MasterCraft X-35 // 22 Affordable Boats // PWC Tips - 12/16/2009
BoatTEST Newsletter December 16, 2009 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust
- MasterCraft X-35
- Regal 2300
- Yamaha AR 240
- Glastron GLS 215
- Tigé 22i
- Yamaha FZR
- Four Winns SL222
- World Cat 330 TE
- Larson 180 Sport
- Tahoe Q4 SS
- Wellcraft 210 Fisherman
- Seaswirl 2101 DC
- Hydra-Sports 2000 WA
- Tracker Pro Team 170 TX
- Premier 235 SunSation FS
- Formula 240 Bowrider
- Doral Monticello
- American Angler 1866 B&B
- JC Pontoon Neptoon 21 TT
- Ranger Boats 208 VX
- Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport
- Yanmar 6BY2- 260
- PowerTech Prop Tips
- Captain Cefus and Trailering
- Sea Star Hydraulic Steering
- Kohler Generators
- Boating Course on CDs
- Looking for a New Boat?
- Picture of the Week
- Work with BoatTEST
- More on Asian Carp
- Collision of the Week
- BoatTEST Does Not Spam
- NY Senator and Asian Carp
- EPA Wants More Testing
- Canadian Ice Anglers
- Submit an Owner's Report
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

MasterCraft X-35
Mastering Your Domain

MasterCraft X-35
If your reindeer games are on the water, then MasterCraft has the just the sleigh ride for your elves.

Leave it to MasterCraft to bring you a water-borne thrill ride, and even offer a trailer load of options that allow you to customize it to your own version of a dream boat. With its pickle-fork bow, there’s comfortable room for sitting, eating or just hanging out. There’s no shortage of storage, and the ride can be adjusted to give you whatever you’re looking for, be it a flat wake for skiing, medium wake for jumping, or a fat wake for surfing. It’s all up to you. It’s so versatile, MasterCraft even dares you to invent a new watersport that the X-35 can’t warm up to. The folks at MasterCraft have been pretty quiet for the most of this year, but they are now back with a vengence, stirring up things and letting their imaginations run wild -- so you can do the same.  Check her out for yourself in Capt. Wenz’s video of the MasterCraft X-35. Time to get wet...

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December is the BEST Month
To Buy a New Boat -- Find Out Why

 If you find a dealer showroom that is full of boats like this one, you have come to the right place. The dealer will be very glad to see you in December.

December is the best time to buy a new boat and get a great deal. In fact, if you’re looking for a bargain, between December 14 and the end of the year is the best time of all. In this “Special Section” we are featuring some of the most affordable well-constructed boats built in America today. Remember: It is the Best of Times (for Buyers), and the Worst of Times (for Sellers) – and it all happens the second half of December.  Just scan the 22 boats highlighted in this issue and you’ll see what we mean. For more buying tips and some ideas of how to make your boating dream affordable...

Affordable Boats for 2010

Regal 2300 BR

Regal 2300
The Regal 2300 bowrider is packed with new features.

Regal’s new 2300 is such a feature-packed boat, and has such good performance and handling, that we predict that it will be a 2010 sales leader. Check out Capt. Steve’s video of the 2300 details --

Yamaha AR 240 HO

Yamaha AR 240
The Yamaha AR 240 High Output screams watersports!

Yamaha wasn’t happy with just the inherent safety of their jet propulsion system, or the stern “patio” that makes their boats all but impossible to walk away from.  Check out Capt. Steve’s walkthrough video...

Glastron GLS 215 BR

Glastron GLS 215
The Glastron GLS 215 put the builder's best foot forward.

The most popular size range in the bowrider category is 21’, and if you intend to compete with all the other choices, you better have your game face on.  The 215 is plenty game. See Capt. Rob on a full test.

Tigé 22i Ski/Wakeboat

Tigé 22i
Multi-sport capability is the result of Tigé’s patented “Convex V" hull.

Every boat in Tigé’s lineup shares the same patented “Convex V” hull design and “TAPS2” control system, which offer multi-sport versatility.  This is the reason Tigé has taken on the big guys so successfully.   Capain John Wenz takes a look at the 22i...

