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      by Published on 07-13-2015 06:39 PM
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      Written By Bob Brown
      Dry Land Evaluation : Chris Hamlin of Prestige Marine, Aaron Fluent of Absolute Speed and Marine
      Photos by : Dusty Wooddell (Primary) / Andrew Ruzek (Secondary) / Bob Brown (Back Up)



      One of the most encouraging indicators that the custom performance boat industry is showing signs of economic recovery from its deepest slump of the last fifty years is the willingness of manufacturers to develop fresh tooling and introduce new models. The investment to accomplish this is significant even in the best of times, but to boldly move forward with new projects in the anticipation that the buying public is beginning to heat-up speaks volumes about the confidence that boat builders have in the future.

      Certainly one of the most ambitious efforts to bring a new boat to market of the past twelve months is that of the 270 Python deckboat by Cobra Performance Boats. Cobra previously established itself a "player" in the competitive performance deckboat arena with two earlier Python models, the 260 and 280, both successful boats in their own right. However, given the recent explosion of demand for high-end luxurious pontoon boats and the fascination for more performance, the timing seemed appropriate to bring a ...
      by Published on 04-08-15 04:07 PM
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      Written By Bob Brown
      Dry Land Evaluation : Chris Hamlin of Prestige Marine, Aaron Fluent of Absolute Speed and Marine
      Photos by : Dusty Wooddell (Primary) / Andrew Ruzek (Secondary) / Bob Brown (Back Up)



      If you think all performance deckboats are pretty much alike, you obviously aren't acquainted with the Advantage Boats X-Flight model line. Although the 27, 29 and 34 all qualify for serious deckboat consideration, they are definitely a unique hybrid of some things vee-bottom and a little bit air-entrapment.



      Right from the get-go, lets address the obvious. X-Flights have a styling that's undeniably all its own. You either like it, or it's perhaps not your cup of tea. It's just not a kinda, sorta type of boat where there's a lot of middle-ground. That's okay, because evidenced by its sales success since the first X-Flight was introduced in 2007, there are plenty of people who like it since its been Advantage's best selling model, and for a lot of good reasons.

      It's also important to remember that Advantage deserves much of the credit for getting the performance deckboat market ignited in the first
      ...
      by Published on 03-31-15 10:31 AM
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      Written By Bob Brown
      Dry Land Evaluation : Chris Hamlin of Prestige Marine, Aaron Fluent of Absolute Speed and Marine
      Photos by : Dusty Wooddell (Primary) / Andrew Ruzek (Secondary) / Bob Brown (Back Up)



      Although best known for its classic line of vee-bottom models, Hallett hasn't neglected the popular performance deckboat market. More than a decade ago it debuted its 285 Party Cruiser, a well proportioned air-entrapment family boat that undeniably fit comfortably into the now established deckboat genre.

      As the performance deckboat marketplace grew ever more crowded in recent years, Hallett became aware for the need to distinguish its deckboat brand from the rest. Its running surface was already delivering top of its class numbers, but its styling had been diminished by others who imitated it.

      In 2011, Hallett made the decision to re-tool the entire deck and interior of the 285 and give it a new and more modern personality without losing the classic heritage that's an inherent part of every Hallett. Always willing to step- out-of-box, Hallett turned a young, not-of-the-industry designer with an automotive background loose on the project. Guided by the steady hand of the Hallett staff, the new 2.0 Party Cruiser began to take shape, first on a computer monitor,
      ...
      by Published on 02-18-15 01:20 PM
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      Written By Bob Brown
      Dry Land Evaluation : Chris Hamlin of Prestige Marine, Aaron Fluent of Absolute Speed and Marine
      Photos by : Dusty Wooddell (Primary) / Andrew Ruzek (Secondary) / Bob Brown (Back Up)



      When Eliminator Boats founder and owner Bob Leach comments "we're building the best boats today in our 45 year history," that says a lot. Looking back at the past five decades of the high performance custom boat industry, Eliminator legitimately has the credentials to make the case that no one has had greater impact or developed more lasting innovation on this marketplace. Front and center is Eliminator's incredibly successful and sustainable Daytona line, an air-entrapment hull configuration that Ron Ehde tooled up and continues to have a profound effect across three propulsion platforms; outboards, jets and stern drives since the mid-1970s.

