BoatTEST Newsletter - 05/20/2009
BoatTEST Newsletter May 20, 2009 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust
- It's All About Value Now
- Glastron GLS 215
- Why Buy a Jet Sportboat?
- Volvo Penta 4.3L V-6
- Sessa 24 Center Console
- Doral 235 Bow Rider
- Regal 2000 Bowrider
- Tahoe Q5i SF
- Not All Brushes Are the Same
- Sea Ray's 210 Sundeck
- Do Your Friends Love Boating?
- Allstate PWC Pre-Launch List
- Cruising Maine's Penobscot
- Sailors Caught in Net, Saved
- Montauk Monster Attracts
- Obama Gets Tough with Pirates
- Is the Compass Obsolete
Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

It's All About
"Value" Now

Warren Buffet
 Warren Buffett, the oracle of Omaha, is a life-long expert at finding good values in companies and stocks, and then buying them.

Last year it was all about the cost of fuel. This year it is all about "value". Not just in boat buying, but also relative to almost anything one buys. For many people, such as Warren Buffett, value has always been the name of the game, but now virtually everyone is singing this mantra. has always championed value boat buying, just like Graham and Dodd (Buffett’s investing mentors) were the classic proponents of value stock investing. Moreover, we think value boat buying is here to stay for quite some time. Like buying under-valued stocks, this is an ideal time to buy under-valued boats, or boats that simply give you more value for your dollar than their competition in class. How do you figure out what is good value or under valued? Step into our main salon --

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New Boat

Glastron GLS 215:
Good Handling and Strong Value

   Glastron GLS 215
Note the 37” high gunwales in the cockpit that makes this boat secure for the little people.

Glastron has been a leading sportboat builder for over 50 years and the folks running the operation are not newbies. They have a wealth of experience, know what works and what is fluff, and they have packed virtually everything you need into this package that starts at $33,498 with the engine we tested. The GLS 215 has a retro windshield and new styling, but perhaps the best thing about the boat is her handling and nearly zero bow rise when getting on plane. We think you get very good value for your money with this boat. If you are in the market for a 21-footer, we urge you to read Capt. Rob Smith’s Captain’s Report --

See video of the Glastron GLS 215 test --

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Jet Boat

Why Do People
Buy Jet Sportboats?

The Yamaha SX210 has an MSRP of $31.5K.
The Yamaha SX230 has an MSRP of $38.1K.

Increasingly, jet-powered runabouts have been growing in popularity. Only two major companies – Yamaha and Sea-Doo – are building them. We have been waiting for the old-line sportboat builders to introduce one into their lines, but so far no cigar. To our minds jet drives are a solid alternative to stern drive power. When the 23’ Yamaha was quietly introduced at the Miami boat show in 2003 in a tent in the back parking lot it didn’t get a lot of consumer traffic, but word spread quickly among the boat builders that this was a boat that had to be seen. Yamaha designers had created a stern that was unlike anything on the market. It was instantly obvious to even the dimmest bulb that it was a great idea – Yamaha had turned the transom into THE major focal point of the boat. Its 23’ boat became a three-ring circus: cockpit, bow seating, and stern watersports venue. It wasn’t long before conventional sportboat builders were copying the concept. Now it has spread even to 40’ cruisers! But when will they start copying the jet power?  To find out why people are buying jet sportboats --

See all Yamaha boat tests Yamaha's website

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Engine News

Volvo Penta 4.3L V-6 is a Little Powerhouse

   Volvo   Volvo
The compact engine comes with double-barreled carb at 190-hp (4.3L GL, on left) or with multi-port injection at 225-hp (4.3L GXi, on right).
This 4.3L engine starts life as a Vortec GM 90-degree V-6 block that was first introduced in 1985 as a truck engine, and now is used in SUVs and large automobiles as well. With millions of engines built over the last 24 years it has proven reliability. In 1991 GM came out with a throttle-body injection version, which was converted to multi-port injection in 2002. Volvo Penta marinizes the engine for recreational boating applications and it is typically used in stern drive runabouts from 16’ to about 24’, but is also used in pontoon applications and in cruisers up to 30’. To find out what sets the Volvo Penta 4.3L engines apart from other marinized versions of the same block --

Visit Volvo Penta's website

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New Boat

Sessa 24 CC --
Not for Fishing!

