Miami Boat Show Report (Part 1): Escape from New England

As you can see from the ridiculous yet adorable photo of our little one in front of our not-so-adorable 8-foot-tall snowbank, I really should be calling this first Miami Boat Show Report “Escape from New England.”

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And as any New Englander will tell you after enduring the pleasure of about 6 feet of snow and sub-zero temperatures in the last couple of weeks, the opportunity to parachute into the world of palm trees and boats and beautiful people that is the Miami Boat Show is not to be missed.

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This was especially true as I was snowed out (literally couldn’t “escape from Boston” because of our “historic” snowfall) of a highly anticipated delivery trip with Peter Johnstone and the happy new owners of the Gunboat 55 Toccata on its maiden voyage down to Miami from the Gunboat yard on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. And to literally rub road salt into my wounds, the first thing Peter said (with a smile) when I caught up with him and the boat in Miami was “You missed the boat, man.” Ouch.

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Ahhh. That’s better. I snapped this shot on a welcome, 5-mile run around sunny Miami on the morning of the second day of the show and there wasn’t a spray-painted 8-foot snowbank in sight! Can you see the palm trees and Biscayne Bay over the horizon? I can. And Peter and I were able to formulate a plan for me to be one of the lucky few to sail, or should I say “fly,” on Gunboat’s revolutionary G4 that will most definitely be turning some heads in and over the water at Antigua Sailing Week in late April. Stay tuned.

In fact, the Gunboat 55 wasn’t the only cool cruising catamaran I saw in Miami. And while the Bali 4.5 being shown off at the Dream Yacht Charter stand couldn’t be more different than a Gunboat, its spacious and sunny forward deck and huge opening-forward windows may be just one of the most effective uses of space I’ve seen in a while.

IMG_1522The beauty is that instead of sacrificing all this usable real estate to a trampoline between the bows for the contradiction of “weight saving” on a charter cat, the Bali 4.5 pictured here and on offer for charter and sale in their management program gives you a fantastic outdoor salon and tons of lounge space that’s drier and way more comfortable instead.

148_545b377f12224_643a7e281992d6baffab01f2722490cab5141a56I mean check this out. You want to be there right? Me too. Especially after I’ve scraped my windshield, and shoveled out my car, and fought with the airlines and every other weary traveler who’s trying to escape this cold Northern winter for the rest and relaxation of a charter in the Caribbean or the Pacific, or the Indian Ocean!

157_545b37b01b6c4_f62279425e782ba5757f5d3add60a075cb3d1529And it looks pretty good under sail, no? I think as a charter boat, Dream Yacht Charter really has something here.

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The sun-protected lounge area aft is another well-executed design feature. The raised cockpit provides 360-degree visibility and keeps sheets and lines out of the comfortable space aft that features great visibility forward and amazing access to the water. I’m already planning my next escape.

Stay tuned for more from Miami.

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