New: Yamaha AR192, Formula 350 Crossover Bowrider, Hatteras GT54 // 17 Reviews - 08/15/2012
BoatTEST Newsletter August 15, 2012 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
IN THIS ISSUE
- Formula 350 Crossover Bowrider
- Yamaha AR192
- Boston Whaler 370 Outrage
- Carolina Cat 23DC
- Cruisers Yachts 540 SC
- Chaparral 420 Premiere
- Everglades 230 DC
- Harris FloteBote Solstice 230
- Hatteras GT54
- Intrepid 245 Center Console
- Jeanneau NC11
- Mako 234 Center Console
- Prestige 550 Flybridge
- Robalo R247
- Sea Ray 190 Sport
- Tahoe Q5i
- Tigé Z3
- Volvo Penta OceanX
- Sea Tow Test
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Formula 350
Crossover Bowrider:
Overnight-Capable

LEAD STORY
The Formula 350 Crossover Bowrider combines the overnight accommodations of a cruiser, a huge seating area forward like a deckboat, and a bridge deck, cockpit and stern of an express.

Two hugely popular boat types are the bowrider and the express cruiser. One provides a usable seating area in the bow, the other has sleeping accommodations. Formula has created a boat that allows for the combination of both designs in the new 350 Crossover Bowrider. This “CBR” is quite literally the best of both worlds with a roomy, useable bow, plus a cabin with sleeping amenities, enclosed head and a galley. We recently reported on our preliminary look, now we've tested her. Let's see how she did. More...

Schedule a test drive.

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New Boat

All-New Yamaha AR192:
Supercharged Single Engine

Yamaha 192
The new Yamaha AR192 with a supercharged 1812cc four-cylinder, four-stroke, 16 valve, purpose-built marine engine. Note how much usable space is on the two tier stern transom design.

Yamaha has introduced its latest jet drive boat model with a supercharged, single engine jet drive power system in a 19'2'' foot watersports-ready package. In our review of the new Yamaha AR192 we will look at several items we think make this boat stand out amongst other models in class. The most obvious is the supercharged, single engine and jet-drive set up, but the fact that the entire boat -- hull, deck and the engine are made by the same company is also noteworthy. With a fold-down tower, premium sound system, and sport topsides, the Yamaha AR192 has a MSRP starting at $30,999. Let’s move in for a closer look....

Request a brochure.

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Test Video

Boston Whaler 370 Outrage:
She Has Long Legs Offshore

Boston Whaler 370 Outrage
With an LOA of 37’6 " (11.4 m) and a beam of 11’6 " (3.5 m) the Boston Whaler 370 Outrage is a serious contender in the battle of offshore center consoles.

Boston Whaler's 370 Outrage is built to handle offshore conditions and that alone makes her an outstanding fishing platform. While she was conceived as a fishing machine, more and more of the cruising set is gravitating towards the 370 Outrage as well. For that reason she can be equally well set-up for distance cruising. Either way, she has a 334 nautical range at best cruise.  Take a look at our full test. More...

Boston Whaler Factory A look at how Boston Whalers are built.

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Captain's Report

Carolina Cat 23DC:
A Family Crossover Mom Will Like

Carolina Cat 23 DC
There's a new boat coming from the folks at Carolina Cat -- the 23DC.

Carolina Cat has had good success with its 23CC and the builder quickly realized that the hull has so much available interior space that it lends itself well to creating a family-friendly dual console. This 23DC has a 22'7'' (6.88 m) LOA and the standard 8'6" (2.59 m) beam, but she's easily got the cockpit space of a 25’- 26’ (7.6 m – 7.9 m) boat. She has a capacity for 10 persons and a full-size head with 5'5'' of headroom.  Now let's drill down a little further into the details to see what else she's got. Read the full review...

Request a test drive.

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Interior Video

Cruisers Yachts 540 Sports Coupe:
The Largest in Cruisers' Lineup

Cruisers Yachts 540
The saloon on the Cruisers Yachts 540 Sports Coupe is as large and as elegant as any boat we've seen in class. Note the curved door on the left and the AC vents hidden in the valance below the overhead.

Whenever someone comes to us and says "I'm tall so I need a boat with headroom" we immediately think of one brand… Cruisers Yachts. Somehow they manage to add lots of interior space -- and headroom -- 6'10'' (2.08 m) in the case of the 540.  And, her interior is as classy as any in her size range.  She is a real yacht, full of amenities.  Take a look at this full features video. 

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Captain's Report

Chaparral 420 Premiere:
Locked, Loaded and Ready

Chaparral 420 Premiere Sport
Chaparral has loaded up the largest boat in its line with nearly every feature imaginable as standard equipment. The Chaparral 420 Premiere was designed for large lakes or saltwater cruising.

