'Rude 250 Test,Triton 18, Meridian 541, Harris 250 - 06/30/2010
BoatTEST Newsletter June 30, 2010 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
10th year anniversary
- Evinrude E-TEC 250 H.O.
- FinCraft 1850 DC
- Meridian 541 Sedan
- Formula 353 FASTech
- Triton Ambush 18
- Hatteras 72 MY
- Harris FloteBote GM SL 250
- Glastron GS 289
- Tigé Touch Video
- Cabo 40 Flybridge
- Larson LX 1700
- Shurhold Products
- First Carp Found Beyond
- A Good Fighting Chair
- Picture of the Week
- Find a New Boat
- Fire Aboard Can Ruin Your Day
- Calling all Larson Owners
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

We Test the Evinrude
E-TEC 250 H.O.
2-Stroke Outboard

Evinrude E-TEC 250 H.O.
We tested the Evinrude E-TEC 250 H.O. on an Action Marine 23 offshore two weeks ago and we were impressed by the performance numbers we got.

The Evinrude E-TEC 250 H.O. got its H.O. designation for being "high output." We thought that may have been just talk, but our tests show differently: the 'Rude 250 H.O. definitely walks the talk. We ran it on the back of an Action Marine 23 Offshore, and we were impressed during the test. This is one engine you need to check out. Full report with a fill-in on what "H.O." brings to the party...

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New Test

New FinCraft 1850 DC:
First Performance Test Numbers

FinCraft 1850 DC
Thanks to VEC technology, aluminum fresh water fishing boats now have a glass competitor.

The new FinCraft 1850 DC was built to give aluminum boats a serious run for their (actually, your) money. We’ve discussed the build process that makes these boats cost-effective, and the price is in the same ballpark, and is not a distinguishing issue. But what about performance? Clearly, aluminum boats are light and fast. But will the FinCraft 1850 DC fiberglass fishing boat keep up?  Our readers asked that question and so did we. So to put the issue to rest, we decided to put the FinCraft 1850 DC through a full test.  Check out her test numbers...

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New Boat

New Meridian 541 FB Sedan:
Innovations Galore & 3 Staterooms

Meridian 541a Meridian 541b
The saloon in the new Meridian 541 is at the forward end of the house, not the aft end where you'll find it on 99% of all motoryachts and sedans. A view looking aft in the saloon which resembles a cozy den at home more than a yacht's living room and looks very comfortable, indeed.

The new Meridian 541 Sedan has one of the most innovative interiors we have seen in a long time. Its designers have put the saloon forward in the house instead of aft like virtually every other sedan on the planet. That design together with using what appears to be real household-type furniture instead of typical built-in settees adds class and elegance to what could have been the old plastic fantastic approach. There are other new twists on this boat as well, such as the twin diesel engines mounted in the stern with Zeus pod drives under the cockpit instead of under the saloon which would be typical in a conventional inboard design. With the engine room in the stern, the staterooms can be moved aft, and this is what allows Meridian to pack so much living space into this hull. Abaft the full-beam master there is even room for a crew cabin or "utility room." To discover more and the price...

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Formula 353 FAS³Tech:
A Screaming WOT of 80 mph!

Formula 353 FASTech
Capt. Steve gives a step-by-step description of breaking the 80 mph barrier.

At Formula, the recipe of simply adding horsepower to get face-flattening speed wasn’t good enough. They decided that anybody could build a go-fast boat with enough horsepower and a stripped-out light boat that was a one-trick pony. So Formula decided that they would go fast the hard way -- in comfort with style and class. Formula has four high-performance models and the newest of them is the 353 FAS³Tech. But how fast is fast? And, what kind of skill does it really take to handle one of these waterborne Indy racers? To find out we sent Capt. Steve over to Formula’s new Long Island, New York facility and we asked him to test the boat. We also wanted to check out the Formula difference in fit-and-finish, amenities and creature comforts to see if the Formula 353 was up to the other boats in its line. Away we go...

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New Test

Triton Ambush 18:
Fish & Shoot Camo for Rambo

Triton Ambush 18
The Triton Ambush 18 is the first camo boat we have ever tested. The Ambush is a good name for a purpose-built boat that is Rambo-tough.

If you are an outdoorsman, one who likes to fish in the summer and duck hunt in the fall, then you may want to check out the Ambush 18 from Triton. Triton has long been famous for building top-quality freshwater fishing boats, and now with the addition of a camo dodger in the bow, you'll have a first-class, movable, no-hassle duck blind -- all for the price of one boat! Say you wear hob-nail boots? No problem with the Ambush 18 because her interior surfaces are rawhide tough. There is a special locker for your shotguns or rods and a place to keep ammo close at hand. Watch the video...

