TESTS: Evinrude 300, Triton 17 & 21, FinCraft 17, Lund 20, Tigé 24 - 07/21/2010
BoatTEST Newsletter July 21, 2010 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
10th year anniversary
- FinCraft 17 SC
- Volvo Penta Sterndrive Joystick
- Triton 21HP Elite DC
- Evinrude E-TEC 300 H.P.
- Sea Tow Boating Tip
- Formula 290 FX4
- Lund 2075 Pro-V
- Glacier Bay 2740 Dual Console
- Triton VT 17
- Tigé 24 Vé
- Scout 262 Abaco
- Trophy 2206 DC
- Premier 235 Sunsation
- Skeeter FX 21
- Yamaha FZ Series
- Translate BoatTEST's Content
- Boating Course Now on DVD
- Shurhold's Serious Marine Cleaner
- Powertech Propellers
- Picture of the Week
- Find a New Boat
- Battery Maintenance
- Hallett 290 Goes Fast
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

70 Dealers Take On
FinCraft Boats
New FinCraft 17 SC Test

FinCraft 17 SC
We tested the FinCraft 17 SC on the Mississippi River to find out how she handles and performs. Watch the new video and see for yourself.

FinCraft has been getting a lot of attention lately for taking on the aluminum boat market with their low-cost, lightweight fiberglass boats built with VEC technology.  Just in the last several months, FinCraft has signed up 68 dealers in the U.S. and two overseas, a company spokesman told us this week. That's remarkable industry acceptance, particularly given the times we live in. And it is for precisely that reason, we suspect, that dealers understand that the boating paradigm has changed and that value-oriented, versatile fiberglass boats are the name of the new game.

Regular readers know that we like dual console boats, so it was with great interest that we took on the assignment to test the new FinCraft 17 SC in the Mississippi River to see how she performed. The boat is loaded with fishing amenities and hardware that one usually finds in more expensive boats, but the real measure of this boat will be in her performance. Watch the video because it tells the story...

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Volvo News

First Published Test:
The Volvo Penta "Sterndrive Joystick" 

Volvo Penta Sterndrive Joystick
If you think that joysticks are only for large inboard boats or pods drives, think again.
Volvo Penta has developed a joystick for twin sterndrive boats, gas or diesel.

Five years ago Volvo Penta rocked the boating world with its revolutionary IPS system with pod drives and a joystick. The IPS propulsion system was just for inboard-powered boats at the small end of the range (where the unit numbers are largest). Its joystick made docking so easy even a caveman could do it and the system became very popular. Many people actually moved up from twin sterndrive boats to inboard power just to be able to get the joystick function. Now Mom (and Dad) could easily dock the boat without providing amusing entertainment for dockside gawkers. Over the years, over 10,000 boats have been sold with Volvo's IPS system.

But what about twin sterndrive boats? Why couldn't Volvo Penta development a joystick system for them?

It could, and it has.  Now, see our video and read all about it...

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New Test

Triton 21HP Elite DC:
Speed, Thrills, and Feature-Packed

Triton 21HP details
Not only is the Triton 21HP Elite DC a fast boat, but it’s fully loaded, thus giving it the “Elite” moniker.

Sometimes it's just not enough to have a fast bass boat; you want it to be the "whole package" -- the deluxe version with all of the amenities. That’s where the Triton 21HP Elite DC comes in. We found this to be one of the best-equipped and feature-packed bass boats that we’ve tested. That means you’re not only going to be able to compete in tournament-level competition, but with the Elite package you’ll be comfortable doing it. Let’s take a look at the details...

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Outboard Test

We Test the Evinrude
E-TEC 300-HP 2-Stroke Outboard

Evinrude E-TEC 300 H.P.
We tested the Evinrude E-TEC 300-hp on a Dusky 233, with an empty weight of 3700 lbs. (1681.8 kgs.) We were impressed with the performance and the features.

