Volvo Forward Drive for Wake Surfers // Bryant Calandra // Regal 2800 // 15 Reports - 06/03/2015
BoatTEST Newsletter June 3, 2015 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
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2000-2015
IN THIS ISSUE
- Volvo Penta Forward Drive
- World Cat 320DC
- Bryant Boats Calandra
- Nitro ZV 18
- Scout 350 LXF
- Regal 2800
- Sun Tracker PB 24 XP3
- Four Winns H190
- Prestige 450 S
- Mako 19 CPX
- Cruisers Yachts 310
- Sailfish 320 Express WA
- Sea Ray 290 Sundeck
- Manitou 25 Legacy SHP
- Grady-White Freedom 225
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Lesson

Volvo Penta "Forward Drive":
A Sign of the Times

Volvo Penta Forward Drive
The new "Forward Drive" by Volvo Penta moves the props 26” (.66 m) forward from where they would have been on a conventional sterndrive-powered boat, according to the company.

The fastest-growing watersport these days is “wakesurfing", a natural evolution of “wakeboarding". The critical difference is, of course, that in wakesurfing the person on the board riding the wake is not being towed and is relatively close to the stern of the boat. That is why, heretofore, virtually all wakesurfing has been done behind inboard-powered boats where the prop is under the boat and not protruding behind the stern.

In February, Volvo Penta unveiled its latest engineering masterstroke called the "Forward Drive" which mixes the concept of the sterndrive with the forward-facing DuoProp configuration of an IPS pod drive. The result is what can be seen above – props just below the transom and both under and forward of the lower drive unit. Volvo Penta tells us that this has effectively moved the spinning props 26” (.66 m) forward from where they would have been with a conventional sterndrive. Find out more...

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New Video Review

World Cat 320DC:
Catamaran Center Console
Equipped to Overnight

World Cat 320DC
The World Cat 320DC comes fully-equipped for serious blue water angling, and for those impromptu overnight getaways, she has a portside berth that will accommodate two.

The twin hulls of the World Cat 320DC deliver a maximum beam of 10'6" (3.20 m), providing a big boost in deck space over most center consoles in this LOA category. The fine entry of these hulls also delivers exceptional performance in a chop, yet the boat draws only 16'' (.41 m) with lower units up. More...

Test Drive Brochure Request
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New Test Video

Bryant Boats Calandra:
A Sportboat Out of the Ordinary

Bryant Boats Calandra
The Bryant Boats Calandra has the fuel tank in the bow, rare among sportboats, improving time-to-plane performance and decreasing bow rise when getting underway. Lots of freeboard gives a dry ride and a cozy feeling of security.

The Bryant Boats Calandra was notably quick to plane at just 2.6 seconds, and pushed by a 300-hp Volvo Penta V8 with DP drive, she hit 30 in 7.5 seconds in our test runs. Top speed was 48.1 mph, impressive considering her 4,750-lbs. (2,155 kg) weight. Best cruise was 31.6 mph (50.9 kph), and the boat gets 2.95 mpg or 1.25 kpl, giving a cruising range of 130 miles (209.21 kilometers). This vessel is not just another sportboat -- she's something special. More...

Bryant's CEO discusses the brand's design objectives Bryant Boats CEO discusses brand design.

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New Captain's Report

Nitro ZV 18:
Multi-Species, Multi-Mission

Nitro ZV 18
The Nitro ZV 18 is a multi-species fishing rig that should allow travel into bigger waters in a bit more comfort than shallower, flatter hulls, while keeping passengers dry and ensuring a safe return to port, should snotty conditions arise.

The Nitro ZV 18 is a big, roomy multi-species fishing rig completely loaded with all of the necessities for chasing walleyes, stripers and other gamefish in fresh waters. But add the optional wrap-around windshield and ski tow pylon and she becomes a credible family watersports boat, as well. A standard four-step telescoping swim ladder is handy for swimmers as well as a useful safety device. More...

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New Test Video

Scout 350 LXF:
59.4 MPH w/ 3 x 300-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2s

Scout 350 LXF
The Scout 350 LXF offers plenty of lounging space forward, as well as a small cabin below decks.

