CRANBERRY ISLES — Newman & Gray Boatyard recently launched Moonshot, a classic Williams 38 top with a modern underbody that eliminates a traditional rudder and bow thruster.
Newman & Gray owners, brothers Josh and Seth Gray, said the boat is one of their most exciting projects yet, as it combines the look of a traditional Downeast lobster boat with newer technology that makes it the fastest boat to come out of the Great Cranberry Island yard.
Moonshot went out for its sea trials recently and will now go back in the shop for finishing touches.
She came to Newman & Gray with a nearly completed hull and drive train from John Williams Boat Company last November. The Newman & Gray crew has completed most of the work on the top and will be completely finished by early July.
Moonshot, owned by a Great Cranberry summer resident, is powered by a Volvo Integrated Power System (IPS), a dual drive system instead of a traditional keel, rudder and single inboard engine.
“IPS makes driving so simple,” said Josh Gray. “Anyone can drive a boat with IPS.”
The two Volvo-Penta D6 diesel engines are both rated at 435 horsepower. Because they are mated to the IPS system, Volvo said that they perform as though they were 600-horsepower engines mated to a traditional shaft-driven propeller.
“Not only is the propulsion more efficient, the boat is more efficient because there is no drag,” said Josh Gray.
In turn, the exhaust remains underwater, is much quieter and gives off no fumes.
“At full throttle, [passengers] can carry on a conversation,” he said.
In the pilothouse is either a traditional wheel for electric steering or a joystick, which makes for easy cruising.
“There is excellent maneuverability with the joystick,” said Seth Gray. “It feels like driving a racecar.”
IPS systems have been around for 10 or so years and have been popular in large ships and luxury yachts. This is the first IPS system that Newman & Gray has worked on.
The lightweight boat cruises at 36 knots, which is about 38 mph. In open water, the boat has gotten up to 42 knots. “That is incredibly fast for a boat this size,” said Seth Gray.
Once it is painted, Moonshot will be finished in Kingston Grey. Its deck is finished in teak while the varnish in the pilothouse and cabin is mahogany. Finish work was done in-house by Adam Grindle, Russ Cummings and Tony St. Denis, while George Richards contributed to the mechanical work.
Down below, there is a fully galley with a stove, refrigerator and an ice chest. The full head features a separate shower.
The mahogany-finished cabinetry is made with a lightweight honeycomb, and the countertops are Corian.
Moonshot also features a top-of-the-line electronics package installed by Chris Rose of Kramp Electronics.
The Raymarine equipment features a 4-kilowatt radar. At night, heat sensing technology allows the captain to see where buoys or other boats might be.
Another interesting feature is the dynamic positioning technology. This allows the boat to stay in place facing the same direction despite any currents or wakes. “It is virtual anchoring,” said Seth Gray. “So you don’t even need to dock if you’re coming up to refuel because it just stays in place.”
While all of Moonshot’s features make for a sexy package, the one element that makes it irresistible is its speed.
“It’s like nothing I’ve ever driven before,” Josh Gray said. “It’s the fastest boat I’ve ever been in on the water.”