The Evinrude E-TEC series of engines has been living up to its claims pretty much across the board during a series of tests we recently conducted on some of its engines. That, coupled with the fact that Evinrude is backing the engines with a 3-year warranty and a required dealer maintenance schedule of once every 3 years or 300 hours, makes it plain to see that this makes for an attractive series of engines. Today, we test the E-TEC 300-hp that is bolted onto a Dusky 233 to see how it performs. To see for yourself, just take a look at the video...

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Safety Tip

How, When, and Who
To Call For Assistance

Sea Tow Assistance
If you’re a cell phone-type of boater, you may not even know how to use your radio to call for help. More importantly, what information do you need to give. See the video...

You’re 10 miles offshore and dead in the water. You pick up the cell phone and... oops, no signal. It seems that the cell towers are aimed more at populated areas than open water. Go figure. Now it’s time to get on the radio. It should come as no surprise that fewer and fewer boats are even equipped with a VHF radio these days and, of the boaters that do have one, a large percentage does not know how to use it. So today, we go over the procedure for making a call for assistance, when to make that call, and who to call in the first place. Question number one: Are you in danger or just disabled? Our own Capt. Steve, who narrates the BoatTEST.com Smart Boating Course, has made a special video sponsored by the folks at Sea Tow to go over the procedures. Make sure every member of your family sees this important video. Start here...

Article brought to you courtesy of Sea Tow...

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New Boat

New Formula 290 FX4:
The Grand Tour Begins

Formula 290 FX4 Details
Thankfully, our first look at the new Formula FX line flagship was more than just a photo op... we get to bring you aboard with us.

Last week we introduced the Formula 290 FX4, so now it’s time to take a detailed video look at what makes this boat such a standout among the high-end Formula fleet. In today’s video, we show you what Formula has brought to the dock. Yes, her exterior is sleek and stylish, but that is only part of the story. Like many things in life, the details of the Formula 290 FX4 have to be seen to be appreciated. Let’s step aboard...

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New Look

Lund 2075 Pro-V:
Durable and Low Maintenance

Lund 2075 Pro-V
There is nothing like aluminum for durability and low maintenance, and to that the Lund 2075 Pro-V adds good looks and fishy features.

Most boaters may not know it, but the outboard aluminum fishboat is one of the few market segments that has been growing over the last few years, so it's no wonder there are so many models to choose from. Lund has told us they want to provide this growing market segment with a high-end model that leaves nothing out. They also told us they build a boat that is tough, has a very good ride, and provides everything a fisherman could ask for in an aluminum boat. So we sent a test captain to take the 2075 Pro-V through the paces to see what Lund had to offer. Grab your PFD and hit the water...

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New Boat

New Glacier Bay 2740 DC:
Large, Offshore Workhorse

Glacier Bay 2740 DC
Glacier Bay catamarans have always been known for their pleasing lines and their rugged offshore capabilities. The new 2740 DC has been designed for serious work.

There is nothing quite so exciting to us as a new boat design. Think of the possibilities. As you read this, the folks at Glacier Bay in Tarboro, North Carolina are building hull #1 of the new Glacier Bay 2740 DC which is scheduled to be in the water in September and ready for the fall boat shows. This is our sneak peek at what looks to be a versatile offshore fishing platform. But because she draws only 18", she can work bays and the flats just as well. She is designed for twin 150-hp 4-stroke engines which should give her good range. Find out more...

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New Test

Triton VT 17:
An Aluminum Freshwater Warrior

Triton VT 17
The Triton VT 17 is an aluminum fishing boat designed to take abuse and keep on ticking for years to come.

