Newsletter: 11 Tests & Reviews//4 New Boats//Docking Tips - 09/23/2010
BoatTEST Newsletter September 22, 2010 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
10th year anniversary
2000-2010
IN THIS ISSUE
- Formula 40 PC
- Doral 365 Boca Grande
- Viking Yachts 70
- Azimut 62S
- Meridian 341 Factory Tour
- Hatteras GT54
- Fairline Squadron 42
- Monterey 340 SY
- Chris-Craft 36 Corsair
- Jefferson 52 SE
- Carolina Classic 35
- Volvo Penta EVC
- WxWorkx XM Weather
- Yanmar-Zeus Pod Drive
- Boating Course Now on DVD
- Shurhold's Buff Magic
- Picture of the Week
- Find the Right Boat
- Last Column: Chuck Husick
- Crash of the Week
- Pick Up Wi-Fi 2 Miles Away
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Formula 40 PC
Tested with IPS 500s

Formula 40 PC
We took advantage of Formula's new showroom and in-water installation on Long Island recently to run a test on the 40 PC with 370-hp Volvo Penta IPS 500 diesels.

Every boat has it sweet spot, and we found it two weeks ago on the Formula 40 PC. At 3000 rpm she goes 34.3 MPH/ 29.8 knots and gets 1.04 nautical miles per gallon, her most efficient cruise speed. She is also remarkably quiet at that speed, registering only 79 dBA on our meter. At that speed she has a range of 234 nmiles with a 10% reserve. That is good range and means she can spirit you from downtown New York City to Nantucket non-stop. It also means that other, more exotic, hops are a piece of cake, say, going from Cannes to Portofino (130 miles) or from Piraeus to Santorini (160 miles).

Covering that kind of distance offshore in relative comfort, style and reliability is what Formula PCs are all about. When other coastal cruising boats might have to slow down or wait for better weather, the time-tested Formula 40 PC hull is not intimidated by lumpy conditions. Top speed of the 40 PC was 42.0 MPH/36.5 knots. She has an MSRP of $673,490 powered by the IPS 500s, or you can save yourself $50k by opting for the Volvo Penta IPS 550s, which are 400-hp gasoline engines. Take a look at our new video on the Formula 40 PC...

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New Test

Doral 365 Boca Grande:
An Express Cruiser with Unique Features

Doral 365 Boca Grande
The 365 Boca Grande has a LOA of 39’2" with a beam of 12'6”. Our test showed a top speed of 39.2 MPH with a best cruise of 30.4 MPH.

As express cruisers go, the 365 Boca Grande has a few details that we don’t usually see in boats in this class. For starters, there are side decks. Often a builder is afraid to cut into the salon space by allowing room for side decks. The aft cockpit is roomy and seats up to eight adults in addition to the helm and helm deck lounger. Add twin IPS power plants to the mix and the 365 is a genuinely attractive package. We took it on a full test and had a good chance to evaluate how this good looking boat performs....

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New Boat

New Viking 42 C
Debuts at Annapolis

Viking 42
Viking's shipwrights work on the inner liner of the new Viking 42 convertible which will meet the public October 7-11.

It wasn't long ago that Viking Yachts launched its largest boat, an 82 footer, and early next month the builder will debut the smallest boat in its line -- the Viking 42 Convertible. This boat is full of surprises and innovations and is going to be one of the top "must see" boats at the Annapolis show. First, she is powered by twin CMD 440s driving through ZF Zeus drives under the cockpit sole. By moving these low-profile diesels aft, Viking is able to build a three stateroom 42-footer, something that has been virtually unheard of. The boat will sell for under a million dollars and our guess is that the line to see this new boat will be a long one. The new 42 Open will make its debut at Viking's VIP Miami Boat Show Preview in Riviera Beach, Fla, Feb. 4-5. To jump the line, cut in here...

