Big Boats, Big Money at the Long Beach Convention Center

When the International Sail and Power Boat Show put on by the Southern California Marine Association ran at the Long Beach Convention Center and Downtown Marina from September 23-26, it brought some new and expensive toys with it.  Boasting the largest in-water and on-land display on the Pacific coast it's no wonder that so many manufacturers chose to make West Coast debut's at this show.  Featuring brand new offerings from such industry moguls as Sea Ray, Eliminator, Viking Sport Cruisers, and Carver Yachts, this show proved to be the perfect end to the summer boating season.  For me, it was the perfect place to see the newest and nicest yachts the industry had to offer.

One of the most exciting new offerings unveiled at this show was the Carver Yachts 41 foot Cockpit Motor Yacht, being presented by Bayport Yachts out of Newport Beach.  Costing 383,982 dollars equipped with features such as all composite stringers for stability and strength, bow thrusters for docking ease, a central vacuum system, flat screen LCD televisions, granite countertops, and dual 375 horsepower Volvo motors, this boat is made for the consumer looking for nothing less than conspicuous consumption. 

On the water, the 41 footer performs every bit as well as one would expect if they were sitting in the leather wrapped 5-way adjustable captain's chair.  The boat is quick to plane, surprisingly nimble in open water maneuvering, and quiet enough that entertaining in the giant salon would be a cinch even under full power.  Though the performance is remarkable, it's the attention to detail that makes this boat so impressive.  Everything from bow to stern is immaculate and obviously of the highest quality.  Not to skimp on the entertainment, Carver puts flat screen LCD television monitors in every room, including a 15-inch TV/DVD combo in the master stateroom.  Also on board was a state of the art Sirius satellite radio system so the music will always be heard regardless of where you might be berthed.  For the thirsty skippers out there this boat also came equipped with a wet bar and a bridge refrigerator, making sure that a cool beverage or cocktail would always be close and available for your weekends on the water.

If a 41 foot weekend cruiser isn't your style, with a larger pocketbook and taste for the finer things in life you could step up to the newly restyled 1.26 million dollar Carver 56 Voyager yacht.  Holding 800 gallons of fuel and topping out at 32 mph, this is the boat you could easily take to San Francisco or Mexico.  With such long trips in store, its no wonder the pilothouse is equipped with a fully adjustable leather helm seat and genuine Momo helm wheel.  The luxuries don't end there though, with options like a full size washer and dryer in the master stateroom, 30-inch retractable plasma television in the salon, hydraulic lift rear platform, as well as the same undying attention to detail found on the smaller 41 CMY, this boat is pure decadence.

If that still isn't enough, then the 75 foot Viking Motor Yacht is the boat for you.  Packed with dual 1550 horsepower CAT C-30 motors and the capacity for 1540 gallons of fuel, Viking calls this boat the "ultimate long distance cruiser."  But there is more to this boat than just its long travel capabilities.  Whether it's the suede-adorned walls, 42 inch retractable plasma screen TV, a trash compactor and full size refrigerator in the enormous galley, or just the 4.1 million dollar price tag, this boat represents the ultimate in luxury.  The fly bridge is packed with features such as a wet bar with refrigerator and barbecue grill to enjoy the outdoor life.  In the rare case you want off of your pleasure yacht, this boat also comes equipped with stowage large enough for a tender and a PWC both perfect for a quick jaunt on shore or around the harbor.

If those boats are a little out of your league, there was still plenty to see that was a bit more modest from well known manufacturers such as Sea Ray and Bayliner.  Without a doubt, the International Sail and Power Boat Show was a great venue to find whatever you are looking for, from yacht to dingy, even if it doesn't come with a 4.1 million dollar price tag and dual 1550 horsepower motors.  That one sure is a nice ride though.



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