SPOTLIGHT: Bufflehead 22 – Tiny Tug, Big ‘Tude!

SPOTLIGHT: I can imagine there’s a great story or geographical edifice that the name must have come from, but I don’t know it. What I do know is that the Bufflehead 22 has great features, tug-like sea keeping characteristics and has developed a following of compact yacht enthusiasts in the last couple years.
MacNaughton Associates offer plans for the Bufflehead in several versions, and there are many owner and yard changes and alterations that don’t affect the boat’s stability. There is quite a variety of vessel plans, both sailing and power, available from the MacNaughton Group, and there’s something to be said for participating in the design of your boat and having it built either in your own garage or at a nearby yard that you trust.

The Bufflehead 22 presents as a classic tug, with raised pilothouse and portholes in the salon and pilothouse that befit the genre. The salon features a stand-up head, two twins and a galley in the wheelhouse. The aft deck (the work deck on a commercial tug) is big enough for a pair of chairs, and a small shore boat or kayaks can be lifted on to the cabin top with the derrick.

One of the most popular builder alterations is to raise the fore deck to the height of the railings, creating additional space below in which bunks or another cabin can be designed. The hull, fabricated in steel, fiberglass or wood, is sturdy in all seas, and the boat is only 22 feet in length so it can be powered by a small, super-efficient diesel engine. Take a look at all the MacNaughton Group designs and let your dreams go wild!

Drawings courtesy of mftrs website:

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MAYRIK P214 – A 21-foot mini-trawler that crossed the Atlantic!

Since it’s successful Atlantic crossing in the summer of 2008, the Mayrik P214 has faded from the public eye and consciousness. I found only a few savvy marine buffs who’d followed the spunky 21-foot trawler since its well-publicized development and trans-Atlantic adventure. Most didn’t register the boat’s name at all. I thought a brief article was in order, though, as the men and the boat who crossed ‘the pond’ were remarkably fearless (the boat was just 21’ long!) and it’s no accident that there was no accident and that the boat did everything its designer sail it would.
If you go to the Mayrik website … and if you don’t speak French … you’ll be frustrated by the web designer’s efforts to express himself in English. I sure was. That doesn’t make the vessel less remarkable. The Mayrik P214 is a French boat manufactured in St. Maarten, (the Caribbean Island that is roughly half French and half Dutch) by French and local boat makers. The boat builders would do themselves a great service to hire an American writer to rework their American website. I think that the Mayrik would have found a foothold in the U.S. by now if they had. But, like so many boat builders, these guys are really good at the boat design and fabrication end of the business, and ‘so-so’ at the business of promoting their vessel.
The Mayrik P214 is no lightweight yacht. Weighing in at about 5 tons (10,000 lbs.), it’s deep cockpit and commercial grade features make one think of tough seas and rough passages. And that is just what it’s made for, although it’s equally at home on calm inter-island voyages or a weekend on the coast (there are no rivers on St. Maarten).  Naval architect Yves Kinard designed this boat to go anywhere, and to comfortably withstand the sea conditions one might encounter.
Perhaps it was the hesitance of the yachting community to accept that a 21-foot vessel was good for anything but calm-water day cruising that brought about the Atlantic crossing idea. The idea of taking the Mayrick north to Bermuda, across to the Azores and on to France gained popularity, though, and in the summer of 2008, Kinard and a friend (who had participated in the building of the boat) did just that, completing their voyage in July of that year in Saint Martin De Re, France.

Kinard did a masterful job of reaching his goal with the mini-trawler: that of creating an ocean-capable trawler that could handle any waters, but that had trawler features, comforts and conveniences, and was economical enough to cruise solo for long distances. The Mayrick features a Perkins M92B, a naturally-aspirated 4-cylinder diesel that makes 86hp at 2400rpm. That gives the boat a comfortable cruising speed of just under 6 knots, and a maximum speed (empty) of 10 knots. The choice of the Perkins speaks highly of the builder’s dedication to economy. The engine, proven in every ocean, is small, light and extremely stingy on fuel. The resulting (between fill-ups) range of the Mayrik is about 825 miles at 5.5 knots.
Old salts will be surprised to find a bulbous bow on the Mayrick. This design addition, commonly thought to useful on bows of 60’ or longer boats, is in place on this boat for one reason only:  to soften head seas and reduce roll. It does its job well, and doesn’t suffer from the other symptoms of inclusion on a small boat because of the Mayrik’s slow cruising speed.
The Mayrik’s all-business cockpit (good access to cleats, etc. for line handling) offers deep gunwhales against the seas. A full-beam swim platform and starboard-aft gate makes entry easy (no climbing over the high sidewalls). Moving forward through a sliding off-center door to the saloon, you’ll find an enclosed fiberglass head with sink and shower to port. Forward, in the cabin lined with rich woods, is a compact but sufficient galley with sink, stove, oven and refrigerator and a Corian counter top. To starboard, the convertible 4-person dinette, with storage underneath, is just abaft of the well-thought-out helm. Proceed through the center opening of the helm bulkhead and three steps down and you’ll find your choice of two sleeping compartment layouts. The twin V-berths don’t allow for the hanging locker that the double bed (to starboard) does, so many couples will opt for the latter. In either case, there is ample storage (the boat is deep) beneath the beds and seating. The double bed option at the dinette brings sleeping capacity to four.
The helm, which had to laid out well in order to achieve an ocean crossing, was engineered to include all critical instruments within easy reach of the skipper. Forward of the large destroyer-type wheel are engine monitoring instruments, and the throttle lever is next to the window on your right. On a riser that is nicely integrated into the helm you’ll find autopilot and electronic charting instruments, with a compass built in to the top (away from magnetic interference). There’s room over the door (to the sleeper) for a charting computer, and there is ample chart space to the left, though there is no navigator station (seat) here. Of course this is all subject to the owner’s preferences if you’re buying a new boat. I think the finishing touch at the helm (remember, we’re talking about a 21-foot boat) is the sliding door that lets space and light in and allows the sea breeze and the environment to be part of the helmsman’s world. From a practical standpoint, the door aids a single-handed skipper with deck tasks including line handling and ground tackle management.
Ship-like quality marks the heavy-duty features of the boat. The cleats and railings are all oversized and made of stainless steel, the hull is weighted and substantially deep, the electrical panel and associated wiring is top-grade and properly installed, the cabinetry doors (especially the doors to the propulsion spaces) are heavy and well-insulated and exterior doors (lacquered wood) are heavy-duty and substantial. The freeboard in the cockpit is ship-like (deep!) because the boat is built with a deep hull for ocean-going comfort, and the depth of the inside spaces is impressive as well.

