Offshore Newsletter 1/21 - 01/21/2009
Offshore Motoryacht Newsletter January 21, 2009 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust

New Boats & Video Reviews

- Bayliner 340 Cruiser
Bertram 360
- Hargrave Sandrine
- Mainship Expedition Trawler
- Meridian 341 Sedan

Also Inside:
- Best Year for Boat Buying
- Hargrave's Miami Display
- BoatTEST's Member Services
- BoatTEST and BoatTrader
- What Our Members Want
The Formula Difference
- Capt. John Says
- Active Captain
- New Boat: Fairline Squadron 70
Accident of the Week
- Battery Switch Dilemma
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

2009 Best Year
for Boat Buying

2009 year for boat buying
Boat dealers and builders are doing everything possible to make the buying decision easy.

It is no secret that this year will be a huge opportunity for people with good credit who want to buy a boat to get what they have always wanted. A recent survey of BoatTEST members has revealed that despite the recession many died-in-the-wool boaters are planning to take advantage of this never-before-seen "buyers market." They are now doing their research to zero-in on the precise boat they want before they start contacting dealers. And dealers tell us that their phones have started to ring. But with so many choices and so many deals available making the right selection may be harder than you think. And while there are many good deals, buyers must be sure that they don’t get a “good deal less.” We have several important tips for new boat buyers this year --

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Boat Tests & Reviews

Bayliner 340 Cruiser

Bayliner 340

The 340 Cruiser is Bayliner’s flagship, geared toward value conscious buyers, equipped with a host of standard features while sporting intelligent, contemporary styling. Best of all, the 340 has the tried and true Bayliner price. As we have said before, this latest offering from US Marine shows the company’s dedication to improving product quality and is confirmation that this is not your father’s Bayliner anymore. Join us as  Captain Ron takes us through the 340 Cruiser from Bayliner. 

See all Bayliner tests.

Hargrave Sandrine

Hargrave Sandrine

One of the surprising aspects of many large motoryachts, say 70’ to 130’, is that like their 40’ to 50’ little sisters – they are remarkably similar. The reason is that production boats in this size range are still “production boats.” Their layouts, paneling, staterooms and practically everything else except countertops and floor treatments are standardized. And these boats cost several million dollars!

There is a builder which will customize an 80’ to 130’ motoryacht yet still charge no more than production boat prices. That company is Hargrave. BoatTEST’s Charity Hughes takes a video look at the Hargrave Sandrine to point out how one very demanding client personalized their large motoryacht. Learn more about the Hargrave Sandrine.

See all Hargrave videos.

Mainship Expedition Trawler

Mainship Expedition TrawlerMainship took a fresh look at the desires of cruising families and the need to update their 40 Trawler. The result is today’s Mainship Expedition. This is a relatively new series for them. The builder has opened up the salon and it is now more inviting for that relaxing time after a day’s voyage. Take a video tour through the Mainship Expedition Trawler.

See all Mainship tests.

Meridian 341 Sedan

Meridian 341 SedanMeridian calls their 341 Sedan a “compact cruiser with a big yacht attitude.” We like to think of her more as a “starter motoryacht.” The builder’s designers have tasked themselves with creating a functional cruising boat for two couples or a family, packing in many amenities found on far larger yachts, for an affordable price. The 341 has two cabins, good salon seating, a galley, and a very well equipped flying bridge. We have compared this boat with others in her class and found the Meridian outshines them in most areas. Join Capt. Steve as he takes a video look --

Apply for a personal sea trial.  Test Drive

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Hargrave News

Hargrave Expands Display
to 16 Motoryachts at Miami

Hargrave Sea Legend
See the 114’ Hargrave Sea Legend.
Hargrave Baby King
Just landed: the 100’ Hargrave King Baby.
Hargrave Seafarer
The 100’ Hargrave Seafarer.
Hargrave On a Roll
The 84’ Hargrave On A Roll.

Hargrave Custom Yachts has doubled its space at the Miami Yacht and Brokerage Show, Feb. 12-16 on Collins Ave. in Miami Beach and will have 4 new Hargraves and 12 pre-owned motoryachts, 68’ to 115’ -- most of which are Hargraves -- on display. It certainly seems as if Hargrave is on a roll, and it’s famous “disappearing pilothouse” 84-footer, called On A Roll, will be on display. Company CEO Mike Joyce said, “Each Hargrave represents the specialization and true personalization that we can offer our clients.” The company's forte is in a high degree of customization at production motoryacht prices. By special arrangement, BoatTEST members will be offered VIP tours through these yachts at the Miami show.

Appy for a BoatTEST/Hargrave VIP tour --

To see list of Hargrave's new and brokerage yachts on display --

See BoatTEST videos of five Hargrave motoryachts --

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New Boat

The Bertram 360:
Bluewater Attitude, Italian Good Looks

Bertram 360
The 360 Open may be the smallest boat in the Bertram line up, but she’s one tough contender in her express fishboat category.

Bertram Yachts and Ferretti Group have collaborated on the birth of their new 360 design, which is the first 30+ footer to be introduced to the Bertram line in years.  She is offered in either an open or hardtop version. This model is a long-delayed replacement of the popular 31. In fact, the 360 is a direct descendant of the classic 31. Today’s 360 Open captures the essence of the traditional fishboat layout with the modern flair and sleeker, softer lines that post baby boomers are used to. Our first impressions on the 360 Open? Solid. Serious. A man's boat. We asked Capt. Steve to take a video look at the recent New York Boat Show.

Sea trial this new boat.  

To see BoatTEST videos of other Bertram models --

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Member Services Helps Members 
Find Good Boats

Regulator 34 SS Bertram 510 Cruisers 520
This spring and summer promises to be a buyer's bonanza.
It may never again be as good for new boat buying.

