Posts Tagged ‘bow rider’

Four Winns Group Beneteau set to take Miami Boat Show by storm

43’ 6” New cruiser/ bow rider with a 13’ 4” beam.

Four Winns says “opening up the bow, this new boat will satisfy the most discerning customer looking for the perfect boat to entertain family and friends.

“We challenged the design team to look at a typical 43’ cruiser style boat and find a way to create more useful space,” stated Christophe Lavigne, vice-president of Engineering and Design for Rec Boat Holdings. “The front of the boat, with limited useful space above deck, became the obvious target for innovation. The result is the open bow concept that does not sacrifice the living space below deck,” Lavigne said.

You must start in the bow on the Horizon 440, its most unique feature. Large enough to hold your kid’s soccer team, the bow is packed with storage, built-in cooler, plenty of seating including extra-long lounges and a hydraulic table that rises from the floor, eliminating the need for storage. For the sunny afternoons, an optional sun shade provides protection while island hopping through the Bahamas. A JL Audio 5-speaker sound system provides the perfect party lounge. The cockpit of the Horizon 440 is patterned after the legendary Vista series from Four Winns providing plenty of room to move around and entertain. The rear, U-shaped seating area delivers plenty of seating room and entertaining is a breeze with the full refreshment center housing a refrigerator, icemaker and sink. Optional cockpit air conditioning is available for the warmer climates. The captain of the new

Horizon 440 is well equipped with IPS controls, double-wide companion helm seating with electric, 6-way adjustment for the driver. The aft area of the boat is a true outdoor living room, with a grill, sun lounger and large swim platform.

When your family is ready to stop for the night, move down below to a very cruiser-esque cabin area featuring a full size head with separate shower, open galley area and comfortable sofa with 40” TV. You can bring all your friends along with plenty of sleeping room featuring a queen size bed, aft cabin and forward berth.

The Horizon 440 bow cruiser is powered with Volvo Penta IPS twin 500 or 600 horsepower.

Do you love bow riders?


four winns bow rider cruiser 44

new Four Winns 2015 cruiser / bow rider

Keeping a cold one, cold

boat cup cooler

Seabuddy photo showing bottle, trim ring, and underside


Just introduced, your boat’s drink cup holders will chill your drinks.

Ask for Dometics’ new Cup Cooler from your boat builder, marina, or ship’s store to get the new one.

“The Cup Cooler makes your last sip even colder than your first. It allows boaters to keep a can, bottle or any appropriately sized beverage container chilled on even the hottest days, something that a typical cup holder or can koozie can’t begin to accomplish,” said Ned Trigg, Sr. VP of Global System Sales at Dometic Marine. “A soda or beer may be cold enough when you pull it out of the ice chest, but from that moment on, it starts warming up. Now, for the first time in the history of boating, your beverage will actually get colder as you drink it.”

Cans of soda, beer, and many bottles fit and are in contact with the electrically chilled sides of the Cup Cooler, which further chills your drink with its cooling element as you skipper your boat, friends fish, or the kids lounge in the sun. The angled bottom shape insert allows it to work, outstandingly, with many shapes.

It is designed to fit different thicknesses helm areas and decks and wires into your choice of an accessory switch or you can run several into one switch. Domestic has provided a drain each cup holder and it is cleaned, polished 316 stainless steel trim ring and a similar easy-clean aluminum interior. It is also lighted inside.

Here is a minute-long video on the Dometic Cup Cooler, please visit

Some of these photos are from me (Seabuddy), from where I saw it for the first time in early fall, and then Dometic’s photos. Mine is the least pretty one.


Cup Cooler dometic

as installed at your helm, Dometic photo


marine and RV cup cooler dometic

four in a row, Dometic photo

New marine fuel winter storage product

marine fuel stabilzer sta bil 360 winter storage boat

Sta Bil 360 Marine


Sta Bil 360 Marine adds new protection to your boat and its engine(s) for 2014. In many parts of the country, boaters have an off-season period. This can last four to 8 months depending on your home port. All you boaters that slip their boats in Key West, well Seabuddy is not talking about your boating fuel habits in a direct way in this write-up.

For the rest of us gas engine seasonal boat owners, let me suggest a few pointers.

Warning, I am not a chemist, I am simply passing on personal experiences and some advertising messaging put out by major players within the marine trades.

Put your boat away with the gas fuel tank 95% full.

At the beginning of your last fill up, pour in 1 oz. of Sta Bil 360 Marine for every 5 gallons of gas you intend to put in your boat.

