New Azimut Magellano 50:
With Hybrid Power
Azimut is electrifying the yachting world with its new Magellano line of fuel-efficient long-range cruisers, including this 51' 4" (15.64 m) Magellano 50. Introduced at the Genoa Boat Show in October, she is the mid-sized entry in the new series (a 74 is already available, and a 40 is in the works). Not only is the 50 a radical departure visually from Azimut's Med-style cruisers, noted for their speed, sleek styling and sybaritic accommodations, but it also has something few other yachts at this level have -- the option of hybrid power: Azimut's Easy Hybrid system adds twin 23-kW electric motors to the Magellano 50's twin Cummins MerCruiser QSB 5.9 diesels, and will move the yacht at up to 8 knots under battery power alone, in near-silence, says the company.
But there's more to this innovative new yacht from Azimut; to find out her other secrets...
Princess Yachts 85:
We Take a Teaser Look at Luxury Cruising
As the realm of long distance cruising continues to grow, so does the offering of yachts that are capable of it. To keep up, a builder has to successfully combine a level of reliable functionality and, of course, luxury. Princess Yachts is no stranger to this combination, and now they’ve launched the brand new 85, which brings to the table lessons learned from past builds, and added results from customer feedback on what qualities work the best. When we went to see the results for ourselves, we were more than impressed with the layout and top level styling that Princess put into this beautiful yacht. We’ll soon be bringing you a full review, but for now, let’s take a little taste of the luxury that is the Princess 85, from an owner/operator's
Grey Poupon optional...
Cruisers Yachts 390 Sports Coupe:
Express Cruiser For Serious Traveling
For 2011 Cruisers Yachts has taken their 390 Sports Coupe and tweaked her to make her even better. We have always liked the unique companion seat/nav station/snack table on the boat's bridge deck next to the helm. The 390 is the only cruiser we know of which has such a clever design and it can be used for all sorts of things. She also has a wide walk-thru windscreen, an innovation that was an industry first
for Cruisers Yachts. Below there is a standard large open arrangement for entertaining, or an optional one with two private staterooms ideal for two couples. With IPS our test boat was a handling dream. We think this is all the boat most people will ever need.
Find out all about it...
Hydra-Sports 4200 SF:
Huge Offshore CC Now Has Quad V8s
The new model Hydra-Sports 4200 SF has taken a big step up in horsepower with four 350-hp Yamaha V8 outboards. We went down to take a look at the new boat. With this much power, it takes a little more than just “bolt-‘em-on-and-head-out-to-fish.”
This is an installation that needs to be dialed in, and when we went for our first peek, the boat was crawling with techs from both Hydra-Sports and Yamaha working diligently to get the 1400 ponies harnessed harmoniously with one of the largest production fiberglass center consoles in the world. From what we saw, they already had it nailed, but they still kept tweaking.
So while we wait for the test, let’s take a look at the features of this giant among CCs and go over the details.
Repowering with Yanmar's
Lightweight, Compact 480-hp Diesel
One of the best ways to protect your investment in a boat and keep it from being
a depreciating asset is to buy one that has already depreciated to something just
above its retail "flatline." The great thing about fiberglass boats is that
their hulls and decks will still be around for the next Ice Age, so all one needs
to do is rehab a boat, much like an old house is renovated – new interior and equipment,
paint, and engines. The engine brand and block of choice among people doing repower
in the 30’ to 45’ range is the Yanmar 6LY3 ETP with output up to 480-hp. There are
four reasons why this engine is so popular: 1) its superior power/weight ratio,
2) its compact size, 3) its reliability, and 4) Yanmar’s dedication to the repower
market and in-depth customer service. To find out more about this remarkable engine,
watch the two BoatTEST.com videos presented below.
Rob Smith explains the Yanmar 6LY3 diesel...
with a builder who specified the 6LY3 Yanmar diesel...
We Test This Cool, Sexy Day Boat
If we had to think of a "head-turning" 30-something American-made day boat in a moment’s notice, the MasterCraft 300 would most likely be first to pop to mind. She has graceful curvy lines and an overabundance of teak throughout and – to our eye – is so hot she is cool. You rarely find this sort of yacht-like quality in a day boat this small. But beyond her looks, we found this boat to have functions that make her a great example to show what a day boat can and should offer. We've been writing and drooling over the MasterCraft 300 for a year now, but one question remained: Is she all show and no go? We recently gave her a visit and put her through a full test. Our captain's report is ready for viewing.
Jump aboard if you dare...
Tiara 4500 Sovran:
The Boat That Owners Built
Tiara made waves at the recent Fort Lauderdale boat show with its introduction of the 4500 Sovran, a replacement for the company's star performer, the 4300 Sovran. But the 4500 isn't just a stretched 4300 – it has a different hull, a different deck, a modified arrangement plan, a new hardtop design and lots of small improvements on the earlier model, many inspired by input from Tiara owners. "We didn't just add a couple of feet and call it a new boat," said company president David Slikkers. "It's a completely different boat." Since the 4300 Sovran became Tiara's strongest seller in a shorter time than any previous model, it took courage for the company to retire it in favor of the 4500. Did they do the right thing, or should Tiara have kept the 4300 Sovran around for a while longer?
