Beneteau Swift 34:
Your Cruising Dream's Within Range
Sit at a bar in any marina and sooner or later you'll hear stories of how someone's going to say goodbye to the rat race and run down the clock cruising around the country. The problem is, most of them will never do it as they consider it to be a dream that's out of reach. But Beneteau has a thing or two to say about that with their affordable Swift 34. With her semi displacement hull you can choose to cruise fast for short runs, or slow for weeks at a time. All while living very comfortably.
Our full test had some revealing performance features so let's take a look at the video...
Volvo Penta Gas Engines:
Designing for the Future
Last year the team at Volvo Penta told us they are committed to designing the next generation of gasoline engines. We recently tested three new engines and it appears as though they are right on track. The company
is producing fully computerized digital engine packages that are plug and play ready for a multitude of capabilities. Our tests have shown many of the positive aspects of the new focus on gas engine design, such at the monitoring and control features of EVC. Here are three recent engine tests on the 5.0L, 5.7L, and the 8.1L. We will soon test the all new 4.3L. Dive in here...
New Test Video
Sea Ray 250 SLX:
A Bowrider With Elbow Room
Our recent tests showed that if you're looking for an up-scale bowrider with lots of elbow room, the Sea Ray 250 SLX might be calling your name. Her 26' 6" (8.07 m) of LOA is enough for a sizeable forward cockpit with lounges for full-size adults, room aft for a spacious wraparound bench seat, and a private head compartment. Add the optional watersports tower for skiing or wakeboarding.
the test results...
Is SS The New CC?
There's not much difference between one center console fishing boat and the next. But Regulator has done a little "outside the box" thinking with their 34's floor plan and created forward seating that wraps around the front of the console. That's an interesting move, and when you add in the engine bracket, a console that you can cook in, and that also sleeps two comfortably, then you have a boat that is worth a closer look. The fact that she's built tough is icing on the cake…a well equipped cake.
Request Price Quote
Prestige 500 Fly:
She Has a Full-Beam Owner's Suite
The 49' 10" (15.2 m) LOA Prestige 500 Fly will appeal to serious cruising folks who enjoy living aboard for extended periods, but don't want to sacrifice comfort along the way. Volvo Penta IPS frees up space amidships for a sumptuous owner's suite; placing the galley in the salon not only makes the cook happier, but makes room below for two guest cabins.
But why is the galley aft?
Bayliner 335 SB:
Balance of Cost & Cruise-Ability
Bayliner's queen of the fleet is the 335 SB, a 32'6" (9.91 m) LOA express cruiser that can be powered with twin MerCruiser gas or CMD diesel sterndrives. And her price (MSRP is $148,826) includes one secret "standard" that Bayliner builds into every one of its boats.
Discover what she is hiding here...
Triumph 215 CC:
She's Not Fiberglass!
At first glance the Triumph 215 CC looks like a garden-variety center console fishboat,
but get up close and you'll find there's something different about her: This 22'
(6.71 m) outboard isn't made out of fiberglass, nor aluminum. She's built of Roplene,
and the company says that makes her the World's Toughest Boat. What the heck is Roplene and is this boat any good?
Cranchi Zaffiro 36:
A Different Sportboat Design
There are few places on earth quite like northern Italy, home of not only the Renaissance
but also of Ferrari, Lamborghini, Gucci, Bulgari, Versace, Armani and many more
of the world's high profile products. Italian cabinet-making is
the envy of
craftsmen everywhere. In the middle of all of this industry and design talent are several boat builders producing elegant and refined small boats. One of them is Cranchi and our
COO Christopher Hughes had a chance to get on board the Zaffiro 36 with a cameraman.
along for the tour...
Buddy Davis 52 Express:
Buddy Davis’ life’s work was fishing the edge of the continental shelf off the Carolina Coast -- first as a crewman, then as a captain, later as a big game charter boat owner, and finally as a builder putting everything he learned from the bilge up into his fishing machines. We have great respect for these kind of boat builders. The Buddy Davis 52 Express is not for everyone, but it should be considered by serious big game anglers who want to dash to the edge and back in a fully functional fishboat.
Our Capt. Steve takes a first video look -- set this hook.
In the Engine Room
Evinrude E-TEC 25:
A Little Engine with a Lot Going On
One look at the E-TEC 25 from Evinrude will tell you that this is clearly not an
average outboard. Quite the opposite, in fact: We found it to be a feature-packed
little powerhouse with a lot going for it. Gone are the days of reaching around
to the side of the engine to shift, and we loved the throttle as well as steering
tension adjustments. But those are just a few of the external goodies. There’s more
under the cover and it’s all in our video tour of the Evinrude E-TEC 25 features.
Formula 45 Yacht:
Just because you want to be in the 40-something realm of boat length, doesn’t mean
you have to compromise on performance. Formula proves this with their updated 45
Yacht, now equipped with Volvo Penta IPS as standard. What hasn't changes is fit and finish, exactly what you’ve
come to expect Formula. Capt. Steve caught up with this boat while she was on display in
New York and brought the camera in for a little look-see. Take it away Capt. Steve...
Hydra-Sports 202 DC:
Will Your Family Like Her?
We have been testing Hydra-Sports boats for many years now, and with MasterCraft
taking the helm as the parent company we are seeing some interesting changes.
