Boat Review: The 2014 48′ Cruisers Cantius

The styling of this yacht is supremely unique… While other luxury brands are fighting for curves, the Cantius leaves the pack with it’s modern, edgy and spacious build. Truly a visionary in its class, the 48′ offers a window into the designs of the future- integrated double salons which make the lower sections of her feel like a cathedral of light and space.


We took a look at her in the Dana Point Harbor, covering every inch of both the visible, and under her panels. She’s EXTREMELY mechanic (and surveyor) friendly, with panels giving access to every bit of maintainable equipment. Her engine room allows for every type of upgrade and modification, the IPS 600 engines and pods tucked with a low-profile, giving more than enough working room for techs of all industries. In need of replacing a pod? No problem. Access granted.


The beautiful navigation center/helm offers complete views and unique command of the Cantius and monitoring of the twin diesel engines. Volvo Penta IPS engines with joystick maneuvering are standard, and ensure efficient and responsive handling. You’ll be comfortable in the double helm seat. Standard on her is a two-piece solid windshield featuring double windshield wipers. Both come with a blackout/privacy screen that attaches from the outside to complement the easy pull-down shades throughout the inside of the remainder of the helm area.

She’s ready for entertaining and cruising the California Coast. With a 25 knot cruise and a 35 knot top speed, she’s efficient at full throttle! You don’t find many models that boast her best mileage at WOT.


Her mold hasn’t been changed since her inception- a testament to a great design, with no need for modification. Obviously, we can customize her any way we want, but as far as her build, flawless.

Take a look at her at the Dana Point Harbor! She’s ready for a new Captain.


Volvo IPS Joystick Control: Simple Captaining for New Boats

We get asked a lot whether new yacht owners will be comfortable piloting larger personal vessels (45ft+) by themselves, and without a captain. Although older vessels require quite a bit of skill and technique when it comes to close-range piloting, the newer yachts with either the Axius (Mercruiser) or IPS system (Volvo) allow for ease of use by any pilot, from the veteran sea-goer to newly-christened waterman. I’d venture to say, even a teenager with gaming skills could pilot a 50ft yacht like a pro- no experience necessary. The close-range piloting is no longer fighting single or twin screw transmissions; it’s far more intuitive and natural.boat-photo-volvo-ips-joy-stick

The joystick is perhaps the most well-known feature of Volvo Penta IPS, making it possible to dock in a new and completely intuitive way. Since its release it has been accompanied by many other smart features, such as Dynamic Positioning System and Sportfish mode. The latest generation of Volvo Penta controls has integrated buttons for Low-speed mode, Single-lever mode and Cruise control, making it even easier to enjoy boating with Volvo Penta IPS.

See more at: Volvo Penta IPS

There’s little difference between Mercruiser’s Zeus pods and the Volvo IPS pods… except that Volvo’s support for mechanical issues might help you gear toward their IPS systems.

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LED Lights… Light Up the Night and Bring in the Fish!

These lights not only look fantastic while your yacht is resting at the dock, but they look even better when you’re underway! From green, blue, white and red, there are plenty of options to choose from, but the white and blue are, by far, the most popular. We’ve noticed that every color besides red actually DOES attract fish! It’s not just a myth, check it out the next time you’re out on an LED-lit boat.


Although there are dozens of companies who offer halogen and LED lights, we’ve seen that Aqualuma offers one of the best solutions out there: Metal-free, composite plastic housings! The benefit of these babies is to offer a great protection against electrolysis, while displaying the brilliant, high-intensity and low-amperage light you’re looking for. A lot of the manufacturers of through-hull range lights offer metal housings, which are rarely bonded to the zinc anode systems of the boats they’re installed on. 6-series-line-drawing6-series-product-on-pageThe all new 6 Series fits into the original 3 Series housing. Designed with long life in mind, the all new 6 Series is corrosion-proof and features Aqualuma’s injection-moulded, patented polymer housing – the most sophisticated material in underwater lighting available. The 6 Series is fully serviceable and upgradable without the need for haul out.  Available in Ultra Blue and Brilliant White, this product is recommended for boats ranging from 6 metres (20 feet) to 13 metres (45 feet). As part of the thru-hull range, the 6 Series features Aqualuma’s 6 year housing warranty with a 3 year warranty on internals.

(ref: Aqualuma)

Electrolysis is a big issue, and so are corroding light housings! Nothing is worse than spending a couple grand on some great-looking lights, only to have your diver tell you that they’re 50% disintegrated a few years later. NO THANK YOU!

We took a few photos of a client who recently got their Aqualuma Gen IV 6 series lights installed, and they love them. Good on their diving company for getting them installed! Although they can be installed in the shipyard, these lights can also be INSTALLED WHILE YOUR BOAT IS IN HER SLIP. Just contact the right diver, and they can set you up.



