TESTS: Evinrude 300, Triton 17 & 21, FinCraft 17, Lund 20, Tigé 24 - 07/21/2010
70 Dealers Take On
New FinCraft 17 SC Test
FinCraft has been getting a lot of attention lately for taking on the aluminum boat market with their low-cost, lightweight fiberglass boats built with VEC technology.
Just in the last several months, FinCraft has signed up 68 dealers in the U.S. and two overseas, a company spokesman told us this week. That's remarkable industry acceptance, particularly given the times we live in. And it is for precisely that reason, we suspect, that dealers understand that the boating paradigm has changed and that value-oriented, versatile fiberglass boats are the name of the new game.
Regular readers know that we like dual console boats, so it was with great interest that we took on the assignment to test the new FinCraft 17 SC in the Mississippi River to see how she performed. The boat is loaded with fishing amenities and hardware that one usually finds in more expensive boats, but the real measure of this boat will be in her performance.
Watch the video because it tells the story...
First Published Test:
The Volvo Penta "Sterndrive Joystick"
Five years ago Volvo Penta rocked the boating world with its revolutionary IPS system with pod drives and a joystick. The IPS propulsion system was just for inboard-powered boats at the small end of the range (where the unit numbers are largest). Its joystick made docking so easy even a caveman could do it and the system became very popular. Many people actually moved up from twin sterndrive boats to inboard power just to
be able to get the joystick function. Now Mom (and Dad) could easily dock the boat without providing amusing entertainment for dockside gawkers. Over the years, over 10,000 boats have been sold with Volvo's IPS system.
But what about twin sterndrive boats? Why couldn't Volvo Penta development a joystick system for them?
It could, and it has. Now, see our video and read all about it...
Triton 21HP Elite DC:
Speed, Thrills, and Feature-Packed
Sometimes it's just not enough to have a fast bass boat; you want it to be the "whole
package" -- the deluxe version with all of the amenities. That’s where the Triton
21HP Elite DC comes in. We found this to be one of the best-equipped and feature-packed
bass boats that we’ve tested. That means you’re not only going to be able to compete
in tournament-level competition, but with the Elite package you’ll be comfortable
Let’s take a look at the details...
We Test the
The Evinrude E-TEC series of engines has been living up to its claims pretty much across the board during a series of tests we recently conducted on some of its engines. That, coupled with the fact that Evinrude is backing the engines with a 3-year warranty and a required dealer maintenance schedule of once every 3 years or 300 hours, makes it plain to see that this makes for an attractive series of engines. Today, we test the E-TEC 300-hp that is bolted onto a Dusky 233 to see how it performs.
To see for yourself, just take a look at the video...
How, When, and Who
To Call For Assistance
You’re 10 miles offshore and dead in the water. You pick up the cell phone and... oops, no signal. It seems that the cell towers are aimed more at populated areas than open water. Go figure. Now it’s time to get on the radio. It should come as no surprise that fewer and fewer boats are even equipped with a VHF radio these days and, of the boaters that do have one, a large percentage does not know how to use it. So today, we go over the procedure for making a call for assistance, when to make that call, and who to call in the first place. Question number one: Are you in danger or just disabled? Our own Capt. Steve, who narrates the BoatTEST.com Smart Boating Course, has made a special video sponsored by the folks at Sea Tow to go over the procedures. Make sure every member of your family sees this important video. Start here...
Article brought to you courtesy of Sea
Formula 290 FX4:
The Grand Tour Begins
Last week we introduced the Formula 290 FX4, so now it’s time to take a detailed
video look at what makes this boat such a standout among the high-end Formula fleet.
In today’s video, we show you what Formula has brought to the dock. Yes, her exterior
is sleek and stylish, but that is only part of the story. Like many things in life,
the details of the Formula 290 FX4 have to be seen to be appreciated. Let’s step aboard...
Lund 2075 Pro-V:
Durable and Low Maintenance
Most boaters may not know it, but the outboard aluminum fishboat is one of the few market segments that has been growing over the last few years, so it's no wonder
there are so many models to choose from. Lund has told us they want to provide this growing market segment with a high-end model that leaves nothing out. They also told us they build a boat that is tough, has a very good ride, and provides everything a fisherman could ask for in an aluminum boat. So we sent a test captain to take the 2075 Pro-V through the paces to see what Lund had to offer.
Grab your PFD and hit the water...
Glacier Bay 2740 DC:
Large, Offshore Workhorse
There is nothing quite so exciting to us as a new boat design. Think of the possibilities. As you read this, the folks at Glacier Bay in Tarboro, North Carolina are building hull #1 of the new Glacier Bay 2740 DC which is scheduled to be in the water in September and ready for the fall boat shows. This is our sneak peek at what looks to be a versatile offshore fishing platform. But because she draws only 18", she can work bays and the flats just as well. She is designed for twin 150-hp 4-stroke engines which should give her good range.
Find out more...
