Sea Ray 230 // Chaparral 264 // Mako 234 // 11 Tests - 10/24/2012
BoatTEST Newsletter October 24, 2012 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter. Tests You Can Trust
- Hatteras Factory Tour
- Sea Ray 230 SLX
- Cruisers Yachts 45 Cantius
- Formula 240 Bowrider
- Boston Whaler 285 Conquest
- Carolina Cat 23 CC
- Chaparral 264 Sunesta
- Harris FloteBote Solstice 230
- Intrepid 327 CC
- Jeanneau NC9
- Mako 234 Center Console
- Robalo R200
- Evinrude ICON
- Royal Purple Test
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

How Hatteras Yachts
Creates It's
Million-Dollar Finish

Hatteras Factory
Unlike many builders of large motoryachts Hatteras paints its hulls, a process that can take 20 men as long as 15 days to complete.

In the world of large, luxury motoryachts where most of the boats look dazzling at the boat show, it is often difficult to discern the ones that actually have "the right stuff." One of the areas that separate yachts that simply look good from those that are good is the exterior finish. All Hatteras Yachts are finished with a time-consuming painting process that lasts up to fifteen days. One of the reasons Hatteras goes to the trouble and added expense of painting is because it is the best way to keep a multi-million dollar yacht looking like new for many years. This week we go behind the scenes at the Hatteras Yachts facility to see this process in action and its final results...

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Test & Features Video

Sea Ray 230 SLX:
Fresh Styling and 50.3 MPH WOT

Sea Ray 230 SLX
With a LOA of 23’ (7.0 m) and a beam of 8’6” (2.59 m) the Sea Ray 230 SLX is an easy boat to trailer and bring on vacation.

The 230 SLX is part of a 5-boat Sea Ray lineup that combines striking good looks, premium interior amenities, and watersports functionality. Standard features include upgrades such as keyless dash, SmartCraft gauges, and upgraded graphics. We found that the only thing better than her looks is the fun we had driving her.  Let's take a look...

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New Test Video

Cruisers Yachts 45 Cantius:
2 Staterooms, 2 Heads, Galley Up

Cruisers Yachts 45 Cantius
Twin Volvo Penta's IPS500s deliver a range of 279 statute miles at 24 mph.

The new 45 Cantius is the third yacht in the successful Cantius Series built by Cruisers Yachts. In some respects she is the most forward-leaning of the three as the builder has further refined the distinctive Cantius exterior styling. Below the 45 Cantius has two ensuite staterooms with the largest mid-cabin in class. Her enclosed house is large enough to make her seem like a small motoryacht, yet due to her creative aft glass enclosure she makes a versatile day boat for entertaining. Visit our full test...

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New Captain's Report

Formula 240 Bowrider:
50 MPH in 16.6 Seconds

Formula 240 Bowrider
The Formula 240 Bowrider has a LOA of 24 feet (7.32 m) and a beam of 8'6" (2.59 m).
Testing showed a top speed of 53.3 mph.

Formula's 240 Bowrider squarely targets the trailer-boat market providing boaters looking for an easily trailered runabout the quality and upscale features Formula has become synonymous with. It's available in two versions: a "standard" and "sport" version with the Sport model adding many more standard features. Today we take a look at the "standard" version of the Formula 240 Bowrider. More...

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Features Video

Boston Whaler 285 Conquest:
Her Mission Is Offshore

Boston Whaler 285 Conquest
The Boston Whaler 285 Conquest has a LOA of 27'10" (8.51 m), a beam of 9'6" (2.9 m), and a hull draft of 20’’ (.5 m). She can easily accommodate four for overnights.

Boston Whaler had a clear mission statement when it created the 285 Conquest. She had to be a crossover between a qualified offshore fishing platform and a cruiser capable of heading offshore too, while providing safety and security throughout the transit. We think she has all the ingredients to accomplish both missions, and then some. Thanks to a lengthy options list, it’s also easy to expand as far as needed into each category, depending on how boaters plan to use her. Let's take a look at the features of one example. More...

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Features Video

Carolina Cat 23 CC:
A New Take on Multi-tasking

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

The Carolina Cat 23 CC is a no-frills workhorse and a true multi-tasking fishing boat. In one boat, Carolina Cat created a shallow draft bay boat (11”/ 23 cm hull draft), the handling of an offshore fishboat (we had her blasting through heavy waves in our test video), the roominess of a deckboat (thanks to her wide, double hull design) and a range of a cruiser (295 miles at best cruise speed). But no-frills does not mean bare-bones and we found her to be a well equipped fishing platform. Just take a look at our full features video. More...

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Captain's Report

Chaparral 264 Sunesta:
A Loaded-Up Bowrider

Chaparral 264 Sunesta
The Chaparral 264 Sunesta has an LOA of 26'4" (8.03 m) and a beam of 8'6" (2.59 m).
Her dry weight comes in at 5,400 lbs (2,499 kg).

