Prestige 500S Test // Chris-Craft 22 // 12 Tests & Reviews - 05/04/2011
BoatTEST Newsletter May 4, 2011 If you cannot view  the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust
- Bayliner 315 SB
- Volvo Penta D4
- Harris FloteBote 250 GM SL
- Beneteau Swift Trawler 34
- Nitro Z-7
- Chris-Craft Corsair 22
- Sea Ray 270 SLX
- Hydra-Sports 4200
- Prestige 500S
- Formula 37 Cruiser
- Cruisers Yachts Cantius 48
- World Cat 320 CC
- FinCraft 17 SC
- Cobalt A25
- Interview with Time Bandit
- Boating Course On DVD
- Picture of the Week
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Bayliner 315 SB Cruiser: Stand Up Headroom
in the Mid-Cabin

Bayliner 315 SB Cruiser
With standard power, twin 4.3L MPI MerCruiser sterndrives, the 30' 6" (9.3 m) LOA Bayliner 315 SB carries an MSRP of $121,745. She sleeps four in fixed berths, two more with the dinette converted.

Bayliner's 315 SB is one of six entries in the builder's Cruiser range, a half-dozen attractively priced models targeted at the value-conscious boater. At 30' 6" (9.3 m) LOA, the 315 SB has the features and amenities for overnight or vacation cruising for two couples – she has standing headroom next to the mid-berth, too. What else does this boat have?

Request full model brochure

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New Test Video

Volvo Penta D4 Marine Diesel:
A Good New-Power or Re-Power Solution

Volvo Penta D4
The D4 was designed from the outset as a marine engine. In other words, it is not like most marine diesels which were originally designed for trucks and then refitted for marine use.

If versatility is the key to success, then it's small wonder that the Volvo Penta D4 is such a popular engine. It comes in power ranging from 225- to 300-hp, it can be fitted to either a DPS sterndrive, IPS350 or 400 pods, or a straight shaft inboard. To put it to the test, we went with the robust DPS sterndrive that was made specifically to handle the high torque of this diesel engine. The test boat... a 15,400 lb (6,985 kg) twin with sterndrive joystick.

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New Test

Harris FloteBote
250 Grand Mariner SL XTR

Harris FloteBote 250 Grand Mariner SL
Our test Grand Mariner SL had triple tubes, an empty weight of 2,663 lbs (1,208 kg) and a test weight of 3,884 lbs (1,762 kg). LOA was 26' 4" (8.0 m).

Typical 'toons don't have handling characteristics that anyone would want to write home about. But Harris FloteBote decided to do something about that, and created their XTR package. XTR stands for Extreme Turning Radius, and includes a third, center tube. We wanted to see if the handling and turning was really all that it was cracked up to be with this combination, so we put her through a full test. Dress code is casual chic...

Request factory pricing

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Captain's Report

Beneteau Swift Trawler 34:
A Modern Version of a Classic Cruiser

Beneteau Swift Trawler 34
Beneteau claims their Swift Trawler 34 will reach 21 knots tops, and cruise economically in the high teens with a single 425-hp Cummins diesel.  MSRP: $279,000 (FOB US East Coast).

If you'd rather cruise in something that looks more like a trawler and less like a big sportboat, then Beneteau has the boat for you.  The Beneteau Swift Trawler 34, European Boat of the Year 2010 in her category, was introduced to the Yanks at the Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show last October, and several boats have already been sold. At 36' 7" (11.14 m) LOA (inc. platform), the two-cabin Swift Trawler 34 should make a good cruiser for a couple or a family. But how swift is she?

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New Video

2011 Nitro Z-7:
Weekend Tournament Basser

Nitro Z-7
Designed for the weekend tournament angler, the Z-7 is a boat, motor, trailer package that prices in at under 20K.

