Ranger 25 CC // Southport 33 // Bavaria 400 // 19 Reports - 03/18/2015
BoatTEST Newsletter March 18, 2015 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter.
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IN THIS ISSUE
- Bavaria Sport 400 Coupe
- Yamaha 190 FSH
- Grady-White 251 CE
- Ranger 2510 Bay Ranger
- Southport 33 FE
- Beneteau First 20
- Sea Ray 470 Sundancer
- Robalo R180
- Cruisers Sport Series 238
- Formula 34 PC
- Carolina Cat 23CC
- Ocean Alexander 90 MY
- Evinrude E-TEC 90 H.O.
- Monte Carlo Yachts' Factory
- Chaparral 250 SunCoast OB
- MJM 36z
- Sun Tracker FB 24
- Yamaha VX Cruiser
- Beneteau GT 49
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Lesson

Bavaria Sport 400 Coupe:
German Engineering, Italian Flair

Bavaria Sport 400 Coupe
The Bavaria Sport 400 Coupe is designed to deliver performance in day cruising, as well as luxury accommodations for overnights and entertaining.

According to the builder, the Bavaria Sport 400 Coupe combines German engineering and construction with Italian styling in a versatile 43'7" (13.3 m) double cabin yacht. The interior has a clean, modern Euro look, with lots of light thanks to tall windows all around the salon as well as in the hull sides. She should offer good performance pushed by the standard twin Volvo-Penta D4-300 EVC diesel sterndrives -- and even more so if optioned with twin 400 diesels or the available dual 430-horsepower gas versions. More...


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New Video

Yamaha 190 FSH:
Jet Drive CC Fishboat

Yamaha 190 FSH
The Yamaha 190 FSH is the latest model in the watercraft line. This is a jet drive powered fish boat that utilized the proved 1812cc Yamaha Marine engine.

The Yamaha 190 FSH is an interesting center console fishboat, first for the fact that it is powered by a jet drive system, and second for the way it uses its space and fishing features. We had a chance to conduct a brief review of this new boat at the Miami Boat Show where Captain Steve found it offered several clever features. Come on board with us to explore this model. More...

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Captain's Report

Beneteau First 20:
Easy to Sail...and Trailerable

Beneteau First 20
With her modern styling -- standard grey-blue gelcoat accented with yellow striping -- it's possible to picture the Beneteau First 20 as a miniature version of a round-the-world racer, but in fact she is simply a comfortable, well-built, easy-to-handle day sailor.

Our test captain reports that the Beneteau First 20 is "easy to sail and trailerable", a desirable combination in any entry-level sailing vessel. And with twin rudders, a square-top mainsail, and bottom shape that gives her both speed and form stability, she is a mini-version of sailing yachts three times her length. The shoal draft -- only 2'4" (.70 m) with the board up -- makes her ideal for sailing in shallow bodies of water, and a compact utility cabin sleeps up to four. More...

Brochure

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New Test Video

Grady-White 251 CE:
Versatile Coastal Explorer

Grady-White 251 CE
The Grady-White 251 CE is the first model in a new series -- called Coastal Explorer -- for families who enjoy watersports activities such as swimming, beaching, and towing sports in addition to serious angling.

The multi-mission Grady-White 251 CE delivered strong performance in our test runs ahead of a 300-hp Yamaha 4-stroke, topping out at 49.2 mph turning 5700 rpm, at which speed she burned 26.9 gph. Fuel economy was the same at both 3000 and 3500 rpm, 3.0 mpg, and speed at 3500 was 28.0 mph. Turning a Yamaha SWS 15 1/4" prop, time to plane was an impressive 2.5 seconds. More...

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New Captain's Report

Ranger 2510 Bay Ranger:
Top-End 25'10" Bay Boat

Ranger 2510 Bay Ranger
Dramatic styling touches make the Ranger 2510 Bay Ranger instantly identifiable on the water, and our test captain found her to be the cream of the crop in build quality among bay boat competitors.

The Ranger 2510 Bay Ranger is a fully-loaded bay boat built to Ranger's exceptional standards of durability and finish according to our test captain. She's 24'7" (7.49 m) long and 102'' (2.59 m) wide, rated for outboards to 300 horsepower thanks in part to her all-composite, extra strong "Pultruded" transom. The bow rod boxes can hold rods up to 9'6" long, truly exceptional in a boat of this size, and the heavy-duty locking latches keep gear secure. More...

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New Captain's Report

Southport 33 FE:
A Gentleman's Center Console

Southport 33 FE
The Southport 33 FE is a premium center console designed for rugged offshore fishing, coastal family day cruising, or as an entertainment platform ideal for picnics aboard or a day at the beach.

