Triton 225 Walk Around...
The boat pictured above looks like a small express to us because we expect a true
walkaround to have deep side decks that are easy and safe to maneuver as one walks
around the boat working a fish – that means having one hand on the pole and the
other on the crank. That translates into “two hands for the fish and none for angler
or the ship…” That’s why “walk arounds” were called walkarounds. It meant that in
a sloppy sea you could actually walk around the perimeter of the boat and keep your
balance by leaning against the console or cabin on one side and the gunwales and
life rails on the other side. It meant that you could move from stern to bow working
a fish much like you would on a center console, but with the added advantage of
having the convenience of a cuddy. Now, none of this should detract from this very
nice looking 22’ Triton, because by any other name it is still a nice looking 22’
There is a good reason that the lines, hull shape and topsides of this Triton 225
WA look so graceful to our eye, and that is because it was designed by a man who
is a life-long boater, a former boat race driver, and career boat builder. He is
a man who has wrung more fresh and saltwater out of his socks than most, and who
therefore knows what a well-designed boat “should” look like, how it should function,
and how it should ride and handle. His name is Earl Bentz, and at 57 years old he
is one of the legends in the boat building industry.
get past the “WA” nomenclature and find out more about the Triton 225 WA, more about
Earl Bentz, and about a $7,000 rebate on the 225 that is like manna from heaven...
MasterCraft ProStar 214V:
A Pro Boat for Everyman
So you want a watersports boat that performs well enough for the tournament pros,
but still has some features that make it functional outside the towboat realm? Not
a small order, but MasterCraft’s got you covered. The ProStar 214V has a V-drive
inboard that allows the engine to be slid aft, opening up the cockpit for family
space, while retaining the skiboat handling and forward pylon for ski purists. Combine
that with the optional Barefoot Training System (BTS) windshield that supports a
tow bar from the side, and you have a boat that challenges your skills and takes
you to whatever level you desire. This is a boat you have to check out and we have
just the video tour to do it.It is yet another clever innovation from the folks
It knows skiing better than you do --
The Hot New Yamaha FZS:
Stand Up, Sit Down -- Crank & Bank!
Not only does Yamaha produce great looking waverunners, but they sell enough to
be able to build individual machines for specific purposes, rather than just produce
the more cost-effective “one size fits all” type. That’s good news for us, since
we don’t exactly like taking our date to the prom in the family station wagon. Case
in point... the FZS: it’s only purpose in life is to ride hard and crank and bank.
So, if you’re, say... a family type looking for comfortable ride and cruisability
for you and the kids... well this isn’t the vehicle for you. But if you crave the
extreme ends of the performance envelope, and like to stand up and dish it out...
then have we got a ride for you! Check out Capt. Steve’s video tour of the Yamaha
FZS... your new thrill ride. Quick... before someone decides it should be illegal...
Asian Carp Fiasco
Enemy At The Locks!
The Great Lakes Under Attack!
Many experts think North American freshwater game fish species are on the verge
of the greatest mass extinction since the dinosaurs disappeared 60 million years
ago. Last week it was widely reported that “genetic material” from the Asian carp
had been found in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal beyond an $18 million electrified
"fence" erected to stop the march of the voracious aliens. The rapacious invaders
are literally only a few miles from Lake Michigan with nothing in the way – except
a single lock – to stop them. The five Great Lakes are the largest body of fresh
water in the world and an annual $4.5 billion fishery, to say nothing of being the
gateway to most of Canada’s rivers and lakes east of the Rockies. It seems that
it will be only a matter of days until the insatiable army of carp munch their way
to Lake Michigan. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers -- remember them: the organization
charged with protecting New Orleans from flood -- are the folks who erected the
electrified "fence" and who control the Chicago canal locks. We are sorry to report
that probably the greatest tragedy to hit North American sportsmen is about to begin.
To see videos and to read about what is happening...
Tigé 20V for Multi-Sport
Performance and Fun
When tasked with the design the Tigé 20V, the naval architects were given a very
difficult mission: the boat had to be small and light to provide a smooth wake for
slalom skiers, but also be versatile enough so that the patented TAPS2 system could
produce huge wake for trick boarding. Further, the boat had to be a bowrider and
have a large sunning pad. Finally the boat must be up to the rest of the Tigé line
in terms of amenities and quality, yet be able to be sold for significantly less
than the competition. It was not easy, but we think the designers at Tigé have done
a terrific job of providing a versatile watersports platform for people with a wide
range of skill levels at a very competitive price. Take a look at a video that Capt. Vince made for us on the Tigé
SeaCraft SC 26 Master Angler:
A Family Fishing Machine? -- NOT!
The first sentence of the SeaCraft SC 26 description, taken from the company’s website,
has this to say... “The elegant SeaCraft SC26 Master Angler is a high-performance
family fishing boat”. Now we understand marketing and the need to attract families,
but really. Just saying the word “family” does not make it so. And, “elegant”? The
only truely elegant CC fishing boat we know of can’t be sold for love nor money.