The Chaparral 420 Premiere is the builder's flagship and obviously the company wants a place for the thousands of loyal Chaparral owners to migrate to when moving up. She comes standard with a Volvo Penta 370-hp diesel IPS propulsion system with joystick and a 10 kW generator. She is designed for first-class entertaining and has a clever layout below that can accommodate from one to three couples or a family. Read the review...

Request a brochure.

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Review Video

Everglades 230 DC:
Feature-Packed Dual Console

Everglades 230 DC
This Everglades 230 DC measures 23'7" (7.2 m) with an 8‘6'' (2.59 m) beam.

The Everglades 230 DC has caught our eye. Not only does she have striking good looks but she is loaded with thoughtful and innovative features at nearly every turn. It's easy to say that the boat crosses over between fishing and family features, but this one really executes the crossover well. We'll explain what we mean. Watch the review video...

Schedule a test drive.

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Captain's Report

Harris FloteBote Solstice 230:
Go Ahead and Bring the Crowd

Harris FloteBote Solstice 230
The PIII package on the Solstice 230 adds a center tube which increases the performance and carrying capacity.

In our opinion, Harris FloteBote is one of the premier pontoon builders today. Its quality and fit-and-finish is evident throughout every boat we've seen. The Solstice 230 is rated for up to a dozen people. The wide choice of options allows consumers to upgrade luxury and comfort to nearly any level desired.  Pontoon boats are big sellers this year and Harris FloteBote is one of the best brands in the field.  More...

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Captain's Report

Hatteras GT54:
42.4 Knots at WOT

Hatteras GT54
The new Hatteras GT54 recently tested on Long Island was powered by twin 1600-hp C-32A CAT diesels.  The hull color is "Pamlico" blue.

When a conservative builder like Hatteras comes out with a new boat, it's big news – but if it's a whole new line of boats, it's three times as interesting. The Hatteras GT series of sportfishermen/convertibles includes the GT60, GT63 and the model featured in this report, the GT54. Inspired by fast, comfortable and seaworthy Outer Banks custom charter boats, the new Hatteras GT54 is different from similar-sized boats previously built by the company and has a long list of features that distinguish her from other boats on the market. More...

Request factory visit -- 252-633-3101

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Captain's Report

Intrepid 245 Center Console:
Factory-Direct Customization

Intrepid 245 Center Console
At 25'3" (7.87 m) LOA with an 8'6" (2.6 m) beam, this 245 Center Console is the smallest boat Intrepid makes, but it has the same attention to detail as the biggest.

Unlike production boat builders, Intrepid will pretty much do whatever the customer wants as long as he's willing to do his part and write a check for it. But the thing of it is, nearly everything a buyer wants is already offered by the Intrepid design team. The 245 Center Console is a combination of some of the company's best customization requests. So let's take a look and see what separates this Intrepid from the crowd. More...

Have a specific question? Email the builder kclinton@IntrepidPowerBoats.com (727)-548-1260

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Features Video

Jeanneau NC11:
Clever Practicality at Every Turn

Jeanneau NC11
The booth seating in the Jeanneau NC11 salon morphs into a forward-facing companion seat, an aft-facing seat for entertaining and even a U-shaped settee for dining.

This Jeanneau NC11 is a very deceiving boat. At first glance she seems to be a basic design but close inspection reveals many innovative design features.  Just as her name (NC for New Concept) implies, she is a somewhat unusual, new concept.  Part of the concept involves being able to use the boat in different ways by moving seats and the transom. Join us on our features walk-through and you'll see exactly what we mean.

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Test Video

Mako 234 Center Console:
Does This Classic Still Have Mojo?

Mako 234 Center Console
The Mako 234 Center Console has an LOA of 23'4" (7.11 m) and a beam of 8'6" (2.59 m).

Here's a classic design with lasting power that has been revamped to keep up with the times. Her proven hull wasn't broke and wasn't fixed, but the rest of the boat was pretty much totally made over and the changes added some 600 pounds (272 kg) to her empty weight. With twin engines for offshore redundancy, we set out to test this time-proven design to see if she still has her classic performance. More...

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Test Video

Prestige 550 Flybridge:
Tested with Zeus Pods

Prestige 550 Flybridge
While she's a large at 58'9" (17.92 m), the Prestige 550 Flybridge handles with grace and poise, especially around the dock.

One thing we can say about the Prestige line is that it continues to impress our senior test captain. This 550 Flybridge was powered by Cummins diesels driving Zeus pods and he says the combination was outstanding. Not only did she have good performance and economy, but she was comfortable to operate. Even more noticeable was how well she responded to the joystick while maneuvering between yachts for a med-moor approach. She has three staterooms, two heads, plus crew's quarters aft.  Watch the test video...