The key to successful new boat buying is to not only properly assess the boats you are considering, but also – and maybe even more important -- to correctly recognize your own specific needs. Will you use the boat for casual fishing, a certain specie, on large lakes or small, with just one buddy or the whole family, and will you be pulling it up on a rocky shore or not, and how much of a load can your current tow vehicle pull? When a fishing boat is designed, it’s usually mission-specific. Match the two – your needs with the boat’s intended mission – and you will likely get a good boat for the lowest cost. The Triton VT 17 seems to have the stones to compete with much more expensive boats, but at a price low enough to make weekend warriors smile – under $15K MSRP powered with a 75-hp engine. We recorded a WOT of 40 mph with a 75, which made our test captain smile. Take a look at our new video of the Triton VT 17...

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New Video

Tigé 24 Vé -- New Full Wake Test

Tigé 24 Vé 1 Tigé 24 Vé 2
The Tigé 24 Ve' has become the most popular model in the Tigé line. Capt. Steve spins the Tigé 24 Vé on a dime to see how she handles.
Tigé 24 Vé 3 Tigé 24 Vé 4
With TAPS2 flap activated the 24 Vé creates big wake for aggressive dudes. The secret of Tigé’s success is this patented wake maker metal flap.

Tigé has made big waves among the wakeboard set the last couple of years thanks to its TAPS2 innovation and its even newer "Tigé Touch" display which handles virtually all of the electronic functions on the boat from one intuitive touch pad at the helm. It is so easy, even Capt. Steve could use it without reading the manual. Tigé  has designed the 24 Vé to be a good-all around tow boat for skiing, wakeboarding, wake surfing, footing or just about anything else you can dream up to do off the stern of a boat. Watch the video as our cameraman had a hard time keeping up as Capt. Steve put the Tigé through his paces. Grab the tow rope here...

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Fish Express

Scout 262 Abaco:
Stylish Express Fishboat

Scout Express 262 Abaco
The Scout brand is growing in popularity and the lines of this Scout 262 Abaco helps explain why.

According to NMMA figures fewer than 600 outboard-powered express boats were sold in 2009, and most of those were express fishboats. While that is not many units, in fact as a percent of overall outboard boat sales, the express category is growing. We suspect that most of that growth is at the expense of the walk-around category that is just 37% of what it was in 2002. In fact some builders are actually building outboard express fishboats and are still calling them walk-arounds even though they have lost virtually all of the attributes of that endangered specie. Express fishboats are also getting smaller. For the last several years the Scout brand has been coming on strong and today they build five express fishboats from 22' to 35'. Today we take a look at one of its models right in the middle -- the Scout 262 Abaco. Join us...

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Bass Boats

Skeeter FX 21 Bass Boat:
Designed for Yamaha 4-Strokes

Skeeter FX 21
As you can see from the stagnation line on this boat that it will haul. It is one of the few bass boats on the market designed specifically for a 4-stroke engine.

In what may have been a bass boat industry first, Skeeter Boat Company, which is owned by Yamaha, got its boat designers and engineers together with those of the Yamaha engine division to design a boat specifically for running with the new Yamaha VMAX SHO four-stroke engines. This is significant since virtually every bass boat on the market was designed for 2-stroke power. By designing the new Skeeter FX 21 specifically for four-stroke Yamahas, the company hopes to get 4-stroke traction in the large bass boat market which is almost exclusively powered by 2-stroke engines. In 2009, according to NMMA figures, 22,440 new bass boats were sold in the U.S. That's a lot of 2-stroke engines. Let's take a look at the Skeeter FX 21...

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Yamaha FZ Series
Competition Performance

find a picture of this PWC racing on the Yamaha site on on Google images
Since BoatTEST.com tested the Yamaha FZ it has racked up an impressive list of race victories.

When the FZ series was introduced in 2009, one of its main focal points was the newly designed hull. This new hull included a dihedral keel, a new over-sized water inlet duct, and angled chines to help with control and stability in turns. When our own Capt. John Wenz put it to work on the water, he came away feeling that Yamaha had more than just a great new Waverunner -- he felt that the company had a winner on its hands. In fact, in 2010, the FZ has won more than ten national Pro competitions, in both open and stock, Men’s and Women’s competition including APBA National Tour, Round 1 – Expert Runabout Limited, APBA National Tour, Round 1 – Women’s Runabout Limited, APBA National Tour, Round 1 – Pro-Am Runabout Stock...you get the idea. Capt. John’s prediction has proved to be correct. See the full test as well as the special “hull” feature by squeezing the throttle now...

