Premier Toon w/Bar, Swift 52, Intrepid 475 OB, 12 Tests & Reviews - 09/21/2011
BoatTEST Newsletter September 22, 2011 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust
- Premier 290 Grand Entertainer
- Beneteau Swift 52
- Bayliner 170 OB
- Nordhavn 60
- Cruisers Yachts 310 Express
- Sea Ray 250 SLX
- Intrepid 475 Sport Yacht
- Prestige 500S
- Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O.
- Mako 212 Center Console
- Sea-Doo 210 SP
- Grand Banks Eastbay 46 SX
- Scout 245 Abaco
- Shurhold Products
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course on DVD
- 4-Blade for Towing Power
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

New Premier
290 Grand Entertainer:
Pontoon Boat with Full Bar (Cheers!)

Premier 290 Grand Entertainer
Premier’s Grand Entertainer comes in two lengths -- 26’ (7.92 m) and 29' (8.83 m) – and two widths – 8’6" (2.59 m) and 10’0” (3.04 m). Both versions have a large L-shaped bar – Cheers!

Every once in a while a boat builder does something that is so obviously the right thing to do -- but has never before been done -- that you can only slap your forehead in astonishment at the slow-witted nature of our species. The new Premier Grand Entertainer 260 and 290 model PTX tri-toons are an example of just such a phenomenon. The concept was simple: put a real, working bar on a pontoon boat, complete with everything needed except the bartender. Congratulations to Premier for being the first pontoon builder to do it. Order your drink here...

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New Test

Beneteau Swift 52:
A Boat To Cruise Far and Wide

Beneteau Swift 52
Those big hullside windows are a feature that we haven't seen in this type of boat. Notice the Portuguese bridge and there are wide side decks.

If there was ever a boater’s boat, this is it. We found the Swift 52 to be a very capable cruiser that will clearly appeal to the owner/operator in all of us. She’s large enough to accommodate three staterooms, including a full beam master, and two heads, but small enough to still be easily manageable by a shorthanded couple with no outside help. While our full test video makes its way through the editing process, let’s take a look at the most exhaustive and detailed Captain's Report we have ever made -- a testament to how much the captains like this boat. More...

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New Test Video

New Bayliner 170 OB:
Fish and Wakeboard? You Bet!

Bayliner 170 OB
Everyone questions whether or not you need gobs of horsepower to pull a wake dude, but we did it easily with this 115 outboard.

Bayliner created a multi-functional bowrider that has the option of converting to a fish boat. Ok, so admittedly, that's not hard to do, but watersports are all the rage. As it turns out, we were able to not only haul a 200 lb (90.7 kg) wakeboarder out of the water before the prop wash even reached him, but we were also able to give him nice wakes to capture some great air. Turns out, the Bayliner 170 OB is quite a versatile little boat. We'll prove it. Show me...

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Captain's Report's Nordhavn 60:
For Local Cruising Only!

Nordhavn 60
The Nordhavn 60 is the N55 with 5' (1.52 m) added to the stern. We think that makes a great start on turning this transoceanic vessel into something useful around home, too.

A boat we would like to own is the Nordhavn 60. We like the North Sea commercial look, and the fact that we don’t have to worry about the weather reports and can take her out in most any condition, anywhere. She's not a gin palace, or a hopped-up cruiser with models hanging all over it -- no, she looks like a real sea-going vessel and that's what we like about her. And because she’s so heavy and stable, Mom doesn’t get sea sick when cruising Long Island Sound or Buzzards Bay. Crossing the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas is a piece of cake for this boat.

The great thing about buying a new boat, particularly one in the price range of the N60, is that a buyer can change the accommodations layout pretty much to serve his own purposes. So, today, we take a look at the Nordhavn 60 and tell you how we would convert this long range ocean-going yacht into a coastal cruiser. Along the way we’ll tell you some things that you will never read on the Nordhavn website. Cast off here...

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New Test

Cruisers Yachts 310 Express:
A Family Weekend Getaway

Cruisers Yachts 310 Express
With a LOA of 31'3" (9.53 m) and a beam of 10' (3.05 m) we found the 310 to be roomy enough for a party of 4 to live together comfortably for a long weekend.

