Became a World-Wide Brand
Because BoatTEST.com started 10 years ago as a small, undercapitalized company competing with new websites (one funded with $30 million of VC money) and giant veteran publishing companies, building a world-class brand has been exciting, to say the least. BoatTEST.com was the proverbial David against not one but many Goliaths. But not only did BoatTEST.com survive the last decade, it flourished, becoming the world’s leading provider -- by any measure -- of independent 3rd party content for the world’s buyers of new and used powerboats.
To find out how BoatTEST.com did it and what it means to you as a boater and boat buyer...sling this stone.
Cruisers Yachts 420 Sports Coupe
Exterior Features Video
We recently caught a look at the new, updated version of the Cruisers Yachts 420 Sports Coupe and decided then and there that it was a boat you really had to see as well. There’s so much to appreciate on this boat... the glass windshield that goes all the way to the hardtop, ample seating for two at the helm, easily accessed walk-through windshield... the list goes on and on. But talk is cheap. Capt. Steve takes you on a video tour of the topside features first. It’s here that your guests will get their first look at your yacht, and first impressions are everything. Just wait till you see the interior. But that’s for later. For now, join Capt. Steve on deck.
Capt. Steve’s video tour is right this way...
Preferences Shift over the Decade
This week we're doing a little retrospective of the last 10 years.
Not one of the top 10-researched boats in 2001 is still in production. All have been discontinued except for two models, which have both found rebirth in all-new -- from the keel up – versions. Four Winns found the Horizon 200 niche so compelling that it designed a whole new boat and re-focused its orientation to wake boarding and watersports. Hatteras which had long held the high ground in the 60’ battlewagon range, completely re-engineered their 60-footer to be faster and more competitive, offering a special GT version for the speed-at-any-price offshore anglers. Over the last decade these
well-respected two brands did not rest on their laurels but rather aggressively defended their market turf by tenaciously adapting their products to the change in consumer tastes and new competition. Visit the two articles below for more information.
Four Winns H200:
Made the Top 10 in 2001
New Version Still Strong
The 148th boat we tested was the Four Winns 200 Horizon in March of 2001. Even though
the test and video did not go live until April of that year, and the boat had been introduced five years previously, it still managed to rank #6 in total “research sessions” in the remaining eight months. This model was one of the most successful 20’ stern drives on the market. In 2003 Four Winns brought out an all-new 200 Horizon that was lighter, required less power and featured an integrated swim platform. It is still in production and going strong.
Learn more here...
Hatteras 60 Convertible:
Most Popular Big Boat in 2001
Born Again (x3) in 2007
We tested the Hatteras 60 Convertible in the fall of 2000 just after BoatTEST.com went live, and first aired the video and test numbers in January of 2001. That year it ranked #9 overall in “research sessions” of the 226 boat tests up at the time, and #1 of all boats over 30’ – an impressive statement for the Hatteras brand. At the time only 4.4% of the U.S. households had broadband and we streamed at 56 and 175 kbs, and were careful to have plenty of pictures, text, and details for the majority of members who were just getting used to dial-up. Hatteras had launched this 60 convertible in 1998, their second version of a popular sized battlewagon that was first created in the mid-1970s. In 2007 Hatteras released their third reincarnation of the Hatteras 60 and BoatTEST.com was there to video tape the new birth.
Video boat test of the 1998 Hatteras 60...
factors of the Hatteras 60 GT in 2007...
The Sea Ray 260 Sundeck:
New Design for 2010
We love big bowriders. At one time boats built in this size were only pocket cruisers and cuddys. Then someone said, “why not a big bowrider?” The rest is history and these heavyweights in the BR class have been popular for years.
Sea Ray has probably built as many big bowriders as anyone so its designers are familiar with the type and should know what they are doing. Sea Ray calls the 260 a deckboat,
but to our way of thinking, up until now it has been a sportboat with a spoon-shaped deckboat
So when Sea Ray told us they had redesigned it from the waterline up – keeping the tried and true bottom -- we sat up and took notice. Let’s see what Sea Ray’s design team came up with for this year’s model.
