29' Barracuda 9 // Albemarle 360 // Hargrave 114 // 15 Tests & Reviews - 07/25/2012
BoatTEST Newsletter July 25, 2012 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
- Beneteau Barracuda 9
- Albemarle 360 Express Fish
- Bayliner 255 SB
- Back Cove 30
- Beneteau Flyer GT 44
- Glacier Bay 2770
- Hargrave 114
- Hydra-Sports 23 Bay Bolt
- Meridian Yachts 441 SB
- MJM 40z
- Monte Carlo Yachts 76
- Prestige 500S
- Princecraft Platinum SE 206
- Sun Tracker Fishin' Barge 21
- Tracker Pro Guide V-16
- Volvo Penta IPS
- Shurhold Products
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Beneteau Barracuda 9: Offshore Fishing in Comfort 12 Months a Year!

Beneteau Barracuda 9
The 28'10" (8.78 m) Barracuda 9 has a 9'9" (2.98 m) beam and weighs 7,053 lbs. (3,200 kgs.) dry. She has a high freeboard forward and is designed for year-around boating.

We think the Beneteau Barracuda 9 is one of the most exciting fishing boats to come along in decades. Not only does she fulfill all of the important requirements of a center console -- and a walkaround -- but she also provides the shelter and comfort of an express fishboat. All of this in an outboard package costing no more than a premium 30' center console.

What all of this means is that now keen anglers in North America (or anywhere else) have available a boat that can be taken out on the water year around!  It means that anglers can get out of the house on a cold winter day, go fishing, and stay protected in the Barracuda 9's cabin until the fish start biting!

With a double berth, head, galley and tables in the pilothouse, she can even go cruising for short weekends 12 months a year!

While it may be a little too soon to suggest that this design might start a sea-change in the boating habits of northern boaters and fishing folk, we can certainly see some very interesting possibilities. There are many beautiful days in December, January and February and the Barracuda 9 is made to take advantage of them. Take an in-depth look...

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Test Video

Albemarle 360 Express Fish:
We Test Her with IPS

Albemarle 360 Express Fish
While offshore fishing boats have been a little slow to convert to pod drives, they offer the same advantages to these type of boats.  Albemarle has converted its 360, so let's take a look.

Albemarle's 360 Express Fish has been repowered with Volvo Penta's IPS drives.  Does she still have the same offshore capabilities as her inboard counterpart? To find out how she handles, and if she fishes the same, we took her on a full test to see firsthand. Let's back down on a "fish on"...

Request a brochure

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Test Video

Back Cove 30 with Yanmar 8LV-370:
Efficient Inboard Diesel Power

Back Cove 30
To make the Back Cove 30's propulsion as efficient as possible, the builder installed a single 370-hp Yanmar 8LV-370 driving through an inboard configuration.  Check out her fuel economy...

In our test of the Back Cove 30 we had the opportunity to run her with a completely new engine from Yanmar. She was also equipped with a Yanmar lower unit, which turned out to be one of the smoothest and most quiet shifting drives we have ever tested. The helm was fitted with all Yanmar controls and displays as well. See why we place this system at the top of our diesel propulsion list. More...

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Features Video

Bayliner 255 SB:
Trailerable Weekend Cruising

Bayliner 255 SB
The Bayliner 255 SB has a LOA of 25'1" (7.65 m) and a beam of 8'6" (2.59 m). Top speed was 41.5 mph and she has a best cruise range of 158 miles.

There's a lot to like in the Bayliner 255 SB. If boaters aren't hooked by her gentle handling characteristics, then her comfortable layout as a pocket cruiser should do the trick. Her cockpit is roomy and easily converts between cruising and entertaining. The cabin is configured for gathering first, and overnights second. On top of it all, the 255 SB is trailerable.  Let's take a look onboard...

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Test Video

Beneteau Flyer GT 44:
Surprising Handling & Room

Beneteau Flyer GT 44
The Beneteau Flyer GT 44 is an express cruiser with the handling characteristics of a sport boat. Top speed was 37.9 mph with a best cruise range of 221 miles.

