Bayliner 16 // Regal 28 // Rampage 41 // Riviera 53 // 13 Reviews - 03/28/2012
BoatTEST Newsletter March 28, 2012 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust
- Hatteras GT63
- Chaparral 330 Signature
- Beneteau Flyer GT 34
- Bayliner 160 OB
- Formula 45 Yacht
- Four Winns H260
- World Cat 255 DC
- Regal 28 Express
- Riviera 53 Enclosed Flybridge
- Mako Pro 17 Skiff CC
- Rampage 41 Express
- Sea Ray 330 Sundancer
- Scout 187 Sportfish
- Carolina Skiff Fun Chaser 2200
- Yanmar 8LV-370
- Shurhold Products
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Hatteras GT63:
A Gentleman's
Carolina Flyer

Hatteras GT63
The Hatteras GT63 is a remarkable convertible and there is nothing on the market like her. Watch the new video...

When we tested the Hatteras GT63 after the recent Miami Boat Show we were pleased to discover a convertible that while at first glimpse looked like others on the market, upon close inspection was actually quite different.  Her design is based on decades of experience of Outer Banks boat builders used to making fast, economical boats that could travel to the continental shelf and back in pursuit of big game. Add to that Hatteras' systems reliability and incomparable build quality and you have a boat that can successfully challenge anything on the water in class. Did we say she has an WOT of 40.2 knots? It is all in the new video...

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Captain's Report

Chaparral 330 Signature:
A Remarkable Express Cruiser

Chaparral 330 Signature
The new 330 Signature Cruiser from Chaparral has the utility of a 40-footer packed into a boat with an LOA of just 33’6” and a beam of 10’6”.

Chaparral offers a true hardtop express cruiser with the new 330 Signature.  Cruising canvas comes standard.  The 330 has two layout options for the cabin which allows you to match your style of boating with the interior design. The boat is capable of sleeping up to five and entertaining twice as many with amenities that include a full galley, wet bar, barbecue grill and a power sunpad aft. Read on for details...

View full specifications

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New Video

Beneteau Flyer Gran Turismo 34:
Sport Coupe with Sportboat Handling

Beneteau Flyer Gran Turismo 34
With twin 200-hp Volvo Penta D3 diesels the Flyer Gran Turismo 34 has a best cruise of 28.3 mph with a range of 205 miles.

The design team at Beneteau set out to create a compact cruiser that combines a sport coupe design with sportboat handling in the Flyer Gran Turismo 34. She makes an ideal step up from day boating because she is such an easy boat to handle, and with sterndrive joystick maneuverability she can be docked like a pro.  Her Air Step hull is a real plus and is exclusive.  See our full test and performance review video.  More...

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Test Video

Bayliner 160 OB:
Big Things in a Little Package

Bayliner 160 OB
The Bayliner 160 OB makes an easy boat to take on vacation because she is light and compact.

Our test of this starter boat showed a surprisingly good handling ride that was a pleasure to operate. We always have to consider a boat in this class as one that you would allow the kids or grandkids to operate, and with that in mind we had a lot of opinions on how she would treat these newbies. It’s all in our performance review of the latest fun ride from Bayliner.  More...

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New Test

Formula 45 Yacht:
The Formula Flagship

Formula 45 Yacht
Whenever we see the gin-clear waters of the Bahamas we think of Formula. The classy 45 Yacht belongs there and she is an ideal vessel for these tropical waters that can get rough between islands.

There's so much going on in the Formula 45 Yacht that it's hard to know where to begin. She easily transitions between distance cruising, weekending for two couples or a small family, and entertaining a crowd for docktails and hors d'oeuvres. She's flat-out one of the most comfortable boats we've driven and the fit and finish, as with all Formula boats, is top-tier. And, of course, she is a status symbol extraordinaire. See our new test and captain's report...

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Review Video

Four Winns H260:
Classy and Spacious

Four Winns H260
You'll be able to configure your H260 to exactly the type of boating you intend to do as there are no less than 15 power options offered.

