2012 Game Boat Preview

Coming attractions: A sneak peek at 10 new game boats for 2012

Release 46 Designed to look like a traditional Florida-style day boat, the Florida-built Release 46 is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Under the boat’s traditional appearance, you’ll find all the latest in power and construction technologies. Indeed, the most recent hulls’ designs have evolved into the largest full walkarounds on the market. Acknowledging the latest and fastest-moving trend in sport-fishing inboards, the 46 will be powered with Cummins QSC or QSM11 engines ranging from 600 to 705 horsepower — all coupled to Zeus pods. Release constructs the hull from an infused laminate, cored with the new Core-Cell A600. The laminate schedule also calls for a layer of Kevlar in the hull bottom and carbon fiber in the engine beds. In addition, Release pays special attention to sound-dampening materials and engine isolators, which, combined with the Zeus drives, make for a very quiet boat. The hull configuration also capitalizes on the pods to create exceptionally clean water coming off the stern. Top speed with the 600-horsepower engines hits 39 knots while the 705s boost that to well over 40. Other horsepower options range between those speeds. Cruising speed with the 600s is about 33 knots, and the 705s hit 34 knots. Originally designed to replace the classic charter boats of the Casa Vieja Lodge fleet in Guatemala, this boat will now be available to the public in four different styles: a day boat (open aft bulkhead), standard enclosed-bulkhead flybridge, express and walkaround. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price starts at $938,623. LOA: 46'
BEAM: 15'
DRAFT: 3'6"
DISPLACEMENT: 29,500 pounds
DEADRISE: 12.6 degrees
FUEL: 650 gallons
WATER: 100 gallons
MAX POWER: Cummins QSM11 705 BHP Zeus Release Boatworks
Miami, FL 33054
Ph: 305-854-4665
Gamefisherman 42 Express Gamefisherman specializes in building boats with excellent handling characteristics that you can fish hard. Maybe that’s why Gamefisherman boats are a favorite among the record-chasing crowd. The newest 42 on the drawing board promises to deliver the same hard-core fishing prowess that made the Gamefisherman name famous. The previous 42 topped out at 38.3 knots with a 33-knot cruise. However, 27 knots delivered one mile per gallon. You can expect this new hull to perform at least as well. Dedicated fishing machines — Mike Matlack’s stock in trade — all require certain features to satisfy the demanding angler. Though a buyer can spec the boat out any way he or she chooses, the preliminary cockpit equipment list includes a large insulated fish box, plumbed with an Edwards ice chipper, a large livewell with dual pumps, a cockpit bait and tackle station with drawers, a cutting surface, freshwater and saltwater washdowns, hidden gaff-storage tubes, a deep freeze and a Murray Products sailfish rocket-launcher pod. Gamefisherman’s boats seem particularly popular with anglers who travel to far-flung tropical spots like Central and South America. So, in addition to a Sea Recovery watermaker, the company plans on adding air conditioning on the flybridge and in the engine room, and anyone doing maintenance in the tropics will really appreciate the luxury. The living quarters call for a forward head with a separate shower, a galley with top-loading refrigerator and freezer and a microwave. The upper and lower bunks convert to a settee, and the dinette also becomes a berth. As with other Gamefisherman boats, the cold-molded mahogany and epoxy hull gets painted with Awlgrip. Another plus — Gamefisherman boats seem to raise fish wherever they go. LOA: 42'
BEAM: 13'2"
DRAFT: 3'2"
WEIGHT: 19,000 pounds
DEADRISE: 10 degrees
FUEL: 400 gallons
WATER: 70 gallons
POWER: Twin 575 hp Caterpillar C9 diesels Gamefisherman
Stuart, Florida
Bayliss 84 Wanchese, North Carolina-based Bayliss Boatworks collaborated with naval architect Robert Ullberg on its 16th hull and the company’s largest offering to date: an 84-footer named Orion. And here’s a little head’s up; anyone who thought they’d seen it all in the boating innovations department will be floored when this beauty hits the water. Within its 84 feet, Orion will accommodate 10 guests in a five-stateroom/five-head layout, which includes the company’s first full-beam-width master cabin. This stateroom boasts a walk-in closet, office desk, L-shaped settee and a king-size berth. “An 84-foot boat gives us lots of latitude,” John Bayliss says. “We’re excited about some of the new features we’ll be able to implement in the layout and design of this project. The owner and crew have already provided us with some great new ideas, and we’re looking forward to the opportunity to build a boat this large that can still fish aggressively!” The 17-foot-long cockpit features a huge mezzanine with custom stainless-steel freezers and refrigerators, an in-deck stainless fish box, another fish box in the transom and a grill. Computer projections claim that with the twin 2,600-horsepower MTUs, Orion should reach a top speed of around 40 knots! Plans call for Orion to launch in 2013. As another sign of what high esteem the custom-fishing-boat marketplace holds for his shop, Bayliss has two more boats in production as well: a 73-footer, Shark Byte, launching this summer, and an 80-footer scheduled for completion in early 2012. He even has another 75-footer starting later this year as well, so you better get your deposit in fast! LOA: 84'
