BoatTEST Newsletter - 11/19/2008
BoatTEST Newsletter November 19, 2008 If you cannot view the see the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust

Test & Video Reviews

- Doral Monticello
- Glastron GLS 235
- Larson LXI 258
- Premier 210 SunSation
Seaway 24 Offshore
- Tigé 24 Vé
- Triumph 235 CC
- Vectra 2042

Also Inside:
- BoatTEST Member Services
New Wake Boat Brand
- BoatTEST on BoatShop24
- New MasterCraft ProStart 214
Why Yamaha is Pumping HP
- Technology Behind Props
- Gryo Stabilizer Exaggeration?
- 3 Boaters Jump for Their Lives
- How Good Are You?
- Product Review: Kelcom Seals
- Product Review: Minn Kota
- Repower with a 225 Evinrude
- Midnight Killer Gets Sentenced
- Tug Boat Sinks in Buzzards Bay
- New 18' Stratos Multi-Species 
- Frank Mundus Dies in Hawaii
- Solutions for Cell Phone Signal
Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Member Services
Boat Buying Program

Member Services
Powerboats – both new and used – have never been so attractive as now. BoatTEST’s new FREE
Member Services Boat Buying Program
helps consumers zero-in on the best values. is leveraging its nationwide contacts and world-wide reach with dealers, brokers, builders, and its staff’s decades of experience in the marine business to offer its members exclusive boat-buying help. This service is free to BoatTEST members (new sign-up is required) seeking powerboats 20-feet or larger. BoatTEST will identify specific boats meeting buyer criteria that we feel offer exceptional value members contemplating purchase prior to August 2009. To take advantage of’s Member Service Boat Buying Program -- sign up here.

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Boat Tests & Reviews

Doral Monticello

Doral Monticello

The Monticello from Doral is one of the most sophisticated 25-footers on the market.  It sports quite a list of standard features and an equally impressive list of optional features to customize it to your liking. This year we tested two Monticellos; one with the Yanmar 6BY diesel package and the other had the MerCruiser 350 MAG MPI. Come aboard and see how the Doral Monticello performed. See complete test video.

Larson LXi 258

Larson LXI 258

The LXi Series is a brand new series from Larson which includes the 218, 238 and 258. You will find many similarities between each model, except that the 258 includes a wet bar, and the 238 includes a head compartment on the port side. Don’t look for sole lockers, Larson eliminated them and put the storage where you use it. One of our favorite items was the rumble seat on the larger boats where you can sit back and watch a sunset. Watch complete test and video review of the Larson LXi 258.

Glastron GLS 235

Glastron GLS 235The next to the largest boat in this new GLS series (Glastron Luxury Series) is the GLS 235. At nearly 24’ length overall, she felt like she was closer to 26’ with the roomy cockpit and comfortable seating.   Like her siblings, Glastron’s GLS 235 has a lot of standard stainless steel fittings; a stainless steel rub rail insert to protect her hull, bow and stern pad eyes and pull up cleats including two at the bow and two at the breast of the boat. No more tying off to the steering wheel to run into the dock master’s office to buy some ice. See complete test and video of the Glastron GLS 235.

Premier 210 SunSation

Premier 210 SunsationPontoon boats seem to be evolving quickly, far beyond their traditional image and  Premier knows this well. Their lineup ranges from simple, no frills double “toon” boats to high-end triples.  The SunSation lineup is their touring line, ranging from 15 to 24 feet that includes the 210 SunSation. This boat offers your family the perfect platform for creating lasting memories out on the water.  If you are planning on buying a pontoon boat for next season, you owe it to yourself to check out this top-of-the-line brand.  See video review and complete test of Premier's 210 SunSation.

Seaway 24 Offshore

Seaway 24Seaway is a semi-custom builder and this new boat has the classic Down East lobster boat design with plumb bow and hard chines for stability. You can get this in three configurations: lobster boat house, seafarer canvas top and the hardtop seen at left. This is 100% hand laid up hull. Seaway brings the Maine tradition to those looking for a great value at a price much lower than her competitors. Check out the Seaway 24 Offshore for yourself.

