New Fuel-Efficient Prop // 345 Conquest // Merry Fisher 855 // Azimut 72 - 03/26/2014
BoatTEST Newsletter March 26, 2014 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
IN THIS ISSUE
- Mercury Enertia ECO Prop
- Boston Whaler 345 Conquest
- Everglades 230 DC
- Evinrude E-TEC 90 PS
- Cruisers Yachts 45 Cantius
- Glastron GTS 187
- Tahoe 195
- Robalo R247
- Azimut 72S
- Meridian Yachts 541 Sedan
- Jeanneau Merry Fisher 855
- Premier 235 Solaris RE
- Marlow Mainship 32
- Bayliner 215 BR
- Tracker Pro 160
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson

Mercury Enertia ECO Prop:
Optimizing Economy
at Best Cruise

Mercury ECO Prop
The Mercury Enertia ECO prop was designed to provide more efficiency at cruise speed and directly save on operating costs.

Mercury has gone back to the drawing board and designed a new prop to operate more efficiently in the realm where most of us spend the bulk of our running time -- at cruising speeds. It seems that most props are focusing on quick hole shots or maximizing top speed but those areas mean little to someone operating a center console on an hours-long run to the fishing grounds. That’s why a prop that focuses on cruising speed performance is so much more advantageous. Let’s take a look at this all-new piece of technology from Mercury. More...

Ask a question

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Updated Captain's Report

Boston Whaler 345 Conquest:
Tested at 50 MPH with 3 x 300-hp Verados

Boston Whaler 345 Conquest
The Boston Whaler 345 Conquest is an express fishboat that is made for bluewater boating and coastal cruising for families.

We recently tested a Boston Whaler 345 Conquest powered by triple 300-hp Mercury Verados and hit a WOT speed of 50.0 mph on the nose. Best cruise speed was at 4500 rpm where she went 32.4 mph burning 39.55 gph. Her lower units were equipped with 17' pitch ss props. At her best cruise she has a 256 nautical mile range which means she can easily make it from Miami to Nassau on one load of fuel at any speed. More...

Test Drive

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Captain's Report

Everglades 230 DC:
The Dual Console for Fish-and-Ski

Everglades 230 DC
The Everglades 230 DC with outriggers is also able to tow wakeboarders, skiers or just tubers. Here we see her in towing mode (we have cropped out the wakeboarder).

The Everglades 230 DC is somewhat of a departure for Everglades, a builder that has concentrated heavily on fishing machines in center consoles and express types. Everglades’ mission with this boat as with all of its models is to produce the absolute best boat in class from the standpoints of quality, amenities, features, functionality, innovation and safety. That’s a tall order, it takes imagination, experience and money -- but we think Everglades has done it in the 230 DC. More...

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New Test Video

Evinrude E-TEC 90 Pontoon Series:
An Outboard Designed for Specific Duty

Evinrude E-TEC 90 Pontoon Series
In low-speed cruising mode, the Evinrude E-TEC 90 is remarkably fuel-efficient: 11.8 mpg to 16.0 mpg at 1000 rpm in the four tests we examined.

With over 35,000 pontoon boats being sold a year in the U.S. it is about time that an outboard engine maker designed an engine specifically for this application. Evinrude has done it and recently introduced a series of four engines specifically calibrated for that purpose from 65-hp to 150-hp. Today we look at the Evinrude E-TEC 90 Pontoon Series and four tests conducted on twin toons which illustrate the range of performance that can be expected. More...

Repower question

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Test Video

Cruisers Yachts 45 Cantius:
For Real Cruising Boaters

Cruisers Yachts 45 Cantius
The 45 Cantius is the newest boat in Cruisers Yachts series of high-styled, luxury express cruisers in the Cantius Series.

The Cruisers Yachts 45 Cantius is what we would call one of the most "mature" boats in class. Mature not because she is an old model -- on the contrary, she is quite new for this class of boat. Here we use the word "mature" because the boat is one dedicated to actual family cruising rather than being a boat for blasting over to the beach with some ladies for an afternoon of sun and frolic. To that end, the 45 Cantius has a greater beam, and greater displacement than most boats in class. The result is more room, more comfort, and better handling in a seaway. Not surprisingly, she appeals to more knowledgeable boat owners. More...

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Snapshot Review

Glastron GTS 187:
All-New Jet Boat with Style

Glastron GTS 187
Glastron’s first entrée in the jet boat class is new for 2014 and designed for sport and fun on the water. Note that the re-boarding ladder is on the centerline.

The all-new 2014 GTS 187 marks the brand’s first voyage into jet-powered pleasure boating. She brings strengths and features Glastron is known for including smart styling, Glastron’s touted “Super Stable Vee” (SSV) hull, and competitive pricing. Her Rotax 4-TEC jet power plant promises quick acceleration to get water skiers and wakeboarders up in a hurry. More...

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Captain's Report

Tahoe 195:
Deckboat for the Family

Tahoe 195
The Tahoe 195 deckboat has a rated capacity for 8 people and comes standard with a 4.3L 220-hp Mercury sterndrive.

Naturally, most any boat can be used for watersports and the 195 deckboat is no exception. But options are available to increase that functionality. A wakeboard tower will lift the towline to increase the ability to catch air coming off the wake. A new stereo with Bluetooth, MP3, AM/FM is standard, along with a Bimini top and a table. More...

Built this boat

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Captain's Report

Robalo R247:
4 "Distinguishing Features"

Robalo R247
For boaters who want a dual console and also something that looks more "shippy" than a sportboat, then we suggest looking at fishing boat builders.

