World Cat Test // 7 European Yachts // Rough Sea Tips - 03/24/2010
BoatTEST Newsletter March 24, 2010 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust
10th year anniversary
- Steel Yachts Superior
- World Cat 320 CC
- Formula 31 PC
- Vri-Jon Contessa 40
- Doral Fit & Finish
- Mochi Craft Dolphin 44
- Fairline Targa 58
- Tiara 4300 Open
- SeaRanger 50 Trawler
- Trader 64 Sunliner
- Beneteau Swift Trawler 52
- Regal 52 Sport Coupe
- Regal Factory Tour
- Fountain 38 CC
- Seamanship: Be Prepared
- Royal Purple Test
- Shurhold Products
- Tiara Owners Reports
- Pictures of the Week
- Have BoatTEST Work for You
- Member Services
- Spread the Boating Word
- Lesson of the Week
- Ducky Award Winner

Dutch Steelyachts'
Fully Customizable 63

Steelyachts Superior 2000
When working with Steelyachts, be prepared to take a long hard look at the type of cruising you intend to do, as the entire layout will be built around your specific use.

If you had to design your own yacht, what would it look like? What if you were given a hull form and some sample layouts? Of course then it would be much easier to picture yourself in the boat and decide if it’s right for you or not. You would have the ability to enlarge a cabin by sacrificing the one next door, move a bulkhead to open up a room more, or even add a bulkhead to turn one room into two. The choice is yours on a Steelyachts, a Dutch company that has built more than 400 fully customized yachts. Come aboard and take a look at how one owner wanted his laid out and see if it gives you ideas for your next yacht... in steel!

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New Test

World Cat 320 CC:
Full Test Video Finally Resolves Issues

World Cat 320 CC
With a high freeboard forward, the World Cat 320 CC is ready for about anything the world can dish out. Read Capt. Steve’s report which is one of the most thorough ones we have ever read on a catamaran.

World Cat has been claiming that their 320 CC is a top notch offshore fishing machine with more room and features than far larger mono hulls. From past World Cat tests we figured that was probably true, but we wanted to learn more about the 320 CC, which we feel is just the right size for serious offshore work. We had questions, such as does she lean into or away from a turn, is she wet, and will she stuff it in a following sea? We sent Capt. Steve down to check out the World Cat 320 CC, and basically told him to take it out into the Gulf Stream and give her hell. To record the test and the questions we just raised so you could see with your own eyes how this machine behaves, we sent along our trusty cameraman.

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New Test

We Test the:
Formula 31 PC

Formula 31 PC
We tested the Formula 31 PC recently and found another jewel in the lineup.

BoatTEST recently completed a test of the Formula 31 PC near Merritt Island, FL and came away with some important insights into the functionality of this top-tier pocket cruiser. In the test video and captain’s report, we reveal operational characteristics and give a close look at the features that make this such a popular model in the Formula lineup – one that now carries 24 different models. To see what we liked and didn’t like, check out this operational video and full report.

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Steel Boat

Vri-Jon Contessa 40:
Canal and Coastwide Cruiser

Vri-Jon Contessa 40
From Ossenzijl in the Netherlands, comes this cruising yacht that serves coastal or canal cruisers alike. Notice how the single stainless steel rubrail becomes four at the stern.

From the Netherlands comes the Vri-Jon Contessa 40. Vri-Jon (pronounced Vree-Yahn) has been building steel-hulled yachts from 37’-50’ (11 m- 15 m) since 1985 for European boaters wishing to tour both coastal sites as well as Europe’s extensive system of canals. Today we take a look at their most popular boat, the Contessa 40. This is a totally customizable boat, which means that Vri-Jon builds to order, and as such, builds only about 8-10 yachts a year. Let’s explore the Contessa 40 and dream about the perfect boat...

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Doral Yachts’ Fit and Finish:
The Inside Story

Most workers in the Doral upholstery shop have been doing their jobs for well over 20 years.

