50-MPH Sea Ray // FinCraft 1850 // 16 Tests & Reviews - 06/15/2011
BoatTEST Newsletter June 15, 2011 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
- Hunt 36 Hardtop
- MasterCraft X-35
- Lund 2075 Pro-V
- Cruisers Yachts 520 SC
- Sea Ray 205 Sport
- Harris FloteBote GM SL 250
- Regal 38 Express
- Tigé R20
- Campion Allante LX 825
- Mainship Pilot 355
- Seaswirl Striper 1905 CC
- FinCraft 1850 DC
- Marquis 720 Tri-Deck
- Evinrude ICON
- Volvo Penta 5.0L
- Bayliner 185 BR
- Formula 290 FX4
- World Cat 320 CC
- Shurhold Products
- Accidents of the Week
- How to Avoid Capsizing
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course on DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Hunt 36 Hardtop:
Customize Her
to Your Purpose

Hunt 36
The Hunt Yachts 36 is fast, comfortable and can be fuel efficient. But best of all, this semi-custom boat can be purpose-built for you mission.

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

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Features Video

MasterCraft X-35:
Deep-V Bottom For Wake & Shake

MasterCraft X-35
The MasterCraft X-35 has a deep-V hull, the deepest of any boat in the company's line.  She is made for wake and big board 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...

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Test Video

Lund 2075 Pro-V Tournament Edition:
The Top of the Line for Wetting a Line

Lund 2075 Pro-V
We were told that the 2075 Pro-V was deserving of the “Most Sought After” category from Lund. Then we had to answer the question...why?

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...

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 Test Video

Cruisers Yachts 520 Sports Coupe:
A World-Class Serious Cruiser

Cruisers Yachts 520
The 520 Sports Coupe only comes powered by triple Volvo Penta IPS pod drives.

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...

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New Test Video

New Sea Ray 205 Sport:
50.4 MPH with a 4.3L MerCruiser

Sea Ray 205 Sport
Best cruise came at 28.4 mph where we recorded 4.23 mpg.

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

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New Test Video

Harris FloteBote Grand Mariner SL 250 XTR: Performance Version of a Luxury Toon

Harris FloteBote Grand Mariner SL 250
With triple tubes and performance enhancements to the center tube, Harris FloteBote has added remarkable handling characteristics to the Grand Mariner SL 250.

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...

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New Video

New Regal 38 Express:
40 mph w/ Twin Diesel Sterndrives

Regal 38
This boat was equipped with the Volvo Penta sterndrive joystick. Range at a best cruise speed of 28.9 mph was 448 statute miles

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... 

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New Test Video

Tigé R20:
An Affordable Premium Wakeboat

Tigé R20
The Tigé R20 not only makes wakes, but it can take them in stride as well. At best cruise, we calculated a range of 124 miles (200 km) at 27.8 mph (44.7 kph).

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...

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Captain's Report

Campion Allante LX 825:
Beamy 28' Pocket Cruiser

Campion Allante 825
With a 9'4" (2.84 m) beam the Allante LX 825 is one of the largest 28' cruisers you're likely to find.

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...

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Captain's Report

Mainship Pilot 355: 
A Downeaster At the Right Price

Mainship 355 Sedan
Mainship says a single 315-hp Yanmar diesel will push the Pilot 355 to 23 knots and cruise her in the high teens. Both bow and stern thrusters are standard. Base price: $203,560.

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...

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Test Video

Seaswirl Striper 1905 CC:
Smooth Operator with Style

Seaswirl 1905 CC
The Seaswirl Striper 1905 CC is a sweet little boat for fishing and utility work.

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...

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Test Video

FinCraft 1850 DC:
Finally- A Fiberglass Multi-Species Fishboat

FinCraft 1850 DC
While testing the FinCraft 1850 DC, we found her to have handling and performance closely matched to a sportboat.

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, and more. This is one to check out.

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Features Video

Marquis 720 Tri-Deck:
Flagship of the Marquis Fleet

Marquis 720
The Marquis 720 Tri-Deck has an enclosed sky lounge that adds lots of living space to an already big boat.

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...

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Test Video

Evinrude's ICON System:
Fly-By-Wire Digital Control

Evinrude ICON
Once the control cables were severed and replaced with wires, it opened up a whole new level of how we control our boats.

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.

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Features Video

Volvo Penta 5.0L Gas Engine
Should You Upgrade from a 4.3L?

Volvo Penta 5.0
When it’s time to move up to a V-8, the venerable 5.0L is usually the first choice.

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 with friends 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 of roughly 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...

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Test Video

Bayliner 185 BR Starter Package:
Is 3.0L Sterndrive Enough Power?

Bayliner 185 BR
The Bayliner 185 BR has a LOA of 18’ (5.49 m), a beam of 7'7” (2.31 m), and a draft of 3'1” (.94 m). More important with full fuel she weighs just over 2,500 lbs (1,134 kg) making her economical and easily trailered.

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 task.  Check out our full report and test video.

Request brochure

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Test Video

Formula 290 FX4:
Full Performance Test

Melissa to supply screen grab from video
What would you do if you were introduced to a brand new model that was gorgeous in every way, and then the builder handed you the keys and said “let me know what you think?”

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 to be? Find out for yourself in this video...

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Features Video

World Cat 320 CC:
Layout and Features Video

World Cat 330 CC
It seems that at every turn there’s another compartment for storing something on the World Cat 320 CC.

Recently we showed you the World Cat 320 CC performance and handling video that drew a lot of attention for busting apart some myths about cats. Now we take you on a video tour of the layout and features.  Come aboard and take the tour with us and you’ll see what we mean.

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Shurhold Snap-Stick:
No More Corroded
Snaps or Zippers

This is a lubricant and protectant for snaps and 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

This owner is sitting on the bow of a new boat that was reportedly on its first outing. When small boats fill with water they usually capsize. Only powerboats 20’ or smaller with 2-hp engines or greater are required by the USCG to float level.

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...

 Safety Tip

How To Avoid Capsizing

One of these boats was attempting to tow the other last year off the Oregon coast when both swamped and capsized and two men died. Note that these boats are floating level as required by USCG regs.

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

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.

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...
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Lesson of the Week

Boating Etiquette Tidbits

Lesson of the Week
Always remember to be a courteous neighbor to your fellow boaters and follow the no wake rules and any other signs that are posted.

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 --

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Ducky Award Winner

Ducky Winner

First Place

“Another 20-hp and I would have made the green!” – C. Crane

Second Place

“Sure it's stalled, you just destroyed the water pump. I told you to stay out of the sand!” – G. Seabury

Honorable Mention(s)

"This kind of thing happens when you play a public course." - D. Gallagher

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 6/15/11

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