Walking the docks at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show, you’ll see everything from megayachts to bowriders. All the big manufacturers are there, as well as the custom builders and even the “little guys." But every year, there are a few true stand-outs. Fantasy boats that send an arrow right through our hearts, and steal the show. Here are five we saw this year that blew us away.
1. Boston Whaler 420 Outrage – Is it an Outrage, or is it outrageous? Yes. The 420 gives new meaning to the term center console, while at the same time providing both luxury cruising and serious fishing platforms. Cruisers will groove on the monster center console cabin, which stacks up against the cabin in most express cruisers. It has a galley, enclosed head, settee, V-berth, and seven feet of headroom. On top of that, the air-conditioning system is extraordinarily potent—and is also piped to the helm, where a cool breeze smashed the sweltering mid-day Florida heat.
Anglers, meanwhile, will appreciate the livewell, tower with upper station, 360-degree fishability, and rodracks, rodracks, rodracks, every which way you look. They’ll also enjoy beating the tournament competitors to the fishing grounds—quadruple 300 HP Mercury Verado outboards grace the transom. For more information, visit Boston Whaler.
2. Everglades 435cc – Also in the super-mega-center-console department, we found the Everglades 435cc. This boat tilts more towards hard-core angling and less towards cruising, with a smaller cabin and more deck space. But don’t sell the cabin short; it’s still rather extreme for a center console. It has a berth, a small galley, and an enclosed head. More to the point, its fishing features are phenomenal: there’s a 225-gallon fishbox which may be the largest we’ve ever seen on a recreational center console. Livewell capacity is a whopping 120 gallons, split into a pair of 60-gallon wells. And the bait/tackle prep station has not one, not five, but 10 tackle drawers.
Power is provided by quad F350 Yamaha outboards, and yes, she does fly—top end is 59.7 MPH. At a mellow 4500 RPM cruise, the boat zips along at 44.2 MPH. You can find out more on the Everglades website.
3. Magnum 51 Bestia – This one's a beast—with over 3,800 horsepower coupled to Arneson surface drives, the 51 can hit speeds in excess of 70-MPH. That’s pretty darn fast for a boat over 50’ long and weighing more than 15 tons. As you might expect, this fire-breathing speed machine is riddled with luxury on the inside. The cabin has seven feet of headroom, a double cabin with a queen berth, a full galley, and even a small crew’s cabin. It’s not exactly what we’d call a practical boat, but yeah, we want one. For more information, visit Magnum.
4. Ocean Alexander 100 – When a boat just won’t do, it’s time to move over into the yacht category. And one new entry that wowed us at Lauderdale was the Ocean Alexander 100 Megayacht. This 100’2” long by 23’0” wide chunk of lovely is designed for both pleasure cruising and chartering, so it has a few special perks like an over-sized galley, and a relatively large crew’s quarters.
There’s formal dining for eight, an open bridge, and the 100 is available with an enclosed skylounge. The full-beam master has his-and-hers heads, there’s a forward VIP, and two more guest staterooms. Break out the Grey Poupon, and then head to Ocean Alexander to learn more.
5. Sea Ray L590 – The “L” stands for luxury, and once you step inside this boat, you realize that the 590 deserves to be called luxurious. In fact, it’s hard to believe that a large production builder like Sea Ray created this yacht—and yes, it is a yacht, make no mistake about it. We’re used to seeing quality and bang-for-your-buck from Sea Ray, but the L590 is just simply in a different class. In the master suite, for example, we discovered built-in jewelry, watch, and shoe stowage that befits royalty. In the cabin entry, an ingenious split between the head and vanity boosts elbow room in every direction. Where the cabin and cockpit meet, a sliding door allows you get rid of the aft bulkhead almost 100-percent, joining the inside and the outside in one fell swoop. And, did we mention triple Zeus pod drive propulsion?
Want to find out more? Yeah, you know where to go: Sea Ray.
Truth be told, there were dozens of impressive boats at the Lauderdale show. From the Bahia Mar to the convention center, gleaming fiberglass, shiny new outboards, and spiffy marine products greeted us. We wish you could have been there.
Wait a sec—you may have missed the show, but you can still see all these magnificent marine machines. In the coming weeks we’ll publish no less than 20 First Look Videos of sweet new boats we saw at the show, including these five hotties. Subscribe to our YouTube channel, and you’ll get a notification each time a new one rolls out. In the meantime, you can get a glimpse of all the beautiful fiberglass we’ve found at past boat shows, from Miami to Cannes, in our Featured Videos section. Enjoy!