The Afina 3950 was born out of frustration. When Wayne Floe, CEO of boat-lift builder Floe International, couldn’t find just the right boat to suit his particular style of boating, he decided to design and build one that did suit him. (Must be nice!) Now his dream boat can be yours. The semicustom Afina 3950 is in production from a new boatbuilding facility near McGregor, Minnesota, with a base price of about $500,000. And there is really nothing like it on the water. At first glance, the 39-foot-6-inch-long, 11-footbeam fiberglass Afina 3950 looks like a big deck boat under a glass house. Designed to stretch the season for northern-tier boaters, the concept works as well for those who boat in tropical or semitropical heat. What the maker calls the Grand View cabin can be completely closed or opened up to the environment in a variety of ways — open the forward and aft glass doors, roll down (electrically) the huge side windows, and roll back (electrically) the soft-top section. On the day we ran the Afina for a photo shoot near Jacksonville, Florida, we opened all the glass but kept the roof closed for shade, and were very comfortable on a 90-degree day and enjoyed the bright, airy house area with great views all around. Heat and air conditioning will allow the owner to further manipulate the environment for the comfort of guests in just about any season and during bouts of inclement weather. There’s a galley in the main house area, where a wraparound settee pulls out to create a comfy berth. The head compartment is located forward and on the port side. This head includes a shower and almost 6 feet of total headroom. I found access to the Hideaway Suite cabin is a bit inconvenient. One needs to go down three steps after lifting a large hatch in the walk-through to the bow. Below is a settee and a mid-cabin style berth. Twin 430 hp MerCruiser Bravo Three drives equipped with joystick piloting pushed us to a top speed of 48 mph. The 3950’s inverted V-hull is super-stable and carves neat turns but pounded through moderate chop at speed. Pay attention to course and speed when the water is rough.
* Fabulous fit and finish, and it’s semi-custom, so you can get cabinets, counters, upholstery and the helm built to order.
* Much more attractive than a houseboat but offers the same all-season versatility.
* Running surface carves in turns and allows air to lift the bow at cruising speed for improved economy.
Price: $500,000 (approx.)
Engine: Twin 430 hp Mercury MerCruiser 8.2L sterndrives
Drive/Prop: Bravo Three/25″ pitch stainless-steel propset
Gear Ratio: 2.00:1
Fuel Load: 175 gal.
Crew Weight: 700 lb.