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What You Missed at the Miami Boat Shows

No one can see everything at a huge multi-venue boat show like the one that went down at Miami. But if you’re in the market for buying and selling boats it’s good to know what’s going on. New boat launches, design trends, and hot electronics upgrades can all change the way your boat appears on the market. Here are three things you should know about.

The Azimut 66 Fly, introduced to the U.S. at Yachts Miami Beach, has a carbon fiber flying bridge to ensure performance without sacrificing onboard space.

The Azimut 66 Fly, introduced to the U.S. at Yachts Miami Beach, has a carbon fiber flying bridge to ensure performance without sacrificing onboard space.

The Ride Is Everything

A boat can look great and sleep eight, but if it doesn’t handle well, the owner is going to bored, or scared, or worst of all, both. Builders ranging from as Azimut Yachts to Prestige to Axopar all made it very clear to me that paying attention to center of gravity and weight is a big part of their boat design philosophy.

What this means: Boats of all sizes getting comparable speed and boat handling with smaller engines are going to be more and more common, and the happy result is they will be in a great position when the oil prices rise—which they will.

What this means to you: You may have gone with higher horsepower engines to ensure better resale. This thought process was valid when you did it, and it’s still valid in some segments (sportfishing, I’m looking in your direction), but just be aware of the trend.

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While service points are accessible around the Volvo Penta diesel on the Nimbus 365, the soundbox can be disassembled to simplify bigger projects.

Quiet = Comfort

I saw a boat, the Nimbus Boats 365, that had it’s single Volvo Penta diesel in a sound box. I had never seen that before. But it’s a trend we’re seeing as people realize that engine noise is exhausting and unpleasant.

What this means: Boaters are figuring out they don’t have to put up with the noise levels and vibration of yesteryear, and that’s good, because they enjoy themselves much more.

What this means to you: Pay attention to how loud your boat is, and maybe speak to your service manager or surveyor about what you can do to alleviate the issue. Softer engine mounts, addition of a thrust bearing, aftermarket sound-deadening systems—alone or in combination these can change the game.

The Furuno DRS4NXT solid-state radar looks similar to other 4-kilowatt radars, but it’s what’s on screen that counts, as shown by Product Manager Eric Kunz on a morning sea trial at the show.

The Furuno DRS4NXT solid-state radar looks similar to other 4-kilowatt radars, but it’s what’s on screen that counts, as shown by Product Manager Eric Kunz on a morning sea trial at the show.

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Smarter Radar

Furuno rolled out a solid-state radar system that utilizes all sorts of technology to make it simpler to read and therefore safer for you to be on the water in low-visibility conditions. The Furuno DRS4DNXT uses Doppler technology to paint targets that present a “threat”—that is, they are approaching at a rate of 3 knots or more on a course that could intersect with yours—and show them as red on the screen.

What this means: As this system, and others like it from other manufacturers grow in prominence in the marketplace—boaters will become dependent on them.

What this means to you: Your old electronics begin to look even older and could become a liability when it comes time to sell.

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