Decide for yourself...
Monterey 320 Sport Yacht:
Her Best Feature is Belowdecks
Monterey hides its 320 Sport Yacht's best feature belowdecks, but the rest of the boat is very nice, too. Built in Florida, this 33' 10" (10.3 m) express cruiser combines quality construction, a versatile cockpit, lots of standard equipment and a reasonable price. But what we like best about the 320 SY is her cabin layout: It's just right for a couple who enjoy taking friends out for the day, but who cruise on their own. By omitting the forward bulkhead between berth and salon and foregoing a closed mid-cabin in favor of a convertible lounge, Monterey's designers created an open-plan cabin that seems bigger than the boat's overall length would allow. It should appeal to folks who want maximum usable space belowdecks when they're not sleeping, and who don't mind losing a bit of privacy when they are.
To find out more about the 320 SY...
How -- and When--
to Call for Assistance
Let's face it -- calling for assistance is downright embarrassing. Most people think it's an indication that they can't handle a situation, or are afraid, or have done something stupid aboard, or don't have the rudimentary mechanical skills to solve a simple problem. We know one yachtsman who had severe engine trouble and nursed his large boat 20 miles back to the marina rather than call for a tow, and ruined his engines in the process. His repair bill was $65k. There is nothing wrong with calling for assistance and it could be your least expensive option, to say nothing of being the safest. Here's a video explaining how to do it...
Shurhold Handles & Brushes:
Time Tells All
We recently took a closer look at two products from Shurhold, the telescoping handle
and companion brushes. The team at Shurhold tells us that all their handles are made of high-strength, corrosion resistant, lightweight aluminum. We found their SHUR-LOK quick release system locks quickly and easily to more than 40 attachments.
We found the telescoping handles provided excellent versatility by locking at different lengths for various needs. These telescoping handles come in two sizes: 6 ft (183 cm), which locks at four lengths between 40 inches and 72 inches (101 cm - 182 cm) and 9 ft (274 cm), which locks at five lengths between 60 inches and 108 inches (152 cm - 274 cm)
The brushes are available in two sizes, 6-inch and 10-inch. Each brush attaches with the same SHUR-LOK system and all are made from solid wood blocks. Shurhold has added a rubber bumper to eliminate marks on any of the surfaces the brush may come in contact with.
You can choose from three types of bristles as well; the two we tested have the soft polystyrene with split fibers designed for gelcoat, non-skid surfaces, and anything you don’t want to risk scratching. It's great when a brush is new, but how well will it last? We have been using the same brush for over two years now and can report back that the brush is in great shape. The bristles are still soft, the rubber bumper is like new and the wooden base is un-cracked and solid.
Certified Special Find
Bluewater Yachts 52:
A Unique Full Found Cruiser
From time to time BoatTEST.com locates a unique opportunity in a yacht of high quality with lasting value at a very good price. When we find such boats, we bring them to our members' attention as a “Certified Special Find” because we personally know the people who built or stand behind these boats. The Bluewater Yachts 52 is a one-of-a-kind double stateroom, galley down, express cruiser that has all of the interior warmth and charm of a Downeast cruiser with a hull that has a flared bow and tumble home stern quarters. From her flying bridge to her galley she is unique but eminently
practical and will be appreciated by veteran boaters. She is fully found, has been expertly maintained, and turns heads everywhere she goes. And there is nothing like her in the marina. And, the price is right. Yacht connoisseurs only...
Request price and details
VanDerHeijden 1350 Steel Yacht:
Ideal for Rivers, Canals & Lake Cruises
Thankfully there is a builder addressing the “middle market” of cruising boats with
a high-quality customizable yacht. It is VanDerHeijden in Holland, a company that
has earned a reputation for building steel yachts in the 11 to 33 meter range (36’
to 108’) for discerning yachtsman who do not want (or need) a megayacht, yet would
like to own a quality steel vessel with fine-yacht interior wood finishing. In other
words, if you would rather not own a production fiberglass boat, here is a terrific
option. Finding a yard to build such a boat is not easy because most yards that
can build in steel and that have a cadre of good cabinetmakers chose to go for
the big bucks and build megayachts or even superyachts. Happily, VanDerHeijden specializes
in a niche that has always been the traditional size for most wealthy yachtsmen
– the mid-range. Let us look at a 13.5 m (45’) design that is ideal for genteel
Yamaha F350 V8:
Built to Fish Offshore
When it comes to performance offshore outboards it is clear that many boaters are underestimating the technology that goes into the latest generation of engines. Based on emails that we received over the last year many boaters are unaware of the design and engineering that the Yamaha team has built into their F350 V8 5.3L four-stroke outboard engine. This engine is not simply an example of more horsepower
- it is an example of designing-in performance and capabilities necessary for boaters who go offshore in larger fishboats.
Captain Rob Smith takes a detailed look under the cowling at what makes this particular engine tick...
Riva Aquariva Super:
The World's Most Elegant Runabout?
