We had the opportunity to see, touch and experience a number of new motor yachts and power cruisers over the past year, but which would we call the best? While many made great impressions, some clearly stood out from the pack—here are 10 of our favorites for 2013 (ordered by size).
Marlow Mainship 32 - When David Marlow acquired the rights to Mainship in 2012, it was big news in the marine world since the founder of Marlow Yachts is known for building premium raised pilothouse yachts, like the Marlow 80 Explorer. Mainship, although a recognized name, was in need of a makeover. Marlow has redefined the brand with the Marlow Mainship 32, a displacement-style cruiser with salty looks and a few state-of-the-art features packaged in a platform that’s competitively priced. Key features include power: The standard boat has 75-hp Yanmar diesels with a Saildrive drive system. There are twin keels too that, among other things, reduce drag and improve tracking. As for performance, the Marlow is ready for the long haul. At a 9.9-knot cruise, the boat has a range of 899 statute miles. And owners will travel in style, too, as the boat has plenty of teak. For more information, visit Mainship.
Pursuit 365 SCi - Until recently, most of us thought of Pursuit boats as platforms for hardcore anglers, but the debut of the SC 365i altered that perception. While it shares the DNA of a classic Pursuit, it’s not a fishing machine. This is a cruiser so beautifully finished that it will appeal to those who’d prefer to serve cocktails in the cockpit rather than drag baits. The boat is based on a brand-new deep-V hull engineered specifically for Yamaha outboards. But where are they? The 350-hp motors are concealed inside a well that reduces the noise of these already quiet power plants, thereby allowing the boat’s lines to look fluid, modern and yacht-club-ready. Equipped for cruising, the Pursuit’s cabin features a galley, head, convertible dinette and full-beam mid-cabin.
For more information read Pursuit SC-365 Sport Yacht: A New Direction, or visit Pursuit.
Back Cove Downeast 37 - When the Maine-based builder went to the drawing board to design this new model, it had two goals: create lines so pretty they’ll stop dock-walkers in their tracks, and offer one of the roomiest decks on a boat in this class. Back Cove succeeds on both counts in the Downeast 37. It has the achingly lovely profile of its siblings, and it’s based on the same hull as the Back Cove 37, but the deck is totally different. This boat has almost 20 feet of cockpit and helm deck space combined, which makes this an excellent platform for entertaining by day. But it’s an overnighter as well, although for a couple only since there’s a single stateroom forward. Like its sisterships, this 37 is powered by a fuel-efficient single engine. For more information, visit Back Cove Yachts.
Carver C40 - Not everyone wants to wait until retirement to buy a capable cruising boat and start living the dream. Some want to write a check while raising kids and footing the bills for everything from braces to tuition. The Carver C40 was designed for those families who need spacious accommodations, reliable performance and a monthly payment that’s a bit easier on the checkbook. This command bridge features the new styling and fresh lines that are redefining the Carver brand. Key features include two big outdoor entertaining areas (bridge and cockpit) and main cabin with salon and galley on the same level. For overnighting, there’s a master stateroom, a guest cabin and convertible lounge in the salon. The C40 has a pair of inboard engines (gas or diesel). A standard bow thruster takes the stress out of dock approaches. For more information, read Carver C40: A New Cruiser is Coming to Town, or visit Carver Yachts.
Monte Carlo MC5 - From Group Beneateau comes a 49’10”-long cruiser in a new line of flybridge motoryachts under 60 feet designed to pair the French builder’s industrial know-how with Italian design. If you love modern lines and have an appreciation for a well-executed build, check it out. With a plumb bow and angular high-freeboard it’s new take on a mid-size cruising powerboat. Because there’s nothing else out there that looks quite like it, it’s right for skippers who want to drive an original, even if it is a production build. This three-stateroom, two-head cruiser is powered by twin Volvo Penta IPS 500s or 600s that offer solid performance. The real lure, however, is in the quality detailing, looks, and comfortable ride and accommodations. For more information, read Beneteau Monte Carlo MC5, or visit Monte Carlo Yachts.
