New Prestige 440S:
Recalibrating the Concept
We like so many things about the Prestige 440S that it is hard to find a place to start. It is as if the builder surveyed the market and then came up with a design that was one
better than other boats in the 440S's class. Having cruised on a number of 40-something express cruisers we were impressed by how well this boat can be adapted to different missions by a wide variety of boaters. Then, there is the price. As we said, we hardly know where to start.
You can jump aboard here...
New Test Video
Andros Boatworks Backwater 18:
Skinny Water Is Not a Factor
When it comes to flats boats, there's usually a large tradeoff between handling capabilities and skinny water accessibility. With the Andros Boatworks Backwater 18 we found the opposite to be true. Our tests showed a very capable and nice handling boat in the chop, but one that allowed us to access seemingly impossible shallow water.
Our full captain's report has the details on how she performed as well as a look at the features.
New Test Video
Chris-Craft Launch 28:
Chris-Craft's Launch 28 has gone through several iterations and refinements and the 2011 model offers more utility than ever before. She's stylish and elegant, but also amazingly practical, if such a thing could be said about any boat. Her combination of a wide beam and larger forward cockpit provide comfortable seating for 10 people or more.
Only bare feet, please...
New Test Video
Volvo Penta 5.7L Gas Engine:
More Power in the Same-Size Package
By the time you need an engine the size of the 5.7L, you’ll probably be around your second boat. Typical usage will fall roughly in the 20-25 foot (6-7.5
m) range for single engine applications, and generally 28-36 foot (8.5-11m) range for twins. What we’re impressed with, however, is that the 5.7 delivers a horsepower range from 300-320-hp in an engine of virtually the same dimensions as Volvo Penta’s 5.0L. So when faced with an upgrade choice in your new boat, is the 5.7 a good choice for you?
Let’s take a look at some comparison tests and see how various versions of this engine perform with different boats.
New Sea Fox Pro Series 226CC:
Capable and Affordable
There are over 50 companies building center console boats, so when we report on them we must pick and choose which ones we think are deserving of our readers' confidence and cash. Sea Fox is a brand that has an MSRP at the mid-to-low side of the spectrum – a place where we sometimes find boats and organizations that don't inspire faith, so we give them a pass. Considering what we have seen, we think Sea Fox deserves to be in a very esteemed category – strong, well-built boats that are affordable and have a good value.
Learn about the new 226CC Sea Fox...
Back Cove 30:
Bring All Your Friends
If you enjoy inviting lots of friends aboard to share your boating fun, the Back Cove 30 could be for you: There's plenty of built-in seating in both the deckhouse and cockpit – no need to perch on the gunwales or carry folding deck chairs. Below, you'll find a comfortable U-shaped lounge that converts to a berth for overnighting. A single diesel makes the Back Cove 30 economical; lightweight construction makes her fast.
Take a seat; we'll show you more...
New Test Video
Evinrude E-TEC 50-hp:
A Small Engine with a Lot of Muscle
Evinrude's E-TEC 50-hp is one of the smaller of the company's line of workhorse
outboards. Its engineering enables Evinrude to make some profound claims regarding the lack of required maintenance, and a substantial reduction in moving parts which translates into longer life. Today, we take a look at some of the key features of this little engine, and put it through a full test and performance review. Your choices with the 50: pull cord or electric start, tiller or remote, blue or white.
Cruisers Yachts 48 Cantius:
A Woman's Point of View
When it comes to reviewing interiors and evaluating design schemes, no one
can give the critical viewpoint that a woman can. Call us sexist if you will, but
at least we tell it like we see it. That’s why when our Charity Hughes reviews an
interior it’s usually one of the most watched videos in the issue. So, to see if
we were spot on or way off the mark with our viewpoint of the Cruisers Yachts 48
Cantius interior, we once again turn to Charity to give us the woman’s perspective...
Yamaha 242 Limited S:
Family Sport Package Under $50,000
When we tested the new Yamaha 242 Limited S we found we liked the balance of performance, usable space, and price; turns out that many of you thought the same thing and bought one. Now the team at Yamaha has told us that when a boater test-drives this boat,
they buy it. Well if this is true, we will need to know for ourselves. If you are currently in the market for a 22 to 25-foot sportboat, we suggest you test drive the 242 for yourself and report back to us.
You can see the full test here...
Sign up for a test drive.
The Nitro Z-9 CDC:
Style and Performance
Nitro calls her the Z-9 CDC, but we think "fishing assault vehicle" may be a better
name. The forward deck is more like a helicopter pad and every square inch of space is dedicated to tackle and gear storage. And if you like getting to your favorite spot quickly, our tests have shown she will get up and go at over 70 mph. Here is a short video where we point out what we think makes the Z-9 CDC shine.
Bait your hook here...
How Does the Spencer 70
Hold Three IPS Diesels?
When Volvo Penta decided to enter the larger yacht market with their new IPS1200 pod drives, they were met with a bit of a stumbling block. No one had used them before and therefore no one wanted to be the first. So they did what any self-respecting
company would do: They built their own yacht to show what the drives are capable of. And when you're an engine manufacturer building a boat, the engine room is quite the showcase indeed.
Take a look...
Harris FloteBote Grand Mariner SL 250:
Testing a 'Toon in Rough Weather
If you want to find out how a pontoon will handle in the worst conditions, you have
to take her out in the worst conditions. That’s exactly what happened
on our test of the Grand Mariner SL 250. It was cold, blowing, and raining, but
the show must go on. It did, however, give us a chance to see just how this ‘toon
handled in choppy water with a thin-blooded captain at the helm. Of course, we had
to find a sheltered area to get the running video footage, simply because a bouncing
camera won’t do, but the test was very revealing and we came away with more than
a few opinions on how this outboard pontoon takes it, when Mother Nature dishes
You can see it all (almost) in our test video and full report...
Big Game Hunting
Rampage 41 Express:
Taking the Fish to the Next Level
Rampage continues to impress us not only with versatility in their cockpit layouts,
but also in the fit and finish of their cabins. For cockpit versatility, we
love the removable/swap-able pod units that allow you to customize your layout to
your fishing style. Down below, if you entered the boat with your eyes closed, you’d
never know you were on a fishing boat. Teak and holly sole, cherry wood interior
finished to perfection, a full galley... the list goes on and on. This model
comes standard with ZF drives with trolling valves, which means you can upgrade to
the JMS joystick system anytime you want. Check out our video of the Rampage 41
Express and you’ll see what we mean. See full report...
BoatTEST.com Lesson of the Week
How to Approach an Inlet and Dock
in a Strong Current
This week Capt. Steve goes over seven new lessons and guidelines on how to dock
your boat in a strong current and how to carefully approach an inlet in heavy waves.
Learn about a sea anchor, and what it’s used for. Capt. Steve will demo some approaches
that show you how to dock going into the current, he’ll also go over how to dock
with the tide behind you, and how to slowly drift into the dock with the tide. These
are basic procedures 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 --
To view past lessons --
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"No way are there enough mirrors on this boat." - R. Davis
"This is so much more fun than delivering pizza." - B. Schmidt
Honorable (almost) Mentions
"I'm too sexy for my girlfriend."
- J. Siragusali
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