Diesel Engine Advice for
Sedans and Convertibles
When you are buying a new sedan or convertible, the engines selected to power the boat can be the most important decision you make. In some cases it may be even more important to a satisfying boating experience than the brand of the boat itself. If you are having engine problems, everything else about the boat immediately becomes secondary. Despite this, a surprising number of buyers leave the engine selection up to the builder or the dealer. As an owner/operator of an expensive and complicated yacht, you should drill down into the details and performance of the engines you buy every bit as much as you will the brand and model of boat.
Let’s look at diesel considerations for sedans and convertibles...
New Test Video
Meridian 441 Sedan Bridge:
Zeus Pods vs. Straight Drives
Months ago we tested the Meridian 441 with straight-shaft twin 425-hp diesel inboards and noted her performance numbers. Some among us, including Capt. Steve, thought that the boat was slightly underpowered, but that is sometimes the case with brands that are trying to come in with as low a price-point as possible. Instead of simply installing a higher horsepower engine in the 441, Meridian went one better and put in a 480-hp Zeus pod drive. When we found out about the upgrade, we asked Meridian when and where we could get aboard for a new performance test. Here is the comparison of the two different drive systems.
And they’re off...
Volvo Penta D4:
Small Package That Packs A Wallop
Volvo Penta’s D4 diesel engine is a compact package that delivers from 225 to 300-hp for boats from 20' to 45' or more, depending on the application. It can be mated with Volvo Penta's robust DPH Duoprop outdrive, the IPS350 and 400 pod drives, or a straight-shaft or V-drive inboard drive system. If you have thought about repowering and have always wanted diesel, or you are considering what power is best for your new boat, then this mighty little diesel might be just the ticket for you.
Let's take a look at actual test numbers of the D4 in a 42-footer and learn more about the engine itself...
Rampage 30 Coastal Express:
Big Boat in a Small Package
The Rampage 30 Coastal is not a new boat but she has certainly withstood the test of time and is still standing tall among coastal fishermen and cruising folk alike. One of the reasons is that Rampage has been tweaking and upgrading the boat every year to keep her current with the latest fishy equipment. Solidly engineered and expertly finished this boat is as au courant as the day she was first launched. We have tested her with both gas and diesel power, so check out performance tables and take your pick.
Chaparral 420 Premiere:
This Hardtop is Loaded with Comfort
Chaparral's 42' 0" (12.8 m) LOA 420 Premiere is a hardtop express cruiser with many features we like, most of them comfort-related: There's a fully equipped galley roomy enough for actual cooking; cockpit seating for a raft of friends, and a wet bar and grill to feed them from; lots of sunbathing space, forward and aft; a big swim platform that can be hydraulically lowered to launch your tender or PWC; a split master head with separate shower compartment; and a midcabin that doubles as a seagoing den, so folks can enjoy it even when they're not sleeping. Introduced in 2009 as the 400 Premiere, the 420 Premiere is the same yacht, but renamed to reflect her true length. (Most of Chaparral's 2011 boats have received similar treatment.)
Here's more about the 420 Premiere.
By Popular Demand
World Cat 320 CC:
Myth Is Busted
Whenever you put a potential buyer in front of a pair of dealers, one for a monohull,
and one for a cat, you’ll soon hear the claims bouncing back and forth about how one is better than the other. This one handles better, that one has more room, yada yada yada… But one claim always rises to the surface, and it’s always against the catamarans. Since we test boats for a living, we decided that we had an obligation to put this myth to the test and settle once and for all the claim that monohull
builders have been leveling against the cats.
To the testing grounds...
Rinker 400 EC:
Price-Point Express With Lots of Standards
Radar arch... check. Raymarine radar and C-120 multi-function display... check. Three flat screen TVs... check. These are just some of the many standard items that we found on the Rinker 400 EC that some builders think should be on the options list. And that’s just scratching the surface. This 41’6" (12.64 m) boat has a base price of $380,889, and is competitive with Sea Ray and Regal.
Formula 310 FX5 Launches
At the end of last summer, we were one of the first to bring you the test and full review of the first launch of Formula's exciting new FX series. The boat
involved was the 290 FX4. With jaw-dropping good looks, and upgrades all around, this beauty was going to create a lot of buzz. Now, Formula Boats has upped the ante on cool by going one better: the new, longer, and just as good looking 310 FX5. Let’s take a look at the features and options, and while we’re at it, see what she’ll cost a lucky owner.
Let the buzz begin...
