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There is nothing more cyclical in the U.S. economy than the boating industry.  The reason is: nobody NEEDS a boat, as they need food, shelter and clothes.  Nobody needs to go cruising, wakeboarding, water tubing, or fishing (except for commercial fishermen). So when there is a hiccup in some aspect of the economy it usually affects new boat sales – because people put off what they need for the soul, to improve their quality of life, or to commune with nature – but don't "need" to survive.

Those times – 1973-74 (oil crisis), 1978-82 (High Interest rates, recession), 1989-92 (delayed reaction to '87 market crash and 15% Luxury Tax), and 2001 (dot com bust, 9-11) – have all been great opportunities to buy a new boat at a very low price.

It is sort of like buying stocks after a severe market "adjustment" – it takes guts to do it, but the people who do usually make out (if they buy good stocks). The same is true of buying a new boat.  There are some tremendous opportunities.  To find out about the dynamics of buying low and selling a few years later for nearly the same amount...click here.
National Safe Boating Week May 19-25
Do Your Best to Make Boating Safer


Spotlight on BoatTESTS

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

Four Winns
180 Horizon, 204 Funship, 255 Sundowner, 318 Vista, 348 Vista

Tiara
2900 Open Classic, 3000 Open, 3800 Open, 4200 Open, 5200 Sovran Salon

Sylvan
1700 Adventurer, 1800 Expedition, 8522 Mirage Signature

Vectra

1940 OB, 2572 OB

Carver
36 Mariner, 38 Super Sport, 41 Cockpit Motoryacht, 42 Super Sport, 56 Voyager SE


Wanted: Owner Video Reviews

You'veseen our captain's tests and video reports for years –now, we'd like tohear and see YOUR VIDEO report on YOUR boat.  Now is your chance totell us and our members what you like and don't like on your boat. 

All usable submissions will receive a $50 BoatTESTSTORE.com coupon.

Send YOUR Video report to mailto:editorial@boattest.com be sure to include your first name, last name, email and video title and description or, mail to : Video Review, 51 Bank Street, Suite 2A, Stamford, CT 06901.

**Please send videos no larger than 10 MB





All boat builders pride themselves on their construction methods and attention to detail, but not all factories are the same by a long shot. This week we take a look at three factories that are extraordinary, each in their own way.

*Cobalt Boats – Six-Time Winner of the J.D. Power Award in the Large Runabout category...watch tour

*Crestliner – All of their boats have a 3-year "stem-to-stern" warranty and lifetime on all welds...watch tour

*Regulator – Founded in 1988 this company set the bar high for rugged offshore center consoles...watch tour


There is nothing that has injected more fun into boating the last 10 years than the invention of inflatable "Water Toys. ''Gad, why did it take companies so long to figure out how much fun being towed on inflatables could be?'' We all knew about inner tubes and towing boards, but, oh, what a slow evolution to towing banana boats to a whole range of exciting and fun Water Toys. If you don't have a few, you don't know the fun you and your family and friends are missing.

The BoatTESTSTORE.com has dozens of these fun inflatable toys at all price points and all at a big discount from list price. Click here.

WARNING: If you misuse these toys they can be dangerous or fatal. If one goes fast enough it is possible to "sail" some of these toys high in the air, with the result that a person will fall and be injured. Keep them on the water, tow them at a safe speed, always have one person driving and another person in the boat watching the towed toy. Read and follow the manufacturers' recommendations.

*See water toy  videos

Click here to see all Water Toys for Sale at Discount Prices.


What NOT to Do

Rule #1: Don't Fall Off the Boat...see video

Rule #2: Have a Bigger Boat...see why

Rule #3: Stay Away from Big Boats...see why
In Every Head a Different World

"The Beach Mice" Surfer Babes...see video

First Ferrari Speed Boat in Venice...see video
Shark-a-Mania Shock

Backing Down on Shark Bait...see video

Rare Jurassic-Era Shark Caught in Japan...see video

Orca Has Great White for Lunch...see video
PWCs -- Not for the Faint of Heart

Spectacular Sea-Doo Wave Jumping...see to believe

70 MPH PWC in a Tea Cup; Thrills, Chills...see video

Says RXP Goes 91.9 on GPS...see speed run
Offshore Powerboat Action

2006 World Offshore Championship Races...see who wins!

Offshore Boat Crash...see video
Water Toys and Tubing

Recalled Kite Tube: Do You Have One?...see Wego

Another Wego Kite Tube Dumps...see video

Kite Tubes: Playing with Sudden Death...see what not to do
USCG at Work

USCG Cutter Sherman Drug Bust...see it now

The USCG Means Business ...see bust

Japanese Coast Guard Means Business, Too...see it now
In Memoriam

Ode to Sea Diamond in the Santorini Sea...Must See




We all have them -- videos we have taken aboard our boats, or have taken of other peoples' boats. Now turn them into valuable prizes by entering them in one or all of the categories listed below.  Our viewing members will be the judges – videos with the most votes win!
 Categories  First Place Prize
 1. Boating Bloopers
 Raymarine LifeTag
 2. Big Game Fishing
 Penn 50 Int. Reel
 3. Freshwater Fishing
 Shimano Reel
 4. Great Cruising Spot
 Fortress Anchor
 5. PWC Jumping
 Sterns Life Vest
 6. Wake Boarding
 Sterns Life Vest
 7. Water Skiing
 Sterns Life Vest
 8. How-To-Do-It
 ICOM VHF
 9. General Interest
 Airhead Water Toy

