New 19' Yamaha Boat // 12 Reviews // Beneteau Flyer GT 34 - 08/24/2011
BoatTEST Newsletter August 24, 2011 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust
- Yamaha 190 Series
- Beneteau Flyer GT 34
- Formula 240 Bowrider
- Intrepid 300 CC
- Yamaha FX SHO Series
- Andros 32 Offshore
- Volvo Penta 8.1L
- Kawasaki Jet Ski Ultra 260LX
- Sea Ray 205 Sport
- Doral 235 BR
- Ranger Z520 Comanche
- Sun Tracker Fishin' Barge 21
- Improve Performance
- Shurhold Products
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course on DVD
- Sportboat Buying Tips
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

All-New Yamaha 190 Series  Single Jet Drive

Yamaha 190 Series
At 19'2" (5.8 m) the all-new 190 series represents a smaller version than previous Yamaha twin engine models. The Yamaha 190 is available in two versions: the AR (shown here) with the wakeboard tower and the SX for sportboat fun, sans tower.

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...

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Captain's Report

Beneteau Flyer GT 34:
Price-Worthy Twin-Cabin Cruiser

Beneteau GT 34
Beneteau Flyer Gran Turismo 34 is positioned by the builder as a cruiser for boaters moving up. We agree that she's a great way to get a whiff of the cruising lifestyle.

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...

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Captain's Report

Formula 240 Bowrider:
Formula's Performance Formula

Formula 240 Bowrider
There is no other way to put it when reporting on the Formula 240 BR: her performance, quality, and styling add up to a first class sportboat.

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...

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Captain's Report

Intrepid 300 CC:
Purpose-Built To Order

Intrepid 300 CC
The Intrepid 300 is one of the most popular boats in the Intrepid line because she is just the right size for many applications. She carries a 9'6" (2.89 m) beam.

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

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New Test Video

Redesigned Yamaha FX SHO Series:
Longer and More Aggressive

 Yamaha FX SHO Series
The new FX SHO series seen here is longer than the old models and has improved handling when riding seated or standing.

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...

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Captain's Report

Andros 32 Offshore CC:
We Test With 2 Evinrude 300 E-TECs

Andros 32
Three men on a mission. We test the Michael Peters-designed Andros 32 and she flies.
Hold on tight.

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...

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Captain's Report

Cruisers Yachts 300 Express:
Big Boat Quality in a 30' Open

Cruisers Yachts 300
At 31'3" (9.5 m) by 10' (3.0 m) the 300 Express is right in that sweet spot of moving up from the bowrider or pocket cruiser to a real weekend getaway.

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...

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Details Video

Volvo Penta 8.1L:
How Volvo Marinizes A Big Block

Volvo Penta 8.1
We’ve brought Volvo Penta with their 8.1L engine to the test bench to see how Volvo Penta has marinized it.  See the video...

Volvo Penta puts out three different horsepower versions of their workhorse 8.1L engine, 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...

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Captain's Report

Kawasaki Jet Ski Ultra 260LX:
High Noon with High Horsepower

Kawasaki Jet Ski Ultra 260LX
With 260 ponies under your saddle you'll be riding at the head of your PWC posse.

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...

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Test Video

 Sea Ray 205 Sport:
The New Sea Ray Sleek Style

Sea Ray 205 Sport
Best cruise came at 28.4 mph where we recorded 4.23 mpg with a 4.3L MPI engine.

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

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Test Video

Doral Elite 235 BR:
Elegance with Performance

Doral 235 Elite
On test day, we saw a top speed of 49.2 mph powered by a 5.7L 300-hp engine.  But the real deal in this good-looking boat was her spry handling.

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...

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Test Video

Ranger Z520 Comanche:
High Speed and Solid Handling

Ranger Z520 Comanche
We tested the 20' (6.09 m) Ranger Z520 powered with an Evinrude E-TEC 250 H.O. which brought us to a top speed of over 70 mph.

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...

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Features Video

Sun Tracker Fishin' Barge 21:
Toon With Remarkable Fishability

Sun Tracker Fishin' Barge 21
A pontoon boat is a great platform to do some casual fishing with the kids and more serious fishing with expert anglers.  How's this for a bass boat?

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...

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Change The Prop
to Change Performance

Your prop could be the key to improving your boat’s performance. Why buy a new engine or boat, when all you might need is a new prop?

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...

Prop Worksheet...


Shurhold Snap-Stick: No More Corroded Snaps or Zippers

Shurhold PVA Towel
This is a lubricant and protectant for snaps and 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

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...
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25 Buying Check Points

Sportboat Buying Check Point #8:
Is the Helm Seat Right For You?

Sportboat Buying
One of the nicest helm seats we have seen on sport and ski boats is the one pictured above on the Tigé RZ2 Platinum. Note the mesh screen in both the seat bottom and the seat back that lets a wet bathing suit drain to the deck and provides ventilation on a hot, sticky day. See our test of the Tigé RZ2...

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...




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Lesson of the Week

Using Sound Signals - Part II

Lesson of the Week Smart Boating
If you are holding position or your engines are in reverse as in the case with the drawbridge in this picture above, the signal is giving three short blasts.

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’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

“Once we get the mast up she'll be ok.” – R. Justice

Second Place

“Gathering for the launch of the SS Salvador Dali.” – H. Carlile

Honorable Mention(s)

"Thar she flows!” – S. Sproule

“I knew I shouldn't have bought a used boat from Gumby!” – S. Drake

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 8/24/11

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