In summary, Yves Kinard designed and built (and sailed across the Atlantic) an exemplary compact yacht. There aren’t many more convincing ways to express your confidence in the boat and builder (even if the builder was one’s self!) than crossing one of the world’s most tempestuous oceans. The Mayrik P214 is offered in its original form, in a fishing model (for commercial fisherman), in an open-cabin lobster yacht model called the Bermudan, and (my favorite) an aft-cabin model called P214 After Cabin that features a roomy aft cabin and a raised cockpit in the rear.

The price of this yacht is based on the West Indies dollar, which is typically devalued against the U.S. and Canadian currency. This can make the Mayrik P214, and the portfolio of other fine seagoing vessels Yves Kinard designs, very attractive to the North American buyer. One thing’s for certain … the Mayrik P214 designs are worth your consideration, and your respect.

Photos courtesy of mftrs. website:
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M.M.S.I. Number = Marine Mobile Service Identity Number; PREPARE YOUR DSC FOR AN EMERGENCY … for free!

Why are less than 50% of yachtsman prepared to use DSC (Digital Selective Calling) in 2011? For years now, all new permanent-mount VHF radios (and some portable radios) sold in the states have been equipped with the DSC feature, the one-touch button that can save lives. Think of DSC as an E.P.I.R.B. for your boat, except it’s FREE!

Perhaps the attraction to cell phones and their ‘applications’ is a primary answer, but to think anything your cellular phone can do (assuming you’re in range and have emergency numbers handy) approaches the vital importance of the Coast Guard being able to find you in a minute-critical emergency, is just ignorant.

Why not take the 30-minutes required to get your MMSI number (FREE and easy at Boat US) and program it it in your VHF radio(s)? Is there something (anything?) more important? Read our article on a San Juan Islands misadventure that was nearly a disaster, and get everything you need to know about MMSI numbers.

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An Excellent Portable Refrigerator/Freezer for your Yacht!

View larger image of EdgeStar 43 Quart 12V DC Portable Fridge/Freezer - Grey

Like many yachting folks, I have found the need for a supplemental freezer to be a high priority, especially when setting course into ‘marina-less’ waters, which are where I want to go most of the time. I finally purchased a freezer/refrigerator and have operated it for long enough, now, to offer you my appraisal of it’s performance both on land and at sea.

Jump to “Gear & Electronics” and read more!


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BACK COVE 30 – This luxurious lobster yacht is feature-rich, built to last generations and ready for your next adventure!

The sense that you’re witnessing nautical history is strong when you see the Back Cove 30. Like her big sisters, the Back Cove 34 and 37, she exudes class, charm and a sense of her Maine heritage as a down east lobster boat. But she is – although every bit a Maine-style yacht – modernly constructed, a planing hull (vs. a traditional displacement hull), and built both for pleasure boating and to cruise through rough seas in safety and comfort. Built by about 100 (proud to be doing what they’re best at) seasoned folk in their Rockland, Maine facility, Back Cove yachts are an easy profile to identify on the water. The boats are beautiful and sleek and present themselves with a sort of pride … that knowledge of what they come from, how they are made and what they can do.
Though the Back Cove 30 doesn’t include an aft wall (enclosure), it’s big enough that the “open” bridge deck is sheltered enough to provide refuge from the elements, and the forward cabin – where the sleeper, galley and head are located – is enclosed (and lockable) via a stout fiberglass sliding door. An Eisenglass or plastic wall (that can be erected or taken down at will) can be ordered for the Back Cove, but we don’t think it’d be used very often, as the design of the bridge deck and cockpit is great as it is.
Board the yacht via the spacious swim step (thoughtfully provided with cleats at both ends for securing your tender and other items and boarding handholds for coming at out of the water) and the cockpit door at midships (which opens outward) and you find yourself in the cockpit. The space is immediately luxurious and easy to get around. Two corner settees (one with a table) beckon you and your guests to relax and enjoy the boat at it’s surroundings. Non-skid surfaces cover the fiberglass decking, and stairs lead forward on both sides. Stainless steel drink holders are convenient to the settees and there is ample night time lighting in the area. The fabric surfaces are rich and durable, and the two-tone triangular table(s) – ideal for drinks and snacks – is movable to several locations in the cockpit and bridge where it can be mounted via a clever stainless fitting attached to the seat front. A large lazarrette is centered in the cockpit floor and provides storage and mounting platforms for various optional equipment. 


