We Look at E-TEC // Should You Tow? // How to Trim - 03/17/2010
BoatTEST Newsletter March 17, 2010 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
10th year anniversary
- Evinrude 150-HO
- Mako 212 CC
- Tigé RZ4
- Formula 290 BR
- Yamaha FX Cruiser SHO
- Parti Kraft 2386
- Cranchi CSL 27
- World Cat 290 CC
- Inside Sea-Doo's Factory
- Sea Tow's Services
- Discover Batteries
- Shurhold Cleaning Products
- Wellcraft Owners Reports
- Member Services
- Sign Up a Friend
- Trailering Preparation
- Pictures of the Week
- Work with BoatTEST
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Evinrude 150 E-TEC:
We Take a Look
"Under the Hood"

Captain Steve takes off the cowling to see what sets the Evinrude 150-HO apart from the others.

For the last several years Evinrude has made some bold claims about the properties of their E-TEC line of engines... things such as “extended life, years before requiring initial maintenance, and then there’s that ‘continuing to run with no oil’” claim. We decided to take an in-depth look at some of the components in a typical E-TEC, in this case the 150-HO model, and see what it is that makes them... well, what they are. But more to the point, we set out to answer the question of what is different about them, and can they keep running for up to five hours with no oil. Check out our latest video tour of the Evinrude 150-HO E-TEC and see if you’re convinced that this engine solves a lot of problems, or just puts a new coat of paint on them.

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New Video

Mako 212 Center Console:
Just the Facts

Mako 212 CC
Notice the high bow rails and 2.5” thick rub rail. And check out the grab rail added to the T-top support.

Take a 21' 5" (6.53 m) center console, and give it a full 8' 6" (2.6 m) beam and drop a standard Suzuki 150 onto the transom and what do you get? At Mako, the answer is another winner. Long time builders of solid, no nonsense boats, Mako’s 212 Center Console not only has the tools that make a nice fishing package, they also offer eleven different engine choices and a host of options that, depending on the type of fishing you intend to do, will assure you a boat dialed into your parameters. The base price, with an upgrade to a 200 XL Optimax engine, is a no hassle, no haggle $39,995. Join us as we take a video tour of the Mako 212 CC and see if this is your next fishing rig. Troll your mouse here...

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Tigé RZ4:
A Look at the Layout

Tigé RZ4
Tigé deserves high marks for good looks, and the layout is functional and comfortable.

We found the layout of the Tigé RZ4 interesting, especially when compared to other wakeboats, mostly because something is missing... the big engine box in the middle of the cockpit. Tigé’s boats are all inboards utilizing V-drive transmissions, so their layouts are more inline with a typical bowrider with wide open space. The pickle-forked bow also allows for more seating room. For other features of the RZ4 layout, check out this video. You’ll never miss not having that engine box.

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New Test

Formula 290 BR:
Time to Step Up

Formula 290 BR
If you love the bowrider style of boating but your current boat is too small, not to worry... Formula has you covered.

We recently tested the Formula 290 Bowrider and came away with the feeling that several folks with smaller bowriders in the low to mid twenty foot range will suddenly get an urge to trade up. At 29' (8.84 m) the 290 represents that sweet spot in size where you can expand your boating range without getting out of the comfort zone of what you feel you can handle. You can still do all the things you’ve been doing, but with the 290 not only can you do it with more people, you can also go farther away from the dock. Check out our test video of the new Formula 290 BR. Is it time to step up?

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PWC Test

Yamaha FX Cruiser SHO:
Going the Distance Has Never Been So Fun

Yamaha Cruiser FX SHO
For a small family, getting an affordable cruiser with trademark Yamaha handling is an attractive proposition.

