Rampage 45 Convertible:
Why Mess with Success?
The Rampage 45 Convertible is a fishboat in the classic style: Her 45' (13.72 m) modified-V hull balances speed, comfort and stability; her clean cockpit has room for moving freely around a fighting chair; she has versatile accommodations for a bunch of fishermen or an angling family; and she runs on twin Cat diesels spinning conventional props. Our contact at Rampage says she's one of the builder's best-selling models, so we thought her worth a revisit.
Bring your tackle box...
New Test Video
The New Prestige 60:
Your Ship May Have Just Come In
The Prestige 60 pictured above is one of the most compelling new cruising yachts that we have seen in some time. She is suitable for varied missions, has styling that can appeal to most anyone who has a trained nautical eye, and has an interior layout that is hard to beat in a 60-footer or in even most boats 10' longer. The icing on the cake is her MSRP in the neighborhood of $1.4 million powered by twin IPS900 700-hp diesels. If you have been thinking of a trawler, a Downeast cruiser, or a Euro-styled express in the 60' (18.5 m) range, then we've got a boat for your short list.
Find out why...
New Test Video
Volvo Penta 5.0L Report:
Gas Engine with Two Drive Options
If you're looking at a boat in the 20' to 25' range (6.1 m - 7.62 m) then it's likely she will have a 5.0 liter engine as standard power. Volvo Penta's 270-hp version of this size engine is very popular, not only for its size, but its ability to accommodate either the single prop SX drive, or the Duoprop DPS drive. So let's take a look at what sort of performance we got out of our tests, and see if the 5.0L has enough
pop for your application.
Sea Ray 470 Sundancer:
Is 900-hp Enough for This Boat?
The Sea Ray 470 Sundancer carries twin Zeus drives linked to Cummins MerCruiser Diesels. At 28,500 lbs. (12,928 kg.) dry weight, but with just over 900-hp on tap even with optional power, will the 470 dance the kind of tune we like? We sent our captain to run some numbers.
Doral Elite 235 BR:
Elegance and BMW-Handling
Quite often we see boats that have either killer good looks or great handling characteristics
but sometimes not both. Doral manages to combine the two in this 235 thrill ride. Not only is the fit-and-finish on par with what we've come to expect from Doral, but her quick response to the helm, coupled with an ability to cling to the turns,
make this not only an exciting ride, but a eye-catching one at that. Check out this test video and experience it for yourself.
Show me what 300 hp can do with a 23' 7'' boat...
Formula Boat Construction:
How Boats Should Be Built - Part I
It’s always revealing when doing a factory tour, for here is where you see
the heart and soul of a company, warts and all. There’s just no way to convert a
factory over to a different version just so the cameras can roll. What you
see is what you get -- and it all shows in the finished product. Today we
bring you the first of a multi-part series of videos showing how Formula builds its boats.
This week we look at how it builds hulls and decks.
Boston Whaler 250 Outrage:
More Than a Pretty Face
The new 250 Outrage is an improvement on the old one because the company has redesigned the hull with the intention of giving her a smoother, drier ride. The fully integrated helm console with three windshields and hardtop is the latest wrinkle in Boston Whaler's continuous evolution of its product line, but her beauty is more than skin-deep.
Triumph 215 CC:
Who Needs Fiberglass?
At first glance the Triumph 215 CC looks like a garden-variety center console fishboat, but get up close and you'll find there's something different about her: This 22' (6.71 m) outboard isn't made out of fiberglass, nor aluminum. She's built of Roplene, and the company says that makes her the World's Toughest Boat.
What the heck is Roplene and is this boat any good?
New Test Video
Ranger Z520 Comanche:
Stable Handling at 72.5 MPH
Bass boats have a lot in common with each other, so when we find one that distinguishes itself from the pack, even with just a few features, we tend to sit up and take notice. Our walk-through of the Z520 left us with little doubt that this is one of those boats, but if we had any remaining misgivings, then the test ride took care of those in short order. On the way to WOT we got a solid ride with practically no chine walk.