Triton VT 17:
An Aluminum Freshwater Warrior
The key to successful new boat buying is to not only properly assess the boats you are considering, but also – and maybe even more important -- to correctly recognize your own specific needs. Will you use the boat for casual fishing, a certain specie, on large lakes or small, with just one buddy or the whole family, and will you be pulling it up on a rocky shore or not, and how much of a load can your current tow vehicle pull? When a fishing boat is designed, it’s usually mission-specific. Match the two – your needs with the boat’s intended mission – and you will likely get a good boat for the lowest cost. The Triton VT 17 seems to have the stones to compete with much more expensive boats, but at a price low enough to make weekend warriors smile – under $15K MSRP powered with a 75-hp engine. We recorded a WOT of 40 mph with a 75, which made our test captain smile.
Take a look at our new video of the Triton VT 17...
Tigé 24 Vé -- New Full Wake Test
Tigé has made big waves among the wakeboard set the last couple of years thanks to its TAPS2 innovation and its even newer "Tigé Touch" display which handles virtually all of the electronic functions on the boat from one intuitive touch pad at the helm. It is so easy, even Capt. Steve could use it without reading the manual. Tigé
has designed the 24 Vé to be a good-all around tow boat for skiing, wakeboarding, wake surfing, footing or just about anything else you can dream up to do off the stern of a boat. Watch the video as our cameraman had a hard time keeping up as Capt. Steve put the Tigé through his paces.
Grab the tow rope here...
Scout 262 Abaco:
Stylish Express Fishboat
According to NMMA figures fewer than 600 outboard-powered express boats were sold in 2009, and most of those were express fishboats. While that is not many units, in fact as a percent of overall outboard boat sales, the express category is growing. We suspect that most of that growth is at the expense of the walk-around category that is just 37% of what it was in 2002. In fact some builders are actually building outboard express fishboats and are still calling them walk-arounds even though they have lost virtually all of the attributes of that endangered specie. Express fishboats are also getting smaller. For the last several years the Scout brand has been coming on strong and today they build five express fishboats from 22' to 35'. Today we take a look at one of its models right in the middle -- the Scout 262 Abaco.
Skeeter FX 21 Bass Boat:
Designed for Yamaha 4-Strokes
In what may have been a bass boat industry first, Skeeter Boat Company, which is owned by Yamaha, got its boat designers and engineers together with those of the Yamaha engine division to design a boat specifically for running with the new Yamaha VMAX SHO four-stroke engines. This is significant since virtually every bass boat on the market was designed for 2-stroke power. By designing the new Skeeter FX 21 specifically for four-stroke Yamahas, the company hopes to get 4-stroke traction in the large bass boat market which is almost exclusively powered by 2-stroke engines. In 2009, according to NMMA figures, 22,440 new bass boats were sold in the U.S. That's a lot of 2-stroke engines.
Let's take a look at the Skeeter FX 21...
Yamaha FZ Series
When the FZ series was introduced in 2009, one of its main focal points was the
newly designed hull. This new hull included a dihedral keel, a new over-sized water
inlet duct, and angled chines to help with control and stability in turns. When
our own Capt. John Wenz put it to work on the water, he came away feeling that Yamaha
had more than just a great new Waverunner -- he felt that the company had a winner
on its hands. In fact, in 2010, the FZ has won more than ten national Pro competitions,
in both open and stock, Men’s and Women’s competition including APBA National Tour,
Round 1 – Expert Runabout Limited, APBA National Tour, Round 1 – Women’s Runabout
Limited, APBA National Tour, Round 1 – Pro-Am Runabout Stock...you get the idea.
Capt. John’s prediction has proved to be correct. See the full test as well as the special “hull” feature by squeezing
the throttle now...
Translations, Übersetzung, Traduzione
About one-third of the visitors to BoatTEST.com now come from outside of the U.S. Nearly half of the e-mails we receive come from outside North America. During the last several years BoatTEST.com has become truly an international website where boaters world-wide can get the information they need to make a better decision about what boat to buy. Recently, Google introduced a new tool bar that automatically translates English into any one of 44 languages. Thanks to Google, with three clicks you can translate any page on BoatTEST.com into any one of these languages. If English is not your first language, we urge you to try this new translation service.
Here It Is: The BoatTEST.com
Boating Course on DVD!
We're happy and proud to announce that at long last, BoatTEST.com's Boating Course, narrated by
our own Capt. Steve, is now available in a box set of 4 DVDs. Now you can watch it
in the comfort of your living room on your TV. With over 10 hours of video instruction
on 4 DVDs, this course has more video content than any other recreational boating
course available! It is the definitive “Professional Guide for the Average Boater”...
loaded with real-world examples, and how-to do it instruction. This course will
take you from beginner to the professional level of boating knowledge, or if you
are an old salt, it will remind you of all the things you have forgotten. And, it's
great for the whole family! To order your box set of 4 DVDs...
