Cruisers Sports Series 258 // 29' Barracuda 9 // Monte Carlo Yachts 65 // 15 Tests </title> - 10/03/2012
BoatTEST Newsletter October 3, 2012 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter. Tests You Can Trust
- Evinrude E-TEC 250 H.O.
- Sea Ray 370 Venture
- Cruisers Sports Series 258
- Monte Carlo Yachts 65
- Bayliner 170 OB
- Aqua Patio 240
- Hydra-Sports 23 Bay Bolt
- Meridian 441 Sedan Bridge
- MJM 36z
- Nitro Z-9 CDC
- Princecraft Ventura 192
- Sun Tracker Party Hut 30
- Tracker Pro Guide V-175 WT
- World Cat 255 DC
- Yamaha VXS
- Beneteau Great Loop
- Sea Tow Calling for Assistance
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Evinrude E-TEC 250 H.O.: Tested on 3 Different Boats

Evinrude E-TEC 250 H.O.
Evinrude E-TEC engines from BRP bring cutting-edge technology to boaters, which translates into more time on the water and less time in the shop.

The Evinrude E-TEC 250 H.O. got its H.O. designation for being “high output.” We thought that may have been just talk, but our tests show differently. We ran it on the back of three different pontoon boats ranging in weight from 3,566 lbs (1,618 kg) to 5,548 lbs (2,517 kg) and they all performed within 2.3 mph and ¼ gph of each other at WOT with varying loads. It looks like the "H.O." really means what it says. Possibly more important, is the fact that the Evinrude E-TEC 250 H.O. engine has some upgraded components from the standard 250. Let’s take a look at the full test video for the complete picture. More...

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New Test

Sea Ray 370 Venture:
Outboard Powered, New Test Numbers

Sea Ray 370 Venture
Sea Ray is taking a new direction with its 370 Venture by making her outboard powered.
We think it's an innovation that may well pay off in spades.

Sea Ray's 370 Venture marks a major step forward in out-of-the-box thinking for the Sea Ray design team. Her outboard power not only reaps the benefits of a quiet, smooth ride, but also opens up lots of interior space that can be better utilized than housing engines. We recently tested her to see just how well she performs with her twin outboards and were pleasantly surprised by what we found. See the test numbers...

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New Test

Cruisers Sports Series 258 Bow Rider:
A New Premium Bowrider

Cruisers Sports Series 258 Bow Rider
The Cruisers Sports Series 258 Bow Rider we tested with a Volvo Penta 300-hp 5.7L single engine had a WOT of 46.7 mph.

This is the 25' (7.62 m) entry into the bowrider segment from Cruisers Sports Series. A bright and clean new look features new colors and the same attention-to-detail that we’re used to from this well-established yacht builder. A design and engineering review has brought lots of subtle changes, and on top of all that, a variety of standard features, plus a list of available options promise an exciting, luxury experience. More...

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Captain's Report

Monte Carlo Yachts 65:
Award-Winning Style

Monte Carlo Yachts 65
The Monte Carlo Yachts 65 will make its American debut at this month's Fort Lauderdale boat show.

The Monte Carlo Yachts 65 is the third in a series of luxury motoryachts coming from this Italian manufacturer. This builder focuses heavily on market-leading design features, performance, and a manufacturing process that is more closely associated with the aviation industry than it is yacht manufacturing.  Having gone through the factory first hand and seeing for ourselves that they use all of the finest materials it was surprising to us to see how reasonably priced these yachts are. More...

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Test Video

Bayliner 170 OB Test:
Outboard Power and Handling

Bayliner 170 OB Test
In this test, we not only look into the performance, but the towing ability of this little multi-tasker.

Our many tests of Bayliner boats show that Bayliner’s design team is quite adept at tweaking the most performance out of a hull with the least amount of horsepower. In this test, we even pulled a wakeboarder with just a 115-hp motor. Our test boat also had optional fishing features making it a true multitasking boat in an entry-level size range. Let's take a look at our captain's report for the full story. More...

