New Regal 35 // Volvo 8.1 Test // Tsunami Offshore - 03/30/2011
BoatTEST Newsletter March 30, 2011 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust
- Regal 35 Sport Coupe
- FinCraft 17 DC
- Hatteras 72 Motor Yacht
- Volvo Penta 8.1 Gi
- Princess V42
- Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18
- Evinrude E-TEC 250 H.O.
- Yamaha AR210
- Triton Ambush 18
- Cruisers Yachts 330 Express
- Trophy 2206 Dual Console
- Meridian Yachts' Factory Tour
- Shurhold PVA Towel
- Maintenance Tips
- Japanese Tsunami Video
- Boating Course On DVD
- Picture of the Week
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

New Regal 35 Sport Coupe:
Maximizing Interior Space

We tested the Regal 35 SC and found a top speed of 45.2 mph. At best cruise we were burning only 23 gph while getting 1.3 mpg. Capt. Steve is standing at the helm.

Regal has recently launched an entirely new boat which seems to combine a lot of the best features that we have seen in some of their previous models, as well as models outside the Regal line. Not only does it have clever innovations to supplement its unique design layout, but once you step aboard, you will not believe this boat is only 35 feet.  Let’s see what Regal has brought to the table...

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New Video

FinCraft 17 DC:
Freshwater Fiberglass Fisherman

FinCraft 17 DC
The FinCraft 17 DC is priced at $18,064 MSRP with trailer and 50-hp outboard. The boat can handle up to 115-hp max, so match the engine to your planned use and purse.

If you have not heard of or seen a FinCraft, when you do, you will be in for a surprise.  Our first thought when we tested this freshwater fishboat was that this boat had gravitas. Then we took a detailed look and an extensive drive and came away knowing why we had been looking for a freshwater fishing boat all these years.  Don't be fooled by the low price, this boat has a quality build far great than her sticker would indicate.  Here's what we found...

Request a brochure

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New Test Video

Hatteras 72 Motor Yacht:
As Big As Most 80-Footers

Hatteras 72 Motor Yacht
The Hatteras 72 has a 20'2" (6.2 m) beam, weighs 162,250 lbs. (73,750 kgs.) and is 72' (21.94 m) long. So why do many 80-footers look the same size?

At the Miami Boat Show last month we walked down the docks on Collins Avenue where all the large motoryachts were and got on over a dozen of them -- ranging from 72' to 90' (22 m to 28 m) -- in one day. At the time we were struck by how large the Hatteras 72 appeared to be in relation to other motoryachts that were much longer, say, 75, 78, or even 85. Could larger boats somehow be the same size inside, or even smaller in some cases? Come into our parlor and find out...

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New Test Video

Volvo Penta 8.1 Gi (375-hp):
Performance Test & Inspection

Volvo Penta 8.1 Gi
We recently showed a video tour of the features of this big block V8 engine.
Now it’s time to put it to the test.

When it comes time to test an engine, we try to find a boat that represents the typical application for which the engine was designed. In this case, the test boat was a day cruiser with a test weight of 13,350 lbs (6,276 kg). Let’s see how our venerable 8.1 Gi did for top speed, time to plane, and most importantly, fuel consumption. Welcome aboard the test platform...

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New Video

Princess V42:
Designed for the Riviera

Princess V42
The V42 is the smallest of the Princess "V" series, but may be all the boat your need.

Princess Yachts has eight boats in its "V" series of express cruisers.  The V42 (seen above) is the smallest in the line, and not surprisingly, is the largest selling.  We took her out for a quick cruise and can report on her handling.  See the new video...

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Fish Toons

Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18:
A Classic Toon Tops the Charts

Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18
Sun Tracker is running a special right now on the Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18. Prices range from $9,995 for the toon powered by a 20-hp Merc to $12,395 for one powered by a 40-hp 4-stroke EFI BigFoot.

