BoatTEST Newsletter - 06/03/2009
- Is FinCraft a Game Changer?
- New Tahoe 215 Xi
- Chaparral 236 SSi or 236 SSX?
- Tigé RZ4 Flagship Rocks
- Does Your Boat Have Cooties?
- Wellcraft 30 Tournament CC
- Damaged Prop: Repair or Replace
- New Glastron DX 215
- Sylvan 8522 Pontoon
- We Test Volvo Penta's 5.0 GXi
- Sailing Is Fun
- Is Pirate Leader Double-Hooked?
- 6,302 Boat Thefts Per Year
- Catalytic Converters Are Coming
- Get Rid of the Chamois
- Yamaha 212 SS
- Genmar: Business As Usual
- Ice Fishermen Turn to Boating
Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Is FinCraft A
Game Changer?

FinCraft 1850
This is a fiberglass multi-specie freshwater fishing boat almost as light as aluminum and so inexpensive that Momma will applaud your frugality and good judgment for buying it. Above is the FinCraft 1850.

We all know that the world is rapidly changing and while no one knows what it will be like when we get on the other side of (whatever you want to call it), we all know the world will be different. Now everyone, even the fat cats, are watching every penny and are considering brands they never would have looked at before because some of them have real value for money. For that reason, there couldn’t be a better time for the launch of FinCraft, a new brand of freshwater multi-specie fiberglass fishing boat with a price tag that makes aluminum boat builders apoplectic. The new FinCraft 17, with 50-hp outboard and trailer, has an MSRP of $14k and the street price is even less. The parent company, Genmar, says that with $3k down, they estimate someone can get into the FinCraft 17 for as little as $136 per month. Where we come from, that means we’ll have to give up two large Dunkin' Donuts’ coffees a day, and brew it ourselves. Think about it. Smokers could kick the habit and have enough extra monthly money to go for the big engine, to say nothing of not dying of emphysema. There probably isn’t a working person alive in the U.S. who couldn’t trade one of his little “luxuries” or vices for a FinCraft, if he really wanted to go boating bad enough. That’s why we think these two boats with three models – the 17 SC or 17 DC and the 1850 DC -- could be “game changers.”  To find out more about the FinCraft 17 and 1850 and why we think change might be afoot -- 

Visit the new FinCraft website --

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New Boat

The New Tahoe 215 Xi Can Do Most Anything

   Tahoe 215 Xi Tahoe 215 Xi
You may think this is the new Tahoe 215 IO deckboat, but what you are actually looking at is a four-ring circus on water. You can be the Ring Master for $29,935 anywhere in the USA, they tell us.
We don’t think there are any better pictures in this issue that better capture what boating is all about than the two above. There is nothing like being on that special body of water where family moments are locked into memory. Because the folks who build Tahoe are affiliated with Bass Pro Shoppes, one of the nation’s largest outdoor retail operations, it is as if the builder is in touch with its customers every day. That’s why Tahoe knows what people want, what they do on their boats, and how much they can afford to pay. That’s why they have made this watersports platform not only beautiful, but also one of the most functional, versatile deckboats we have ever seen. We asked Capt. Steve to check it out for us. Here’s his report--

Arrange a test drive

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Ski/Wake News

Tigé RZ4 Flagship “Rocks” for Big Wake

   Tigé RZ4 With a pickle-fork bow the Tigé RZ4 is a huge 24-footer that can hold a small grandstand full of spectators. All you need are hot dogs and cold soda. Tigé Design
You are looking at two patented designs, the ConvexV hull and the TAPS2 plate, that make the Tigé RZ4 a wake beater.
Finding the right person to test a ski/wakeboard boat is not easy. Most skiboat owners we know are pretty rabid fans of their brand, sort of like Red Sox and Yankee baseball maniacs. Then, most of the brands have their own peanut galleries nattering away on the Internet blowing smoke up one's dress and throwing cold water on another. So we asked Capt. Rob Smith who does not own a ski/wake board boat -- but who has tested most of them at one time or another in his long career and knows a thing or two about boat design -- to take a good look at the RZ4 and put her through her paces. Here’s his independent 3rd party report --

Request a special demo

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Chaparral’s 236SSi or 236SSX --
Which Do YOU Prefer?

