Larson Cabrio 240:
Weekends Will Never
Be the Same
When it comes down to free time, most us have to make the best of what little there is. Taking a cruiser on the road to your weekend destination, and then spending nights aboard, is a great solution. While the Larson Cabrio 240 is trailerable, she should also have long legs. A 300-hp engine, which is just below the largest offered, should give her a range of about 185 miles at best cruise and that can take you to a lot of places without searching for fuel. Let’s take a look on board
and see what features she has and take a look at the price, which by the way is below what it was four years ago. More...
Bavaria Sport 28 Review:
Rugged German Construction
Did you know it’s possible to travel by boat all the way across Europe, from the Black Sea to Rotterdam? Neither did we, until we investigated the Sport 28 from Bavaria Yachts, a new boat with a couple of interesting quirks. Built near the Main River, part of the spiderweb of rivers and canals that make inland Europe prime cruising territory, the Sport 28 should be ideal for exploring these waterways, and adequate for short trips offshore, too. But we wonder if the boat will appeal to the mainstream sport-cruiser buyer. Why not?
For more on this, click here...
FinCraft 1850 DC:
We Test Their Top Model
It’s always interesting to go on a boat test and see just what sort of attention we generate at the dock. When we brought the FinCraft 1850 DC to the ramp, a crowd started gathering, and then came the questions. How does it handle? It’s fiberglass so it must be expensive? Does it come fully featured or is everything on the options list to keep the price low? Frankly, we were asking the same questions ourselves, and in our full test video, and full captain’s report, we answer all of the above, and more.
This is one to check out.
Bayliner 160 OB:
Simple Boating is Simply Fun
We were thrilled when we saw that Bayliner was producing their 16’ (4.88 m) boat once again after a long hiatus. When boating is simple, boating is fun. It’s an easy mantra to recite but the fact is, when you start complicating things, then fewer people know what they’re doing and fewer will enjoy it. The more sophisticated a boat is, the more things there are to go wrong, more things to take care of, more things to distract one from the simple joy of being on the water. Take a boat with just an outboard, fuel tank and battery and see who gets to run it. We found the Bayliner 160 OB to be a great boat, whether it is a first timer testing the waters, or a retired old salt towing it to his next vacation spot.
The possibilities are endless and to show you, just take a look at our test video...
Crestliner 1650 Fish Hawk:
Fully Loaded Starter Package
When we tested the Crestliner 1650 Fish Hawk, we wanted to see if it was a nice handling boat with docile turning performance that kept everyone comfortable throughout all our maneuvers. We also needed to determine if the mix of features and stability made for an excellent fishing platform. Once we started looking at the all-welded construction and light towing weight, we really started thinking that this boat could have a lot going for it. Today, we take you through the test of this capable boat and show whether she has the “right stuff” for your type of fishing.
We Explore the “Formula Difference”
When shopping for a car, there are differences between brands that stand out, and these differences not only affect the price, but the way the car feels. Boats are the same way. Some are made to get the most people on the water for the least amount of money; others are made to be much heavier on the creature comforts. At Formula Boats, there is definitely a difference in how they do things when compared to other manufacturers, and it’s what they like to call the “Formula Difference”. Today, we’re taking a video tour of just some of the items we’ve noticed that make the Formula Difference, and hopefully it will help you discover some things to look for in your next boat.
Glastron GLS 235:
Second to Largest in the Glastron Luxury Series
Glastron says that their GLS series is catering to the boater wanting luxury in their sport boating, without being hung out to dry in the process. We tested the GLS 235 to see if she delivered on that mission, and to see how she handled. We are pleased to report that she felt like a much larger boat and had some amenities that were notable for a boat in this class. She can be powered with your choice of either MerCruiser or Volvo Penta engines and up to 400-hp, which we figure should get just about anybody up on skis even with a boat load of friends.
To see more on the GLS 235, just take a look at our full test video.