New Features Video
Cruisers Yachts 390 Sports Coupe:
Family-Friendly Coastal Cruiser with Class
The Cruisers Yachts 390 Sports Coupe has one of the most unique cockpit layouts
we’ve seen, and an interesting level of functionality that should make a long cruise even more
enjoyable. Belowdecks are many features that we’ve come to expect from Cruisers Yachts, such as solid cherry woodwork, and an impressive main salon headroom.
Best of all, she cruises at 21 kts., getting nearly 2 miles per gallon.
Beneteau Monte Carlo 42:
Is this Double-Cabin Cruiser a Good Bet?
Beneteau is known for building stylish boats at attractive prices, and the Monte Carlo 42 is no exception. The 44' 11" (13.7 m) LOA cruiser, with two double cabins, twin diesel power, a garage for tender stowage and lots of sybaritic touches in the hardtop-covered cockpit, tips the financial scales at around €330,000, plus VAT (under $500,000 in the U.S.). Designed by Beneteau naval architects and styled by P. Andreani, the Monte Carlo 42 isn't just a flashy date: She's built to EC Category B standards for offshore service and rides on a low-drag stepped hull that makes her fast and able with twin 370-hp Volvo Penta diesel sterndrives. Belowdecks, she carries her master cabin amidships, taking advantage of her 13' 1" (3.99 m) beam to provide her owner with maximum living space. But she has one quirk that has us concerned.
To find out what it is, double down...
Cranchi Zaffiro 36:
Italian Style Leads the Way
There are few places on earth quite like northern Italy, home of not only the Renaissance but also of Ferrari, Lamborghini, Gucci, Bulgari, Versace, Armani and many more
of the world's high profile products in almost any field you can think of. It's home to some of the finest leather goods and knitwear, and its cabinet-making is the envy of carpenters everywhere. In the middle of all of this industry, design talent, craftsmen and taste are several boat builders producing, not surprisingly, the world’s most elegant and refined small boats. One of them is Cranchi and our COO Christopher Hughes had a chance to get on board the Zaffiro 36 with a cameraman.
Come along for the tour...
Classic Wellcraft 252 Fisherman:
352 NM Range w/ 150 Yamahas x 2
With a 20-degree deadrise and an 8'9" (2.69 m) beam, the 4,700-lb. (1,954 kg.)
classic Wellcraft 252 CC performed like the thoroughbred she is with twin 150-hp Yamaha 4-stroke outboards. Capt. John recorded a WOT of 49.7 mph, or 43.2 knots and a best cruise of 31.8 mph, or 27.6 knots. At that speed she gets 2.5 mpg and has a range of 405 statute miles -- or 352 nautical miles -- with a 10% fuel reserve.
Take a look at the exciting video ...
New York Boat Show
Jan. 19-23, 2011
The oldest boat show in the U.S. will be celebrating its 106th anniversary this
month, Jan 19-23, in New York City. Do your research on BoatTEST.com then check out your short list in person at the show. Remember the new boat buying paradigm: for the most part
boats now need to be ordered in advance of construction. Get your new boat order
in as soon as possible to ensure delivery before the season starts. Visit the NY Boat Show website...
Golf Green Boat
Just when you think you have seen every kind of boat imaginable -- someone imagines something else. In this case, a golf green, which floats and moves around at the Coeur d'Alene Resort in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. It was built in 1991 and still draws thousands of golfers every summer. If you have never heard of this unique golf course -- with the world's only floating green -- then you'll want to watch this video.
Hinckley Yachts, located in Southwest Harbor, Maine, has received a "growth capital investment" from Scout Partners LLC, which is getting "a substantial ownership stake" in the company, said Hinckley CEO James McManus. Scout is a partnership between David Howe and Peterson Capital LLC, founded by former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Peter G. Peterson.
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For a New Boat?
If you are currently researching a new boat, the BoatTEST.com staff will be happy to provide their expertise and guidance to you via email. 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. We're ready to help you with a personal response...
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Lesson of the Week
Fire Extinguisher Requirements
This week Capt. Steve goes over six lessons and guidelines on fire extinguisher requirements. There are four basic extinguishers labeled Class A, B, C and D according to their purpose and type of fire they extinguish. The Coast Guard requires Type B-I or B-II extinguishers to have aboard recreational boats, which are portable and will douse liquid fires such as gas, oil or grease. These videos 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 order all lessons --
Ducky Award Winner
“Three longshoremen after a lunch of bad oysters.” – R. Davis
“Don't you dare say ‘do the hokey pokey and turn yourself around.’” – D. Eppley
Honorable (almost) Mentions
“Nope! It ain't under here!” – J. Augot
“It's the little people that make the difference.” – M. Mcintyre
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