Think Big: New Boats Over 40 Feet

By Mark Corke

As much as we love our boats, there's a touch of envy in every mariner, and it's always fun to imagine yourself on that bigger, fancier model.

Sabre 66 Dirigo

Sabre 66 DirigoLength: 73'9" | Beam: 18'1" | Draft: 5'1" | Fuel: 975 gal | Water: 300 gal | Waste: 120 gal | Displacement: 82,500 lbs

Highlight: No need for bow and stern thrusters with this boat. Twin Volvo engines and IPS forward-facing pod drives make joystick docking a walk in the park.

The largest in the Sabre Yachts fleet has all the comforts of home. Designed to be owner-operated, there's plenty of room for guests; all told there's palatial accommodations aboard with room for six in three doubles. The master suite is amidships, with head and shower. Forward is another roomy double called the VIP suite, also with head and shower. The third cabin is in the bow with an island queen that converts to twin beds at the push of a button. A third head compartment serves the forward cabin, and is the day head.

The galley is down from the main saloon, featuring granite counters and full-size appliances. The saloon features a dining table that seats eight, club chairs, and a bar area aft. Doors at the rear open to the large cockpit where there's additional seating and teak-sole decking. The helm is at the forward end of the saloon, partitioned off by a step up and settee.

Sabre 66 Dirigo helm

Twin 900-hp Volvo engines connected to Volvo Penta IPS drives offer a top speed of about 32 knots. At this speed expect to burn close to 3 gallons per mile. Slow it down to displacement speeds of 11 knots and you'll get three times the range.

Duffield 58

Duffield 58Length: 61'3" | Beam: 15'9" | Draft: 5'4" | Fuel: 1,000 gal | Water: 250 gal | Waste: 115 gal | Displacement: 53,000 lbs

Highlight: A Seakeeper gyroscopic stabilizer comes standard for comfort, both at anchor and underway.

This boat's distinctive lines come from the design studio of naval architect Doug Zurn, who's responsible for designing yachts for Marlow, MJM, Bruckmann, and Lyman-Morse. Unlike many yachts of her size, the 58 has only one engine, a 985-hp Caterpillar diesel that brings this Duffield easily to 18 knots, yet at this speed burns 29 gallons per hour — impressive for a boat of this size. Surprisingly, draft is just over 5 feet, great for the Bahamas.

Duffield 58 helm

There are three double cabins belowdecks with heads and showers. On the main deck, each area flows to the next. The helm forward and plenty of windows let in lots of light and give the helmsman a good all-around view. Off-watch crew can enjoy the view from the wraparound settee to port. Behind the helm is the U-shaped galley with access to the main dining and sitting area aft. Doors open to a spacious aft deck, which features a drop-down transom for boarding a dinghy or taking a swim. When the weather cooperates, the boat can be operated from the spacious flybridge.

Fleming 55

Fleming 55Length: 60'9" | Beam: 16'0" | Draft: 5'0" | Fuel: 1,000 gal | Water: 300 gal | Waste: 100 gal | Displacement: 67,801 lbs

Highlight: A Portuguese bridge gives easy access to the forward deck and an open-air front row view of what's ahead.

The 55 is the "smallest" boat in the Fleming Yachts fleet, but it's still big on amenities. Rather than cram in lots of cabins, the boat is set up for a couple with the master stateroom forward. This cabin features an island queen, two large hanging lockers, and en suite head with shower. Moving aft, the buyer has the option of either another double to port or a cabin with twin beds. To starboard is the third cabin with a set of bunk beds, ideal for children. Both of these secondary guest cabins share a head with shower.

Stairs lead from the cabins to the main saloon where there's a large U-shaped galley to port, aft of which is the main seating area with a dining table and settee. Up three steps from the saloon and you're in the raised pilothouse, with a large chair for the captain, elevated seating for those off watch, and a small table for meals underway.

Fleming 55 main seating area

There are covered walk-around side decks and ample space up front for anchor handling and sun lounging. The flybridge is the place where many skippers will opt to drive the boat in good weather, and there's plenty of space for captain and crew to take in the sights. The extension aft of the flybridge covers the aft cockpit and makes a handy place to stow the dinghy; an electric davit makes launching a breeze.

