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Big Boats: Size is Everything

When the time comes to get a bigger boat, making a choice can be a tough decision. Let us help by offering a selection of some of the latest models.

Sea Ray 470 Sundancer

Sea Ray 470 Sundancer

Length 47'3" | Beam 14' | Draft 4' | Fuel 350 Gal. | Water 100 Gal. | Waste 42 Gal.

Sea Ray 470 Sundancer mid-ship stateroom

Modern interiors, open spaces, and stylish design give a loft-like vibe to the Sea Ray 470.

Go into almost any marina and the chances are you'll find a Sea Ray. The 470 is one of the larger boats from the builder, and while smaller boats from Sea Ray fall into the weekender category, the 470 is most definitely one that you'd want to spend longer periods of time aboard. Twin Cummins 480-hp engines propel the boat to 30 knots flat out, and the optional bow and stern thrusters should make docking a breeze. Guests will love the large cockpit, sliding glass sunroof in the main saloon, and the open feeling to the lower galley. When it's time to turn in, there's ample room for two couples in separate cabins, and each cabin has its own luxuriously appointed head.

Monte Carlo 6

Monte Carlo 6

Length 59'9" | Beam 16'2" | Draft 5' | Fuel 581 Gal. | Water 212 Gal.

Monte Carlo 6 stateroom

Pod drives and joystick controls make the Monte Carlo 6 an easy drive.

Zeus pod drives are becoming increasingly common on larger powerboats. When you eliminate the traditional shaft and running gear, the engine room can be smaller, opening up space on the interior of the boat. Couple this with an almost plumb bow, and a beam that's carried well forward, you end up with the voluminous Monte Carlo 6. The very European interior may not be for staunch traditionalists, but the use of chrome and leather accents makes the boat a real stand out from many of its contemporaries. There's space for four below in two large double staterooms, with room for two more in the twin cabin to starboard. You don't even have to drive this boat yourself as there is a separate crew cabin aft, complete with its own head, behind the engine room.

Back Cove 41

Back Cove 41

Length 46'3" | Beam 14' | Draft 4'7" | Fuel 400 Gal. | Water 160 Gal. | Waste 55 Gal.

Back Cove 41 galley

The biggest in the Back Cove range, the 41 shares the galley up and cherry wood trim that have become trademarks of this Maine builder.

Although the Back Cove 41 is built for pleasure, there is no getting away from its Down East workboat heritage. Rather than shoehorn twin engines into the boat, the 41 comes with a single 600-hp power plant as standard. Even so, she's no slouch and can top 26 knots when pushed. Throttle back a bit, and she'll happily cruise all day at 22 knots burning a respectable 25 gallons per hour. An island queen up forward should keep even the most discerning owners happy, and there's a midships guest double complete with its own head for when friends come to stay.

American Tug 485

American Tug 485

Length 49'9" | Beam 15'10" | Fuel 640 Gal. | Water 210 Gal. | Waste 60 Gal.

American Tug 485 cabin interior

The 485 should suit couples who enjoy cruising and living aboard for extended periods.

Sometimes it's all about the journey. Biggest in the lineup from West Coast builder American Tug, the 485 is designed for the long haul. With full tanks, the boat can run all the way down the East Coast without refueling. Most definitely in the trawler style, the boat has a single Cummins 550-hp diesel, raised pilothouse, large saloon, and roomy galley to keep crew fed during longer trips. A large engine room makes routine maintenance a snap. Amenities such as an onboard washer/dryer, extensive storage space, and a bright but traditional interior endear themselves to sailors to who may be making the transition to power.

Dufour 382

Dufour 382

Length 38' | Beam 12'6" | Draft 6'6" | Fuel 52 Gal. | Water 100 Gal. | Waste 13 Gal.

Dufour 382 galley

French builder Dufour has hit a home run with the 382, equally at home on the racecourse or loaded up with the family for a week-long cruise.

Dufour Yachts has more than 50 years experience in building sailing yachts, so they have learned a thing or two along the way about what works and what doesn't. Look quickly at the 382 and you'll think that you are looking at a much larger boat. With an opening, almost the full-width of the transom that folds down to form a swim platform, getting in and out of the boat from a dinghy should be a cinch. Twin wheels, a split adjustable backstay, beam carried almost all the way aft, and a chine crease just above the waterline, owe more than just a passing nod to Open 60 raceboats in the looks department. A variety of layout options are offered for the accommodation spaces below depending on owner requirements, so this boat should be a hit with both PHRF racers and family cruisers.

