80 MPH Formula 353//Boston Whaler 210//Glastron 209//13 Tests & Reviews - 04/18/2012
BoatTEST Newsletter April 18, 2012 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
IN THIS ISSUE
- Formula 353 FasTech
- Boston Whaler 210 Montauk
- Jeanneau NC11
- Cypress Cay 230 Seabreeze
- World Cat and Glacier Bay
- Glastron GS 209
- Hydra-Sports 23 Bay Bolt
- Prestige 440S
- Rampage 34 Express
- Ranger 1760 Angler
- Sea Ray 470 Sundancer
- Yamaha VXS
- Tigé RZR
- Volvo Penta DPS
- Shurhold Products
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Formula 353 FasTech:
80.2 MPH Right Out
of the Box!

Formula 353 FasTech
The big story with our test of the Formula 353 FasTech is that with a pair of off-the-shelf 525-hp Mercury Racing engines this silver bullet will top 80 mph -- without any tweaking!

Formula has chosen to make a boat that goes fast enough, but still have the fine coachwork and reliability that has made the brand famous for its express cruiser line. The 353 FasTech is not a boat built in a garage by wild-eyed gearheads. Rather, it is a production boat built in the same factory by the same craftsmen who build the rest of the Formulas. Further, the 353 has lots of comfort and amenities -- and a substantial warranty as well, something unusual in go-fast boats. Her engines come from Mercury Racing's skunk works in Fond du Lac and horsepower options range up to 600-hp. So how did she perform with a pair of 525s? Hold on tight...

Request a test drive

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New Features Video

Boston Whaler 210 Montauk:
A Larger Version of the Classic CC

Boston Whaler 210 Montauk
At 21'4" (6.5 m) the 210 Montauk is still easily trailerable. Top speed was 47 mph with a range at best cruise of 286 miles.

Boston Whaler's classic has come back in a big way with this largest version in the Montauk series. Her huge forward platform, and aft quarter seats allow everyone in the family to remain comfortable. Her four rod holders, reversible helm seat, and walk-around capability are the start of her fishing features. Our test boat also had some notable options that added to both of her main missions. Let's take a look at our latest features video and see how Boston Whaler has done with the 210 Montauk. More...

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Test Video

Jeanneau NC11:
Clever and Practical Design

Jeanneau NC11 Image of boat running with Steve at the helm
Seen here during a test, the NC11 provided very good handling along with easy maneuverability at the dock with the Volvo Sterndrive Joystick system.

When you first look at the Jeanneau NC11 you can see that she is different, and our full test showed us that form and function are a perfect match in this sporty twin sterndrive model. In addition to the port side raised helm, the cockpit and main deck are on the same level and we found the use of space makes you feel as if you're on a boat ten feet longer.  Cast off all lines here...

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Captain's Report

Cypress Cay 230 Seabreeze Fish:
A Full-Blown Fishing Toon

Cypress Cay 230 Seabreeze Fish
With four fighting chairs -- two in the bow and two in the stern -- the Cypress Cay 230 Seabreeze Fish is ready for action. But wait! There's more...

We have long maintained that the most comfortable boat for fishing on many inland lakes and rivers is a pontoon boat and Cypress Cay has proved us right with its 230 Seabreeze Fish. She comes in twin or triple toon configurations, both with aerated livewell, rod holders, and a bait prep work station with a ruler. We think she's a keeper because there is an L-shaped lounge seat with table, so all you need is a portable charcoal grill and some walleye. The Bimini top comes standard. Cast from here...

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Feature Videos

Catamarans Offer More Than a Solid Ride

We continue to test catamaran designs and continue to be impressed with not just the ride, but with how much usable room these models offer. Our tests have proven that the catamaran approach is extremely well suited for going offshore and handling big water, but something we think boaters may overlook is just how much fishing space is provided. In our opinion, anyone who fishes offshore should be considering any of the Cat brands. Here are a couple of our tested models...

Glacier Bay 2770 World Cat 320 CC
Glacier Bay 2770 World Cat 320 CC 

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Captain's Report

Glastron GS 209:
A Cuddy Sports Car on Water

Glastron GS 209
The Glastron GS 209 is 20'2" (6.15 m) x 7'10" (2.39 m) x 33" (.84 m). She has a 21-degree deadrise at the transom which means she can handle a chop.