  • LOA 30’ 6” (9.3m)
  • Beam 11’ 2”’ (3.4m)
  • Draft 2.6’ (.76m)
  • Fuel 160 US Gallons (600 L)
  • Water 60 US Gallons (225 L)
  • Holding 30 US Gallons (113 L)
  • Displacement Est. 12,000 # (light load)
  • Designed to ABYC, NMMA, USCG and CE Category
Walking forward along either the port or starboard side, the stainless steel 1 1/4 inch side rails are reassuring, especially when the sea is rough, and there are top railings on both sides. The ‘graystone’ non-skid is generously applied on these side decks, as well as forward where there’s lots of room to sight-see or handle the ground tackle (which can include a Lewmar verticle windlass and foot switches, in addition to helm control). A well-finished hatch gives you access to the forward locker for the anchor’s chain and rode. There’s lots of seating on the roof to the saloon, which is coated with non-skid for your convenience. The roof of the bridge is accessible from up here.

Back in the cockpit, take a step up and forward and you find yourself in the bridge, surrounded port and starboard with comfortable, versatile seating. There is a dining venue to starboard, behind the helm, with a larger, two-toned table that matches the one in the cockpit. The bench seat wraps around the table, and is complimented by a raised port bench seat (also “L” shaped) which, when the navigator’s seat is removed, makes a spacious twin bed.

Thoughtful, molded-in, fiberglass storage compartments are built in everywhere, including in the base for the Arrigoni helm chair (much sturdier mounting than those I’ve seen on other boats, where the space is taken by a single, long, chair pedestal). A word should be said here in praise of the Arrigoni helm chair, which promises a firm, supportive voyage and a variety of comfort options as you fold away the armrests, make adjustments to the back and lumber supports, etc. This is the most comfortable helm chair I’ve experienced on a yacht in our review class, and I commend Back Cove on their thoughtful, quality choice (available in white or tan).

The helm is inviting just to look at, and is laid out to accommodate everything the helmsman must accomplish, and most things he wants to. The skipper is supported by teak at the footrest and the aforementioned (excellent) Arrigoni helm chair. The wheel is an attractive combination of a destroyer spoked affair with rich wood surrounding its circumference, and is set at the ideal angle to facilitate comfortable steering. Throttle and transmission controls are located at a convenient height to the right of the wheel, and instruments are positioned in easy viewing range, including the top-mounted MFD (multi-function display) if so equipped.

Inclement weather shouldn’t be a problem with the three pantograph wipers and the AFI washer system that Back Cove puts on this boat. A Lewmar sliding hatch with the OCEANair sky screen and three large opening windows with screens (port, starboard and front center) along with the open aft space provide excellent ventilation.

There are footrests everywhere one could want them and, due to the area being open to the weather, the non-slip treatment extends to the flooring in this cabin. The engine compartment, the Yanmar LP 315hp diesel engine (or your choice of optional engines including the Cummins QSD 350, the Yanmar 380 and the Volve D6 370), tankage and other items are accessed through a large and easily accessed door in the aft end of the floor. Gas assist shocks support the door and there is ample lighting below.

The navigator, and a friend if so inclined, can lounge on the raised bench seat directly to port of the helm chair. There is great visibility from this double-wide seat (as there is from every seat on the boat) and plenty of chart space exists on the bulkhead in front of it. One feature stands out when reviewing this yacht, and that’s the large variety of comfortable seating options available … on a 30-footer. Not counting “unofficial’ seating (stairs, forward perches, etc.) or the ample seating in the below-decks Saloon, there is seating for at least 13 people in the cockpit and deck house of the Back Cove 30. This is a remarkable accomplishment given the ease of movement and sense of space.

Step forward and down three steps from the helm/navigator area, and you’re in the saloon, which features a compact but well equipped galley to starboard and an enclosed head to port. The galley is well thought out. There are counter inserts over the sink and the range to give the chef more counter space when they need it, and a quality drawer-type refrigerator is positioned in a convenient, center location below (easy to access from either side, a feature not available on door-type fridge). A microwave is at an easy-to-use and safe level and is flush-mounted in a wooden cabinet. There are nicely finished wood cabinets and drawers everywhere possible, and plenty of shelf space on top. Stainless hand holds are close at hand, and there’s an attractive cherry wood floor (sole) throughout the saloon.

The head is laid out thoughtfully, with a granite counter top spanning its width. A stainless sink with a quality faucet fixture that extends and also serves as a shower head is at one end, and the remainder is available for the owner’s use. The area beneath the counter is tastefully enclosed in fiberglass, with two latching cabinet openings, a recessed toilet paper rack, and a heating port. There is a cabinet with sliding doors in the wall above the counter, a wood-rimmed shelf running the width of the room and an opening port light above that. A wood trimmed mirror completes the bathroom accommodation.

