Wellcraft 180 // Scarab 255 // Outer Reef 580 // 16 Reports - 08/17/2016
BoatTEST Newsletter August 17, 2016 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
IN THIS ISSUE
- Grady-White Freedom 285
- Beneteau Oceanis 48
- Cruisers Yachts 338
- Rotax iST Controls
- Outer Reef 580
- Scarab 255 Platinum SE
- Sea-Doo GTX Limited 215
- SUN TRACKER 20 DLX
- Hatteras 60 Motor Yacht
- Wellcraft 180 Fisherman
- Beneteau Monte Carlo 4
- MAKO 19 CPX
- Formula 310 Bowrider
- NITRO Z21
- Tidewater 252 CC
- Aquila 44
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD

Grady-White Freedom 285:
Dual Console Fisherman
w/ Family Comforts

Grady-White Freedom 285
With lots of freeboard and flair plus the traditional Grady-White arched sheer and tall dual windshields, the Grady-White Freedom 285 offers protection from spray.

The Grady-White Freedom 285 comes with features that are often optional on other boats, including windlass, hardtop, stereo with Bluetooth, table, recirculating livewell, and pressure freshwater. Upscale hardware and upholstery and the company's legendary build quality also contribute to the value of this top-shelf, dual-console family/fishing machine. The bow area welcomes relaxation -- comfortably reclined backrests, full wraparound bolsters, and removable bottom cushions are standard. A removable table that can also be used in the aft cockpit provides a good spot for lunch. More...

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Captain’s Report

Beneteau Oceanis 48:
Versatile Sailing Yacht w/ up to 5 Staterooms

Beneteau Oceanis 48
The long, low deck profile of the Beneteau Oceanis 48 provides great visibility and sheds water easily, while her 15'7" (4.75 m) maximum beam carried well aft allows plenty of space below decks.

The Beneteau Oceanis 48 features a hard chine hull design that promotes an easily driven yacht whether under sail or power, offers good secondary stability in a breeze, and provides interior volume and roominess, according to our test captain. Separate wheel stations in the cockpit port and starboard include redundancy of all electronics, with a broad open passage down the center to the cabin area. A signature feature is the electric, fold-down transom that turns into a spacious swim platform. Standard layout is three staterooms, two heads, but she's available with up to five staterooms. More...

Test Drive Dealer Contact

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Test Video

Cruisers Yachts 338 Bow Rider:
XL Bowrider w/ Stand up Mid-Cabin

Cruisers Yachts 338 Bow Rider
Despite her large size, the Cruisers Yachts 338 Bow Rider powered with twin 320-hp Volvo Penta V8s has plenty of speed, topping out at 50.3 mph turning Duoprop Drives.

The Cruisers Yachts 338 Bow Rider combines the best of a massive bowrider with a large mid-cabin suitable for overnighting without having to resort to crawl space to do it. With a 10'6" (3.20 m) beam, she's got space in the forward and aft seating spaces for up to 16. The mid-cabin has standing headroom, and it's suitable for two people to sleep quite comfortably. A mini-galley and enclosed wet head are also fitted below decks. More...

Test Drive Dealer Contact

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New Test Video

Rotax iST Controls:
Easier Docking via Digital Control

Rotax iST Controls
This shift/throttle handle adds style to the binnacle of the new Rotax iST digital control system.

The Rotax Intelligent Shift and Throttle (iST) system brings digital control to Rotax water-jet power, offering the ability to adjust the jet pump’s neutral position from the helm in easy increments to make slow speed maneuvering and docking much easier. BRP replaces cable-control with wires that link the shift/throttle lever to actuators, which engage the gate on the jet pump. This increases the amount of control via more precise adjustments to the amount of thrust being used. Glastron, Four Winns, and Chaparral all have models powered by Rotax jet systems. More...

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New Captain’s Report

Outer Reef 580 Motoryacht:
Long Range Cruiser w/ Portuguese Bridge

Outer Reef 580 Motoryacht
The sturdy Outer Reef 580 Motoryacht is constructed to open Ocean Category "A," designed to endure wave heights of 18’ to 20’ (5 m to 6 m) and winds of over 40 knots.

With blue water cruising and extended passages in mind, the Outer Reef 580 Motoryacht provides many of the creature comforts expected in a live-aboard. Her master stateroom has an athwartships king-sized bed, and she includes a full galley with domestic-sized appliances. A Portuguese bridge with a door through the bulwark makes for easy access to the bench seat at the bow. The boat deck is sizable enough to secure a tender, and a 1,000-lb. aluminum hydraulic davit is mounted to port. More...

