BoatTEST Newsletter - 11/05/2008
BoatTEST Newsletter November 5, 2008 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust

Test & Video Reviews

- Baja 247 Islander
Doral Prestancia
- Formula 270 Bowrider
- Glastron GLS 195

- Larson Senza 206
- Mako 284 Center Console
- Sea-Doo 230 Challenger SE
- Smoker Craft 182 Pro Mag
- Tahoe 225
- Yamaha FX SHO

Also Inside:
- Yanmar Diesel Repower
- 717 Miles by PWC
- Malibu Redesigns Their VLX
- Rescue of the Week
- Rules of the Road
- Product Review: SeaStar Steering
- Product Review: Garelick Seat

- Boating Tips: Phone vs. Laptop
- New Wellcraft 210 Sportsman
- Captain Steve's Weekly Lesson
Ducky Award Winner

Yanmar Diesel Repower Doubles Range of 25’ Moppie

25' Moppie
The Yanmar 4BY 180 is an ideal repower solution. Yes, those are the new Yanmar ZT350 lower stern drive units you see.

Our first test of the Yanmar 4BY 180-hp diesel and brand new ZT350 stern drive lower unit package produced nearly 3 nmpg at best cruise in a rehabbed and repowered classic 1963 Bertram 25 Moppie. If only Dick Bertram were still alive to see that! With five heavy men aboard this twin engine Bertram produced a WOT of 43 mph (37.4 knots) and 18.6 knots (21.4 mph) at best cruise for an awesome 2.95 nmpg. That gives this Moppie a 184 nautical mile range (264 statute miles), enough to get you from New York City to Nantucket or from St. Tropez to Portofino non-stop. Now Yanmar makes the whole drive train from flywheel to lower unit. Watch this video and find out all about the system.

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Boat Tests & Reviews

Doral Prestancia

Doral Prestancia

The Prestancia is a new 32' offering from Doral. This model couples European style, amenities and comfort with numerous power options that a sophisticated boater will appreciate. With a 10 foot beam, this 32-footer is a nice step up for people set to move out of a trailerable boat into an express cruiser ready for a big lake or coastal work in a classy package. Step aboard the Doral Prestancia with Captain Rob Smith.

Yamaha FX SHO

Yamaha FX SHO

The FX SHO is one Yamaha’s luxury performance models. This PWC is not shy when it comes to performance, and from the Atomic Blue Metallic or Stealth Black color scheme, through the long list of comforts and conveniences, there’s something here for every discriminating buyer. The supercharged 1.8 liter four-stroke engine will deliver plenty of thrills. Come along as Captain John takes us through the FX SHO.

Glastron GLS 195

Malibu Sunscape 247

This year Glastron has made a major upgrade in quality and amentities. Glastron targeted the GLS series as an impact statement with aggressive styling, including graphics, hardware and European interior design elements. The GLS 195 maintains much of the sophistication of her larger siblings yet holds the price to something more boaters can afford. See complete test and video of the new Glastron GLS 195.

Larson Senza 206

Larson Senza 206

Larson’s Senza Series has classy styling which has made this line 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. Designed for the younger, more athletic boater who has some serious watersports in mind, the Senza 206 is more of a cross-over boat. In fact, popular dealer add-ons are ballast bags and cruise control for wakeboarding. See complete test and video of the Senza 206 from Larson...

Tahoe 225

Tahoe 225Tahoe has expanded its lineup to include more family fun with space and safety in mind. The design of these runabouts allows you to feel secure with children onboard because of the higher interior bulwarks that give them room to roam while you relax. The boat is open and wide, making it easy to handle a gang aboard.
See test results and video of the Tahoe 225.

Mako 284 Center Console

Mako 284 CCWith over 40 companies making center consoles the consumer certainly has plenty of choices, although the differences in the boats are sometimes hard to discern. The Mako 284 has as standard most everything that most builders offer plus a head, recessed tabs and freshwater wash down. The stock power is a 200-hp OptiMax. An EZ Loader trailer and underwater OceanLED lights are optional. But the big news is the price. See video of the Mako 284 Center Console.

