Hunt 36 Hardtop:
to Your Purpose
The Hunt 36 Hardtop is a semi-custom boat that you can have built pretty much to your specifications in the cockpit and pilothouse. She has a Ray Hunt deep-V hull, and that combined with her pedigreed downeast topsides will make any veteran yachtsman's heart go pitter-patter. So how fast and how fuel-efficient is she? And what could we dream up to customize this boat?
Here are some numbers and a few ideas...
Request full brochure
Deep-V Bottom For Wake & Shake
At 23' 5" the MasterCraft X-35 has head turning graphics and gadgets everywhere you look, from the tow-cam on the tower to the fighter-jet helm. Most distinctive,
of course, is her pickle-fork bow which opens up the bow seating area. In our opinion, the quality of this boat is top of the line.
Hop on this ride...
Lund 2075 Pro-V Tournament Edition:
The Top of the Line for Wetting a Line
Lund introduced us to the 2075 Pro-V by saying it was the boat that was “most aspired
to own in the lineup.” Join us as we put the
Lund 2075 Pro-V Tournament Edition through a full performance and handling test
and see why she is so popular Join us...
Cruisers Yachts 520 Sports Coupe:
A World-Class Serious Cruiser
When you think of a world-class long distance cruising yacht, you may not at first
think of an express cruiser. But the 520 Sports Coupe is an example of the new breed
of large express cruisers that have been introduced mainly in Europe but also in
the U.S. by a couple of builders. The Cruisers Yachts 520 is one of the most outstanding examples of that type built in America. She weighs
in at about 42,000 lbs and has a 15’ 6” beam. We found top speeds in the low 40s and cruising speeds in
the low 30s. But there's a lot more to see...
New Test Video
New Sea Ray 205 Sport:
50.4 MPH with a 4.3L MerCruiser
It was clear when we showed up at the dock to test the new Sea Ray 205 Sport that this boat was unlike any Sea Ray sportboat we have seen before. We think the look of this boat is something to be admired, but the question to ask is, how well will she run? The answer came as soon as we hit the test track.
Find out about Sea Ray's new, hot 205 Sport...
Request factory pricing
New Test Video
Harris FloteBote Grand Mariner SL 250 XTR:
Performance Version of a Luxury Toon
Harris FloteBote tells us that they've made a distinct improvement in the already nice handling characteristics of their Grand Mariner SL 250. They did so by adding a feature called XTR or Extreme Turning Radius. Of course we question just how extreme one can get in a pontoon boat, or how extreme you would even want your pontoon to be in the first place.
See our new video report and judge for yourself...
New Regal 38 Express:
40 mph w/ Twin Diesel Sterndrives
The Regal 38 Express has ride qualities of a much larger yacht, with the handling
characteristics of a smaller one. Powered by twin 260-hp Volvo Penta D4 diesels
this 15,200-lb. (6,895-kg.) boat gets an impressive 1.8 mpg at a best cruise speed
of 28.9 mph. Best of all is the 38's joystick maneuvering control of its sterndrives.
Let's take a look at the Regal 38...
New Test Video
An Affordable Premium Wakeboat
In case you haven't noticed, Tigé has been expanding its range of premium wakeboats lately. But the builder has not forgotten the entry level price-point, and that is pretty much the mission of the R20. The price is lower, but the build quality is not. So how did Tigé keep the price down? And did they leave out too much? It was our mission to investigate those questions when we recently tested the new Tigé R20 model.
Read all about it...
Campion Allante LX 825:
Beamy 28' Pocket Cruiser
Targeting the first-time cruiser owner, the 28' (8.48 m) Allante LX 825 features amenities and a layout common in most express cruisers in its class. What is not so common in the popular pocket cruiser class of boats under 30' is her 9' 4" (2.84 m) beam --10" more than many sub-30' boats in class and the numbers of items that
are usually optional but which are on this boat's standard list.
Let's take a look...
Mainship Pilot 355:
A Downeaster At the Right Price
The Pilot 355 is an update of the company’s
successful Pilot 30. The new model has a bona fide pilothouse that turns most of
the cockpit on the earlier boat into all-weather living space. By
placing the galley and dinette on deck, Mainship opened up more of the cabin below
for sleeping accommodations. Here's more about this interesting downeaster...
Seaswirl Striper 1905 CC:
Smooth Operator with Style
We’ve been watching the building of the Striper 1905 CC for some time now. Even
in her early stages we could see that this boat was a departure from what we normally
see coming out of the Little Falls, MN factory. Gone were the hard lines and sharp edges,
replaced with rounded gunwales and sleek curves. We took a second look when she
showed her stuff at the New York boat show and drew crowds. Now it’s time to test
her in the water and see if she drives as well as she looks. Our test video
will put you in the driver’s seat of this affordable new boat. Welcome aboard...
