Hargrave 76//4 Battlewagons Compared//Tying Knots - 01/27/2010
BoatTEST Newsletter January 27, 2009 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
10th year anniversary
- Hargrave 76
- Nordic Tug 42
- Meridian 441
- Comparison of Battlewagons
- Fate of Marquis & Carver
- Hydra-Sports 3500 VX
- Sea Ray 310
- Windsor Craft 40
- Mayor Daley to Obama
- Triton 351 CC
- Regal 44
- World Cat 320 EC
- Jacobs & DeJoria to Buy More
- Platinum Equity
- Sea Shepards Fans Involved
- Royal Purple
- Product Review: Groco
- Cruisers and Rampage to Re-Hire
- Quick Lift Wins Award
- Apex Bankruptcy
- AmeriCares Follow Up
- Regal Owners Reviews
- Boating Course
- Member Services
- Pictures of the Week
- Work with BoatTEST
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

New Hargrave 76 Video:
Four En Suite Staterooms

Hargrave 76
If you are thinking about a large motoryacht, then you’ll want to see the video of how the owners of this new 76’ Hargrave designed their accommodations – four staterooms all with en suite heads.

In the world of luxury yachts, having to “settle” is not a happy part of the game plan. Manufacturers of production motoryachts often forget that, and the buyer is left with the option of only picking interior décor such as carpeting and color choices. That’s not our idea of even a semi-custom-built yacht. But at Hargrave Custom Yachts if you want a non-structural bulkhead moved or want the galley moved to the other side of the boat, or want four staterooms each with en suite heads, rather than the standard three staterooms... you’ve got it. Today, Capt Steve is going to take us below to the accommodations deck of a 76 motoryacht that has exactly that – four staterooms where many builders would put just three. Let’s take a look at Capt. Steve's new video...

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Third Look

Nordic Tug 42:
A Mission Possible

Nordic Tug 42
In our opinion, this brand new Nordic 42, just out of the factory, is just a tad away from looking spectacular. Like all new boats just out of the yard, there is a bit too much white fiberglass, but it doesn’t take much to make her look great. Our suggestion is to take that deep green and put a stripe under the pilothouse windows and just abaft the nav lights on the side of the pilothouse roof. Maybe paint the funnel, too.

There is something about commercial work boats or fishing vessels that most boaters find appealing. The North Sea trawler (Grand Banks), the Maine Lobster boat (Hinckley, et al), the island freighter (Nordhavn), and the trusty tug boat (Nordic Tugs). None of the yacht versions replicated the real thing, but all were inspired by the look and seaworthiness of their commercial namesakes. We have often been struck by how many Nordic Tugs (which are built on the west coast) that we see on the east coast, particularly trudging north and south in the ICW. We think that Nordic Tugs are practical and spacious for the mission of coastal cruising.
Join us once again as we take a close look at this clever design and very roomy...

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Second Look

Meridian 441 Sedan Bridge:
New Test Video

Meridian 441 Sedan Bridge
The Meridan 441 Sedan Bridge is a good way for the average family to enjoy a wonderful summer of cruising.

If you long for weekends at Catalina Island, or a cruise to the Bahamas for a short stay, or even a long weekend at Nantucket, then we’ve got a boat for you. With a cruise range of 276 miles, you’ve got a lot of possibilities to choose from, and we suspect that future owners of this stylish yacht are going to enjoy turning up at almost any destination.  Check out our test-day video as Capt. Steve puts the Meridian 441 through her paces and gives you the inside story on her performance and handling. (Pssst – the good captain says she’s as sweet on the fly as she is approaching the dock.) And she comes with “Total Command”...

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Comparison of the
"Big Four" 54' Battlewagons

Bertram 540 Ocean yacht
Viking 54 Hatteras 54
The new Bertram 540 was launched at the Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show and joins three other mighty battlewagons. We took a look at all four and found some surprises. 
See above (top l to r) Bertram 540, Ocean Yachts 54, (bottom l to r) Viking 54, Hatteras 54.

