We recently took a close look behind the scenes at the Yamaha boat factory and were able to see how their utilization of automation and reliance on robots impacts precision, quality and costs. Our video will show you some of the key areas that Yamaha uses robots and computer automation and the impact it has of different parts of the boat.
Watch it now...
Volvo Penta IPS:
5 Years Later -- How Has It Worked Out?
During the last five years over 120 builders in 23 countries all over the world have installed an IPS system in over 10,000 boats ranging from 30' to 70'.
It has caused a minor revolution in powerboat propulsion and has opened up large boat ownership to owner/operators who would have never before considered handling a large boat. The IPS600 was one of the first models of what has now grown to 10 IPS iterations.
Let's take a look at where IPS stands today--
2012 Rinker 186 Captiva OB:
Captivating New Outboard Option
The Rinker 186 Captiva OB for 2012 is so new you won't even find it on the builder's website. For the first time in 18 years Rinker will be offering an outboard-powered 18-footer, and by doing so is throwing down the gauntlet to the usual suspects. In case you haven't guessed, this midwest builder is getting aggressive and sees opportunity as some other builders dither. She is the smallest boat in Rinker's line but she gives no ground to any brand in class, and she also signals some big things to come.
Join us to see what we mean...
Factory price quote request
Beneteau Flyer GT 44:
Meet Her in Cannes Next Month
Building on the success of their Flyer GT 34 and 38 models, Beneteau will introduce their new Flyer Gran Turismo 44 at the Cannes International Boat Show in early September. Largely inspired from the successful Monte Carlo 42, and continuing the design theme of the Flyer GT series, the 44' 3" (13.5 m) LOA GT 44 rides on Beneteau's patented Air Step bottom.
What about power?
Albemarle 360XF IPS:
"Sportfish Mode" for the Serious Angler
Albemarle’s 360 Express has been the best seller for Albemarle since she was introduced just over 5 years ago. While there has been the natural progression of changes over the years, the most notable took place for this model year. This time Albemarle added Volvo Penta's IPS600 drives, thus upgrading the boat from conventional inboard drives to pods with joystick. We went to see for ourselves if this system will convince even the traditionalist fisherman that pods are the way to go.
See it now...
New Prestige 550 Flybridge:
Need a Reason to Visit Paris?
Of course nobody really needs a reason to visit the most beautiful and exciting city in the world, but if you do here it is: Prestige will introduce three new boats for the 2012 model year, including this Prestige 550 motoryacht scheduled to debut at the Paris Boat Show this winter (Dec. 3 to 11). Featuring similar design, engineering and styling as current Prestige yachts, the new 58' 10" (17.92 m) LOA 550 will carry three staterooms plus crew's quarters below, a galley, dining and lounging areas on the main deck.
But how much will she cost?...
Sea Ray 240 Sundancer:
A “Starter” Express Cruiser
Sea Ray's 240 Sundancer looks to us like a good boat to consider if you're moving up from a bowrider into a pocket cruiser, or downsizing from a larger boat now that the kids are out on their own. At 24' 10" (7.57 m) LOA, she's the shortest Sundancer Sea Ray builds, but she still has the amenities two people will need for dayboating or weekending.
is she big enough?
Built on a Long Reputation
Back in 1959 Cobia was a small upstart company that built a name for itself by manufacturing boats with cathedral hulls. The company flourished, even though the concept of the cathedral hull did not. Recessions and the bruising competition of over 50 other CC builders forced Cobia on the auction block. In 2005, Scott and Troy Deal, owners of Maverick Boat Company breathed new life – and new designs – into this venerable brand. Now, with a dozen different Cobia models, this 217CC
lies smack in the middle of a CC line that is 7 strong.
Let's take a look...
Price quote request
Four Winns H200:
A Boatload of Style
Four Winns is definitely a company that prides itself on styling. We hate to overuse that word, but they do have a knack for it. This H200, which used to be a part of the Horizon series, now shortened to "H", is another example of the attention to
detail that Four Winns uses to add to the boating experience and set its boats apart.
Let's take a look and see what's so stylish in the 19' 8" (6.0 m) bowrider.
Regulator 32 FS:
A CC Offshore Workhorse
Regulator is well known in the offshore fishing circuit as a solid performing boat with outstanding fit and finish. Designed by renowned naval architect Lou Codega, the 32 FS has little problem meeting the rough demands of both the pro and casual offshore fisherman. Our tests show a best cruise speed of 25.4 kts and a range of 373 nm.
Let's take a look...
