All-New Yamaha 190 Series Single Jet Drive
The first of August we were invited down to Yamaha's test facility on Lake Allatoona,
outside of Atlanta, Georgia. We had been sworn to secrecy about what we would find there and all of our video footage and any mention of the boat would be embargoed until the official launch date, August 22. For the boating world, what we were about to see -- and test -- would be big news. The reason is that after just seven years in the market, Yamaha's twin-jet drive sportboats have become the single, most popular craft in the highly competitive 20' to 24' sportboat market. Would its new product be just as compelling under 20'?
Once at the test facility, it took just a glance at the stern of the new boat to see what was to be a major departure for Yamaha. It is the all-new 190 series powered by a single jet drive.
Hold on to your hat folks, and grab this tow line...
Beneteau Flyer GT 34:
There are currently five models in Beneteau's Flyer Gran Turismo line of cruising powerboats. All are hardtop express cruisers except for the Gran Turismo 49 Fly.
The Gran Turismo 34 is the smallest boat in the line and the builder has intended this express cruiser as a starting point for boaters ready to get serious about cruising. As with virtually every Beneteau, her interior design is clever and
she is good value for the money.
Let's take a look...
Formula 240 Bowrider:
Formula's Performance Formula
The name Formula and performance go hand-in-hand and in boating, sort of like chicken and egg, or nut and bolt. Good performance is often easy if the boats are lean, light and stripped out. But as most people know, that is definitely not Formula's approach to boat building. With Formula boats, performance, strength and quality
are all part of the equation.
Let's take a look at the smallest boat in Formula's line to see the secret formula...
Intrepid 300 CC:
Purpose-Built To Order
Intrepid says that it builds "one of a kind" boats "one at a time," and that is true. The Intrepid 300 is a good example of a popular size boat that Intrepid builds with a standard hull and deck, but then will customize it for the specific purposes of the owner. All boats are built to order and sold factory-direct. Because there
are no dealers' commissions involved, the price tag on these highly-customized boats is not as high as one might expect.
Let's look at the Intrepid 300...
Request a brochure
New Test Video
Redesigned Yamaha FX SHO Series:
Longer and More Aggressive
For 2012, the team at Yamaha has redesigned the FX SHO series watercraft by making the hull longer, installing true mechanical neutral, and giving the front end a lower, more aggressive look. We put the FX SHO and the FX Cruiser SHO through rigorous tests so that we could tell you all you need to know about these two new machines. With the same 1812cc four-stroke, four-cylinder marine engine as previous models, power was not an issue. What did surprise us was the handling.
Here is the full video...
Andros 32 Offshore CC:
We Test With 2 Evinrude 300 E-TECs
The hottest designer in the fishing world this decade is California designer Michael Peters. He has designed everything from small center consoles to battlewagons. His designs are fast, dry, pleasing to the eye, and intended for serious offshore anglers. In 2009, Andros commissioned Peters to design a 32' center console that was dry, had a soft ride in rough stuff, and to be fishable from any point on the boat, not just from the stern.
Let's take a look at the test numbers and see how Michael Peters did...
Cruisers Yachts 300 Express:
Big Boat Quality in a 30' Open
The Cruisers Yachts 300 Express is the smallest boat in the Cruisers catalog, but when we stepped aboard, it was self-evident that this was not the neglected stepchild one might expect. Company executives are quick to point out that “the same high-quality, materials, equipment and hardware that goes into the 560 goes into this boat as well.” Over the years during our testing, we have repeatedly confirmed that claim, and it is one of the major reasons we think so highly of the Cruisers 300.
See for yourself...
Volvo Penta 8.1L:
How Volvo Marinizes A Big Block
Volvo Penta puts out three different horsepower versions of their workhorse 8.1L
including one catalyzed version. They all share common features of being electronically controlled and equipped with EVC, or Electronic Vessel Control, and are fuel injected. Today, we take a look at the features that make this such an attractive choice for boats in the 24’ (7.32 m) to about 29' (8.84 m) range with a single engine application, and 30’ (9.1 m) to about 40' (12.2 m) range for twins.
To the test bench...
