Sylvan 23' Toon // Sea Ray 280 // Formula 37 // Boat Buying Tips - 11/21/2012
BoatTEST Newsletter November 21, 2012 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter. Tests You Can Trust
- Formula 37 PC
- Evinrude E-TEC 250 H.O.
- Sea Ray 280 Sundancer
- Boston Whaler 230 Vantage
- Chaparral 310 Signature
- Sylvan Mirage 8522LZ
- Yamaha SX192
- Intrepid 475 Sport Yacht
- Jeanneau NC11
- Southport 27 CC
- Sun Tracker Regency PB 250
- Tigé Touch
- Boat Buying Tips
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Formula 37 PC:
Tested with Axius

Formula 37 PC
Our test of the Formula 37 PC showed a top speed of 46.7 mph and a best cruise range of 206 miles while maintaining a 10% reserve.

Our most recent test of the Formula 37 PC was conducted on a boat equipped with the optional Axius joystick for close-quarters maneuvering.   Since our test boat was docked with only inches to spare both fore and aft, and an adverse current was flowing under pilings, even Captain Steve was relieved to discover the boat was equipped with an Axius joystick.  Will the good captain finally get his comeuppance? Find out here...

Request electronic brochure. Ask a question.

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New Test Video

Evinrude E-TEC 250 H.O.:
High-Tech With Operator Benefits

Evinrude E-TEC 250 H.O. -1
The EMM (Engine Management Module) controls instant owner winterization, eliminates a break-in period, and allows a 3-year/300-hour no-maintenance regimen.
Evinrude E-TEC 250 H.O. -2
Here is the fool-proof, no-belts-needed magnito which generates 133 AMPS, 50 of which go to recharging the battery, the rest to power accessories.
Evinrude E-TEC 250 H.O. -3
Wires to all of the spark plugs have metallic shrouds that keep the system from interfering with electronics on the boat such as a DF or radio.
Evinrude E-TEC 250 H.O. -4
The 10 micron water separator/fuel filter is easy to reach and remove on the water-- sometimes a necessity because of ethanol fuel.

The amount of thought and engineering that has gone into the Evinrude E-TEC 250 H.O. is remarkable and the benefits to the boat owner are many. We made a video recently to explain how these features pay-off for the consumer in terms or fewer maintenance issues, better performance and cost savings. See it now...

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New Test

Sea Ray 280 Sundancer:
Easy Introduction to Cruising

Sea Ray 280 Sundancer
With a LOA of 28'8" (8.74 m) and a beam of 8'10" (2.69 m) the Sea Ray 280 Sundancer is a convenient size for those transitioning from a small dayboat to an actual cruising boat.

Sea Ray’s 280 Sundancer is designed to be a transitional boat for those stepping up from a dayboat to a real cruising boat. She can accommodate a small family overnight, entertain friends during daytime cruises, as well as be a watersports tow boat on steroids.  We recently tested the 280 Sundancer. Full report...

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New Boat

New Boston Whaler 230 Vantage:
Wakeboarding from a Whaler?

Boston Whaler 230 Vantage
The new dual console Boston Whaler 230 Vantage is designed for all sorts of watersports.
With a single 300-hp Mercury Verado she can hit 50 mph.

Boston Whaler's new Vantage Series of dual console, "do-anything" day boats, includes the 230 Vantage shown above. Yes, this venerable old brand is closely associated with fishing, but at least half of its owners use their boats for most everything else as well. Boston Whaler is capitalizing on that phenomenon by introducing the dual console 230 Vantage.  She weighs 5,595 lbs. (2,538 kgs.) with an engine and will be just at home in freshwater as she will in saltwater. Let's take a detailed look...

Request electronic brochure. Ask a question.

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New Test

Chaparral 310 Signature:
Stylish Express Cruiser

Chaparral 310 Signature
The Chaparral 310 Signature struts her stuff as she cruises
to a day of fun on the water.

The team at Chaparral set out to create a luxury express cruiser with sportboat handling characteristics when they designed the 310 Signature.  With standard power she topped out at 43.6 mph.  Let's take a look at the full captain’s report...

Request a test drive. Ask a question.

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New Test

Sylvan Mirage 8522LZ:
She's A Hole-Shot Wizard

Sylvan Mirage 8522LZ
Thanks to her RPT hull and the low-end torque of the 2-stroke Evinrude E-TEC 150 outboard the 24' Sylvan Mirage 8522LZ got on plane in 2.6 seconds.

The Sylvan Mirage 8522 comes in two different versions, with only slight changes to the layout differentiating between the CR and LZ versions. Our time onboard the LZ version showed her to be a comfortable boat in a brisk chop and forgiving in sloppy conditions generated by 20 mph winds.  With her Revolutionary Planing Technology (RPT) tubes we stayed comfortable and dry at speed.  Read our captain's report...

Request a price quote.

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New Test Video

Yamaha SX192:
Yamaha's Entry-Level Jet Boat

Yamaha SX192
The Yamaha SX192 comes in just under $29,000 and there are no add-ons that potential customers need to worry about. She is sold as a complete package, including trailer.

Here's an instance where the term "entry-level" is a misnomer -- we only call her that because of her size and price. This boat lacks for very little and has a top speed of 50.6 mph with a single engine. She also has amenities such as Cruise Assist and No Wake Mode. Most important is her "Thrust Directional Enhancer" to make docking easier.  How did it work?  Find out here...

