Beneteau Flyer GT 38, Princecraft 170, Cigarette 38, Skeeter 190 - 10/26/2011
BoatTEST Newsletter October 26, 2011 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust
- Beneteau Flyer GT 38
- Princecraft Xpedition 170 WS
- Cigarette Top Gun 38
- Cruisers Yachts 41 Cantius
- Rinker 196 Captiva OB
- Intrepid 327 CC
- Prestige 60
- Bayliner 215 BR
- Sea Ray 470 Sundancer
- Yamaha VX Deluxe
- Hatteras GT Series
- Sun Tracker BB 18 DLX
- Skeeter TZX190
- Windy Dubois SR 52
- Shurhold Products
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course on DVD
- Royal Purple Test
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Beneteau Flyer
Gran Turismo 38:
Her "Air Step" Hull
Is Revolutionary

Beneteau Flyer Gran Turismo 38
The Beneteau Flyer Gran Turismo 38's Air Step hull has a measurable difference in performance and handling. Air Step is no gimmick.

This was one of the most interesting tests we've ever done. We've come to have expectations on what a boat will offer in terms of performance and handling based on basic specs, but when we hit the water with this Flyer Gran Turismo 38, all those expectations went out the window. This boat was designed with Beneteau's Air Step hull, which brought a completely different set of handling characteristics to the boat -- all for the better. We immediately noticed a difference in this hull vs a conventional hull. There was no pounding through waves, turns were extra sharp, speeds were impressive, and acceleration was greatly enhanced. All of it spells a great handing boat, and it's all shown in our new test video before her premier at the Ft. Lauderdale boat show at the end of October. More...

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Captain's Report

New Princecraft Xpedition 170 WS:
A Serious Family Fisherman

Princecraft Xpedition 170 WS
The twin console WS is the new-for-2012 Xpedition 170 WS from Princecraft.

Princecraft’s newest boat -- the Xpedition 170 WS -- is clearly designed for the family who likes to fish together. No “fish-n-ski” here. Princecraft's 170 WS is built for comfortable fishing and cruising in conditions that may not be. Remember, Princecraft is a Canadian company and the water is always cold in the far north -- and the bottoms there are hard when you hit them! A company spokesman described the WS series Xpedition as “a boat for the serious fisherman with a family.” Let's investigate...

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Captain's Report

Cigarette 38 Top Gun:
Better Now Than Ever Before

Cigarette 38 Top Gun
The Cigarette 38' Top Gun has an 8' (2.43 m) beam and is powered by twin 525-hp Mercury Racing engines in the standard set-up. The boat is obviously a babe magnet because there are three of them here -- including the driver.

Founded in 1969 by one of the most charismatic boat builders ever, Don Aronow, the Cigarette brand has managed to stay around through wars, recessions, high interest rates, gas shortages and all of the rest of it. Our guess is that the Cigarette brand will out-live us all. Today the Cigarette boats being built are better than ever -- and faster and more reliable than ever, thanks to its owner for the last 10 years and to a new breed of engine produced by Mercury Racing. If you want to join the "Cigarette Racing Team" the 38 Top Gun will be your entry-level ride. Find out more...

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New Features Video

Cruisers Yachts 41 Cantius:
A Cruiser for Big Entertaining

Cruisers Yachts 41 Cantius
With IPS pods, she's easily single-handed. But with a 13' (4.0 m) beam, she can also handle 14 people aboard.

We've been impressed with the offerings from the Cantius lineup, and today we review the features in the second new Cantius edition, the 41. With her wide open layout and logical appointments for entertaining, relaxing, or sleeping, it's clear that the 41 Cantius design team put a lot of thought into what a capable cruiser and entertainment platform should have. She has many of the same details as her big sister, the 48 Cantius. See her now...

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New Test Video

New Rinker 196 Captiva OB:
Tested With a Yamaha 115-hp Outboard

Rinker 196 Captiva OB
This new bowrider has a LOA of 19' 6" (5.94 m) and a beam of 8' (2.4 m). At 2,350 lbs (1,065 kg) she's trailerable by most mid-sized vehicles.

