290 Grand Entertainer:
Pontoon Boat with Full 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...
Beneteau Swift 52:
A Boat To Cruise Far and Wide
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 BoatTEST.com captains like this boat.
New Test Video
Bayliner 170 OB:
Fish and Wakeboard? You Bet!
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.
BoatTEST.com's Nordhavn 60:
For Local Cruising Only!
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...
Cruisers Yachts 310 Express:
A Family Weekend Getaway
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.
Sea Ray 250 SLX:
A Major New Design Thrust
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...
Intrepid 475 Sport Yacht:
So Cool Even Thor Couldn't Stop Her
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...
3 Staterooms, IPS, Aft Galley, 30 Knots
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...
Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O.:
Reliability Is Only One Feature
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...
Mako 212 Center Console:
For Salt or Freshwater Fishing
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,
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...
New Sea-Doo 210 SP:
Another Runabout or Something Else?
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.
Grand Banks Eastbay 46 SX:
Pods Go Downeast
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...
Scout 245 Abaco:
Designed For the Bahamas
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...
Shurhold Video Test:
Buff Magic Does the Work
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
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...
4-Blade For Towing Power
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 BoatTEST.com and "like" our page to watch unedited video found only on Facebook...
Lesson of the Week
Using Your Boat for Diving
or Snorkel 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 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
“I don't care how fast we tow it off, you are still going to end up in the BoatTEST.com
caption contest.” – C. Crane
“The skier is around here someplace…”
– H. Gillette
“Tow? We didn't order a tow, we ordered breakfast!” – G. Parker
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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