80-MPH Formula//Larson 206//11 Tests & Reviews - 05/11/2011
BoatTEST Newsletter May 11, 2011 If you cannot view  the newsletter, click here.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
- Bavaria Yachts Deep Blue 46
- Grady-White Express 360
- Prestige 500S
- Yamaha VX Cruiser
- Meridian 341 Sedan
- Glastron GS 289
- Cypress Cay Cayman 250
- Larson Senza 206
- Formula 35 Fastech
- Mainship 414T
- Regal 35 Sport Coupe
- Evinrude 130-hp
- Volvo Penta Sterndrive Joystick
- Alex Cheuh, Ocean Alexander
- Member Services
- Accident of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Picture of the Week
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Bavaria Yachts
Deep Blue 46:
Designed by BMW

Bavaria Yachts Deep Blue 46
An express cruiser with a Teutonic attitude, the Bavaria Yachts Deep Blue 46 was actually designed by BMW Group Designworks USA in California, a leader in "global design consultancy," according to the company website.

Can you imagine what your automobile might look like if it were designed by a leading naval architect? Neither can we. But thanks to the largest boat builder in Germany -- Bavaria Yachts -- we get to see just the opposite in action. It is the 46' 7" (14.20 m) Bavaria Yachts Deep Blue 46 which was named European Boat of the Year in 2010 in the 12 to 14 meter category. Buckle up for this ride...

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Captain's Report

Grady-White Express 360:
The Queen of G-W's Fleet

Grady-White Express 360
The Grady-White 360 Express comes with everything a fisherman needs (shown above with the optional hardtop enclosure), and the stones to take him offshore where the big ones swim. OK, she's pricey – MSRP starts at $522,920 – but you won't add much in options.

Fishermen with cash burning a hole in their pockets can put out the fire at their nearest Grady-White dealer, where the Queen of the Fleet is the Express 360, a triple-outboard threat to fish swimming anywhere within a hundred miles of the coast. At 36' 7" (11.15 m) LOA and 13' 2" (4.01 m) beam, and able to corral over 1,000 horses on her transom, the Express 360 is a big, tough, no-nonsense sportfisherman that's as much boat as most of us need. But there's something puny about her. To find out what that is...

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New Test Video

Prestige 500S:
We Put Her to the Test

Prestige 500S
The 49' 10'' (15.2 m) Prestige 500S has a lot going for her.  And, our test runs showed some interesting surprises.

This is certainly in impressive yacht. When last we left our Prestige 500S we had published the captain's report on the test and it was glowing with praise from our Capt. Steve.  He found her to be one of the quietest boat he's tested, as well as one of the smoothest handling. But talk is cheap, so you can see the test video and decide for yourself.  Is it a liveaboard, a weekender, or both?

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PWC Test

Yamaha VX Cruiser:
More Bang Per Buck

Yamaha VX Cruiser
Yamaha’s entire VX line is intended to get more people on the water for less money.

Yamaha created their VX line as a way to keep the price of boating affordable. That’s never a bad thing, especially when the boat has some improvements that separate it from the competition. Mirrors raised above the “strike zone,” larger swim platform, expanded seating, more storage… these things all make a difference. The good news is that Yamaha managed to keep the VX Cruiser at an affordable $9,399. More...

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New Test

Meridian Yachts 341 Sedan:
A Compact Cruiser with Attitude

Meridian 341
At 35' 10" (10.92 m) the Meridian 341 Sedan may just make a viable first step up to even larger cruising boats, and it's easily handled by a husband/wife team.

We love to go cruising, and who doesn't? But for many boaters the question usually isn't how big a boat can I afford, but how big a boat can I handle? If either question is a concern to you, then fear not, Meridian has you covered on both fronts. Not only is this boat very cost effective, but trust us when we tell you… between the docile handing and IVC, or Integrated Vessel Control, your concerns about whether or not you can handle this boat are unfounded. You can...we'll prove it.

