Boston Whaler 320 // Tiara 50 // Maritimo M65 // 18 Reports - 06/24/2015
BoatTEST Newsletter June 24, 2015 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
15 year anniversary
2000-2015
IN THIS ISSUE
- Regency 254 LE3
- Ocean Alexander 72
- Boston Whaler 320 Vantage
- MerCruiser 350 MAG
- Bayliner Element XR7
- Evinrude i-Dock
- Nitro Z21
- MJM 50z
- Sea Ray 280 Sundancer
- Tiara 50 Coupe
- Cruisers Sport Series 238
- Jeanneau Velasco 37F
- Maritimo M65
- Beneteau Monte Carlo 4
- Grady-White 191 CE
- Yamaha VXR
- Formula 370 Super Sport
- PowerTech! PowerStop Prop
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Lesson

Regency 254 LE3:
New Premium Performance
Pontoon Boat

Regency 254 LE3
The Regency 254 LE3 is a triple-toon model from Tracker Marine Group offering impressive comfort in a feature-rich boat with a power-driven Bimini top.

Tracker Marine Group is starting a new premium line of pontoon boats. It's called Regency. During our test, the Regency 254 LE3, powered with a Mercury 250-hp Verado Pro 4-stroke turning a Mercury 17” pitch Enertia propeller, hit a top speed of 47.1 mph at 5800 rpm. Best cruise was at 3000 rpm where the boat ran 17.5 mph and burned 6 gph, giving her a range of 92 miles with 10% in reserve. But the big story is that the Regency 254 LE3 is designed to be as feature-rich and as high quality as some of the most expensive pontoon boats on the market. More...

Brochure Request

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Test Video

Ocean Alexander 72 Pilothouse:
A Motoryacht for Family & Friends

Ocean Alexander 72 Pilothouse
The Ocean Alexander 72 Pilothouse comes with either a three or four stateroom layout, but both have a large crew cabin aft. For owner/operators that cabin can be a 4th or 5th stateroom.

Ocean Alexander’s classic motoryacht lines and rugged construction appeals to a far different clientele than what we usually see Med-moored in front of bistros in places like St.Tropez where motoryachts are used for marina-hopping, not island-hopping. The Ocean Alexander 72 Pilothouse and her owners are far more likely to be found anchored behind the reef at Tobago Cays in the Grenadines, making their way north up the Inside Passage to Ketchikan, Alaska, or possibly anchored in Roque Island Harbor in Maine. She is a go-anywhere motoryacht with an emphasis on stately comfort. More...

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New Features Video

Boston Whaler 320 Vantage:
New, Big Dual Console w/ Innovations

Boston Whaler 320 Vantage
A double convertible port lounge seat with storage underneath adds utility and comfort to the cockpit of the new Boston Whaler 320 Vantage.

The new Boston Whaler 320 Vantage is the latest model in the growing Vantage dual console series. This dual console, "do-anything" concept from Boston Whaler has been well-received for the last two years or so. Like other Vantage models, the 320 offers the fishing accoutrements, build-quality and comfort features most families want these days in a versatile boat. A cockpit side door provides ease-of-entry at the docks -- and offshore when diving, swimming, or landing a big fish. The portside console has a compact but usable cabin designed to sleep two. The "summer kitchen" in the cockpit includes an electric grill, refrigerator and sink. More...

Test Drive Brochure Request
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New Captain's Report

MerCruiser 350 MAG ECT:
Clean-Burning, Fuel-Efficient V8

MerCruiser 350 MAG ECT
The MerCruiser 350 MAG ECT is built on a 5.7 liter V8 platform that produces 300 horsepower on 87 octane gasoline or up to 10% ethanol. Weight is 974 lbs. (442 kg), engine only.

