Rinker 186 // Docking Tips // 8 Tests & Reviews - 06/02/2011
BoatTEST Newsletter June 1, 2011 If you cannot view  the newsletter, click here.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
- Tigé RZ4
- Prestige 500S
- Rinker 186 BR
- Sea Ray 500 Sundancer
- Sea-Vee 340i
- Jeanneau NC11
- Regal 2500
- Cabo 44 HTX
- Shurhold Products
- Evinrude E-TEC 150-HO
- Gaffer Pulled Overboard
- Rescue of the Week
- Boating Course on DVD
- Picture of the Week
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Tigé RZ4:
A Wakeboat with Cruisability

Tigé RZ4
Not only is the RZ4 a cool looking boat and a great performer, she is also a comfortable cruising boat under all of its high-tech extreme glitz.

Tigé has made its reputation pushing the wakeboat performance envelope, and doing so with panache. In the heady world of wakeboarding the Tigé brand has garnered something akin to cult status among its demanding owners, most of whom are wake dudes. But when we tested the Tigé RZ4 our captain made an interesting and surprising discovery -- she is also a capable sportboat that the whole family can enjoy as an ordinary day boat. Take a look for yourself...

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New Features Video

Prestige 500S Yacht:
A Classic Cruiser with 3 Staterooms

Prestige 500S
If you’ve ever dreamed of owning a seaworthy cruising motoryacht that could accommodate your whole family or two other cruising couples, the Prestige 500S deserves your attention.

A previous video showed the performance and handling of the Prestige 500S, and today we present the other half of the story – a video look inside. This is where she impresses us because her designers have managed to get the accommodations of a 60 or 65-footer in 50’. Equally compelling is the fact that Prestige is selling this yacht for what many builders charge for a boat in the low 40’ range. The important take-away is that this classic looking design is seaworthy, has three staterooms, and is being offered at an MSRP in the low $800s. It is rare to find a seaworthy yacht where all of the important things have done right for a “value” price-point. We think the Prestige 500S is such a find. Let’s take a look...

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Captain's Report

Rinker 186 BR:
Starting You Out Right

Rinker 186
The Rinker 186 BR has all the features needed to get you on the water, plus some options that will add a bit more comfort to the experience.

Whether you're just starting out in boating, or winding down with a retirement that has you trailering a boat to lakeside retreats, you should take a close look at Rinker's 18' 9" (5.71 m) bowrider. We found her to be a capable contender in class. Rinker also makes room for upgraded power choices and amenities, which we like. With a base price of just over $24k, and fully loaded for $29k, this is an 18’ bowrider that gets you on the water safely for a reasonable price. Let's take a closer look...

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New Model

Sea Ray 500 Sundancer:
Now Zeus Pods and Joystick Are Standard

Sea Ray 500 Sundancer
Not only does the new 2011 model Sea Ray 500 have Zeus pods/joystick propulsion, but it comes as standard equipment. V-drives are optional.

The 2011 model Sea Ray 500 Sundancer has been upgraded to Zeus pods with joystick control, so we recently tested the 500 to take her measure. What we discovered -- once again -- was that pod-drive propulsion is far more responsive and sure-footed than is the conventional inboard drive system with rudder steering. We're told that most new 500s are equipped with the Zeus pod drives and only a few are sold with the optional V-drive option. Let's take a look at one of Sea Ray's largest boats...

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New Test Video

New SeaVee 340i (aka Dream Machine):
The Beginning of the Single-Pod Era

SeaVee 340
Powering a center console with a fuel-efficient and a drive-efficient pod gives the SeaVee 340i both good speed and prodigious range. Icing on the cake: you can fish off the transom like you're supposed to!

Imagine taking a large center console and removing two to four outboards from the stern so you can go game fishing just like the folks in the big battlewagons. Further, imagine putting in a single engine where it belongs -- out of the way, low, down in the bilge to optimize the vessel's vertical, longitudinal and athwartships centers of gravity. Now because the boat has a bow thruster and a pod drive you can have full joystick control for docking. This dream machine is the SeaVee 340i -- and there is literally nothing like her. Step aboard here...

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Captain's Report

Jeanneau NC11 Yacht:
Large Day Boat And Coastal Cruiser

Jeanneau NC 11
When it comes to coastal cruising, you enter a customer base where the clientele is much more discriminating. They have to be, they spend more time on their boats than you think.

Jeanneau set their design team to the task of creating an entirely new concept in a small coastal cruiser. It needed to have versatility, storage and accommodations for the long haul, but also excel at being a day boat and a watersports platform. At first glance, we thought this boat looked a bit unusual. But once we started using her, and taking advantage of the NC11’s chameleon-like ability to adapt to new onboard venues, we were hooked and reeled in. The "NC" appropriately stands for New Concept. See what that means...