Here’s a full-blown bowrider that can handle a large number of people and at the same time be nimble enough for a variety of activities. Because of the 264 Sunesta’s high freeboard she can even be used in big water. By adding to her long list of standards, owners can option her up and dial-in the exact boat for their type of use.  More...

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Captain's Report

Harris FloteBote Solstice 230:
Go Ahead and Bring the Crowd

Harris FloteBote Solstice 230
The P-III package adds a center tube which adds another person to the capacity as well as increasing the boat's performance.

Harris FloteBote is one of the premier pontoon builders today. Its quality in fit-and-finish is evident throughout every one of its boats we've seen. This Solstice 230 starts with a quality build and allows up to a dozen people the chance to enjoy a day on the water surrounded in luxury and comfort. Clearly, she’s much more than eye candy, so let’s dig deeper into her story with our full captain’s report. More...

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Features Video

Intrepid 327 CC:
A Connoisseur's Center Console

Intrepid 327 CC
Not only does Intrepid make center consoles easy on the eyes, like this 327 CC, 
they are also loaded with innovative features.

Just how creative can one get with a center console? It’s inherently a design that doesn’t lend itself to much innovation -- particularly after 40 years of refinement.  As it turns out, the design team at Intrepid Powerboats didn't get the memo that these are supposed to be “cookie cutter” boats, and instead, they loaded up their 327 CC with so many features we had to pick only our favorites to keep the video to a reasonable length. So, let's take a look at see what we ended up with in our features walkthrough of the Intrepid 327 CC. More...

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Test Video

Jeanneau NC9:
A Practical & Versatile 31-Footer

Jeanneau NC9
Don’t judge this boat by a first glance. We made that mistake and discovered one of the most innovative designs around once we started looking a little closer.

We have said before that this new concept (NC) of boats from Jeanneau are the "biggest little boats on the water", and we stand by that statement. But there is more to the NC9.  Underway, she turned out to be an excellent handling boat making her a capable coastal cruiser, easily managed by a shorthanded crew. In our full test, we even show how easily this 30’11” (9.42 m) cruiser can be docked and tied up by just one person. More...

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Test Video

Mako 234 Center Console:
Redesigned for the Times

Mako 234 Center Console
The Mako 234 Center Console has an LOA of 23'4" (7.11 m) and a beam of 8'6" (2.59 m).

Mako’s 234 Center Console represents a classic design with lasting power that has been revamped to keep up with the times. The good news… her proven hull wasn't broke and wasn't fixed, but the rest of the boat was pretty much totally made over. The changes added some 600 lbs (272 kg) to her empty weight giving her a more solid ride. With twin engines for offshore redundancy, we set out to test this time-proven design to see if she still has classic performance. More...

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Review Video

Robalo R200:
Featured Up, Priced Down

Robalo R200
With a length overall of 20'7" (6.27 m) and a dry weight of 3,000 lbs (1,361 kg) the Robalo R200 has the stones to punch through slop during coastal operations.

Robalo has a knack for loading its boats with features without pricing them out of the market. This R200 is another example of a boat that does not come across as affordable at first glance, but she is. We found her to be loaded with virtually everything but bait and tackle.  Let's see how they've done...

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Test Video

Evinrude ICON:
Digital Controllability
for Outboards

Evinrude ICON
Digital engine trim, cruise control, single lever controllability, and synchronization of up to 5 engines are just some of the features available with Evinrude ICON controls.

The days of running sliding control cables from the helm all the way back to the engine through a fairly tortuous route are well behind us as far as many builders are concerned. Now it's a matter of a simple wire run and digital controls for control shift and throttle. Adding another control station is as simple as running another wire and swapping between stations can be done at the push of a button. Evinrude's entry into the world of digital controls is called ICON and to find out just how capable it is, we did a full test of the controls to see what they offer. More...


Royal Purple
Lubricity Test

Royal Purple
The engineers at Royal Purple test their product and compare film strength.

The film strength of a lubricant is its inherent ability to withstand the effects of load, speed and temperature without breaking down. Higher film strength results in reduced wear, better fuel economy and more power. Take a look at this video made by Royal Purple...

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...

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Lesson of the Week

Basic Rules of the Road: Part 2
Give-Way and Stand-on Vessels 

Lesson of the Week Smart Boating
Stand-on versus give-way vessel. You must get this one right every time.

This week Capt. Steve covers some basic rules of the road and guidelines. You’ll learn about the right-of-way for stand-on vessels and corrective measures give-way vessels must make in order to avoid collisions. These are basic procedures which all recreational boaters should be aware of. The videos presented this week are part of’s Boating Course which is USCG-approved. Watch these video boating lessons every week on

To view this week’s lessons --

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Ducky Award

Ducky Winner

First Place

“These new jet boats can go anywhere!”
– M. Muckey

Second Place

“Whata you mean by ‘where are the inflatable rollers?’ I thought you said you were bringing them!” - F. Calia

Third Place

“Told ya she stops on a dime!” - R. Lacroix

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 10/24/2012

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