   Chaparral 236 SSi Chaparral 236 SSX
Chaparral’s 236 SSi Sportboat is at left and the 236 SSX Sportdeck is at the right. The same hull, but quite different inside. Which one best fits your needs?
If you are in the market for a 24’ sportboat then you owe it to yourself to take a look at both the Chaparral 236 SSi and 236 SSX. The two most obvious differences are that the SSX model has a head in the port console and “L”-shaped seating with a transom walk-thru gate and the SSi model is the more conventional layout, sans head. But there are some other subtitle differences as well. To help us sort them out, we have asked Capt. Steve to bring his critical eye to help us. Both look good to us and Chaparral’s fit and finish is among the best in the industry, but Capt. Steve can always be counted on to point out the relative distinctions. Check out his report here--

Visit Chaparral's website

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Does Your Boat Have Cooties?

   Cooties   Cooties 
Here is the bad news and for some reason the spread of harmful invasive species seems to be getting worse in freshwater locations.
As much as we hate to admit it, once again the folks in California are leading the rest of the country, and maybe the world, when it comes to protecting against invasive species spreading to freshwater locations. Ballast water dumped by ships is picked up by trailerable small crafts which go from saltwater to freshwater, then hop around. As they travel, the organisms in their bilge water and attached to their hull and running gear drop off and find new homes. The zebra muscles have been a prime example of this spreading eco-problem. More and more, conservation authorities responsible for keeping lakes and streams from contamination are requiring that trailerable boats visit “decontamination” stations. Inspection and decontamination is now required on Lake Tahoe. Read all about it --

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Second Look

Wellcraft’s 30 Tournament CC Has the Scarab Offshore Pedigree

Wellcraft 30 Tournament
The Wellcraft Scarab was the first center console based on an offshore racing hull over 25 years ago. Wellcraft’s newest model has a 288 gallon fuel capacity, which gives incredible range.

Many years ago Wellcraft Scarabs battled it out on the offshore racing circuit with Cigarettes, Magnums and Formulas. Then, over 25 years ago, Wellcraft was the first to marry that offshore high-performance Scarab hull with a center console open deck to create a fast, comfortable, and roomy outboard-powered fishboat. Believe it or not, at first the conservative fishing crowd was slow to embrace the concept, but once it did, it changed how people fished offshore. It was a “game changer” but nobody realized it at the time. Then companies such as Intrepid, Contender, Fountain, Jupiter and many others all followed in Scarab’s wake. Today's Wellcraft 30’ Scarab center console is not the same one manufactured 25 years ago, but she is a refined, and updated descendent of that trail-blazing boat. Come aboard with us and see if she’s the right boat for you. Bring your chum buckets and follow us --

Request factory price quote

See video of the 30 Tournament test --

Propeller Tips

Damaged Prop:
Repair or Replace?

Propeller Tips
This is what happens when a man lets his kids or wife use the boat. And the question begs, “can’t this be repaired?”

Sooner or later it happens to all of us, even the most careful of navigators – the prop gets dinged. Sometimes it’s a little more than a ding, yet all of the blades are still there, more or less. Your boat dealer, local mechanic, and the local boatyard will all tell you the same thing -- replace the prop! (They can’t fix it and want to sell you a new screw.) But you wonder: “Can’t a good prop shop salvage this with some creative metal working and make it almost as good as new?” If you’ve faced that dilemma, you are not alone. Here is how to handle prop triage -- 

PowerTech Propellers website --

New Boat

Glastron DX 215 Deckboat
Has a Unique Layout

Glastron DX 215
The DX 215 is well balanced with room for four people in the bow and four in the cockpit. It also has the largest head we’ve seen on a 21-footer.

The deckboat is a relatively new specie of sportboat and we think that Glastron has just given the type a nice evolution in the right direction. Its designers have recently applied some outside the box thinking and created a deckboat that answers the practical needs of a family watersports platform – privacy and ease of transom egress. This boat has the largest changing room/head we’ve ever seen on a 21-footer. Now the kids and Mom will have a comfortable and private space in which to change. We think this boat has some of the more important advantages of a cuddy with all of the advantages of a bowrider. It’s nice to see things get shaken up now and then, and more often than not, new ideas become the norm. Come aboard for a look and see if it works for you --

Schedule a test drive



Bayliner Summer

Dream Rig

Larson 370 Cabrio


Summer Stressed

yamaha waverunners

Maxum Summer

Prop Info

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Second Look

Sylvan 8522 Pontoon Has an Executive Feel

Sylvan 8522 Pontoon
The 8522 is one of Sylvan’s Signature Series pontoons that feature powder-coated rails, rounded bow gunwales, and upgraded graphics. Add in her list of standard features and your days as a lonely captain are over. This boat attracts parties like a magnet attracts steel.

