BoatTEST Newsletter - 10/08/2008 October 8, 2008 If you cannot view the see the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust

Test & Video Reviews

- Glastron GLS 215
- Larson Senza 206
- Sylvan 8522 Sport
- Smoker Craft 1866 CC
Formula 270 Bowrider
- Seaswirl 2901 Walk Around
- Malibu Sunscape 247 LSV

Also Inside:
- Boat Loan Money Is Flowing
- New FZ Series from Yamaha
New Stratos 294 XL & 201 XLE
- Yamaha's F40 Engine
- New Princecraft Ventura 220 WS
Linda Greenlaw in Pokey
- Product Review: 3M Water Filter
- Bayliner Founder Making Waves
- Product Demo: TideSlide
Reader Feedback
- A Hurricane Barrier Near You?
- Fishing Tip from the Pros
- Captain Steve's Weekly Lesson
Ducky Award Winner

Boat Loan Money
Is Still Flowing!

Wall Street Bull
Merrill Lynch is now bullish on the Bank of America -- its new owner, and source of much of the country's boat loans.

Despite all of the reports of credit markets freezing up, sky-rocketing interest rates, and banks not even lending to other banks, boat loans are still widely available at reasonable rates. For the last several days has surveyed banks, boat loan brokers, boat dealers and boat builders and we found that boat loan money is still flowing. While several large consumer insitutions, such as GE Capital and Key Bank, have gotten out of the consumer boat loan business, other institutions are still making loans directly, as well as through loan brokers and boat dealers. That is the good news. However, the free-wheeling days of 100% financing to anyone with a heartbeat are over, whether it be for a boat loan or nearly anything else. To find out where to get a boat loan, how much it will cost, and the new qualification on.

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Boat Tests & Reviews

Glastron GLS 215

Glastron GLS 215

The GLS 215 is part of the new series from Glastron that brings more style and value to this great old brand. In Glastron’s GLS 215 a lot of attention was given to upscale upholstery, snap-in carpeting and functional options like the swing-away footrests for the optional L-seating. See complete test and video of Glastron's GLS 215.

Larson Senza 206

Larson Senza 206

Larson’s Senza Series, from the company's sport boat line, has become quite popular the last several years. This 206 offers three different graphics packages: standard, with no extra graphics at all, the Sport Paint Band package, and the Adrenaline package, which is a carnival of color and wild graphics. The Senza 206 is more of a crossover boat designed for the younger, more athletic boater. See Captain Rob's complete test and video of the Senza 206.

Sylvan 8522 Sport

Sylvan 8522 SportSylvan’s 8522 Sport is blurring the lines between pontoon boats, deckboats and skiboats because it can do it all. This model has Smoker Craft’s Revolutionary Planing Technology (RPT) tubes that enable these boats to deliver more speed and performance with smaller engine packages that will save you on both purchase price and fuel economy. See Captain Rob's complete test and video of Sylvan's 8522 Sport.

Smoker Craft 1866 CC

Smoker Craft 1866 CC Whether they are using it as a shooting platform during duck season or working crab pots in the Florida shoreline bays and inlets, the 1866 CC Bass and Bay is built for the sportsman. Its semi-V three keel hull shape delivers sharp, responsive handling and its nearly 8’ beam delivers stability so you can comfortably walk around.  See Captain Rob's complete test and video of the Smoker Craft 1866 CC.

Formula 270 Bowrider

Formula 270 BRFormula adds to their stable of premier bowriders with the introduction of the 270 Bowrider. Designed to fill the void between the 260 and 310, this new bowrider has lots of class, lots of amenities and plenty of performance. It carries the same 10-year Structural Warranty and transferable 5-Year Formula Guard Limited Protection Plan as the rest of their line. Come aboard as we test the Formula 270 Bowrider.

Seaswirl 2901 Walk Around

Seaswirl 2901 Walk AroundSeaswirl's 2901 Walk Around has been completely re-tooled, and modernized for today’s competitive market place, yet retains her classy looks and choice of stern drive or outboard propulsion formats.  We tested with the latter configuration, equipped with a pair of Evinrude E-TECs strapped to the stern...see complete test and video.

Malibu Sunscape 247 LSV

Malibu Sunscape 247 LSVThe largest boat in the Malibu line of high-end ski and wakeboard tow rigs is the 247 LSV. Like all the Malibu boats, you can customize this flagship in many different ways, depending on your preferred water sports and how serious you are about them. If you’re into skiing, wakeboarding, tubing or just looking for an all-around fun machine, then the Sunscape model may be for you. We take the Malibu Sunscape 247 LSV for a test ride.