BEAM: 21'
DRAFT: 5'8"
WEIGHT: 135,000 pounds
DEADRISE: 12.9 degrees
FUEL: 3,000-plus gallons
WATER: 450 gallons
POWER: Twin 2,600 hp MTU M94 diesels Bayliss Boatworks
Wanchese, North Carolina
252 473-9797
Viking 66 The Viking 66 Convertible shares the proud bow and going-fast-while-standing-still demeanor of its recent siblings. The yacht’s hand-finished teak interior, combined with a roomy layout, ensures that your family will be comfortable in the midst of all of your hard-core fishing adventures. The galley includes the obligatory island with 360-degree accessibility and refrigerator and freezer drawers underneath — all facing a spacious dinette. The galley also provides the chef with a pantry just forward with standing headroom. Living quarters consist of four staterooms, each with a private head and separate shower. The flybridge features a centerline helm with superb visibility and port, starboard and forward lounge seating. The cockpit’s mezzanine gives guests an out-of-the-way place to watch the action and provides plenty of tackle and gear storage. A freezer and drink cooler under the mezzanine also keep things cool in the cockpit. The Viking 66 Convertible will feature a vacuum-bagged bottom cored with end-grain balsa sandwiched between knitted fiberglass. Other advanced technology employed in the 66 includes Viper power-assisted hydraulic steering with independently programmable rudders, Moritz Octoplex touch screen AC/DC power distribution system and a max power of twin 2,030-horsepower MTU V16 Series 2000 M91 engines, providing a 40-plus-knot top end. “Back in ’91 to ’93, the years of the federal luxury tax, we questioned if we would ever be able to get back to the levels of the pre-tax days. Our five-year plan got us there, and we exceeded all of our previous milestones. We are optimistic about the future and constantly developing new product,” says executive vice president Pat Healey. “We might not build the volume of one particular model like we used to, but we feel that by having a number of different models to choose from, our numbers will continue to grow along with market share.” LOA: 66'7"
BEAM: 19'1"
DRAFT: 5'5"
WEIGHT: 102,875 pounds
DEADRISE: 11.4 degrees
FUEL: 2,015 gallons
WATER: 340 gallons
POWER: T 2,030 hp MTU V16 M91 diesels _Viking Yachts
New Gretna, New Jersey
Ocean 37 Express “The philosophy of our 37-foot Express was to build a best-in-class express boat based on our successful 37-foot Billfish hull. While the Billfish successfully filled a niche, we feel that the 37 Express will appeal to a broad spectrum of sport fishermen. “Ocean was approached directly by several different customers who expressed interest in the development of this new model,” says Ocean’s general manager, John Leek IV, whose family has owned Ocean Yachts since its inception. The Leeks actively solicited feedback from customers and dealers prior to designing the 37 Express. “Ocean is a production boat company that routinely incorporates custom requests into our boats,” Leek says. “In this economy, boaters are spending their dollars wisely, so we cater to their requests. We want our customers to come away completely satisfied with their purchase.” Happy fishermen need plenty of comfortable seating and loads of tackle storage. Ocean incorporated both, as well as lots of dedicated rod storage — something often lacking in other express boats. Ocean Yachts uses premium gelcoats, resins and fiberglass fabrics. The 37’s hull bottom consists of solid fiberglass with cored construction from the chine up, including much of the superstructure and interior components. Molded-grid stringers are structurally bonded into the hull. The cored deck also receives premium gelcoats, resins and fiberglass in its laminate schedule. All other fiberglass small parts (hatches, for example) are created using resin-transfer molding methods. Ocean has always enjoyed a reputation for having some of the most wife-friendly interiors. Though a dedicated fishing machine, this little 37 is no exception. LOA: 37'8"
BEAM: 13'10"
DRAFT: 2'6"
WEIGHT: 22,500 pounds
DEADRISE: 12.8 degrees
FUEL: 500 gallons
WATER: 75 gallons
POWER: T Cummins 480 hp QSC 5.9 diesels _Ocean Yachts
Egg Harbor City, New Jersey