Our test captain calls the Southport 33 FE "one of the best-built, best-finished boats in class bar none." She's also very well equipped to keep serious anglers happy; a gentleman's center console. The classic shapes and rounded treatments in the interior take on a distinctive yacht-like feel according to our captain. More...

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Captain's Report

Sea Ray 470 Sundancer:
Refined Interior Styling

Sea Ray 470 Sundancer
The redesigned Sea Ray 470 Sundancer has an enclosed coupe designed as one flowing, continuous entertaining space between the exterior cockpit, interior salon and fore-and-aft settee, while below decks is a much larger mid cabin with a diagonal queen bed.

The striking "SkyFlow" interior of the Sea Ray 470 Sundancer makes her one of the most open and airy yachts in her class, and also she impressed our test captain with her improved level of interior finish. Tiled floors in the heads, solid surface counters in bath and galley areas and a wide variety of upscale materials in the furniture, including an innerspring mattress in the master stateroom, all add to the overall image of quality and comfort afloat. More...

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Test Video

Robalo R180:
Shallow Draft, Tall Freeboard

Robalo R180
The Robalo R180 is a well-equipped center console with a bit of Carolina sheer adding to her seaworthiness, and she's competitively priced for the genre.

The Robalo R180 draws just 10.5'' (27 cm), which means she makes a good flats and bay rig, but she's got lots of freeboard and bow flair, making her capable outside the inlet in reasonable fishing weather. Our test captain reports the flat keel pad running along the bottom delivered quick planing times and a strong top end, as well as more docile turning characteristics than are sometimes found in sharper vee bottoms. More...

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Test Video

Cruisers Sport Series 238 Bow Rider:
Designed for Watersports

Cruisers Sport Series 238 Bow Rider
The Cruisers Sport Series 238 Bow Rider has the heft and feel of a larger, heavier boat, according to our test captain, yet she turned in an economical 3.5 mpg at best cruise, 3000 rpm and 23.2 mph.

The Cruisers Sport Series 238 Bow Rider is built with watersports in mind. The standard swim platform extends well aft of the drive and is higher off the water than most others in class, providing a bit of legroom for stepping into skis or other tow sports gear. Our test captain was also impressed by her comfortable seating, including the convertible aft seat/sunpad, which can function as upright seating fore and aft, a chaise lounge or a flat sunning pad for two. More...

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Test Video

Formula 34 PC:
Well-Equipped Premium Cruiser

Formula 34 PC
Our test captain found the Formula 34 PC exceptionally well-equipped and in the upper echelons for fit-and-finish. The striking paint job is also a big plus, and we think it is the best in class.

The Formula 34 PC is loaded with many items of standard equipment -- such as 18,000 BTUs of A/C and an internal vacuum cleaner system -- that are almost always optional equipment in class. American cherry woodgrain decking throughout the cabin and a total of 10 Formula-logo stainless steel cleats are just a few of the touches that would be upgrades elsewhere. More...

Formula's Exterior Finish See how Formulas get their shine. Brochure
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Test Video

Carolina Cat 23CC:
Versatile Center Console

Carolina Cat 23CC
The Carolina Cat 23CC has the draft of a flats boat, the roominess of a center console, the legs for long distance, and the rough water comfort of a deep-V, according to our test captain.

The Carolina Cat 23CC, with a draft of just 9'' (23 cm), is clearly at home on the flats and in shallow bays and backwaters, while still retaining the rough water capability that cats are famous for. She comes fully equipped with serious fishing features like a 30-gallon livewell between the aft flip-up seats, lighted and with an overboard drain. A pair of insulated 150-quart fishboxes forward mark her as a potential big-water fish chaser, and the sharp twin sponson hull should deliver a soft and dry ride in all reasonable fishing weather. More...

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Captain's Report

Ocean Alexander 90 Motoryacht:
4-Stateroom Villa Afloat

Ocean Alexander 90 Motoryacht
The grand salon of the elegant Ocean Alexander 90 Motoryacht provides magnificent sit-down views all around thanks to lots of broad windows with narrow mullions.

The Ocean Alexander is a sizeable yacht to say the least, with a beam of 22'5" (6.83 m), but our test captain reports the designers have made exceptional use of the space available in that volume. In her standard configuration she has four luxurious staterooms, each with their own private head and separate shower stalls. And the accommodations can be modified to suit the needs of an individual owner, so long as it does not require moving a structural bulkhead. More...

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Test Video

Evinrude E-TEC 90 H.O.:
Muscular V4 2-Stroke

Evinrude E-TEC 90 H.O.
The Evinrude E-TEC 90 H.O. is a muscular 2-stroke that should be exceptionally durable thanks to the large V4 block and lower unit gearing borrowed from the company's V6 lineup.

