Irwin Jacobs Explains // 70 MPH Crash // New Yamaha F25 Test - 07/01/2009
BoatTEST Newsletter July 1, 2009 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust
- Genmar's Irwin Jacobs
- Sea Ray 305 Sundancer
- Alumacraft Lunker 165 CS
- Outboard Repowering
- Wellcraft 210 Sportsman
- Lower Unit Lubrication
- Check NMMA Certification
- New Outboards from Yamaha
- Seaswirl 2101 WA
- Skeeter SL210: All Purpose
- Online Video Watching Up
- New Lund 208 in Fiberglass
- Yamaha AR230 High Output
- Shurhold Corrosion Test
- Pro-Line and Donzi Sold
- 70-MPH Bass Boat Ejects Driver
- Why You Need Insurance
- 2008 Pro-Eliminator Champ Dies
Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

 Irwin Jacobs Explains What Happened-- and What He is Doing About It

Irwin Jacobs
Irwin Jacobs, CEO of Genmar, a 30-year marine industry veteran says he is “humbled and embarrassed” at having to file Chapter 11, but that he will come back with pride and his reputation intact.

Genmar holdings is the second largest boat builder in the U.S. with annual sales over a billion dollars in a decent year. But the world-wide financial meltdown that began with the fall of Lehman Brothers last September hit the boating industry harder than any single sector of the American economy. Since that time both Genmar and #1 boat builder Brunswick both saw their revenues drop by over half in a few short months. Much of the rest of the industry was down even more. Last winter for weeks at a time there was virtually no cash flow in much of the boating economy.

Last Friday we interviewed Jacobs to find out what happened, if warranties are going to be paid, will dealers be discontinued, will some boat brands be dropped, how much will creditors be paid on the dollar, was Genmar over leveraged, and what consumers should expect from Genmar brands and its dealers in the future. Jacobs announced during the interview that Genmar factories all over the country would be starting up again on July 6th. To get answers to your questions and find out what happened --

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New Boat

 New 305 Sea Ray Hardtop –
For NON-Americans ONLY!

     Sea Ray 305 Sundancer
Note the high windshield which makes it possible to stand at the helm. Cruising canvas can be added aft to completely button up the cockpit.
Marcel Rijnbeek, General Manager of Brunswick Netherlands, headquartered in Amsterdam, announced two days ago that Sea Ray International is introducing its very first 30-footer with a hardtop: the brand new 305 Sundancer. This boat will only be available in Europe, the Middle East and in Africa and at this time it is not available in the U.S., a Sea Ray spokesman told us. Chris Owen, General Manager of Marine Marbella UK, Sea Ray’s largest dealer in Europe with numerous locations in several countries, said that “Owners in Northern Europe have been crying out for a small Sea Ray that will be a joy to drive any time of the year. Until now, if you wanted an all-weather helm you had to step up to a 47-footer.” Marine Marbella UK announced that it would have the 305 on display at the Southampton Boat Show Sept. 11 to 20. For more information about this boat, to see pictures, and for some cautionary advice -- NO Americans, please!

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New Test

Alumacraft Lunker 165 CS
with a 25-hp Yamaha

   Alumacraft Lunker 165 CS
We tested the Alumacraft Lunker 165 CS last week in Georgia with the new Yamaha F25 outboard and got some surprising speed and fuel consumption figures.
When you were a kid don’t you remember that the horsepower on the boats was a lot lower than what you see today? We remember when the hottest outboard motor on the lake was a 60-hp engine and it was huge (and all the pretty girls wanted to ride in that guy’s boat!). We remember waterskiing quite happily behind an aluminum boat powered by a 25-hp motor (with girls of more discerning taste). To look at the boating magazines and the rigs at boat shows these days one would think that somehow over the years outboard motors lost their strength. What happened? To find out we asked Yamaha to put a new F25LA 4-stroke on an Alumacraft Lunker 165 CS and we’d find out. Come along for the ride, captain's report and test numbers -- pull the mouse

