Tigé 22//Whaler 28 CC//Cranchi 66//13 Tests & Reviews - 08/04/2011
BoatTEST Newsletter August 3, 2011 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
- Tigé RZ2
- Intrepid 245 Center Console
- Beneteau Swift 34
- Cranchi Sixty 6
- Sea Ray 260 Sundancer
- Boston Whaler 280 Outrage
- Mako 1901 Inshore
- Beneteau Flyer GT 38
- Tahoe Q5i
- Volvo Penta DPS
- Meridian 341 Sedan
- Cypress Cay Cayman 250
- Yamaha VXS
- Altima Euro Sedan 45
- Do You Have the Right Prop
- Shurhold Products
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course on DVD
- Sportboat Buying Tips
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Tigé RZ2:
It’s All in the Details

Tigé RZ2
Tigé tells us that they wanted to push the envelope on design and styling with the RZ2.

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...

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Captain's Report

Intrepid 245 CC:
An Exceptional Center Console

Intrepid 245 Center Console
At 25' 3" (7.87 m) LOA with an 8'6" (2.6 m) beam, this 245 is the smallest boat Intrepid makes, but it has the same attention to detail as the biggest.

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. See what is going on...

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New Features Video

Beneteau Swift 34:
Cruiser For 2 (or, 4)

Beneteau Swift 34
We measured a top speed of 27 kts and a best cruise of 14.7 kts, yielding a range of 245 nm with a 10% reserve.

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. More...

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Captain's Report

New Cranchi Sixty 6 Fly:
More Than Just a Bella Faccia

Cranchi Sixty 6
Cranchi's Sixty 6 Fly is easy on the eyes, but she's no shrinking violet. Under her yacht-like skin and edgy styling is a tough and well-engineered hull.

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...

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New Test

Sea Ray 260 Sundancer:
Trailerable Pocket Cruiser

Sea Ray 260 Sundancer
Sea Ray fits a mid-stateroom, enclosed head and convertible V-berth into the 260 Sundancer. She's trailerable, too.

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...

Brochure request

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Captain's Report

Boston Whaler 280 Outrage:
Solid, Innovative & Competitively Priced

Boston Whaler 280 Outrage
The 280 has a LOA of 27'7" (8.34 m) and a beam of 9'4" (2.8 m). Her weight of 6100 lbs. (2,767 kgs.) puts her in the heavyweight side of the scale, and Whaler uses that to give a solid ride to the deepest V in its lineup.

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...

Brochure request

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Captain's Report

Mako 1901 Inshore:
A Bayboat with Offshore Heritage

Mako 1901 Inshore
Skinny water beware... this Mako 1901 Inshore has a draft of only 16" (40.6 cm). Max horsepower is a 150XL OptiMax.

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. See what we like and don't like about Mako's bayboat...

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Captain's Report

Beneteau Flyer GT 38:
Surprisingly Big Inside

Beneteau Flyer GT 38
You can't see it here, but the Beneteau Flyer GT 38 rides on a patented Air Step hull. Her builder claims 32.7 knots top speed from twin 300-hp Volvo Penta D4 Duoprop diesels.

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...

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Captain's Report

Tahoe Q5i:
Family Bowrider with a Sporty Side

Tahoe Q5i
The Q5i is the next step up from the entry-level Q4SS. LOA is 19'5" (5.9 m) and the beam is 7'7" (2.3 m) which means she's also easily transportable on the packaged trailer.

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. More...

Brochure request

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Volvo Penta's New
"Dynamic Positioning System" (DPS)

Volvo Penta DPS
Holding position and heading just got a lot easier thanks to Volvo Penta and its new 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...

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Test Video

Meridian 341 Sedan:
The Little Cruiser That Can

Meridian 341 Sedan
The Meridian 341 is a good way to start the cruising lifestyle.  A year or two with her and you'll be ready for your next big adventure.

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...

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Test Video

Cypress Cay Cayman 250:
Tri-Toon for Performance

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. See what it takes...

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Test Video

Yamaha VXS:
Maxing the Performance/Cost Ratio

Yamaha VXS
Not one to hold back on the throttle, our COO Christopher Hughes tests to see if the VXS is up to the acceleration challenge.  (You're going to get wet, Chris!)

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...

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Features Video

Altima Euro Sedan 45:
Long Range or High-Speed Cruiser?

Altima 45
At 39,000 lbs. (17,727 kgs) with a 15' 4'' (4.57 m) beam she is surprisingly light given all of the teak aboard.

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 price tag.  Watch our video...

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Prop Basics

Do Your Props Have the Right Cup, Rake, Slip, Pitch & Hub?

Props, props, everywhere... but which one is right?

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

This PWC still has a showroom luster after a week of use and several washes; all we did was towel dry.

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 Shurhold Pro Polish“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

Picture of the Week
Find out where this picture was taken and when...

See the larger picture, when and who took it -- and where!

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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...



Visit BoatTEST.com and "like" our page to watch unedited video found only on Facebook...
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25 Points to Compare

Sportboat Buying Check Point #6:
How Much Beam is Enough?

Sportboat Buying
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...

Sea Ray
Sea Ray

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Lesson of the Week

Distress Signal Requirements

Lesson of the Week
Flares are a sure indication to other boaters that something is wrong. You are required by the Coast Guard to have both day flares and night flares aboard.

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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Ducky Award Winner

Ducky Winner

First Place

"Polly want a croaker?" - R. Zamelis

Second Place

"No, we haven't seen the Pequod. Why do you ask?" - H. Carlile

Honorable Mention(s)

"Honey look - a stork - we're gonna have a baby!" - R. Davis 

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 8/3/2011

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