Yamaha FZR PWC

Yamaha FZR
The FZR is all about solo, stand up riding and pulse-pounding acceleration!

This two-seater is one of Yamaha’s FZ Waverunner series. Crank the telescopic handlebars into a tight turn at high speed and you’ll quickly feel the difference. Captain Steve takes a look...

Four Winns SL 222 BR

Four Winns SL222
The SL 222 has Stable-V Split Chine hull design.

It may look like a pickle-fork bow, but it’s actually a V-hull with chines that don’t meet at the stem.  This desgin gives you lots of extra room in the bow -- just look at Capt. Rob.   Capt. Rob’s full report...

World Cat 330 TE

World Cat 330 TE
Our test model of the World Cat 330 had the optional swim platform and dive ladder.

The 330 TE is a tough, practical fishing machine you have come to expect from World Cat. The Vectorflo design softens the ride and divides the waves for a smooth run. Check here out--

Larson 180 Sport BR

Larson 180 Sport
Larson’s 18-foot runabout is anything but an entry-level boat.

Larson has been building boats for all different sizes of lakes, and now for the open waters as well. The 180 Sport answers that call in a package that is affordable. Come aboard with Captain Rob --

Tahoe Q4 SS BR (18')

Tahoe Q4 SS
The Tahoe Q4 SS with 135-hp Merc stern drive and trailer is a good way to get started.

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. No hassle pricing.  Watch the video --

Wellcraft 210 Fisherman

Wellcraft 210 Fisherman
Capt. Steve wrings out the Wellcraft 210 Fisherman and likes the boat’s handling.

The 210 Fisherman is not a warmed-over bay boat designed to a low price-point. Rather, she has one of the highest freeboards we have seen in a 21-footer.  Join Captain Steve for his video ride --

Seaswirl Striper
2101 DC

Seaswirl 2101 DC
Seaswirl offers the Striper 2101 DC in either outboard or stern drive configurations.

Seaswirl likes to say they build SUV’s for the water. They also build them to be more affordable with lots of standard features.  We like their high freeboard and overall value.  See our video review of the Striper 2101 DC --

Hydra-Sports 2000 WA

Hydra-Sports 2000 WA
The transom is cut away to set the outboard low and to facilitate quick drainage.

The new Hydra-Sports 2000 WA has the transom cut down and the cofferdam of the outboard well rises only about 1/3rd of the total transom height for fast dewatering.  Get Captain Steve’s report --

Tracker Pro Team
170 TX

Tracker Pro Team 170 TX
Tracker boats are known for being affordable.

Tracker’s 30th Anniversary Edition of the Pro Team 170 is an all welded "Revolution" hull designed for a relatively smooth ride and fishability at a low price.  Check it out. Watch the video.

Premier 235
SunSation FS

Premier 235
Tri-toon by Premier are among the fastest toons afloat -- and the best built.

The 235 SunSation FS offers your family a good platform for sightseeing or enjoying watersports. Hop onboard and start creating lasting family memories. Captain John Wenz takes a look --

Formula 240
Bowrider Sport

Formula 240
The Formula 240 is the entry-level from this premier builder.

Just about anyone who has ridden in a Formula likely fell in love with the upscale feel and the smooth responsive ride.  The fit and finish of this sports car afloat is a thing to behold.  She is Formula's smallest model. Come aboard the Formula 240.  

Doral Monticello 25'

Doral Monticello
Doral builds a 25' trailerable boat that turns heads with her classy styling.

The Doral Monticello is a sporty-looking pocket cruiser that has many of the amenities found on Doral's larger models. This trailerable cruiser is now available with a Yanmar diesel engine. See the Doral Monticello test video.

American Angler 1866 Bass & Bay CC

American Angler 1866
Freshwater anglers are discovering that this boat is a superior value.

