10 Test Videos //15 Boat Reviews // Rules of the Road - 03/14/2012
BoatTEST Newsletter March 14, 2012 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
- Hatteras GT63
- Intrepid 327 Cuddy
- Regal 1900
- Boston Whaler 210 Montauk
- MJM 36z
- Chaparral 244 Xtreme
- Mako 212 Center Console
- Sea-Doo 180 SP
- Hydra-Sports 2300 CC
- Bayliner 197 SD
- Formula 310 FX5
- Glacier Bay 2770
- Meridian 391 Sedan Bridge
- Sun Tracker Fishin' Barge 21
- Sea Hunt Gamefish 25
- Cummins MerCruiser Diesel
- Shurhold Products
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course Now On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Hatteras GT63
Enclosed Flybridge:
40-Knot Flyer
with Carolina Style

Hatteras GT63
The Hatteras GT63 EFB has modernized classic Carolina Outer Banks sportfisherman design and put it in a reliable and luxurious offshore convertible package.

The GT63 EFB is the newest and largest yacht in Hatteras' high-performance GT series and she offers the sophisticated buyer a lot of advantages that can be found nowhere else. The GT63 comes in two versions, one with an open flying bridge and one enclosed as shown above. That is the model we recently tested. This new design maintains the classic features that have made custom Carolina sportfishermen the benchmark in style and performance for big game anglers. But the Hatteras GT63 has a build that goes beyond what can be found on the Outer Banks. She is a fighting machine second to none, but also a comfortable cruising yacht with both speed and long legs if need be. See the full test captain's report...

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New Test

Intrepid 327 Cuddy:
Adding Overnights to the CC

Intrepid 327 Cuddy
The Intrepid 327 Cuddy is built on the same hull as the 327 CC, but with the added bonus of accommodating overnight adventures.

Sometimes the fish are farther away than a day trip, sometimes you just want to go away for the weekend, and sometimes you just want to take a nap while at anchor. Whatever your reason for needing a cabin, you can now get it in the boat that “hits the sweet spot in the center of the Intrepid lineup” … the Intrepid 327 Cuddy. Building on the same hull that was designed to carry the larger 4-stroke engines that owners in this class demand, this 327 Cuddy still allows for the wide-ranging level of customization that Intrepid is so well known for. Let’s take a look at what one owner demanded as we test this new design. More...

Request factory price quote

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New Test Video

Regal 1900:
The Regal Approach to "Entry-Level"

Regal 1900
Calling this boat "entry-level" is probably a bit of a misnomer as she not only has a lot of style but features as well.

We love testing entry-level bowriders, mostly because builders have such a wide ranging idea of what the term entry-level means. At Regal, it means taking the time-proven FasTrac hull, and mating it to a cost-effective platform loaded with features. The result is this new 1900 which we found to be not only a fun boat to drive, but a sporty performer as well. Let's take a look at entry-level from Regal’s viewpoint as we do our full test and performance review. More...

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New Test Video

Boston Whaler 210 Montauk:
The New Flagship of the Montauk Series

Boston Whaler 210 Montauk
Our tests show a best speed of 47 mph and a best cruise of 22 mph while burning only 4.6 gph. That translates into a range of 286 miles.

Boston Whaler has made its Montauk series one better with this new 210 Montauk. You may think of her as a fishing boat, but our tests show that she's got the turning performance and shallow draft that spell family watersports for many people. Our new full test video shows just why this may very well be an ideal crossover boat. Let's go for a ride...

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New Test Video

MJM 36z:
Strength and Elegance

MJM 36z
The MJM 36z has a LOA of 39'4" (12 m), a beam of 11' (3.35 m), and a draft of only 29” (73.7 cm). And she gets well over 2 nmpg right up to 26.3 kn.

The MJM 36z is a flat-out joy to operate. With joystick maneuverability she can easily be docked single-handed and due to her hull being well designed, combined with her relatively light weight, we also found her to be a very fuel-efficient cruising boat. As for just how fuel-efficient she is, and what sort of performance you can expect from a 36z, take a look at our latest test video of this well-built cruiser. More...

Test drive request

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Captain's Report

2012 Chaparral 244 Xtreme:
Maximum Wake Sterndrive

Chaparral 244 Xtreme
The Chaparral 244 Xtreme is one of four Xtreme models in Chaparral’s new 2012 wakeboat lineup. Yes, she is as cool as she looks.

