Princecraft 206 // Deep Impact 399 // Monte Carlo Yachts 76 // 13 Tests & Reviews - 02/01/2012
BoatTEST Newsletter February 1, 2012 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust
- Sea Ray 210 SLX
- Beneteau Flyer GT 44
- Princecraft Platinum SE 206
- Deep Impact 399
- Monte Carlo Yachts 76
- Back Cove 30
- Chaparral H2O 18 Sport
- Cruisers Yachts 310 Express
- Hydra-Sports 3400 CC
- Four Winns H260
- Meridian 541 Sedan
- Glastron GT 200
- Tracker Pro Guide V-175 WT
- Evinrude 130 H.O. E-TEC
- PowerTech Propellers
- Shurhold Products
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course on DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Sea Ray 210 SLX:
All New with
Premium Features

Sea Ray 210 SLX
In addition to adding a boatload of premium features, Sea Ray's design team also had the task of reducing the noise level.

It was big news at the 2012 NY Boat Show as the all new Sea Ray 210 SLX was unveiled before the waiting crowd, but we got to her first… even before the show opened. What we found was a shining example of Sea Ray's new dedication to premium features. Even the metal flaked color scheme left no doubt that this boat was intended to turn heads, and it certainly turned ours. Let's take a look at what we found before the cover was officially raised. Cue the drum roll...

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Features Video

Beneteau Flyer Gran Turismo 44:
Two Staterooms and European Styling

Beneteau Flyer Gran Turismo 44
The Flyer Gran Turismo 44 is manufactured by Beneteau, a company long known for being on  the cutting edge of change in the boating industry.

Boat building is a constant balance between a limited space and the need to add more components and passenger comforts. At nearly every turn in this GT 44 we saw clever answers to problems all boat designers face in a limited amount of space. In this instance, we're talking about two private staterooms, 7' (2.1 m) high overhead in the salon, and even a tender garage.  It's all in our features video, ready for viewing. More...

Request a test drive

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Captain's Report

Princecraft Platinum SE 206:
Challenging the Competition

Princecraft Platinum SE 206
Built in Quebec, Princecraft aluminum fishing boats such as the Platinum SE 206 are designed to handle the unpredictable weather and water conditions, and the very predictable rocky geography found in Canada.

In our opinion the 2012 Princecraft Platinum SE 206 has earned its right to be at the very top of the list of premium aluminum fishing boats. This boat is loaded with standard features and comfort-making amenities, some of which are rarely seen even on other brands' option lists. With the five-boat Platinum SE series ranging from 17'6" (5.3 m) to 20' (6.1 m), Princecraft has thrown down the gauntlet to its competitors south of the Canadian border. This season, no matter where you live, before buying an aluminum freshwater fishing boat, we think you would do well to see the Princecraft Premium SE 206. Join us here...

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Captain's Report

Deep Impact 399 FS/TE:
Bringing the Fight to the Fish -- Fast!

Deep Impact 399
There are enough amenities on the Deep Impact 399 to keep everyone happy, even if you're not fishing.

Since 1998 Deep Impact has been churning out highly customized boats that are designed to meet the rigors of offshore use by demanding customers. With stepped hulls, a deep-V and ample power they are fast.  Powered by triple 6-cylinder Mercury Verado 350's the 399 can reach speeds in excess of 72 mph. Today we drill down into the latest offering from Deep Impact, the 399. More...

Request a brochure

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New Interior Video

Monte Carlo Yachts 76:
Elegance in Motion

Monte Carlo Yachts 76
The MCY 76 is one of the most stylish Italian designs to be launched in the last couple of years. Be sure to see our new video of her interior.