A semi-displacement hull means that at slower speeds this boat will be fairly economical to operate and offers trans-Atlantic range from her 1,000-gallon fuel tanks. In a hurry? She'll top out just over 18 knots.

Sea Ray L550

Sea Ray L550Length: 56'3" | Beam: 15'7" | Draft: 4'0" | Fuel: 580 gal | Water: 150 gal | Waste: 68 gal | Displacement: 57,800 lbs

Highlight: A humongous aft lazarette can be configured as a crew cabin.

The L550 is the latest entry in Sea Ray's L-Class of luxury cruisers. The boat is designed with socializing in mind, with a wide-open saloon stretching from the helm to the rear cockpit. A triple sliding door at the aft end of the saloon provides a level walkthrough to the outside. The galley is situated at the aft end of the saloon. There are plenty of wood accents to keep the traditionalist happy, offset by plush seating in Ultrasuede. The whole boat is wired with the latest electronic controls, and almost everything can be controlled from an array of touchscreens at the helm.

Sea Ray L550 salon

Below, you'll find the master amidships with the bed set at an angle to maximize space in the cabin; a dedicated head is accessed via a sliding pocket door. An island queen is forward in the bow; positioned between that and the master is the third cabin with twin beds — sleeping for six in all. Power comes from a pair of 850-hp Caterpillar engines that give the L550 a top speed of close to 30 knots.

Intrepid 407 Cuddy

Intrepid 407 CuddyLength: 40'0" | Beam: 11'1" | Draft: 4'8" | Fuel: 387 gal | Water: 50 gal | Waste: 20 gal | Displacement: 17,000 lbs

Highlight: A unique hydraulic helm platform rises up to 4 inches to suit shorter captains, giving them a clear sightline over the console.

Semicustom builder Intrepid Powerboats is known for delivering a smooth, dry ride with supreme performance. Essentially this boat is a large center-console set up for serious offshore fishing. It has a cuddy with a queen that sleeps two forward for overnighting. The cuddy also includes a head compartment with separate shower, galley area, stowage, and air conditioning. A port-side dive door has an integrated foldaway stepladder.

The boats are built to the buyer's order, but the standard list of features is impressive: LED cockpit and nav lights, auto retracting trim tabs, live wells and fish holds, and a helm console with room for three multifunction displays.

Intrepid 407 Cuddy helm

Power comes from three outboards, and owners get to choose among all major brands and power options. Expect speeds in the 50-knot range. Additional upgrade options include a generator, gyrostabilization, hot-water systems, electric sunshade for the cockpit, and even external air conditioning.

Regal 42 Fly

Regal 42 FlyLength: 42'0" | Beam: 13'0"| Draft: 3'7" | Fuel: 258 gal | Water: 62 gal | Waste: 40 gal | Displacement: 27,500 lbs

Highlight: Want to catch some rays? Head to the foredeck where there's a large upholstered sunpad.

Regal markets the 42 Fly for owners who love socializing and the outdoors. Regal calls the companionway an "atrium" and the aft deck the "patio" — not the sort of terms one normally hears when referring to a 42-footer.

Regal 42 Fly foredeck

The cockpit opens directly into a large saloon, the galley is to starboard, and there's more seating to port. Interior appointments are in soft neutral colors to accent the airy feeling. Adjacent to the helm are steps to the lower level with access to the two large staterooms, each with its own head and shower. Large windows belowdecks nearly stretch the length of the hull. The flybridge offers unobstructed 360-degree views with wraparound seating. Twin 740-hp Volvo IPS engines come with joystick control.

Carver C52 Coupe

Carver C52 CoupeLength: 51'10" | Beam: 15'8" | Draft: 4'0" | Fuel: 550 gal | Water: 150 gal | Waste: 80 gal | Displacement: 43,000 lbs

Highlight: Want to spend more time outside? The C52 also comes in a flybridge version, known as the C52 Command Bridge.

Buyers of the C52 choose from three engine options, all by Cummins: 480, 600, or 715 hp. Size will ultimately make a difference to the top end, but any of the engines will easily perform in the 20- to 25-knot range. The plumb bow of the boat maximizes interior volume belowdecks to fit in three cabins. The master is accessed via a private stairway from the saloon. The other two guest cabins share a head and are down a companionway adjacent to the helm.