Think about buying your Sta Bil 360 either at your nearest convenient marine store or at a low price shop. Google search “Sta Bil 360” at Walmart and Watch your final costs including shipping and sales tax. Use half as much at every fill-up during the season.

Here is a quote from the fuel stabilizer maker “STA-BIL 360 MARINE offers comprehensive protection by releasing a microscopic corrosion preventing vapor inside the fuel system that coats ALL metals parts, including the fuel tank, fuel sending unit, valves, carburetor, fuel injectors and intake manifold. It’s like fogging oil for your entire fuel system, offering “360 degrees” of corrosion protection and is safe to use in all types of gasoline – from ethanol-free fuel to E85.

STA-BIL 360 MARINE accomplishes everything our current STA-BIL products offer, including keeping fuel fresh, removing water, cleaning the fuel system and more, but this revolutionary new product provides an exciting new level of protection for ultimate performance. For the first time, STA-BIL 360 MARINE delivers corrosion protection above and below the fuel line by releasing an innovative vapor that coats all metal parts within the fuel system to prevent corrosion.

Once poured into a tank of fuel, STA-BIL 360 MARINE will provide a vaporized corrosion inhibitor coating for up to 12 months in a stored boat or equipment.”

This product is new for 2014 and it won the International Boatbuilder’s Exhibition & Conference (IBEX) Innovation Award in the Boat Care and Maintenance category.

IBEX is organized by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and judged by members of Boating Writers International (BWI), the award recognizes innovative distinction from other products currently being manufactured, benefit to the marine industry and consumers, practicality and cost-effectiveness.

Bow Rider Helm. Do not miss this one!

Going to a boat show? Take more than a look and sit in, adjust, and observe just how good the helm station is in a 264 FS bow rider.  Study the fit and high level of finish within the cockpit that it leads your eye and hand to experience major improvements that Monterey Boats is bringing to the marine marketplace. Look at the eyebrow over the dash and the gauges. It is as good as it gets for 2014!

monterey boat helm bow rider marine photo image

Monterey boats helm and cpatain's station

Board the boat from the swim platform and see the sun pad that changes into a rear seat.  Try the comfort of that seat and others. Definitely try the driver’s command chair and ALL of its features. Feel the shifter and eye the gauges their sight lines.

This is a 26’ 7” LOA bow rider runabout by Monterey Boats out of Florida that sets a fresh standard of luxury, effectiveness, and comfort for a day boat. Helm chair features, vinyl choices, storage, and comfort underfoot have all been addressed.

monterey boats bow rider fiberglass sport boat

aft seat set down as a sun platform

runabout bow seating rider monterey boats,

Bow seating in the Monterey Boats 264 FS

This boat has an 8’ 6” beam and is easy to trailer. She has a sweet running hull that takes an afternoon chop well and uses extra power easily. Special hull features are valuable items in terms of performance on the water. See the chine detail for yourself at a boat show. Power this one up. Check the gas tank capacity, also, as a for instance. Ask about these hull design and construction features and decide what power choices will do the job for you. The Monterey Boats 264 FS is a hit in the boating marketplace and a do not miss boat to see at a boat show.

Seabuddy thanks Monterey boats for these photos.

monterey boats on the water running

The good running Monterey 264 FS

Cobalt Boats Sets the Runabout World on Fire with its New R 5 Model

Her hull is designed for big lakes, open sounds, and expansive bays. Her interior is especially “yachtesque” with a dance-floor-wide cockpit in a bow rider configuartion. Exceptional water and pier access has been designed-in, not offered as an option. The new R 5 Cobalt is a customer’s boat. Understanding functional luxury requires study of this boat.

fiberglass boat photo image cobalt r 5

The running surface of the new 2013 Cobalt R 5

Cobalt listens to its customers and then it designs a boat to meet their needs. This Cobalt boat has a 21 degree transom deadrise, narrowed strakes, a sharper bow entry angle, and a careful respect to boat balance. Take a ride, experience how a sport boat can perform on your waters.