A fiberglass locker is located just forward of the rich wooden wall of the head, and features wood drawers below, a cabinet door above, and roll-protected counter space with stainless drink holder at a convenient height. The large wrap-around seating forward is a nice, inside lounging area, though the removable table, while sufficient for reading books or snacks and drinks is not large enough to dine at.

When it is removed (and stored beneath the settees), the settees make into a comfortable double berth stretching athwartships and making use of the vessel’s beam (11’2” at midships). There is a stereo installed into the forward wall of the galley for entertainment, good access to AC and 12-volt power and generous overhead lighting throughout. The walls of the forward sleeper are treated with a wooden slat finish, accenting the nautical nature of the boat, and there is an overhead screened hatch for ventilation, stargazing and emergency egress from the saloon. Generous shelving adorns both sides of the sleeper/settees, and four opening port lights are located high up on the walls (2 per side). Once again, the entirety of the saloon can be closed off from weather or guests with the sliding door built into the helm bulkhead.

Back Cove has truly created a masterpiece in the ‘30’, designing a boat that feels much larger than it is. The sense of luxury and fulfillment of dreams is not just imagined … it’s born out in each and every thoughtful feature found on this yacht. The Back Cove 30 is too large to be trailerable (her 11’ 2” beam requires a special license and permits to pull it), but the boat deserves your attention if trailerabilty isn’t one of your goals. From start to finish she delivers more than expected, and is decidedly a big yacht in a small(er) package … one that just may make your heart skip a beat, like mine did.

Photos courtesy of mftr. website:


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CAFRAMO: Top-Quality Marine Fans; RARE Customer Service

by Steve Reeves

In “Kokomo”, my Rosborough RF-246, I have two 6” fans mounted to the ceiling, in the forward corners of the wheelhouse. They come in handy in the summer for cooling, and in the winter for defrosting the driver and passenger windows, and they fold up out of the way when not in use.

Go to the OP-ED page for the full story …

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NEWSPOINT: Bellingham Yachts Welcomes Cutwater Boats

(Press Release) Kent, WA—Fluid Motion, builder of Cutwater Boats, has grown its dealer network with the addition of Bellingham Yachts as the Pacific Northwest dealer for the trailerable cruisers which debuted at boat shows earlier this year. The Cutwater 26 and Cutwater 28 are the newest additions to Bellingham Yachts fleet, owned by industry veterans and brothers, Nick and Dean Ouilette. The dealership will be receiving its first Cutwater models—a blue 26 and taupe 28 by the end of August and will exhibit the boats at shows this fall.

The team at Bellingham Yachts has over 27 years of experience in sales and customer service stemming in part from their role as one of the oldest powerboat dealers for Sabre Yachts in the U.S. “In addition, we have a service department which I oversee that ensures our customers are well cared for and loyal,” says Nick Ouilette, co-owner of Bellingham Yachts. The company also represents Sabre and Back Cove but the Cutwater fills a void as their customers move down in size. Due to the trailerable size of Cutwaters, the compact boats offer customers flexibility of use.

Nick Ouilette knows the design preferences of his customers and comments on the benefit of adding Cutwater Boats to his fleet, “The traditional styling of Cutwater compliments Sabre and Back Cove which appeals to a broad spectrum of customers.”

Bellingham Yachts is conveniently located next to a four lane boat launch and the dealership has gated docks in front of the office giving security to the boats they represent as well as a high level of customer service due to the ease with which clients can sea trial new boats. The group also manages their own charter fleet and may add a Cutwater 28 to the fleet allowing customers to truly “try before buying.”

Cutwater Boats have an innovative semi-displacement hull shape, practical interior layout and quality standard equipment making them easy to handle and efficient to cruise. They are equipped with a Yanmar diesel engine, Garmin electronics, Diamond/Sea-Glaze windows and bow and stern thrusters come standard for ease of operation and maneuverability. Bellingham Yachts will work with buyers on additional equipment options so their Cutwater is commissioned to fit their cruising needs and styles. The Cutwater 26 and 28 are ideal boats for couples or families cruising in the Pacific Northwest.

Bellingham Yachts will have the Cutwater 26 and 28 on exhibit at the Seattle Boats Afloat Show Sept. 14-18. For more information, visit .


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Caledon 27 – Luxurious Woods Inside, All Business Outside

Caledon Boatworks has been building quality yachts – and acquiring a reputation for these vessels – for 30 years in Caledon, Ontario, Canada. Caledon is a family company that shows fierce pride in their work, and an equal affinity for and loyalty to those who own their boats. If you’ve cruised aboard a Caledon boat, you’re not likely to forget it … the rich wood finishes, the tough over-built hull, the quiet hum of the engine(s) … it seems the British Columbian trawler is reborn with the molding of each new hull.
Rich in it’s wooden coverings and comfortable throughout, the Caledon 27 won’t betray its B.C. commercial boat heritage until you need it to, but with countless owner stories of adventures in 8’ and larger seas, the yacht’s sea worthiness is nothing short of legendary.

