Crownline 215//Chaparral 327//Boat Covers//13 Tests & Reviews - 06/08/2011
BoatTEST Newsletter June 8, 2011 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust
- Jeanneau NC11
- Chaparral 327 SSX
- Cypress Cay Cayman 250
- Beneteau Swift 52
- Doral Elite 235 BR
- MJM 36z
- Tigé RZ2
- Larson Cabrio 857
- Meridian 341 Sedan
- Crownline 215 SS
- Triumph 195 CC
- Monterey 320 Sport Yacht
- Crestliner 1650 Fish Hawk
- Yanmar 6BY2-260Z
- Shurhold Products
- Selecting a Boat Cover
- New on BoatTEST
- Accident of the Week
- Boating Course on DVD
- Picture of the Week
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

New 35' Jeanneau NC11:
As Practical As It Is Clever

Jeanneau NC11
It's hard to narrow down what we like in the NC11 to a few simple sentences. Probably it's a combination of all the unique attributes that make this boat really come together.

When this boat caught our eye at the Dusseldorf Boat Show last winter we were intrigued. When we stepped aboard, we were impressed. When we started digging into the creative features that blend seamlessly into this vessel all over the boat, we were hooked. Take a look at our new features video and you'll see that there's much more to this yacht than what initially meets the eye. Bring as many friends as you'd like...

Request brochure

cross ruler

New Boat

New Chaparral 327 SSX:
A Revolutionary Super-Sportboat

Chaparral 327 SSX
Chaparral’s new 327 SSX provides an alternative to moving up to an express cruiser for people who only want to go day boating.

Four months ago the Chaparral 327 SSX won this year’s NMMA “Innovation of the Year” Award for boat design. This boat is the latest in a growing list of sportboats over 30 feet.  This boat has a 10' (3.07 m) beam and amenities normally associated with larger express cruisers. The Chaparral 327 SSX is an outstanding example of a new type of boat that seems to be emerging – the Super-Sportboat. The prototype of the 327 SSX debuted at the Miami Boat Show and we were there to take a good, close look at her. Step aboard here...

cross ruler

New Test Video

Cypress Cay Cayman 250:
Can a Toon Handle Like a Sportboat?

Cypress Cay Cayman 250
At 27'6" (8.41) LOA the Cayman 250 has plenty of room for comfort and entertaining, and that's what most people think of when they see a pontoon boat. But handling and performance usually fall behind on most toons.

Multi-tasking is the only way a family boat is going to make a success in a tough economy, and with pontoon boats there's usually been a large gap between performance and functionality. Lately however, that gap seems to be shrinking. We think that's good news and worthy of testing the theory that the two can be combined in a pontoon boat. So what does it take to bring performance to a toon? As it turns out, it's not that complicated. So why don't they all do it?

cross ruler

Captain's Report

Beneteau Swift 52:
Designed for the Times

Swift Trawler 52
Hull #38 of the Beneteau Swift 52 was on display at the Miami Boat Show this spring and it has arrived at a propitious moment. Find out why we think this boat is so special.

The Swift 52 by Beneteau is a raised pilothouse yacht that can cruise comfortably at 20 knots or 8 knots, take your pick.  She has 3 staterooms plus crew's quarters, a large galley and plenty of entertaining space.  She can be easily handled by a cruising couple on long cruises, or accommodate half of your yacht club to watch the start of the big sailboat race.  No matter how she's used, the Swift 52 will be economical to operate.  Join us as we show you why...

cross ruler

Features Video

Doral Elite 235 Bowrider:
Sleek and Classy at the Same Time

Meridian 541
Doral's Elite 235 comes in a bowrider and cuddy version. Today, we go over the highlights of the bowrider.

We think the Doral Elite 235 is Lamborghini-sleek and Aston-Martin classy, all in one.  That's a rarity in sportboats which tend to be one or the other, if not just ho-hum.  The Doral Elite 235 is awash in artful design details.  She's not for everybody, and that's where a lot of the Doral attraction lies. Our details and performance video touches on a whole host of thoughtful features. So let's take a look. More...

cross ruler

Captain's Report

MJM 36z Yacht:
A Gentleman's Downeast Cruiser

MJM 36z
For two people the 36z is a capable cruiser. For 6 people it's an excellent day tripper. For 14 people she is an ideal entertainment platform for a sunset cruise.

