We Test the:
Formula 31 PC
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.
Vri-Jon Contessa 40:
Canal and Coastwide Cruiser
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...
Doral Yachts’ Fit and Finish:
The Inside Story
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...
Mochi Craft Dolphin 44:
Down East Goes Italian
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...
Fairline Targa 58 Gran Turismo:
Made for a European Grand Tour
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...
New 4300 Open
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...
SeaRanger 50 Trawler:
Passagemaking in a Tri-Cabin
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...
Trader 64 Sunliner:
Cruising In Comfort, Near or Far
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...
Beneteau Swift Trawler 52:
The Popular 42 Gets a Big Sister
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.
In the Factory
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...
Regal 52 Sport Coupe:
The Inside Story
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.
Fountain 38 CC:
Prelude to a Boat Test
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.
Are You Ready for
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
Royal Purple Oil Test:
After a Season of Use
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...
"One Handle Does It All"
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
Calling Tiara 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. Give fellow readers
your input, no matter what Tiara
model you own...
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For a New Boat?
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BoatTEST.com Lesson #77
How to Dock Your Twin Inboard Boat
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 BoatTEST.com’s USCG-approved boating course called “Smart Boating.” Watch these video boating lessons every week on BoatTEST.com.
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Ducky Award Winner
"I mighta bought more dingy than I need."
- G. Lipsie
"The ultimate speedboat/wakeboard boat combo!!" - W. Howell
Honorable (almost) Mentions
"Dad! I told you not to use my bungee cord as a tow rope!" - D. Clerk
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