Innovation Rules The Waves at the Fall Shows

By Michael Vatalaro

Clever designers have come up with really neat improvements on some already popular models. We've picked some of the most interesting. Here's why they could make your boating better!

Regal 35 Sport Coupe
It's not common for a new boat model to "sell out," even in the best of times. So given that Regal can't build the new 35 Sport Coupe fast enough to keep up with the demand of the past few months, you know they've created something special. The 35 features a full-width hard top that "converts" with the front sliding backwards, leaving a huge opening to the sun and sky. The forward berth folds away, converting to a dinette. This dual-purposing left space for an entertainment area down below. And the sun lounge at the stern "converts" as well, becoming forward- or rear-facing seating, or laying completely flat for sunbathing. This converting pad is so popular, it's being added to the stern of the 28-foot model as well. www.RegalBoats.com


The hard top on the Regal 35 Sport Coupe slides backwards, leaving a huge opening to the sun and sky.

Pursuit DC265 & DC235
Pursuit entered the dual-console market last year with the DC265, a 26-foot model powered by a single, 300HP Yamaha, and this year expands their dual-console line with the 23-foot, DC235, debuting as part of their Inshore Series. The DC265 designed to fish, ski, or just gunkhole with equal aplomb. The fold-away rear bench seat, and port side-seat, which tucks under the gunwale, can both be deployed creating an L-shaped lounge that connects with the rear-facing seat behind the portside companion seat. Or they can be stowed away to open up the cockpit for fishing. Similarly, an optional ski pylon can come and go as necessary. With dry storage under the helm, and a head, with sink in a one-piece molded compartment, plus a second sink behind the helm station, there are plenty of creature comforts to keep the family happy. Look for the DC235 at a Northeast show this Fall. www.PursuitBoats.com


The foldaway rear bench and port side-seats can both be deployed creating an L-shaped lounge with the rear-facing seat behind the portside companion seat.

Chris-Craft Launch 22 (and Corsair)
Chris-Craft went looking for more space in their Launch 22 to improve passenger comfort and the found it within two simple changes. First, at the bow, anchor storage was made vertical rather than horizontal, which bought enough space to expand the wrap-around forward seating to a more comfortable angle. Towards the rear, what had been U-shaped seating was made into a simple bench, opening up needed leg room. Neither of these changed the striking looks for which this iconic brand is known, but they will improve your day on the water. www.ChrisCraft.com


A switch to vertical rather than horizontal anchor storage created enough space to extend the wrap-around forawrd seating to a more comfortable angle.

Grady-White Canyon 271
Grady-White is known for taking their customers requests and turning them into onboard features. With the 271, they've drawn from the list of popular items on their larger center consoles, and built them into the 27-footer. A key feature is the single-level deck that allows 360 degrees of mobility around the console, thanks to a large, lounge-style forward seat, with nearly 400 quarts of storage underneath. With a large sunpad on top and dedicated cooler divided from dry storage beneath, the 271 has plenty of forward seating, but still allows you to fish all the way up front without stepping up. Inside the console is a standup head, with space for storage. Other handy items include a fresh-water shower on the transom by the transom door and telescoping boarding ladder. www.gradywhite.com


Rather than U-shaped, molded-in seats, a large, lounge style forward seat provides nearly 400 quarts of dry storage, and allowes you to fish all the way forward without stepping up.

Intrepid 327
Intrepid has rolled out a new model and a new partnership so far in 2011, with the debut of the 327 center-console, the replacement for their popular 323 model, and the unveiling of Seven Marine's 557-HP outboard at the Miami show this past Spring. The 327 features an all-new running surface to compensate for being heavier and slightly larger, but extra ventilation in the hull behind the step allows the 327 to perform as well as the 323, despite an additional 60 gallons of tankage. And in October, the 370 model that showed off the futuristic, Seven Marine V8s in the Miami Beach Convention center will be in the water at the United States Power Boat Show in Annapolis, Maryland, so you can hear those supercharged outboards for the first time. www.Intrepidboats.com


Extra ventillation in the hull behind the step allows the 327 to perform as well as the previos model despite being larger and heavier.

Viking 66 Convertible
Viking has launched four new models for the 2011 model year, including the 42 Open (see "Battlewagons Don't Have To Be Big," August, 2011), but they haven't slowed down with the 66 Convertible expected to grace the docks in Ft. Lauderdale. Styled like its just-released siblings, this four-cabin model (each with its own head and shower) should top 40 knots, when powered by a pair of MTU V16 Series 2000 M91 diesels. Impressive stuff for a yacht that displaces more than 102,000 pounds. Other new features include a galley pantry with standing headroom, and a day head aft, just inside the salon as you enter from the cockpit. www.VikingYachts.com


This 100,000-pound-plus vessel topped 40 knots in sea trials, when powered by a pair of MTU V16 Series 2000 M91 diesels.

Beneteau Oceanis 41 & 45
Beneteau is bringing two new boats to the Fall shows, the Oceanis 41 and 45. Both are available with Dock & Go joystick control, a feature that made quite an impression in Annapolis last year (to watch video of Dock & Go in action visit www.BoatUS.com/videos/default.asp?videoID=403). They also include a full-width, electrically-operated transom, that opens by remote. This feature, more commonly seen on superyachts, provides the safety of a closed transom, with the water access of a scoop-stern. Other improvements include a 45 degree incline in the companionway, rather than a steeper 60 degrees, and wider berths and decks, thanks to a new hull design. www.BeneteauUSA.com


Tge full-width, electrically operated drop-down transom, shown here in the open position, provides the safety of a closed transom, with the water access of a scoop-stern.

Cruisers 48 Cantius & 41 Cantius
Cruisers introduced the 48 Cantius last Fall and this year will bring a new 41-foot model to Ft. Lauderdale. The 48 Cantius displayed some clever thinking at the interface of the helm station and lower salon. Instead of the typical narrow companionway, which can exacerbate the tunnel-like feel below decks in similar models, the engineers at Cruisers left an "L"-shaped opening above the companionway open to the large windows of the helm above. This floods the salon and galley with natural light and makes communication with the helm possible without having to poke your head up the stairs. Other thoughtful notes include all-weather slip-on covers for transom and bow seating that eliminate canvas and a vent in the walk-through windshield that provides natural ventilation. www.CruisersYachts.com


Cruisers left an L-shaped opening above the companionway open to the large windows of the helm abover, flooding the salon and galley with natural light.