12 Boat Reviews//Boat-Buying Tips//USCG Recall - 09/29/2010
BoatTEST Newsletter September 29, 2010 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
10th year anniversary
- Glastron GT 205 BR
- Glacier Bay Renegade 2740
- Yamaha FX SHO Series
- Rescue of the Week
- Campion Chase 800i
- RIBCRAFT 7.8 Offshore
- Larson Senza 206
- Seaswirl 2101 WA O/B
- Small Boats In Alaska
- Tigé 24 Vé
- Formula 290 FX4
- FinCraft 17 DC
- Doral 275 Venezia
- Godfrey Aqua Patio 220DF
- Boating Tip
- Shurhold's Seven Deadly Sins
- Picture of the Week
- USCG Recalls
- Fulton F2 Jack Stand
- Why the Titanic Hit Berg
- Boating Course Now on DVD
- How to Buy A Watersports Boat
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Glastron GT 205 BR:
48.9 MPH WOT with 4.3L

Glastron GT 205 BR
Our test boat was equipped with an upgraded 4.3L engine which brought the HP to 225. With that power we reached a top speed of 48.9 MPH and cruised at 35.3 MPH.

Glastron has built their reputation on looks, value and affordability. When we tested the GT 205, our first reaction was, “this is indeed a great looking boat!” We had the optional wakeboard tower on and that not only added to the boat’s looks, but certainly didn’t hurt its versatility either. As for affordability, that’s certainly subjective, but the simple fact is that with a base 190-hp 4.3L Merc engine this boat comes in at a very competitive price.  So just what is that price, and where does the value lie? Check out our test video and see the captain’s report.

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New Boat

Glacier Bay Renegade 2740:
New Test Video

Glacier Bay Renegade 2740
We’ve been reporting for quite some time on the build of this new Glacier Bay.
Now she's here and we are the first to test it.

The folks at Glacier Bay went to the drafting table to create an all new catamaran that not only expands on the already voluminous room that cats are famous for, but also to focus on ergonomics as well. We’ve reported before that Glacier Bay hasn’t always been at the forefront of making boats that fit people as well as they can take a sea. But with this new model, we’re expecting that things will change. Now that we’ve tested her and have gotten a chance to touch and feel her, we’re ready to let you in on the results of the performance numbers and show the full report. The features video is still in the editing stage, but for the test, just head right this way...

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Yamaha News

Yamaha FX Cruiser SHO and FX SHO:
What Do These Watercraft Deliver?

Yamaha FX SHO Series
Pictured here in the red is the 2011 FX SHO and in the background is the 2011 version of the FX Cruiser SHO.

The FX Cruiser SHO and the FX SHO are essential the same watercraft with only a slight variation in features. So what do you need to know about them? We put them through a full test and review to answer that question.  First, even though they have one of the longest hulls in a PWC at 132.7 inches and weigh in at 840 lbs. and 827 lbs., respectively, the ride characteristics on both are as good as on shorter, lighter units -- and in one way they are better. Find out what that is...

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Rescue of the Week

Croatia SAR Team Saves Boater

Rescue1 Rescue2
In the first photo Ivan Plevnik tells his would-be rescuer that he does not want to leave his vessel which was caught in the swollen river. Watch the video to see what happens next...

A 56-year-old man was rescued from his sinking boat last Monday September 20, seconds before it was dragged under the waters of River Sava in Zagreb. The report said, “After hours of trying to tow Ivan Plevnik and his boat to safety, emergency officials had to winch a rescuer down from a helicopter, when the boat began to sink.” Dramatic footage showed the rescuer harnessing Plevnik and the two of them being airlifted to safety, just seconds before the vessel sank into the waters of the river. There was severe flooding in many parts of Croatia last week. Watch the video...

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New Boat

Campion Chase 800i:
Fastest Thing on Lake Okanagan?

Campion Chase 800
What's red and white and green all over? The Campion Chase 800i is built using ecologically friendly production methods, by a family-owned company that cares about such things. It's also pretty fast – but is it fast enough to outrun Ogopogo?

