Tracker 17 // Hydra-Sports 34 // Rampage 45 // 14 Tests & Reviews - 07/11/2012
BoatTEST Newsletter July 11, 2012 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter. Tests You Can Trust
- Bayliner 215 BR
- Beneteau Flyer GT 34
- Boston Whaler 210 Montauk
- Glacier Bay 2740
- Hatteras GT63
- Hydra-Sports 3400 CC
- MJM 36z
- Monte Carlo Yachts 76
- Prestige 440S
- Princecraft Xpedition 170 WS
- Rampage 45 Convertible
- Sea Ray 260 Sundeck
- Sun Tracker BB 18 DLX
- Tracker Pro Guide V-175 WT
- Volvo Penta D4
- Shurhold Products
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Bayliner 215 BR:
Tricked Out for Test Day

Bayliner 215 BR
She has a LOA of 20'6" (6.25 m) and a beam of 8'2" (2.49 m). The 260-hp MerCruiser brought us to a top speed of 46.7 mph and a best cruise range of 144 miles.

This was a test we really enjoyed not only for the handling characteristics of the 215 BR, but for the way that she was rigged just as we would order her. She had the optional 260-hp 5.0 L MPI engine, sport seating, wakeboard tower, and impressive graphics. If this is the type of handling that we can expect from a value-minded company like Bayliner, then we say bring it on. Let's check it out...

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Test Video

Beneteau Flyer Gran Turismo 34:
Sport Coupe with Sportboat Handling

Beneteau Flyer Gran Turismo 34
The Beneteau Flyer Gran Turismo 34 is another in the series built with the Air Step technology that our tests have shown greatly improves handling and performance.

It may sound like we're blowing smoke when we say that the Flyer Gran Turismo 34 has sportboat handling, but the simple fact is that until you try her for yourself, you just won't grasp the full meaning of what we experienced. She has quick acceleration, clean, dry wave penetration, and she turns on a dime. It is all because of her Air Step hull. With her joystick maneuverability, we were able to dock her with exacting precision. Find out more...

Request factory price quote.

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Features Video

Boston Whaler 210 Montauk:
The Largest of the Series

Boston Whaler 210 Montauk
This largest of the Montauk series has an LOA of 21'4" (6.5 m) and a beam of 8'6" (2.59 m). Top speed is 47 mph with a 200-hp Mercury Verado.

The Montauk line-up was truly made to create a boatload of versatility. This 210 Montauk represents the latest launch in the popular series and we found her to be as capable of a fishing platform as she is a utility watersports boat for the whole family. A simple hose down is all you'll need to do when finishing up for the day as she is a boat which seems to be able to take good care of herself. C’mon aboard...

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Test Video

Glacier Bay Renegade 2740:
All About Speed and Comfort

Glacier Bay Renegade 2740
With twin 150-hp Yamaha outboards, we reached a top speed of 40.1 mph with a best cruise range of 385 miles.

When testing this boat we discovered an interesting characteristic: when the going gets rough, slowing down is not necessarily the correct decision to improve the ride. And that was just the beginning of how surprisingly well this Glacier Bay 2740 handled. More...

Schedule a test drive.

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Test Video

Hatteras GT63:
A Stairway to Heaven

Hatteras GT63
Her saloon reminds us a bit of something you might find in a classy New York City duplex apartment.  The spiral staircase at the right leads to an enclosed flying bridge,

Custom Carolina sportfishing boats are the benchmark in style and performance for many big game anglers.  But for those who don't want to wait for -- or pay for -- a custom boat built on the Outer Banks, then the Hatteras GT63 might be just the ticket. From the wheelhouse, it was easy to see why this boat has become the most popular model in the new GT series. See it now...

Schedule a sea trial.

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Test Video

Hydra-Sports 3400 CC:
Built for Offshore Fishing

Hydra-Sports 3400 CC
The Hydra-Sports 3400 CC is a no-nonsense fisherman's boat designed and built for blue water and rugged action.

The Hydra-Sports 3400 CC is one of those boats that draws people in with her good looks and then wows them with her solid offshore handling characteristics. She's easily optioned up to the tournament level because she's almost there in the first place.  For performance, triple 300-hp Yamaha V6s brought us to a top speed of 54.7 mph and best cruise gave us a 400 mile range. She's salty and sassy...

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Test Video

MJM 36z:
For A Serious Cruising Couple 

MJM 36z
Part of the beauty of the MJM 36z is her versatility to handle both a cruising couple and an occasional day-cruise with a gang of friends.

The MJM 36z is a cruising yacht specifically designed and purpose-built by experienced boaters who know what ingredients a yacht like this needs. Aside from her outstanding handling capabilities, her test numbers, and her ability to entertain a crowd, she also makes a seaworthy boat for a long two-person cruise. More...

Have an inquiry? Email MJM directly -

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Interior Video

Monte Carlo Yachts 76:
High-Style & Practical Italian Design

Monte Carlo Yachts 76
This view looking aft in the saloon was taken from the lower helm. The galley and dinette are aft and not the wide, open door to the aft deck.

Let's face it: there are a lot of Italian motoryachts on the market that look cool, but suffer in the practicality department.  We think Monte Carlo Yachts addressed that issue with its Monte Carlo Yachts 76 -- a motoryacht that is both high-style and remarkably functional.  She was clearly designed to be used as an owner/operator's boat -- an owner with a lot of friends and who does a lot of entertaining. Let's take a look at how her design brings this premium motoryacht together. Seeing is believing...

