Sea Fox 216 // Glastron 200 // Beneteau Swift 50 // Boat Trim Tips - 11/28/2012
BoatTEST Newsletter November 28, 2012 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter. Tests You Can Trust
- Premier 250 Solaris
- Formula 270 Bowrider
- Grady-White Canyon 366
- Bayliner 197 SD
- Beneteau Swift 50
- Glastron GT 200
- Meridian Yachts 441 SB
- MJM 36z
- Sea Fox 216 DC
- Sea Ray 260 Sundancer
- Volvo Penta V8-225
- Boat Buying Tips
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Premier 250 Solaris:
Adding Class to a Tri-Toon

Premier 250 Solaris
The Premier 250 Solaris has a LOA of 24'5" (7.44 m) and a beam of 8'6" (2.59 m). Our test showed a top speed of 45.2 mph and a best cruise range of 121 miles.

Premier Pontoons has a knack for adding comfort, luxury and performance into its boats and this 250 Solaris is another representative example of exactly that. We found her plush seats to be as comfortable as any pontoon boat we've been on and her performance package delivered exceptional handling characteristics across the choppy test lake. As we tested her with an Evinrude E-TEC 250 H.O. it was quite evident that she also makes a capable watersports platform. All that's needed are lots of friends. More...

Request factory price quote.  Ask a question.

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New Test Video

Formula 270 Bowrider:
Large Bowrider with Agile Handling

Formula 270 Bowrider
The Formula 270 Bowrider has a LOA of 27’ (8.23 m), a beam of 8'6" (2.59 m)
and a draft of 40” (102 cm).

We found that the Formula 270 Bowrider has easy handling characteristics despite her relatively large size. Her combination of standard and optional features makes her a compelling crossover between a watersports and entertaining platform for boaters who want a boat out of the ordinary. Today we offer a full test and features review video to show exactly what she offers a discriminating buyer. More...

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Captain's Report

Grady-White Canyon 366 CC:
Harbinger of A Big Outboard Trend

Grady-White Canyon 366
The Grady-White Canyon 366 is a big center console with a beam of 13'2" (4.01 m) and a displacement of 12,850 lbs. (5,829 kgs.). This model is powered by twin Yamaha 350-hp engines.

When Yamaha contemplated pushing the horsepower envelope to 300 and then to 350-hp the builder that it worked most intimately with was Grady-White. GW wanted to build bigger boats, but at the same time it wanted to stick with outboard power. Yamaha saw an opportunity to develop a market in larger boats which needed a lot more power than was then currently available and practical. It all came together a few years ago in the Canyon 366 which along with the Grady-White Express 360 are the largest boats the company builds.  Read more...

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Test Video

Bayliner 197 SD:
For (a BIG) Family + Friends

Bayliner 197 SD
This picture says it all about the Bayliner 197 Sun Deck: she has a rated capacity for 10 people when on the water. At the dock she will hold even more.

There are few things more fun than taking family and friends out on a boat and watching them enjoy the delights of being on the water. And with the Bayliner 197 Sun Deck there is plenty of room for several couples and their kids. We'd have 10 life vests on board as standard equipment because they will probably get used every weekend. There are many deckboats on the market, but few come close to providing the expanse of seating available on the 197. See the test...

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New Test Video

New Beneteau Swift 50:
Fast Cruiser or Long Ranger

Beneteau Swift 50
At just under 50' (15.2 m) the Swift 50 can go most places and do it for a reasonable price.

The new Beneteau Swift 50 was introduced in the U.S. at the fall boat shows and already a number have been sold at retail. The reason is not hard to figure out because this three-stateroom vessel is well-designed and has a price tag that allows grown men to dream again. She is a boat for the baby boomers and their children and grandchildren and she is easy to handle by a couple or even single-handed. Watch our new test video...

Schedule a sea trial. Ask a question.

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Review Video

Glastron GT 200:
A Retro Look to a New Bowrider

Glastron GT200
With her bright red hull and good looking sharp angles the GT 200 is like a trip down Memory Lane.

Like a classic Corvette, some looks are simply timeless. Such is the case with the new Glastron GT 200. She has all the features that shout retro, but with all of the latest internal materials and equipment.  In addition she has a high freeboard and a color-matched painted trailer. She's part of the celebration of Glastron's 55th year in business. Let's take a look at the features as we do a walkthrough of this retro beauty. More...

Request factory price quote.  Request a brochure.

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Test Video

Meridian Yachts 441 Sedan Bridge:
Two Docking Control Systems Offered

Meridian Yachts 441 Sedan Bridge
Docking stress will be a thing of the past with either of the two systems offered
on the Meridian 441 Sedan Bridge.

