25 "Points to Ponder"
For Your Dream Boat
A boat is probably the second or third largest purchase you will ever make. While
all boats may look the same at a boat show, there are in fact huge differences among
them – most not readily apparent. Virtually all builders claim their boats are the
best or represent great value, but reality is often another matter. It is easy for
even a veteran boat owner to drink a company’s promotional Kool-Aid, and make a
mistake. “Due diligence” is the watch word. To help you in your quest we have constructed
25 objective criteria to help you zero-in on the right boat for you. We also explain WHY these criteria can affect your boating pleasure…start
Boat Tests & Reviews
Bayliner 175 Bowrider
This fresh redesign may be one of the coolest ways to get into boating. Bayliner
has packaged their bestselling fiberglass production boat with a trailer and
a 3.0L MerCruiser engine so you can get quickly on the water and having
fun. Come aboard as we test the Bayliner 175...
Malibu Sunscape 247 LSV
The 247 LSV is the largest boat in the Malibu line of high-end ski and wakeboard tow rigs. Like all the Malibu boats, you can customize this
flagship in many different
ways, depending on preference of water sports and how serious you are about them.
If you are
into skiing, wakeboarding, tubing or just looking for an all-around fun machine,
then the Sunscape model could be for you.
See complete test and video of the Malibu Sunscape 247 LSV…
Seaswirl 2901 Walk Around
The completely re-tooled 29 Walk Around can accommodate up to six for overnighting
with a cabin to keep you out of the UV rays and summer squalls. The cockpit includes all the fishing amenities a serious angler needs
including two 38 gallon fish boxes with macerator pumps and a 31 gallon baitwell. See complete test and video of the Seaswirl 2901 Walk Around...
Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 Sport Fish
Although the namesake makes the Party Barge Series sound as though she is built
just for the guys from Animal House, when
you climb on board you may see a different look than expected. The Party Barge 22 Sport
Fish Regency is built with surprising
amenities and appointments and comfort
from bow to stern.
See Capt. Smith’s complete video test of the Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 Sport Fish
Alumacraft Pro 175
of the oldest names in aluminum boat building is Alumacraft. From their one-piece
hull to their extruded center keel, to
the marine grade plywood deck Alumacraft uses nothing but the best materials, the company says. Captain John takes the Alumacraft Pro 175 for a test ride...see complete test
Sea-Doo Wake Edition
years ago, Sea-Doo took a bold step by developing and marketing a wake sports
dedicated PWC. Geared for the i-generation of thrill seekers, the Wake Edition
features many components of the GTX model and has numerous upgrades required by
boarders to perform at their best. See Captain Ron's complete test and video review of the Sea-Doo
Four Winns SL 262 Still Wins Raves
There was actually nothing new about the pickle-fork concept as the Lake Como boat
builder Renato Molinari popularized them on the international racing circuit 40
years ago. But what made the Four Winns SL 262 “revolutionary” is that they were
the first builder to sire a completely new breed of sportboat – one that had far
higher freeboard so that it would be comfortable, safe and very dry in big water.
The designers brought its hard chines forward to give it incredible stability on
a 8’6” trailerable beam, a huge forward bowriding area, and also more interior
volume in the helm and head area. BoatTEST.com debuted its videos of the SL 262
over a year ago, but now Four Winns has introduced its own spectacular commercial
video which captures the romance and excitement of this breath-taking new design.
We urge you to take a look at it whether or not you are interested in a sportboat
because it shows you how exciting boat design can be when someone thinks out of
the box (or in this case, the old hull shape).
See Four Winns commercial video of SL 262…
BoatTEST’s captain’s video take on the SL 262 video with performance numbers…
Read Captain Ron Svoboda’s report on SL 262 and see detailed pictures…
Rotax Engines Rock!
Rotax engines are not exactly a household name, but they should be. Built in Austria,
over 5 million Rotax engines have been built in the last 25 years and as you can
see they are used for most any application. Our Capt. Rob Smith spent some time
with Sea-Doo engineers in Quebec and has come back with a full video report on the
amazing little 3-cylinder engines that power Sea-Doo PWCs. Take a look, we think
you will be amazed by what you see.
Yamaha AR230 HO
We are Looking for
a Few Good Tests!
We tested the SX230 in 2005 and again in 2006, but we haven’t gotten around to
the new AR230 – yet. That’s why we are asking you to take a test drive for us and
let us know what you think. So, if you are a serious buyer and accept
this mission to provide us with valuable reader feedback, be forewarned, the folks at Yamaha tell us that
once people take a test drive they almost always buy one. The best reader report will win one of our new, coveted, pirate,
To set up a test…push Yamaha’s Button.