“Convertibles” have been known more for their similarities than their differences over the years, but that is changing. Increasingly, buyers are using them more for cruising than for fishing and we applaud that trend because they make superb offshore cruising boats because of their low CG, large flying bridges, roomy cockpits, and prodigious hull strength. We think the mid-50s range is an ideal size for a fish-anywhere, cruise-anywhere convertible, so this week we are going to compare the “Big Four.” You might be surprised at what we discover...

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Carver/Marquis News

Jacobs & Billionaire Friend
Buy Carver & Marquis
Pre-Ch. 11 Warranties Honored!

marquis 690 Carver 56
The Marquis 690 is the second largest yacht in the 9-model Marquis line which ranges from 42’ to 72’. The Carver 56 is the largest yacht in the 11-model Carver line which ranges from 36’ to 56’.

Last week it was announced that J&D Acquisitions, LLC, had bought the Carver Yacht and Marquis Yacht companies from the bankruptcy estate of Genmar Holdings, Inc. (Genmar). The new company will go forward as Marquis Yachts, LLC. Together the two brands have 20 models ranging from 36’ to 72’. Irwin Jacobs and his friend, John Paul DeJoria, who according to Forbes magazine is the #65th richest person in America, formed J&D Acquisitions, LLC, to make the purchase and paid $6.05 million for the two companies. Jacobs says that the company plans to begin hiring 200 staff within two weeks and that the new company will honor all pre-Chapter 11 warranties. More...

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Hydra-Sports News

Hydra-Sports 3500 VX
Not Just New... Improved!

Hydra-Sports 3500
Hydra-Sports managed to take the fishing and cruising combo to new lengths. Well... 34’8”.  Remember, Hydra-Sports is now a stablemate of MasterCraft.

Making a fishing and cruising combination boat is more than just adding a place to sleep. But that’s exactly what we’ve seen time and again from boat builders trying to sell us on their boats which are warmed-over fishboats. At Hydra-Sports, they’ve taken the challenge seriously and raised the bar on what a combo package should be. It’s got a boatload of fishing features that any die-hard fanatic will love, a comfort level that any family will love, and a sea keeping hull that everybody will love... all rolled into the second largest of their no-holds-barred Vector series boats (remember their big Kahuna – the 41!). And, true to form, Capt. Steve snuck in to get this first look video. We’ve got to get this boat in the water. Whistle if you see the cops coming...

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Sea Ray 310 Sundancer:
A Solid Mid-Size Express Cruiser

Sea Ray 310
The Sea Ray 310 Sundancer is just the right size boat for most families and makes an excellent day boat or family weekender.

Very few companies have had the successful run that Sea Ray has enjoyed with their Sundancer series over the last 30 years. That’s three decades, folks, and we’re hard pressed to think of another series, much less brand that has had such a run in the boat business. As we have said before, the ‘Dancer line blazed the way for express cruisers in America. These family cruisers have all the right ingredients of sportiness, user friendly handling characteristics, and family-functional layout. The 310 ‘Dancer may have gone through some name changes, and a bit of tweaking here and there, but she still remains largely the same as last year. Let’s take a look at the 2010 version and see what she brings to the water.

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Windsor Craft 40:
She’s a Sophisticated Lady

Windsor Craft 40
That’s right, this classic design is made out of genuine tree-wood, cold molded, which means its hull is a lot tougher than fiberglass and maintenance is a snap so long as you pay attention to the bright work.

Every once in a while, a boat crosses our paths that makes us stop dead in our tracks. The Windsor Craft 40 is just such a boat. The truly heart-stopping beauty that this boat possesses is largely on the inside. Externally, she’s a retro classic, conjuring up the styles preferred by veteran yachtsmen from places like Seal Harbor, Maine where price is no object and tradition is a way of life. Take a glance at the first picture in our Captain’s Report and see if it doesn’t make you read on about this thoroughbred -- a true lady that seems to be from a bygone era. Windsor Craft is a Genmar brand that is being bought by J&D (read: Irwin Jacobs & Friend) later this week. Timing is everything...