The Beneteau Flyer GT 44 had handling characteristics that impressed our test captain from the moment he hit the throttle. Her sporty performance and nimble handling characteristics make her feel like a much smaller boat, while her interior design and layout make her feel like a much larger one. Watch the test video...

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Features Video

Glacier Bay 2770:
Redesigned for Ergonomic Fishability

Glacier Bay 2770
The Glacier Bay 2770 has redundant backups for most major systems.

Glacier Bay's 2660 has been popular over the years but there's always room for improvement. In this case, the improvement comes in the form of the 2770. Since the company listens to customer feedback, this new model was configured with more of what the Glacier Bay customers are looking for. Let's take a look and see what changes have been made and how they came out in this new model. More...

Factory price quote

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Features Video

Hargrave 114 Motoryacht:
Owner-Designed Interior Features

Hargrave 114
If you were building a yacht and could do whatever you wanted with the interior, what would it look like? Today we take a look at one person's vision.

We've been saying for years how Hargrave works with its clients to customize their interiors and today we are going to show just how far they'll go to do it. This particular yacht, Sea Legend, was built for an interior decorator.  Imagine the level of detail she required in her personal yacht’s interior design. So today we take a look at some of the features of the Hargrave 114 interior, from a woman's perspective. How would you design yours?

Builder direct inquiry -- email mjoyce@hargrave.org

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Test Video

Hydra-Sports 23 Bay Bolt:
Big Fishing in Skinny Water

Hydra-Sports 23 Bay Bolt
The Hydra-Sports 23 Bay Bolt has a length overall of 22'11" (6.99 m) and a beam of 8'10" (2.69 m).  Bone fishing, anyone?

With the 300-hp engine hanging off the back of our 23 Bay Bolt test boat, we reached a top speed of 59.2 mph. This in a boat with a 10'' (25.4 cm) draft weighing only 3,100 lbs. (1,406 kg). She was definitely made for getting into skinny water, but Hydra-Sports did not leave out the quality it's so well known for, or the stability that a fishing boat needs. Watch our full test... 

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Accommodations Video

Meridian Yachts 441 Sedan Bridge:
Extended Cruising in Comfort

Meridian 441
Whether you choose straight shafts or pods, 441 Sedan Bridge can still be docked with joystick functionality.

Meridian Yachts has been making affordable cruisers for years, but now the 441 Sedan Bridge is powered by optional Zeus pods.  For many people, joystick docking control makes buying a cruising boat a much easier decision.  The real treat is in her comfortable layout that features two private staterooms and two private heads. Her elevated galley and dinette offer views that will make this area one of the most popular on the boat.  Let's take a look onboard...

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Features Video

MJM 40z:
Adept at Cruising and Entertaining

MJM 40z
The MJM 40z has a length overall of 43' 2" (13.16 m), and a beam of 12' (3.7 m). Enter a cruise speed of 15.6 mph and she'll burn only 9.1 gph.

Here's a boat, designed for a cruising couple that also has a lot of friends. While she's one of the most capable cruisers we've seen for a couple, the fact that she can entertain the crowd so well is not lost on us. Today we take a look at the on-deck features of the MJM 40z to see just how well she handles crowds and the nautical elegance in which they are surrounded. More...

Builder direct inquiry -- email mjmyachts@verizon.net

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Features Video

Monte Carlo Yachts 76:
Innovative Exterior Design

Monte Carlo Yachts 76
The Monte Carlo Yachts 76 has many features that we think exemplify what a luxury yacht should be.

This award-winning yacht has so many features throughout her layout that we had to break it up into multiple videos just to make it watchable. Today, we take a look at her exterior features and see how innovative her design is for entertaining. This Monte Carlo Yachts 76 is part of a new endeavor by the Beneteau Group to create a full line of motor yachts over 60’ (18 m) and we can already see the style that starts to define the brand. More...

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Test Video

Prestige 500S:
She's Fast and Quiet

Prestige 500S
Because the Prestige 500S has so many hull side windows, the lower decks have an open and airy feel. An open floor plan on her main deck adds to her roominess.