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New Test

Aqua Patio 240:
This Tri-Toon Goes 44.8 MPH

Aqua Patio 240
The Aqua Patio 240 reached a top speed of 44.8 mph during our recent test, powered by a Evinrude E-TEC 250-hp engine.

The Aqua Patio 240 is a tri-toon with upscale features, and thanks to her ability to handle a Evinrude E-TEC 250-hp engine she can also make a versatile watersports platform. We found her to be a comfortably handling boat on the water managing light chop with ease, and at the dock her amenities make her an able entertainment venue. More...

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Test Video

Hydra-Sports Custom 23 Bay Bolt:
Fat Performance for Skinny Water

Hydra-Sports 23 Bay Bolt
The Hydra-Sports 23 Bay Bolt has a length overall of 22'11" (6.99 m)
and a beam of 8'10" (2.69 m).

Here’s a boat that’s not short on performance. With a whopping 300-hp engine on the back of our 23 Bay Bolt test boat, we reached a top speed of 59.2 mph. This speed comes in a boat with a 10” (25.4 cm) draft weighing only 3,100 lbs (1,406 kg). Although she was made for getting into skinny water, Hydra-Sports did not leave out the quality it's so well known for, or the stability that a fishing boat needs. Let’s look at the full test video...

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Accommodations Video

Meridian 441 Sedan Bridge:
2 Staterooms & 2 Heads

Meridian 441 Sedan Bridge
Meridian Yachts has come up with a stylish yacht with the 441 SB.
Her unique interior is among her best features.

As we took a look at the interior layout of the 441 we were impressed with just how much space Meridian Yachts managed to fit into a 47’2” (14.38 m) x 14’ 3” (4.34 m) package.  She provides the owner/operator with -- among other things -- two full staterooms, two heads, a spacious salon, and a “basement” storage area that has endless possibilities. She’s an impressive build from a manufacturer that prides itself on affordability.  See the video...

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Operational Video

MJM 36z:
Operational Features Highlighted

MJM 36z
The MJM 36z is a boat designed for cruisers, by cruisers and we think she has all the ingredients that a boat in this class needs.

The MJM 36z defines what an express cruising boat can consist of. This week we take a look at the operational features that will take her beyond so many cruising horizons.  More...

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Review Video

Nitro Z-9 CDC:
By Special Order Only

Nitro Z-9 CDC
The Nitro Z-9 CDC tops out just over 70 mph and offers a rock solid ride with no chine walk.

Here's a clever concept that brings a Center Dual Console to a performance bassboat. By moving the consoles to the center easier access to the entire perimeter of the Nitro Z-9 becomes available. The design also allows for four seats instead of the usual three, as well as a more clever use of her tournament fishing features. But don't expect to run to your dealer to get one. The Nitro Z-9 CDC is only available by special order. Let's take a look and see why she's so special. More...

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Review Video

Princecraft Ventura 192:
Uniquely Versatile

Princecraft Ventura 192
The Princecraft Ventura 192 has an LOA of 19'2" (5.8 m) and a dry weight of 2,078 lbs (943 kg).

This Princecraft Ventura 192 may very well be one of the most unique boats we've seen. What makes her so unique? She has more seating than we've seen in virtually any 19’ (5.79 m) boat. She's rigged for partying, skiing, wakeboarding, and fishing without having to make any conversions. Storage is everywhere. But her most striking feature… she's aluminum.  Let's see some more...

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Captain's Report

Sun Tracker Party Hut 30:
High-Rise Boating

Sun Tracker Party Hut 30
The Sun Tracker Party Hut 30 has a length overall of 31'2" (9.5 m) and a beam of 8'6" (2.59 m). Power options range from 115-150-hp.

