Flyer Gran Turismo 49:
Flybridge & 3rd Stateroom Are Optional
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...
New Mako 234 CC:
Stable, Rugged, As Low As $54K
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
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...
Glacier Bay 2770:
A Classic Gets a Makeover
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
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...
2012 Tahoe Q8 SSi:
Sleek Styling For the Family
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...
Pursuit ST 310:
A Boat For All Reasons
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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Sea-Doo RXP-X 260:
New T3 Hull Design and ErgoLock System
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...
New Test Video
Bayliner 255 SB:
Affordable Cruising's Newest Entry
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...
New Test Video
Cruisers Yachts 430 Sports Coupe:
A Coupe de Gras in Class
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.
Request a test drive
New Test Video
An All-Purpose Motoryacht
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...
Albemarle 360XF IPS:
Pods Give A Fishing Edge
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...
ZF 2800 POD System:
Joystick Docking With One Engine
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...
Video Inspection of 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
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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...
Shurhold PVA Towel
Is Put Through the Ringer
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...
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Lesson of the Week
It's the Law:
You Must Help a Disabled Boat
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 BoatTEST.com’s Smart Boating Course which is USCG-approved. Watch these video boating lessons every week on BoatTEST.com.
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Ducky Award Winner
“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
“Great!.... save this parking space for me while I go get the car...” – W. Letersky
“Standing on the third floor balcony to adjust the wind vane is much safer than going up the mast.” – G. Mcclurg
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