BoatTEST Newsletter - 06/18/2008 June 18, 2008 If you cannot view the see the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust


Boat Tests & Reviews 

- Doral Elite 265 BR

- Hydra-Sport Bay Bolt 23
- Stratos 294 XL
- Malibu Wakesetter 23 XTi
- JC Pontoon SunToon 23 TT
- Sea-Doo 230 Challenger
- Triumph 170 DC
- Southport 28 EX


Also Inside:

- Educational Pay Per View Videos
- Safety First: Life Vests
- Command Link & Yamaha F250
- Good Fit 'n' Finish
- EPA Permit Fiasco
- Sea-Doo Innovations
- Manitou Seeks Dealers
- EZ Dock for PWCs
- PowerTech Props
- New Wellcraft 210 CC

- Hatch Size is Important
- Pat Cunningham of Tiara
- Boat Buying Tips
- Ducky Award Winner


BoatTEST Offers Educational Pay Per View Videos

Seamanship Basics when things go wrong
Seamanship Basics. When Things Go Wrong.
Choosing the right boat new outboard
Choosing the Right Boat. Your New Outboard Boat.
new inboard New Pontoon
Your New Inboard Boat. Your New Pontoon Boat.

Don’t worry – the boat test, engine, equipment and other videos that you have come to rely upon at BoatTEST will continue to be FREE! But in order to bring you educational videos that normally sell for up to $35 on DVDs at marine supply stores, BoatTEST has made special arrangements with the DVD publishers. Now you can see the best of these DVDs online for a fraction of the cost – from ONLY $4.99 to $6.99! Now you can see Capt. Cefus McRae’s famous “nuts & bolts” series of “Back to the Basics” for a fraction of the retail price.

For one low price you can have access for 7 DAYS to the best material from any one of these educational videos. Just pick the PPV video series you want to view and show it to the whole family right on your computer.

These special “made for Internet viewing” videos are available only at

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Boat Tests & Reviews

Doral Elite 265 BR

Doral Elite 265

The eye-catching design of the Elite Series will make the water sports enthusiast happy while still maintaining the look and feel of a high-class cruiser. The 265 BR has room for everyone yet still has amenities like an oversized stand-up changing room with head and vanity and an engine box that has room to get to nearly every component with ease.  This boat is as sexy as they come and should be on your short list.


Go to the complete report and video...

Hydra-Sports Bay Bolt 23

Hydra-Sports Bay Bolt 23

Hydra-Sports put its popular Bay Bolt 23 through a major update to come out with a hard-charging, heavy-duty fishing machine for light tackle bay fishing enthusiasts. The builder kept the stable beam and proven running surfaces, but changed just about everything else from the stringers to the deck and center console.  See complete test and video...      

Stratos 294 XL

Stratos 294 XL

Stratos' 294 XL is a tournament rig made of all composites and zero wood. Stratos builds their line to compete directly with the aluminum builders for stability, fishability, performance, price, and ease of storage.  See complete test and video...    

Malibu Wakesetter 23 XTi

Manitou 22

Malibu offers two main versions of the Wakesetter: the VLX and the XTi.  The XTi has her engine about midship, balancing the weight and maximizing seating potential. The XTi’s center mounted engine makes for better handling and an aft seating zone that features a removable table and wraparound seating for up to four adults.  See complete test and video report...

JC Pontoon NepToon 23 TT Sport

JC Pontoon NepToon 23 TT Sport

The NepToon series offers a choice of two, or three tubes, and JC Pontoon’s U-shaped tube provides a more rigid structure and better buoyancy than traditional round tubes. This NepToon 23 TT Sport combines ample space with great performance—over 38 miles-per-hour—from our test boat’s 200-hp Suzuki four-stroke outboard.

See complete test and video…

Yamaha FX SHO

Sea-Doo 230 Challenger 

The direct drive models from Sea-Doo have more power, more features and some pretty neat innovations that are both eye-catching and useful. Outwardly, they look the same as typical sportboats, but in their hearts, or engines, they are quite a different animal.  The 230 Challenger has both the power for watersports and the speed thrill--on test day the 230 Challenger reached 52 mph with twin 215-hp supercharged, intercooled engines. See complete test and video...