Capt. Steve runs the slide show...
Latest Sea Ray promotion for this and other models...
10 Years of Streaming Video
BoatTEST.com’s first videos of boat tests were shot 15 years ago in 1996 by Capt. Chris Kelly for his weekly TV program “Sea Trials” which aired on the Speedvision cable channel. When Kelly and co-founder Jeff Hammond started BoatTEST.com in 2000 nearly 100 “Sea Trial” videos were re-purposed for streaming on the Internet. On Sept. 15, 2000 these boat test videos became the first recreational marine videos to be streamed on the Internet to a world audience. At the time, BoatTEST.com was on the cutting edge of the technology and one of the few websites in the world streaming video 24/7.
To find out more how BoatTEST.com brought video boat tests to the marine world...
BoatTEST.com Was Invented
Since the 1950s there have been so many boat models available to the public and they were so complex, publishers of marine magazines have long realized that there needed to be one archival source for consumer research. As an editor or publisher of numerous marine magazines over more than 30 years, co-founder Jeff Hammond had long struggled with the challenge of bringing a large body of information to consumers in print in a meaningful way. Then, in 1999 a college co-ed who was doing a strip-tease in her room and sending jumpy video the size of a postage stamp of the performance
over the fledgling Internet made coast-to-coast news. This young gal changed
more than just her clothes.
From strip-tease to Boat Buying Research...
Formula 270 Bowrider
Big and Beautiful
As reluctant as we are to say this, no matter what you were told, size matters, and bigger is better. A case in point is the Formula 270 Bowrider, one of the largest bow riders on the market. At a whopping 27’ (8.23 m) and 6,200 lbs (2,812 kg) not only will this boat turn heads, but it will give a smooth and stable ride to boot. Toss in a boatload of innovative features, add the quality you’ve come to expect from Formula, and you’ve got a combination that simply has to be seen. Now, since it’s a premier boat from one of the most prestigious builders in the business, it’s not cheap by any standards. But if you’re looking for quality at every turn, then you’ve come to the right place. Check out Capt. Rob’s video tour of the 270 Bowrider from Formula and you’ll soon be a believer. And if you need more information, check out Capt. Steve’s report on the “Formula Difference”.
Check out Capt. Rob’s video of the Formula 270 Bowrider...
Check out Capt. Steve’s report on “The Formula Difference”...
Testing Sales Service
Bass Pro Brands
Answer Their Telephones?
Does it frustrate you when a company won’t list an email address, but instead wants you to give up your email address on a form, so that “they” can get back to you? Have you ever called a company ready to buy one of their products and received a recording giving you a menu of options, and you hit #3 only to get another menu, and finally when you get to the person’s line you want, you are asked to leave voice mail? Earlier this week we decided to call the phone numbers given by one of world’s biggest boat builders – the Bass Pro Group which builds 8 brands of boats – to see what would happen. Come down the rabbit hole to see what our test turned up...
Find out more at Tracker
It’s “Entry Level” – Take It or Leave It!
Yamaha just can’t seem to get enough of driving the competition crazy. Take the AR210 for example. It comes fully loaded with twin engines, über safe jet propulsion, wakeboard tower, lots of storage, and their hallmark transom patio. And they not only call it “entry level” but its MSRP beats nearly all other boats in class, entry level or not. She’s not a stripped down version of her big sister, but rather a serious boat with quality features. We sent Capt. Steve to size it up...
Check out Capt. Steve’s captain's report and video tour of the AR210 from Yamaha...
