9 Boat Reviews//Trailering Tips//Buy a Tohatsu OB? - 07/29/2009
BoatTEST Newsletter July 29, 2009 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
- Tahoe 215 Xi IO
- MasterCraft CSX 265 SS
- Kayot S225 OB Deckboat
- Bayliner 245 Bowrider
- Tigé Z1 Wakeboat
- Tohatsu 70-hp Outboard
- Crestliner 1850 Raptor
- Larson Senza 206
- Shurhold's Buff Magic
- Ranger 211 Reata
- Yamaha FZ Hull
- Maxum 2700
- Allstate Trailering Tips
- Auto Inflatable Life Vests
- Teen Killed While Tubing
- Man Struck by Lightning
- 67 Haitians Drown
- Nordhavn 57 in the Arctic
Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Tahoe 215 Xi IO Has Surprising Features

Tahoe 215 Xi
The Tahoe 215 Xi IO is four boats all rolled up
into one very well executed package. 

When the designers at Tahoe sat down to create a new 21’ boat they must have made a list of all the things people want in a boat of that size – then rolled them into the 215 Xi IO. You want to fish? No problem, how about seats on the bow and stern and an aerated baitwell? You want to wakeboard? No problem, we’ll make an affordable tower optional. You want to cruise-- well, you get the idea. The Tahoe 215 Xi IO is a deckboat, fishboat, bowrider, and wakeboat all rolled into one well-done package. Its swim ladder has four steps, it has a flip-up bolster helm seat, and a fiberglass (not plywood) cockpit sole, just to name a few of the features that we find surprising in a price boat. We asked Capt. Steve to make a video and tell us more --

More Tahoe boat videos --

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Capt. John Reports

MasterCraft CSX 265 SS
Powered by 2 VW Turbo Diesels!

     MasterCraft CSX 265 SS
There’s plenty of seating aft, with a number of different options available to suit your family’s activities.
Here’s a twenty-six foot center console model that caught my interest right away. Since she’s a MasterCraft I knew, going in, that I’d see a well-built boat. She’s got a huge list of options; something for everyone. And, get this, she’s powered by twin Volkswagen turbo diesels. Check this out!

Request special factory pricing

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Boat Review

Kayot S225 Outboard Deckboat:
What is That Thing on the Transom?

     Kayot S225
A deckboat with an outboard? Is it better?
Harris Kayot has been making boats for 52 years and has been making deckboats for 33 years, so the corporate culture there knows a thing or two about the type. In fact, the deckboat was born in Northern Indiana by another builder down the road in the early 1970s and by 1977 Kayot was the #2 seller of deckboats. By the late 1980s virtually every builder of sportboats had at least one deckboat model in their line. In 1998 introduced a deckboat with a deep-V bottom which mean that it could be run faster in bigger water. Now Kayot has hung an outboard on the swim platform. The big question is, how well has Kayot executed the concept and how does in compare to the standard I/O configuration? We asked Capt. Steve to give it his critical eye and let us know what he thought.  This way to the dock --

Request a viewing and test ride

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Boat Review

Bayliner 245 Bowrider:
From Brunswick with Love

     Bayliner 245
The Bayliner 245 BR is an ideal size for coastal day cruising in good weather or for watersports.
Bayliner has long been the company that gets people on the water for less money. The latest generation of builds from this company has left most skeptics behind. Bayliner knows its stuff and it knows its buyer. This brand is definitely one that Brunswick has greatly improved from the one it bought years ago. Bayliner’s largest entry in the bowrider category, the 245, offers a lot of room so you can entertain a crowd or an extended family. Add in a price that is in step with the times, and we think this is a bowrider worth your attention if you are looking for an affordable ($38k) boat this size. Now, let’s look at some of the pros and cons --

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Tigé Z1 Wakeboat:
Pro Boat for the Average Family

Tigé Z1 
Tigé’s patented adjustable performance system allows for changes to the hull’s performance without having to add ballast tanks or fat sacs.
Having to make a watersports boat is much more challenging than, say, a fishing center console. That’s because for the most part, fishing is fishing. Watersports however, changes dramatically between disciplines. What works for a slalom skier is vastly different from a wakeboarder. When a manufacturer scores in making a boat that performs across the entire watersports spectrum and keeps everyone happy, it says something not only about the boat, but the builder. Tigé’s Z1 is just such a boat, and that means we just had to see what the fuss was about. Strap on your board of choice and jump in --