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New Bass Boats

New Tournament-Equipped Stratos
Bass Boats For Joe Six-Pack

  294 XL 201 XL
The new 294 XL is 19’6”, and has a special 25th Anniversary discount “package” price of $32,995 with a 200-hp Yamaha 2-stroke. It is loaded with pro-bass boat amenities at a regular bass boat price. The new 201 XL Evolution is 22’9” and below those incredibly large casting platforms you'll find virtually every bass boat trick in the book. The Anniversary special “package” price is $47,895 with a 250-hp Yamaha 2-stroke.

Stratos wanted to do something special to celebrate its 25th Anniversary and what they came up with is an elegantly simple idea: take most of the equipment, amenities and functionality of a bass boat rigged for pro tournaments and stuff them into a boat priced for the non-tournament bass angler. We love it. The company also redesigned the hull with a sharper deadrise bow entry so boaters can bash through chop without cracking a molar. Note the flared beam on the 201 XL Evolution for more platform space and wrap-around molded seat for a safer, more comfortable ride. These two boat-engine-trailer packages have more gear and up-grades than we have space to describe (such as oil-bath hubs on the Road Armor tandem-axle trailers, LED-lighted storage, dividable aerated livewells, etc.). Stratos will put any engine you want on the transom. The boats have already started shipping to dealers nationwide. We think these might be the hottest new bass boats of the season. Take a look and let us know if you agree-- or, disagree. Simply visit a Stratos dealer, look them over, then write us at: The most incisive email wins one of our coveted Duckies. (No trade entries, please!) 

Dealer Locator Price Quote Test Drive Trade Value Lay-Away Plan
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New PWCs

New FZ Series from Yamaha

Yamaha FZ Series
The all-new FZ Series is the first sit-down
PWC designed for stand-up riding.

When Yamaha Watercraft Group announced they had a “new” Waverunner Series, our first thought was that they dressed one of their existing PWCs in new clothes – but, boy, were we wrong. The new FZ series really is new and different. For starters, they redesigned the hull in several significant ways, and then they went to work redesigning the top deck. Yamaha told us that this series was designed for the enthusiast that wants to ride either sitting or standing. To find out what we think after spending two days on the water testing the FZS…full throttle here.

New Boat

Princecraft’s New Deckboat Is 33% Lighter than Glass!

Called a “fish n’ ski” deckboat, Princecraft's new aluminum 220 WS promises to be fuel-efficient, nimble and versatile.

Princecraft has introduced a new 22’ aluminum “fish n’ ski” deckboat that it says weighs 2208 lbs. and is 33% lighter than similar-sized fiberglass boats. In fact, the folks at Princecraft are being far too modest. When we compared the 220 WS to a deckboat that created the type – Hurricane by Godfrey – we found that the new 220 WS at 2208 lbs. is actually 35.2% lighter than the fiberglass Hurricane 2200 Sun Deck. This huge weight savings means a lower horsepower outboard can be used than with a glass boat, and operation will be more fuel-efficient. To find out more about this new challenger in the historically fiberglass deckboat market…pound this rivet.   

In the Engine Room

Yamaha F40

Yamaha F40
The F40 is a 3 cylinder, 747cc four-stroke engine 
with single overhead cam.

Yamaha has released a newer version of their proven 40-hp outboard, the F40 EFI. This new electronically fuel injected outboard meets the demand for smoother running, more efficient and environmentally safer operation today’s energy conscious boater demands. Yamaha engineers took the reliable power head of the proven 40-hp carbureted model and applied multi-point electronic fuel injection technology. This delivers a well-balanced blend of power and efficiency from startup to full power.  Captain Rob takes us through the Yamaha F40.




Prop Info


yamaha pwc

boat history




First Again

yamaha pwc

yamaha sportboats
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Reader Feedback

Readers Demand Tougher Boat Tests

Safe Haven
Readers want boat tests in rough water, such as this test of a 40’ Wildcat built by Safe Haven Marine in Cork, Ireland, seen here in a gale. Note green water over bow.

Last week we asked readers what they wanted and we got an ear full. Tougher tests, more people in the boats, video sagas, funnier captions and a lot more. BoatTEST aims to please so we are taking your suggestions to heart. To find out what some readers want, what we have to say about it, and to let us know what you think…plunk your magic twanger.