Design is probably Italy's greatest export, and we think the Monte Carlo Yachts 76 proves the point. Sculpted by the Nuvolari & Lenard design team in Venice, her lines are graceful and her hull and superstructure are well proportioned -- all done with an Italian flare without compromising classic principals of elegant motoryacht design. But if her exterior is stunning, her interior is breath-taking even for jaded connoisseurs of large, expensive motoryachts. Despite all of this, Monte Carlo Yachts is well aware of the times in which we live and has priced this powerful 76 accordingly. Take a video peek inside...

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New Test Video

Back Cove 30:
Cruiser for a Couple

Back Cove 30
At best cruise she has a range of 284 nm, which translates to nearly 2 nm per gallon.

If we had to come up with the ingredients for the ideal couple's cruising boat it would include ample cockpit seating, a comfortable navigator's seat facing forward, opposing seating on the helm deck that easily transforms to a dining area, and an additional dining spot below when there is a chill in the air.  All of these ingredients can be found in the Back Cove 30. Today we do a full test and features review of this Downeast design. More...

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New Test Video

Chaparral H2O 18 Sport:
Taking on the Entry-Level Market

Chaparral H2O 18 Sport
Apparently nobody told Chaparral the price-point boat isn't supposed to have stainless steel rub rails or midships cleats. And that's just scratching the surface of what's not supposed to be on this boat.

Chaparral is not known for making price-point boats, but that mindset is about to change. Now, this builder of higher-end boats is putting the entry-level price point market squarely in its sights and going after it with a vengeance with its new H2O series by including several of the features seen in its higher-priced boats. From what we can see the competition is about to heat up. Let's take a look as we test this first entry into this new four-boat lineup for Chaparral, the H2O 18 Sport. More...

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New Video

Cruisers Yachts 310 Express:
First Class Build and Function

Cruisers Yachts 310 Express
With a LOA of 31'3" (9.53 m) and a beam of 10' (3.05 m) we found the 310 Express to be roomy enough for a party of 4 to live together comfortably.

At the end of the workweek, what could be better than heading to the beach house for the weekend and unwinding? Well, how about if that beach house could be moved from place to place? Even better would be if that weekend getaway had a range of 158 miles. That sounds like an ideal scenario to us and our tests have shown that that's exactly what the Cruisers Yachts 310 Express brings to the table. Let's head out for a ride...

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Test Video

Hydra-Sports 3400 CC:
Focused on Fishing

Hydra-Sports 3400 CC
With the tower, the Hydra-Sports 3400 CC has a top speed of 54.7 mph when powered by triple 300-hp V-6 four-stroke engines.

The team at Hydra-Sports tells us that the 3400 CC was born out of a design need to focus on fishing in big water. Our test demonstrated that this model performs well and offers the key fishing features demanded by serious offshore fishermen. Even with a focus on fishing, the designers managed to make a boat that, in our opinion, looks as good as she functions. More...

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New Video

New Four Winns H260:
Roomy and Stylish Bowrider

Four Winns H260
We spied this latest version of the H260 at the New York Boat Show and took a closer look with the video camera rolling.

We've come to expect some innovations in new Four Winns boats, and the H260 did not disappoint. You'll also be able to configure your H260 to exactly the type of boating you intend to as there are no less than 15 power options offered on this boat. Let's step aboard and take a look at the features of this latest version of the H260. More...

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Test Video

Meridian 541 Sedan:
Comfortable Coastal Cruiser

Meridian 541 Sedan
On a blustery day we put the Meridian 541 through her paces and the "Test Results" chart tells part of the tale. But there is more -- much more -- to learn about this capable yacht.

The Meridian 541 Sedan is the flagship of the Meridian fleet and she has a lot going for her, including price. Most notable is her forward, raised saloon, her aft galley, Zeus pod drives and single helm on the flying bridge. This three stateroom, two-head yacht has the stones to go offshore as well as the room and amenities to entertain handsomely during sunset cruises close to home. Learn more...

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New Video

New Glastron GT 200:
A Retro Look to a New Bowrider

Glastron GT200
With her bright red hull and good looking sharp angles the GT 200 is like a trip down Memory Lane.

