Four Winns 210 // Grady-White 251 // Ocean Alexander 100 // 16 Reviews - 01/28/2015
BoatTEST Newsletter January 28, 2015 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
15 year anniversary
2000-2015
IN THIS ISSUE
- Beneteau MC4
- Formula 330 Crossover BR
- Grady-White 251 CE
- Four Winns H210
- Tracker Targa V-18 Combo
- Mercury MerCruiser 4.5L
- Regal 1900 ESX
- Sun Tracker Party Barge 20
- Sea Ray 290 Sundeck
- Yamaha V1
- Bayliner Launch & Recovery
- Ocean Alexander 100 MY
- Cruisers Sport Series 298
- Manitou 22 Encore Pro
- Robalo 226 Cayman
- Glastron GT 225
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Lesson

Beneteau MC4:
Bright and Airy Styling Afloat

Beneteau MC4
The Beneteau MC4's striking interiors are illuminated with natural light from opening portholes that are both a style feature and a practical way to brighten the staterooms.

Styling of the Beneteau MC4 is contemporary, fresh, and reflects her European origin. Alpi wood cabinets with stitched leather door pulls compliment the staterooms, which also benefit from large portlights that are one signature signal of this distinctive Beneteau line. Roman shades cover the boat's windows when privacy is needed. More...

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New Test Video

Formula 330 Crossover Bowrider:
Performance Bowrider with a Pedigree

Formula 330 Crossover Bowrider
The business-like helm of the Formula 330 Crossover Bowrider marks her performance boat heritage, but she's loaded with all the comforts expected in a top-shelf bowrider -- and also manages to tuck away overnight accommodations below decks.

The Formula 330 Crossover Bowrider is a premium bowrider capable of impressive performance when armed with twin 8.2 MerCruisers, as in our test. The optional Axius joystick on the test boat made her a boat anyone can dock with ease. The boat's weight and the 21-degree deadrise at the transom sliced through and flattened wakes crossed at high speed, delivering very little impact at the helm in our test runs. More...

Brochure

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New Captain's Report

Grady-White 251 CE:
Multi-Mission CC with Angling Heritage

Grady-White 251 Coastal Explorer
Like all Grady-Whites, the 251 CE is immediately ready to go fishing, but she also incorporates features that have proven popular with families who enjoy watersports activities such as swimming, beaching, and towing sports.

The Grady-White 251 CE (Coastal Explorer) has the same upswept sportfishing boat sheer as on all Grady-Whites, making her immediately identifiable. The design also helps to keep the crew dry in upwind runs. A removable table in the bow provides a spot for a picnic, or it can be lowered to become part of a full-bow sun lounge. The stainless steel ladder that extends from the bow is a popular feature, making it easy to get in and out of the boat when she's beached. More...

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New Captain's Report

Four Winns H210:
Classic Sportboat with Modern Touches

Four Winns H210
The Four Winns H210 delivers a compelling blend of performance, style and amenities in a sportboat with classic lines.

Though the interior of the Four Winns H210 is as fresh and contemporary as any sportboat on the market, her exterior styling is unaffected by garish bling or gratuitous design flourishes: Rather, she represents the confident look of classic sportboats. Helping the cause is her standard colored hull -- six colors are available. The instrument panel on the H210 is simple and uncluttered much as one might find on a high-end luxury sports car. She has a Sony stereo system with 4 speakers, plus USB and auxiliary inputs including Bluetooth, allowing owners to integrate the many electronic options available. More...

Brochure

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New Captain's Report

Tracker Targa V-18 Combo:
Fully-Loaded for Fishing

Tracker Targa V-18 Combo
The Tracker Targa V-18 Combo is a fully-equipped deep-V aluminum fishing boat with enough space and adequate seating to handle four adult anglers comfortably.

The Tracker Targa V-18 Combo comes fully-loaded for fishing, complete with a Minn Kota 24-volt trolling motor with foot control at the bow, a Lowrance Mark 5x fishfinder with a water temperature gauge at the console, two side rod boxes holding rods up to 7' long and a 55 gallon aerated livewell aft as well as a 19-gallon aerated baitwell forward. More...