In the Engine Room
Tigé Switches to High-Torque PCM Power
In the world of ski/wakeboard boats, after a good sound system, nothing is more
important than time-to-plane. Tigé (pronounced tie-guh) boats recently switched
engine suppliers to PCM, long a respected name in the watersports and tournament
ski/wakeboard market. As soon as Tigé got the new engines installed we flew our
Director of Testing, Capt. Rob Smith, out to Abilene, TX to see how the boats performed
with the new iron. To find out what numbers we got with the new PCM engines...jump
Mermaid Marine Air
If the summer heat is affecting your time on the water, you may want to consider
getting an easy-to-install air conditioning unit. Mermaid Marine Air constructs a line of
self-contained, prewired, and precharged air conditioning units for boats of all
Watch video about Mermaid Marine.
Visit Mermaid Marine.
Boat Buying Tips
Owner Boat Reviews
Gaining In Popularity
Now in its 6th year, BoatTEST.com’s “Owner Boat Reviews” are gaining in popularity
as more and more members check them when doing buying research. Each week scores
of altruistic members fill out the 15 questions that cover the boat, its engine,
performance, accommodations, dealership, factory and a number of other critical
subjects of boats they own. The concept is to provide boat buyers -- for both new
and used boats -- with valuable insights to help them make the right buying decisions
specific brands and models.
To find out more about BoatTEST’s “Owner Boat Reviews” and how to use them to your
advantage…report in here.
If you are tired of scraping your boat's hull and don't want to spend a fortune
for a boat hoist, the people from Boat Bunkers might have a solution for you.
Boat Bunkers is an in-water mooring station which isolates your boat from the surrounding
water, therefore keeping the bottom of your boat barnacle free. Watch our Boat Bunker product video.
Visit Boat Bunkers.
Odyssey Drycell batteries are heavy duty, deep cycle, high cranking amp batteries
with Drycell technology that gives each battery a lifespan anywhere from 6 to 10
years. The spill-proof design eliminates any corrosive effects and by using
pure lead technology, Odyssey Batteries gives a high-rate power density.
Watch Odyssey Batteries' demonstration.
Visit Odyssey Batteries.
Flare at Night
Consider the Plight...
How many times have you seen a flare at night only to think that it was a prank
or that if it were a real “Mayday” someone else would see it and call the Coast Guard?
Unfortunately, emergency flares don’t last
very long – mere seconds – and chances
are good that no one will be looking in the right direction during those few seconds.
If you do see a flare, take the position and call it in. If you are on the other
end of the bargain you wouldn’t want it any other way. Here’s a true story of a family that was saved by a quick-witted
waitress…double the tip.
Why We Love Boating
Years ago while cruising in the Caribbean we dangled a couple of lines over the
side at sundown. To our delight we happened into a school of yellowtail snapper
and in a few minutes we had half a dozen aboard. In a flash they were dressed, grilled,
and served to a hungry group of kids that didn’t like fish – until then! Fresh yellowtail
snapper are so delicious, even kids love them. It was a meal we will always remember.
If you would like an expert's tips on catching them…drop a line here.
Premier PTX Toons Go to the Movies!
Premier Pontoon company in Wyoming, MN has what many people believe to be the best
and certainly the most numerous product videos in the boating industry. These videos
are hard to top from standpoints of production values, professionalism and information.
BoatTEST.com now makes 17 Premier corporate videos available on BoatTEST 24/7. So, any time
you are thinking about pontooning, or if you are like one of our readers, you own
a toon but need a little peer support, just come to BoatTEST and the Premier movies.
If you would like just the cold hard facts, then you can play one of our 10 video
tests of Premier toons. We suggest that you start at the top of the line with the
310 Boundary Waters tritoon.
See test video of 310 Boundary Waters…
See test video of 275 Intrigue...
Ducky Award Winner
“Where’s my litter box! I’m going to need it!” – L. Tury
“First they get me fixed, next they get me declawed, and then they expect me to
hang on!!” –R. Banzhof
Honorable (almost) Mention
“That must be the new towable by Sea-Doo. It’s called the Cat-Apult.” – J. Foxen
“The Winner of the 'How to Kill the Kids' Award is...” – A. Vallalon
“Rough ride, but wasn’t that fun kids? Where’s the cat?” – E. Donath
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 8/17/08.
51 Bank Street, Suite 2A
Stamford, CT 06901