New 29' Beneteau Barracuda 9 //Hurricane 226 // Sea Ray 190 // 12 Tests - 09/19/2012
BoatTEST Newsletter September 19, 2012 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter. Tests You Can Trust
- Sea Ray 190 Sport
- Hurricane FD 226F OB
- Beneteau Barracuda 9
- Bayliner 160 OB
- Cypress Cay 230
- Glacier Bay 2740
- Hydra-Sports 3400 CC
- Meridian 341 Sedan Bridge
- MJM Factory Tour
- Monte Carlo Yachts 76
- Nitro Z-7
- Tracker Pro Guide V-16 SC
- Yamaha 242 Limited S
- Evinrude E-TEC 150
- Sea Tow Services
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Sea Ray 190 Sport:
An Impressive
Entry-Level Sportboat

Sea Ray 190 Sport
Sea Ray has pulled out all the stops with up-market features on the 190 Sport.

Entry-level and upscale are often a contradiction in terms. But the design team at Sea Ray knows that just because someone lives on a secluded lake and needs a small boat it doesn’t mean that they want compromises. The 190 Sport has the right level of amenities and standard features that make her a fair value, and her price at around $31K even includes a color-matched painted trailer. We tested her with a standard 135-hp engine that should be adequate unless aggressive watersports are planned.  In that case, the 220-hp engine option should bring her to speeds in the low to mid 50s, according to Sea Ray.  Let’s look at the video test and review...

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New Captain's Report

Hurricane FunDeck 226F OB:
A Glass-Hull/Pontoon-Deckboat

Hurricane FD 226 OB
With a LOA of 22’2” (6.75 m) and a beam of 7’6” (2.3 m) the FD 226 is an easy boat to handle.  For our test she was powered by an Evinrude E-TEC 150.

Hurricane pretty much created the deckboat concept, and now it seems to have taken a page from the design team of pontoon boats and created a cathedral-hull hybrid that combines the handling of a fiberglass bowrider with the roominess and layout of a pontoon. It’s called FunDeck and it has a lot of things going for it. Let’s take a look at the full captain’s report from our recent test and see how Hurricane has done its latest version of a roomy deckboat. More...

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New Test

Beneteau Barracuda 9:
The Test Results Are In

Beneteau Barracuda 9
The Beneteau Barracuda 9 has a LOA of 28'10" (8.78 m) and a beam of 9'9" (2.98 m). We tested her with a pair of 225-hp Yamaha four-strokes.

Beneteau recently launched the Barracuda 9, an entirely new model providing a unique blend of features that make her a versatile vessel for all kinds of work.  We've been anxiously awaiting her arrival and were finally able to get onboard to test this new design with the Air Step hull. What we found was surprising. More...

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Test Video

Bayliner 160 OB:
Surprisingly Sweet Handling

Bayliner 160 OB
The Bayliner 160 OB makes a good boat to take on vacation as she’s so easily trailerable.

Quite often it’s the simple things in life that provide the most pleasure dollar-for-dollar, and this 160 OB is as simple as it gets. As long as there’s fuel and the battery is charged, she’ll run.  She’s also surprisingly good handling and was a pleasure to operate. It’s all in our performance review of the latest fun ride from Bayliner.  More...

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Captain's Report

Cypress Cay 230 Seabreeze Fish:
Fish Now, 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 pontoon boats that add a baitwell and perhaps a set of rod holders and the marketing department calls them fishing boats. But the Cypress Cat 230 seems to be a different animal. The 230 Seabreeze Fish seems to have been built with the original intention of being a fishing boat with pedestal chairs fore and aft, and a work station for bait and lure prep. Of course she can still be cruised on, but the family that has a fisherman in the house will certainly appreciate her much more. Let's look at the full report...

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Test Video

Glacier Bay 2740:
Taming the Offshore Runs

Glacier Bay 2740
We tested the Glacier Bay 2740 with twin 150 Yamahas. Suzukis are also available, but 150-hp is your only horsepower choice, and we believe correctly so.

The Glacier Bay 2740 is certainly a versatile offshore fishing platform, but because she draws only 18" she can work bays and the flats just as well. She’s also a prime example of why, when encountering rough seas in a cat, slowing down isn’t necessarily the correct option. And with her engines spread far apart, her handling around the dock is outstanding. Let’s look at the full video review for the whole story. Look for the horses...

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Test Video

Hydra-Sports 3400 CC:
A Premium Boat for Offshore Anglers

Hydra-Sports 3400 CC
With the optional tower the 3400 CC cuts an even more beautiful profile to our eye. Her slightly sloping sheer line highlights the curves seen throughout the boat.

In the full-featured line of offshore fishing boats, it’s hard not to stand up and take notice of Hydra-Sports. Because this line of boats is built by fishermen their boats have been dialed-in to exactly what anglers need to compete in the offshore realm. Hydra-Sports also has a good grasp of the aesthetics of these boats, at least to our nautical eye. Let’s take a test ride on this 3400 CC and see what all the fuss is about. More...

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Test Video

Meridian Yachts 341 Sedan Bridge:
Transition to Overnight Cruising

Meridian Yachts 341 Sedan Bridge
We think people moving up to the cruising lifestyle should consider the Meridian Yachts 341 Sedan Bridge, the smallest boat in the builder's line, because she is a lot of boat for the money.

