Royal Purple Test//New Grady-White 366 CC//Yanmar Pod Drive - 07/22/2009
Offshore Motoryacht Newsletter July 22, 2009 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust
- Sea Spirit Passagemaker 60
- Regal 44 Sport Coupe
- Meridian 341 Maneuverability
- Doral Mediterra
- Rampage 41
- Grady-White Canyon 366
- Carolina Classic 32'
- Maxum 3100 SE
- Sabre 52 Salon Express
- Jeanneau Prestige 38 S
- Volvo Penta D6-435
- Mainship 45
- Video Test of Royal Purple Oil
- Yanmar Offers Zeus Pod System
- Shurhold's Fishing Gaff
- Safety Recall: Raymarine
- Bertram Anti-Roll Gyro
- Used Boat Buying Tips
- Do Your Friends Love Boating?
- Nav Mistake Costly in Keys
- David E. Davis Returns
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
Ducky Award Winner

Sea Spirit Passagemaker 60: Back to the Future

Sea Spirit Passagemaker 60
The Sea Spirit 60, like all of the designs from this builder, has a retro canoe stern and simulated stack that hark back to previous yachting eras.

For the last 18 months or so we have all seen the ads, read the articles and maybe even seen the Sea Spirit Passagemaker 60 at a couple of boat shows. So where did this boat and new company come from and why is Sparkman & Stephens taking such an active role in the project? More questions: if a canoe stern is so good, why did they put a swim platform on it, and, finally, what is the world’s most famous sailboat design firm doing designing a powerboat? For answers to these questions and some eye-opening performance revelations --

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New Boat

Regal 44 Sport Coupe:
Performs As Good As It Looks?

 Regal 44 Sport Coupe
With classic lines and a boat load of features, the Regal 44SC is making waves all over the U.S. -- and driving the competition nuts.

Regal Yachts' new 44 Sport Coupe has been getting a lot of attention lately. There are two good reasons for this. First, she’s reported to be a great handling boat, as well as being good looking. Secondly, the feature that is garnering even more attention, is her new pricing structure that has this boat being delivered to her customers at an unbelievable price -- even fully loaded. We’ll be bringing you a walkthrough of this newsmaker shortly, but first things first. We sent Capt. Steve to check out the handling and performance of this beauty and report the numbers back to us. We’ll also tell you how Regal Yachts can hand you the keys at such a low price. Come aboard --

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New Boat

Meridian 341:
Docking On Command

 Meridian 341 
The Meridian 341 sedan is growing in popularity and one reason is because of its exclusive “Docking On Command” system.

The Meridian line of sedans and motoryachts is the only builder in the world that has what is known as “Docking On Command.” This is a clever control system by which the skipper can activate the boat’s bow thruster, stern thruster, or both at the same time to dock the boat. Ever try to dock when there is a cross-current, or a diagonal current sweeping below the pilings? Worse, try entering a narrow canal or marina where clearance is 8” on either side of the boat when the tide is going out! It is at times like those that you will be thrilled to have “Docking On Command” in addition to your main engines. While it is not as sophisticated as the Axius or Zeus drive systems, it also costs far less. We asked Capt. Steve to test a Meridian 341 with the system and give us a video report. Take it away captain -- dock the mouse

Request Sea Trial --

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Second Look

 Doral Mediterra 40
Has European Elegance

Doral Mediterra     
The Mediterra is a beefy 40’ and is designed for serious cruising and lots of entertaining.

Doral continues to impress us with its high style and good craftsmanship. Now the builder is adding more features into its luxury express cruiser. The boutique builder’s craftsmen lavish attention on every boat they build so getting one is almost like having a custom boat built. Doral built the Mediterra with the specific goal of utilizing the power and control of Volvo’s IPS drive system which means its hull was designed to take full advantage of IPS power. Check out her performance numbers and you’ll see what we mean. We asked Capt. Rob to put this beauty through her paces.  Come aboard as Captain Rob takes a look at the Doral Mediterra.

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Boat Test

Rampage 41 Offered with
Volvo Penta IPS Joystick

Rampage 41
The 41 Express is Rampage’s largest sport fishing yacht.