Four Winns is well-known for providing innovation, space, and style to its boats and this H260 is a continuation of that trend. We found her to be well laid out with comfortable features that will keep you on the water longer, and that translates to a better value for your money. Let’s go ahead and take a look at the details on our full features walk-through video. More...

Have a specific question? Call the builder direct: 231.775.1343

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New Test Video

World Cat 255 DC:
An Offshore Dual Console on Steroids

World Cat 255 DC
It may not look it, but this boat is going over 30 mph and creating a minimal wake. Such is the life of a World Cat.

World Cat's most successful model has historically been the 250 DC and with good reason: She has the roominess of a deckboat, stability of a pontoon boat, the cockpit space of an express fishboat, and the sea-keeping ability of… well, nothing in this size range. But that doesn't mean that the 250 DC can't be improved upon and World Cat did exactly that with the new 255 DC. This model adds 25% more cockpit space, mixes in the walk-through transom making this a capable dive boat, has room on the helm console for a 12” (30.5 cm) inch screen and much more. See the new video...

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New Test Video

Regal 28 Express:
Cruising with a Noble Pedigree

Regal 28 Express
Her top speed of 41.2 mph and best cruise of 30.4 make the Regal 28 Express an easy ride to like.  See the new video...

There’s no doubt that Regal’s latest pocket cruiser is one sharp-looking boat. She’s also a sharp ride, a feature that we discovered during out latest test. Our test captain ran her through her paces and came away with a resurgence of respect for how Regal boats handle, and this 28 Express has a lot to offer to keep your guests comfortable for a weekend getaway. See how she ran...

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New Review Video

Riviera 53 Enclosed Flybridge:
A World-Class Convertible

Riviera 53
We caught our glimpse of the Riviera 53 EFB as she was drawing crowds at the Miami International Boat Show.

For two years the design team at Riviera scoured the globe looking for feedback on what boaters want in a boat and, how they use their boats. Armed with this information, they sat down at the drafting board with a clean sheet of paper and drew out what may be one of the most intelligently designed cruisers on the market. There are clever adaptations and use of space at every turn.  The fit and finish is equally outstanding. If you're into choices, then you'll like her power options: twins, triples, straight shafts, V-drives, forward facing pods, or aft facing pods. Let’s take a video tour...

Request a sea trial

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Test Video

Mako Pro 17 Skiff CC:
Everyman's Boat

Mako Pro 17 Skiff CC
The Mako Pro 17 Skiff CC has a 10-degree deadrise at the transom and a hull that is designed for max stability. Our test boat was powered by a 60-hp Mercury.

If you have wanted to get out on protected water but thought you couldn't afford it, your ship might have just come in. The Pro 17 Skiff CC has what Tracker Marine calls a "no haggle, no hassle" national price of $13,595, including a 30-hp Mercury 4-stroke EFI engine and a trailer. We are firm believers that getting out on the water is the important part, and for many people the Pro 17 Skiff CC is all they need, so why spend any more? Find out how she performed...

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Test Video

Rampage 41:
A Battle-Ready Express

Rampage 41 Express
We tested the Rampage 41 in blustery weather on the edge of the Gulf Steam in 4- to 6-foot seas. We found her to be brawny offshore and a ballerina at the dock.

The Rampage 41 Express was designed for the rigors of the tempestuous waters off the American East Coast. To that end she has the widest beam in class at 16' (4.87 m) and displaces 30,000 lbs. (13,636 kgs.) both of which give her stability and the beef needed to bash through sloppy conditions. Her cockpit is a battle station second to none and rivals those in far larger boats. We consider her to be the boat to beat in class. Find out why...

Request a sea trial

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Captain's Report

Sea Ray 330 Sundancer:
Trade-Up Express Cruiser

Sea Ray 330
The Sea Ray 330 Sundancer has a 10'5" (3.18 m) beam and weighs 14,000 lbs. (6,350 kgs.) dry.

Because there are so many Sea Ray sportboats on the water it is little wonder that a large contingent of these owners want to move up to something a little bigger, with longer legs and more possibilities. The Sea Ray 330 Sundancer was made to order for this trade-up market. She can seat 7 people in her cockpit and has two sleeping cabins below, a head and a basic galley. All of this makes weekend overnight cruising possible for a family with youngsters or, for two couples. Learn more...