Like a classic Corvette, some looks are simply timeless. Such is the case with the new Glastron GT 200. She has all the features that shout retro, but with all of the latest internal materials and equipment.  In addition she has a high freeboard and a color-matched painted trailer. She's part of the celebration of Glastron's 55th year in business. Let's take a look at the features as we do a walkthrough of this retro beauty. More...

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Test Video

Tracker Pro Guide V-175 WT:
A Versatile Mid-Size Dual-Console

Tracker Pro Guide V-175 WT
Our tests show that the V-175 WT has a range of 176 miles at a best cruise speed of 22.4 mph. While you may not be stretching her legs that far, you will be able to get in more trips before re-fueling.

There are several things that we find on the V-175 that make her a versatile boat. First is the walk-through windshield that adds protection from the chilly days of the shoulder seasons. Then there's the 20-degree deadrise at the transom, the same that we see in high-end fiberglass bowriders. And let's not forget her lightweight. At 1,385 lbs (628.2 kg) she can be trailered by just about anything with four wheels. And Tracker puts it all together in a ready-to-go package at a good price. Let's take a look at the full test and review video and see just how much you get in that package. More...

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Test Video

Evinrude 130 H.O. E-TEC:
Outperforms Every Other 130-hp Outboard

Evinrude 130 H.O. E-TEC
We tested the E-TEC 130 H.O. on a Carolina Skiff DLV 218 Elite with a test weight of just over 3,300 lbs (1497 kg).

That headline makes a pretty bold statement but it's an accurate one, as no other outboard manufacturer makes a 130-hp outboard. So why does Evinrude bother? Because they correctly realized that this engine can offer so many more possibilities over larger four-stroke engines. Its lightweight allows a lower CG and two 130s can easily replace a single 250 offering better redundancy for offshore work.  Let's put her through a full test and see exactly how this 130-hp workhorse fares. More...

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Shurhold  Products:
Clean-N-Simple Videos

Shurhold Products

Shurhold is launching an online video series called Clean-N-Simple Tips. Here boat owners can quickly and easily find video tips on how to clean and care for their vessels. Each tip will be based on a question asked by boaters like you. So visit Shurhold to ask your cleaning question and to sign up to be notified when this video series goes live. You have a chance to win a $500 Detailer's Dream Pack with every thing you need to clean and care for your boat, just for signing up.

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.

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...


How To Discover
Prop Problems

If you were disappointed in your boat's performance this summer now is the time to start finding a solution for next season.

When you are on plane does your bow seem too high? Is your stagnation line too far forward at max power? Is your boat lethargic out of the hole? Are you unable to reach the rated max rpms for your engines? All of these and many more boat performance defects may well be caused by your wheels. Our first go-to place when we have questions about disappointing performance is PowerTech!. The folks there are courteous, incredibly knowledgeable, and good-humored. They've seen it all before. The best news of all is that correcting a prop is the cheapest performance fix there is. Watch our video of Capt. Rob and PowerTech! president Steve Powers discussing possible prop problems...

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

Capt. Steve's "Smart Boating" Lessons:
Nautical Terms

Lesson of the Week Smart Boating
Capt. Steve will have you speaking like Captain Kidd in no time.

In this week’s lessons Captain Steve goes over some basic nautical terms of boating. While looking at a boat from above, Captain Steve will take you through terminology that will make any new boater seem like an old salt. The seven videos presented this week are part of Captain Steve’s USCG-approved boating course called “Smart Boating.” Watch these videos every week on and become an armchair expert. 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

“Frank thought it was strange that Bass Pro Shops offered colonoscopies, but the price was too good to pass up!” – J. Mccauley

Second Place

“Yep, she's definitely a 15 degree deadrise. If I squeeze a little more we should get her to 17.” – B. Me

Third Place

“When you said you snagged it on a tree, I assumed you meant in the water.”
– D. Campbell

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On Here?

WIGOH 2/1/12

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