Ask a Question

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New Features Video

Mercury MerCruiser 4.5L 250 HP:
Lighter, Faster, Stronger V6 Power

Mercury 4.5L
The Mercury MerCruiser 4.5L V6 delivers more power in a smaller, lighter, purpose-built 250-horsepower package that's also relatively fuel efficient.

Among the many new features on the MerCruiser 4.5L is a lighter-weight flywheel, that increases engine throttle response and reduces shift clunk when going in and out of gear. A cross-ram, tuned scroll runner design was used to lengthen the intake runners. This results in greater torque at low rpm, better out of the hole response and quicker planing times, according to Mercury. More...

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New Test Video

Regal 1900 ESX:
Runabout with an Edge

Regal 1900 ESX
Regal's 1900 ESX makes it easier financially for those buying their first runabout to get on the water, yet delivers the same build quality as the rest of the company's legendary lineup.

The Regal 1900 ESX offers edgy graphics and the performance to go with it, aiming at the younger demographic. The bright color schemes extend into the cockpit, as well, and blue LED lights provide cool night-time illumination. Our test captain found her to be quick out of the hole and agile at speed, yet easy to handle -- a good fit for the young boater trying out his or her wings. More...

Brochure Price Quote
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New Captain's Report

Sun Tracker Party Barge 20 DLX:
Affordable Quality in a Family Pontoon

Sun Tracker Party Barge 20 DLX
The Sun Tracker Party Barge 20 DLX, rated to carry 10 adults, comes nicely equipped for all-day pontooning at a reasonable price.

An unusual feature of the Sun Tracker Party Barge 20 DLX is the full-width swim platform at the transom, providing extra space for swimmers as well as making it easier to get at the outboard for maintenance checks. Though this is designed to be an affordable pontoon boat. She has quality touches that most potential buyers will like, including pillow-top, multi-layer foam furniture finished with UV resistant, marine-grade 26-ounce vinyl. The carpet is 28-ounce marine-grade and is easy on bare feet. And she comes with a changing enclosure and Bimini top, standard. More...

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New Captain's Report

Sea Ray 290 Sundeck:
A Deckboat with Character

Sea Ray 290 Sundeck
The blunt bow of the Sea Ray 290 Sundeck is just one way the builder has maximized seating on this huge deckboat.

A very large swim platform upon which to launch watersports is the key to the Sea Ray 290 Sundeck according to our test captain. It provides a massive, recessed boarding step designed for heavy usage and safety. Several wet lockers are within reach, and the exceptionally comfortable aft-facing lounges will be great for watching the kids swim, perhaps while nursing a sundown toddy. More...

Test Drive Price Quote
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Test Video

Yamaha V1:
Good Performance Plus Value

Yamaha V1
The Yamaha V1, which can seat up to three persons, takes advantage of Yamaha’s extensive racing and manufacturing experience to provide a level of performance and features expected by today's demanding buyers.

Yamaha's V1 is designed as an entry level PWC, but our test rider found the overall quality of the fit-and-finish, materials used, and its engine to make it an exceptional value in the genre. The 1052cc engine is a four-cylinder (not three as with most in class) and has an exceptional computer mapping program which allows it to provide power and fuel economy in the midrange at normal operating speeds. Top speed on test day was 53.7 mph. More...

Yamaha Jet Drive System How a jet drive works.

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Launch & Recovery Video

Bayliner 185 Bowrider:
How to Launch and Retrieve

Bayliner 185 Bowrider
The folks at Bayliner have been kind enough to sponsor our "how-to" video on launching and retrieving a sportboat.

The boat we used to demonstrate the launching and retrieving techniques is the Bayliner 185 Bowrider seen above. FYI, the Bayliner 185 Bowrider comes as a complete package with a factory-matched, single-axle painted trailer with disc brakes, tongue jack and a swing-away tongue that makes it a likely fit for most double garages. More...

Bayliner's homepage.

