Cruisers Sports Series 278 // 36' Jeanneau Leader 10 // Sea Ray 230 // 14 Tests - 09/26/2012
BoatTEST Newsletter September 26, 2012 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter. Tests You Can Trust
- Cruisers Sports Series 278 BR
- Boston Whaler 210 Montauk
- Carolina Cat 23CC
- Cruisers Yachts 310 Express
- Chaparral 244 Xtreme
- Formula 400 FX8
- Hatteras 60 Motor Yacht
- Intrepid 375 Center Console
- Jeanneau Leader 10
- Mako Pro 17 Skiff CC
- Robalo R247
- Sea Ray 230 SLX
- Sun Tracker Fishin' Barge 21
- Tahoe Q7 SF
- Volvo Penta V8-380
- PowerTech Props
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

New Cruisers Sports Series 278 Bow Rider:
A Premium Sportboat
Takes Off

Azure 278 Bow Rider
The publicity photo of the new 278 Bow Rider shows some of the important details of this upscale sportboat. Note the integral swim platform that is high off the water so it won't drag and note the thru-hull fittings in the stern quarter that self-drain the cockpit.

On one hand the 278 Bow Rider is a new boat, but on the other hand it is not. The Azure brand has been well-known for years, but it is now under the ownership of KCS International, builders of Cruisers Yachts and Rampage Yachts. For that reason, KCS has changed the name of the mostly sportboat line to "Cruisers Sports Series". KCS has applied its own big-boat standards and engineering specs to the ten-model Cruisers Sports Series and in the case of the 278 Bow Rider have made a good boat even better, placing it firmly in the premium category in terms of amenities, fit-and-finish, and the quality of equipment and materials used. Recently we tested the 278 Bow Rider and we can report that there is a new--and in some respects--a very different sportboat on the market.  More...

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New Test Video

Sea Ray 230 SLX:
One of a New Premium Line

Sea Ray 230 SLX
The new Sea Ray 230 SLX has classy lines such as the reverse transom under the integral swim platform.

The new 230 SLX is part of a 5-boat premium line of Sea Ray sportboats that combines striking good looks and upscale amenities with lots of watersports functionality. Standard features include upgrades such as keyless dash, SmartCraft diagnostic gauges, leather and wood trim and accents, and an adjustable sunpad/rumble seat. Then, there are her options which allow owners to customize the boat for specific activities. We found that the only thing better than the 230 SLX's sleek styling is the fun we had driving her. More...

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Test Video

Boston Whaler 210 Montauk:
A Roomy Family Crossover

Boston Whaler 210 Montauk
With a length overall of 23'6" (7.16 m) the new Boston Whaler 210 Montauk is the largest boat in the Montauk fleet.

Boston Whaler has some good news for fans of the Montauk series: A bigger version has been developed that offers more room and stability.  The new 210 Montauk takes her position at the top of a lineup that starts at 15'5" (4.7 m). Not surprisingly the new 210 Montauk maintains the smooth handling characteristics of the rest of the Montauk line, and we've verified it in our latest test video. Let's go for a ride...

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Test Video

Carolina Cat 23CC:
Taking Multitasking to New Lengths

Carolina Cat 23CC
The Carolina Cat 23CC brought us up to 44.7 mph with a pair of 115-hp Yamaha 4-strokes. Range at best cruise speed was 295 miles.

We’ve seen how some "crossovers" typically have just token features of each mission, but this Carolina Cat 23CC has a whole new take on multitasking. She's got the running draft of a flats boat, the roominess of a center console, and the rough water handling of a deep-V, all rolled into one. But did Carolina Cat put all of its eggs into the design basket and leave the handling back on the drafting table? See our video to find out...

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Test Video

Cruisers Yachts 310 Express:
The Cruising Life Starts Here

Cruisers Yachts 310 Express
The 310 Express has a LOA of 31'3" (9.53 m) but she has the interior feel of a much larger boat.

