New Regal 2300 Test//Docking in Current//Crash Video - 07/16/2009
BoatTEST Newsletter July 15, 2009 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust
- New Test: Regal 2300
- Tahoe Q4 SS
- Premier Marine Pontoons
- Allstate PWC Safety
- Tigé Wake Film Festival
- Formula 270 Bowrider
- Four Winns SL 222
- Member Services: Bayliner
- Yamaha Sport Boats Rank #1
- Proper Propping Is Complex
- Triton 261CC
- Caravelle Crossover 240
- Boston Whaler 250 Outrage
- Smoker Craft 162 Ultima
- Vetus Easy Tank
- Pleasure Boater TV
- PWC Bursts into Flames
- Rescue of the Week
- Boat Burns on Mooring
- USCG Recall List
- Collision at Sea
Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

New Regal 2300 Test:
For Real Men Only

Regal 2300
We fixed up Capt. Steve with this gal and he says she handles well, but that’s not the whole story.

There’s a new sassy gal on the block for 2010 and got the first date. She’s the all-new Regal 2300 – so new, in fact, that she’s not yet posted on the Regal website. Consider this her coming out party. The Regal 2300 is no high school ingénue, but rather a classy lady that will stop conversation when entering virtually any marina. She’s fast -- something we’ve always been attracted to -- and she has a stepped hull that Regal calls FasTrac. You might have heard some nasty gossip about her FasTrac sorority sisters, so one of our missions when testing the Regal 2300 was to see how she really performed. Clearly this was a job for Capt. Steve, who is known for preferring attractive ladies who also cook. Here’s the real skinny on this new babe, but please, keep it confidential -- avert mouse eyes

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New Video

2009 Tahoe Q4 SS Review:
$19K for a Starter Package

     Tahoe Q4 SS
At a “no hassle” price of $18,635 for 2009 models, the Tahoe Q4 SS with 135-hp Merc stern drive and trailer is a good way to get started in the boating life.

According to one dealer we spoke with the new 2010 models are selling for about $700 more than the 2009 models and he was out of the 2009 Q4 SS boats. Shop around and you may be able to find some 2009s still in inventory for the $18,635 package price. According to Tahoe this includes dealer prep and freight, along with the engine and trailer. Sometimes you see a low-priced “starter” boat but then you have to add necessities which make the advertised price realistically unattainable. Not so with Tahoe. Recently Capt. Steve took a good look at the Q4 SS. Watch the video and read his review of the Tahoe Q4 SS --

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Pontoon Boats

 Premier Marine:
The Rolls Royce of Pontoon Boats

     Premier 31 Boundary Waters
The 31’ “Boundary Waters” model is one of several high-end pontoon boats from an up-market brand that has led the industry in innovation and quality.
In 1992, Bob Menne started the Premier Marine pontoon boat company in Wyoming, Minnesota. At about that time pontoon boats were taking off in popularity and Premier simply got in front of the trend and has stayed there ever since. It is unquestionably the most innovative pontoon builder in the country and it now builds pontoon boats from 14’ to 44'. The company’s motto is “You dream it, and we’ll build it.” That’s right, not only can you buy one of the company’s standard models, but you can also have Premier build a custom-made pontoon boat for your specific purpose. Premier boats are used in both freshwater and saltwater and are sold all over the world. To give you a taste of exactly how grand a pontoon boat can be we offer this photo tour of the 31’ “Boundary Waters” --

See all of our Premier tests --

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PWC Safety

 Allstate PWC Videos -- 7 Minutes to Safety

 Allstate Safety
PWC safety from A to Z.
 Allstate Safety
PWC equipment check list.
 Allstate Safety
Operational safety tips.
During the last two weeks there have been several reports of PWCs exploding or catching on fire. In the two reports where the PWCs were identified, the units were older, which means that PWCs – just like boats – are far more prone to having fire issues as they age. It makes sense. PWCs are built to USCG and industry standards, but years of pounding, vibration and lack of maintenance take their toll. This week Allstate is sponsoring three safety videos that each last about 2 minutes. Watch and follow the advice on them and you should have a safe, fun summer on your PWC. See all Allstate safety videos --


Get an insurance quote now.

