Danalevi Furina: The Future is Now—and Yesterday

In some ways this runabout is retro, but the new Danalevi Furina looks like no other boat on the water.

4th July 2014.
By Brett Becker

In building the Danalevi Furina the company president Ross Hartman has brought something genuinely new to the recreational marine market, which doesn’t happen every year—or even every five years. The Furina is truly an original, with nothing me-too about it, and it’s sure to be the boat bystanders see first and remember the longest.

danalevi furina

Unique is an over-used word in the world of boats, but when it comes to the Danalevi Furina, no other word fits.

Hartman drew inspiration from many sources in coming up with the design. He looked to older boats, hewn from wood and fiberglass, for a project he began to work on many years ago.

“I became interested in powerboating, and I liked the old retro style of some of the boats,” Hartman said. “So I started researching what was on the market and it didn’t seem like there was much as far as styling out there. I just decided to try to draw something with a unique style and I worked on it on and off for about 10 years, doing some renderings and consulting with naval architects to make sure things would work out for production.”

As he honed how the boat would look, he hired people to assist him with renderings and computer-aided design work. However, there were a lot more elements he would use to tie the whole boat together. For the interior, Hartman kept things simple, but still came up with a striking design.

“On the inside, we just have the three gauges. We wanted to do something a bit more automotive,” he said. “I think a lot of people want a boat that’s almost like a car. You turn the key and go. We used a simple design for the dash, but more automotive looking.”

danalevi boat

In addition to the three analog gauges, the Furina uses the Garmin Glass Cockpit, which keeps tabs on the engine and other boat functions all on one flat panel. The model we tested at the Miami Boat Show even had air-conditioning, delivered through round outlets on either side of the dashboard.

Look close enough and you’ll come to admire the windshield on the Furina. The curved windscreen mates directly to the deck and is supported on the sides with CNC-machined billet aluminum pieces. Hartman drew inspiration for those pieces from hood ornaments from cars built in the 1930s and 1940s.

“It’s for people who want something a little bit different,” Hartman said. “It’s for a little bit more affluent customer. We’re marketing it as a tender.”

There are more billet pieces throughout the boat used to good effect. There are side scoops on the engine hatch, a ventilated grille on the transom above the swim platform and trim “spears” on the inside coaming panels. Because the boat I drove was a prototype, there were some areas that needed improvement. A few finish panels needed fixing, as did a couple of other minor trim items. However, these are issues we expect Danalevi will address in production models.

The engine hatch lifts via wireless remote. Mounted on Dana Marine compound hinges, it lifts to fully open in less than three seconds. The hatch also features steps at the center that lead to the passenger compartment. The sole of the self-bailing cockpit and the swim platform itself is covered with faux teak Sea Deck matting. We would suggest adding grab handles, but the interior is as handsome as it is functional.

The model we tested in Miami was equipped with Volvo-Penta’s 380 EVC, which as you would imagine, makes 380 horsepower. A drive-by-wire throttle and hydraulic steering make for light inputs. With 22 degrees of deadrise on its conventional V-hull, the Furina cuts through chop easily and felt solid in the wakes from passing craft. It planes easily, reaches speeds in the neighborhood of 60 MPH, and is a pleasure to drive. It feels like a heavier boat, yet it weighs just 3,800 pounds.

But what about the name? Dana was an old town that Massachusetts took for a reservoir for the Boston water supply. Hartman he grew up near there. Levi was one of the founders of the college where he studied. Furina was a name they conjured up, but it turns out a furina is also a one-of-a-kind snake species from Australia.

Specifications
Length 22’0″
Beam 8’6″
Draft 2’0″
Deadrise 22 degrees
Displacement 3,800 lbs
Fuel capacity 60 gal.

“We just thought it fit really well because the boat is one of a kind, so we went with it,” Hartman said. “It’s starting to come together. We’re working on a tower system to go with it. We’ll be able to put a Bimini top on it and store it behind the rear bench, and provide stowage for fenders, too.”

Other Choices: You’ve got to be kidding, right? There really aren’t any other boats quite like this one. That said, an option with a more traditional retro look (and a similarly high price tag around the $150,000 mark) is the Chris-Craft Corsair 25. For a completely different type of boat (this one floats on a tri-toon hull) which also has a retro, somewhat art-deco look, check out Avalon’s Ambassador 27.

For more information, visit Danalevi.


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About the author:

Brett Becker

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Brett Becker is a freelance writer and photographer who has covered the marine industry for 15 years. In addition to covering the ski boat and runabout markets for Boats.com, he regularly writes and shoots for BoatTrader.com. Based in Ventura, Calif., Becker holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s in mass communication from the University of Central Florida in Orlando.

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