Triumph 170 DC

Triumph 170 CC

Triumph's 170 offers a great entry-level boat for the family that wants to get into the fishing game at an affordable price.  The 170 is a very manageable boat. With a choice of either Dual Console or Center Console design, you can choose the one that fits your style of fishing best.  This boat is also affordable and safe for first-time boaters. 
See complete test and video…

Southport 28 Express
Southport 28 EX

Southport Boat Works is a relative new-comer to center consoles and is building boats designed specifically around four-stroke engines.  Now the company has begun building express cruisers.  The Southport 28 Express comes well equipped with tons of fishing features, a 580-quart fish box, a 50-gallon livewell, lots of tackle boxes and a wide cockpit.  See video…

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EPA Permit Fiasco

EPA Issues Permit Rules: Big Brother on Board

Ballast Ballast Ballast Ballast

Mandated by Congress 35 years ago to regulate ship ballast discharge, the EPA now plans to micro-manage how Americans use their boats – right down to “pack food in reusable containers to minimize waste.” Welcome to the “Brave New World” of Boating.


Yesterday the EPA issued its rules for recreational boaters' permits which will take effect at 11:59 September 30, 2008 – unless the 2008 Clean Boating Act is passed beforehand. There are only about 30 days left for Congress to pass the bill before the deadline due to the July 4th holiday week, the annual August recess and political conventions. If it is not passed before the August 11th recess, we’re told by Washington insiders, it might never be passed at all. In that case, get ready for Big Brother to start telling you how to manage your boat. We guarantee you’ll find some regulations laughable – until you realize that your marina mate can turn you in to the EPA for breaking the rules. To read the EPA rules and what people are already saying…read between the lines.

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Engine News

“Command Link” Comes
To Yamaha F250 Outboard

f250 F250
Capt. Rob Smith looks twice at the latest technology on the F250.

The fly-by-wire “Command Link” Digital Control System that was introduced last year on the F300 and F350, is now available as an option on the Yamaha F250. This system eliminates the old mechanisms and replaces them with wire. There is a back up, get home system should you have a digital failure which Capt. Smith demonstrates. This video points out the latest technology employed in the F250, paying particular attention to the intake manifold and cooling system. To see the latest on this saltwater workhorse…rev this engine.

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Boat Buying Tips

Good Fit 'n' Finish Counts

This is an example of good “fit 'n' finish” and it was not easy to accomplish.


Once the auto capital of the world, decades of poor “fit 'n’ finish” have left the “Detroit 3” struggling to survive. Consumers the world over want quality in their products, no matter how much or how little they might pay for them. When you buy a new boat you have one chance to make sure that it is everything it should be – and that is BEFORE you take delivery. To get a “fit 'n' finish” checklist…kick this tire.

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Safety First

Auto Inflatable Life Vests for Your Guests

Mustang 1 Mustang 2 Mustang 3 Mustang 4

A major cause of boating insurance claims is the result of guests falling or inadvertently being flung overboard in high speed turns. Veteran boaters have learned over the years to stay aboard, but forget that guests do not have the same learned instincts – and the results can be tragic.  Self-inflating life vests are important in case someone is knocked out in the process of going overboard. While EVERYONE ABOARD should be wearing an auto-inflating life vest, at the very least protect your guests with them. Prices range from $90 up. Shop and compare…


See test of Mustang auto-inflating life vest…


BoatTEST Store  West Marine Boaters World 

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Boat Buying Tips

A Perfect Storm for Boat Buyers

perfect storm   perfect storm
The boats are waiting and waiting, but customers are sparse. That's a good thing for you.


Loren Simkowitz is a boat owner who made tens of millions in commercial real estate. In a recent interview shown on BoatTEST he said "You make money when you buy a boat or a property, not when you go to sell it." What did he mean? Simply, that if you buy low -- and well below the market, when you go to sell, chances are that inflation, increased scarcity, greater demand or all three will maximize your selling price. In boats that may mean selling for close to what you paid.  To find out why this summer is the "perfect storm for boat buyers," and how you can take advantage of on.

