fiber rigging and great attention to detailed assembly affords this boat an average 20 knots of speed.
Virtual tour of the boat:
There was a good bit of talk at the boat show about the inaugural run of GunBoat Hull No. 1, the s/v Rainmaker. Sadly, the boat was dismasted by a 70-knot wall of wind south of Cape Hatteras.
Thankfully, the crew were airlifted out safely in a heroic rescue effort by the U.S. Coast Guard, leaving the boat, however, abandoned for salvage recovery. Some pretty dramatic footage here:
It was definitely a sobering report to hear but an exemplary showing of a skillful and successful rescue by the USCG. It definitely gives me comfort knowing that’s the kind of response we would receive if–knock on wood–we ever had to activate the EPIRB. The GunBoat we got to poke through at the show, the Toccata out of Annapolis, was exquisite. Probably a little too contemporary and modern for my taste (I just love the old classic wood designs), but who doesn’t like to travel smoothly at 20 knots?
So, contestants, what’s the Price-is-Right guesstimate on this one? $1 mil. Maybe two?
Wrong! $2.5 mil.
What’s next Bob?
Ahhh … the Knysna. I’m generally not a Cat fan, but this one was wooing me a bit. Or maybe it was the sales pitch. Knysna is a a boutique builder. They work with the owner to develop every step of the design. Everything is fully-customized and unique to the owner. They only build ten boats a year. It is the epitome of collaboration, craftsmanship and creativity.
And, if that’s not enough, they build them in the stunning Knysna Heads Lagoon on the East Coast of South Africa, where they encourage you, after the build is complete, to drop the anchor and stay a few weeks while you test out the systems and learn your boat with the Knysna service team in easy reach and ready to assist with any service need.
Kind of hard to say no to that. When we asked the lovely gal who was showing us around the boat what the “base price” was, her response was “Eight-ninety.” Phillip and I acted like we’d heard this a million times. “Ahhh, yes,” we said, shaking our heads decisively. But, as we walked away, we looked at each other stumped and asked the obvious question — Did she mean $890,000 or $8.9 million. Which is it contestants?
Bid carefully … Aha! $890,000 it is!
Not a bad deal, really, for a custom-built South African beauty. Let’s see another, Bob!
This was a favorite of ours. The Amel 55. Phillip got to step aboard an Amel years ago when he was cruising with some friends down in the Grenadines and he immediately fell in love, proclaiming it the most “well-thought out, intuitive boat he had ever set foot on.” I thought it was awesome because it is the same boat our Delos buddies have cruised all over the southern hemisphere.
And, I use the term “buddies” loosely. They don’t really yet know I exist, but they will soon! LOOKOUT!! Get a virtual tour of their Amel here:
If you haven’t yet been struck by the revelation that is Delos, I encourage–nay I urge!–you to check them out, donate to watch their awesome travel log videos (it’s like a buck, the best one you will spend this year I promise) and send Delos some love!
The Amel at the boat show did not disappoint. Of all the boats we set foot on, this was definitely the classiest broad!
So, Showcasers, what are we thinking for this 2015 beaut? Another lucky $890? A smooth $1 mil.
Guess again! Only $1.5 mil and this baby is yours! Who’s cutting a check?
While there were so, SOOO many more boats we looked at, I’ve got be selective (or you’ll likely fall asleep). One other honorable mention in the ‘spensive category was the 75’ Little Harbor. While the layout was impressive (I lost count of the rooms and beds at like 8),
what really caught our eye was the massive engine room. More like an engine suite really …
There she is, do you dare to enter?
And, don’t you just love the engine names? We’ve got Lucille on starboard and Roxanne on port. That way you know exactly which of these white beasts to curse when she totally flakes on you (because you know she’s gonna – women always do at some point). My money’s on Roxy. She sounds temperamental.
What’s this? A room within the engine room?
A look back.
Also, a little reminder of the spacious engine room on the Niagara 35 might help give you a little perspective here.
Ahhh … roomy. So, the Little Harbor could be yours! You want all 75 feet of her? Well, break out another mil. This beauty goes for a sweet $1.1 million. Pocket change! At this rate, the only boat we were going to be able to buy at the boat show would be this inflatable number:
“We’ll take it!”
While we did check out some of the more affordable production line boats, Benneteau, Jenneau, Hunters and the like, all I can say is they just weren’t too picture-worthy in our opinion. Some of the headliners and paneling would actually indent and pop back out, audibly, when you pushed on them. The build quality made it feel like you’d stepped into a Jim Walter model home that floated. When we saw one model (I won’t name names) that boasted a built-in hook on either side of the vberth cabin for “crew” to hang their roll-aboard suitcases … I just shut down. Not only do we frown upon the bringing of a roll-aboard on the s/v Plaintiff’s Rest, if you happen to commit this fatal faux pas, we certainly don’t have a hook you can hang it on once it’s aboard.
“Permission to come aboard?” Uhhhh … NO!
We’re not blue-water snobs or anything, but that was just laughable. One glimmering hope, though, was the Marlow-Hunter. I will say Marlow has really stepped up expectations in the production department and the build quality. The 31-footer is a pretty well-built vessel for $116k. In all, a look at the new 30′-42′ cruising monohulls only confirmed our rock-solid belief that our 1985 Niagara 35′ is not only an incredibly well-built, capable world cruiser, it is the perfect boat for us. They just don’t make them like they used to. We love you old gal!
But, boy, looking at all those boats was sure exhausting, and dehydrating! Are you thirsty yet? We were! It was high time for some booze, the price for which, in Miami, can sometimes knock your socks off. The cost of the drinks was almost as shocking as the cost of the boats. So, let’s have a little more Showcase Showdown fun, shall we?
What do you think the going rate is for one of these numbers–a pisco sour and a jalapeno-infused Peruvian pisco fuego drink at Ceviche 105?
‘Scuse me?? For both. $10.00 a piece. Not bad that far South. Let’s try another.
Those look fun. Do they? They’re $22.00, in the souvenir glass. And, yes, that’s $22 a piece. Holy …
If you want to go a little cheaper, try the beer and the coconut mojito, in them regular glasses and save yourself $13 a drink.
Who wants to spin the wheel one more time?
You do! I know it!
Craving a little chocolate martini at Biscayne Tavern?
“That’ll be $12.00, ma’am.”
Ouch … You broke yet? Boats and booze alike, were any of you right on the money? Well, what do we have for them Bob? Ahhh … looks like we’re giving away a free ticket to view next week’s post – the “Edutainment” portion of the Strictly Sail show. Congratulations, and thanks for playing!
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