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Carp Fiasco

Mayor Daley to Obama: “Let ‘Em Eat Carp!”

Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley explaining to President Obama exactly what he should be doing about Asian carp. This picture speaks for itself as to the power, resolve and influence of Mayor Daley. Obviously, Daley’s mother didn’t teach her son not to point.

Now that Asian Carp DNA has been found in Lake Michigan, Chicago’s Mayor Richard M. Daley’s strategy has shifted from one of denial and ridicule to that old political standby: “baffle ‘em with bullshit.” Last Thursday, after the Lake Michigan carp DNA hit the fan, the White House announced that it wanted to host a “summit” with the complaining Great Lakes states’ governors. But the Asian carp may not wait for committees, studies, consultants, and the legislative process. In all likelihood they will just continue eating their way north, consuming 40% of their body weight each day as they go. What should boaters do to stop the carp NOW? YOU BE THE JUDGE...

See CBS Evening News video...

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CC Rider

The Triton 351 CC:
5 Years Ago – And NOW!

Triton 351 CC
With that long reaching bow and graceful curves as the eye runs aft, it’s easy to see why the 351CC has been such a popular model.

As the Triton 351 CC reaches its fifth birthday, the model is still going strong. When she debuted at the Miami Boat Show in ’05, she was not only the biggest boat that Triton built, but also was among the biggest in her class as well. Today, she’s still the queen at Triton, but in general... well, bigger kids have entered the playing field. But for all the fanfare over the large center consoles, remember that 35' is still very big for a center console.  Let’s take a short trip down memory lane and see exactly what the 351CC was like then, and more importantly, what has changed since she first started turning heads. Back to the future...

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Regal 44 Sport Coupe:
A Classy Cruiser of Noble Heritage

Regal 44 Sport Coupe
Talk about eye candy... this Regal 44SC has it all. Good looks, great handling... if only it could cook this babe would be ideal for our retro/very un-PC Capt. Steve.

It isn’t everyday that Capt. Steve comes back from a test with an ear to ear grin on his freckled face but that’s the affect that the Regal 44SC had on him. And, with good reason he says. Her handling was “butter smooth,” and with such stunning lines, even he looked good at the helm. With IPS pods dangling under the hull, anyone can dock this boat with pinpoint accuracy. The good captain thinks her layout is comfortable for days on the water and an elegant night at the dock. And then there is the price. Thanks to some creative thinking from the corporate level, this boat is offered for a sum hard to refuse. Check out the video and see if you agree...

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World Cat 320 EC:
Twin Hulls with a Dual Personality

World Cat 320 EC
Mom wants a boat that is stable, dry and has creature comforts that she is used to in a real cruising boat. Good luck trying to give her the old “it’s a family fishboat” line – because she’s not swallowing it anymore and is likely to give you the hook and sinker.

It’s easy to take a boat primarily built for fish-crazed anglers and throw in a berth, a toilet and a bottle of white wine, and then have the marketing department call it “family fish.” But exactly how well are the two characteristics -- fishing and cruising amenities – combined? Around the BoatTEST.com office we’ve heard the talk, but we have families who know boats and only the real thing will fly. The World Cat 320 EC has a combination of fishing appeal and cabin class cruising amenities. But will it cut the mustard at home?  To see if the World Cat 320 EC makes the cut, we sent Capt. Steve...and his wife, to give it a once over and report back. FYI, she doesn’t like fish...

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Industry News

Jacobs & DeJoria to Buy Larson, Seaswirl, Triumph and FinCraft

Larson 274 seaswirl 2301 triumph 170 dc  Fincraft 1850
Larson Cabrio 274. Seaswirl 2301 WA. Triumph 170 DC. FinCraft 1850 DC.

