Robalo 180 // Crownline 235 // Riviera 51 // 15 Tests & Reviews - 02/08/2012
BoatTEST Newsletter February 8, 2012 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust
- Pursuit ST310
- Cypress Cay Cayman 250
- Formula 350 FX6
- Robalo R180
- Monte Carlo Yachts 76
- Boston Whaler 230 Dauntless
- Crownline 235 SS
- Jeanneau Leader 10
- World Cat 320 CC
- Volvo Penta D4
- Regal 24 FasDeck
- MJM 40z
- Hydra-Sports 23 Bay Bolt
- Yamaha 212 SS
- Riviera 51 Convertible
- Cobalt 276
- Yanmar 6BY2-260Z
- Shurhold Products
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course on DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Pursuit ST310:
Premium Features Defined
In New Video

Pursuit ST310
There are a lot of premium features in the ST 310 and today we take a video look at some of them.

When it comes to premium hardware and installations, there are some builders that try to do it and some builders that succeed at it. Knowing what to look for can help you tell the difference.  Today we take a look at some examples in an up-market fishboat, the Pursuit ST310. If you've ever wondered why some boats cost more than others, some of the best examples are right here in this video. So show me...

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Test Video

Cypress Cay Cayman 250:
Now With Sporty Handling

Cypress Cay Cayman 250
Cypress Cay is well known for its upscale pontoon boats, but now they've gone one step further to address the performance.

We love an upscale pontoon boat, and Cypress Cay certainly does a good job of creating them. Adding sporty performance to a luxurious toon makes the package come together in a way that appeals to more people. Cypress Cay does it with their T3 package that consists of a center tube with performance features. To find out how well it works, we put the 250 through a full test and definitely found some performance characteristics that were impressive.  Let's take a look...

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New Review Video

Formula 350 FX6:
Next in the High-End Series

Formula 350 FX6
This panel certainly exemplifies a lot of what the FX series is about. Even for an upscale brand, this model is on a higher level.

Formula's FX series was designed to add a new level of high-end styling to an already premium brand. The models are being released one at a time, and the latest iteration is this new 350 FX6, 35' (10.7 m) of pure luxury that will have you leading the pack in dock envy. While we haven't hit the water in this new model yet, we did manage to catch our first glimpse at the New York Boat Show. So today we'll take a look at some of the highlights of what make this upscale brand outdo itself. More...

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New Test Video

New Robalo R180:
A New Affordable Center Console

Robalo R180
The R180 has a relatively high freeboard which adds to the feeling of security that the great handling characteristics provide.

Robalo's new R180 is the company's latest entrance into the affordable center console market. So while we found her to be reasonably priced, we also wanted to find out if there were any sacrifices made, particularly in the handling and performance. To make that determination we took her on a full test.  More...

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New Exterior Video

Monte Carlo Yachts 76:
Yacht of the Decade?

Monte Carlo Yachts 76
The Monte Carlo Yachts 76 has the most creative entertainment platform that we have seen on a yacht in this class.

Monte Carlo Yachts 76 Monte Carlo Yachts 76
The aft deck is huge, comfortably seats eight for dinner and the table raises and lowers automatically to convert into a cocktail table or support for a sunpad. Forward there are two tables that raise for lunch or cocktails and lower for expanded sunpads, allowing this area to be used for three purposes.
The Monte Carlo Yachts 76 is an extraordinary motoryacht. Designed and built in Italy, she incorporates most of the cleverest innovations developed in this class during the last decade, and then does them all one better by adding some new twists of her own. She is a three-ring circus of external entertainment venues, but also a comfortable long-distance cruising yacht with oceanic legs at displacement speeds. During the last two years she has won eight European awards, including European boat of the year two years running. That is why has made an unprecedented third video of this yacht, this one focusing on just the external entertaining areas of the boat. Cue video #3...

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New Review Video

Boston Whaler 230 Dauntless:
Focused On Family and Fishing

Boston Whaler 230 Dauntless
While this new 230 Dauntless may have excellent fishing capabilities we find that the focus is definitely on family fun.