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Engine Repowering

 ‘Tis the Season for Outboard Repowering

There is nothing worse than an under-powered boat. When the couple above repowered, they obviously weren’t taking any chances. But are they over-powered?
There is no time like the present to bite the bullet and repower your outboard boat.  The trick is finding the right horsepower, stroke, fuel system, shaft length, props, engine brand, price, warranty and installing dealer.  Probably the most difficult decisions are deciding on the horsepower, brand and installing dealer. can help you with the first two – horsepower and brand selection. We have tested hundreds of outboard boats from 25-hp to 350-hp powered by all major brands. Find the boat models like yours and compare performance under different loads and conditions and with different props.  Then visit your local dealers for the two or three brands you have selected and quiz them on the price, installation costs and timing, and on-going operating costs.  To better acquaint you with what is involved with a repowering installation job – and to help you decide whether or not you will do it yourself – check out our Outboard Installation Primer. The tutorial starts here --

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Member Services

Wellcraft 210 Sportsman "Factory-Backed" Program

Wellcraft 210 Sportsman
The Wellcraft 210 is a versatile utility boat good for cruising, fishing and just knocking about.

Many of our members and visitors have told us they would like to purchase a new boat this year, but are apprehensive about moving forward in this economy. This is why the team at has created a strategic partnership with the team at Wellcraft called the Factory-Backed Program. Through this program, BoatTEST will ensure that our members receive world class customer service and consideration as well as the piece of mind that the factory is behind the deal and working directly with the local dealer representative. The fact is, due to the economy there has never been a better time to buy a new boat. If you think you are ready, and the Wellcraft 210, or any Wellcraft model, fits your needs, get the “Factory-Backed” process started here--



The Lowdown on
Lower Unit Lubrication

Outboard Lower UnitRoyal Purple Max-Gear
Outboard lower units develop tremendous heat in their spiral-bevel gears and need a high “film strength” gear oil to lubricate metal-to-metal contact and prevent damaging wear. ASTM Timken load tests show that Royal Purple Max-Gear has a far stronger “film strength” than synthetic and mineral oils. 

Conversations about lower unit lubrication don't typically generate much interest around the launch ramp. That is until someone gets water in it and loses a gear case. It happens more than you may realize because all of the power and torque of your engine turning at thousands of rpms is concentrated on two small rotating metal surfaces. We’ve seen more than a few boaters spring for a whole new engine because of a blown gear case. Here's what you need to know about outboard lower units and why choosing the right lubricant is so critical. 

Research Royal Purple lubrication options

Boat Buying Tip

Check NMMA Certification
on Used Boats

NMMA Certification
When buying a used boat the integrity of its fuel system is your top priority. Was the boat NMMA Certified?

One of the highest concerns our readers have is about boat explosions and fire – and they are right to be concerned. Virtually every week a boat explodes somewhere in the country and it usually occurs on an older boat because of a leak in the fuel system. That is why NMMA Certification is so important. The Certification means that when the boat was originally built its manufacturer followed the highest construction standards in the U.S. Certainly that does not mean a used boat is in the same condition as when it was built, but it does mean that the boat started life the right way. Before you buy a used boat be sure to check if it was built under NMMA Certification. To find out more about Certification, watch this short video narrated by our Capt. Steve -- 

Certified builders and dealers



Bayliner Summer


Larson 370 Cabrio


Summer Stressed

yamaha waverunners

Prop Info

Glastron Banner

BoatShop24 Banner

boat history

yamaha boats

seaswirl boats

Royal Purple

Marine biz
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Engine News

 New Yamaha 4-Stroke 25-hp Engines

     Yamaha F25
Yamaha’s new F25 and T25 (High-Thrust) outboard engines are easy to start and sip fuel, and have a 3-year limited warranty for pleasure use.
Last week Yamaha made the official introduction of two new outboard engines, the F25 and the T25. Both are 4-stroke, carbureted CARB 3-Star emission-compliant motors which are available with 15” and 20” shafts. The Yamaha T25 is the “High-Thrust” version which features the company’s "Dual Thrust” prop and a larger lower unit with a 2.42:1 reduction gear rather than the 2.08:1 on the F25 model. This engine was designed for heavy loads such as small pontoon boats, sailboats, and work boats. We found the F25 we tested easy to start, quiet and remarkably fuel efficient. Yamaha tells us that they have found the new engines are from 25% to 32% more fuel efficient at best cruise than their 2-stroke 25-hp motors. We wrung out the new engine in a video test, so find out all about it --

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Second Look

Seaswirl 2101 WA:
More Than a Fishboat

Seaswirl 2101 WA
It may be rigged for fishing but that’s only scratching the surface of this versatile boat. The right woman will love it.