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Hatteras 72 Motor Yacht:
A Classic World-Class Motoryacht

Hatteras 72 MY Integrated Hard Top
Coming at you from New Bern, N.C., the Hatteras 72 Motor Yacht combines no-nonsense American boatbuilding with a touch of Euro-styling. She is shown here with the optional enclosed flying bridge.

Ask long-time boatmen to name the top five American production-yacht builders, and you’ll get as many different answers as you have respondents. But we bet every list will include one name: Hatteras. For fifty years, the North Carolina company has been launching some of America’s most respected boats – convertibles, motoryachts, Long Range Cruisers (Hatteras coined the phrase) and, for a time, even sailboats. Today, Hatteras builds a line of convertibles and motoryachts from 54 to 100 feet. One of their nicest is the 72-footer seen above. Take off your shoes and step aboard...

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New Test

Harris FloteBote Grand Mariner SL 250:
A Versatile Tri-Toon for All Seasons

Harris FloteBote GM SL 250
We tested the Harris FloteBote Grand Mariner SL 250 this spring while there was still a chill in the air and found her to be dry and easy to maneuver.

The Grand Mariner SL 250 by Harris FloteBote is a huge tri-toon that makes a versatile platform for entertaining a large group, or a watersports platform for your kids and all of their friends. This tri-toon weighs 3,200 lbs. (1,454 kgs.) and the test boat was powered by a 225-hp Mercury Verado. We clocked her time to plane at 3.5 seconds and her time to 30 mph at 6.5 seconds, excellent times for such a large pontoon boat. But there is a lot more to this toon than fast hole shots. Take a look at the video...

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Glastron GS 289:
Pocket Cruiser on a Budget

Glastron GS 289
The Glastron GS 289 powered by a Volvo Penta 300-hp gas engine went nearly 42 mph in tests we conducted.

The largest boat Glastron has ever produced is the GS 289 Sport Cruiser with twin cabins. She has Alphastone counters, leatherette upholstery and other features that one might not expect to find on a Glastron -- a company that is getting a reputation for being very competitively-priced these days. You have everything you need for a weekend aboard, and with the mid cabin, she comfortably sleeps four adults. With 5.7 L Volvo Penta the GS 289 has enough horsepower to perform well even with the boat loaded with friends and family. Take a look at the video...

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Industry News

"Tigé Touch" Helps Boost
Market Share 130% in 1st Q

Tigé Touch
BoatTEST's Capt. Steve demonstrates Tigé's revolutionary "Tigé Touch" control system without reading the manual to prove the intuitive aspect of its design.

Tigé Boats has captured 8.3% of the 2010 first quarter U.S. retail sales of 20 foot to 24 foot ski boat market share, based on a recent report from Statistical Surveys, Inc. The report reflects new titled and/or registered ski boats that sold retail in the U.S. from January 2010 through March 2010.The increase in market share indicates a 130.6% increase from its 2009 first quarter. According to the report, of the top 5 leading ski boat manufactures, Tigé is the only company with significant market share gains. Tigé attributes this tremendous increase in the builder's market share to many factors, including its innovative "Tigé Touch" control system that handles most aspects of the boat in one, intuitive unit. To watch Capt. Steve use "Tigé Touch"...

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New Review

Cabo 40 Flybridge:
Big Game Frigate with Pods

Cabo 40 Flybridge
Cabo should be on any serious fisherman’s short list: It’s one of the top three or four builders around. The 40 Flybridge is a nice balance between size, price and convenience – but will cost you a million nevertheless. (Photo © Forest Johnson)

If you agree that a bad day of fishing beats a good day at work, you should take a close look at the Cabo 40 Flybridge. Designed for the serious offshore angler, the 40 Flybridge combines an efficient cockpit with light-but-rugged construction and a smooth-riding modified-V bottom. Powered by twin diesels up to 800-hp each, the 40 will speed you out and back, leaving more time to drag baits and boat fish. Zeus pod drives will be available with twin CMD 600-hp diesels. At the end of the day, a nicely appointed salon will provide a comfortable place to unwind. In short, the Cabo 40 Flybridge is all the fishboat most of us will ever need. Find out why...

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Second Look

Larson LX 1700:
Outboard Starter with Flair

Larson LX 1700
A well-built boat, comfortable seats, reliable outboard and a pleasant companion – that’s all most of us need for fun on the water.