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Translations, Übersetzung, Traduzione

German FlagFrench FlagItalian FlagRussian Flag
India Flagsa-lgflagJapan FlagChina

About one-third of the visitors to BoatTEST.com now come from outside of the U.S. Nearly half of the e-mails we receive come from outside North America. During the last several years BoatTEST.com has become truly an international website where boaters world-wide can get the information they need to make a better decision about what boat to buy. Recently, Google introduced a new tool bar that automatically translates English into any one of 44 languages. Thanks to Google, with three clicks you can translate any page on BoatTEST.com into any one of these languages. If English is not your first language, we urge you to try this new translation service. Here's how...

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At Last!!!
Here It Is: The BoatTEST.com
Boating Course on DVD!

Smart Boating on DVD
BoatTEST's Boating Course is chock full of information that every boater needs to be aware of, regardless of experience level.

We're happy and proud to announce that at long last, BoatTEST.com's Boating Course, narrated by our own Capt. Steve, is now available in a box set of 4 DVDs. Now you can watch it in the comfort of your living room on your TV. With over 10 hours of video instruction on 4 DVDs, this course has more video content than any other recreational boating course available! It is the definitive “Professional Guide for the Average Boater”... loaded with real-world examples, and how-to do it instruction. This course will take you from beginner to the professional level of boating knowledge, or if you are an old salt, it will remind you of all the things you have forgotten. And, it's great for the whole family! To order your box set of 4 DVDs...


"Serious Marine Cleaner"

Shurhold Serious Marine Cleaner
BoatTEST put "Serious Marine Cleaner" to the test on every boating surface we could find, plastic, vinyl, rubber, metal, glass, and fiberglass.

If you have ever tried a regular house cleaner on your boat, then you have probably learned quickly how stubborn saltwater spray and grime can be. We used Shurhold "Serious Marine Cleaner" on glass, plastic, vinyl, fiberglass, rubber and metal. We can report back that we were able to clean all the surfaces with very little effort. On plastics and rubber we liked how fast it cleaned up, but more importantly to us, it did not discolor the surfaces. What we found when cleaning glass was that the "Serious Marine Cleaner" rapidly dissolved the baked on salt spray and grime, and did not leave a film or streaks. On metal it easily removed the grime as well as the rust stains that were around some screws. On the vinyl and other surfaces it was equally as effective. We even went a little nuts and cleaned out the engine compartment and found it great for grease and oil. Serious Marine Cleaner link...

Prop Basics

Do Your Props Have the Right Cup, Rake, Slip, Pitch, & Hub?

Are you really sure you've got the right wheels?

The more we research some subjects, the more we discover that some of the assumptions we have operated on for years are not correct. There is probably no field in the boating world that is more of a black art, or where there is more misinformation, than in re-propping. But getting the right prop is not really a matter of voodoo. It's more of a matter of finding out there is a prop problem (or a remedy) in the first place, then a matter of finding an expert you can trust who can recommend what you need. We hit the important basics and examine some alternatives in this short report on prop basics. Cut to the chase...

Fill out this simple worksheet to find out what prop is right for you...

"Where all think alike, no one thinks much." - Cato

10th year anniversary
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Second Look

Trophy 2206 DC:
Dual Console, Dual Roles

Trophy 2206 DC
We have always liked dual console boats because of their versatility of purpose in both salt and fresh water, for watersports, fishing, or just cruising around.

