BoatTEST Newsletter - 07/02/2008 July 2, 2008 If you cannot view the see the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust


Boat Tests & Reviews 

- Seaway 24 Offshore

- Four Winns V258
- Premier 221 Gemini
- Tigé RZ2
- Seaswirl 2901 Walk Around
- Vectra 2040 IO
- Sea-Doo RXT-X
- Alumacraft Lunker 165 CS

- Robalo R300

Also Inside:

- Alaskan Senator Stops EPA

- Bertram 20 with Yanmar Repower

- Level Flotation is NOT Universal
- Yamaha Offers Cost-Free
Prop Selection is Important
- Smoker Craft Looking West
- Mako and Mercury Team Up
- How We Test
- Prop Safety Tip
- EPA Permit Fiasco
- Earthrace Sets World Record

- New Functionality on BoatTEST
- PPV Videos
- Ducky Award Winner


Alaska Senator Stops EPA Permit Relief Bill!

Lisa Murkowski Ted Stevens

Last Thursday night, June 26th, Sen. Bill Nelson on the floor of the U.S. Senate requested “unanimous consent” on S. 2766, the Clean Boating Act of 2008 (aka, EPA Permit Relief Bill) and it was about to pass, thus sparing 17 million Americans from the onerous, new EPA Regs when…one, lone Senator objected. But that was all it took to stop the bill cold in its tracks on its way to enactment. With just 18 congressional “working” days left before the Sept. 30th deadline (see article below explaining this), Sen. Lisa Murkowski has chosen to try to advance the interests of commercial fishing vessel owners above the interests of 51,000 Alaskan recreational boat owners – to say nothing of the 17 million American boat owners in the other 49 states. To find out more about Sen. Murkowski, what is going on behind the scenes, and what you can do about this travesty of boaters' rights (about to be lost)…sally forth here.

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Boat Tests & Reviews

Seaway 24 Offshore

Seaway 24 Offshore

Seaway launched its first boat for the recreational industry at the 2008 Miami Boat Show with the Offshore 24. The Seaway 24 is a Downeast-style boat with workboat lines that appeal to boaters tired of the "shake 'n' bake" look. With a Honda 150-hp on the stern, she showed both power and fuel efficiency. Go to the complete test and video...

Four Winns V258

Four Winns V258

Four Winns knows that the two things boaters want most is plenty of elbow room and pin-you-to-the-seat performance for you and your guests.  They deliver these features and more with their stylish weekend cruiser, the V258. See complete test and video...         

Premier 221 Gemini

Premier 221 Gemini

Premier’s 221 Gemini is a boat built for easy launching and set-up, so that you can get right to the fun.  The builder has an industry-wide reputation for quality and good customer service.  This boat is an economical package that certainly “keeps it simple” while affording your family plenty of opportunity for fishing, watersports, cruising, entertaining and general fun at an affordable price.  See complete test and video...     

Tigé RZ2

Tigé RZ2

Tigé designers and engineers are gaining a much-deserved reputation for SOTA design and performance. The RZ2 represents one of their most exciting examples of this with its pickle-fork design which has become quite popular with many builders in the last couple of years. See complete test and video report...

Seaswirl 2901 Walk Around

Seaswirl 2901 Walk Around

Seaswirl calls the 2901 a walk around, but it is so big that you might think of it as an "express."  She is an all-new design from the keel-up, not a warmed-over something else.  She offers overnight accommodations for up to six, a roomy fishy cockpit and a long list of standard features including a hardtop!  We love what Seaswirl has done with this boat.  Check it out. 

Vectra 2040 IO

Vectra 2040 IO

What do you do for the family that loves to ski and loves to fish? Well, you make them a great "cross-over" boat on a very stable deckboat design. That is exactly what Vectra has done with the 2040 IO by adding some basic fishing features.  Vectra deckboats are coming on strong and challenging some of the old deckboat brands which are getting stale.  See complete test and video...