We love large yachts (who wouldn't?) but when it comes to maximum pleasure received for each dollar spent, we have to admit that nothing beats a small boat with an outboard engine. Take this Larson LX 1700, for example: It’s 16’11” (5.20 m) of affordable, uncomplicated, almost maintenance-free fun. An ideal boat for a young-at-heart couple of any age, it’s roomy enough to carry a couple of kids to boot, if said couple is encumbered by offspring, or two or three adult friends. And at just over $25,000 MSRP, loaded, buying one won’t break anyone’s bank. The Larson LX 1700 is built for the long haul, just look at its 5-year warranty. That's just the start...

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Shurhold System:
"One Handle Does It All" 

Shurhold Products
Make cleaning your boat easier with Shurhold products.

The BoatTEST team has used the Shurhold System for over a year now and we like the system. 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 the products were durable. 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 -

Find out more about Shurhold Products here...

Carp Crisis

First Asian Carp Found Beyond The Electric Barrier!

Carp 6-30
You are looking at the 20-lb., 3' long Asian carp that was caught beyond the electrical barrier erected by the Army Corps of Engineers.

Last Wednesday, just six miles from Lake Michigan, the Asian carp shown above was caught by a commercial fisherman in Calumet Lake which drains into Lake Michigan. It is proof that the Army Corps of Engineers electric barrier cannot hope to contain this voracious specie from contaminating the Great Lakes watershed system. The Obama administration threw $75 million at the problem and moved on to fry bigger fish, and the U.S. Supreme Court has twice refused to hear suits brought by several state attorney generals. Read more and see the video...


A Good Fighting Chair
Means Business

Fighting Chair
Before buying a boat for big game fishing, make sure the cockpit is big enough for the proper sized chair. Don’t take the issue for granted.

You’ve just purchased the boat, you’ve got the rods, the reels and the tackle, and you’re ready to head offshore where the big billfish swim. But before you go, you need one more thing: A rugged fighting chair screams “Serious fisherman onboard!” to old salts and dock walkers alike. But how do you choose the right chair, and how do you install it once you’ve found it? While the first fighting chairs were used by boats out of Cuba and the chair came out of a barber shop, a lot has changed, and some things haven’t, when it comes to modern fighting chairs. More...

Picture of the Week

Only in Dreams?

Picture of the Week
Find out where this picture was taken and when...

See a larger picture, when and who took the picture -- and where!

Send us your favorite boating images.

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Accident of the Week

Fire Aboard Can Ruin Your Whole Day

Accident of the Week
Fire Rescue crews put out a fire on an 104-foot pleasure craft returning from the Bahamas Sunday morning that pulled into Rybovich Marina at 45th Street and Flagler Drive in West Palm Beach. The fire broke out as the megayacht entered the Palm Beach Inlet.

Fires have broken out aboard several yachts around the country in the last week and a number of boats have been gutted as a result. The fire in the vessel above reportedly started in the engine room. Another fire in our hometown of Stamford, CT, recently gutted a classic wooden sailboat that was maintained in Bristol fashion, reportedly due to a faulty shore power connection aboard the boat. Fire is an ever-present possibility aboard boats and that is why fire extinguishers are required. Do you know where yours are, and have they been tested this year? More on the megayacht fire...

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 currently researching a new boat, 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 --

10 year logo
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Larson 1700 LX
Larson 1750 LX
Larson Escape 204
Larson Escape 204
Larson Senza 206
Larson Senza 206

Owners Reviews
Calling Larson 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 Larson model you own.

Larson LXi 218
Larson Escape 234 I/O
Larson LXi 238
Larson Escape 254
Larson LXi 258
Larson Cabrio 274
Larson LXi 288

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Lesson of the Week

Tips on Basic Boat Maintenance

Lesson of the Week
If you are one of those handy or hands-on types then just make sure you use marine parts when servicing your boat.

This week Capt. Steve goes over five new lessons and guidelines on tips for doing your own boat maintenance. It’s a great idea to keep a file with all your boat’s manuals, registration papers, instructions for electronics aboard, and any information on previous maintenance performed on the boat should be in a log. This will not only save you time in having to dig around for these items since everything about the boat is in one binder or folder, but should you ever want to sell the boat, any interested buyers will have all the information and records about the boat right at their fingertips. In these next lessons Capt. Steve will also go over some tips on marine head maintenance, and battery care. 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

"I'm not worried, her attorney will never find me here!" - D.T.

Second Place

"Should I or shouldn't I... I just hate when the hard bits get stuck in my teeth." - C. Bejar

Honorable (almost) Mention

"Hello Ma...don't wait up, I may be taken out to dinner tonight." - W. Tyler

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 6-30-10

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Simply fill in your caption and you may get lucky -- quack here.

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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.