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Test Video

Glastron GS 289:
Pocket Cruiser on a Budget

Glastron GS 289
The Glastron GS 289 powered by a Volvo Penta 300-hp gas engine went nearly 42 mph in tests we conducted.

The largest boat Glastron has ever produced is the GS 289 Sport Cruiser with twin cabins. She has Alphastone counters, leatherette upholstery and other features that one might not expect to find on a Glastron -- a company that is getting a reputation for being very competitively-priced these days. You have everything you need for a weekend aboard, and with the mid cabin, she comfortably sleeps four adults. With 5.7 L Volvo Penta the GS 289 has enough horsepower to perform well even with the boat loaded with friends and family. Take a look at the video...

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New Test

Cypress Cay Cayman 250:
T3 Performance for All Watersports

Cypress Cay Cayman 250
Cruise, tow, fish, or any combination of the above is the mission of the Cypress Cay Cayman 250 which is built by Brunswick.

Cypress Cay seems to have successfully worked a triple tube pontoon into a nice handling boat that is designed for several missions. The outer tubes have lifting strakes on the insides, the center tube has them on both sides and our tests have shown that this, along with the spray fins give pretty sporty handling. Cypress Cay has eight different models, all directed to a slightly different user and purpose. Let’s see what sets the Cayman 250 apart from the rest...

Request a brochure

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Test Video

Larson Senza 206:
Larson’s Top Seller

Larson Senza 206
Our test of the Senza 206 showed a top speed of 51.2 mph with a Merc 5.0 MPI EC 260-hp engine with a Bravo III outdrive.

When Larson decided to make the Senza 206, the goal was to combine performance and looks in an affordable boat.  All you have to do is glance at the boat to see that they managed to pull off a winner in the looks department. And if you’re not convinced, just watch how other people notice your boat when you take her to the ramp. As for performance, that was a question that we had to answer for ourselves, and the only way to do that was on a full test.  Take a look and see why she's such a hot seller. Watch the test video...

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Formula 353 FAS³Tech:
A Screaming WOT of 80 mph!

Formula 353 FASTech
Capt. Steve gives a step-by-step description of breaking the 80 mph barrier.

At Formula, the recipe of simply adding horsepower to get face-flattening speed wasn’t good enough. They decided that anybody could build a go-fast boat with enough horsepower and a stripped-out light boat that was a one-trick pony. So Formula decided that they would go fast the hard way -- in comfort with style and class. Formula has four high-performance models and the newest of them is the 353 FAS³Tech. But how fast is fast? And, what kind of skill does it really take to handle one of these waterborne Indy racers? To find out we sent Capt. Steve over to Formula’s Long Island, New York facility and we asked him to test the boat.  Away we go...

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Captain's Report

Mainship 414 Trawler:
Are You Ready for Coastal Cruising?

Mainship 414
Mainship says their 41' 4" (12.6 m) 414 Trawler is for owners who "are on a mission," that mission being serious cruising. With a versatile two-stateroom layout and economical single-diesel power, the 414T could be just right. MSRP: $393,207.

The Mainship 414 Trawler could be just the ticket for folks hoping to embark on long cruises, maybe following the Great Circle Route through the American heartland, voyaging up the inside passage to Alaska or, our favorite, ambling among the islands of the Bahamas. At 41' 4" (12.6 m) LOA, the two-stateroom 414T will accommodate just the right number of people for a boat her size, in our opinion. How many is that?

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New Video

Regal 35 Sport Coupe:
Biggest Little Coupe on the Market

Regal 35
The more we explored the layout of the 35 SC, the more we gained respect for the clever design.

The Regal 35 SC is probably destined to go through life, the same way Patrick Swayze's character in Roadhouse did… with people always saying "I thought you'd be bigger!" But the truth is, once you step aboard and see for yourself how truly innovative, and clever this 35 SC layout is, you'll be convinced, just as we were, that it is effectively bigger than its 35'.  Step aboard and we'll show you what we mean. Meet your new weekend getaway...