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Second Look

Azimut 62S:
La Dolce Far Niente

Azimut 62S
This is the first shot we’ve seen of a Mediterranean sport yacht without a couple of signorine on the foredeck. Maybe they’re enjoying the luxurious interior of the Azimut 62S, a showcase of Italian styling.

When it comes to elegant design, whether you’re talking fashion, cars or Sophia Loren, Italians are hard to beat. The same holds true for yachts, like this Azimut 62S. In 2007, the British boating press voted the 62S “Boat of the Year” in the over-45’ sport cruiser category. A couple of weeks later, it won "European Boat of the Year" at the Dusseldorf Boat Show. What’s so special about this boat that the Brits and the Germans, not always known to agree on things, would both give it awards? Each year Azimut updates most of its models.  Take a look at this year's 62S...

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Factory Tour

We Tour Meridian Yachts Factory
to Answer Some Questions

Meridian 341
Meridian has opened shop in a new facility in Palm Coast Florida and increased it’s workforce to help the company keep up with demand.

When you test a lot of boats it’s natural to make comparisons, even to yourself, and then some factors tend to jump out at you. For example, we noticed that Meridian decks don’t have creaks and groans when the boats are going through waves. The hulls seem to take a pounding better than some yachts we’ve seen. And how does Meridian manage to make their yachts support flybridges when the salons below have so much glass? To find out the inside story we went, well... right inside to the source; The Meridian Factory. Join us as we take a look at how Meridian does what they do and discover the answers to some of our basic questions. This is a safety glasses area...

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Engine Update

New Volvo Penta EVC
System is Customizable

Volvo Penta EVC 1 Volvo Penta EVC 2
On the base of the EVC engine controls are buttons to push for special functions. For example, "Trim Assist" automatically trims your boat. The new EVC system includes this 7" (17.5 cm) digital or analog display. With the press of a button to the right you can customize its features.

Volvo Penta's new evolution of their EVC (Electronic Vessel Control) system has a number of refinements that make operating a twin engine boat easier and even more fun. The system has a cruise control just like the one in your car, with a button that will nudge rpm up or down for a precise speed setting. Everyone will like the automatic trim control, and we like the fact that the engine synchronizer is fully integrated into the system and not a third-party add-on. The visual display reads all of the boat's important vital signs as well as giving you read-outs from other, non-system functions, such as, depth readings and sea temperature. If you are in the market for a new twin engine boat then you will enjoy watching Capt. Steve explain how the new EVC functions can simplify and improve your new boat's operation. EVSee...

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New Boat

New Hatteras GT54:
Grand Variation on a Classic Theme

Hatteras GT54
The new Hatteras GT54 is scheduled to debut at the Miami International Boat Show in February, 2011. It's one of three models in the Carolina-styled GT series.

When a conservative builder like Hatteras comes out with a new boat, it's big news – but if it's a whole line of new boats, it's three times as interesting. The North Carolina company is in the process of introducing its GT Series of sportfishermen, comprising the GT60, GT63 and the model featured in this report, the GT54. With designs inspired by fast, comfortable and seaworthy Outer Banks custom fishboats, the new Hatterases (Hatteri?) share hull forms and profiles among themselves, but are much different from similar-sized boats previously built by the company.  This is big news.   For more about the GT Series, and the 54 in particular...

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New Boat

New Fairline Squadron 42:
Smallest in the Line

Fairline Squadron 42
The first Fairline Squadron 42 was unveiled to the press at an event in early September.  The 42 is now the smallest model in the Squadron line, but shares the same attributes as its larger sisters.

If you've been wanting a Fairline Squadron yacht, but the "entry-level" 55-footer was beyond your means, take heart. In the past month the company has announced two new additions to the Squadron fleet: A 50-footer is scheduled for launch next summer, but a new 42-footer has already hit the water. It was introduced to the public just a couple of days ago at both the Cannes International Boat & Yacht Show and the PSP Southampton Boat Show. The Squadron 42 is a two-cabin flybridge yacht with an inviting saloon, an open-plan galley, a large cockpit and an innovative launching system for the tender. For more information on this new Fairline...

