The business of pleasure

Having survived boat shows at Sanctuary Cove, Melbourne and, most recently, the big gig in Sydney, it's time to usher in the new-season collection of eminently more pleasurable pleasure boats.

Having survived boat shows at Sanctuary Cove, Melbourne and, most recently, the big gig in Sydney, it's time to usher in the new-season collection of eminently more pleasurable pleasure boats.

Here's the pick of cruisers and yachts from local and overseas yards now coveting a berth in Sydney.

First, the British fleet.

Sunseeker, which offers luxury production cruisers from 40 feet to 40 metres, has a new flagship Sunseeker 155 under construction for former formula-one team owner Eddie Jordan. But the baby of the Manhattan range, the 53, made its debut at the Sydney boat show this year. A sign of our pared-back times.

Yet Britain-based Princess, which is part of the LVMH (Louis Vuitton-Moet Hennessy) cachet of luxury brands, had a new V72 in town - and on show for the next week at its slick Rose Bay offices - with twin C32 1723-horsepower engines and a sharp $4.4 million price tag.

But the biggest new boat and ticket at the Sydney show was the Horizon 110 motor yacht, with three decks, C32 1900-horsepower Caterpillar engines each side, a dedicated dining area, stabilisers, mother-of-pearl inlaid bar, spa and loads more for $9.9 million. The Asian custom-boat yard also released a new AC80 semi-displacement power catamaran that cruises at 10 knots. The asking price is $6.9 million.

Taiwan's boat-building nous was on show via the Johnson 65 motor yacht and Belize 52 Day Bridge ($1.6 million) designed by Wes Moxey, the returning chief executive at Riviera. Among the Asian-made "trawlers" were those from Alaska, Clipper and Integrity. Hampton is more your passage maker, while Fleming's timeless trans-oceanic 55 is for footloose retirees.

The jolly Germans made a local assault with their Bavaria boats. The new powerboat was a 43 Hard Top, with a three-cabin layout and bigger hull windows, while its sailing line was headed by a 40S racer-cruiser.

Polish-built Arvor cabin cruisers has won over Sydneysiders for years. With shaft-driven diesel power, you can gad about without burning a hole in your wallet.

The Arvor Weekender is the yard's new 25-footer, with greater amenities and accommodation for a family of four. It's yours for $115,000.

The Back Cove 30 and 34, and Sabre 40, are modern renditions of the classic Maine lobster boat.

The Sabre 40 sister ship from the same yard packs Zeus pod drives for more clawing power. The composite MJM 36z from Boston is modelled on a comfortable commuter craft with terrific fuel economy.

But the household American boating badge Chris Craft has the coolest runabouts. With mainly V8 petrol inboard power, they offer real driving pleasure. Meantime, triple outboards give Boston Whaler long-range fishing legs, while Bertram, Cabo and Grady-White are in Sydney to hook hardcore game fishers.

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