Hatteras Yachts GT54 // Sea Ray 300 SLX // Intrepid 327 CC - 08/29/2012
BoatTEST Newsletter August 29, 2012 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
- Hatteras Yachts GT54
- Sea Ray 300 SLX
- Carolina Cat 18CC
- Boston Whaler 285 Conquest
- Great Loop Update
- Cruisers Yachts 430 SC
- Chaparral H20 Sport 18
- Formula 310 FX5
- Harris FloteBote Cruiser CX 220
- Intrepid 327 Cuddy
- Tigé 22i
- Prestige 440S
- Pursuit ST310
- Tahoe Q5 SF
- Mako Incentive Pricing
- Volvo Penta Tip of the Week
- Sea Tow Test
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Hatteras Yachts GT54:
New Test for a New Model

Hatteras GT54
At 53'10" (16.18 m) this Hatteras Yachts GT54 is the smallest in the company's lineup. But with the widest beam in class she has plenty of interior space.

The Hatteras Yachts GT54 marks the company's continuation of building world-class sportfishing vessels, but also luxury yachts that will appeal to the cruising set. Her redesigned interior features several nods to the old school Hatteras designs of yesteryear while still allowing for updates based on customer feedback. Externally her concave hull design and big engines allow her to shatter the 40 kn barrier these boats seek to achieve. Our full test review is ready for watching...

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New Test Video

Sea Ray 300 SLX:
Built for Twins, Tested with Single

Sea Ray 300 SLX
With an engine room wide enough for a twin installation, we wanted to see how this 7,700 lb (3,493 kg) boat handled with a single 380-hp engine. As it turned out, we see no need for twins.

The Sea Ray 300 SLX is the largest bowrider in the SLX lineup and provides more room for a crowd to grill, relax, cruise and dine all while being surrounded in a luxurious interior. The SLX models can be thought of as "Select Extreme” packages as they offer first-class options such as two-tone vinyl and a built-in cockpit grill to increase the level of comfort in an already high-class model. That makes this 300 SLX well deserving of the bragging rights she brings with ownership. More...

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Captain's Report

Carolina Cat 18CC:
Taking Affordable Outside the Inlet

Carolina Cat 18CC
The Carolina Cat 18CC is a no-frills rig designed to get boaters on the water for short money and provide them a safe and stable platform while they're out there.

While the Carolina Cat 18CC may be a relatively small boat her cat hull and high freeboard make her very well suited for taking trips beyond the typical protected waters. She's rated for a 115-hp engine and her utilitarian layout plants her well into the workboat category. That's fine with us because a hard-working fishing boat is right up our alley. More...

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Test Video

Boston Whaler 285 Conquest:
A Cruise Capable Fishing Boat

Boston Whaler 285 Conquest
The Boston Whaler 285 Conquest on test day reached a top speed of 43.8 mph and a best cruise range of 270 miles.

Boston Whaler's Conquest line continues the trend of using offshore fishing boats as weekend cruising platforms and this 285 Conquest is one of the best illustrations of that cross-platform use. She has plenty of room for fishing, but that space can just as easily be converted into entertaining space. She also has comfortable accommodations for either overnighting in the canyons or cruising to the islands for the weekend. We also found her to be an excellent handling boat as our full test review will show. More...

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Beneteau Swift 34:
Great Loop Testing

Greatest Loop Update
The Beneteau Swift 34 tied up for the night.

Since August 19th, the BoatTEST.com Cruising Team has been on board the Beneteau Swift 34 and pushing her hard on the final leg of the Great Loop cruise. They have been using and evaluating all the systems as well as seeing how the boat handles in a multitude of sea conditions. They have also been experiencing just how comfortable and practice it is for three to four people to live on the boat for several weeks, and so far the majority of the reports are positive. Follow along or just check in to see the latest crew images and reports, especially if you are researching a new cruising boat.

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Test Video

Cruisers Yachts 430 Sports Coupe:
Tested with Twin IPS500s

Cruisers Yachts 430 Sports Coupe
With twin IPS500 pods driving our test 430 Sports Coupe we reached a top speed of 32.1 kts and a best cruise range of 307 miles.

We think the Cruisers Yachts 430 Sports Coupe makes a fine transitional boat for those looking to move up to a cruising yacht. She has two private en suite staterooms and a surprisingly spacious layout. On deck, her opening sunroof allows Mother Nature into the protected helm deck, but you can also operate from the standing position with the sunroof closed. That's a perk lacking in many sport coupe designs.  Take a look at our full test review for how she handles. More...

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Features Video

Chaparral H20 Sport 18:
Affordable and Feature Packed

Chaparral H20 Sport 18
In order to build brand loyalty, Chaparral includes a lot of features as standard into their entry-level sportboat.

As entry-level sportboats go, this Chaparral H20 18 Sport has a lot to offer in an affordable package. We tested her with the only engine choice offered, a 135-hp 3.0L, and reached a top speed of 39.1 mph. She even has the same extended V-plane hull found on Chaparral's larger boats. As for her handling, it is in a word, exhilarating. Just take a look at our full test review. More...

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Test Video

Formula 310 FX5:
One Cool Performer

Formula 310 FX5
The 310 FX5 is the second in an upscale series of boats from Formula that continues to impress.

As it turns out, the FX line doesn't disappoint. It was designed to add an even a higher level of features to an already upscale line. In this second launch of the series, we found outstanding fit-and-finish, a comfortable layout, and most of all… the characteristic Formula sportboat handling. So while the rest of the crowd drools over the looks, let's climb aboard the 310 FX5 and put her through her paces. Full test and performance review video...