Probably the most noticeable aspect in the new Rinker 196 Captiva OB is her hull design which does not pound going through a chop. Her handling was sure and steady and she turns circles as sharply as any boat on the market. The 196 we tested was powered by a 115-hp outboard. With test weight of 3,416 lbs. (1,552 kgs.) we had a time to plane of 4.7 seconds and a WOT speed of 36.2 mph. The boat is rated up to 200 hp, and in fact, a 200-hp Yamaha is an option. This boat also comes in a sterndrive version. Let's take a look...

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New Features Video

Intrepid 327 CC:
So Many Features…So Little Time

Intrepid 327 CC
Not only does Intrepid make, what is in our opinion one of the nicest looking center consoles, she's also loaded with innovative features.

When we compare the features of center consoles, they all start to blend together.  Really, how creative can a builder get? Apparently the design team at Intrepid didn't get the memo that all center consoles are supposed to be the same.  Instead, they loaded up their 327 CC with so many unusual features we had to pick only our favorites to keep the video a reasonable length. See what we ended up with...

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Features Video

The Prestige 60 Motoryacht:
Understated Elegance and Lots of Room

Prestige 60
It is not often that we see two sofas and two coffee tables in the saloon of a 60' motoryacht, but the Prestige 60 has just that.

We think movable, household-like furniture in a motoryacht makes the saloon much more elegant, and at the same time more comfortable. Indeed, on megayachts sofas are rarely built-ins. The Prestige 60 has two stand-alone sofas, plus two extra wide side chairs in the saloon, and two high/lo tables. The galley is aft which is rather unusual in a flush deck motoryacht such as the Prestige 60, but our guess is that we will see more of this kind of layout in the future. Below she has three en suite staterooms. The master is large, but not so big as to ruin the other spaces. Take our video tour...

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New Test Video

Bayliner 215 BR:
Solid Feel, Solid Fun

Bayliner 215 BR
With L-shaped seating and bucket seats, we found this to be a comfortable sportboat that everyone can enjoy. Not only is it trailerable, but the collapsible tower makes for easy storage.

The Bayliner 215 BR is as snazzy as she looks and her performance takes a back seat to no one. Our test boat was powered with an optional 5.0L 260-hp MerCruiser which in our tests had a WOT speed of 46.7 mph. She got on plane in 4.2 seconds and her 22.2 mph best cruise got 4.3 miles per gallon. But that is only part of the surprising story of this affordable 215 BR. Head to the testing grounds...

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Features Video

Sea Ray 470 Sundancer:
The New 470 Is A No-Brainer

Sea Ray 470 Sundancer
The new Sea Ray 470 is packed with so many standard features that making the decision to buy new or used has become a no-brainer.

The team at Sea Ray has told us the goal of the 470 Sundancer was to respond to customer feedback and add more features and pods with joystick control all as standard equipment. Our test boat had lots of features like the two retractable sunroofs over the enclosed helm.  Even more important, the Zeus pod drives add more than just joystick control.  They have added greatly to the 470's performance and handling.  With many boaters asking us if they should buy used or new, in the case of the 2012 470 Sundancer our answer is there is no such thing as a second-hand rose.  Particularly if it doesn't have pods and joystick. Find out more...

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Test Video

Yamaha VX Deluxe:
Yamaha's Secret Weapon

Yamaha VX Deluxe
We tested the Yamaha VX Deluxe and found a top end speed of 53.7 mph. Better still was the fuel burn of only 7.4 gph at that speed. Best cruise fuel burn...3.1 gph.

Whenever a builder tells us that a certain model is their best seller, we start asking why.  Take the Yamaha VX Deluxe for example. Is she Yamaha’s best performer? Not really -- she will do over 50 mph but they have faster. Is it because she’s the least expensive? Nope, although she comes in at just $8,999 Yamaha still has less expensive waverunners. Surely she must have the most features then? Hardly, she’s actually very minimalist. So what makes this the best seller for Yamaha? Take a look and find out...

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Captain's Report

The New Hatteras GT Series:
They're Cruising Boats, Too!

