Sea Ray 21 SPX // Grady-White 307 // Four Winns H350 // 16 Reviews - 01/14/2015
BoatTEST Newsletter January 14, 2015 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
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2000-2015
IN THIS ISSUE
- Formula 45 Yacht
- Yamaha AR240 HO
- Maritimo M50
- Four Winns H350
- Mercury 4.2L TDI Diesel
- Grady-White Freedom 307
- Regal 2100 RX
- Tracker Panfish 16
- Beneteau's Hull & Deck
- Sea Ray 21 SPX
- Tiara 44 Coupe
- Cruisers Sport Series 278
- Ocean Alexander 90 MY
- Tahoe Q4i
- Manitou 23 X-Plode SHP
- Glacier Bay 2780
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Lesson

Formula 45 Yacht:
New Model for 4-Seasons

Formula 45 Yacht
The Formula 45 Yacht has the luxury of a yacht combined with rugged construction consistent with the company's long offshore racing heritage.

Formula has taken its classic 45 Yacht and redesigned its main deck to create the first express cruiser we have ever seen with a variable geometry aft glass bulkhead under the hardtop. By thinking out of the box, Formula has maintained the huge size of its popular U-shaped cockpit seating outside -- it can handle 8 people with the addition of two folding chairs -- while enclosing the pilothouse. There we find a redesigned helm and companion seat, port side lounger and wet bar/mini galley. As a result, she is comfortable for cruising in the tropics at mid-day in perfect air conditioning, as well as being a capable 4-season vessel for those in northern latitudes. Her new glass cockpit instrument panel makes her state-of-the-art, something that Formula is known for. And, there is more...

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New Captain's Report

Yamaha AR240 HO:
New, High-Performance Twin Jet

Yamaha AR240 HO
The Yamaha AR240 HO is a high-performance twin-engine jet boat with wrap-around seating fore and aft providing plenty of comfortable space for a large family to spread out and enjoy a variety of watersports.

The big news from Yamaha is its new "articulating keel" that makes jetboat handling easier at low speeds on the Yamaha AR240 HO. Odds are everybody will want to give her a spin once they get a taste of this exciting performance characteristic. Our test captain reports a time to plane of just 2.3 seconds, and a top speed exceeding 50 mph. More...

Price Quote

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Captain's Report

Maritimo M50:
A Cruising Motoryacht with Max Living Space

Maritimo M50
Maritimo’s M50, with a full-beam master suite, blends the look of a sedan with motoryacht features such as the enclosed flying bridge, a cockpit intended for entertaining, and a large open deck abaft the enclosed bridge.

The Maritimo M50 combines many of the best features of a convertible, sedan and motoryacht to create a remarkably functional boat in just 50' (15.24 m). Her enclosed flying bridge contains both the helm and a sky lounge, which creates lots of interior 4-season living space that most sedans and convertibles this size do not have. Her main cockpit is huge and is designed primarily for entertaining, but can also be used for casual fishing. Three staterooms below, including a full-beam master, round out the picture of a cruising yacht with remarkable utility. More...

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New Captain's Report

Four Winns H350:
Express Cruiser Styling, Bowrider Utility

Four Winns H350
The Four Winns H350 is one of the newest members of the mega-bowrider category that has gained popularity in recent years. She is designed to handle a crowd at high speed.

While the Four Winns H350 is primarily an XXL bowrider, she also offers a compact cabin where guests can get out of the rain, or where a couple might spend a few nights on the hook in a secluded cove thanks to a mid-cabin berth and enclosed head. The standard sunroof adds an important design feature to the boat, and the windows set into the hull not only provide lots of light below but become a styling element as well. More...

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New Captain's Report

Mercury 4.2L TDI Diesel:
High-Tech, High-Efficiency V8

Mercury 4.2L TDI Diesel
Mercury's 4.2L TDI V8 features a closed cooling system for corrosion protection, and water-cooled engine oil, gear oil and steering fluid to decrease powertrain temperatures, extending life, says the company.

Mercury's 4.2L TDI engine block is fabricated via Vermicular Graphite Casting (VGC), creating a compacted iron which has twice the strength of grey iron and most of its attributes, but is 5% to 10% lighter, according to the company. The end result is lower weight, higher strength, and improved heat transfer for better cooling. Fuel is sprayed directly into each cylinder at a remarkable 26,000 psi, resulting in maximum atomization for a clean, powerful and efficient burn. Variations of this engine can be found in Audi’s A8 automobiles, which are setting new standards for diesel performance. More...

