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We Test Them Head-to-Head:
IPS Beats V-Drives "Hands-Down"
in 45' Formula Test

The IPS-Powered Formula 45 Yacht w/ Joy Stick 


The V-Drive-Powered Formula 45 Yacht/No Joy Stick

In the spring of 2006 Formula introduced its 45 Yacht with conventional V-drive twin diesels. In late fall it introduced the same yacht with Volvo Penta IPS drives. Since January 2007 95% of the Formula 45 Yachts sold have been ordered with the IPS drive system, according to Formula VP Wayne Porter. The same sales ratio holds true for the Formula 40PC, he said, as virtually every buyer is opting for the IPS.  "The magic is on the dash," Porter said, "it is called a Joy Stick."

This big, classy express cruiser coupe now has the handling of a runabout. That means a cruising couple that isn't comfortable docking and sliding into tight marina space doesn't have to worry anymore.  It's a piece-of-cake for anyone.

But that's just the beginning.  Last summer we tested the new Formula 45 with twin Volvo Penta 575-hp D9 diesel V-drives.  This summer we tested the 45 powered with twin Volvo Penta 435-hp IPS 600s. The comparison is eye-opening. To find out about the seven important advantages of IPS... click here.

Premier Pontoons
Brings an Old Concept
into the 21st Century

Pontoon boats are now catching the fancy of megayacht owners and baby boomers

The pontoon boat has come a long way, not only in the areas of luxury and features but in performance, too. The Premier 310 Boundary Waters PTX can reach 47 mph powered with twin 225-hp Mercury Verados. (Click here to see test.)

Traditional boaters used to look down their noses at pontoon boats as something used by fat, old people on small Midwestern lakes at sundown. After all, they were hardly even a "real boat", but a just a glorified raft, the  "real yachtsmen" used to say. Well, they are not saying that any more.
Megayacht builder and veteran yacht broker (Colonial Yacht Sales) Mike Joyce recently reported overhearing two megayacht owners discussing the pontoon boats they had just bought for their lakefront summer homes.
After wakeboard boats, pontoon boats are now the fastest evolving, most innovative class of boats on the market today -- and they have the features, performance, and price tags to prove it. To find out more, we spent time with Mike Menne, VP of Premier Pontoon boats, one of the leading brands in the field.

*There's good reason why the 221 feels bigger than a 22-footer... see for yourself

*Find out what's on the horizon from Premier... click here

*Comfort and space from bow to stern... have a look now

*BoatTEST tests the 275 Intrigue PTX... click here

*BoatTEST tests the 225 Legend RE... click here

Are Ugly Condos
Killing Marinas

In Your Town?
New Internet Tool Gives You An
"Instant Marina Economic Impact Study"
to Fight Waterfront Condo Blight

This "Berlin Wall of Condos" can be found in downtown Portland, Maine. Note highly-restricted boat dockage and no public access. Nearby, Dimillo's floating restaurant and marina provide waterviews for everyone, create huge employment and bring millions of dollars to Portland's business community -- and boating access!

A new boating industry initiative should give boat owners and marinas more ammunition when it comes time to dig in their heels and fight commercial development. The Online Boating Economic Impact Tool is the nation's only web-based means for estimating the economic impact of marinas across the country.
More and more local zoning boards and communities are rejecting the "Kool Aid" given to them by greedy real estate developers and are deciding to protect marinas and waterfront views, to be destroyed. Now, you can give your local zoning officials the benefit of an "instant economic impact study" of marinas.
To find out more... click here.
Visit our Partners at

Add a Taco T-Top
To Your Center Console

 Pre-Fab Taco T-top for CC boats.
BoatTEST Capt. Bob Smith examines the pre-fab Taco T-top for center console boats... See Video

Repower With
Barr Marine Engines

5.7-liter Vortec bobtail engine

BoatTEST Capt. Bob Smith runs through the advantages of repowering with Barr Marine... click here

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

Roses and Brick Bats

Readers have mostly good things to say about their boats and engines this week... click here

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

To see comments about boat brands and models...

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. Announces A New Innovative Product – The Y Mooring Strap

The Y Mooring Straps – These 6 foot mooring straps with Hand Grips are designed for docking your boat. They are 3,500 lbs rated and mold & mildew resistant. They can withstand all types of weather and are available in four colors.

List Price: $24.00
Our Price: $20.00
You Save $4.00!
Click here to Order

Check out over 175 products that are on SALE in our Store. Everything you need to winterize your boat.

Little Pal Hand Pump

List Price: $48.99
Our Price: $45.19
Sale Price: $33.75
You Save $15.24!
Order this Product

Stretch Cord – Blue 5/16" X 100'

List Price: $35.99
Our Price: $30.50
Sale Price: $27.25
You Save $8.74!-
Order this Product

Do-It-Yourself Boat Winterizer

List Price: $62.99
Our Price: $52.99
Sale Price: $41.50
You Save $21.49!
Order this Product

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



CMD Launches
3 New Sterndrive Diesels

Intended for 16' to 35' sterndrive boats; can be inboards, too.

The New QSD2.0 150-hp sterndrive diesel has been tested in a Bayliner 210 Cuddy.
The company says its WOT is 31 mph at 4070 rpm.

