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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.

The all-new Aqua Patio 250 Express.

The all-new Aqua Patio 250 Express.

Aqua Patio Boats

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Aqua Patio: This brand has two new models for 2013, both of them a far cry from the first all-aluminum pontoon boat its parent company launched at the 1958 World’s Fair. The Aqua Patio 250 Express gets style points for its shapely figure, silvery forward and rear fenders, blue LED lights, pearlescent upholstery and bright-dipped aluminum wakeboard tower. Just shy of 27 feet long, it can seat 16 people and promises a stable yet sporty ride with triple tubes. Upscale options let you really amp up the cosmetic and entertainment features.

The 240 OB Elite is a little more conservative when it comes to appearances, but is no less exceptional. Stretching almost 26 feet and seating 14, this model has a rear cockpit bench that transforms into a big sun pad at the push of a button. And that’s not all: By propping up the cushions, the area converts to a rear-facing sun lounge. Back in its standard position, the cockpit bench rests back-to-back with a rumble seat that’s perfect for donning water-sports gear or watching the kids splash around behind the boat. www.aquapatioboats.com.

Baja: Its customers want bigger boats with an aggressive edge, says Baja CEO Johnny Walker. Well, that’s just what they’re getting with the 30 Outlaw GT. This is the first GT Series model to hit the water, and it features eye-catching custom graphics (designed in-house), a long list of amenities and twin MerCrusier sterndrive engines up to 1,130 horsepower total. An unapologetic “driver’s boat,” the 30 Outlaw GT boasts a wave-slicing, 24-degree True-V hull, as well as electric seat cushions for the captain and co-pilot, a leather/carbon tilt steering wheel and color-matched gauges. At socializing speeds, the hot rod utilizes a booming stereo system, inviting transom sun pad, and cabin with enclosed head and sleeping accommodations for three.

Baja also plans to introduce completely updated and re-styled versions of its popular 278 Performance and 35 Outlaw for the 2013 model year. www.bajamarine.com.

Bayliner: Second in popularity only to its 175 Bowrider, Bayliner’s 185 Bowrider has been given a from-the-keel-up redesign for 2013. The boat is now available in a standard seating plan that includes a molded motorbox with integrated table and back-to-back port seat that converts to a sun lounge, or optional Sport Seating with a full-width transom sun pad and twin bucket seats. It also supports wakeboarding and fishing with two options packages: The Flight Series Package adds special hull graphics, a swim platform extension and stainless-steel tower with integrated bimini top. The Fish Package includes a 24-volt trolling motor, fore and aft casting platforms and seats, a livewell, fishfinder, dedicated rod storage and a tackle bag.

Bayliner has also announced a revamped Deck Boat line for this year, including new 190, 210 and 215 models. www.bayliner.com.

Beneteau: One of the world’s leading sailboat builders, Beneteau has made a push in the powerboat market over the past several years. To wit: The Barracuda 9 is a 29-foot fishing/cruising crossover propelled by single or twin outboards (up to 450 horsepower total). Available with or without a flybridge, this can-do vessel boasts the brand’s Air Step hull, said to reduce fuel consumption, provide quicker acceleration and enhance maneuverability. High side rails should enhance onboard safety, while the enclosed wheelhouse offers an extra level of comfort during inclement weather. The cabin has an enclosed head and double berth, and the boat’s modular design allows a high level of customization to suit the needs of its owners.

Beneteau also premiered its Swift Trawler 50 at the Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show in October and is preparing to introduce the Barracuda 7 in Europe with plans to quickly bring it to the US. www.beneteauusa.com.     

Boston Whaler: New, activity-friendly dual consoles are gaining traction, and this legendary builder is at the forefront with its Vantage line. The 230 and 270 were made to combine performance, comfort and function, opening up a whole new view on the possible. (Vantage, get it?) One standout feature is the portside lounge, which folds into a variety of positions so passengers can ride facing fore and aft, partially or fully reclined — or even use it as a leaning post for fishing. There’s also a head compartment, which is a nice convenience. Anglers will like the livewell, rod holders and raw-water washdown, while wakeboarders will appreciate the sports tower and tow arch options. Upgrades include premium audio and a summer kitchen with refrigerator and grill (the latter only on the 270). Propulsion comes courtesy of Mercury Verado four-stroke outboards (single on the 230; dual on the 270). www.bostonwhaler.com.

Carver: The C34 is the first in a new series of yachts from this longtime, Wisconsin-based builder. “We’re very excited with this venture and see this new product line being exactly what the market is now demanding,” said Carver Yachts President Robert VanGrunsven. So, what is it that people want right now? “Great design, comfort and space, and most importantly tremendous value,” explained VanGrunsven. Though details were scarce at press time, we know the C34 to be a 36-foot cruiser with a low profile bridge and sleek lines. Inside, there’s a full galley, sleeping for six and ample entertainment areas. Power is provided by twin inboard engines, gas or diesel, coupled to V-drives. A lower helm makes an attractive option for long-rangers. www.carveryachts.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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