An open view...?
To me, express style boats are statements. Much like arm candy, they’re nice to look at, but sometimes hard to live with. Similar to the hi-performance offshore market that lost the race to sport utility center consoles, express boats have an abundant amount of wasted deck space, all in the name sultry lines and gaggles of wows from onlookers.
There are a few that have made the most of exterior space, but until you bolt on a flybridge, it’s boating from behind a bubble to me. I know this sounds like a skewed view, but my experience has been the sauna of South Florida’s idle speed zones, feeling disconnected from the bikini on the bow and generally wondering why a big, wind-blocking window is considered better than a flybridge in the breeze. On the flip side, if I were boating on the Great Lakes… or anywhere north of humidity city, my view would be quite different. Give me that windbreaker!
If I had to choose a favorite open-style, express, or whatever you want to call a bridgeless boat, the Lazzara LSX would top my list for so many reasons that other boats wouldn’t even make the list. I’ve said this before, and it bears repeating… there are many factors that are equally, if not more important than performance, style, design or marquee names. There are issues like functionality, reliability, service, support and resale; not to mention the quality of materials and components chosen or how they hold up over the long haul. Anyone considering a new build should go onboard an old build and see how yesterday’s work is fairing today.
If you’re building a custom boat, then I would strongly urge you to consider the temperament and communication with the powers-that-be at a yard. It’s the difference between fulfilling a dream and never-ending nightmare.