6 Low-Cost Boats//New Formula 29//8 New Reviews - 03/03/2010
BoatTEST Newsletter March 3, 2010 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
10th year anniversary
- Formula 290 BR
- Seaswirl 1905 CC
- Crownline 270 BR
- Tigé RZ2
- Trophy 2206 DC
- Glastron GLS 215 DB
- Yamaha SX 210
- Manitou Legacy 26
- Lund 186 Pro Sport GL
- Royal Purple Oil Change
- Shurhold Club Shine
- Beware of Chine Walking
- Sea-Doo's 75,000 Sportboat
- Sign Up a Friend
- Calling All Ranger Owners
- Pictures of the Week
- Have BoatTEST Work for You
- Looking for a New Boat
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

New Formula 290 BR: Refining the Elegant

Formula 290 BR
The new Formula 290 BR styling speaks for itself in what is sure to be one of the builder’s most popular boats.

Several years ago we tested the Formula 280 and were impressed with the way Formula finished what was at the time, one of industry’s largest bowriders. But time marches on, and so does Formula’s design department headed up by veteran John Adams. The new Formula 290 BR is a larger, much improved version of the old 280, which was pretty impressive in her day. The new boat weighs about 1600 lbs (727.27 kgs.) more, has a 22-degree deadrise instead of 21, and draws four inches more. But the big news is her layout and detail work which is far richer, with an exquisite finish. We sent Capt. Steve to put her through a full test and let us know what he thought. Check out our latest test of the 290 BR and see if you don’t agree...

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New Boat

Seaswirl 1905 CC:
A Boat Show-Stopper

Seaswirl 1905 CC
This "plain Jane" 19' Seaswirl center console was drawing crowds at the boat show.  But Why?

When we came across the Seaswirl 1905 CC at the boat show, there was a fair-sized gathering around her. We asked ourselves why? After all, what is so special about a 19’ Seaswirl? After looking closely, we came up with a lot of answers. For starters, she was in the affordability section of the show. Boats that are priced right tend to draw crowds, now more than ever. Further, the new consumer mantra is value, utility, practicality, and versatility and again the unspectacular Seaswirl had all of those attributes in spades. As you climb aboard and look closely, you begin to realize that this is no thrown together package, and her quiet, but useful features become self evident. Join us as Capt. Steve takes us on a walkthrough of the 1905 CC’s layout. His video tour is right here...

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New Video Review

New Crownline 270 BR:
Good Bowrider Utility

Crownline 270 BR
Join Capt. Steve as he takes a look at the new Crownline 270 BR which has a lot of utility at a reasonable price.

Crownline’s 270 BR is designed to hold a lot people and give all of your guests a thrilling day on the water for a reasonable price. The large “U”-shaped cockpit with table can seat as many people as far larger boats. Its walk-through to the bow is as large as we’ve seen on any bowrider and there is ample storage. The boat is suitable for skiing, tubing, and wakeboarding, or just hanging out and swimming. With a 300-hp 350 Mag single engine the boat has an MSRP in the low $80s. Capt. Steve takes us on a tour of the Crownline 270 BR and gives us his no-holds-barred opinions.  The video review is this way...

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New Video

Tigé RZ2:
Your Wake-Up Call

Tigé RZ2
Not only does Tigé make a boat that can dial in wake to precise levels, it also makes incredibly good looking boats, in our opinion. (Watch the video and see how many of these babes you can spot there.)

Today, we give you a test ride in the Tigé RZ2, a boat that has some of the most sophisticated technology in class. With a-unique-to-Tigé Convex V hull and TAPS² technology, this is a boat that allows you to dial in your exact wake like never before. And, not being ones to let that be their only claim to fame, Tigé took it to the next level of controllability and created Tigé Touch, a touch screen control pad that allows you to program the specific set of operating parameters for the ballast, trim, and speed into one of 20 different named parameters so that you can return the boat to them at the touch of a button. And they put all this into one of the coolest looking boats on the water. Check out our latest test video and you’ll agree... cool is hot.