The exterior of the Caledon 27 is low-maintenace and tough. There are four ports (that seem like they are imported directly from a 50’ tug) in the forecastle, and about a dozen large windows in the salon that make for about a 340-degree view from the helm (the area to port that is enclosed for the head and shower being the only blind spot). Stainless steel rails are positioned high for protection at the bow, and stainless grab rails adorn both sides of the roof. A pair of heavy-duty, no-nonsense windshield wipers are positioned on the port and starboard windshields. Port and starboard walk space is ample (11” wide) for transiting forward and aft, and the vessels large cockpit is adorned in a non-skid finish for both safety and low maintenance. A centered settee sits at the transom in the rear, and makes an excellent perch from which you can take in the view. 

Aft of the transom, a two-foot bolted and fiberglassed hull-extension (faired to/with the hull and painted to match) features a swim ladder and provides generous mounting space for single or dual outboard engines, as well as easy boarding access from a dinghy. The cleats on the boat are substantial, fabricated of stainless steel, and are positioned where they’ll be handy when they’re needed.

Caledon incorporates PVC coring in the boat’s topsides and deck for insulation, floatation and for weight consideration. The bottom, cleat areas and foredeck feature a brawny, solid half inch of fiberglass. The hull to deck joint is fiberglassed together from inside the boat, which creates a solid, one piece assembly. One gets an idea of the yacht’s low center of gravity when one first looks at her, and this results in a sense of stability and comfort, as well as added safety, especially in turbulent seas.
Enter through the one, cockpit sliding door, and you find yourself immediately awash in the luxurious wood finishes and other comforts for which the Caledon is known. The (6’5”) interior takes one back to when most boats were built this way, and the Caledon’s builders excell at the joinery of the woodwork.
Immediately upon entering, the galley (which features a stove, oven, fridge, stainless steel sink, a 15-gallon water tank, an automatic water pump and storage cabinets) is to starboard and the head/shower is enclosed to port. There’s plenty of counter space, and a propane solenoid switch adds convenience that is not usually found on this size of boat. 

The head facility is much more spacious than the one in the Caledon 25 (where it is forward of the helm in the V-berth area) and features a Jabsco manual marine toilet, a fiberglass sink, and a hot/cold shower. In keeping with the motif of the boat, Caledon has lined the interior of the head with aromatic teak. There’s ample lighting for the shower and head compartment as well.

Just forward of the head compartment is the dinette with a convertible table that quickly makes into a small double bed or a generous single. The forward-most seat for the dinette does double-duty as the navigator’s seat when it is reversed. Across from the two position seat is the helm, designed by someone who knows about boating. The helm has a quality destroyer wheel positioned comfortably, and controls and gauges are in easy proximity. There are options for every type of electronics, including a (top) mount for a MFD (Multi-Function Display) at near eye level, but below the helmsman’s line of site. A high-quality DC switch panel is located near the pilot’s feet on the outer wall of the helm area, and a combination stainless steel red/white lamp is located directly above, with an accompanying (white only) lamp positioned further aft.
Step forward and the V-berth (6’6” long) and a cedar lined hanging locker are close at hand. These are tastefully wrapped in wood, including the access hatch to the forward chain and rope storage compartment for the ship’s ground tackle. There are two stainless steel Halogen reading lamps located at convenient reading angles, an overhead hatch for ventilation or emergency escape, and overhead and underneath storage facilities. The V-berth separates from the main cabin/salon via a wooden folding door. Two of the four portals open and feature bug screens (three way ventilation with the overhead hatch).



Caledon 27 Specifications:

Length – 27’3″

Beam – 8’6″

Draft – 24″

Displacement – 6,000 lbs.

Sliding windows in the salon contribute ventilation to the interior, and there’s chart storage in the opening dinette table. Caledon has attended to many of the items one might add to the vessel, including a convenient storage shelf on the starboard side.

Caledon 27 – Standard Equipment

5 year hull warranty Blower motor
One piece hand laid hull with PVC foam core from chine up 40 amp starter battery
Solid 1/2” fibreglass bottom, cleat areas & foredeck 100 amp house battery
Solid 5/8” keel 2 Blue Seas battery select switches
One piece hand laid deck with PVC foam core Automatic battery charger
Hull and deck glassed together from inside, hence making solid waterproof 1 piece unit Automatic electric bilge pump with 3 way switch
S.S. anchor roller on mahogany or fibreglass bowsprit Manual bilge pump
S.S. self opening hinged hawse pipe Blue Seas AC panel with volt meter
6” S.S. chocks & 10” S.S. bow cleat Blue Seas DC panel with volt meter & amp consumption meter
4 – 8” S.S. cleats, 2 mid ship & 2 astern 12 volt output receptacle
Easy 11” wide walk around decks Fire retardant interior gelcoats
S.S. handrails on cabin top
S.S. handles on exterior cabin corners No feed-back steering system
S.S. bow tow eye Aqua meter compass
Regulation lights with anchor light Heavy duty port & starboard windshield wipers
Courtesy lights in cockpit 12 volt horn
Access hatches in cockpit Digital speed log with temperature
Day & Night S.S. Nicro 2000 Vents Tilt & tank gauges
Mahogany or fibreglass fore hatch RPM gauge
Mahogany or fibreglass door Sliding helm seat with foot rest
Non-skid on decks & toe rails Helm step
INTERLUX PROTECT 2000 system below water line & anti-fouling paint
High density rub rails
6’6” in length
2 – 24 gal fuel tanks with filter/water separator 2 S.S. halogen reading lights
110 volt 30 amp shore power inlet Folding privacy door
Overhead & under v-berth storage
12 volt 2.4cu ft fridge with ice cube compartment Access to anchor locker
15 gallon water tank 2 fixed port holes
Automatic electric water pump 2 opening port holes with mosquito screens
Two burner propane stove
S.S. sink with cold water tap 6’5” head room
Propane solenoid switch 2 seat dinette with telescopic table, convertible to forward looking mate seat with footrest or berth
CFCI receptacle with indicator light Chart storage under dinette table
Utensil drawer Storage shelf along starboard side
Under counter storage Main cabin sliding windows
15 gallon holding tank Aromatic cedar lined hanging locker
JABSCO manual household sized toilet 2 S.S. cabin lights, one with red light illumination
Aromatic cedar lined head Dual 110 volt receptacle
Head compartment light  