MerCruiser's 350 MAG ECT now runs ultra-clean, meeting all Tier 3 EPA emissions requirements with its dual catalytic converters, wide-band oxygen sensors and refined engine control mapping, according to the company. Optional Digital Throttle and Shift (DTS) allows fly-by-wire piloting and rigging with the added benefit of Axius joystick steering for twin-engine applications. Corrosion protection is greatly enhanced, with a cast-iron engine block and cylinder heads coated with multiple baked-on layers of corrosion-fighting paint. The exhaust manifolds and elbows are sealed with an electro-deposition primer that is electrically fused to the metal. More...

Ask a Question

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New Features Video

Bayliner Element XR7:
Alternative to a Pontoon Boat

Bayliner Element XR7
The Bayliner Element XR7, a deckboat with the space and comfort of a pontoon boat, offers exceptionally comfortable seating forward with high-backed chaise lounges, which include flip-up armrests.

The upswept bow of the Bayliner Element XR7 offers wave protection up front that's missing in most pontoon boats, but the walk-around room and abundant, comfortable seating fore and aft shares much with pontoon boats. An enclosed head and a roomy swim platform aft are also features likely to please the family. The fiberglass hull should give years of low-maintenance service. More...

Video review of the M-hull design Advantages of the M-hull design.

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New Test Video

Evinrude i-Dock:
Fingertip Electronic Outboard Control

Evinrude i-Dock
The Evinrude i-Dock system provides incredible maneuverability in multi-engine installations, allowing even beginning skippers to dock like seasoned old salts by simply tilting or twisting the joystick control.

The Evinrude i-Dock system not only provides joystick maneuverability but also allows the operator to tweak the steering system for both resistance and the number of turns lock-to-lock. The system makes it simple to walk a boat sideways despite wind and current, to fit into tight slips, and to turn in its own length, all via the fingertip control. It's available both as an OEM installation and for repowers with modern Evinrude outboards. More...

Ask a Question

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New Test Video

Nitro Z21:
A 71.1 MPH Tournament Performer

Nitro Z21
The Nitro Z21 is a fully-equipped tournament boat designed to deliver bass anglers fast to remote hotspots, even on bumpy days, thanks to an improved hull design and shock-absorbing seats.

The Nitro's Z21's redesigned hull utilizes what the company calls the Rapid Planing System to get out of the hole fast. It also has a lower profile than other boats in the Z Series. The sleeker design minimizes weight and reduces wind resistance, resulting in more speed from the same horsepower. The concept apparently works -- with a 250-hp Merc XS 2-stroke outboard turning a 24" Fury prop, the boat jumped on top in 3.5 seconds and delivered an impressive 71.1 mph at top end. More...

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Test Video

MJM 50z:
Long, Lean, Luxury Downeaster

MJM 50z
Handsome Downeaster lines and a command station open to the cockpit are signature characteristics of the MJM 50z. At nearly 18 knots she can travel over 520 nautical miles.

The MJM 50z was designed and built from the beginning to be fuel-efficient at relatively high speeds so that she could cover significant distances offshore quickly, and without a fuel stop. At 17.8 knots she can travel over 520 nautical miles – that’s the distance from Miami to the Turks and Caicos. Her epoxy composite hull construction exceeds ISO Category A Ocean certification, we are told by the builder. Our tests showed that at 35 knots she can go over 325 nautical miles, giving far greater range at that speed than many motoryachts that are 20’ (6.1 m) larger. She topped out at 46 mph in our test runs, powered by triple 435-hp Volvo Penta IPS600 D6s. More...

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Test Video

Sea Ray 280 Sundancer:
A Cruiser Suited for Watersports

Sea Ray 280 Sundancer
The Sea Ray 280 Sundancer can be seen as a transitional boat for those stepping up from a bowrider to a cruising boat suitable for overnighting a small family -- but one that can still function effectively as a watersports platform. She makes wake!