Yamaha has such a diverse line of WaveRunners that you don’t have to settle for the one-size-fits-all mindset. Case in point... the Yamaha FX Cruiser SHO. This PWC was made for comfort while cruising long distances. The seat is multi-level with a raised support that wraps around you. The throttle’s “cruise control” feature keeps the speed settings simple, while the adjustable tilt steering and raised foot chocks allow both driver and passengers to simply relax and enjoy the ride. But if you really want to let loose, the supercharged engine will give you breathtaking acceleration when you want it. And when you don’t, there is a “low RPM” mode to keep even the kids safe. Check out our video tour of the Yamaha FX Cruiser SHO.

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New Boat

Parti Kraft Celebration 250 Wet Bar:
A New Wave of Fun

Parti Kraft
This Celebration 250 Wet Bar adds a whole new level to your good times.

There are over 40 companies building pontoon boats, so it follows then, that if you are a builder, you have to bring more to the party than two toons and pretty seats. Versatility, functionality, unusual amenities, and a little pizzazz will be the honey that attracts customers in this discerning market environment. The Parti Kraft Celebration 250 Wet Bar is one of those boats that include features that make you stop and say “well that’s cool”. Even with the standard package, this boat brings more to the... well..., “parti”, than most. Start adding options and watch out! Read our full report to see just what possibilities there are for on-the-water good times. Don’t forget to bring the designated driver...

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Italian Style

Cranchi CSL 27:
Another Italian Work of Art?

Cranchi CSL 27
The Cranchi CSL 27 has a LOA of 28’1” (8.56 m), a beam of 9’ 5” (2.87 m) and she draws 2’ 10" (.86 m). Check out the center mounted helm, the expansive sunpad, and the dedicated space for a life ring.

If we have one general criticism of American-built sportboats it is that they look very much the same. Often, in class, they have the same layouts, use hardware from the same vendors, use the same engines, and make the same performance claims. It is one of the reasons why boaters come to BoatTEST.com to do their research – they are trying to sort out what is the advantage of one boat over another because they nearly all look alike. The great thing to our mind about the Cranchi CSL 27 is that it is different! One thing is for sure, the Italians certainly have a way of thinking outside the box. Just a glance at the layout will show that this boat is featuring some characteristics that you just don’t find in American boats. We’re not saying that they are better or worse, just that they are a breath of fresh air. Let’s take a closer look at this Italian beauty and see what is noteworthy.

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Second Look

World Cat 290 CC:
Is She as Roomy as She Looks?

World Cat 290 CC
Is the World Cat 290 CC as roomy as we’ve heard?

We continue to de-bunk the claims from mono-hull jingoists that cat boats simply don’t cut it. “They perform differently”, “they lean outboard in turns”... and, now it’s “they’re not as spacious as they look”. Okay, let’s see. The only way to show it is to do a video walkthrough and see it with a person onboard. And not a dwarf either, an average-sized Capt. Steve. Come along as he takes us through the World Cat 290 CC and checks out some of the features and the space onboard this twin-hulled fishing machine.  Bring all the gear you want, even what you don’t want --

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Should You Render Towing Assistance?

“To tow, or not to tow,” that is the question. And it is a complicated one. But there is a right answer.

If you came upon the boat pictured above we’d like to think that you’d stop and help in any way you could. But just what does that mean? Could doing the right thing lead to something going horribly wrong? To get answers to these questions and others we sent Capt. Steve to sit down with the folks at our new sponsor, Sea Tow. Here’s his report...

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At the Factory

Engineering a Sea-Doo:
Inside the Power Plant

Sea-Doo Rotax
Benoit Chapdelaine, project manager at Sea-Doo, talks to us about the technology behind these engines and what sets them apart.

It is a cut throat world when it comes to musclecraft PWCs and technology is the name of the game. We want to help you read through the hype and get to what makes the difference. So how does Sea-Doo get 255-hp out of a 1.5 liter three cylinder engine? This first video takes a look, by sending the BoatTEST team into the engineering department and seeing for ourselves.

Sea-Doo Assembly
Come along with us as Captain Rob tours
the Sea-Doo plant in Valcourt, Canada.