Pontoons have long been the boat of choice for folks that do all their boating on relatively protected waters. Not only can they allow you to experience all that boating has to offer, they can do it in a more cost effective way. And thanks to the inherent shallow draft that pontoons enjoy, operating in skinny water is little concern. If you’re impressed with a fiberglass boat’s 5 year hull warranty, then Sylvan’s lifetime pontoon warranty will be sure to please. We took a look at Sylvan’s latest 22 footer, the 8522, and we didn’t come away disappointed. Check out the Captain's Report here --

Engine News

Volvo Penta's 5.0 GXi

Volvo Penta 5.0 GXi
5.0 GXi duo-prop. has tested 20 boats with both single and twin Volvo Penta 5.0 GXi power and the performance results are remarkably consistent in class among the boats we checked. With 5.0 liter displacement and eight cylinders, this Volvo Penta engine delivers over 250-ft. lbs. of torque at 1000 rpm up to 302-ft. lbs. at 4000 rpm. This relatively flat and powerful torque curve makes the engine ideal for waterski and wakeboard activities by delivering relatively constant torque throughout the useful rpm range. To find out more about this workhorse “small-block” Volvo Penta engine and how it performs in different boats -- start your mouse.

Featured Product

Get Rid of the Chamois

 Shurhold Water Blade
Shurhold's Water Blade makes drying
your boat easier.

Drying your boat after washing can be a bit of a pain. Chamois are a big help, but you still need to keep wringing them out all the time and can’t stick them on a handle. We gave the Water Blade from Shurhold a workout and have to agree with their claims. The team at Shurhold tells us that because of the design and the materials "It just wipes away water" and that it is "Safe on all boat surfaces." Well it did make the drying process go much faster when we used it, and there were no signs of marks or scratches on any of the surfaces we use it on. The Shurhold system has a holder that the water blade simply slides into. The holder clips onto their handle system with ease, and you can adjust the angle any way you like. In our opinion, another quality product that delivers what it promised.  Learn more about the Water Blade and the entire Shurhold system--

Boat Test

Yamaha's Hot 212 SS

 Yamaha 212 SS
If you have a “need for speed”- you want a performance boat, but the family’s interested in doing more than just going fast from place to place, do yourself and your family a favor. Take a good look at the Yamaha 212 SS.

Compare similar boats to see what Yamaha provides as standard versus the competition. The 212 SS uses Yamaha’s 21-foot hull and adds some aggressive styling to create a functional and fun machine. The low-profile, tinted windscreen and the extreme graphics scheme give this a sports car look to complement the outstanding acceleration and handling. Take a ride with us as test the 212 SS from Yamaha.


Sailing Is Fun!

 Sailing Fun
That figure you see is in a wall of water that has just come over the bow of a sailboat in the current Round the World Sailboat Race. Looks like fun!

If you have ever wondered how much fun it would be to go offshore racing, then we have a video for you. The folks who like this sport are certainly a breed apart – most people don’t want to be wet and miserable, cold and clammy for days on end, but offshore sailboat racers thrive on it. More power to them -- oops, that’s more wind to them. The best thing about this sport is when you go off watch, you get to take off your wet foul weather gear (it all leaks, of course) and climb into a bunk still damp from the guy who just got out of it. Then there is the problem of the boat being knocked on its ear every so often, dumping the crew out of their bunks. Ah, the sailing life! As we said, it looks like fun to us. To see what it’s like, run the video, please-- douse the mouse.

Let’s have some reader comments about the great sport of offshore racing --


Is Pirate Leader Double-Hooked?

Captain Uok and Obama
What gives? Is Capt. Uok left hooked or right hooked? And, how did the hook get through the White House metal detector?

One of our eagle-eyed readers has discovered that there might be something amiss with the Somali pirate leader who we pictured negotiating with Pres. Obama last week. He seems to be double-hooked! That was not the only issue our trusty reader had with this news scoop, he says we don’t know the USS Freedom’s schedule. Does that mean it is not going to the Somali coast to catch pirates? Was the AP news story we picked up just Pentagon dis-information? Perhaps it was a bit of Pentagon dis-information being put out to scare the pirates! Anyway, according to our reader -- who says he is a USN Lieutenant Commander on this very ship – we’re all wet. So much for Navy security. To read his correction --

Boating Tips

6,302 (Ave.) Boat Thefts Per Year Nationwide

 Boat Thefts
Boating thefts are remarkably consistent year after year despite a drop in new-boats sales.