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New Test Video

New Regal 2500:
A 50 mph Bowrider

Regal 2500
We tested the 2500 with a 300-hp Volvo Penta 5.7Gi. With a stepped hull, it still managed to turn like it was on rails.

Regal is no stranger to modern styling and its all new 2500 is no exception. We found it loaded with thoughtful touches that raise the Regal 2500 up from mediocrity to something akin to a floating piece of nautical art (its towing arch notwithstanding). Putting the subjectivity of aesthetic considerations aside, its most notable attribute in our opinion is its handling at high speed. Years ago Regal’s designers broke the code on how to take a stepped hull and make it behave during aggressive cranking and banking. Our captain’s keen eye found a wrinkle or two, but how important are they? Let’s take a look in a full test...

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New Boat

Cabo 44 HTX Yacht:
A Big Offshore Express Fishboat

Cabo 44 HTX
The new Cabo 44 HTX crashes through some low rollers heading offshore at speed. Looks dry to us. She is in a special niche all her own.

Last winter Cabo introduced its newest boat, the 44 HTX, a hardtop express fishboat. In most ways she is a typical Cabo, but there is one word that stands out to best describe her – big. That bigness starts with her 18’ 6” max beam which falls forward in the interior accommodations and bow flair. At 43,200 lbs. displacement (light) she is a good compromise between a light open express and heavy battlewagon – and there is nothing quite like her on the market. Let’s take a look...

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The Proof Is In the Test:
Shurhold Polisher

Seen here is the entire kit as it comes retail.

The team at BoatTEST put the Shurhold Dual Action Polisher to the test on a very used and neglected boat. We used Shurhold products with this electric polisher and came away happy with the results. Come along with Capt. Steve and see for yourself...

Buy a Dual Action Polisher and get one of each pad free:
1 FREE Buff Magic Pad
1 FREE Pro Polish Pad

Order here...

Coupon Code at check out: BTS

Outboard Report

Evinrude 150 E-TEC:
We Take a Look
"Under the Hood"

Launch Ramp Advice
Captain Steve takes off the cowling to see what sets the Evinrude 150-HO apart from the others.

For the last several years Evinrude has made some bold claims about the properties of their E-TEC line of engines... things such as extended life, years before requiring initial maintenance, and then there’s that "continuing to run with no oil" claim. We decided to take an in-depth look at some of the components in a typical E-TEC, in this case the 150-HO model, and see what it is that makes them... well, what they are. But more to the point, we set out to answer the question of what is different about them, and can they keep running for up to five hours with no oil. Check out our video tour of the Evinrude 150-HO E-TEC and see if you’re convinced that this engine solves a lot of problems, or just puts a new coat of paint on them.

 Fish Story

Video of Gaffer Pulled Overboard by Swordfish

Fish Story
Pulled overboard and still holding the gaff.  This is what can happen when anglers try to take billfish when they are still green.

Having once seen a wireman pulled overboard by a green 1200-lb. (545 kg.) black marlin off the Great Barrier Reef when the wire tangled around his hand, this video resonated with us. The video won the Islamorada Fishing Film Festival recently. The swordfish was about 150-lbs. which is not large by any standard and the mate simply held on with pluck and was not fouled. Take a look...

Rescue of the Week

60' Yacht Sinks 80 Miles
North of Kodiak Island

Rescue of the Week
The 60-foot Nordic Mistress slips beneath the waves of the Gulf of Alaska May 22, 2011, 80 miles north of Kodiak. A Coast Guard rescue helicopter crew from Air Station Kodiak rescued the five members of the crew from a life raft after they abandoned ship.

Thanks to proper preparation, modern electronics, and the USCG five men were saved recently when their 60’ motoryacht went down in the Gulf of Alaska on May 22. This sad event was kept from being a tragic one thanks to the owner/skipper Tom Alexander who not only had aboard survival gear, but the night before the sinking had run an emergency orientation session that included his crew and passengers practicing putting on survival suits and launching the life raft. It is unusual that we learn of the cause of the sinking, but it becomes pretty clear what happened as the story unfolds. Read it and pass it on...

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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 go boating safely.

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 Dock with Twin Inboards

Lesson of the Week
A twin inboard installation makes docking and close quarter maneuvering much easier.

This week Capt. Steve goes over six new lessons and guidelines on docking your twin inboard boat. Watch demonstrations with Capt. Steve approaching the dock, backing into a slip, and maneuvering the boat through close quarters. You’ll learn how to pivot your twin inboard, and how to “walk the boat” or move sideways without bow thrusters. 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

"In today's market, I could only afford the interior. Next year, the hull!"
- T. Canter

Second Place

"I told you to turn the prints around, Floyd! You built the dang thing inside out!"
- E. Jahoda

Honorable (almost) Mentions

"Extraterrestrials don't always travel in flying saucers." - P. Bolden

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 6/1/11

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

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