Was one powerboat worthy of being rated Powerboat of the Show at SIBS? We take a close-up look.
For what it’s worth, here are some of the boats on display at the Sydney International Boat Show that I for one would be very happy to call my own.
Unlike the situation often encountered at US boat shows, the Sydney International Boat Show staged at Darling Harbour (July 31-August 5) does not name a ‘Boat (power or sail) of the Show'.
No doubt this stems from the fact that Australia’s Boats of the Year in numerous categories were named in May, to coincides with SCIBS, just 2 months prior to the Sydney exhibition.
Nonetheless, it’s a question I am often asked: 'What was the best powerboat at the show this year?'
As is the case every year, that’s a tough one to answer. After all, how would you judge them?
Is the biggest boat the star? The most expensive?
Should the vessel honoured as Australian Powerboat of the Year (the Riviera 4400 Sport Yacht) be automatically named as Powerboat of the Show if such an Award existed?
From a strictly personal viewpoint, it’s not really possible to pass judgment on a boat one has not evaluated on the water.
I saw a number of craft at Sydney that impressed me, but without spending time at the helm I could go no further.
There is also the situation of totally different styles of boats; for instance, how could you say a Grand Banks is a superior vessel to a Lewis Ski Boat? Impossible, really.
So, for what it’s worth, here are some of the boats on display at the Sydney International Boat Show that I for one would be very happy to call my own.
Being occasionally fond of speed, I simply have to mention the ‘red terror’, otherwise known as the Cigarette Racing Team’s Top Fish.
Cigarette Racing Team designs have won more than 350 offshore races around the world, and can rightly claim to be the world’s most successful designer/manufacturer of seep vee mono hulls.
Another reason for mentioning the Top Fish, powered, incidentally, by no less than three 300hp Mercury Verado outboards, is that this display by the authorised dealer, the Chapman Marine Group, is the first appearance by Cigarette Racing Team at the Sydney show.
When sheer speed is not really a consideration, I was tremendously impressed with the Grand Banks display.
One can’t really refer to a Grand Branks as ‘a boat’; they’re more like small ships and I think they’re gorgeous.
The name Beneteau is perhaps best known in Australia for sail boats, but last weekend I took a look at the company’s powerboat arm and came away a definite fan of the Beneteau 52 Swift, a trawler-style vessel in the Grand Banks fashion.
With a stunning blue hull, white superstructure and a fabulous interior, this is one fine French creation.
As for the vessels from the famed UK builders Sunseeker, Princess and Fairline, what can one say? Every model in their ranges could be termed a ‘show stopper’. I don’t recall ever seeing a vessel from one of these manufacturers that did not impress in some way.
The massive Riviera 70, largest vessel yet from the Gold Coast builder, certainly attracted its share of admirers, but to date I have only seen it from a distance and have not been aboard.
Aussie builders Steber, Caribbean and Mustang all displayed boats that anyone would be delighted to own, but I’ll have to reserve detailed opinion until I spend time aboard.
One superb craft I have had the pleasure of being at sea on is the innovative Cabriolet 60 from Maritimo.
Right now, without looking any further, this is the boat I would buy, only the lack of an extremely friendly (or idiotic?) bank manager preventing me from casting off and setting a course.
Fact of the matter is there were so many first class boats at the Sydney International Boat Show that I feel bad for not mentioning them all.
Oh well, that’s what the boat show program is for.
Let me just say that buyers around Australia have as broad a choice as anyone in the world when it comes to choosing their dream boat.