Rampage is well known to offshore fishermen and often is the choice for professional fishing boat charter captains. The Rampage 41 Express can get you out to wherever the big sport fish are lurking and get you back safely even in some rough seas like you often find in the Gulf Stream. If you are looking for a tough fishing yacht, you owe it to yourself to consider the Rampage 41 Express.  Check out the video review of the Rampage 41 Express --

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New Boat

The New Canyon 366:
Grady-White Strikes Back

GW 366 

One of the first snap shots of the new Grady-White Canyon 366 just after being launched in an undisclosed location near Greenville, NC. She will be the flagship of the new Grady-White “Canyon” Series of offshore center consoles from 28’ to 36’.

When it comes to building bigger boats Grady-White has historically been a follower, not a leader. The reason for that is because Grady has been around a long time (this year is its 50th Anniversary) and intends to keep it that way. As a result, a number of very good builders have gotten a march on Grady-White in the lucrative 30’+ offshore center console fishing market. But now -- in one fell swoop -- Grady has announced for 2010 its new Canyon Series with models 28’, 30’, 33’ and 36’ – and at the same time has leap-frogged much of its competition. At the top this all-new line is the impressive Grady-White Canyon 366. The first boat just came out of the factory, and we’re going to give you a sneak peak. Capt. Steve reports --

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New Boat

Carolina Classic 32:
Up from Center Consoles

Carolina Classic 32 

With her clean lines and 20 deg. deadrise, this 32 footer is poised for offshore realms that are otherwise the fishing grounds of bigger express fishboats and battlewagons.

Carolina Classics’ 32 is the company’s newest boat and she is designed to go where the battlewagons tread, but at far less cost. Carolina Classic specializes in express fishboats, building four models from 25’ to 35’. Yard owner Mac Privott is well known in the Carolinas as being a no non-sense boat builder who makes a good boat and stands behind his products and their components [read: engines] even when some of the component-makers won’t. That’s why we like the guy. There are a number of express fishboats on the market in the 34’ to 40’ range, so Privott has cleverly come in with a smaller and therefore less expensive product that he hopes will appeal to center console folks who are looking for more boat. To see if she has the right stuff to handle the job, we sent Capt. Steve to give her the once over. Capt. Steve’s review --

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Member Services

Special Factory-Backed Program 
Maxum Boats

     Maxum 3100SE Maxum 3100SE Maxum 3100SE
New Maxum 3100 SE, MSRP $176,824-- Newport Beach, CA
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 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 area and are interested in this or any Maxum model, get connected here.

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Captain's Review

Sabre 52: A Downeast-Style Express Motoryacht

Sabre 52 
The Sabre 52 was introduced a couple of years ago and is the newest boat from this Maine builder.

Sabre started out in life building sailboats in their Maine facility back in 1970. They’d enjoyed a successful run in the ‘70s and early ‘80s and were generally considered to be the best production sailboat built on the East Coast at the time. In 1989 the company discovered power boaters. Their first stinkpot was a tri-cabin 36’ “Fast Trawler” made in the downeast design. It was an instant hit and more models followed. The latest of the company’s now six model lineup is the 52 Salon Express Motor Yacht which is about two years old. We asked Capt. Steve, our dyed in the wool New Englander, to give us his take. Put aside yah lahbstahs and check out ah review --

Boat Show Review

Jeanneau Prestige 38 S

Jeanneau Prestige 38 S
The Prestige 38 S is powered by twin CMD 320-hp
engines with Bravo III drives.

In the 1980s this innovative company broke tradition and created a line of sleek, user-friendly sailboats that captured sailors’ imagination and won their hearts. Jeanneau now is the largest builder of sailboats in the world. If the past is prelude, will they do the same thing in the powerboat field? For the last eight years Jeanneau has been building powerboats and now has ten 30' to 50' express and flying bridge models in their line. Jeanneau calls its powerboat line “Prestige.” They are modern and innovative and because the company is trying to break into the U.S. they are comparatively low priced. If you are interested in something a little different with a European flare you should check out Jeanneau's Prestige line. Watch video review of the Prestige 38 S--

Engine Room

Captain John Evaluates
the Volvo Penta D6-435

Volvo Penta
Volvo Penta D6-435

If you had asked me ten years ago what I thought of a Volvo marine diesel, I would have told you that it belongs on a farm tractor in Sweden, not on a boat. The last few years have seen a marked change. So much change, in fact, that I’ve become a real fan of the engines coming off of Volvo’s production lines. And it’s not only me. As a professional yacht captain and a marine surveyor, I get the chance to hear lots of scuttlebutt. From owners to brokers to mechanics, it seems that all I hear are positive comments about these motors.  Read Capt. John's complete article -- 