The 310 Express is at the start of the 11-model Cruisers Yachts lineup, but she's no small performer. Our test showed her to have a top speed of 44.2 mph and a best cruise of 23.2 mph giving her a range of over 150 miles. But perhaps the most important thing of all is the fact that most of the good ideas and expensive equipment and materials that get used in the company's larger yachts also get installed on its smallest boat as well.  Doing it this way simply makes procurement more efficient and the buyer of the 310 gets the benefit.  Full test video...

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Captain's Report

Chaparral 244 Xtreme:
Making Waves in More Ways Than One

Chaparral 244 Xtreme
The Chaparral 244 Xtreme has a LOA of 24'4" (7.42 m) and a dry weight of 4,700 lbs (2,132 kg).

Chaparral’s 244 Xtreme is part of a 4-boat lineup that signals this luxury sportboat builder’s intention to seriously compete in this highly aggressive market segment. She starts out with a distinct advantage though. Her deep-V bottom with 20-degree deadrise is already at a depth where the shallow deadrise wakeboats try to ballast themselves down to. This 244 Xtreme also offers ballast bags, so she can be made even deeper.  Make no mistake about it, Chaparral is not kidding about its intention of competing in the highly-specialized wakeboat market. More...

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New Features Video

Formula 400 FX8:
Latest Addition in a Peerless Lineup

Formula 400 FX8
The largest in the FX lineup, the FX8 has an LOA of 41'6"(12.65 m) and a beam of 11 feet (3.35 m).

What does a smart boat builder do when it is already building one of the most preeminent premium boats in class?  In the case of Formula it does not rest on its laurels and pat itself on the back.  Rather, it came up with something even better -- the FX series.  The Formula FX8 is the largest FX vessel in the series. Full features video...

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Test Video

Hatteras 60 Motor Yacht:
Style and Power for Real Cruising

Hatteras 60 Motor Yacht
The Hatteras 60 Motor Yacht has an LOA of 60'11" (18.6 m) and a beam of 18’2" (5.54 m).

For 50 years, Hatteras has stayed faithful to its core principles of solid boat building, and has always produced top-quality yachts. It's latest, the 60 Motor Yacht, was designed to take on ocean conditions as well as long range cruising, while at the same time providing comfort and first-class amenities that only a fine motoryacht can offer.  Our full test found her to be one of the most responsive big boats that we’ve been on -- particularly at low speeds. Our test model was even equipped with the ZF JMS Joystick Maneuvering System for enhanced close-quarters maneuvering.  Let's take a ride on the Hudson...

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Features Video

Intrepid 375 Center Console:
Power for the Glory

Intrepid 375 Center Console
Over 1,000 horsepower moves this mighty Intrepid 375 along at over 60 mph. When lopping along at best cruise she goes 35 mph and has a 375 statute mile range.

One of the often unstated benefits of being wealthy is having the ability to buy and own a customized boat built to suit. When money is no object, but performance and sporting amenities are, then a good place to start for one's ultimate dayboat is Intrepid. With 14 models to choose from, the folks at Intrepid specialize is customizing them -- changing virtually anything except the hull -- to their customers specific demands. The Intrepid 375 is a case in point. We have tested the boat and our captain has written a full captain's report on the boat. We discuss what is different and how she handles. More...

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Captain's Report

Jeanneau Leader 10:
A Well-Balanced Design

Jeanneau Leader 10
The express cruiser market is a highly competitive one, and Jeanneau intends to do much more than compete.

At 36’ (10.85 m) this Jeanneau Leader 10 hits the sweet spot between young couples moving up and empty-nesters moving down. She’s the largest boat in the Leader series, has a master forward and a mid cabin with head, dinette and small galley below.  On deck she has a double-wide helm seat and settee for six.  She also comes with a level of affordability that Jeanneau has become so well known for. More...

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Test Video

Mako Pro 17 Skiff CC:
Utility and Value Combined

Mako Pro 17 Skiff CC
With an LOA of 17'4" (5.28 m) and a dry weight of 950 lbs (430 kg) the Mako Pro 17 Skiff CC is as easy to transport as she is a capable inshore fishing boat.