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Captain's Report

Ocean Alexander 100 Motoryacht:
For Large Yacht Connoisseurs Only

Ocean Alexander 100 MY
The tasteful, plush interiors of the Ocean Alexander 100 Motoryacht answers the needs of those wanting the luxuries found in superyachts while still allowing her to meet size restrictions at most resort areas around the globe.

The Ocean Alexander 100 Motoryacht offers a traditional configuration on the main deck, with a flush deck running from the aft deck to the head of the galley. From there, it’s up two steps to the casual gathering and dining area forward which has a commanding view of the vessel's rarified surroundings. The fly-bridge area is available in both an open and Skylounge versions. This version offers what is effectively a second salon with a high level of luxury, complete with a wet bar and day head. Our test captain was also impressed by the full galley, which he calls one of the largest and best-equipped he's observed in yachts of this class. More...

Test Drive Brochure Request Price Quote
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Test Video

Cruisers Sport Series 298 Bow Rider:
Ruggedly Built and Family Size

Cruisers Sport Series 298 Bow Rider
With the seating capacity of a large pontoon boat but with much more stylish lines and better sea-handling capabilities, the Cruisers Sports Series 298 Bow Rider presents an attractive option for large families.

The Cruisers Sport Series 298 Bow Rider is a big-water sportboat capable of smoothing bumpy water while keeping the crew dry and comfortable. Her luxury seating is manufactured in-house. It's got plenty of space for the family to spread out, including a convertible sun-lounge aft and an oversized swim platform topped with SeaDek faux teak that not only looks good but also provides safe footing when wet. More...

Test Drive Brochure Request Price Quote
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Test Video

Manitou 22 Encore Pro Angler Full Front VP:
Family-Friendly Fishin' Toon

Manitou 22 Encore Pro Angler Full Front VP
Comfort-Touch marine vinyl furniture provides plush seats from bow to stern in the Manitou 22 Encore Pro Angler Full Front VP.

The Manitou 22 Encore Pro Angler Full Front VP, as the name suggests, comes well equipped to fish. Add the optional tow bar, wakeboard rack and ski mirror and she becomes a good all-around platform for a family day on the water. The swiveling aft fishing seats are also good observer's seats when someone is on the tow-line. More...

Ask a Question

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Test Video

Robalo 226 Cayman:
Coastal or Beach Bayboat

Robalo 226 Cayman
The Robalo 226 Cayman can easily transition from skinny coves and marshes to coastal conditions, making her a good choice for the angling family that likes to sample both inshore and near-shore fishing as well as doing a bit of gunkholing with the family now and then.

Though Robalo is not the most expensive boat in the bayboat class by far, the 226 Cayman features a lot of quality touches that should please buyers. For example, the premium-grade Imedge gel coat resists fading, chalking and yellowing for longer than most brands, according to the company. The upholstery is Dura-Life Max, also resistant to weather and UV rays. The hull is Kevlar-reinforced in key areas and the transom is a ceramic composite that will be rotproof for the life of the boat. More...

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Captain's Report

Glastron GT 225:
Sportboat Style & Affordable

Glastron GT 225
The Glastron GT 225, which brings sportboat speed and style to the runabout market, is available in both the standard GT version and a sportier GTS model, both built to Glastron's top-grade construction standards.

The slightly retro-look of the Glastron GT 225 will be a head-turner at most boat ramps, and she comes fully-equipped to keep most modern families happy during a day on the water. With the convertible sun pad and the seating available, the GT 225 lends herself to long afternoons on the hook or drifting down a lazy river with friends. She's the right size to pull up to a remote beach for a private swim, too. A standard tandem axle trailer with disc brakes makes her easy to get to the ramp and back. 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.

When sending a photo, let us know when, where and what boat you were on.


Expert Boating

 BoatTEST.com’s
4-DVD Boating Course

Smart Boating
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...

Watch the trailer...
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Lesson of the Week

Basic Rules of the Road:
Power Vessels vs. Sail In Narrow Channels

Capt. Steve Smart Boating Cover
Navigating safely in narrow channels.


This week Captain 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.

To view this week’s lessons --

Order all lessons on DVD--

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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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