The Sun Tracker Party Hut 30 is a perfect solution to those plagued by constantly needing a larger boat but have neither the dock space, nor the desire to spend more for docking fees for a longer boat. By adding space on a second deck the Party Hut 30 is able to accommodate more crowds, more entertaining, and more good times on the water. More is better...

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Test Video

Tracker Pro Guide V-175 WT:
Walk-Through Fishability

Tracker Pro Guide V-175 WT
The Tracker Pro Guide V-175 WT measures 16'11" (5.16 m) and has a dry weight of 1,385 lbs (628.2 kg). That not only makes her easy to transport, but very garage-friendly.

Tracker developed the Pro Guide V-175 WT to provide an easy transition fore and aft and enough protection from the elements to be an effective three-season fishing boat. She has a higher windshield that includes side protection along with a deeper cockpit and higher gunwales. Her MSRP is $20,195.  More...

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Test Video

World Cat 255 DC:
Offshore Crossover Bowrider

World Cat 255 DC
While the World Cat 255 DC has an LOA of 26’ (7.92 m) she has the roominess of a much bigger boat so she is able to handle larger crowds well.

The World Cat 255 DC is a large bowrider that adds spaciousness to the mix that a typical mono-hull boat cannot. She brings excellent crossover features that divide her pretty evenly between fishing, cruising and entertaining, but today's video is all about the handling.  See the full test video...

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Test Video

Yamaha VXS:
All the Thrills with a Lower Price

Yamaha VXS
The Yamaha VXS has a length overall of 10'7" (3.21 m) and a beam of 46.1” (1.17 m).

Yamaha created the VXS to provide an impressive high-performance watercraft at a no-frills, low-cost package price. We think it succeeded as our tests show her to be an exhilarating ride lacking nothing in performance. See what we mean...

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Beneteau Swift 34:
Ruggedly Constructed
and Priced Right

Beneteau Swift 34 - Greatest Loop
The Beneteau Swift 34 docked for the night on the last leg of the Greatest Loop Cruise.
On August 21, 2012 the cruising team was onboard the Beneteau Swift 34 as the crew for the last leg of the Beneteau Swift 34's Great Loop cruise. They were traveling north on the (ICW) Inter Coastal Waterway out of Georgetown, South Carolina where they had spent the night. While passing through the Myrtle Beach, SC area, traveling at about 7-8 knots, there was a sudden bump and the helmsmen at the time, a veteran sailor, put the Swift 34 into reverse, backed up, and then came to a full stop. Clearly, the boat had contacted something, but was it an object or the bottom? More... 


How -- and When --
to Call for Assistance

Sea Tow
Calling for assistance can be the smartest thing you ever did in a boat.

Let's face it -- calling for assistance is downright embarrassing. Most people think it's an indication that they can't handle a situation, or are afraid, or have done something stupid aboard, or don't have the rudimentary mechanical skills to solve a simple problem. There is nothing wrong with calling for assistance and it could be your least expensive option, to say nothing of being the safest. Here's a video explaining how to do it...

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'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

What Should I Do If My Boat Capsizes?

Lesson of the WeekSmart Boating
Capsizing in a sailboat is much different than a powerboat. As you see in the picture above, you can help right the boat by getting up on the centerboard and using your weight to bring the boat back over. You will not be able to right a capsized boat.

This week Capt. Steve goes over four lessons and guidelines on what you should do if your boat capsizes. First and foremost get your life jacket on. Stay with the boat and try to get as far on top of the boat as possible in order to keep your body out of the water. Remember, you want to keep your body temperature from dropping. Do not attempt to swim for help as you will just exhaust yourself. These are basic procedures which all recreational boaters should be aware of. The videos presented this week are part of’s Smart Boating Course which is USCG-approved. 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

“Remarkably, dealerships are still available.” –R. Davis

Second Place

“With the addition of Solar Panel, Billy Bob completes the three-year upgrade to his fishing machine.” – G. Mcclurg

Third Place

“Meet me in the stateroom for a glass of fine Burgundy.” – M. Hubbs

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 10/03/2012

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