The 1866 Bass and Bay from American Angler is a rocket on the water. Simplicity rules and fishability abounds on this Smoker Craft aluminum built boat. Best of all is her great price.  Take a look at the video test--

JC Pontoon
Neptoon 21 TT

JC Pontoon Neptoon 21 TT
The 21' Neptoon TT is the most popular boat in the JC line.

JC Pontoon’s NepToon 21 has over 160 square feet of elbow room, a full-length lounger, another seat across the way, and an L-shaped lounge and table aft. Come aboard with Captain Vince.

Ranger Boats

Ranger 208VX
Not all Rangers are expensive-- take a look at the 208VX.

The 208VX sports a new cockpit layout built on the proven 520VX hull with its sharp deadrise at the bow and a good pad a the stern.  Captain Rob Smith takes a look.

Boston Whaler
130 Super Sport

Boston Whaler 250 Outrage
It’s not your grandfather’s 13’ Boston Whaler any more!

Most exciting of all, there is an introductory base price on the 130 Super Sport of $9,995 with a 40-hp Merc. The 13’ Whaler has always made a great boat for the kids. Take a look --

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Yanmar 260-hp Diesel Is a Light,
Quiet Workhorse

Yanmar 6BY2-260
Capt. Rob Smith gives an in-depth video look at the Yanmar 6BY2-260 diesel engine.

Perhaps the best way to get an affordable new boat is to repower an old boat with a new engine.  When it comes to repowering there is no diesel engine company in America that works harder for the consumer than Yanmar. Frankly, repowering is time-consuming from an engineering man-hours standpoint, and most diesel engine makers and distributors don’t want to fool with it. Yanmar has built its business on repowering both powerboats and sailboats and the company along with their world-wide distributor system work closely with both consumer and boatyards making the installations easier. The Yanmar 6BY2-260 can be used with three different drive systems to better match an owner’s application: conventional inboard, stern drive, or Zeus pod drive. Watch Capt. Rob’s detailed video report --

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Propeller Tips

Do You Have the
Best Possible Prop?

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

Many boaters are not satisfied with the performance of their boats and want to blame the engine or the boat, but sometimes, the real culprit is the propeller. Pitch, number of blades, and diameter all play a part, and for smaller boats, you can make a big difference in the overall performance with a propeller change. Here is some helpful information from Capt Rob and our friends at PowerTech! 

Submit a propeller worksheet here--

Download a PowerTech catalogue--

Trailering Tips

Wonder Dog Drives
Tow Vehicle

Captain Cefus and Buck
Buck, the Wonder Dog, is back this week helping Capt. Cefus (left).

Capt. Cefus makes trailering a boat so easy even his Wonder Dog, Buck, can do it. Yup, Buck has a dog license and he figures that allows him to drive a tow vehicle, and we would not have believed it unless we had seen the video ourselves. Catch Capt. Cefus every week on Nuts & Bolts Fishing TV on ESPN 2. To brush up on trailering safety and to see Buck drive --

See Nuts & Bolts TV schedule --

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Retro Fitting

Add Hydraulic Steering To Your Outboard

Sea Star
If your steering is wearing you out after a long day, then you need to retrofit hydraulic steering.

Many boaters have discovered that when they repowered their boats going from 2-stroke to 4-stroke engines, steering became a lot harder. No wonder; 4-stroke engines are usually much heavier and their torque at high rpms is greater. The result is a day on the water can be like a day at the gym. There is a solution that is both effective and will add value to your boat. It is the Sea Star Hydraulic Steering system made by Teleflex for the aftermarket. Teleflex is the leading name in marine OEM steering systems for outboard boats, so they know what they are doing, and how you should install their unit. Join Capt. Rob as he explains this great fix for a difficult steering problem...


Kohler Marine Generators Provide Quality Boating

Kohler Generators
Kohler builds marine generators from 4kw to 500kw, both low CO gas and diesel for both 50 Hz and 60Hz applications. The 7.3 ECD low CO model is shown here.