Here is a short review of the 202 DC, a well-built and good-looking family, fish,
or utility boat. Regular readers know we like dual console boats and the 202
DC reminds us why. Take a look...
Intrepid 327 CC:
Not Just a Grown Up 323
Intrepid had a remarkable success run with their 323 CC. In fact, she was their most popular model, and with good reason. But you can either sit on your laurels, or keep moving forward. Intrepid chose the latter, and did a complete redesign, not just a stretch, of the 323 and what emerged is this new 327. With an almost cult-like brand loyalty that Intrepid enjoys from their customer base, we wanted to know… can this 327 keep up?
Let's look at the features and find out...
Larson LXi 238:
We Like Her Style
Too many bowriders suffer from ho-hum styling, so it’s nice to see Larson making
an effort to lift their LXi 238 above the fleet. By incorporating accent stripes
to highlight the sinuous deck line, plush upholstery on virtually every horizontal
surface, a cool optional arch that seems to defy gravity and lots of innovative
detailing, the company has created a boat that should appeal to folks who think
out of the box – but not too far out: Basically, the LXi 238 is a conventional bowrider
built to Larson’s usual standards. And that’s good. For more about the boat, hit the jump.
Handle & Brushes
The team at BoatTEST.com has rolled up their sleeves and gone to work. We took Shurhold’s Telescoping Handle and brushes out to the dock and did some cleaning. The six foot Telescoping Handle was very adaptable with four different lengths between 40” and 72”. We were able to clean the deck and then the hull with the same handle. Next we did a comparison test with the Shurhold Deck Brush, one that BoatTEST.com has been using for two years. The polystyrene bristles were all still intact and the split fiber ends were still soft. Other than some dirt, the wooden block was not cracked and the rubber bumper was still resilient.
Take a look at the video to see the Telescoping Handle and brushes in action...
Where in the World?
Picture of the Week
See the larger picture, when and who took it -- and where!
Send us your favorite boating images.
When sending a photo, let us know when, where and what boat you were
DVD Boating Course
Based on the feedback we’ve been getting about BoatTEST.com's Smart Boating Course it’s clearly not only for beginners, but also for veteran boaters as well. Perhaps that is why the NMMA started promoting the course after just one look.
Order your copy here...
Captain Steve's First Ever
Docks come in all shapes and sizes and you can find them made out out everything from concrete to pressure-treated lumber to aluminum ladders and plywood. At BoatTEST we have seen it all when it comes to docks, so we thought it was time to start taking a closer look, branch out a bit and show our members what's out there.
Come along as Capt. Steve conducts his first ever Dock Test.
Love Your Tender,
Love It True, Never Let It...
Elvis had it right, but some skippers get so wrapped-up in maintaining their big boat, they forget about their little ones – the tenders. They need love, too.
Almost every boat carries at least one tender, usually an inflatable or RIB. Whether it lives on chocks on the boat deck, hangs on davits or rests, tipped on its side, on the swim platform, a tender is a both useful and expensive accessory. A little TLC every now and then will make its life longer and happier. And it will make you feel good knowing that you showed affection for the little lady you keep on the side. Here’s how to keep her looking fresh and perky...
25 Points to Compare
Check Point #2:
How Much Horsepower?
Which Brand Engine?
Most repeat boat buyers know that new boat dealers often direct them to a boat that's
in stock, rather than one that specifically meets the customer's needs or the one they walked into the showroom to see. Because of the Great Recession nearly all boat dealers are carrying far fewer boats in inventory than ever before. The result is that the boat that is best for you has a greater chance of not being there. That's why you need to figure out before you get into the showroom how much horsepower and which brand engine you want in your new boat.
Here is the #2 installment in our series of "25 Points to Compare...
Lesson of the Week
How to Anchor Your Boat
This week Capt. Steve will go over nine new lessons and guidelines on the different types of anchors and anchoring procedures. Learn about the criteria when selecting a good spot to anchor, how to correctly set an anchor and the step-by-step process to ensure the anchor is secured to the bottom. Anchoring your boat in a secluded spot for the day or just off the shoreline is a lot of fun and more boaters should experience the freedom of being on the hook rather than tied up dockside.
The videos presented this week are part of BoatTEST.com’s Boating
Course which is USCG-approved. Watch these video boating lessons every week on BoatTEST.com.
To view this week’s lessons --
To view past lessons --
Ducky Award Winner
"His divorce was final last week. He got the boat!" - B. Vines
"Honey, why don't you stand up and show them a Roman Candle." - J. Winner
"I cannot believe that guy shot off all those flares just to create enough light
to see my boobs." - M. Burton
You write the caption! Will you win the coveted "Ducky Award" for best caption?
Simply fill in your caption and you may get lucky -- quack here.
We need reader help!
If you have a picture that you think needs some explanation, email it to us.
All articles, Captain's Reports, video content or other
material which appear on BoatTEST.com and in its newsletters are accurate and factual
to the best knowledge of BoatTEST.com and its staff. All findings, beliefs, experiences,
or endorsements presented are the honest opinions of BoatTEST.com or its contributors.
In compliance with FTC 16 CFR Part 255 BoatTEST.com advises its readers that content
that appears in its newsletter or on its website may have been produced for compensation
or the prospect of future compensation. BoatTEST.com makes no claims for the veracity
or motivation of reader comments, Owners’ Reports, and other contributions which
are all clearly labeled as such.