An Exciting New Instrument: "Tigé Touch" by Tigé Boats
“Tigé Touch” is the newest feature to grace the Tigé line of performance wakeboard boats. This amazing instrument not only gives you complete control of the boat’s speed, but it also controls the ballast tanks, lights, tunes, bilge pumps, and a host of other accessories and equipment. It is similar in concept to the expensive Octoplex system which we have seen on megayachts, but the “Tigé Touch” was designed and engineered by the team at Tigé strictly for the systems on board a complex sportboat.
Ever mindful of the Luddites among us, we knew that the unit needed to be tested to see if it was intuitive and idiot proof. We decided to have Capt. Steve – who is not an idiot – but a fellow who has certainly met enough of them to know what they can and can not understand when it comes to instruments. Further, we asked him to make a video of the touch screen to show us how it works . All you need is a finger... not that finger!!!
Tahoe Q7i SS:
She's Hot and Affordable
We caught a glimpse of the new Tahoe Q7i SS at the New York boat show, and at first, it was the cool colors and graphics that caught our attention. After a brief walkthrough, we discovered a boat that has some qualities that make her a sure hit. While it’s not a top-of-the-line ski and wakeboard boat, it is a cost-effective solution to
getting on the water and having your watersports, too. Thank goodness a couple of builders are making affordable boats. The Tahoe Q7i SS is sort of a “have your cake and eat it, too” boat. To see what we mean, check out this video walkthrough of the Tahoe Q7i SS.
Watch Capt. Steve’s video look...
Wellcraft 210 Fisherman:
It's All about Space
The Wellcraft 210 Fisherman measures 21' (6.4 m) LOA with an 8’6" (2.59 m) beam... not so large that she’s inconvenient to launch and retrieve, and she’s surprisingly roomy inside. While blasting along at speed, there is comfortable seating for five people, one forward, two at the helm, and two in the transom seats. There is a head in the console, and the boats list of standard equipment has everything you’ll need for a day on the water, including a compass. Check out Capt. Steve’s test video of the 210 Fisherman and you’ll see what we mean.
This one’s small, but we think she’s a keeper...
MasterCraft ProStar 214V:
If having “just a wakeboard boat” isn’t enough for you to “one up” the other guys on the lake, then how about one that is certified by U.S. Water-Ski for all three tournament events? The MasterCraft ProStar 214V is just the ticket for giving the kind of performance, handling, and wake control that top contenders in tournament levels seek, and now it can be yours. MasterCraft built this boat from the keel up with professional-grade characteristics that’ll make you the envy of the other boaters on the lake. Once the cool wake dudes get wind of what you have...to say nothing of the wake babes...well, you’ll have more new friends than you can afford. So if you’re the type who likes to be alone with your thoughts on a peaceful no-wind day on the water... then you need to look elsewhere. Capt. John Wenz gives a once over to the MasterCraft ProStar 214V. You’ll never look at water sports the same way again.
Strap ‘em on here...
Boat Buying Tip
The Most Important
Boat-Buying Tip of All
We test boats and try to give buyers as much information as possible to guide their buying decision into the right vessel for their needs. However, we regret to say that we rarely come to grips with the most important factor of all. Occasionally we obliquely mention it, but it is a difficult and problematical subject to discuss in public. That rarely mentioned factor is the character of the builder, or the president of the company. His or her attitude makes all of the difference when it comes to a consumer having a satisfactory experience with a boat. And the same thing holds true for the boat dealer. In most cases, the difference between a boater having a successful boat experience and a miserable one rests on the experience, character, and integrity of the boat builder and dealer. How can you tell which builders and dealers have those three important characteristics and which don’t? There is no sure-fire way, but we will give you one litmus test to use...
Bringing Cool to Hot Summers
The fan base continues to grow over at Yamaha and the SX240 is one of the reasons why. Let’s see, she’s got the safety factor of jet drives, the transom patios that launched a thousand imitators, plenty of room onboard, and now... Yamaha has stepped up with one of the most versatile bow seating arrangements we’ve seen. If you haven’t looked at a Yamaha boat lately, then you’ve got to check out Capt. Steve’s video tour of the SX240. Then, when you’re done, take the price and compare it with everything else on your list. It’ll turn into a short list real fast.
Take it away Capt...
The New Skeeter FX 21:
Engineered for 4-Stroke Performance
In what may be a bass boat industry first, Skeeter Boat Company, which is owned by Yamaha, has gotten its boat designers and engineers together with those of Yamaha engine company to design a boat specifically for running with the New Yamaha VMAX SHO Four-Stroke engines. This is significant since virtually every bass boat on the market was designed for 2-stroke power. By designing the new Skeeter FX 21 specifically for four-stroke Yamahas, the Skeeter FX has “better hole shot and higher top-end speed, with the benefit of the better fuel economy that a four-stroke engine has to offer” according to Jeff Stone, Skeeter’s Senior VP and General Manager. It all sounds good, and we look forward to being asked to test the new boats so we can confirm that their actual performance meets the hype.
