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FrontRunners: Boat Showstopper

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Newport, R.I., a town steeped in U.S. boating lore and Brahmin culture, seems such a fitting venue for legendary American boatmaker Chris-Craft (www.chriscraft.com) to display the refined design of its new Roamer 36. While its cockpit features an innovative raised center console that gives the captain greater maneuverability, the $270,000 express cruiser, like the rest of the contemporary Chris-Craft models, retains the same classic, sleek lines found on the company’s 1920s- and ’30s-era runabouts. “It’s a wonderful, New England–looking boat. I love that style,” says Nancy Piffard, director of the Newport International Boat Show (www.newportboatshow.com), which will host the Roamer 36 as well as some 650 other motor yachts and sailboats in the water and on land. This year’s show, the event’s 33rd edition, will take place from September 11 through September 14.

In addition to the boats, the show offers all of the other attractions of this 350-year-old town—its Gilded Age mansions and its more public accommodations such as Castle Hill Inn & Resort (www.castlehillinn.com), which recently reopened after an extensive renovation. The inn, an ideal spot for a postshow lunch, dinner, or sleepover, is a Victorian-era estate situated on a 40-acre peninsula that juts into Narragansett Bay. From the boat show docks you can reach Castle Hill by car along scenic Ocean Drive. However, those who prefer to announce their arrival can make the trip in a new Chris-Craft.

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