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Invests in
New Tooling

The new 3500 Vector Express and 19' Bay Bolt are just two examples. Find out from H-S's GM what is coming...

Hydra-Sports new 3500 Vector Express balances day-cruising features (standup head, ample seating, big berths) with fishability for the serious angler. 

With a spate of new competition from up-start companies, this seasoned saltwater brand is aggressively investing in advanced tooling for the new generation of offshore – and inshore

To find out more about what is going on at Hydra-Sports, BoatTEST editor Chris Landry interviewed Chris Wainscott, Hydra-Sports'  Senior VP & General Manager, and tested the new 3500 Vector Express with twin 350-hp Yamaha 4-strokes.

GM Chris Wainscott fills us in--

Lots of New Product From Hydra-Sports.... see video

What Separates Hydra-Sports from Rest of the Pack... see video

Building Boats for Serious Anglers... see video

First Report: New Hydra-Sports 3500 VX Vector Express --
•    VIDEO... click here
•    Detail Photos... click here
•    Basic Specs... click here
•    Performance Numbers... click here

First Peek: 19' Bay Bolt
The folks in Sarasota, Fla., haven't forgotten about you inshore guys— Click here for first look at the new 19' Bay Bolt.

For a Full Test on the 23' Bay Bolt... click here

New MerCruiser Vazer:
The Little Engine that Could...

Change the Face of
Small-Boat Design
The New Vazer Sterndrive opens up new design and function possibilities for small boats

(Above) Tilted at a 50-degree angle, the 100-hp Vazer can fit under seats, platforms, and decks of pontoons, fishboats, and runabouts.

(At left) On this pontoon boat, you can see all the extra space gained (for fishing, boarding, diving) with the Vazer. An outboard gobbles up precious stern space.

BoatTEST editor Chris Landry interviews Robert Grantham, MerCruiser Product Director, about the Vazer Sterndrive on a Lund 1700 ProSport.

Become an expert of the new Vazer Sterndrive – watch these SHORT videos--

What types of boats are best for the Vazer?... see video

Unique Features of the Vazer... see video

Origins of the Vazer Sterndrive... see video

Vazer's Impact on Small-Boat Performance... see video

Is Vazer Corrosion Protected with Merc SeaCore?... see video

The Vazer Drive: a Close Look... see video

100-hp Vazer Sterndrive:

•    Photos... click here
•    Specs... click here

New MOBi-lert
Man Overboard System
Add this MOB alarm to your safety arsenal.
It's fast, simple, easy to use--and loud.

 Snap it on your belt clip, hang it from your neck or attach it to a PFD. The MOBi-lert transmitter is about the size of a small beeper. 

One of the most recent advances in safety equipment is the man overboard alarm system that automatically sounds an alarm for fast recoveries. We took a close look at one of these systems at the Marine Aftermarket Accessories Trade Show (MAATS). Andrew Hill, the Chief Operating Officer for the Australian-based Mobilarm Ltd., tells BoatTEST Director of Testing Rob Smith about the MOBi-lert... Click here for video interview.

More Builders Get
Stamp of Approval

The NMMA certifies 19 more boat builders with ABYC building, systems and materials standards.

About 90 more builders had to be certified by July 31 or face termination of their NMMA membership. At press time, 19 more builders had passed the NMMA certification requirements.

For list of recently certified builders...

Roses and Brick Bats

To Rate Your Boat and put your comments in the BoatTEST data base... click here

To see comments about boat brands and models... click here

See what our readers have to say this week....

by Type and Size

Bass Boats... Click Here
Bowriders... Click Here
Catamarans... Click Here
Center Consoles... Click Here
Deckboats... Click Here
Express Cruisers... 26'-30'
Fishboats... Click Here
High-Performance... Click Here
Jet Drives... Click Here
Motoryachts... Click Here
Pontoon Boats... Click Here
PWCs... Click Here
Ski/Wakeboards... Click Here
Sportboats... Click Here

You've seen our captain's tests and video reports for years. Now we'd like to hear and see YOUR VIDEO. Now is your chance to tell us and our members what you like and don't like on your boat.

All usable submissions will receive $100 in cash.

Send YOUR Video report to 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.

I just want to say that I don't appreciate your obviously biased "presentation" of Michael Chertoff and the Department of Homeland Securities' efforts (Aug. 1 newsletter) to protect our waterways.

I think you need to realize we ARE AT WAR with radical Islam who wants to AND CAN change the American way of life so much so that pleasure boating would be the last thing on your mind if by chance you even still have the means to contemplate doing it. 

Sure most people don't have to be concerned with being directly attacked by terrorists, but they do have to be concerned about the possibility of a virtually debilitating attack on our economy, WHICH IS A STATED GOAL of radical Islam.

Oh I'm sure you're probably one of many people who believe that the government will (and more importantly can) take care of everything for you, including the complete security of the United States while you just go your merry way, fun boating. Well I hate to break it to you but this entire country is under attack and it's going to take the resources of more than just our government to try to make sure it doesn't happen.