What's faster, a Campion Chase 800i or a lake monster? Our money's on the Chase: With the biggest powerplant on offer, a MerCruiser 525 EFI Bravo One, the 800i will top 80 mph, says the builder. It's built in Kelowna, British Columbia, on the shores of Lake Okanagan.  Since the 19th century there have been reports of a forty- to fifty-foot long "sea serpent" living in the lake. Called Ogopogo, the creature, or something resembling it, has been spotted numerous times since 1872. We think Ogopogo will have a hard time keeping up with, or away from, the Campion Chase 800i, so we're betting on the boat. If you want to know more about Ogopogo, try Wikipedia, but if the Chase 800i lights your fire, click here to learn more...

Schedule a test drive

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Captain's Report

RIBCRAFT 7.8 Offshore:
A RIB of Many Functions

Ribcraft 7.8 Offshore
In her civilian clothes, the RIBCRAFT 7.8 Offshore looks like a typical center-console boat, albeit one that's half Hypalon. In other dress, she can be a tough commercial vessel or a military or law-enforcement patrol boat.

If your idea of the perfect land vehicle is a Jeep Wrangler with a soft top and roll cage, you'll love the RIBCRAFT 7.8 Offshore. Depending on her options, the RIBCRAFT 7.8 can become a club launch, tour boat, workboat, megayacht tender, military patrol boat, commando craft for special ops – you name it. We'll take ours with a couple of pod seats behind the helm for security in rough weather, a single four-stroke outboard to keep the price down, and a T-top to carry our radar. Then we'll go out and have fun just messing about in the boat. If this sounds like a good way to spend your time on the water, find out more about this cool-runnin' RIB...

Request factory direct price quote

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New Test

Larson Senza 206:
The Builder's Top Seller

Larson Senza 206
Our tests showed a top speed of 51.2 mph with a Merc 5.0 MPI EC 260-hp engine with a Bravo 3 outdrive.

The Larson Senza 206 is riding high as the top seller in the Larson lineup. One reason for that is that it’s hard not to appreciate her looks. But how does she perform?  We took the Senza 206 on a full test to check out her handling and performance for ourselves. Our full test video is currently in post production and will be ready for viewing shortly. But in the meantime, Capt. Steve’s detailed report is here and, as usual, it’s rife with his insightful comments...

Request a brochure

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New Test

Seaswirl 2101 Striper:
A Walk Around Or A Workboat?

Seaswirl 2101 WA O/B
Striper set out to add utility to their 21’6” (6.55 m) fishing line and gave the cabin a downeast workboat feel.

When we sent Capt. Steve to test the 2101 WA we had no idea that he’d spend most of his time onboard reminiscing about his summer pulling conch pots from Nantucket Sound. It seems he couldn’t help but feel that he was back on that little work boat hauling and dropping sets. “All that was missing was the gin pole, gunwale winch and work table,” he told us.  As fishy as all of this sounds, the fact is that the builder has also added a lot of creature comforts which families will like for cruising weekends.  Our full test and walkthrough videos are currently in post production, but for now you can take a look at the test numbers and full report to see how Striper has done with their version of an on-the-water SUV. Fish smell is optional...

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Fishing Boats

Small Boats in Alaska's Panhandle

Alaska Fishing
This is a 2008 model 2000 Alaskan DC built by Lund and modified with cruising canvas for what can obviously be chilly in the far north. We like the canvas "deck" across the open bow of this boat which keeps is dryer and safer in sloppy conditions.

The first time we visited the panhandle of Alaska in 1978 we were astonished to see the tremendous number of small boats there and an absence of large convertibles and cabin cruisers. There are more small boats than ever before and they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Marinas are full of them and as Alaskan residents go fishing as much for meat as for pleasure and recreation. We're told that when boat-owning residents of the Alaskan panhandle get cabin fever they go fishing. The variety of small boats there is amazing, and so are the shapes and modifications made to them. If you've never been to Alaska and have wondered what the small boats there are like, we have a photo essay to give you a peek. Button up here...

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Features Video

Tigé 24 Vé:
Tigé’s Flagship

Tigé 24 Vé
Not only is the 24 Vé a great looking boat, but our tests show it to be quite a performer.

The Tigé 24 Vé sits comfortably on its perch at the pinnacle of the Tigé lineup. There’s more to this boat than killer looks. Today, we’ll focus on the layout and see what makes this such a versatile watersports platform, and see why former customers are trading in their boats purchased just a year ago, in order to get an upgrade to the flagship. More...

