Ships parked bow to bow, port to starboard, with some towering overhead, others laying low. These marine vessels sprouted two, three, even four engines at the aft. This wasn’t a safe harbor or dry dock; it was the annual New York Boat Show. In all, not much happened in the maritime community that would be considered “revolutionary,” but changes over the next year will make things “bigger, faster and more powerful.” This is by no means a slight against what the boating industry put forth this year, but based on the stellar watercraft presented last year, it’s an endearing compliment. 2016 makes a good thing even better. Here are the boats that stood out on the floor of the Javits Center, this year.
Best Wakesurfing Boat: Wakesurfing is quickly rising in popularity, especially in Europe. It follows the same principals as wakeboarding, except the rider is not tethered to the boat via tow rope, but instead propelled by the curling wake of the boat. The deep gutsy hull and Gen 2 Surf System hydrofoils of the X20 create a consistent and entertaining wave, with the boat never having to break 20-30 mph. And the experience inside this 20-footer — with wrap-around bench seats and a pickle fork bow — is closer to a small yacht than ski boat.
Sea Ray 510 Sundancer
Largest Boat for Sale: At 50 feet, 10 inches, the Sea Ray was the largest boat on the floor of the Javits Center, earning the title “Queen of the Show.” With a master bedroom, lower-level lounge, and upper-level and on-deck lounges, the 510 is a floating two-story luxury condo.
Sea-Doo RXP X 300
Most Race-Ready PWC: With ergonomics and adjustable handlebars designed to get the rider in the optimal position, combined with Sea-Doo’s most powerful engine to date, the RXP X 300 doesn’t mince its objectives — it wants to go fast and to corner faster. And though Sea-Doo won’t officially confirm it, word on the water is the RXP X’s top speed flirts with 75 mph.
Chaparral 257 SSX
Best Bay Cruiser: A double-stitched and leather-wrapped steering wheel, open top and 380 horsepower 6.0-liter V8 engine reads more like the specs of an exotic sports car, rather than a bay cruiser. But the Chaparral 257 SSX raises the bar. It can hold a cruising speed of 28 mph for over seven hours (if need be) and has adjustable bench seats and rear seats that electronically fold down into sun beds. With those perks, it’s a day cruiser you’ll be hard pressed to disembark.
Best Sport Fishing Vessel: With quad Yamaha 350 engines and a maximum of 1,400 horsepower, the Regulator — the largest watercraft ever produced by Regulator Marine — is not lacking in power. An expansive deck, a spacious live well and with 231 gallons dedicated to fish box storage alone, an entire day at sea is a breeze. Just keep your fingers crossed that the fish comply, so you can make use of all that storage.
Super Air Nautique G23
Most Advanced Wakeboarding Boat: Two “exclusives” make the Super Air Nautique G23 stand out among the other wakeboard towing boats. JL Audio partnered with Nautique to bring an exclusive sound system to their watercraft, and the dashboard interface, which uses Nautique’s Linc touchscreen system, finally brings maritime recreation into the 21st Century.