Last Thursday, August 23rd, Cummins MerCruiser Diesel (CMD) unveiled three new engines to its world-wide distributor network in Charleston, S.C. These new diesels are rated from 115-hp to 350-hp and can be suitable replacements for outboard power and gas engines in many applications. To read all about the new engines and the exciting new possibilities they offer to boat builders and for re-power... click here

A 1800cc Yamaha PWC
Hits the Market

 It's Faster and Lighter
Than Anything Out There

The Yamaha FX Cruiser SHO is a total package of luxury, innovative features, and most of all, performance.

The FX Cruiser SHO's 1.8 liter supercharged Yamaha marine engine is the largest displacement engine ever built into a production PWC. The Super High Output engine includes an onboard computer, making this the first PWC with an electronic throttle. Along with engine performance enhancements, there are some other benefits that fall into the comfort and convenience category such as the industry's first cruise control. Now increasing or decreasing RPMS is accomplished by the touch of "up" or "down" buttons. In addition, you've got Yamaha's "No Wake Mode" and "Reverse Traction Control" features. Yamaha is also the first manufacturer to use Nanotechnology in its construction of PWCs, which ultimately translates into lighter hull weight and increased speed. Check out our video and test of this Super High Output.

Get a Boat History Report
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 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.

The Next Generation

Mercury Raises the Bar with its NEW Version of
Digital Throttle and Shift (DTS)

Before SmartCraft DTS, a triple engine boat could need up to a total of six different throttles and shifts.

We like any product that makes boating simpler and therefore more enjoyable. Mercury's SmartCraft is one such product—actually, it's a team of integrated products—that does just this. BoatTEST Director of Testing Capt. Bob Smith got a chance to see how the SmartCraft Digital Throttle and Shift (DTS) works.

Tom Burkard, Mercury's General Manager of Controls and Rigging, gave him a first-hand look at the NEW SmartCraft System that integrates and controls a plethora of information from four 300-hp Mercury Verados on a Sea Vee 390 CC. Take a look by clicking on the links below...

How Does SmartCraft Docking Mode Work?... see video

Engine Synching Defined... hear it and see it

How Does Engine Synching Protect Engines?... hear it now

Simplify With Shadow Mode... have a look now

SmartCraft DTS Key Features...
click here
We Test 7 "Walkarounds"

You Can't Beat 'Em for Family/Fish Fun.
Compare Fishing Equipment, Cabins,
Cockpits, Price, and Warranty

The Mako 264 Express has the fishability of a "Walkaround" rig, in an "Express" design that the whole family can enjoy. Larger "Walkaround" boats are morphing into "Express" models.

"Walkarounds" began life as center consoles that had a cuddy with recessed side decks, slightly higher safety rails with which to steady oneself in a bumpy sea. In this way an angler could easily "walk around" the boat from bow to stern following a rambunctious game fish without having to maneuver the boat, yet still have a place for two tight bunks, a Porta Potti and shelter from a summer squall. These boats developed 25 or 30 years ago, first by one builder, then copied by many other center console makers.

The "Express" fishboat started life as a "Combi" – short for "combination fishing and cruising" bridge deck boat. In this case the "bridge deck" referred to the raised deck where the helm was placed. This evolved into the "Express Fishboat" that typically were between 28' and 36', but which have now grown to over 60' in some custom boats.

So where does the "Walkaround" end and the "Express" begin? You be the judge. The size of the side decks and ease of working a fish around the boat, the height of the bridge deck, and the size of the boat are all considerations. But in the end it makes no difference. A rose by any other name is still a rose.

Whatever you call them they are a great concept... see our tests.

Glastron 279

Mako 1901

Cruisers Yachts 390

Sea-Doo 230

Doral Mediterra

Calcutta 263

Regal 2000

Premier 225 Legend

Alumacraft Pro 175

Tahoe Q4

Yamaha SX 210


Outfitting & Organizing Your Boat by Michael Frankel

Whether you are a day boater or live-aboard cruiser this book will help you organize your boat. Michael incorporates forms, charts, radio frequencies, and first aid in a quick-reference format. Michael begins with outfitting your boat for its intended use and continues with items needed on board to ensure a safe and a pleasurable journey in a complete organized way.

List Price: $24.95
Price: $16.47
Save: $8.48- Order here

Chapman Trailering: The Complete Guide to Pulling, Parking, Launching & Retrieving Your Boat By Joe Skorupa and Pat Piper

This book covers all the basics: from individual explanations of the boat, trailer, and towing vehicle to a complete discussion of how they work together. You'll find out about common problems and how to anticipate the things that can--and sometimes will--go wrong. There's an on-the-road checklist, information on maintenance, and advice on accessories. With this knowledge, you'll be able to boat safely and efficiently wherever a launch ramp is available.
Price $14.95- Click here to order

Quick and Easy Boat Maintenance: 1,001 Time-Saving Tips by Sandy Lindsey

Treasure chests of proven labor-savers that can help you get those pesky maintenance chores done faster--so you can get out on the water and play. Here are 1,001 tested tips from Boating Magazine's maintenance expert, giving super-effective yet environmentally friendly ways to clean and maintain all your boat's systems: deck, hull, cabin, engine, bilge, electrical systems, tanks, and gear. Stop working on your boat and go boating!

List Price: $15.95
Price: $10.85
You Save: $5.10
Order this Book

Kings of Mackerel Team Never Finishes First,
But Takes Regional Kingfish Crown... read more

Star-Gazing Boaters Killed
Small Jon Boats are virtually invisible at night and are vulnerable... read more

Man Drowns With Arm in Cast--No PFD
Human bouyancy is minimal... read more

The Drug Sub
Coke found on submarine/boat hybrid... see picture
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