Tigé 24 Vé

Tigé 24VéThis 24 Vé has room for the whole crew, makes the big wakes riders love, but can instantly change to a smooth-wake ski boat. And with their patented Convex V hull and TAPS wake system, Tigé’s boats don’t need the heavy iron other wakeboard boats do. Our test boat’s 5.7 liter 343 PCM inboard gave us a top speed of 43 mph and the boat planed in just 3.8 seconds. Capt. Robert Smith takes the 24 Vé from Tigé for a ride. 

Triumph 235 CC

Triumph 235 CCTriumph’s line of Roplene boats continues to evolve and develop new models. Leading their line and carrying the flag for Triumph is their 235 CC offshore-capable fishing rig. She has many standard features making her ready for your favorite fishing spot as well as having a healthy list of options for family-friendly cruising. Watch test video and complete test of Triumph's 235 CC.

Vectra 2042 IO with Fish Package

Vectra 2042Vectra is part of the family of Smoker Craft products. When you think about Smoker Craft, you don’t typically envision a fiberglass runabout, but that is exactly what the Vectra 2042 I/O Fish is. This boat has the fish package and with the optional tower this particular model is designed for the family that loves both fishing and watersports. We take the Vectra 2042 IO for a test ride. 

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New Boat

New MasterCraft
214 Has V-Drive

MasterCraft 214 V-Drive
MasterCraft says their new ProStar 214V is the only V-drive approved world record capable-three event-USA Waterski tournament towboat.

By moving the engine to the transom, MasterCraft has increased the seating capacity to accommodate 11 of your closest friends, family and fans. The ProStar 214V is built on the same proven hull as the 214 direct drive, and is powered by an Indmar V-8 310-hp engine. The boat is designed for both ski and wake dudes and has an optional tow bar. MasterCraft has fitted the boat with what it calls “the largest swim platform in the industry” and the boat has a transom door for easy movement. To find out more about this exciting new entry in the rarified air of deluxe ski/wake boats -- jump your mouse.

See MasterCraft boat tests -- 

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BoatTEST News
Now Has BoatTEST Videos

BoatShop24 is the largest boating classified website in Europe. test videos now can be seen on The website has over 80,000 European boat classified listings and now BoatTEST’s videos are linked to all sisterships in their database. Boat buyers browsing Boatshop’s listings can now get the performance data, functionality reporting and our captain’s take on the boats while they are shopping, and they do not have to come to to find that information. This makes boat-buying research more convenient and media-rich for the consumer. makes its treasure trove of over 1,000 boat tests and 3,000 videos available to qualified marine websites all over the world.

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New Brand

New Wake Boat Brand
Introduced at Low Price-Point

Axis Wake Research
Fresh from the CAD-CAM, this new wakeboard design
promises a high wake with a low price.

From the people who brought you the world’s largest-selling premier ski/wakeboard name – Malibu – comes a new brand aimed directly at the entry-level wakeboat market. The name of the new company is Axis Wake Research, and with the savvy folks at Malibu behind it, the new brand is sure to make big waves in the ski/wakeboard industry. In a boating segment known for not compromising quality, amenities, or creature comforts no matter what the cost, this low price-point boat will surely have everyone giving it a serious look. To see a profile CAD drawing and to read the company’s unusual introductory press release -- look here dude.

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PWC News

Yamaha is Pumping
PWC Horsepower

Yamaha PWC
With PWCs WOT limited to 65 mph,
why is Yamaha adding horsepower?

The top officers of three of the four major PWC companies marketing in the U.S. tell us that there is a “gentlemen’s agreement” to program their units not to exceed 65 mph. We’ve been told that this has been done in consultations with major insurance companies for the obvious safety reasons and to keep insurance premiums at an affordable level. We applaud the PWC industry’s self-regulation. But if all of this is true, why is Yamaha pumping up the horsepower of its units? We spoke to Mark Speaks, President of Yamaha, and asked the question. See video interview here --

Product Video

The Technology Behind
Solas Propellers

Solas Props
Capt. Rob Smith investigates the Solas hub design.