MJM Yacht's 36z is a downeast-styled vessel that was designed by a veteran yachtsman for some very specific missions. First, she is intended to for the retired older couple ready to downsize, give up their sailboat or large cruising powerboat and who want something that is easily handled by one person. Second, she is intended for the busy businessman who does not have time to adequately make use of a large motoryacht or convertible, wants a boat that can be trucked between seasonal homes, or would like to entertain in the evening aboard and take some short weekends away with his significant other. On top of this, MJM wanted a boat economical to operate. There is really no other boat on the market like the MJM 36z. Find out what makes her so compelling...

cross ruler

New Test Video

Tigé RZ2:
20th Anniversary Platinum Edition

Tigé RZ2
She had a top speed of 41 mph, a best cruise of 27 mph and best range...142 miles. While she's a performance watersports boat, we found that she has other uses as well.

What if you took one of Tigé's most popular boats and loaded it to the max with every option anyone would want? Then you'd have the 20th Anniversary Platinum Edition RZ2. Not only is this a serious performance wakeboat, but our tests show that she makes a capable family sportboat as well. Between the way the RZ2 handles a chop and that roomy layout, this is a boat to show off, even if you leave the wakeboard at home.  See what we mean...

cross ruler

Test Video

New Larson Cabrio 857:
This 28' Pocket Cruiser Goes Diesel

Larson Cabrio 857
Here is a pocket cruiser you can take nearly anywhere and at best cruise the Larson Cabrio 857 has a range of 219 statute miles with a 10 % reserve.

When we test boats we look for what will impact the boater's overall experience. Back in February, Larson launched the all new 857 design and then added a twist -- a single Yanmar 260-hp diesel engine.  With a large, open layout below designed for a cruising couple, the diesel-powered 857 has speed, range, and safety.  There are two video that you need to watch with regard to this model: the full boat test video and the engine feature video. Cast off here...

cross ruler

New Features Video

Meridian 341 Sedan:
Moving Up Is Now Easier

Meridian 541
At 35' 10" (10.9 m) and 12’ 6" (3.8 m) of beam the Meridian 341 is big enough to provide real cruising but small enough to handle with ease -- and she's affordable.

We tested the Meridian 341 SB with joystick and thruster controls and discovered once again that she's a boat that anyone can handle. During the same test in some confused seas offshore our captain was impressed with how this boat handled them.  Now we take a look at the features and layout of this tidy little sedan.   Join us...

cross ruler

New Boat

Crownline 215 SS:
A Sleek New Bowrider

Crownline 215 SS
With a LOA of 21' 5" (6.5 m) and an 18-degree deadrise at the transom, this should prove to be a comfortable boat at the dock and on the water.

Crownline has recently launched their latest bowrider for the 2012 model year. It's the 215 SS, and if looks were the only selling factor, they'd be out the door as fast as they make them. But we have to go a little deeper than that. Let's take a look at the details and see how they've done. Bring on the water toys...

cross ruler

Captain's Report

Triumph 195 Center Console:
Solid Boat, Solid Ride

Triumph 195 Center Console
Although the 195 CC has a dry weight of only 2,000 lbs, (907 kg) she has the handling of a much heavier boat, and therefore a more solid ride.

Yes, we all know how well built and unsinkable the Triumph line is with its Roplene construction process, but the real story with this 195 CC is in the ride. Where we've felt tossed about in other boats this size and class, this time we were feeling the ride and handling characteristics of a larger boat. The solid hull disperses wave impacts and that translates into a more solid ride. We'll show you what we mean...

Request factory pricing

cross ruler

Captain's Report

Monterey 320 Sport Yacht:
A Day Boat or Cruiser

Monterey 320 Sport Yacht
The Monterey 320 SY breaks with convention below and we like their outside-the-box thinking. The Flexiteek inlay on the platform is an option.

Built in Florida, this 33' 10" (10.3 m) express cruiser combines quality construction, a versatile cockpit, lots of standard equipment and a reasonable price. But what we like best about the 320 SY is her cabin layout: It's just right for a couple who enjoy taking friends out for the day, but who cruise on their own overnight.  She should appeal to folks who want maximum usable space belowdecks when they're not sleeping, and who don't mind losing a bit of privacy when they are. Find out more about the 320 SY...

cross ruler

Test Video

Crestliner 1650 Fish Hawk:
Freshwater Fishability Plus Economy

Crestliner Fish Hawk 1650 Walk Through
Capt. Steve puts the Crestliner 1650 through a demanding handling test and gives an unvarnished report along with instructions on how to trim out the boat for max speed.