Harris FloteBote Grand Mariner SL 250:
Testing a 'Toon in Rough Weather
If you ever want to find out how a pontoon will handle in the worst conditions, then you have to take it out in the worst conditions. That’s exactly what happened on our test of the Grand Mariner SL 250. It was cold, blowing, and raining, but the show must go on. It did, however, give us a chance to see just how this ‘toon handled in choppy water with a thin-blooded captain at the helm. Of course, we had to find a sheltered area to get the running video footage, simply because a bouncing camera won’t do, but the test was very revealing and we came away with more than a few opinions on how this outboard pontoon takes it, when Mother Nature dishes it out.
You can see it all (almost) in our test video and full report...
Regal 2300 Sportboat:
She's Fast, But Is That All?
When we put the Regal 2300 through a full test, we were more than a little impressed with what we found. As it turned out, this stepped hull speedster topped out at 52.5 MPH, and handled turns like stepped hulls should. But a boat isn’t all about
speed and handling- it’s got to come to the table with functionality, amenities, and a real heart, as well. Our second look at the Regal 2300 was with that in mind. Part II of our testing is to see if she brought the features and interior character that would match her performance and handling.
Let's take a video look and you can judge for yourself...
A Look at the Details
When you take wakeboat performance and combine it with forward thinking features, you just might have an attractive package on your hands. The Tigé RZ2 had a lot of features worth noting, but the standouts in our opinion were possibly the collapsible tower that was loaded with features in itself, and the Tigé Touch for customizing your ride characteristics. Of course this is inarguably a great-looking boat but
we need to look at the whole picture to know how it fits when we get on board. So let’s go to the video and see how things come together on the Tigé RZ2.
What Happens After You Call For
Assistance On the Water
It’s a beautiful sunny day, and it’s finally a time when you don’t have to be on call for work, the family is together, and it’s stopped raining for a change. Looks like it’s time to dust off the boat keys and get on the water. But after only an hour run from the dock, suddenly... nothing but the sounds of silence from your engine. Time to call for an assist. Now here’s the question. What’s the difference between calling as a member and as a non-member of Sea Tow? It’s easy to just say “duh, the price,”, but there’s a little more to it than that, and it may make you think again on whether the price of the membership is actually worth it. Let’s take a look and do a little comparison shopping.
Evinrude E-TEC 300-H.P.:
Why This Engine is So Reliable
Let’s see... take a 2-stroke 300-hp outboard, add in a “no maintenance” schedule of 3-years/300 hours, forget about oil changes entirely, and at the end of the season, the engine fogs itself automatically, with no trips to the dealer, and what do you get? In our opinion, you get a pretty good set-up. And it’s exactly what we found in the Evinrude E-TEC 300-hp. Since this engine has no valves, belts, camshafts or pulleys to adjust or replace, and in fact has 195 fewer parts to need maintenance or go wrong than a comparable 4-stroke, we thought we’d take a look and see what it does have. As it turns out, the answer is, quite a lot.
Take a look at our video tour and see for yourself...
Sailfish 2660 WA Pilot House:
Versatile Fishboat with Unique Hull
When you think of the top five or six builders of fishing boats under 30 feet, chances are the name Sailfish doesn’t come up. But, maybe it should! The Cairo, Georgia-based company, housed in a modern facility just north of the Florida state line, has been around for 20 years. During that time the company has built a variety of boats for both offshore and inshore fishing, including this Sailfish 2660. It comes in a variety of flavors – center console or walkaround, with pilothouse versions of both. Designed for the serious, dedicated sportfisherman – if you don’t fish, move on – the 2660 should be on your list if you think fishing is just a little less important than breathing.
Campion Allante LX 925:
Pocket Cruiser from Canada
You might not have heard of Campion Marine, but it’s Canada’s largest independent fiberglass boat manufacturer. For more than 36 years, the family-owned company has been building luxury cruisers, family runabouts, sport utility, fishing, wakeboarding and high-performance boats in its factory in Kelowna, British Columbia, on Okanagan Lake. Top of the Campion line is the Allante LX 925, a 30’ (9.14 m) express cruiser that turns heads wherever it appears. But looks aren’t everything. The Allante LX 925 is built using materials and techniques not often applied to mid-sized express cruisers. If you’re looking for a high-quality boat for family adventures, you owe it to yourself to hit the jump.
