Picnic Boats:By Michael Vatalaro
The Runabout Refined
Published: August/September 2012
Call them what you like — day boat, picnic boat, or cocktail cruiser — these elegant vessels embody the essence of the idiom, "Time on the water is time well-spent".
Duffy 16 Back Bay
When the only place you want to be is on the water, why rush? Electric boats like the Duffy 16 Back Bay, or their new Lake Cruiser model, offer stress-free boating on protected waters. Silent and highly maneuverable, thanks to their patented Power Rudder, Duffy electric boats will cruise at around 5 mph for more than three hours, and double that with an optional extra battery pack. The Back Bay model has room for eight adults, plenty of places to stash food and drinks, and a Surrey top to keep the sun off your guests. The Lake Cruiser model features an "M" hull design, making it more efficient than a traditional catamaran, but it still offers the space of a pontoon boat. www.duffyboats.com
Hunt Harrier 25
Hunt set out to build a yacht-quality runabout and the result is the Harrier 25, a semi-custom day boat that combines the sea-keeping ability of a Hunt hull and classic "Down East" styling. With a single Volvo gas or diesel engine mounted ahead of the cockpit and connected by a jack-shaft to the stern drive for better weight distribution, the Harrier offers a dry, stable ride and flexible seating arrangements. A removable rear-bench seat lets you open up the cockpit for fishing or to store more water toys. Teak is an option on almost every horizontal surface so you can have as much or as little brightwork as you'd like. Hunt recently celebrated the delivery of their 1,000th hull and is now offering outboard power on the Harrier as well. www.huntyachts.com
Web-enhanced Charts: Paper charts make big picture route planning easy, but until recently, lacked a quick and easy way to provide real-time tide, buoy, and weather data, the way a chartplotter can. But now, NOAA and print-on-demand chart supplier OceanGrafix are experimenting with Quick Response (QR) codes on eight charts in the Tampa, Florida, area.
Scan the QR code with your smartphone and you are instantly taken to a dedicated regional webpage at the NOAA website, full of useful links to tide charts, buoy feeds, and weather forecasts and radar, organized by location. If the concept proves popular, NOAA hopes to expand the project. www.OceanGrafix.com