Sea-Doo RXT-X

Sea-Doo RXT-X

The RXT-X is a pumped-up version of the popular RXT, introduced in 2005. With the addition of a bigger supercharger and an internal intercooler, the engineers at Sea-Doo have managed to squeeze a reported 255 horsepower out of the Rotax 4-TEC engine.  See complete test and video…

Alumacraft Lunker 165 CS
Southport 28 EX

Alumacraft tells us that they use nothing but the best materials. The hull is cut and shaped from a single piece of aluminum stock. Using an extruded center keel and "aircraft grade" rivets, they build a solid hull that resists heaving and provides a dry, responsive ride.  BoatTEST recently tested the Lunker 165 CS with the new F40 engine from Yamaha.  Check out the test results…

Robalo R300

Robalo R300

Captain Robert Smith points out some of the key features on Robalo's flagship center console.  The Kevlar reinforced hull, tons of storage and twin Yamahas as power are a few of the points that make the R300 ideal for offshore. See video review…

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Engine News

Bertram 20 Moppie Repowered
with 220-hp Yanmar Diesel

Yanmar 6BY
A vintage Bertram Moppie repowered with a Yanmar diesel goes
10 mph faster and gets over 118% more mpg!  If only Dick Bertram could see her now

Mack Boring, the New Jersey distributor for Yanmar recently repowered a classic Bertram 20, better known as the Moppie. Originally she was powered by a 175-hp OMC gas engine with sterndrive. Boring replaced the 746-lb. gas sterndrive package with a 683-lb. 6BY220Z Yanmar diesel driving through a MerCruiser Bravo III. Mack Boring sent us his test results recently and they were so startling we asked to test the boat ourselves. In the meantime, we’re so excited by the tremendous improvement in fuel efficiency and WOT obtained by the Yanmar 220-hp diesel that we are passing them along.

To see the Mack Boring numbers…plunk your magic twanger. 

Captain Rob takes us through the new 6BY Series from Yanmar.

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BoatTEST Interviews

Level Flotation is NOT Universal

Steve D. Everglades Sunk Boat Hot Rocks
Will a 35’ Everglades float level when swamped? Will boats
with level flotation
The placement of fish boxes is important for safety. Flotation requirements for boats
over 20 feet?

There is probably no aspect of a center console boat more important than its flotation, yet the subject is not discussed much. Many companies say their center consoles over 20 feet will float or float level, but will they? And even if they do, does that keep them from capsizing? For the answers to these questions, we went to Steve Dougherty, president of Everglades, and a man who has been involved with foam flotation all of his life in center console boats from Boston Whaler to Edgewater to Everglades.

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Promo of the Week

Yamaha Offers Cost-Free
Boating for the Summer!

yamaha 230 ho Yamaha 232 Limited yamaha 212 ss
Yamaha 230 HO Yamaha 232 Limited Yamaha 212 SS

If you have ever dreamed about boating free for the summer, we have good news – Yamaha’s offering the mother of all boating promotions: 0% Down, 0 payments for 120 days, 0% interest for 120 days, and a Visa debit card with $700 on it! With $700 you can “best cruise” from Newport, RI to Bermuda and still have money left over for a Big Mac. Mind you, to get the 0% down you must have an adequate credit score, and the rate of interest charged also depends on your credit rating. This terrific offer is on selected models, including the AR230 which was named the Boating Magazine “Boat of the Year.” The promotion runs until July 31, 2008, but why wait until then and miss most of the summer?

See all Yamaha boat tests and videos…

Go directly to Yamaha’s website Summer Promotional page…

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Propeller Solutions

The Prop Selection Process

Propeller Selection
PowerTech props carries over 5,000 different
stainless steel props.

With more propellers out there than boats to put them on, choosing the correct prop can get confusing quickly.  What determines a prop's performance on a given boat and motor combination?  How does the shape of the blades affect performance and efficiency? Get answers to these questions and more by watching Capt. Rob's video.

