Bavaria 400 // Mako 334 // Sea Ray 250 SLX // 17 Reports - 04/06/2016
BoatTEST Newsletter April 6, 2016 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
IN THIS ISSUE
- Bavaria Sport 400 Coupe
- Sea-Doo RXP-X 300
- Riviera 445 SUV
- Key Largo 3000 CC
- Formula 350 FX CBR
- Boston Whaler 330 Outrage
- Sea Ray 250 SLX
- Hatteras 45 Express
- MAKO 334 CC
- Yamaha 242 Limited S
- NITRO Z21
- Chaparral 243 Vortex VRX
- Ocean Alexander 90
- Tidewater 280 CC Adventure
- Hysucat 8.5
- Robalo R247
- Cruisers Sport Series 298
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD

Bavaria Sport 400 Coupe:
Sporty Express w/ Diesel Sterndrives

Bavaria Sport 400 Coupe
Captain Steve looks at the remarkably narrow mullion that maximizes forward visibility from the helm on the Bavaria Sport 400 Coupe. Note that all instruments and screens are kept low, also to maximize visibility.

The Bavaria Sport 400 Coupe combines the sporty styling of an express cruiser with a sunroof and large windows and doors that open to let in natural light and fresh air to the helm area. Standard power is twin Volvo Penta D4-300s coupled to DuoProp Drives, uniting diesel dependability and safety with the counter-rotating props and steerable lower units for an efficient power system. The Volvo Penta joystick control is included. More...

Test Drive Dealer Contact

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Test Video

Sea-Doo RXP-X 300:
High Performance PWC w/ 67.0 MPH WOT

Sea-Doo RXP-X 300
The Sea-Doo RXP-X 300 is all about performance, with many racing-style features as well as the largest available Rotax engine turning out 300 horsepower.

Powered with the new Rotax 1630cc producing 300 horsepower, the Sea-Doo RXP-X 300, not surprisingly, is incredibly fast, topping out at 67.0 mph in our test runs. She's basically a racing PWC, with unique features like adjustable sponsons that allow tuning the grip on the water for high-speed turns. The company's well-known ergonomic extras include the Ergolock seat design, allowing thighs and knees to squeeze the seat and hold the rider in place in high-speed maneuvers, plus palm rests on the grips. The iBR system is an electronically-activated braking and reversing system that the company says can help stop forward motion 160’ (49 m) sooner than a model with no braking system. It also improves handling around the docks. More...

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Captain's Report

Riviera 445 SUV:
Multi-Purpose Cruiser with Style

Riviera 445 SUV
The bow flare of the Riviera 445 SUV keeps the boat dry, and the near vertical sides amidships, create more volume for interior spaces.

As the “SUV” designation implies, the Riviera 445 SUV is a sport utility vessel that can be used for fishing, cruising, entertaining, scuba diving, and all manner of day-boating activities. The build is typical of Riviera’s open-water capable yachts. The hull has a solid bottom and chines, while cored layup is used above the waterline to hold down weight. There’s a watertight collision bulkhead forward and independent compartments throughout the hull. The deck and cabin top are cored structures. More...

Test Drive Dealer Contact

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New Test Video

Key Largo 3000 CC:
Value-Priced CC w/ 2 x Evinrude E-TEC G2 250s

Key Largo 3000 CC
Powered with twin Evinrude E-TEC G2 250 outboards, the Key Largo 3000 CC delivered an impressive top speed of 56.3 mph for a 30' (9.14 m) boat.

The Key Largo 3000 CC powered with twin Evinrude E-TEC G2 250 outboards not only proved herself fast -- with a 4.4 second hole-shot and a top speed of 56.3 mph -- but also economical for the genre, maxing out at 3000 rpms and 25.9 mph. Her 195-gallon (738 L) fuel tank gives a range of 352 miles at this speed, allowing for a 10% reserve. Features the angler will like include a small chum sink and washdown hose alongside the larger baitwell at the transom, toe rails and gunwale bolsters. More...

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New Captain's Report

Formula 350 FX CBR:
Ilmor-Powered for Speed & Efficiency

Formula 350 FX CBR
During the recent Miami boat show, we tested the metallic blue Formula 350 FX CBR seen above, powered by twin small block 6.2L Ilmor engines developing 430-hp. Top speed was 56 mph.

It is not surprising that people wanting a high-performance boat like the Formula 350 FX CBR would also want her powered by engines with a racing pedigree, and we can’t think of a better name to be associated with than Roger Penske. Ilmor engines have 19 Indy 500 wins to their credit, most of them in Penske cars. Ilmor pulled out all the stops and painted the valve covers the same metallic blue that we see above, creating absolutely the coolest-looking engine room we’ve seen in class. Equally as important, the boat was propelled by the new Ilmor One Drives which raise sterndrive propulsion systems to a new level. All-and-all, it was quite a test. See the video and read all about it…

Test Drive Dealer Contact

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New Test Video

Boston Whaler 330 Outrage:
New Upmarket Deep-Vee Fishing Machine

Boston Whaler 330 Outrage
With a sharp forward entry, a 23-degree deadrise and lots of freeboard forward, the Boston Whaler 330 Outrage is ready for some serious bluewater fishing. Her 10'2" (3.10 m) beam provides lots of space to work around the large center console and hardtop assembly.