It's always fun testing boats with Zeus pod drives as they make boat handling so easy to handle both at and away from the dock. However, we understand that not everyone can afford the up-charge of going to pods.  That is why Meridian offers the boat with straight-shafts' "Total Command."  This system links the props with a bow thruster to add joystick functionality at a fraction of the cost. Either way this is an easy boat to handle. Test video...

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Features Video

MJM 36z:
Down-Island Cruiser or Day Boat

MJM 36z
Because the MJM 36z is built to order she can be customized to fit an owner's specific needs. Just ask.

There really isn't any boat on the market like the MJM Yachts 36z. She comes in two versions: the 36z Express and the 36z Downeast, which differ only in their side window configurations. Both boats are designed for classy cruising by a couple and elegant entertaining for a crowd as a day boat. Because of the way they are built, the 36z can handle offshore conditions and some owners have taken them down island in the Caribbean. Other snowbirds truck them back and forth from their Florida to New England homes -- the 36z was designed with that in mind, too! As we said, there is no boat quite like the 36z. More...

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Captain's Report

Sea Fox 216DC:
A Balance Between Features & Price

Sea Fox 216 DC
The Sea Fox 216DC has a LOA of 21'3" (6.5 m), a beam of 8’6” (2.59 m) and a hull draft of 14” (35.6 cm.) We think dual console boats make a good all-around design
for nearly any boating activity.

Sea Fox is fast becoming a popular brand and by looking at the 216DC it is easy to see why. The overall Sea Fox design has a pleasing balance of features and price. We took a good long look at everything this model had to offer and broke it down into detailed section in our captain's report. Read the full report for the details...

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Captain's Report

Sea Ray 260 Sundancer:
Trailerable Camper/Cruiser

Sea Ray 260 Sundancer
The 260 Sundancer has a cockpit designed for living, with an L-lounge and refreshment center with cooler.

Small enough to trailer but big enough for a mid-cabin, the Sea Ray 260 Sundancer can be considered a "camper/cruiser".  She has the accommodations for two folks -- maybe four if two are kids -- to spend a couple of nights aboard on a long weekend cruise, and a galley to make casual meals. By cruising I-95 (or any other "I")  she can be a long range cruiser on a budget.  More...

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New Test Video

Volvo Penta V8-225:
A Compelling Option to the V6

Volvo Penta V8-225
By thinking out of the box with new technology, Volvo Penta was able to create a new V8-225 engine that has impressive benefits for boaters.

Volvo Penta created the new V8-225 engine to provide a catalyzed alternative to the 4.3L V-6 225-hp engines widely being used in 18'-24' (5.5 m-8.2 m) boats. This means that thanks to forward-thinking technology and design these boaters can now have V-8 durability and smoothness in the cleanest running engine Volvo Penta has ever built. We decided to put it to the test and see what kind of performance potential buyers can expect, and we can sum up its evaluation in two words… Hang on! More...

Sportboat Buying Tip #2

How Much Horsepower? Which Brand Engine?

Sportboat Buying
Selecting the brand of boat is only half the sportboat-buying exercise. The engine selection both in terms of brand and horsepower is also critical. Then, there is the lower unit to think about.

Most repeat boat buyers know that new boat dealers often direct them to a boat that's in stock, rather than one that specifically meets the customer's needs or the one they walked into the showroom to see. Because of the Great Recession nearly all boat dealers these days are carrying far fewer boats in inventory than ever before.  That's why you need to figure out before you get into the showroom how much horsepower and which brand engine you want in your new boat. Here is the #2 installment in our series of "25 Points to Compare...

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, 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 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 holiday is upon us.  Order here...

Watch the trailer...

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Lesson of the Week

How to Trim Your Outboard or Sterndrive Boat

Capt. SteveSmart Boating Cover 

Trimming your drive correctly will give you a better, faster, safer ride and better fuel economy.

This week Capt. Steve goes over seven video lessons and guidelines on how to trim your outboard or sterndrive boat. You’ll learn about the advantages of trimming your drive correctly, how to reduce bow rise, when to raise your drive and how to make sure you never run your engine dry. 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 --

Order all lessons on DVD--

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Ducky Award

Ducky Winner

First Place

“Wow. That was a low bridge!” – R. Morgan

Second Place

“Absolutely brilliant idea - - 5 hour scenic tour, seats for 200 tourists, no head.”
– R. Davis

Third Place

“Capt. Bill thought the tour past the Kardashian's waterfront home would be a sure thing.” – Capt. Steve

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 11/28/2012

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