Bayliner Element XL // Hurricane 201 // Glastron GT 225 // 13 Reviews - 05/14/2014
BoatTEST Newsletter May 14, 2014 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
IN THIS ISSUE
- Bayliner Element XL
- Mercury ECO Prop
- Hurricane Sundeck 201
- Beneteau GT 44
- Glastron GT 225
- Monte Carlo Yachts 70
- Volvo Penta V8-380
- Sea Ray 280 Sundeck
- Cruisers Yachts 48 Cantius
- Nitro Z-6
- Manitou 25 SES
- Nordic Tugs 26cr
- Meridian Yachts 441 Sedan
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson

Bayliner Element XL:
New Economical
Sportboat Tested

Bayliner Element XL
At 18' (5.49 m) the new Bayliner Element XL can carry more people and handle more horsepower than her 16' (4.88 m) little sister.

In addition to being easy to operate, because the Bayliner Element XL has the "M-hull" bottom, she is practically idiot-proof when it comes to loading her onto the trailer. The bunks fit so well inside the outer sponsons that it self-aligns when driving onto the trailer. Boat, engine and trailer are all part of the package. More...

Test Drive

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New Technical Video

Mercury Enertia ECO Prop:
Maxing 3-Bladed Surface Area

Mercury ECO Prop
During our comparison test, the new 3-blade Enertia ECO prop was 33% more fuel efficient at 3000 rpm compared with Mercury's 4-blade REV 4 prop.

There is much more blade area on the Mercury Enertia ECO prop than is typical of a 3-bladed prop. In our comparison test against a 4-blade Mercury Revolution 4 prop, we found that the extra blade area of the ECO prop virtually matched it. Typically a 19” (.48 m) pitch prop is going to be anywhere from 14" to 15” (.36 m to .38 m) in diameter. What makes the ECO prop unique is it’s a full 16” (.41 m) in diameter. Mercury's proprietary X7 stainless steel alloy is what makes the Enertia ECO prop possible. More...

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New Test Video

Hurricane SunDeck Sport SS 201 OB:
41.4 MPH WOT with 135-hp Outboard

Hurricane SunDeck Sport SS 201 OB
This image of the Hurricane SunDeck Sport SS 201 OB shows the major aspect that sets deckboats apart from sportboats. A wide bow with broad hull sections.

The Hurricane SunDeck Sport SS 201 OB has a LOA of 20’1” (6.13 m), a beam of 8'6"” (2.59 m) and an estimated test weight of 3,923 lbs. (1,779 kg). With the Evinrude E-TEC 135 H.O. turning a 16” Revel propeller, we reached a top speed of 41.4 mph. Best cruise was 22.7 mph, giving us a fuel burn of 5.6 gph and a range of 171 statute miles and an endurance of over 7 ½ hours while still holding back a 10% reserve. More...

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Design & Styling Review

Beneteau Gran Turismo 44:
Interior Functionality for Guests

Beneteau Gran Turismo 44
We take a look at the entertaining and sleeping areas of the Gran Turismo 44.

The cockpit is the main entertaining area of the Beneteau Gran Turismo 44. It has a teak, tri-fold table that is sturdy and is surrounded on three sides by a U-shaped dinette that has seating for seven guests. Opposite is a wet bar that can be optioned out for specific uses. We particularly like the wide bench seat for two next to the helm that allows the captain to be joined by two adult friends when piloting the boat. But her amenities do not end there. More...

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Captain's Report

Glastron GT 225:
The GT Series Has 3 Versions

Glastron GT 225
Glastron has targeted three distinct markets with its new 22' (6.71 m) GT Series.

Glastron makes three versions of the 225 -- GT, GTS (Sport), and GTL (Luxury). All three are directed to three specific applications and psychographics. The sporty set will want top-end speed for bragging rights, good low-end torque for towing, and sizzle -- GTS. The luxury conscious will probably not be worried so much about WOT speed, but will want to entertain a boat load of friends and want all of the bells and whistles, plus power -- GTL. A young family only interested in cruising and tubing will likely be happy with standard power and a lower cost -- GT. More...

Test Drive

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Test Video

Monte Carlo Yachts 70:
Designed for An Owner/Operator

Monte Carlo Yachts 70
With helms at both the flying bridge and below, visibility is good in any kind of weather.

Regular readers know that we believe that larger motoryachts should be purpose-built for owner/operators. Happily, the folks at Monte Carlo Yachts feel the same way. The Monte Carlo Yachts 70 is a prime example of a large yacht that has been designed to be easily handled by an owner/operator with perhaps a young mate aboard for maintenance chores. All of this without sacrificing luxury or the safety of the vessel. Find out more...

Test Drive

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Test Video

Volvo Penta V8-380:
Advantages of a Lighter 6.0L Engine

Volvo Penta V8-380
After length, beam, and hull shape, weight becomes the most important factor in engine performance. That's the first advantage of the Volvo Penta V8-380.