We have always liked cuddys because they look so cool and you can take them out in rougher water than is prudent with a bowrider. The Glastron GS 209 cuddy has a dry weight of 2,832 lbs. (1,285 kgs.) which means she is easy to trailer, so you can explore one lake one weekend and be someplace else the next. We think the GS 209 looks like a sports car on water and evidently we are not the only ones. Glastron builds affordable boats while still using stainless steel hardware throughout, offering standard bucket seats with flip-up bolsters, and employing other quality materials designed to last. Read our full report...

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Test Video

Hydra-Sports 23 Bay Bolt:
Bay Bolt of Lightning

Hydra-Sports 23 Bay Bolt
That's our Capt. Steve running along the mangroves in the Florida Keys. The optional tower gives the skipper the height he needs to see both game and obstructions. Capt. Steve says running the boat from that perch is thrilling.

When it’s time to take on skinny water, most deep-V hulls won’t get you far. But since these waters are often teaming with fish, a purpose-built boat is in order. Enter the Hydra-Sports 23 Bay Bolt. With a long list of fishing features, we had more than a good time testing this rig. And with 300 horses on the transom, she moves like…well, a bolt of lightning. The 23 Bay Bolt is not just any shallow-water fishing skiff -- she is on the "top-of-the-pile" because that's the way Hydra-Sports builds boats. Watch the video, read the report and see what we mean...

Request a test drive

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Features Video

Prestige 440S:
Express Cruiser with a Mission

Prestige 440S
Take a look at the placement of the aft portlight. Yep, that's where the full-beam master is and there is another stateroom almost as large in the bow. The galley and settee are down which means the salon deck is spacious.

At first glance the Prestige 440S seems like just another member of the 40-something class of express cruisers. But she has something most of the others don't have -- a smaller price tag. With twin 370-hp Volvo Penta IPS500 diesels, the only power available, the Prestige 440S starts at an MSRP of just $548,359 in the U.S. How does Prestige do it? In a nutshell, she is built by some very smart people who know boats and boating inside out. We'll explain in the video...

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Features Video

Rampage 34 Express:
Express Fishboat "Destroyer"

Rampage 34
Capt. Steve mans his battle station in a backing-down drill on the Rampage 34. This boat comes standard with every bit as much fire power in the cockpit as a 54' battlewagon.

Typically, a 50-something battlewagon has 140 sq. ft. or more in the cockpit and so that is why we call the Rampage 34 with 77 sq ft. of cockpit space, a "destroyer." The Rampage 34 is smaller than a battlewagon, not as beamy, but is faster, and certainly costs a lot less money to own and operate than one of the huge sportfishing dreadnaughts. But when it comes to raw "fire power" in the cockpit in terms of fish fighting the Rampage 34 is right there with the multi-million dollar rigs. In backing down with her IPS500 system she is more nimble, and she can get into skinnier water than the heavies. See our video...

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Captain's Report

Ranger 1760 Angler:
Multi-Species in Fiberglass

 Ranger 1760 Angler
The Ranger 1760 Angler's horsepower rating ranges from 90 to 150, she has a cockpit that is 26" (65 cm) deep, has a 5 gal. baitwell and a 21 gal. livewell.

The 1,675 lb. (761 kg.) 1760 Angler is Ranger Boat’s answer to the ubiquitous aluminum fishing boats which are light-weight and relatively inexpensive. But there are some attributes that aluminum boats are hard pressed to touch – such as more sculptured topsides, quieter operation, solid hatches, one-piece construction and a more complex -- and comfortable -- hull design.  Read all about it...

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Features Video

Sea Ray 470 Sundancer:
A New Look At Sea Ray

Sea Ray 470 Sundancer
The new Sea Ray 470 Sundancer comes standard with the two sun roof hatches you see open here. Note the expanse of windshield and window area and the minimum-sized mullions that give the helm excellent visibility.

The new Sea Ray 470 express cruiser must really be seen to be believed. While she carries a family resemblance to earlier Sea Ray models, she is all new from the keel up, having been designed specifically for the Zeus pod drives and Cummins diesel engines. This propulsion system freed-up space in the interior and the result is a twin, en suite accommodation plan below with large salon and galley that are big and open. But the real story is in the high-gloss joiner work everywhere, and the great taste with which materials were selected and carefully blended together throughout the boat. Watch the video, read the captain's report...

