We Test the Cobalt 323:
A Cruiser with Class
Cobalt has a long and rich history of creating premium boats and they’ve done it again with the 323. It’s a very classy day boat with room for overnighting. With a base price of $247,000, and when fully equipped considerably more, this is a boat that not only says you’ve arrived, but you’re doing it very well. Our full test video on the Cobalt 323 is currently in post production, but our full report has all the details.
Glastron GT 180 Outboard:
Entry Level Bowrider with Appeal
Our test of the outboard-powered GT 180 shows that this the Glastron GT 180 starter package is not
only a docile handling boat, but a respectable performer as well. But looking at
the video will not help you determine if the boat is comfortable, or if she will
fit your needs. For that you have to get onboard and look at the details and some
of the more pertinent options. So today, we take a closer look at the Glastron GT
180 with an eye towards usability and functionality, and we’ll see if she feels
as good as she handles. More...
Targa 44 From Finland:
When the Going Gets Rough...
Some of the best boats in the world, both power and sail, are built in Scandinavia. And by "best" we mean strong, well-built and able to handle nearly any condition Mother Nature can dish out in the northern latitudes. The Targa 42, which was first
introduced in 2005 at the Stockholm boat show and promptly won the Motorboat of The Year at the show, is an example of such boat building. More recently the
42 was lengthened to become the Targa 44 so that it could handle twin Volvo Penta
Let's find out what makes this boat so tough...
Digital Controllability in an Outboard World
We love the digital possibilities that have opened up the way we operate our boats. Evinrude has created its own version called ICON, with the “I” standing for intelligent. Smart controllers now allow us to experience push-button controllability on the company’s E-TEC line of outboards. As we will soon see this is, as they say, the tip of the iceberg.
Let’s step to the helm and see how Evinrude does digital controls.
FinCraft 19 CC:
A Center Console at a Killer Price
Let's cut to the chase: Yes, a brand's reputation, features and fishy stuff are
important, but the real thing that drives center console sales seems to be price
for a lot of buyers. Not surprisingly, with one exception (Boston Whaler), four
out of five of the largest-selling center consoles are low price-point brands. Now
there is a fifth low price-point brand entering the center console market -- it
is the FinCraft 19 CC. The MSRP on this boat is $26,381 with a 115-hp Mercury Optimax
on its transom. We test the FinCraft 19 CC and stand her up to scrutiny -- something
that most price-point builders avoid...
Bayliner 285 Sunbridge:
28’ with a Single Engine?
Times are tough and we all want to save a buck where we can. So at times like this, the idea of a single engine cruiser is a very attractive one. But there’s a limit to what a single engine can do. So when we saw the Bayliner 285 Sunbridge being billed as a single engine, we sent Capt. Steve to give it a full test.
See the video for yourself and read his full report...
New Cabo 36 Express Fishboat:
Made for the Weekend Warrior
There are a dozen or so builders that make express fishboats in the mid-30-foot range, so making a decision as to which one to buy is not an easy one. Some of these express fish boats are built by large companies, some by small yards, some of the builders specialize in large convertibles and others specialize in small WA's or center consoles. But in its 20 years of existence Cabo has always targeted the offshore fishing market in the 30' to 50' range as its main enterprise and focus.
Let's take a look and see how the new Cabo 36 compares to the competition and how she is different from the old Cabo 35...
Larson Uses VEC Technology
To Increase Precision Building
Larson Boats uses the most state-of-the-art hull manufacturing process on the planet.
It is called VEC, and it goes way beyond the vacuum resin-infusion process used
by many builders of large boats. We visited the Larson factory, where the
company has built over 85,000 boats using VEC Technology, to see the process in
action. One of the first things we learned was that this process is continually
evolving, which is having a positive impact on the boaters who are buying them.
Tahoe Q8 SSi:
Power Up Without Breaking the Bank
At the top of the Tahoe line of runabouts is the new for 2011 Q8 SSi, a slick 21'8" (6.6 m) bowrider that comes with a long list of standard equipment, including a trailer. Standard power is a 220-hp MerCruiser 4.3 MPI ECT, with optional engines up to 320-hp max available. Lots of dealers worldwide and no-haggle pricing make buying a Tahoe stress-free, too.
