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Five Fabulous 50s

With a few exceptions such as the 50- to 100-footers from Magnum Marine, a 38-foot offshore performance boat used to be considered “big.” That’s the way it was, at least, when I started writing for now-defunct Powerboat magazine in 1994. Mainstream production go-fast builders Baja, Donzi, Fountain and Formula all offered 38-footers—as did custom builder Cigarette Racing Team with its coveted 38’ Top Gun—and they were the standard, so to speak, in full-size offshore boats.

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Called Black Diamond, this stunning 52-foot catamaran is a creation of Marine Technology, Inc. Photo courtesy/copyright Jay Nichols/Naples Image.

Times have changed—dramatically. Baja, Donzi and Fountain are still awaking from their financially induced comas. Formula still offers its 38-footer but does far more business with its Sun Sport and Super Sport sport-cruiser lines. Cigarette still builds the 38’ Top Gun and the model retains much of its popularity. But none of those 38-footers could be considered large by current standards.

No, if you’re talking large in today’s go-fast boat world, you’re talking about something in the 50-foot range.

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