Automatic Trim // New Luhrs 30 // Buyer's Guide - 04/06/2011
BoatTEST Newsletter April 6, 2011 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust
- Yanmar 6BY2-260Z
- Regal 35 Sport Coupe
- Glastron GLS 215 BR
- Chaparral 216 SSi
- Luhrs 30 Open
- Beneteau Swift Trawler 52
- Carolina Cat 18CC
- Sun Tracker Fishin' Barge 21
- Absolute 47 Express
- Bayliner 160 OB
- Hargrave 76 Ana C
- Volvo Penta Trim Assistant
- Shurhold Products
- Collisions at Sea
- 8' Mako Shark Jumps Aboard
- Boat Buying Tips
- Boating Course On DVD
- Picture of the Week
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Yanmar 6BY2-260Z:
Diesel Engine + 
Lower Unit Test

Yanmar 6BY2-260Z
Yanmar, by marrying its 260-hp diesel to its own hydraulic sterndrive lower unit, is able to provide the whole drive system, simplifying service and warranty issues.

Yanmar recently released its second generation of sterndrive diesel engines and we managed to get our hands on the 6-cylinder, 260-hp version, the 6BY2-260Z. Not only was this a redesigned model, but it paired perfectly with Yanmar’s new hydraulic driven outdrive. Let’s see what features this new combination offers and how they performed on a full test...

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New Test Video

Regal 35 Sport Coupe:
She's Light, Nimble and Fast

Regal 35 Sport Coupe
One of the most deceptive boats we’ve tested had us looking twice and saying “Is this really 35’?” Believe it or not, it is.

Last week, we gave a tour of the latest launch from Regal, the 35 Sport Coupe. Capt. Steve was understandably impressed with this boat and so were we. But the tour only told half the story. Now it’s time to get on the water and see how she performs in a full test and performance review. Play it again, Sam...

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Features Video

Glastron GLS 215 BR:
Bowrider with Style

Glastron GLS 215 BR
The Glastron GLS 215 BR has a LOA of 21' 4’’ (6.50 m) and a beam of 8' 5” (2.57 m). Her dry weight of 3,300 lbs (1510 kg) makes her trailer friendly.

One of our latest tests of Glastron’s bowriders has us gawking at the GLS 215 BR. She has such nice lines and graceful curves that we found ourselves staring, along with the rest of the crowd at the launch ramp. This video will show you what we mean...

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New Test

Chaparral 216 SSi:
A 5-Star Bowrider With Muscle

Chaparral 216 SSi
With a 270-hp Volvo Penta 5.0 onboard, we reached a top speed of 52.4 mph. More importantly, we had plenty of power to maintain speed throughout the important feature in any boat, and even more so in one with a wakeboard tower.

Chaparral has long been known for building popular and attractive sportboats. This 216 SSi is not only attractive and popular, but in our recent test we discovered that her handling was outstanding and her performance top notch. Even sitting at the dock, the 216 SSi has a lot going on, and we found some innovative ideas that will surely be applied in other boats. Strap on your boards and follow us...

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New Luhrs 30 Open:
$207,896 with Twin Yanmar 260s!

Luhrs 30
First launched last October, the new Luhrs 30 Open has Carolina flare and a big cockpit ready for action. Her deadrise at the transom is 19 degrees.

Luhrs has always specialized in affordable boats and following in that tradition is the new 30 Open. Equipped with twin Yanmar 6BY2-260 diesels her base MSRP price is $207,896 -- and with a half tower, a 6 kW Kohler generator, A/C and a colored hull, among other things, her price is $269,000.  We got aboard this boat recently and gave her a good look-see. Report in here...

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Captain's Report

Special Report:
Beneteau Swift Trawler 52:
A New Player Takes Center Stage

Swift Trawler 52
Hull #38 of the Beneteau Swift Trawler 52 was on display at the Miami Boat Show and it has arrived at a propitious moment. Find out why we think this boat is so special.

The Swift Trawler 52 was introduced to the world several years ago but this year the combination of rising fuel prices and the first wave of "official" baby boomers hitting age 65 in January, make it very much a boat for these times. We're told that 52 of them have been built to-date. That’s a big number for so large a boat in these times, but we think it is only the beginning. Join us as we show you why...

Request a brochure

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New Boat

Carolina Cat 18CC:
The PowerCat Group's Latest

Carolina Cat 18CC
This 18-footer has a 8'1" (2.48 m) beam, weights 1,200 lbs (545.45 kgs) and has a very affordable price tag.

The newest boat brand and model to join the growing PowerCat Group stable is the Carolina Cat 18CC. The PowerCat Group tells us they have produced over 80,000 cats to date  and is the world's largest producer of catamaran powerboats. This latest addition to its lineup is a basic, no-frills boat designed to be safe and to get people on the water in a stable platform for $31,777 (MSRP) powered by a Yamaha F115 TLR 4-stroke engine. Read more...

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New Video

Sun Tracker Fishin' Barge 21:
Making Fishing a Family Activity

Sun Tracker Fishin' Barge 21
A pontoon boat is a great platform from which to do some casual fishing.  She is also a great place to teach kids.