Trawler Test

Mainship Pilot 45

Mainship Pilot 45
The 45 Pilot measures 47’ 9” length overall.
Mainship’s Pilot 45 is an affordable way to go coastal cruising for two couples or a small family. This 38,000 lbs. displacement boat has a 15’6” beam and is powered by twin 440-hp Yanmar 6LY3-STP diesels which give her a WOT of 29.3 mph at 3380 rpms. We found best cruise to be at 2750 rpms where the boat goes 22 mph and has a fantastic range of 632 miles. If you are looking for low cost operating expenses and twin diesels, you need to know more about the Mainship 45 Pilot. We asked Capt. Rob to give us an in-depth, detailed video look at this boat --

See tests of other Mainship boats --




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Engine Oil

Results of Royal Purple
Motor Oil Test – The Video

     Royal Purple Royal Purple Royal Purple
The test was conducted in twin 5.0 L Volvo Penta gas engines with conventional oil and with Royal Purple. We took sound readings, speed and fuel flow data.

Even though we have heard for decades that synthetic motor oil can enhance an engine’s performance we paid that advertising little mind, and used whatever the boatyard or the marina was selling. But the claims of Royal Purple finally became too strong for us to resist, so we decided to put the oil to the test early this summer. We made a video as we were testing in situ to document what we discovered. As regular readers already know (we have been leaking the news out because we couldn’t resist), the tests were surprising. The engines we used had 115 hours on them. We put in conventional oil and ran the engines for one hour before testing to get our control numbers. Then, we changed oil and the oil filter, using Royal Purple products, and tested once again. What we found was a impressive 6.3% increase in WOT speed and an improvement in fuel efficiency at best cruise of 9.3% with Royal Purple synthetic motor oil. Take a look at the test documentary video--

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Engine Room

Yanmar Offers Zeus Pod Drive
Joystick System

     Yanmar Offers Zeus
Yanmar and ZF have teamed up to produce joystick/pod drive propulsion that is 30%+ more fuel efficient than conventional inboard drives.

For the last couple of years Yanmar engineers and those at ZF have been working hard to mate ZF’s tried-and-proven Zeus pod drive and joystick system to Yanmar’s diesel engines from 380-hp to 500-hp. In November Yanmar began shipping their diesels with Zeus pod drives. This is good news for boat buyers because it means they can now have the lightweight, low profile and cost advantages of Yanmar diesel power and a pod drive/joystick system, too. Our head-to-head testing of boats has repeatedly shown that at best cruise speeds diesel-powered boats are 20% to 49% more fuel efficient when they employ pod drives vs. conventional inboard drives. See Capt. Rob’s video --

Research tested Yanmar engines.

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Product Review

Fishing with
Shurhold Products

Shurhold Gaff

This week we are taking a look at the Shurhold Fishing Gaff. This attachment, which is one of forty such accessories, is cut from one piece of stainless steel and includes a safety spring guard. The gaff connects quickly and easily to any Shurhold handle by utilizing the exclusive SHUR-LOK quick release system that is available on all Shurhold handles. Knowing their fishing brethren are very particular, Shurhold has designed a fishing-specific handle series that does everything the original handle does, but have designed this one with a black body with gold accents wraps and fishing rod style grips to match the rest of your fishing gear.  For more information about Shurhold's Fishing Gaff --

Shurhold Gaff
Shurhold fishing series handle and Gaff shown with a 2nd place Kingfish the gaff helped land.

Safety Recall

Raymarine SPX5 Sport Drive Pilot

Raymarine SPX5
Raymarine has made a voluntary recall of its SPX5 Sport Pilot.

Raymarine has initiated a voluntary recall of the Raymarine SPX5 Sport Drive Pilot, according to an alert from the company. Raymarine said it has identified a potential component problem with the device, which it has sold since February. As a result of the problem, the device's mechanical clutch assembly may fail, causing the steering of the vessel to lock in one direction, Raymarine said. Customers should stop using the products immediately and arrange de-installation and return to the retailer/dealer where it was purchased. Because it is often difficult to track products bought to their owners, if you know of anyone who may have this product, please pass this notice on to them.

Boating News

Anti-Roll Gyro

Bertram was the first to offer on production models.