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Second Look

Formula 290 FX4:
A New Line of Class and Style

Formula 290 FX4
One of the most highly anticipated new builds in a long time has arrived and we were on the dock to bring you the first look. With this much going for it, we thought we’d show you the sleek FX4 again.

There just aren’t many boats on the dock that have the wow factor of the Formula 290 FX4. It’s the first model of a whole new lineup that will ultimately include four models from this builder of upscale boats. So with this sort of pedigree, it’s only fitting to expect off-the-charts features. When we took a first look, well... we weren’t disappointed.  If you haven’t seen her, now is your chance...

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New Video

New FinCraft 17 DC:
The New Kid on the Block

FinCraft 17 DC
We test the performance and handling of the new FinCraft 17 DC.

FinCraft has been very busy lately, thanks to a successful new product introduction that has both dealers and customers signing up for boats.  We sent our camera crew and test captain out to inspect the new FinCraft 17 DC to see what all the fuss was about. Join us...

Request a test drive

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New Video

Doral 275 Venezia:
A Big Pocket Cruiser

Doral 275 Venezia
The Doral 275 Venezia has a swim platform and extends way out past her outdrive giving her a LOA of 29' (8.84 m), and her beam of 9’4” (2.84 m) is 10” (25.4 cm) more than most boats in her class.

Doral is well known for European styling and functional design, and the 275 Venezia seems to embody that well. She has comfortable features below that make her an attractive prospect for weekends away, and her deck layout is spacious and functional. With 6’1" (1.85 m) of headroom and large amounts of natural light, the 275 is a viable pocket cruiser.  But every boat has a mix of good with the compromised, and to flush out both sides you’ll need to see our features walkthrough video and check out the full captain’s report. More...

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Godfrey Aqua Patio 220DF:
A Toon with a Mission

Godfrey Aqua Patio 220DF Godfrey Aqua Patio 220DF
Godfrey knows what the mission is for many pontoon boats and "Aqua Patio" says it all.

We all have a vision of some kind for pontoon boats, but if you haven't really looked at them in the last 10 years, you are in for a shock.  Godfrey started building boats fifty years ago and today is one of the country's largest builders in class.  It has models to tickle your fancy whether it is to fish, ski, wakeboard or allow you to relax in luxurious comfort when you are ready. Godfrey even provided specially equipped pontoon boats to help with the Gulf Deepwater well blowout! Let’s take a look at the Godfrey Aqua Patio 220DF...

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Boating Tip

Engine Stops --
2 Boaters Jump Overboard

Boating Tip
That's right, they were going to swim to shore to get help.

Coming under the heading of "We Couldn't Make This Stuff Up": Last weekend the engine of a 29' powerboat stopped in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island and two boaters jumped overboard to swim for shore, ostensibly to get help. A passing vessel rescued the two people off Portsmouth, RI, then radioed the Coast Guard which picked them up and took them to a waiting ambulance on shore. The incident occurred at 1:45pm near Prudence Island. Two other people were left on the boat and were taken off by the Coast Guard. No one was hurt. In light of this incident, our Boating Tip of the Week is: "If your Engine Stops Running, Don't Panic!" Here's what to do...

Sea Tow
This message is brought to you by the team at Sea Tow.


7 Deadly Sins
of Boat Maintenance

Shurhold Buff Magic
Yacht-Brite cleaning products, by Shurhold, insure that you will not harm marine surfaces or the environment, yet still get your boat clean.

We can tell you right now that the #1 deadly sin of boat maintenance is “Procrastination and Neglect.” Environmental buildup – soot, carbon, dirt, mildew, mold, green scum – can damage your boat quicker than you think. Gelcoat, wood, isinglass, and plastic are all porous and once they become impregnated sometimes it can be nearly impossible to clean them without ruining the surface. Neglecting maintenance will reduce the value of your boat and make it hard to keep clean. There are six other sins and they are not so obvious – in fact, our guess is that you have been using a few of these harmful products for years. Discover the other 6 deadly sins...

Only In Dreams

Picture of the Week

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

See a larger picture, when and who took it -- 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.

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USCG Recall

BRP, Mercury,
& Parker Hannifin

USCG Recall
Due to a first run printing error, limited amounts of the solid red design of the 2010 Vessel Safety Check Decals were released. This matter has been rectified. Since a limited number have been already placed on vessels, the above two designs are authorized as valid Vessel Safety Check Decals for the 2010 boating season. The incorrect decals will not be recalled.

