Beneteau Swift 34:
The Great Loop Route
On May 15th a lone Beneteau Swift 34 will begin a cruise from Annapolis, Maryland that will take her around the North American Great Loop Route -- the circumnavigation
of the eastern U.S. -- in a single summer. The Swift 34 will start out heading north toward Canada. About mid-August after a trip down the Mississippi River the boat will be in Charleston, South Carolina where a BoatTEST.com captain will get on the vessel for her final leg back to Annapolis, thus closing the Great Loop. Our goal is to do an evaluation of how well she held up on this 5,000+ mile voyage.
Boston Whaler 230 Dauntless:
A CC for Family Fun & Fishing
The Boston Whaler 230 Dauntless seems to take care of family first while also being able to accommodate serious anglers, or is it the other way around? On our recent test we found her to be an excellent-handling boat that seemed to want to take whatever our test captain dished out. Let's take a look at our full test and performance review of what is now the largest in the Dauntless lineup, the 230.
Formula 353 FasTech:
The Inside Story
The Formula 353 FasTech is a performance "go-fast" model that also focuses on beauty, comfort and styling. In the past the term "go-fast" has conjured up images more of a sparse race boat focused on speed only and lacking in the styling department, but the 353 breaks this image by providing comfort and luxury along with that exhilarating 80 mph plus speed. Formula has carried over their experience from building premium yacht interiors to provide what we think is an excellent blend of speed and beauty.
In Step with the Times
We have said before that this "New Concept" of boats coming from Jeanneau -- the
"NC" series -- are the "biggest little boats on the water" and we stand by that statement. The "New Concept" boats bring so much utility to the table that they really are refreshing. Of course, builders can be as creative as they want with
the boat’s layout, but if she is not economical to operate then
she's out of step with the times. Today we take the new NC9 on a full test and we do it on a boat powered with a single diesel engine and DP outdrive.
Request a sea trial
Bayliner 215 BR:
A New Look at Bayliner
There is definitely a new look at Bayliner and this 215 BR is a case
in point. We not only found her to be a cool-looking boat, but the ride is
first rate, and now Bayliner is stepping up the number of optional watersport equipment
items. That means the builder is helping buyers zero-in on the specific mission they have in mind with fewer compromises. Take a look...
Regal 42 Sport Coupe:
A Snotty-Weather Test Offshore
The offshore data buoys showed seas well over 5’. Not a time to show a boat’s best speed to be sure and most builders would have cancelled the test. To our surprise, however, Regal said let her rip, so we did. The questions we wanted answered were: does she pound, how does she handle the slop, and does her joinery work below creak,
moan, and squeak when the hull is stressed?
Find out the results here...
Download product guide
Larson LXi 238:
A Bowrider with Style
Too many bowriders suffer from ho-hum styling, so it’s nice to see Larson making an effort to lift its LXi 238 out of the also-rans. By incorporating accent stripes to highlight the sinuous deck line, plush upholstery on virtually every horizontal surface, and lots of innovative detailing, the company has created a boat that should appeal to folks who have a bounce in their step and want something more exciting.
Take a look at our full report...
Request a factory price quote
New Test Video
Prestige 550 Flybridge:
Impressive Handling with Zeus
We found that the 550 Flybridge was a joy to operate offshore, but also equally pleasing was how she handled around the docks. It all had to do with the hull that was specifically designed and engineered for the Zeus pods and how well those pods handled the 550. But that is only part of the story. In the last year Prestige Yachts have
taken off in the U.S., find out why aboard the 550 Flybridge.
Let’s take a ride...
Sun Tracker Regency Party Barge 250 XP3:
50.4 MPH WOT with 250 OptiMax Pro XS
The Regency Party Barge 250 XP3 is the flagship of the Sun Tracker fleet which numbers 11 basic toon models for 2012. Pontoon boats are the hottest type of boat on the market these days because they are large, can be fast and are relatively inexpensive. And the people who buy them come from all types of boats from modest ones to megayachts. Sun Tracker, of course, specializes in affordable toons and the Regency Party Barge 250 XP3 is no exception with an MSRP of $39,995 powered with a 300-hp Merc OptiMax Pro XS. We tested the Regency Party Barge 250 with a 250 OptiMax and she still
went over 50 mph.
See the test and walk-through...
Tahoe Q7 SF:
Tow and Fish, Too!
Boat nomenclature hasn't yet caught up with how boats are being used these days so we can forgive Tahoe for calling the above model the Q7 SF, for "ski & fish." Actually, these boats are intended for all sorts of towing sports, including tubes, knee boards and wakeboards, in addition to the classic skis. We think of the Tahoe Q7 SF more of a versatile "tow & fish" boat (how does "TF" sound?) Like all Tracker Marine boats the Q7 SF is predicated on value and this model has an MSRP of $27,995 with a 4.3 L V-6 sterndrive and a trailer.
Volvo Penta 8.1L and 5.0L:
Gas Engine Technology
Developments in electronics are a continuing design consideration in marine engines and this is just one area that we have found the team at Volvo Penta has been heavily focused. The 8.1L and 5.0L gas engines are highly-tuned, 4-stroke V-8 blocks with the latest electronic fuel injection systems, allowing for precise fuel regulation into each cylinder as well as the optimal fuel/air ratios that constantly adjusted for conditions. The heart of all Volvo gas engines is the EGC, which is the computer that runs the engines functions. And last but not least is the advanced catalytic converter, surrounded by an array of sensors, all feeding data back to the brain. Go deeper with this detailed look at these two engines.
No More Corroded
If there is something that all boaters can relate to, it is 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
See the larger picture, when and who took it -- and where!
Send us your favorite boating images.
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DVD Boating Course
Based on the feedback we’ve been getting about BoatTEST.com's 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.
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us to see the latest, plus some behind the scenes looks.
Lesson of the Week
How to Correctly Tie Your Boat to a Dock
This week Capt. Steve goes over eight lessons and guidelines on tying up to
a dock and how to correctly use lines in order to secure your boat. Capt. Steve
will explain what spring lines and breast lines are used for and how to use them
to your advantage when leaving the dock. 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--
Ducky Award Winner
“So you mean sail doesn't have to give way to power?” – R. Demby
“The boat heard it was being moved from Florida to Lake Erie and attempted suicide.” – M. Burton
“Can you buff it out?” – R. Hurlbert
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Simply fill in your caption and you may get lucky -- quack here.
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