Send YOUR Video report to mailto:editorial@boattest.combe sure to include your first name, last name, email and video titleand description or, mail to : Video Review, 51 Bank Street, Suite 2A,Stamford, CT 06901.
**No larger than 10 MB



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.



Leon Slikkers is the only 79-year old man we know who regularly competes in bicycle marathon races, is a jet pilot, loves to ski black diamond slopes, works virtually every day, and can successfully solve Harvard Case History problems in the boating industry, faster and better than any Harvard graduate. He has been building boats longer than any man in America. He and his family own Tiara Yachts and Pursuit.
Recently, Tiara celebrated Leon's 60 years in boat building and the opening of a new plant to build the company's new large Sovran line of yachts. BoatTEST.com was there to capture the moment and to find out more about how Tiara Yachts are built. See the Videos!


Leon's 60+ boat building years...see video
How Tiaras are built...see video
Tiara's resin infusion process...see video
Tribute from Crusader's President...see video
History and heritage of Tiara...see video
What Sets Tiara Yachts apart?...see video





Doral Alegria

The Alegria is the largest model in the Doral line, and as the name implies this is one express cruiser that will bring you plenty of happy times over the years. This model has one of the neatest cockpit set-ups around that offers both functionality and style. Our test boat was packed with eye-opening options like a power center windshield walkthrough, teak bow decking and loungers, and a Titanic style bow seat that will quickly become a favorite in the house when at anchor. We tested the Alegria with twin 500 horsepower 8.3L Cummins diesels, which topped out at 31.4 mph at 2600 rpm.

 


Mako 284CC
Mako strives to be legendary when it comes to offshore toughness and the 284 Center Console seems to be the king of tough in its line. Twin 390-quart insulated fishboxes are in the stern cockpit to store your catch. The console head compartment has impressive headroom. Our test model had the full wraparound bolster package for great protection to your thighs, and the wide transom walkthrough offers good access to bring large fish aboard, or to access the dive ladder. The 284CC is rated for up to a maximum of 600 horsepower outboards from Mercury, Honda, Suzuki, and Bombardier.

Sponsor:



Sea-Doo WAKE
The Wake features many upgrades which not only add safety to this PWC, but also give you added time on the water due to the comfort level. The ride of the Wake is electrifying due to its 215 horsepower engine, which is environmentally-friendly with super low emissions and closed-loop cooling, which means a longer engine life. Key features of the Wake model start with the patented, retractable tow pylon. It's neatly concealed behind the back seat and quickly deploys to provide a secure, high mount for a ski rope, plus it incorporates two grab handles for the observer who is facing aft. This hot rod hit a top speed of 64.9 mph on test day.



World Cat 250DC

This power catamaran uses patented technology to aerate the water flowing between the two hulls. The Hydro-Ram softens the ride out in the rough wave action you typically see offshore, which means the family will enjoy the ride as much as you do. Our test boat had the optional removable benches in the cockpit, which quickly set up or pop out and fold away, for extra fishing room when needed. With twin 150 horsepower 4-stroke Hondas outboards this World Cat pushed a top end of 42.7 mph at 6000 rpm. Most economical cruise speed was around 23.5 mph at 4000 rpm, which will give you a range of about 433 miles.


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For at least 50 years Flying magazine has regularly published an article called "I learned about Flying From That." There is always an article written by a general aviation pilot who ALMOST had an accident, or did have one and lived to tell the tale.  In the article the pilot explains what confused him, or what signals he miss read, or basically what mistake he made that got him into a tight spot.  We've always thought that would make a great feature for boaters to read because it is so instructive.  We have all had close calls of one magnitude or another, and we have learned from each one.  All things being equal, veteran boaters should be better skippers than boaters with half their sea time because they have simply had more experience, made more mistakes, learned from them and survived.

So the concept of "I Learned About Boating From That," is to tell a tale on yourself about a mistake you made, or something that confused you, or how you almost made a mistake but figured out the situation at the last moment because you realized something.  Thankfully boating is far more forgiving of mistakes than flying. Most anyone can skipper a vessel and the longer one does it, the better that boater becomes. We'd like to speed up our mutual education by having our readers share their learning experiences – anonymously, if you'd like. Don't worry about your writing style or punctuation, we'll edit your piece. Here we go...