The Boston Whaler 330 Outrage is a new boat from the keel up, and she delivered evidence that the engineers had done their homework in our test runs. Powered by a pair of Mercury 350-hp outboards, the 9,000-lb. (4,083 kg) hull reached a top speed of 52.2 mph. At a best cruise of 4000 rpms and 29.6 mph, she has an impressive range of 411 miles -- enough to fish the most distant canyons, troll all day, and return with plenty of fuel in the tanks. More...

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Captain's Report

Sea Ray 250 SLX:
Roomy, New Premium Runabout

Sea Ray 250 SLX
With an 8'6" (2.59 m) beam carried well forward, the Sea Ray 250 SLX is designed to accommodate lots of people: she has a rated passenger capacity of 15.

Upscale, multi-toned, and diamond-stitched upholstery add eye appeal to the classic styling of the Sea Ray 250 SLX. Her large trim tabs retract against the running surface and conform to the shape of the chines, keeping them out of the way of swimmers aft as well as allowing them to help shape the wake for tow sports. A submersible hydraulic swim platform is an option rarely seen on a boat this size, but it will be a popular spot anytime watersports are on the agenda. More...

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New Test Video

Hatteras 45 Express:
Cruising Yacht w/ Sportfishing Bones

Hatteras 45 Express
Powered with a pair of massive 1136-hp CAT C-18 ACERTs, the Hatteras 45 Express is a wave-smasher capable of offshore travel at speed even in tough conditions.

With a top speed of 39.1 knots and a range of nearly 299 nautical miles at a 29.9-kt cruise, the Hatteras 45 Express is clearly built to take on serious seas in open-water passages. See our test video and you'll see what we mean. She's got a widely-flared bow and 5'2" (1.57 m) of freeboard forward, keeping spray outside the boat and also providing the capability of taking on tall seas at speed. Below decks, she offers two or three stateroom layouts. More...

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New Captain's Report

MAKO 334 CC:
New Bluewater CC w/ 64.4 MPH WOT

Mako 334 CC
With lots of freeboard forward, a 9'10" (2.99 m) beam and a 24-degree deadrise, the MAKO 334 CC is ready to take on open ocean in any reasonable weather.

The MAKO 334 CC, powered with triple 350-hp Mercury Verados for our test runs, ran an impressive 64.4 mph, which should make her one of the fastest boats in any offshore tournament, by far. And surprisingly, at a more sedate cruising speed -- 3000 rpms and 29.8 mph -- she delivered a range of about 403 miles. Despite all that power on the transom, we found noise levels moderate at the helm, just 83 dBA at cruise. More...

Test Drive Dealer Contact

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New Test Video

Yamaha 242 Limited S E-Series:
New High-End, High-Tech, Twin Jet Model

Yamaha 242 Limited S E-Series
The Yamaha 242 Limited S E-Series is the new luxury performance flagship of the Yamaha boat line, featuring throttle by wire for smooth acceleration, RPM engine synch and single throttle lever functionality, along with the next generation of Yamaha’s Connext touch screen helm control system.

The Yamaha 242 Limited S E-Series is powered with twin Yamaha 1.8 liter H.O.s, which have high-performance supercharges and intercoolers. She ran 50.3 mph in our tests and delivered on handling trials thanks to the Articulating Keel system as well as three-quarter turn lock-to-lock steering. The 242 Limited S E-Series is an upscale model, and she includes a tower and Bimini as standard equipment, as well as upgraded multi-density foam upholstery. Solar panels atop the tower keep the batteries charged at all times. More...

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Test Video

NITRO Z21:
Fast and Comfortable Competition Basser

Nitro Z21
The NITRO Z21 is one of the largest bass boats in class, with 3.5 second hole-shot times and a top speed over 70 mph with the standard Mercury 250 XS, recorded during our tests.

The NITRO Z21 is designed for tournament bass fishing, and she's predictably fast, topping out at 71.1 mph ahead of a 250-hp Mercury XS. But she's also comfortable, thanks to upgrades this year, including wider seats with racing-style suspension to cushion the shock. And both bow and stern casting decks feature foam pads under the carpeting, making it much easier on anglers who stand all day, as many tournament pros do in competition. She comes with a color-matched tandem-axle trailer with swing-away tongue. She's priced at thousands less than some other premium-level bass boats. More...