Request test drive
Tahoe Q7i SS:
"Value" For Wake Dudes
Value is everything in boating these days. Our tests and reviews have shown
what the Tahoe Q7i SS will deliver for under 30K. With a selection of hull graphics,
wake tower, lots of storage, and some fishing features thrown in, this model should
cover all your needs on the water. If you're a first time boater, this 20' 6" (6.2
m) boat, motor and trailer package is, in our opinion, a good way to get your family
on the water.
Let's look at some of the Q7i SS's features...
Mako 184 Center Console:
Bay Boat On a Budget
The Mako 184 Center Console is as much fishing boat as most folks need, in a package
that's both handy and affordable. With a modified V-hull, a wide-open cockpit, tough
construction and plenty of piscatorial amenities, the 184 Center Console just might
be what the doctor recommends for angling in protected waters. Bite here for more...
Harris FloteBote Grand Mariner SEL 230:
Rugged Test For a Tri-Toon
Our test of the Harris FloteBote Grand Mariner SEL 230 was conducted on a cold,
blustery day this past spring with 2' to 3' chop. The pictures of the boat were
taken in a calm area so the cameraman could get video without a lot of bouncing
around. All of this is to say that our test captain put the SEL 230 through
conditions in which most people would never go boating. He reports that the
flawlessly, was stable, and was remarkably dry given the conditions. Take a look...
Cruisers Yachts 48 Cantius:
A Woman's Point of View
When it comes to reviewing interiors and evaluating design schemes, no one can give
the critical viewpoint that a woman can. Call us sexist if you will, but at least
we tell it like we see it. That’s why when our Charity Hughes reviews an interior
it’s usually one of the most watched videos in the issue. So, to see if we were
spot on or way off the mark with our viewpoint of the Cruisers Yachts 48 Cantius
interior, we once again turn to Charity to give us the woman’s perspective...
Evinrude's ICON System:
"Fly-By-Wire" For Outboard Engines
We love the possibilities that "fly-by-wire" digital control has opened up for 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.
A Summer Recreational Marvel
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 amazed...then
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...
Evinrude, Sea-Doo, Crestliner,
Pelican, Perko, Volvo Penta
As always, we urge owners of products made by the companies listed above to check the USCG recall report. If you do not own one of the effected products please alert anyone you know who may. This report covers all USCG recalls from March, 2011 through July, 2011. Consumers with questions should call the USCG Product Assurance Branch.
To check the list...
Bust of the Week
Used For Drug Smuggling
British police announced last Wednesday the largest drug bust ever in the U.K.
1.2 tons of 90% pure cocaine was found tucked in a compartment under the stern platform. Police reportedly said that the street value of the haul was 300 million Pounds Sterling, about $486 million. The 60-year-old Dutch owner of the yacht and his three sons were arrested when they came to Southampton to pick up the yacht after it had been hauled across the Atlantic as deck cargo from the British Virgin Islands.
25 Comparison Points
Sportboat Buying Checkpoint #7
Which Is Better, More or Less?
At 5,000 lbs. displacement, the 240 Formula is the heaviest boat in class and size by 400 lbs. (181.8 kg.) or about 9%. Why is she so heavy and is that a good thing? (This picture is a clue to the answer.) See our test...
Displacement is one of the first things sportboat buyers usually check after length and beam. It is an important metric when deciding which boat to buy, but there is much more to it than meets the eye. And what should a consumer think about the boats that are at the extremes of weight, both on the heavy and the light side?
Let’s drill down...
Lesson of the Week
How to Help a Boat in Distress
This week Capt. Steve goes over eight new lessons and guidelines on rendering assistance to another boater, how to approach the boat that needs help, and general information on filing an accident report. While it’s the law to help, you must also look out for yourself so you don’t end up in the same situation also requiring assistance.
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 --
Ducky Award Winner
“This just in ... GM sells SAAB to Brunswick!" - C. James
“Saab's ingenious way to stay afloat in the future.” -T. Haight
"You know the economy is bad when James Bond has to resort to this." - J. Ryan
“Go ahead and laugh guys, but did you notice the pantyhose hanging from my driver's side mirror?” -R. Davis
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.
All articles, Captain's Reports, video content or other
material which appear on BoatTEST.com and in its newsletters are accurate and factual
to the best knowledge of BoatTEST.com and its staff. All findings, beliefs, experiences,
or endorsements presented are the honest opinions of BoatTEST.com or its contributors.
In compliance with FTC 16 CFR Part 255 BoatTEST.com 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. BoatTEST.com makes no claims for the veracity
or motivation of reader comments, Owners’ Reports, and other contributions which
are all clearly labeled as such.