BoatTEST Newsletter 2/11/2009 - 02/11/2009
BoatTEST Newsletter February 11, 2009 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust

New Boats & Video Reviews

- Crownline 255 CCR
- Doral Monticello
- Formula 240 Bowrider Sport
- Mako 264 Express
- Ranger 1850 RS

- Seaswirl 2305 Center Console
- Sylvan Viper 206
- Yamaha 212X

Also Inside:
- MasterCraft's New 30-Footer
- 90 Boats Wanted
- Jet Drives Picking Up Steam
- Tigé Makes Good Wake Surfing
- BoatTEST Helps Members
- 255-hp from 3 Cylinders
- 3rd Party Browsers for Mobiles
- Accident of the Week
- Will Your Boat Be Stolen?
- Piloting Advice
- New PWC Takes Off
Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

MasterCraft Breaks
from Tradition with
New Cruising 30-Footer

MasterCraft  300
MasterCraft is taking aim at the 30’+ prestige cruising boat market with its exciting new pickle fork yacht
with an 11’ beam.

Tomorrow at the Miami International Boat Show MasterCraft will debut its new “300.” It will be a watershed boat for the Tennessee builder that has been known for 40 years for its up-market tournament ski and wakeboard boats. In MasterCraft’s announcement press release it said, “We’re no longer just a ski boat company.” With that one sentence and the boat pictured above, MasterCraft is venturing into the domain of Formula, Four Winns, Larson and other American builders who have heretofore defined the modern high-end 30’+ express cruiser. This is a strategic – and possibly brilliant – corporate move; one designed to give MasterCraft’s future a potential that was not realistically possible as long as it is mired in the hammer-and-tong ski/wakeboat competition. We could be wrong, but we detect the fine hand of Roger Penske behind this radical move. To find out more about this twin engine (gas or diesel)  with optional "Joystick Control", 4-sleeper cruiser -- and how much it costs -- plunk your magic twanger.

Request Test Drive

See tests of MasterCraft boats --

Read BoatTEST’s 2007 article on Roger Penske buying MasterCraft --

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Boat Tests & Reviews

Seaswirl 2305 Center Console

Seaswirl 2305 Center Console

Seaswirl last manufactured a 23-foot center console in 2007 but demand and the economy dictated revisiting it for 2009 and now you have another choice from Striper, the 2305 Center Console. It’s 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 is affordable.  See complete test and video of Seaswirl's 2305 Center Console.

Doral Monticello

Doral MonticelloThe Doral Monticello is a sporty-looking pocket cruiser that has many of the amenities found on Doral's larger models. This trailerable cruiser is now available with a Yanmar diesel engine as well as 10 other engine options.  If you are in the market for an express pocket cruiser, the Monticello certainly has all the features you need and the ability to add options for any of your specific desires.  See the Doral Monticello.

Formula 240 Bowrider Sport

Formula 240 BowriderJust about anyone who has ridden in a Formula likely fell in love with the upscale feel and the smooth responsive ride. Formula understands the economic impact of a floundering stock market and ailing economy, so they put together a package to help more people become part of their family. Thus, the 240 Bowrider Sport was born. Come aboard the Formula 240 Bowrider. 

Mako 264 Express

Mako 264 ExpressMako's 264 Express is a tricked out fishboat with a roomy cabin to easily slip away and relax for a nap or just to find some relief from the harsh sun. Family on board? If the kids are having a rough day on the water while you fish, they can slip into the V-berth for a nap and recharge.  See video of the Mako 264 Express.

Sylvan Viper 206

Sylvan Viper 206The 206 Viper sets itself apart partially in the fact that it runs so well with only a 150-hp outboard on the stern. Most people don’t believe they can get good performance and handling from a smaller outboard on a fiberglass boat, but Sylvan has found a design that takes advantage of the smaller engines.  Captain Robert Smith takes a look at the Viper 206 from Sylvan.

Yamaha 212X

Yamaha 212XThe 212X is the wakeboard version of Yamaha’s 21-footer. Offered this year for the first time in this hull, the twin high-output engines deliver 320 horsepower for quick acceleration and exhilarating performance.  These engines are clean and quiet, reliable, fuel efficient and offer minimal bow rise when planing off. And they’ve got plenty of pulling power, no matter who’s on the tow!   Come aboard the Yamaha 212X.

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Boats Wanted

Over 150 BoatTEST Members
Want to Buy Boats NOW

Boats Wanted 
These are just a few of the 90 wanted boats which our Member Services Dept. has yet to place with a dealer or broker. Click for the rest of the list.

