TODAY’S BOAT BUYER: Cape Horn 31 Offshore


When Tim Martin's 35-foot Viking convertible burned to the waterline after an engine room fire, he waited two years before finding the perfect replacement.


Last April, he found it - a 2008 Cape Horn 31 Offshore with twin 250-hp Yamaha 4-strokes. He bought the new center console from Lockwood Marine in his hometown of Jacksonville, Fla.

"I wanted something completely different," says Martin, 45. "I wanted something that was fast, I could fish on, and was fuel-efficient."

Martin, who says he has owned 15 boats since 1986, did what many boat buyers do in the digital age: He turned to the Internet. With a stable job in medical sales, Martin determined a comfortable price range for himself before any face-to-face negotiations.

"I didn't want to walk in and talk to a salesperson and try to figure out what I want," says Martin. "I called the dealership and I told them what I wanted and asked them to work out a good price for me."

After sea-trialing the boat, Martin bought it for about $100,000, which includes a six-year extended warranty with unlimited hours for the outboards.

Martin says he likes the boat because it's simple, straightforward and durable. "I've always had inboards with cabins, so this was a real change," he says. "But the more things you have on a boat, the more things go wrong."

He considered financing the Cape Horn, but when banks made the credit approval process difficult he decided to pay for it in full.


"I consider myself conservative. ... I didn't like the idea of putting out all that money, even though I had it," says Martin. "But my credit score is over 800, and I've never missed a bill in my entire life, and they still gave me a hard time. It's very offensive."

Martin says his only debt is his house, which he has lived in for 10 years and will pay off in the next six years. However, the bank told him that because he has two credit cards with a combined limit of $86,000, they were concerned about the debt he could incur.

"It's all a game," says Martin. "I figured 'Just pay it and be done with it.' "

And he couldn't be happier. He has run the boat for 13 months and says there have been no major problems and no warranty issues.

Meanwhile, Martin is anxious to fish.

"I got a blue marlin about two weeks ago," he says. "This is my only vice. I'm going to have a boat."

— Elizabeth Ellis



Star brite introduces Marine Descaling Fluid—a powerful, easy way to descale raw water-cooled systems using recirculation. It saves time, energy, and a lot of headache, allowing for a faster, cost-effective return-to-service for equipment.

NAW Elects 2021 Officers

Michael Medart of Medart Engine and Marine takes the helm as chairman of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors board.

Caterpillar Names Global Manager

Alex Berg will lead the manufacturer’s pleasure craft and yachting segment.

Nearly 320K Boats Sold in 2020

NMMA says new-boat sales are at their highest level in 12 years, with all powerboat segments up 8 to 22 percent.

‘Injection of Capital’ for Cox Powertrain

The British company said it will use the $16.7 million to expand operations and ramp up production of its CXO300 diesel outboard.

Groupe Beneteau Releases Preliminary 2020 Financials

Revenues were down 15.1 percent for the 16-month period that ended Dec. 31. A full report is due next month.

A Modern Twist on Word of Mouth

The supercharged power of user-generated content.