MIAMI: MarineMax Vacations unveils 484 power catamaran

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MIAMI BEACH — One year after announcing that it was entering the charterboat market, MarineMax Vacations introduced Friday the boat that will comprise its fleet — the MarineMax 484 power catamaran.

"What we're showing you today is what I think is the future of power catamaran cruising, and power catamaran chartering will be a big part of the future," MarineMax Vacations president Lex Raas told the media from the aft deck of Hull No. 2 of the newly designed model at the Yacht & Brokerage Show.

Raas noted that he was an early advocate of power catamaran chartering while he was CEO of the yacht charter company The Moorings. What distinguishes the new MarineMax 484 (the retail version is known as the Aquila 48) is that it was designed from the keel up as a power catamaran, not a power cat built on a sailing catamaran hull.

Raas praised the project partners "because the sum of a project is only as good as its parts," he said. Among them are designers J&J, engineers Seaway, builder Sino Eagle Yachts, Volvo Penta (twin 330-hp diesels) and electronics manufacturers Raymarine and Fusion.

In January 2012, MarineMax began operating a premium yacht charter business out of Tortola's Hodges Creek Marina in the British Virgin Islands under the MarineMax Vacations umbrella.

"What we do at MarineMax is connect people to the water, their family and friends," said William McGill Jr., chairman, president and CEO. "MarineMax Vacations is an extension of what we do for our customers."

He said his company will draw from MarineMax's database of more than a million powerboat customers with incentives to experience its power charter division.

McGill said the company plans to aggressively grow its power charter business into the world's largest in the coming years.

— Rich Armstrong

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