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Captain's Report

Harris FloteBote 220 Cruiser CX:
Have It Your Way

Harris FloteBote Cruiser CX 220
Harris FloteBote is among the leading builders of pontoons in the U.S.
This 220 Cruiser CX has a LOA of 23’ (7.32 m).

There’s no need to get a full load of features if you’re never going to use them. That’s why Harris FloteBote created the 220 Cruiser CX. While you still get the essentials like well padded seating and fiberglass helm, you don’t get a lot of fluff… unless you want to add it on. As for those options that are available, we found them to be reasonably priced, so you won’t be breaking the bank by adding a few creature comforts. Take a look at our full captain’s report...

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Test Video

Intrepid 327 Cuddy:
Center Console’s Next Step

Intrepid 327 Cuddy
The 327 Cuddy is built on the same hull as the 327 CC, but with the added bonus of accommodating overnight adventures.

With this next evolution in the popular 327 hull, this cuddy version brings overnight accommodations to the center console model. Since the original purpose of this new hull design was to create a boat that could handle the new, larger 4-stroke engines, you can imagine how eager we were to test this latest generation boat and see how she performs.  Her market-leading features and performance are just the start...

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Test Video

Tigé 22i:
Shredding on a Smaller Ride

Tigé 22i
The Tigé 22i has a LOA of 21'9" (6.6 m) and weighs 3,895 lbs (1,766 kg).
With roomy seating she has a capacity for 10 persons.

While the 22i may be among the smaller boats in the Tigé lineup she's built with the same quality of construction, the same convex-V hull, and the TAPS control system of the company’s most aggressive performers. She's also loaded with comfort features throughout. Let's take a features walk-through...

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Test Video

Prestige 440S:
Balancing Features and Price

Prestige 440S
For those who think that all express cruisers are the same, there's one big differentiating feature about the Prestige 440S that separates her from the crowd.

Prestige has done what others try to do and that is to create a perfect balance of features and price. She's a quiet running boat and with twin Volvo Penta IPS500 drives she's also efficient, burning only 23 gph at best cruise. For the complete story on just what we think of her handling capabilities, take a look at our full test review. More...

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Review Video

Pursuit ST310:
A Premium Center Console

Pursuit ST310
Pursuit has long been known for producing high-quality center consoles.

Multi-tasking crossover boats are becoming more and more commonplace.  This makes sense since there's a direct correlation between making people who control the checkbook happy with the boat and closing a sale on the boat. The Pursuit ST310 has a level of innovative design and quality, along with fishing, diving, cruising, and entertaining features that she's sure to be a hit with just about anybody. Take a look at our full features review and see what we mean. More...

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Captain's Report

Tahoe Q5 SF:
Affordable Ski and Fish Package

Tahoe Q5 SF
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 a 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 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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Clearance Event

Mako Inshore/Offshore
Clearance Event

Mako Pro 17 Skiff CC Mako 212 CC Mako 234 CC
Pro 17 Skiff CC Listings 212 CC Listings 234 CC Listings

From time to time the BoatTEST.com team comes across incentive pricing for tested boat models that we think are exceptional. Mako boats is running a clearance program that it is calling a "Steal of a Deal" which applies to all available models in stock. We have tested the Pro 17 Skiff CC, the 212 CC, and the 234 CC, so if you are considering any of these models you can use our in-depth test and review results to help with your research. We have provided links to each test page as well as the list of available boats currently in stock and their clearance pricing.

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Corrosion Protection

Volvo Penta:
Tip of the Week

Volvo Penta DPH Volvo Penta
Pictured here, the DPH drive is connect to a 400-hp D6 diesel engine. The OceanX outdrive is attractively designed and it’s engineered for the long haul.

Through our testing of boats powered by Volvo Penta products and our visits to the Volvo Penta testing facility, we have learned about the many steps taken to prevent corrosion on drives and engines. One example is the OceanX outdrive, which is treated with an electro-deposition treatment with titanium ceramic coating to help prevent corrosion. There are also two active sacrificial anodes, one located on the top of the anti-ventilation plate and the other on the bottom of the transom shield. Here is the tip: While the OceanX or any DPH drive does not need additional coatings for corrosion protection, you may want to coat them with bottom paint for anti-fouling protection. It's recommended that this procedure should be carried out by a qualified technician at an authorized Volvo Penta dealership due to environmental concerns.


Should You Render
Towing Assistance?

Sea Tow
“To tow, or not to tow,” that is the question. And it is a complicated one. But there is a right answer.

If you came upon the boat pictured above we’d like to think that you’d stop and help in any way you could. But just what does that mean? Could doing the right thing lead to something going horribly wrong? To get answers to these questions and others we sent Captain Steve to sit down with the folks at our sponsor, Sea Tow. 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

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 video course available...period. Order here...

Watch the trailer...

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Lesson of the Week

Requirements for Recreational Boaters: Inflatable Life Jackets

Capt. SteveSmart Boating Cover 

Capt. Steve explains requirements for all boaters.

This week Captain Steve examines inflatable life vests in detail. He walks you through the benefits of this type of vest and demonstrates how to check indicators, perform maintenance and how to manually inflate your vest. 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

"An instance where 'Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell' may actually have merit." - P. Lazarus

Second Place

"Who says you have to give up offshore fishing in a down economy?" - K. Campbell

Third Place

"As a young boy, Mark was known for running away from home.  Some things never change." - J. Dooley

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 8/29/2012

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.

We need reader help!

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

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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.