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Captain's Report

Robalo R247:
Offshore-Capable Dual Console

Robalo R247
The Robalo R247 is designed to be a versatile utility boat for all manner of missions including cruising, fishing, waterskiing, diving, or just blasting around. The hardtop is optional.

Taking a runabout hull and outfitting it for offshore use doesn't work very well. Here, however, we see how the opposite is true. The Robalo R247 has an offshore hull with a family-friendly layout. By making the fishing and watersports features optional she can be rigged either way.  Consider her 22-degree deadrise hull at the transom a bonus for offshore work. More...

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Captain's Report

Sea Ray 190 Sport:
Adding Amenities to Entry-Level

Sea Ray 190 Sport
The Sea Ray 190 Sport has a LOA of 19’8” (5.99 m) and a beam of 7’3” (2.21 m), but it’s her 2600 lb. (1179 kg) that makes her so easily transported.

Our first impression as we stepped aboard the Sea Ray 190 Sport was how well she was executed. Comfortable bucket seats have custom embroidery and multiple tones of vinyl. A leather-wrapped wheel was mounted in front of attractive gauges with deep stainless bezels. A stylish sunpad leads to an extended swim platform. It all adds up to a lot of features that are typically left out of a boat that some would consider entry-level. Let’s take a look...

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Captain's Report

Tahoe Q5i:
Bowrider for the Cost Conscious

Tahoe Q5i
Tahoe is no stranger to making affordable boats and the Q5i is advertised for $23,995 with motor and trailer.

Tahoe not only makes good looking boats, but affordable ones as well. We're impressed with the number of features the Tahoe Q5i has. Our captain’s report goes over all of the details that make this boat attractive for families spending time on the water. And the Q5i is even available in a fishing version. Read our complete review here...

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Captain's Report

Tigé Z3:
Delivering the Endless Wave

Tigé Z3
The Z3’s low-riding transom is designed to generate a large wake specifically for wake surfing.

For those who have discovered the sport of wake surfing, Tigé has come up with the Z3.  We think it is the “go to boat” for delivering the endless wave. This boat allows operators to select not only the size and shape of the wave, but even which side it appears on. More...

Request test drive.

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Corrosion Prevention

Volvo Penta OceanX:
State-of-the-Art
Corrosion Resistance

Volvo Penta OceanX
Volvo Penta's OceanX system is designed to fight saltwater corrosion with new alloys and coatings plus solve other problems that lower units have historically encountered.

The "OceanX" is Volvo Penta’s answer to the corrosive effects of salt water on both metals and rubber in the lower units of a sterndrive system. OceanX’s titanium-ceramic coating is applied using a state-of-the-art electro-deposition process. The coating greatly improves corrosion resistance – up to four times more resistant than conventional drives, says the company. Moreover the OceanX has water intrusion detection devices in the unit's bellows to give early warning of rubber degradation. But there is more to OceanX than this powerful one-two punch.  See our video explaining the system...

Request repower information.


Sponsor

What Makes
A Sea Tow Captain?

Sea Tow
So you think you’ve got what it takes to tow boats for a living? Don’t be so sure.

Ever wonder if you’ve got the “right stuff” to make it as a tow boat captain? We’ve got captains on our staff that have wide-ranging and diverse backgrounds and they all agreed -- this takes a special sort of a captain. Today, we look at what sort of person becomes a Sea Tow captain.  Learn more...


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

BoatTEST.com'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 BoatTEST.com's Boating Course it’s clearly not for beginners only, 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... 
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Lesson of the Week

PWC Safety Tips - Part II

Capt. SteveSmart Boating Cover 

PWCs are a lot of fun to drive, but like all boats they have their boundaries.  Don’t let an inexperienced person go for a joy ride on your PWC.


This week Capt. Steve goes over five lessons and guidelines on operating a PWC and some rules to follow. It’s tempting to want to play around on the PWC and perform stunts and jump wakes, but don’t attempt this if you’re a novice since you can fall off, injure yourself coming off a wave, or hurt someone else. Also, just because your PWC looks like it can handle two or three riders doesn’t mean it was designed to carry that weight. Follow the capacity plate for your PWC. The videos presented this week are part of BoatTEST.com’s USCG-approved Boating Course. 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

“I told you it would float!” – M. Dolan

Second Place

“Well at least I don't have to worry about leaving a wake.” – R. McCue

Third Place

“This is what you get when you put a politician in charge of building a houseboat.” - K. Sabin

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 8/15/2012

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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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.



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