New Sea Ray 37' Outboard Cruiser // Sea Fox 216 // Southport 27 // 15 Reviews - 08/08/2012
BoatTEST Newsletter August 8, 2012 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter. Tests You Can Trust
- Sea Ray 370 Venture
- Sea Fox 216DC
- Prestige 620S
- Bayliner 195 Bowrider
- Beneteau GT 38
- Cypress Cay 230 Seabreeze
- Glacier Bay 3480
- Hydra-Sports 4200 SF
- Meridian 391 Sedan Bridge
- MJM 29z
- Nitro Z-8
- Princecraft Ventura 192
- Southport 27 Center Console
- Sun Tracker Regency 250
- Tracker Pro Team 175 TXW
- Evinrude 250 H.O.
- Royal Purple Test
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

New Sea Ray 370 Venture: Revolutionary
Express Cruiser

Sea Ray 370 Venture
The new Sea Ray 370 Venture may be the vessel that pulls up the curtain on a new era of express cruiser design. Boating history in the making…

There have been lots of sea trials going on at Merritt Island, Florida recently in a boat that we have never seen before. The boat is incredibly quiet so we naturally wondered what kind of propulsion system it has. What we discovered might end up being the marine story of the year: the 37' (11.27 m) express cruiser pictured above is powered by twin Mercury 300-hp supercharged Verado outboard engines! By powering this 15,432-lb. (7,000-kgs.) boat with twin outboards Sea Ray in one stroke has created a completely new type of vessel that has a number of important advantages for boaters. Let’s take a first peek...

Request factory pricing.

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Captain's Report

Sea Fox 216DC:
Fish-Ready Dual Console

Sea Fox 216 DC
The Sea Fox 216DC has a LOA of 21' 3" (6.5 m), a beam of 8’6” (2.59 m) and a hull draft of 14” (35.6 cm.). We think dual console boats make a good all-around design for nearly any boating activity.

Over the last several years Sea Fox has earned a well-deserved reputation for building what its management likes to call "a balanced alternative" in terms of being well-designed and well-built, but also being competitively priced. The 216DC is right where she needs to be on all her measurements, and we notice her high freeboard gives her occupants an extra measure of safety when operating offshore. Being a dual console design she also has crossover features that make her a family-friendly boat as well. Read our full captain's report...

Request a brochure.

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Test Video

Prestige 620S:
62' Motoryacht for an Owner/Operator

Prestige 620 S
Even with her length overall of 63'11" (19.5 m) the Prestige 620S is easily managed by a shorthanded crew. We think she offers a lot of boat for the money.

In our opinion Prestige has done so much right with the 620S and all while still keeping her affordable. On our sea trial we found her to be an exemplary performer, and since she has joystick maneuverability she is easy for an owner/operator to handle.  With her wide, side decks and optional aft deck control station she can even be managed single-handed. Full test video...

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Review Video

Bayliner 195 Bowrider:
Starting Out Affordable

Bayliner 195 Bowrider
The Bayliner 195 Bowrider has a length overall of 19'5" (5.93 m), a beam of 7'11" (2.41 m) and a draft of 2'11" (.99 m).

Bayliner's latest launch, the 195 Bowrider will ensure that those starting out will clearly get the message that boating can be affordable and safe in addition to being fun. She's well built and we found her to be loaded with thoughtful features. Let's take a look. More...

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Test Video

Beneteau GT 38:
The Air Step Hull Pays Off

Beneteau Flyer Gran Turismo 38
If we had to come up with a distinctive characteristic of the GT 38, other than her Air Step hull, it would be that Beneteau has mastered creative use of space.

We've come to expect how a boat will handle as soon as we step aboard, but the Beneteau GT 38 was something different. She did not meet any of our handling expectations…rather, she exceeded all of them! She turned better than we thought she would, accelerated faster, and cut through waves with no pounding reentry. The reason for all of this unexpected pleasure can be summed up quite simply… Air Step. And it's a difference you have to feel. More...

Request factory price quote.

