New Mako 23, Glacier Bay 2770, Pursuit 31, Flyer 49, Sea-Doo RXP-X 260 - 10/20/2011
BoatTEST Newsletter October 19, 2011 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust
- Beneteau Flyer GT 49
- Mako 234 Center Console
- Formula 31 PC
- Glacier Bay 2770
- Beneteau Swift 52
- Tahoe Q8 SSi
- Pursuit ST 310
- Sea-Doo RXP-X 260
- Bayliner 255 SB
- Cruisers Yachts 430
- Prestige 60
- Albemarle 360
- ZF Single Pod Test
- Evinrude 130 Test
- Shurhold Products
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course on DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Flyer Gran Turismo 49: Flybridge & 3rd Stateroom Are Optional

Prestige 60
The Flyer Gran Turismo 49 comes in two versions, one with the flybridge and one without. LOA 51'2" (15.6 m) with a 14'1" (14.08 m) beam. Her standard power is twin 435-hp Volvo Penta IPS600s.

The Flyer Gran Turismo line is built by Beneteau in France, and if we've learned one thing from them, it's that the folks at Beneteau have a knack for getting it right. The Flyer Gran Turismo 49 is rather unusual in as much as you can buy it with or without the flying bridge, and in a two stateroom or three stateroom version. One of the most noteworthy aspects of this boat is that it is one of the most comfortable riding boats in this class we have tested. Let's take a look at the full report...

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New Test

New Mako 234 CC:
Stable, Rugged, As Low As $54K

Mako 234
The redesigned twin outboard Mako 234 is a fishing machine built to be rugged offshore.

We recently had a chance to perform a full test and review on the redesigned 2012 Mako 234 on Tablerock Lake in Missouri. The Mako 234 is a classic design and has probably pumped more saltwater out of its collective bilges over the decades than most designs have run over. Nonetheless, the folks at Mako have redesigned her and revamped her to once again be tough competition on the offshore circuit. Further, she is priced within reach of nearly everyone. Equipped with a 250 XXL Mercury OptiMax she has a US MSRP of $53,995. Come along as we dive into the new Mako 234...

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Formula 31 PC:
A Benchmark in Class

Formula 31 PC
Formula not only makes a great looking boat, but its attention to detail is uncompromising.

To be sure, the Formula 31 PC isn’t for everyone because they are more expensive than most boats in class. Nevertheless, no matter what price-point and no matter what brand you select, you should know what top-quality looks like. With this knowledge you can better judge the value of what you are getting no matter how much or how little you pay.  We think the Formula 31 PC is a benchmark of excellence. Step aboard and see what we mean...

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New Test

Glacier Bay 2770:
A Classic Gets a Makeover

Glacier Bay 2770
We found yet again that when it comes to handling waves, few can beat a cat. Of course the problem then becomes trying to find some waves.

Glacier Bay has had excellent success with its Island Runner 2670 over the years. In fact, it's been the brand's most popular model. So when the builder decided to give the 2670 a makeover, we thought, uh oh. But while we have a "don't-fix-it-if-it-ain’t-broke" attitude, that doesn't sell boats. After testing the 2770, we think Glacier Bay managed to make its best-seller an even better boat. See the 2770 test...

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New Test Video

Beneteau Swift 52:
An LRC That Can Sprint

Beneteau Swift 52
The Beneteau Swift 52 is a long range cruiser (LRC) that has enough power to get up and plane at over 20 knots if the owner is in a hurry.

Who doesn't dream of casting off the docklines and heading to the horizon for parts unknown? But many people have a hard time wrapping their heads around a “crawler trawler.” Beneteau has solved that problem with the Swift 52 – she goes slow or fast. While most cruising is done by a couple, there's always the need for accommodations for visitors. The Swift 52 covers all the bases as she's easily managed by a husband and wife team, and with two additional staterooms and additional room for hired crew. As for the handling, we'll show that not only is she a great performer underway, but she's just as great around the dock. Full test video...

