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No surprises here (or are there?)

by John Curnow, Editor, Powerboat-World.com 2 Apr 14:03 PDT
Purposely designed to resemble 'Predator' - Seven Marine © John Curnow

That's unless you're Rip Van Winkle... The release of the first section from US' National Marine Manufacturers Association's (NMMA) annual statistical abstract detailing trends in the dynamic outboard segment pretty much summed up the obvious.

Sales of outboard engines in 2018 grew another 3% in 2018 to 278,500 units, which is a 12-year high, and continues the upward trend shown over the last seven years. Here's the other kicker: the average horsepower also was up, and now sits at 119.4hp.

23.2% or 64,500 units of the total market were of 200hp or more, and this sector has doubled in the last five years. The 300hp+ sector alone is up from 9,788 powerplants in 2013 to 25,388, and this is a 14.3% increase for the 12 months.

Naturally it all means more money, and the average in 2018 was up 3% to USD 9,543, and overall this meant a 6% growth for the market to 2.66b, which is double that from back in 2010. Not only is it a result of the increase in LOA being powered by outboards over inboards and sterndrives, it also reflects the increase in following that RIBs, Centre Consoles, Powercats, and even pontoon boats are receiving. Soon, foilers will make their impact felt as well.

Of course, it is also not that strange now to see five or more outboards on the transom or pod, and the Estrella 65 is my favourite example. Improvements to fuel efficiency and control systems have also helped, and the lower maintenance costs are another benefit. It will be interesting to see how well the new Diesel units go in the coming years. Such high demand has meant that Mercury's V8s have been hard to obtain, and again points to the overall trend. It seems 2019 is not slowing things down but ramping them up, with 200hp+ outboards already nearly a third up for the YTD, and overall, there is a 5.1% hike for the entire market. Nup. No surprises with any of that...

Now I can't say I was surprised, as I had high hopes for the little 5.5m Waverider hydrofoil, and they were certainly met. Anybody else with doubts may well extinguish them once they too have a test drive, which I did recently off Mooloolaba on Queensland's Sunshine Coast. It is super dry, surefooted, fast, stable enough for three to fish from the one side, and has cool features like getting your toes under the bulwark, the centre console being well for'ard to give heaps of aft deck space, and those more than handy foils! You can see our video of her doing her thing.

One brand that certainly changes things around is Aquila Powercats. Their range is set to expand both up and down from the popular 44, and successful 36. The first to come after the entrée models, which was originally known as the 30, but now after launch she has become the 32. Of course, she looks a lot like her bigger sister, and why wouldn't she when 'The Great Entertainer' (as we named her back in 2017) has done so well with all of her sea-keeping and space capabilities, let alone her ability to transform to a myriad of uses.

You can fully expect the 32 to be yet another sales success and design wise, items like the wrap-around swim platform with steps that deploy as you lower the whole system into the water will make her quite the dayboat/weekender. All those who have seen one espouse enthusiastically, and I cannot wait for my turn to get on board. See for yourself in this first video, and then there is also a more detailed look at her features in this second video.

We recently went back to the Aquila 36 powercat that we have loved and adored for some years now. This particular one had been very much zhooshed up, and you can see what that all means in our video entitled, Aquila 36 ticking even more boxes!

Riviera is going to have four premieres at the impending Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show (SCIBS) in May, but is remaining very tight-lipped about just what they will be. The vessels in question will form the centre point of an impressive eleven-boat display, however. The Riviera Festival of Boating, as well as the much loved and truly spectacular Gala (see our video of the 2018 Caribbean Gala), are set for revamps too, with many events now held at the Riviera Motor Yacht Club on F-Arm at SCIBS, or the adjacent InterContinental Resort.

Riviera was kind enough to send us some exclusive content on the back of their announcements. Owner, Rodney Longhurst, commented at length: Riviera's success is driven by several key elements... our experienced design, quality componentry, superior build principals, and our vision for excellence. An equally key component is the success of our motor yacht owners in their own boating endeavours. Educating our valued owners and their families and listening to the feedback of our experienced, active and passionate boaters allows Riviera to create and deliver a superior experience both on and off the water.

The success of our new three-model Sports Motor Yacht Collection is a prime example. The two larger models, in 68 and 72 feet, were created for owners wanting to cruise further afield and live aboard for longer periods of time. Our owners were wanting to progress to a motor yacht styled boat with such attributes as walk around side decks, versatile foredeck, covered mezzanine dinning area, generous accommodation with indulgent master suite, crew or utility cabin, stand-up engine room and enclosed flybridge. However they did not want compromise in any way they're sporting pursuits both sporting performance and their water sports. The result is a truly unique yacht that has in just over two years been embraced by over 20 owners from around the world.