There is probably no boat type that is more versatile or at home in any boating setting than a small to medium-sized dual console boat. The salty anglers will accept you, and the sportboat crowd will envy you. Trophy is a Brunswick brand that was conceived years ago on the concept of giving good value and reasonable utility for the buck. Combine that attitude with the dual console design and you have the Trophy 2206 DC. Our testing captain thinks it does a good job of being a successful crossover between family bowrider and basic fishing platform – all at an affordable price, which is Trophy’s claim to fame. The Trophy 2206 DC may not have all of the esoteric gadgets and gilhickies of flat-out fishing machines, but she is nicely equipped given the price. Let’s take a closer look...

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Pontoon World

Premier 235 Sunsation FS:
Testing a Tri-Toon with 115-HP

Premier 235 Sunsation
This tri-toon looks like a 40-footer but it is actually the Premier 235 SunSation FS -- just 23' (7.07 m) long but has enough room for a block party.

If you are new to the world of toons, then there are several basic things you should know. First, if you want to use a toon for waterskiing you will need to get a pontoon boat with three tubes (sometimes called "logs"), otherwise known as a "tri-toon." Second, make sure your engine is large enough to get your skier up quickly. Third, modern pontoon boats have lots of amenities and you can pretty much find a toon to fit your individual needs. For example, the toon test we are showing today of the Premier 235 FS has a concealed "changing room," which can come in handy. Let's take a video look at this huge toon...

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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.

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

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 --

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Your Marine Battery: How to Keep it Working

Your batteries demand little attention, so don’t deprive them. Someday you may want to start your engines.

Most boats alternate getting their power from a genset or the yellow cord, so it’s easy to overlook the batteries -- but lead and acid need love, too. Fortunately, taking care of your batteries is about as simple a seagoing maintenance chore as there is, usually demanding little more than visual inspection and a quick wipe down with a rag. Ignore your batteries though, and one day you’ll turn the key and hear not your engine roaring to life, but only the slow groan of an underpowered starter motor. Here’s how to avoid that...

First Look

Hallett 290:
Goes Fast and Climbs Rocks, too!

Hallett 290
Some boaters are not satisfied with thrills and chills on the water, they also want to take their boat mountain climbing.

Our trusty readers are ever vigilant to record new aspects of the sport early in their development. Last week we received a set of pictures recently taken on Lake Mead that leads us to believe that there is a new breed of power boater hell-bent on combining mountain climbing with boating. The boat involved was a Hallett 290 and as these pictures will attest, the boat is as tough as they come. Granted that blasting along at 70 or 80 miles an hour can get tedious after awhile, so we can well understand a jaded speedster's desire to climb the side of a granite wall. Please don't try this with just any boat, or even your SUV for that matter! More pictures...

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Lesson of the Week

Tips on Boat Launching and Retrieval

Lesson of the Week
Once you get the knack of it, launching and retrieval of your boat is not as complicated as it may look. Just be sure to practice, and take it slow before going at it alone.

This week Capt. Steve goes over guidelines on the step-by-step process to launching and retrieving your boat. Learn some basic tips on maneuvering your vehicle with the trailer and how to back it up properly. Watch Capt. Steve as he launches his boat and walks you through the process and techniques; from where to position your vehicle, to how much power you should use to get the boat back on the trailer. Capt. Steve will even show you how to do this if you’re boating alone. And he makes it look easy. Just remember practice makes perfect. These are basic procedures that all recreational boaters should be aware of. The videos presented this week are part of BoatTEST.com’s USCG-approved Smart Boating course.  Watch these video boating lessons every week on BoatTEST.com.

To view this week’s lesson --

To view past lessons --

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Ducky Award Winner

Ducky Winner

First Place

"Quick, WHO has the right of way?"
- M. Fitzpatrick

Second Place

"Now, whatever you do matey...do NOT luff the mains'l!" - H. Hollinger 

Honorable (almost) Mention

"American Airlines launches its first penny saver flight to Europe." - R. Lary

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 7-21-10

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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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.