As always, BoatTEST.com is happy to aid the USCG and the companies involved to help spread the word about the latest recalls for boaters' safety. These recalls are usually instigated by the OEMS themselves. If you know anyone who has an outboard engine described above please refer them to this notice. To see the official USCG recall...

Product Review

Fulton F2
Trailer Jack

Fulton F2 Trailer Jack
A trailer jack that's easy to adjust to your vehicle and trailering system.

Say goodbye to the scraped knuckles, sore hands and hammers you have needed when using your trailer jack in the past. Say hello to one that can be custom fitted to your vehicle and boat by, get this, YOU! One note, however, you may want to put that old one on the shelf and swap it back out when you sell your trailer because this will outlast the trailer! If your hands and back are getting excited just reading this, check out the video!

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Sinking of the Century

Why the Titanic Hit
A Berg and Sank

The sumptuous liner sank during its maiden journey on April 15, 1912, bringing death to 1,523 of the 2,228 passengers and crew members aboard. Only 705 survived. Could the berg have been avoided?

There is an old wives' tale that postulates that people usually have three times to avoid catastrophic accidents that are entirely man-made. A new revelation reported in England last week, purportedly from the lips of a man on the bridge at the time of the calamity, may shed some new light on the sinking of the century. We all know that Capt. Smith chose a northerly route that took him through Iceberg Alley instead of a southerly one. And we all know that he was traveling at full speed, but there may be more to the story. Turn back the pages...

Visit BoatTEST.com on our new interactive Facebook page.


If Only Skip Had Seen BoatTEST.com’s Smart Boating DVD Course

Smart Boatingx
Watch the story about one of the worst navigational blunders by a professional captain in our video DVD boating course.

Do you know the difference between set and drift? How about heading and course? Magnetic bearing and relative bearing? Would you ever consider going back to a boating class to touch up on what you’ve forgotten? We didn’t think so, and you’re not alone. That’s why BoatTEST.com’s Smart Boating course is becoming so popular. There is simply no better course being offered that can teach you so much, and in the comfort of your own home on TV. Whether you’ve never been on the water before, or are a seasoned skipper, there’s something for everyone in this course. Own the 4-Disc Box Set today and get the edge that you need. Smart Boating... because safe boating just isn’t enough. Order your copy here...

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Boat Buying Tips

How to Buy a Boat
Ready for Watersports

Buying a Watersports-ready boat
In this day-and-age boats are designed and built especially for individual watersports. The trick as a buyer is to find the best boat for your specific activity, agility and location.

There are a lot of activities that are best done from boats in some of the most beautiful locations on earth. Probably the most basic is simply swimming and using the boat as a practical platform upon which to reach an ideal spot. After a refreshing dip, then there is nothing more delightful than climbing back aboard that handy floating transportation for a day in the sun (or shade.) But not all boats are designed, equipped or even intended to carry out this most basic of boating missions. If you intend to use your new boat for watersports -- where people are actually in the water -- then make sure you are getting the right boat, and one equipped the right way. Here's what to look for...

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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. There is no charge. Sign in here...

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.

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Lesson of the Week

Boating Etiquette Tidbits

Lesson of the WeekSmart Boating Cover
Always remember to be a courteous neighbor to your fellow boaters and follow the no wake rules and any other signs that are posted.

This week Capt. Steve goes over seven new lessons and guidelines on getting along with the boating community by using proper boating etiquette. Even though some of these may have been touched upon in previous lessons, there are a few we would like to call out again. Some important ones to remember include following the no wake rule in channels, marinas or around docks, how to properly pass or get around another boat, how to approach a busy anchorage, why you should go around a sailboat race and not through it if you encounter one, who has swinging rights in a marina, and noise etiquette. What it all comes down to is being a courteous boater. 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 past lessons --

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Ducky Award Winner

Ducky Winner

First Place

“Beats me. The GPS says the Everglades.” – S. Thompson

Second Place

"Told ya that this lake was a jungle on the weekends." – B. Tyndall

Honorable (almost) Mentions

“And that's when Rick realized that using peanuts for bait was bad idea. “ - J. Algarin

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 9/29/10

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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If you have a picture that you think needs some explanation, send it to: lis@boattest.com.

(Please -- no Photoshop!)

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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.