Not many boats have the capacity to meet as many varying demands as the Seaswirl 2101 WA. As we’ve seen more and more in the big convertible sportfish market, fishing boats are making waves in the family cruising arena -- and with good reason. They’re built to take a pounding in the offshore world and laid out for cruising comfort as well. So is it any wonder that a family would want a dual-role boat in a small boat as well? With 23 different engine combinations, you’d better believe this is everyman’s boat. Call the family in as we check out the 2101 WA by Seaswirl. Change into your swimsuits and follow us --

See the video review --

Capt. Steve Says

Skeeter SL210:
An All-Purpose Fishboat

Skeeter SL210
With many of the virtues of a skiboat and all of the amenities of a fishing boat, you get the best of both worlds in one package.

Having a hard time convincing the wife to let you buy a bass boat? So is Capt. Steve!  However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Thanks to the folks at Skeeter, you can fish with your buddies this weekend, and spend quality family time next weekend. Everyone is happy and you get a totally tricked out boat to boot. It’s the Skeeter SL210, and we sent Capt. Steve to take a look and report back to us. Check out his full report.

Second Look

Yamaha AR230
High Output:
Moms Will Love It

 Yamaha AR230
When it was first introduced the 230 set new standards of swim platform and stern design. Couple that with the safety of jet drives and oh that price.

Combine slingshot acceleration, lots of seating, and a price that drives the competition crazy and you have the winning combination of the Yamaha AR230 High Output. Throw in that innovative stern platform that everyone is copying and you have a package that outsells all others in class. One look at the boat and the kids are sold. One look at the drive system and mom is sold, and Mom is the toughest customer of all. Step on the metal here --

New Boat

New Lund 208
In Fiberglass [SIC]

Lund 208
The new Lund 208 has a 96” beam, a 25” high transom and weighs 2200 lbs.

As Mark Twain once said, “If you can’t beat them, you might as well make it out of fiberglass.” You know that the freshwater fishing boat wars have heated up when a venerable old aluminum boat builder like Lund creates a line of five glass fishing boats from 18’ to nearly 21’. Lund calls the 208 (20’8”) “The ultimate fiberglass fishing machine – the choice of elite fishermen.”  As you can see she weighs in at 2200 lbs., or about 200 lbs. more than the all-aluminum Lund 2075 Pro-V (IFS/SE). The 208 proves the fiberglass doesn’t have to be so heavy after all. Lund is owned by Brunswick which is the world's biggest builder of fiberglass boats, so we guess that even though the company is new to the material it’s not like a fish out of water. To find out more about the largest fiberglass boat in Lund’s extensive line of fishing boats-- News

Online Video Watching Up 49% Nationwide

 BoatTEST News
Americans are spending 49% more time watching online video this year. now has over 3500 videos to watch on demand.

According to Nielsen Online, peoples’ Internet video viewing habits were up sharply this spring. In May, people who watch online video spent 49% more time watching each clip than they did a year ago. 70% of the Americans that go on line watch video, according to Nielsen, which tracks with the broadband penetration of the country. With the advent of Tivo, YouTube, Hulu and other services “appointment-based” TV programs are quickly becoming a thing of the past. In June, 2009, viewers played our videos 295,480 times representing 2 Tera Bites of streaming video, up 15% from the previous June. “Given the state of the economy and the boating business,” said BoatTEST COO Christopher Hughes, “to be up 15% is remarkable.”

Product Review

Corrosion Test of Shurhold Product

 Shurhold Corrosion Test
Shurhold's "New Boater Kit".