After taking a close inspection of the new 230 Dauntless it became very clear to us that, in addition to the traditional keen angler, this boat has a new target audience. We found so many family-friendly features on this boat, that we think most boating families would love to join dad on his fishing trips.  And when he is not fishing, the 230 Dauntless makes a comfortable boat for cruising or just "messing about."  Take a look at this new features video and you'll see what we mean. From the New York Boat Show...

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Captain's Report

New 2012 Crownline 235 SS:
A Feature-Packed Bowrider

Crownline 235 SS
Brand new for 2012, Crownline’s 235 SS bowrider model is making its debut at boat shows this month.

The Crownline 235 SS is a bowrider designed to give watersports enthusiasts what they have been asking for. She's packed with useful features and lots of standard equipment. While there is nothing major that is different about the boat, every important detail has been well-executed and we are impressed. Take a look here and see if you agree...

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Captain's Report

Jeanneau Leader 10:
Shaking Up the 30-Something Express Market

Jeanneau Leader 10
The 30'-40' (9-12 m) express cruiser range is one of the most competitive in boating. Builders planning to compete in that arena better bring something more to the table than just being "new".

Jeanneau's Leader series is a three-boat line-up aimed squarely at the 29' to 36' express cruiser market. The Leader 10 (35' 6'' LOA) is the largest in that line-up and it brings to the table the classic Jeanneau use of space, and huge amounts of natural light throughout. She's also heavy on form and function, rather than fluff.  It's in this manner that Jeanneau is able to keep the price of the build down and transfer the savings to the customer, making it one of the most competitively-priced brands around. Let's take a look onboard...

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Features Video

World Cat 320 CC:
The Myth-Busting Episode

World Cat 320 CC
Say what you want about cats but we found them to be among the best handling boats offshore.

While we work hard to judge a boat strictly on its merits, outside of the offices a battle rages on between rabid mono-hull and catamaran fans. Not surprisingly, the most vocal critics come from the mono-hull folks.  Today we put to the test one of the most well-worn claims against catamarans. The platform is the World Cat 320 CC. Find out what we discovered...

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Test Video

Volvo Penta D4:
Versatility Makes It a Popular Choice

Volvo Penta D4
The D4 was designed from the outset as a marine engine. In other words, it is not like most marine diesels which were originally designed for trucks and then refitted for marine use.

If versatility is the key to success, then it's small wonder that the D4 is such a popular engine. It comes in power ranging from 225- to 300-hp, it can be fitted to either a DPS sterndrive, IPS 350 or 400 pods, or a straight shaft inboard.  To see just what kind of stones this popular engine has we put it through a full test.  The test boat...a 15,400 lb (6985 kg) twin with sterndrive joystick...

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Captain's Report

Regal 24 FasDeck RX:
Regal's Newest Deckboat

Regal 24 FasDeck
The Regal 24 FasDeck is all-new for 2012, and we went to Regal's home grounds to test this exciting new launch.

Regal Boats has taken its FasTrac hull design and combined it with an all-new deckboat cockpit layout to provide the best of both worlds. On a recent test we found the 24 FasDeck to be just as roomy as it was sporty to handle. With an innovative aft sun lounge and arena seating this boat can handle crowds aboard and watersports with ease.  We recently tested the RX version which includes the Power Tower and sport hull side graphics. Let's take a look at the full report....

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New Test Video

MJM Yachts 40z:
Dayboat for 12 or Cruiser for 2

MJM Yachts 40z
Bob Johnstone of J-Boats fame and designer Doug Zurn have created an elegant, fuel-efficient performer.

Our tests show that the 40z has an average top speed of 40.2 kts while burning only 44 gph. Best cruise is linear so dial in whatever speed feels comfortable, secure in the knowledge that it is an extremely efficient speed. Such efficiency results from the designers' background and an effective balance between power and hull geometry. Additionally, the advanced manufacturing techniques, engineered foam core, and epoxy construction make this boat very light by comparison. With the Volvo IPS pods and joystick controls, handling was excellent underway and in close quarters. Come along on a test ride...