Kawasaki Jet Ski Ultra 260LX:
High Noon with High Horsepower
The team at Kawasaki has been working hard over the last year or two to redesign the look and feel of the Jet Ski Ultra 260 series and its latest evolution is the LX version. She is powered by an in-line 1,498 CC four-cylinder, four-stroke supercharged engine that has been tuned to provide 260-hp according to the builder. When you add all the fluids and fuel, this machine weighs in with an operating weight of approximately 1,062.8 lbs. It’s not just about new styling and more horsepower, Kawasaki has focused on some new features as well.
Here's our look...
Sea Ray 205 Sport:
The New Sea Ray Sleek Style
The new Sea Ray 205 Sport has been designed to look lower and sleeker than previous
Sea Ray sportboats, and one look at the photo above and there will be little debate
that the company succeeded. Factory executives also told us they wanted to
introduce more quality and comfort into the new 205. Let's take a close video look...
Request price quote
Doral Elite 235 BR:
Elegance with Performance
Doral has combined what we think are killer good looks with great handling and a
build quality to rival the best automobile coach makers. The same insistence
on top-grade materials and excellent fit-and-finish found in the builder's 45-footer,
can also be found in the 235 BR sportboat. Just as important, our captain
found the 235 to be instantly responsive to her helm and clung to hard turns
like glue. Let's see...
Ranger Z520 Comanche:
High Speed and Solid Handling
Bass boats have a lot in common with each other, so when we find one that distinguishes
itself from the pack, even with just a few features, we tend to sit up and take
notice. Our walk-through of the Ranger Z520 left us with little doubt that this is one
of those boats, but if we had any remaining misgivings, then the test ride took
care of those in short order. On the way to WOT we got a solid ride with practically
no chine walk.
Ranger just may be onto something here...
Sun Tracker Fishin' Barge 21:
Toon With Remarkable Fishability
There is probably no single outfit in the U.S. that knows more about freshwater fishing than the folks at Bass Pro Shops, which is the owner of Tracker Marine. So, when they decided to build the Sun Tracker Fishin' Barge 21, they knew what they were doing. This boat has virtually all of the fishing amenities of the sleekest, fastest $50,000 bass boat on the water, but it is a lot more comfortable. Oh, then there is the price of $15,999 with 40-hp, 4-stroke outboard and trailer. Let us show you more about this toon fishing machine...
Change The Prop
to Change Performance
Many boaters are not aware that they can change characteristics of their boat’s performance simply by changing the propeller. For example, if you are the type of boater who runs at a particular speed/rpm setting for long periods of time, you can maximize your efficiency by selecting the prop that optimizes your engine’s output at that speed/rpm. Or, if you want to improve the hole shot performance of your boat, changing your prop might be the answer. Want to maximize your top speed? Again, the right prop can do that for you. You can even change the time and speed it takes for your boat to get on plane by changing the prop. We can tell you first hand that the team at PowerTech! Propellers are some of the best in the world at matching the correct prop to every boating application.
Find out how to improve speed and performance in this video...
Shurhold Snap-Stick: No More Corroded Snaps or 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. 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.
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.
When sending a photo, let us know when, where and what boat you were
Smart Boating DVD 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. It's the most complete boating course available...period.
Order your 4-disc box set here...
25 Buying Check Points
Sportboat Buying Check Point #8:
Is the Helm Seat Right For You?
In our “Owner’s Reports” on boat models one of the largest areas of complaint has to do with the helm seat in sportboats. Nothing on a sportboat is more annoying than a helm seat that is uncomfortable or not made for your personal ergonomics. When examining boat models to add to your short list of boats to consider buying, make sure you spend adequate time sitting in, and operating, the helm seat. They are not all the same and, in fact, many builders manufacturer their own. Here are some buying tips...
Lesson of the Week
Using Sound Signals - Part II
This week Capt. Steve will go over nine lessons and guidelines on using sound signals to communicate from boat to boat. These videos represent the second part of the series on sound signals. Capt Steve will review the rules and go over a few scenarios where signals are not only important but crucial. Sounding your horn lets other boats know what your intentions are. 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
“Once we get the mast up she'll be ok.” – R. Justice
“Gathering for the launch of the SS Salvador Dali.” – H. Carlile
"Thar she flows!” – S. Sproule
“I knew I shouldn't have bought a used boat from Gumby!” – S. Drake
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