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New Test

2012 Tahoe Q8 SSi:
Sleek Styling For the Family

Tahoe Q8 SSi
The new 21' 8'' (8.73 m) Q8 SSi equipped with 4.3 L 190-hp engines and a tandem-axle trailer has an MSRP base price of $31,995.

The new Tahoe Q8 SSi can be summed up as a well thought-out family boat that delivers speed, good standard features, and the fit-and-finish more typical in sportboats far more expensive. Our testing showed that this 21’ 8” (8.73 m) runabout powered by a 300-hp MerCruiser engine with a Bravo III drive averaged 54.3 mph in our speed trials. She demonstrated no bad handling habits at speed, and with the dual-prop was easy to maneuver around the marina. Read our full test...

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Captain's Report

Pursuit ST 310:
A Boat For All Reasons

Pursuit ST 310
The new Pursuit ST 310 is unlike any boat we know of on the market and is full of clever design ideas that make her useful for a number of purposes.

The Pursuit ST 310 is not a center console, but she has one. She is not a fishing machine, yet she has a livewell, a huge fishbox, and lots of rod holders, rod storage and tackle drawers. She is not a cruising boat, but she has comfortable, plush seating with arm rests, a huge head compartment, and Isotherm refer, a convertible sun pad, and comes standard with hardtop with isinglass side curtains. She is not an entertainment boat, yet she has comfortable seating for 15 adults, a large dining table, and a large ice chest. She is not a dive boat, but she has a rack below for three tanks and she has a four-step swim ladder on the transom. So what is she? Let’s take a look...

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Captain's Report

Sea-Doo RXP-X 260:
New T3 Hull Design and ErgoLock System

Sea-Doo RXP-X 260
The 2012 RXP-X 260 from Sea-Doo with yellow on black graphics package, iTC-Intelligent Throttle Control, iBR-Intelligent Brake and Reverse and the new T3 hull.

With a complete rethinking of rider ergonomics and sporting the new T3 hull along with a long list of technology features, the 2012 Sea-Doo RXP-X 260 looks to us like something designed for use by US Navy SEALs. This machine was designed for one purpose and one purpose only, making a statement. The team at BRP tells us that their goal was to deliver the best possible handling and performance while at the same time making a bold and unforgettable visual statement. Squeeze the throttle here...

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New Test Video

Bayliner 255 SB:
Affordable Cruising's Newest Entry

Bayliner 255 SB
At 25' 1" (7.64 m) LOA the 255 SB represents an entry-level cruiser for those moving up from bowriders or anything else.

Nothing beats being able to take off for a weekend destination on your boat, and making it affordable is the home turf of the Bayliner 255. We found her to be a fine-handling boat with good maneuverability at the dock. Plus, if you're the type who enjoys both a northern and southern home, then you'll love that she has a trailerable 8' 6'' (1.8 m) beam so you can bring your cruiser with you on the seasonal move. Let's take a look at the performance video...

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New Test Video

Cruisers Yachts 430 Sports Coupe:
A Coupe de Gras in Class

Cruisers Yachts 430 SC
With her sharp profile and lots of glass, the Cruisers Yachts 430 SC was a hit with our test captain. Best cruise was 28.4 mph with a range of over 300 miles.

In the competitive 40’ to 45’ sport coupe market we think the Cruisers Yachts 430 SC with two en suite staterooms is a compelling choice. The 430 allows for both side deck and walkthrough windshield access to the bow, and on sunny days, roll back the sunroof and let the sun shine in. Below she has trademark high overheads and an open, airy-feeling. As for the performance and handling, well you’ll just have to watch our latest test video for that. Roll ‘em...

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New Test Video

Prestige 60:
An All-Purpose Motoryacht

Prestige 60
This 3 en suite stateroom yacht with crew quarters is a motoryacht that fits the bill for many boaters.

In our opinion the Prestige line of cruisers is taking the marine industry by storm – and the Prestige 60 is yet another example of how to do so much, so right. She has a layout that is open and inviting with stunning good looks. Her styling is what we would call “contemporary classic.” As for handling, we found her to be responsive and as easy to handle as a much smaller boat. To top it all off at $1.5 million we think she is very “value-worthy.” See the video...