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Captain's Report

Monterey 340 Sport Yacht:
Built in Florida, Designed for the World

Monterey 340 SY
Not just a pretty face, the Monterey 340 SY is designed, engineered and tested like a custom yacht before going into production.

One of the hardest jobs in the world must be designing a mid-30-foot express cruiser that's not like every other mid-30-foot express cruiser on the market – and there are a heck of a lot of them. At Monterey Boats, they combine European styling influences with hard-core American boatbuilding practices to create boats, like the 340 SY featured here, that will appeal to buyers the world over. One of four Sport Yachts in the Monterey line (the others are the 320 SY, 360 SY and 400 SY), the 340 SY provides its owners with a balance of speed, comfort, versatility and value, giving them a boat to enjoy for a couple of hours on a Saturday, or a couple of weeks on vacation, and anything in-between. For more on the Monterey 340 SY...

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New Boat

Chris-Craft Corsair 36:
A Runabout for Adults

Chris-Craft Corsair 36
The Chris-Craft Corsair 36 combines a sexy sportboat with a comfortable cruiser that will sleep four. Standard power, twin 420-hp Volvo Penta gas engines, will push the boat over 40 knots, according to the builder, and provides more than 200 miles of cruising range.

Sometimes you don't want to fish, or ski, or wakeboard or do other activities that will cause you to break a sweat while boating. You just want to ride around living the life of Riley. On those days, you could do a lot worse than own a Chris-Craft Corsair 36, a runabout on steroids that's about as sexy and sweet-looking as a boat can be. A raft of people can sit comfortably in the cockpit for day boating.  Or, a couple can enjoy the boat as a compact cruiser for overnighting or short voyages. It will be one of the coolest-looking boats in any harbor, so if you want to see and be seen, the Corsair 36 could be just the boat for you.  This boat is the closest thing to a Riva built in the U.S., in our opinion.   If you want to learn more...

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First Look

Jefferson Yachts 52 SE:
A Pilothouse for "Everyman"

Jefferson Yachts 52 SE
Jefferson Yachts fits a lot into the 52 Pilothouse SE and most of it comes as standard -- even a first-rate electronics package. And the price, while not cheap, isn't as stratospheric as for many similar boats.

Founded in 1982 by Leon Shaw, Jefferson Yachts has always been known for selling cruising vessels at prices a lot lower than its competition. The company's 52 Pilothouse Special Edition carries on the family tradition. It's built by one of the leading Asian yards using proven, but not flashy, materials and processes; it has first-rate systems and equipment, including twin Cummins MerCruiser diesels; its accommodations are designed for folks who want to live aboard comfortably; its base price includes almost everything necessary for serious cruising; and it has a Portuguese bridge.  For more on this pilothouse cruising yacht that mixes Middle American values with Far East boatbuilding acumen, take our free tour...

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Second Look

Carolina Classic 35:
A Carolina Canyon Runner

Carolina Classic 35
The Carolina Classic 35 has a proven hull and superior range. Even though she is the heaviest boat in class at about 30,000 lbs. she scoots with a pair of CMD 550s.

As regular readers know, it is a firm position of BoatTEST.com that one of the most important aspects of any large boat is the reputation and the integrity of the man who is running the company that built her. In the case of the Carolina Classic 35 that man is Mac Privott, who is both owner and CEO. Mac is well-known for standing with his customers and behind his boats. The Carolina Classic 35 is probably the heaviest boat in class, yet because of her 13'6" beam (4.15 m) and 18-degree deadrise, we were able to clock her at 40.6 mph WOT with a pair of 480-hp Cummins diesels. Most 35s are going out of the shop these days with 550-hp CMDs which give her a comfortable cruise speed of 32 to 33 knots according to Mac. Her MSRP price is $417,800. With Carolina flair, a high-deadrise forefoot, and real heft she makes a good boat for canyon running. See our report...

