11 Tests & Reviews//2 Factory Video Tours//Boat Handling - 11/23/2011
BoatTEST Newsletter November 23, 2011 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
- MJM Factory Tour
- Formula 350 Sun Sport
- Bayliner Upholstery
- Sun Tracker Regency PB 250 XP3
- Cruisers Yachts 430 SC
- Tracker Pro Guide V-16
- Prestige 60
- Tahoe Q7 SF
- Sea Ray 500 Sundancer
- Yamaha 212 SS
- Marlow 97E
- Tigé RZ2 Platinum Edition
- Ocean Yachts 58 Super Sport
- Shurhold Products
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course on DVD
- Dometic Turbo AC
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

MJM's Sophisticated Building
Process and Materials

The MJM 40z hull and deck, together, weigh just 3,250 lbs. (1,477.2 kgs.) -- less than most 25' sportboats! Find out the secret...

MJM has created a line of Downeast-styled powerboats intended primarily for genteel day trips and cruising. But beneath the Awlcraft 2000 painted surface of the company's four models is what's most interesting and unique -- pound for pound one of the strongest powerboats built today. Boston BoatWorks, the licensed manufacturer of MJM Yachts, utilizes a process they developed involving pre-preg epoxy, Corecell (an engineered structural foam core), a bi-axial stitched hybrid fabric of Kevlar E/glass, vacuum bagging and oven post-curing. The result is a boat that is approximately 50% lighter than a conventional boat of the same size, with as much as 3 times the flexural strength. We recently visited the builder with our video cameras to bring you the process. More...

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New Test

Formula 350 Sun Sport:
A Sport Cruiser with Elegance

Formula 350 Sun Sport
Formula excels in fit-and-finish and the 350 SS is no exception. She has a 10'9" (3.28 m) beam and weighs about 13,470 lbs. (6,109 kgs.) dry.

Formula originally built the 350 SS to fill a gap in their lineup, but that goal has long been in the "mission accomplished" folder and now the 350 has earned its respect outside her siblings' shadows. She certainly looks pretty, but the big question is, can she dance?  We recently conducted a full test on the 350 SS, so you can judge for yourself.  Turn on the salsa music...

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New Factory Video

Bayliner Makes Upholstery In-House

Bayliner Factory Bayliner Factory
Bayliner utilizes a CAD CAM system to efficiently cut all of its upholstery materials and has created a highly organized work flow system to help reduce wastes and overall costs.

Most boat builders manufacture their upholstered products in-house and Bayliner is no different. Through a combination of organizational efficiencies and high unit volume, Bayliner is able to control its costs and still have quality control oversight of the entire upholstery process. The result is a competitive boat at an affordable price. Watch our new construction and see the Bayliner team in action...

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New Test Video

Sun Tracker Regency Party Barge 250 XP3: Flagship of the Party Barge Fleet

Sun Tracker Regency Party Barge 250 XP3
The new Regency Party Barge 250 XP3 tri-toon topped 50 mph with a 250-hp outboard.  See the test numbers.

Pontoon boats are popular as roomy, stable platforms for entertaining, angling and cruising on protected waters. Sun Tracker’s Regency Party Barge 250 XP3 is a tri-toon model that targets those who want a comfortable, feature-rich boat on which to welcome guests for cruising, watersports and entertaining. Moreover, this boat is surprising luxurious. Let's take a look...

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New Features Video

Cruisers Yachts 430 Sports Coupe:
A Power Yacht For Cruising Families

Cruisers Yachts 430 Sports Coupe
At 43' (13.1 m) the 430 Sports Coupe will take you to your destination in first class comfort. And if you're tall, you'll love the 7'3" (2.21 m) of overhead space in the salon.

The 430 represents the point in the Cruisers Yachts lineup where "Express" gives way to the "Sports Coupe" lineup, and she does it with an eye-catching Wenge interior. With dark woods against a light accent, the interior of this 430 has a classy look just as you would expect in a fine yacht.  Let's take a look and see how it all comes together in our features walk through of the Cruisers Yachts 430 Sports Coupe. More..

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New Test Video

2012 Tracker Pro Guide V-16 WT:
A 3 (or 4) Season Fisherman

Tracker Pro Guide V-16 WT
The added protection of two consoles connected with a high, wrap-around windshield makes Tracker’s WT model a popular design for anglers who face adverse fishing conditions.

Deep-V aluminum walk-through boat models are popular primarily among northern anglers who appreciate their added protection from the elements. Further, the forgiving nature of alloy below the waterline when the hull comes into contact with less-forgiving obstacles has long made aluminum the material of choice for these anglers. "Big water" designs usually feature higher freeboard and deeper V'd hulls for negotiating rough, open water.  Let's look closer...

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New Video

Prestige 60:
New Exterior Features Video

Cruisers Yachts 330 Express
Captain Steve flew to Cannes, France this fall to test the Prestige 60.

As you might have guessed by this time, we are impressed with the Prestige 60.  Our latest video on her features ran so long that we had to break it into two segments -- one on exterior features and another on interior features.  Here is our first look at the exterior features of this very capable and relatively affordable yacht.

Request a factory quote

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New Captain's Report

Tahoe Q7 SF:
Well-Balanced For Family Fun

Tahoe Q7 SF
Tahoe’s 20'6" (6.24 m) Q7 SF for 2012 offers families a choice of on-water activity options at an affordable price.

Dual-purpose boats are popular choices for families who want to use their watercraft for both fishing and more active watersports such as tubing, skiing, wakeboarding and cruising.  The “SF” stands for “Ski & Fish,” a juxtaposition of the popular “Fish & Ski” designation that appears to say that Tahoe puts its SF models’ towing appeal ahead of amenities that allow for easy angling. Let's find out if that is true...