About three months ago we starting using the Shurhold handle with the exclusive SHUR-LOK quick release system along with some of the forty attachments to choose from. Since the manufacturer told us they are made from high grade aluminum, heat treated and triple anodized so they last longer and be more durable, we thought we would create a little test. Thirty days ago we began spraying the handle with sea water each night and leaving it out to dry. We took extra care to really douse the adjustment detent, to ensure the entire mechanism was soaked. So what was the result when we check it this Tuesday? Well, see for yourself, still good as new and working perfectly.

Learn more about the Shurhold product line at Shurhold's website.

Industry News

Pro-Line and
Donzi Sold

Pro-Line 32  Donzi Angels
New 2009 32’ Pro-Line express fishboat. Donzi valued this movie promotion
at $20 million.

It was announced last week that American Marine Holdings, the parent company of Donzi Marine and Pro-Line Boats, was sold to a private investor. It had been rumored for a year in industry circles that the company was looking to recapitalize. The builder is located in two locations on the west coast of Florida. Pro-Line builds center consoles and fishboats and Donzi builds large go-fast boats. Both segments were under pressure before the economic meltdown struck last fall. "I feel it is absolutely good news," Josh Stickles, vice president of marketing for Donzi, told Soundings Trade Only. "The commitment of the new ownership to weather the [economic] storm is encouraging." To find out more about the change of ownership--movie your mouse

Accident of the Week

Ever Wonder Why You Need Insurance?

 Boating Insurance
Every day someplace in the world a large boat is being picked up by a crane and placed in the water. Sometimes they are placed in harder than other times.

You are looking at a $2 million yacht whose owner has been anxiously waiting for months. The boat has finally arrived and now is being off-loading into a river. The bank has transferred the money to the dealer and the boat is now in the sole possession of his proud new owner. At long last the fun is about to begin. All that is needed is a few more seconds and the champagne corks will be popping -- or will they? We bet you can’t wait to watch the fun begin --

Safety Tip

70-MPH Bass Boat Ejects Driver

 Bass Accident
Greg was testing his bass boat on a calm day at 70 mph when he hit a small wake.

A good boating Samaritan has posted on YouTube one of the most educational videos we have ever seen. It demonstrates what we have been saying for years – namely that a high-speed boat hitting even a small wave the wrong way can spell disaster. Luckily the man driving this boat was wearing a substantial life vest, possibly a type I, as well as a kill switch. Together, they saved his life. After the accident he was unconscious for 10 minutes and luckily a rescue boat was close at hand – taping the accident! Pass this on to your bass boat hot rod friends. They’ll thank you for it. Roll the video tape --

Last Drag

2008 "Pro-Eliminator" Champ Augers-In

Tucker Accident 1 Tucker Accident 2
Boat drag racing is a dangerous sport.

Jim Tucker from Kinsbury, Texas, a 20-year veteran of competition drag racing died Saturday June 20th on a lake near St. Louis, Mo. The name of his boat was “Say When” and it reportedly “began chine walking and then dipped bow first into the water and tore off its deck” before it nearly disintegrated toward the end of its qualifying run while going 140 MPH. Tucker was ejected from the boat. He died later on land in the arms of his wife, Yvonne, of internal injuries, broken bones and head trauma. He was trying to qualify for the 30th Annual Budweiser Creve Coeur Lake Drag Boat Classic. After his death was announced, the charity drag event continued with more qualifying runs “-- just as Jim would have wanted” said one racer. For a full report and video on the accident--

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Capt. Steve's Lesson #43

Make Boating a Fun Experience

Make Boating a Fun Experience 

Organize your crew so that everyone has a job before and after leaving the dock. A well organized crew on land will be much happier on the water.

This week Capt. Steve goes over four new lessons and guidelines on keeping boating fun and enjoyable for those aboard. After all, it’s your family and friends you’re taking out for the day, so as the captain, remember to keep things in perspective when it comes to your crew. No one wants to be barked orders to, and no captain wants to spend the day alone. It’s a good idea to get your crew coordinated before heading out so that everyone has a job and knows the procedures. 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

"Raise your leg a bit higher. I almost have the ballgame on channel 5." -C. Lauterbach

Second Place

"Reason #7 why drinking and boating don't mix." - R. Dickey

Honorable (Almost) Mention
"That's great honey, but now the props out of the water." - T. Scharf

"I told you we hit something!" - A. Branton

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 7/8/09.

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