Product Review

3M Water Filter

3M Fliter

Get rid of the plastic taste, metals and sediment in your boat's drinking water with this easy to use filter from 3M. Captain Robert Smith explains how this product.  If you ever have  to change the filter, which is good for about 500 gallons, he shows that too.  Check out BoatTEST's product review of the 3M Water Filter.

Learn more about  this product at 3M.

Fishing News

Linda Greenlaw
Thrown in the Slammer
for Fishing

Linda Greenlaw
Linda Greenlaw, who is now lobstering and writing novels, was brought to court in handcuffs on Sept. 26 in St. Johns, Newfoundland.

The female fishboat-captain-turned-author — best known for being the last person to have contact with the ill-fated Andrea Gail made famous by the book “The Perfect Storm”— is facing charges in Canada for allegedly fishing illegally inside Canada's 200-mile limit. Capt. Linda Greenlaw hasn’t been swordfishing for 10 years and now lobsters from her home in Isle Au Haut, ME and writes books. So why was she out long lining east of Newfoundland? To find out if Capt. Linda is still in the pokey and why she was fishing…set this hook.

Product Review

Secure Your Boat with TideSlide


Hurricane season is well underway and if you have yet to develop a system for securing your boat, then you should take a look at this product from TideSlide.  The company manufactures a hurricane mooring device that can secure any boat from 15 feet to 50', the company says.  Watch the TideSlide video.

To learn more visit TideSlide online.

 “Better buy now…you only have a few good seasons left.”

--Larry Russo

Making History

Bayliner Founder is Still Making Waves

Orin Edson – visionary, entrepreneur
and philanthropist.

Orin Edson built Bayliner from humble beginnings in Bellingham, WA to what was at the time the world’s largest boat company. His goal of making an affordable boat with a turn-key approach for beginners and the “masses” still resonates even today and is a true testament to his legacy. By making boat ownership affordable, he probably did more to grow the sport than anything since the invention of fiberglass. Even though he sold Bayliner to the Brunswick Corp. years ago, his passion for boat building has never left him and he is still making waves. To find out more about this incredible legend…pop this cork. 

Hurricane Planning

A Hurricane Barrier Coming Near You?

Stamford Harbour
This picture shows the Army Corps of Engineers’ hurricane barrier in the east branch of Stamford, CT Harbor. Large, steel doors close when the Corps expects the high water of a storm surge.

Boaters in Stamford, CT –’s home port -- have the benefit of being able to get behind an Army Corps of Engineers-made barrier that protects their boats from a severe storm surge such as the one experienced in the Galveston-Houston area last month. When hurricanes approach, local residents make plans to evacuate behind the doors which can be seen open in the picture above. The stone levee to the left and right of the doors is about 17' above MLW. To find out more about this man-made hurricane hole…open this door.

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Fishing Tips

Classic Champ Likes Jigs For Autumn Bass

  Alton Jones
It's autumn, and that means Bassmaster Classic champion Alton Jones will be fishing jigs.

"I'll have two jigs, a spinnerbait, and a shallow running crankbait tied on and ready," notes the Yamaha pro, who's already spent time scouting Louisiana's Red River where he'll defend his Classic title next February, "but jigs are definitely my favorite lures this time of year. Read more...

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Boating Education

Capt. Steve's "Smart Boating" Lessons

  Capt. Steve
Capt. Steve will have you speaking like Captain Kidd in no time.

In this week’s lessons Captain Steve goes over some basic nautical terms of boating. While looking at a boat from above, Captain Steve will take you through terminology that will make any new boater seem like an old salt. The seven videos presented this week are part of Captain Steve’s USCG-approved boating course called “Smart Boating.” Watch these videos every week on and become an armchair expert. To view this week’s lessons…start your engine.

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Ducky Award Winner

whats going on here?

First Place 
“You caught it, you clean it!” – D. Sawchuk

Second Place

“I’m losing my ass on this boat.”
– S. Reeves

Honorable (almost) Mention

“I always launch my boat by the seat of my pants.” – D. Braun

“Honey its official, I’m hooked on boating.”
– M. Martin

“This boat is a real strain on my wallet!!!”
– T. Gillen

“The new optional Acme bow thruster.”
– P. Standley

“This boat really hauls ass!” - A. Crew 

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 10/12/08.

Devil Duck Winners

“A great picture of the editor who picks the captions pulling another great caption out of his twisted mind…. :)” – J. Fisher

“The girls always said that Jim was well hung.” – D. Patterson

“I don’t think your wife meant it literally when she said to stick the boat up your a**.”
– M. Novelli
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