Sea-trialing the 2001 Donzi 35 ZF August 20, 2000

Fort Pierce, FL to West End, Bahamas (94 miles)

Towing this boat, at 35' X 9'2", isn't quite as fun as towing my old boat.

These "Smart Gauges" are really cool. These 3 gauges are all you get - pressing the button switches the digital readout in the middle of the gauge between modes and shows you everything from GPH per motor to overall MPG (we got about 1.6-1.7 mpg going to West End, Bahamas. You also get air temp, water temp, barometric pressure, engine PSI, trim synch, RPM synch, port and starboard oil level, port and starboard fuel and more.

225 Digital Optimaxes. They are supposed to be EPA-compliant for 2006 and more fuel-efficient. These motors made for a real nice cruise right at around 47 mph.

The console - drop down bolster seats are very nice. However, the lack of a windshield did cause my eyeballs to severely dry out. The console has a door on the starboard side that opens to let you step down into a room with a head, sink and shower (30 gals fresh water). Very roomy.

Note the observation seat on the top of the T-top (the white thing behind the center rod). There's a zipper in the canvas below the seat - you just climb up on the console and there's room for 2 to sit.

Garmin GPS 235 - GPS, chartplotter and fish finder.

Nice 40 gal live baitwell. Unfortunately that's where I put our 3 bags of ice, not realizing that when the boat started moving the baitwell started circulating raw water. All our ice melted in about 7 seconds, a plastic bag got stuck in the drain and water started pouring out the top of the livewell. I immediately assumed that we had forgotten to install the boat's main drain plug and were sinking (reliving a past experience I had at the local boat ramp). Luckily we found some guys fishing out in the Gulf Stream and they took pity on us and threw over a bag of ice.

Reason #835 to not run your airport on Windows 95. This Windows 9x crash dialog was actually on the screen at the airport. Unbelievable.

Headed out from Fort Pierce, FL to the Bahamas at 2PM. The Gulf Stream in the Straits of Florida - smooth as a lake.

That's me and Frank "Do you know the GPS coordinates to the Bahamas" Leon from the dealership, who trialed the boat with me.

Ah, finally we see land. These are the tall casuarina trees of Sandy Cay to the north of West End. It pops up on the horizon first.

Awesome colors in the water!

"Uh, gee, I wish we had brought some charts."

This nice local fellow, who was diving for conch, pointed out the channel for us. Evidently it had been moved since the last time Frank had been out here.

The scene looking out from the bar at the Harbour Hotel and Marina, West End Bahamas.

Fresh conch fritters and cracked conch anyone? They were absolutely delicious.

Leaving the marina at 6:30 PM to head back to Florida.

This is Bob.

Here's Bob driving back to Florida (you can see the outline of Florida on the GPS)

It got dark faster than we anticipated, and oops, the stern light and spotlight weren't hooked up. Well, at least we had nav lights. We had plenty of fuel, but almost ran out of oil. I think we had .2 gals in one tank and .3 gals in the other. We made it back to Fort Pierce around 9PM.