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Electronics

XM WX Sat Weather
Service Is Affordable

WxWorx 1WxWorx 1
The WxWorx weather service supplies more information than just storm cells. It also gives you wave height, wind speed and much more. You can actually see the storm cell and determine if it is heading your way or not.

WxWorx serves as the data provider for XM WX Satellite Weather for mariners and provides the same data as your local TV station receives. The difference is that you get the info as it is broadcast from the service and you get important information that TV weathermen don't give out, such as wave height at buoy locations. We have used the WxWorx service in Florida and find the level of information provided incredibly precise and close to real-time. We have actually been able to see an approaching storm cell on the screen, then look up and see it visually -- and know its track and intensity from the data on the screen! In some cases we were able to steer away from the cell and in other cases we knew the cell was not heading our way. We are WxWorx believers. In our opinion, if you go offshore in anything under 65' you should have the WxWorx system for the safety of your boat and crew. Monthly service charges range from $9.95 to $49.95, depending on the level of detail you want. The receiver has an MSRP of $546. The irony is that most large yachts now have this service, but it is actually needed more by the smaller boats. Watch our video explaining this incredible service...

Full details

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Engine News

Yanmar-Zeus Pod Drive
Is a New Power Option

Yanmar 1Yanmar 2Yanmar 3
The Yanmar-Zeus pod drive system has a lot of advantages over straight inboard propulsion. Since the cooling water intake for the engine (left) and the engine's exhaust (right) both go through the pod drive unit (center) several holes are eliminated in the bottom of the boat.

Yanmar diesels from 380 to 500-hp can be mated with ZF Zeus pod drives for increased fuel efficiency, increased range and joystick docking control. Each year more and more builders are offering Yanmar power as a diesel option and now some of those builders will also offer it with the Zeus pod drive system. That means that consumers can get Yanmar's generally superior hp-to-weight ratio and smaller engine envelop along with the 30% improvement in fuel efficiency that pod drives give over standard inboard propulsion. There are other advantages to pod drives, too, including joystick docking control, and greater safety because there are fewer holes in the bottom of the boat. Because the rudders are eliminated with by Zeus, a boat with normally small rudders should handle better in a following sea with pod drives. Watch Capt. Rob go into detail about the Yanmar/Zeus pod drive system...

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Boat Handling

 If Only They Had Watched BoatTEST.com’s Smart Boating Course!

Smart Boating on DVD
Even the pros agree, the smart information in this course is perfect for every level of boater.

BoatTEST.com's Smart Boating course is the most comprehensive video boating instruction on the market.  That means real world lessons with real world examples that take you from the beginner to the professional level with over 10 hours of video that you can watch in the comfort of your own home. All lessons are reinforced with over 290 questions so you can test your knowledge as you go. It also prepares you for any state's certification test if you need state licensing. You owe it to your family, your friends... anyone who comes on your boat. Order your copy here...


Sponsor

Shurhold Video Test:
Buff Magic Taken to Task!

Shurhold Buff Magic
We put Capt. Steve to work while our cameras were rolling.

Owning a fiberglass yacht with a shiny, gleaming surface is one of the joys of boat ownership. But the hard work that goes into creating that look isn't so much fun. In order to find out how well Yacht Brite Buff Magic and Pro Polish work, we recently tested on a severely neglected hull. Capt. Steve followed the standard procedures, applied the products, and all the while our camera crew was shooting video tape. See for yourself what our tests turned up...


Only In Dreams

Picture of the Week

Picture of the Week
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Boat Buying Primer

How to Find a Boat
Designed for Your Mission

How to Find a Boat
Planet Solar has a special mission: circumnavigation by means of solar power only. What is your mission and do you have the right boat for it?

