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You Are in Command – Be a Leader
Each year 400-500 people drown in boating accidents- in the U.S. Alone -- Most Could Be Prevented.
 
This week we are going into detail about a subject we only occasionally read about, or hear about at boat shows at the booths of the USPS, Coast Guard Auxilary, or USCG. But who pays attention to safety issues? We see the annual USCG statistics, but numbers don't have names and faces. This week in our "News From Around the World" section (at the bottom of the page) we are reporting on a number of recreational boating fatalities that have occurred in just the last couple of weeks from around the world. We are staggered by what we found. We urge you to read them and send them to your boating friends.
For years USCG has been hammering away that PFDs must be worn – not just stowed aboard somewhere -- and over the years it has relaxed its PFD approval criteria to inclued more attractive, less cumbersome inflatable PFDs in order to make usage easier and more desirable. Last year the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) started a campaign to encourage boaters to wear PFDs. Now BoatTEST.com is adding its voice to the growing chorus urging boaters on small boats to wear PFDs.
 
It's "Cool" to Wear a PFD.
The USCG figures for 2005 -- linked below -- tell part of the story. The articles on the bottom of this newsletter tell the other part, the human part. To see more statistics and read other material on this important subject, click here.

National Safe Boating Week May 19-25
Do Your Best to Make Boating Safer


Special Report:
The Awesome Lazzara LSX Quad
A Trend-Setter in the Making

Third-generation boat builder, Joey Lazzara, tells us the"behind-the-scenes" story of the creation and execution of the most innovativemotoryacht of the 2007 model year, and the first boat ever to be powered byfour Volvo-Penta IPS diesels.  You haveto see the videos to appreciate it. Already deposits have been taken on 10boats and this new 75-footer promises to be a trend-setter for builders aroundthe world.

*Heritage andInception...see video    
*What Sets the LSX Quad Apart?...seevideo
*Video Tour of theLSX...see video    
*Deck and Engine Room...see video




How We Test...see video
New Azimut 62s

Italian styling, a high performance hull, and room below..see video

First Huckins Built with Jet Drives
Owner describes performance of new 56-footer...see video

Easy Davit System for Inflatable Tenders
Attach your dinghy to the swim platform for easy launch...see video
Hampton 68 Motoryacht

Capt. Forrest takes through his pride and joy
 
  * Salon built for cruising
   
* Galley and pilothouse
    * Three guest staterooms

Mercury Teams Up with Laguna Boats
Mercury engineers and Laguna designers collaborate to maximize performance and safety..see video



Capt. Forrest's Engine Room Tips
6 video clips of great engine room advice-- click on title to view the video

Check Size of Engine Room Hatches 

Engine Risers Need Two Brackets

Spare Parts are a Must, But How Much?

Built in Oil Changer is a Must

Why An Isolation Transformer is a Must



Spotlight on BoatTESTS

This week's most Popular Tests on BoatTEST.com. Click on the model to find out why:

Boston Whaler
190 Montauk, 200 Dauntless, 235 Conquest

Carver
36 Mariner
, 35 Super Sport, 41 Cockpit Motor Yacht, 42 Super Sport, 56 Voyager SE

JC Pontoon
SunToon 21TT, NepToon 23 TTSunToon 23 TT,  TriToon 246, SportToon 25 TT 

Ranger
1750 Reata, 178VS, 185VS, 2000 Bay Ranger, 210 Reata


Retail Store
BoatTESTSTORE.com adds "Towers in a Box" to its "Recommended List"

For 25 years, Atlantic Towers has been one of the marine industry's most respected names in fabricated aluminum products. That's why BoatTEST.com has partnered with Atlantic to offer you pre-fabricated "T-Tops" and Arches at a fraction of the cost of custom-made units. These structures are now available in three distinct product categories: Trampoline T-Top, Transom Mounted Arch, and Fishing Arch.
Tower in a Box, quickly adjusts to fit a wide range of boats and are available right now, at BoatTESTSTORE.COM. Click here to watch Steve Tull, design engineer for Atlantic Towers introduce the T-Tops.

