Given the quantity and quality of vessels at the annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, it’s not easy for any new model to make a splash during the South Florida event. That is particularly true for anything out of the mainstream boat-building world, and even more so in the relatively small high-performance segment.
Manufactured in Italy, the new Canados 41 Gladiator turned heads in Fort Lauderdale this week.
But according to Scot Conrad of SLT Collection in Fort Lauderdale, which imported the new Canados Yachts 41 Gladiator sportboat and is the exclusive United States dealer for the Rome, Italy-based builder, the twin Mercury Racing 450R outboard engine-powered 41-footer had zero troubling attracting attention during the five-day event, which closes this evening.
Like most high-performance offerings at the show, the 41 Gladiator was totally dock-locked, meaning no demo rides could be offered.
“The response has been really good—a lot of people have been just blown away by the boat,” Conrad said. “They’re like, ‘What is that? It’s so sexy.’ And though it’s a V-bottom, because of its hull design, lines and cockpit with five shock-absorbing seats—it has 10-foot, 8-inch beam—a lot of people who saw it for the first time thought it was a cat.
“It’s an outboard-powered V-bottom sportboat for buyers who want something fast and efficient but really, really functional,” he added.
To get the boat to the show, Conrad piloted it from Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale, an approximately 50-mile Atlantic Ocean trek in what were white-capping, 3- to 4-foot seas. It was his first “real-world” experience in the 6,800-pound, post-cured carbon-fiber-and-epoxy model, and it left him impressed.
“I ran 50 to 60 mph the whole way,” he said. “It felt great. I wasn’t sure what to expect because it’s a light boat for its size, but it didn’t feel like a light boat at all. It was solid. The ride was dry and the shock-mitigating seats were awesome.”
The boat is loaded with cool features, including carbon-fiber cleats with titanium inserts and carbon-fiber grab handles with LED lights. Though it isn’t set up as a cabin, the underdeck area is carpeted and can be accessed through a hatch on the deck.
The 41-footer’s five-seat cockpit was designed with functionality and comfort.
“Every aspect of the build is high quality,” Conrad said. “I can’t wait to get more time in it.”
That likely will happen late next week, when Conrad has time to dial in the 41 Gladiator’s engine height—the outboards are mounted on adjustable brackets from Shaun Torrente Racing—and test with various propellers.
“I’m expecting it to the run in the mid-90s,” he said. “The manufacturer is hoping that, with some tweaking, it can get to 100 mph.
“People want rides,” he added. “I already have several clients ready to come down here when I can offer them sea trials. Anyone interested can reach out to me at SLT.”
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