Category Archives: Blog

Rampage 34 Express with IPS pod drives

Rampage Yachts has introduced the world’s first production express sportfishing yacht with Volvo’s IPS pod drives and the new “Sportfishing Mode”.  The Sportfishing Mode allows you to spin the boat at full throttle, back down on a fish, and even follow the fish faster than the angler can reel it in to the boat.

“Some people still question the effectiveness of pod drives when compared to standard propulsion – and offshore anglers are notoriously change-averse.  But from my personal experience, after testing several boats with pod drives, these new propulsion systems represent the single-greatest revolution in boating since the chart plotter” says Dean Travis Clark of Marlin Magazine in the November 2008 issue.

“At  3,000 rpm, …we were able to point the boat like a ballet dancer on steroids“, says Peter A. Janssen of Motorboating Magazine in the January 2009 issue.

This is the latest and most significant new advance in sportfishing since Earnest Hemingway put a steering wheel on the top of his boat to make the first flybridge.

The Volvo IPS pod drives allow joy stick docking so simple that a child could put this boat into a tight slip.  And the fuel economy increases by an average of 30 to 50 percent at any speed.

There are even more notable improvements over a boat with standard drives.   You have a much tighter turning radius because you are using the pods to turn rather than the rudders and playing with the engine controls.  Time to plane is a lot quicker and bow rise has practically been eliminated. That is because the forward facing props are running parallel to the hull bottom rather than angling downward like props on traditional shafts.

When you think this through you realize that backing down on a fish is a very dry experience indeed because the transom does not have a need to dig in and down.  Again, the props are running parallel to the hull bottom.

There’s even more!  The engine exhaust is incorporated into the underwater pod drives.  The result is that there is no diesel smell whatsover even in a following sea and wind.  You have  a much quieter running boat.   With no long shafts running from the transmissions out the hull to the props there is no chance of vibration.

The Volvo IPS pod system has been installed on hundreds of other boats and proven itself over the last couple of years.  Most notable may be Lazzara Yachts new LSX Ninety Two with four Volvo IPS pod drives.  Rich Lazzara just published an excellent article on his blog extolling the virtues of IPS drives over conventional drives.

Call me if you have any questions or wish to try one of these remarkable boats on the open sea.  You can send me an email by clicking on the contact tab at the top, or call me at (954) 614-1663.


David Tomen CPYB

Boat Loan Lender Found Alive!

One of the better known boat loan lenders was found alive today in South Florida.  I can verify that because I received an email from him this morning, responded to it and he replied!

Naturally I had to ask him the question.  Consumer confidence seems to be at rock bottom. No one seems to be able to get an auto or home loan.  Big banks are falling around us.  The federal government is bailing the big boys out but seems to have forgotten who put them in power in the first place.

So my question was how does a person take advantage of the best boat prices in years?  Most people haven’t got the cash on hand but can still afford a reasonable monthly payment.  Can a person still get a boat loan?

It turns out that the marine finance companies that are left have millions to lend.  The strongest marine lenders in the industry are still strong and are competing fiercely with each other to stay strong in this challenging economy.

Mark Lyon from Seacoast Marine Finance is an old friend and sent me a letter that you can download here.  In the letter Mr. Lyon explains what has happened in the marine lending sector.  He also verifies that boat loans are absolutely still available for qualified buyers.  It turns out that the  established boat loan companies did not succumb to the temptation that a lot of the big banks did in the sub-prime fiasco.

Mr Lyon goes on to say that, “Sophisticated yacht buyers view financing as part of a prudent business decision that permits them to minimize cash outlay.  In most cases, 75%-80% of the purchase price may be financed for up to 20 years.  The vessel itself is the only collateral required; marine financing does not encumber any other personal or business assets.”

Download the full version of Mr. Lyon’s [ tag-tec ]boat loan[ /tag-tec ] -> letter here.  A boat loan calculator is available online here:  Boat Loan Calculator.  Get in touch with me for Mr. Lyon’s email address and phone number by using my contact form here.

David Tomen CPYB

How You Can Afford a Boat

Imagine the joy on your kids face when you tell them that they are going for a boat ride.  Remember the times growing up and the fun you had fishing with your Dad.  Think back to that time when you were learning how to water ski.  Realize now that boating is not reserved for the wealthy. You can afford a boat.  Here I will show you how.

Larry Rains from Yacht World recently wrote a brief article on his blog for the marine industry.  He said that dealers and boat builders should put more effort into emphasizing that there is an entry level boat available for any pocket book.  There are indeed several ways for you to get into boating that can fit your budget.

There are hundreds of used boats on the market in your area in the 16 to 20 foot range that can be purchased for a few thousand dollars.  Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIB) made by companies such as Nautica, Novurania and Zodiak are a great option.  An 18 - 20 foot RIB is light enough to trailer behind most vehicles, are extremely safe and seaworthy, and can be stored for a couple hundred dollars a month at a public storage facility if you have no room at home.

The Freedom Boat Club has been around since 1989 and has 45 locations in the USA.  Boat clubs are an affordable alternative to buying and maintaining your own boat.  For a monthly fee you have access to a fleet of boats.  You reserve the boat you want in advance.  You show up at the dock with the kids and the dog and the boat is clean and fueled and waiting for you.  At the end of the day the club staff help you secure the boat and get it ready for the next member.  You simply tie up and walk away.

The marine lending companies have been working hard to keep boat ownership affordable in the current economic climate.  Seacoast, Newcoast, and Sterling among other are offering low interest rates and can help you calculate what you can afford.  They will finance both new and used boats.  A consultation is free and can be done over the phone or by email.

There are even resources online to help you convince a skeptical spouse of the benefits and affordability of getting a boat for the family.  Check out their videos and testimonials at Discover Boating.

Take the dream and make it a reality for 2009.  Introduce your family to a safe and enjoyable lifestyle that they will never forget.  You can relive the joy of boating and the water that you knew when you were growing up.  Offer that joy now to the next generation.

For a free consultation on how you can afford a boat or more information click on the Contact page and send me an email.

Live the dream!

David Tomen CPYB

Fake Hydrostatic Release Units Identified

FAKES: Swedish company Hammar says there are some dangerous counterfeit copies of its Hydrostatic Release Unit, the Hammar H20. The company says to an untrained eye the copy is almost identical to the original product, with Hammar’s logo and address on the labels.

But Hammar says the fakes differ in one very important aspect from the original genuine part – they don’t work.

Hammar says it has tested several of the copies and not a single one of them worked properly according to SOLAS specifications – the fake H20 will definitely not release a liferaft or an EPIRB, says the company. ‘We see this as a very serious situation,’ said Hammar.

Owners can check quickly on whether their products have the correct genuine Hammar part. ‘If you check on the underside of the Hammar H20 (picture 1) you should be able to find five fabrication marks on all units produced since April 2006. The company says units produced before that date have only two fabrication marks.

Hammer 20 ID
Hammer 20 ID

The fabrication mark on the upper side of the unit must always point directly towards the rope (picture 2).

Hammar says the serial number and production date can always be verified by contacting CM Hammar at

Hammar 20 Fabrication Mark location
Hammar 20 Fabrication Mark location

Hammar 20 Hydrostatic Release kits are sold by West Marine here:West Marine
West Marine does a wonderful job of selling quality merchandise and backing it up. To be on the safe side you should check your Hammar 20 unit no matter where you purchased it from. It is not practical for any retailer to closely check each one of the products that they sell for authenticity. The onus is on you to keep your crew safe.

This may affect you and not just the folks in Sweden.  Check the unit on your boat before you do anything else the next time you get onboard.

Be careful out there!

David Tomen CPYB