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New Captain's Report

Grady-White Freedom 307:
Rugged, Multi-Use Dayboat

Grady-White Freedom 307
The Grady-White Freedom 307 clearly has the same bluewater fishing heritage as all Grady-White boats, and is a tough and practical family dayboat.

The Grady-White Freedom 307 should be equally at home loading up the guys for a day of chasing tuna and wahoo far offshore, or gathering up the neighborhood kids for a weekend of tow-sports, swimming and diving. She has increased eye appeal thanks to the flowing lines of the sheer, and four hull colors are available in addition to classic Grady-White white. Most important, she is a large, robust vessel suitable for nearly any mission in both open and protected waters. More...

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New Captain's Report

Regal 2100 RX:
Watersports Package Ready to Party

Regal 2100 RX
The Regal 2100 RX is a purpose-built tow boat, with a layout that's also good for a party, or simply for joy-riding.

The Regal 2100 RX has numerous premium features in the standard package, including the PowerTower, swiveling board racks and performance tower speakers connected to the premium Fusion stereo. She also has pleated upholstery under the bolsters, contrast stitching on the seats and a soft-touch dash. Clearly the 2100 RX is intended to be an upscale boat, but the price is moderate. More...

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Captain's Report

Tracker Panfish 16:
Versatile Fishboat w/ Stick Steering

Tracker Panfish 16
The Tracker Panfish 16 is a versatile fishing boat suitable for chasing not only bluegills and crappies but also catfish, perch and other species in protected waters.

The Tracker Panfish 16 includes everything anglers need for fishing in protected waters, including a baitwell/livewell in the center of the boat, easily reached from both bow and stern seats. “Stick” steering at the forward seat saves space and makes getting around the boat easy. It also puts the angler in easy reach of the standard bow-mount trolling motor. More...

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Features Video

The Beneteau Construction Story:
"Best Practices" Match the Model

Beneteau Factory Hull and Deck
Fiberglass is computer cut for a precision fit and then cored with end-grain balsa in most Beneteau models, delivering strong, stiff hulls that are lightweight and highly resistant to puncture and water intrusion.

Beneteau builds hulls by means of either hand layup, resin infusion or injection molding, depending on each yacht's size, application and production schedule. One construction method is not best for all boats. The company says exacting use of materials results in just the right resin to glass ratios, delivering strong parts in all cases, with minimal weight in many. End grain balsa reinforcement is used in most hulls. In some models, the parts are vacuum bagged to assure the highest possible glass-to-resin ratio. In other models, hand layup is a better construction method. Small boats with high production numbers may benefit from injected molding. More...

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New Captain's Report

Sea Ray 21 SPX:
New Affordable Family Runabout

Sea Ray 21 SPX
The new Sea Ray 21 SPX is an entry-level, competitively priced runabout that is available with both outboard and sterndrive power. Flexible seating in the cockpit, a large swim platform and low-priced options make this boat a standout, in our opinion.

Sea Ray's new 21 SPX combines functional usability with good aesthetic values in a basic package (boat, engine and trailer) that can get a family out on the water at an affordable price. Further, she is one of the few boats in class that is available with either outboard or sterndrive power. For those seeking a dedicated tow-boat, an optional factory-installed set-up includes an aluminum tube wake tower with board racks and integral Bimini top, plus the Perfect Pass control system that allows the pilot to set precise tow speeds. More...

Brochure

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Captain's Report

Tiara 44 Coupe:
The Fine Tiara Tradition Continues

Tiara 44 Coupe
The plush, roomy cockpit of the Tiara 44 Coupe includes a high-low table and lots of seating.

A retractable sunroof and pocket sliding glass salon doors open the Tiara 44 Coupe to the ocean air. An unusual feature is the solid surface counter top on the transom, which can serve as a side board for beverages, ice and food. The optional grill makes it a cooking counter or when engaged in casual fishing, it can be used as a bait prep station. Below decks, the master stateroom features a pillow-top innerspring mattress and upholstered headboard. More...

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Test Video

Cruisers Sport Series 278 Bow Rider:
Multi-Mission Boat with Sizzle

Cruisers Sport Series 278 Bow Rider
Whether it's wakeboarding, water skiing, tubing, catching some rays or just spending the day on the water, the Cruisers Sport Series 278 Bow Rider delivers upscale accommodations, superior ride quality, and plenty of sizzle.

Powered by a Volvo Penta V8 320-C with DuoProp, the Cruisers Sport Series 278 Bow Rider recorded a top speed of 46.2 mph at 5400 rpm in our test runs. "Best cruise" was found to be at 3500 rpm where the boat went 28.6 mph, burning 10 gph, giving her a range of 175 statute miles and an endurance of 6.1 hours. Our test captain reports her to be quick on her feet and agile despite a 6,421 lb. (2,913 kg.) test displacement, and she also proved capable of building huge wakes for wakeboarding with a bit of tweaking on the trim. More...