J&D Acquisitions, which is owned by Irwin Jacobs and billionaire John Paul DeJoria, said last week that it has agreed to purchase several former Genmar businesses and assets from Platinum Equity. The transaction is expected to be effective by this Friday or shortly after. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. According to a statement, J&D will acquire the Larson, Seaswirl and FinCraft boat brands along with the Larson boat factory in Little Falls, Minnesota, VEC technology as well as its equipment, patents and copyrights, and the Triumph Boat Company in Durham, NC. More...

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Industry News

Platinum Equity Buys Four Winns,
Glastron, Wellcraft, Ranger

Four Winns SL 262 Glastron 209 Cuddy
Four Winns SL262 Glastron 209 Cuddy
Wellcraft 180 CC Ranger 1850 RS
Wellcraft 180 CC Ranger 1850 RS

Who or what is “Platinum Equity” -- and -- what is it doing owning some of the best boat brands in America? Why did it buy these grand boat companies in the first place?  Four Winns, Glastron, Wellcraft and Ranger are all boating icons. They have been around for years and have a rich heritage. At one time in their lives, both Glastron and Wellcraft were the largest selling brands in America. Today, and for much of the last decade, Ranger has been the largest selling fiberglass bass boat. Likewise, for many years Four Winns has been the largest selling premium sportboat brand.  None of these brands are virgins and all have been bought and sold before. Let’s learn more about Platinum Equity...

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BoatTEST.com News

Sea Shephard Fans Involved in Jury Tampering!

Jimmy Hoffa
Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa was convicted in a U.S. federal court for jury tampering 45 years ago. Now his jury-tampering ways have gripped the Sea Shepherd followers!

It is astonishing what some “True Believers” will do to advance a cause. Late Thursday afternoon BoatTEST.com’s trusty webmaster – after working all day at the New York Boat Show – got back to his control room only to discover that our “You Be the Judge” jury balloting in the high-seas collision case of Ady Gil vs. Shonan Maru had been tampered with. While we doubt that the management of Sea Shepherd would stoop to such degrading behavior to rig the results of BoatTEST.com’s world-wide boater jury results, obviously some of their more zealous followers did. To find out what happened, and what we are doing about it...


Royal Purple
Engine Break-In Oil

Royal Purple
Royal Purple has gone to the trouble to formulate a special oil just for breaking in engines.

Unlike messy marine products, you can find Royal Purple Synthetic oil just about everywhere you look. In BoatTEST's home town of Stamford, CT we found it at nine different locations. Search your area and try something new...


Dewatering Product Review

Groco Seacocks
Shown here is one of three versions of the Groco seacock dewatering valve.

If you are taking on water, one of the most powerful pumps you have onboard are the raw-water coding pumps in your main engines. Capt Rob Smith looks at three different versions of a safety product, the Groco seacock, and how it can impact your ability to dewater your vessel. Watch the video...

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Industry News

Cruisers Yachts and Rampage Re-Hire 100 Employees

Cruisers Yachts 52
The new Cruisers Yachts 52 is one of the most popular American-built euro-styled express cruisers.

KCS International Inc., the parent company of Cruisers Yachts and Rampage Sport Fishing Yachts, hired back 100 of its employees to work on new orders for both brands and to help complete the 2011 prototype of the 470 Cruisers Yachts Sports Coupe. "Although the past year has been pretty rough on the boating industry, our unwavering commitment to the Cruisers Yachts and Rampage Sport Fishing Yachts brands is what has carried us through these tough economic times," said Mark Pedersen, president of KCS International, in a statement. For more about the company and its plans for the future...

Customer Service Award

Quick Lift Wins Customer Service Ducky

Quick Lift
A Quick Lift 800-lb. hydraulic davit on the bow of a 40’ sedan is a typical arrangement.