Powered by three 300-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2s, the Scout 350 LXF delivered good performance in our test runs, topping out at 59.4 mph -- this is one fishboat that will run with the big dogs on tournament day. Yet, unlike many high-performance offshore rigs, she doesn't sacrifice beam to go fast -- she spans 10'9" (3.28 m), and her 9,100 lb. (4,128 kg) weight should cushion the ride. More...

Test Drive Brochure Request Price Quote
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New Features Video

Regal 2800:
"Day Yacht" with Performance

Regal 2800
The Regal 2800 has versatile aft seating, which performs at least three functions. Note the robust upholstery.

The Regal 2800 offers an expanded and convertible social area, as well as performance, thanks to single-engine power options up to 380-hp. Durable hull stripes in the gel coat are a typical mark of the quality throughout -- no decal deco here. She's an up-market "day yacht" with important amenities, and good fit-and-finish. More...

Price Quote

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Test Video

Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 XP3:
Cost-Efficient Triple-Pontoon

Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 XP3
The roomy Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 XP3 features a three-pontoon hull structure, giving strong performance for watersports with the maximum-rated 200-hp Mercury outboard.

The Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 XP3 is a cost-efficient route to pontoon boating for the large family -- or for the entire neighborhood. Seating for 12 includes an aft-facing rear sun pad wide enough to accommodate three, with a couch directly across to the starboard side. This pad is located well inside the exterior fencing, so it can be used while underway. More...

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New Captain's Report

Four Winns H190:
Well-Equipped Entry-Level Runabout

Four Winns H190
Four Winns' Stable Vee hull design is a proprietary stepped-hull, providing stability at rest and better turning performance at speed, while remaining flatter during those turns than conventional vees.

The Four Winns H190 is the company's entry-level bowrider, designed to keep price down and features up. The boat includes upscale touches including "Comfort Ride" bucket seats that feature a spring system with multiple densities of foam, unusual in an economy boat. Vinyl is Aquaflex/Silvertex, mildew and UV resistant, and a custom-fitted trailer is part of the base package. More...

Price Quote

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Features Video

Prestige 450 S:
Modern Styling with Good Performance

Prestige 450 S
The Prestige 450 S in our test was powered by twin 435-hp Volvo Penta IPS600 that produced a top speed of 39.2 mph, which is considered to be good for this size and weight yacht. Of course, she has a joystick.

Building on the success of the larger Prestige models, the builder has designed a smaller model – the 450 S. The styling is sleek and elegant without being over the top. The ergonomics of the boat are excellent, allowing the captain to stand at the lower helm as well as sit, for example. Note that the windows in the cabin are large and practical, unobstructed with fiberglass design flourishes. Below, the layout is innovative. More...

Test Drive Brochure Request
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Captain's Report

Mako 19 CPX:
Loaded for Angling, Inside and Out

Mako 19 CPX
The Mako 19 CPX draws just 12'' (.30 m), making her a competent flats boat, but she can also run out the inlet and fish along the beaches on the right days.

The Mako 19 CPX delivered impressive performance in our test runs, powered by a Mercury 150 4-stroke turning an Enertia 19" pitch prop. She jumped on top in a scant 2.3 seconds and reached a top speed of 50.9 mph, where she burned 13.9 gph. Most economical cruise was at 3000 rpms, where she ran 22.8 mph and burned just 3.6 gph. More...

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Features Video

Cruisers Yachts 310 Express:
Stylish, Comfortable Weekender

Cruisers Yachts 310 Express
The Cruisers Yachts 310 Express is a "pocket cruiser", falling in the sweet spot between sporty day-boat and comfortable cruiser with all of the necessities for a weekend on the water.

The Cruisers Yachts 310 Express packs a lot of yacht-grade furnishings and equipment into a 31'3" (9.5 m) LOA. The double-wide helm seat features a flip-up bolster for the captain. The Bimini extends well aft over the cockpit, providing shade for the whole crew when desired, but can be folded partially forward for those who want to work on their tans. A roomy full galley and schmoozing/dining area fits neatly below decks, along with a master berth, angled slightly to provide a full 6' (1.83 m) mattress length without intruding into the salon area. Perhaps the most important aspect is her build quality. Find out more...

