BoatTEST Newsletter 1/14/2009 - 01/14/2009
BoatTEST Newsletter January 14, 2009 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust

New Boats & Video Reviews

- Bayliner 185 Bowrider
- Four Winns SL 242
- Seaswirl 2305 CC
- Tigé 22i
- Wellcraft 210 Fisherman
- Yamaha FZS

Also Inside:
- PWC Safety Instruction
- Smoker Craft Promotions
- Capt. John Says
Weather Forecast on Your Mobile
- Celestial Navigation Revisited
- Slow Down in Palm Beach
- Accident of the Week
- Sea Stories: Loch Ness
- USCG Monthly Recalls
Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

All-New Wellcraft 210 CC
is Impressive

Wellcraft 210 Fisherman
Capt. Steve wrings out the all-new Wellcraft 210 Fisherman and likes the boat’s handling.

We hear a lot about “fishability”, but frankly these days virtually all boats designed for the purpose have decent “fishability.” What offshore fishermen need now are boats that are good sea-keeping vessels that anglers can take offshore with confidence – yet still be affordable. Combine Wellcraft’s Scarab race-proven construction know-how with over 35 years of experience with center consoles and you have Wellcraft’s new generation of offshore fishing boats. The all-new 210 Fisherman is not a warmed-over bay boat designed to a low price-point. Rather, she has one of the highest freeboards we have seen in a 21-footer with 29” of reassuring gunwale height in the cockpit, bow flare to keep you dry, ss hand holds all over where they are needed, decent scuppers and a full-height outboard well. The company has taken a good look at the competition and made sure that when buyers go point-by-point they won’t find this 19-degree deadrise boat wanting. Our Capt. Steve is no shrinking violet when it comes to testing boats and he likes what he found in the 210. Join him for his video ride --

See all Wellcraft boat tests --

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Boat Tests & Reviews

Bayliner 185 Bowrider

Bayliner 185 Bowrider

Bayliner’s 185 is their newest bowrider and represents a compilation of their customer’s requests for more choice and more space; space for people and for storage. Maintaining affordability, this model carries a suggested retail price of $16,341 which leaves you room to add options and still keep the bottom line cost within reason.  Come aboard the Bayliner 185 Bowrider.  

Four Winns SL 242

Four Winns SL242

The SL 242 was released as a late 2008 entry. For 2009 Four Winns has added some upgrades that should increase its popularity. Four Winns successfully combined attributes from a deckboat, skiboat and sportboat to create a dry running, roomy interior that still performs as well as a skiboat. Bow seating is a large U-shape complementing the cockpit seating with wide Comfort-Ride Plus seating and soft bench seats. Learn more about the SL 242 from Four Winns.

Seaswirl 2305 Center Console

Seaswirl 2305 CCThe new 2305 Center Console from Seaswirl is not just a rehash from the ‘07; it’s new all the way around. The fuel hatch is gone; they added diamond anti-skid surfaces, forward seating and more room for electronics at the helm. This will be a weekend warrior that won’t raid your bank account. This boat looks to be a good choice to move up to from the 18 to 21 foot range as the family grows or you desire to head further from shore.  See test and video of the Seaswirl 2305 Center Console.

Tigé 22i

Tigé 22iUncompromising multi-sport capability is the result of Tigé’s patented “Convex V" hull and the “TAPS” control system. Starting there, the Tigé 22i adds loads of what you want and need in a sportboat. In addition, the 22i offers the steering and handling characteristics one would expect from a direct drive watersports boat. Capain John Wenz takes a look at the 22i.

Yamaha FZS

Yamaha FZSThe FZ Series is a new offering from Yamaha's WaveRunner line. The three-seat FZS and her two-seat sister FZR were not intended for the luxury performance market. Yamaha’s got other models to suit those needs. The FZS is all about solo, standup riding; going all-out, hooking-up through the turns and having pulse-pounding acceleration! But in terms of accommodating two or even three riders, the FZS makes very little in the way of compromise. See the new FZS from Yamaha.

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PWC Basics

PWC Safety Instruction
Know Your Watercraft and Your Capabilities

PWC Overview
Basic Overview on
PFDs and Protective Clothing
PFDs and Protective Clothing
Operating your PWC
How to Operate
Your PWC
Riding under Control
Riding Under Control
How to Avoid Collisions
Throttling your PWC
Your PWC
PWC Rules of the Road
Rules of the Road; Know Your Local Laws

Before you hit the water it’s important to follow these safety guidelines for PWC use provided by the Personal Watercraft Industry Association (PWIA). Rules of the water don’t just apply to boaters, they also apply to PWCs and you must remember that you’re sharing the water with other boaters, swimmers, skiers and all manner of water lovers out there. These videos cover the basics of PWC use such as riding rules, what to wear, how to operate defensively, and safety information. The more you know about your watercraft and how it operates, the safer you are as a boater. Safe riding!

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Retail News

Up to $2000 Off! --
Smoker Craft/Starcraft

Smoker Craft 161
With rebates up to $2000, now is the time to check out
selected Smoker Craft marine models.

A special promotional program that provides rebates of up to $2000 on select boat packages from Smoker Craft/Starcraft Marine will run through February 28, 2009. The brands included in the program are Smoker Craft, Starcraft, Sylvan, and Vectra. These brands cover the spectrum from bass boats to deckboats to pontoons, and with so many segments of the market represented you have a great shot of finding just the right boat for you! To read the press release and find out how to take advantage of this program, move your mouse –

To find a Smoker Craft dealer near you –

To see all of our Smoker Craft tests –

To see all of our Sylvan tests –

To see all of our Vectra tests –   

Capt. John Says

Solving the Battery
Switch Dilemma

Battery Switch
Here’s the typical main battery switch. Note the warning.

