Dec 24

Express Cruiser Basics – Planing Out a Large Power-Boat with Trim Tabs

Port Planing ViewPlaning out a large cruiser isn’t difficult, but a little attention to technique will go a long way towards understanding how to best plane your boat under different loading conditions. We’ve put together a short video to illustrate the technique we use with our boat when loaded.

Our boat is a Regal 2760 28′ cruiser powered by twin 190HP Mercruiser engines and Bravo III outdrives. At 8500lbs dry, our weight can easily top 10,000lbs with passengers and gear – placing it in the middle of the express cruiser pack.

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Dec 17

Winter Boating – a Short Trip Report from Destin

We’ve had a slow few months of boating with windy weather and holiday activities, but this weekend we got a respite from both. Calm winds since Thursday provided flat seas for a night in Destin Pass and morning cruising the gulf and bay. We didn’t have much luck with the fishing, but the scenery was unbeatable. With 5 adults, and 4 children aboard, we also set a new overnighting record for our Regal 2760 and achieved a top speed of 41.6mph on the GPS with a full load of water, fuel, and supplies.

Merry Christmas!

Nov 20

Four Winns 258 Vista Photo Review

The 258 Vista is Four Winns entry level cruiser. Pictured is a 2006 model. Built with great fit and finish, the 258 is a good choice for light overnights by a couple or day trips for a small family. New for 2007 is a reversible seating option at the transom.

Specifications:
Basic specifications: 26′ Overall Length, 8’6″ Beam, 36″ Draft (drive down), 17 degree deadrise, 6,270lb Dry Weight, 70 gal Fuel

Engine Options include Mercruiser and Volvo twin prop drives from 260-320HP.

Nov 17

Sea Ray 290 Amberjack Photo Review

The larger of Sea Ray’s two “Amberjacks” the 290 offers the creature comforts of a high-end express cruiser with an aft cockpit suitable for serious fishing. The 290 is large enough to include twin inboard or stern drive engines and a small mid cabin berth. Click on the photo to visit our 290 Amberjack Photo Album.

Specifications: 31′ 4″ Overall Length, 10’6″ Beam, 34″ Draft (drive down) or 35″ with inboards, 21 degree deadrise, 11,300lb Dry Weight, 230 gal Fuel, 30 gal Water, 28 gal Waste, twin 260HP 5.0 MPI Mecruiser engines w/Bravo III as standard power

Sep 19

Regal 2760 / 2860 Express Cruiser Review

In our biased opinion, the Regal 2760 / 2860 Commodore express cruiser built from about 1999 to 2005 is one of the best 28′ cruisers ever produced. The model number was changed for 2004-2005 to the 2860 with only minor changes in fixtures and finish items. Twin 4.3L engines provide great performance with reasonable gas consumption while an 9’11″ beam yields a class leading cabin and cockpit. The current 2860 Commodore Window Express cruiser is a completely new vessel. Click on the picture to go to our photo tour and read on for a detailed review.
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Sep 16

Undwater Dive Video of Old Destin Bridge on YouTube

YouTube user “DestinDiver” posted a short video of a dive on one of the Destin offshore rubble piltes. DestinDiver reports this was the old Destin Bridge rubble. Based on our Google Earth divesites map, the bridge rubble is located at 30.34717N, 86.49483W in roughly 70 feet of water which contradicts the claim of being 7 miles offshore. It is possible this is actually the “Okaloosa Pier Rubble” located at 30.32642N, 86.60323W which is 7 miles outside of the pass and would look similar. In either case, it’s a nice video of our green waters.
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Sep 09

Mercruiser Bravo III (3) Overview, Review, and Photo Diagrams

Overview

Mercruiser’s answer to the Volvo Duo-Prop, the Bravo III features twin counter-rotating propellers in an aluminum outdrive. Bravo III’s are found on applications ranging from 190HP to 525HP with the new Bravo IIIXR. For single-engine boats, twin prop drives are generally the standard over 260HP to improve handling and low-mid range performance.

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