29' Barracuda 9 // Lund 2075 // Smoker Craft 182 // 11 Tests & Reviews - 06/20/2012
BoatTEST Newsletter June 20, 2012 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
- Boston Whaler 285 Conquest
- Chaparral 226 SSi
- Cypress Cay Cayman 250
- Beneteau Barracuda 9
- Sea Ray 450 Sundancer
- Cruisers Yachts 350 Express
- Smoker Craft Pro Mag 182
- Formula 270 SS
- Yamaha VX Deluxe
- Lund 2075 Pro-V
- Tigé Touch
- Meridian Yachts Factory Tour
- Tahoe Q5 SF
- Volvo Penta Sterndrive Joystick
- Shurhold Products
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Boston Whaler
285 Conquest:
A True Crossover

Boston Whaler 285 Conquest
The Boston Whaler 285 Conquest can easily accommodate four for overnights.  The forward cabin doubles as a dining/entertaining area.

Boston Whaler set a clear mission statement for the 285 Conquest in that she was to be a crossover between a qualified offshore fishing platform and a cruiser capable of heading offshore to remote locations while providing safety and security throughout the transit. We think she has all the ingredients to accomplish both missions. Let's take a look...

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Test Video

Chaparral 226 SSi:
54.4 MPH at WOT

Chaparral 226 SSi
The Chaparral 226 SSi has been designed with upscale features and plenty of passenger room.

Chaparral set out to create a series of boats that offered more room, upscale features, and better performance provided by their extended V-plane hull. It seems to work as 300-hp brought us to a top speed of 54.4 mph with a 2.6 second time the plane. Of course there's much more to the story, so let's take a look at the full test video. More...

Build and price a 226 SSi

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Features Video

Cypress Cay Cayman 250:
Entertaining in Comfort

Cypress Cay Cayman 250
At 27'6" (8.38 m) LOA and a beam of 8'6" (2.59 m) the Cypress Cay Cayman 250 has plenty of room for bringing a crowd of friends onboard and keeping them comfortable.

With triple tubes, the Cypress Cay Cayman 250 has the buoyancy, as well as the dimensions to accommodate 13 people in luxurious surroundings. Everything from the butter-soft seats to the over-wide reboarding ladder says that this boat was made to keep her guests comfortable. And since Cypress Cay is part of the Brunswick Boat Group, both the boat and the motor are warranted by one company.  See the full features video...

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New Video

New Beneteau Barracuda 9:
A 29' Outboard Boat with Bite

Beneteau Barracuda 9
With a LOA of 28'11" (8.81 m) and a beam of 9'9" (2.96 m) the Barracuda 9 is designed to be easily handled by a single person while providing cruising and entertaining for plenty more.

Beneteau has just launched the Barracuda 9, an entirely new model aimed at providing a unique blend of a safe offshore fishing boat coupled with a roomy and well-equipped cruising boat. Built around the patented Air Step hull, the Barracuda 9 is designed to handle sloppy conditions that the offshore fisherman or cruiser tends to find themselves in, and still get them back safely and comfortably. Best of all, there is a fully enclosed wheelhouse and salon. Let's step aboard and take a closer look at this clever new design. More...

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Captain's Report

Sea Ray 450 Sundancer:
Born from Focus Groups

Sea Ray 450 Sundancer
The Sea Ray 450 has been refined and improved through the "test of time" by owners who gave the builder their input.

Every year Sea Ray invites owners to come and visit their boat’s birthplace and discuss their models. The discussions focus on what they like, what they don't like, and what they would like to see improved upon. In this manner, Sea Ray is able to keep improving the design for a better product. This Sea Ray 450 Sundancer is a result of that process. Let's step aboard...

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Test Video

Cruisers Yachts 350 Express:
Style and Handling on a Mission

Cruisers Yachts 350 Express
The Cruisers Yachts 350 Express is designed for entertaining, overnight cruising, and good performance.

It was the killer good looks that first hooked us on the 350 Express, but that is not the whole story. With the Axius sterndrive joystick, we were also able to maintain our composure while docking, an important feature since every head in the area was all eyes on this beauty. Naturally, we shot a features walk-through and a test video, so first, let's see about the handling with the full test and performance evaluation. More...

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Captain's Report

Smoker Craft 182 Pro Mag:
Taking Fishing Seriously

Smoker Craft 182 Pro Mag
The Smoker Craft 182 Pro Mag has a LOA of 18'2" (5.54 m) and a dry weight of just 1425 lbs. (646 kg.) making her easily transportable by even light vehicles.

Smoker Craft designed the 182 Pro Mag for the serious fisherman but priced it within reach of the casual weekender. We found her to be equipped well beyond the usual "fish locker and livewell".  Consideration was given to adding strength in areas like the gunwales for mounting downriggers and transom area for bolting on a 150-hp outboard with hydraulic steering.  Let's look at the full report...