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Captain's Report

2012 Scout 187 Sportfish:
Sweating the Details

Scout 187 Sportfish
Scout has offered the popular 187 Sportfish center console model for 18 years, and it continues to be a top seller. She is on sale this month with 115-hp Yamaha engine for $26,995.

Scout boats are famous for their fishing features, their fit and finish, and their competitive price -- and the 187 Sportfish has been a good example of those qualities for nearly two decades. The boat remains popular for offering a combination of fishing features and cruising comforts that allow owners to enjoy a wide range of watersports activities that extend far beyond angling. But make no mistake, first and foremost, fishing is what this 18-footer is all about. Everything else is pure gravy.  FYI -- the sale ends March 31.  More...

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Captain's Report

Carolina Skiff Fun Chaser 2200 DS:
A New, Affordable, Skinny-Watercraft

Carolina Skiff Fun Chaser 2200 DS
This picture says it all: Drawing only 10" (25 cm) the Fun Chaser 2200 DS is made to order for shallow water locations.

Carolina Skiff tests the waters with the all-fiberglass Fun Chaser 1900 DS and 2200 DS, designs that it calls "deckboats." They are certainly not like the deckboats that we are used to seeing, ones built by companies such as Hurricane, which invented the breed. But nevermind, a company can call its boats anything it wants. These two all-new boats come in "Cruise-and-Fish" versions offering activity-specific features including ski lockers and livewells, respectively. If that sounds interesting to you, read on...

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Test Video

Yanmar 8LV-370:
Big Strength in a Small Package

Yanmar 8LV-370
Weighing in at only 992 lbs (450 kg) the 370-hp 8LV may actually be the lightest in class, even when compared to gas engines.

Whether it's an inboard or outdrive installation, we think the horsepower-to-weight ratio of this new 8LV will make a popular choice in new builds or repowers. Since it's electronically controlled with CAN-BUS technology, you can easily add up to three control stations, all with color multi-function displays. And since the exhaust can easily be swapped for a port or starboard installation, it's a natural choice when twins are called for. We put this diesel to the test in a single engine application of a 33'11" (10.34 m) boat weighing 12,950 lb (5,874 kg) to show what sort of performance were talking about. More...


World's Best Water Hose? Shurhold Says No Kinks

Shurhold Polisher
There is nothing worse than a kinky garden hose. 
Now, Shurhold solves the problem.

Manufactured with patented NTS Reflex Mesh technology to eliminate kinks, twists and tangles, Shurhold adds yet another product into the world of products.  Shurhold has taken the hose and tweaked it a bit, with Grip-Tite coupling for an easy, leak-free connection at the faucet. This 100% lead-free hose is drinking-water safe and available in three sizes of 25’, 50’ and 75’ with a diameter of 5/8''. It has a lifetime guarantee. Learn more...

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.

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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.  Smart Boating, because safe boating just isn't enough.

It's getting warmer out and for most of us that means the boating season is approaching. Now is the time to brush up on your skills and refresh what you may have forgotten. It’s also a good time to get the family onboard, and the Smart Boating course will help you do that in the comfort of your own home. Based on the feedback we’ve been getting this course is not only for beginners, but for veteran boaters as well. It’s the most complete boating course available... period. Order here...

Watch the trailer...



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Lesson of the Week

Rules of the Road:
Power Vessels vs. Sailing In Narrow Channels

Lesson of the Week Smart Boating
Navigating safely in narrow channels.

This week Capt. Steve covers basic rules of the road in these twelve lessons and guidelines on: navigating safely through narrow channels, using caution with larger vessels in narrow channels, how to signal to another boat when there’s a blind spot, overtaking another boat, and rules for power-driven vessels versus sailing vessels when crossing paths. These are basic procedures which all recreational boaters should be aware of. The videos presented this week are part of’s 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

“So you're saying I can't date your daughter?” – M. Burton

Second Place

“That spring manure application really improved her beam.” – B. Wells

Third Place

“I saved the seeds! We can start mass producing them...” – T. Hore

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On Here?

WIGOH 3/28/12

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