Industry News

Smoker Craft Looking For Dealer in the West

smoker craft 172 sylvan vectra
Smoker Craft Millentia 172 Sylvan
Mirage 8520
1940 Deck Boat

Smoker Craft, one of the largest builders of aluminum boats, is currently looking for dealers in the western United States. Sister companies Sylvan pontoon boats and Vectra fiberglass deckboats are also available. The states involved are TX, OK, AR, CA, and AZ. Phil Smoker tells us that there are a lot of advantages to working with a well-established family-owned boat company such as Smoker Craft, including being able to deal directly with the owner, getting quick decisions and knowing that warranty work will be taken care of promptly. Established dealers interested in the Smoker brands should contact Phil Smoker at

See Smoker Craft videos and tests…

See Sylvan videos and tests…

See Vectra videos and tests…

Boat Deals

Mako & Mercury Team Up 

Mako Cash Back


Mako really wants you to have that black power on the back, so much so that they have a deal that can get you up to $4K cash back.  To find out about the details visit

BoatTEST News

How We Test...
...And Who Does It

How We Test

This year we will test more boats than ever before, about 200, and leading that operation is Capt. Rob Smith, Director of Testing. To find out more about Capt. Rob and how we here.



Prop Info

Yamaha boats

grady-white ad


boat history

EZ Dock




sea-doo Canada


yamaha pwc

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Safety Tip

Prop Safety

Prop Safety
Captain Robert Smith reminds us that props can be a lot closer than you think.

Whether you are a new boater or an old salt, prop safety should always take center stage.  Captain Robert Smith shows us that props can be extremely dangerous and why you should always turn off your engine when swimmers are in the water.  Learn more here.

EPA Permit Fiasco

Why There Are Only 18 Days Left to Pass S.2766

Uncle Jay
On Sept. 30 – 100 days from now – the EPA will turn your boat into a regulated pumpkin.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski has reserved her right to blow the Clean Boating Act of 2008 out of the water, but even if she ultimately decided not to, with each passing day the chances of passage grow dimmer. While there are 100 calendar days left until the Sept. 30th deadline for passage, there are really only 18 “congressional workdays” left. To find out why this is so, just watch this video from Uncle Jay…Uncle Jay explains.

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Earthrace Saga

Earthrace Sets New Round-the-World Powerboat Speed Record:
61 Days and a Piece of Cake!

Earthrace Earthrace 2

Earthrace, the world’s fastest eco-boat, has smashed the world speed record for a powerboat to circumnavigate the globe, knocking almost 14 days off the previous record. The carbon fiber trimaran crossed the finish line in Sagunto, Spain at 13:42 GMT on Friday 27 June, having taken 60 days 23 hours and 49 minutes to travel around 24,000 nautical miles fueled by biodiesel to demonstrate the efficiency of, and draw global attention to, the potential for alternative fuel sources. This was Earthrace’s second attempt and was largely uneventful. To find out if Pete Bethune’s marriage is still together and to see more pictures and videos of Earthrace…cross this line.

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Tell Us What You Think

New Functionality On BoatTEST


In addition to the Rate Your Boat function,  has a simple and easy to use “type-in window” below each boat test and engine review.  If you have owned the boat or engines being discussed, feel free to add your comments to help our new members make the right product selection. believes strongly that the best test is the “test of time.”


Why not add your comments now?


"Rate your boat" by clicking the Owner Reports tab
on any boat test.
Click on the "Comments" button located on every engine test page and boat test video page.
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BoatTEST News

Pay Per View Videos: Great Learning Aids

seamanship basics
Seamanship Basics.
taking on water
When Things Go Wrong.
choosing the right boat
Choosing the Right Boat.
new outboard
Your New Outboard Boat.
new inboard
Your New Inboard Boat.


Whether you have questions about seamanship basics, how to choose the right boat or learning about your new boat, Captain Cefus McRae has an answer for you.  BoatTEST has made special arrangements with the DVD publishers to bring you these instructive videos--at a fraction of their $35 DVD price. Just pick the PPV series that you want to view and show it to the entire family on your computer for up to 7 days for one low price.  Find out more about Captain Cefus McRae's instructional videos.

Ducky Award Winner

whats going on here?


First Place

 “The extra flotation offsets any additional diaper ballast!” – G. Wolf


Second Place

“Laugh it up now cuz when you get old I choose the nursing home.” – J. Martinez


Honorable (almost) Mention
“And you thought you were having a bad boating day…I have to go around looking like a deformed Big Bird!” – S. DelGrippo

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 7/6/08., LLC
51 Bank Street, Suite 2A
Stamford, CT 06901