Entry-Level PWCs // Sailfish 270CC // Jeanneau Leader 40 // 16 Reviews - 06/25/2014
BoatTEST Newsletter June 25, 2014 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
IN THIS ISSUE
- Jeanneau Leader 40
- Entry-Level PWCs
- Sailfish 270CC
- Beneteau GT 49
- Tahoe 195
- Cruisers Yachts 380
- Larson All American 23
- Sea Ray 350 SLX
- Mercury 150-hp FourStroke
- Glastron GT 225
- Regal 46 Sport Coupe
- Pursuit OS 385 Offshore
- Meridian Yachts 441 Sedan
- Tracker Pro Team 190 TX
- Yamaha VXR
- Fleming 55
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson

Jeanneau Leader 40:
Twin-Cabin Sport Cruiser

Jeanneau Leader 40
The Leader 40 has a sea-kindly hull made for cruising. At cruising speeds she sliced through 3'-4' seas without complaint or pounding.

The Leader 40 has a LOA of 40’5” (12.3 m), a beam of 12’5” (3.8 m) and a draft of 3’7” (1.1 m). She has two staterooms below with both the galley and settee down. But her big story is her performance and handling.  Test day was snotty -- just what we like -- and when driving her into the square ones we heard no creaking or groaning of any of her components. Read all about it...

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New Video

Entry-Level Watercraft:
A Look A Two PWCs

Yamaha VX and Spark
BoatTEST.com COO and veteran PWC rider Christopher Hughes takes a look at the Sea-Doo Spark and the Yamaha VX Sport. Both PWCs are entry-level machines usually bought by first-time buyers.

PWCs are one of the most popular categories in boating today and many people start here and work their way up to larger craft. The folks at Yamaha Watercraft have asked us to take a look at two entry-level PWCs -- the Sea-Doo Spark and their own Yamaha VX Sport. In this video we look at basic features, specifications, design, hulls, materials, and riding characteristics. More...

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New Captain's Report

Sailfish 270CC:
Options in a Capable Design

Sailfish 270CC
The Sailfish 270CC has all of the usual fishing features, plus a unique bottom design and very competitive pricing.

The Sailfish 270CC is available with a variety of leaning posts, helm seats, two rear seating options, and optional forward seating with a removable table for those after dinner cruises. The Sailfish Variable Degree Deadrise (VDS) hull, is unique in the center console category and promises improved fuel efficiency and speed. More...

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New Captain's Report

Beneteau Gran Turismo 49:
Hardtop Express Cruiser

Beneteau GT 49
The Gran Turismo 49 has a LOA of 51'7" (15.72 m) with a 14’ 0” (4.27 m) beam.
She has 3 staterooms and 2 heads.

The Beneteau Gran Turismo 49 we tested was fitted with updated woods and colors that create a pleasing ambiance for family cruising. She has a large full-beam master mid cabin and a VIP forward. Her guest cabin can sleep two or be turned into an office, laundry room, or nanny cabin. She’s powered exclusively with twin 435-hp Volvo Penta IPS600s with a joystick. More...

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Captain's Report

Tahoe 195:
An All-Around Family Boat

Tahoe 195
The Tahoe 195 deckboat is designed to be a versatile watersports platform for the whole family.

For entry-level folks looking for an all-around watersports boat for rivers or small lakes, the Tahoe 195 could be exactly what is wanted. The mission of the Tahoe 195 is to create a deckboat that crosses over between fishing in the morning and enjoying watersports in the afternoon. With power options ranging from 190-hp to 260-hp the Tahoe 195 will take her owners seamlessly between sedate cruising to speeds approaching 55 mph. More...

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Design & Style Review

Cruisers Yachts 380 Express:
A "Double-Duty" Mid Cabin

Cruisers Yachts 380 Express
We like the cozy feel of the mid cabin in the Cruisers Yachts 380 Express.

Cruisers Yachts was one of the first builders to realize that mid cabins could be used as an added seating area as well as a sleeping cabin. Aboard the Cruisers Yachts 380 Express the mid cabin has a U-shaped settee and table to handle overflow guests during a party, or makes a good place for kids to hang out when parents are topside. This week's report gives chapter-and-verse on woods, fabrics, decking and colors available. Pick them out here...

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Captain's Report

Larson All American 23:
Classy Design with Utility

Larson All American 23
The Larson All American 23 has a somewhat unusual forward seating design made for entertaining and comfort.

We think the Larson All American 23 is one of the best-looking sportboats in her size. She has rounded stern quarters and a reverse transom that is right out of a classic yachts coffee table book. But she is also quite practical, and this is important because some great-looking boats we can think of are little more than a pretty face. The image above describes exactly what we mean -- an elegant forward cockpit for three for a picnic by day and a cocktail party at sundown. More...

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Test Video

Sea Ray 350 SLX:
A Mega-Bowrider with Moxie

Sea Ray 350 SLX
The Sea Ray 350 SLX is the top of the SLX line and she has the room and
performance to match.

Sea Ray generally has hulls that are good performers and the SLX is certainly one of those -- 47 mph WOT and 2.9 seconds to plane. Our test boat also was equipped with the optional Dynamic Running Surface (DRS) which is a $5k option to automatically trim the boat. Our test captain used the system and reports his opinions of it.  More...