BoatTEST.com’s 2nd “Ducky Award for Customer Service” goes to the Quick Lift davit company. This award is being made a bit late, but “better late than never,” someone once said. This coveted award is given only to companies which have shown a devotion to customer service above and beyond the levels that boaters have now come to expect from the marine companies. To find out more about the extraordinary lengths that Quick Lift went to in order to earn this award... 
If you know a marine company that you feel should be considered for this award, write: editorial@boattest.com.

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Buying Tip

Inflatable Buyers Beware!

Apex Logo
You get what you pay for.

Some years ago we bought an Apex tender and used it for years, getting to know the product and the company’s service and how the company treated its customers in the process. Our Apex was low-priced, cheaply made, slowly fell apart, and when the Annapolis home office was called, often there was no answer and when there was, we couldn’t get spare parts needed. At least two of the corporate entities swirling around the Apex name have been in litigation and one has gone bankrupt. In order to explain what went bankrupt and what did not, and to give you and idea of the cut of the Apex jib, go down this rabbit hole...

Haiti News

First AmeriCares Shipment Arrives

AmeriCares Haiti
AmeriCares thanks BoatTEST.com members for sending donations earmarked for medical supplies to be sent to Haiti. Here you see the first plane load arrive at Port Au Prince.

AmeriCares spends 99% of the donations it receives on the goods being sent to the world’s needy.  It has been praised by 60 Minutes and Forbes magazine and is headquartered in our home port of Stamford, CT.  It is where we give. Visit their website...

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Regal 52
Regal 52 Sport Coupe
Regal 44
Regal 44 Sport Coupe
Regal 4460 Commodore
Regal 4460 Commodore

Owners Reviews
Calling Regal 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 an d 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 Regal model you own...

Regal 4060 Regal 2665
Regal 3760 Regal 2300
Regal 3360 Regal 220DR
Regal 3350 SC Regal 2200 BR
Regal 2860 WE Regal 2100 RX
Regal 2700 BR Regal 2000
Regal 2565 WE Regal 1900

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Boating Education

Order BoatTEST’s
Boating Course

Smart Boating
BoatTEST.com Video 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 --

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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Pictures of the Week

Only in Dreams?

Picture of the week
This photo has not been photoshopped.

To see a large picture, when and who took the picture.

Picture of the week
This photo has not been photoshopped.

To see a large picture, when, where and who took the picture. 

** Submitted by a BoatTEST member. Send us your favorite boating images.

Join Us

"The Experts
in Sales Impact"

BoatTEST 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 have with BoatTEST.com test their boats -- we are the #1 trusted brand for third party tests and reviews of new boats and engines, globally. 10th yearTo arrange an exploratory meeting click here or email chrishughes@boattest.com
or call 203.253.2836.

"The market has changed, have you?"

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Capt. Steve's Lesson #70

Tie Knots with Confidence

Brushing up on some of the basics of boating is always a good thing. This includes tying knots correctly. You’d be surprised at how many boaters miss-tie lines.

This week Capt. Steve goes over nine lessons and guidelines on tying ropes and knots. This is something that not only is important to master, but will also save you time and expense down the road. How many fenders have you lost since you’ve owned your boat? Or, how many times have you needed to leave the dock quickly but there was so much line tied around the cleat it took minutes instead of seconds to untie?  A knot that is strong yet can be undone in flash if needed is a real necessity when boating. Once you get some of these basic techniques down you’ll feel like a more confident boater. These three videos are basic lessons which recreational boaters should be aware of. The videos presented this week are part of BoatTEST.com's USCG-approved boating course called “Smart Boating.” Watch Capt. Steve's video boating lessons every week on BoatTEST.com. To view this week’s lessons --

To view past lessons --

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Ducky Award Winner

Ducky Winner

First Place

"A highlight of the cruise was watching the remarkable Conehead spawning frenzy."
- M. Goun

Second Place

"Experience the magic of Iceland, where locals dive for coins tossed from the ship." - P. Lazarus

Honorable (almost) Mentions

"Members of the Sea Shepherd Society gear up before attacking the cruise ship industry!" - N. Soboleff

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 1-27

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

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