Made For Saltwater
Anyone who has boated in saltwater has seen the damage it can inflict. Even if it hasn’t happened to you, you can’t walk across the marina parking lot without seeing a boat on the hard with a corroded outdrive. Volvo Penta has long been aware of the Achilles' heel of all sterndrive systems -- saltwater corrosion. The company has spent years of R&D to develop its new, corrosion-resistant OceanX lower unit. While it may not eliminate corrosion altogether, the new outdrive has proven thus far to slow it down to a crawl -- and it has a 4-year limited warranty. Before looking at the individual features of the OceanX, we did what we do best. We did a performance evaluation on it.
Take a look at the video and see how it handled the test platform boat, and then jump over to the features to see how Volvo Penta built an outdrive for saltwater...
Harris FloteBote 230 Crowne:
This 'Toon Rules the Lake
Harris FloteBote's the top-of-the-line series -- Crowne -- is the one that this 54-year old brand calls its "king." A close look at the 230 Crowne convinced us that literally a lifetime of experience has gone into this finished product because virtually everything has been done right and with a level of taste that one might be surprised to find on a pontoon boat. The execution of 230 Crown shows the maturity, customer savvy, and building wisdom that can only come with years in business. The 230 Crowne is an unusual pontoon boat and we think deserves your scrutiny if only to use it as a bench mark upon which to measure other products on the market.
See what we mean...
Scout 201 Bay Scout:
For In-Shore and Skinny Water
Scout Boats' 201 Bay Scout is a near-shore and thin-water fishing boat with all the gear serious anglers need and very little that they don't. At 19' 10" (6.0 m) LOA and 1,600 lbs. (726 kg) with engine she's easy to trailer, launch and recover. Her motor-up draft of 10" (25 cm) makes her fine for poling across the flats chasing bonefish, while her 18-degree deadrise bottom is a good compromise between comfort running fast in a chop and stability at rest. She has casting decks fore and aft, a live well in the console and plenty of rod racks. In short, she's all the fishing boat most folks need.
Cast your line here to find out more.
Glastron GT 205 BR:
A Watersports Workhorse With Thrills
When a boat looks good, there’s a certain sense of satisfaction you get as it turns heads. Just as with owning anything, when it’s admired, you feel a little more proud. If you throw in good performance, it’s like frosting on the cake. That’s the combination we found when we tested the GT 205 BR from Glastron. Our boat was equipped with the optional wakeboard tower, which added to the eye appeal and upped the ante on functionality. Today, we offer the full performance and handling video from our test on Lake Michigan. How would this look behind your car?
A Convertible For Yachtsmen
First Hatteras Yachts launched the GT60, which was designed to break the 40-knot barrier and look good doing it. Now it is launching the new GT54. Look for her at the Miami Boat Show in February. Hatteras Yachts' new GT line combines traditional Carolina exterior styling with Hatteras's renowned construction and engineering, with Carolina's famous high-quality interior joinery. And if any builder in the U.S. knows what a cruising powerboat yachtsman wants, it is Hatteras. That is why its new GT54 will be a true convertible: made for cruising or big game fishing, take your pick -- or do both.
Let's take a look...
New Features Video
Larson Senza 206:
A Family Watersports Boat
with a Luxurious Side
Larson tells us that the Senza 206 is their top seller. The 20' 6" (6.25 m) LOA boat’s performance and handling certainly have a lot to do with that (she is actually one of the best performing boats we have tested in class), but far and away her looks are what give the best first impression. When we saw the Senza, all we could think was… “wow, what a cool looking boat.” She has a low profile tinted windscreen that gives her a look of speed, even while sitting on the trailer. But that's just one of the features that this ride offered. Today, we take a look at what is inside, and see whether Larson’s clever add-ons add to the top seller's utility and functionality, or if she simply gets by on good looks alone.
FinCraft 17 DC:
Fully Loaded For Multi-Species
One would be hard pressed to find a comparably equipped fiberglass boat for the same price as the 16' 11" (5.16 m) LOA FinCraft 17 DC. An aluminum boat might come close, but that’s about it. Since this boat is so cost effective, one might think that it's built cheaply and thrown together. It's hull is made quickly -- in less than one hour -- by the most expensive hull-laminating equipment on the planet. The secret to both the low price and its durability is VEC technology, and FinCraft is one of the few companies that can utilize it. If you have always wanted a fiberglass boat that was as economical as aluminum, you finally have your wish.
Find out more...
New Features Video
Bayliner 185 Bowrider:
New Model Year & New Standard Features
The Bayliner 185 is a popular model because it is small, easy to handle and is priced
right. With the new 185 for 2011 Bayliner has added several more items to its standards
list which gives it even more value. Some of the new items we noticed for this model
year are the black hull color, a matching painted trailer, power steering and tilt-steering
among other things, all of which we go over in detail in our latest interior examination
video, now ready for viewing. If you haven’t seen how this boat handles, be sure
to take a look at the performance and handling video as well. See it now...