With an overall length of 21' 11" and several changes and new features for 2011, we took a closer look at the Sun Tracker Fishin' Barge 21. In this outboard configuration, this boat is a surprisingly well-equipped fishing platform. Take a look...

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Captain's Report

Absolute 47 Express:
Made in Italy for the World

Absolute 47
The Absolute 47 is the right size for a lot things, including zipping off to the islands.

Absolute was founded in 2002 by a couple of Italian yachting veterans, Sergio Maggi and Marcello Bè, first building the Absolute 25 and 45. Since that time they have dropped the 25, and lengthened the 45 to 47 in 2007. Now the company has a total of 10 different boats in their line ranging from 40' to 70'. Let's look at the boat upon which the company was built, a boat that keeps getting better with age...the 47 Express.

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Test Video

Bayliner 160 OB:
Simple Boating Is Simply Fun

Bayliner 160 OB
We tested the Bayliner 160 OB on a hot and humid south Florida day. At under $12,000, she can get anyone out on the water.

We were thrilled when we saw that Bayliner was producing their 16’ (4.88 m) boat once again. When boating is simple, boating is fun. It’s an easy mantra to recite but the fact is, when you start complicating things, then fewer people know what they’re doing and fewer will enjoy it. Just take a look at our test video...

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Interior Design

Hargrave 76 Interior Video:
Four En Suite Staterooms and Crew Quarters

Hargrave 76 Interior
With careful planning and attention to detail, Hargrave has done a masterful job of getting comfortable accommodations for 10 people in this 76'.

It’s a stunning interior to be sure, but the most notable aspect of the Hargrave 76 interior layout is that there are four staterooms with ensuite heads, a separate day head and crew quarters aft with head. No small feat, but Hargrave did it without having the guests feel cramped or confined and still left an open floor plan for the saloon, galley and lower helm. To see how it all came together, check out our inside story on the Hargrave 76’s layout.  Step aboard here...

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Engine News

Volvo Penta's "Powertrim Assistant"
Now Boats Can Trim Themselves

Volvo Penta Powertrim Assist
Volvo Penta engineers make boating easy and precise with "Powertrim Assistant."

Properly trimming your boat to get the best performance is one of those things that you are either good at, or not. This is one of the reasons that the team at Volvo Penta has developed the "Powertrim Assistant" feature. This feature will automatically monitor your boat's speed and drive position, then adjust the trim of your sterndrive to maximize performance.  Take a close look with this short video...

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Shurhold Snap-Stick: No More Corroded Snaps or Zippers

This is a lubricant and protectant for snaps and zippers.

If there is something that all boaters can relate to, it is corrosion. No matter where it is, it’s annoying and damaging. So how about when you go to uncover the boat and you can’t get the snap to unsnap, or you can’t get the zippers to move? (#*?@&#!!) The team at Shurhold has a simple and effective product that can prevent this from happening and keep your language civil. Watch a video on the Snap-Stick to see it in action...


Collisions at Sea:
The Video

Collisions at Sea
One of the troubles of owning a 100' sailboat with a 10' bowsprit is knowing when to put the boat into reverse.

As someone once said, "A collision at sea can ruin your whole day." This new video compilation of boat crashes and disasters, some of which we have shown before, reminds us once again that there are still a few people in the world who have not taken the Boating Course. Roll 'em...

Fishing Story

8' Mako Shark Jumps
in Boat For Lunch

8' Mako Shark
Mako sharks are know to be great jumpers, but this one was on a mission. Angler Jason Kresse landed this mako without a hook.

We have all seen pictures and videos of Asian carp jumping into boats, now we can start worrying about mako sharks doing the same thing. Evidently the critter above followed a chum line through the water, up the side of the boat and into the lunch pail itself! Taste this chum...



Visit and "like" our page to watch unedited video found only on Facebook...
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Buyer's Guide

Boat Buying:
How To Find Long Term Value

Boat Buying
People are looking at boats differently these days. For many they are an asset like a summer cottage and something to be held onto for a long time.

A new trend in boat buying is "long term value." More and more people these days are looking at a boat purchase as an investment. Gone are the days when a new boat would be bought with plans to move up in a couple of years to a bigger boat. Now buyers are more carefully considering their purchase and are planning on holding on to their boat for many more years than before, maybe even passing it on to their children. With money harder to come by for many people, its value and the value of the boat it can buy, takes on a new worth. As a result, now more than ever it is important to get boat selection right. Here is’s guide to successful boat buying for "long term value"...

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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 Read Charts and Plot Your Position

Capt. Steve Smart Boating Cover

Capt. Steve explains a grid system and how to read lines of latitude and longitude to help find a location.

This week Capt. Steve goes over fourteen new videos and guidelines on reading charts and how to plot an exact position by using degrees, minutes and tenths of minutes to tell anyone exactly where you are in the world.  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

“Do we have to bring your mother with us everywhere?” – A. King

Second Place

“Let's see the bank get it now!”
– W. Crowley

Honorable (almost) Mentions

“The never ending quest for the ‘perfect rig’...” – S. Robbins

“Honey, will you swim back and get me a beer?” – C. Altman

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 4/6/11

You write the caption! Will you win the coveted "Ducky Award" for best caption?

Simply fill in your caption and you may get lucky -- quack here.

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