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Review Video

Ocean Alexander 90 Motoryacht:
Royal Accommodations Afloat

Ocean Alexander 90 Motoryacht
The Ocean Alexander 90 Motoryacht is a versatile motoryacht built in the best traditions of bluewater naval architecture both to travel the seven seas and to entertain royally at home in tasteful, luxurious surroundings.

When one is ready for the ultimate reward of a life blessed with well-earned good fortune, there is nothing quite so exquisite as a large motoryacht. While the Ocean Alexander 90's hull and super structure come out of molds, little about her interior is standard. Owners can specify virtually any material desired to fulfill their life-long dream and individual taste. In this regard, the 90 Motoryacht is very much a custom vessel. What is standard about the yacht are her impressive sea keeping characteristics involving her displacement, beam, CG, rugged scantlings, redundant systems, and remarkable range at displacement speeds. More...

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Captain's Report

Tahoe Q4i:
Entry-Level Watersports Bowrider

Tahoe Q4i
The Tahoe Q4i is a sporty 18-footer (5.49 m) that comes standard with a 135-hp MerCruiser sterndrive and color-matched trailer in a package costing just $22,995, plus dealer prep, transport and taxes.

Tahoe's entry-level Tahoe Q4i bowrider is a turn-key way to get into boating, or for old salts, a low-cost solution to keeping a versatile boat tied up at the summer lake house for the enjoyment of friends and family. She is quite capable for basic towing duties and is light enough for easy trailering, compact enough to fit most suburban garages, and all-around is a good value, in our opinion. More...

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Test Video

Manitou 23 X-Plode SHP:
A Rocketship with Room

Manitou 23 X-Plode SHP
The Manitou 23 X-Plode SHP blends luxury, style, practicality and performance into a roomy pontoon with a level of materials and fit-and-finish not common in the genre, according to our test captain.

The Manitou 23 X-Plode SHP delivers remarkable speed and handling thanks to an oversized, 27'' (.69 m) center pontoon that allows the boat to lean into high-speed turns like a deep-V sportboat. With a top speed of 47 mph, she is a match for any hot-shot on the lake -- and faster than many. The smaller 23'' (.58 m) side sponsons produce the expected pontoon boat stability at rest and at low speeds, allowing the boat to carry lots of guests in glorious comfort. More...

Chaparral Medallion Touchscreen Manitou 2015 lineup video.

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Captain's Report

Glacier Bay 2780 Isle Runner:
Seakindly Cat with Cabin

Glacier Bay 2780 Isle Runner
The Glacier Bay 2780 Isle Runner provides a compact cruising platform for a traveling couple as well as serving well for offshore fishing expeditions and entertaining.

With her hardtop and three sides enclosed, plus a removable aft enclosure, the Glacier Bay 2780 Isle Runner easily becomes a four-season cruiser. Her accommodations are adequate for angling overnights, with a queen-size bed between the twin hulls, head and shower tucked into one of the sponsons and a microwave for cooking also below. The sink and optional refrigerator are topside. More...

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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.

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4-DVD Boating Course

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Sometimes it's not what you know, but what you've forgotten. We have the perfect solution for you.


Based on the feedback we’ve been getting about BoatTEST.com's Video Boating Course it’s clearly not only for beginners, but also 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 course available… period. Order your 4-disc box set...

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Lesson of the Week

Basic Rules of the Road: Part 1

Capt. Steve Smart Boating Cover
Captain Steve brings us the basics.


Captain Steve covers some of the basic rules of the road in these lessons which all recreational boaters should be aware of. You’ll learn about lines of demarcation, traveling at safe speeds, how to determine your risk of collision, why one should steer clear of large vessels and who has the right of way. Part 1 is the first installment of a multi-part series on Basic Rules of the Road. 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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All articles, Captain's Reports, video content or other material which appear on BoatTEST.com and in its newsletters are accurate and factual to the best knowledge of BoatTEST.com and its staff. All findings, beliefs, experiences, or endorsements presented are the honest opinions of BoatTEST.com or its contributors. In compliance with FTC 16 CFR Part 255 BoatTEST.com advises its readers that content that appears in its newsletter or on its website may have been produced for compensation or the prospect of future compensation. BoatTEST.com makes no claims for the veracity or motivation of reader comments, Owners’ Reports, and other contributions which are all clearly labeled as such.



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