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Vanquish 24 Runabout - Boat Review

Published By: Jonathan Lee

Discerning taste and turn-of-the-century charm are trademarks of the well-established cottage communities across Canada. In some of the most affluent of areas, style and beauty found in the secluded, luxurious homes that line the shorelines as well as the elegant watercraft that offer VIP access to nature’s raw majesty.

Many who enjoy spending their weekends at the cottage with friends and family realize that leisure time is precious commodity. For those seeking to maximize the potential of these experiences, only the best will suffice.

Enabling boaters to access these unforgettable opportunities is Vanquish, an attention-to-detail oriented runabout builder based in Newport, Rhode Island. In a region renowned for its concentration of historic colonial homes, the niche builder’s craftsmanship is influenced by the surrounding culture. Vanquish understands the minutia of what makes for a ‘gentleman’s’ family pleasure craft.

Executive Yacht Canada, specialists in representing premium marine brands, is Vanquish’s exclusive Canadian dealer. Greg De Marco, Executive Yacht’s Sales Executive based out of the company’s satellite office in Muskoka Wharf in Gravenhurst, Ontario, offered us the chance to take out Vanquish’s 24 Runabout for a test amidst the splendor of Lake Muskoka.

It seemed quite fitting, with the Muskoka Boat and Heritage Centre only a stone’s throw away. If anything, it underlines the long rich history that glimmering wooden vessels have built up in the region over the decades.

“Vanquish – which produces a smaller number of boats per years – pays high attention to detail and quality because it’s a boutique boat manufacturer that caters to client requests,” notes De Marco about the builder.

First impressions matter and our 25-foot, eight-inch long runabout does not disappoint. The boat’s forward-bow layout was designed by Doug Zurn of Zurn Yacht Design, which allows more room for movement in the cockpit. Long elegant lines combined with a flared bow, stainless steel hardware and optional teak accents on the gunnels and varnished Mahogany transom make this vessel stand out on the water. Just behind our test boat’s keel was a strategically positioned bow thruster for precision adjustments around the dock.

Stepping aboard the vessel, the traditional layout of our runabout quickly becomes obvious, featuring a stern bench, engine hatch sun pad and L-shaped lounge wrapped around an attractive woodgrain table. At the apex of the L-lounge, on the portside is a wet bar equipped with a small 12V refrigerator neatly tucked under a sink and faucet with three stainless cup holders. Overall, the layout is clean and uncluttered, offering plenty of seating space for passengers.

At the helm, the white fibreglass console serves as a tasteful contrast to teak panels encapsulating a half dozen chrome-rimmed gauges, a gorgeous Edson woodgrain wheel, and controls for the optional bow thruster and Lenco trim tabs. Here you can also opt for a Garmin GPS Map 741xs, Fusion Bluetooth stereo system, VHF radio, tastefully marrying the latest in electronics with a truly classic styled dash. Another nice touch was the slim stainless steel throttle handle that perfectly suites the 24’s interior.

Taupe-coloured Ultraleather or Sunbrella upholstery, with classic navy blue piping and double diamond stitching, adorns the seats, sunpad and bench, complimenting our test boat’s Navy Blue hull. Vanquish also offers the 24’s hull in Claret Red, Fighting Lady Yellow, Jade Mist Green and Stars and Stripes Blue – the names of which seem appropriate considering the boat’s New England origins. Under foot is a thin, taupe-coloured non-slip matting, which again goes nicely with the bright white fibreglass found throughout the interior.

Storage space is abundant, and can be found in the forward covered cuddy, which is separated from the cockpit by a white, breathable button-down material cover. Additional space for stowing items you need to keep handy can be found with ski locker located between the helm and L-lounge as well as under several seats.

An electric switch raises a centrally positioned engine box, exposing our sun pad’s secret, a Crusader Captain’s Choice 6.0L MPI 375hp engine, which is the optional gas upgrade for this model. The standard engine is a slightly smaller 5.7L Crusader HO MPI 330hp – said to deliver a top speed of 38mph (and an ideal cruising speed of 32 mph) – which we surpassed with our 6.0L V8. There is also a diesel-powered inboard option, Yanmar’s 6BY2-260.

Moving to the back, the 24’s stern is a true work of art. An optional swath of polished Mahogany built into the transom’s exterior and teak or Mahogany inlay in the swim platform, greatly enhance the overall look of the package while providing a practical spot to re-board the vessel. An all-teak flagpole is also prominent back here, something you don’t find on traditional mass-produced bow riders or cuddies in this size range.

Since this is a boutique boat builder, many of the features on our test model are optional, allowing clients to fine tune the 24 to their specific needs. Other items not mentioned that should be considered include a transom shower, pump-out head, batter charger, ski pole, windlass and grey water tank.

Behind the wheel, the driver receives a seat with bolster and armrests, and is well protected from the breeze by a full wraparound windshield.

For engine aficionados, startup is a gratifying moment. There’s no mistaking the deep gurgling growl as the big block turns over on start up.

Our 24 Runabout’s finely tuned hull tracked through Lake Muskoka’s waters with precision, cutting through waves rather than slap up and down on top of them. The vessel features a propeller pocket design at the hull’s transom, allowing the Vanquish to position the boat’s engine lower in the boat for an improved center of gravity and enhanced stability. This aids in the delivery of good acceleration by permitting a decreased shaft angle – raising the boat out of the water and decreasing drag.

With a full tank of fuel and two passengers in light waves, our 6.0L Crusader delivered a respectable top speed of 42 mph at 5,200 rpm. Our vessel came equipped with trim tabs, allowing the 24 to stay on plane until approximately 2,800 rpm before falling off. Without the tabs, the vessel stays on plane until 3,000 rpm.

At nearly 26 feet in length, this an ideally sized vessel for a large lake like Muskoka. No one wants be bounced around when the waves kick up, and the Vanquish 24 Runabout’s combination of size and hull design will make it a solid addition to your boat house.

Those seeking a unique and finely-crafted – yet practical – vessel for traversing the waters of their summer weekend escape in style should make a point of inspecting the Vanquish 24 Runabout at an upcoming boat show.

As a specialty dealer of luxury boat brands, De Marco says Executive Yacht is also able to arrange behind-the-scenes boat factory tours for qualified clients. And that’s an opportunity no true boat lover should pass up.

Vanquish 24 Runabout
Length: 25’ 8”
Beam: 8’
Weight: 4,200 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 283.9L/75 gal.
Deadrise: 16º
Power (standard): Crusader 5.7L MPI 330hp inboard
Power (as reviewed): GM Vortec Crusader Captain’s Choice 6.0L MPI V8 375hp inboard
Price (as reviewed): $199,999  
Price (base): see dealer

Power and Performance
rpm        mph
3,000        23
3,500        29
4,000        34
4,500        37
5,000        40

Ideal Cruising Speed: 32 mph

Review Boat Provided By
Executive Yacht Canada
438 Lakeshore Blvd. West
Toronto, Ontario
1 (888) 237-1647