It’s no secret that Doral boats carry up-market price tags. But, what is it about Doral Yachts that commands a premium? For one thing, when it comes to upholstery and furnishings, Doral, in our opinion, has one of the most sophisticated interior and exterior design schemes and upscale materials list in the industry. Doral has an international appeal and so their fabric choices demand a higher level of attention. The result is a level of detail -- and taste! -- that goes into every cushion, seat, table and bulkhead covering in the boat. But that is only part of the story. To see yacht upholstery done right, check out this video...

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New Boat

Mochi Craft Dolphin 44:
Down East Goes Italian

Mochi Craft Dolphin 44
The Mochi Craft Dolphin 44 makes an ideal picnic boat and weekender that is sure to turn heads wherever you take her.

Why is it that whenever Italian is added to anything, it just seems to get better? A case in point is the Mochi Craft Dolphin 44. Had it been designed and built in the U.S. it would be a functional Down East-style lobster boat with straight lines, utilitarian seating on deck, and the same layout below as in virtually every boat in class. But when designed and built in Italy, the Down East express hardtop concept isfa transformed into an elegant work of art with flowing lines, graceful curves, and below a layout with two en suite staterooms, plus a galley. More remarkable is the fact that the master stateroom is not in the bow and it has full standing headroom! And there is even optional crew quarters! And if all of this is not enough to get your attention, there is even a garage for your tender! Mama Mia! Let’s take a close look at how the Italians take the lobster boat concept and give it some Italian flair...

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New Boat

Fairline Targa 58 Gran Turismo:
Made for a European Grand Tour

Fairline Targa 58 Gran Turismo
Check out the boarding ladder at the swim platform.  It is angled and includes a handrail. Notice how the sun shade extends from the overhead.

With much anticipation, luxury yacht builder Fairline rolled out its new Targa 58 Gran Turismo at the London Show in January.  We had been actively watching and waiting for her debut as this boat, according to the builder, was garnering orders even before the first hull popped out of the mold. By all first appearances, those first buyers won't be disappointed. Take a look at this new 58 now that she’s splashed and ready for her close-up. Bring your camera and follow us...

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New Boat

Tiara Yachts’
New 4300 Open

Tiara 4300 Open
Fresh from her debut at the Miami Boat Show, the Tiara 4300 Open is currently making the rounds.

The newly-launched Tiara 4300 Open was designed to replace the hugely popular 4200 Open and serve as a response to customer feedback. Some significant design changes were made to the layout, and some others were carried over from the old 4200. The bottom line is a (slightly) bigger and (very much) better yacht. Given her fast-paced boat show schedule, current images aren’t even available on this boat yet, and won’t be until about the middle of next month, but until they are, we wanted to point out some of the features that are new and unique to this boat. Let’s take a look...

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British Cruiser

SeaRanger 50 Trawler:
Passagemaking in a Tri-Cabin

SeaRanger 50 Trawler
With a range of up to 880 miles at displacement speed, the only thing standing between you and the horizon are the dock lines.

With the SeaRanger 50’s semi-displacement hull, you can cruise to your destination at speeds in the low 20-kt. range and then pull back to a more sedate 8-10 kts. and spend days exploring the area. With high bulwarks and beefy rails, she has a good seakeeping mission statement, and her interior allows for a choice of either two or three cabins, depending on your intended use. All of the while keeping with a traditional tri-cabin cruiser profile, as opposed to a more traditional trawler look. Hence, the absence of features such as a Portuguese bridge. Take a look at the video tape...

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Four Staterooms

Trader 64 Sunliner:
Cruising In Comfort, Near or Far

Trader 64 Sunliner
Whether cruising at displacement speed across an ocean, or at planing speed to a coastal destination, the Trader 64 Sunliner gets you there in style. Check out the wing seating in the flybridge for a “can’t be beat” view.

Trader Motor Yachts bills itself as the number one long range motoryacht brand in the UK. Taking a close look at the Trader 64 Sunliner, that may not be a far-fetched claim. They managed to fit four staterooms and three heads into a 64’ (19.8 m) boat and still make the master a full-beam. Her galley aft main deck layout is elegant and functional. A large dining area occupies the aft deck. The lower helm is on a raised deck aiding night operations, and we love the wing seating on the flybridge deck. Everything about this long range cruiser tells us that she’s made for ease of operation by a cruising couple and their guests. Check out our video tour of the Trader 64 Sunliner...