      Initially beginning with a 19-footer, the Daytona Mod-VP style center pod bottom has now evolved into the basic running surface of Eliminator's 28 Fun Deck, a roomy, stable and impressive performing deckboat that's one of the cornerstones of Eliminator's extensive model ...
      by Published on 02-09-15 04:47 PM
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      Written By Bob Brown
      Dry Land Evaluation : Chris Hamlin of Prestige Marine, Aaron Fluent of Absolute Speed and Marine
      Photos by : Dusty Wooddell (Primary) / Andrew Ruzek (Secondary) / Bob Brown (Back Up)



      Who doesn't remember that unmistakable new car feel and smell when you first drive it off the dealers lot and you're cruising down the highway with a big smile on your face? Well, get ready to smile again if you're fortunate enough to be the owner of a new Nordic 26 Deckboat.

      Over the past seven years the economy hasn't been kind to the performance boat building industry and in many instances it put a major crimp in the development of new models. But to Nordic's credit and perseverance, they've been steadfast in their pursuit of tooling up new models which is now paying off with big dividends. The 26 deckboat is just one of many prime examples of their skillful handiwork which has gained them significant advantage in the marketplace.

      Lets face it, the 26 Deckboat not only looks cool and very sexy, but it delivers the performance to back it up (more on that later). The styling is hip, fresh, original and modern, and best of ...
      by Published on 02-02-15 02:38 PM
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      Written By Bob Brown
      Dry Land Evaluation : Chris Hamlin of Prestige Marine, Aaron Fluent of Absolute Speed and Marine
      Photos by : Dusty Wooddell (Primary) / Andrew Ruzek (Secondary) / Bob Brown (Back Up)



      "Live the Legend" sets the bar pretty high for a performance boat builder, but Hallett has been doing it for nearly six decades. In particular, their 240 and 270 models became family sportboat icons in the industry, achieving legendary status among owners and the recipient of countless awards for excellence from leading boating publications of that era. And, as boater preferences for bigger and even more luxurious models evolved, Hallett naturally followed suit, introducing an all-new 290-S in early 2012 in three different configurations: a conventional closed deck w/forward cabin, a mid-cabin bowrider, and awalk-thru bowrider to satisfy the widest possible range of boating habits.

      Right from the start, let's discuss what sets the Hallett 290-S apart from the rest of the step-vees out there. The modern-day ventilated step-vee trend began over twenty years ago. It's difficult to determine which manufacturer ...
      Published on 01-23-15 02:18 AM
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      Written By Bob Brown
      Dry Land Evaluation : Chris Hamlin of Prestige Marine, Aaron Fluent of Absolute Speed and Marine
      Photos by : Dusty Wooddell (Primary) / Andrew Ruzek (Secondary) / Bob Brown (Back Up)



      Fifty years ago Howard Custom Boats was all about setting drag boat speed records. Company founder/owner Howard Brown drove his 18' flatbottom SK hull, "How 'Bout That", through NDBA's quarter mile timing traps at an unheard of 137.82 miles an hour. A performance dynasty was officially in the making.

      Today, a half century later, Howard is still on that dynasty track, just not in the world of drag boats. Some years ago, Howard Brown sold his boat building business to Gene Willen, a Howard customer with a penchant for getting things exactly right. And since then, with the expert contribution of his talented son Mike, the Willens have evolved Howard Boats into a finely honed custom boat manufacturing operation resulting in some of the most exceptional family high performance sportboat models the present-day marketplace has to offer.

      In providing one of Howard's ...

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