"Serious Marine Cleaner"
If you have ever tried a regular house cleaner on your boat, then you have probably learned quickly how stubborn saltwater spray and grime can be. We used Shurhold "Serious Marine Cleaner" on glass, plastic, vinyl, fiberglass, rubber and metal. We can report back that we were able to clean all the surfaces with very little effort. On plastics and rubber we liked how fast it cleaned up, but more importantly to us, it did not discolor the surfaces. What we found when cleaning glass was that the "Serious Marine Cleaner" rapidly dissolved the baked on salt spray and grime, and did not leave a film or streaks. On metal it easily removed the grime as well as the rust stains that were around some screws. On the vinyl and other surfaces it was equally as effective. We even went a little nuts and cleaned out the engine compartment and found it great for grease and oil.
Serious Marine Cleaner link...
Do Your Props Have the Right
Cup, Rake, Slip, Pitch, & Hub?
The more we research some subjects, the more we discover that some of the assumptions we have operated on for years are not correct. There is probably no field in the boating world that is more of a black art, or where there is more misinformation,
than in re-propping. But getting the right prop is not really a matter of voodoo. It's more of a matter of finding out there is a prop problem (or a remedy) in the first place, then a matter of finding an expert you can trust who can recommend what you need. We hit the important basics and examine some alternatives in this short report on prop basics.
Cut to the chase...
Fill out this simple worksheet to find out what prop is right for you...
"Where all think alike, no one thinks much." - Cato
Trophy 2206 DC:
Dual Console, Dual Roles
There is probably no boat type that is more versatile or at home in any boating setting than a small to medium-sized dual console boat. The salty anglers will accept you, and the sportboat crowd will envy you. Trophy is a Brunswick brand that was conceived years ago on the concept of giving good value and reasonable utility for the buck. Combine that attitude with the dual console design and you have the Trophy 2206 DC. Our testing captain thinks it does a good job of being a successful crossover between family bowrider and basic fishing platform – all at an affordable price, which is Trophy’s claim to fame. The Trophy 2206 DC may not have all of the esoteric gadgets and gilhickies of flat-out fishing machines, but she is nicely equipped given the price.
Let’s take a closer look...
Premier 235 Sunsation FS:
Testing a Tri-Toon with 115-HP
If you are new to the world of toons, then there are several basic things you should know. First, if you want to use a toon for waterskiing you will need to get a pontoon boat with three tubes (sometimes called "logs"), otherwise known as a "tri-toon." Second, make sure your engine is large enough to get your skier up quickly. Third, modern pontoon boats have lots of amenities and you can pretty much find a toon to fit your individual needs. For example, the toon test we are showing today of the Premier 235 FS has a concealed "changing room," which can come in handy.
Let's take a video look at this huge toon...
Picture of the Week
Only in Dreams?
See a larger picture, when and who took the picture -- and where!
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Are You Looking
For a New Boat?
If you are currently researching a new boat, the BoatTEST staff will be happy to
provide their expertise and guidance to you via email or phone. This is part of
our "Member Services" program and there is no charge. We do not sell boats and we
are not a dealer. Our purpose is to provide you with our insights and recommendations
and to leverage our industry relationships in your favor. Sign in here --
Your Marine Battery:
How to Keep it Working
Most boats alternate getting their power from a genset or the yellow cord, so it’s easy to overlook the batteries -- but lead and acid need love, too. Fortunately, taking care of your batteries is about as simple a seagoing maintenance chore as there is, usually demanding little more than visual inspection and a quick wipe down with a rag. Ignore your batteries though, and one day you’ll turn the key and hear not your engine roaring to life, but only the slow groan of an underpowered starter motor.
Here’s how to avoid that...
Goes Fast and Climbs Rocks, too!
Our trusty readers are ever vigilant to record new aspects of the sport early in their development. Last week we received a set of pictures recently taken on Lake Mead that leads us to believe that there is a new breed of power boater hell-bent on combining mountain climbing with boating. The boat involved was a Hallett 290 and as these pictures will attest, the boat is as tough as they come. Granted that blasting along at 70 or 80 miles an hour can get tedious after awhile, so we can well understand a jaded speedster's desire to climb the side of a granite wall. Please don't try this with just any boat, or even your SUV for that matter!
Lesson of the Week
Tips on Boat Launching and Retrieval
This week Capt. Steve goes over guidelines on the step-by-step process to launching and retrieving your boat. Learn some basic tips on maneuvering your vehicle with the trailer and how to back it up properly. Watch Capt. Steve as he launches his boat and walks you through the process and techniques; from where to position your vehicle, to how much power you should use to get the boat back on the trailer. Capt. Steve will even show you how to do this if you’re boating alone. And he makes it look easy. Just remember practice makes perfect. These are basic procedures that all recreational boaters should be aware of. The videos presented this week are part of BoatTEST.com’s USCG-approved Smart Boating course. Watch these video boating lessons every week on BoatTEST.com.
To view this week’s lesson --
To view past lessons --
Ducky Award Winner
"Quick, WHO has the right of way?"
- M. Fitzpatrick
"Now, whatever you do matey...do NOT luff the mains'l!" - H. Hollinger
Honorable (almost) Mention
"American Airlines launches its first penny saver flight to Europe." - R. Lary
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