The upcoming weeks are chock-full of travel. I came out of the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show with a list of new boats to test. In a few days it’s off to Puerto Rico to get aboard the new 56-footer built by the Delaware-based F&S Boatworks. Might even have the chance to drag some baits, the ultimate boat test. The hull of this cold-molded sport fish is longitudinally stepped with a variable deadrise. The Caribbean Sea should prove a worthy testing ground, a welcome change from the many flat-calm trials I’ve been on.
After that it’s down to Riviera Beach, FL, for an in-depth look at the Viking 66 that has just had the wrappers taken off her. I’ve fished a few Vikings over the years, mostly older specimens; however, this will be my first review of a new yacht from the New Jersey manufacturer. Looking forward to running their latest offering.
After the turkey, it’ll be a Miami run to Bertram Yachts. A bunch of us crawled around this beauty at the show with V.P. Don Jones. The big push from this “production” builder, as with the others, is to add as many custom boat features as possible. They have taken notice of the success of a few of the custom yards and their ability to add the items desired by experienced owners and crew.
Unless something changes, and it usually does, that’s our boat test line-up for the upcoming issues.
Enjoy your bird…
– Scott Shane