The scene at Harbour Towne Marina was reminiscent of a Discovery Channel special on worker bees, and this was an active hive. In every direction that I looked I saw both large and small vessels on the hard and in various states of refit and repair. The air was full of the sound of wheels grinding away and hi-los moving about as a wickedly sunny, hot, early south Florida morning unfolded. In the neatly arranged slips that outline this massive Dania Beach, Florida, facility, a cadre of new boats waited like beauty queens longing to hear their names called. With so many choices for my eyes to see and my brain to register, I was bordering on a blissful state of boat-watching overload. But then one craft caught my full attention, the Cranchi M40 ST.
Her profile — at once striking and refined — sports a raked forward windshield, which provides this Italian-import express cruiser with a sense of motion even when she’s idle. That forward window’s expanse, which is just momentarily interrupted by supporting mullions at the corners of the fiberglass superstructure, offers the helmsman an unimpeded view forward while getting on plane and motoring along at all speeds. Equally clean vistas can be found through the side windows. (I later discovered a brief inboard sight-line loss during some hard-over turns made at speed, which is the result of this deep-V vessel’s moderate inside heel. The takeaway here is to look to your inboard and outboard sides before making these types of maneuvers because the M40 is so much fun to drive you’ll want to slalom her across the sea like a skier cutting through gates.)