Offshore Newsletter - 07/23/2008
Offshore Motoryacht July 23, 2008 If you cannot view the see the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust

Test & Video Reviews

- Formula 353 FASTech
- Mainship Pilot 45
Cabo 38 Flybridge
- Oyster LD 43
- Fairline Phantom 48
- Grand Banks Eastbay 55
Sessa 36
- SeaRanger 43

Also Inside:
- Clean Boating Act Passed
- Reggie Strikes Gold 
Lights of the Future
Where Power Meets the Water
- Shore Power Boost
- Sea Keeper Anti-Roll Gyro
- How to Rescue a Man Overboard
- Personalized Mats for Your Boat
- Ode to American Boat Dealers
- Ducky Award Winner

Clean Boating Act Passed by Congress!

Clean Boating Act Passes
New York boaters set off fireworks last night to celebrate the end of the EPA’s intrusion into boating.

Yesterday morning at about 11 a.m. the Senate passed with “unanimous consent” S.2766, “The Clean Boating Act of 2008” (a.k.a., EPA Permit Relief Act). Then, at about 3:30 p.m. the House of Representatives took up the same bill that had already been passed by the Senate and passed it by an overwhelming majority. As you read these words the bill is on its way to the White House for the President’s signature. After nearly two years of effort on the part of the boating industry and tens of thousands of boat owners – including over 30,000 members who contacted Congress – America’s congressional representatives have deep-sixed what could have been the most oppressive regulations ever to be inflicted on recreational boat owners anywhere. Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s 11th hour “hold” on passage turned out to be a three-week cliff-hanger right out of Hollywood. To find out what changed Murkowski’s mind and to find out who the heroes in this battle were (besides the boaters who took the time to raise their voices)…vote aye here.

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Boat Tests & Reviews

Formula 353 FASTech

Formula 353 FAS³TECH

In the world of high performance, offshore power boating, one company stands out from the rest. That company is Formula, and they provide their customers with quality construction, satisfying features, and one of the best warranties in the business.

The 353 FAS³TECH offers electrically powered footrests and racing-style bolsters. The helm has a tilt steering wheel and all the controls are within easy reach. The cabin is fixed with UltraLeather lounges, entertainment center, CD/stereo, and plush, well-made details that you would expect to find on a cruiser. There's enough room for four to spend the night.  See complete test and video...

Mainship Pilot 45

Mainship Pilot 45

Mainship introduces its latest generation of trawlers with the introduction of the flagship Pilot 45. Mainship knows the cruising life and how the trawler style and design fits into it. With many years of experience, Mainship knows what customers want and delivers it at a price many would not expect possible. They are the largest builder of these style boats, building over 250 units per year. See Capt. Smith’s video test…step aboard.

Cabo 38 Flybridge

Cabo 38 flybridge

The Cabo 38 is a well-executed fishing boat that is designed for hard-core anglers who might want to stray far from home and stay on the boat over night. She has two comfortable cabins below. Join Capt. Smith as he takes a look at this well-built convertible and ask yourself why you need anything larger. Watch Video.

Oyster LD 43

Oyster LD43

Oyster has been one of the finest names in British sailboat building for decades, and now is putting a salty toe in the powerboat market. The LD 43 (for lunch and dinner) is intended for day tripping with a huge cockpit that seats 6 for lunch and in the salon another 6 can join in a seafood feast. She’ll be just fine on this side of the pond.  See our video review…

Fairline Phantom 48

Fairline Phantom 48Fairline’s 48’ flybridge design is a viable alternative to hard-top express cruisers with twin cabins. With the galley down, two helm stations, 3 cabins, two heads with separate showers, and a captain’s cabin aft, this cruiser has lots of functionality squeezed into just 48 feet. See video review of the Phantom 48.

Grand Banks Eastbay 55

Grand Banks East Bay 55Grand Banks, builder of the Eastbay line, consulted with their Eastbay 47 and 49 owners before putting pencil to paper for their new 55. The result is an interior layout that really works and a large cockpit for entertaining. You can feel comfortable anchoring in front of any yacht club in America with this classic. Capt. Robert Smith takes a video look.

Sessa 36 Sessa 36

The Sessa 36 is really over 37 feet long, so pardon us for calling it a 37. But any way you look at this work of art she epitomizes what the Italians do better than any other boaters in the world – they create elegant, sultry, and exciting venues on the water that challenge one's imagination.  Editor Jeff Hammond takes a video tour of the Sessa 36 (a.k.a. 37).

Learn more about Sessa Marine and see pix of the Sessa 36/7.

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Product Review

The Lights of the Future

As BoatTEST has reported in the past, OceanLED manufactures affordable easy-to-install underwater lights. Not only do the lights attract fish, they also make your boat look great.  Captain Rob shows us the range of lights and how the placement and use of lights can enhance your boating experience.

BoatTEST has more than 15 OceanLED video segments ranging from OceanLED's company background to an actual light installation.  See all videos here.

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In the Engine Room

Where Power Meets the Water: Merc’s Bravo III

MerCruiser Bravo III
It will steer you straight at low speeds
and max your thrust at high speeds.