Hatteras GT
Just picture this Hatteras convertible without the tower (which we have purposely cropped off) and without all of those fishing rods. Now, wouldn't she look like a pretty cool cruising boat?

Because of their low CG and lower windage, convertibles are actually more comfortable in rough water than most motoryachts. So no wonder more and more boaters are using convertibles for cruising and not just for fishing. And why not? For many of the same reasons they make excellent fishing boats they also make excellent all-weather cruisers. Their hulls are easy-riding and rough-water-capable; they are fast, turning even long harbor-hops into milk runs; they have voluminous stowage, even though some is meant for fish; and their accommodations equal those of nearly any yacht their size. Add a flying bridge enclosure and a convertible like a Hatteras GT 60 becomes a three-season cruiser for New England or the Great Lakes. Here's more on GT 60...

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New Test

Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX:
Feature-Filled Family Fisherman

Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX
Anglers can get right up on the bow of the new Bass Buggy 18 DLX yet remain within the secure confines of the safety rails.

The Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX for 2012 has been redesigned and modified to improve its fishability and safety. This twin-toon has an 8'1" (2.46 cm) beam, weighs 1,375 lbs. dry, and has a max rated hp capacity of 75. We tested her with a Mercury 40-hp Big Foot 4-stroke. Powered by a Mercury 60-hp ELPT 4-stroke Big Foot, the boat, engine and trailer package has an MSRP of $15,395. Equipped with the 20-hp Mercury EL 4-stroke, the 18 DLX has an MSRP of $11,595. Let's take a look at the test...

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Captain's Report

Skeeter TZX190:
Little Big Bass Boat

Skeeter TXZ190
Skeeter’s new 19-footer for bass anglers is designed for maximum performance when powered by Yamaha’s 150-hp and 175-hp outboards.

With the new 2012 TZX190 model, Skeeter is going after the bass anglers who must keep the new-boat budget under $30k while not giving an edge to their peers. Packing the popular features of their bigger, high-end bass boats into an affordable 19 foot rig is no easy trick but we think Skeeter has done a pretty good job of it. Take a look...

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Captain's Report

Windy Dubois SR 52 Blackbird:
When Stealth Is The Game

Even the nautical adventure author Clive Cussler would be hard-pressed to conjure up something as sinister-looking as the 53'10" (16.40 m) SR 52 Blackbird.

There comes a time in some men's lives when it is time to step out of the hum-drum and tackle some real adventure. With yachts like Paul Allen's 414' (126 m) Octopus around with its submersible garage full of numerous craft, we wonder what excitement could be in store for the yachtsman who is really looking for it. For him, perhaps the SR 52 Blackbird, built by Windy in Norway, might be the ticket to new nautical horizons. Your mission, if you choose to accept it...

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The Proof Is In the Test:
Shurhold Polisher

Shurhold Polisher
Seen here is the entire kit as it comes retail.

The team at BoatTEST put the Shurhold Dual Action Polisher to the test on a very used and neglected boat. We used Shurhold products with this electric polisher and came away happy with the results. Come along with Capt. Steve and see for yourself...

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!

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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...


Royal Purple Lubricity Test

Royal Purple
The engineers at Royal Purple test their product and compare film strength.

The film strength of a lubricant is its inherent ability to withstand the effects of load, speed and temperature without breaking down. Higher film strength results in reduced wear, better fuel economy and more power. Take a look at this video made by Royal Purple...

How to find Royal Purple...


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

Preparing For the Ultimate Emergency

Lesson of the Week Smart Boating
If you hit something and are taking on water you must take decisive action quickly. Use whatever is available to help slow the flow of water inside the boat while you wait for help to arrive.

This week Capt. Steve goes over five new lessons and guidelines on emergency situations and what to do to help preserve life while you wait to be rescued. Everyone aboard will have to act quickly, and that’s why drills and practicing emergency situations with your family is important.  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

"Yes, great for swabbing decks but it doubles as a personal rescue device."
- C. Finnerty

Second Place

"He uses me to keep the seagulls away, what do you do?" - J. Mandeville

Honorable Mention(s)

"You think it is a big deal that you have a flying what I can do with this broom!" - T. Biedron

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 10/26/11

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