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New Captain’s Report

Scarab 255 Platinum SE:
Premium Twin-Jet Sportboat

Scarab 255 Platinum SE
The wrap-around windshield, upscale upholstery, and black and silver graphics add a distinctive look to the Scarab 255 Platinum SE twin-jet sportboat.

The Scarab 255 Platinum SE has an upscale look and feel with a black and silver graphics package, two-tone upholstery, and soft mat on the swim platform. The Platinum SE includes a transom shower, enclosed head with sink, a table with three installation locations, and filler cushions for the bow. She's powered by twin Rotax 4-TEC jet systems, giving her 3.5 second hole shots. The engines are digitally-controlled and include the Intelligent Shift and Throttle system (iST) for rapidly and safely stopping the boat and better control around the docks. More...

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Captain’s Report

Sea-Doo GTX Limited 215:
High-End, High-Tech PWC

Sea-Doo GTX Limited 215
The Sea-Doo GTX Limited 215 is a premium grade PWC with all the bells and whistles, capable of 60 mph plus speeds.

The new Sea-Doo GTX Limited 215 is a high-end three-person PWC that includes high-tech accessories such as the exclusive Sea-Doo Intelligent Brake and Reverse system, variable trim system, and cruise control, making her easier, safer, and more comfortable to ride. She's powered with a supercharged 1494-cc Rotax engine with closed loop cooling for improved durability in brackish or salt waters. The Ergolock seat with stepped design provides an ultra plush ride for all riders. A depth finder, a cover, a glove box organizer, a dry bag, and a reboarding step are also standard. More...

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Captain’s Report

SUN TRACKER® FISHIN' BARGE® 22 DLX:
Pontoon Boat Seats 10

SUN TRACKER PARTY BARGE 20 DLX
With a 21'11" (6.68 m) LOA and an 8'6" (2.59 m) beam, the SUN TRACKER® FISHIN' BARGE® 22 DLX has room aboard for several families and then some.

The 2016 SUN TRACKER® FISHIN' BARGE® 22 DLX is a pontoon priced at $17,295 with a Mercury 20-hp ELPT FourStroke. Many buyers will probably opt for at least a 60-hp outboard, which is $20,595, but with a 90-hp Mercury, she comes in at over $22,000, not including trailer. With a rated capacity of 10 guests, she offers a lot of boat for the money, no matter what power is selected. She rides on two multi-chamber, 24" diameter pontoons with wave deflectors, and weighs 1,790 lbs. (812 kg), making her easily trailerable behind mid-size vehicles. More...

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New Test Video

Hatteras 60 Motor Yacht:
Largest 60' Motoryacht on the Market

Hatteras 60 Motor Yacht
The Hatteras 60 Motor Yacht is small enough to be owner-operated while still providing blue water cruising capabilities for six.

While it is the smallest motoryacht that Hatteras builds, the three stateroom/two head 60 is the largest 60-footer on the market. That is because the 60 Motor Yacht has an 18’2” (5.53 m) beam and that width -- 2” more than most in class -- pays off in many ways. We found her to be very comfortable underway, and with her flybridge helm, there’s more living space on the main salon. More...

Test Drive Dealer Contact

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Captain’s Report

Wellcraft 180 Fisherman:
Compact Center Console Draws Just 15"

Wellcraft 180 Fisherman
At 18' (5.48 m) long with an 8' (2.44 m) beam and a weight of 2,065 lbs. (937 kg), the Wellcraft 180 Fisherman is easily trailerable and can be a good first boat for a young couple.

The Wellcraft 180 Fisherman’s casting deck is an ideal fishing spot because of her 15” (0.38 m) draft with the outboard tilted up. Some of her fishing features include a baitwell, an overboard-draining fishbox, and in-gunwale rod holders. For cruising, the boat has aft jumpseats, a convertible backrest for the helm seat, a seat on the front of the console, and a stainless-steel boarding ladder. Options such as a bow cushion, a Bimini top, and a full bowrail make the boat more comfortable for recreational use. More...

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Test Video

Beneteau Monte Carlo 4:
Retro Flair Meets Modern Style

Beneteau Monte Carlo 4
The Beneteau Monte Carlo 4 features round portlights and large round side windows along with a 19th Century battleship-like bow shape that give a retro Euro look to her exterior, but the interior is all stylish modern cruiser.

