NEW: Intrepid 32, 41 Cantius, 30' NC9, Bayliner 17 - 09/14/2011
BoatTEST Newsletter September 14, 2011 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust
- Intrepid 327 CC
- Cruisers Yachts 41 Cantius
- Bayliner 170 OB
- Jeanneau NC9
- World Cat 290 CC
- Triton 19SE
- Prestige 440S
- Volvo Penta D4
- Wellcraft 210 Sportsman
- Meridian 541 Sedan
- Ranger 211 Reata
- Sea Ray's New Tower
- Shurhold Products
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course on DVD
- How To Discover Prop Problems
- Sportboat Buying Check Points
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

New Intrepid 327 CC:
Tested With
2 Yamaha 350-hp V-8s

Intrepid 327 CC
The 327 CC has a LOA of 32'7" (9.93 m) and a beam of 9'6" (2.89 m). The challenge was to keep the performance capabilities of the 323 that this boat replaces.

Intrepid has had a remarkably successful run with its 323 CC, the largest selling boat in the Intrepid line.  But she wasn't able to hold the newer V-8's that weigh hundreds of pounds more than V-6's. So Intrepid retooled the popular 323, and thus the 327 was born. Now the question remains, how does she perform with the heavier V-8 350-hp Yamaha engines?  Does the extra 100 horsepower make up for the added 500 lbs. (272 kgs.) of weight? Let's see...

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New Test

New Cruisers Yachts 41 Cantius:
An All-Weather Express

Cruisers Yachts 41 Cantius:
We find the profile of the new 41 Cantius, and particularly her roof line, to be very pleasing and a classic design. The hardtop has a sunroof and a moonroof.

It started with the 48 Cantius, and now this… the 41 Cantius. We were impressed by the innovative use of space in the 48, and Cruiser Yachts has continued that design theme in its new 41. If you were a fan of the 48, then we think you’ll love this new model. She is smaller and less expensive than her big sister, but she packs a cruising wallop. Let’s test her...

Request a brochure

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New Test

New Bayliner 170 OB:
Wakeboard, Fish, Ski or Cruise

Bayliner 170 OB
We tested the 170 OB powered by a 115-hp Mercury and measured a top speed of 40.2 mph and a best cruise of 20.6. With a 3.1 gph fuel burn, we could have kept going for 127 miles.

If we had to come up with one word to describe the all new 170 OB from Bayliner, it would have to be “affordable versatility.” (Ok, so it was two words.) There are two options packages that caught our eye. First was the ski and fish package.  The second was even more exciting...a wakeboard series package!  If you doubt that a 17' boat with a 115-hp motor can pull a wakeboarder, then you'll want to watch our new video test.  Roll 'em...

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New Boat

New Jeanneau NC9:
2-Cabin "Everyman's" 30' Cruiser

Jeanneau NC9
The new Jeanneau NC9 has a hull length of 29'10" (9.11 m) and is 31'5" (9.61 m) overall. Her beam is 10'5" (3.20 m) and she displaces 7,992 lbs. (3,625 kgs.).

According to Jeanneau, its new 30' NC9 is "...aimed at a broad-based new customer segment” and she is the most exciting thing that has come across our bow in months. Here's why: the new world of boating is all about affordable boating. And that means buyers in the market are looking for boats with a relatively low initial cost, low operating expenses and lots of utility. Forget the days of large, glittering motoryachts with dancing girls, the boating world is now firmly in the new paradigm. Thankfully, the folks at Jeanneau got the message some time ago. Glitz is out and high-utility, good price-worthy products are in. We think Jeanneau is leading the boating industry into the future. Let's take a look at its new NC9...

Request a brochure

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Features Video

World Cat 290 CC:
She's Both Roomy & Stable

World Cat 290 CC
Women like cats because they are so stable and sea-kindly, and men like them for the room and speed.  But, still there are many naysayers...

We continue to debunk the claims from mono-hull jingoists that cats simply don’t cut it. “They perform differently,” “they lean outboard in turns”... and now it’s “they’re not as spacious as they look.” Okay, let’s see. The only way to disprove this canard is to do a video walkthrough with a person onboard. And not a dwarf either: an average-sized Capt. Steve. Come along as he takes us through the World Cat 290 CC and checks out some of the features and the space onboard this twin-hulled fishing machine. Bring all the gear you want...

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Captain's Report

Triton 19SE Bass Boat:
Loaded With Standard Features

Triton 19 SE
Performance perks and plenty of space above and below deck are attributes of the 19SE from Triton, plus a list of standard features that is impressive.

Triton introduced the 19SE in 2011 to garner a share of the premium 19-foot-class bass boat market that is as competitive as the tournament anglers who drive them. The entry proved so popular among avid bass anglers that Triton found little to tweak in the 2012 model, which maintains features that include the removable passenger console, generous storage capacity and over-sized forward casting deck.  This boat is top-drawer all the way.  More...

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Features Video

Prestige 440S:
How Big Can a 44 Interior Be?

Prestige 440
The Prestige 440S is as roomy below as she is on deck. Her styling is modern and smart and her designers have done a good job of bringing natural light into the accommodations below. See video...

Times are tough, and that means buyers are getting smarter, and more discriminating. Prestige knows this, and has been making a lot of waves lately with their ability to provide more boat for less money. Equally important, they don't compromise on things that matter to experienced boaters: expertly installed systems, strong construction, and traditional functionality. Not only that, but the Prestige 440S is also full of amenities.  Take a look at our features walkthrough of the 440S and you'll see what we mean.

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Test Video

Volvo Penta D4 Marine Diesel:
Designed For Rugged Marine Use

Volvo Penta D4
The D4 was designed from the outset as a marine engine. In other words, it is not like most marine diesels which were originally designed for trucks and then refitted for marine use.

