Every year we set foot on hundreds of new boats, crawling through the tiniest of openings to judge construction, fit and finish, and firing up the engines to test the ride. Some boats stand out more than others, either because they raise the bar for a category, create a new category or are so well built that they stand alone. Here are 10 we loved in 2012.
- The Boating Tech Team
The Gist: Meridian’s first boat designed from the CAD stage for pod drives, this 50-footer handles like a sport cruiser and puts the extra space to good use. The theme of this boat is social gathering points, from the aft cockpit bar to the galley to the raised salon. Belowdecks, the full-beam master stateroom offers luxe cruising quarters.
Lasting Impression: The retractable glass partition allows for a bar set-up between the cockpit and the galley, creating a great entertainment space.
The Gist: The 410 expands on the old 390 Sundancer and offers all kinds of options based on how you want to boat. Sea Ray calls it “flexible architecture.” Start with the stylish enclosed hardtop on our test boat. Sea Ray also offers an open hardtop, for which the windshield does not mate with the top, and a standard arch configuration with an open cockpit. The boat is well suited for day cruising or overnighting, with plenty of fine amenities.
Lasting Impression: The transom “sun gate” doors that can be opened to create opposing backrests, or for a traditional tanning bed.