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Captain's Report

Cypress Cay 230 Seabreeze Fish:
Fish First, Cruise Later

Cypress Cay 230 Seabreeze Fish
The Cypress Cay 230 Seabreeze Fish has an LOA of 21' (6.4 m) and a trailerable 8'6" (2.59 m) beam.

Occasionally we see a pontoon boat with an added bait well and a rod holder and the marketing department called it a fishing boat. But the Cypress Cay 230 Seabreeze Fish seems to be a different animal. It looks to us as if this boat was designed with the original intention of being a fishing boat first. Of course you can still cruise in her, but the family that has a fisherman in the house will certainly appreciate it much more. Let's look at the full report...

Request a brochure.

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Captain's Report

Glacier Bay 3480:
Hardtop Ocean Runner

Glacier Bay 3480 Hardtop Ocean Runner
With an LOA of 37'6" (11.46 m) the Glacier Bay 3480 has a huge working cockpit complete with livewell, fish box, and a bait prep station.

Extended fishing expeditions are becoming increasingly popular and they require a boat with overnight accommodations. Because these boats also make capable cruising platforms, luxury and comfort become added features. The Glacier Bay 3480 is one of the most versatile cruising/fishing platforms we've seen in this size range. Our tests of catamarans have shown that they provide a smooth ride in all but the worst conditions, which makes them welcome news for cruising men and women as well as to anglers. Let's take a closer look at the Glacier Bay 3480 Hardtop Ocean Runner...

Request a test drive.

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Features Video

Hydra-Sports 4200 SF:
The Center Console Dreadnought

Hydra-Sports 4200 SF
At 41'7" (12.7 m) the 4200 SF is not a small boat by anyone's standards, but she's more than 10,000 lbs (4,535 kg) lighter, and carries more fuel than a comparable express fishboat.

Being that the Hydra-Sports 4200 SF is one of the largest production center consoles available, it is very easy to see how she can be an attractive competitor to fuel-guzzling convertibles. She has the same fish-fighting tools to get the job done at half to one-third the cost of a small battlewagon. As long as sleeping accommodations and cooking a 5-course meal are not a requirement, she is an attractive option for those looking to trade up… or down. More...

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Test Video

Meridian Yachts 391:
A Popular Sedan Bridge

Meridian Yachts 391 Sedan Bridge
Our test of the Meridian 391 Sedan Bridge confirmed that this 2 stateroom cruiser is relatively economical to operate at best cruise where she has a range of 266 nautical miles.

Meridian Yachts tells us that their 391 Sedan Bridge was the best-selling sedan in North America in 2011. Based on our tests, her handling capabilities, her comfortable layout and her price, we can certainly see why that would be. She has a solid feel to her handling and she rides like a much larger yacht than her 40'11" (12.5 m) length overall. Perhaps most important, she has an innovative layout both on the main deck and below. More...

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Captain's Report

MJM 29z:
Downeast and Upscale

MJM 29z
The “Z” in the 29z stands for Zurn, as in Doug Zurn, one of the finest designers of our times. Her layout comes from the fertile mind of Bob Johnstone of J-Boats fame.

MJM Yachts mixes classic Downeast design with 21st century boat-building practices to create lightweight, efficient boats that are also very easy on the eyes. The MJM 29z was designed to allow for many customizing choices:  open, enclosed, or even outboard powered. And because her hull is so well designed, she’s also efficient in addition to being a classy cruising boat. More...

Have a specific question?  Email the builder directly...

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Captain's Report

Nitro Z-8:
Tournament Ready

Nitro Z-8
The Nitro Z-8 has a LOA of 20'1" (6.12 m) a beam of 8' (2.44 m) and a draft
of only 14 " (35.6 cm).

With massive storage compartments, large casting decks, an insulated livewell, and a redesigned bottom the Nitro Z-8 is definitely rigged for high-level tournament fishing. We also like the removable port console. She can handle up to 250-hp and a jack plate will give maximum performance in skinny water. Nitro has supplied us with one of its promotional videos that goes into detail about the boat.  Watch it here...

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Review Video

Princecraft Ventura 192:
Taking Multi-tasking Seriously

Princecraft Ventura 192
The Princecraft Ventura 192 has an LOA of 19'2" (5.8 m) and a dry weight of 2,078 lbs (943 kg).  She is ruggedly constructed and priced right.