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Captain's Report

Sailfish 320 Express Walk Around:
Offshore Angling in Comfort

Sailfish 320 Express Walk Around
The Sailfish 320 Express Walk Around has an emphasis on comfort, cockpit seating, over-nighting, and the kind of sea-keeping capabilities that only a closed bow boat with a high windshield can provide.

A total of 14 rod holders and a 30-gallon (114 L) aerated livewell aft clearly mark the Sailfish 320 Express Walk Around as a serious saltwater fishing boat, but she also comes equipped to please families who want nothing more than a quiet weekend on the water. The V-shaped banquette below makes a cozy place for lunch, dinner or cocktails in candle light, and quickly converts to a double bed for overnights. More...

Brochure Request

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Captain's Report

Sea Ray 290 Sundeck:
Deckboat with Overnight Cabin

Sea Ray 290 Sundeck
Three separate seating areas offer spacious relaxation for up to 17 people aboard the Sea Ray 290 Sundeck, and the stern lounges overlooking the swim platform are particularly welcoming.

If entertaining throngs of family and friends on the water is one’s goal, then Sea Ray has built a boat for that mission. This super-sized deck boat supplies a big water bottom and a deep, 21-degree deadrise for distant journeys to secluded coves. The 290 Sundeck also delivers a girthy beam and substantial displacement to tame the sloppy water on the way back to the dock. Three separate seating areas offer spacious relaxation zones and possibly the coolest lounge ever, situated at the stern. Sea Ray also fitted a full function head compartment as well as a wet bar for hydration. Completing the yacht is single engine sterndrive power; ensuring lower fuel costs, insurance, and of course maintenance. More...

Test Drive Brochure Request Price Quote
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Test Video

Manitou 25 Legacy SHP:
49.6 WOT with Evinrude E-TEC G2 300

Manitou 25 Legacy SHP
The new Evinrude E-TEC G2 300-hp outboard not only had a WOT speed of 49.6 mph, but it also popped out of the hole in 3.4 seconds.

For boaters who would like to have a boat that can tow wakeboarders, skiers or tubers, as well as provide the thrills of acceleration and the top speed of a sportboat -- but still have the room, comfort and amenities of a pontoon boat -- the solution is simple. Start with a triple-toon such as the Manitou 25 Legacy SHP and add an Evinrude E-TEC G2 300. Manitou’s large center 'toon allows the boat to lean into turns like a sportboat with a deep-V, and her acceleration with the 300 puts many sportboats to shame. More...

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Captain's Report

Grady-White Freedom 225:
Family-Friendly with Fishing Genes

Grady-White Freedom 225
Fold down seating that converts to a sun lounge, along with other touches, mark the Grady-White Freedom 225 as a family-friendly runabout with fishing boat genes.

With traditional Grady-White fishing boat bones evident throughout, the Grady-White Freedom 225 also delivers on comfort for the family, with plenty of durable and handsome seating both at the bow and in the cockpit. For those boating in coastal areas in particular, the corrosion-proof fittings and self-bailing cockpit of this boat -- to say nothing of her salty styling -- will have appeal for many people over traditional runabouts built for inland waters. More...

Test Drive Brochure Request Price Quote
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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...

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Lesson of the Week

How to Prepare for Man Overboard

Capt. Steve Smart Boating Cover
If someone falls overboard, toss out a throwable device right away and keep eyes on them at all times.


This week Captain Steve goes over thirteen lessons and guidelines on how to be prepared for a man overboard emergency. Having practiced this drill ahead of time with one's crew or passengers is important since MOB happens so quickly that people have very little time to think about how to react. Learn how to pick someone up in the water and position the boat downwind, how to improve one's chances of getting rescued, and how to treat someone for hypothermia once they’re back aboard. The videos presented this week are part of BoatTEST.com’s USCG-approved Boating Course. 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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