Ranger just may be onto something here...
A Joystick System On a Viking 60
around the docks long enough and you’ll hear stories of how even the pros will get into tight spots that take them to the edge of their skill level, or beyond. Stuff happens, and having
the right tools to get a boat into a tight slip with a wicked cross-current can
spell the difference between a non-event and having banged-up topsides with black
creosote smeared along the hull. That’s why even the
pros applaud ZF Marine’s new Joystick Maneuvering System (JMS). With ZF’s JMS and
ZF’s Smart Command operating the props and a bow thruster, even the most unwieldy
beasts in strong cross-currents can be tamed. Don’t believe us? Then check out our test video shot on an
inboard Viking 60 Convertible in a crosswind and cross current. The JMS in action...
New Test Video
Premier 251 Explorer:
Is This the Most Comfortable Toon?
We love the versatility of pontoons and the large numbers of people they can accommodate. Naturally, anyone with a boat is going to be popular, so why not be able to have all your friends on at once? Of course, once those people are onboard, you want to make sure that the comfort level is all that it should be. During our tests of the 251 Explorer, Capt. Steve took a seat in one of the cushy loungers and didn't want to get up.
Does that make it a dreamboat?
Yamaha FZ Series:
When the FZ series was introduced in 2009, one of its main focal points was the newly designed hull. This new hull included a dihedral keel, a new over-sized water inlet duct, and angled chines to help with control and stability in turns. When our own Capt. John Wenz put it to work on the water, he came away feeling that Yamaha had more than just a great new WaveRunner -- he felt that the company had a race
winner on its hands as well. In fact, in 2010, the FZ has won more than ten national Pro competitions, in both open and stock, Men’s and Women’s competition including APBA National Tour, Round 1 – Expert Runabout Limited, APBA National Tour, Round 1 – Women’s Runabout Limited, APBA National Tour, Round 1 – Pro-Am Runabout Stock...you get the idea. Capt. John’s prediction has proved to be correct.
See the full test as well as the special “hull” feature by squeezing the throttle now...
Larson Uses VEC Technology to Increase Precision Building
Larson Boats uses the most state-of-the-art hull manufacturing process on the planet. It is called VEC, and it goes way beyond the vacuum resin-infusion process used by many builders of large boats. We visited the Larson factory, where the company has built over 85,000 boats using VEC Technology, to see the process in action. One of the first things we learned was that this process is continually evolving, which is having a positive impact on the boaters who are buying the boats.
of the high cost of the tooling, this process is limited to small, high production-run boats.
Filter For Your Old Gas
Old gas in a can from last year can present some issues. Even fuel from dockside stations can have contaminants, and that's why Shurhold offers three different fuel filter funnels. We have used these filters at BoatTEST and can verify that sand
and water are easily and effectively filtered from contaminated fuel.
Why not get BoatTEST.com's expert and independent 3rd party opinion before you buy? It's FREE and our captains are standing by to answer your questions.
For NEW BOATS only...
Visit BoatTEST.com and "like" our page to watch unedited video found only on Facebook...
Lesson of the Week
Pre-Departure Checklists & Filing a Float Plan
This week’s BoatTEST.com Smart Boating lesson will go over fourteen lessons and guidelines on pre-departure checklists. You’ll learn why it’s important to file a float plan with someone who will recognize if you haven’t returned home, why checking the weather before you depart is essential especially on small boats, how to safely load your boat with gear, and why routine checks on the engine, bilge and other systems are 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 --
Ducky Award Winner
First-Ever Ducky Trifecta Winner!
"Sell it? Heck, I just bought it!" - M. Burton
"You should have seen the boat I traded in on this one." - M. Burton
Honorable (almost) Mentions
"It's uglier than sin, don't run, but it's still a boat." - M. Burton
M. Burton has the honor of being the first member to ever win the coveted BoatTEST.com Ducky Trifecta. In addition to the coveted Ducky trophy, Burton will also received a rare Pirate Duck, and one our few remaining Devil Ducks. (We'd better not see these valuable prizes on Ebay!)
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