During the last several weeks over 150 boat buyers have contacted’s Member Services to help them find the right boat at the right price. Currently, over 60 of those buyers have been put in touch with dealers or brokers who have outstanding offers in the current soft market. There are about 90 buyers who have yet to be matched-up by our Member Services with dealers or brokers who have the right boats. If you are a dealer/broker and have an exceptional value on any of the boats listed, then you should contact See the complete list of boats wanted by BoatTEST members --

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Jet Drives

Jet Drives Picking Up Steam
in Many Applications

Jet Drives 
A simple concept has many of advantages over conventional drives
and is growing in popularity.

The advantages of jet drives have been obvious for years, but recently they have picked up in popularity. This has happened in large part because of their success in PWCs built by several companies, and in jet-powered runabouts built by Yamaha and Sea-Doo. In fact, the 23-foot Yamaha runabout is the largest selling boat that size in the U.S. Maine boat builder Hinckley has been installing them for over 10 years in its picnic boat series, Huckins has installed them in its new 56-foot boats, and last year they were even put in a new U.S. warship complete with joystick steering. They are adaptable to virtually all types of engines from outboards to large diesels. Discover some of the advantages of jet drives--

See Capt. John Wenz explain how Yamaha jet drives work --

See outboard engine jet drive video by Yamaha --

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First Look

Crownline 255 Cuddy
for Family Outings

Crownline 255 CCR
Crownline has designed this boat for young, active families
who love the water.


The Crownline brand has had a meteoric rise since its founding in 1991 and in 12 years has become one of the top five sportboat builders in the U.S. Today the company has a full line of sportboats from 17’ to 34’. The company is obviously doing many things right. We have always liked the concept of cuddy sportboats but unfortunately many builders give the cuddy scant attention. We think the 255 CCR is notable because it is a cuddy cabin designed to be used. You can actually get four people around its table, plus there is a head with shower and a well-equipped galley.  Nearly as many people can be seated in the cockpit with its “U”-shaped seating,  as in most bowriders. Join Christopher Hughes, our COO, as he takes a video look at this versatile Crownline --

Ranger News

2009 Ranger 1850
Proven Performer

2301 WA 
Ranger’s new for ’09 1850 RS is a versatile
“fish ‘n fun” boat for the whole family.

Ranger is keying in on two groups of boaters with its 1850 RS: owners of runabouts and aluminum fishing/utility boats. By designing the boat for a wide variety of uses and keeping the price down, the 1850 RS will be an attractive package for the young and growing families with kids whose interests will evolve as they get older. Dad, of course, will always be fishing. To find out more about this new model --play your mouse.

See tests of Ranger boats --

Wake Up

Tigé Makes Good
Wake Surfing

Tigé Wake
This connoisseur of backdoor pipe curled up
in the green room gives a few pointers.


First people just whispered about it, but now it is out of the closet. It’s wake surfing. That's surfing as in no tow line – just you and your board and the green curl. It is not often that we get a chance to catch one of wake surfing’s more articulate dudes giving pointers on what makes good surfing wake. But thanks to the good folks at Tigé who were able to catch this impresario of the rolling pipe on video tape, we are bringing it to you. You need not watch this unless your spine tingles when the surf is up and you like to slide in the pocket -- wake your mouse.

See tests of Tigé boats.


Larson 370 Cabrio


First Again

Doral Unveiling

Regulator Banner

Prop Info

Formula Escape

Glastron Banner

BoatShop24 Banner

boat history

Boat Show Direct


Ranger Banner

MasterCraft Banner

yamaha boats
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Member Services

BoatTEST Helps Members
Get Good Deals and Bigger Boats

Member Services 
During the last several weeks BoatTEST’s Member Services Dept. has helped many buyers find the boats they were looking for at bargain prices.

Smart buyers of stocks, houses, and boats know that the best time to buy is when others are not. The boating industry has drastically cut production and as dealers sell off their new boat inventory in many cases they are not replacing the boats. Desirable brands and models, in many cases, are already on an “order-only” basis. For that reason as time goes on prices will rise. By leveraging its contacts and communication network BoatTEST’s Member Services is putting buyers in touch with good deals every day. If you are seriously in the market for a new boat over 20’ or a new or used boat 30’ or larger chances are that Member Services can help you find the boat of your dreams FREE.

Yes, I want help finding a good new or used boat --

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Sea-Doo News

255-hp from
3 Cylinders!

Sea-Doo Rotax
The Rotax engine that Sea-Doo uses
to power their PWCs and jet runabouts
is an incredible machine.

