FrontRunners: Sea Fairer

  • Photo by Abner Kingman
    Protector Tauranga 38 Photo by Abner Kingman

    Rigid inflatable boats are known best for their utility in rescue or military missions. But for years Oak­land, Calif.–based Protec­tor has been offering comfortable models for recreational boaters. Its latest, the Protector Tauranga 38 (www.protectorboats.com), is its most inviting. Built in New Zea­land by Rayglass Boats, the 38 features twin cabin sleeping bunks, a stand-up head, and optional teak flooring, as well as a wave-cutting fiberglass hull and a heavy-duty inflatable collar. The optional triple 350 hp Yamaha engine configuration yields a 300-mile range and 60 mph top speed. Equipped with all the options, the 38 costs nearly $500,000.

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