The "New Concept"
Jeanneau's 35' 7'' (10.85 m) New Concept 11, or NC11 as she is known, is exciting
because she is so innovative. She is designed for people who really use their
boats -- and use them in many different ways. Capt. Steve is probably our most opinionated staff member, and if a boat can hook him, then that's saying something
-- and he has become a believer in the New Concept. Watch our new performance video
and you'll see why. Let's see how she handles...
Rinker 196 Captiva OB:
Sneak Peek at the Prototype
Increasingly, smaller sportboats are being built with outboard power and Rinker is beginning its plunge into that market niche. This spring it introduced the 186 OB (See
our test...). More recently we were invited by the factory to join its engineers to take a look at the prototype of the 196 OB, a boat that will be put into production this fall.
We tested a pre-production model at Lake Michigan's Portage Point and came away with some interesting observations. Our video and Captain’s Report capture a new boat as it goes through the gestation of its prototype phase.
Here's a sneak peek...
Volvo Penta D6:
The Mid-Range Workhorse
When it comes to creating the new concepts that change the way companies build boats
and people go boating, Volvo Penta has a knack for getting it right. We think
its purpose-built D6 marine diesel is another example of how it should be done. When looking at an engine, we have to consider if it fits in an engine compartment cleanly, if it can be worked on easily, if the components are easy to get to for service or replacement, and if daily engine checks are problematic. All of those questions seemed to have been addressed in the D6, and to show it, we take an in-depth
look at this versatile engine.
New Test Report
Bayliner 197 SD Deckboat:
She Can Hold An Army
This boat brings to our mind Crocodile Dundee's famous line to a potential mugger with a mere switchblade: "...now this is a knife" as a pulls out a 15" near-machete. That's sort of the way we feel about Bayliner's 197 SD bowrider compared to some other bowriders we've seen -- now this is a bowrider! The builder says she will hold 10 people and there is no doubt. We think the 197 ought to be on the U.S. Marine Corps' "to buy" list for landing craft. And, as with most Bayliner boats, the best part is the bottom line.
Let's take a look...
Cranchi Endurance 41:
Italian Style and Craftsmanship
The Endurance 41 falls roughly in the middle of Cranchi's range of boats which run from 27' to 66' (8.3 m to 20 m) and includes over 20 different models on 14 different hulls. The company builds opens, hard-tops and flying bridge cruisers and all have one thing in common -- they are stylish and top-of-the-line in every way. The Endurance 41 is intended for day cruising and entertaining or a long weekend for a couple or two.
Let's take a look...
New Test Video
New Yamaha 212SS & 212X:
Yamaha set out to create a new boat that elevated its trademark sporty performance while adding interior space and more storage. The result is the 212 series and it comes in two versions... the SS with sport seating and the 212X version with striking graphics and numerous watersports features. As with any new boat, we set out to determine the performance parameters, handling, and ergonomic-correctness of the new Yamaha watercraft models.
See the test video and Captain's Report...
Grady-White Canyon 271:
"Family Friendly" Fighting Machine
Grady-White has been building fishing boats for a long time and this 27-footer is right in the tradition of this venerable brand. She is designed to be 360-degree "fishable" which means there are no seats forward, and she has a level deck, so there is nothing to stumble over. She has a relatively high freeboard forward, good bow flare and a deep-V hull which combine to make her just what she purports to be -- a canyon runner.
Let's take a look...
Close Quarter Manuevering
Beneteau Swift 34:
Fast & Easy to Dock
Our review of the Swift 34 showed that it was a good size and layout for a cruising couple, but some readers wrote in concerned that it was too big for a single engine,
and docking would be problematic. For some these questions are a non-issue… for others, they are a worry. So we answered the call and set out to demonstrate how the Swift 34 handles in close quarters, and then see if she can be tied up single handed. At the same time we proved her speed and fuel efficiency.
Take a look...
Maritimo 470 Offshore Convertible:
For Cruising or Big Game Fishing
From Down Under comes a new mid-range Offshore Convertible from Maritimo. When it
comes to the luxury offshore market, the convertible is one of the most admired
types of boat in just about any marina from
Miami to Perth. Not only are convertibles often the center of attention in
the marina, they are also the most easily recognized across the horizons around
the world. The 470 Offshore Convertible from Maritimo is based on the successful 500
Offshore Convertible and has a slightly narrower beam. Read a review here...
MJM 36 Downeast Dayboat:
For the Renaissance Yachtsman
There is no boat that we know of that is quite like the MJM 36. When we say that the MJM boats (it builds 4 models from 29' to 40') are only for a select few, we aren't kidding -- just over 125 have been built and sold in the last eight years. Many of MJM's owners are names that you would recognize, but like most yachtsmen they like to keep a low profile -- even when entertaining. She is also a comfortable coastal cruiser for a couple, is built to rigorous offshore standards, and thanks to her light weight, small diesel engines, and sterndrive propulsion, she is remarkably fuel efficient. Her price tag direct from the factory is about $650,000.
For those who qualify...
Engine Room Video
Cruisers Yachts 48 Cantius:
Virtually any boat builder can produce a boat that looks pretty. And since
most builders of big boats use the same equipment vendors, what separates a truly
good boat from the "also- rans"? The answer, in many cases, is the engineering
of the ship's systems and the care of installation, particularly in an engine room.