We said the big news was the price. If you’d like to know what your local dealer is asking for the 284 Mako--press this button. Price Quote

Smoker Craft 182 Pro Mag

Smoker Craft 182 Pro MagThere is no activity more fun for the whole family than the sport of fishing and the Smoker Craft 182 Pro Mag is designed to deliver plenty of room and ease of use. Since the family usually has a lot of gear to bring along, the 182 has a lot of storage, too. She carries a wide beam for stability and safety and has a stern livewell for bait or to hold the catch. Capt. Robert Smith takes a video look at the 182 Pro Mag from Smoker Craft.

Formula 270 BowriderFormula 270 BR

Formula has created another boat in its bowrider line and the 270 Bowrider is sure to be a popular model for boaters who want the Formula status. This new bowrider has lots of class, lots of amenities and plenty of performance. She has a 5-year Formula Guard Protection Plan and a 10-year Structural Warranty. The 270 Bowrider has eight engine choices from either MerCruiser or Volvo Penta. Check out the Formula 270 Bowrider for yourself.

Baja 247 Islander by Fountain

Baja 247 Islander Fountain Powerboats bought Baja this spring and has been building Baja boats since mid-summer. Reggie has done some major re-tooling on the boats’ interiors, so if you are in the market for this type of boat you need to see the new models. When it comes to the structural soundness of light-weight go-fast boats, Fountain probably has more expertise than most anyone. Our test boat went 60 mph simply by pushing the 375-hp MerCruiser’s hammering down. This Islander series has lots of seating and storage in a bowrider configuration. Check out the Baja 247 Islander test and video.

To find out if your local Fountain dealer has one of the new “Baja by Fountain” models, press this button Dealer Locator and call.

Sea-Doo 230 Challenger SE

Sea-Doo 230 Challenger SEThe 230 Challenger SE sports many standard features and a few that are definitely innovative. Aside from the obvious value of shallow water capability, safer operation and low bow rise, direct drive saves you time and money on service with no transmission to manage. Watch our video and see test results of the Sea-Doo 230 Challenger SE.

These boats are less expensive than you may think. Request a price quote for the Sea-Doo 230 Challenger SE: Price Quote

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PWC Adventure

717 Miles by PWC
on the Great Lakes

Sea-Doo GTX Limited iS
Two adventuresome PWC owners took their trusty seahorses around Michigan in 4 days.

You don’t have to have a 95’ Hargrave to cruise the Great Lakes – all you need is a PWC! Read along as we tell you of how two friends, riding their aging PWCs, rode across two of the biggest lakes in North America, finished in one piece and could still walk! But it all didn’t go like clockwork. There were problems, gremlins and a mysterious leak in one of the hulls. To find out about this Great Lakes PWC Odyssey, what it was like, and how our intrepid mariners avoided bottom rash and bottom fish -- twist this throttle.

New Boat

Popular Wakesetter VLX Redesigned for 2009

Malibu Wakesetter VLX
Malibu's new battlestar metallica will dazzle as you sizzle.

Malibu has reengineered their popular Wakesetter VLX for 2009. The redesign includes a complete reshaping of the deck and hull to optimize handling and wakeboard performance. In addition to engineering modifications, the VLX is available in new gel coat designs, and the customizable color areas have 25 Malibu colors available, including 5 new metallic choices. See Malibu VLX specs and pix.

See Malibu boat tests.



First Again

Prop Info

Mako Boats


boat history


Boat Attitude



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Rescue of the Week

Bass Boater Stranded in Everglades

Everglades Crocs
Boater capsizes in Everglades canal –
“We’ll eat like kings!”

In mid-October Jack Furley was blasting his 18’ bass boat through the Florida Everglades at 70 mph when he hit a patch of sawgrass. The boat crashed, Furley was injured, and he couldn’t walk out – at least not in one piece. You can guess what was going through Furley’s mind, and it wasn’t largemouth bass. He did not have a VHF radio, only a cell phone, a device not known to be effective in the middle of the Everglades. To find out what happened to our speed demon -- snap your choppers.

Rules of the Road

Two Boats Crash:
Who Was at Fault?