The quality of your boating life can be enhanced immeasurably with the addition of a generator. Not surprisingly, generators are now being installed as optional equipment in small center console and walkaround boats. And, why not? With a gen set aboard you can now have air conditioning, heating, an electric stove top, oven, electric head, and all sorts of other appliances and gear, to say nothing of an alternative power source for your main batteries. Most importantly Kohler makes ONLY CO SAFE gas generators. Watch Capt. Rob’s video primer on Kohler generators...

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***Last Chance for Christmas***

BoatTEST’s Boating Course Makes a Great Christmas Present

Smart Boating Video Boating Course. 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.  Order here -- 

Member Services

Are You Looking
For a New Boat?

Member Services
Which boat is for you, are you getting the best price, and which one is a reliable brand, which will still be in business tomorrow?

 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 NEW within the next 6 months. Sign in here --

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Picture of the Week

1001 Arabian Nights

Picture of the Week
Like something out of 1001 Arabian Nights on one of the world’s most heavily traveled commercial waterways.

To see a large picture, find out where it is, and who took the picture...

Join Us

“The best tools for connecting with the real buyers!”

BoatTEST is the #1 trusted brand for third party tests and reviews of new boats, engines and products globally. If you’re looking for the answers on how to grow sales, become a partner. To arrange an exploratory meeting click here... or email

“The market has changed, are you ready to lead?”

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Asian Carp Fiasco

President Obama: Put UP That Wall!
...And Save The Great Lakes!

Locks at Champlain Canal readers are astonished that the U.S. federal government has not moved quickly to save the Great Lakes from its worst devastation in recorded history.

If President Obama could stop global warming with the stroke of a pen and a couple of million dollars do you think he would do it? We think he would in a heartbeat. Then why isn’t he declaring a national emergency to stop Asian carp from destroying the habitat of the largest freshwater lake system in the world? Why isn’t he declaring war on this invading species while he can still win it? President Obama, it is a simple fix: put up the wall! Then, fill in the locks with earth and be done with it. CarpWith some real determination this job could be completed in a single day! It shouldn’t cost more than a few million dollars because all that is needed is to move some dirt! But since Asian Carp DNA was found beyond the Army Corps of Engineers “electric fence” several weeks ago, government has dithered. To find out what the issues are and to find out how to urge the one man on the planet who can save the Great Lakes to take matters in hand...

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Collision of the Week

“Aye, Aye, Capt’n,
All Ahead, Full”

If you have ever wondered what it would be like if a large ship plowed into the dock where you were standing...

Strange things happen in this world that most of us never see or hear about. Thanks to one of our trusty readers today we can bring to you something we thought we’d never see. Is the skipper -- Al Qaeda, a pirate, a beginner, a woman driver (just a little humor folks, don’t take that seriously), a drunk, taking a snooze, on coffee break, near sighted, checking his work schedule on his laptop, playing bumper ships, looking at his chartplottter, or just nowhere to be found? We don’t know, but we would appreciate your suggestions...

See video of ship out of control...

Asian Carp Fiasco II

NY Senator Gillibrand Says
“Shut the Carp Canal!”

Kristen Gillibrand
Appointed 11 months ago to fill Hillary Clinton’s seat, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is a lawyer who graduated magna cum laude from Dartmouth in 1988.

Last Friday a freshman Senator from New York, Kirsten Gillibrand, demanded that the Army Corps of Engineers close all of the Asian carp-infested waterways leading to Lake Michigan. She is the first Senator or elected official we have heard of in Washington that has the courage to state the obvious and simple solution.  Where is the rest of Congress? Where are the Governors? Where are the bureaucrats? Is everyone on the corporate pad? Read Sen. Gillibrand's statement... 

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Ethanol Fiasco

EPA Wants More Testing for E-15

Ethanol Fiasco
The corn lobby got some push-back earlier this month from the EPA.

With a federal law on the books mandating the use of more ethanol, the EPA is beginning to find itself between a corn cob and a hard place. Opponents of E-15, including the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), won a small battle two weeks ago when the EPA announced that it would further delay Growth Energy’s request for a waver that would open the E-15 floodgates, saying more testing is needed. It looks like E-15 is coming for automobiles, but it is a little more uncertain for marine engines. Read what the NMMA has to say...