Now had SeaCraft’s flaks said something along the lines of “the SC26...A boat made
by men... for men!”, and maybe added a few fish scales and slimy bait, then we’d
be onboard. The more we looked at this boat, the more we were convinced: It’s a
total guy thing. Leave your skis, wakeboards and beach towels at home --
Monterey 220 EX:
A Deckboat is a Platform
We love deckboats. Few designs have the functionality that can compare because they
are really more of a “watersports platform” than are conventional bow riders which
evolved from the cuddy runabouts of the 1960s. The deckboat design just screams
“family fun” while still being a competent sportboat and tow boat. There is just
one deckboat in the Monterey line up, and it is the 220 EX seen above. Every boat
is a tradeoff of pros and cons and the Monterey 220 EX is no exception. We asked
our resident fault finder to see what he could find this time. While Capt. Steve
liked this boat, there are always a few things he’d change, as expected. Let’s take a look --
Wellcraft 252 Fisherman:
A Boat You Can Love
We’ve never doubted the muscle capacity of Wellcraft boats. But when you combine
that strength and integrity with the Scarab pedigree and roll them together into
a center console fish-catching machine like the 252 Fisherman, well, that becomes
too much to resist. The result is a boat that looks as good as it performs, and
it’s got all the usual fishing features that we’ve come to expect. Too bad it can’t
cook (Relax ladies, we didn't say anything about you cooking.). The wife
of one of our captains complained about his getting a fishing boat, but he calmed
her down by saying, “I don’t love it more than you honey, just different...”
Covers Are Key
To Winter Protection
If you are going to store your boat outside for the winter, having it properly covered
can be expensive. Conversely, not having it properly covered can also be
expensive. Are the boatyards just trying to rip you off with their shrink-wrap products?
To find out more about the whole subject of winter covers we have asked Paul Esterle,
the owner of thevirtualboatyard.com, to fill us in. Wrap it up here --
Pro-Line 23 Bay:
For Skinny Water
If you are a light tackle angler you are into the sport of fishing and not the expense
of it. Pro Line knows what you want: a fast, no frills, stable casting platform
which is durable and can go in skinny water. Pro-Line knows that there are not only
different strokes for different folks, but also different requirements for different
species of shallow water fish. That is why it’s 23 Bay has all the basics at a low
price, then a laundry list of options so you can make the boat work for you, rather
than the other way around. Check it out --
Crestliner Raptor 1750 TE:
Does it All on a Budget
We like the 2010 Crestliner 1750 Raptor TE because it is affordable and three or
four people can comfortably fish from it at the same time. Fishing camps should
also like it because it is ideal for handling three anglers plus a guide at the
helm. With a 90-hp engine it will be economical to operate. The MSRP for this aluminum
boat made by one of the leading manufacturers in class is under $21,000, depending
on the options.
Find out more --
Azure 188: Entry-Level Boat
With a Top-End Warranty
The Azure 188 is built by the Bennington Marine Group, of Elkhart, Indiana, and
was founded in 1997. The company has come a long way, fast, and the Azure line is
the most popular of the three brands the company produces. Azure builds 15 models
of sportboats from 18’ to 29’ and prides itself on giving value for money, styling
and a great warranty. To find out more about the Azure 188 --
Triumph 191 Fish & Ski:
Is Roplene a Babe Magnet?
Too often we see a fish & ski package that does little more than add a trolling
motor hookup on the bow of a sportboat, or towing tower on a center console. Not
so with Triumph. They bring a lot more to the table and actually went for converting
the boat over from one side of the spectrum to the other. The result is actually
a single boat that does double duty with style, form and function. Don’t believe
us... check out Capt. Keith’s video and see how to turn a nimble skiboat into a
hard working fish boat in about as much time as it takes to say it. And, discover what is turning on the babes --
Beginning to Get in Balance
According to Thom Dammrich, president of the NMMA, only 135,000 new boats of all
sizes were sold at retail this year, down from over 400,000 just a few years ago.
Of the 135,000 sales, about 82,000 were “non-current” inventory, which means that
they did not have 2009 HIN numbers on their transoms. All of this means that dedicated
boaters are still buying in the middle of the Great Recession, they are getting
great deals on merchandise, and inventory is heading back to a more normal balance.
Our own spot checking around the country with dealers indicates that in many sought-after
brands, you may not be able to find the specific model you want in dealer inventory
and it will have to be ordered. (Non-current models are often great deals.)
