15 Tests & Reviews // Rinker 196 OB // Maritimo 470 - 08/31/2011
BoatTEST Newsletter August 31, 2011 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
- Jeanneau NC11
- Rinker 196 OB
- Volvo Penta D6
- Bayliner 197 SD
- Yamaha 212 Series
- Cranchi Endurance 41
- Grady-White Canyon 271
- Beneteau Swift 34
- Sea-Doo GTI 130 SE
- Maritimo 470 Offshore
- MJM 36Z
- Cruisers Yachts Cantius 48
- Harris FloteBote 250 SL XTR
- Wellcraft 210 Fisherman
- Beneteau Air Step
- Rampage 41 Express
- Glastron GT 180
- John Deere 4045T
- Shurhold Products
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course on DVD
- Tender Maintenance
- 25 Check Points
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Jeanneau NC11:
The "New Concept"
Is A Cruising "Marvel"

Jeanneau NC11
Our features walkthrough of the NC11 showed the world a boat that was full of innovations and versatility from one end to the other. Now we put it to the test and see how she performs, both at, and away from the dock.  See the video.

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...

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New Test

Rinker 196 Captiva OB:
Sneak Peek at the Prototype

Rinker 196 OB
Our Captain Steve tests the prototype of the Rinker 196 OB which was powered by a 115-hp Yamaha.

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...

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Engine Review

Volvo Penta D6:
The Mid-Range Workhorse

Volvo Penta D6
The Volvo Penta D6 comes in multiple power outputs from 330-hp to 435-hp and we've seen them attached to sterndrives, conventional drives, V-drives, pods and even jackshafts. Sounds like an engine that fits a lot of boats, doesn't it?

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. More...

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New Test Report

Bayliner 197 SD Deckboat:
She Can Hold An Army

Bayliner 197 SD
Bayliner's 197 SD (Sun Deck) has bow -- and how! For people with lots of friends, or a big family, Bayliner's remarkable deckboat may be the ticket to Ryde.

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...

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Captain's Report

Cranchi Endurance 41:
Italian Style and Craftsmanship

Cranchi Endurance 41
The Cranchi Endurance 41 has an 11'5" (3.50 m) beam, weighs 15,452 lbs. (7,000 kgs.) dry and is powered by either twin Volvo Penta D4 diesels rated at 300-hp or D6's, rated at 370-hp.

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...

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New Test Video

New Yamaha 212SS & 212X: 
Sportboat Rocketships

Yamaha 212 Series
As awesome as the 212SS looks with its deep red hull and black and white highlights, wait till you see the X version. Both are 21'4" (6.5 m) x 8'6" (2.6 m).

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...

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Captain's Report

Grady-White Canyon 271:
"Family Friendly" Fighting Machine

Grady-White Canyon 271
The Grady-White Canyon 271 has a 9'6" (2.89 m) beam and weighs 5,790 lbs. (2,626 kgs.) without the outboard engines. Her max hp rating is 600 total.

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...

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Close Quarter Manuevering

Beneteau Swift 34:
Fast & Easy to Dock

Beneteau Swift 34
The Beneteau Swift 34 is powered by a single 425-hp Cummins engine. But she is a piece of cake to dock.  Don't believe us? Then watch the video...

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...

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Captain's Report

New Sea-Doo GTI SE 130:
What You Should Know

Sea-Doo GTI 130 SE
It is easy to see why Sea-Doo is recognized as one of the leaders in PWC design. Making each model visually striking is high on the design list for team Sea-Doo.

When we had a chance to take a look at the new GTI SE 130 from Sea-Doo, we found a list of items we thought anyone researching a new PWC should know about. Sea-Doo has been at the forefront of design aesthetics and clever technical innovations, and the new GTI SE 130 is no exception. In this pre-test review we look at the items we feel set this machine apart. Squeeze the throttle here...

Rob and Sea-Doo
Capt. Rob gives us an inside look at how Sea-Doo builds their PWCs.

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Captain's Report

Maritimo 470 Offshore Convertible: 
For Cruising or Big Game Fishing

Maritimo 470 Offshore Convertible
The Maritimo 470 Offshore Convertible underway.  She's bigger than she looks in this picture.

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...

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Captain's Report

MJM 36 Downeast Dayboat:
For the Renaissance Yachtsman

MJM 36z
We think the MJM 36 is ideal for diplomats, foreign service officers, retired admirals and yacht club commodores. She entertains 12comfortably, can easily handle six for a formal dinner, and she sleeps two.

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...

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Engine Room Video

Cruisers Yachts 48 Cantius:
Mechanical Masterpiece

Cruisers Yachts Cantius 48
With twin IPS pods, there’s a lot of room to move around in this engine room, but there is more to the layout than space.

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...

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Features Video

Harris FloteBote 250 Grand Mariner SL:
A Tri-Toon with "Nimble" Handling

Harris FloteBote 250 Grand Mariner SL
Our test Grand Mariner had a weight of 3,884 lbs (1,762 kg) and was powered by a 225-hp Mercury Verado.

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 for yourself.  Jack be nimble...

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Captain's Report

Wellcraft 210 Fisherman:
Center Console for All Ages

Wellcraft 210 Fisherman
You know the Wellcraft 210 can scoot in the rough stuff.

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. More...

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Features Video

Beneteau Air Step:
An Important Hull Advancement

Beneteau Airstep
At the Beneteau test facility, two identical boats, one with the Air Step hull design, are tested side-by-side. The results are quite interesting. Notice the white air scoops in the sides of the forward boat.

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...

Read about the Beneteau Flyer GT 34 with Air Step...

Read about the Beneteau Flyer GT 38 with Air Step...

Read about the Beneteau Flyer GT 44 with Air Step...

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Big Game Hunting

Rampage 41 Express:
2 Staterooms, Ocean View

Rampage 41 Express
The Rampage 41 Express has a LOA of 41’6" (12.7 m), a beam of 16’ (4.88 m), she draws 4’ (1.21 m).  She comes in a 2 stateroom or a single stateroom version.

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...

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Features Video

Glastron GT 180 Outboard:
High-Value, No-Hassle Outboard

Glastron GT 180
When we tested the Glastron GT 180 we found her to have a top-end speed of 42.2 mph while burning 11.7 gph with a 115-hp outboard. For the story on the details and layout, just watch the video.

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...

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Engine News

New John Deere 550-HP Marine Diesel
With 5-Year Extended Warranty

John Deere 4045T
The new 550-hp John Deere recreational marine diesel is intended for planing powerboats.

Last week 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...

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Complimentary DVD
From Shurhold
For BoatTEST Members

Shurhold DVD

For years 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...

Visit Shurhold.com...

 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.

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Smart Boating

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 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...

Watch the trailer... 


Love Your Tender,
Love It True, Never Let It...

RIBs are the workhorses of cruising yachtsmen.

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 side. 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...
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25 Buying Check Points

How To Buy A Sport Boat -- #9:
Visibility From the Helm

Sportboat Buying
One of the most important things to check when buying a sportboat is visibility from the helm. Don't assume that it will be ideal. See our report on this Rinker 216...

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...




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Lesson of the Week

Preventative Maintenance for Your Boat

Lesson of the Week Smart Boating
Be proactive with boat maintenance and follow some simple guidelines to help improve the life of your boat and engine.

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 --

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Ducky Award Winner

Ducky Winner

First Place

“Now there's a boat to die for...”
– R. Nugent Sr.

Second Place

“When I asked my wife if I could get a boat, she said over my dead body.” – M. Santoro

Honorable Mention(s)

“Yes, we heard the docking was quite rough.” – B. Littlefield 

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 8/31/11

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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.