When it comes to specialized wake-making boats, the Chaparral 244 Xtreme is in the top echelon, right up there with the specialized inboard ski/wake models. How could that be? Simply because the 244 Xtreme started with a huge advantage over those classic skiboats designed to have no wake at all -- the 244 has a 20-degree deep-V bottom at the transom which makes a pretty big wake all by itself! Not only that, but the 244 Xtreme has ballast bags just like the specialized boats trying to sink their bottoms down where the 244's deep-V already is. But there is actually more to successful wakeboats than just wake: there is ambiance, throbbing sound, strut, style, and stunning, head-turning looks that lets everyone know who's got the coolest ride on the lake. Find out the right stuff...

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Test Video

Mako 212 Center Console:
Few Frills But Affordable

Mako 212 Center Console
We tested a Mako 212 CC powered by a 225-hp Mercury Verado L6 outboard. Her top speed was 41.0 mph. Best cruise was at 3500 rpm going 24.3 mph, getting 3.19 mpg.

Mako's entry into the 21' class of center consoles is a good, solid, no-frills (but does include recessed trim tabs) boat that has an MSRP price of $49,640 when powered with a 225-hp Mercury Verado like the one we tested. (Not including trailer.) Option it out with a T-top, bow cushions, aft center folding seat, dual-battery rigging, outriggers, compass, portable head and tilt steering and the MSRP is $56,065, plus dealer prep and freight. Powered with a 150-hp Mercury Optimax she is less, of course. Take a look at our test video and captain's report...

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New Boat

2012 Sea-Doo 180 SP:
New Nifty, Thrifty Crossover

Sea-Doo 180 SP
The 180 SP is a new model for Sea-Doo in 2012.

The 180 SP is the smallest in Sea-Doo’s five-boat Sport fleet that includes a 210 and a 230 model. The 180 is designed for first time boat buyers who want a small boat that is forgiving and safe, yet can tow toys and skiers and be run in skinny water. The 180 SP holds 7 passengers and comes in a package that is not going to break the family. Here are the details on the Sea-Doo 180 SP...

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Captain's Report

Hydra-Sports 2300 CC:
Loaded and Ready To Go Offshore

Hydra-Sports 2300 CC
The Hydra-Sports 2300 CC is intended for seasoned offshore anglers and is ready for a blue water fight right out of the box.

The folks at Hydra-Sports know what you need to have aboard to go offshore for game fish and have built it all in as standard on the 2300 CC. This boat is not intended for the beginner who doesn't know if he really wants to go fishing or not, but rather for the veteran angler who has been-there-done-that and now wants to do it right. Powered by either a single 250-hp or 300-hp outboard, the 2300 CC will get out to the fishing grounds quickly, and because of its Carolina bow flare, it should be a very dry ride. Let's take an in-depth look...

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Test Video

Bayliner 197 Sun Deck:
Max Seating in a 19-footer

Bayliner 197 Sun Deck
Capt. Steve demonstrates the convenient storage for water toys in the unusual stern platform of the Bayliner 197 SD.

Deckboats are hot this year and you will not find one on the market quite like the Bayliner 197 SD. First, except for the helm console, the rest of the boat is ringed in seating. Second, she has one of the largest and most innovative stern sections we have seen in class. Being a Bayliner, you know she's affordable to buy, but we found that her operating costs are also quite reasonable. At 3500 rpm, her best cruising speed, she goes 27 mph and gets 4.88 miles per gallon. Find out more...

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Test Video

Formula 310 FX5:
Beauty in Motion

Formula 310 FX5
The Formula 310 FX5 is an express cruiser that is so fast and nimble that she also makes an ideal boat for watersports.

If you want to move up from a sportboat but do not want to leave all of the fun that towing provides, then you might want to consider the Formula 310 FX5. We think that she is an ideal size to make the transition because her cockpit is huge for a 31-footer and has all of the amenities needed for class-A entertaining, yet the she also has the get-up-and-go of a sportboat on steroids. The icing on the cake is the new FX package which we think is one of the coolest concepts on the water. See it all...

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Test Video

Glacier Bay 2770:
A Good Cruising Fishboat

Glacier Bay 2770
The Glacier Bay 2770 is a proven blue water fishing boat with comfortable accommodations below and a huge working cockpit on deck.

If you are having trouble talking your significant other into a new boat for offshore fishing, with maybe a little cruising mixed in, then we suggest that you take her to see the Glacier Bay 2770. We think she will like its large, protected cockpit and her stability both underway and at anchor. Below the 2770 has a large wet head with shower curtain, separating it from the double berth. As we have noted before, Glacier Bays will go through most anything, so snotty weather is not a concern. Find out more...