We think Cruisers Yachts has an important
story to tell. Take a look at this video of the Cantius 48's engine room...
Harris FloteBote 250 Grand Mariner SL:
A Tri-Toon with "Nimble" Handling
Harris FloteBote added performance to its deluxe pontoon boat by adding a center tube with what they call "XTR" (Extreme Turning Radius). The XTR features include lifting strakes and a set of spray fins that give the toon very nimble handling.
"Nimble handling" ?!? ...That's what our testing captain says, so you'd better see
Jack be nimble...
Wellcraft 210 Fisherman:
Center Console for All Ages
Two things that surprised us about the 210 Fisherman were how well she handled and how roomy she was. That's a good start, but if it can't handle the demands of veteran
anglers, then the rest is out the window. It should come as no surprise that we had no complaints in that department either, but was it a slam dunk? Let's take a look at the full test and features video to see how well she fared with our test captain.
Beneteau Air Step:
An Important Hull Advancement
One of our most actively watched videos last month was the one explaining Beneteau's revolutionary patented "Air Step" hull design, and little wonder. The Air Step hull might well turn out to be one of the most important advancements in powerboat hull design since the invention of the deep-V. While steps in hulls have been around almost as long as planing powerboats, Beneteau has designed the most sophisticated and technically superior system we have ever seen. The builder is so convinced of the improved performance of this design that it is now building boats incorporating it in models from 24' (7.50 m) to 42' (12.8 m). The BoatTEST.com staff was briefed on this development late this spring and Capt. Steve has put together a video report.
Step on this air...
Beneteau Flyer GT 34 with Air Step...
Beneteau Flyer GT 38 with Air Step...
Beneteau Flyer GT 44 with Air Step...
Big Game Hunting
Rampage 41 Express:
2 Staterooms, Ocean View
Rampage continues to impress us not only with versatility in their cockpit layouts,
but also in the fit and finish of their cabins. For cockpit versatility, we
love the removable/swap-able pod consoles that allow you to customize your layout to
your fishing style. Down below, if you entered the boat with your eyes closed, you’d
never know you were on a fishing boat. Teak and holly sole, cherry wood interior finished to perfection, and a full galley. This model comes
standard with ZF drives with trolling valves, which means you can upgrade to the
JMS joystick system anytime you want. Check out our video of the Rampage 41 Express
and you’ll see what we mean. See full report...
Glastron GT 180 Outboard:
High-Value, No-Hassle Outboard
Our test of the outboard-powered GT 180 shows that this the Glastron GT 180 starter
package is not only a docile handling boat, but a respectable performer as well.
We like the Glastron GT 180 because she is an affordable boat that is well-built
with the same kind of hardware and interior glass liners that you find in the most
expensive boats in this size range. Our videos are the best way to tell if
this boat is for you. Roll 'em...
New John Deere 550-HP Marine Diesel
With 5-Year Extended Warranty
John Deere Power Systems announced its new 410 kW (550-hp) recreational vessel rating for the 6090SFM75 marine engine. The new PowerTech 6090SFM75 recreational rating joins two other John Deere recreational marine engines rated at 400 and 750-hp. John Deere says these engines are intended for "high-speed recreational craft, such as sportfishing boats and planing hull yachts." The new engine rating is set to hit the water in November.
Find out more...
For BoatTEST Members
Shurhold has been helping us keep our boats clean and perfectly detailed,
now they want to clean up our boating skills. As a special to BoatTEST.com members, they are offering a complimentary DVD of their Encyclopedia of Boating Tips.
If you are interested, and why not, then follow this link to the request page on the Shurhold site...
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...
Love Your Tender,
Love It True, Never Let It...
Elvis had it right, but some skippers get so wrapped-up in maintaining their big
boat, they forget about their little ones – the tenders. They need love, too.
Almost every boat carries at least one tender, usually an inflatable or RIB. Whether
it lives on chocks on the boat deck, hangs on davits or rests, tipped on its side,
on the swim platform, a tender is a both useful and expensive accessory. A little
TLC every now and then will make its life longer and happier. And it will make you
feel good knowing that you showed affection for the little lady you keep on the
Here’s how to keep her looking fresh and perky...
Visit BoatTEST.com and "like" our page to watch unedited video found only on Facebook...
25 Buying Check Points
How To Buy A Sport Boat -- #9:
Visibility From the Helm
Perhaps the most important aspect of piloting a small boat is "visibility" from the helm. Because sportboats can go so fast the early spotting of potential trouble is of prime importance. That means that the skipper must have an unobstructed view forward and to the sides and he must be paying attention. "Improper lookout" is a leading cause of boating accidents, according to the USCG's annual boating safety report. This week we take a look the American Boat and Yacht Council's (ABYC) standards for visibility forward. You might be surprised at what we discover...
Lesson of the Week
Preventative Maintenance for Your Boat
This week Capt. Steve goes over nine lessons and guidelines on preventive boat maintenance and simple steps to keep your boat in tip top shape year round. Besides keeping your boat clean Capt. Steve will go over information on flushing your outdrive to help prevent corrosion, keeping the bilge clean, regularly checking on belts, hoses, and thru-hull fittings. 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
“Now there's a boat to die for...”
– R. Nugent Sr.
“When I asked my wife if I could get a boat, she said over my dead body.” – M. Santoro
“Yes, we heard the docking was quite rough.” – B. Littlefield
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