New Videos: Prestige 550, Hatteras GT54, Formula 350 Crossover Bowrider // 14 Tests - 09/12/2012
BoatTEST Newsletter September 12, 2012 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter. Tests You Can Trust
- Prestige 550 Flybridge
- Formula 350 Crossover Bowrider
- Hatteras Yachts GT54
- Boston Whaler Factory Tour
- Sea Ray 370 Sundancer
- Cruisers Yachts 41 Cantius
- Chaparral H2O 19 Sport
- Harris FloteBote Factory
- Intrepid 475 Sport Yacht
- Jeanneau Leader 9
- Mako 212 Center Console
- Riviera 53 Enclosed Flybridge
- Robalo R180
- Tahoe Q8 SSi
- Tigé RZ4
- Evinrude E-TEC 50-hp
- Royal Purple Outboard Test
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Prestige 550 Flybridge:
A Woman's Point of View

Prestige 550 Flybridge
Prestige strives to deliver interesting designs and beautiful materials in a layout that is comfortable and inviting without breaking the bank.

The Prestige 550 Flybridge has four distinct gathering areas, and an aft galley right in between two of them in an open floor plan layout. Her full-beam master stateroom is as big as we’ve seen on much larger yachts and both her forward sunpad and forward stateroom offer innovations that expand their usefulness. Most importantly, because she’s a Prestige, she’s priced right. Let’s step aboard and see how Prestige has done on this 550 Flybridge.  Features and walkthrough video...

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New Features Video

Formula 350 Crossover Bowrider:
Combining a Bowrider with a Cruiser

Formula 350 Crossover Bowrider
For boaters who would like the best of both worlds -- the seating room of a bowrider and the comfort of a cuddy -- Formula has designed the 350 Crossover Bowrider.

As big fans of large bowriders, we still have to admit that they are limited to fair weather, daytime boating… until now. Formula has come up with a winning combination that combines the spacious layout of a huge 35’ (10.67 m) bowrider with the overnight amenities of a pocket cruiser.  That also means she has comfortable shelter during a passing summer shower.  She’s called the 350 Crossover Bowrider or CBR, and she’s definitely a creation that is long overdue. Let’s take a look at our full features review video and see how it all comes together. More...

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New Features Video

Hatteras Yachts GT54:
Comfort for Ocean Conditions

Hatteras Yachts GT54
At 53’10” (16.41 m) LOA and 17’3” (5.27 m) of beam, the Hatteras Yachts GT54 is a wide open and spacious cruiser leaving room for fishing and spending extended stays onboard.

The Hatteras Yachts GT54 was built to be an uncompromising cruiser providing comfort while offshore or even at the dock. Her exterior styling is as modern and sleek as the latest Outer Banks custom-built boat.  Her interior has touches of Euro-design blended in tastefully with Hatteras' traditional approach.  She has three staterooms and two heads and is every bit a cruiser as she is a fisherman.  Let’s take a look at our latest features video review. More...

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Inside the Factory

Boston Whaler Factory Tour:
The Difference Is in the Build

Boston Whaler Factory Tour
Our look behind the scenes at the Boston Whaler factory clearly demonstrated why a Boston Whaler costs a little more.

Some of the important factors that set Boston Whaler boats apart from others are the design, building techniques, and the materials used. Of course most of this can never be seen just by looking at a “Whaler” at a boat show, or even when driving it. That’s why we decided it was time to highlight these unique build factors in a factory tour video. Let’s take a look.

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New Test Video

Sea Ray 370 Sundancer:
A New and Improved Model

Sea Ray 370 Sundancer
Based on customer feedback, a lot of changes were made to the latest 370 Sundancer.

Sea Ray has made important changes to the popular 370 Sundancer and most have been based on customer feedback. Notably, Sea Ray has gone from standard V-drives to twin B3 sterndrives powered by 375-hp 8.2L engines. The V-drives are still available as an option, but the transfer to sterndrives opens up the door to the benefits of Axius for joystick operation. We tested this latest model with the Axius system and loved the handling both at, and away from, the dock. Join us for a ride as we do a full test video. More...