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New Boat

Beneteau Swift Trawler 52:
The Popular 42 Gets a Big Sister

Beneteau Swift Trawler 52
Continuing on with the popularity of their Swift Trawler 42, Beneteau, a longtime sailboat manufacturer, has both feet firmly planted on powerboat ground.

Long range power boating is coming into vogue, as a growing list of baby boomers are attracted to this realm. Nevertheless, many of these LRC boaters are not ready for cruising speeds of 8 knots. So while distance cruising is finding its niche, so is the semi-displacement cruising boat with LRC aspirations. Clearly, there’s something to be said for expediting the trip to the destination, and then loitering in the area for days before zipping back to the office at the end of a long weekend. Longtime sailboat manufacturer Beneteau has been riding high with the success of its Swift Trawler 42, so it was inevitable that Beneteau developed the 52. However, true to Beneteau’s heritage, this is not simply a stretched version of her smaller sibling. The 52 is in a class all her own in the Beneteau line-up. BoatTEST takes a closer look and sees what Beneteau has done to make the next generation of their powerboat line.

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In the Factory

Regal Factory
Tour Video

Regal Factory
The Regal Yachts factory in Orlando is now welcoming customers for showroom and factory tours.

Last Saturday, March 20th marked the day that Regal opened its “No Sales Showroom” in conjunction with factory tours. Now for the first time, you can check out all 26 models at the same time, plus tour the Regal Factory to see exactly how its boats are built and even talk to the people who build them. We cannot think of a better way to gain confidence in a new purchase. For a sneak peek at the factory tour, check out this video of our recent visit and then go to the Regal website link at the bottom to register for your “boarding pass” and take your own personal factory and showroom tour. This is a hard hat and safety goggles area...

Sport Coupe

Regal 52 Sport Coupe: The Inside Story

Regal 52 Sport Coupe
Not only is the Regal 52 Sport Coupe an elegant boat, but the interior opens up a wealth of choices for the discriminating buyer.

When thinking about buying a boat, it helps to take yourself out of the showroom and onto the boat with an eye towards how it will be used, whether it be day-to-day, or for simple weekends away. We took it one step further and decided to look at the process of buying a Regal 52 Sport Coupe from a woman’s perspective, and visualize, not only the choices in layout, but materials and pattern options as well. The video helps to show the boat buying procedure in a real world aspect that sometimes gets lost when you look at a boat on the hard or at a boat show. Join Charity Hughes as she takes us through the inside story on the Regal 52 Sport Coupe.

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High Performance

Fountain 38 CC:
Prelude to a Boat Test

Fountain 38 CC
The Fountain 38 CC has a LOA of 38’ (11.56 m) and a beam of 10' 6” (3.2 m).
Top speed? Reggie tells us 75 mph! We’ll see about that.

There are still “T’s” to cross and “i’s” to dot, but it appears that we’ll be testing the Fountain 38 CC soon to verify its performance and handling. It’s no secret that this boat will be fast, after all... it is a Fountain and the very name is synonymous with speed. But we do have some reader questions to answer on a full test, not the least of which is “what’s her top speed really?” And, what is her top speed if Reggie is NOT at the helm – can mere mortals squeeze the kind of speeds out of these boats that Reggie can? For some of the other questions that we’ll be answering, check out our report on the 38 CC. If there’s anything you’d like to know, ask in the comments section at the end of the report.

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Are You Ready for
Heavy Weather?

Preparation and education can keep you from enduring a life-threatening experience.

Imagine this scenario:  Clinging to his overturned 14-foot boat, the father desperately searched for his family. Seeing his wife behind him, clinging to their seven-year-old daughter and a loose seat cushion, he yelled, “Are you alright?” Then he scrambled around the stern to find his sons. There they were, treading water 15 or 20 feet away. They weren’t under the boat, thank God, but they weren’t wearing life jackets either – none of them were. It happened so fast.

