One of our favorite things every year is discovering new power cruisers at fall boat shows. Large or small, fancy or practical, these new boats are like presents under the tree. This year, the boat building elves were busy with dozens of new hulls launched. Here’s a small sample of some of our favorites (ordered by length) that our team got to enjoy in 2018—and be sure to look at last year's models in the Best Power Cruisers of 2017.
Ocean Alexander 90R
A complete departure from Ocean Alexander’s typical exterior and interior styling is the new 90-footer described by the company as revolutionary and we think it might be a bit rebellious as well.
As a tri-deck yacht, she’s a tall boat with a full, nearly plumb bow. Her irregularly-shaped windows and numerous sharp angles give her an almost camouflaged appearance, as if there’s not really one set of lines that define her profile, but many. A large swim platform leads into a “beach club” on the same level. Behind curved sliding doors, the beach club holds an L-shaped settee to port and a wet bar topped by a flatscreen TV to starboard. When inside looking out, the entire transom seems like a wall of glass.
Powered by twin MTU 1600 HP diesels, the OA 90R looks like she was built to go far and to get there fast. With 3,000 gallons of fuel, she’s no day boat but instead a cruiser that will take eight guests on distant sun-splashed adventures.
See Ocean Alexander 90R listings, or read our full review of the Ocean Alexander 90R.
Horizon Power Catamarans is the largest manufacturer in Asia and the fifth largest custom yacht builder in the world. The new PC65 joined her 52, 60 and 74-foot sisters this year to the delight of power multihull fans. Offered as either an open flybridge or skylounge design, the PC65 also offers tailored custom interior layouts including a master suite on the main deck.
Although the interiors vary, our test boat showcased impressive design features in the salon including a truly unique staircase to the upper deck and a headliner reminiscent of a flowing river overhead. The master forward offers 180-degree views and ample closet space that any owner will appreciate.
The standard engine package includes twin CAT 850 HP diesels but 1000 hp motors are available. With a displacement of well over 100,000 pounds, the larger engines may be preferable. The Horizon PC65 is expected to do heavy charter work so even if your wallet won’t stretch far enough to buy one, you still may be able to enjoy a week aboard on vacation.
See Horizon PC65 listings.
Grand Banks 60 Skylounge
The Grand Banks 60 Skylounge features an enclosed bridge for extra climate-controlled living space. The upper deck is an infused carbon fiber construction to keep the center of gravity low and the handling steady. The standard engines are twin Volvo Penta D13 900 HP diesels with straight shafts but an IPS pod-drive package is available. She has a range of 2,500 miles at 10 knots but this grande dame is no slowpoke since she can reach a top speed of 36 knots.
Interior styling is pure Grand Banks with classic teak surfaces and exceptional joinery work. With the helm up in the skylounge, the main deck feels long and un-crowded with ample space for cooking, eating and relaxing. On the lower level, the master is amidships with good stowage space. The VIP cabin is in the bow and an over/under twin cabin is to starboard. For those who like the look of a traditional yacht with the chops to go far, the Grand Banks 60 Skylounge should make the shortlist.
See Grand Banks 60 Skylounge listings.
For those who eschew tradition there’s the new Zeelander Z55. All sexy lines and retro styling, this boat is for anyone who wants some thing different, special and eye-catching. The Z55 follows on the very successful heels of her 44-foot sister and she doesn’t disappoint.
All curvy and luscious on the outside, she’s quite modern, sleek and comfortable in her accommodations. The master suite is amidships, the VIP cabin has a bed on the diagonal in the forepeak and the third cabin has bunk beds. Outside you really need sunglasses as you take in all the reflective surfaces like the ample use of glass in the doors and electric aft window, the chromed accents and the acres of gleaming varnish accents.
The transom that forms the rounded caboose of the boat when closed opens electrically to create a large swim platform when at anchor. The settee in the cockpit is perfect for meals and there’s seating for four more at the bar that is a seamless extension of the galley just inside. Round deck hatches and three sets of vertical hull ports on either side add to the retro look that evokes images of 1960s racing cars.
See Zeelander listings, or read more about the Z55 in our Look Back at 2018: 10 New Boats that "Wowed" Us.
Palm Beach GT50
Another model that reaches for the auto styling of yesteryear is the new Palm Beach GT50 (which also happens to be on our list in our Look Back at 2018: 10 New Boats that "Wowed" Us). With diamond pattern stitching on the interior upholstery and the long lean, bullet-like profile, the GT 50 is like a classic gone uber-contemporary.
The GT50 is a true performance boat reaching a top speed of 42 knots. She’ll cruise at 35 knots with her twin Volvo Penta 600-hp IPS 800s. To achieve this kind of performance, the vessel was kept light (under 29,000 pounds). The hull construction is e-glass while the deck and superstructure is 100% infused carbon fiber.
The GT50 is the first model in a new lineup and 60 and 70-foot designs are expected to follow. An open (topless) model is due out in 2019.
See Palm Beach Motor Yacht listings.
