Sea-Doo 230 Wake // Kawasaki 300LX // Regal 35 // 13 Tests & Reviews - 01/25/2012
BoatTEST Newsletter January 25, 2012 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust
- Sea-Doo 230 Wake
- World Cat 320 EC
- Beneteau Flyer GT 38
- Chaparral 226 SSi
- Cruisers Yachts 540 SC
- Kawasaki Jet Ski Ultra 300LX
- Rinker 216 Captiva
- Mako 234 Center Console
- Formula 350 Sun Sport
- Bennington 2275 RCW
- Bayliner 255 SB
- Yamaha FZR
- Regal 35 Sport Coupe
- ZF 2800 Single Pod Drive
- Shurhold Products
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course on DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Sea-Doo 230 Wake: Important New Features

Sea-Doo 230 Wake
The 230 Wake model from Sea-Doo offers plenty of space for fellow watersports enthusiasts and two power options to fuel the fun.

The Sea-Doo 230 Wake model for 2012 is armed with several new features that should make serious wake dudes take notice. Probably most important is the fact that the 230 Wake has an additional 400-lbs. (181.8 kgs) of ballast, bringing the total to 1400 lbs. (636 kgs.) possible in three hard tanks. There is a new standard 7" touch screen that handles many onboard functions including a standard chartplotter, and "Docking Mode" which limits the rpm to 3500 and gives the driver much more control in close-quarters maneuvering. How about a heater? How about an intake grate that de-weeds itself? Jump this wake...

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Captain's Report

World Cat 320 EC:
Form Allows Many Functions

World Cat 320 EC
If you've ever taken green water over the deck offshore, then you know the importance of being in a boat that you have confidence in. The World Cat 320 EC is designed to take it.

For years powercats seemed to be the solely focused on offshore sportfishing, but in the last several years that has been changing, and World Cat has been leading that evolution. Now many boats in its line are much more "family friendly," which means there are more amenities and creature comforts, and they are less a "boys-only" sort of tree house. The World Cat 320 EC is a blend of room, fuel economy, range, stability and as you can see in the photo above -- good sea-keeping abilities. Let's take a look at this noteworthy vessel...

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Test Video

Beneteau Flyer Gran Turismo 38:
The Air Step Difference

Beneteau Flyer Gran Turismo 38
The Flyer GT 38 has some of the most impressive handling characteristics of all of the boats that we've tested in her class.

Beneteau's Flyer line of boats has demonstrated that its design team gets the concept of creative use of interior space. But our testing has shown that the GT 38's new Air Step hull has the right stuff as far as performance goes as well.  Unlike a normal stepped hull which usually adds only 1.0 to 1.5 knots more speed at WOT, the Flyer Gran Turismo 38's Air Step hull gives her faster times to plane and obviously improves turning performance -- you can actually feel and see the difference.  Now boarding...

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New Test Video

Chaparral 226 SSi:
Combining Performance and Style

Chaparral 226 SSi
Even from this vantage point, you can see some of the upscale features such as the Wide Tech bow, ss docking lights, and engine vents.

Once stepping aboard the 226 SSi, the first thing that caught our eye was the clearly visible comfort level, but that turned out to be just the frosting on the cake.  The planing performance of the new Chaparral 226 SSi is outstanding: we measured a time to plane of only 2.6 seconds and a 0-30 time of 6.7 seconds.  Top speed was 54.4 mph powered by a 300-hp 5.7L engine with Bravo III drives.  Let's hop aboard with the test video...

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New Test Video

Cruisers Yachts 540 Sports Coupe:
A Cruiser with Distinction

 Cruisers Yachts 540 Sports Coupe
The Cruisers Yachts 540 is a refined lady ready for long distance cruising or weekend entertaining.

This week we take a completely different video look at the Cruisers Yachts 540. Our Capt. Steve not only puts this large express cruiser through her paces, but he also explores the cockpit, helm and topsides from bow to stern. The 540 is the second largest yacht in the Cruisers Yachts fleet and is all the boat many yachtsmen will ever need. Jump aboard...

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Captain's Report

Kawasaki Jet Ski Ultra 300LX:
300 Horses Under the Saddle

Kawasaki Jet Ski Ultra 300LX
Ride, Sally, Ride. With a 300-hp supercharged 1498 cc engine under the tandem seat of this Kawasaki 300LX there should be plenty of thrills for both him and her.

With a bore and stroke of 83 x 69.2 mm sucking in intercooled, supercharged air rammed through two valves in each of its four inline cylinders, the Kawasaki 300LX has to be one of the hottest PWCs at any beach. That engine driving a stainless steel oval edge 3-blade impeller forcing water through a 160 mm nozzle develops 1,769 pounds of thrust, according to the builder. And that's just the warm-up. Grab more here...

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Test Video

New Rinker 216 Captiva:
Affordable -- And Fast -- Bowrider

Rinker 216 Captiva
Kids and dogs love to sit in the bow of a bowrider. The Rinker 216 Captiva has room for both, but the real cool stuff is behind the windshield.

The 216 Captiva is Rinker’s response to customers who asked for “more space, more storage” in the popular 20-foot-plus bowrider category. Offered in sterndrive only, the Captiva’s new-for-2012 hull is designed to get optimal performance from the standard 220-hp MerCruiser 4.3 Alpha One drive while offering WOT speeds approaching 50 mph and the ability to remain on plane at relatively low rpms. That is impressive, and so is its MSRP which can be as low as $30,999 with the 4.3 L engine. More...

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Test Video

Mako 234 Center Console:
Making the Move to Twins

Mako 234 Center Console
At 23'4" (7.11 m) the Mako 234 is a nice size to trade up into while providing the backup power that only twins can bring.

