Mako 212 CC//Rinker 196//Volvo Sterndrive//11 Tests - 11/30/2011
BoatTEST Newsletter November 30, 2011 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust
- Mako 212 Center Console
- Sea-Doo GTX S 155
- Rampage 41
- Rinker 196 Captiva I/O
- Beneteau Flyer GT 38
- Volvo Penta OceanX
- Hydra-Sports 23 Bay Bolt
- MJM 40z
- Cobalt 323
- Meridian 341 Sedan
- Yanmar 6BY-260Z
- Pursuit ST 310
- Premier Grand Entertainer
- Shurhold Products
- Allstate Trailering Tips
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course on DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Mako 212 Center Console:
Features and Value in 21-feet

We tested the Mako 212 powered by a 225-hp Mercury L6 and she had a WOT speed of 41 mph.

The all-new Mako 212 was a good boat for us to test since the team at Mako said they designed her to provide lots of fishing features, performance and space in an LOA of just 21'5" (6.55 m). We tested the 212 in calm waters in the morning and some pretty nice chop in the afternoon. The 212 handled well, provided a nice stable ride and was fun to drive. Hop onboard this single engine outboard...

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Captain's Report

2012 Sea-Doo GTX S 155:
The Latest in Adjustable Suspension

In this image you can see that the adjustment is as simple as turning a ratchet on the all-new 202 Sea-Doo GTX S 155.

The new 2012 Sea-Doo GTX S 155 carries on in the tradition of luxury PWCs while adding a clever twist, adjustable suspension. In our opinion the ability to adjust your suspension is a huge plus since each rider has a different weight and this impacts the ride. By simply lifting up the seat and with he use of a ratchet tool, you can set the suspension. With the deck being independent from the hull, the suspension system can travel up and down 5.5" (13.97cm). But as usual, this is not the only clever feature on a Sea-Doo watercraft. More...

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New Sea Trial Video

Rampage 41 Express:
The Snotty Weather Test

Rampage 41 Express
A "flat water" test had already determined that WOT speed with twin 715-hp C-12's was over 41 mph, now the question was: How will she handle rough conditions?

We set out to do a regular performance test on the Rampage 41 after the Ft. Lauderdale boat show, but when the winds started howling boats began flocking back into the inlet. That's when we decided it was a perfect time to head out and really test the "stones" of this boat. It was a very revealing test, and we came away with some interesting observations from both a rough weather aspect, and a close quarters handling perspective. Why are all those other boats heading back in?

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Test Video

Rinker 196 Captiva I/O:
Also Available in Outboard

Rinker 196 Captiva I/O
The Rinker 196 I/O has a range of 143 mi (230 km) at cruise with only a 7.9 gph fuel burn. Top speed was 41.8 mph (67 kph).

Rinker had a gap in its lineup between 18' (5.49 m) and 20' (6.1 m) that needed to be filled, and the new 196 serves the purpose. To appeal to a wider audience, Rinker correctly made an I/O and outboard version available, and today we'll be putting the sterndrive model through her paces. We found her to be easy to handle and she has a lot of storage for a boat in this class. We tested the 196 in Lake Michigan so let's see the rest of the handling story. More...

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New Features Video

Beneteau Flyer GT 38:
A Different Express Cruiser

Beneteau Flyer GT 38
Our Capt. Steve inspects the gallery of the Flyer GT 38 during his newest video tour. She needs sea rails on the cooktop.

Perhaps it was her center mounted helm, or the opening sunroof, maybe the dual configurations to the aft stateroom, or the single piece windshield…however you look at her, we found that the Flyer GT 38 has a lot going for her. She is certainly not a cookie-cutter express cruiser. This boat recently made her U.S. debut at the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show and turned a lot of heads. Let's take a detailed walk through...

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Test Video

Volvo Penta OceanX Outdrive:
Designed For Saltwater

Volvo Penta OceanX
Nothing is harder on sterndrive lower units than saltwater. That's why all up and down the ICW you see I/O boats hauled up out of the briny. Enter OceanX, a drive system made to withstand the rigors of saltwater.

Volvo Penta has long been aware of the Achilles' heel of all sterndrive lower units -- saltwater corrosion. The company has spent years of R&D to develop its new, corrosion-resistant OceanX lower unit. While it may not eliminate corrosion altogether, the new outdrive has proven thus far to slow it down to a crawl -- and it has a 4-year limited warranty. We tested an OceanX to see if the new product was up to the performance standards boaters have come to expect. Take a look ...

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Captain's Report

Hydra-Sports 23 Bay Bolt:
Skinny Water-- Fat Features

Hydra-Sports 23 Bay Bolt
We tested the 23 Bay Bolt and found a very capable shallow water rig.

If you like to fish in skinny water, a deep-V hull often won’t get you far, and the price tag can be brutal. But since shallow waters often team with fish, a purpose-built boat that can get you to these spots in a hurry can be a smart, economical buy. Enter the Hydra-Sports 23 Bay Bolt. With her long list of fishing features, we had more than a good time testing this rig. And with an unbelievable 300-hp hanging off the transom, she didn’t exactly waste our time getting to the testing grounds. If you don't need that much speed, dial her back to a 150 and keep the change. More...

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New Features Video

MJM 40z:
Cruise the High Seas or the Highway

MJM 40z
Capt. Steve gives the MJM 40z a close look in this new video of this unusual boat's accommodations and creature comforts.

