Ranger Z520 Comanche:
30 to 55 MPH
Evinrude E-TEC 250 H.O.!
There are two big stories involved with our recent test of the Ranger Z520 Comanche
powered by an Evinrude E-TEC 250 H.O. engine: one involves the boat and the other is about the engine. Every once in a while a boat and an engine marriage comes along that seems to have been made in boating heaven and this appears to be one of them. Let’s take a look...
Full Test of the
Cummins MerCruiser Diesel
QSB 5.9 480-hp
It is not often that we get the chance to test a single diesel engine, as we usually
test a pair in a sedan, convertible or express cruiser application. But recently we tested a single Cummins MerCruiser Diesel QSB 5.9 liter engine powering a 35' center console. This is the same block that has been powering the "Ram Tough" Dodge pick-up trucks since 1989. As a result, it is probably the most famous diesel engine in the U.S. And for years it has been a mainstay in marine propulsion.
Let's see why...
Harris FloteBote Solstice 230:
“Transformer” Seats For a Roman Holiday
It's hard to make a product differentiating splash with a pontoon boat – how many ways can you arrange furniture on a platform? And, they all look good in the dealer’s showroom! But in its 24'8" (7.5 m) LOA Solstice 230, Harris FloteBote has managed to create a simple, but innovative layout. By using the fantastic optional “Transformer” seats you can turn your toon into a floating Roman dinner party that would make Caesar Augustus and friends green with envy. All you need are togas.
The Harris FloteBote Solstice 230 is something new under the sun, so let’s take a look...
Mako 184 Center Console:
An Angler's Fishbuster
The Mako 184 Center Console is as much fishing boat as most folks need, in a package that's both handy and affordable. With a modified V-hull, a wide-open cockpit, tough construction and plenty of piscatorial amenities, the 184 Center Console just might be what the doctor recommends for angling in protected waters.
Bite here for more...
World's Hottest Tow Boat?
MasterCrafts have been the tow boats of choice among world-class sliders since 1968, when the company first built 12 boats in a Tennessee horse barn. Now many serious watersports fans lust after the ultra-stylish 20' X-2 because her hull is so versatile and she looks cool.
Let's take a look...
Hydra-Sports 202 DC:
Fishboat? Family Boat? Utility Boat?
We have been testing Hydra-Sports boats for many years now and with the MasterCraft team taking the helm as the parent company we are seeing some interesting changes. Here is a short review of the 202 DC, a well-built and good-looking family, fishboat,
or utility boat. Regular readers know we like dual console boats and the 202 DC reminds
us why. Take
Volvo Penta IPS1200 Report:
We Test Volvo's Largest Pod Drives
For Recreational Boats!
The company that popularized the concept of adding a joystick to helms, that gave us pod-driven boats, and even electronic vessel controls, is now setting its sights on larger boats. Why have pods, which have taken a firm hold in mid-size boats, not taken off with larger yachts? One answer is that no one wants to be the first to try, and possibly fail. Another is that the existing pods on the market were not big enough to handle high horsepower diesels -- until now. Once again Volvo Penta has had the stones to try and show it can be done, and has invested in the costly R&D and tooling to manufacture the system to do it. We step aboard the prototype to bring you the answers.
How well will pods work in a large 70’ (21.3 m) yacht?
Inside the Factory
Formula Factory Tour:
Seats and Upholstery
It would be so easy to just go to the store and buy boat seats off the rack, and
some builders do just that. However, it’s not uncommon for the better boat manufacturers to fabricate their own seats. To be sure, some are much better than
others. How can we tell the difference?Formula
Boats opened their doors to show us...
All New Larson Cabrio 857:
Powered By A Diesel Sterndrive!
Larson has recently introduced an all new series of designs that replace their old Cabrio line. One of the first boats to be introduced is the new Larson Cabrio 857 which was on display at the recent Miami Boat Show to universal approbation. Making this new introduction even more exciting, Larson has installed in our test boat a 260-hp Yanmar diesel linked to a Yanmar sterndrive. If you have ever wondered what it might be like to own a diesel powered sterndrive 28-footer, have we got a test for you!
Hold on to your wallet...
Rampage 45 Convertible:
For Serious Anglers Who Want Room
The Rampage 45 offers anglers a distinctive alternative to many other convertibles
in class. She is lighter than most, but has more beam than all but one, and with
6’7” (2.02 m) headroom in the cabins, even John Wayne would be comfortable aboard.
Because she has two cabins and two heads - each with its own shower stall - the
Rampage 45 stands apart from most of her competition when it comes to accommodations and creature comforts. But perhaps her cockpit is her largest departure from others
on the market. Note there is no mezzanine seating, which means that there is a full
bait prep area with sink and easy to access freezers and lockers. Let’s get fishy...
Bayliner 245 Cruiser:
Your First Cabin Cruiser?
With a LOA of 24’ 1” (7.34 m) and a trailerable 8’5” (2.57 m) beam, we think the
Bayliner 245 Cruiser makes an ideal step up from a bowrider that can
take you exploring by day and then make a cozy night out on the hook.
And if you’re looking to step up from a smaller boat, then this makes an ideal transitioning
platform. Step into a new world...
Safety Check List
CO is odorless, but prime symptoms are headache or nausea, followed by drowsiness and death. This spring make sure your boat is well equipped with CO detectors with new batteries. Also, it is time to check your US Coast Guard required safety items and required equipment.
If you want to refresh your memory on what federal regulations say you must have aboard, consult here...
Brought to you by Sea Tow.
Royal Purple Test
On a 40-hp Outboard
The last time we tested a sterndrive in Long Island Sound, those of little faith said that wind, waves and changing current could have affected our results. This time we tested Royal Purple against a leading synthetic brand of motor oil in a 40-hp Mercury EFI 4-stroke engine, on a test stand with a hose feeding fresh water through the engine. No wind, waves or current to affect the results -- which were full of surprises for everyone.
Let’s go to the video tape...
How to find Royal Purple...
Change The Prop
to Change Performance
Many boaters are not aware that they can change characteristics of their boat’s performance simply by changing the propeller. Even though there are hundreds of prop design choices, finding exactly the right prop for your specific boat, engine, and use application is actually quite easy when you consult an expert. We can tell you first hand that the team at PowerTech! Propellers are some of the best in the world at matching the correct prop to every boating application.
All you need do is fill out this simple worksheet to find out what prop is right for you...(no obligation)...
Visit PowerTech!'s homepage...
Lesson of the Week
How to Dock Your Twin Inboard Boat
This week Capt. Steve goes over six new lessons and guidelines on basic boat handling and docking procedures. Learn why twins allow you to maneuver easier. Learn how to pivot the boat for close quarter maneuvering, move the boat sideways without a bow thruster, and how to back into a slip. 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
“As the economy turns downward in Connecticut, Hinckley releases the 2011 picnic boat!”
– R. Saunders
“I can almost reach the cole slaw.” – M. Burton
Honorable (almost) Mentions
“Craigslist is really paying off today...$50 for a boat, and free picnic table...now if I only had a garage...” - B. Johnson
“This is just a new take on ‘up a creek without a paddle’...” - S. Havel
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