Beneteau Barracuda 9:
The Test Results Are In
Beneteau recently launched the Barracuda 9, which provides a unique opportunity
for offshore fishing coupled with a roomy, well-equipped cruising boat. She’s available with an optional flying bridge and has an enclosed pilothouse with seating for five
people. Below decks she can handle overnights with a fully enclosed head. All in a package just under 29’ (8.8 m).
Let’s see how they did it...
Bayliner 195 Bowrider:
Entry Level with Broad Utility
Bayliner's 195 Bowrider was designed to ensure that those starting out in boating
will get the message that boating can be affordable and safe in addition to being fun. We think the 195 BR represents a solid bargain in the entry level arena. Let’s take a look at our full features review to see how Bayliner has done.
New Test Video
Evinrude E-TEC 115-hp:
Adding Power to a Small Package
Evinrude’s E-TEC 115 is loaded with innovations and requires no break in period, has automatic winterization, and needs no messy oil changes. These are just some of the features that make it stand alone as an attractive package, but since it's a likely optional upgrade to the popular Evinrude E-TEC 90-hp, we also do a side-by-side comparison for making a more informed decision. Let's look at the test video...
Ask a question.
New Captain's Report
Formula 37 PC:
When Speed and Elegance Count
Formula's 37 PC is a marriage between a hot performance boat and a luxurious cruiser. The result is a premium-quality performance cruiser that has two cabins, one head,
a settee and galley down. But she's not only accommodating for overnights, as her large cockpit makes an excellent entertainment platform. She's offered with an optional hard top, although we've yet to see one ordered without it. We found her to have excellent handling characteristics that give credence to her "performance cruiser" moniker.
For the full report...
Monte Carlo Yachts 70:
The Award-Winning Line Continues
Monte Carlo Yachts quickly hit the radar screen of anyone seriously looking for
a premium motoryacht thanks to the unprecedented success of its first launch, the MCY 76. The MCY 65 followed shortly thereafter, and now comes this… the stunning Monte Carlo Yachts 70. Following the company's theme of clever use of space, top-notch interior fit-and-finish and a vision that has defined the brand, this Monte Carlo Yachts 70 is destined to create her own wakes, and follow no one.
New Captain's Report
Premier 250 Solaris:
45.2 MPH WOT with Evinrude E-TEC 250 HO
Luxury and good handling come together in the Premier 250 Solaris. We found her to be roomy and comfortable, while also offering impressive handling during our test on a choppy day with a 20 mph wind gusting across the lake. Her ride was solid and dry thanks to the triple tube PTX package. Test power was an Evinrude E-TEC 250 HO. The whole story is in our full test video, ready for viewing.
Glacier Bay 3480 Hardtop Ocean Runner:
Dual Staterooms for Extended Cruising
Glacier Bay designed the 3480 for extended cruises and offshore fishing expeditions. Her helm deck is entirely enclosed giving her all-weather protection when needed while still allowing the pilothouse to be open to the outdoors when desired. Dual staterooms, one in each hull share space with a galley and office space to one side and an enclosed head to the other. It's not until stepping outside that we realized that all of this functionality actually fits in a 37'6" (11.5 m) hull. Well actually,
Meridian Yachts 541 Sedan:
Meridian Yachts built its reputation by adding a lot of value while keeping its
boats affordable. It's a plan that works, for we are told that Meridian has a backlog of orders. This 541 Sedan is the largest in the Meridian Yachts lineup and she offers a lot of bang for the buck. Let's step aboard and put her to a full test and see what she has to offer.
A Cruising Couple's Yacht
The MJM 36z is designed for veteran cruising couples who want to settle down to a
sedate lifestyle afloat, day cruising, entertaining friends, and taking long, short-handed
passages. She was designed and purpose-built by experienced cruising
people who know what ingredients a yacht like this needs. Aside from her outstanding handling capabilities and exceedingly strong hull, her test numbers speak volumes about her design.
Let's test that...
Building Brand Loyalty
Yamaha’s 210 series was created to provide an affordable alternative to the company’s line of high performance jet boats. But to be clear, “affordable” does not equate to “stripped-down”. This boat has all the performance and features that we’ve come to expect from Yamaha, without some of the pricier add-ons in the upper end of the lineup. Her handling is exhilarating. Yamaha’s version of an "entry level" boat
is designed to keep boaters in the brand.
Full test video...
High level tournament fishing is well within reach with the Nitro Z-8 and her massive storage compartments, large casting decks, insulated livewell, and a redesigned bottom. She also switches back and forth from solo fishing to bringing along a companion thanks to her removable port console. She can handle up to 250-hp and a jack plate will permit venturing into skinny water. Let's check out the video and see what else she has to offer.
Tracker Pro Team 175 TXW:
All-Welded Aluminum Construction
Our tests show that this Tracker Pro Team 175 was not only among the most comfortable boats we've ever been on in class, but one of the best riding. This is probably why Tracker goes so far as to guarantee a smooth ride… she absolutely delivers. And since she's well-equipped for the professional level, amateurs should find nothing more to want. Our full test and features video shows just how well she handles and some other features anglers will want to know about.
Match the Prop to the Job
Most stock boats come with stock props. Generally speaking they do an adequate job for a broad range of applications. But since they are inherently a compromise, boaters wanting superior performance for a specific job often need a special prop. Today we feature an interview with Steve Powers, president of PowerTech Propellers to discuss the factors that determine the ability of a propeller to accelerate.
How good is your propeller?...
Being a good boater starts long before you get out on the water. And if you have not properly prepared your trailer rig you may never even make it. Just as airplane pilots walk around their planes checking out control surfaces before they get into the cockpit, so too, should you make a careful check of all the straps, chains, connections, bolts and landing gear on your trailer before you head to the launch ramp.
Capt. Steve gives us his take on the best way to prep so that you will not have a costly accident on the road...
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DVD Boating Course
Based on the feedback we’ve been getting about BoatTEST.com'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.
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Lesson of the Week
Rules of the Road:
Power Vessels vs. Sail
In Narrow Channels
This week Capt. Steve covers basic rules of the road in twelve short segments and
offers guidelines on: navigating safely through narrow channels, using caution with larger vessels in narrow channels, how to signal to another boat when there’s a blind spot, overtaking another boat, and rules for power-driven vessels versus sailing vessels when crossing paths. These are basic procedures which all recreational boaters should be aware of. The videos presented this week are part of BoatTEST.com’s Boating Course which is USCG-approved. Watch these video boating lessons every week on BoatTEST.com.
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“This lake has never been the same since those clowns moved in across the lake.”
– T. Scharf
“So that's what the gator hunters do in the off season!” – M. Mentetl
“Those Shriners sure are a fun bunch.”
– R. Davis
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