Boat Review: Cavileer 44

Since this boat hasn't been launched yet, we can't verify how it performs. But even though I'm not a betting man, the fact that the running surface came from the drafting table of pre-eminent fast-boat naval architect Don Blount gives me enough confidence to lay odds that it will run just fine.

Old John Cavileer, who sold boats to Gen. George Washington during the Revolutionary War, never had any idea what boats bearing his name would be like in the 21st century. Too bad he couldn't sell some of the modern ones to General Washington - the war might have been considerably shorter.

Since this boat hasn't been launched yet, we can't verify how it performs. But even though I'm not a betting man, the fact that the running surface came from the drafting table of pre-eminent fast-boat naval architect Don Blount gives me enough confidence to lay odds that it will run just fine.

One of the traits I appreciate most about Cavileer is that the company doesn't try to cram too much into each boat. This 44-footer offers two cabins, not three as some 44-footers try to squeeze in. A large master stateroom in the bow boasts a queen-sized island berth on centerline and a private head with shower. The guest cabin gets twin berths and a smaller head with shower adjacent.

Move halfway up the stairway to the salon and you'll find the portside galley on its own level. Another two steps up and the spacious salon has more functionality than many much larger boats. A large L-shaped settee takes up both the aft and port bulkheads, with an expansive dinette sitting across from it.

Cavileer offers an optional home theater to round out the entertainment aspect of the living quarters, if you so desire. Other Cavileer features you don't usually find as standard equipment on most boats include central vacuum cleaning, a Cablemaster dock power system, complete grounding and bonding system throughout the boat, and custom flooring in the galley and heads.

All the good people at Cavileer fish offshore. In New Jersey, when you fish offshore that doesn't mean running for a mile or two - the canyons are some 80 to 100 nautical miles out. The 44's 150-square-foot cockpit provides plenty of room for anglers fighting multiple hookups or for a chair that allows your angler to clear the transom corners with the rod tip.

The pit shows the difference a fishermen's touch can have, such as a fighting-chair plate glassed under the deck, livewell, engine room access, rod holders, fresh- and saltwater washdowns and an insulated fish box with a macerator pump. Also standard are a tackle center with sink and tackle storage, refrigerator and bait freezer, and a tuna door. Cavileer even supplies a gorgeous cockpit step box as standard gear.

The options list merely elevates the boat to a true fish machine with the addition of a half tower, outriggers, tournament helm chairs, rocket launchers on the tower legs, cockpit controls and an Eskimo ice machine for the fish box. Pretty limited options mean you get a lot more standard gear. Fortunately, at Cavileer that doesn't mean more expensive. The company builds one of the most affordable boats of the genre.

Design parameters call twin Caterpillar C-12 diesels rated at 700 hp apiece as standard. However, expect several other power configurations to ultimately hit the options list.

Cavileer doesn't gild the lily, so if you're looking for flash, look elsewhere. On the other hand, if you want solid quality and understated functional elegance in a boat where you truly get your money's worth, visit Cavileer. By the looks of the docks along the eastern seaboard, lots of knowledgeable boat owners already have.