Jarrett Bay 77 The new Jarrett Bay 77 constitutes the largest, fastest sport-fishing convertible the company has ever produced. To create its signature Carolina-hull styling, Jarrett Bay cold-molds fir and Okoume marine plywoods with fiberglass skins and premium resins, and then coats it all, inside and out, with glossy Alexseal paints. Amazingly, the draft of this 77-footer still remains less than six feet, thanks to prop tunnels — making those shallow island destinations an accessible reality. These prop tunnels also lower the shaft angle, resulting in increased efficiency and speed. Add to that a pair of high-speed stainless-steel rudders, cone-shaped prop nuts and a sterile bottom devoid of through-hull protrusions or fairings, and you get an incredibly fast, sleek running surface. The 77’s interior will showcase Jarrett Bay’s usual flawless joinery throughout, which on this boat will consist of TriCel composite covered with high-gloss cherry veneers. Its huge 255-square-foot cockpit sports a mezzanine with a freezer, refrigerator, additional storage and fish box/livewell layouts customized to the buyer’s needs. Belowdecks you’ll find four double cabins: the master and main guest cabins (fore and aft) both come with queen-size island berths. The port guest stateroom calls for over/under singles, and the fourth cabin opposite features standard side-by-side twins. Each stateroom also provides a private head and shower, while the master head has both a shower and a tub! Jarrett Bay designer Gary Davis has specified three different power packages, stretching from 1,920-horsepower to 2,400-horsepower MTUs or Caterpillar 1,925-horsepower C32 ACERTs. With the MTU 2,400s, computer projections predict a top speed of 42 knots and a cruising speed of 36 knots at 2,100 rpm. LOA: 77'
BEAM: 21'6"
DRAFT: 5'8"
WEIGHT: 118,000 pounds
DEADRISE: 10 degrees
FUEL: 3,000 gallons
WATER: 350 gallons
POWER: T 2,400 hp MTU 16V200 diesels Jarrett Bay Boatworks
Beaufort, North Carolina
Titan 75 This long-range sport-fisherman offers up a distinctly West Coast flavor. It boasts 13 live-bait tubes in various sizes to accommodate large- and regular-size tuna, mackerel and bullet tuna. The mammoth 290-square-foot cockpit, with its mezzanine, day head and tackle center, also sports twin livewells (which, including the livewell on the bow, account for a 400-gallon capacity) and a pair of huge fish boxes with saltwater slush ability. Most East Coast boats this size would probably opt for a pair of 2,400- or 2,600-horsepower diesels. But east coasters prefer long range to high speed, so this 75-footer calls for a pair of 1,700-horsepower Caterpillar C32 ACERT diesels, drawing from four integral fuel tanks totaling 2,400 gallons. That’s certainly not to say the Titan 75 is a slowpoke. In fact, it has a top speed of 34 knots! That speed comes in great part from a composite construction schedule, including E-glass and S-glass, Kevlar, carbon fiber, a solid glass bottom and cored topsides and housing. Electrical power comes from a pair of 33-kilowatt Westerbeke generators, while your water comes from a pair of 600-gallons-per-day Village Marine Tec watermakers. Living quarters consist of a pair of very large staterooms, a third guest cabin (or crew’s quarters) as well as captain’s accommodations in the pilothouse. Three interior heads with showers and a day head in the cockpit mean there’ll be no waiting in line on those long trips to Cabo San Lucas and beyond. The Titan 75 makes fishing in remote, out of the way places a pure pleasure. LOA: 75'
BEAM: 20'6"
DRAFT: 5'4"
WEIGHT: 130,000 pounds
DEADRISE: 11 degrees
FUEL: 2,400 gallons
WATER: 400 gallons
GENERATORS: T 33-kW Westerbekes
POWER T 1,700 hp Caterpillar C32 ACERT diesels Titan Marine
San Diego, California
Willis 37 In the wake of the team’s last effort, the 76-foot Big Dog, comes a smaller, but no less impressive, project from the collective talents of Willis Marine and Ullberg Yacht Design. The Willis 37 Walkaround constitutes nothing short of perfection in the eyes of hard-core, south Florida sailfish fanatics. “Mark Willis called and asked if I had any designs around 34 feet that he could show these guys, and I said that I had been designing a 37-footer for myself,” Ullberg says. “As it turns out, it provided the perfect platform for Mark’s client.” Construction started in May of 2010, and the boat is on target to launch this summer. Most of the credit for such a swift build goes to Willis’ savvy use of CNC technology. Willis Marine seems to have perfected the partnership between humans and their computer counterparts. Any area of the build that is subject to human error or human inconsistencies has been taken over by the CNC, and all areas that require a human touch are left to the dedicated team of craftsmen at Willis. The computers significantly reduce man-hours and allow for much tighter tolerances. This isn’t new technology; it’s just the way it’s utilized that gives the client added value — and these days, value is everything. The cold-molded mahogany and Okoume hull uses tried and true construction methods, but the deck and superstructure incorporate modern Aircell composite technology. The net result is a blend of old-school and modern technology, producing a super-smooth ride and a 40-knot top speed. And using CNC or not, Mark Willis has taken the idea of “innovative boatbuilding” to a new level. Aptly named Wish List because the owner has always wanted to own one of Willis’ hand-built sport-fishing yachts, the boat also comes with a wonderful collection of ideas and innovations that any owner would want in a custom build. Famous for his attention to detail, Willis’ new 37 does not disappoint. LOA: 37'
