It's All About
Last year it was all about the cost of fuel. This year it is all about "value".
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. BoatTEST.com 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 --
Glastron GLS 215:
Good Handling and Strong Value
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 --
video of the Glastron GLS 215 test --
Why Do People
Buy Jet Sportboats?
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
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 --
Volvo Penta 4.3L V-6 is a Little Powerhouse
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 --
Sessa 24 CC --
Not for Fishing!
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 --
Doral 235 Bow Rider Raises the Bar on Cool
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
Regal 2000 Bowrider:
Stylish and People-Friendly
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.
New Tahoe Q5i SF Puts
Family Fun Within
Reach of Everyone
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 --
Not All Brushes
Are the Same
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 --
Sea Ray’s 210 Sundeck
“Entry Level” Deckboat
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 --
Do You Have Friends
Who Love Boating?
*Remember, BoatTEST.com does not spam, your friend will be sent a link that they
can opt-in with.
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 --
Rescue of the Week
Sailors Caught in Net Saved by USCG
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 --
Montauk Monster Attracts L.I. Boaters
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” --
BoatTEST.com 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 --
Is the Compass Obsolete?
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.
Capt. Steve's Lesson #37
Basic Boat Handling
and Docking Procedures
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 BoatTEST.com.
View this week’s lessons --
View past lessons --
Ducky Award Winner
"Whack him again Tom! One more good one and the candy is bound to come pouring
out!" - J.D.
"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.
"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
Please send all submissions by 5/25/09.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.