Visit BoatTESTSTORE.com


Reading Improves the Mind--Bookstore


BoatTEST recommends these books by John C. Payne:

Understanding Boat Diesel Engines...click here to order

Understanding Boat Batteries and Battery Charging...click here to order

The Great Cruising Cookbook: An International Galley Guide...click here to order

The Marine Electrical & Electronics Bible...click here to order



Letters to the Editor:


"Ghost Ship" Mystery Theories

Video footage of the catamaran shows three fenders hanging from the port side. All skippers stow fenders as soon as they leave their berth and only redeploy them when required. Decks should always be cleared of fenders, lashings, equipment, etc. particularly in rough weather. Fenders are redeployed when the boat returns to its berth or rafts up alongside another vessel. In this case it is clear that somewhere along the boat's passage the crew expected and prepared to raft up with another boat.

From the evidence it is also clear that during this exercise there was no intention to hoveto as the jib was set and the engine was running. In fact all systems were operational as normal and I have no doubt that the track from the GPS will confirm this.
At this point it is clear something unexpected happened. Maybe the visitors were less than friendly or in some kind of distress themselves. Either way, in the panic that followed the life raft was deployed and the three crew left the boat. Although three lifejackets were found onboard it is likely there were originally six and the crew were wearing their own.
 
I suspect that the boat and crew these three encountered was either an arranged illicit rendezvous for contraband that went wrong, or an attempt to rescue a disabled vessel.
 
Torn Sail? A small rip will soon tear across the sail. Even a small hole from a bullet will develop into a shredded sail if left unrepaired.
~ The Ancient Mariner
It says that relatives of the missing want to know how come the fenders  were out?  They must have been expecting another boat.  And if it was a big storm that washed them overboard, why didn't they put on their
lifejackets?
 
What I want to know is, if they were knocked overboard by waves, how come the computers and nav gear weren't, also?
 
My theories, in decreasing order of likelihood: maybe it was an inside job: one of them was in league with pirates.  Or, maybe it was a cult / mutual suicide pact thing.  --Or, the crew was beamed up in an alien abduction.
~ Norm
Seal Pup Slaughter - 04/11/2007

Before reporting on such a complex issue, it seems that understanding the basic facts would be the least a serious reporter should do. Instead, you reported the facts as given to you by an organization with far-from-perfect credibility. Hunting seal PUPS is illegal in Canada since the '70's. The harvesting of adult seals represents a vital commercial activity for many poor communities in eastern Canada and is closely monitored. You should also know that the seal herd is estimated at 3 million individuals and is growing at a concerning rate because they don't have any natural predators. Have you been to a cattle or pig slaughterhouse lately? Humans have "harvested" animals forever and it's never pretty. This is no different. I could even mention some big game fishing videos where the animal suffers a great deal for the pure enjoyment of anglers. Now THAT you actually feature in your magazine. Oh I forgot... fish don't have feelings unlike seals. Please be professional.
~Philipe

Have something on your mind? Send your thoughts and comments to editorial@boattest.com

Thinking of Purchasing a Boat? Get a Background Check First

Find out if your dream boat has been stolen, in an accident, salvaged after a hurricane, or hit a public record for some other reason. It could be the smartest used boating buying decision you ever made. Just enter the hull identification number (HIN) and get any public details on the boat before you buy. Click Here for Report

For Marine Insurance BoatTEST.com Recommends Global Marine

Global Marine Insurance is an agency that specializes only in marine insurance, and has been in business since 1989. Over the years they have built up a solid reputation amongst professionals in the marine industry, and that is why BoatTEST.com recommends them to you.

BoatTEST.com Testing Captains Now Wear the Mustang Deluxe Automatic Inflatable Vest
 
Here's why—
*Annually, about 70% of the deaths in boating accidents are caused by drowning, involve boats under 26', and 87% of the fatalities were not wearing a PFD. In 2005, that meant 426 people. Just read the articles in our news section this week about all of the needless drownings.
*Now, with huge outboard engines, small boats are going faster than ever and any number of things can – and regularly do –happen, such as people being thrown into the water unprepared.
*We have had at least one test captain thrown overboard during a test. (That test was abandoned and the boat was not presented to our readers.)
 * Most men silently fear that wearing a life vest signals they are "afraid" of the water, or boating; and since they can swim, why do they need to wear a PFD?
*Now, our unspoken fear of looking "stupid" has overcome our subconscious fear of looking like a "weenie."
 *From now on, every BoatTEST.com captain – and there is not a wimp in the lot – will be wearing an automatically inflating PFD.
*We have chosen the Mustang "Deluxe Automatic Inflatable Vest."(it inflates automatically under 4" of water) This was introduced last year to much press acclaim, including our own.
       