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Test Video

Yamaha VXS Test:
Up Close and Personal

Yamaha VXS Test
The Yamaha VXS has seating for one to three people, holds 15.9 gallons (60.4 L) of fuel and has an MSRP starting at $10,999. We give you an on-board perspective of what makes this machine tick.

The team at Yamaha told us that the mission of the VXS is to provide the best possible high performance watercraft in a no-frills, low-cost package. With this in mind, we set out to test and review the VXS. The first thing we noticed was that the production weight of this machine was only 728 lbs. and that the 1812cc four-stroke, four-cylinder marine engine was NOT supercharged. Ok, so the price is right, but what about the performance and handling and who is the VXS really designed for? More...

Request a test drive Yamaha Demo Days
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Test Video

Tigé RZR:
Design, Details, and Performance

Tigé RZR
From bow to stern the RZR is an example of excellent design execution mixing radical graphics and exciting performance.

From the touch screen control system they call "Tigé Touch" to the TAPS2 wake control system, our test of the Tigé RZR showed that this tow boat pretty much delivers it all. If you're headed to your favorite raft-up spot, she will shoot you there at 43 mph. If you want to have one of the coolest looking boats when you get there, she does that too. Add to this a well-designed, smooth-handling rig and you will see why our captains like to test these boats. Take a closer look...

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Test Video

Volvo Penta's DPS:
Push-Button Position Keeping

Volvo Penta
The real beauty of this Dynamic Positioning System (DPS) is that it's activated by a button on the joystick, which means no additional holes drilled into your panel. Even the display will likely already be there.

How many times have you had to wait in the middle of a running channel for a bridge to open? How about holding position while you wait for a gas dock to free up? Or the countless other times you just had to wait for whatever reason? Wouldn't it be more convenient to just press a button and have the boat do the work for you? That's the logic behind Volvo Penta's DPS, or Dynamic Positioning System. And if you're a fan of Volvo Penta then you likely have most of the components already installed on your panel anyway. So why not add one more button on the joystick? Press your mouse's button here...


Sponsor

Shurhold's Water Blade:
Dry It Faster

Shurhold Products
The ultimate boat squeegee.

We want to pass on a helpful hint for drying your boat: the Shurhold Flexible Water Blade helps. When we put this product to the test, we were not very excited. Let’s be real -- drying your boat is a pain, and nothing will change that. Or so we thought. We found that the Flexible Water Blade actually conformed to the shape of the hull and removed all of the water. It leaves the surface streak-free and is very easy on the arms and back. 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!

Send us your favorite boating images.

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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...


 

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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

Fog Signals and Overview
On Navigation Lights

Capt. SteveSmart Boating Cover

Only official lights such as these are allowed to be on at night underway.


This week Capt. Steve goes over sixteen new lessons and guidelines on fog signals and navigation lights. It’s important to know what to do when fog suddenly comes rolling in and you’re cruising along in pea soup or simply a restricted visibility scenario. Capt. Steve also goes over the basics on navigation lights, what they mean, and what’s required when running at night, and at anchor. You’ll learn about requirements for boats over 12 meters, or 39 ½ feet, and what’s required for boats less than 7 meters, or 23 feet. These are basic rules 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 --

Order all lessons on DVD--

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Ducky Award Winner

Ducky Winner


First Place

“Don't you just hate it when people forget to bring in their fenders?” –R. Zamelis

Second Place

“This is his fifth dog this season. The last 4 unexpectedly died of Carbon Monoxide poisoning.” – C. Gilly

Third Place

“Well, it's better than the plank he had to walk last year!” – T. L.

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 4/18/12

You write the caption! Will you win the coveted "Ducky Award" for best caption?

Simply fill in your caption and you may get lucky -- quack here.


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All articles, Captain's Reports, video content or other material which appear on BoatTEST.com and in its newsletters are accurate and factual to the best knowledge of BoatTEST.com and its staff. All findings, beliefs, experiences, or endorsements presented are the honest opinions of BoatTEST.com or its contributors. In compliance with FTC 16 CFR Part 255 BoatTEST.com advises its readers that content that appears in its newsletter or on its website may have been produced for compensation or the prospect of future compensation. BoatTEST.com makes no claims for the veracity or motivation of reader comments, Owners’ Reports, and other contributions which are all clearly labeled as such.



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