Cruisers 60 Cantius

Cruisers 60 Cantius

Length 59'4" | Beam 16' | Draft 4'2" | Fuel 650 Gal. | Water 149 Gal. | Waste 100 Gal.

Cruisers 60 Cantius helm

Oodles of light penetrates the interior of the 60, the flagship of the Cruisers range, thanks to an opening roof panel and a plethora of windows.

Billed as the flagship of the Cruisers line, the 60 Cantius is designed for entertaining. The cockpit, galley, saloon, and helm are all on one level, so moving from one area to another is, almost literally, a stroll around the deck. Accommodations below are equally spacious and luxurious, with a midships full-width master complete with king-size bed. A light color palette enhances the feeling of openness, and large windows set into the hull sides let in plenty of natural light. When it comes time to head out, the twin 950-hp Volvo engines with IPS drives should have plenty of get up and go. The helm station is well set up with ample room for electronics and features twin chairs for captain and mate. Available options include crew cabin and tender storage.

Scout 420 LXF

Scout 420 LXF

Length 42' | Beam 13'1" | Draft 4'2" | Fuel 500 Gal. | Water 69 Gal. | Waste 18 Gal.

Scout 420 LXF running

If you want to get there in a hurry, you can specify not three but four 350-hp outboards on the Scout 420.

This boat is most definitely not your grandfather's center-console. At more than 40 feet in length, and with quad 350-hp outboards on the transom, it makes a bold statement. The epoxy-infused hull is tougher and lighter than boats made from more traditional polyester resins, with the added advantage that gelcoat blistering should be a thing of the past. Capable of speeds in excess of 70 mph, trips to a favorite fishing spot will be swift. There are rod holders aplenty, an 80-gallon cockpit bait well, and large fish boxes for holding the day's catch. The cabin below the console boasts a two-burner gas cooktop, air conditioning, and fully enclosed head with shower.

Solaris 50

Solaris 50

Length 53' | Beam 16'1" | Draft 7'4" | Fuel 17 Gal. | Water 191 Gal.

Solaris 50 interor

With typical Italian style, this boat does not disappoint in the looks department.

Staying at the dock because you don't have enough crew to go sailing is not an excuse that you're likely to hear aboard the latest boat from Solaris Yachts. With a self-tacking jib and electric winches within easy reach of the helmsman, sailing this yacht should be a simple, uncomplicated affair for two people.

Built in Italy, this new model is designed to fill the slot between existing 44 and 58 models. Sail-control lines run under the deck in galleries, and the spray hood folds completely away into the deck when not required for a thoroughly modern-looking, clean, uncluttered, and trip-free deck. If you can drag yourself away from the boat, you can admire the yacht's lines as you motor to the dock in the RIB, which stows in the garage below the cockpit.

MJM 50

MJM 50

Length 55'3" | Beam 15' | Draft 3'3" | Fuel 520 Gal. | Water 170 Gal. | Waste 30 Gal.

MJM 50 helm

The MJM 50 shares many characteristics with its smaller siblings: traditional style, melded with modern conveniences.

MJM has been building fast, fuel-efficient motoryachts for more than a decade now, and it's making a big leap to a 50-foot model. Powered by twin or even triple Volvo IPS, the lightweight and slender MJM should hit 40 knots when powered by the triples. If you're not in such a rush, stick with the twins and log 0.9 nautical miles per gallon at a 30-knot cruise speed, a significant increase over most boats this size. But the most striking addition to this model is the standard inclusion of a Seakeeper gyro stabilizer system. Seakeeper gyros can virtually eliminate roll, and its presence aboard should help the MJM stand out from the competition.

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Mark Corke

Contributing Editor, BoatUS Magazine

A marine surveyor and holder of RYA Yachtmaster Ocean certification, BoatUS Magazine contributing editor Mark Corke is one of our DIY gurus, creating easy-to-follow how-to articles and videos. Mark has built five boats himself (both power and sail), has been an experienced editor at several top boating magazines (including former associate editor of BoatUS Magazine), worked for the BBC, written four DIY books, skippered two round-the-world yachts, and holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest there-and-back crossing of the English Channel — in a kayak! He and his wife have a Grand Banks 32.