If versatility is the key to success, then it's small wonder that the Volvo Penta D4 is such a popular engine.  It powers everything from sportboats to express cruisers to large trawlers. It comes in power ranging from 225- to 300-hp, it can be fitted to either a DPS sterndrive, IPS350 or 400 pod, or conventional inboard drive. To put it to the test, we went with the robust DPS sterndrive that was made specifically to handle the high torque of this diesel engine. The test boat... a 15,400 lb (6,985 kg) express with sterndrive joystick.

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Test Video

Wellcraft 210 Sportsman:
A Good Family Utility Boat

Wellcraft 210 Sportsman
This easy-handling boat has a dry weight of only 3,741 lbs (1,696 kg). You can power her with either an Evinrude E-TEC or Yamaha outboard up to 250-hp.

Lately, some builders have chosen to save money by focusing less on their smaller boats and opting instead to concentrate on selling larger, but fewer boats. Well it seems that Wellcraft didn't get the memo, and instead has chosen to pump new blood into its small boat line. One example of this forward thinking is the 210 Sportsman. A versatile fish & ski package with the quality and solid ride that Wellcraft was founded on. More...

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Test Video

Meridian 541 Sedan:
3 Staterooms and Huge Saloon

Meridian 541 Sedan
The 541 is now Meridian's largest boat and its sales have been robust this year, when other brands have faltered.

The Meridian 541 Sedan is the second boat in the company’s lineup that has been designed completely around the Zeus pod propulsion system. The pods allow the builder to move the engines farther back in the hull, creating more living space. In this case, the 53’10" (16.4 m) hull is able to accommodate three staterooms with two full heads.  This boat was first launched last year, but because retail customers were so anxious to get their new 541 we had to wait for months to get our test.  Read our Captain's Report and watch our test video...

Request factory price quote

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Captain's Report

Ranger 211 Reata:
For Strategic Family Planning

Ranger Reata 211
There’s more to life than bass fishing, which is why Ranger builds the Reata Series. One could be your boat for a lifetime.

This year has caused us all to do some serious financial and family planning. If boating is a way of life for you, then you need to figure out how to afford the cake and eat it too. Good boats are expensive and frankly, buying one first for fishing, then trading it in on a sportboat for a young, growing family, then trading again into a screaming fishing rig when the kids are gone means you’re going to be losing a lot of bucks along the way. The folks at Ranger have given serious thought and have a very good solution – buy one very well-built boat that is versatile and keep her a lifetime. It’s a novel concept...

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New Features Video

Sea Ray Sport Boats:
New, Easy to Use Sport Tower

Sea Ray
An internal spring-loaded system makes the new sport tower so easy to deploy even children can do it.

When we asked the team at Sea Ray how they came up with the design of the new sport tower for the 260 SD they told us it was mainly in response to customer feedback. One of the key design elements was that the tower had to fold, but more importantly, fold easily, so anyone would be able to lower it. This tower is manufactured from lightweight, high-strength aluminum and finished in a baked-on powdercoat. They added an integrated anchor light on top of the tow point as well as LED docking lights. This new tower is also available on all Sea Ray Sport Boats. Here is a video provided to us by the Sea Ray team which demonstrates the new towing tower. Watch the video...

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Shurhold Products:
Filter For Your Gas

Shown here is the Mr. Funnel fuel filter from Shurhold.

Old gas at the end of the season can present some issues. Even fuel from dockside stations can have contaminants, and that's why Shurhold offers three different fuel filter funnels. We have used these filters at BoatTEST and can verify that sand and water are easily and effectively filtered from contaminated fuel. More...

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.

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...


How To Discover
Prop Problems

If you were disappointed in your boat's performance this summer now is the time to start finding a solution for next season.

When you are on plane does your bow seem too high? Is your stagnation line too far forward at max power? Is your boat lethargic out of the hole? Are you unable to reach the rated max rpms for your engines? All of these and many more boat performance defects may well be caused by your wheels. Our first go-to place when we have questions about disappointing performance is PowerTech!. The folks there are courteous, incredibly knowledgeable, and good-humored. They've seen it all before. The best news of all is that correcting a prop is the cheapest performance fix there is. Watch our video of Capt. Rob and PowerTech! president Steve Powers discussing possible prop problems...

Fill out PowerTech's propeller worksheet...

Visit and "like" our page to watch unedited video found only on Facebook...
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25 Buying Check Points

How To Buy A Sportboat -- #10:
Scuppers to Keep
Your Sportboat From Sinking

Sportboat Buying
These are the size of scuppers and the design we like to see on all small boats to drain their cockpits. This picture is on a center console. We’d say sportboats with self-draining cockpits need only one on each side.

Every sportboat has scuppers. But do you know where yours drain – is it overboard or in the bilge? Knowing the answer to that question could mean the difference between being a happy boater or finding your pride-and-joy sunk at its mooring. Check out any boat’s scuppers before buying. Here’s what you need to know...




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Lesson of the Week

Requirements for Recreational Boaters

Lesson of the Week Smart Boating
Capt. Steve explains requirements for all boaters.

In this week's lesson, Captain Steve takes you through boat registration and boat lettering, and points out the safety of and requirements for life jackets. 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

“It never fails, now I have to go after him and get my hair wet.” – R. Pomaville

Second Place

“What's with all the yelling? And what is a PFD anyway? Honey..?” - K. Braughton

Honorable Mention(s)

“But Honey, you told me to drop the anchor...” – D. Shack

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 9/14/11

You write the caption! Will you win the coveted "Ducky Award" for best caption?

Simply fill in your caption and you may get lucky -- quack here.

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