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Test Video

Albemarle 360XF IPS:
Pods Give A Fishing Edge

Albemarle 360XF
The popular Albemarle 360 Express Fish has gotten an updated propulsion system – twin Volvo Penta IPS600s, and they have the new "Sportfish Mode" option.

Albemarle’s 360 Express has been the best seller for Albemarle since she was introduced just over 5 years ago. While there has been the natural progression of changes over the years, the most notable took place for this model year. This time Albemarle added Volvo Penta's IPS600 drives, thus upgrading the boat from conventional inboard drives to pods with joystick. We went to see for ourselves if this system will convince the traditionalist fisherman that pods are the way to go. See it now...

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Features Video

ZF 2800 POD System:
Joystick Docking With One Engine

ZF 2800 Single Pod Drive
When it comes to maximizing range, it's hard to top a single diesel engine drive through a pod with two props at planing speeds.

Most joystick systems require either two stern drives or two pods to achieve their amazing maneuverability. That means two engines that double the weight and burn a lot more fuel.  The team at ZF has designed an alternative. They have taken an offshore fishboat designed for multiple outboards and fitted it with the ZF 2800 Single POD joystick system. This utilizes a single diesel engine along with a new powerful and variable ZF electric bow thruster, all controlled by an onboard computer. The results of our test were impressive and left us thinking about the impact this system could bring in the future. See the full video and captain’s report here...

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Engine News

Video Inspection of the Evinrude 130-hp Outboard

Evinrude 130
Capt. Steve looks at the revolutionary fuel injection system on the Evinrude 130-hp outboard.

The Evinrude 130-hp outboard engine is unique in many ways. First, 130-hp is a place where few other outboard engine companies build an engine, leaving a big horsepower gap in their lines. Most engine makers hop from 115-hp to 150-hp. But the 130 range is a sweet spot of ideal power for many boats in the 17' to 22' range. For some of these boats 150-hp is too much or too costly, and 115-hp may be too little power, depending on how many people are aboard and what the boat's mission is. Generally, boats in this range are deeper-V'd than they used to be for a better ride, but that also means they are harder to push. Join us as we delve into the details of the Evinrude 130 on video...

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'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...


Shurhold PVA Towel
Is Put Through the Ringer

Royal Purple
PVA towels are better than a natural chamois.

When we asked the team at Shurhold what is different about their PVA towels they told us that they absorb 50 percent more water than natural chamois, making for faster and more effective drying. We gave the towels a shot on our test boat after a few hours on the water in Long Island Sound. All we did was spray her down with fresh water and wipe her down from the windscreen to the keel. The total elapsed time to completely dry a 24' boat was 11 minutes and 20 seconds. Take our word for it, there were no spots or streaks left behind, just a nice shine. The towels come in an extra large size of 17" x 27" (43 cm x 69 cm). Learn more here...



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

It's the Law:
You Must Help a Disabled Boat

Lesson of the Week Smart Boating
Always offer to provide assistance to another boat if you see it is in distress.

This week Capt. Steve goes over new lessons and guidelines on the importance of helping other boaters that may require assistance. There are countless numbers of reasons why a boater may need assistance. For example, their motor may have broken down, or they ran out of gas, or perhaps there is a life threatening situation aboard with only minutes to spare. Whatever it may be, it is the law to help out another boater that’s in distress. If you fail to render assistance or choose to ignore them and the accident results in someone’s death you could be prosecuted for a felony. Even if no one dies, you can still be prosecuted for a misdemeanor. So the lesson here is, be a smart boater -- but be a friendly one too. 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

“Realizing that traffic cams were not cutting down on illegal left hand turns, a radical new process, "Dropping a sailboat on illegal left hand turning vehicles" was implemented.”
– A. Mills

Second Place

“Great!.... save this parking space for me while I go get the car...” – W. Letersky

Honorable Mention(s)

“Standing on the third floor balcony to adjust the wind vane is much safer than going up the mast.” – G. Mcclurg

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 10/19/11

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