For now, let’s take a look at the obvious aspects of the FX 21...
Scout 245 Abaco:
Popular with Our Readers
We’ve gotten quite a bit of reader mail lately with nice things to say about the Scout 245 Abaco, so we thought we’d better take another look. Okay, so it doesn’t have the roominess in the cabin to sleep six, or even four, but for a couple who
wants to spend more time fishing as well as sleep overnight onboard once in a while, this setup is hard to beat. The cockpit and deck have some unique, forward-thinking features that we like and the aft seating and transom morph between a comfortable seat, storage compartment, and a dive or casting platform. The helm also has a comfortable feel with clever features of its own. All in all, this is a smart boat, that’s easy to handle and easy to use. What it lacks in its ability to handle crowds, it more than makes up for in innovation for the cruising couple, two fishing buddies, or dad with a little angler, to spend the night onboard. Join us as Capt. Steve takes us on a video tour showing the features that set the Scout 245 Abaco apart from the rest.
Check it out for yourself...
Sylvan Viper 206:
When the Lake Isn't Always Calm
Not every lake is “Golden Pond” and not every fishing trip is quiet enough to hear the loons in the background. Sometimes, there’s enough wind to add chop to the surface, but not enough to cancel your day. That’s where the Sylvan Viper 206 comes in. She has enough beam and freeboard to handle the days when the bass boat guys are sitting at home wishing they were out with you. Join Capt. Rob as he takes us on a video tour of the features that Sylvan brought to the waterfront with the Viper 206. Best of all, the Sylvan Viper 206 is affordable.
Take a ride with Capt. Rob...
Platinum Equity Says
It Will Be Aggressive
Yesterday morning press releases hit the Internet making the Platinum Equity acquisition of certain Genmar boat companies official. Those acquisitions include Ranger, Stratos, Champion, Wellcraft, Four Winns and Glastron boat brands; their factories and related equipment. From the tone of the press release breaking the official news it sounds to us as if Platinum Equity is loaded for bear. With a war chest of $3.5 billion according to its website, Platinum Equity could probably buy up most of the marine business in its weakened state and still have change for a McDonald’s Happy Meal. Indeed, Louis Samson, PE’s point man on this $70 million acquisition, says that its new company plans on being a “leader in the marine industry,” is “well-capitalized” and “will not hesitate to take advantage of attractive opportunities.” We haven’t heard that kind of talk in long time. With virtually every boat company hunkered down, the PE brands could gobble up huge market share the old fashioned way – through
All Ahead Full...
A Surprise at Every Turn
So when test day dawned for the Bayliner 205, we tossed Capt. Steve the keys and followed him out to the widest part of the lake for some long test runs. On the way, he would cross the wake of the chase boat, crank and bank, and pretty much just wring it out. Then he stopped and told us to get the camera on him while some impressions were still fresh. Turns out, the Bayliner had some surprising characteristics that weren’t expected: she wouldn’t pound into waves, didn’t throw the passengers off to one side in high speed turns, and had an overall gentle nature no matter what Capt. Steve did.
Check out the performance and handling video and you’ll see what we mean...
Premier 231 Alante:
Not Just Another Toon
When you start to look closely at the Premier 231 Alante, you start to notice the
little things that separate her from the average pontoon boat. The reinforced transom, all electrical connections are wrapped in plastic sleeves which are heat-shrunk to protect them from corrosion, a center pontoon that’s 36” wide with a 12” flat surface for better handling, seat cushions that are hinged rather than just lifting out... these are some of the little details that make a difference in the competitive world of pontoon boats. For the complete story, we sent Capt. John Wenz to check out these and other details and he gives us the story in a full video test.
You may just change your toon...
Sea Ray 230 Sundeck
The Sea Ray 230 Sundeck is one of the company’s most popular models. If you have ever wondered what one looks like, here is a video made by the folks at Sea Ray that gives you a thorough tour. The Sea Ray 230 has a 8’6” (2.59 m) beam, draws 37” (94 cm) drive down, and weighs 4,850 lbs. (2200 kgs.).
To see this Sea Ray promotional video...
Ranger 2250 SS:
Looking Beyond Bass
Ok, pop quiz. What do you get when you combine a bass boat, a deckboat, a center console, and a sportboat? The answer is, the Ranger Boats 2250 SS. It is easily
one of the most versatile hybrid designs that we have ever seen. So many builders are trying to combine fishing and family and leaving it at that, but the Ranger 2250 SS takes the best of several breeds and puts them all together in one mutation that really should have its own “type” designation. There are casting platforms bow and stern, fishboxes, water toy storage, a center console, tow pylon, and one of the best trailers on the market to boot. This is a design that does it all. And it’s one you have to see. Perhaps the fact that it was made by fishermen with families has something to do with its unique blend.
Check out Capt. Rob’s tour of the versatile Ranger Boats 2250 SS...
