Tahoe Q7 // Jeanneau NC9 // Beneteau Swift 34 //Regal 42 - 05/09/2012
BoatTEST Newsletter May 9, 2012 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
- Beneteau's Great Loop
- Boston Whaler 230 Dauntless
- Formula 353 FasTech
- Jeanneau NC9
- Bayliner 215 BR
- Larson LXi 238
- Regal 42 Sport Coupe
- Sun Tracker Regency PB 250
- Prestige 550 Flybridge
- Tahoe Q7 SF
- Volvo Penta 5.0 and 8.1
- Shurhold Products
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Beneteau Swift 34:
The Great Loop Route

Beneteau Great Loop
The Beneteau Swift 34 has two staterooms and was designed for long cruises by one or two couples or a family.

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.  More...

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New Test Video

Boston Whaler 230 Dauntless:
A CC for Family Fun & Fishing

Boston Whaler 230 Dauntless
With a range at best cruise of 239 miles it's easy to see that 79 gallons (299 L) will allow you an entire day on the water with the family.

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. More...

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New Features Video

Formula 353 FasTech:
The Inside Story

Formula 353 FasTech
What’s under the engine hatch took our test 353 to a top speed of 80.5 mph, but today we explore what is under that long foredeck.

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. More...

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New Test

Jeanneau NC9:
In Step with the Times

Jeanneau NC9
If your first glance tells you that the Jeanneau NC9 is just another 30’ (9.43 m) boat, then you're missing a lot.

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. More...

Request a sea trial

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Features Video

Bayliner 215 BR:
A New Look at Bayliner

Bayliner 215 BR
With a 260-hp 5.0 MPI, we reached a top speed of 46.7 mph (75.2 kph) and measured a best cruise of 22.2 mph (35.7 kph).

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...

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Features Video

Regal 42 Sport Coupe:
A Snotty-Weather Test Offshore

Regal 42 Sport Coupe
This was our view from the helm of the Regal 42 Sport Coupe as we tested her on the edge of the Long Island Sound in rain and a stiff breeze.

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

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Test Video

Larson LXi 238:
A Bowrider with Style

Larson LXi 238
The Larson LXi 238 has a 8'6" (2.59 m) beam, a dry weight of 4,400 lbs. (2,010 kgs.) and a 22-degree deadrise at the transom.

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

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New Test Video

Prestige 550 Flybridge:
Impressive Handling with Zeus

Prestige 550 Fly
With a top speed of over 30 kts and a best cruise range of 284 nautical miles, there is no telling where your 550 Flybridge will take you.

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...

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Test Video

Sun Tracker Regency Party Barge 250 XP3:
50.4 MPH WOT with 250 OptiMax Pro XS

Sun Tracker Regency Party Barge 250 XP3
This Sun Tracker tri-toon is 27'3" (8.30 m) and is rated to carry a party up 15 people including the skipper.

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...

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Review Video

Tahoe Q7 SF:
Tow and Fish, Too!

Tahoe Q7 SF
This picture says it all as far as we're concerned. Note the trolling motor perched up on the bow, and mom on the sunpad. The Tahoe Q7 SF was designed for the whole family.

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. More...

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Detailed Look

Volvo Penta 8.1L and 5.0L:
Gas Engine Technology

5.0 features video 8.1 features video

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.


Shurhold Snap-Stick:
No More Corroded Snaps
or Zippers

Shurhold Products
Protect your snaps and zippers with Snap-Stick.

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

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

DVD Boating 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 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

How to Correctly Tie Your Boat to a Dock

Capt. Steve Smart Boating Cover

With current on your bow, first attach the bow line, as it will prevent the boat from drifting backwards, and it will also keep the boat from being pulled away from the 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--

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Ducky Award Winner

Ducky Winner

First Place

“So you mean sail doesn't have to give way to power?” – R. Demby

Second Place

“The boat heard it was being moved from Florida to Lake Erie and attempted suicide.” – M. Burton

Third Place

“Can you buff it out?” – R. Hurlbert

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 5/9/12

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.