A driving push for this boat is the cockpit experience for boat owner and guests alike. Take a look for yourself—Cobalt has done something way different here than others have done in the past. The main seating offers many surprises that delight all onboard. The bow cockpit seating is huge and provides a wonderful place to lounge in the sun on the water. Shade is available for the main cockpit. The on-board storage on this boat is outstanding The head is easy to enter and generously big once inside. This runabout defines “ergonomics” for this class of sport boat. Vinyl, leather, hi-tech fiberglass, custom crafted metal, and a touch of wood accent trim sets an ambiance that few can match, even when one compares this new boat model boat to a classic boat from the 1930s.

fiberglass inboard outboard cobalt boat photo image bow rider

The new R 5 Cobalt bow rider, factory boat photo

Cobalt’s new R 5 has a LOA of 25’ 8” with a beam of 8’ 6” and a weight of around 4,900 LBS. She is certified by the Coast Guard to carry 14 passengers or 2,250 LBS of passengers and gear. Cobalt offers a selection of engines from 300 to 430 horsepower.

seabuddy thanks Cobalt for its photos.

My Monterey Bow Rider Runabout to Bimini, Bahamas Island off Miami, FL

miami inlet atlantic ocean

Heading out towards Bimini

There was no other boat in sight. No land to see off in the distance. Nothing. I was alone on the Atlantic Ocean about 11 miles off the coast of South Florida, heading to Bimini in the Bahamas Islands chain. The boat’s sounder had stopped reading the water depth long ago. My cell telephone no longer had a signal. I had the VHF on channel 16 and heard other boaters, but they were beyond my horizon. I slowed to idle to take it all in. I spun the boat a 360 and saw water in every direction. I was very, very happy.

The waves really were not bad at all. It was the broad spacing between the 5’ high swells that allowed me a rather gentle cruise to an offshore island. The boat slowly would rise and fall from the Gulf Stream waves under my keel.

This little adventure was a long-held dream of mine. I had been to the Bahamas several times, but always on other people’s boats. This time the good ship was mine. The Monterey bowrider that I had taken delivery of in Miami earlier in the month had been equipped. I’d also tested it for over 20 hours on short trips around the greater Miami area as I closely followed the weather forecast, waiting for the right day.

On the eve of my departure, NOAA’s marine weather indicated that the sea and wind conditions for a Bahamian Crossing would be close to perfect on Sunday. I checked out of my hotel, dropped off my rental car and prepared to sleep onboard in a sleeping bag so I could get an early start…

I wasn’t nervous. I’ve been boating for near 50 years and logged several thousand miles of cruising. I passed the first of four CG courses before I was a teenager. I’ve owned many boats and been on a variety of waterways across the country. I had confidence in myself and my boat. So I was cautious, but confident.

This boat is a 2006 Monterey 268 SS bow rider, powered by a single Mercruiser gas engine coupled to a Bravo III outdrive. In my test drives, I had proven that the hull had the bow shape and other design elements to make it a top-shelf choice for running in bigger water. She’s a deep boat and heavily constructed using top fiberglass materials. The stainless steel hardware is beefy. Most of the finer details are the best that the industry offers. The folks at Monterey had built me a very good boat.

I used Richardson’s chartbook, Florida Keys and Bimini, as well as Maptech’s Florida’s East Coast Chartkit for navigation. Both had pre-printed course headings overlaid on their charts. Since I didn’t want to leave from either Miami or Ft. Lauderdale, which were already charted in these books, I eyeballed a course using theirs as a starting point. BTW, the pre-charted routes differed in each book slightly, as one edition had been corrected to 1990 and the other to 2002. Courses can change over time due to magnetic North movement.

I checked and confirmed my course heading using a hand-held Garmin 48 GPS, putting in a lat/lon for my Bimini arrival point as a GO TO point. I was pleased that my roughly calculated course was within a few degrees once I was underway. My excuse for not developing a “better” course? I was crossing on a top weather day—and in a faster boat. And land would only be out of sight for about 30-35 miles.

But what about that Gulf Stream?

Think of the Gulf Stream as a “river”, running north within the Atlantic Ocean between the South FL coast and Bimini Island. It drags all boats northward as they try to cross East-West between Florida and the Islands. The slower the boat travels, the longer it’s in this current, and the more off-course any compass heading becomes. The Garmin GPS really adjusts for this nicely.

land fall entrance to north bimini and south bimini

Bimini Ahead

My trip over to Bimini was a dream cruise. The boat lifted up on plane and headed its bow into the rising sun. I was exhilarated, for together, my boat and I were finally fulfilling this life-long goal. The hotel and condo high-rises that cried out “civilization” dropped behind the stern and then went below the horizon.

The boat had a low rise-and-fall as it was lifted over the gently sloped Gulf Stream waves that marched north below the boat. To keep on course, I positioned the boat so the sun would shine through the windshield at the same spot. I flipped open the Captain’s Call exhaust to entertain myself and then closed it when it seemed out-of-sync with conditions. When I got to feeling a little spooked from knowing that the nearest land was 400 feet straight down, I listened to the VHF to reconnect to the human race.


