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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 --
The Technology Behind
|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.
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 BoatTEST.com video of the actual tests --
Three Boaters Jump For Their Lives
How Good Of A
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 --
|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 --
|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.
What does a "midnight killer" look like? Robert LaPointe was sentenced
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 --
|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 --
|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.
|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 --
|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.
|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 --
Capt. Steve's Lesson #13
Requirements for Recreational Boaters
|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 BoatTEST.com.
To view this week’s lessons --
To view past lessons --
Ducky Award Winner
“Just think -- he was going to be driving the boat next!” – T. Towe
“This just in, boat saves truck from going under in these financially rough times!”
– V. Mahendra
What's Going on Here?
Simply fill in your caption and you may get lucky -- quack here.