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Captain's Report

Formula 270 Sun Sport:
A Dayboat for Overnights

Formula 270 SS
While she may have the usual features of a day boat, inside she’s all Formula with the extras we’ve come to expect from this premium builder.

Formula's 270 SS is a 27’ (8.23 m) day cruiser with what appears to be a roughly 80/20 ratio between day cruising and overnighting. That means that while you certainly can spend the nights on board, the main focus is for spending days on deck.  Let's take a look and see how they've done. More...

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Test Video

Yamaha VX Deluxe:
What Makes This Yamaha’s Best Seller?

Yamaha VX Deluxe
We tested the Yamaha VX Deluxe and found a top end speed of 53.7 mph. Better still was the fuel burn of only 7.4 gph at that speed. Best cruise fuel burn…3.1 gph.

Whenever a builder tells us that a certain model is their best seller, we start asking why that is. Take the Yamaha VX Deluxe for example. Is it Yamaha’s best performer? Not really, it will do over 50 mph but they have faster. Is it because it’s the least expensive? Nope, although it’s coming in at $9,299 Yamaha still has less expensive WaveRunners. Surely it must have the most features then? Hardly, it’s actually very minimalist. So what makes this the best seller for Yamaha? As it turns out, it’s a combination of all the above features, and we discuss it all in our full test video. Take a look...

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Captain's Report

Lund 2075 Pro-V:
Testing the Tournament Edition

Lund 2075 Pro-V
On the Lund 2075 Pro-V one locker is designed to hold 15 rods.

The team at Lund tells us that this 2075 Pro-V is the most sought after model in its line-up. We found her to be well-equipped, certainly well enough to qualify for tournament demands, and her 300-hp Mercury Verado brought us to a top speed of 60.8 mph.  Her kicker motor gave us a slow trolling speed with minimal wash disturbance. Let's look at the full test...

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Making Waves

Tigé Touch:
On-the-Water Programming

Tigé Touch
The Tigé Touch will not only allow you to control all of the electrical components onboard, but all of the parameters of the ride and wake as well. And that's just the beginning.

The team at Tigé brought innovation and technology to the panel of their high-end wake boats before other boats in class, but more important in this world of people who can't figure out how to stop the microwave from blinking "12:00", this product is remarkably easy to use. To test the concept, Capt. Steve stepped aboard and worked his way through the controls without ever looking at a manual or receiving any instructions ahead of time. If he can figure it out...

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Factory Video

Meridian Yachts Factory: 
A Detailed Construction Look

Meridian Yachts Factory Tour
Not all large boats are built the same.  Our factory video shows how Meridians are built.

Meridian Yachts are generally slightly heavier than most others in class yet their prices are often less. This dichotomy was perplexing to us so we took a tour of Meridian Yachts Palm Coast facility to see exactly how its yachts are built. Join us for an inside look...

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Test Video

Tahoe Q5 SF:
Affordable Ski and Fish Package

Tahoe Q5SF
Tahoe strives to make affordable boats while at the same time adding as many amenities as it can.

The Tahoe Q5 SF combines the features of comfortable bowrider with the capabilities for fishing. As is customary with a boat in this class, there is a modest list of items dedicated to fishing while still serving the purpose. And when it's time for family boating, the Q5 SF does well with storage, functionality, and insulated spaces for keeping the food and drinks cold. And it all comes in a competitively priced package. More...

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Ease of Operation

Volvo Penta
Sterndrive Joystick:
Locking In Docking

Volvo Penta Sterndrive Joystick
Part of the beauty of the Volvo Penta Sterndrive Joystick is that it doesn't take up a lot of console space.

The Volvo Penta Sterndrive Joystick has made it possible for the captains who are nervous around the dock to finally be able to move up to a larger boat with confidence. If the concept of using the joystick to position your boat with exacting precision appeals to you, then you owe it to yourself to watch this video as we demonstrate docking a 30’ (9.14 m) bowrider, side-to, with only inches to spare both fore and aft. More...


Shurhold's Water Blade

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.

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 Approach an Inlet and Dock
in a Strong Current

Capt. Steve Smart Boating Cover 

The seas will build up more as you approach an inlet so you’ll want to watch the waves closely and notice the pattern before heading in.

This week Captain Steve goes over seven lessons and guidelines on how to dock your boat in a strong current and how to carefully approach an inlet in heavy waves. Capt. Steve will demo some approaches that show you how to dock going into the current, and he’ll also go over how to dock with the tide behind you, and how to slowly drift into the dock with the tide. The videos presented this week are part of BoatTEST.com’s Smart 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

“Have you seen a girl on a water bike wearing a cat outfit?” – B. Blob

Second Place

“Thank God, now I don't have to swim to the ball anymore.” - D. Cross

Third Place

“Chasing cars was so much simpler than chasing boats!” – B. Barbie

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 6/20/12

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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If you have a picture that you think needs some explanation, email it to us.

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