The Volvo Penta V8-380 6.0L engine is appropriate for single-engine boats from about 24' to 30' (7.3 to 9.1 m) and in twin-engine installations from about 31' to 40' (9.4 to 12.2 m), depending on the specific application, weight and beam of the boat. With this single engine, we recorded a WOT speed of 53.8 mph in a 28' (8.55 m) boat with a 8'6" (2.59 m) beam, weighing 6,820 lbs. (3,093 kgs.) loaded. In a twin-engine powered 35-footer (10.6 m) weighing 16,773 lbs. (7,608 kgs.) loaded, we recorded a top speed of 46.8 mph. More...

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Captain's Report

Sea Ray 280 Sundeck:
Feature-Rich Watersports Platform

Sea Ray 280 Sundeck
The 280 Sundeck has a laundry list of options that allow consumers to direct the boat to almost any particularly watersport function or specialized use.

During the last two years, Sea Ray has consciously upgraded the quality of its boats in a dozen small ways that include upholstery, styling, deck coverings, cushion and seat design as well as the addition of some amenities, such as a stern shower, Bimini top, a cockpit table, and SeaDec matting on the swim platform. When we looked down the options list of the 280 Sundeck, we found only two things that we consider a "must" on any boat of this type -- a battery switch with tray for a second battery, and a cockpit or mooring canvas cover. More...

Test Drive

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Design & Styling Review

Cruisers Yachts 48 Cantius:
Elegant Wenge Wood Interior

Cruisers Yachts 48 Cantius
The 48 Cantius has a number of colors, materials, and designs available -- all in keeping in with the elegant image of the boat.

The Cruisers Yachts 48 Cantius is a boat that has been designed for the 21st century with a focus on providing its owners the maximum amount of usable space, while at the same time, providing an attractive modern design. During our review we discovered that Cruisers Yachts offers a large number of choices when ordering the 48. These include not just color options for interior spaces, but also types of materials and surfaces. Today we look at these choices in an interior review. More...

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Captain's Report

Nitro Z-6:
Tournament-Ready

Nitro Z-6
The Nitro Z-6 is the smallest bass boat in the Nitro line, but she has virtually all of the equipment of the larger boats in class.

The Nitro Z-6 has all of the fishing amenities and equipment needed to put tournament anglers on top of the bass without draining the last drop from their bank accounts. The Nitro Z-6 costs about $21 grand, including a trailer and Mercury 115-hp OptiMax outboard. Find out all about her...

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Test Video

Manitou 25 SES:
Designed for Cruising and Entertaining

Manitou 25 SES
Not only is there a large bar and comfortable seating on the 25 SES, there is also a large foredeck for anchoring and line handling.

The Manitou 25 SES triple-toon is designed for a large group of people to maximize their fun on the water. With several layouts available, the 25 SES can be a "made-to-order" entertainment platform. How about a full galley, a bar complete with table and stools, a convertible aft-facing bench seat which makes into a sun pad -- or all of the above? All are available on a mix-and-match basis on the 25 SES. More...

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Captain's Report

Nordic Tugs 26cr:
Small But Mighty

Nordic Tugs 26
The Nordic Tug 26cr looks like a mini tug and she is remarkably comfortable and seaworthy, just like the real thing.

The Nordic Tug 26cr (for "cruise ready") has nearly everything needed for a couple to go cruising to distant horizons. She is a single-engine boat made for the times and a couple can easily handle her without breaking the bank. We often say that dollar-for-dollar the best boating investment is a small boat and we think the Nordic Tug 26cr proves the point. More...

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Test Video

Meridian Yachts 441 Sedan:
Maxing Space and Utility

Meridian Yachts 441 Sedan
At 47'2'' (14.3 m), the 441 Sedan is a popular size for boat owners and Meridian has maximized space while maintaining pleasant lines.

The Meridian Yachts 441 Sedan has two, large staterooms and six venues for guests to hang out-- 1) the stateroom, 2) dinette, 3) salon, 4) cockpit, 5) companion seat at the helm, 6) dinette on the flying bridge. This boat has both the public and private spaces to make cruising with two couples -- or a small family -- pleasant, genteel and comfortable. But there is more. More...

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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...

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Lesson of the Week

How to Prepare for Man Overboard

Capt. Steve Smart Boating Cover
If someone falls overboard, toss out a throwable device right away and keep eyes on them at all times.


This week Captain Steve goes over thirteen lessons and guidelines on how to be prepared for a man overboard emergency. Having practiced this drill ahead of time with one's crew or passengers is important since MOB happens so quickly that people have very little time to think about how to react. Learn how to pick someone up in the water and position the boat downwind, how to improve one's chances of getting rescued, and how to treat someone for hypothermia once they’re back aboard. The videos presented this week are part of BoatTEST.com’s USCG-approved Boating Course. 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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