Monte Carlo Yachts 76 chartDownload performance chart.  
Request a sea trial.

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Features Video

Prestige 440S:
2 Ensuite Staterooms/Ocean View

Prestige 440S
The Prestige 440S is particularly noteworthy because her large master stateroom is aft, has a fully enclosed head with sink, and has full standing headroom at the foot of the queen bed.

There are several unusual aspects to the Prestige 440S but the one that stands out in our mind is the accommodation plan shown above. In this boat two adult couples can cruise quite comfortably with privacy and comfort for long distances. (This is one reason why people buy powerboats and not sailboats!) But this is not the only clever design aspect of the 440S, there are two more on deck. Find out what they are...

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Captain's Report

Princecraft Xpedition 170 WS:
It's All About the Fish

Princecraft Xpedition 170 WS
Measuring 16'11" (5.2 m) and weighing only 1,121 lbs (508 kg) it's easy to see how the Princecraft Xpedition 170 WS lends itself to easy towing and storing.

In a world of multitasking boats, the Princecraft Xpedition 170 WS is a boat that separates itself from the pack by being very single-minded. While there is no fish and ski combo here, this boat will, however, appeal to the family types. That is of course if the family likes to fish. And if you're going to do one thing, you may as well do it well. Are you saying it's all about fishing?

Request factory pricing.

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Interior Video

Rampage 45 Convertible:
A Look at Her Cruise-Ability

Rampage 45 Convertible
We like boats that are rugged and can handle sloppy offshore conditions yet still look civilized in the salon.  The Rampage 45 Convertible is such a vessel.

The Rampage 45 Convertible was designed to take keen anglers to the fishing grounds in snotty weather.  But now cruising folks are buying the 45, too -- it only makes sense to want the same feeling of security when boating with the entire family!  The folks at Rampage know that and this is why they have built a 45' convertible with comfort and luxury inside.  Moreover, she's the right size for most boaters.  Here there seems to be a welcome balance between features, function, and price. Take a look...

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Captain's Report

Sea Ray 260 Sundeck:
A Big Deckboat

Sea Ray 260 Sundeck
The 260 Sundeck is not a new model for Sea Ray, but for 2012, the builder upped the ante on features which are included in the base price.

At one time large deckboats were a rarity, but we are seeing more of them all the time.  They offer gobs of room for folks who have no intention of spending overnights onboard, and as for entertaining, just go ahead and load them up. The Sea Ray 260 Sundeck will hold 12 people or 2,000 lbs. (907 kg.), and keep them all comfortable. As for what to serve, there are three coolers so load them up, too. Most important, this boat has a higher freeboard than some popular deckboats which makes her better and drier in big water conditions.  Let’s take a look at Sea Ray's 260 Sundeck... 

Request a brochure.

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Test Video

Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX:
For Fishing or Sedate Cruising

Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX
With a 40-hp Mercury Bigfoot, our test Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX reached a max speed of 16.8 mph.

The name of this boat describes its mission: a pontoon boat that has specialized features for bass or multi-species fishing. Because she has twin toons and an affordable price, she is intended for more sedate running, so don't expect to be towing anything beyond a tube. But for the good times you will have onboard, there's room to spare even with the fishing features. That suits us fine...

Build this boat.

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Test Video

Tracker Pro Guide V-175 WT:
Tracker's Midsize Walk-Through

Tracker Pro Guide V-175 WT
The Tracker Pro Guide V-175 WT measures in at 16'11" (5.16 m) and has a dry weight of 1,385 lbs (628.2 kg). That not only makes her easy to transport but very garage friendly.

Tracker developed the Pro Guide V-175 WT to provide enough protection from the elements to be an effective three-season fishing boat. They've done this by providing a much higher windshield that includes side protection along with a lower cockpit with high gunwales. She's also priced to sell as low as $19,495, according to the builder.  More...

Download brochure.

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Test Video

Volvo Penta D4:
A Purpose Built Engine

Volvo Penta D4

The D4 was designed from the outset as a marine engine. In other words, it is not like most marine diesels which were originally designed for trucks and then refitted for marine use.

If versatility is the key to success, then it's small wonder that Volvo Penta’s D4 is such a popular engine. This workhorse comes in power choices ranging from 225 to 300-hp, and it can be fitted to either a DPH sterndrive, IPS 350 or IPS 400 pods, or even a straight shaft inboard. To put it to the test, we went with the robust DPH sterndrive that was made specifically to handle the high torque of this diesel engine. On to the proving grounds...


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.

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's  
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'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

Requirements for Recreational Boaters:
Take Life Jackets Seriously

Capt. SteveSmart Boating Cover 

Capt. Steve explains requirements for all boaters.

This week Captain Steve examines the five types of life jackets. He takes you through determining which jacket is appropriate for your type of boating. Captain Steve will also explain the legal requirements for boaters and give a quick lesson on determining when it is time to replace your existing jackets. 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 --

Order all lessons on DVD--

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Ducky Award Winner

Ducky Winner

First Place

“...and the tortoise wins again!” – D. Lorella

Second Place

“Four boaters compete for the coveted ‘Turtle Award.’” – T. Biedron

Third Place

“I guess it'll just have to be tomato soup!”
– D. Clerk

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 7/11/2012

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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