It’s All in the Details
When you take wakeboat performance and combine it with forward-thinking features, you should have an attractive package on your hands. The Tigé RZ2 had a lot of features worth noting, but the standouts in our opinion were the collapsible tower, that was loaded with features in itself, and the Tigé Touch for customizing your ride characteristics. Of course this is inarguably a great looking boat but we need to see the whole picture.
So let’s go to the video tape...
Intrepid 245 CC:
An Exceptional Center Console
If you owned a luxury yacht, and could afford any boat as a tender, why would you get an Intrepid, as many megayachts owners do? Because of their quality? They’re highly customizable? They look as good as your yacht? They are status symbols? For some the answer is "all the above." This 245CC represents the lower end of the Intrepid size range, but she's long on features, and with an options list that represents some of the company's best customization requests. It's a safe bet that pride of ownership is high on every buyer’s list of attributes.
is going on...
New Features Video
Beneteau Swift 34:
Cruiser For 2 (or, 4)
When we tested the Swift 34, it was immediately apparent that this is a boat that a cruising couple could be quickly attracted to. Not only does she have docile single engine handling characteristics (she has both a bow and a stern thruster), but Capt. Steve demonstrated that the shorthanded captain will have no problem tying her up alone. But what most defines the 34's cruising heritage is her layout. High bulwarks, wide decks, a galley right next to the helm, and salon just abaft, plus a flybridge with additional gathering space. It all comes together in our features video of how Swift makes a fast cruiser.
Cranchi Sixty 6 Fly:
More Than Just a Bella Faccia
Introduced late in 2010, the Sixty 6 Fly is the newest model in Cranchi's Yacht line. A three-stateroom, three-head yacht (plus crew's quarters aft), the Sixty 6 Fly shares the hull and basic arrangement of Cranchi's popular Sixty 4 HT hardtop, but adds a flying bridge to appeal to folks preferring to steer under the sun. We think this boat is not just another pretty face, but something quite special.
Join us to see why...
Sea Ray 260 Sundancer:
Trailerable Pocket Cruiser
Although she carries just 75 gal. (284 L) of fuel, Sea Ray's 260 Sundancer will take you almost anywhere you want to cruise, or at least anywhere you can drive: With 8' 6" (2.59 m) beam, the 26' 7" (8.10 m) LOA Sundancer can be towed behind a full-size pickup or SUV, making it possible to explore new waters on two- or three-day adventures.
But can you live aboard comfortably? Let's see...
Boston Whaler 280 Outrage:
Solid, Innovative & Competitively Priced
From a company that started the unsinkable fishboat concept comes another example of how Boston Whaler thinks things should be done. (On the 280 notice the absence of hard top support pipes blocking the driver's vision.) The 280 sits dead center in a line of 7 Outrageous Whalers, all dedicated to the sport. With so many companies competing for the mid-sized center console market with good boats at lower prices, we wonder... can the 280 hold her own?
Let’s see... you might be surprised...
Mako 1901 Inshore:
A Bayboat with Offshore Heritage
Mako has built a strong relationship with the fishing lifestyle and the 1901 Inshore shows the company is committed to going after the inshore crowd, and doesn't intend to do so halfway. With the bulk of the fishing features residing in the options list, you're able to outfit your 1901 for the way you like to fish – or, just use her as a cruising-around utility boat. Fishing is not required in order to own a Mako. And when you have to cross some chop the Mako hull should put you at ease.
what we like and don't like about Mako's bayboat...
Beneteau Flyer GT 38:
Surprisingly Big Inside
At first, Beneteau's Flyer Gran Turismo 38 resembles every other hardtop express cruiser of similar size, but look closer and you'll find some cool – and important – differences. First, packed into the 38’ are the accommodations you are likely to find on boats 4’ - 6’ larger. So if you have been thinking about a 42-footer, take a look at the Flyer GT 38, she might have everything you need.
Let’s take a look...
Family Bowrider with a Sporty Side
Tahoe seems to be holding its own by selling good looking, affordable boats. This Q5i comes with a 4.3L 190-hp MerCruiser and a color matched trailer for under $22K,
plus freight and prep. That's a pretty competitive price for a nice looking 19'
sportboat. You can even change colors without adding to the cost, something some other builders charge extra for. Let's take a closer look and see just what you get in the low-price point Tahoe Q5i.