I’m amazed at how many experienced boaters are unsure of what to do with their “1-2-BOTH” battery switch. It’s a very simple mechanism and, used properly, can save you time, money, and stress. The vast majority of boaters I’ve asked say something like, “I’m not really sure what to do with it, so I just leave it in the “BOTH” position.” A little clarification here will go a long way – 


Larson 370 Cabrio


First Again

Regulator Banner

Prop Info

yamaha pwc

Glastron Banner

boat history

Boat Show Direct



Ranger Banner
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Active Captain

Weather Forecasts on Your Mobile Phone

NOAA weather can be obtained on your mobile phone, making forecasts portable.

Mother Nature is fickle, and weather is, or should be, on the mind of every boater. What is it doing now? What is it likely to do in the future? Not only is this necessary for an enjoyable experience, but it can be critical for the safety of your crew and the boat. The key is to be vigilant yet still have a good time. One way to maintain that balance is to access weather information on your mobile phone. The ability to access high-quality weather information from any location adds greatly to this utility, and most of the best weather sources are now catering to mobile users. Are you curious to see which way the wind will blow --

Photo Test

Celestial Navigation Revisited

Sunset at North Pole
Now that GPS has replaced the sextant and moon sights for determining one’s
nautical position, the galaxy is a free-fire
zone for Photoshop.

Last week we ran the picture above as a test, folks -- just to find out if you were paying attention, and had recovered from New Year’s Eve celebrations! Thankfully, you were paying attention and we were inundated with reader mail. For the rest of you: What was wrong with this picture? A few too many things for it to be real. Savvy BoatTEST members picked up on the line, “an amazing photo and one not easily duplicated.” The picture was submitted by our freelance photo contributor, Bill Noble, who regular readers will recall works for payment in 6-packs of Coors Light. Next week: Mars between the Moon and Earth. Several readers have asked where to get a print of this fantastic astronomical anomaly, find out here.

Boater Legislation

Slow Down in
Palm Beach County?

Slow Down in Palm Beach County
So just how fast should you be able to go on Palm Beach’s Intracoastal Waterway?

Seven areas in Palm Beach County have been deemed as “high risk” in a recent study being done by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. This has the potential of reducing speeds along these areas to “Idle Speed."  Could this be just what it takes to save boaters from themselves, or is it another case of Big Brother making more rules to legislate everything under the sun? Read on and decide for yourself --

Accident of the Week

Tubing Tow
Costs an Arm

Tubing Tow Costs
It was just supposed to be a fun day of tubing behind a PWC. What could go wrong?

The ingredients were simple enough -- two brothers, a PWC, an old inner tube, and a sunny Ft. Lauderdale day. It doesn’t take rocket science to put it all together and have a good time. What could go wrong? No prop strike, no towing into rocks, no BUI, and no collision. What’s more, everyone involved was wearing a life jacket. What did happen was what could only be described as a freak accident by everyone investigating it. Get your freak on here --

Sea Stories

Why Do Boaters Avoid Loch Ness?

Castle from Lake
This beautiful Scottish lake is ideal for water skiing yet few boaters can be found there.

Anyone who has visited the ruins of the 13th century Urquhart Castle on the shores of Loch Ness knows that little boating is done on this placid lake which is 37 km long. We have long wondered why. Of course, for years people thought that there was the “Loch Ness Monster” but that fable has long since been disproved by experts and that myth is now relegated to the dust bin of fantasy along with Big Foot and the Abominable Snowman.  To see the recently discovered video explaining it all -- plunk your magic twanger.

USCG Recalls

Bayliner, Evinrude, and Kawasaki

USCG Recall 01/14
Whenever humans are involved in a production line things can go wrong.

This month’s USCG recall notice covers generator wiring on some Bayliners, possible defects on some Evinrude tillers, and the sealing of fuel hoses on some Kawasaki products. As always, commends these manufacturers for working with the USCG to help insure consumer safety. For the details on this month’s USCG recalls -- fix this.

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Capt. Steve's Lesson #19

Requirements for Recreational Boaters
Part 8:

Capt. Steve

Capt. Steve wants the smart boater to be prepared.

In this final lesson for Requirement for Recreational Boaters, Captain Steve goes through essential (not required) supplies that every smart boater should have onboard. He explains why these supplies are necessary and gives examples as to when they will come in handy. The 12 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?

This week we had a record 374 entries. Unfortunately, there can only be one winner of the coveted Ducky.

First Place

“If everyone keeps still, they may not see us!” -- A. Hughes

Second Place

“Why didn’t the aliens just put us back where they found us?” -- T. Godbold

The Also Rans

“Behold the amazing new drive-thru barnacle remover! Franchise opportunities available.” -- D. Joiner

“The bad news: we’re out of beer. The good news: it’s only a short walk to get more.” -- J.D.

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 1/18/09.


“Jeep introduces its first amphibious rock crawler.” -- B. Wehadababy (Congrats!)

“As Ace Ventura would say, ‘Like a glove!’” -- K. Gary


We Need Reader HELP! 

If you have a picture that you feel needs some explanation by our witty and clever readers, please send it to:

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51 Bank Street, Suite 2A
Stamford, CT 06901