Our Riviera Festival of Boating has followed a similar line of success, as it has continually refined our boating education and inspiration programs to empower our owners and their families to achieve the maximum enjoyment possible from their Riviera, or Belize luxury motor yachts.

Creating desirable, innovative and unique luxury motor yachts from 39 to 72 feet alongside a special boating education program has been very rewarding for all of our team.

At Sanctuary Cove International Boat show this year, our acclaimed yachts and highly regarded boating education will both be on display. Registered guests will have the opportunity to inspect all three of our new Sports Motor Yacht models. For Riviera and Belize yachts owners, they will have an outstanding opportunity to refresh, or extend their boating skills and knowledge at our Festival, which will be an integral part of our display at the show.

We look forward to welcoming Riviera and Belize enthusiasts aboard from May 23 to 26.

Looks like Mutlihull Solutions will categorically have the new Iliad 50 powercat (from USD1.35m) on display at SCIBS too, and this is very much awaited. We're gathering extra intel, and of course the chance to go on board, but a fully customisable layout and choice of powerplants to meet your individual needs, as well as super long range (up to 6000nm), are good points to start with.

Finding out exactly what the Iliad 60 (Hull#1 commences in May and starts at USD2.2m), 70 (to be launched at the 2019 Sydney International Boat Show, and priced from USD2.7m), and then also the 90 (a 2020 release) programmes are all about are also very high on our priority list. So the brand's genuine explorer aspect, with safety, practicality, and comfort all seem to be very much on track. Full, vinylester resin infused hulls also make for a very compelling argument. Nice one!

Maritimo also delivered an exclusive comment, stating: International sports yacht design revolutionist, Australia's luxury motor yacht Manufacturer, Maritimo, is headed towards the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show under full steam, and says it will be one of its most exciting on water displays ever.

Maritimo plans to be the show's 'headline act', with a world premiere sport yacht reveal, and the release of several upgraded models. The Maritimo on water display will be led by the new X50 sport yacht, seen for the first time internationally, and supported by the unveiling of new edition M-Series flybridge models. The M59 and M51 2019 models are tipped to be very popular when revealed at SCIBS.

Maritimo's lead designer, Tom Barry-Cotter, said the team was excited about the amount of new items the brand will be showcasing at SCIBS. "Our display will be located in the most prominent marina position as it has been the past several years," he said. "We will have a completely new on-water brand experience, and VIP owner's lounge, which will enable our guests to explore and enjoy."

There is a buzz building around the world premiere of our X50 sport yacht (and you can have a sneak peek at her in build right hereI), which must be one of the most anticipated Australian premieres in the recent past. And while there is great excitement for the world premiere of our X50 sport yacht, there are design updates to our M-Series Flybridge Motoryachts we are unveiling for the first time, which will really place our showcase on another level."

"The model enhancements being unveiled at Sanctuary Cove reflect the latest design innovation in an ongoing R&D strategy to review both the M and S series lines. The expanded Maritimo Design and R&D division will see numerous design refinements within our various models throughout 2019."

Barry-Cotter said Maritimo would occupy its usual prime Sanctuary Cove position on the western end of F-arm at the SCIBS marina. The company's permanent sales and marketing centre in the Sanctuary Cove Marine Village overlooks the on-water display.

OK. Today you will find that we have information for you about rallies, superyachts, floating bungalows, stability, new designs like the Hood 57 from Lyman Morse, safety, Riva 90, Sunseeker's Hawk 38, Doug Zurn does a powercat, Sirena 64, Intrepid's stylish new 375 Nomad, Grand Banks 85, explorer craft like Arcadia's Sherpa XL, Go on board the bridge of Benetti's wonderful Spectre, ISA's 45m Gran Turismo, the pretty and very retro Furina 24, as well as much, much more.

As you see, there are stories, lessons, inspirations and history to regale yourself with. Please do savour... We're really enjoying bringing you the best stories from all over the globe. If you want to add to that, then please make contact with us via email.

Remember too, if you want to see what is happening in the other parts of the group, go to the top of the Powerboat-World home page and the drag down menu on the right, select the site you want to see and, voila, it's all there for you.

Speak with you again, very, very soon. Time to go boating now...

John Curnow
PowerBoat-World.com Editor

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