Tour the Factory
Formula Factory Tour:
As we continue with our tour of the Formula Boats factory, we take an inside look at how Formula fits out its the engine compartments. A lot of very important work goes into this small space. Quality materials and expert installation are the keys to a satisfying boating experience.
See how Formula does it...
Rinker 216 Captiva Bowrider:
A New Look for Rinker
Rinker introduced a new bowrider at the Miami Boat Show last month: The 21'0" (6.4 m) LOA Captiva 216 impressed us with her sinuous sheerline and classy styling. She represents the "new face" of Rinker, the company says, and will be followed by other models with similar good looks.
New Pursuit DC 265:
Bowrider For Work or Play
The Pursuit DC 265 is one of the newest boats in the builder’s line and it is the only dual console the company builds. Boaters who are familiar with Pursuit know what to expect, but let us tell new-comers: expect fit-n-finish and quality of workmanship second to none in class. This could be just the right bowrider for people who are not fishaholics but want a salty-looking vessel.
Let’s look at the details and the performance of this refined new lady...
Sea-Doo RXT-X aS 260:
The Latest Entry at the Top End
Sea-Doo has upped the ante in the high stakes game of performance personal watercraft. This time they’ve taken their popular, feature-loaded pocket rocket and added an adjustable suspension system to the mix. Now, you not only get thrilling performance, but you can dial in the feel that you and your passenger are looking for, based on how hard or soft you ride.
Let’s take a look at what else you get...
What Makes A
Sea Tow Captain?
Ever wonder if you’ve got the “right stuff” to make it as a tow boat captain? We’ve got captains on our staff that have wide ranging and diverse backgrounds, and they all agreed -- this takes a special sort of a captain, not only for the skill set, but for the pronounced lack of freedom such a job entails. Heck, these guys get calls 24/7. Is it any wonder most aren’t married? Today, we look at what sort of person becomes a Sea Tow captain, and what his/her life is really like. More...
Brought to you by Sea Tow.
Serious Marine Cleaner
If you have ever tried a regular house cleaner on your boat, then you have probably learned quickly how stubborn saltwater spray and grime can be. We used Shurhold "Serious Marine Cleaner" on glass, plastic, vinyl, fiberglass, rubber and metal. We can report back that we were able to clean all the surfaces with very little effort. On plastics and rubber we liked how fast it cleaned up, but more importantly to us, it did not discolor the surfaces. What we found when cleaning glass was that the "Serious Marine Cleaner" rapidly dissolved the baked-on salt spray and grime, and did not leave a film or streaks. On metal it easily removed the grime as well as the rust stains that were around some screws. On the vinyl and other surfaces it was equally as effective. We even went a little nuts and cleaned out the engine compartment and found it great for grease and oil.
Serious Marine Cleaner link...
Spring Prop Check:
Are You Propped Right?
In spring, a young man's fancy turns to thoughts of ... propellers? With apologies to Tennyson, more of BoatTEST.com's readers think of their propellers than they do of love – at least, we think so. And what better time to order a new prop, or at least confirm that your present one is just right, than now when your boat's out of the water and you can get to her running gear without holding your breath? Find out more...
Submit a propeller worksheet here...
Lesson of the Week
Fog Signals and Overview
On Navigation Lights
This week Capt. Steve goes over sixteen new lessons and guidelines on fog signals and navigation lights. It’s important to know what to do when fog suddenly comes rolling in and you’re cruising along in pea soup or simply a restricted visibility scenario. Capt. Steve also goes over the basics on navigation lights, what they mean, and what’s required when running at night, and at anchor. You’ll learn about requirements for boats over 12 meters, or 39 ½ feet, and what’s required for boats less than 7 meters, or 23 feet. These are basic rules which all recreational boaters should be aware of. The videos presented
this week are part of BoatTEST.com’s Boating Course which is USCG-approved. Watch
these video boating lessons every week on BoatTEST.com.
To view this week’s lessons --
Order all lessons on DVD--
Ducky Award Winner
“You're right, it is deeper than it looks!”
- J. Vetter
“Chevy Trucks...They'll sink every time.”
- M. Burton
Honorable (almost) Mentions
“How to properly launch your truck using your boat. Remember safety first.”
- D. Everett
"Of course the ramp only goes down when it's save to drive off! It's an OSHA rule."
- G. Eaton
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