Surface Drives: Props halfway out of the water? 1 Word: Efficiency

When most people hear the term surface drive, they think speed and high performance, but what these rather specialized propulsion units are really about is efficiency. Because the propeller blades break the water’s surface — they are called surface-piercing propellers — the engines powering them run under less load than with fully submerged props. Half of the propeller spins in the water. The other half rotates above the surface. This lets the boat make better use of the power of its engines and go faster than one with submerged props. (BoatingMag)

Check out this video of Surface Drives in action:

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The engineering for this technology has been attributed to two independent inventors/innovators/enthusiasts: the late Renato ‘Sonny’ Levi and Howard M. Arneson. Sonny Levi had pioneered and developed his surface drive technologies in Malaysia, while Arneson followed for ultimate performance with a larger budget in California. You can find Arneson surface drives on the market today.


The surface piercing or ventilated propeller is a propeller that is designed to intentionally cleave the water and entrain atmospheric air to fill the void, which means that the resulting gas layer surrounding the propeller blade consists of air instead of water vapour. Less energy is thus used, and the surface piercing propeller generally enjoys lower drag than the supercavitating propeller. The surface piercing propeller also has wedge shaped blades, and propellers may be designed that can operate in both supercavitating and surface piercing mode. (Wiki)

The Arneson Surface Drives are among the most efficient marine propulsion systems in the world. Their surface-piercing propeller design reduces underwater drag by 50% compared to conventional submerged propeller drive systems. The only surfaces to contact the water are propeller blades and a protective skeg. This results in higher overall speed, quicker acceleration, and a better payload to power ratio… AND… 50% less drag significantly improves fuel economy while lowering operating costs.

For work, pleasure, gas, diesel, or turbine power systems capable of torque outputs exceeding 30,000 ft. pounds, the Arneson Surface Drives come in ten model sizes and various configurations for each model. Available in, Aluminum or bronze castings, straight or drop-center models, 12 or 24 volt compatible systems, plus the new Arneson Dual-Fin surface drives available in the ASD8 and ASD10 models.

Comparisons-1(Photo credit: Arneson Industries)

Advantages of the surface drive by Arneson:

  • 15% to 30% speed increase over conventional systems.
  • 15% to 30% increase in fuel efficiency.
  • More efficient than I/O’s
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Size adaptability, from 100 hp to over 10,000 hp applications.
  • Low maintenance requirements.
  • Ability to adjust propeller submergence while underway.
  • Ability to adjust submergence to match horsepower output permits conversion of more thrust as appropriately needed.
  • Propellers ventilate to the surface rather than cavitate under the hull reducing noise and destructive hull and prop erosion.
  • Flexibility in engine installation location.
  • Less Vibration than Inboard or I/O applications
  • Shallow water operation (elimination of underwater appendages).
  • Accessible propeller servicing.
  • Steerage by the positive thrust of the propeller and not by the propeller thrust to the rudder. This is equivalent to sports car rack-and-pinion steering performance.
  • For all it’s sophisticated performance, it is a less mechanically complex and fragile design than other propulsion systems.
  • Most models are available in Magnesium Bronze or Aluminum.
  • No limitations to shaft angle, blade top clearance, draft to restrict selection of optimum diameter propeller.
  • Adaptable to a wide range of engine applications, whether gas, diesel, or turbine.

It might come as a surprise that a boat doesn’t necessarily need to be designed for surface drives. A V-bottom would need some rocker to generate bow lift because surface drives don’t create any, but a bottom designed for straight inboards or sterndrives can see performance and efficiency gains with surface drives. Among the first performance V-bottoms to break the 100 mph mark was a nonstepped Hustler 32 powered by 630 hp engines and Arneson drives.

The biggest downsides to surface drives are that they make docking more challenging because they lack the blade surface of a submerged prop and that they extend well aft of the hull, sticking out like appendages. But when you’re in search of speed and efficiency, looks aren’t everything. (BoatingMag)



Skyhook – Your “Electronic Anchor” from MerCruiser – Dynamic Positioning

As a Captain and Marine Surveyor, I’ve had the pleasure to captain quite a few boats with this new technology, and I approve! The Axius joystick system is great for close-range piloting, and makes the job of parking in slips quite simple. Skyhook is an extension of that system, allowing the Axius-enabled drives to maintain a solid position while you’re fishing or just out at sea.

If you’re thinking about purchasing a boat with the new joystick technology, give us a call! I can help you to understand your systems as I survey your yacht.


Keep your boat in place with the push of a button!

Mercury Skyhook digital anchor allows you to lock your boat’s position using a GPS satellite antenna. Then, working with your engines and drives, Skyhook maintains your position and heading regardless of wind or current.

Key features

• Ideal for holding the boat over a fishing spot, waiting for bridges to open or holding position while next in line at a fuel docking station.

• GPS technology and electronic compass automatically control shifting, throttling and steering to maintain heading and approximate position.

• Simple to operate – just place the levers in neutral and push the Skyhook button to lock position and heading.

• Standard on Zeus and Joystick Pilotingequipped boats. Available on Axius boats with Premier Package.


Source: Mercury Marine