The day on the lake was perfect until a late afternoon squall popped up. With barely enough time to weigh anchor and make a dash for the marina, he ran too fast across the deep swells, buried his bow and flipped the boat, launching himself and his family overboard. In a vessel built for flat calm, he found himself in his first rough-water situation and he clearly wasn’t prepared for it.  To read what happened next and to learn how to prepare for the unexpected... educate yourself here.


Royal Purple Oil Test:
After a Season of Use

Royal Purple
BoatTEST test engine: Yamaha 1812cc four-stroke,
four cylinder supercharged engine.

In June of last year we began a long term test of Royal Purple Synthetic motor oil in one of our PWC test engines. We started by changing out the oil filter and draining and replacing the oil in our test engine with a leading synthetic brand, rated SEA 10W-30. Our test was on a high performance Yamaha 1812cc four-stroke, four cylinder engine that was supercharged and rated at 210-hp. After warming up the engine we ran two complete sets of test numbers, then we changed out the oil filter and oil again, but this time with Royal Purple.  We then let the engine go all season long. See what happened next...


Shurhold System:
"One Handle Does It All"

Shurhold System
Make cleaning your boat easier with Shurhold products.

Now that warmer weather is upon us, it is time to remove the boat cover, clear out the cockpits, and get onboard to find the pleasant messes the winter has left behind. The BoatTEST team has used the Shurhold System for over a year now and we think the system is great. Even in winter, the adjustable handle and Water Blade came in handy when it came to cleaning snow off of the cars. We find the system to be very easy to use and effective. There are several different handles to choose from, such as the fishing series, fixed lengths, or the different sized telescoping handles. After a year, we can tell you that our opinion on the durability of these products is very good. They all come with the Shurhold exclusive SHUR-LOK quick release system that positively locks the Shurhold handle quickly and easily to different Shurhold attachments. When it comes to attachments, there is definitely no shortage.  All in all, there are about forty of them from different brushes to boat hooks to the Water Blade. Dig into the sea bag and see for yourself -

Promo: FREE Boat hook attachment with purchase of any handle (40" or larger) Coupon Code: BTH Exp. 4/30/2010

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Tiara 5800 Sovran
Tiara 5800 Sovran
Tiara 4800 Convertible
Tiara 4800 Convertible
Tiara 4300 Sovran
Tiara 4300 Sovran

Owners Reviews
Calling Tiara Owners

By harnessing the reach of the World Wide Web and the incredible number of visitors to, 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. Give fellow readers your input, no matter what Tiara model you own...

Tiara 3900 Convertible
Tiara 3900 Sovran
Tiara 3600 Open
Tiara 3500 Sovran
Tiara 3000 Open

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Pictures of the Week

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If you are currently researching new yachts 30' or larger, the BoatTEST staff will be happy to provide their expertise and guidance to you via email or phone. This is part of our member services program and there is no charge. We do not sell boats and we are not a dealer. Our purpose is to provide you with our insights and recommendations and to leverage our industry relationships in your favor. Sign in here --

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How to Dock Your Twin Inboard Boat

Lesson 77
Always have your lines ready before approaching the dock. Once dockside, tie the bow line first, then the stern line.

This week Capt. Steve goes over six new lessons and guidelines on basic boat handling and docking procedures. Learn the difference between docking inboards and direct drives, how to turn quickly by adding thrust, and why twins allow you to maneuver easier. Learn how to pivot the boat for close quarter maneuvering, move the boat sideways without a bow thruster, and how to back into a slip. Strong wind and current can make docking a difficult task, watch and learn how to use the wind and current to your advantage, and how to control your boat’s drift towards a dock. These are basic procedures which all recreational boaters should be aware of. The videos presented this week are part of’s USCG-approved boating course called “Smart Boating.” Watch these video boating lessons every week on

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Ducky Winner

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"I mighta bought more dingy than I need."
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"The ultimate speedboat/wakeboard boat combo!!"   - W. Howell

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