Ice Fishing

Canadian ICE Anglers Show How To Fish

Ice Fishing
‘Tis the season to go ice fishing if you live in Canada and are tired of watching TV re-runs and game shows.

We’ve always wondered about the IQ of ice anglers and why they would leave home and hearth to sit on a block of ice waiting for a semi-comatose bottom feeder to bite. It has occurred to us that possibly they don’t have a happy home life, and might want to get away from nagging wives and screaming kids. But our trusty reader Bill Noble has just sent us a video of a typical Canadian family – including wife and kids ice fishing – that throws cold water on our conjecture. To discover how they find the big ones and to take a measure of their IQ take a look at this video which explains it all...

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Owner Reviews

Calling Chaparral, G-3, Key West
Owners... Comments, Please!

Chaparral owners, please share your experience with our other readers.

By harnessing the reach of the World Wide Web and the incredible number of visitors to, we can literally focus the experience of the world’s boat owners on each brand and boat model to help guide future buyers. Hundreds of readers have already taken the time to pass along their experience on their boats to help new buyers. These “Owner Comments” go unedited into our database. No matter what model boat you own from the three brands listed here, let the boating world learn from your experiences -- 

G3 Key West
G3 Boats Key West

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Privacy Matters
Does NOT Spam

Americans ate SPAM during WW II and were happy to have it. Trouble is, almost nobody likes it anymore.

SPAM belongs to a bygone era, but some marine marketers haven’t gotten the memo. If you are getting marine SPAM, it is not coming from us, nor do we pass member info on to anyone without permission. Recently we have gotten reports that one of the famous powerboat magazines is using “Mal Ware” to capture email addresses of people without their knowledge when visiting its site, then SPAMing them. Our only advice to boat owners who have been inundated with SPAM is to unsubscribe and relegate those marketers to where they belong—the meat grinder of Internet history.

Dolphin Kills

Rogue Fishermen Slaughter Dolphins

Flipper is on the menu in a small Japanese village that has been keeping a terrible secret for years. Here is the tragic story...

In a world where tuna fishermen go to extraordinary lengths and expense to make sure that dolphins are not caught in nets meant for tuna, there are fishermen who make their living catching and slaughtering them. 26 fishermen in the small fishing village of Taiji, Japan are breaking an international taboo against killing the most intelligent aquatic mammal alive. The fishermen and the town’s fathers have long kept the truth hidden from the Japanese people and their media, but recently an enterprising and courageous filmmaker has captured the aquatic holocaust on video tape. Read the story, see the video trailer…

See the video trailer for the documentary “The Cove"...

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Capt. Steve's Lesson #65

PWC Safe Operation Tips -- Part III

Lesson 65
Most PWC accidents occur by an inexperienced operator who does not know how to maneuver the watercraft, or is operating it at an unsafe speed.

This week Capt. Steve goes over seven new lessons and guidelines on PWC restrictions and safely operating your watercraft. There are in fact areas that restrict PWC use, due to noise, annoyance, and because they can be a safety hazard to other boaters or swimmers. With a safe and conscientious operator at the wheel PWCS are a great way to spend a day on the water exploring coastal areas and having fun with family and friends. There are many ways to prevent PWC accidents, first of all make sure the operator is experienced with the watercraft and knows the area, always keep a safe distance away from any non-motorized craft or anchored boat, operate at safe speeds, and constantly watch where you are going. These are basic procedures which all recreational boaters should be aware of. The videos presented this week are part of's USCG-approved video boating course narrated by Capt. Steve. 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

Ducky Winner

First Place

"Yes, Jim, that's right, we have been on the boat with the wives for 11 hours!"
- P. Rickard

Second Place

"I've been on this boat for 2 hours, and this is how many words I've gotten in."
- W. Williams

Honorable (almost) Mentions

"This is her 10th attempt to dock this thing!!" - B. Bigelow

"On a scale of 1 to 100, this is how much fun we're having with mom driving."
- J Sharp 

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 12-16

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