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Features Video

Cruisers Yachts 41 Cantius:
A Uniquely Styled Cruiser

Cruisers Yachts 41 Cantius
We were impressed by the innovative use of space in the 48 Cantius, and this 41 is a continuation of the same open layout.

We can’t decide if it’s the unique styling, the huge amounts of space, or maybe the treatment of the multiple entertaining venues scattered about the Cruisers Yachts 41 Cantius that make her so appealing. Perhaps it’s a combination of all three coupled with her docile handling characteristics.  Here’s our features video review...

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Captain's Report

Chaparral H2O 19 Sport:
Quality and Value Meet on the Water

Chaparral H2O 19 Sport
The Chaparral H2O 19 Sport has a LOA of 19’4” (5.89 m), and a beam of 7’6” (2.29 m). Together these give her a comfortable towing weight of 2,540 lbs (1,152 kg).

Chaparral launches into the entry-level market with the merging of style and quality characteristics -- for which the builder is well known -- in an affordable boat model. The H2O 19 Sport is designed to appeal to families who are just getting into boating and she’s powerful enough for tow sports while still large enough for having friends and family aboard. More...

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Factory Video

Harris FloteBote Factory:
How Quality Toons Are Built

Harris FloteBote Factory
Harris FloteBote intends to keep its customers for a long time and brand loyalty is one of the ways it carries out that mission.

With the increased popularity of pontoons boats comes the need to increase the design and technology to keep the new customers coming back for more, all while maintaining brand loyalty. One company at the forefront of this mindset is Harris FloteBote. It approaches the building process with the intention of ensuring that its boats will not only perform well, but also last for many years. Let's see how they do this with a video look inside the factory. More...

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Test Video

Intrepid 475 Sport Yacht:
Outboard Power in a Luxury Sport Yacht

Intrepid 475 Sport Yacht
The Intrepid 475 Sport Yacht is built to incredibly high standards using techniques that others find cost prohibitive. She’s not for everyone but those who can afford her know they are getting what they pay for.

There are those who question the decision to power a 47' yacht with outboards, but the decision makes sense to many people for a number of reasons. Most notably is the room gained by hanging the engines off the back of the transom rather than having them inside the boat. Further, the power-to-weight ratio allows her to cruise at nearly 40 mph and the maintenance is a lot easier. Join us on a full test review and see what else we found out. More...

Have a specific question? Email the builder (727)-548-1260

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Captain's Report

Jeanneau Leader 9:
A Balance of Style and Features

Jeanneau Leader 9
The 32' (9.77 m) Leader 9 express cruiser is one of the most competitive on the market.

Jeanneau's Leader series is a three-boat lineup aimed squarely at the express cruiser market. The Leader 9 features the classic Jeanneau use of space and huge amounts of natural light throughout. She's also heavy on utility and function, rather than fluff, and this is how Jeanneau manages to keep the price of the build down. In fact, it is one of the most competitively priced brands around in class. Let's take a look onboard...

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Test Video

Mako 212 Center Console:
Big Boat Features, Small Boat Price

Mako 212 Center Console
Notice the high bow rails and 2.5” thick rub rail leading to the reverse transom and the grab rail added to the T-top support.

Mako tells us that they made the 212 Center Console to handle both coastal and inshore fishing in a 21’5” (6.53 m) boat. She comes with a standard Mercury 150 XL OptiMax, but Mako also offers eight other engine choices and a host of options.  The base price is $37,995. Join us as we take a video tour of the Mako 212 CC... 

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Review Video

Riviera 53 Enclosed Flybridge:
Built on Customer Feedback

Riviera 53 Enclosed Flybridge
The Riviera 53 has a LOA of 59'8'' (18.2 m) and an ISO hull length (Lh) of 56'5'' (17.2 m) and a beam of 16'10'' (5.13 m).  Those dimensions pay off in the full beam master.