Solas Props recently introduced a new, patented hub design which reduces prop slip and vibration, and increases torque transfer. Find out how it works and which engines it is for. 

Search for a new propeller from Solas.

Gyro Stabilizer

Reader Asks About
Rolling Editor

Jeff Hammond
Note that editor Hammond is leaning into the boat's roll
which is a natural reaction.

Last week we ran our test of the Seakeeper Stabilizing Gyro System, and a reader wrote in to say that Editor Jeff Hammond was moving his body to make it look like the boat was rolling more than it actually was. The skeptical reader let his cynicism get the better of his eyesight as the photo above taken from the video clearly shows. Hammond certainly didn't have to accentuate the rolling as the horizon line in this picture amply attests.  During our tests roll was reduced 49% during two demonstrations. Seakeeper says that their tests indicate rolling can be reduced by 60% in the same conditions.  Either way, we'd say it is enough to turn a rough day into a pleasant one.

To view the video of the actual tests --


Larson Banner


First Again

Sun Tracker

Prop Info

yamaha pwc


boat history



Boat Attitude


Ranger Banner

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Safety Tip

Three Boaters Jump For Their Lives

Container Ship
Three boaters – in a 17’ boat with a
disabled engine – jumped for their
lives as the container ship neared.

It has to be every boater’s worst nightmare. Seeing this view of a container ship and having no way to get out if its path. That’s exactly what happened recently on the Wando River in Charleston, SC in the shipping channel near Hobcaw Creek. With the 940’ M/V Sealand Atlantic, from Bremerhaven, Germany, bearing down on them, three hapless men jumped over the side of their disabled craft. What would you do? Change your shorts and follow us --


How Good Of A
Captain Are You?

Captain Crunch
Which Captain are you?
Cap’n Crunch or Cap’n Fantastic?

Everyone thinks they have what it takes to become a licensed Captain. Do you? Well let’s give it a quick shot. Below are three questions from the Coast Guard License exam. As is usually the case with those Coast Guard guys, sometimes there is more than one correct answer. You need to pick the most right. Now shove off and make your choices --

Deck Seals

New, Improved
Thru-Deck Seals

Capt. Rob Smith takes a look at a new deck sealing solution.

Using adhesive sealants to mount cleats, fittings, portlights and the like can be messy, an eye sore, and deadly to your gel coat if you ever have to pull up the seal. Now there is a good solution from Kelcom. It involves a foam template made for each application. Take a look at our video as Capt. Rob Smith explains how it works --

Product Review

Trim or Troll
With Minn Kota

Minn Kota
Those clever folks at Minn Kota have combined two products into one.

Either you are going fast and using your trim tabs or you are at trolling speeds using your trolling motor – so why not combine the two? Now Minn Kota has affixed their little trolling motors on the trailing edge of their trim tabs. The benefits of Minn Kota’s “Trim & Troll” product are that you have eliminated the trolling gear flopping around on your bow, cleaned up the clutter, and you can control the steering with a hand-held device from any place on the boat. Watch Capt. Smith as he demonstrates this nifty new product -- trim or troll. 

News Update

Midnight Killer
Gets 3.5 Years

midnight killer
What does a "midnight killer" look like? Robert LaPointe was sentenced
last week.

We have been struck by the number of boating accidents that occur at night, usually with tragic consequences. We have started calling the operators involved in these accidents "the midnight killer" because that is what they are, and they are on the loose around the country. Virtually all of the accidents have the same MO: going very fast in the dark and often DUI. Authorities all over the country are cracking down and the punishments being handed down are usually quite stiff. This tragic case is an exception --


225 Evinrude
For Repowering

Evinrude 225
Director of Testing Capt. Rob Smith takes a serious look at the Evinrude 225 HO.