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Second Look

Sea-Doo Innovations

230 Wake
Sea-Doo 230 Wake.

A popular Sea-Doo Direct Drive boat is the 230, and little wonder as the boat has several innovative features. First, the boat has a lot of seating for the size. It also has electric windshields which are the only ones we’ve seen on a bowrider. To see the other innovations, take a look at this video report done by Capt. Smith…

Industry News

Manitou Seeks Dealers

Manitou has won two JD Power Awards in the last three years.

Manitou Pontoon Boats is expanding its dealer network throughout the USA and Canada. Territories that are open include KY, NC, SC, GA, OH, IN, PA, LA, TX, OK, AR, FL, AZ, and WA. Manitou has won six straight CSI Awards and two JD Power Awards the last three years. The patent pending V-ToonTM SHP has gotten the pontoon industry’s attention. To find out more about dealer opportunities with this top-ranked brand…get a toon-up.

See Manitou video tests...

 PWC News

New EZ Dock for PWCs

EZ Dock
EZ Port Max for PWCs are easy to use.
Buy one or a dozen!

Just launched in time for summer, EZ Dock® introduces the patent pending EZ Port® MAX for PWCs. The EZ Port MAX was designed to accommodate the increasing size and weight of today’s leading personal watercrafts. “The all new EZ Port MAX is the next generation in personal watercraft lifts from the leader in PWC lifts, EZ Dock” said Dan Guthrie, President of EZ Dock. To find out more…dock your mouse.

Propeller Solutions

PowerTech Answers
Prop Questions

Is your new boat's prop right?

Captain Robert Smith and Steve Powers review the importance of props, including how the incorrect prop can affect your boating experience and how to ensure that you've got the right one. Listen in to learn how to get better performance.

New Boat

New Wellcraft 210 CC

Wellcraft 210 CC
Wellcraft is calling this boat “Everyman’s Wellcraft” because of its $42,520 MSRP base.

Wellcraft’s new 210 CC has a beam of 8’6”, displaces 3575 lbs. dry without an engine, has a fuel capacity of 101 gal., and a 19-degree deadrise. The company says that this boat has the only full-height outboard splash well built in this type of boat. The usable cockpit space is on par with many 22 and 23-footers, Wellcraft says. Inside the console is a head, and the company is proud of its lighted 104 qt. baitwell and its transferable 10-year structural hull warranty. The MSRP is less than several leading brands we checked in the same size range. To see detail pictures, specs and engine options…hook this up.


To see Wellcraft video tests.



Prop Info

Yamaha boats

grady-white ad



boat history

EZ Dock





sea-doo Canada


yamaha pwc

grady-white ad


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Safety Tip

Hatch Size is Important

Three Survivors

Three of the five survivors from a sailboat capsize in a recent race.

Regular readers of this newsletter know that we don’t often relate news about sailboats but last week an incident occurred that illustrates the importance of
having a large escape hatch.  We have often pointed out that the hatches on the foredecks of powerboats need to be large enough to enable the biggest member of your crew to easily escape in case of an emergency.  We like to see hatches at least 22” square or 22” in diameter if round. 

See video interview...

To find out what happened to six sailors on their way to Veracruz, Mexico …squeeze through this.


Pat Cunningham of Bertram and Tiara

Pat Cunningham
Pat was a professional boat company executive who devoted much of his life to providing well-built boats to consumers world-wide.

Pat Cunningham, 65, died Monday in the Cardiovascular Center at the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich. after a 10-year struggle with heart disease. Pat spent most of his career in the boating business working his way up to president of Bertram Yachts, which he ran from 1982 to 1989.  Later he was VP of sales and marketing at Tiara until his retirement in 1998. Pat was an active member of the boating industry and at one time was an officer of the NMMA.


For more about Pat’s career…read on.

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Ducky Award Winner

whats going on here?


First Place

“How many people does it take to fix a T-Top?"  – D. Emmons


Second Place

“Upon filling up with gas, the Smith family was now faced with a tough decision: which of their three children would no longer be able to go to college?” – J. Martinez


Honorable Mentions

“There must be more beer around here somewhere…look under the boat again.”

– B. Crooks


“What do you mean the cooler is missing?” – D. Close


Devil Duck Award


“Hey honey, could you please throw me a beer so I can finish watching our daughter perform in the wet t-shirt contest?”
– R. Lancon

What's Going on Here?



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.


Please send all submissions by 6/22/08.

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