If you insist on a boat that can pretty much do anything from family cruising, making a run down to Islamorada for lunch or spending a weekend aboard while getting admiring looks from passing superyachts, consider the Invictus 370 GT. This boat manages to combine a practical layout with an incredibly decadent array of features. From the huge swim platform perfect for a reef scuba trip to the forward sunpad that seems large enough to land a helicopter, and the cavernous accommodations for 4 down below, the 370 GT is ready for whatever your weekend plans may call for. Built in the Invictus shipyards in Italy, the boat positively reeks of European sophistication and style. Powered by your choice of twin 370-hp Mercruiser gas engines or twin 300-hp diesel Volvo Penta powerplants, this vessel has a top speed of 43 mph. A very long list of options ensures that every Invictus 370 GT will be unique; InvictusYachts.com.
The best boat is the one you use. While a 38’ monster with 4 huge outboards that does 70 mph is great, they use a huge amount of fuel and require a bit of work to get underway. This is why the Boston Whaler Dauntless 180 is an ideal South Florida boat. Capable of holding you and a trio of passengers in comfort under the bimini top, you can be on the water within minutes of making the decision to go boating. The iconic Whaler hull ensures easy maneuvering at all speeds and the fact that a Whaler is 100% unsinkable is a nice plus. The 150-hp outboard allows you to tow water toys or cruise at 20 knots as you sightsee. You wouldn’t use this boat to make a run to Bimini or troll the weedlines for dolphin, but the Dauntless is ideal for taking out-of-towners to waterfront restaurants or spending a day at the sandbar; BostonWhaler.com.
If Ernest Hemingway were still around, he’d have a Zurn Yacht Design Samoset 30. A fan of clean lines and function above all else, Hemingway would have been totally smitten by this Downeast-style boat that rocks a breathtaking Gatsby-esque look. However, while the Samoset may look like it was tucked away in grandpa’s barn for the past 50 years, this vessel is actually a showcase of modern technology and materials. The cold-molded hull is sheathed with a composite outer layer, making it extremely strong, a good thing when exploring shallow waters. To give the boat its signature look, Zurn uses a small forest worth of handcrafted red cedar and mahogany accents. Powered by a bulletproof 440-hp Yanmar diesel, the Samoset has a top speed of 35 knots and comfortably cruises at 25 knots. In addition to the center helm area protected by a handcrafted T-Top, the forward seating features a dodger to create a cozy oasis for guests; ZurnYachts.com.
Most center consoles look very much alike, making it a challenge to distinguish a Contender from an Intrepid from a SeaHunter, from…yeah, they all look pretty much the same. However, even grandma can immediately spot the Mazu 42 among the sea of fiberglass on Biscayne Bay. For starters, it looks like an oceangoing Lamborghini Hurracan, with bold, sharp lines. A high gunwale gives it a very masculine appearance that could be construed as a compact battleship. The very sharp V-hull and massive 6-ton displacement allows it to slice though heavy seas that would keep lesser boats tied to the dock. A top speed of 47 knots is provided via twin Volvo Penta IPS600 diesels featuring the unique pod-mounted forward-facing propellers linked to a helm-mounted joystick for unrivaled maneuvering ease. Creature comforts include forward seating, an open-air dining section equipped with Gaggenau kitchen appliances and an ample sunpad located all the way aft; MazuYachts.com.Fishing Machine
Every weekend, the inlets and Biscayne Bay are packed with boats heading offshore to chase dolphin, sailfish, grouper and wahoo. The one that does it best was born in Miami — Mako’s new 334 CC flagship. This boat is all about winning fishing tournaments. Powered by three 350-hp Mercury outboards, the 334 CC gets you to the fishing grounds quickly and in comfort due to an exceptionally well-designed V-hull that can handle any weather you’re willing to tackle. Designed with input from world-famous angler and Miami native George Poveromo, the Sportfish Edition with an upper station helm is THE choice of serious fishermen. The Bluewater Family Edition lets you fish on Saturday and spend Sunday at the sandbar. A dodger provides UV and splash protection to the forward seating area with its dinette table, and when you deploy the retractable awning over the aft cockpit, you have a boat that’s ideal for family cruising. A fully-equipped head located under the center console affords all-day comfort; MakoBoats.com.