New ZF Single Pod Joystick:
Can Center Consoles Say Goodbye to Outboards?
As the saying goes, "people don’t want ¼” drill bits, they want ¼” holes".
ZF Marine has applied that logic to the operation of boats, figuring that it’s not necessarily pods that boaters want, but clean transoms for fishing, joystick control
for docking, and single engines for economy and range. But such single engines
need to be powerful and have prodigious torque to push a 14,000 lb. center console at a decent speed. That's why a diesel engine with a pod drive joystick system
could be the answer. Talk is cheap. Here's the video test...
Cruisers Yachts 420 Sports Coupe:
From A Woman's Point of View
Over the last few years the team at Cruisers has been telling us how they are reacting to feedback from boaters with regard to their interior designs.
They tell us they have focused on designs with contemporary styling, colors, woods, and
fabrics that are fresh and exciting both in Europe and America. Charity Hughes takes a look at the new 420 interior, and lets us know how well they've done. See
Sun Tracker Fishin' Barge 21:
Cast Your Hook from this 'Toon
We can’t understand why more people don’t fish from pontoon boats, and now a builder is taking the concept seriously with the Sun Tracker Fishin' Barge 21. Whether you
and a buddy want to creep into remote fishing shallow water hidey holes, or bring
all of your friends fishing, this boat will get it done, and without breaking the bank. She has a long list of standard features, which means you won’t have to add options galore.
Step on deck and tour with us.
Wellcraft 290 Coastal:
A Classic Express Fishboat
Looking down the list of Wellcrafts we have reviewed, we were shocked to discover
we had never tested the Wellcraft 290 Coastal. Built in the same plant as Four Winns
boats, this classic vessel has proved her bona fides over the years. For the last year Wellcraft has had new owners and this season they are rolling out their 2011 offerings, putting their best foot forward. We recently inspected the 290 Coastal,
so let's take a look...
Vicem 58 Express Cruiser:
Downeast Yacht Without Peer
Over the last 20 years Vicem has established a reputation for delivering beautiful boats made with cold molded wooden hulls. Built in Turkey, Vicem hulls are stronger than fiberglass, says the builder, and their interiors are second to none in class. Vicem Yachts are finished and appointed with such impeccable taste that some of the world's most discerning yachtsmen have bought them. And that's only the beginning.
To find out more about the Vicem 58...
New Ranger Tug 27:
We Compare the R-25 SC to the New R-27
For the last two years we have been getting member mail asking us to review or test the Ranger Tug line. Last summer the company introduced a new boat, the Ranger Tug 27, which falls nicely between its R-25 SC and R-29. Directed toward people who want to do affordable cruising in a new boat, this little replica tug is one of the cleverest boats on the water, in our opinion.
How Formula Builds Its Classy Interiors
Time was, when you were putting together the interior of a premium boat, you simply brought in the parts and assembled them like a jigsaw puzzle. Formula believes they’ve got a better way of doing things that increases the level of quality control, and also allows for testing of components before they are placed into the boat.
Is beauty only skin-deep? Find out here...
We Test the Evinrude E-TEC 50-HP
On an Alumacraft Classic 165 CS
When we tested the Evinrude E-TEC 50 she was purring smoothly without a hint of struggle, and not only gave our Alumacraft Classic 165 CS a respectable top speed, but a cruise of 19.2 mph (30.9 kph) getting a noteworth 9.16 mpg (3.89 kpl). That means you can run for 9.5 hrs for only $70.00. For most of us, that will likely last for several trips.
By our definition, that’s a combination that needs a closer look...
Yamaha FX Cruiser SHO and FX SHO:
What Do These Watercraft Deliver?
The FX Cruiser SHO and the FX SHO are essentially the same watercraft, with only a
slight variation in features. So what do you need to know about them? We put them
through a full test and review to answer that question. First, even though
they have one of the longest hulls in a PWC, at 132.7'' and weigh in at 840
lbs. and 827 lbs., respectively, the ride characteristics on both are as good as
on shorter, lighter units -- and in one way they are better. Find out what that is...
Four Winns V435:
Choose From Three Cabin Layouts
Several years ago Four Winns quietly launched the V408 at the Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show. It was mashed in among scores of other express cruisers and in our opinion never received the acclaim it deserved, eventhough she had several major innovations that
advanced the state of the express cruiser design art. The Great Recession rained on everyone's parade, including this wonderful boat, but Four Winns has made some changes and has re-introduced it as the V435. Among other things, this boat has gravitas, and we consider it one of the best express cruiser coupes in its size range.
Let us tell you why...
Chaparral 284 Sunesta:
A Big, Feature-Packed Deckboat
When we arrived to test the Chaparral 284 Sunesta, our first look was of this big
deckboat coming out of the rack room. Immediately we were able to see that there
were distinct differences between this boat and others in its class. Once we stepped
aboard, we saw many more examples of how innovative this builder really is. Rather than
list all the features here, how about watching a video tour? Seeing is believing.
Regal 42 Sport Coupe:
Regal’s Newest Launch Brings
a Lot of Bang for the Buck
First it was Regal’s new pricing structure for its largest boats that started turning heads. Now what is this? The all new 42 Sport Coupe may not be a game changer, but it certainly bends the rules. The entertainment possibilities are grand, the accommodations are spacious, and the fit and finish is Regal's best. We first tested the 42 SC in weather that kept others tied to the dock and she came through with flying colors. Now we take a look at the layout and see just how much form and function Regal managed to fit into 42'4” (12.9 m).
Step aboard with us and see it firsthand...
Glacier Bay Renegade 2740:
Her First Performance Test
In the 2740, the folks at Glacier Bay created a catamaran
that not only expands on the already voluminous room that cats are famous for, but focuses on ergonomics as well. We’ve reported before that Glacier Bay hasn’t
always built boats that fit people as well as they can
take a sea. But with this new model, things have changed
that we’ve tested her and have gotten a chance to touch and feel her, we’re ready
to let you in on the performance numbers and show our full captain's
Catch the cat...
Half the Problem
As most regular readers know, Sea Tow is one of our sponsors, so when a friend of ours ran aground and was aided by a Sea Tow captain last year, our ears perked up. It seems that our friend chose to believe what he was seeing on his chartplotter while going north on the ICW and cut inside a nav buoy because "there was plenty of water." Seeing other boats do the same thing, he thought it was safe for him, too. Yep, his 60' twin inboard motoryacht ended up hard aground. Find out what happened next...
Brought to you by Sea Tow.
Shurhold Video Test:
Buff Magic Taken to Task
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...
First Time Boat Buyer Tips:
Some Surprising Advice
Man was born free, but everywhere he is chained to land…(apologies to Rousseau)…but it doesn’t have to be that way. There is another world out there and it is called “recreational boating.” It has been going on since man first had some spare time on his hands and a little inspiration. If you have been thinking about buying your first boat let us give you some words of encouragement and some advice. Here are some unconventional tips from our Director of Testing...
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Lesson of the Week
How to Trim Your
Outboard or Sterndrive Boat
This week Capt. Steve goes over seven new video lessons and guidelines on how to trim your outboard or sterndrive boat. You’ll learn about the advantages of trimming your drive correctly, how to reduce bow rise, when to raise your drive, what to look out for, and how to make sure you never run your engine dry. 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--
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- D. Patterson
Honorable (almost) Mentions
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