BEAM: 12'5"
DRAFT: 3'2"
WEIGHT: 22,000 pounds
DEADRISE: 13 degrees
FUEL: 350 gallons
WATER: 50 gallons
POWER: T 480 hp Cummins QSB diesels
Willis Marine
Stuart, Florida
Euro Marine Limited 65 It’s often said that history repeats itself, and it certainly seems to be true in the case of this all-aluminum vessel. Just like the old days, Dick Phillips, formerly of Striker Yachts, created this custom 65-foot aluminum raised-helm-deck sport-fisherman with a 22-foot beam and a 4,000-gallon fuel capacity. Powered with twin 1,800-horsepower MAN CR diesels, this new machine should do better than 40 knots. “This boat is not for your average ‘show off at the dock’ sport-fish buyer,” Phillips says. “Rather, it will appeal to that unique ‘fish hard and put it away wet’ kind of guy who wants a boat that he can fish in any conditions and feel safe doing it! And with all that fuel, an owner can pretty much go anywhere.” The aluminum metalwork also includes an integral tower. Being semi-custom, the boat can be finished pretty much any way the customer wants, with teak decks or nonskid, custom interior or just crew accommodations. A military version even has a hydraulic fold-down transom that could be a great addition in lieu of a standard tuna door! Based on PI-65 patrol boats, the EML 65 was designed to operate in winds up to 63 mph. The engine beds, stringers, superstructure, V-struts, fuel and water tanks and even the handrails are welded together to form one super-strong piece called a mono-body. Equipment specifications for the premier fishing model call for an American bow thruster, ZF/Mathers electronic controls, Hynautic hydraulic steering and a full suite of Furuno NavNet 3D electronics with 24- and 72-mile radars. Rupp Marine designed the 41-foot, three-spreader outriggers and rod holders. LOA: 65'
BEAM: 21'10"
DRAFT: 3'10"
WEIGHT: 66,000 pounds
DEADRISE: 22.5 degrees
FUEL: 4,000 gallons
WATER: 420 gallons
GENERATORS: Twin 20 kW Northern Lights
POWER: Twin 1,800 hp MAN diesels Euro Marine Ltd.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Merritt 66 The iconic Merritt’s Boat and Engine Works recently accepted a commission from a longtime Merritt devotee to design and build a brand-new 66-footer. This first hull represents the epitome of Merritt’s reputation: fast, economical boats with a superior ride, designed to fish the far offshore canyons of the northeast. This new 66 conforms to a three-stateroom/three-head layout with a large, elegant salon. The interior subscribes to Merritt tradition as well with all of the teak joinerwork sporting a rich satin finish. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Roy Merritt’s new hull is the juxtaposition of looks and construction. The beautiful styling and traditional wooden-yacht look that Merritt pioneered back in 1947 remains to this day. However, precious few builders use construction techniques as advanced as Merritt’s — epoxy resins, cold-molded mahogany and Okoume composite construction, considerable carbon fiber with coring above the waterline and all coated with many layers of high-gloss Dupont paint. One difference you’ll find on this particular hull: It gets a blend of fiberglass and carbon fiber decks. The cockpit sports the impressive Merritt mezzanine with tons of freezer and storage space, while the flybridge layout consists of a traditional centerline helm with flanking companions’ chairs and a settee forward of the helm console. Merritt predicts the twin 1,900-horsepower Cats will provide a top speed of around 40 knots and a cruise range of between 32 and 33 knots. When I ask what he sees on the boatbuilding horizon, Roy Merritt says that he thinks a little change is under way, with buyers scaling back slightly to smaller, more fuel-efficient boats. LOA: 66'
BEAM: 20'5"
DRAFT: 5'6"
WEIGHT: 90,000 pounds
DEADRISE: 15 degrees
FUEL: 2,000 gallons
WATER: 350 gallons
GENERATORS: Northern Lights
POWER: T C32 ACERT diesels Merritt’s Boat and Engine Works
Pompano Beach, Florida
2012 Game Boat Preview

2012 Game Boat Preview

As the economy slowly emerges from a two-year funk, optimism reigns in the big-boat industry.

After a couple of good boat shows this past fall, it seems that the worst of the bloodletting is over, and a rising consumer confidence and interest in boats has builders cranking up for the year ahead.

Anglers have started dreaming about a new ride again, and there are plenty of builders out there ready to make those dreams come true. Here are 10 new game boats that are in production right now, a sure sign that troubled times are in the rearview mirror for most. So sit back, put your feet up and take a look at what’s coming down the waterway next year — one of these babies could have your name on it.