You can learn a lot by watching how a PWC is assembled and that’s why we wanted you to see first hand what goes on behind closed doors at the Sea-Doo plant in Valcourt, Canada. We took a close look at the entire assembly process to give you a better understanding of what’s behind the cool graphics and marketing hype.


Shurhold Dual Action Polisher
Tough and Effective

Seen here is the entire kit as it comes retail.

If you have ever worked with a buffer/polisher before, you know that there are many choice and variations when it comes to pads. You probably have also experienced the same frustration the BoatTEST team has with the pads soaking up all the product. Let’s face it, the point of the polish is to be on the hull or surface you are trying to polish, not getting soaked up into the pad. Shurhold claimed they found a way around this issue, and you know what? They did. We recently put this to the test with not just the Shurhold brand of polish, but with two other brands. We wanted to make sure it wasn’t the polish that was preventing the absorption.  At the risk of sounding too positive, there really is a difference.  This is worth further exploration...

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.

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Wellcraft 210 Fisherman
Wellcraft 210 Fisherman
Wellcraft 210 Sportsman
Wellcraft 252 Fisherman
Wellcraft 252 Fisherman

Owners Reviews
Calling Wellcraft 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 Wellcraft model you own...

Wellcraft 27 Scarab Tournament
Wellcraft 270 Coastal
Wellcraft 30 Scarab Sport
Wellcraft 340 Coastal
Wellcraft 35 Scarab Tournament
Wellcraft 352 Tournament
Wellcraft 360 Coastal

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Member Services

Are You Looking
For a New Boat?

Member Services
The staff at BoatTEST.com has helped thousands of members with their new boat buying from boats 15' to over 100'.

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

BoatTEST Newsletter
The BoatTEST.com e-newsletter is filled with boat reviews, engine reports and how-to info.

Why not share the information you get in the BoatTEST.com weekly newsletter 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 choose to opt-in with or not.

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Allstate Trailering Tips

Captain Steve's Trailering Tips

Trailering Tips
Trailering your boat sounds simple – and is – IF you follow all of the trailer preparation tips that Capt. Steve recommends.

Being a good boater starts long before you get out on the water. And if you have not properly prepared your trailer rig you may never even make it. Just as airplane pilots walk around their planes checking out control surfaces before they get into the cockpit, so too, should you, make a careful check of all the straps, chains, connections, bolts and landing gear on your trailer before you head to the launch ramp. Capt. Steve gives us his take on the best way to prep so that you will not have a costly accident on the road...

Product Review

Learn More
About Batteries

Discover Batteries
Captain Rob Smith reviews Discover Energy's line of batteries.

Is your battery an AGM? Don’t know what that means? Discover the pros and cons of three main types of batteries and decide what would be best for your boat. Capt. Rob gets to the core of batteries with some help from our friends at Discover Batteries. See why gel cells have less power for comparable size wet cell, and why AGM (absorbed glass matt) may be the better technology. Learn more here...

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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 #76

How to Trim Your
Outboard or Sterndrive Boat

Lesson 76
Trimming your drive correctly will give you a better ride and better fuel economy.

This week Capt. Steve goes over seven new video lessons and guidelines on how to trim your outboard or sterndrive boat. You’ll learn about the advantages of trimming your drive correctly, how to reduce bowrise, when to raise your drive, what to look out for, and making sure you never run your engine dry; this means when trimming the engine you’ll want to make sure the propeller is not out of 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 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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Ducky Award Winner

Ducky Winner

First Place

"Let's see if Cake Boss can top this!  Rolled fondant with a pound cake hull."
- A. Kamuf

Second Place

"In this economy many of our customers have told us that they can get by without all the extras.  We think our newest model hit the mark."  - E. Kuhl

Honorable (almost) Mentions

"Yeah man, I made it myself.  Used spray foam, took a knife and whittled it down."
- J. Miller

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 3-17

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 needs some explanation, send it to: lis@boattest.com.

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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 voracity or motivation of reader comments, Owners’ Reports, and other contributions which are all clearly labeled as such.