The layout of the Beneteau Monte Carlo 4 is open, lets in plenty of light, and emphasizes ease of movement in the entertainment areas. The galley is integral to the main salon and aft deck social areas, and a sun-shield can be extended over the cockpit area as needed. The flying bridge also welcomes entertaining: it's equipped with its own settee, a large solid wood dining table, a sun pad convertible to dual bench seats adjacent to the helm, a wet bar, and an icebox, which can be replaced by a top-load refrigerator. More...

Test Drive Dealer Contact

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Test Video

MAKO® 19 CPX:
Flats Boat w/ Bay Boat Potential

MAKO 19 CPX
The MAKO® 19 CPX, which we tested with the optional 150-hp Mercury® FourStroke, had a top speed of 50.9 mph, and she got on plane in just 3.5 seconds, an important plus in a flats/bay boat.

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. Casting platforms bow and stern make for ease in sight-fishing, and the convertible back on the helm seat makes a good spot to watch live baits while anchored offshore. The 15 degree deadrise is a good compromise for the genre, giving quick planing and stability at rest while providing enough V to cushion the chop often found on open bays. She's competitively priced, at $30,995 with a 115-hp Mercury FourStroke and aluminum trailer. More...

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Test Video

Formula 310 Bowrider:
Redesigned Watersports Friendly Sportboat

Formula 310 Bowrider
The Formula 310 Bowrider's sharp bow cuts through chop, while plenty of freeboard and flair keeps those in the front seats dry. A 22-degree deadrise at the transom smooths the ride at higher speeds.

The Formula 310 Bowrider offers four distinct entertainment zones and has a redesigned interior that gives it greater seating flexibility and a modern, sophisticated look. The usual gleaming exterior painted finish -- a Formula trademark -- is available in nearly unlimited color options. She's also watersports friendly -- below the sun pad’s aft cushion is a transom trunk with ample room for fenders lines and inflatables, and a 12-volt power outlet is located inside for easy inflation of toys. Twin engine options to over 800 horsepower ensure Formula-level performance; with the test engines, twin 300-hp MerCruisers, she topped out at 50.1 mph. More...

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Test Video

NITRO® Z21:
High-Performance Turn-Key Competition Basser

NITRO Z21
The NITRO® Z21 delivers tournament-level performance with the 250-hp Mercury® OptiMax® Pro XS, jumping on plane in 3.5 seconds and topping out at 71.1 mph turning a 24" Mercury Fury three-blade prop.

The new version of the NITRO® Z21 is a competition-level bass fishing boat with an improved hull design that delivers faster planing and shock absorbing helm seats to ease the ride. Useful touches include a magnetic lure rack on the underside of one of the hatch lids and tip guards for up to 10 rods in the locking rod box. She's competitively priced for the genre at $48,995, including a 250-hp Mercury® OptiMax® Pro XS, 24-volt Minn Kota® trolling motor, Lowrance® Elite-7 CHIRP fishfinder with GPS and a color-matched tandem trailer. More...

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Test Video

Tidewater 252 CC Adventure:
297 S.M. Range w/ 2x Evinrude E-TEC 150

Tidewater 252 CC Adventure
The Tidewater 252 CC Adventure has a broken sheer line and Carolina flair at the bow, making her more capable in offshore conditions as well as helping to keep spray out of the cockpit.

The arched sheer of the Tidewater 252 CC Adventure gives her extra interior depth forward, creating a more secure area for family seating. Fold out backrests and cushions in the forward seating area add comfort when the mission is weekend water sports or harbor hopping rather than angling. A fiberglass T-top is standard, as is a 25-gallon (95 L) aerated livewell. Powered with twin Evinrude E-TEC 150s, she got on plane in just 3.5 seconds and reached a top speed of 44.7 mph. Range at optimal cruise -- just under 24 mph -- is about 297 miles. More...

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New Captain’s Report

Aquila 44:
Catamaran Cruiser w/ 3 En Suites

Aquila 44
With a 21'6" (6.56 m) beam and three staterooms, each with an en suite, the Aquila 44 possesses versatility that ranges from single couple living through chartering.

The Aquila 44 is a twin-hull design aimed at long-range cruising and chartering in comfort for three-to-four couples. A fold-away bar in the galley area adds versatility to the interior, while the oversized flying bridge has a railed stairway to access seating at the bow. It is available for charter and for sale. More...

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