The Sea Ray 280 Sundancer has a large skylight in the cabin, just behind the opening hatch. This greatly increases natural light below, and includes both a curtain and a blackout shade for privacy and sleeping late. Another unusual feature is the doublewide rotating helm seat, which can be swung 30 degrees aft, adding conversational cockpit seating when the seat back is flipped forward. More...

Test Drive Brochure Request Price Quote
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Captain's Report

Tiara 50 Coupe:
Signature Styling, Modern Interiors

Tiara 50 Coupe
The swept-back windshield and swooping roof line make it easy to distinguish the Tiara 50 Coupe both at sea or entering a harbor.

The Tiara 50 Coupe delivers lots of light below decks with large, modern hull side windows, and at the same time has round, retro portlights forward. She has Tiara's signature rounded forward trunk, reverse transom and rounded stern quarters. The interior design is clean and modern, and features lots of teak and wenge wood with filled grain, adding a luxurious feel. More...

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Test Video

Cruisers Sport Series 238 Bow Rider:
XL Swim Platform Plus Edgy Lines

Cruisers Sport Series 238 Bow Rider
The huge extended swim platform on the Cruisers Sport Series 238 Bow Rider is an important feature, providing far more space to gear up for watersports than is found on most boats in class.

The Cruisers Sport Series 238 Bow Rider is exceptionally family-friendly for her LOA. Her cockpit depth is about 30" (75.7 cm) bow to stern and her standard extended swim platform more than covers the lower unit when in the down position. Both features add safety, which is always a concern where kids are involved. An enclosed head/changing room will also be appreciated. In virtually all ways this is a premium-quality sportboat that is ahead of its time. More...

Test Drive Brochure Request
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Captain's Report

Jeanneau Velasco 37F:
Compact Cruiser with Roomy Fly Bridge

Jeanneau Velasco 37F
The Jeanneau Velasco 37F is a compact cruiser with a surprisingly roomy and comfortable flying bridge for a boat this size. It functions as an added lounging/entertainment space.

The Jeanneau Velasco 37F makes efficient use of her available space to sleep six, but she lends herself to single-handing when necessary with a side-entry door at the helm and deep, safe walkways to the bow port and starboard. The galley is on the main deck, directly across from the dinette, ensuring that the host never has to leave the gathering to prepare meals. More...

Jeanneau/Prestige global parts facility Tour the Jeanneau/Prestige global parts facility.

Brochure Request

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Test Video

Chaparral H2O 18 Sport:
Entry-Level 18' from a Premium Brand

Chaparral H2O 18 Sport
The Chaparral H2O 18 Sport has eye appeal and plenty of convenience features that raise her a notch above many in the entry-level class.

Utilizing a number of features from its highly successful -- and more expensive -- SSi Series, Chaparral's H2O line, including the 18 Sport, is now a firmly established alternative to other entry-level boats. Though she's built for the budget conscious, she includes as standard an automatic bilge pump, a battery switch, a built-in cooler and a stainless steel rubrail insert, all extra-cost options on many in the class. More...

Test Drive Brochure Request Price Quote
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Captain's Report

Maritimo M65:
4-Cabin Flagship w/ Enclosed Bridge

Maritimo M65
The Maritimo M65 has good of headroom, lots of light, and plenty of teak, including on the overhead.

The Maritimo M65, the company's flagship, includes the trademark Maritimo enclosed flying bridge with an inside stairway that has come to define the brand. Four staterooms, including a full-beam ensuite master, provide plenty of space for long-range cruising. The "Sky Lounge" on the flying bridge, with an electrically-operated sunroof standard, is likely to be the most popular spot aboard when entertaining or cruising. More...

Price Quote
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Design & Style Review

Beneteau Monte Carlo 4:
Retro Style Plus Modern Engineering

Beneteau Monte Carlo 4
The salon of the Beneteau Monte Carlo 4 features a bi-fold table with inlaid "electric brown" leather trim. The reduced table width picks up needed room for easy passage fore and aft, and when it's time to dine the leaf can be opened.