FinCraft 1850 DC:
Finally- A Fiberglass Multi-Species Fishboat
It’s always interesting to go on a boat test and see just what sort of attention
we generate at the dock. When we brought the FinCraft 1850 DC to the ramp a crowd
started gathering and then came the questions. How does she handle? It’s fiberglass
so it must be expensive, right? Does it come fully featured or is everything on the options
list to keep the price low? Frankly, we were asking the same questions ourselves and in our full test video and full captain’s report, we answer all of the above,
This is one to check out.
Marquis 720 Tri-Deck:
Flagship of the Marquis Fleet
Making a splash on the world boating stage a few years ago, Marquis now builds
9 models on 6 different hulls. Marquis is sister brand to Carver, which has a history of well-built value-based models, but the Marquis 720 Tri-Deck is an Italian styled luxury yacht with a completely different feel and look.
Captain Steve took a video look, so join him and see for yourself...
Evinrude's ICON System:
We love the possibilities that digital control has opened up on outboard-powered boats.
Evinrude has created its own version called ICON, with the “I” standing for intelligent.
Smart controllers now allow us to experience push-button controllability on the
company’s E-TEC line of outboards. As we will soon see this is, as they say, the
tip of the iceberg. Let’s step to the helm and see how Evinrude does digital controls.
Volvo Penta 5.0L Gas Engine
Should You Upgrade from a 4.3L?
You’re at the dealership and it’s time to select options. Snap-in carpet – check.
Mooring cover – check. Engine? Hmmm. Standard power is a 4.3L, do I really need
more than that? Well, if you’re like most boaters and want to either fill your boat
or do a lot of towing, or both, then you’ll be considering moving up to the 5.0L.
That move will give you a boost from 190-hp to 270-hp at the cost
50 lbs (22.7 kg) and about 4” (10.1 cm) in length and 3” (7.6 cm) in height, and
yes, a bit of dough. Learn about the 5.0L...
Bayliner 185 BR Starter Package:
Is 3.0L Sterndrive Enough Power?
Bayliner, well known for building price-point boats and getting more people on the
water for less money, has recently launched a new 18 footer -- the 185 BR. This
allows users not only to get a great starter package of boat, motor and trailer,
but also adds options to the layout and features.
Our test boat was powered by a 3.0L 135-hp MerCruiser sterndrive, and we wanted
to put her through a full test and see if that small engine was big enough for the
Check out our full report and test video.
Formula 290 FX4:
Full Performance Test
We reported that we were at the unveiling of the Formula FX4 in New York early last
year, and that report ended a long news blackout on what came to be a very cool
departure from the norm, even for Formula. Today, we bring you the first video of
the performance test of the newest member of the Formula fleet. Is she all chrome
steel, and does she walk the line like the performance vessel she appears
Find out for yourself in this video...
No More Corroded
Snaps or Zippers
If there is something that all boaters can relate to, it's corrosion. No matter where it is, it’s annoying and damaging. So how about when you go to uncover the boat and you can’t get the snap to unsnap, or you can’t get the zippers to move? (#*?@!!) The team at Shurhold has a simple and effective product that can prevent this from happening and keep your language civil. Snap-Stick is designed to keep your snaps and zippers from corroding and also act as a lubricant. The thing the BoatTEST team likes most about this product is that it is easy and fast to use.
Watch a video on the Snap-Stick to see it in action....
You can get all the info on the product here.
Promo: FREE Tube of Snap-Stick with any purchase. Coupon Code: BTSS Exp. 6/29/2011
Accidents of the Week
6 Boats Capsize —
21 Saved, 1 Died
As is usually the case, Memorial Day weekend and week in North America was fraught with boating accidents as thousands of boaters with cabin fever rushed their vessels into the water, many owners paying scant attention to the vessels’ sea-keeping details or the conditions. Most of the accidents involved small boats (14’ to 24’) being swamped for various reasons and then capsizing, leaving the occupants clinging to the side of the hulls. Many of these boaters were not wearing PFDs. All six of these accidents occurred in freshwater locations.
To learn some lessons, read the reports...
How To Avoid Capsizing
In 2009, 40% of all recreational boating deaths in the U.S. were the result of boats flooding, swamping or capsizing -- that represents 298 people out of a total of 736 boating fatalities -- according to USCG statistics. Most of those accidents occurred in open fishing boats under 26’ (7.9 m). Virtually all of these accidents were the result of operator error, generally attributable to lack of experience and boating education. If you are in a boat that swamps or capsizes, statistics say you have a 37% chance of ending up a fatality. For that reason, you see how lucky the folks were in the six capsizing incidents in the companion story in this issue.
Advice on how to avoid capsizing...
Where in the World?
Picture of the Week
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
DVD Boating Course
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...
Lesson of the Week
Boating Etiquette Tidbits
This week Capt. Steve goes over seven lessons and guidelines on getting along with the boating community by using proper boating etiquette. Even though some of these may have been touched upon in previous lessons, there are a few we would like to call out again. What it all comes down to is being a courteous boater. 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
“Another 20-hp and I would have made the green!” – C. Crane
“Sure it's stalled, you just destroyed the water pump. I told you to stay out of the sand!” – G. Seabury
"This kind of thing happens when you play a public course." - D. Gallagher
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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