The Evinrude 90 H.O. is built on the same 105.4 cu. in. V4 block as the company's 115, so not surprisingly it has plenty of muscle throughout the power range. Our test captain found torque particularly impressive on hole shots as well as between 2000 and 3000 rpms, right where it's needed for tow-sports. A 10-micron fuel/water separator is hidden under the cowl, and an alarm sounds if it detects water -- important in these days of ethanol fuel. More...

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Factory Video

Monte Carlo Yachts Factory Video:
Endless Material Options

Monte Carlo Yachts Factory Video
The finest designer materials from around the world are available in the custom-designed interiors of Monte Carlo Yachts, and computerized engineering allows an almost unlimited selection of custom cabinetry and fittings.

Monte Carlo Yachts offers an endless variety of elegant materials for interior furnishings and finishes. Our video inspection of the factory shows that the company devotes as much attention to the structure as to the more visible areas of each yacht -- aluminum substructures set in rubber bushings add tremendous strength without vibration, and the hull and decks are all cored and vacuum infused for minimum weight and maximum durability. More...

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Test Video

Chaparral 250 SunCoast OB:
51.5 MPH WOT with Outboard Power

Chaparral 250 SunCoast OB
The Chaparral 250 Suncoast OB is an exceptionally handsome, upscale deckboat that delivered impressive performance in our test runs.

The Chaparral 250 Suncoast OB is a cut above most deckboats in terms of build quality and fit-and-finish, according to our test captain. She delivered impressive performance in our test runs powered by a 300-hp Yamaha, jumping on plane in just 3 seconds and reaching a top speed of 51.5 mph. She leaned a comfortable 11-degrees into the turns and showed no tendency towards chine walking or falling off the turn, and her minimal bowrise on acceleration produced no loss of visibility from the seated position. More...

Brochure

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Test Video

MJM 36z:
Light But Strong Downeaster

MJM 36z
The MJM 36z is a svelte Downeaster designed by a veteran yachtsman to be the perfect yacht for the retired older couple ready to downsize from a larger sailboat or cruising powerboat, and who want something that is easily handled by one person.

The MJM 36z is a light but strong Downeast design built using wet pre-preg epoxy that’s vacuum set and oven post-cured with E-glass and Kevlar. Using a cored hull, deck, and bulkheads, Boston BoatWorks was able to build the boat with a half-load displacement of just 13,100-lbs. (5,955 kg.). BBW uses only epoxy in the hull, which the company says is 25% stronger and longer lasting than vinylester or polyester resin. This purpose-built boat is a little jewel and there is nothing quite like her on the market. More...

MJM Woodworking MJM's woodworking process.

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Captain's Report

Sun Tracker Fishin' Barge 24 XP3:
Loaded for Fishing -- and Family Fun

Sun Tracker Fishin' Barge 24 XP3
A lift-out bait bucket adds functionality to the baitwell/livewell under the port seat at the aft rail on the roomy Sun Tracker Fishin' Barge 24 XP3.

Four swiveling fishing seats, livewells and rod holders bow and stern and loads of storage make the Sun Tracker Fishin' Barge 24 XP3 a well-equipped fishing machine as well as a spacious and economical family boat. Three high-performance pontoon logs with lifting fins plus a 200-hp outboard rating means anglers can get to the fish fast, as well as easily towing lots of happy kids on weekends. More...

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Test Video

Yamaha VX Cruiser:
Enhanced Driver Control with RiDE

Yamaha VX Cruiser
The digital multifunction display on Yamaha's VX Cruiser keeps the rider posted on exactly how the RiDE system and other engine functions are operating.

The Yamaha VX Cruiser is equipped with the company's unique RiDE system that allows remarkable low-speed control, very rapid deceleration with no nose-dive, shift between forward and reverse instantly with a finger, and an almost intuitive ability to put the machine exactly where the driver wants it, according to our test rider. Computer-assisted steering controls and a large thrust bucket are a major part of the system. More...

Price Quote

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Features Video

Beneteau Gran Turismo 49:
Sleek and Elegant Express Cruiser

Beneteau Gran Turismo 49
The Beneteau Gran Turismo 49 is designed as an express cruiser that provides a bright, open layout with multiple gathering areas for family and friends, while maintaining a sleek and elegant profile.

The Beneteau Gran Turismo 49 is available in two or three stateroom versions, both with two heads, and our test captain particularly liked the full-beam master stateroom stretching across the 14' width of the yacht. He notes that the tall freeboard allows the below decks areas to offer lots of headroom, and plenty of glass gives these areas plenty of natural light. We should add that she looks impressive sitting at the dock. More...

Brochure

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Picture of the Week

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Lesson of the Week

How to Read Charts and Plot A Position

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Captain Steve explains a grid system and how to read lines of latitude and longitude to help find a location.


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