BoatTEST Newsletter 3/25 - 03/25/2009
BoatTEST Newsletter March 25, 2009 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust

New Boats & Video Reviews

- Glastron GS 289 Sport Cruiser
- Sylvan 8522 Sport
- Smoker Craft 151 Resorter
- Stratos 186XT
- Yamaha SuperJet

Also Inside:
- Hydra-Sports 2000 WA
- Head-to-Head Tests
- Everglades & Level Flotation
- Allstate Trailering Tips
- Right Props Make a Difference
- Tigé's New Wake Boat Tower
- 35 Versions of Striper 2101
- EPIRBs Can Be a Life Saver
- Accident of the Week
Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Hydra-Sports 2000 WA Has Cut-Down Outboard Well

Hydra-Sports 2000 WA
Note that the transom is cut away to set the outboard low and to facilitate quick drainage in case of swamping. This may be the safest design on the water in this type of boat.

Last month we tested the new Hydra-Sports 2000 WA and in light of the consumers’ new interest in safety relative to swamping and quick dewatering to avoid capsize, it illustrates an important design feature. Namely the transom is cut down to just above the waterline and the cofferdam of the outboard well rises only about 1/3rd of the total transom height.

Hydra-Sports 2000WA transomThis design has several advantages. First, it allows the outboard engine to be low which means a short shaft can be used on this 20-degree dead rise boat and it lowers the center of gravity. Second, because the transom is effectively cut down to about 1/3rd of its height, in case of swamping most of the water can easily flow out, thus reducing the chance of capsize. Get Capt. Steve’s Captain’s Report --

See Capt. Steve’s video test of the 2000 WA -- Request Test Drive
See all tests of Hydra-Sports boats --
See full article --

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Boat Tests & Reviews

Glastron GS 289 Sport Cruiser 

Glastron GS 289

As queen of Glastron’s Sport Cruisers, the all-new GS 289 has the special features and amenities one might expect. The Glastron cruisers have served the company well, so it made sense to build an even larger boat. Glastron has certainly put the extras in.  Aboard you’ll find Alphastone counters, lots of stainless steel hardware, plush leatherette upholstery, and brushed chrome accents. Glastron didn’t let all that beauty stop the performance either. We clocked a top end of over 40 mph with a single 300-hp sterndrive.  See complete test and video of Glastron's GS 289 Sport Cruiser.

Sylvan 8522 Sport

Sylvan 8522 SportDid you know the folks at Smoker Craft are behind the Sylvan brand leveraging their experience and manufacturing knowledge?  Pontoon boats are relatively simple craft, yet their popularity over the last few years has exploded. Builders are adding innovative features, increasing luxury and installing high horsepower propulsion. Sylvan is one such builder and offers a wide variety of models that deliver a range of great features and attributes. Come aboard the 8522 Sport from Sylvan.

Smoker Craft 151 Resorter

Smoker Craft 151 ResorterFor three generations, the Smoker family has been designing and manufacturing aluminum fishing boats. So it’s safe to say they know what they are doing, and it shows in the newly released 151 Resorter. The 151 is the baby of the Resorter series, featuring an all-welded hull finished off with an attractive paint and graphic scheme and a classy interior.  Captain Ron takes a look at the 151 Resorter from Smoker Craft.

Stratos 186XT

Stratos 186 XTNew special offer on this popular model.  Stratos extends the popularity of the 176XT by offering the next level 186XT. This model offers additional room up front and a wider beam for those needing a bit more space to fish and compete. Larger than most in its class, this model comes in under $19,000 and has about 15” more length added to the bow over its sibling.   Check out the 186XT from Stratos.

Get details on Stratos' special offer.

Yamaha SuperJet

Yamaha 212XWhether you’re into racing, freestyle, or freeriding, the SuperJet is a popular choice across the board. Both powerplant and hull strike a nice balance of design elements which will meet the demands of novice, intermediate, and expert riders.   Come aboard the Yamaha SuperJet with Captain John Wenz.