To find out how many dealers are still over-stocked --
How to Stop Oil "Drain Back"
“Dry” engine starts are caused by “drain back.” The longer your engine sits without
use the more oil “drains back” into the oil pan via the oil filter. But that doesn’t
happen with a Royal Purple filter because it has a valve in it that stops “drain
back.” This is only one of the features that set Royal Purple filters apart from
standard, everyday paper filters. Don’t take your oil filter for granted. We urge
you to watch this short video showing how Royal Purple oil filters are made and
why they are the best units on the market...Watch the video
Analyzing Towing Troubles
A BoatTest.com reader recently wrote:
Can you please explain the physics and mechanics as to what makes a car/SUV-capable
of towing a certain weight? I have a Hurricane Sundeck 19 ft. (about 4,000 lbs)
on a 4-wheel trailer and a Jeep Liberty (rated at 5,000 lbs). This summer it started
to fishtail and forced us off the road. Luckily only a tie rod broke. People (supposedly
in the know) are claiming that it had to happen as the car has too short a wheel
base to tow a boat. What is happening here? Here is Capt. Steve’s reply --
Used Boat Sales
Up 31% in October
Used powerboat sales were up 31% in the month of October over the previous year
according to a recent statement by YachtWorld.com. The strongest sales growth by
boat length was among the powerboats segment 26’ and under, which was up 37% in
units and 42% in value. Small boats led in the recovery. The average time a used
boat was on the market among the boats sold in October was 278 days. For the last
five years the average selling time has been over 200 days, with both 2007 and ’08
being about 250 days. To access BoatTEST.com’s listings...
Century Boats Discontinues Production
Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. announced yesterday that it will discontinue production
of Century Boats effective immediately. The builder has 45 dealers in 18 states.
Century was founded in the 1920s, survived the Great Depression, and was one of
the most enduring names in American boating. In the 1980s the company morphed from
making runabouts into saltwater fishing boats and Yamaha bought Century in 1995.
Yamaha also owns Skeeter and G3, but they were not affected by the announcement.
Allstate Safety Tip
Perhaps one of the most important things you can do to protect your family and friends
when they go boating is to give them a “safety drill” before pushing off, just like
cruise ship’s do for their passengers. Show where the PFDs, flares, fire extinguisher
and other safety devices are stowed. Explain how to use the VHF and EPIRB, if you
have one. To get some more safety tips, watch Capt. Steve in this Allstate
Insurance Safety video...
'Tis the Season
BoatTEST's Boating Course Makes
a Great Present
BoatTEST.com has joined with Capt. Steve to present you with an 8 CD-ROM boating
course that comes in a handsome plastic box. This course covers everything your
spouse, children, or friends need to know to be competent, safe boaters. It costs
only $69.95, plus shipping and handling. If that is over your budget, then why not
choose from one of five individual subject-area courses for only $19.95, plus shipping
and handling. And, if you were really smart, you’d simply order a bunch of these
courses and give them out to every boater on your gift list, and make it one-stop
shopping and be done with it. Order here --
Are You Looking
For a New Boat?
We have helped dozens of BoatTEST.com members this fall, and we'd be glad to help
you, too. We know how daunting it can be to find exactly the right boat for one's
specific application because so many boats look like they fit the bill. If you are
in the market for a NEW boat 18' or larger, our veteran staff will
be glad to help you, one-on-one, by email or phone. It is part of our "Member Services"
program and it is free to you. We receive no fee from builders or dealers -- so
we can be objective, and we can leverage our contacts in the industry to help you
get what you want. To use this service you must be in the market to buy a NEW
boat 18'+ within the next 6 months. Sign in here --
Basic PWC Safety and Tips
This week Capt. Steve goes over five new lessons and guidelines on operating a PWC
safely. While they may look easy and fun to drive they still require the driver’s
full attention and must be treated like any other boat on the water, with caution
and safety in mind. PWCS are not toys. Capt. Steve will go over some key differences
of operating a PWC from operating a boat, and he will discuss the most important
feature, the automatic shut-off and self circling feature. When riding a PWC you
must have the shut-off lanyard attached to your wrist at all times just in case
you fall off. Learn about the PWC jet drive propulsion system and how to use the
reverse mechanism. These are basic procedures which all recreational boaters should
be aware of. The videos presented this week are part BoatTEST.com’s USCG-approved
Boating Course. Watch Capt. Steve's video boating lessons every week on BoatTEST.com.
To View this week lessons--
To view past lessons --
BoatTEST.com Webmaster/programmer Sunny Keth with new daughter Melina and 2-year-old
Regular visitors to last week’s “What’s Happening Here?” caption submission page
discovered a glitch. Namely, the new picture wasn’t posted on the jump page, and
above we are showing you the reason why. Just as our usually trusty Webmaster/ programmer
Sunny Keth was about to plug in the new picture he received a call from home saying
that his pregnant wife, Thea, urgently needed to get to the hospital. A couple of
hours later 6-lb. 8-oz. Melina was born. Both baby and mom are doing well. However,
do we detect a bit of sibling rivalry on the part of Miss Norissa? Ok, we’ll try
that picture one more time...
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.
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