Our forefathers would be ashamed of you and your "let government do all" philosophy as that's NEVER WHAT THEY INTENDED. Oh I'm sure you'll just right me off as some dumb Republican (I'm an Independent) alarmist who is scared by the Bush administration so that they can manipulate me. Well that's just not the case. I'm VERY informed (by many divergent sources) and know what I'm talking about.  So next time, please try to put your obvious bias aside when reporting (as you should) on issues such as this.

Thank you,

Bridgeton, Mo

60" Closed Top Round Tube

1-Person tube.  Boston 2-way valve for easy inflate and deflate.  Neoprene knuckle-guards improve riding comfort.  Heavy duty PVC tube material for durability and a softer ride.  Heavy duty nylon cover extends tube life.  Includes repair kit and schrader valve adapter.

List Price: $119.99
Our Price: $102.84
Sale Price: $75.99
You Save $44.00!--Click to Order

Mega Bowl by SportsStuff

Rock and roll across the wake and hook up with some friends; The Rock-N-Roll Mega Bowl is filled to the brim with action-packed enjoyment. The first ever bowl shaped towable can be rocked back and forth and rolled side to side as you barrel your way across the water. Or just kick back and go with the flow inside its spacious and comfortable interior.

List Price: $259.95
Our Price: $186.39
Sale Price: $159.99
You Save $99.96!-- Click to Order

Check out other items at

As your boat gets older, the cost of coverage goes up...
See Video

Get a Price Quote Right Now... Click Here

For Boat Dealers Only... Click Here

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 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 recommends them to you.

Cobalt 46 Yacht Launched:
First Production Boat with Zeus Drive

Euro-Styled Express Cruiser Designed for Offshore Cruising and the World Market

The first 2 Cobalt 46s have been built, and 5 more are under construction. Dealers and customers will have a chance to drive the boats this week on Lake Tellico at Cobalt Yachts' HQ in Vonore, Tenn. All Cobalt yachts will be lake-tested before shipment.

Yesterday, Cobalt officially took its place in the world of yacht builders when the company—well-known for its high-quality sport boats—launched two of its new 46 yachts during a special event on Lake Tellico in Vonore, Tennessee.

Cobalt is a six-time winner of the J.D. Power CSI award and is taking dead aim at Sunseeker, Ferretti, Azimut, Cranchi and other world-class builders of high-end Euro-style cruisers. 

For an exclusive first look, including interior pictures... click here.

Sunchaser 8522 CR

The Sunchaser series is built to deliver high-quality features at a price most everyone can fit into a budget.  Sunchaser uses custom molded helms, rounded bow edges and plush 22-ounce carpet to pamper you underway. Click here to watch video

Sylvan 1900 Pro Sport

The fully carpeted cockpit of the Pro Sport features a raised aft deck and concealed storage lockers in the sole. A key feature of the 1900 is its flexible seating configuration, with four casting chairs that easily remove to be repositioned where needed. Click here to watch video.

Ranger on a Rampage

5 New Boats Hit the Water
Builder departs from the norm with its new 2250SS.
Four other new models also introduced.

Ranger says it has "never built anything like this before"—the Ranger 2250SS takes versatility to the next level, giving consumers a vessel that can handle fishing, watersports, and day-tripping in both fresh and salt water.

In an explosion of new products, the likes of which is rarely seen in fiberglass boat building, Ranger Boats introduced five new boats last weekend at the FLW Championship in Hot Springs, Arkansas.  One boat, the new 2250SS is sure to appeal to a wide audience of boaters outside the bass market with its famous Ranger name.

But Ranger has not forgotten its roots, and has also introduced what they say will be the ultimate in high performance, tournament bass boats --  it is the Ranger Z520 which was designed specifically for the competitive angler.  We give you photos and specs of all five new models.

Ranger 177TR... click here
Ranger 186 Reata... click here
Ranger 2050 Reata... click here
Ranger 2250SS... click here
Ranger Z520 Comanche... click here

 350-hp 4-Stroke Yamaha Twins
Triple Yamaha 250-hp 2-Strokes
With virtually the same horsepower, which is the better option for rugged offshore work?

Our comparison focuses on fuel economy, cruise speed and cost.

Hydra-Sports 3300 with twin F350 Yamaha 4-strokes... click here

Hydra-Sports 3300 with triple Yamaha HPDI 2-strokes... click here

Consumers face a quandary of questions when it comes to powering with outboards: 2-stroke or 4-stroke? Single or twins? And with today's bigger boats, you may have to decide whether you want twins or triples (or even triples vs. quads). We got a chance to compare performance numbers of two Hydra-Sports 3300 center consoles—one with a trio of Yamaha 250-hp HPDI 2-strokes and the other with twin Yamaha F350 4-strokes. And the winner here

We Test 29 Bass Boats

29 Models from 8 Different Builders: Compare speed, quality, features, warranties, and price

The Tracker Targa 17 SC is a rugged boat built with an all-welded two-piece hull.

