The Norwalk Boat Show
Sunday was a picture-perfect day for the Norwalk Boat Show, and the crowds came out in force to scope out boating gear, search for deals, and climb aboard the boats and yachts. The Norwalk Cove docks were packed with people, which meant lining up to tour the yachts. These are some newer luxury models that drew an audience and were worth the wait.
Prestige Luxury 550 Fly
Just introduced in 2012, this 55-footer is powered by twin 600-hp Cummins for a cruising speed of 26 knots. The second hull off the line, this particular Prestige has a unique layout and clever design that make it feel even more spacious than its 52’8” hull. The sleek living space in the mid-ship salon features a big sectional, pop-up flatscreen and electric windows on either side to let in plenty of fresh air. There’s a beautiful bunkroom to port and a full head to starboard. The forward guest V-berth looks roomy enough to be a master and splits into twins to accommodate more guests. In fact, the full-beam master is down stairs, amidship, and includes an oversized bed with storage drawers, cozy seating area for two with built-in table. This yacht’s master suite is a fashionista’s dream: There’s a full-walk in closet with his-and-hers hanging areas for stowing outfits for days and nights on shore. The captain will like the flexibility of dual helm stations, below and up at the flying bridge where there’s a giant sunbed for lounging and a table surrounded by built-in seating.
Available through Staten Island Yachts, 866-364-8991; siyachts.com
Hinckley Talaria 48 Flybridge
Those who favor classic boats with exceptional wood detailing will love the latest from Hinckley. With glossy cherry wood throughout the interior and teak on the exposed areas, this yacht is a looker from bow to stern. With its jet power and minimal draft, you can cruise into the shallows of secluded bays, hug the shore and anchor close to the beach without any worry about damaging the props. Built in Maine, the model at the show had a full master forward and midship bunks to starboard plus a sectional with retractable table in the salon that can be converted into another berth for more sleeping quarters. It has an ideal layout for entertaining, with loads of cushioned seating in the cabin, in the cockpit (that’s one “big backyard”) as well as above, behind the helm station at the bridge.
Available through Hinckley, 401-683-7005; hinckleyyachts.com
Beneteau Sense 55
If sailing is more your style, this gorgeous Beneteau delivers a package that’s both luxurious and rugged (unlike most other boats at the show, which require you to remove your footwear, this one had a sign that read “keep your shoes on, our boats can take it.”). What’s unique about the Sense line is that you take just three steps down in order to enter the salon, so it feels like one big level of living space. Once in the beautifully appointed salon, the headroom is amazing—a 6’4” guy had plenty of room to spare. With a U-shaped galley to starboard and a large banquette with table to port with a retractable flatscreen TV in between, the salon is both elegant and functional. Forward, there is a master V-berth and full-size berth to port and starboard. As far as performance, power winches mean the Sense can be sailed by two or three and the twin rudders should mean added responsiveness under sail.
Available through Prestige Yacht Sales, 860-245-5551; prestigeyachtsales.net
If a yacht isn’t in your budget but you’re craving time on the water, consider Heritage Yacht Charters. You can bring family and friends out cruising on Pegasus, a well-appointed Grand Banks 42, with a U.S. Coast Guard captain at the helm while you relax and enjoy the view. There are sunset cruises, excursions around Manhattan and even family season passes, for those who want to go out on the water several times during the summer season.
Available through Heritage Yacht Charters, 201-918-1590; heritageyachtcharters.com