If Only They Had Watched Smart Boating!
Now Available on 4 DVDs
The response to the BoatTEST.com Smart Boating DVD has been overwhelming! Learning from home is the way to go, and videos keep the lessons in your mind long after the classroom lectures are forgotten. Smart Boating is perfect for both the beginners, and the seasoned salts wanting to brush up on their knowledge, filled with information that every boater needs to know. This is the course with more... more concise rules of the road, more emergency procedures, more navigation... it’s all here. Smart Boating... because safe boating just isn’t enough! Order yours today! Order your copy here...
No More Corroded
Snaps or Zippers
If there is something that all boaters can relate to, it's corrosion. No matter where it is, it’s annoying and damaging. So how about when you go to uncover the boat and you can’t get the snap to unsnap, or you can’t get the zippers to move? (#*?@!!) The team at Shurhold has a simple and effective product that can prevent this from happening and keep your language civil. Snap-Stick is designed to keep your snaps and zippers from corroding and also acts as a lubricant. The thing the BoatTEST team likes most about this product is that it is easy and fast to use. You just rub a little on the male end of each snap from the stick. It's like a giant lip balm for your boat. For your zipper, it just as easy. In fact, we think you will end up finding several other uses for it just as we did.
Watch a video on the Snap-Stick to see it in action....
You can get all the info on the product here.
Promo: FREE Tube of Snap-Stick with any purchase. Coupon Code: BTSS Exp. 8/30/2010
Triton Fiberglass Boats
Bought By Platinum Equity
Last Thursday morning another shoe dropped as the boating industry continues to consolidate. Brunswick Corporation, the largest builder of boats in the world with more brands covering more categories than any other boat-building conglomerate, has divested itself from all Triton fiberglass boats. It will continue to own the Triton aluminum freshwater fishing and bass boat brands. A division of Platinum Equity, the investment firm that purchased about half of Genmar's boat companies in January, bought the Triton fiberglass assets and will move production to the Ranger Boats plant in Flippin, Arkansas. It was also announced that boat brands owned by Platinum Equity would continue to buy Mercury outboard engines. Also being produced in the Ranger factory are Stratos and Champion bass boat brands.
Take a look...
Picture of the Week
Only in Dreams?
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
Here’s a good way to waste your money: Buy a liferaft and expensive inflatable PFDs, both items not required, and maybe not even approved, by the U.S. Coast Guard. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, both will sit, unused, for years, just taking up space and reminding you how much fuel you could have bought with what you spent on them. You can meet the safety requirements with el cheapo PFDs – which you’ll never wear, and maybe not even try on. But if one day you go overboard farther than swimming distance from safety, you’ll find your sense of value has changed. Then, if your fancy inflatable PFD and raft save your life and your crew, you’ll think you got the best deal in town. For more on how to choose and care for lifesaving equipment, click here.
Free Gift Idea
Give This Newsletter
To a Boating Friend
Why not share the information you get in the BoatTEST.com weekly newsletters 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.
Are You Looking
For a New Boat?
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 to answer specific
questions. 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 --
Lesson of the Week
How to Trim Your Outboard
or Sterndrive Boat
This week Capt. Steve goes over seven new 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 how to make sure you never run your engine dry. These are basic procedures which all recreational boaters should be aware of. The videos presented this week are part of BoatTEST.com’s Smart Boating Course which is USCG-approved. Watch these video boating lessons every week on BoatTEST.com.
To view this week’s lessons --
To view all lessons --
Ducky Award Winner
"300.00 duck blind." - J. Fisher
"Let me see you do this with your fancy pod drives." - G. Himes
Honorable (almost) Mentions
"Roger, Sea Tow. I am aware my coordinates are not on the water - over."
- R. David
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: email@example.com.
(Please -- no Photoshop!)
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.