3 Evinrude 250 Tests//9 Tests & Reviews//Cold Weather Cruiser - 12/22/2010
BoatTEST Newsletter December 22, 2010 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
10th year anniversary
- Doral 185 Sunquest
- Glacier Bay Renegade 2740
- Bayliner 175 Bowrider
- Hydra-Sports 23 Bay Bolt
- Larson 850 IO
- Manitou 25 X-Plode
- Seaswirl Striper 2101 WA
- Nord Star 28 Patrol
- Campion Explorer 682 SC
- Evinrude 250 H.O.
- Allstate PWC Safety Tips
- Yamaha FZR
- Sea Tow Member Services
- Shurhold Products
- Repair and Maintenance Tips
- Boating Course Now On DVD
- Picture of the Week
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Doral 185 Sunquest:
Bowrider with Elegance
and Class

Doral 185 Sunquest
Doral's 185 Sunquest is given a tough test by Capt. John Wenz.

Captain John recently tested the 185 Sunquest from Doral - here's what he has to say about it: "Every now and then I get a chance to take a look at a boat from a manufacturer that I’m not really familiar with. It’s especially rewarding when the experience turns out to be something of a pleasant surprise. That was the case recently, when I took an assignment to test Doral’s 185 Sunquest Bowrider. I expected just another sub-twenty foot bowrider but that’s not what I got. The 185 is a fine performer with a look that will turn heads wherever she goes."  If you have never considered a Doral, we suggest that you take a look at this exciting video test.  See it now...

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New Boat

Glacier Bay Renegade 2740:
First 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 our full Captain's Report. Catch the Cat...

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New Video

Bayliner 175 Bowrider:
New Changes to the New Model

Bayliner 175 Bowrider
Capt. Steve takes a look at the engine compartment and the 135-hp MerCruiser in the Bayliner 175 BR.

Bayliner claims that their 175 BR is their hottest selling boat. That’s not surprising as it’s always been a low priced boat with nice features, but for this new model year Bayliner has made some significant changes which make it a little bit more attractive. Black is now the standard color and there are no options, plus they’ve included black painted trailers in the package deal. Bayliner has also reversed their upholstery colors making the seats easier to keep clean and tilt steering is now standard, as is power steering. Today we take a walk through the 175’s features and see just what it is that makes this entry level bowrider such a practical first boat for so many people, as well as a good second boat... or perhaps even an ideal retirement boat. More...

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New Video

Hydra-Sports 23 Bay Bolt:
Well Equipped for Shallow Water Fishing

Hydra-Sports 23 Bay Bolt
We tested the 23 Bay Bolt and found a very capable shallow water rig. LOA is 22'11” (6.98 m) and beam is 8’10” (2.69 m). Hull draft is only 10” (25.4 cm).

Our tests of the Hydra-Sports 23 Bay Bolt revealed some very impressive performance figures, but we were more impressed with the features of this skinny water fishing rig. It seems that every aspect of bay fishing is addressed, from multiple baits, to cast netting. With a host of options, like the raised tower and a huge power plant, this is one boat that has a lot to offer. We already premiered the performance video, so if you missed it, you need to take a look. But for today, we offer the tour of the features that make up the Hydra-Sports 23 Bay Bolt. Watch...

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New Video

Larson 850 IO:
They Call This a Starter Package?

Larson 850 IO
Capt. Steve takes a look at the boat's hard chine and lifting strakes.  Dry weight is a mere 2,450 lbs. (1,111 kg) which means that you can tow the 850 with even the smallest truck or midsized car.

When you take a design for an 18’5’’ (5.64 m) bowrider and compare with others on the market, little changes from one to the next. There’s only so much an architect can do to get creative with a boat this size. But nobody told the design team at Larson that, and they actually managed to throw in some features to their 850 IO that raises the bar on what an entry level boat entails. So with that in mind, let’s run the features video and see what Larson decided to include in their entry level bowrider. Look and learn...

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Manitou 25 X-Plode:
Making a Toon Sporty and Cool

Manitou 25 X-Plode
With exciting graphics and responsive handling, Manitou is on a mission to convince more boaters that fiberglass V-hulls are not the only choice for sporty handling.

We’ve seen different styles of pontoons over the years and most range from basic flat decks with chairs to the ultra luxury Cleopatra barges. However, few are as cool as this Manitou tri-toon.  The Manitou X-Plode series takes advantage of not only three toons but also strakes welded onto all three of them for improved performance and handling.  Today, we take a close look at just how cool this series is with a detailed look at the 25 X-Plode. Toon up here..

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New Video

Seaswirl Striper 2101 WA:
A Cozy Cabin on a CC Hull

Seaswirl 2105 WA
The Striper 2101 WA is built on the same hull as their 2105 CC.

When Striper went to build the 2101 WA, they used their proven hull from the 2105CC for the foundation. What they ended up with was much more than a cabin dropped onto an existing hull. As it turns out, we found this to be a very functional combination that has a lot going for it. The hull is deep-V, the freeboard is relatively high for this size boat, and the enclosed foredeck makes this 2101 WA dryer and safer offshore when it gets rough.  Let’s take a video tour of the features of the new Striper 2101 WA...