During the last 30 days BoatTEST Member Services has been working with scores of people all over the world looking for new and used boats. Most, of course, are from North America. About 35% of the members are looking for new boats and the boats being sought range up to 80'. BoatTEST staff contacts the members seriously in the market and helps facilitate a desirable transaction. One of the things Member Services will be doing is advertising the boats of qualified buyers in the "Boats Wanted" section of the weekly BoatTEST and Offshore Motoyacht newsletters (see below). If you are in the market this spring for a new or used powerboat then perhaps you should consider taking advantage of BoatTEST's FREE Member Services program. To read the details --

Member Services "Boats Wanted" sign-up form --

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BoatTEST Videos
Now on

Over 1,000 BoatTEST video tests and reviews now appear on on both new and used boat listings for sistership classifieds. videos now appear on over 7,500 classified powerboat listings on, the world’s largest classified boat listing website. These listings are part of a one-month trial on the listings of just 15% of the website’s 3400 dealer-advertisers. When the program is rolled out to all of Boat Trader’s dealer-advertisers, as many as 51,000 – or about one-third – of all of the website’s classified listings could have BoatTEST video tests and reviews. This follows by two months the introduction of BoatTEST videos on Europe’s leading classified boating website, To learn more about these strategic partnerships and learn how BoatTEST videos are helping consumers all over the world make more informed buying decisions -- squeeze your mouse.

Visit's classified listings.

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For Dealers, Brokers Only:

BoatTEST Members Want
to Buy These 30'+ Boats

BoatTEST Members Want
A sampling of 43 boats wanted by members. members are currently in the market for the boats listed above and on the "jump" and have provided full contact information. Dealers, brokers and other industry institutions in possession of these boats are invited to contact to be put in touch with the people who have identified themselves as searching for these boats. keeps all Member Services contact information confidential until released by the member.

For more listings down to 30’ --

For Seller Sign-Up form --

For "Boats Wanted" Sign-Up form --

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Formula News

Formula Does It Differently

The Formula Difference
This year, Formula Boats will celebrate 53 years in the business. Their facility in Decatur, Indiana of nearly 600,000 square feet is where “the Formula difference” magic happens.

Formula Boats prides itself on its fit and finish so at the New York Boat Show we asked our test captain Steve Larivee to take a video look at their workmanship, joinerwork, and general fit and finish. To find out what he discovered, take a look at this short video.

See tests of all Formula boats.

Capt. John Says

A Look at Thru-Hull Fittings

Take a close look at this thru-hull. Notice the gap in the bedding compound. Water could be seeping through.

One of the items that marine surveyors check under the heading of basic hull components are thru-hull fittings. These are simple pieces of hardware that are often ignored, but a failure can be catastrophic, causing a sizeable yacht to sink in short order. So what do we look for?


Ocean LED

Larson Banner


Cruisers Yachts Banner

First Again

Prop Info



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Active Captain

Tides and Currents on Your Mobile Phone

tide tool
Tide Tool is free, reliable, covers almost 7,000 locations and has a smart graphic display.

For some boaters tides and currents are something to think about only rarely. For others, they are a constant concern.  While checking tide and current predictions is traditionally done using tide tables, today there are several free programs that allow you to check tides and currents from just about anywhere. Many great options are available to allow you to enter a location and receive the predictions electronically on your laptop or mobile phone. Learn more.

New Boat

Fairline Squadron 70
Makes Her Debut

Fairline Squadron
This new model grew from Fairline's successful Squadron 68.

Fairline debuted the latest addition to their Squadron line at the London Boat Show last week.  The new Squadron 70 is an update and redesign of the popular Squadron 68 and she now features an extended hi-lo swim platform which not only makes handling and storing the tender easier, but also allows for a larger more accessible platform for serious watersports.  This motoryacht is meant not just for entertaining but also cruising, and the designers got it right by offering owners a choice of layouts both above and below deck.  See specs and images of the Squadron 70 from Fairline.

Good Seamanship

More on the Battery
Switch Dilemma

battery switches
If you’ve been confused about exactly how to use your battery switch, you are not alone.

Last week’s article covering the battery switch dilemma was quite popular with our readers and they have asked for more. The author of the articles was Capt. John Wenz, a marine surveyor who is also a yacht captain with over 30 years experience. In this installment Capt. John explains how to charge both of your batteries and answers some reader’s questions. To get the juice flowing -- switch to "BOTH".

Accident of the Week

Another Explosion While Refueling

Boat Explosion
Scene at marina after
an explosion and fire.

An explosion and fire which killed a 19-year old deck hand on Lake Norman has resulted in citations for the marina and boat owner and law suits have been filed. This tragedy once again underscores how careful we all must be while refueling. In this case there are allegations that the engine, generator and A/C were running while the refueling was going on. The local news report is instructive --

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Capt. Steve's Lesson #20

Aids to Navigation
Part 1: Buoys and Beacons

Capt. Steve

 Capt. Steve explains buoys.

In this lesson, Aids to Navigation for Recreational Boaters, Capt. Steve recognizes that some boaters find the system of buoys intimidating. He feels that making sense of it all is not difficult once you know how to look at the system as a whole instead of as individual parts. Capt. Steve takes the big picture and breaks it down so the boater can get a better understanding of why these markers are where they are and how to make sense of them. The 10 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

“George enjoyed a secluded day on Lake Shrinkadink but it was not until he took off his wet suit that he realized how the lake got its name.” – B. Tarnowski

Second Place
“The payments don’t stop in the winter, I’m not gonna stop using it in the winter!”
– E. Bird

Honorable (almost) Mention

“Honey -- we have another escape attempt from the insane asylum.” – D. Glair

What's Going on Here?


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