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Test Video

Hydra-Sports 23 Bay Bolt:
Versatility and Stability

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

Boaters tell us they are looking for versatility when they fish in skinny water and stability in an open bay. After we tested the Hydra-Sports 23 Bay Bolt we think we found a boat that meets these needs. With her long list of fishing features, we had more than a good time testing this rig. And with a huge 300-hp engine hanging off the transom, she didn’t exactly waste our time getting to the testing grounds. We took a very close look at this model from bow to stern as well as driving her as hard as we could. More...

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Test Video

Yamaha 212 SS:
21' (6.4 m) of Adrenaline Rush

Yamaha 212 SS
Top speed for the Yamaha 212 SS is 56.0 mph (90.1 kph), burning 25.1 gallons per hour or 95 liters per hour.

The Yamaha 212 SS is the culmination of everything that Yamaha has learned about sportboats, all packed into a 21' (6.4 m) package that leaves little to be desired in its handling characteristics or it's functional layout. If you slam the throttles home make sure everyone is hanging on because you'll reach planing speed in just over 2 seconds and accelerate through 30 miles an hour in 2 more. And it doesn't end there...

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Captain's Report

Riviera 51 Convertible:
Open Or Enclosed Flying Bridge

Riviera 51 Convertible
The Riviera 51 Convertible has more significant versions than any boat in class: two engines or three, pod drives or conventional shafts, enclosed or open.

We think that a 50’ convertible is an ideal size and type boat for most any activity offshore: cruising, fishing, entertaining, diving, and just hanging out with the family. And she’s just big enough to use as a waterfront summer cottage. There are about eight 50’ production convertibles made by major builders, but none have more significant options than the Riviera 51 Convertible. See what we mean...

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Features Video

Cobalt 276:
Custom Look and Feel

Cobalt 276
The sleek lines of the Cobalt 276 only hint at the luxury and comfort that the interior offers.

Cobalt has been known for beautiful designs and luxury appointments in all of its models for many years. Our review of the 276 proves this is still true. When researching boats of this size in the premium price range, it is not often easy to see where the added costs are applied.  But in our opinion, the Cobalt 276 clearly shows this in the rich materials, design, and excellent fit-and-finish.  See why we think so in this review video...

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Features Video

Yanmar 6BY2-260Z:
Diesel-Powered Sterndrive

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...


Pro Polish from Shurhold

This PWC still has a showroom luster after a week of use and several washes; all we did was towel dry.

When the team at Shurhold told us that their Pro Polish was “Better than an old fashioned wax” and one of the reasons was that it is a Shurhold Pro Polish“polymer based formula with cosmetic grade ingredients,” we just had to send it to our skunk works for testing. The results: when applying we could see swirl marks and water spots disappear, and when buffed out, the resulting finish looked just as advertised, a nice deep luster with a showroom shine. But that was not enough, so after a week of use and four washings, with only drying the surface, we took a picture. We’d say this passed the test. Get complete product information here...

Buy any bottle of Pro Polish and receive 10% off
Use coupon code: BT10 at check out

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

Negligent Boat Operation Is a Federal Crime

Lesson of the Week Smart Boating
Capt. Steve says if you boat smart you avoid all penalties of poor judgment!

In this week's lesson, Capt. Steve points out some examples of what boating negligence is and the penalties you face. The obvious lesson here is that if you practice smart boating you avoid all penalties of poor judgment. There is also a helpful video on what to do if the authorities stop you. The videos presented this week are part of Captain Steve’s USCG-approved boating course called “Smart Boating.”  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

“She still thinks it's a Lexus! “ - S. Smith

Second Place

“Wait until she finds out it's only a 40' bass boat!” - A. Baum

Third Place

“Mars needs women. I have cleverly disguised my alien ship as a boat.”
- P. Bartock

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WIGOH 2/8/12

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