Flying Carp -- It Breaks Lady's Jaw
Some people are trying to turn lemons into lemonade by using flying Asian carp as
sort of skeet for their bows and arrows. That’s right, bow hunters have now become
boaters to sharpen their skills with these randomly jumping carp. Bass boats seem
to be the platforms of choice. Last summer Jodi Barnes (above) has just fired off an arrow
at one Asian carp as another took a shot to her head, breaking her jaw. For the rest of the story
Engine Oil Improvements
Our sponsor Royal Purple has gone through a lot of trouble to arrange many different kinds of tests to show the benefits of their products. Here is an interesting Royal
Purple video that shows a horsepower test on a GM engine block, not unlike those used by most marine engine manufacturers.
Throttle up here...
Well, we finally got our hands on the new dual action polisher from Shurhold and as soon as the arctic chill lifts, we will head out to one of our test boats and give it a thorough shakedown. As you can see here, it comes as a complete kit.
As an added incentive when purchasing a dual action pack use the Coupon Code: BTF,
you will receive a FREE $40 bonus pack with purchase of buffer. The pack includes
ProPolish Pad, ProPolish, and a Microfiber Towel. Visit Shurhold.com.
Court's In Session
Ady Gil vs. Shanon Maru
Because of the appalling Jury tampering that occurred two weeks ago in the BoatTEST.com Internet trial of Ady Gil vs. Shanon Maru, a mistrial was declared last week. Nearly 100 esteemed and knowledgeable members have submitted their arguments and three have been selected for the consideration of the new Jury, which is hereby impaneled. (No shirking of jury duty, please!) We expect all Jury members to be honorable, and vote only once. At stake are the reputations of the officers of the bridge on both vessels. This way to the Jury Room (speak to no one)...
Launch Ramp Follies
Coveted Ducky Award
Won by T. Linson
We were surprised at the number of company presidents and top executives who entered our “Launch Ramp Follies” contest two weeks ago. But given the state of business these days, perhaps it shouldn’t be so surprising. For those who missed it, we presented a YouTube video showing five hours of perfectly serene boat launchings into Lake Tahoe, proving that virtually anyone can do it with a little practice. The number of launchings according to our judge’s official count was 103. Several readers got that answer, but the first one to submit it was BoatTEST.com member T. Linson. We hope you cherish the coveted Ducky, always.
Vote for Your Favorite
Fads come and fads go in every industry and sport, and boating is no different. When the market contracts as it has done the last couple of years, builders naturally begin looking farther afield for sales. Thirty years ago, waterskiing was the rage. This decade it has been wakeboarding creating all of the waves. Over the last year or so, many builders have come out with boats they call multi-use, sticking a ski pole, wake tower or fishing seat on them, and maybe even a head or a bunk or two.
What do you think? Are they hitting the mark? Tell us what you do most with your boat. (select one)
Our hat is off to Formula for inviting owners of old Formula boats to have their boats refurbished at the factory. If you own an old Formula that has seen better days, now it can see those days again. This concept was introduced by Hatteras last year and we are glad to see Formula do it, too. Formula is also announcing that it is opening a showroom in its Decatur, Indiana factory location and is also putting its owners manuals on line. To find out about these three important customer sales and service announcements...
A Throwable Device:
You’ll Only Need it Once!
Recently we did an article on the Mustang Rescue Stick, pictured above. In the intro to the article we said that throwable devices were required on every boat and one of our perceptive readers -- as you usually are -- picked up on our mistake. They are actually only required on boats 16’ in length or longer, so thanks for the catch! Our second mistake, was to only use the article to promote the device. We asked Capt. Steve to give us a detailed review of Man Overboard (MOB) procedures...
Calling Chaparral 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 Chaparral
model you own...
Help Haiti Relief
The Miami Herald reported last week that nearly 50% of American households have donated an average of $35 to help Haiti. We are happy to report than many BoatTEST.com readers have visited the AmeriCares website and are contributing. 99% of the money donated to this Stamford, CT-based charity is used to buy the medicines and materials sent to Haiti. Join other BoatTEST.com members who are helping.
Visit the AmeriCares website...
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 --
Capt. Steve's Lesson #71
Hunting and Fishing From Your Boat
This week Capt. Steve goes over two lessons and guidelines on using your boat for hunting or fishing activities. This isn’t going to be about weapons safety or how to use a rifle or fishing rod correctly. What will be covered is simply using the boat as an additional tool for your hunting or fishing sports. Fisherman or hunters will usually have large decks on their boats so they can easily stand on either the bow or stern, and sometimes they have large motors to get to locations quickly. Stay a safe distance away from fisherman or hunters as they have usually been waiting a long time in an area for a bite or the right shot, and any noise or wake can disturb their concentration or scare off fish. These videos are just a snippet of basic information 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 --
Ducky Award Winner
"Saints fans heading to Miami."
- S. Cheramie
"I don't know why they're following me, I'm lost." - C. Miller
Honorable (almost) Mentions
"Hold my beer and watch this; FULL SPEED ASTERN!" - C. Combs
"NEVER EVER say we're on the fish on Channel 19." - M. Burton
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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