Request special factory pricing

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Test Video

Meridian 391 Sedan Bridge:
A Capable Family Cruiser

Meridian 391 Sedan Bridge
Whether you want to cruise up the Inside Passage to the Alaska panhandle, through Georgian Bay to the North Channel in Canada, or Downeast to Bar Harbor, Maine, the Meridian 391 Sedan Bridge is a capable twin-cabin cruiser.

We have always liked the Meridian 391 Sedan Bridge because we think she is a fine compromise between size, accommodations, performance, and an affordable price. She has all of the basic features of far larger Meridians but in smaller spaces. She can go nearly anywhere her big sisters might venture, but she can do it for lower operating costs, getting nearly one statute mile per gallon at 19 mph. Best of all, perhaps, is the fact that she does not have the boxy look of some other boats in class. Let's see our captain's video report...

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Features Video

Sun Tracker Fishin' Barge 21:
A Family Fishing Platform

Sun Tracker Fishin' Barge 21
The Sun Tracker Fishin' Barge 21 weighs just over 1800 lbs (830 kgs.) and has an 8'1" (2.46 m) beam which means she is easy to trailer.

The Sun Tracker Fishin' Barge 21 has made quite a name for herself on inland lakes and rivers in the American heartland for being an economical way to get the whole family out on the water for fishing. Put Mom and the girls at one end and the boys (big and small) can fish from the other and there will be peace in the valley. Alternatively, Dad can bring his buddies out for a relaxing day of fishing and fish stories with a cooler full of soda pop. It sounds like good living to us. Find out about this fishing toon...

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Captain's Report

2012 Sea Hunt Gamefish 25:
Loaded with Standard Features

Sea Hunt Gamefish 25
Sea Hunt’s Gamefish 25 is built for comfortable and affordable fishing.

From the Carolina flare at the 60-degree bow to the standard twin outboards off the transom, Sea Hunt’s Gamefish 25 is designed from the keel-up to go offshore.  She is a feature-filled package that should be as comfortable as she is fishable. Perhaps her best feature is a reasonable price which is not the lowest, but far from the highest. More...

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Engine Test

Full Test of the
Cummins MerCruiser Diesel
QSB 5.9 480-hp

Cummins MerCruiser Diesel QSB 5.9 480-hp
The Cummins MerCruiser Diesel QSB 5.9 480 in-line 6 develops 480-hp at 3400 rpm and is one of the most popular marine diesels on the market.

It is not often that we get the chance to test a single diesel engine, as we usually test a pair in a sedan, convertible or express cruiser application. But we tested a single Cummins MerCruiser Diesel QSB 5.9 liter engine powering a 35' center console. This is the same block that has been powering the "Ram Tough" Dodge pick-up trucks since 1989. As a result, it is probably the most famous diesel engine in the U.S. And for years it has been a mainstay in marine propulsion. Let's see why...


Shurhold Snap-Stick:
No More Corroded
Snaps or Zippers

Protect your snaps and zippers with Snap-Stick.

If there is something that all boaters can relate to, it's corrosion. So how about when you go to uncover the boat and you can’t get the snap to unsnap, or you can’t get the zippers to move? (#*?@&#!!) The team at Shurhold has a simple and effective product that can prevent this from happening and keep your language civil. Snap-Stick is designed to keep your snaps and zippers from corroding and also act as a lubricant. Watch a video on the Snap-Stick to see it in action....  

You can get all the info on the product here...

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

BoatTEST.com's Smart Boating DVD Course

Smart Boating
Sometimes it's not what you know, but what you've forgotten.  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 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

Basic Rules of the Road: Part 1

Lesson of the WeekSmart Boating
Capt. Steve brings us the basics.

Capt. Steve covers some of the basic rules of the road in these new lessons which all recreational boaters should be aware of. You’ll learn about lines of demarcation, traveling at safe speeds, how to determine your risk of collision, why one should steer clear of large vessels and who has the right of way. Part 1 is the first installment of a multi-part series on Basic Rules of the Road. These are procedures which all recreational boaters should be aware of. The videos presented this week are part of BoatTEST.com’s 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

“Obviously a tramp steamer.” - R. Davis

Second Place

“Got that fly on the dock. Yum.” - S. Krates

Third Place

“Thank goodness for Polident!” 
- M. Menachem

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 3/14/12

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