At the end of the workweek what could be better than heading to the beach house for the weekend and unwinding? Well, what if that beach house could be moved from place to place? Sounds good to us, and an easy way for that to happen is with a weekender on the water. That's exactly how we see the 310 Express from Cruisers Yachts, so let's hop aboard and see how she can fit into your weekend plans. More...

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Test Video

Sea Ray 250 SLX:
A Major New Design Thrust

Sea Ray 250 SLX
We clocked the Sea Ray 250 SLX at 45.3 mph (72.9 kph) with standard power, a 300-hp MerCruiser 350 MAG ECT. A 380-hp 8.2L MerCruiser is optional.

Our recent test showed that if you're looking for a bowrider with lots of elbow room, the Sea Ray 250 SLX might be calling your name. Her 26' 6" (8.07 m) of LOA is enough for a sizeable forward cockpit with lounges for adults, room aft for a spacious wraparound bench seat, and a private head compartment. Add the optional watersports tower for skiing or wakeboarding. Study the test results...

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New Test

Intrepid 475 Sport Yacht:
So Cool Even Thor Couldn't Stop Her

Intrepid 475 CC
Our Capt. Steve never let a little lightning and thunder keep him from testing a boat. Here he is heading out Tampa Bay on the Intrepid 475 Sport Yacht with 1400-hp strapped to the transom.

When it comes to large yachts, very few builders will power them with outboards, and looking at the accommodations in the 475 SY, we have to ask, why not? This feature alone created so much space that Intrepid is actually able to include two private staterooms, a head, galley, and huge banquette for six. This 47' 6'' (14.5 m), 21,500 lb. (9,752 kg.) yacht is so compelling one customer has already purchased two. To find out what's so irresistible, read our Captain's Report. Page one starts here...

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Features Video

Prestige 500S:
3 Staterooms, IPS, Aft Galley, 30 Knots

Prestige 500S
The Prestige 500S is a compelling yacht for an active cruising family or sociable couple.

A previous video showed the performance and handling of the Prestige 500S, and today we present the other half of the story – a video look inside. This is where she impresses us because her designers have managed to get the accommodations of a 60-footer in 50’. Equally compelling is the fact that Prestige is selling this yacht for what many builders charge for a boat in the 40’ range. The important take-away is that this classic looking design is seaworthy, has three staterooms, and is being offered at an MSRP in the low $800s. It is pleasing to find a well-designed motoryacht where all of the important things have been done right and the boat is so price-worthy. Let’s take a look...

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Test Video

Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O.:
Reliability Is Only One Feature

Evinrude E-TEC 150
A significant reduction in parts and a greatly reduced required maintenance schedule are two of Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O.'s primary benefits. But the real test is in performance...

We recently ran a video tour of the features of Evinrude’s E-TEC 150, and then we wondered what its performance would be like in a challenging application -- a 4,000 lb. (1,814 kg.) twin-toon boat. With only two logs and lots of weight this boat is heavier and sinks deeper than most toons we have tested with a 150-hp outboard. We were impressed by her hole shot time, top speed and her best cruise fuel consumptions. Take a look...

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Video Review

Mako 212 Center Console:
For Salt or Freshwater Fishing

Mako 212 CC
Equipped with a Mercury 150 XL Optimax the 212 has a "no hassle" price of $37k.

One of the great things about a center console is that it can be used for salt or freshwater fishing. Freshwater, too? That's right, and for the no hassle prices that Mako charges you could buy two of them for what you'd pay for a fancy, tricked-out multi-species boat. Best of all, you can fish in a lake with the CC, but you can't take a lakeboat offshore. Let's take a look...

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New Boat

New Sea-Doo 210 SP:
Another Runabout or Something Else?