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Ice Patrol

Nord Star 28 Patrol:
Pocket-Sized, All-Weather Vessel

Nord Star 28 Patrol
With a single 317-hp Volvo Penta D6-330 Duoprop, the 30' 5" (9.3 m) LOA Nord Star 28 Patrol can run faster than 35 knots, according to the builder. Her cozy pilothouse with reverse-raked windshield and wide, well-protected side decks are designed for all-weather boating. An outside steering station is optional.

The 30' 5" (9.3 m) LOA Nord Star 28 Patrol is designed for folks wanting to cruise in a wide range of sea and weather conditions, not all of them friendly. With her secure pilothouse, ocean-worthy hull, rugged construction and Scandinavian heritage, the 28 Patrol is a capable pocket-sized boat, one suited for coastwise service in almost any weather. (Need proof? Many 28 Patrols work as water taxis in Greenland.) CE-certified for Category B, Offshore, the Finnish-built, Baltic-tested 28 Patrol rides on an 18-degree deadrise modified V-hull that balances seaworthiness, speed and comfort. She sleeps 4 in single berths in two cabins; both can be converted to doubles with filler cushions. While the Nord Star 28 Patrol isn't for everybody – folks looking for luxury need not apply -- boatmen and women who enjoy exploring off the beaten path might find her an ideal pocket-sized cruising yacht, and one that will extend their boating season too. Find out more...

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Campion Explorer 682 SC:
A Small Boat for Big Water

Campion Explorer 682 SC
Campion will rig your 682 Sport Cabin with single or twin outboards or a single gas or diesel sterndrive up to 320-hp. The builder says top speed is around 50 mph (80.5 kph) with max power. The bracket improves the 682's performance with outboards in rough water – many owners take their 682s 50+ miles offshore fishing off the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Campion Marine's Explorer 682 Sport Cabin should warm any serious fisherman's heart, especially those not wanting to spend a fortune. In just 23' 7" (7.19 m) of length (25' 8" – 7.82 m – with OB bracket and pulpit), Campion fits in several large fishboxes, a live well, lots of other fishy stuff, and even dedicated stowage for the heavy-duty swim ladder. There are three choices of tops, including one with sliding glass windows; choose sterndrive power and you can have a cabin heater just like the one in your truck. Canadian fishermen take their 682s more than 50 miles offshore (next stop: Japan), counting on Campion's first-class construction and rigging to bring them home safely.   If you like hunting trophy fish way beyond the horizon, here's more about the 682 Sport Cabin... 

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Engine Test

We Test the Evinrude
E-TEC 250 H.O. 2-Stroke Outboard

Evinrude E-TEC 250 H.O.
We tested the Evinrude E-TEC 250 H.O. on an Action Marine 23 offshore.

The Evinrude E-TEC 250 H.O. got its H.O. designation for being "high output." We thought that may have been just talk, but our tests show differently: the 250 H.O. definitely walks the talk. We ran it on the back of an Action Marine 23 Offshore, and we were impressed during the test. This is one engine you need to check out. Full report with a fill-in on what "H.O." brings to the party...

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PWC Safety

 Allstate PWC Videos -- 7 Minutes to Safety

 Allstate Safety
PWC safety from A to Z.
 Allstate Safety
PWC equipment check list.
 Allstate Safety
Operational safety tips.

There were several reports of PWCs exploding or catching on fire last year. In the two reports where the PWCs were identified, the units were older, which means that PWCs – just like boats – are far more prone to having fire issues as they age. It makes sense. PWCs are built to USCG and industry standards, but years of pounding, vibration and lack of maintenance take their toll. This week Allstate is sponsoring three safety videos that each last about 2 minutes. Watch and follow the advice and you should have a safe, fun ride on your PWC. See all Allstate safety videos --


Get an insurance quote now.

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Yamaha FZ Series
Competition Performance

Yamaha FZR
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. Steve 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. Steve’s prediction has proved to be correct. See the full test as well as the special “hull” features by squeezing the throttle now...

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What Happens After You Call For Assistance on the Water

Sea Tow
We all know that Sea Tow offers memberships for their services, but the question is... are they worth it?

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. 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.  More...


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. See for yourself what our tests turned up...

Visit Shurhold.com.


Rejuvenate Your Topsides
By Painting Over Fiberglass

If you have some hull damage, a good paint job can cover up the fix.

If you have ever wondered how to bring your fiberglass boat's oxidized topsides back to their glossy best, consider a paint job.  We could think of no better place to go for some advice on the topic than to the Rybovich Yard in Palm Beach.  We asked veteran Jon Ballard, the paint shop foreman at the Rybo yard, for his take on the subject. Say what?...

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Special 20% Discount

Yes! You Can Be a Better Boater! 

Smart Boating
Without going to classes, you can improve all of your boating skills at your home or work computer with our boating DVD course.

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. This course is approved by the USCG and is even recommended by the NMMA!  Sorry, we can't deliver before Christmas.  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.  Watch the trailer...

Where in the World

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.


Visit BoatTEST.com and "like" our page to watch unedited video found only on Facebook.

Facebook page...

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Lesson of the Week

Tips on Boat Launching and Retrieval

Lesson of the Week Smart Boating Cover
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 which all recreational boaters should be aware of.  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

"The salesman said if we open her up she'll really fly." - R. Trent

Second Place

"C'mon honey, live life on the edge!"
- S. Kozlowski

Honorable (almost) Mentions

"Heck of a first date huh?" - M. Burton

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 12/22/10

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.

We need reader help!

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

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Stamford, CT 06901

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.