The Meridian Yachts 341 is designed for boaters making the transition up from sportboats and other dayboats.  Not only is she accommodating for weekend or weeklong getaways, she also has what it takes to handle offshore conditions. To prove it we tested her not in flat calm waters, but in fairly rough seas. Let’s take a look at the full test review. More...

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Factory Tour

MJM Factory Tour:
Time to Show the Difference

MJM Factory Tour
The MJM Yachts' construction regimen is among the best in the industry.

When a company does things differently, we find ourselves talking about it a lot. That’s why we decided to show how things are done when building an upscale MJM yacht. The factory is Boston Boat Works, and it has been chosen by MJM due to the company's unique build processes and dedication to exacting standards. It all comes through in the yachts' strength, weight, and fine finish, but it all starts here… at the factory. Let’s see what’s so different. Entering a hard hat area...

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Accommodations Video

Monte Carlo Yachts 76:
A Look at Styling and Use of Space

Monte Carlo Yachts 76
At 75’7” (23 m) LOA this Monte Carlo Yachts 76 has the look and feel of a much larger yacht thanks to her clever use of space.

The MCY 76 is cleverly laid out and her interior decor, materials and colors are as modern and as tasteful as the latest styles from Milan.  She’s the first in a series of yachts that MCY is building with a new high-tech regimen, and she’s clearly setting the standards for those that will follow. Let’s step onboard and see the features review. More...

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Test Video

Nitro Z-7:
Value-Oriented Bass Boat

Nitro Z-7
The Nitro Z-7 has all the right stuff for both bass and multi-specie fishing.

We all want more boat for less money and the team at Nitro seems to deliver. Nitro tells us that they built this Z-7 with an “everything-the-bigger-boats-have-for-less-money” mentality, and it seems to be working. She comes well-equipped with an MSRP of $25,995, including a 150-hp Optimax and trailer.  More...

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Review Video

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

Tracker V16 Pro Guide
For anglers looking for a boat on a budget, the Tracker Pro-Guide V-16 should be considered.

Here’s a durable fishing boat with features like all-welded construction, easy-to-clean vinyl flooring, and a color-matched trailer. She’s sold fully rigged and ready to fish as soon as she leaves the showroom floor, and better still… she comes at an affordable price. The complete boat-motor and trailer package is priced at $16,695 including a 50-hp 4-stroke Merc. Full test and review video...

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Test Video

Yamaha 242 Limited S:
Top of the Yamaha Line

Yamaha 242 Limited S
The Yamaha 242 Limited S is the flagship of the Yamaha lineup. She’s got the killer features and the power to get the job done.

Yamaha’s 242 Limited S has impressive features, comfort, and a price that no one seems to be able to touch in class. Our tests show she has the muscle to deliver stirring speed, hole shot, and handling. With no spinning propellers, her safety factor relaxes parents and the rest of the story is right here for viewing. More...

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Captain's Report

Evinrude E-TEC 150:
Features That Impact Boaters

Evinrude E-TEC 150
Available in either blue or white, this popular model offers all the advantages of the largest engines in the product lineup.
Evinrude engines have evolved to the point where there’s so much science involved that the real benefits may get lost in the sheer number of advances. That's why today we are focusing on the popular E-TEC 150 and the advantages that will directly affect boaters and the boating experience. More... 


What Happens After You Call For Assistance On the Water

Sea Tow
We all know that Sea Tow offers memberships for their services, but the question is...are they worth it?

It’s a beautiful sunny day, and finally you don’t have to be on call for work, the family is together, and it’s stopped raining for a change. Looks like it’s time to dust off the boat keys and get on the water. But after only an hour run from the dock, suddenly... nothing but the sounds of silence from your engine. Time to call for an assist. Now here’s the question. What’s the difference between calling as a member and as a non-member of Sea Tow? It’s easy just to say “duh, the price,” but there’s a little more to it than that, and it may make you think again whether the price of the membership is actually worth it. Let’s take a look and do a little comparison shopping. More...

Where in the World?

Picture of the Week

Picture of the Week
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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...
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Lesson of the Week

How to Prepare for Man Overboard

Lesson of the Week Smart Boating
If you see someone fall overboard, toss out a throwable device right away and keep your eyes on them at all times.

This week Capt. Steve goes over thirteen lessons and guidelines on how to be prepared for a man overboard emergency. Having practiced this drill ahead of time with your crew or passengers is important since MOB happens so quickly that people have very little time to react. Learn how to pick someone up in the water and position the boat downwind, how to improve your chances of getting rescued, what a Williamson turn is, and how to treat someone once they’re back aboard for hypothermia. 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 --

To order all lessons --

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Ducky Award

Ducky Winner

First Place

“Quick stop for toilet paper and we're off.”
– V. Rouse

Second Place

“Today on Extreme Makeover we'll tackle this beast and make her an offshore racing beauty!” – J. Beleski

Third Place

“This is our family sport model boat. It comes with a trolling motor for Dad and ring toss for the kids!” – C. Daley

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 9/19/2012

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