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Trophy 2206 DC:
A Family Bowrider/Fishboat

Trophy 2206 DC
We think the Trophy 2206 DC is a boat for the times.

There is probably no boat type that is more versatile or more at home in any boating setting than a dual console fishing boat. The salty anglers will accept you, and the sportboat crowd will wonder what you know that they don’t. As everyone knows, Trophy is a Brunswick brand and has the philosophy of giving lots of value and utility for the buck. Combine that approach to boat building with the dual console design and you have the Trophy 2206 DC. It seems to us that this boat does an excellent job of being a successful crossover between family bowrider and basic fishing platform – all at an affordable price! The Trophy 2206 DC does not have all of the esoteric gadgets and gilhickies of flat-out fishing machines, but she doesn’t have the price tag either. In fact, its MSRP with a 200-hp Mercury Optimax engine is just $43,540. Capt. Steve steps aboard and shows us what you get for your money...

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Glastron GLS 215:
Details Make the Boat

Glastron GLS 215
When you see some of the details and features on the Glastron GLS 215 we think you’ll be impressed that the company has still kept the boat affordable.

There’s a lot of competition in the 21' (6.4 m) range of bowriders, so if you’re going to compete, you better have your act together. Glastron seems to be holding little back with their GLS 215. Etched stainless steel trim in places there others put nothing, carpeting with a pattern that gives it a subliminal wood-grain look, stainless bow scuff plate, and retro-style windshield are just a few examples of things all over the Glastron GLS 215 that make it tough on the high-priced competition. Capt. Rob gives us a look at what sets this boat apart from others in its class. Check it out here...

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New Video

Yamaha SX210:
Entry-Level Jet Boat Option

Yamaha SX210
The SX210 is Yamaha’s entry-level sportboat. It brings a large amount of family fun to the party for a relatively small amount of money.

Heading out on the water in a small boat is the staple of shore-side Americana. And in tough times like today, small boats are the workhorses of family good times, more than ever before. Yamaha has a line of sportboats that not only pack a lot of fun in a small space, but they do it for less money than much of the competition. That feature alone is typically the tipping point for most buyers, but when you add the safety factor of not having a spinning propeller under the swim platform, and two engines for the price of one, then the jet boats have a pretty strong sales proposition. Today, we do a video walk-through of one of the hottest sellers from Yamaha -- the SX210. Capt. Steve’s video tour is ready to go...

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26' Legacy

Manitou Pontoons Introduces
New “Living Room” Afloat

Manitou calls it their “Stern Entertainment System” (SES) and it is the latest new thing to hit the pontoon industry. It is two facing love seats with a table in the middle. How cool is that!

Now more than ever before pontoon manufacturers are offering customer customization that truly lets boaters “invent” their own toon. And, why not? A pontoon boat is little more than a platform upon which “furniture” can be arranged to suit each owner’s individual requirements. A leader in this area is Manitou, a company long known for its quality construction and superior customer service. Recently they introduced a new “module” called the SES, for Stern Entertainment System, which is actually like a cozy living room right on the water. We love the concept. Let’s take a look at the 26’ Legacy by Manitou and see what is possible...

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First Look

Lund’s 186 Pro Sport GL
Is Fiberglass and Affordable

Several years ago Lund started building in fiberglass to appeal to multi-specie fishermen who wanted to move up.

There are a lot of shapes made in fiberglass that just can’t be economically made from sheet aluminum. For that reason, several years ago Lund began building multi-specie boats out of fiberglass, yet was still able to keep them relatively light. Today, we take a look at the 2010 model 186 Pro Sport GL equipped with an outboard engine, DF, trolling motor and trailer, that is selling at a package MSRP of $29,995 – the same price as in 2009! Find out the details and why we think it is a good value...

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Buyer of the Week

Canadian Couple Travels 6,324 KM
To Buy Boat -- And Wins Coveted Ducky!