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Head-to-Head Tests

Wellcraft 21' Fisherman vs. 21' Sportsman
Yamaha F-200 vs. Mercury 200 Optimax

Wellcraft 210 Fisherman Wellcraft 210 Sportsman
Capt. Steve wrings out both of these new Wellcraft 21' models with different outboard power -- which do you prefer?

In case you haven't gathered by now, Capt. Steve is not shy about giving his opinion and sometimes he even gets a little grumpy, but what do you expect from a Irish sea captain? Recently he took exhaustive looks at two new Wellcraft 21-footers, one a center console, which is called a Fisherman and one a dual console, which is called a Sportsman. Each of these models share a completely new hull design.  We found it interesting that the 210 Sportsman powered by the 200-hp 2-stroke Mercury performed as well as it did with regard to fuel mileage at best cruise.  The two boats with engines weigh about the same, but when tested, the center console had 300 additional pounds in fuel, yet at best cruise the Sportsman went 32.2 mph getting 2.99 mpg with the 2-stroke Mercury. The 4-stroke Yamaha on the Fisherman had a best cruise of 26.2 mph at 3.23 mpg. Both were turning 15-1/2 x 17 wheels. Guess which one had the fastest WOT? We invite you to compare both models and the performance of both engines on our test pages. And don't forget to watch Capt. Steve's video tests --

See test of Wellcraft 210 Fisherman --

See test of Wellcraft 210 Sportsman --

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Level Flotation

Everglades' President
Talks About Level Flotation

Who are the Doughertys? Boats over 20'
Can Sink!
Level Flotation
is Key
Stephen D. everglades 2  Everglades 3
They started at Boston Whaler, then founded Edgewater and Everglades. What is their boat-building mission? There is no USCG flotation requirement over 20'. Placement of foam flotation is critical to level flotation. For safety, boats must float level, but all boats when swamped can easily roll over, so scuppers are important.

According to lone survivor Nick Schuyler, NFL football player Marquis Cooper's 21' Everglades swamped then rolled over last month, and subsequently three men died. That Schuyler was able to sit on the level floating hull and hold on to the outboard engine's lower unit is credited with saving his life. 13 months ago editor Jeff Hammond spoke with the president of Everglades, Steve Dougherty, about the very subjects of level flotation, swamping and scupper size -- all issues that impinged on last month's accident. We urge you to watch the three important videos above wherein Everglades President Dougherty gives his views of boat building for safety.

Read's 3/4/09 article on the accident --

Read AP article in the USCG's 23-page report on the accident.--

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Striper News

35 Versions of Striper 2101 WA/DC
Outboard or Stern Drive

All three boats are actually the same basic dimensions (21’6” x 8’6”), -- photos are not to scale. Take your pick: MSRP for the two OB versions with 150-hp Evinrude E-TEC -- $40,014. The stern drive version is $38,349 MSRP with a 190-hp 4.3L GL Volvo Penta with Duoprop.

Seaswirl, a Genmar company which makes the Striper line of boats from 18’ to 33’, is a company that believes in giving its customers choices. In the case of the 2101 WA/DC Striper there are three different basic configurations, each with 11 or 12 engine options in outboard or stern drive, gas or diesel, from 150-hp to 290-hp – which adds up to at least 35 different choices. We took a stroll through the Striper plant to see how these 23 different versions go together and to find out more about the boats. Join us for our voyage of discovery -- 

See tests of Striper by Seaswirl boats --

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Allstate Trailering Tips

Capt. Steve’s Trailering Tips

Allstate Trailering Tips
Trailering your boat sounds simple – and is – IF you follow all of the trailer preparation tips that Capt. Steve recommends.