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Engine News

Video Inspection of the Evinrude 130-hp Outboard

Evinrude 130
Capt. Steve looks at the revolutionary fuel injection system on the Evinrude 130-hp outboard.

The Evinrude 130-hp outboard engine is unique in many ways. First, 130-hp is a place where most other outboard engine companies don't make an engine, leaving a big horsepower gap in their line. Most engine makers hop from 115-hp to 150-hp. But the 130 range is a sweet spot of ideal power for many boats in the 17' to 22' range. For some of these boats 150-hp is too much or too costly, and 115-hp may be too little power, depending on how many people are aboard and what the boat's mission is. Generally, boats in this range are deeper-V'd than they used to be for a better ride, but that also means they are harder to push. Join us as we delve into the details of the Evinrude 130 on video...

Engine News

Volvo Penta
Sterndrive Joystick:
Easy Docking for Everyone

Smart Boating
We put the Volvo Penta Sterndrive Joystick through a full test and show just what it’s capable of.

Are you the type who has trouble docking your sportboat? Are you also sick and tired of seeing how the boats with pods are the ones that get joysticks and can move any way the stick moves? And are you equally sick of the thought of having to pay for pods just to get a joystick? So are we, but there’s good news. The design team at Volvo Penta (yes the pioneers of recreational pods!) have decided that joysticks should be for everyone, even the sterndrive boat owner. Today, we take a look at the capabilities of the Volvo Penta Sterndrive Joystick, and whether or not it takes a complete retrofit to get it onto the average boat. It’s all here in our full test video...

Last Launch

Alex Chueh,
Founder of Ocean Alexander

Alex Cheuh
Alex Chueh (l) with his son John who has been running the company for the last several years.

The founder of Ocean Alexander, Alex Chueh, passed away May 3rd after a long illness. He was 77. He started his company in 1978 with the launch of a 50-footer designed by Ed Monk, Jr. By the mid 1980s Ocean Alexander was an established brand with dealers around the world. Today the company builds 12 models from 54’ to a 155’ megayacht it builds in collaboration with Christensen Shipyards. More...

Member Services

Mmeber Services

Why not get an independent 3rd party opinion before you buy? It's FREE and our captains are standing by to answer your questions. For NEW BOATS only...

 Accident of the Week

18' Boat Swamps, Capsizes;
2 Die, 3 Saved

Accident of the Week
A USCG Search and Rescue team arrives on the scene 45 minutes after the 18' boat swamped and capsized. Note that the boat is not floating level as required by USCG standards. The water was 46 degrees F (7.8 C). (Photo by Don and Mary Ann Cravens)

There are several lessons to be learned from a tragic accident that occurred last Saturday off Camano Island, Washington. An 18' recreational boat being used for commercial shrimping on the opening day of the season reportedly was swamped by a wave and then capsized by the next one. Nearby good Samaritans quickly rescued four of the five occupants and sent out a distress call at 7:15 am. Nevertheless two people died, one a 13-year-old boy who was trapped under the boat, the other a man in his late 60s who was not wearing a PFD. But there is more to this tragic accident and both boaters and marine authorities need to take note. Read...

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Smart Boating

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 BoatTEST.com'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 Plot a Course Using Basic Tools

Lesson of the Week
The three basic tools you need to plot your course on a chart include parallel rulers, dividers, and a pencil.

This week Capt. Steve goes over eleven new lessons and guidelines on how to use the basic tools of the trade to plot your course on a chart. You’ll learn how to correctly use parallel rulers and dividers, and how to calculate the amount of time your trip will take using a circular slide tool. Capt Steve will also go over how to calculate time between buoys and explains why knowing your estimate time of arrival or ETA is important.  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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Ducky Award Winner

Ducky Winner

First Place

"OK, now how much for no wife, just the boat?" - J. Mccauley

Second Place

"I know we left the yacht around here somewhere." - T. Steinoff

Honorable (almost) Mentions

"Recalculating...The odds of finding your husband's body in these waters are now....65 to 1." - M. Burton

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 5/11/11

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