To find out more about this superb PFD – and why the USCG is also using them  -- click here.

Sea-Doo 230 WAKE

The 230 WAKE is Sea-Doo's largest sportboat in the line and it offers a total performance and family package with its twin 155-hp direct drive propulsion engines, and its long list of standard features.  The WAKE is designed for delivering perfect wakes and agile speed for tow sports, yet still has room for up to 12 adults to enjoy a full day on the water. In addition, this model allows as many as eight preset speeds for different conditions, or for different boarders to have the perfect wake to achieve his or her goal. Our test boat was powered by twin 215-hp direct drives.



Glacier Bay
2240 Renegade

 The 2240 Renegade is an exciting cross-over for the family that loves to fish but still wants to have room to just enjoy a day of cruising. Glacier Bay designs their power catamarans to reduce impact loads and roll so your family can enjoy the ride for years to come. We tested the 2240 with twin 90-hp Honda 4-strokes which pushed this Cat to virtually 35mph on test day.  

Sponsor:






Doral Intrigue


Utilizing a cabin-forward layout, the Intrigue's design team delivers lots of topside entertainment space. Weekends away will be a pleasure on this 30' 6'' express cruiser thanks to its amenities below and oversized mid-cabin. Our test boat was equipped with twin 270-hp Volvo Penta 5.0 engines which gave us a top speed of 38.2 mph at 4700 rpm. At best cruise she'll deliver around 176 miles on a full tank.





Everglades 240 CC

The 240 CC is an all-around thought out fishing package with the right amount of ruggedness and creature comforts for the family. "Fit and finish is top-notch on this boat, and I found her handling both in the chop and around the marina accurate and responsive," says Capt. Rob Smith. We tested the 240 CC with twin 200-hp Honda 4-strokes which delivered a best cruise of 32.8 mph at 4000 rpm and a top speed of almost 50 mph on test day.


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BoatTEST.com has partnered with SeaSafe to offer your 1998 or newer boat a wide menu of service contract from 1 to 5 years in length on the whole boat, or just the engines, electronices, trailer, or other parts.  The rates are competive and the polices are the most comprehensive in the business. Click here for a price quote. If you are a boat dealer, click here.




"Earthrace" is Stopped by a Burnt Piston
Stranded on Palau, Micronesia, and Where's FedEx?

 
Date:                                                 30 April 2007
Day:                                                   51
Distance Traveled:                         11,200 nm
Distance Behind:                            5,200 nm

Earthrace is presentlyundergoing some engine repairs in Palau.  She should be able to leavePalau by 1 May, but then it was supposed to leave April 26th, too...findout what's happening...see pix
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Recent Drownings Solve "Cold Case File"
Deadly lake claims 5 victims not wearing PFDs...learn more details

Boat Sinks With 2 Kids in New Zealand
Authorities say a drain plug was missing...read more

Two Men Lost on Virginia Lake
None wore lifejackets as wooden boat founders...learn more

4 Wearing PFDs Saved
Strong currents overturned boat in seconds...learn more

"Ghost Ship" Redoux --  Kidnapped at Sea?
Why were fenders out 80 miles offshore?...read more

Tales of a Sinking Cruise Ship
Sea Diamond passengers' accounts portray chaos...story and pictures

Russian Boat Show in Gorky Park
70 Boats on display in 3rd Moscow Festival...read more

One Sealer Sinks, 11 Still Stuck in Ice
A Southwesterly freed up the packed ice...read more



More Near Deaths... No Lifejackets Used!
"When will they ever learn" asks Park Rangers...read more

Ebola-Like Virus Killing Great Lakes Fish
U.S. Fish Health Chief calls virus "potentially catastrophic"...read more

New Zealand Considers Mandatory PFDs

N.Z. Authority moved by the death of two children...read more

Man Thrown from Boat Drowns
Bizzare accident throws two men overboard...must read

22' Boat Explodes in Hawaii Harbor
4 men hospitalized with severe injuries...must read

PFD Saves Alaskan in 40-Degree Waters
Happy ending for a careful boater...learn more

Russia Building 1st Floating Nuke Plant
No, this is not a bad joke...Stranger than Fiction

Sponsor:

Be sure to check out http://www.informz.net/z/cjUucD9taT00MzMzNjAmcD0xJnU9MCZsaT0xNDM3Mjg4/index.html for tests of the latest models.
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