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Test Video

Mercury 150-hp FourStroke:
Harbinger of Engines to Come

Mercury 150-hp FourStroke
When released a couple of years ago, the Mercury 150-hp FourStroke proved the viability of the company's newest generation of outboards.

Last week Mercury Marine announced the introduction of three new outboard 4-stroke engines -- a 75, 90 and 115hp. These are all "new generation" outboards, that the company says "include big improvements over the competition and prior models." They follow in the footsteps of the Mercury 150-hp FourStroke which was launched last year and has proven to be an impressive performer in all sorts of freshwater and saltwater applications. We recently tested a 27-footer (8.23 m) with a pair of 150's Mercury's which provided so much power and speed that her local dealer said no one wants or needs larger engines for that model. Find out all about it....

Repower Question

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Captain's Report

Glastron GT 225:
A Sportboat for Families

Glastron GT 225
The Glastron GT 225 sport version is designed to provide fun, safety and comfort
for the whole family.

The Glastron GT 225 has been designed to appeal to the sweet spot of the American sportboat market -- family day boating. To that end, she has a deep cockpit to keep the young kids in and a large swim platform so that teens, tweens and adults can try out their on-water skills. Glastron has never lost sight of the family for its boats and the new GT Series is proof of that. More...

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Captain's Report

Regal 46 Sport Coupe:
Practical Design for Comfort

Regal 46 Sport Coupe
The afterdeck of the Regal 46 Sport Coupe is versatile, serving as a lounge for the afterguard to chew the fat at the end of a long day, or a place to dine with the addition of a table. It can also serve as a navigation station when underway, or a good place for people to sit facing forward.

There is a lot going on in the image above of the Regal 46 Sport Coupe besides the leggy lady relaxing. Note the colors on the upholstery, the teak treatment on the deck, the stair treads to the walk-through windshield, and the fact that the sun roof retracts from the windshield frame itself, allowing someone to stand up when going to the bow, rather than having to do the limbo under a header. More...

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Captain's Report

Pursuit OS 385 Offshore:
Made for Blue Water Work

Pursuit OS 385 Offshore
With a high helm deck and higher windshield, the Pursuit OS 385 Offshore is blue water-ready. The hardtop and tower are optional and highly regarded.

Big game fishermen who are downsizing their boats need not also lower their expectations. There are a number of very capable, brawny express fishboats that are built virtually as well as the goldplaters. The Pursuit OS 385 Offshore is one of those boats. Find out all about her...

Test Drive

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Design & Style Review

Meridian Yachts 441 Sedan:
Designed for Entertaining

Meridian Yachts 441 Sedan
The Meridian Yachts 441 Sedan proves that cruising boats can be useful vessels for
more than just cruising.

For those who want to entertain a crowd on weekends on a relatively small motoryacht, may we suggest looking at the Meridian Yachts 441 Sedan. As can be seen in the drawings above, there are four seating venues, three with tables. At anchor or at the dock we see places for 19 people to sit -- to say nothing of all the space to stand and walk around. Below decks she has two en suite staterooms. More...

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Test Video

Tracker Pro Team 190 TX:
Infrastructure Pays Off in Product

Tracker Pro Team 190 TX
After spraying on the color, this Tracker boat will be put in a large oven to bake on the powder-coated pigment for long-lasting service.

Because Tracker Marine Group is the highest volume boat builder on the planet, it can afford to invest heavily in the infrastructure that it takes to build a superior product at a competitive price. For example, Tracker uses a baked-on powder-coated finish that is unique in the industry. That paint job is even protected with a layer of clear coat. This state-of-the-art marine finish protects the aluminum from corrosion and keeps the paint job looking better longer. Find out more...

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Test Video

Yamaha VXR:
Good Stability at High Speed

Yamaha VXR
At 60 mph water isn't as soft as it looks. That's why weight, bottom shape and overall stability are so important.

Did we mention that the Yamaha VXR is stable? Stability is probably this vessel's most outstanding characteristic, so pardon us if we repeat. Stability is what keeps riders out of trouble and it is the element that makes the VXR so "forgiving" when something stupid is done. Our test included hardover turns at 10 mph, 25 mph, 40 mph, and 55 mph, all delivering the same predictable stable, carved turns without sliding or digging in. More...

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Captain's Report

Fleming 55:
For Local Cruising, Too

Fleming 55
The salon of the Fleming 55 is surrounded in teak, one of the hallmarks of the Fleming brand. The teak table is a hi-lo design that can be used as a cocktail table or as a formal dining table.

Many people use their Fleming 55s for local cruising and entertaining and never take their vessels around the Horn. Trans-oceanic cruising is not really a required part of the contract. The Fleming 55 is generally not thought of as a vessel for entertaining, but man cannot live by world-cruising alone. The salon can be seen above, and the flying bridge can handle another group around a large dinette and couch. 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

Rules of the Road:
Power Vessels vs. Sailing In Narrow Channels

Capt. Steve Smart Boating Cover
Navigating safely in narrow channels.


This week Captain Steve covers basic rules of the road in these twelve lessons and guidelines on: navigating safely through narrow channels, using caution with larger vessels in narrow channels, how to signal to another boat when there’s a blind spot, overtaking another boat, and rules for power-driven vessels versus sailing vessels when crossing paths. These are basic procedures which all recreational boaters should be aware of. 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 --

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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