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New Test Video

Chaparral 243 Vortex VRX:
56.1 MPH WOT w/ 2 x Rotax 250 Jet Propulsion

Chaparral 243 Vortex VRX
With digitally-controlled twin Rotax 250 Jet Propulsion Systems, the stylish Chaparral 243 Vortex VRX is lightening quick out of the hole at just 2.6 seconds to plane, and also delivers agile handling.

The Chaparral 243 Vortex VRX is a dedicated watersports platform that includes a tower and Bimini, along with a high tow point for wake surfers. The model we tested had the optional Surf Package which includes 1,350 lbs.(612 kg) of ballast and the wake-shaping Aerial Surf Platform which redirects the thrust from jet pumps to create the ideal surfing wave. This model also had the optional Rotax iST digital fly-by-wire controls, unusual in a jet rig, and the Lateral Thrust Control system makes her one of the easiest to dock jetboats we have tested. More...

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Captain’s Report

Ocean Alexander 90 Motoryacht:
World Ranging Yacht w/ 4 En Suites

Ocean Alexander 90 Motoryacht
Because the 90 Motoryacht has a beam of 22'5'' (6.83 m), she includes a larger flying bridge, which offers an adaptable entertaining space.

The Ocean Alexander 90 Motoryacht is a versatile motoryacht built in the traditions of naval architecture both to travel worldwide and to entertain royally at home in tasteful, luxurious surroundings. Elegant touches like inlaid marble decks, granite countertops and custom-built furnishings mark her as a top-level yacht, and four en suites with large hullside windows provide views and light below decks. With a 3,000 gallon (11,356 L) fuel tankage, she's capable of open ocean journeys that many motoryachts can't approach. More...

Test Drive Dealer Contact

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New Test Video

Tidewater Boats 280 CC Adventure:
59.1 MPH WOT w/ 2 x Evinrude E-TEC G2 250s

Tidewater 280 CC Adventure
Powered with twin Evinrude E-TEC G2 250s, the Tidewater Boats 280 CC Adventure delivered strong performance, leaping on plane in 4.5 seconds and reaching a top speed of 59.1 mph.

The Tidewater 280 CC Adventure comes fully-loaded with upscale features in the standard package; hardtop with radio box, leaning post with livewell/tackle prep/sink assembly aft, and an anchor windlass at the bow are all provided, as is a second aerated livewell at the transom. The two-tone upholstery, including chaise-type cushions for the bow, will make this boat more appealing to the family, as will the standard porcelain head and hard-surface sink in the console. The Evinrude E-TEC G2 250s' noise level was minimal for a center console with twins -- 81 dBA at her 33.1 mph cruising speed. More...

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Test Video

Hysucat 8.5:
High Performance RIB w/ Hydrofoil

Hysucat 8.5
With a catamaran hull, a hydrofoil and a pair of stabilizing fins aft, the Hysucat 8.5 is one of the more unique high-performance RIBs on the market.

The Hysucat -- Hydrofoil Supported Catamaran -- is an exceptional rough-water performer with the sharp twin hulls and the unusual stainless steel hydrofoil amidships, designed to lift much of the boat out of the water, thus improving speed and efficiency as well as reducing wave impact. Powered with a pair of Suzuki 140 DFs in our test runs, she got on plane in just 3.0 seconds and reached a top speed of 50.3 mph. Just as impressive was her fuel economy, maxing out at 4.1 mpg at 3500 rpms and 23.0 mph. More...

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Test Video

Robalo R247:
New Utility DC Does It All

Robalo R247
The dual console Robalo R247 measures 24’ (7.32 m) in LOA with an 8’9” (2.67 m) beam. Note the freeboard forward.

The Robalo R247 is a deep, stylish dual console ready to go offshore fishing, but she also has the amenities needed to act as a dive boat, a family runabout, or a watersports platform. With a 22-degree deadrise at the transom and lots of freeboard forward, she's far more comfortable than the typical runabout (or even many center consoles) in this size range. She's powered with a 300-hp Yamaha outboard, and delivers performance that's typical for the genre, getting on plane in 4.7 seconds and topping out at 43.1 mph. Cushions and a filler turn the forward casting platform into a sun pad, while a portable table makes this a spot for lunch. More...

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Updated Video

Cruisers Sport Series 298 Bow Rider:
Now Available in ''South Beach'' Gray

Cruisers Sport Series 298 Bow Rider
The striking gray hull and decking combined with ochre upholstery adds head-turning style to the Cruisers Sport Series 298 Bow Rider's ''South Beach'' edition.

With a new color combination in gray and ochre for the 2016 season, the Cruisers Sport Series 298 Bowrider adds dramatic eye appeal to solid performance. She has the seating capacity of many sizeable pontoon boats, but with 3.5 second hole shot times, excellent cornering and a top speed of almost 50 mph, she's a lot more fun to drive as well as much more stylish. More...

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