   Sessa 24 CC
Built in Italy by Sessa, this Key Largo 24 was not made for fishing, but if you own one you’ll likely get quite a catch.
There are no live baitwells, fish boxes, re-circulating tanks, rocket launchers or rod holders here. Just beautiful curves and hormones in the gel coat. Sessa is a leading Italian powerboat builder, has a full line of boats, and we think many of them are the most exciting things on the water. Today we bring you a photo gallery of their Key Largo 24 center console which has practically no fishability, but fishermen of a different sort will love it -- and so will mermaids. See what we mean --

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New Boat

Doral 235 Bow Rider Raises the Bar on Cool

   Doral 235 BR
Is this boat hot, or what? The Doral 235 Bow Rider will turn men’s heads and stop women in their tracks. And other boats? They’ll just slink away before you can give them wake.
It’s not too often that you look at a bowrider that is so hot that you have to say to yourself “Cool.” But that’s exactly the feeling we had when we took our first look at the Doral 235 Bow Rider. Doral’s “Elite” series has been redesigned for ’10 and if you think past versions of this boat were attractive, you’ll love this one. We think she’s one of the most exciting boats in her class. And what class is that? Call it the Cobalt-Formula-Sessa class. It’s a boat that you can take to Cannes or Portofino and feel like you belong right alongside the megayachts because you’ve got as much style and, there’s that word is again – class. The 235 is Doral’s smallest boat in this high-end series. Join Capt. Steve as he takes a closer look, but remember, Dorals are not for everyone --

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New Boat

Regal 2000 Bowrider:
Stylish and People-Friendly

   Regal 2000  
The Regal 2000 bowrider looks stylish and sleek. It also has features that make it a good buy as well.
If Regal only made great looking boats, then they’d probably starve in this economy. But great looks are only the beginning of what the 2000 Bowrider has to offer. These guys never forget that there’s a human element to boating, and they build in features to allow for that, and other builders may want to take notice. See what we’re talking about here.

Request a test drive

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New Boat

New Tahoe Q5i SF Puts
Family Fun Within
Reach of Everyone

Tahoe Q5i SF
Family fun and versatility doesn’t have to come with a steep price tag. Tahoe proves it with their new for ’09 Q5i SF.

Bowriders are a class of stiff competition, particularly with the entry level boats. They’ve all got to combine safety, family fun, and versatility into an affordable package. While there’s only so much space to deal with, making a boat that beats the others out for a buyer's attention can be a challenge. Tahoe stepped up and came up with a nice fish and ski package that has a price that makes it worth looking at. And the factory-matched trailer is included. We sent our toughest critic to check it out and to let us know what he thought. See Capt. Steve’s report here --

Deck Hands

Not All Brushes
Are the Same

Marine Mate
Marine Mate deck brushes are specially made for fiberglass decks and topsides.

One might think that something as simple as a brush would not have to be specially made for use on a boat. But one would be wrong. In fact, you can’t just run down to Ace Hardware and get a brush that has been made specifically for cleaning jobs on fiberglass decks and topsides. What you need is a Marine Mate brush with specially made “split end” soft fibers that won’t scratch your delicate gelcoat, but which will hold lots of soap and water and get your fiberglass surfaces clean without causing microscopic scratches. The Marine Mate brush comes with a 48” long screw-in handle. Any boat crew will tell you that “Many hands make light work,” so you should always have at least two of these brushes on hand to wash down your topsides after a day on the water. To find Marine Mate brushes go to West Marine or visit their website to order -- 

New Boat

Sea Ray’s 210 Sundeck
“Entry Level” Deckboat

Sea Ray 210
Sea Ray may refer to this 210 Sundeck as “entry level” but there’s little left to be desired in this package.
The tower is optional.

Deckboats have certainly come of age. Sea Ray’s 210 Sundeck does a great job of packing a lot of punch into a small package, so much so that they should have just cut to the chase and called it a “watersports deckboat.” As if the long list of standard features weren’t enough, they throw in a limited lifetime structural warranty on the hull and deck, as well as a two-year engine warranty to boot! Sounds like they have confidence in what they offer. Find out if this deckboat is right for you --

Take the 210 Sundeck for a sea trial

 BoatTEST News

Do You Have Friends
Who Love Boating?

Boating Fun

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Allstate Video

PWC Pre-Launch
Detailed Checklist

   Allstate checklist
Smart PWC boaters give their vessel a thorough inspection before leaving the driveway of their home for a day on the water. Is there debris in the water pump?
Have you ever noticed commercial airline pilots walking around their airplane looking at all control surfaces before taking off? Once in the cockpit they then have a detailed checklist to follow. PWCs seem simple, but from your driveway at home in the morning until you return at night there are dozens of things that can go wrong to ruin your day. Smart boaters will carefully check a dozen items or more to avoid mishaps both on the road and on the water. Thanks to the friendly folks at Allstate Insurance, we can provide you with a detailed video pre-launch check list to make sure your day on the water is nothing but fun --