Here is a boat designed by cruisers for cruisers. She is built tough for offshore work yet can cruise I-95. How many cruisers can do that? It makes the annual snowbird migration a lot faster and much more economical. But there is more to the MJM 40z than strength and speed. Beneath her traditional exterior, is an equally traditional interior -- with some clever twists. This week, let's take a walk through...

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Captain's Report

Cobalt 323:
Designed for a Big Splash

Cobalt 323
For those boaters who enjoy owning up-market products, we suggest you check out the Cobalt 323.

When we inspected the Cobalt 323 everywhere we looked we saw only examples of going a step further to bring out the best in quality and features: touches like quilted upholstery on the bulkheads, high-end custom-made hardware, and a stainless steel retractable walkthrough ladder that sets a new industry standard. Throw all this together with a boat load of other features, add a top speed of over 50 mph, and you’ve got a remarkable boat that is on the cusp between a sportboat and an express cruiser. All aboard...

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Test Video

Meridian 341 Sedan:
All The Cruiser You May Need

Meridian 341 Sedan
The Meridian 341 is a good way to start cruising and she may be the biggest boat you'll ever need.

We filled a Meridian 341 Sedan with fuel and water and tested her in seas up to 3' in 15-20 knots of breeze and she handled it all quite well. Just because the Meridian 341 Sedan is the company's "entry level" yacht, don't let that description fool you. She may be all the boat you'll ever need. She has two cabins, a large salon, the helm on the flying bridge, and an aft deck. As you can see in the picture above, cruising canvas creates an even larger living area. See the test...

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Features Video

Yanmar 6BY2-260Z:
Diesel-Powered Stern Drive

Yanmar 6BY2-260Z
Yanmar, by marrying its 260-hp diesel to its own sterndrive lower unit, has created one of the most efficient power packages in class.

It is well-known that diesels are generally more efficient than gas engines, and that sterndrives are more efficient than inboards-- and a lot less expensive than pod drives. By marrying its 6BY2-260 engine with its sterndrive, Yanmar has created an incredibly efficient package for both single and twin installations. Let’s see what features this new combination offers and how they performed on a full test...

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Captain's Report

Pursuit ST 310:
Versatile Coastal Dayboat

Pursuit ST 310
The new Pursuit ST 310 is full of clever design ideas that make her useful for a number of purposes.

The Pursuit ST 310 is not a cruising boat, but she has comfortable, plush seating with arm rests, a huge head compartment, an Isotherm refer, a convertible sun pad, and comes standard with hardtop and isinglass side curtains. She is not a fishing machine, yet she has a livewell, a huge fishbox, lots of rod holders, rod storage and tackle drawers. 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...

Request a brochure

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Captain's Report

Premier Grand Entertainer:
A Bartender Is Optional

Premier 290 Grand Entertainer
Premier’s Grand Entertainer comes in two lengths -- 26’ (7.92 m) and 29' (8.83 m) – and two widths – 8’6" (2.59 m) and 10’0” (3.04 m). Both versions have a large L-shaped bar – Cheers!

The new Premier Grand Entertainer 260 and 290 model PTX tri-toons have an innovative bar constructed in the stern of the boat -- complete with almost everything you need to get into business, except a liquor license. The concept was simple: put a real, working bar on a pontoon boat, complete with everything needed including bar stools and a rack for stemware. Be the first on your lake to have one of these deluxe entertainment centers next season. Order your drink here...

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Shurhold Telescoping
Handle & Brushes


The team at Shurhold tells us that all their handles are made of high-strength, corrosion resistant, lightweight aluminum. We found their SHUR-LOK quick release system locks quickly and easily to more than 40 attachments. We found the telescoping handle provides excellent versatility by locking at different lengths for various needs. Take a look at the video to see the Telescoping Handle and brushes in action.

Allstate Trailering Tips

Captain Steve's
Trailering Tips

Trailering Tips
Trailering your boat sounds simple – and is – IF you follow all of the trailer preparation tips that Capt. Steve recommends.

Being a good boater starts long before you get out on the water. And if you have not properly prepared your trailer rig you may never even make it. Just as airplane pilots walk around their planes checking out control surfaces before they get into the cockpit, so too, should you make a careful check of all the straps, chains, connections, bolts and landing gear on your trailer before you head to the launch ramp. Capt. Steve gives us his take on the best way to prep so that you will not have a costly accident on the road...

Where in the World?

Picture of the Week

Picture of the Week
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The Smart Boating Sleigh
Is Ready to Stop at Your House

Smart Boating
Order your four-disc DVD Box Set today and make your boater the smartest boater in the marina.

With more content than any other boating course, the Smart Boating course makes a perfect gift for the boater in your life. 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 DVD Box Set today and get it in time for the holidays. FITS PERFECT IN A STOCKING. Order here...

Watch the trailer here...

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

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Lesson of the Week

Requirements for Recreational Boater
Take Life Jackets Seriously

Lesson of the Week Smart Boating
Capt. Steve explains requirements for all boaters.

This week Captain Steve examines the five types of life jackets. He takes you through determining which jacket is appropriate for your type of boating. Captain Steve will also explain the legal requirements for boaters and give a quick lesson on determining when it is time to replace your existing jackets. 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 --

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Ducky Award Winner

Ducky Winner

First Place

"First, DOT puts a freeway through the forest, and now this!" - D.SHACK

Second Place

"Wait for me!!! Get me off this Island, there's nothing to eat there..." - C. Neville

Honorable Mention

"Yeah, I might be lost, but at least I'm not riding on a ferryboat called Island Queen." - J. D

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 11/30/11

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