Caledon 27 Options 

Air conditioner and heat pump
Canvas awning with mosquito screens/windows
Hot and cold pressurized water with deck shower, includes 30 gal tank
Teak rub rail with stainless steel rub strake
Mahogany rub rail with stainless steel rub strake
Anchor windlass with helm control
Propane/kerosene cabin heater with pressure tank
Remote control searchlight
12 volt macerator w/bronze thru hull and sea cock
12 volt wash down pump
Teak and holly cabin floors
Mahogany cabin floors
Cockpit seat
Two additional corner seats
Larger custom aluminum fuel tanks (80 gallons)
Larger stainless steel water tanks (30 gallons)
Additional stern bulkhead sliding window
Three step swim ladder
Fishing rod holder (each)
Divided hanging locker
Mahogany fish rod rack
Mahogany bookshelf
Additional 12 volt outlet

Power Options
Four stroke Yamaha motors
Twin 50 HP or T50 (high thrust motors)
Twin 60 HP or T60
Twin 75 HP
Single 90 HP
Single 115 HP
Single 150 HP
The Caledon 27 seems like a lot of boat for the money (use the link that follows to contact the mftr. for the current price) and an ideal boat for the skipper who desires a downright rugged, well-built, go anywhere yacht with the signature Caledon wood-lined interior. Take a look at her before you buy your next boat.  You’ll find a sort of magic in the combination of luxury and strength in the Caledon 27.
Photos and tables courtesy of mftrs. website:
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TomCat 255 – A Tough, Versatile (Twin Hull) Cruising Yacht

The TomCat 255, a remarkable boat by Triton Marine, is a fiberglass catamaran with many of the advantages of a mono-hull yacht and the stability of a twin-hull. It’s design has attracted many compact yacht enthusiasts as well as fishing enthusiasts (sometimes one in the same) and C-Dory/TomCat has chosen quality in every aspect of its build. The company has been building quality fishing and cruising boats for more than 30 years, and in 2010 became part of Triton Marine Industries, which owns C-Dory, Skagit Orca, Osprey and bills TomCat as a separate brand but markets it with their C-Dory line up.
The 25’ 5” TomCat is impressive from the moment you board. There’s a feeling of “overbuild” everywhere you look on the boat, and the Diamond Sea Glaze windows and doors remind me of bigger, established yachts I’ve been aboard. The large cockpit is excellent for fishing and also makes a nice viewing and dining platform. The 1 ¼-inch stainless railings around the outer perimeter are plentiful, and the decks are coated with non-skid to provide safe movement forward and aft on the spacious exterior decks.
The TomCat provides a stable ride in most seas, and tracks straight at all speeds. There is a pronounced absence of the motion (roll) one expects on a boat this size, cornering is smooth and without resistance and the vessel “runs flat and dry”. There is excellent visibility from the helm (forward and aft) with large Diamond Sea Glaze windows in all the right locations. 

There is one entrance into this boat, and you reach this aft (Diamond Sea Glaze) door through the spacious (45 sq. ft.) cockpit. Lined with 1 ¼ “ rail, the self-bailing TomCat cockpit features two, large (4’) compartments. Fitted with a macerator, these compartments are ideal for fisherman, and provide a great deal of extra storage space for cruisers. An uncrowded, ‘crouch-less’ trip through the DSG door, and you’re in the pilothouse of the TomCat 255. To port there is a dinette that converts to a large single berth. There is cozy seating for four here and the views are excellent. The forward seat converts to the navigator’s (forward facing) seat when the dinette is not needed. To starboard, the full galley is comprised of a two-burner stove, a (optional) fridge and a stainless sink with hot & cold running water.

Just aft of the galley, on the same side as the helm (a good choice as placement on the port side impedes the helmsman’s view aft), is the enclosed head, which features a marine toilet and a hot/cold shower.

Forward, the sleeping quarters boasts more space than one usually finds in a 25’ boat. A queen “plus” bed (84” X 64”) will keep the owners comfortable. Hanging locker space is good, and a Bowmar hatch provides sleepers with a view of the night sky, ventilation and an emergency exit should one become necessary. The sleeping space is quite comfortable, despite the fact that the vessel’s design doesn’t provide for as much “stand-up” room as you might expect (this is not a ‘deep-v’ boat, after all). Headroom throughout the rest of boat is good at 6’5”.