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New Test

Sea Ray 500 Sundancer:
Tested in Blustery Weather

Sea Ray 500 Sundancer
The 500 Sundancer is 51' (15.54 m) long overall with the optional hydraulic swim platform. She has a 14'8" (4.47 m) beam and weighs 40,291 lbs. (18,275 kgs.) dry.

Sea Ray has found that the Zeus pod power choice has been so popular on their 500 Sundancer, that they have made it standard and have completely eliminated the V-drive option. Sea Ray also offers only twin 526-hp CMD diesels in the 500. With only one choice we were curious to see how she performed, so we took her on a full test in snotty weather. These kind of conditions by their very nature usually prohibit a boat from performing at its best, so we think you'll be interested in what we discovered. Full report...

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Test Video

New Yamaha 212SS & 212X: 
Jet Boats Made For Watersports

Yamaha 212 Series
The Yamaha 212SS with its red hull, black trim and white deck is striking on the water, and the new "X" version is just as dramatic.

The 2012 Yamaha 212 jet-powered watercraft comes in two versions -- the "SS" and the "X", the latter of which has a towing tower among other amenities. Both boats are powered by twin 1.8 liter engines that we have clocked going from 0 to 30 mph in 4 seconds flat. For years we have raved about the user-friendly stern of the Yamaha design and each year the company seems to be able to make it a little bit better. See the test video and captain's report...

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Captain's Report

New Marlow 97E:
Go Anywhere Motoryacht

Marlow 97E
The Marlow 97E has a 21' (6.4 m) beam and an LWL of 92' (28 m), easily giving it a displacement speed of over 10 knots.  The builder says its planing WOT speed is 29 knots.

Over ten years ago Marlow Yachts founder David Marlow hung his hat on the concept of a light-weight, long range cruiser that could reach semi-displacement cruising speeds in the 22 to 25 knot range and drop down to hull speed for the long haul. Time, his own products, and indeed those of some other builders, all seem to be pointing many new cruising boats in that direction. Launched early this year, the new Marlow 97E's performance is on target: a range of 650 n. miles at 25 knots and 4,000 at 9 knots according to the builder. Even more arresting is the incredible amount of usable living space the Marlow 97E has inside. She easily has the useable room of a 125-footer built in a more conventional manner. Read all about her...

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Features Video

Tigé RZ2:
Tricked Out and Turned On

Tigé RZ2
This isn't just another wakeboat, it's the Tigé RZ2, the most tricked out wakeboat that we've seen this year, and the "wake envy" is included at no extra charge.

The 20th Anniversary Platinum Edition RZ2 is loaded and tricked out with virtually everything the builder could think of.  How else would a premium wakeboat company celebrate its 20th anniversary? Wake's up...

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Captain's Report

Ocean Yachts 58 Super Sport:
A Large, Able Convertible for the Times

Ocean Yachts 55 Super Sport
Is the Ocean 58 Super Sport strong enough to handle what Mother Nature can dish out? Read our report for a surprisingly frank answer.

Ocean Yachts has always been the lowest-priced brand of the big four American convertible builders. How much Ocean Yachts slowed the other builders’ price escalations we’ll never know, but there was a time when Bertram, Hatteras and Viking lost sales to aggressively-priced Ocean Yachts. Long ago, those three competitors caught up with Ocean Yachts on speed and interior decor, but it still has the uncontested edge on price.  Take a look...

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Shurhold Dual
Action Polisher:
Sturdy and Effective

See how easy it is to use this polisher as Capt. Steve walks us through the process.

We have done a complete test with the Shurhold Dual Action Polisher and have been using it on our boats for over a year now. This is a sturdy machine that helps you create a great shine on your boat. One of the best features has been the extra long power cord with the GFIC protection. The other features we like is the orbiting action of the buffer head. It really does prevent swirl marks. Also, the ability to regulate the rpms is very helpful; you can adapt to different projects and get the very best out of your buffing compound of your polish. Learn more by watching our test video...

Get ready for the holidays with Dual Action Polisher's special offer.

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.

When sending a photo, let us know when, where and what boat you were on.

Christmas Gift Idea

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 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...

Watch the trailer...


Dometic Turbo AC:
Solving Common Issues

Capt. Rob takes us on a tour of the features that set Dometic marine air conditioners apart from the rest.

When it comes to marine air conditioning systems not everyone knows the name Dometic, but you should. Dometic is one of the world's largest marine AC manufacturers and has a huge global sales and service team in place to support boat builders and more importantly, you the boater. Dometic has brought their knowledge of design to the industry and has started to provide products that solve some of the common issues boaters have dealt with for years. In this video segment Capt Rob Smith looks at the impact of condensation and rust with regard to SC system and how Dometic has adapted its designs as well as a few others items boaters will be familiar with. Watch the video...

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

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Lesson of the Week

How to Handle Your Boat
in Different Sea Conditions

Lesson of the Week Smart Boating
You don’t want to be out in a small boat like this one in the above sea conditions, but knowing how to maneuver your boat should you encounter rough seas is important.

This week Capt. Steve goes over five lessons and guidelines on understanding wave characteristics and how to handle your boat in different types of sea conditions. Learn how to approach a head sea and make the ride more comfortable for you and your passengers, learn how to handle the boat in a following sea.  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 order all lessons --

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Ducky Award Winner

Ducky Winner

First Place

"Yep, they're great boats. But when buying, make sure they don't scalp you."
- S. Thompson

Second Place

“I'm thinking the whole trade land for beads thing is off now.” - M. Burton 

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 11/23/11

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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If you have a picture that you think needs some explanation, email it to us.

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