Last year over 41,000 new bass boats were sold in the US. While most anglers have their favorite brands, the fact is that some companies have made tremendous innovative strides in the last couple of years, while others have been resting on their past success. Now more than ever in the bass market, the customer is king – if he is informed.

With so many brands and models to keep track of, it is nearly impossible for a new-boat buyer to be able to compare all of the features of even the major five brands, much less all of the boats in a particular size range and material. That's where comes in. BoatTEST is your source for staying up to date with the bass companies latest boats—you can compare their specs and see pictures of all the bass boats in one place.

Best of all, we have complete performance tests with videos on 29 new bass boats from 8 of the country's leading bass boat builders.

Check out ALL Bass here
Bass Boats
For Beginners

If you are new to boating, consider a used bass boat.  They can be low cost, are easy to handle, you can tow them with a car, they take abuse very well, and they like shallow water.

This Crestliner CX 19 aluminum bass boat with 90-hp outboard goes over 5 miles on one gallon of gas at 25 mph. That's almost better than a Hummer!

There may be no better way to get into boating than with a bass boat. They're relatively inexpensive to buy, cheap to maintain, and easy to trailer and store. Designed for serious angling, some of these boats function as high-performance speedsters, approaching 70 mph – you don't have to be an ESPN Angler or a speed freak to enjoy the fun of a bass boat.  Many models are equipped with relatively small outboard engines, are very reasonably priced and run fast enough for most people.

With their beamy profiles, these vessels, as a class, are generally very stable at rest. Fishboxes, rod holders, and tackle drawers are thoughtfully packed into every bit of available space on these boats, as each builder tries to out-do the other with innovations. The market is terribly competitive which means there is a wide selection at all different price points.

We have 175 used bass boats for sale in our classified listings.  Take a look, you might be surprised what you find... click here.

Mako 284 CC

Carver 41

Baja 26 Outlaw

Sylvan 8522

Everglades 260

Riva 59

Formula 40 PC

Vectra 2572

Four Winns 318

Triumph 215

C-Dory 22

Hydra-Sports 23 introduces MAATS Award winning products available with discounted prices.  Click on the links below to get detailed descriptions, product features, and watch the videos with Capt. Rob Smith.

Meeting the demands of both commercial mariners and recreational boaters, the new McMurdo SMARTFIND heralds the arrival of the next generation in EPIRB technology. This compact and stylish unit is available as a standard 406 MHz EPIRB or for enhanced position location, with a built-in high accuracy GPS.

Smartfind Plus G5 GPS EPIRB - Manual Release
List Price: $849.99
Our Price: $810.99
You Save $39.00!

Smartfind Plus G5 GPS EPIRB - Automatic Release
List Price: $999.99
Our Price: $968.99
You Save $31.00!
Click to Order

Mustang Rescue Stick™ - Throwable Emergency Rescue Inflatable

Incredibly easy to use, the Rescue Stick™ provides rapid flotation assistance to a person at risk of drowning. Simply remove the baton shaped Rescue Stick™ from its waterproof bag and throw near the person. Once contact is made with the water it inflates in seconds to a large horseshoe shape keeping them afloat and their head above water until help arrives. Depending on the size of your boat you might want two or more.

List Price: $170.00
Our Price: $149.50
You Save $20.50!

The Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea by I.C.B. Dear and Peter Kemp

This definitive one-volume encyclopedia of ships, yachts, and the sea is long-awaited new edition edited by Englishman Ian Dear with contributions by many specialists.  The range of 2,600-plus entries – from A (Aaron Manby, the first iron steamship) to Y (yuoh, a Chinese term for "oar) – is extraordinary.

List Price: $65.00
Price: $45.50
Save: $19.50- Click to Order

Six Frigates:  The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy by Ian W. Toll

The up-and-down history of the American navy in its early days, from the Revolution's ragtag fleet through the surprising victories in the War of 1812, is told brilliantly.  "A must-read for fans of naval history and the early American Republic."

List Price: 27.95
Price: $18.45
Save: $ 9.50 -Click to Order

Boaters Nearly Blasted
They save two from sinking landing craft with 47,000 lbs. of explosives... see pix

USCG Rescues Boaters In a Fog
Boaters learn the value of GPS, a compass and common sense... read more
No Life Jacket? No Problem
Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries officials play nice with offending boaters... read more

KVH Has a Solution for Tube-Heads
Low-cost Sat TV antennas are now available as low as $3K... read more

Smart Buoys Lead the Way   
Water-based national historic trail through Chesapeake is nation's first... read more

New Broadband Sonar Technology From Lowrance
Don't give a fish a fighting chance with new technology... read more

Breakthrough in Deck Shoe Technology!
After only 40 years, Sperry improves traction and comfort... must read

Fishermen Lose More Weight
Fishing is a low-cost calorie burner... read study
Be sure to check out for tests of the latest models. | 51 Bank Street | Stamford, CT 06901 | Privacy Policy
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