Wham! A dolphin flew up out of the water aiming straight for the side panel of the boat’s glass windshield. I didn’t even have time to duck. I just stared at him like a deer caught in a car’s headlights. But, it turns out he was just fooling with me. He dove right back under the water and passed under the keel. I almost wet myself over that one! Then I decided he was just a youngster who played a joke on me with this close call. I was sure that he flashed me a broad grin in reaction to my facial expression.

What is Bimini like? It’s two low-lying Islands. After last year’s bevy of hurricanes, there’s extensive damage to many buildings and some trees. But the water is every bit as magnificent as it looks on the commercials. Turquoise—an unbelievable turquoise color. You can see bottom even when it’s fairly deep. Experienced islanders can navigate by looking at the water’s colors and tone.By the time I arrived at Bimini’s doorstep and cruised around locally, the weather forecast for the next few days was far worse than I expected for a return crossing. Most likely I would have to wait at least three days to get good crossing weather again—maybe longer. Since it was still early on this picture-perfect morning, and I had plenty of fuel for a quick run back to Miami, this trip turned out to be an “over-and-back” in the same day. And it was a good decision.


chalks sea plane base in bimini

damaged building on North Bimini Island in the Bahamas


As it turned out, a 26’ center-console fishing boat went down off the FL coast the very next day. Three fisherman went overboard, but the tow service saved them and then the Coast Guard transported them back to land. If I hadn’t paid attention to the forecast and just got caught up in the splendor of my Bimini adventure, I could have been caught out there in those sea and wind conditions, too.

So I was back stateside. Bimini was glorious, but there’s still so much more to see along the East Coast. Now it was time to plan for my next destination…

see the bottom clear water off bimini bahamas

One can see the bottom in the clear turquiose blue water around Bimbini Island,in the Bahamas


F Service Runabout, Curt Brayer, and Dancing Bear

Curt designed, built, drove, and turned the wrenches on his Wood Race Boat, Dancing Bear. He designed and built this racer over a two year period along the banks of the Miami River while he was the sales Manager at the Merrill-Stevens Yacht Company.


racing boat f service runabout

Record Holder F Service Runabout

Curt came to Florida in 1963 after racing his boat, The Violator, in Buffalo, NY, earlier in the 1950-1960s time frame with time out for military service for the Berlin Crisis. He also has spent time in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Before boat racing, Curt raced Stock Cars and Motorcycles for years. Quite the mechanic, Curt likes tuning multiple carbs. Dancing Bear has six Strombergs on a log-type manifold on a 1957 392 cubic inch Hemi. In the theme of F Service Runabout class rules the engine is under 400 inches in displacement and $1,500 cost in cost.

Hemi powered circle race boat

1957 Hemi 392

My photos were taken at the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton, New York during the Race Boat Regatta that is held every other year in August. Curt seems to be at the  Vintage Boat Racing effort on the St. Lawrence River in the N Y  side of the Thousand Islands area all the time.

flat bottom circle wood raceboat

Foward passenger cockpit that can be covered with a long fitted wood deck

I really love the either long wood covered or the padded vinyl uncovered front bench seat set-up in front of the main/driver’s cockpit. Sitting behind your guests while driving  is the right idea in my book. Let them have to turn around and twist their necks to hold a conversation!

driver's cockpit is set back behind the passenger seating

The driver is set far back in the boat ans close to the engine

2013 Byrant Boats new model 233 Boat Test

bryant boats photo image 268 bow rider fiberglass model

268 Bryant Boats

Joe Bryant has great success with the 268 bow rider runabout. It is a winner of a new design. Why? The superior boat ride in somewhat rough water in a stiff afternoon chop. That is it. All 233 Bryant boat owners that take a ride, love this boat!

bryant boats new 2013 bow rider 233

Dealer showroom boat of the new 233

So, what is the new boat model for 2013 from Bryant boats? A 233 using the bottom design features of the successful 268 bow rider. Unlike the current 233, which uses a 20 degree boat bottom and different lifting strakes shape and in their location, the new-for-2013 bow rider boat will be best identified by the same 24 degree bottom that the 268 uses.

All older 233 Bryant boats use a 19 degree bottom design. The 2012 and earlier model year Bryant boats 246 use a 20 degree bottom shape. Using the 24 degree bottom on a 233 Bryant boat gives the ride difference that, after a ride, all 233 boat owners lust after getting a new boat. Expect to see many 233 Bryant boats appear on the used boat market in 2013. Get ready to sell yours now.