You’d expect a catamaran to have beam of 9’-10’ (harder to tow and fit in a slip), but the TomCat designers decided on a very trailerable (without a permit) 8’6” for this boat. There are many more advantages to sticking to this beam specification than not, and you’ll appreciate the foremost of these the first time you put her on the trailer. It takes only a couple times to get good at retrieving a 255, and launching her is easier still.

TomCat 255 Specifications:

• Hull Length:  25’ 5”
• Beam:  8’ 6”
• Height:  6’ 5”
• Weight:  6,000 lbs (less motors but including brackets)
• Headroom:  6’ 5”
• Standard HP:  300
• Max HP:  350
• Fuel Capacity:  150 gallons
• Water capacity:  30 gallons

TomCat recommends twin 150 horsepower four-stroke Honda engines (although they’ll mount your engine request), and because I employ that very power configuration on my Rosborough RF-246, I couldn’t agree more heartily. The wide stance (physical separation) of the engines on this boat gives the skipper serious control of the vessel in close-quarters, slow-speed maneuvering. The boat can literally turn 360-degrees in its own space, similar to how it would behave with a seasoned helmsman operating bow and stern thrusters. With the unusually large fuel tank capacity of 150 gallons (75 per tank; located port and starboard in the pontoons) you also have an operating range significantly longer than some boats, and with a top-speed of around 47 mph (remember, there’s much less contact space between the boat’s pontoons and the water), you can get to a weather-sheltered anchorage, or a hospital … or to cocktail hour at your favorite watering hole … (much) faster.

TomCat 255 Standard features:

• 30 Amp shorepower with battery charger
• Pressurized water system with 6 gallon hot water tank
• Galley stove
• Enclosed hot and cold stand up shower
• Marine head with holding tank
• Hydraulic steering
• Four foot fish boxes with macerator pumps
• Opening front center window
• Dual electric wiper motors
• Bomar bow hatch
• Outboard brackets

When underway, the careful design of the TomCat 255 is evident. Without appreciable change in attitude (angle; therefore restricted view, etc.) the boat gets on plane, and assumes its comfortable, dry ride. There isn’t a tendency to “lean” away from the direction of your turn (as with some cats), and the flat, well-coordinated turning tendency of the TomCat is something I came to admire. The reduced bow-wake is remarkable (and something TomCat actively promotes) and there also is a reduction of the amount of pressurized water ejected aft through the hull tunnel when plowing through a heavy sea. The stability of the boat is exceptional (seemed like we were aboard a much larger, stabilized yacht) and cruisers who are concerned about “the motion of the ocean” (on other boats) may want to consider the TomCat 255 for this reason.

Options available on the 255 are well thought out. They include a windlass, refrigerator, a Wallace diesel stove/heater, a wash down pump, a swim-step with ladder and an aft steering and control station in the cockpit. I can see good reasons for having all of these items, but I especially recommend the first three, as they are among the most used, and therefore most valued items on my boat. I also wouldn’t be without a swim-step and ladder in California (warm water swimming!)… or anywhere someone might fall overboard or the props might become fouled by nets or line (a chilly dunk beats a tow every time).

I couldn’t get over the feeling that I was aboard a boat that could go anywhere. That sense of the 255 being “overbuilt” was reinforced by well-placed handholds, sturdy stainless hardware and solid, gel-coated fiberglass. It’s a feeling you need to experience to understand, and I recommend you include this tough, versatile vessel in your line-up of “can’t miss” boats to see before you pick your next one.

A nice used TomCat 255 currently (7/11) listed for sale at

Photos courtesy of mftr. website:

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Albin 30 Family Cruiser – 2 cabins and a legendary hull … Made in the U.S.A. & based on the famous Swedish North Sea vessels

Portsmouth, RI is home to a boat builder that has been building examples of the finest down east vessels for 45 years in the U.S., and 111 years if you include its Scandinavian heritage. Albin Marine, which is a descendant of the Swedish company Albin Motor, entered the U.S. market in 1966. The president since 1966, Fred Peters, purchased Albin Marine boats in 1981, while the Albin engine division was acquired by Volvo-Penta. In 2004 Peters brought to market a new configuration of yacht, built on the legendary Albin hull, featuring a separate aft cabin and a layout clearly designed by people who know boating … the Albin 30 Family Cruiser. Please note that the boat is no longer made, but there are plenty of brokerage yachts out there, and the vessel’s configuration is certainly worth considering.

The Albin 30 Family Cruiser’s familiarity with the sea – its sea kindliness – comes from the fact that its designer’s knew what not to touch when designing the boat … the hull. Except for minor tweaking and the addition of a protective skeg, the running surface is similar to that on the Albin 27 and other of Albin’s legendary craft. “Our diesel powered yachts are built without compromise and are known throughout the world as sea worthy vessels designed in the North Sea tradition to handle the roughest waters”, states Albin literature, and owners of the Albin 25, Albin 27, Albin 28 and the Albin 30 have lined up to attest to this fact.

