Formula 310 FX5, Mako 234 CC and 11 Tests & Reviews - 11/16/2011
BoatTEST Newsletter November 16, 2011 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust
- Rampage 41 Express
- Mako 234 Center Console
- Formula 310 FX5
- Yamaha 190 Series
- Prestige 60
- Tracker Pro Team 175 TXW
- Manitou 27 Platinum SES
- Bayliner 215 BR
- Glacier Bay 2770
- Sea-Doo 210 Challenger S
- Cruisers Yachts 310 Express
- Volvo Penta 5.7L
- PowerTech Propellers
- Shurhold Products
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course on DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Rampage 41 Express:
A Fishing Boat
Used For Cruising

Rampage 41 Express
We found expert joinery, beautiful fit and finish, and clever use of space in our look at the 41 interior.

More and more hardcore fishing boats are being used as cruising boats and it's not hard to see why. They often handle seas better, they are built to take just about anything, and they're usually made for traveling pretty far distances. Today we are seeing a trend towards manufacturers getting the idea and adding comfortable living and cruising features to these boats.  Rampage seems to have a knack for adding real quality and looks into the cruising mix. Case in point is the 41 Express. Let's step aboard and see how a real fishing boat goes cruising.

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New Test Video

New Mako 234 Center Console:
A Classic Design Re-Made

Mako 234 Center Console
The Mako 234 Center Console is a venerable old center console concept that has been updated, redesigned and made much more affordable by Tracker Marine.

Over the years we have tested many models of Mako boats and found that one constant has been how well they handle. In our test of the new 234 the handling wasn't the only thing we liked.  Mako has responded to customer feedback by adding a long list of features as standard, making this boat-motor-trailer package tough to resist. Designed for the avid fisherman, our test showed that the 234 might appeal to some non-fisherman as well. Come along for the ride with our test video.

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New Test

Formula 310 FX5:
High Style Meets Performance

Formula 310 FX5
The 310 FX5 is the second in a new series of boats from Formula that is designed to thrill.

The wait is over and the 310 FX5 has hit the water running. We were watching with interest as this boat went through her long gestation period, and finally we were recently able to climb aboard and test her. As it turns out, her handling gave us as much pleasure as her eye appeal. Let's take a look at just how cool this hot boat is, and while we're at it we'll discuss the price. She's not for everyone...

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Test Video

New Yamaha 190 Series:
Powered By A Single Engine

Yamaha 190 Series
The new 190 Series from Yamaha is more economical to buy and to operate thanks, in part, to being powered by a single engine made specifically for jet boats.

The new Yamaha 190 Series is powered with a single, 1812 cc engine, Yamaha's largest for jet-powered boats. In our recent tests this new boat achieved a top speed of 43.2 mph. Time-to-plane was 3.3 seconds. The 190 comes in two models, the AR and the SX, depending on what feature-rich package desired. Like all Yamaha boats it is built to the same high standards of quality of her big sisters. Our test even included towing a wakeboarder. See the video...

Request factory pricing

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New Interior Video

Prestige 60:
A World-Class Motoryacht

Prestige 60
Not only do all staterooms get plenty of natural light, but imagine the view out those large windows from the full beam master and forward cabin.

It's a real pleasure when we see a boat that has virtually all the ingredients of a fine motoryacht done well. From fit-and-finish to a comfortable and functional layout, it all comes together in the Prestige 60. While we were most impressed with the aft galley and the full beam master, there's so much more to this yacht.  Take a look at our new interior video...

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New Test Video

Tracker Pro Team 175 TXW:
A Smooth Ride and Feature-Rich

Bass Tracker Pro Team 175 TXW
The new Tracker Pro Team 175 TXW has the fishing space and features of a boat twice its price.

Within Tracker Marine's extensive model line-up, the Bass Tracker Pro Team 175 is one of the most popular.  Each year Tracker has focused its design efforts on providing the fishing features pro and amateur anglers expect.  Further, the boat's modified V-hull and new power-Trac transom design will deliver quick hole shots and a smooth, comfortable ride.  Tracker even goes so far as to "guarantee" a smooth ride.  Our test video shows how comfortable this boat is and a few other features you will want to know about.  Take a look at our latest test...

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Captain's Report

2012 Manitou 27 Platinum SES SHP:
A Newly Patented Hull Design

Manitou 27 Platinum SES SHP
The Manitou 27 SES SHP model for 2012 has a lot going for her.

When it comes to pontoon boats there are perhaps half a dozen names that stand out as being in the top tier of quality, design and performance. Manitou is one of those builders. Earlier this year Manitou was granted a patent for the special aspects of its tri-toon hull design, but that is not the only thing that sets the 27 Platinum SES SHP apart from other toons on the market. Let's take a look...

Request a brochure

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New Features Video

Bayliner 215 BR:
Options Make Her Hot

Bayliner 215 BR
With a 260-hp 5.0 MPI, we reached a top speed of 46.7 mph (75.2 kph) and measured a best cruise of 22.2 mph (35.7 kph).

We've been impressed with the latest launches from Bayliner and this 215 is a case in point. We not only found her to be a very cool-looking boat, but the ride is first rate, and now Bayliner is stepping up the number of optional watersport equipment items.  More...