Made in Austria, the versatile Rotax engine powers everything from killer drones flying over the Khyber Pass to snowmobiles, motorcycles, little cars, and of course, Sea-Doo PWCs and jet boats. With over 5 million of the units in service they have proven themselves in all conditions. Last year Rotax added a larger intercooler and supercharger and now Sea-Doo has the most powerful engine going in PWCs or jet-powered sportboats – the 255-hp Rotax. Hey, that’s 85-hp per! Put that in your pipe and smoke it, GM! Join Capt. Smith as he takes a close look at these remarkable little engines -- chill your mouse.

See tests of Sea-Doo watercraft --

See test of Sea-Doo sportboats --

Active Captain

Third Party Browsers for Mobile Phone

There are several third party additions for your Windows Mobile and Symbian mobile phones.

If you have been looking at some websites with your mobile phone you may have discovered that some will display well, while others offer quite a challenge. Most are somewhere in between. There are several third party additions for your Windows Mobile and Symbian mobile phones which can help make web browsing easier. Of course, the Apple iPhone already has excellent software for web browsing included, as do the Palm OS devices. Blackberry devices also have a built-in web browser which is known for its lackluster appearance. Fortunately, there's a third party replacement for Blackberry also. Learn more about these and other third party browsers.

Accident of the Week

Former “Father of the Year” Dies in
Boating Accident

Boating Accident
The overturned bass boat is pulled from the frigid waters of the Chesapeake after the tragic accident.

A fishing trip gone horribly wrong leaves two dead and four others hospitalized. One of the deceased is the 89-year-old 2006 winner of the Arizona Father of the Year contest. An honor bestowed on him by the Arizona Game and Fish Department and ESPN Radio for his dedication in passing on his love of the great outdoors to his children. So what went wrong --

Boater's Tip of the Week

How Easy
is Your Trailer
Boat to Steal?

Steal a boat
Sometimes it’s as if boaters spray painted “FREE BOAT” on their hull sides!

Imagine watching as thieves steal your boat. Then picture yourself hopping in your truck and driving after the thieves while calling 911. That’s exactly what happened in Orange County Florida recently as some kids made off with a boat right from the owner's driveway. If you make it easy enough, you too can get your boat stolen. We’ll show you how. Get your crowbar and hop onboard--

Piloting Advice

“Why Do Stink Pots Break the Rules?”

Stink Pot
“You move!” “No -- you move” “I’m not moving, you move!”
“If I have to come down there --

Dear Capt. Steve,

I’m a sail boater and I’m just about fed up with you stink potters failing to give the right of way. Recently, I was tacking back and forth across the channel against a stiff headwind, when here comes a ferryboat that just about runs me over. He slowed but never stopped and never altered course to avoid me.  I had to come hard about to avoid hitting HIM. And this is coming from a professional. The Rules of the Road state that powerboats shall give the right of way to sailboats, so why are powerboaters so thick-headed about this?

David S. Block Island, MA.

Read Capt. Steve's response.

PWC News

Takes Off!

Now you can leap mighty wave runners
with a single bound!

Some folks in Germany are giving a whole new meaning to the term “Personal Watercraft.” They call it the Jetlev-Flyer and they say it will go 74 kmh, go as high as 15 meters and has a range of 300 km. The builder’s website says that the new unit has been under development for 9 years and has been tested for 6 more years. We couldn’t think of a better time to introduce it.  The inventor is looking for dealers worldwide.  Be the first in your marina to blast off over sailboat masts -- that will really honk-off the ragbaggers.   To see a video demonstration --

Japanese jetapack
See Japanese Personal Rocket
Ship (PRS) video --

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Capt. Steve's Lesson #23

Rules of the Road
Part 2: Give-Way and Stand-On Vessels

Give Way and Stand On 

Stand-on versus give-way vessel.

This week Capt. Steve covers some basic rules of the road in these new lessons and guidelines on give-way and stand-on vessels. These are rules which all recreational boaters should be aware of. You’ll learn about the right of way for stand-on vessels and corrective measure give-way vessels must make in order to avoid collisions. Learn about making course corrections, making obvious changes so everyone knows what you are doing, slowing down to help reassess a situation, how to determine which boat is the stand-on versus the give-way boat, and other informative tips about the rules of the road. These videos presented this week are part of Capt. Steve’s USCG-approved boating course called “Smart Boating.” Watch Captain Steve's video boating lessons every week on

View this week’s lessons --

View past lessons --

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Ducky Award Winner

whats going on here?

First Place

"The band had a plan to plane, but Wakeboard Wally and the Witness were far too weighty and witless for Wally to garner acclaim." - P. Lazarus

Second Place
"Oh no! He's reeling us in! Should we jump ship?" - J. Mattor

Honorable (Almost) Mention
"If that boat had one more seat I wouldn't be out here holding onto this damn tow line."
- F. Baker

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 2/15/09.

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