If you doubt that Riva speedboats are objects of worship among the yachting cognoscenti, here's something that might change your mind: The Aquariva Super, just 33' 0" (10.07 m) long, costs upwards of $1,000,000, but after her debut in 2000 it took Riva just six years to sell 100 boats; the company celebrated with a special edition, the Aquariva Cento, in 2006. (In the past couple of months, two more special editions of the boat have been introduced, one created by Gucci, the other by designer Marc Newson.) A direct descendant of maybe the most famous Riva of all, the mahogany Aquarama, the Aquariva carries on a boatbuilding tradition started 168 years ago, when Pietro Riva arrived in Sarnico, on the shores of Lake d'Iseo in northern Italy.
Learn more about Riva and the elegant Aquariva here...
Size Does Matter
Looks like they were right all along: Not only does size matter, but bigger is better. In the case of the Pursuit C310 you’ve got a large deep-V hull designed to get you out and back when others are at the dock wishing they were out with you. Multiple lifting strakes leading to a hard chine add to the performance that Pursuit is famous for. And while tournament fishermen are clinging to triple drives, Pursuit has managed to keep everyone happy with twins, a cheaper and more economical alternative. However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg of this boat’s offshore fishing features.
For the rest of the story, just read on...
Grand Banks Eastbay 46 SX:
Refining the Downeast Look
Grand Banks realized long ago that if you’re going to keep up, then you can’t stick with tradition forever. While their classic 36 was an easy boat to spot, the design had its limitations and new looks to the GB line started appearing. Then in 1974, Grand Banks made what was probably their biggest departure from dyed-in-the-wool
tradition. They started making boats out of (gasp) fiberglass. Yes, there were a lot of naysayers, and many who thought that GB’s would be built of wood forever. But time and tide wait for no man, and even though their boats are now made of fiberglass, Grand Banks takes pains to make them look like wood - something very few are willing to do as it adds to the cost of building. Now, it’s time for Grand Banks to march forward again by giving the shaft to... well, shafts. This new Eastbay 46 SX is powered by CMD diesels with none other than Zeus pod drives. By doing this, Grand Banks has opened up a lot of room in the boat, and a lot of options.
Let’s take a look and see why tradition is only for the timid...
Special 20% Discount
Yes! You Can Be a Better Boater!
We would all like to be better boaters and wish we knew more of the basics, and not so basics. With the BoatTEST.com DVD boating course our own Captain Steve will walk you through everything from boat handling to navigation to safety. First time boaters have told us this course was the “best way to learn proper boating” and experienced boaters have told us they “learned many new things” that will help them become even better boaters. It really is one of the best and most informative boating courses around, easy to use and best of all, easy to retain the information. This course is approved by the USCG and is even recommended by the NMMA! Order today!
Order your copy here...
Regularly it sells for $79.95 plus P&H. Now you can order it for just $63.95
plus P&H -- a $16 discount
Where in the World
Picture of the Week
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
Visit BoatTEST.com and "like" our page to watch unedited video found only on Facebook.
Running Hazardous Inlets:
Capt. Steve’s Near Disaster
The Lessons He Learned
“The NTSB final report on the capsizing of the small charter fishing vessel determined that the probable cause was the decision of the master to attempt to cross the bar at Garibaldi, Oregon in hazardous sea states that existed at the time.”
“Boca Raton Inlet is dangerous and particularly hazardous to all boats not designed for open seas. Persons using this inlet should be experienced boatmen and should be extremely knowledgeable of the area.”
“The Columbia River Bar is opened and closed to navigation at the discretion of the Columbia River Bar Pilots, based on existing or anticipated weather conditions.”
So what are we mortal boaters to do?
What do you do if weather has turned nasty and there are breakers in the only inlet
home for 50 miles? If you choose to run that inlet, doing it right might be the difference between a few heart flutters and disaster. Let’s look, with Capt. Steve, at some lessons he learned and see what we can do right, and wrong.
Proceed with caution...
Lesson of the Week
Tie Knots with Confidence
This week Capt. Steve goes over nine lessons and guidelines on tying knots. This is something that not only is important to master, but will also save you time and expense down the road. How many fenders have you lost since you’ve owned your boat? Or, how many times have you needed to leave the dock quickly but there was so much line tied around the cleat it took minutes instead of seconds to untie? A knot that is strong yet can be undone in a flash if needed is a real necessity when boating. Once you get some of these basic techniques down you’ll feel like a more confident boater. The videos presented this week are part of BoatTEST.com’s
Boating Course which is USCG-approved. Watch these video boating lessons every week
To view this week’s lessons --
To view all lessons --
Ducky Award Winner
"Evel Knievel's Great Grandson, Heavel Knievel, just didn't have enough horsepower to make it over that car." - J. McCauley
"Richard's first test fit of the newest version of a car that turns into a boat and back."
- D. Pollard
Honorable (almost) Mentions
"Good thing he trimmed up, might have knocked out the windshield." - S. Leker
"Now that's a nasty trick! I told you, Marvin, that you should have given
out candy at Halloween. Those guys weren't kidding when they said 'Trick-or-Treat'."
- D. Pollard
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 think needs some explanation, send it to: email@example.com.
All articles, Captain's 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.