Tournament bass boats are loaded to the gills and built for one thing. So what about the weekend tournament enthusiast who doesn't need the top of the line? Nitro has what seems to be the perfect balance of features, performance and a price you can live with. Take a closer look with our video review.

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Chris-Craft Updates

Chris-Craft Updates Two Models:
Corsair 22 & Launch 22

Chris-Craft 22s
Chris-Craft has made small but significant changes to two of the company's most popular models, the Corsair 22 and Launch 22. The updated boats debuted at a recent boat show.

Just before press time, Chris-Craft informed us that they've introduced improved versions of their 23' 2" (7.06 m) LOA Corsair 22 and Launch 22. The new Launch 22 has an improved forward cockpit with more space, the Corsair 22 easier passage onto the foredeck. Both boats have redesigned aft seats and engine-hatch cushions with a "walk-over" section. Finally, both boats will now be fitted with 300-hp 5.7L engines as standard. Here's more...

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New Test

New Sea Ray 270 SLX:
An Impressive New Sea Ray

Sea Ray 270 SLX
The Sea Ray 270 SLX can definitely be classified as a luxury sport boat. At 28'6" and with a beam of 9', she felt much bigger during our test.

We recently tested the 270 SLX on Lake Tellico in Tennessee on a cool spring day. By the looks of things the team at Sea Ray has been busy ratcheting up the eye-appeal and substance of the new 270 SLX.  This boat clearly has the style and looks, but does she have the bones?  Find out for yourself, check out the test numbers and see what we thought of this beauty.

Request test drive

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Features Video

Hydra-Sports 4200 SF:
A 1400-horse Battle Wagon!

Hydra-Sports 4200 SF
We’ve seen quad V6s and triple V8s but this... this is something new and Hydra-Sports and Yamaha are taking their time to get it right.

The Hydra-Sports 4200 SF has so many features that we even contemplated breaking our video into two parts in order to cover them all. But in the end, we figured that it’s worth sitting a little longer to see what this boat brings to the table.  Find out what makes it such an attractive proposition for those wanting to trade up from smaller center consoles, and even to trade down from a larger sportfish. More...

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New Test

Prestige 500S:
A 3-Stateroom Hardtop Express

Prestige 500S
At 49' 10" (15.2 m) LOA and a beam of 14' 9" (4.5 m) this is not only a roomy boat, but a luxurious one as well.

One thing Prestige Yachts knows how to do is combine luxury with affordability. A perfect example of that is this 500S. Here is a boat with a luxurious layout, boat garage, and three private staterooms including a full beam owner's suite. As for the price, we think this is one of the more positive stories about getting value for your hard-earned money. Just take a look at the details.

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Captain's Report

Formula 37 Cruiser:
So Many Engines, So Little Time

Formula 37 Cruiser
Whether you prefer gas or diesel, sterndrives or pods, the Formula 37 Cruiser has a power option for you. We clocked the 37 at 46.9 mph (75.5 kph) with twin 425-hp MerCruiser sterndrives, 37.9 mph (61 kph) with 300-hp Volvo Penta IPS.

Since her introduction in 2002, the Formula 37 Cruiser has been popular with knowledgeable boatmen for both her design and performance. Originally powered with either gas or diesel sterndrives, in keeping with the times Formula now offers the 38' 5" (11.71 m) LOA 37 Cruiser with pod drives, too – gas or diesel. Which package is for you?

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Engine Room Video

Cruisers Yachts 48 Cantius:
How an Engine Room Should Look

Cruisers Yachts Cantius 48
With twin IPS pods, there’s a lot of room to move around in this engine room, but there’s more to the layout than space.

Cruisers Yachts' 48 Cantius with IPS not only has more space for accommodations, but also lots of space in the engine room as well. She has good entertainment space on the aft deck, in the salon and down below, a big master stateroom… all great qualities that we like.  But BoatTEST captains are operators, not guests, so when we got a look at the engine compartment, we really started smiling.  That’s why we thought it deserved a video all to itself...