Over the years the team at Bertram Yachts has been the first to include many innovations on their production models including the aft backing station, internal spiral stair, and the fiberglass centerline fuel tank, to name a few. They were also the first to offer the Mitsubishi ARG or anti-roll gyro on production sport fishing yachts. Spend some time with Capt. Robert Smith as he goes behind the scenes at Bertram.

Used Boats

Used Boat Buying
Is Not So Easy

118 Wally Yacht
You are looking at a 118’ Wally yacht powered by three gas turbines that will push the boat 70 mph. But other than the owner, who will want it?

It is a buyers’ market in used boats as well as in new, but there are many more pitfalls awaiting the unwary used boat buyer. Getting a truly good deal is not as easy at it seems. Finding a knowledgeable broker who has your interests in mind and no hidden agendas will be a good start, even for small boats. But ultimately, after the contract is signed you will be the person who has to live with the decision, so you need to look out for yourself. Here are a few tips that will help keep you out of shallow water --


David E. Davis, Jr.
Returns to Car & Driver

David Davis Jeff Hammond
David E. Davis, Jr., Mr. Car & Driver Jeff Hammond, Editor,

We picked up the July issue of Car & Driver magazine recently and discovered that the man who was the greatest editor ever of a special interest magazine is back as a monthly columnist. His name is David E. Davis, Jr. He spawned a generation of editors in other fields of special interest magazines struggled (and some still do) to bring to their readers truth, criticism, insight, sass and entertainment instead of the pap and mediocrity. Davis proved that an “enthusiast” magazine which relied upon the very companies it covered for its income could also be truthful, have integrity and in the case of C&D, be the canary in the coal mine. The coal mine was Detroit and you know what happened to the canary. What does Davis have to do with testing boats? More than you know --


Nav Mistake (or, Low IQ) Costly in Keys

This is the wide swath of damage caused by the 'Freedom.' That's Holiday Isle Resort on the right. (Photo by Bobby Rogers)

When seeing the above pictures the first thing that came to our mind was: “Not ready for Prime Time.” As most Florida boaters know, there is one thing you do not want to do and that his harm the sea grass in the Florida Keys. Doing so can result in state and Federal fines that can result in personal bankruptcy faster than you can say Lehman Brothers. Recently the Fleming 55 “Freedom” reportedly owned by a Jupiter, Florida resident, plowed a channel 4/10ths of a mile long off Islamorada. What, no chart plotter? No depth sounder? No eyes? No brains? It all goes to prove what we have been saying for years: anyone -- no matter how poor or rich -- can go boating. Find out more about this channel dredging -- keelhaul your mouse

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Rescue of the Week

Killer Bees Attack Stupid Boaters

Undeterred by the huge bee hive you see in this picture, four boaters left the dock and went cruising

We couldn’t make this stuff up. Four boaters went cruising on the Indian River on the east coast of Florida, and were attacked by bees which swarmed from a hive located on the boat. The intensity of the unprovoked bee attack forced the four boaters to jump overboard to escape the terrorist bees. It was not reported whether or not the victims were wearing PFDs. Local observers suggested that perhaps the bees had become seasick or had objected to the hip-hop music the boaters were blasting from their stereo. Rescue units saved the four boaters. We have video proof-- sting your mouse

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Capt. Steve's Lesson #45

How to Prepare for Man Overboard

Capt. Steve

If you see someone fall overboard, send out a throwable device and keep your eyes on them at all times if you are one of the passengers.

This week Capt. Steve goes over thirteen new lessons and guidelines on how to be prepared for a man overboard emergency. Having practiced this drill ahead of time with your crew or passengers is important since they happen so quickly that people have very little time to react. Capt Steve will go over how to pick someone up in the water and position the boat downwind, how to improve your chances of getting rescued, what a Williamson Turn is, and how to treat someone once they’re back aboard for hypothermia. 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

To view this week’s lessons --

To view past lessons --

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Ducky Award Winner

whats going on here?

First Place

"Another 'snailboater' tries to convert!"
- P. Longtin

Second Place
"He must be British. They're always driving the wrong way." - D. Wear

Honorable (almost) Mention

"Pull farther forward Honey, we're not in the water yet." - S. Sanford

"Yep, the plug is in Dad!" - R. Blake

What's Going on Here?


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Simply fill in your caption and you may get lucky -- quack here.

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