The new boat will be all, 100% hand laid, laminated fiberglass. It will be 100% wood free. A tricolor, in-the-molded fiberglass, color combo is to be standard. All Bryant boats have these features, Joe Bryant would not have it any other way. Also, look for an extended swim platform and a fiberglass liner in this 2013 bryant boat bow rider. The new boat model will not be offered as a cuddy cabin model for 2013.

Figure on a 49 gallon gas tank, a 8’ 6” (102”) beam and a weight of 3,500- 3,800 lbs for the 23′ 3″ boat.

Boat test numbers are 53-55 mph wide open. She burns 6 1/2 to 7 gallons an hour at a best cruising speed of 26-28 mph at 3,000 rpm. This is with a 300 Horsepower/350 cubic inch chevy engine and a Bravo III drive.

hand laid fiberglass boat 233 model bryant boats

wood free 233 Bryant boats

2012 Bow rider Monterey boats

monterey boat bow rider boat photo image

Monterey boate bow rider running well fast, high on plane, and dry

Here is one of the most popular bow riders being offered today, the 224 FSX model by Monterey boats. She is a 22’9” LOA boat with her dock side float and water access swim platform included in the measurement. The beam is a full width 8’6” wide. Couple this great riding hull with a 300 horsepower stern drive and have fun on the water.

Many folks do not really take the time to understand that the most important part of a bow rider boat is the hull and the amount of time and testing that went into making it the best it can be for your use. One boat builder may advertise that they will float if you have an accident. That does not say anything about how their boat planes, is a spray-free, dry riding boat, or that it turns well. Oh! How about quick to plane times? You need to decide what is important to your family and then seabuddy suggests that you try out or test drive the top two boats for your needs.

How about room up in the bow cockpit? Then, do you have good grab handles, storage space(s), drink cup holders, good seat back comfort, speakers for your music for Mom and the kids to use? The bow seats are the kid’s seats in most boating families and they often will spend their time up there, in their own cockpit compartment, away from the their parents. Kids close the center opening part of the windshield and forget that anyone else is on board. Boating is freedom. Kids want it just like parents do. Monterey’s 224 FSX (FSX=Facet Series Extreme) offers it.

The boat builder gave you a big enough fuel tank for all day fun, as it’s a big 55 gallon tank. Check what the other boat offers. It a deep, safe bow rider boat that is designed to be able to carry 1,900 lbs. of people and gear according to C.G. regulations.

If you think that you want fun on the water, arrange to go on a test ride on this boat. Seabuddy thanks Monterey boats for the use of their photo in this article.

2012 Chaparral 226 bow rider boat test

lounging in the sun on a 2012 Chaparral 226 bow rider boat photo

Fun in the sun on a 2012 Chaparral 226 bow rider

Here is a family boat that is the answer to the tale of pleasing two performance boating goals. One or more of the family goes after a thrill pleasing boat. The other one or group want comfortable seating, a place to catch some sun, easy cockpit entrance from a float or pier, and a roomy, feature-filled cockpit. This second want is just as much a performance boat goal as top speed or turning ability.

The 2012 Chaparral 226 easily does speeds in the 53-55 MPH range when you put the throttle down on a Mercury Marine Mercruiser 300 horsepower marine engine.  This is a marine chevy engine based Mercury engine coupled to either a Mercury Marine Alpha stern drive or a Mercury Marine Bravo I out drive. Go with an Alpha drive if real smooth shifting is not that important to you and you know you will not be jumping a lot of wakes, trying to fly the boat. It is a faster top speed I/O and a cheaper power package to purchase. A Bravo I will bring more money back upon resale, but this boat really satisfies so that may be a long time away.

Well designed and correctly powered for a runabout boat, she gives an excellent all-day cruising fuel economy in the 2,500 rpm (20-22 MPH) to 3,000 rpm (26-28 MPH) range. Move up to 4,000 rpms (right at say, 40 MPH) and gas mileage suffers. I like the feel of the boat responding to the drive trim by lighting up and adding more speed to the boat without adding more gas.

Chaparral fashions a different bow shape at the deck line to give a roomier than most bow and main cockpit interior. The walk thru makes boarding this boat easy. And seabuddy gives Chaparral supplied photos showing the adjustable sun lounge positions of the padded aft area.

2012 Chaparral bow rider walk thru from transom

Recessed cleats shown are optional, but worth it. 2012 Chaparral 226