New Rinker 186 OB//13 Tests & Reviews//USCG Recalls - 08/10/2011
BoatTEST Newsletter August 10, 2011 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust
- Inside the Yamaha Factory
- Volvo Penta IPS
- Rinker 186 Captiva OB
- Beneteau Flyer GT 44
- Albemarle 360XF
- Prestige 550 Flybridge
- Sea Ray 240 Sundancer
- Cobia 217CC
- Four Winns H200
- Regulator 32 FS
- Tahoe Q7i
- Mako 184
- Harris FloteBote SEL 230
- Cruisers Yachts 48 Cantius
- Evinrude ICON
- Jeanneau NC11
- Shurhold Polisher
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course on DVD
- Accident of the Week
- USCG Recall
- Bust of the Week
- Sportboat Buying Tips
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Yamaha WaterCraft:
Boat Building Automation

Yamaha Factory
Seen above are two of the many robots that help to manufacture Yamaha Boats.  These two are drilling the more than 300 holes that go into each boat.

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...

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New Video

Volvo Penta IPS:
5 Years Later -- How Has It Worked Out?

Volvo Penta IPS
Captain Steve made his career skippering conventional inboard-powered boats -- and liked most of them.  So we asked him to take an unvarnished look at one of the latest IPS installations and give us an update.

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--

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New Test

2012 Rinker 186 Captiva OB:
Captivating New Outboard Option

Rinker 186 captain Dan Armitage throws the new 186 Captiva hard over in an attempt to entice her to behave badly -- he was not successful. We tested her with a 90-hp Evinrude E-TEC.

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

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New Boat

Beneteau Flyer GT 44:
Meet Her in Cannes Next Month

Beneteau Flyer GT 44
The graceful new Beneteau Flyer GT 44 sleeps four in two cabins, will seat 8 on deck where the wet bar can be equipped with a grill and refrigerator. She has the unique Air Step bottom and more...

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?

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New Test

Albemarle 360XF IPS:
"Sportfish Mode" for the Serious Angler

Albemarle 360XF
The popular Albemarle 360 Express Fish has gotten an updated propulsion system – twin Volvo Penta IPS600s, and they have the new "Sportfish Mode" option.

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...

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New Boat

New Prestige 550 Flybridge:
Need a Reason to Visit Paris?

Prestige 550 Fly
The Prestige 550 Flybridge motoryacht is one of three new models scheduled for introduction in the 2012 model year by Prestige Yachts. She will arrive with a near-sistership, the 550 S express.

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?...

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Captain's Report

Sea Ray 240 Sundancer:
A “Starter” Express Cruiser

Sea Ray 240 Sundancer
Sea Ray's 240 Sundancer is a cruising boat for anyone wanting to get on the water, but not wanting to spend a fortune doing it. She has an enclosed head and basic galley and will sleep four in a pinch.

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. But, is she big enough?

Request brochure

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New Boat

Cobia 217CC:
Built on a Long Reputation

Cobia 217 CC
The Cobia 217CC has a pedigree that extends back decades and through it all, fishing has been the brand’s focal point.

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

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New Boat

Four Winns H200:
A Boatload of Style

Four Winns H200
In the highly competitive market of mid-level bowriders, if you're not adding something to the mix, you'll soon find yourself lost in the myriad of choices. Four Winns has no intention of sitting on the sidelines.

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.

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Captain's Report

Regulator 32 FS:
A CC Offshore Workhorse

Regulator 32 FS
With a LOA of 32' (9.8 m) and a beam of 10'5" (3.2 m), the Regulator 32 FS has earned a terrific reputation for offshore performance and reliability.

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

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Test Video

Tahoe Q7i SS:
"Value" For Wake Dudes

Tahoe Q7i SS
The 20' 6'' (6.2 m) Tahoe Q7i SS is made by Tracker Marine, one of the largest boat builders in the world.  Yes! You can wakeboard behind a Tahoe.

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 started on the water. Let's look at some of the Q7i SS's features...

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Flats Boat

Mako 184 Center Console: 
Bay Boat On a Budget

Mako 184 CC
Want to seriously fish in bays, estuaries and skinny water but don't have a fortune to spend? Consider the Mako 184 Center Console which costs only $22,995 with a 115-hp outboard.

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...

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Captain's Report

Harris FloteBote Grand Mariner SEL 230:
Rugged Test For a Tri-Toon

Harris FloteBote SEL 230
We tested the Harris FloteBote Grand Mariner SEL 230 on a windy and cold day. Don’t try this at home.

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 boat performed flawlessly, was stable, and was remarkably dry given the conditions.  Take a look...

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Features Video

Cruisers Yachts 48 Cantius:
A Woman's Point of View

Cruisers Yachts 48 Cantius
We were certainly impressed with the interior design and layout of the Cruisers Yachts 48 Cantius, but we’re guys... what do we know? So we asked Charity to take a look...

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...

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Test Video

Evinrude's ICON System:
"Fly-By-Wire" For Outboard Engines

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

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.

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Features Video

Jeanneau NC11:
A Summer Recreational Marvel

Jeanneau NC11
It's hard to narrow down what we like about the 35' 7'' (10.85 m) NC11 to a few simple sentences. Probably it's a combination of all the unique attributes that make this boat really come together.  There is nothing on the water like her!

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...

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The Proof Is In the Test:
Shurhold Polisher

Seen here is the entire kit as it comes retail.

The team at BoatTEST put the Shurhold Dual Action Polisher to the test on a very used and neglected boat. We used Shurhold products with this electric polisher and came away happy with the results. Come along with Capt. Steve and see for yourself...

Order 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!

Send us your favorite boating images.

When sending a photo, let us know when, where and what boat you were on.

Smart Boating's 
Smart Boating DVD Course

Smart Boating
Sometimes it's not what you know, but what you've forgotten. We have the perfect solution for you. Smart Boating, because safe boating just isn't enough anymore.

Based on the feedback we’ve been getting about'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. It's the most complete boating course available...period. Order your 4-disc box set here...

Watch the trailer...

 Accident of the Week

Boat Found Circling --
2 Men Dead

Smart Boating
Using a kill switch with lanyard attached to the skipper is a "must" in small boat operation.

Would an airline pilot take off without his seatbelt on? The answer is obvious but all too many boaters disable their kill switch by not attaching the lanyard to themselves. On July 25 two men died on a lake in northern Minnesota and it is thought that they fell overboard. The boat was found circling without a driver and that was when 911 was called. More......


Visit and "like" our page to watch unedited video found only on Facebook...
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USCG Recall

Evinrude, Sea-Doo, Crestliner, Pelican, Perko, Volvo Penta

USCG Recall
There are seven separate recalls covered in this report. The United States Coast Guard recall program is a service to recreational boaters and the boating industry.

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

Large Motoryacht Used For Drug Smuggling

Zijlmans Triqual
This 63' (19.25 m) is a Zijlmans Triqual model built in Holland.

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. More...

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25 Comparison Points

Sportboat Buying Checkpoint #7
Displacement: Which Is Better, More or Less?

Sportboat Buying
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...

Sea Ray
Sea Ray

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Lesson of the Week

How to Help a Boat in Distress

Lesson of the Week
There are general guidelines to follow when filing an accident report and each state may have different requirements.

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’s Smart Boating Course which is USCG-approved. Watch these video boating lessons every week on

To view this week’s lessons --

To view past lessons --

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Ducky Award Winner

Ducky Winner

First Place

“This just in ... GM sells SAAB to Brunswick!" - C. James

Second Place

“Saab's ingenious way to stay afloat in the future.” -T. Haight

Honorable Mention(s)

"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

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 8/10/11

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