The design team at Prestige has a very good handle on building affordability into its luxury yachts. They also have a good grasp on how to design a hull for best performance. With twin 435-hp IPS600 engines driving our 49'10" (15.2 m) test boat we topped out at 29.8 knots and had a best cruise range of 311 miles. We also found her to be one of the quietest boats that we've ever tested in class. More...

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Captain's Report

Princecraft Platinum SE 206:
Durability Is Built-In

Princecraft Platinum SE 206
With a dry weight of only 1,840 lbs (835 kg) this 20 foot (6.1 m) boat is easily transported without the need for heavy-duty tow vehicles.

Canadian-built Princecraft is not exactly a household name in the U.S., but in Canada she has a long heritage and a respected reputation.  Over the years we have tested six Princecrafts and have developed a healthy respect for the design and construction of its boats.  This week we are taking a look at the Princecraft Platinum SE 206.  She's loaded with standard features that are rarely seen on her competition's options lists.  See our captain's report...

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Review Video

Sun Tracker Fishin' Barge 21:
A Roomy Family Fishing Platform

Sun Tracker Fishin' Barge 21
The Sun Tracker Fishin’ Barge 21 has an LOA of 21'11" (6.7 m), and a dry weight of 1,775 lbs (805 kg).

In our opinion pontoon boats make ideal family fishing platforms. They have outstanding roominess, the ability to fish around the whole boat, the draft to get into skinny water, and the ability to transform just as easily from fishing to family fun. The Sun Tracker Fishin' Barge 21 comes loaded with features you need. More...

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Review Video

Tracker Pro Guide V-16 WT:
Available in Side-Console or Walk-Through

Tracker Pro Guide V-16 WT
If you’re looking for fishing on a budget, then we have a “must see” boat for you.

Here’s a durable fishing boat that has attractive features such as all-welded construction, easy-to-clean vinyl flooring, and a color-matched trailer. She's fully rigged and ready to fish as soon as she leaves the showroom floor, and she comes in at an affordable price. As it turns out, Tracker bought a ton of 50-hp 2-strokes before the new emission standards went into effect and the company says that it is passing the savings on to the buyers. Let's take a look and see exactly what she offers. More...

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Test Video

Volvo Penta IPS:
Controlling Possibilities

Volvo Penta IPS

If boaters have self-doubt about their abilities to handle larger vessels around the dock, then IPS may just be the confidence boost that is needed.

IPS pod drives have been around for a while. Today they're being installed by over 120 boat builders in over 20 different countries. However, we still get questions from our members asking exactly what IPS is and what it can do. So today we take another look at how IPS is used in boats, and what does to the controllability. More...


Shurhold's Pro Polish

Shurhold Products
This PWC still has a showroom luster after a week of use and several washes.

When the team at Shurhold told us that their Pro Polish was “Better than an old fashioned wax” and one of the reasons was that it is a “polymer based formula with cosmetic grade ingredients,” we just had to send it to our skunk works for testing. The results: when applying we could see swirl marks and water spots disappear, and when buffed out, the resulting finish looked just as advertised - a nice deep luster with a showroom shine. But that was not enough, so after a week of use and four washings, with only drying the surface, we took a picture. We’d say this passed the test. Get complete product information 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

Performing Your Own Boat Maintenance

Capt. SteveSmart Boating Cover 

If you are one of those handy or hands-on types make sure you use genuine marine parts when servicing your boat.

This week Capt. Steve goes over five lessons and guidelines on tips for doing your own boat maintenance. In these lessons Capt. Steve will also go over some tips on marine head maintenance, and battery care. These are basic procedures which all recreational boaters should be aware of. 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

"See, I told you this works way better than using nail polish remover!" - E. Clark

Second Place

“Marge and Betty from Nebraska experience boating for the first time.”
 - J. Ryan

Third Place

“Playing 'slap the buoy' is awesome!”
- Mcgannon

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 7/25/2012

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