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Tigé Film Festival

 Tigé Videos Demonstrate
New Alpha Z Tower and Performance

How Tigé’s Alpha Z tower easily comes down.
The awesome features of the Alpha Z tower.
On board video of Tigé hole shot dynamics.
Tactical maneuvers and Tigé’s speed system.
On board demonstration of Tigé wake- making.
Tigé corporate videos are some of the most informative on the market. The builder’s in-house wakeboarding pro takes us through the important details of the company’s exciting new tower which is shot-through with innovation. Then the wake dude shows Tigé’s hole shot, maneuvering and awesome wake-making capabilities. We think you’ll like these five short Tigé-made videos --

See boat tests of Tigé boats --

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Second Look

Formula 270 Bowrider:
When You Want the Very Best

Formula 270 Bowrider
Is there a Formula 270 in your future? If so, it means you like to look fast while tied up at the dock. And it also means you want the best sportboat money can buy.

In a tough economy, everyone is price conscious. We may want the Mercedes but they cost more than a Hyundai. But the real question is-- if you pay for the Mercedes do you get value for your money? Where Formula is concerned, we think you do. We’ve done previous reports on what’s referred to as, “The Formula Difference”, and in this economy, a builder better be making a real difference. And it is here where Formula delivers. Most boaters we know are not willing to compromise their expectations of craftsmanship, fit-and-finish and seakeeping abilities in a boat they own just because Lehman Brothers had no standards. These are people who take pride in the boat they own and have no plans to be buying the blue light specials. Formula’s 270 Bowrider is a boat that sets the standards in its class. No matter what boat you are considering, you owe it to yourself to experience the benchmark. (Someone once said, you never regret buying the very best, so at least you should know what it is.) We have asked Capt. Rob to show us the important aspects that set the Formula 270 apart from the rest --

See Capt. Steve’s video report on “The Formula Difference” --

Second Look

Four Winns SL 222:
Stability and Good Ride

Four Winns SL222
With clever features and a long list of innovations, is it any wonder why this boat was awarded Trailer Boat Magazine’s “Zenith Award” for design excellence?

It may look like a pickle fork bow, but it’s actually a V-hull with chines that don’t meet at the stem, rather they stay “split” and run up to the deck on the bow. This is why Four Winns calls the SL 222 a “split chine” design. Her bow is just one of the many design features that show how far forward-thinking Four Winns’ staff really is. The list of good new ideas just goes on and on as you make your way to the swim platform. Check out Capt. Rob’s video and captain’s report for a detailed look at this award winning sportboat. It may just change your mind about what a boat should bring to the table-- or towrope! Capt. Rob’s full report --

Request factory pricing



Bayliner Summer


Summer Stressed

yamaha waverunners

Prop Info

Glastron Banner

BoatShop24 Banner

boat history

yamaha boats

seaswirl boats

Royal Purple

Marine biz
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Member Services

Special Factory-Backed Program
on Bayliner and Maxum Boats

     Bayliner 205 BR
New Bayliner 205 BR -- Bakersfield, CA
     Bayliner 246EC
New Bayliner 246EC -- Seattle, WA
     Maxum 1900 SR
New Maxum 1900 SR -- Grand Island, NY
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. That is why the team at has created a strategic partnership with the folks at Bayliner and Maxum 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 all the way. The fact is, due to the economy there has never been a better time to buy a new boat. If you live near the areas listed above and are interested in these models or any Bayliner or Maxum model, get connected here.

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Industry News

Yamaha Boats Rank #1 in 20’-25’ Range

Yamaha SX210 
The Yamaha SX210 – at $31,500 -- is the lowest priced boat of the eight models that Yamaha sells.

The 20’ to 25’ category of sportboats is one that Sea Ray has dominated for years, but in a survey of the six most populous boating states, Yamaha inched by in a rolling 12-month sales window that ended March 2009. The rest of the country usually follows the trend set in these states. For several years Yamaha’s 23-foot models had been the highest selling sportboats in that size range. Yamaha offers sportboats in just two sizes, 21’ and 23’, and all of them have twin 1052 cc engines that drive water pumps. Yamaha was down 28% from the previous 12 months and Sea Ray was down 46% for the same period. It is unclear what the reason is for this relative improvement in Yamaha boats’ popularity, but most people point to their quality, features and price, which runs from $31k to $43k.

See all of our tests on Yamaha boats --

Prop Advice

Proper Propping
Is Complex

 Proper Propping
Where the rubber meets the road is where the prop meets the water. Do you have the right wheels?