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New Test Video

Cruisers Yachts 310 Express:
Keeping Up with Big Sisters

Cruisers Yachts 310 Express
The 310 Express has a LOA of 31'3" (9.53 m) and like her big sisters is designed for cruising.

The 310 Express is the smallest boat in the 11-model Cruisers Yachts lineup and that's what makes her unique.  Most builders in this range start with sportboats under 20' (6.2 m) and build up to the 30s.  Like the youngest child, the 310 Express works hard to keep up with her larger sisters.  For a family of four or two couples on a weekend getaway, we think she should be on a buyer's short list.  All aboard the 310 Express...

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New Features Video

Glacier Bay 2770:
New and Improved

Glacier Bay 2770
When Glacier Bay redesigned its most popular boat, it kept the great sea-keeping hull that customers love.

As mentioned a couple weeks ago, Glacier Bay redesigned its popular 2670 Cuddy, and the changes are all reflections of their response to direct customer feedback. The new 2770 has a redesigned cockpit seating for better ergonomics, added a cockpit entertainment center so no more going below for a simple drink, and these changes are just the start. Our new features walkthrough video gives a step by step look at just how the 2770 version came out. Watch the video...

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Captain's Report

Sea-Doo 210 Challenger S:
Designed for More Interior Space

Sea-Doo 210 Challenger S
The location of the cleat amidships makes it convenient for tying off at the dock single handed.

Any given boat model can look good at a boat show and in a showroom, but when you’re on the water it’s not just about looks. The Sea-Doo 210 Challenger is a 21-foot boat that offers you, in our opinion, a little more boat for the size. With a beam of 8’6” the simple numbers don’t convey what we felt in a recent look at this model. That is because the way in which Sea-Doo utilized the interior space and layout makes all the difference. From the clever transom seating to the bow layout, we came away from this model feeling she had a lot to offer a large family. More...

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Test Video

Volvo Penta 5.7L Gas Engine:
All Marinizations Are Not The Same

Melissa to send screen grab from video Volvo Penta 5.7
The Volvo Penta 5.7 series delivers great performance throughout the speed range. But is it worth the upgrade money from the 5.0L?  Let’s take a look at the numbers and see.

By the time you’ve reached the size boat where the 5.7L is a consideration, you’ll probably be around your second or third boat. Typical usage will fall roughly in the 20-25 feet (6 -7.5 m) range for single-engine applications, and generally 28-36 foot (8.5 -11 m) range for twins. What we’re impressed with, however, is that the 5.7L delivers a horsepower range from 300-320-hp in an engine of virtually the same dimensions as Volvo Penta’s 5.0L. But is it worth the money to upgrade?  Let’s look at the numbers.

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PowerTech! Propellers: Innovation Award
for New "Reverse" Prop

PowerTech! Propellers
The PowerStop!’s aft-tapered cup extends to create a pointed trailing edge that acts as a leading edge in reverse, allowing the PowerStop! prop to easily slice through the water in reverse.

PowerTech! Propellers has now won back-to-back IBEX Innovation Awards for 2010 and 2011 in the propeller category. The latest PowerTech! Propeller design, named the "PowerStop!", incorporates the world’s first reverse thrust propeller that performs great in both forward and reverse directions, according to the company. This new design incorporates unique cupping, on both the leading and trailing edges, thereby enhancing control for stopping, reversing and maneuvering. Having the ability to stop quicker and maneuver accurately in reverse make this design inherently safer for family and novice boating activities. Learn more about this design...


Shurhold Shag Bonnet:
New Microfiber Polish Tool

Shurhold Shag Bonnet

Shurhold has developed a new microfiber polishing tool that it calls the Brite Bonnet Final Polish Pad. Designed to fit on the Shurhold Dual Action Polisher, the design provides you with more microfiber area coming in contact with the surface being polished. A feature that we at BoatTEST like is that the Bonnet is designed with a vapor barrier so you can quickly and easily install it over a wet waxing pad and don't need to worry about moisture bleeding through. The purpose of this shaggy new tool is to remove the excess wax and complete your final buffing. From now until November 20 when you purchase two, you will get a third one free. You can order online or learn more about this product here... 

Where in the World?

Picture of the Week

Picture of the Week
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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...

Visit and "like" our page to watch unedited video found only on Facebook...

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Lesson of the Week

Basic PWC Safety and Tips

Lesson of the Week Smart Boating
PWCs are subject to the same safety laws as boats and must obey the same rules of the road and guidelines.

This week Capt. Steve goes over five lessons and guidelines on safely operating a PWC. While they may look easy and fun to drive they still require the driver’s full attention and must be treated like any other boat on the water, with caution and safety in mind. PWCs are not toys. Capt. Steve will go over some key differences of operating a PWC from operating a boat, and he will discuss the most important feature, the automatic shut-off and self circling feature.  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 order all lessons --

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Ducky Award Winner

Ducky Winner

First Place

"As he pulled the boat away, Rover thought of all the times he begged for sausage and got none..." - J. Mccauley

Second Place

"The wife didn't like it when I said she was more 'fetching' in her sun dress. So now I dive with Fido." - S. Macpherson

Honorable Mention(s)

“The divers returned to their boat, only to discover it had been hijacked by the dreaded pirate Fifi.” – E. Jahoda

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On Here?

WIGOH 11/16/11

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