See all Allstate safety videos --

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Summer Cruises

Cruising Maine's
Penobscot Bay

   Penbscot Bay
This Google Earth photo of Penobscot Bay gives you some idea of the beautiful cruising grounds to be found there. All is reachable by trailer boat or pocket cruiser.
You do not have to have a megayacht to enjoy cruising Maine’s Penobscot Bay, which is one of the truly great cruising grounds in the world. In fact, you can do it with a sportboat or center console because the waters are protected in large measure. The perimeter of the bay is dotted with public launching ramps for trailer boaters and there are marinas with open slips and moorings in every town and village at affordable prices. Then there are the thousands of spots to anchor for the night where you will only be bothered by loons and an occasional passing lobster boat (many of whom will be glad to sell you a few lobsters). The bay is protected to a great degree from the prevailing southwesterly breeze, which is a God’s send as it keeps the bugs away. In the summer the air temperature is darn near perfect during the day (sweaters at night) and the water is bracing. To find out about access points and where to go --

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Rescue of the Week

Sailors Caught in Net Saved by USCG

Sailors Caught in Net
 It’s a dangerous place out there in Block Island Sound – there are lobster pots, fish nets, and (gasp!)-- wind!

Three intrepid sailors in a 35-footer a half-mile off Newport, RI, evidently got caught on a fish net and required a USCG rescue. Hey, it was blowing 25 to 30 knots, with 7 foot seas, they said, and it was scary! Anyway, they were late getting home and Mom would have been worried. Never mind that their sailboat could have pulled a fish factory ship to port, much less its net, in 30 knots of wind – if only these sailors had put their sails up. File this one under “Sailors Tales”. To find out the whole terrifying story --

See video of sailors rescued from the jaws of death --

Blairwitch Boating

Montauk Monster Attracts L.I. Boaters

Montauk Monster
The Montauk Monster, above, created a mild sensation on Long Island last July when it washed up on beach there, making national news on CNN and Fox News. Boaters are now on the look-out for more such creatures.

On May 5th the remains of a new unidentified corpse washed up on the beaches of Long Island, NY and locals are saying it is yet another Montauk Monster. Montauk was for 30 years the home of Capt. Frank Mundus, known as “Monster Man”, and he is generally credited for being the inspiration for Quint in the movie Jaws. Mundus died over a year ago in Hawaii, but Montauk boaters evidently hanker for a new monster since white sharks have been scarce around Montauk since Mundus retired. To see a picture of the new “monster” as well as those of a Siberian something now being called the “Moscow Monster” --

Pirate News

Obama Gets
Tough with
Somali Pirates

During a recent meeting in the Oval Office, Pres. Obama reportedly told the Somali pirate leader that if he didn’t stop his evil-doing, he’d be sentenced to 20 years of listening to Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Pirates of Penzance.” is happy to report on a secret meeting that took place in the Oval Office May 9th that went unreported by the major media. Pres. Obama met with a leader of the Somali pirates who goes by the name of Capt. Ouk. Ouk reportedly had his right hand chopped off by authorities in Saudi Arabia a few years ago for reading a Playboy magazine, and turned to a life of crime on the high seas to make ends meet.  To find out about America’s (long awaited) new aggressive posture towards pirates --

Boating Tips

Is the Compass Obsolete?

Taking up valuable dashboard real estate, some builders are casting the low-tech compass overboard.

With GPS and chartplotters now making navigation literally children’s play, why does anyone need an old fashioned compass? After all, isn’t it just an expensive piece of decoration that gets in one’s line of sight? As a youngster once told us, “How boring, it’s always pointing the same direction!” More and more, boat builders are leaving them off of new boats. We’re told that the compass as a navigational device was invented by the Chinese before 1044 AD, so do you still need such old technology? For our take on this burning question--compensate this.

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Capt. Steve's Lesson #37

Basic Boat Handling
and Docking Procedures


Always have your lines ready before approaching the dock. Once dockside, tie the bow line first, then the stern line.

This week Capt. Steve goes over ten new lessons and guidelines on basic boat handling and docking procedures. Learn how to turn quickly by adding thrust, make the tide and current work for you rather than against you when docking, and how to bring the boat to a quick stop by using reverse. Strong wind and current can make docking a difficult task, but Capt. Steve explains how to use the wind and current to your advantage, and how to control your boat’s drift towards a dock. These are basic procedures 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

 "Whack him again Tom! One more good one and the candy is bound to come pouring out!" - J.D.

Second Place

"I just stole all of their money. Beam me up Scotty!" - A. Prinz

Honorable (Almost) Mention
"I think he's a politician, should we gaff him or cut him loose?" - B. Trost

"What you get when you cross the Blue Angels with McHale's Navy." -R. Davis

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 5/25/09.

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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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