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Engine News

Tohatsu 70-hp Outboard:
Right Engine for the Times

tldi chart Tigé
Tohatsu’s TLDI system is SOTA and is as good or better than anything else on the market in 2-stroke outboards. Its 70-hp engine has lots of useful applications.
If you are like most people around our marina then you probably never gave much thought to Tohatsu outboard engines. Occasionally you’d see the brand in the small booth at the boat show, and you’d rarely see an ad for them. We always considered it an “off brand,” one not ready for prime time, particularly against the big boys like Yamaha, Mercury and the rest. Then we discovered that all of the Mercury engines from 2-hp to 30-hp are actually re-labeled Tohatsu engines. Well, if Tohatsu engineering and manufacturing are good enough for the mavens in Fond du Lac, how bad could they be? And maybe it’s a good thing that Tohatsu doesn’t spend millions of dollars at boat shows and promoting bass tournaments, after all who ends up paying for all of that eyewash in the end? Then we began to drill down to find out more about Tohatsu. Join us for an eye-opening experience -- 


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Second Look

Crestliner 1850 Raptor
Comes in 4 Versions

Crestliner 1850 Raptor TE SC
The Crestliner 1850 Raptor TE SC
Crestliner Raptor 1850 CE SC
The Crestliner 1850 CE SC
Crestliner Raptor1850 TE WT
The Crestliner 1850 TE WT
Crestliner Raptor 1850 CE WT
The Crestliner 1850 CE WT
You want an 18’ fishboat with two pro seats, one butt seat and five drink holders? Oh, you only need three drink holders, but need two butt seats? No problem, Crestliner’s Raptor series has the model for you. If you can’t find exactly what you want among the four Raptor models pictured above, the company has no fewer than 20 other 18-foot boats for you to choose from. Did you say you wanted a smaller or bigger aluminum fishboat? Crestliner has 100 different models to choose from, all with different features and options and at all moderate to low price points. And the company has a nice surprise in store--motivate your mouse

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Second Look

Larson Senza 206

Larson Senza 206
The Senza line from Larson traces its heritage back to 2005 and the traditional sportboat design.

The Senza 206 offers an edgier look with interior treatments that have a hint of the color schemes that are seen on high end boats, certainly not the bland white interiors you might expect. As more of a cross-over boat, the Senza offers a sensible and affordable option for the extreme sports fanatic in the house. It’s not a single purpose skiboat, but it still has enough pizzazz and power to satisfy most boarders and grab the attention of the rest of the people on the lake. Captain Rob takes a look --


Three Big Builders
Use Buff Magic

Buff Magic
Gelcoat oxidizes as can be seen in the sample at the left. Yacht Brite’s Buff Magic can bring the boat’s finish back to its original high gloss.

Even the highest quality gelcoat on the market oxidizes with time and makes your once beautiful boat dull. That is why three of the largest production powerboat manufacturers use Buff Magic on every one of their boats before they even leave the factory. Sea Ray, Bayliner, and Regal all start their boats off right with a treatment of Buff Magic before they leave the factory. That says a lot about the product and also about the importance of polishing your gelcoat at least once a year. For more information about Buff Magic --

Second Look

Ranger 211 Reata: For Strategic Family Planning

Ranger 211 Reata
There’s more to life than bass fishing, which is why Ranger builds the Reata Series. One could be your boat for a lifetime.

This year has caused us all to do some serious financial and family planning. If boating is a way of life for you, then you need to figure out how to afford the cake and eat it too. Good boats are expensive and frankly, buying one first for fishing, then trading it in on a sportboat for a young, growing family, then trading again into a screaming fishing rig when the kids are gone means you’re going to be losing a lot of bucks along the way. The folks at Ranger have given serious thought and have a very good solution – buy one very well-built boat that is versatile and keep it a lifetime. It’s a novel concept --  

Tour the Ranger plant



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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PWC Tech

Behind the FZ Hull from Yamaha:
More than a Pretty Bottom

Yamaha FZ Hull 1 Yamaha FZ Hull 1
Here’s a question- What do you get when you combine years of PWC freestyle and racing experience, cutting edge engineering and design, and quality construction with a bunch of enthusiastic PWC riders? Answer- The cutting edge FZ Waverunner Hull from Yamaha. Take a look --

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Member Services

A New Maxum 2700

Maxum 2700 
 Maxum 2700, Clarksville, PA.  MSRP $80,861
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 BoatTEST.com 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 areas listed above and are interested in this or any Maxum model, get connected here.

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Allstate Trailering Tips

Capt. Steve's Trailering Tips

Allstate Trailer 
Trailering your boat sounds simple – and is – IF you follow all of the trailer preparation tips that Capt. Steve recommends.

Being a good boater starts long before you get out on the water. And if you have not properly prepared your trailer rig you may never even make it. Just as airplane pilots walk around their planes checking out control surfaces before they get into the cockpit, so too, should you, make a careful check of all the straps, chains, connections, bolts and landing gear on your trailer before you head to the launch ramp. Capt. Steve gives us his take on the best way to prep so that you will not have a costly accident on the road --

Safety First

Auto Inflatable Life Vests for Your Guests

Guests falling out of boats is a major accident category in boating.  Watch this video.