Formula 34 PC:
A Fast Cruiser with Upscale Fit-and-Finish
When testing the Formula 34 PC we feel a little like the Maytag repairman in the washing machine maker's TV commercial that ran for decades. In this case it seems like there is not much for us to complain about or gently criticize when we test and inspect Formula boats. The reason is that when money is almost no object and it is a family owned and run business, and the credo of that family is to build the best boat possible, the folks on the shop floor embrace the culture. The ethos flows down from the top. Recently we spent a couple of days at the Formula factory and personally saw six employees spend the better part of eight hours buffing the Imron paint on a new 35-footer. Now you know why Formulas are the glossiest yachts at a boat show.
Let's look at the Formula 34 PC...
Your Wake-Up Call
Take a test ride with us in the 22' 0" (6.7 m) Tigé RZ2, a boat that has some of the most
sophisticated technology in class. With a-unique-to-Tigé Convex V hull and TAPS²
technology, this is a boat that allows you to dial in your exact wake like never
before. Tigé also created Tigé Touch, a touch screen control pad that allows you to
program the specific set of operating parameters for the ballast, trim, and speed
into one of 20 different named parameters so that you can return the boat to them
at the touch of a button. And they put all this into one of the coolest looking
boats on the water. Check out our latest test video and you’ll agree... cool is hot.
Yamaha FX HO:
A "Mid-Level" Package With "Can-Do"
Yamaha bills their FX lineup of PWCs as "mid-level," and that probably has a lot to do with
how well these models sell. With four models in the FX series, the HO is in the
starting segment, next to the Cruiser HO. It’s the perfect recipe when you want
to spend a little more to get a lot more, but aren’t necessarily heading off to
the races. We tested this model and found acceleration, top speed and economy to
be right in the sweet spot that gives bragging rights without breaking the bank.
Today, we offer a look at both the performance and features of this popular WaveRunner,
that only Yamaha seems content to call “mid-level.” More...
Tahoe Q7 SSi:
Sporty, Stylish and Affordable
Tahoe's 20' 6" (6.2 m) LOA Q7 SSi is a good-looking sportboat package that seems to leave out very little. She is powered by a standard 190-hp MerCruiser 4.3L V-6 sterndrive that the builder claims will push her to speeds approaching 50 mph -- we haven't tested the boat. She has a respectable list of standard features and offers a generous selection of options. She is also packaged with a custom matched trailer and comes to you with Tracker Marine’s famous “No hassle, No haggle” pricing structure that takes the pain out of negotiating the “real” street price when you get to the dealership. The only money factors that changes that add cost are delivery and dealer prep charges.
on your boards and follow us...
Evinrude 250 E-TEC Selected
For P1 Super Stock Racing
Last week Powerboat P1 Management Ltd unveiled its new P1-28SS race boat at Autosport International in Birmingham, U.K. The new P1-28SS (28’ super stock) race boat is rigged with BRP's Evinrude 250 H.O. E-TEC engine. "The Evinrude brand clearly sets the benchmark when it comes to the world of outboard engines and BRP's product is synonymous with dependability, durability, and the performance required in a race environment," said Robert Wicks, Powerboat P1 chief operating officer. Read more about 2011 P1 racing and why the Evinrude 250 was selected...
See test video of the 250 Evinrude H.O. E-TEC...
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...
British Babe Wins Yachtmaster of Year Award
Emily Penn was named RYA “Yachtmaster® of the Year 2010” and was presented with her award by HRH The Princess Royal at the London International Boat Show last week. Emily was selected for the top award despite fierce competition from more than 3,200 Yachtmaster candidates worldwide who qualified last year. They were entered by RYA’s team of Yachtmaster examiners who work across the globe. More...
The Next Big Thing?
It seems that we never learn to stick strictly to testing boats, because virtually every time we stray afield we get into a sand trap, so to speak. Last week we ran an item on a floating green at the Coeur d' Alene golf resort in Idaho and we took the golf course at it word when it said it was the "only" floating green in the world. One of our members living in Thailand immediately wrote to say there was one in Bangkok -- the "only" one in Asia. A little research on the net uncovered a company that makes them for a living -- they must be all over.
Dies at 62
Buddy Davis died last Sunday night, Jan. 16th. We received this sad news just as we were going to press with this issue of our weekly newsletter. We invite our readers to send in their pictures of Buddy and his boats as well as any remembrances so that we can share them with our readers. We will compile them into a fitting tribute to this remarkable man in next week's edition. Email them to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those who did not know Buddy, he was a self-made man who lived on North Carolina's Outer Banks, starting out as a mate on sportfishermen running out into the Atlantic for big game and became in the late 1980s the builder of one of the country's most successful offshore fishboat brands. He will be missed by all who knew him.
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For a New Boat?
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Services" program and there is no charge. We do not sell boats and we are not a
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Lesson on the Week
"Must Carry" Gear for Boaters
In this week's lesson Captain Steve goes through essential (not required) supplies that every smart boater should have onboard. He explains why these supplies are necessary and gives examples as to when they will come in handy. The 12 videos presented this week are part of his USCG-approved boating course called “Smart Boating.” Watch Captain Steve's video boating lessons every week on BoatTEST.com.
videos presented this week are part of BoatTEST's USCG-approved boating course called “Smart Boating.” Watch Captain Steve's
video boating lessons every week on BoatTEST.com.
To view this week’s lessons --
Order all lessons on DVD--
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