Carver C52 Coupe dinette

The aft deck flows into the huge galley and saloon, which are all on the same level. The main inside seating area is focused around the U-shaped settee to port of the helm, keeping guests close to the captain. To increase the feeling of openness, there's a sliding sunroof in the overhead of the saloon. Couple that with aft doors that slide out of the way, and you'll enjoy the wind in your hair without actually going outside. At the forward end of the deckhouse is an outdoor seating area with room for two.

Leopard 45

Leopard 45Length: 45'0" | Beam: 24'2" | Draft: 5'1" | Fuel: 185 gal | Water: 206 gal | Waste: 45 gal | Displacement: 31,967 lbs

Highlight: Huge ports around the main saloon allow in plenty of light, and there's even a door to a front "patio."

For maximizing space, a catamaran is hard to beat. With a boat that's over half as wide as it is long, you can get a lot in. The Leopard 45 from South African builder Robertson and Caine is available as a three- or four-cabin layout. The three-cabin layout is the more luxurious, with the entire starboard hull given over to the owner's suite. There's a large double queen bed aft, vanity and hanging locker, and a roomy head and shower forward. The port hull has an additional two doubles: one forward, one aft, each with their own heads.

Leopard 45 saloon

With a mast height of more than 65 feet and a voluminous sail area to match, this is one powerful boat capable of sailing at high speed day after day. When the wind dies, there are 45-hp diesel engines with saildrives integrated in each hull. With the engines spaced so far apart, maneuvering is far easier than expected for a 25-foot-wide boat. There's also tons of deck space, and the raised helm on the starboard side with its own hard bimini is a perfect spot to command the boat.

Formula 430SSC

Formula 430SSCLength: 43'0" | Beam: 12'0" | Draft: 3'5" | Fuel: 500 gal | Water: 52 gal | Waste: 43 gal | Displacement: 25,200 lbs

Highlight: Not one, but three retractable tables disappear into the deck when not needed.

Sportboat, fishing, fast cruiser, bow rider? It's hard to define the 430SSC as Formula has crammed a lot of boat into this new model, intended to appeal to a wide audience. There are four 300- or 350-hp Mercury Verados on the transom, so cruising speeds in the 50-knot range are possible. It's also the first Formula model with outboards since 1987, a testament to the appeal of outboards.

An expansive swim platform makes getting on and off the boat easy, whether from the dock or from the water. Soft, gray nonskid covers the deck areas and leads up into the helm deck, where there's a large bench seat with room for three at the helm. A U-shaped settee and retractable table that lowers into the sole separates the helm from an aft sun pad. There's even more seating in the bow, and you can get to this through an opening section of the windscreen to port. A door seals off the lower section to keep wind and water from making the helm area uncomfortable at speed.

Formula 430SSC main cockpit

To port of the helm is a door that leads down to the cabin, which features a large double, galley, heads, and seating area forward that can be made into another bunk by inserting an infill cushion.

Beneteau Sense 51

Beneteau Sense 51Length: 52'4" | Beam: 15'11" | Draft: 7'3" | Fuel: 110 gal | Water: 151 gal | Waste: 42 gal | Displacement: 34,195 lbs

Highlight: A nearly full-width opening transom is perfect for taking a dip at the end of long day on the water.

Unlike some 50-plus-foot sailboats, the Sense 51 separates the living from the sleeping areas and features fewer cabins that are more spacious, making this a boat for four or six, depending on whether the buyer opts for the two- or three-cabin layout.

Beneteau Sense 51 galley

The boat has a very open feel, and there's an abundance of natural light thanks to hull-side windows. Although there are plenty of wood accents — available in cherry or walnut — the interior feels bright and airy thanks to the light-color vinyl upholstery on the bulkheads, cabin overhead, and ceilings.

On deck the boat features a large cockpit, twin wheels, and seating for eight around the large folding table. Sail handling is from the safety and comfort of the cockpit. An 80-hp Yanmar saildrive unit provides ample power to push the boat to hull speed when the wind fails to cooperate. 

Check out a our YouTube playlist of how-to videos. You'll find a range of technical topics just for you.

— Published: October/November 2017

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