Summer Squall on Miles River; Casual anchoring, a barking dog, then wind...and some Lessons            

 Submit Your  Experience--Click Here



Earthrace Now Racing Out of Pirate Waters
But Will they Call it Quits in Singapore?

On April 30th the burnt piston was replaced and Earthrace left for Singapore. They passed south of Philippines on May 3rd and were escorted by "Warship" (with a 50 caliber machine gun) into Sutu Harbor, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, on the north coast of Borneo – to meet warriors, dancers, dignitaries and media. They now have no chance to beat the 75 day record. Then they push on and put this message on their website--

"Earthrace will be issuing a press release in Singapore outlining what it intends to do from here regarding the record attempt."

Will they quit? Will they go on?...click here to find out

SEE THE "EARTHRACE – FROM RICH ES TO RAGS" VIDEO on BoatT EST.com. next week.

See Earthrace Video Trailer

Read Earthrace's Latest Adventures



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!

BoatTEST recommends these books:

BoatTEST.com has teamed up with Amazon.com to provide you with great service and discounted prices!! Plus a list of approved books by the team at BoatTEST.com!

Fast Powerboat Seamanship: The Complete Guide to Boat Handling, Navigation, and Safety by Dag Pike
When Richard Brandson decided to break the Atlantic Blue "Virgin Atlantic" Powercat, he picked author Dag Pike to be his helmsman – and they won it on their second attempt! Dag Pike is a salty Brit who has been bashing around the British Isles, and around the world for 40 years and has learned a thing or two. Click to order.


Rough Weather Seamanship for Sail and Power: Design, Gear, and Tactics for Coastal and Offshore Waters by Roger Marshall. Author Roger Marshall is a naval architect, sailor, writer and editor and this book shows the average boater how to safely weather the fiercest storm. Rough Weather Seamanship for Sail and Power arms readers with the knowledge they need to select and modify a boat for heavy weather; understand, track, and evade storm systems; and prepare for a storm in harbor, coastal waters, and offshore. Click here to purchase the books and check out other books recommended by BoatTEST.com.

The Legend of Mercuryby Jeffrey L. Rodengen and Alex Lieber. First there was Olie Evinrude, then there was Carl Kiekhaefer, the founder of Mercury Marine. There was never a marine engine maker with the creativity, work ethic, and expanse of skills from personally carving engine parts of steel to marketing the engines to the world, and nearly everything in between. He was not tall, but he was a giant, he was quiet, but he had incredible charisma. He is a great story of the beginning of the modern era of powerboats and a titan who drove it. Click here to purchase the books and check out other books recommended by BoatTEST.com.



BoatTEST.com Testing Captains Now Wear the Mustang Survival 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 Survival "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.



Extends Service Contracts
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, electronics, trailer, or other parts.  The rates are competitive and the polices are the most comprehensive in the business.
Click here for a price quote. If you are a boat dealer, click here.

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Mercury Sweeps 24-hours of Rouen
Mercury wins classes #2 & #3; Yamaha wins class #1..read more

Sharks Ravage Dozens of Haitians
17 dead, 60 missing as migrant boat capsizes...read more

Dams are Dangerous
4 Iowa Boaters, all without life jackets, drown...please read

Carbon Monoxide -- The Silent Killer
Think you're seasick?  Maybe not, it could be...find out

Maryland Boating Police Getting Serious
New law targets PWCs, Police watch for drunks...read more

Honda Marine Names Two "Master Techs"
It's harder to pass this test than to get into Harvard...find out who passed

The Story Behind the Big Drug Bust Story
"Gang that couldn't shoot straight"..duh..see video and read article

Fishy Luck of the Irish
This Irish Stew becomes record-breaking bait...read more

British to Host World Standards Summit
The NMMA & ABYC will represent U.S. at Meeting..read more
Outerlimits Powerboats Wins Malta Grand Prix
Rough seas keep offshore powerboats from going offshore...read more, see video

52' Powerboat Burns in Strait of Juan de Fuca
Single live-aboard man rescued after 20 minutes..read more/view pictures

Tips For Safely Fueling
Explosions happen most often after fueling...learn more

Honda Extends 5-Year Warranty
All Honda engines with "True" 5-year warranties...read more

Canada Approves ACR PLBs
FCC has already approved ACR's Micro -EPIRBS..read all about it

Raymarine Introduces 2 New Video Cams
Now considered a must for all engine rooms...read more

Fed Fish Habitats Threatened by Closures
Where is Senator Byrd when fishermen need him?...read more

Record Brown Trout Caught in Nova Scotia
It pays to start the season early...read all about it

Delta Marine Ramps Up with 168 New Jobs
Tax-exempt bond issue helps fund Delta's Growth...read more
Be sure to check out http://www.informz.net/z/cjUucD9taT00MzY4NzgmcD0xJnU9MCZsaT0xNDU5MjUx/index.html for tests of the latest models.
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