The original Sun Tracker Bass Buggy was the industry’s first family fishing pontoon boat -- way back in 1983. And it’s still a classic today. Each year the folks at Tracker keep improving and adapting it to the wants and needs of fishing families. The practical, no-nonsense layout targets families who want a basic, affordable pontoon boat for cruising around and some casual fishing. Find out about the new wrinkles...

Request a brochure

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New Test Video

Evinrude E-TEC 250 H.O.:
A Remarkable "Best Cruise" Range

Evinrude E-TEC 250 H.O.
Top speed - 72.5 mph. Top fuel burn - 26.4 gph. Best cruise - ...well that depends... the Evinrude E-TEC 250 H.O. has one of the broadest ranges of best cruise we have ever found in an outboard engine.

When testing boats, some are exciting, some... not so much. No matter how you slice it, when you bolt an Evinrude E-TEC 250 H.O. onto the transom of a performance bass boat, the combination is going to make you feel like a kid in a candy store with a pocketful of change. There’s just something about speed that makes the trip worthwhile and this rig had plenty of it. But when it comes to cruise performance, that was a bit of a surprise. She is tuned to be fuel-efficient across an incredibly wide rpm range.  See for yourself.

Request Promotional Pricing

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Test Video

Yamaha AR210:
It’s “Entry Level” – Take It or Leave It!

Yamaha AR210
The AR210 is Yamaha’s “entry level” watersport boat. If this is a "starter boat" with training wheels, we’d like to know what they are building for the old salts!

Yamaha just can’t seem to get enough of driving the competition crazy. Take the AR210 for example. It comes fully loaded with twin engines, über safe jet propulsion, a wakeboard tower, lots of storage, and their hallmark transom patio. Her MSRP beats nearly all other boats in class, entry level or not. She’s not a stripped down version of her big sister, but rather a serious boat with quality features. Check out Capt. Steve’s report and video tour of the AR210 from Yamaha...

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Test Video

Triton Ambush 18:
Fishing, Hunting, or Hiding

Triton Ambush 18
Even when camouflaged, it’s not hard to see the utility of Triton’s Ambush 18.

We tested the Triton Ambush 18 and found it to be a serious boat for being able to take punishment. Run it up on the beach, toss gear inside, throw things around... whatever, it can take it. When it comes to an outdoor boat you need it to be as tough as the guys inside. And the Ambush is 18’ of aluminum can-do. With a 90-hp Mercury Optimax we had her up to 44.3 mph and it will cruise at 21.5 mph for over 200 miles. Toss in a deer carcass and your performance may vary. For more of the story, our full test video is ready for viewing.

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Test Video

Cruisers Yachts 330 Express:
Sterndrive Power with Joystick Control

Cruisers Yachts 330 Express
With twin 375-hp Volvo Penta gas 8.1 engines, our test boat reached a top speed of 48.9 mph and a best cruise of 33.3 mph.

Have you been thinking it's time to move up to a larger cruiser, but worry about handling it because you can’t afford pods?  Cruisers Yachts has some good news for you. Their popular 330 Express not only has the trademark Cruisers roominess and comfort, but now comes equipped with a sterndrive joystick. Now you can have joystick controllability for a fraction of the cost of pods and get a very capable cruising yacht that you can dock like a pro. She also features the same level of fit and finish as Cruisers Yachts' 560, and even uses most of the same components. But the question remains, can this boat handle choppy seas or is she destined to be a river queen?  For the answer, you’ll need to watch the full test video and get Capt. Rob’s take on how she felt underway.

Request Incentive Pricing

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Trophy 2206 Dual Console:
A Family Bowrider/Fishboat

Trophy 2206 DC
We think the Trophy 2206 Dual Console is a boat for the times.

It seems to us that the 2206 DC does an excellent job of being a successful crossover between family bowrider and basic fishing platform – all at an affordable price! The Trophy 2206 DC does not have all of the esoteric gadgets and gilhickies of flat-out fishing machines, but she doesn’t have the price tag either. In fact, her MSRP with a 200-hp Mercury Optimax engine is just $43,540. Capt. Steve steps aboard and shows us what you get for your money...

