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The Boats of 2013

This year's fleet comes in all shapes and sizes, ranging from runabouts to yachts, 17 to 45 feet.

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Polar Kraft: Fish-and-ski models are the sport utility vehicles of the water, and great platforms for family fun. The Polar Kraft Kodiak Sport 170 FS has a deep-V hull for a soft ride and smooth handling, plus the durability and low maintenance that comes from an aluminum hull. Fishing features take center stage, with a bow-mounted trolling motor and footswitch, baitwell, livewell, forward pedestal seat and locking rod/ski storage. The whole family will love the forward lounge (created using optional filler cushions), swim deck and available stainless-steel ski tow bar. Take it camping with the available full enclosure with canopy and side and aft curtains. A single outboard motor up to 150 horsepower propels the craft. www.polarkraftboats.com.

Ranger: Measuring more than 18 feet, the 1850LS is rated for 175 horsepower and available with a host of outboards. The deep-V hull grants significant storage in the deck and cockpit, highlighted by the drop-in rod storage system, which converts the center floor locker into a dedicated rod box capable of housing rods in excess of 7 feet. An insulated cooler and baitwell are forward of the windshield, where a folding extension can turn the bench seating into a deck designed for serious fishing. Aft, the rear deck was likewise designed with excellent fishing room. Other nice features include a Sirius-ready Sony stereo, removable cockpit carpet, built-in ski tow, boarding ladder and space for a kicker motor at the stern. www.rangerboats.com.

Rinker: Featuring the “wow” factor of a hardcore wakeboard boat but with a more versatile hull and sterndrive power (rather than inboard), the new Captiva 220 MTX Extreme is sure to bring a fresh attitude to your boating. The 22-footer offers five exciting color schemes, quilted Silvertex upholstery accents, a deluxe stereo system and a standard tower with speakers. But the water-sports pedigree doesn’t end there. A two-tier swim platform aft of the sun pad practically beckons fun on the edge. Add optional equipment like LED swim lights, a transom stereo remote and custom cover to really take this boat to the next level.

Rinker also has a new Captiva 186 Fish & Ski (available in outboard and sterndrive versions) and a new Captiva 236 BR (sterndrive only) for 2013, both of which promise sporty good looks and plenty of family fun. www.rinkerboats.com.

SeaArk: Sometimes, you just need a vessel that can get the job done. The flat-bottomed Mud Runner 170 is built out of .125 gauge aluminum, with a combination of transverse and longitudinal ribs for added strength. It also has a large hunt step that allows room for flotation but also works great as a stepping platform when getting in and out of the boat. The 17-footer comes standard with a tread-plate floor, split rear seats with storage, inside drain plug access and a high bow deck with storage. Popular options include a gun box, bilge pump, navigation lights and choice of five camouflage pat­terns.

The buzz around the 170 has been so pronounced that SeaArk is working on an 18-foot model to add to its 2013 lineup, with all the same bells and whistles, plus more interior room. www.seaark.com.

Sea Ray: The new 370 Venture has already garnered awards for its innovative architecture, built around twin four-stroke Mercury Verado outboards cleverly hidden under sun pads. This gives the sport cruiser a quieter ride, better shoal-water ability and diminished corrosion concerns because the motors can be trimmed out of the water. The smaller engines also allow for more stowage and larger accommodations than comparable sterndrive-powered boats. There’s room enough in the cockpit for multiple lounge areas and an outdoor galley with sink and faucet, refrigerator, induction stove, storage and available electric barbecue grill. The cabin includes a second galley, head with pullout shower sprayer, forward dinette/V-berth and full-beam mid-master stateroom with sofa — a remarkable feature in a boat this size.

Sea Ray has also introduced the 350 Sundancer and 510 Sundancer for 2013, and has announced the new 240 Sundeck and 21 Jet for release later in the year. www.searay.com.

Tiara: The third in its new Coronet line, Tiara’s 3900 Coronet is built in Holland, Mich., but reminiscent of a Downeast-style express. Standard are a composite hardtop with side enclosures and skylight with opening hatch. A stainless-steel destroyer tilt wheel controls twin Cummins inboard diesels up to 1,100 horsepower total. Opposite, an alfresco dinette lets the captain remain in the social mix while the boat is under way. The large cockpit invites fishing as well as entertaining, especially when enhanced with the optional Cruising Package or Tournament Fishing Package. Below deck, the 3900 Coronet offers a comfortable retreat, featuring an L-lounge/dinette with ottoman (convertible to double lower berth and single Pullman upper berth), forward master stateroom, galley and fiberglass head with shower. Optional hull and boot-stripe colors provide custom style and personalization. www.tiarayachts.com.

Yamaha: New from Yamaha is the 192 Series, consisting of the SX192 and the tower-equipped AR192, the first Yamaha boats to come with a supercharged 1.8L engine. From the stylized upholstery, comfortable J-shaped seating rarely seen in a 19-foot boat (AR192; the SX 192 features U-shaped seating with two bucket seats), reclined rear seat backs and snap-in marine carpet to advanced helm features that include Cruise Assist and No Wake Mode, these are no barebones 19-footers. Both boats feature Yamaha’s award-winning stern lounge area and swim platform. Made possible by the compact drive train and engine that sit low in the hull, the stern begins with a convenient walk-through transom and has integrated cup holders, wet storage, inset matting, upholstered backrests, a ski tow eye and swim ladder. www.yamahaboats.com.

Zodiac: Rigid-hull inflatable boats (RIBs) as primary vessels are popular in Europe, and catching on in the US. And it makes sense. Combining comfort, looks and ease of use, these boats, like the new N-ZO 700 Cabin, allow owners to experience a variety of activities (skiing, diving and exploration) in one dynamic package. The step-down cabin can seat five or sleep two and includes a head cubicle. The forward sun deck provides a luxurious lounging surface, while the U-shaped aft cockpit provides relaxed outings thanks to its numerous seats, collapsible table and convertible sun pad. The new Silvertex upholstery provides exceptional comfort and is easy to clean and maintain. A kitchenette with sink, refrigerator and stovetop (optional) provides owners with all the independence they need for longer cruises.

The new N-ZO 760 and a totally reworked Medline Series (500, 540 and 580) round out the 2013 introductions for Zodiac. www.zodiacmarineusa.com.

Note: You can see images of all the boats in this article by visiting: http://www.heartlandboating.com/Photo-Galleries/index.php/gallery/783/.

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