Powered by a 90-hp Mercury Optimax Crestliner's 1650 Fish Hawk has a WOT of 41 mph, which is fast given the power. Best cruise was 27.6 mph providing 6.7 miles per gallon -- economical traveling no matter how you look at it. Because the 1650 has a dry weight of less than 1,100 lbs. (500 kgs.) you can tow her with most anything, and easily launch her most anywhere. The Crestliner 1650 is a price-point boat that has all of the basic fishing amenities. Take a look at our test video...

cross ruler

Test Video

Yanmar 6BY2-260Z:
Maxing Efficient Propulsion

Yanmar 6BY2-260Z
Yanmar, by marrying its 260-hp diesel to its own sterndrive lower unit, is able to provide the whole drive system, simplifying service and warranty issues.

When it comes to providing fuel efficient propulsion, it is hard to beat a good diesel engine mated to a sterndrive lower unit with dual props.  That is why Yanmar makes all three and puts them together in one propulsion system.  We tested the 6-cylinder 260-hp 6BY2-260Z combo and the results speak for themselves. Take a look...

cross ruler


Full Test Of Fuel Filter Funnel from Shurhold Industries

We have seen many filter products in the past and felt it was time to do a full video test on the fuel filter funnel from Shurhold. With a can of gas, some water, dirt and a few Mason jars, we got started testing the three size versions of this product.

The main issue we see in boating is water contamination in our fuel. Since the "Mr. Funnel" claims filtering out water is its main purpose, we started our test by adding water to a jar of fuel. Then we poured the fuel in to the smallest version of the fuel filter funnel to see how it performed. Read more...

Visit to order Mr. Funnel...


How To Select the
Right Boat Cover

Boat Cover Advice
Boat covers can be expensive, but this is not a good place to cheap-out, especially if you're towing.

In our mailbag this week we received a letter from a reader asking about boat covers, an important item of equipment that has not been discussed enough. The letter asks – “Would you please ask Capt. Steve to discuss the use of canvas covers in trailering boats. Will covers improve air dynamics going down the highway at speed or is better to go without? If so, how do you keep stuff like seat cushions and other things that you must have from blowing out? Any other boat canvas advice would be gratefully received. – Phil.” Capt. Steve responds...


Mr. Magoo Now Comes

Mr. McGoo
"#@*&%! that small print, I missed the part about getting a boat with two oars! Now I'm going to!"

AAA Through a miracle of software programming can now offer you three type sizes -- big, bigger, biggest! Now that our baby boom members are starting to hit 65 we thought it about time to get even more user-friendly. Here's how to use it...

Accident of the Week

Boat Explodes
After Fueling
-- 1 Dead, 4 Hurt

Accident of the Week
The scene of the accident was the fuel dock at the Erie Yacht Club. The club has 1200 members and was founded in 1895.

A 32' powerboat that was over 20-years-old exploded after refueling when the engine was started at 6:30 pm on Memorial Day (May 30) at the Erie Yacht Club on Lake Erie. Five people were on the boat at the time of the explosion, including the women who was killed. Three of the injured were taken to a hospital to be treated for burns. After the explosion, the boat sank. Every year several boat explosions occur, usually this happens to older boats when either the blower or the engine is started. Read's refueling and re-starting safety tips...


Visit and "like" our page to watch unedited video found only on Facebook...
cross ruler

Smart Boating's
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'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.

cross ruler

Lesson of the Week

Tie Knots with Confidence

Lesson of the Week
A clove hitch is one of the basic knots every boater should know. It's used most often to tie a line to a piling.

This week Capt. Steve goes over nine lessons and guidelines on tying knots. This is something that is not only important to master, but will also save you time and expense down the road. How many fenders have you lost since you’ve owned your boat? Or, how many times have you needed to leave the dock quickly but there was so much line tied around the cleat it took minutes instead of seconds to untie?  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 --

cross ruler

Ducky Award Winner

Ducky Winner

First Place

"Jimmy, see the 5 blade prop provides great hole shot!" - A. Fletcher

Special Nurse Duck Award
(For the Sick)

“No, she won't let go. I told her there were piranhas in the lake.” - E. Holland

Special Devil Duck Award

"I said KEEP YOUR TIPS UP!" - D. Corley

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 6/8/11

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.

We need reader help!

If you have a picture that you think needs some explanation, email it to us., LLC
51 Bank Street, Suite 2A
Stamford, CT 06901

All articles, Captain's Reports, video content or other material which appear on and in its newsletters are accurate and factual to the best knowledge of and its staff. All findings, beliefs, experiences, or endorsements presented are the honest opinions of or its contributors. In compliance with FTC 16 CFR Part 255 advises its readers that content that appears in its newsletter or on its website may have been produced for compensation or the prospect of future compensation. makes no claims for the veracity or motivation of reader comments, Owners’ Reports, and other contributions which are all clearly labeled as such.