Volvo Penta's New
"Dynamic Positioning System" (DPS)
Are we getting lazy? Perhaps, but the fact is that we live in a world where convenience means a lot. We have phones that take still and video shots, allow us to access the web, we carry thousands of tunes in our pockets, and still we thirst for more. But are these really necessary? No, but we love the convenience. So from our standpoint, the convenience of being able to have the boat hold position – and heading – while our attention is diverted to other matters is a long overdue feature that we're more than happy to test.
See what we discovered...
Meridian 341 Sedan:
The Little Cruiser That Can
The Meridian 341 Sedan is the company's "entry level" yacht, but don't let that
description fool you. This boat has two cabins, a decent-sized salon, the helm on
a spacious flying bridge with aft seating. We filled her with fuel and water
and tested her in seas up to 3' in 15-20 knots of breeze. Off the record,
Captain Steve told us he was surprised by how well the 341 handled the conditions.
So, she's "entry level," but she has the beef to go offshore. See the new test...
Cypress Cay Cayman 250:
Tri-Toon for Performance
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. See what it takes...
Maxing the Performance/Cost Ratio
When we asked Yamaha what their criteria were when they designed the VXS they told
us this: To bring to the market a high performance watercraft that was economical,
no-frills, but powerful and fun. With this in mind we set out to test the
VXS and see how they did. With an MSRP of $10,899 she is priced well under many
other PWCs and includes a 1812cc four-stroke, four-cylinder marine engine in a nimble
lightweight package. Climb aboard for a test ride...
Altima Euro Sedan 45:
Long Range or High-Speed Cruiser?
The 45' Altima Yachts sedan is a two-stateroom, two-head motoryacht that offers quite a bit of room for under $1 million. She comes in either a single engine
or twin configuration, so decide how you want to use her and pick your power. She
is built in the Far East so is full of beautiful teak and carries an attractive
Watch our video...
Do Your Props Have the Right Cup, Rake, Slip, Pitch & Hub?
The more we research some subjects the more we discover that some of the assumptions we have operated on for years are not correct. There is probably no field in the boating world that is more of a black art, or where there is more misinformation,
than in re-propping. But getting the right prop is not really a matter of Voodoo. It's more a matter of finding out there is a prop problem in the first place, then discovering an expert you can trust who can recommend what you need. We hit the important basics and examine some alternatives in this short report on prop basics.
Cut to the chase...
Fill out this simple worksheet to find out what prop is right for you...
Pro Polish from Shurhold
When the team at Shurhold told us that their Pro Polish was “Better than an old fashioned wax” and one of the reasons was that it was a
“polymer based formula with cosmetic grade ingredients,” we just had to send it to our skunk works for testing. The results: when applying we could see swirl marks and water spots disappear, and when buffed out, the resulting finish looked just as advertised, a nice deep luster with a showroom shine. But that was not enough, so after a week of use and four washings, with only drying the surface, we took a picture. We’d say this passed the test.
Get complete product information here...
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.
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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...
Visit BoatTEST.com and "like" our page to watch unedited video found only on Facebook...
25 Points to Compare
Sportboat Buying Check Point #6:
How Much Beam is Enough?
Test Captain Rob Smith is 6' (1.84 m) and 230 lbs. (104.5 kgs.) yet he is not too big for this Glastron GSL 235 BR with an 8'6" (2.59 m) beam. Note that there is plenty of room for him to pass through the opening to the bow. (To see the test video of the GSL 235... )
Few if any sportboats under 28' (8.5 m) have a beam greater than 8'6" (2.59 m) which is the maximum beam that can be trailered without a permit in all 50 U.S. states. But some popular sportboats have a beam as narrow as 7'0" (2.13 m). So the questions arise: how much beam is enough, how does more or less beam affect performance, comfort and safety, and how much more does a beamier boat cost?
Let's take a look...
Lesson of the Week
Distress Signal Requirements
This week we’ll go over seven lessons and guidelines on distress signal requirements.
Capt. Steve will also go over what vessels are not required to carry any day signals. These are basic procedures which all recreational boaters should be aware of. The videos presented this week are part of BoatTEST.com’s Smart 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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