When it's time to head offshore, you may want to start thinking about a boat that can offer the redundancy of twin engines.  Mako's 234 CC has them in an affordable package.  To see how she performed, we tested her with a pair of 150-hp Mercury Verado 4-strokes and she not only reached good top-end speeds, but had a range of over 400 miles at best cruise. That should get you out and back to most places. More...

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Test Video

Formula 350 Sun Sport:
She Speaks For Herself

Formula 350 Super Sport
This freeze-frame from our test video attests to the vessel's performance. What is not so easy to measure is her superb handling, which we rate among the best in class.

The Formula 350 SS is much more than a hot dog in shiny Imron paint. The fact is that she is a versatile day boat that has a large cockpit for entertaining and a cozy bow settee below for dinner for four. With a mid cabin, she can be pressed into overnight duty for a long weekend for two couples or a family. Put an optional generator in her and you have a boat for the tropics as well as northern latitudes. That's just the beginning...

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Captain's Report

Bennington 2275 RCW:
Tri-Toon with Charisma

Bennington 2275 RCW
The LOA of the Bennington 2275 RCW is actually 24'1" (7.34 m) because of the deck overhang. The toons themselves are 22'6" (6.85 m) long. The beam is 8'6" (2.59 m) for trailering.

Bennington's 2275 RCW tri-toon is designed for all kinds of watersports activities. A major feature that sets this vessel apart from others on the market in class is her 32" (80 cm) center tube which is elliptical. This adds buoyancy which has lots of benefits including allowing her to carry two additional people over the number allowed for a conventional tri-toon with a 25" center tube. Find out more...

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Test Video

Bayliner 255 SB:
Economical Weekend Cruising

Bayliner 255 SB
At 25'1" (7.64 m) LOA this cruiser represents the ideal first cruiser for those moving up from bowriders.

It's nice that in troubled times we can still find an affordable cruiser that lives up to the demands of budget-conscious consumers. Bayliner's 255 SB has all the speed we were looking for (41.5 mph WOT), the best-cruise range to make the most of the weekend (158 statute miles), but most of all is the continuing ability to perform like a ballerina at the dock (with a single engine). All of this is shown in our test video of Bayliner's newest entry into affordable cruising.  More...

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Yamaha Racing

World Champ Racer Returns
To Ride Yamaha FZR

Dustin Farthing
Dustin Farthing (left) is being congratulated by Scott Watkins, Yamaha Watercraft Racing Director, for joining the forces with Yamaha on the PWC race circuit.

Multi-time IJSBA World and National champion Dustin Farthing is returning to the Yamaha motorsports family, after an absence of nearly 10 years. This is big news on the PWC racing circuit because Farthing is arguably the biggest name in the game and he has chosen the Yamaha FZR as his new, exclusive ride. Further, multi-time world and national champion riders Ryan Hardwick and Tim Neff have joined Farthing's race team on the FZRs for 2012 as well. More...

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Test Video

Regal 35 Sport Coupe:
Good-Handling Is the Key Feature

Regal 35 Sport Coupe
Powered by twin Volvo Penta 5.7 L engines the new Regal 35 Sport Coupe performs admirably and handles just as well, says our captain.

The 35 Sport Coupe is the fourth in Regal's Sport Coupe line (the others are the 52, 46 and 42). As you can see, the 35 SC has an angular profile. Her single-level enclosed cockpit can be air-conditioned and heated and a sliding hardtop is built in.  Best of all, the skipper can stand at the helm and see out.  Below there is a mid cabin, seating spaces and a compact, but well-equipped galley. She is designed for a cruising couple or small family who combine lots of dayboating with the occasional weekend cruise. Start here...

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Test Video

ZF Single Pod Drive Has Outstanding Performance

ZF 2800 Single Pod Drive
Our Capt. Steve puts the test boat into a steep turn during our sea trials of the new ZF single pod drive. Key numbers above are the WOT and best cruise speeds and the 675 statute-mile range at 32.1 mph.

The efficiency of pod drives has been pretty well proved in most applications over the years but a single pod had never been tried -- until last year.'s captain was one of the first people on the test vessel, a SeaVee 340 center console powered by a single Cummins QSB 5.9 480-hp diesel driving aft-facing, counter-rotating props on a ZF pod. Getting 2.14 mpg at best cruise gave the boat prodigious range. Equally as compelling was the fact that a bow thruster and the pod could be controlled by a ZF joystick making docking just as easy as with twin pods. Read all about it...


Shurhold Dual Action Polisher: Sturdy and Effective

Shurhold Products
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 feature 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...

Buy a Shurhold Dual Action Polisher and get a 3 Buffing Pad Combo Pack for FREE a $38 Value.
Enter Coupon code: BTP at check out.
Offer Expires 1/31/12

Visit Shurhold to order...

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 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 here...

Watch the trailer...

Visit us on Facebook and "like" us to see the latest, plus some behind the scenes looks.

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Lesson of the Week

Requirements for Recreational Boaters:
Inflatable Life Jackets

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

This week Captain Steve examines inflatable life vests in detail. He walks you through the benefits of this type of vest and demonstrates how to check indicators, perform maintenance and how to manually inflate your vest. The videos presented this week are part of’s USCG-approved Boating Course. 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

“This is great with California gone! Left to Nevada or right to Arizona?” 
- J. Vandervort

Second Place

“Next thing you know there'll be school zone signs for the fish.” - R. Davis

Third Place

“Why couldn't they just put in a roundabout?” - S. Frimer

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 1/25/12

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