Repowering is more popular now than ever before and Evinrude has an outboard option that many boaters overlook. Yes, it is a 2-stroke, but it is not like the 2-stroke your granddaddy owned. ‘Rude was the first outboard to meet 3-star emission requirements and it is much more fuel-efficient than the old gas-guzzling 2-strokes, as well. Its strong suit is its mighty 2-stroke torque throughout the rpm range and its low maintenance requirements and light weight. We think it probably has a long warranty but its website is so fancy and sophisticated it’s hard to tell. If you want to find a dealer to price one out and find out for sure about their warranty -- dealer locator direct.

See Capt. Smith’s report on the 225 HO --

Shipping News

Tug Boat Sinks In Buzzards Bay

Sinking Tug
This working tug began taking water recently and the crew was rescued by the USCG.

Tugboats are the workhorses of commercial shipping.  Generally speaking their captains are among the shipping industry’s most resourceful boat handlers as they move long, unwieldy barges through gales and strong currents, often in narrow channels. That’s why we were surprised recently when the 82’ tug Southern Cross took on water in Buzzards Bay and only averted Davy Jones’ Locker by finding a submerged ledge on which to rest. To see video of the rescue and learn a few lessons -- man this pump.

New Boat

New 18’ Stratos For Multi-Species

Stratos 385XL
The 385XF has an MSRP from $26,995 to $37,595 depending on engine and options.

Stratos is targeting aluminum multi-species fishing boats with its newest entry, the 385XF. The boat is 18’6” with a 8’3” beam and 25” gunwales. The 385XF comes standard with Stratos’ “air-ride-equipped driver’s seat” which, together with the boat’s dimensions, makes it a candidate for relatively large water applications in the pursuit of multi-species. Stratos says this boat sells for “thousands less than its aluminum competitors.”  To find out what is included in this aggressively priced package -- bait this hook.

See Stratos boat tests --

Last Hook-Up

Frank Mundus
Dies in Hawaii

Frank Mundus
Frank Mundus was the world’s most famous shark fisherman. Jaws was his business.

The man who was the inspiration for Quint played by Robert Shaw in Steven Spielberg’s 1976 movie Jaws died of a heart attack at age 82 in September. (Somehow we managed to miss the sad news.) Capt. Mundus was one of the great characters of the American East Coast fishing scene, popularizing shark fishing which was looked down upon as not being a real game fish by billfish big game anglers. Mundus didn’t mind, since it meant he had less competition for his charter boat fishing trade. For decades he operated out of Montauk, NY in the summer and went south for the winter. To read more about this genuine American folk hero and boatman--read on.

Boating Tips

Solutions to Increase Cell Phone
Signal Strength

Cell Tower
A strong cell signal is key to keeping you connected on the water.

Last week’s segment from Active Captain talked about why your cell phone signal on the water can be so weak and erratic. This week Karen and Jeffrey Siegel introduce us to some options that can fix that problem. If the idea of installing an amplifier, antenna and the necessary wiring seems a bit overwhelming, there's an interesting new product which was released in 2008 - Cell Ranger by Best Signal Wireless, Inc. 
Get your instruction manual here -- 

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Capt. Steve's Lesson #13

Requirements for Recreational Boaters
Part 2: Life Jackets

Capt. Steve

Capt. Steve explains requirements for all boaters.

In Part Two of Requirements for Recreational Boaters, Captain Steve examines the five types of life jackets. He takes you through determining which jacket is appropriate for your type of boating. Captain Steve will also explain the legal requirements for boaters and give a quick lesson on determining when it is time to replace your existing jackets. The sixteen videos presented this week are part of his 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

“Just think -- he was going to be driving the boat next!” – T. Towe

Second Place
“Reese Hitches – strong enough for idiots.” – J. St. Amour

Honorable (almost) Mention

“This just in, boat saves truck from going under in these financially rough times!” – V. Mahendra

“Thelma and Louise forgot to unhitch the boat.” – B. Jo

“Ok, tide may be out just a little --”
– R. Preston

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 11/23/08.

Pirate Duck

“Woman, if you don’t shut your mouth, I’m gonna drive right off this cliff!” – B. Taylor

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