Hydra-Sports 2500 Map of Prince Rupert
This is the trailer park outside of Prince Rupert where Wes and Rose park their Hydra-Sports 2500 each evening for two weeks in the summer. Note how the 2500 is buttoned up with cruising canvas. Prince Rupert is on Kaien Island and the terminus of Route 16 that bisects British Columbia and some of the most spectacular scenery anywhere. Note Ketchikan, Alaska at the top of the map.

Today's "Buyer of the Week" drove 6,324 KM to pick up and return with a new Hyrda-Sports Vector 2500VX.  If that doesn't rate a coveted Ducky Award, we don't know what does!  Wes and Rose Markowsky take an expedition every summer 1600 km from their home in Alberta, Canada to Prince Rupert on British Columbia’s rugged and exciting Pacific coast. (If you have never cruised or fished in BC’s “Inside Passage” then take our advice and put it on your “Bucket List.”)  To explore  and fish BC's exciting -- and often rough -- coastal waters the Markowskys needed a boat with a high freeboard that also had a reputation for rugged reliability.  After two years of research they settled on  the Vector 2500VX with twin Yamahas 200 4-stroke engines.   Find out how they selected the boat and what they do with it...

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Royal Purple's
Micro-Glass Oil Filter

Royal Purple Filter
Royal Purple designed its oil filter from scratch using modern technology (i.e. not paper.)

Do you really know what is behind your oil filter? Does it matter? Well, when you are miles away from your dock or home port, yes, it does matter. The team at Royal Purple tells us that they have designed an oil filter they feel provides better protection and one of the ways they achieve this is with the media that they use. This is a 100% synthetic micro-glass media that provides particle removal with 99% filtration efficiency at 25 microns. Since most other filters utilize a cellulose based media, they feel the Royal Purple filter is better. They have also designed the filter to be less restrictive in the flow of the oil, allowing more oil to flow through the filter with greater ease. Open your fill cap here to get every little detail about these filters.


Join Shurhold's
"Club Shine" for Points

Shurhold Club Shine
Shurhold, our partner in maintenance, is starting a club designed to give you cleaning maintenance tips and let you earn discount points toward purchases.

If you are one of those boaters who is not happy unless your boats is clean, gleaming and standing tall, then you will be interested in Shurhold’s new “Club Shine.” Membership is free, and just for joining you get 200 points and the company’s free newsletter. You can then get access to Shurhold’s product reviews and cleaning tips, as well as being able to submit your own articles and tips (earning you even more points, of course). Further, for each $1 you spend with Shurhold, you will earn 2 points! To join and learn more...

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Boat Handling

Beware of
Chine Walking

Chine Walking
This is a screen-grab from a video of a high-speed drag boat beginning to chine walk. Watch the video to see what happens next.

Some boats when going fast (over 25 mph) in certain conditions can begin “chine walking.” The video presented here shows exactly what chine walking is and what can happen if you don’t stop it quickly. A boat chine walks when it gets into a rolling oscillation and heels over, is stopped by the buoyancy of its chine, rights itself to an even keel, but then keeps on rolling until the other chine digs in creating buoyancy causing the boat to roll back the other way. It all happen faster than it takes to explain it. When it happens you are in an unstable and potentially dangerous condition, particularly in small boats, such as a bass boat. You must immediately stop the chine walking. The best way to do it is to quickly back off on the throttle. The cure for chine walking may be to tighten the steering, or moving weight aft in the boat. In all likelihood the longitudinal center of gravity is too far forward. Now, let’s go to the video tape...

Industry News

75,000th Sea-Doo Sportboat Launched

362 dedicated and passionate boat construction and assembly personnel celebrate a milestone in boat construction for BRP’s Sea-Doo division in Benton, Illinois.

On February 11th a 21’ 2010 Sea-Doo 210 Challenger SE rolled off the assembly line at BRP’s 400,000 sq. ft. (37,000 sq. meters) factory in Benton, Illinois. In operation since 1996, the facility has an array of semi-automated computer controlled fiberglass processes and automotive-style assembly lines. Since BoatTEST.com started in business 10 years ago we have tested 16 boat models Manufactured by the folks seen in the picture above. Currently, Sea-Doo manufacturers 9 sportboat models from 15’ to 23’ and the company is generally credited with opening up boating to a whole new audience of young skippers. More...