Among the 19,854 watercraft thefts in the last three years, July is the favorite month, Florida is the leading state in this crime category, and Yamaha PWCs appear to be the target of choice, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). The NICB says that the most expensive theft they recorded was $600,000 but the average theft represented about a $15,000 loss. PWCs were the clear favorites of thieves, followed by kayaks, jon boats, canoes and pontoon boats. To find out more about boat thefts and learn what you can do to hold on to your floating property--cage the mouse.

Engine News

Catalytic Converters Are Coming Soon

 Catalytic Converters
Catalytic converters will be required of every new 2010 stern drive or inboard gas engine anywhere in the U.S., raising the price anywhere from $2,750 to $10,000 for a new boat.

If you cancelled your move to California to avoid having to buy catalytic converters for your stern drive or inboard gas engines, then we have some bad news. If you buy a new boat in 2010 – in any state -- you may have to convert. As we noted last year when it happened, the EPA has formalized new exhaust emission standards for marine “spark-ignition” engines and they will be fazed in next year. Based on what boat builders are charging extra for products going into California (which required catalytic converters in 2008) you will be paying anywhere from about $2,750 to $5,000 extra for that new boat. (Most outboard engines comply with the new regs already and diesels are not “spark-ignited”.) Find out more about the impact of this new rule on your future new boat purchase --

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Industry News

Business as Usual At Genmar*

   Genmar Brands
Genmar Holdings Inc. owns 14 boat companies and its brands are major players in virtually every category in American boat building.
On Monday June 1, Genmar Holdings, Inc. filed for Chapter 11 Reorganization Protection. The 14 brands owned by Genmar account for roughly 20% of the fiberglass boats built in America by the major builders. Most of the company’s brands are major players in their respective categories. Irwin Jacobs, CEO and the major stockholder in the company, said in a corporate press release on Monday, “We believe that Genmar will have access to sufficient cash and has current assets available to support our on-going business to service and build dealer boat orders and pay our vendor suppliers on future purchases promptly.” Jacobs also said, “It is important that every interested party affected by Genmar’s situation knows that we plan on successfully reorganizing and ultimately coming out of Chapter 11 as a stronger and better company with a bright and stable future ahead in the recreational boating industry.” To find when Genmar plans on coming out of Chapter 11 protection and what impact this will have on consumers, warranties, rebates, sales, and dealers, read on --

*“Business as usual” in the current economic times should not be confused with the way it was conducted a couple of years ago. However, the Genmar companies deals with on a daily basis appear to be carrying on business pretty much like virtually all of the other major boat builders in the industry these days.  Times are tough all over.

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Discover Boating

Ice Fishermen Turn to Boating

   Ice Fishermen
It seems some men will do almost anything to get away from their wives.

Hey, you don’t need to spend all of that money buying a boat just to go fishing! Simply wait until winter and the lake freezes over. Then go drive the family sedan out on the ice, drill a hole for your line, and sit on a box in the sub-zero weather. And, think of all the money you'll save on fuel! Well, this winter some of these penny-pinching fishermen found out that using a boat might be the best way to go out on the water – frozen or otherwise. A whole new crop of ice fishermen discovered boating last winter. Find out why --

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Capt. Steve's Lesson #39

How to Correctly Tie Up
Your Boat to a Dock

How to Correctly Tie Up 

First attach the bow line, as it will prevent the boat from drifting backwards, and it will also keep the boat from being pulled away from the dock.

This week Capt. Steve goes over eight new lessons and guidelines on tying up to a dock and how to correctly use lines in order to secure your boat. Capt. Steve will explain what spring lines and breast lines are used for, and how to use them to your advantage when leaving the dock. It’s important to learn how to properly secure your boat to the dock so it won’t drift back into another boat or pull away too much from the 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

"For the freshest seafood, I look for where the locals eat. " - M. Ross

Second Place

"This beats diving for lunch. 'Uh,may I have that tail piece you're cutting there?'"
- C. Madden

Honorable (Almost) Mention
"You know, I heard the service is slow here, but the food is outstanding." - Perez

"A pelican walked into a crowed sushi bar and after eating told the bartender to just put it on his bill." - R. Meiners

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 6/8/09.

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:

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