A major cause of boating insurance claims is the result of guests falling or inadvertently being flung overboard in high speed turns. Veteran boaters have learned over the years to stay aboard, but forget that guests do not have the same learned instincts – and the results can be tragic. Self-inflating life vests are important in case someone is knocked out in the process of going overboard.  See test of Mustang auto-inflating life vest --

Accident of the Week

Teen Killed
While Tubing

Teen Killed 
This is the sad still-life photo after a tragic accident involving the boat and tube seen here.

An 18-year-old man was killed Sunday while tubing on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway near Pecan Street in Houma, Louisiana. The driver of the boat was immediately tested for alcohol and was found to be “clean.” Houma is located in the Mississippi delta and is home to more commercial boats than most any place in the country. The whole area as a seafaring tradition and was saddened by this recreational accident. To find out what happened and how you can easily tow your kids and friends in safety --

Safety Tip

Standing Man Struck
by Lightning

Lightning Strike
Just as these tall building are prime targets for lightning strikes, so too, could a man standing in a boat be the highest electrode around.

Summer squalls can come up quickly without warning and it is not unusual for boaters to be caught offshore in a lightning storm. If you don’t have time to get back to land, what do you do? Generally lighting will strike the highest part of your boat, so the first thing you want to make sure of is that the highest part is not you or a passenger. Lightning strikes of occupied boats is not common, but there have been at least two in the last few weeks and now is the season for them. Find out what happened to an unfortunate man in Massachusetts when he stood up in his open boat during a rain storm --ground your mouse

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Tragedy of the Week

67 Haitians Drown:
But Does Anybody Care?

Overcrowded sailboat 

An over-crowded sailboat like this one with 200 people aboard broke up on a reef Sunday or Monday in the Turks and Caicos and 67 are missing.

Every few months it happens: a small dilapidated sailboat crammed with refuges and a few inches of freeboard capsizes and sinks with a great loss of life somewhere north of Haiti. Late Sunday or early Monday morning, no one is quite sure when, it happened again and this time 67 people are missing and 15 bodies have been recovered. When we read about these tragedies (they can hardly be called accidents), we are reminded of something Albert Camus wrote: “Of all of the evils in Pandora’s Box, by far the most terrible is hope.” Desperate Haitians cling to the hope of a better life and hope the boat they step in will make it. Many don’t. To read more about this tragedy and find out what you can do --

See news video about the tragedy --

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Nordhavn 57 in the Arctic:
Northwest Passage or Bust

Nordhavn 57 

Without any remarkable modifications, a stock 57’ Nordhavn with a single engine is on its way to traversing the Northwest Passage as you read this. A film is being made and TV rights are up for grabs, evidently.

The Northwest Passage has been the Holy Grail of mariners for over 500 years. Many men died trying to find the passage, the most famous being Franklin, whose 1845 expedition came to grief. Roald Amundsen was the first to make it in 2005, but it took him three seasons. Now with global warming several dozen yachts have actually made the passage in a single season. This summer seven yachts are attempting to make the passage, and two of them are powerboats. One of them is a 57’ Nordhavn owned by a documentary film-maker. As you read this he and his crew are traveling up the west coast of Greenland heading for Lancaster Sound, the gateway to the Northwest Passage. We will report on this vessel’s progress each week. The saga starts here --

See video trailer of Arctic passage --

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Capt. Steve's Lesson #46

Preparing for an Emergency Situation

Preparing for an Emergency Situation 

If you hit something and are taking on water you must take decisive action quickly. Use whatever is available to help slow the flow of water going inside the boat while you wait for help to arrive.

This week Capt. Steve goes over five new lessons and guidelines on emergency situations and what to do to help preserve life while you wait to be rescued. Everyone aboard will have to act quickly, and that’s why drills and practicing emergency situations with your family is important.  So this means everyone must have their life jackets on, someone calls for help on the radio, and then use whatever you can to try and stop or slow the flow of water into the boat. Do not abandon ship!  Rather, keep working to save it.  Stay with the boat or get as far on top of it as you can until help arrives. 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 -- 

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Ducky Award Winner

whats going on here?

First Place

"Yeah, I sent the new guy to pull the blue boat out. Why?" - J. Christensen

Second Place

"Keep going. The forks aren't quite under the hull yet." - R. Nelson

Honorable (Almost) Mention
"I prefer fishing inshore wrecks. Try casting under the front tires." - C. Grove

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 8/3/09.

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: lis@boattest.com.

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