Probably the most basic and most important question you must answer when in embarking on buying a new boat is, what will its “mission” be. Will it be fishing, cruising or some sort of watersports? Or, just a little bit of everything? Every builder designs each boat in its line for a specific “mission.” Some boats are designed to go around the world while others are designed simply to look like they could go around the world. Small trailerable boats have missions too, and they are just as specialized as are big boats. Matching one’s personal mission with the mission the builder intended for a specific model sounds simple, but like many things in boating, it’s often harder than it appears.  But it is not mission impossible...

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Last Column

Chuck Husick:
Marine Writer and Activist

Chuck Husick
Chuck Husick, who has written for many U.S. boating magazines, was 77.

Virtually anyone who has read a boating magazine in the last 20 years or so has seen the byline of Chuck Husick. He was one of the most prolific marine writers of the last two decades and would write for almost any publication, such was his generosity of spirit and extensive knowledge of almost all things boating. We remember him here because he is the man who picked up the pieces of Chris-Craft as it's CEO in the late 1980s. More...

Crash of the Week

Greek Docking Accident Makes Headlines World-Wide

Crash of the Week
Note the chunk out of the starboard bow of the Aegean Cat after she hit the dock a little too hard -- twice!

Someone once said, "When docking don't go any faster than you want to hit the pier." This is good advice that we have always remembered and now the captain of a Turkish high-speed ferry will remember the day -- last Thursday -- that he did not heed those words when docking on the Greek island of Kos. Reportedly five passengers were seriously injured, at least one with a broken leg, and 38 were sent to the hospital. In this age of joysticks and bow thrusters, what was once a commonplace bumping of the dock evidently now makes world-wide news. En Garde, folks! Read all about it...

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Boat Wi-Fi

Pick Up Wi-Fi
2 Miles Away

Wi-Fi
In addition to radar, VHF and GPS, the newest required equipment aboard cruising powerboats is a powerful Wi-Fi antenna that boosts both incoming and out-going signals for your laptop.

If you have experienced the frustration of not being able to pick up a Wi-Fi signal this summer from a marina antenna, then you may be a candidate for the "Island Time Marine Wi-Fi System." After a month of "almost" getting a signal in one Pacific Northwest marina after another, we finally gave up trying so as not to spoil our lovely cruise. But next year we will be prepared with a "booster" which will amplify both outgoing and incoming signals which we are told usually work up to a couple of miles from the base antenna. Best of all, it costs only $255, including shipping, and is so simple any one of the Three Stooges could install it. Connect to Wi-Fi here...

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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, experience and recommendations, and to leverage our industry relationships in your favor. Sign in here...

10 year

Just For Builders

Are You Getting
the Best Advice?

BoatTEST Impact

If your advertising and marketing partner is not providing you with feedback from boaters that helps you sell your boats, then maybe it’s time for a change. With the largest community of self-identified new boat buyers in the world, imagine what you could do with the product feed-back we gather each day. As the only marine media organization that maintains constant communication with boaters who are researching their next new vessel, we can provide the guidance and tools to increase your contact and engagement with new boat buyers. For a consulting call, please call Christopher J. Hughes at 203.323.9900 or email him at chrishughes@boattest.com.

"The market has changed, have you?"

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Lesson of the Week

Tips on Tying Up Your Boat

Lesson of the WeekSmart Boating Cover
When tying up at a dock, show courtesy to your neighbors by keeping your lines coiled up neatly and out of the way.

This week Capt. Steve goes over seven new lessons and guidelines on practicing docking and dock line etiquette. The more you practice docking, the more comfortable you will become with it. Capt. Steve goes over some examples on how to use forward and aft spring lines. It’s also important to be a good neighbor and show courtesy at the dock or local marina you’re visiting. When there are many boaters tied up at the same place, dock lines can get a little hard to manage if not set up correctly.  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

"This is what happens when you think outside the box!" - S. Sullivan

Second Place

"The marina fell silent as all admired the wooden boat's classic lines." - T. Belanger

Honorable (almost) Mentions

"I don't think is the color they are laughing at Dad." - D. Leja

"At least we got to the crows nest in time."
- D. Stumpf

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 9/22/10

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.


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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.



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