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Factory Tour

We Tour Meridian Yachts' Factory
To Answer Some Questions

Meridian 341
Meridian has a new facility in Palm Coast, Florida and increased it’s workforce to help the company keep up with demand.

How does Meridian manage to make their yachts support flybridges when the salons below have so much glass? How do they keep decks from creaking and groaning when pounding to the windward? What does the boat look like before the lid goes on? Are its electrical runs neat or messy? To find out, we went, well... right to the source: The Meridian factory.  Join us...

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Shurhold PVA Towel
Is Put Through the Ringer

Shurhold PVA Towel
PVA towels are better than a natural chamois.

When we asked the team at Shurhold what is different about their PVA towels they told us that they absorb 50 percent more water than natural chamois, making for faster and more effective drying.  We gave the towels a shot on our test boat after a few hours on the water in Long Island Sound. All we did was spray her down with fresh water and wipe her down from the windscreen to the keel. The total elapsed time to completely dry a 24' boat was 11 minutes and 20 seconds. Take our word for it, there were no spots or streaks left behind, just a nice shine. The towels come in an extra large size of 17" x 27" (43 cm x 69 cm). Learn more here...



Repair and Maintenance:
Rejuvenate Your Topsides

It’ll take more than paint to bring this boat back to its youthful glory.

If your boat is more than a few years old, it probably has lots of dings and scratches in the topsides, mostly around the bow where the anchor has whacked into it and amidships thanks to docking misadventures. (If your boat doesn’t have this kind of damage, you should be using it more.) Chances are there are also dull areas where the fenders have rubbed the gelcoat. Can this damage be fixed? How hard is it to match the color? Or is it time to paint the hull? You have two choices: Find out more or forget about cosmetics and go boating. It’s your call.

Video News

Japanese Coast Guard
Video of Recent Tsunami

Japan Tsunami
A tsunami wave caused by the recent earthquakes in Japan was caught offshore by the Japanese Coast Guard.

If you have ever wondered would it might be like to be cruising offshore and be hit by a tsunami, this video may help answer that question. In deep water, tsunamis behave quite differently than they do in shallow water. For example, it has been reported that satellite radar recorded deep ocean wave heights of only 2' (60 cm) due to the earthquake off Indonesia in 2004 which killed 250,000 people in Sumatra. Ocean depth makes a difference as you will see in this video...

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Smart Boating's
DVD Boating Course

Smart Boating
This set of 4 DVDs covers virtually all of the important topics you need to know to safely go boating.

Based on the feedback we’ve been getting about's Smart Boating Course it’s clearly not only for beginners, but also for veteran boaters as well.  Perhaps that is why the NMMA started promoting the course after just one look.  Order your copy here...

Watch the trailer...

Where in the World?

Picture of the Week

Picture of the Week
Find out where this picture was taken and when...

See the larger picture, when and who took it -- and where!

Send us your favorite boating images.

When sending a photo, let us know what boat you were on, where and when the photo was taken.

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Lesson of the Week

How to Correctly Tie Your Boat to a Dock

Capt. Steve Smart Boating Cover

With current on your bow, first attach the bow line, as it will prevent the boat from drifting backwards, and it will also keep the boat from being pulled away from the dock.

This week Capt. Steve goes over eight new lessons and guidelines on tying up to a dock and how to correctly use lines in order to secure your boat. Capt. Steve will explain what spring lines and breast lines are used for, and how to use them to your advantage when leaving the dock.  These are basic rules which all recreational boaters should be aware of. The videos presented this week are part of’s Boating Course which is USCG-approved. Watch these video boating lessons every week on

To view this week’s lessons --

Order all lessons on DVD--

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Ducky Award Winner

Ducky Winner

First Place

“I noticed that you're left-handed too, so I got us a nice bottle of port”. – R. Oberndorf

Second Place

“'This new pool float is da bomb, Thurston’,
‘Thanks so much, Muffy!’” - S. Taylor

Honorable (almost) Mentions

“WOW! That bathing suit is bringing back flashbacks of when I was in college!“
– R. Browder 

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 3/30/11

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