Finding the right prop for your application is not as easy as you may think. In fact, it is our experience that proper prop selection is one of the most difficult tasks in boating to make sure you are getting optimum performance. Mistakes can be costly in terms of fuel consumption, drive train wear, prop longevity and speed. The right pitch and diameter is not the end of it, but rather just the beginning of the process. There are numerous other aspects to prop selection including rake, cup, surface area, material and the number of blades. Capt. Rob offers some good advice about props --

Visit the complete BoatTEST prop library of videos and articles --

New Boat

New Triton 261CC: Fishy and Ruggedly Constructed

Triton 261CC
That’s a standard hardtop, just one of the many standard features found on this offshore fishing machine.

Triton has a reputation for building strong boats for freshwater applications. Their unibody construction gives strength while reducing performance-robbing weight, and this is just as important in their saltwater boats as well. The new Triton 261CC has not only those characteristics, but also offers serious fishing features that will bring the fight to the fish. has not been asked to test this boat, but nevertheless we feel it is one of the best boats built in class and consumers should give it at least a "once-over" before moving on. There is a lot about the boat to like, so we asked Capt. Steve to check out the 261CC and give us his report. Take the bait -- you know you want to --

New Boat

Caravelle Crossover 240: Bowrider with Deckboat Punch

With a capacity for 13 persons this 23’ 8”
(7.2 m) boat has the right stuff for big fun.

Competition is heating up in the deckboat arena, and the design folks at Caravelle have rolled up their sleeves and launched a contender that is sure to KO a number of her competitors. Caravelle has been in business for 40 years and it is incorporating some of the highest tech materials seen in any boat in this class. The Caravelle Crossover 240 has a long list of standards that give her plenty of points in her category. Coupled with the right mix of options and a competitive price, this is one fight that ain’t over till it’s over. We gave Capt. Steve a ringside seat, and he’s reported back to us. In this corner-- the Caravelle Crossover 240

New Boat

Boston Whaler
250 Outrage:
Improving the Icon?

Boston Whaler
Check out that hardtop with glass on three sides. Notice that there are no mounting frames taking up valuable fishing room. This unit is molded into the console.

Boston Whaler has been touting the un-sinkability of their boats for decades, and with good reason. It’s like Christie Brinkley says -- “If you’ve got it, flaunt it!” The company responsible for so many classics has re-tooled its mid-sized center console for better performance, and – we fervently hope – a softer, dryer ride. For Whaler this is an important new boat, because the old Outrage was a classic and this is the sweet spot of 20-foot boat sales. We look forward to testing the new Boston Whaler 250 Outrage this fall, but since we can’t wait, we asked Capt. Steve to take a look and give us his opinion. Will it pass his scrutiny?

Capt. Steve Looks

Smoker Craft Ultima 162: The Stuff Memories Are Made Of

Smoker Craft 162 Ultima
A family boat with fish appeal. The Smoker Craft 162 is the right mix of ease of use and tools to get the job done. Whether it’s fishing this weekend or boating with the family next weekend.

Capt. Steve’s first boat was a 16-footer. And it’s the boat that started him on a journey that culminated in a career that has made him a world-famous boat captain having to beat back groupies with a GPS! Well, at least that’s how he explains it -- and he get’s some pretty interesting fan mail. As it turns out, the Smoker Craft Ultima 162 is the perfect size for teaching boating responsibility to your kids, the same way Capt. Steve was taught -- by giving responsibility. And the Smoker Craft Ultima 162 is just the boat to do it. Read Capt. Steve’s report and see what we mean --

New Product

Vetus "Easy Tank"
For Water or Waste

 Vetus E-Tank
If you need additional water tankage or you want to add a holding tank, Vetus has the answer.

Vetus is a huge Dutch marine supply company that specializes in aftermarket parts for recreational powerboats. They have been in business for over 50 years and they develop, manufacturer, and sell hundreds of products for the aftermarket. One of their latest creations is the tank that you see pictured above which was conceived for people who want to add a water tank or holding tank to their existing boat and utilize some hard-to-get-to space. Vetus is using new technology so that boat owners can actually custom form their own tank from 15 gallons (59 liters) to 40 gallons (150 liters). This might be ideal if you have decided to hold on to your old boat and you want to upgrade, or you need added tankage. To find out how it works --

TV News

Pleasure Boater TV Runs All Summer

 Captain Ted Jones
Capt. Ted Jones is the host of Pleasure Boater TV which is now in its 9th season.