Ask a question.

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Test Video

Intrepid 475 Sport Yacht:
2 Staterooms, Full Galley & Forward Salon

Intrepid 475 Sport Yacht
The Intrepid 475 Sport Yacht has loads of living accommodations thanks to the fact that she has no engine room. That's reason enough to break out the bubbly.

For yachting folks who like their on-water fun to be both fast and luxurious but don't need or want the headaches of owning the Queen Mary, the Intrepid 475 Sport Yacht might be just the answer. She is powered by four 350-hp outboard engines and she topped off at 58 mph WOT during our tests. Best cruise was 37 mph with a range over 250 nautical miles. How about Nassau for lunch then overnight in the Abacos? Next day, do a little fishing in the deep blue. We think this boat has the tropics written all over it. More...

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Test Video

Jeanneau NC11:
Smooth Operator

Jeanneau NC11
The 35'7" (10.85 m) Jeanneau NC11 is an easy boat to handle for old hands and novices alike. She is designed to be a move-up/move-down boat for people who enjoy being on the water.

The NC11 (for 11 meters "New Concept") is a twin cabin boat with a single head and a versatile main deck that can be used in several different ways simply by moving the furniture around. The boat was designed to fit the needs of a cruising couple or a young family looking to share an adventure on the water. Best of all, she is a remarkably easy boat to handle. She comes with either single or twin sterndrive propulsion. We have always thought of her as a small summer cottage on the water. See the video...

Request electronic brochure. Ask a question.

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Captain's Report

Southport 27 CC: 
Designed to Handle Big Water

Southport 27 CC
Bashing to windward out the passage at Newport's Castle Hill is no problem for the Southport 27 with her deep-V design, sharp entry and raceboat construction.

The Southport 27 CC was specifically designed for rugged conditions often found when venturing offshore. Part two of the design goal was to build a CC that was also pleasing to the eye. This boat is a C. Raymond Hunt design which speaks volumes about her gold-plated pedigree. Let's take a look...

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Captain's Report

Sun Tracker Regency Party Barge 250 XP3:
Large Enough For A Rock Concert…

Sun Tracker Regency Party Barge 250 XP3
…and every seat is a good one. This 25' (7.62 m) tri-toon platform is rated by the USCG to a capacity of 15 people. The side door looks wide enough for a small wheelchair.

When gross seating capacity is the mission, then the Sun Tracker Regency Party Barge 250 XP3 should be considered. The toons are 26" in diameter and the gross weight of this vessel is 3,715 lbs. (1,688 kgs.) dry. The standard boat comes with a 200-hp Mercury OptiMax Pro XS, a 2-stroke engine for low-end torque. MSRP with engine but without a trailer is $39,995. Let the party begin...

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Tigé Innovations

Tigé Touch:
On the Water Programming

Tigé Touch
The Tigé Touch will not only allow you to control all of the electrical components onboard, but all of the parameters of the ride and wake as well. And that's just the beginning.

The team at Tigé has brought innovation and technology to the instrument panel of their popular wakeboats.  In this world of people who can't figure out how to stop the microwave from blinking "12:00", they thoughtfully made it intuitive to use. Once a perfect ride is dialed in, then those parameters with the name of the person at the end of the towline can be saved and there’s no fiddling the next time. And there’s much more... So let’s take a look...

Boat Buying Tips

Sportboat Buying:
25 Check Points

Sportboat Buying
By comparing 25 important details boat buyers can zero-in on which boat really delivers best on the promise and is the best economic value.

With so many choices, figuring out which sportboat is best is not an easy task. With every builder saying that its' boats are the highest quality, have the best features, and are the best value, what is a consumer to do? Our suggestion is to do what our test captains do: look at the details and compare them boat-to-boat. captains use a check list of 25 points to inspect before writing their Captain's Reports on the boats they test. Here is the list and a detailed explanation of Point #1 -- Performance.  Learn more...

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 
4-DVD Box Set
Boating Course

Smart Boating
Just ask our #1 repeat customer what a popular Christmas gift it is for the boater on your list.

What better gift to give than the most complete video boating course ever developed? 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. This 4-disc box set is loaded with bonus features too! Order now to beat the rush before the holidays are upon us.  Order here...

Watch the trailer...

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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

Fog Signals and Overview On Navigation Lights

Lesson of the Week Smart Boating
Only official lights such as these are allowed to be on at night underway.

This week Capt. Steve uses 15 video clips to give guidelines on fog signals and navigation lights. It’s important to know what to do when fog suddenly comes rolling. Capt. Steve also goes over the basics on navigation lights, what they mean, and what’s required when running at night, and at anchor.  These are basic rules 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 --

To order all lessons --

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Ducky Award

Ducky Winner

First Place

“So when you said two blondes, no bathing suites, I just thought well sure why not.”
– T. Scharf

Second Place

“Now that they're bald you know we're going to get blamed for the white hair all over the boat.” - J. Beleski

Third Place

“Psst, Bowser, them two still staring at our butts?” - S. Thompson

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 11/21/2012

You write the caption! Will you win the coveted "Ducky Award" for best caption?

Simply fill in your caption and you may get lucky -- quack here.


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