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Blown Away in Life Proof Boats

by Kurt Hoehne

Northwest Yachting jumped at the chance to get aboard the Life Proof 30′ Convertible. With a top speed of 63 mph and the safety of a closed cell foam collar, it was a great opportunity to get out from behind a computer monitor!

The video featured here isn’t of our ride, but it will give you an idea of the fun we had.

And what a ride it was. Heading out from Elliott Bay Marina, expert driver Doug Clement gave us a taste of the top end before wowing us with some truly amazing handling. Turning on the 30-footer was akin to banking a high performance airplane. There was no tendency to skip, and it was no problem to head into a turn at 40 knots.

The key to this running-on-rails performance is in the hull design. Bill Hansen designed the aluminum hull with port and starboard “performance fins” that help define tunnels on each side of the hull. At speed in a straight course, air in the tunnels help lift the hull and reduce drag. In a turn, the tunnel on the inside hull locks into the water creating what amounts to a grip allowing very tight turns at exceptionally high speeds. The closed cell foam collar adds to the performance and gives a certain peace of mind when going through waves.

As one would expect, you don’t go 60 mph on choppy waters in a 8,500 lb. boat without some bounce, but the high end Shoxs shock absorbing seats, both forward and and aft, kept things comfortable. All things considered, it would be a fine way to get to anywhere on the Salish Sea in a hurry.

Life Proof’s Micah Bowers explains the interest so far. “At the Boats Afloat Show, the people who expressed the most interest were those who wanted to get up to the San Juan Islands from Seattle in a hurry, and not get stuck there on a Sunday night, no matter the conditions.”

All in all we came away very impressed. As Aaron Bronson, Northwest Yachting’s U.S. Coast Guard veteran, said, “I was blown away.”

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