If you haven’t caught the program “Pleasure Boater” on cable TV, then you are in for a treat. It is aired on Versus and on the Sun Sports cable channels. The programs have been running all spring long, but they are now going into summer re-runs so you can still catch them. We count Capt. Ted Jones as a good friend and we’re here to tell you that he is a real USCG-licensed captain. He reminds us a bit of the Captain from Gilligan’s Island because of his cap and his great sense of humor. He is an avid boater and in each episode he explores several different nautical related subjects – most of which are not the normal boating magazine or TV program fare. Each week you can also see the best of BoatTEST's most recent tests. Learn more about Pleasure Boater and the Masters Entertainment Group that produces it --

Stooges Sighted

PWC Bursts Into Flames

 Three Stooges
A little-known fact is that The Three Stooges were among America’s first PWC enthusiasts. They are pictured here in a 1930s vintage Duzelburg XZFS2#@*4-HO PWC – one of the first to have an optional hardtop.

A personal watercraft burst into flames Thursday afternoon at Lakeside County Park on Soda Bay Road south of Lakeport, California. The cause is still under investigation, according to Kelseyville Fire Protection District Engineer Scott Crawford. The '80s-model SX Kawasaki watercraft's fuel cap was missing, and a rubber band held a plastic zip bag over the opening. The fire started when the rider turned the ignition. To learn more about this close encounter of a Stooge kind -- slap your mouse --

Rescue of the Week

Outboard Boat Goes Over a 10' Dam

On July 2, construction worker Jason Oglevey rescued a woman caught in the undertow of water at the foot of a dam in the Des Moines River in Iowa.

Construction workers working on a bridge over a dam who watched the tragedy play out, reported that a man and a woman were in an outboard powered-boat with its engine not operating and were being swept in a fast-moving river. The boat was carried into the bridge but the occupants were unable to keep it from going over the dam. Reportedly neither occupant was wearing a PFD when the incident started, but the woman had time to get her life jacket on which kept her afloat as she was caught in the undertow at the base of the dam. The man in the boat drowned. Watch this local news video for the details --

Reader Report

Boat Burns
on Mooring

Jimmy Love's Boat 
Former Stamford YC Commodore Jimmy Love’s classic wooden cabin cruiser met her end last month in Five Mile River.

Our mail box was filled recently by reader submissions from southern Fairfield County, CT with links to a YouTube video post of past SYC Commodore Jimmy Love’s wooden cabin cruiser burning. This sad video documents how important it is to have a fire boat ready to go in a harbor as within a few minutes one was on station and quickly brought this fire under control.

See video of burning boat --

USCG Recalls

Evinrude Outboards, MasterCraft Boats

The men and women of the USCG risk their lives daily to protect both recreational boaters and commercial mariners. The “Safety Recall” is part of their mission.

This month’s USCG Safety Recalls involves Evinrude outboard engines and two MasterCraft boat models. Both recalls involve problems related to fuel systems and are therefore quite important. As always, if you know someone who has one of the products mentioned in this recall, please forward this notice to them. To see the recall --

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Boating Safety

 A Collision at Sea Can Ruin Your Whole Day

     Boat Crash Boat Crash Boat Crash  Boat Crash
If you ever wanted to be a boat racer, then perhaps you should look at this video which will show you all of the fun you have been missing. Many of the clips look funny, but unfortunately in most of them there is at least one body being hurdled through space to the concrete-hard water. There are a lot of ways one can get hurt boating, but boat racing – or racing your boat – lead the list. Imagine what would happen to Indy cars if they were running over an asphalt track that had 3-foot high speed bumps? In fact, in 1961 the bricks on Indy’s front straightway were finally paved over because a popular driver’s car went out of control due to the uneven surface of the track causing a fatal accident. Next time you run your boat fast remember you are travelling over one of the roughest surfaces for a vehicle on earth. See the video --

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Capt. Steve's Lesson

How to Approach an Inlet and Dock
in a Strong Current

How to Approach an Inlet and Dock in a Strong Current 

The seas will build up more as you approach an inlet so you’ll want to watch the waves closely and notice the pattern before heading in.

This week Capt. Steve goes over six new lessons and guidelines on how to dock your boat in a strong current and how to carefully approach an inlet in heavy waves.  Capt. Steve will demo some approaches that show you how to dock going into the current, which is what you want, but he’ll also go over how to dock with the tide behind you, and how to slowly drift into the dock with the tide. 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

"Well, Mr. 'I know what I'm doing', it's a good thing we brought the dinghy." - D. Wear

Second Place

"How come the air conditioning stopped working?" - R. Lew

Honorable (Almost) Mention
"Honey, you really do know how to find a great anchorage. I didn't feel a single wave last night." - C. Ohandley

"Last month's tide tables are not the same Honey!" - M. Paton

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 7/20/09.

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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