Counter-rotating props are only the beginning of the story of MerCruiser’s highly successful Bravo III drive. This ruggedly-constructed lower unit is designed to harness 450 horses and keep on ticking through rough, high-speed offshore abuse. The proof is the company’s 3-year warranty. See Capt. Smith’s video review…

Product Video

Shore Power Boost
When You Need It

Charles Industries
If you have suffered at marinas where the other boats
are hogging most of the power, watch this.

You know the scenario: you are the last boat in for the night, and all of the boats between you and the main power line have drained off much of the juice; or, there is a megayacht tied up across the dock with three power cords already plugged in and the captain is looking for a fourth; or, a boatload of teenage girls is nearby and all are running their hair dryers at once. Now, Charles Industries has a solution: the Smart Boost. This product is a must for the cruising yacht that travels to marinas with antiquated or over-loaded shore power systems. See Capt. Smith’s product video…

Product Video

Seakeeper's Anti-Roll/Yaw Stabilizer for Powerboats 35'+ 

The Seakeeper Anti-Roll Gyro works
in a vacuum for increased efficiency.

Seakeeper is a four-year-old company founded by Shepard McKenney and John Adams. McKenney previously owned Hinckley Yachts and developed their innovative JetStick™ technology, which is a fly-by-wire control system for jet powered boats, eight years before Volvo Penta introduced its joystick system with the IPS. We point this out simply to underscore that these men are thinking ahead and know the boat business. Gyro stabilizers definitely dampen roll and yaw, and may be the “Next New Thing” in marine equipment for displacement boats and anchoring. Review the features of the Seakeeper 7000.



Prop Info

EZ Dock

yamaha pwc

grady-white ad


boat history




Boat Attitude

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British Cruiser

 SeaRanger 43 Double Cabin

lighthouse 5

The SeaRanger 43 is a versatile cruising boat that has been designed for northern climes or for someone who would like to use their boat year round. When the Brits go cruising they must be ready for nearly anything as gales can cook up in the North Atlantic in the drop of a tea cup and come sweeping in on the United Kingdom. The English Channel and Irish Sea tend to have short, steep waves so their boats need to be strong and water tight, and the SeaRanger 43 has been built to that spec. Ahhh, its $2 to the pound, you say, I'll wait a few years. You don't have to. The price tag on the SeaRanger 43 is similar to what you'd pay for a boat built in the U.S. of the same size and class. To find out the price and more about this double cabin...double click this.

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Industry News

 Ode to American Boat Dealers

Lighthouse 1 lighthouse 5 lighthouse6 lighthouse 7

Last Thursday, July 17, Olympic Sales, Inc. and Olympic Boat Sales Holdings Co., which have 21 dealerships on the West Coast, and together are the second largest boat dealer organization in North America, filed a Chapter 11 petition in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in San Fernando Valley, CA. Bloomberg News reported that the company had assets and debt of as much as $100 million. The company had struggled for the last couple of years and was widely known to be ailing. If Chapter 11 reorganization is granted, Olympic will remain in business protected from its creditors and be on a workout program. Ironically, this development has occurred just when independent dealerships have been gaining renewed respect from both consumers and boat builders alike. To find out more about Olympic and about the new-found esteem for good boat dealers…read on.

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Industry News

Reggie Strikes

Reggie is quickly becoming
a North Carolina folk hero.

Fountain Powerboats, was given a $12 million Job Development Investment Grant by the state of North Carolina on Monday. The grant is designed to help Fountain Powerboats with its new acquisition, Baja Marine, and will create 250 additional jobs during the next five years in Washington and Chocowinity, NC. “We know times are tight,” Fountain said. “By Baja coming here, it is giving us a good insurance policy for the jobs we have now. It give us two companies to take care of the overhead.” To find out more about Reggie’s latest boat building hat trick…never say die. 

Rate Your Boat

How Does Your
Boat Score?

Rate Your Boat
Some boats are more fuel efficient and comfortable than others.

For years boat owners have told us what they like and don’t like about their boats, citing specific brands and models. BoatTEST puts that in its database and shares it with prospective new boat buyers when they search our test pages. To add your two cents worth about your boat…ping here. 

Safety Tip

How to Rescue a Boater Who is
in the Water

Man overboard
Get the victim next to the boat.

Getting a person aboard you boat can be much harder than you think. If one of your guests fell into the water accidentally would you know how to rescue him?

Read these USCG techniques.

Product Video

Personalized Mats

personalized mats

Matworks has a quick and easy way to customize your boat.  Matworks offers over 2,000 mat designs that are waterproof, stain and fade resistant and uses non-skid rubber backings.  Watch BoatTEST's video on this product. 

Visit Matworks' website.

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Ducky Award Winner

whats going on here?

First Place

“This year’s coveted Darwin Award goes to the widow of the man who proved that boats can’t fly.” – D. Keller

Second Place

“Awesome Dad, I’ll bet you got 80 feet on that jump. 'Thanks Rusty.'” – D. Close

Honorable (almost) Mention

“Yes son, this is where we grow boats. In 10 years this one will grow into a beautiful Nordhavn 55 footer.” – R. Lake


“That salesman wasn’t kidding when he said it could really FLY!” – M. Antonucci


“I have to get me one of those magic beans!” – S. Schramm

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 7/27/08.


“If you hang it in the trees the bears can’t get it.” – D. Vansumeren


“Who says go-fasts can’t be eco-friendly?”
– K. Kobbs


“I don’t think we are out of the woods yet…”
– S. DelFrippo

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