Doral 235 Bow Rider:
Execution Is Everything
The Doral 235 is arguably the coolest bowrider in its class, in our opinion. Not only is it totally gorgeous, but virtually every square inch of its stunning exterior has been designed and tooled with the tender loving care of a Renaissance sculpture. She has a long list of creature comforts and an even longer list of options so you can literally turn this boat into your own personal customized ride. The Doral 235 is not stamped out of a cookie-cutter mold then robotically assembled. Rather, these boats are built one at a time by craftsmen who have been doing it for over 20 years. Now to be clear, the accompanying shot shows a lot of teak, and yes... it is on the options list, and, no, she doesn’t come cheap -- but breathtaking ladies never do. Check out Capt. Steve’s report and you’ll see what we mean.
See why this model is so popular in the Med...
World’s First Trawler Circumnavigator Dies
Jim Sink gained notoriety – and a place in the record books – by becoming the first person to circumnavigate in a production trawler yacht. In 1990, he and wife, Susy, spent five years on their global cruise. They logged more than 50,000 nm on board their Nordhavn 46, Salvation II, and paved the way for future Nordhavn owners, eager to see the world on their own boats. Ross Ritto was a successful sound engineer who toured with Jimmy Buffet and other big music groups for many years and brought his skills to bear on the electronics side of two Nordhavns he owned. He is credited with the famous stage admonishment: “Don’t piss off the sound guy.” Read more about these two yachtsmen...
Will the Supremes Stop
The Impending Carp Disaster?
In an attempt to prevent the Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes, the state of Michigan filed a brief on Dec. 21, 2009, with the U.S. Supreme Court which will hear the petition in two days. This is not a lawsuit, but rather a petition for a decree to enforce the closure of Chicago-area locks. Ohio and Minnesota have also joined the lawsuit as plaintiffs. Asian carp could fundamentally destroy the Great Lakes ecosystem and already their DNA has been found north of an Army Corps of Engineers electric “barrier” fence. To suck up more...
Start the New Year Right: Get
BoatTEST’s Boating Course
BoatTEST.com has joined with Capt. Steve to present you with an 8 CD-ROM boating
course that comes in a durable 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 --
Are You Looking
For a New Boat?
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 --
Calling Four Winns Owners
By harnessing the reach of the World Wide Web and the incredible number of visitors to BoatTEST.com, 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 Four
Winns model you own, let the boating world learn from your experiences --
513-lb Bluefin Tuna
Sold for $177,000!
Yesterday morning around 5:30 am at Tokyo’s Tsukiji wholesale fish market (the largest such market in the world) a 513-lb. tuna was auctioned off for 16.3 million yen ($177k). If you have never seen the Tsukiji market, you’d better go quick as its fish mongers are threatening to close it down because “tourists” (read environmentalists) are becoming so “unruly.” We suspect that means they are raising hell about all of the endangered species sold there. (Flipper, anyone?) To read more about this auction and find out the price of the all-time most expensive tuna...not chopped liver.
Capt. Steve's Lesson #67
Be a Responsible PWC Owner - Part V
This week Capt. Steve goes over four new lessons and guidelines on PWC laws and being a responsible PWC owner. You should know your local laws before heading out on your PWC. Remember PWCS can only run during daylight hours between sunrise and sunset since they do not have any running lights as boats do. Like all other boaters, PWCS must respect and be extra careful of any wildlife in the area. In order to help prevent accidents from happening do not operate or let anyone else operate your PWC under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Remember, the owner of the PWC will also be responsible for any incident or accident that occurs on the water. These are basic procedures which all recreational boaters should be aware of.
The videos presented this week are part of BoatTEST.com's Boating Course which is
approved by the USCG. Watch Capt. Steve's video boating lessons every
week on BoatTEST.com. To view this week’s lessons --
To view past lessons --
“The Experts in Sales Impact!”
If boaters are not considering your brand when they research, how will you sell them one of your boats? Adapt to the new market and increase your consideration among boat buyers -- guaranteed! There is a reason why the leading brands chose to partner with BoatTEST.com; we are the #1 trusted brand for third party tests and reviews of new boats and engines, globally. To arrange an exploratory meeting click here or email email@example.com
or call 203.253.2836.
"The market has changed, have you?"
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