You Be the Judge
You be the judge.

A collision between two boats in Camden County Missouri resulted in two men being injured, one seriously. A 25’ Regal was hit by a 20’ Generation bass boat while both were operating on the Big Niangua River at the 3 mile mark. Here are the facts. The Regal, operated by a 39 year old man, was headed upstream, and was hit on the starboard side and sank in 18’ of water. The bass boat, operated by a 62 year old man whose injuries were listed as serious, was also a total loss.

Who’s at fault…you be the judge!

Product Review

TeleFlex’s SeaStar System Makes Steering Easy

Sea Star System
New aftermarket hydraulic steering system for outboard engines.

If you have added new four-stroke engines to your boat without hydraulic steering, you are probably surprised by how much extra effort it takes to steer. The new engines are heavier and after a long day on the water, they can wear you out. That is why Teleflex, the leading name in recreational marine steering, has introduced its new SeaStar hydraulic system for the aftermarket. It is relatively low cost and easy to install. See Capt. Robert Smith demonstrate the unit on video.

For more information or to order a system from the factory.

Product Review

3-Way Adjustable
Helm Seat Base

Garelick Seat Base
This simple-to-install seat base can double your boating pleasure.

The #1 complaint among’s “Owner Reviews” on sportboats is that the helm seat is not positioned correctly for the owner’s use. Usually the seat is too low and can not be raised. Often it is too close to the wheel for tall or corpulent helmsmen. Many don’t swivel 180-degrees to aid conversation when at anchor. If you have any of those problems with your helm seat, for $250 and the price of a few screws and bolts, you can have a helm seat the way you always wanted it. See video of Capt. Robert Smith demonstrating the 3-way pedestal.

To find out more about the seat base and to order direct from the factory.

Boating Tips

Phone vs. Laptop

Phone Vs. Laptop

Last week we established that small is coming, this week we want to zero in on how small and why. It is true that much of what we have described can be done on your laptop and our experience has been that about 90 percent of large boat cruisers have a laptop onboard, but what about fishermen in small boats and people out day cruising in the sportboat? Hello, ever tried to use a laptop on a PWC? Karen and Jeffrey Siegel give us the pros and cons…read on.

New Boat

New Wellcraft
210 Sportsman

Wellcraft 210 Sportsman

For 2009 Wellcraft has added another model to their growing Sportsman line. Much like the versatile 180 Sportsman the NEW 210 Sportsman features amenities that appeal to the multi-purpose boater. The 21’ 210 Sportsman has a beam of 8’6’’ and is available with nine power options. Get basic specs here.

See all Wellcraft tests.

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Capt. Steve's Lesson #11

Negligent Boat Operation
Is a Federal Crime

Capt. Steve

Capt. Steve says if you boat smart you avoid all penalties of poor judgment!

Captain Steve points out some examples of what boating negligence is and the penalties you face when operating negligently. The obvious lesson here is that if you practice smart boating you avoid all penalties of poor judgment. There is also a helpful video on what to do if the authorities stop you. The ten videos presented this week are part of Captain Steve’s USCG-approved boating course called “Smart Boating.” Watch Captain Steve's video boating lessons every week on

To view this week’s lessons…

To view past lessons...

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Ducky Award Winner

whats going on here?

First Place-- Ducky Winner!
“While the entire boat was entranced by the naked skydivers… Roger, the amateur bird watcher, was captivated by the Double Breasted Lake Warbler.” – S. Sanford

Second Place
“Jim Bob was glad that he was the only one to remember to look away during a nuclear explosion.” – C. Pache

Honorable Mention
“No Bubba, your other right shoulder.”
– S. Parent

Pirate Duck Awards-- NOT PC
“Why does the blind guy always look the wrong way?” – M. Martin

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 11/9/08.


Pirate Duck Awards

"Unfortunately for Billy-Bob, when the nude female pyramid ski team came by, his keen sense of sight was overshadowed by his dyslexia!!!" – D. Orris

“Riley realized he was gay when he noticed he was the only one looking at the naked dude wakeboarding.” – A. Laframboise

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