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Member Services

Are You Looking
For a New Boat?

Member Services
The staff at BoatTEST.com has helped hundreds of members with their new boat buying from boats 15' to over 100'.  Make sure you have BoatTEST in your corner.

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 --

Free Gift Idea

Give This Newsletter
To a Boating Friend

Aussie Pontoon
The BoatTEST.com e-newsletter is issued 50 times per year and is filled with boat reviews, engine reports and how-to info.

Why not share the information you get in the BoatTEST.com weekly newsletters with your boating friends? They’ll thank you for this thoughtful gift.  Right here...

* Remember, BoatTEST does not spam. Your friends will be sent a link that they may use choose to opt-in with or not.

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Ranger Boats 183 Ghost
Ranger Boats 183 Ghost
Ranger Boats 1750 Reata
Ranger Boats 1750 Reata
Ranger Boats 178VS
Ranger 178VS

Owners Reviews
Calling Ranger Boats 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 Ranger Boats model you own...

Ranger Boats 173 Ghost
Ranger Boats 185 VS
Ranger Boats 1850 Reata
Ranger Boats 188VS
Ranger Boats 2000 Bay Ranger
Ranger Boats 208 VX
Ranger Boats 620 VS
Ranger Boats Z20 Comanche
Ranger Boats 210 Reata
Ranger Boats 521 VX

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Pictures of the Week

Only in Dreams?

Picture of the Week

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

Picture of the Week 2

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

Send us your favorite boating images.

When sending, let us know what boat you were on, where and when the photo was taken.

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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BoatTEST.com Lesson #75

Using Sound Signals -- Part II

Lesson 75
If you are holding position or your engines are in reverse as in the case with the drawbridge in this picture above, the signal is giving three short blasts.

This week Capt. Steve will go over nine lessons and guidelines on using sound signals to communicate from boat to boat. These videos represent the second part of the series on sound signals. Capt Steve will review the rules and go over a few scenarios where signals are not only important but crucial. Sounding your horn lets other boats know what your intentions are. For instance, what do you do when you meet another vessel head to head; or you meet another vessel and you’re on the port side; what to do when leaving a fuel dock; or, going around a bend where you can’t see if other boats are coming your way? These are all questions which will be answered in this video series. These videos are basic procedures and 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 these video boating lessons every week on BoatTEST.com.
To view this week’s lessons --

To view past lessons --

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No Ducky Award!

Ducky Winner

Jury Deadlocked!

This week BoatTEST’s panel of judges was unable to reach a 60% super majority on a Ducky Winner without risking a food fight in the cafeteria at world headquarters. As a result, we are putting the 15 finalists to a democratic vote by the whole newsletter membership, where the highest number will win. Please vote for only one of the entries, and no campaigning allowed! We ask our members to take there responsibility seriously, knowing that few honors in the boating world are more cherished than the coveted Ducky Award. To read the captions of the 15 finalists and cast your vote...

What's Going
On Here?


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.

We need reader help!

If you have a picture that you think needs some explanation by our witty and clever readers, please send it to: lis@boattest.com.

BoatTEST.com, LLC
51 Bank Street, Suite 2A
Stamford, CT 06901

All articles, Captains’ Reports, video content or other material which appear on BoatTEST.com and in its newsletters are accurate and factual to the best knowledge of BoatTEST.com and its staff.  All findings, beliefs, experiences, or endorsements presented are the honest opinions of BoatTEST.com or its contributors. In compliance with FTC 16 CFR Part 255 BoatTEST.com advises its readers that content that appears in its newsletter or on its website may have been produced for compensation or the prospect of future compensation. BoatTEST.com makes no claims for the veracity or motivation of reader comments, Owners’ Reports, and other contributions which are all clearly labeled as such.