Beneteau Swift Trawler 35
Beneteau cracked the code on couples’ distance cruising with the introduction of their first Swift Trawler years ago. Since then, the additional models in the series have been evolving and this year’s introduction includes the Swift 35, which replaces her 34-foot predecessor.
Built on a semi-planing hull, the Swift 35 is a trawler that gets up and goes thanks to her single Cummins 425 engine. That means you can cruise at lower speed with great fuel-efficiency but when it comes time to head home, you’ll have no trouble outrunning a storm.
The windows of the wheelhouse and saloon offer 360-degree views and a useful door by the helm so the driver can step out to the side deck quickly. In the galley, the twin sink coverts to a worktop so multiple chefs can work simultaneously. The saloon sofa converts to a berth for extra guests and the aft cockpit has enough room for al fresco dining. A continuing and terrific feature is the opening transom with gate doors that swing open to the swim platform. Each side also has a fold-down seat so you can sit at the water’s edge and enjoy a good cup of coffee.
See Beneteau Swift Trawler 35 listings, or read similar reviews on the Swift Trawler 30 and the Swift Trawler 44.
Hinckley Sport Boat 40c
Some boats are converted to outboard propulsion and some are designed for it from the outset. Built with epoxy-infused carbon fiber and Kevlar, this hot new Hinckley combines a center console design with the traditional refinement the brand is known for.
The bow holds a J-shaped settee and side table. Aft, there’s a transom seat and driver and companion seating amidships. This is a center console you can overnight on because there’s a full cabin brloe with a refrigerator, cooktop, microwave and a cappuccino machine. The U-shaped dinette for three converts to a queen-sized berth. Additional cooking facilities are topsides with an optional electric grill built into the leaning post.
The deep V-hull is driven by triple 300 HP outboards or optional twin 627s from Seven Marine that will reach 60 MPH. Leaving nothing to chance, Hinckley also offers an optional Seakeeper 3 gyrostabilizer for a great night’s sleep even in a rolly anchorage.
See Hinckley listings.
Cruisers Yachts 338 OB
The Cruisers 338 bow rider was introduced a few years ago but now the company has taken that yacht in a new direction. Following the industry trend toward outboard propulsion, Cruisers has switched up their traditional choice of power plant and introduced the 338 OB powered by twin Mercury Verado 350s. Controlled with a joystick, the new boat is a snap to dock and the big engines make it fast out of the hole.
Now that the engines are mounted aft onto the ample swim platform, there’s generous stowage space inside where the inboard used to be. There’s enough room for an optional genset and a lot of toys. The cockpit is spacious with L-shaped seating plus the companion seat to port that can convert from forward to aft-facing.
Also to port is the walkthrough to the bow where you’ll find more seating as you will on the transom where the aft seat converts into a sunpad. If you need to get away from the heat or maybe the guests, duck into the air conditioned cabin below where you can eat, watch TV or nap.
See Cruisers Yachts 338 OB listings, or read our full review on the Cruisers Yachts 338 Palm Beach Edition Bow Rider Review.
Pursuit S 288 Sport
Another center console, but one that is built to be a more serious fishing machine, is the Pursuit S 288 Sport. This design is compact but there’s no shortage of attention to detail. Step aboard through the side hull gate and you’ll be standing just ahead of the 24-gallon livewell and on top of the 45-gallon fish box fitted under the cockpit sole.
Forward, there are seats both port and starboard that hide insulated boxes with drains and a double seat that opens to reveal an electric head. The center console has a composite hardtop and a tempered glass windshield. The trailing edge holds multiple rocket launchers and optional Taco outriggers are available. Gunnel and transom-mounted rod holders enable numerous fishermen to enjoy the day together.
At the helm there are twin Garmin multifunction displays and the seats have a flip-up bolsters for comfortable driving while standing. The helm seat base has dedicated tackle storage and drawers accessed from the aft end. A transom door allows access to the platform and the twin 300 HP Yamaha outboards. But just in case you thought the 288 Sport is all about fishing, note that there’s a ski tow eye available so the whole family can have a great day on the water.
See listings for Pursuit S 288 Sport.
Boston Whaler 160 Super Sport
Not all our favorite power cruisers were big boats. One pint-sized pleaser is the new 16-foot Boston Whaler with a 75 HP or 90 HP Mercury outboard, a 19-gallon fuel tank and a six-person capacity. She may be compact but there’s no shortage of features including dual aft swim platforms, a lockable and water resistant storage compartment in the forward console and an optional ski tow eye. Comfort accents include two midship seats, a bow cushion with rail for lounging up front and two cupholders.
With the standard 75 HP propulsion package a top speed of 37.7 mph can be reached at 5500 rpm. A more economical cruise can be found at 3500 rpm where the standard engine will reach nearly 20 MPH and will burn just over three gallons per hour.
The Boston Whaler 160 Super Sport was redesigned from the keel up and guarantees to keep the whole family entertained whether skiing, fishing or cruising the harbor at cocktail hour.
See Boston Whaler 160 Super Sport listings.