John martino, annapolis school of seamanship and annapolis yacht         management
The following review was written by John Martino and prepared by the marketing department of Chesapeake Bay Magazine. Mr. Martino is the founder and president of Annapolis Yacht Management and Annapolis School of Seamanship. He develops and teaches hands-on training courses for recreational boaters and professional mariners, and offers yacht delivery and onboard training services for powerboaters as well as sailors.
Mercury Amanzi
MAY 2008
Length overall  11'5"
Weight  400 lbs
Passenger Capacity4
Max HP  30 hp
Hull Fabric  Hypalon
Base Price  $10,500
Price as Tested  $14,600

This past fall I had the opportunity to test the Mercury Amanzi rigid hull inflatable sport boat. I met with Jim Dean of Dean's Yacht Tenders in Annapolis, to run the Amanzi through her paces.

Equipped with a 30-hp Mercury outboard, comfortable seating, four integrated lifting eyes, and standard towing eyes, the Amanzi lends itself well to serve as  either a yacht tender or a recreational boat in its own right.

Mercury has packed the features and amenities common on larger boats into a compact 11-foot package. Beginning aft, a two-person bench seat houses an integrated fuel tank beneath. (The fire extinguisher is mounted in a cubby on the front of the seat where the skipper can easily reach it in an emergency.) The steering console includes a tachometer, speedometer, fuel gauge and volt meter plus switches for the standard electric bilge pump, navigation and anchor lights and cockpit courtesy lights (a spare switch can be used for additional electronics). A standard 12-volt cigarette-style accessory outlet makes it easy to charge any miscellaneous gadgets.

The Amanzi has cable steering linked to the helm. Electric ignition is standard, though the Mercury outboard is also equipped with a pull start—a feature appreciated by anyone who has ever been adrift with a dead battery. The most surprising feature of the controls is the electric lift and trim for the outboard, which came in handy while on plane in the river and at the boat ramp (its position on the outboard side of the shift lever made it a little cumbersome to use; I had to use my pinky finger to operate it).

Just to port of the console and amidships another seat incorporates a self-draining locker that can serve as a cooler or storage locker. A third seat forward also includes a small storage area beneath. The bow sheets provide yet another seating option and a convenient platform for stepping ashore. Mercury wisely placed the battery in a bow locker where the weight can best assist the planing hull. A substantial stainless steel bow rail serves as a handrail for passengers seated forward. Pop-up cleats forward and aft in addition to lifting and towing eyes provide plenty of hard points for secure mooring or towing.

Tube construction is of white Hypalon with a heavy-duty gray rub strake all the way around. Mercury offers the boat with a 10-year fully transferable warranty on the Hypalon tubes.

Underway, the boat was fun to drive. The hull is designed to ride on the fiberglass hull and not the tubes while on plane, which makes for a smooth ride. Wide open we were able to achieve 28 knots with two of us aboard.

Whether you want to go tubing, cruising, fishing or just want to get ashore from the mother ship, the Mercury Amanzi fits the bill.