There are several boats that are just meant for getting the kids into boating on their own and the Mako Pro17 Skiff CC is one of them. With her basic systems and forgiving handling characteristics, she’s a natural choice for keeping new boaters safe. Since she’s stable she also makes a great boat for the fishermen in the family for inshore activities.  More...

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Captain's Report

Robalo R247:
For Fishing or Not

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.

The Robalo R247 is a family-friendly boat that was built around an offshore-capable hull. At 5,000 lbs. (2,268 kg) dry, with a single 300-hp engine and a 22-degree deadrise at the transom she can handle lumpy seas. But it’s because she's able to handle those conditions that she has a lot of appeal to such a wide-ranging audience. And whether the float plan calls for fishing with the guys, or playing with the family, Robalo has the options available to maximize the boat's utility. Take a look and see...

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Captain's Report

Tahoe Q7 SF:
Forging the Family Bond

Tahoe Q7 SF
Tahoe’s 20'6" (6.24 m) Q7 SF offers families a choice of on-water activity options at an affordable price.

Few things keep families together better than time spent on the water.  Whether the floatplan calls for fishing, tubing, skiing, or just drifting down the river with the engine off and a picnic lunch, the Q7 SF provides a suitable platform. She’s also affordable, coming in well-equipped as a package deal including trailer, for $27,995. More...

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Features Video

Sun Tracker Fishin’ Barge 21:
Fishing with Room to Spare

Sun Tracker Fishin’ Barge 21
The Sun Tracker Fishin’ Barge 21 has an LOA of 21'11" (6.7 m), and a dry weight of 17,75 lbs (805 kg).

Pontoon boats make ideal fishing platforms for many freshwater locations, mostly because they have so much room -- and they have no problems with skinny water. Toons also transform just as easily from fishing to family fun. The Fishin' Barge 21 also comes loaded with handy features. More...

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New Engine

New Volvo Penta V8-380:
The Next Generation of Sterndrive Power

Volvo Penta V8-380
The V8-380 is an all-new marine engine that promises to offer a compelling alternative to a number of engines that have been on the market for years. Most important, she is far lighter than the big block V8s she replaces.
Last week Volvo Penta officially announced the introduction of its new V8-380 6.0 L gasoline engine. This new small block V8 uses the latest technology and it takes a big step forward in terms of performance and efficiency according to preliminary data. The new Volvo Penta engine delivers improved acceleration, more consistent midrange response as well as WOT performance even with increased vessel loading, according to the company. More... 


4-Bladed Props:
When You Need
Low-End Power

Royal Purple
Which prop is better -- one with three or four blades?

Most boats come with a 3-bladed prop, but that doesn't mean that it's right for your particular application. Are you looking for more speed or more power? Are you racing to the fishing grounds or slogging your way through foul weather? Do you spend more time towing skiers or wakeboarders? All these are questions to be asked to determine whether a 3-bladed prop is right for you or perhaps a 4-bladed one might be the way to go. Check out this article to help you make a decision and then fill in the prop worksheet. You might be surprised at what you find......

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.

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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

Boating Under the Influence

Lesson of the WeekSmart Boating
Capt. Steve says don’t drink and operate a boat – it’s not worth it!

This week’s lesson from Captain Steve is straight forward and should go without saying – operating a boat under the influence is a local, state, and federal crime. Captain Steve goes over your responsibilities as captain – to other boaters on the water, to your passengers, and to yourself. He will explain what the parameters are to be considered boating under the influence. The four videos presented this week are part of Captain Steve’s USCG-approved boating course called “Smart Boating.” Watch Captain Steve’s video boating lessons every week on

To view this week’s lessons --

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Ducky Award

Ducky Winner

First Place

“Captain, please replace the current ensign with a Union Jack…Rule Britannia! Where's Churchill when we need him?” – R. Kowles

Second Place

“We could have been at the poker tournament. Instead all we get is this stupid boat ride.” – S. Krates

Third Place

“Who ever drank from the head, raise your ears.” – S. Sullivan

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 9/26/2012

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