Sea-Doo 210 SP
We think a view from above is the best way to take your first look at the new Sea-Doo 210 SP. Notice how the tow point is positioned at the center of gravity and the pivot point of the boat, this will eliminate transom pull out during hard cuts. This view also hightlights the amount of space Sea-Doo has designed into the cockpit, which is a benefit of the engine package which does not require sacrificing cockpit space

A feature you will find in the Sea-Doo 210 SP that you may not expect in a 21 foot runabout is the amount of room in the cockpit. This is due mainly to the engine package that drives the family boat. Designed to be more compact and sitting lower in the hull as a result of the direct jet drive system, the engines in the 210 SP allowed the design team to provide much more interior space. But space is only one of the features, in our opinion; the 210 SP offers one of the highest levels of technical and performance features in a boat this size. She's packed with clever innovations and cool surprises. Let's take a look at the details.

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Grand Banks Eastbay 46 SX:
Pods Go Downeast

Grand Banks Eastbay 46 SX
The Grand Banks Eastbay 46 SX has a LOA of 49' 11" (15.21 m), a beam of 14' 7" (4.45 m), and thanks to her Zeus pods, a draft of only 3' 4" (1.00 m).

Grand Banks realized long ago that if you’re going to keep up, then you can’t stick with tradition forever. A year or two ago Grand Banks marched forward again by giving the shaft to... well, shafts. This Eastbay 46 SX is powered by CMD diesels with Zeus pod drives. By doing this, Grand Banks has opened up a lot of room in the boat, and a lot of options for new cruising destinations. Let’s take a look...

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Fishing Boat

Scout 245 Abaco:
Designed For the Bahamas

Scout 245 Abaco
With fishing friendly capabilities and cabin class, the Scout 245 is designed for a couple to overnight on.

The Scout 245 Abaco doesn’t have the roominess in the cabin to sleep six, or even four, but for a couple who wants to spend more time fishing as well as sleep overnight onboard once in a while, this setup is hard to beat. The cockpit and deck have some unique, forward-thinking features that we like and the aft seating and transom morph between a comfortable seat, storage compartment, and a dive or casting platform. Join us as Capt. Steve gives us a video tour...

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Shurhold Video Test:
Buff Magic Does the Work

We put Capt. Steve to work while our cameras were rolling.

Owning a fiberglass yacht with a shiny, gleaming surface is one of the joys of boat ownership. But the hard work that goes into creating that look isn't so much fun. In order to find out how well Yacht Brite Buff Magic and Pro Polish work, we tested on a severely neglected hull. Capt. Steve followed the standard procedures, applied the products, and all the while our camera crew was shooting video. See for yourself what our tests turned up...

Order Buff Magic here...

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...

Proper Props

4-Blade For Towing Power

Chances are your sterndrive sportboat came with a three-blade prop -- they are cheaper and faster than a four-blade. But will they get the job done?

Many people running boats with 3-blade props struggle in towing situations. In some cases they have to get Mom and the kids in the bow just to get the boat on plane, sometimes the boat keeps falling off plane when it is slowed down for the skier, and sometimes the boat has to be going so fast to get portly Paul up on his slalom ski he is no longer at the end of the tow rope. All of these scenarios and more are typical of the disadvantages of having a 3-blade prop on a sterndrive lower unit when towing. Here's how to give your boat some towing mojo...

Fill out PowerTech's propeller worksheet...


Visit and "like" our page to watch unedited video found only on Facebook...
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Lesson of the Week

Using Your Boat for Diving
or Snorkel Excursions

Lesson of the Week Smart Boating
Having fun with your boat and seeing your family enjoy themselves is a reward in itself. Your boat can be the perfect launching platform for diving, snorkel and even scuba diving excursions.

This week Capt. Steve goes over three lessons and guidelines on diving off your boat and using it as a launching platform for underwater activities. First of all, you bought your boat to have fun on...right? Those of you who bought a boat for your favorite water activities, congratulations, there is so much awaiting to be explored below the surface. These three videos are basic lessons which recreational boaters should be aware of. 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

“I don't care how fast we tow it off, you are still going to end up in the caption contest.” – C. Crane

Second Place

“The skier is around here someplace…”
– H. Gillette

Honorable Mention(s)

“Tow? We didn't order a tow, we ordered breakfast!” – G. Parker

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 9/21/11

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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