Grand Banks Eastbay 50 SX - The Downeast-style Eastbay series has a loyal following and excellent reputation for seaworthiness and quality, yet that didn’t stop Grand Banks from powering up into uncharted waters. Because the new 50 is the first Grand Banks with Volvo Penta’s IPS pod drive system it’s a departure for a builder with a history in straight-shaft diesels. Standard power is a pair of 600-hp IPS 800s, which should push the boat to 28.9 knots at WOT and 22.5 knots at cruise. Styling, while still elegantly conservative, breaks with the Grand Banks tradition, too, although ever so gently with a low-profile trunk cabin. While the 50 showcases some new thinking, it embraces the rugged construction (think: PVC foam-cored hull) that makes this a go-to brand for very serious cruising yachtsmen. For more information, visit Grand Banks.
Azimut 55S - This new addition to the Italian builder’s S Collection of sport yachts won a few international design awards and draws stares everywhere it moors with its bold styling, from the futuristic windows to the snub-nosed bow with an ax-blade edge. This is not a boat for shrinking violets, and that’s just what we expect from a manufacturer that’s always been on the cutting edge of design. But there’s more to the 55S than meets the eye. It’s high-tech with a superstructure made almost entirely of carbon fiber and not two but three Volvo IPS pod drive engines. That trio frees up more usable space in the cabin, where there’s a big master stateroom with en-suite head. As for performance, this sport yacht should make 36 knots at top end and cruise between 22 and 30 knots. For more information, read Azimut 55S: Driven to Perfection, or visit Azimut Yachts.
Pershing 62 - Pershing of Italy has been building boats for 25 years, and in that time, it seems there hasn't been one that wasn't fast, sleek and powerful. This latest luxury sport cruising yacht is no exception. The low-slung lines hint at the adrenaline rush the driver will experience under way: with the optional pair of 1,524-hp MTUs, the 62 tops out near 46.5 knots and cruises at 42. It’s one part muscle-boat and one part motoryacht, with accommodations for cruising in the toniest ports. Two layouts are available: one with three cabins and three heads; another with two cabins (an amidships master suite and VIP stateroom at the bow). Hot feature? The launch and stow system for the tender is one previously available only the larger Pershings.
For more information, visit Pershing.
Princess Yachts V62 - This U.K.-based builder debuted no fewer than five new cruising models in the U.S. in the past year, each one seemingly more impressive than the last. Among the new launches we’re smitten by the V62, with its silken exterior and tough-as-nails build. This express-style performance machine draws its DNA from the other models in the builder’s V class, which, while great for the Med and the sun worshippers who frequent ports there, is also a thoroughly seakindly cruiser. The 62 is near the top end in length for most owner/operators, but as an express, it’s a bit easier for an owner to handle. At boat shows, it drew interest from people trading up to bigger boats and those who wanted to downsize from a flybridge without sacrificing comfort or quality. For more information read Princess V62 S: British Beauty, or visit Princess Yachts.
Hatteras 100 RP - Though best known for its iconic sportfishing boats, Hatteras has a rich reputation for building cruisers that lack for nothing and count among their peers some of the finest yachts in the world. The 100 Raised Pilothouse carries that tradition forward. We like the enormous flying bridge equipped with modular furniture that can be arranged to your whims. There’s a helm on the bridge, too, but the main driving station is in the pilothouse, where the captain takes control of the Hatteras Monitoring System that uses touch-screen technology to control nearly every function aboard the boat. This is luxury cruising in the 21st century. The 100 sleeps eight in four staterooms, including a full-beam master suite amidships. Power is twin 1,900-hp Cat C32 Acert diesels that deliver a top-end speed of about 25 knots. For more information, visit Hatteras Yachts.
Also check out our picks for 10 Top Express Cruisers: Favorites for Family Friendly Boating Fun.