The Robalo R247 has several important "distinguishing features" in a category that is known for its copy-cat, me-too, and nearly identical look. Those features are: 1) Kevlar laminated into the keel of the boat. 2) Several equipment packages that allow consumers to fit out for several specific missions without any hassle. 3) There are three different seating options. 4) The R247 is said to have one of the largest storage capacities in class. More...

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Snapshot Review

Azimut 72S:
Still Setting Style Trends

Azimut 72S
We can count five sunning venues on the Azimut 72S: the teak beach, the aft deck sun pad, the chaise lounges on the flying bridge aft, the large cushion to port of the helm, and the large sun pad on the bow.

There is no doubt that Azimut changed the world of motoryachts when it entered the picture in the 1980s. Not only did the builder bring excitement and style to a category of boats that was pretty much dominated by old fogies, but it brought to boating a whole new kind of boater -- younger, richer, more adventuresome, and above all, willing to accept new ideas. The Azimut 72S is the quintessential Azimut. Let's take look at her and see why...

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Features Video

Meridian Yachts 541 Sedan:
A Design Ahead of Its Time

Meridian 541 Sedan
Meridian took the U.S. sedan market by storm several years ago and retains its hegemony with styling, innovation and value.

There is a trend now to putting the galley aft in sedans and even in motoryachts which is something Meridian's designers foresaw several years ago when designing the 541 Sedan. Her salon is forward in the house and uses what appears to be real household-type furniture instead of typical built-in settees. We think this adds class and elegance to a boat that is quite competitive on price. This seating area is raised which means everyone can see out when cruising or dining. More...

Request brochure

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Captain's Report

Jeanneau Merry Fisher 855:
Cabin Cruiser with Outboard Power

Jeanneau Merry Fisher 855
The Merry Fisher 855 has the layout of an American cabin cruiser from yesteryear. The added wrinkle is outboard power.

The 28’6” (8.69 m) Merry Fisher 855 has two cabins and can accommodate still a third couple in a pinch. The dinette seating converts to multiple positions. The cockpit is clever and optional seats are offered. She can be powered by either single or twin outboards. We like this boat because she is a mini-cabin cruiser that is both economical to buy and operate. More...

Request brochure

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Test Video

Premier 235 Solaris RE:
3 Toons Are Better Than 2

Premier 235 Solaris RE
This drawing from the Premier website shows the relative sizes and shapes of the toons used by many pontoon builders compared to the ones used in the Premier PTX system. Standard pontoon diameters used by most builders range from 23" to 27" (58 to 68 cm) with the center toon being larger in some cases, but not in all.

While most pontoon boats might look the same from the dock, below the waterline is where some important differences appear. As can be seen in the drawing above, the Premier 235 Solaris differentiates herself from the competition with her center toon in the "PTX" hull configuration package. It is designed to increase both load carrying capacity and performance. We have tested the boat and performance data is available. More...

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Snapshot Review

Marlow Mainship 32:
Affordable Cruising

Marlow Mainship 32
Here we see the new Marlow Mainship 32 going close to her top speed of 16 mph. At displacement speeds she is one of the most economical cruising powerboats on the planet.

The Marlow Mainship was designed to appeal to a wide audience of Baby Boomers just now making plans to sail into the sunset as their reward for a lifetime of hard work . Marlow aims to make that dream possible with both a reasonable original price and low operating expenses. She is powered by a single diesel engine and is made for a couple. Find out more...

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Test Video

Bayliner 215 BR:
Good Riding and Easy Handling

Bayliner 215 BR
The styling of the 215 BR sheds a new light on this value-oriented brand.

The styling of the new Bayliners is something to behold, and the 215 BR is a prime example of a Bayliner that looks as good as virtually any boat in class these days. Equally as good is the handling of the 215 BR which our test captain says has no bad habits, and on the contrary -- has good habits. Much of that is because of her 20-degree deadrise at the transom and sharp forefoot that cleaves through chop. We tested her with a 5.0 L 260-hp MerCruiser sterndrive. More...

Request brochure

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Captain's Report

Tracker Pro 160:
$8,995 with 20-hp Outboard and Trailer*

Tracker Pro 160
*Plus freight and dealer prep. The all-welded aluminum Tracker Pro 160 is a "Ready-to-Fish" package that should eliminate any buying decision-procrastination by weekend anglers.

Even though this multi-species aluminum boat is only 16' (4.87 m) long, that does not mean its builder has skimped on fishing features. It has all the basic ones needed as standard, including -- a trolling motor, a livewell, a fishfinder, movable pedestal seats and casting platforms. Not easy to see, but just as important, is Tracker's rugged aluminum construction that should keep the boat in good shape for years. More...

Built this boat

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Where in the World?

Picture of the Week

Picture of the Week
Find out where this picture was taken and when.

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 on.


Expert Boating

 BoatTEST.com’s
4-DVD Boating Course

Smart Boating
Sometimes it's not what you know, but what you've forgotten. We have the perfect solution for you.

Based on the feedback we’ve been getting about BoatTEST.com's Video 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. It's the most complete boating course available… period. Order your 4-disc box set...

Watch the trailer...
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Lesson of the Week

Inlet Running and Docking

Captain Steve Smart Boating Cover
The seas will build up more as you approach an inlet so you’ll want to watch the waves closely and notice the pattern before heading in.

This week Captain Steve goes over seven lessons and guidelines on how to carefully approach an inlet in heavy waves. Captain Steve will also demonstrate some approaches that show how to dock going into the current, and he’ll explain how to dock with the tide behind the boat, and how to slowly drift into the dock with the tide. The videos presented this week are part of BoatTEST.com’s Smart Boating Course which is USCG-approved. Watch these video boating lessons every week on BoatTEST.com.

To view this week’s lessons --

Order all lessons on DVD--

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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.



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