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Test Video

World Cat 320 CC:
Another Myth Is Busted -- Again!

World Cat 320 CC
The monohull/catamaran battle rages on, but it’s hard to argue with the amount of usable space on a cat.

Whenever you put a potential buyer in front of a pair of dealers, one for a monohull, and one for a cat, you’ll soon hear the claims bouncing back and forth about how one is better than the other. This one handles better, that one has more room, yada yada yada… But one claim always rises to the surface, and it’s always against the catamarans. Since we test boats for a living, we decided that we had an obligation to put this myth to the test and settle once and for all the claim that monohull builders have been leveling against the cats.  To the testing grounds...

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Test Video

FinCraft 17 SC:
Offering More While Costing Less

FinCraft 17 SC
Our test of the 17 SC showed a boat with the handling we were looking for in a starter package, but the real joy of ownership is in the details.

Apprehensive about committing to a new boat purchase? The team at FinCraft understands this and has partnered with to create the Factory-Backed program. This program is a way for boaters to feel absolutely confident that the factory is behind the deal and working very closely with your local dealer to ensure world class service and special pricing on a new FinCraft. Start here...

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Captain's Report

New Cobalt A25:
A Bowrider With Surprises

Cobalt A25
The Cobalt A25 is a top-of-the-line bowrider with convertible seating fore and aft. She's powered by a single gas sterndrive, either MerCruiser or Volvo Penta, up to 430-hp.  Top speed with max power is over 52 mph (84 kph), according to Cobalt.

Cobalt always builds pleasant surprises into their boats, and the 25' 6" (7.77 m) A25 bowrider has several. Her forward cockpit converts between three individual seats and a wraparound bench. Round deck lockers are purpose-built for fender stowage. The aft bench backrest flips forward to turn the sunpad into a double-wide chaise lounge. No surprise, though, is the A25's quality and her fit-and-finish. Here's our guided tour...

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"Time Bandit"
Co-Captains Tell All

Time Bandit
The Discovery Channel’s “World’s Deadliest Catch” have made heroes out of the crew and the  co-captains of "Time Bandit".

Have you ever wondered who designed the boat seen in “World’s Deadliest Catch,” what engines they use or how many hours they go between oil changes, or how often they have to do major overhauls on their engines? Well, perhaps we’re the only ones watching who speculate about such things.  But if you’re like us, you’ll enjoy a video interview we made recently of Time Bandit’s skippers--


Shurhold Telescoping
Handle & Brushes

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

The team at Shurhold tells us that all their handles are made of high-strength, corrosion resistant, lightweight aluminum. We found their SHUR-LOK quick release system locks quickly and easily to more than 40 attachments. We found the telescoping handles provides excellent versatility by locking at different lengths for various needs. Take a look at the video to see the Telescoping Handle and brushes in action.

Smart Boating

Boating Course

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

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...

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

Navigating US Rivers and Understanding
the Lock System

Lesson of the Week
This is a lock system which is used to travel up and down rivers.

This week Capt. Steve goes over five new lessons and guidelines on navigating the rivers of the United States and understanding how a lock system works. There are dams built in quite a few places in rivers across the US, and without locks, boaters would be restricted to traveling only on one side of a dam. Capt. Steve will also explain why it’s important to always wear your life jackets at all times when transiting through locks. These are basic procedures 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 --

To view past lessons --

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Ducky Award Winner

Ducky Winner

First Place

“Holy cow Batman, your new Watervan is awesome.” – D. Crap

Second Place

“Do you think she'd look better in navy blue?” – D. Clerk

Honorable (almost) Mentions

“Should I invest in Lo-Jack?” – M. Edick

"My wife doesn't know about the flying bridge part yet!" - M. S.

“What every Dad's nightmare is when his daughter's boyfriend shows up pulling this behind his pickup truck ready to go to the lake.” – R. Poole

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 5/4/11

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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