This Princecraft Ventura 192 certainly has some unique features. She has more seating than we've seen in any 19’ (5.79 m) boat. She's rigged for partying, skiing, wakeboarding, and fishing without having to make any conversions. Storage is everywhere. But her most striking feature… she's aluminum. And there's still more to learn about this innovative boat. See it now...

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Captain's Report

Southport 27 CC:
Hunt Design for Offshore Work

Southport 27 CC
Bashing to windward out the passage at Newport's Castle Hill is no problem for the Southport 27 with her deep-V design, sharp entry and raceboat construction.

Breathes there a man with soul so dead that never to himself has said -- after seeing a Southport 27 -- "She's a real beauty!" Designed by the world-renowned firm of C. Raymond Hunt & Associates and built by a team of experienced big-boat builders who decided to strike out in small-boat territory, the Southport 27 was first introduced in 2003 and turned heads at boat shows all over the American East Coast. Trouble was that ownership of the company changed hands several times, they were usually under capitalized, and the brand was slow to get traction. Then the Great Recession hit.

Now the Southport 27 CC is back and she is owned by a larger company than ever before, one with profit centers in diversified composite manufacturing for the U.S. Military and heavy industry. Construction of the boat has been moved from North Carolina to Maine and the future for the Southport 27 CC has never looked brighter. More...

Request a brochure.

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Captain's Report

Sun Tracker Regency Party Barge 250 XP3: Combining Performance and Utility

Sun Tracker Regency Party Barge 250 XP3
Much like mono-hulled boats, pontoons cover a broad spectrum from the low to high end. This 250 XP3 is clearly in the upper end of the spectrum from Sun Tracker.

During our test with a single 250-hp Mercury Optimax, we reached a top speed of 50.4 mph. Every seat was softly padded, comfortable, and storage was seemingly everywhere. She also had features such as a standard GPS and Bimini. The way we see it, this is definitely a ‘toon that combines performance and utility. She's even wheelchair accessible...

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Test Video

Tracker Pro Team 175 TXW:
Smooth Ride Guaranteed

Tracker Pro Team 175 TXW
At $15,495 for boat, 60-hp motor and trailer package this represents one of the best
deals in class.

Tracker is big on producing boats with features pro and amateur anglers expect and the Pro Team 175 TWX is among its most popular. We found her to provide quick acceleration and a top speed of 34.3 mph with a 50-hp Mercury 4-stroke engine. We also found her to have a very smooth ride, but that's not surprising since Tracker guarantees it. Let's see what else our full test reveals. More...

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Test Video

Evinrude 250 H.O.:
Multiple Applications

Action Marine 23 Offshore Ranger Z520 Comanche
Action Marine 23 Offshore test. Ranger Z520 Comanche test.
When comparing engine test data there are many variables to consider from the weather conditions to the type of boat, its beam, hull design, load onboard and many other things. We have purposely tested the Evinrude E-TEC 250 H.O. on several different types of boats in fresh and salt water. Here are two samples with the test of the Ranger Z520 Comanche bassboat and an Action Marine 23 Offshore boat.  More...


Royal Purple Lubricity Test

Royal Purple
The engineers at Royal Purple test their product and compare film strength.

The film strength of a lubricant is its inherent ability to withstand the effects of load, speed and temperature without breaking down. Higher film strength results in reduced wear, better fuel economy and more power. Take a look at this video made by Royal Purple...

How to find Royal Purple...

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 video 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

PWC Requirements and Rules

Capt. SteveSmart Boating Cover 

In the eyes of the law PWCs are boats, thus must follow the same rules.

This week Capt. Steve goes over four lessons and guidelines on PWC rules and requirements. First of all, they follow the same rules as boats, so be aware of any restrictions in your area. The videos presented this week are part of’s USCG-approved Boating Course. 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

“I think we'll be fine until we get to the falls!” – A. Timms

Second Place

“Ok she floats, but is her hole-shot fast enough to get me up on skis?” – J. Beleski

Third Place

“They traded their blimp for this?”
– R. Davis

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 8/8/2012

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