The Beneteau Monte Carlo 4 is an attractive combination of retro-styling with modern engineering and materials to get the most from her 45'3" (13.79 m) LOA. All cabinets below decks are fabricated from Alpi wood and all the door pulls are stitched leather. The round portholes -- a Monte Carlo styling signature -- bathe the master in natural light. The cabin sole is traditional teak and holly, while the cabinetry is in modern light-colored oak with leather grabs. More...

Test Drive Ask a Question
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Test Video

Grady-White 191 CE:
Quick Change Artist for Anglers and Families

Grady-White 191 CE
The Grady-White 191 CE is a "crossover" boat that not only has a classic profile, but functionality that takes her from a hard-core fishing platform to a family sportboat complete with a broad sun lounge in minutes.

The Grady-White 191 CE is clearly a serious center console fishing boat first, but pull the cushions out of the garage or dock box, add some chaise seatbacks and presto, a family sportboat is revealed. The optional ski-tow pylon and swim platform with telescoping ladder adds the watersports option. She’s easily trailerable, making her easy to bring along on vacation to the distant lake house. More...

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Test Video

Yamaha VXR:
Take Control with the RiDE System

Yamaha VXR
The unique RiDE system on the Yamaha VXR features dual handlebar controls for reverse and deceleration, providing excellent maneuverability.

The Yamaha VXR is a mid-level PWC that delivered excellent handling and performance in our tests, thanks in part to the company's well-engineered RiDE system. The RiDE system adds directional thrust to the reverse bucket as well as power trim to control running attitude with changing weights aboard. Our test rider not only found very rapid deceleration possible with the system, but also that it greatly improved low-speed docking control. More...

Yamaha RiDE System Review Yamaha RiDE system review.

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Test Video

Formula 370 Super Sport:
Iron Fist in a Velvet Glove

Formula 370 Super Sport
The Formula 370 Super Sport delivers blazing speed in a luxury-level package that displays the company's famed exterior finishes and build quality.

The Formula 370 Super Sport more than upheld the company's reputation as a builder of high-performance luxury-level sportboats in our test runs. Powered by a pair of 430-hp MerCruiser 8.2 MAG HO engines turning 29'' pitch propsets on Bravo III drives, she reached a top speed of 53.6 mph at 5000 rpm, making her one of the fastest production boats in class. Like all Formulas, she's finished in specially-formulated paint applied on a flawless hull and polished to a high sheen. More...

how Formula makes their interiors How Formula makes its interiors.

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Captain's Report

PowerTech! PowerStop Prop:
Stopping Power for Pontoon Boats

PowerTech PowerStop Prop
By pulling a design ridge back from the leading edge of the blades, designers of PowerTech!'s PowerStop prop were able to achieve the stopping power needed for large pontoon boats without seriously harming the forward performance.

Designing a prop that will drive pontoon boats and other large, high-windage rigs efficiently, and yet still stop them quickly, has long been a challenge for prop makers. PowerTech! appears to have an answer in the PowerStop Series, which is said to stop these bulky craft as much as 87% quicker than conventional props. PowerTech!'s solution is to fair cupping into the underside of the leading blade edges and create an aft tapered cup in the top of the trailing edge. These two cups on opposite sides of the blade grip the water and give better control whether going forward or backward. More...

Need a new prop?
(propeller worksheet)

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Where in the World?

Picture of the Week

Picture of the Week
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 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

Throwables, Navigation Lights
and Fire Extinguishers

Capt. Steve Smart Boating Cover
Captain Steve explains requirements for all boaters.


USCG requires throwables (boats over 16’), navigational lights and fire extinguishers on all boats. This week Captain Steve walks the boater through these required safety devices. He will explain the requirements, and when it is time to replace this necessary and required equipment. The eleven short videos presented this week are part of BoatTEST.com's USCG-approved boating course. Watch Captain Steve’s video boating lessons every week on BoatTEST.com.

To view this week’s lessons --

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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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