Boarding the Albin 30 via the midships cockpit, you immediately appreciate the Swedish concept of space management. There are numerous compartments cleverly incorporated into the design, and a cavernous storage or fishing well is in the floor of the cockpit (with a macerator pump in case you go fishing) that can be raised electrically at the flip of a switch, thereby making access to the diesel engine (the Perkins 265hp engine delivers a top speed of 24 knots; Yanmar and Volvo diesel engines are also available) an easy achievement. There are quality stainless steel handrails (26” tall) fore and aft, and a walk around, non-skid deck that measures as much as 11’5” wide at midships. Forward, the bow flair makes for a dryer deck, more room in the V-berth section of the yacht and completes the 30’s decidedly down east look. Two comfortable, single seats (with removable backrests) are at the rear against the aft cabin,. They also serve as a step when boarding the boat from one side or another and as the extension of the aft cabin beds.

The Albin 30 is offered in a convertible or wheelhouse model, but the wheelhouse version is by far the more popular. There is no door between the cockpit and the steering cabin, but a tasteful, transparent curtain system, similar to the delta cab found on boats with exposed aft decks is available. The helm is roomy and comfortable, with the well-padded helm seat and navigator’s chairs (one mounted atop useful cabinetry and one on a stainless pedestal mount) surrounded by non-skid decks and gel coated seat risers and bulkheads. Ample helm console and top-mount space abounds for mounting your choice of electronics suites. The feeling is one of low-maintenance luxury. You may install bridge carpeting, and it looks nice (especially when color matched to the boat’s striping) but the folks we talked to who did admitted they seldom if ever used it. One Albin 30 owner opened a compartment door and showed me his carpet kit, rolled up in the factory shrink-wrap and never used (and taking up compartment space!), an expensive attempt at aesthetic embellishment he’d made before he’d had the boat long enough to know it wasn’t useful. The bridge is meant to an open bridge, and as such is set up to resist weather … including UV assault by the sun. Adding carpeting (or other items) gets in the way of this simple idea.

Move forward and down steps (OK, a small ladder is more accurate) to inside the forward house (there’s a door here, so this is one of two areas sheltered from sea and weather) and you experience a very different type of decor.  The galley is situated inside the door and to port and features a sink, microwave, fridge, cabinets and a space for a self-contained gas-powered, single-burner stove with integrated butane canister.  Above and forward is the AC and DC power panels, located here so they would be out of the weather. Directly above the galley center, a molded-in, purpose-built structure, are three opening ports which contribute to the light airy feel of this space.

Directly across from the galley, behind a handsome wooden door, is the enclosed head with sink and shower. Owners praise the functionality of the head in this boat, unlike other boats where the head has to be there so it is crammed in, but barely usable.

Forward, accented by more wood and upholstered in quality fabric, is the ‘inside gathering place’ or table. This is a large, well-made table top around which six people can squeeze in or 4 can gather comfortably. The table collapses to become the yacht’s primary sleeping venue, a spacious (6’6” X 5’) queen bed. Aft of the galley on the port side is the extra large (6’ X 3’2”) single berth or storage space. Overhead lighting in strategic locations is abundant, another two opening portals are above a large hanging locker (and in the head) and a large hatch provides air, sunroof exposure to the outside and an escape route if something were to block egress through the aft door. The seating is top notch and the upholstery job is another area where Albin did not compromise. A stereo (mounted above the door in the hanging locker) and two speakers provide music and the space atop the hanging locker may be used for a small TV. The floor in this cabin is beautifully joined wood, and sets off the quality of the interior space.

The second (completely separate) cabin is located aft, and is an Albin exclusive. Lift the hatch and open the door, step down, and you find a guest cabin with two 6’ 8” X 2’ 8” twin beds or a cavernous queen bed (7’ 11” X 5’) when the insert is employed. Not only does this accommodate a private-minded additional couple in style, but it makes a great primary cabin for the skipper and first mate traveling alone who don’t want to ‘make down’ the forward table. Two opening ports are on each wall, and the floor is the same rich wood that we saw in the main cabin. A selection of power outlets, overhead reading lights and a cable outlet come standard in this cabin, outfitting it nicely for the visiting couple, kids or the skipper and first mate. Really a nice addition in the family cruiser series, the aft cabin design was taken from earlier Albin designs and enlarged on the 30-footer.

The Albin cruises and handles with an ease that suggests you’re driving a much smaller boat. The diesel engine beneath the floorboards is amazingly quiet, which speaks highly of both the boat’s design and the quality of the materials used in her manufacture. The positioning of the wheel at the helm is ideal (not the case in all boats) and the ground tackle and mooring cleats seem to be in just the right places.


L.O.A (w.pulpit) 31’5″
L.O.A. 29’7″
L.W.L. 26’8″
Beam 10′
Draft 3’2″
Deadrise at Transom 19º
Air Draft w/ Radar Arch 9′
Air Draft w/o Radar Arch 8′ 4″
Air Draft w/ Radar Arch(Convertable) 8′ 3″
Air Draft w/o Radar Arch(Convertable) 7′ 3″
Water Capacity 26gls
Fuel Capacity 126gls
Holding Tank 18gls
Displacement, Loaded 9800lbs
Hull Type Progressive -V
Designer Albin Marine Design Group

The Albin 30 Family Cruiser isn’t a trailer boat (although I’ve seen one daringly go down the highway) but it is one of my all-time favorites in quality yachts. It is made right, and that shows in every part of the vessel. I’d be proud to own and operate one and, if I did, I’d be taking part in a boating history that is rich with stories of the seas and the quality Albin vessels that have sailed them.

Albin 30 Family Cruiser

Photos courtesy of mftr. website:

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