Because the design team sought input from around the globe there are clever innovations throughout the latest model of the Riviera 53.  She is available with either twin diesels or triples, with IPS or Zeus powertrim systems. Join us as we take a features walkthrough of this three-stateroom, two-head layout.  More...

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Test Video

Robalo R180:
Affordable Center Console

Robalo R180
The R180 has a relatively high freeboard that adds a feeling of security.

Robalo's R180 is the company's latest entrance into the affordable center console market, but she still has the build quality that provides safety and good handling that allow her to take on coastal fishing. To show just what sort of handling we’re talking about we took her on a full test and performance review. More...

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Test Video

Tahoe Q8 SSi:
Family Fun and Watersports

Tahoe Q8 SSi
With an LOA of 21'8" (6.6 m), and a dry weight of 3,500 pounds (1,587 kg) the Q8 SSi is at the top end of the Tahoe lineup.

The team at Tahoe has a reputation for making boats that are affordable and they still managed to pull it off while adding upscale features to their flagship runabout, the Q8 SSi. To see just how well they’ve done we took her on a full video walk-through and performance review. Let’s take a look...

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Test Video

Tigé RZ4:

Tigé RZ4
With features like the Convex-V hull and TAPS 2 technology, the Tigé RZ4 can challenge any boat on the lake.

The RZ4 is at the top of the Tigé lineup and deservedly so. She provides state-of-the-art performance and uncompromising good looks. Her Convex-V hull curves slightly up at the stern and the TAPS 2 ride plate is adjustable to dial in the perfect wake for catching air or wake surfing. With Tigé Touch, ballast, trim, and speed parameters can be dialed in and saved for each individual.  Owners can also tone down the performance making her a capable family runabout as well.  Let’s go surfing now, everybody’s learning how...

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Engine Test

Evinrude E-TEC 50-hp:
The Little Engine That Can

Evinrude E-TEC 50
Our test E-TEC 50-hp reached top speed at 5600 rpm and 29.6 mph. Best cruise had a measured fuel burn of only 2.1 gph.
Even with this small engine Evinrude not only offers benefits but also choices. The benefits… cleaner burning, self winterization, self break-in, and lower maintenance costs for starters. The choices…. pull start, electric start, tiller, steering wheel, white or blue. This is an engine filled with perks and our full test video shows it matched to the perfect size vessel, a 1,600 lb (726 kg), 16’ (4.9 m) aluminum boat. Prove it... 


Royal Purple Test
On a 40-hp Outboard

Royal Purple
Capt. Steve adjusts the rpm on a 40-hp outboard on our outdoor test bench.

We tested Royal Purple against a leading synthetic brand of motor oil in a 40-hp Mercury EFI 4-stroke engine on a test stand with a hose feeding fresh water through the engine. No wind, waves or current to affect the results -- which were full of surprises for everyone. Let’s go to the video tape...

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!

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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

Negligent Boat Operation Is a Federal Crime

Lesson of the Week Smart Boating
Capt. Steve says if you boat smart you avoid all penalties of poor judgment!

In this week's lesson Capt. Steve points out some examples of what boating negligence is and the penalties you face. The obvious lesson here is that if you practice smart boating you avoid all penalties of poor judgment. There is also a helpful video on what to do if the authorities stop you. The videos presented this week are part of Captain Steve’s USCG-approved boating course called “Smart Boating.”  Watch these video boating lessons every week on

To view this week’s lessons --

To order all lessons --

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Ducky Award

Ducky Winner

First Place

"'Really Sweetheart, do you think I'm that stupid? Of course I remembered to put the drain plug in!'" - C. Riotto

Second Place

"In these situations, Captain Ron recommends using a Mushroom Anchor not a Danforth." - A. BI

Third Place

“And the nice thing about this technique is not only is the bottom cleaned, but it also sharpens the deadrise.” - J. Christensen

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On Here?

WIGOH 9/12/2012

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