Being a good boater starts long before you get out on the water. And if you have not properly prepared your trailer rig you may never even make it. Just as airplane pilots walk around their planes checking out control surfaces before they get into the cockpit, so too, should you, make a careful check of all the straps, chains, connections, bolts and landing gear on your trailer before you head to the launch ramp. Capt. Steve gives us his take on the best way to prep so that you will not have a costly accident on the road -- 


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Proper Props

The Right Props
Make A Difference

Getting the right prop for your engine(s) and application insure best performance and fuel efficiency.

Capt. Rob Smith has some sage advice about sifting through all of the prop scuttlebutt that is easy to get free along the dock. The bottom line is that it all comes down to your engine(s), your specific application and the props' geometry. If you are repowering, replacing worn out props, buying a spare, or just tired of lack-luster performance, why not speak to the the nation's leading authorities on props for powerboats -- the folks at PowerTech! Watch Capt. Rob's video and you'll see what we mean.

 Wake Boat Tower

Tigé’s Cool
New Alpha Z Tower

Tigé Wake Tower
This awesome new Alpha Z tower does everything
except curl your toes.

The art of wake boat tower design has come a long way fast. Tigé’s new Alpha Z tower is one of the coolest we have ever seen. It has an incredible anchor light that turns into a running light and then a dome light. There are handholds, integrated speaker pods, lights and chromed wakeboard racks, all in a beautiful swept back towing arch. See this quick Tigé video of the coolest arch on the market -- pump the ratone.

See tests of Tigé boats.


Larson 370 Cabrio


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Prop Info

Formula Escape

Glastron Banner

BoatShop24 Banner

boat history

Ranger Banner

MasterCraft Banner

yamaha boats

Stratos Banner
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Safety Equipment

EPIRB's Can Be
A Life Saver

This McMurdo 406GPS EPIRB
is lightweight, easy to stow
and could save your life.

The McMurdo E5 SMARTFIND is a 406 MHz EPIRB designed to operate with the COSPAS-SARSAT international search and rescue system. Once removed from its Carry Safe Manual Bracket the unit can be activated automatically by immersion in water, or manually by following the activation instructions printed on the unit. See Capt. Rob Smith's videos explain its features --

Order one from Revere --

Accident of the Week

2 US Navy
Vessels Collide

Last Friday two captains in the U.S. Navy joined their comrades in collision from German and Japanese navies in the Capt. Rod Seamanship Hall of Fame. USS Hartford (above) and USS New Orleans.

Good old Captain Rodney Dangerfield may have departed this life some years ago, but his legacy of seamanship and boat handling lives on. We have published in the past pictures and videos of German, Japanese and several other navies slamming into each other and hapless civilian vessels, now the U.S. joins their ranks. How two Navy vessels chock full of SOTA electronics could hit each other, much less hard enough to rupture the USS New Orleans’ fuel tank, is a question only Capt. Rod could answer. To find out how it’s done -- hit your mouse.

See Capt. Rod’s boat handling video --

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Capt. Steve's Lesson #29

How to Use Your Compass to Plot a Course

How To Use Your Compass 

Capt. Steve explains the importance of the compass rose
and how to use it to plot your next course.

This week Capt. Steve goes over nine new lessons and guidelines on reading charts and using a compass. Learn about the different numbers on charts and why there are so many, how to find a specific buoy or locate rocks on a chart. Capt. Steve goes over the difference between True North and Magnetic North, Degrees of Variation, and other important aspects of navigating. These are basic rules which all recreational boaters should be aware of. The videos presented this week are part of Capt. Steve’s USCG-approved boating course called “Smart Boating.” Watch Capt. 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

“Here, class, we will be demonstrating Newton's 3rd Law...” - W. Sorensen

Second Place
"In today's news, the Coast Guard demonstrated their zero emissions outboard which is compliant with the EPA's 2010 Marine regulations.” - G. Lamb

Honorable (Almost) Mention
"They used to laugh at Billy and his 10' dingy... until he sat down to play."
- D. Gallagher

"Not everyone can be a Marine!"- R. French

What's Going on Here?


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