Monte Carlo 105 U.S. Debut // Robalo R160 // Grady-White Freedom 285 // 15 Reports - 11/02/2016
BoatTEST Newsletter November 2, 2016 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
IN THIS ISSUE
- Monte Carlo Yachts 105
- 60'-70' Motoryachts
- 54'-60' Express Cruisers
- Beneteau Oceanis 62
- Ocean Alexander 112
- Riviera 52 Enclosed
- Maritimo M54
- Robalo R160
- Yamaha FX Cruiser HO
- Chaparral 243 Vortex VRX
- Grady-White Freedom 285
- Stuart Boatworks 23
- Formula 290 Sun Sport
- Robalo R247
- Four Winns H290
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD

Monte Carlo Yachts 105:
Engineered for Efficiency, Style and Comfort

Monte Carlo Yachts 105
With twin MTU 16V engines, the Monte Carlo Yachts 105 has plenty of power for speedy offshore passages, but her strong suite is turning heads as she enters the harbor with her dramatic styling and vast exterior entertainment venues.

Monte Carlo Yachts' new flagship 105 makes its American debut at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, where she should attract lots of dockside attention thanks to her dramatically modern exterior styling. She features aerospace construction materials and engineering, including some 4 tons of Kevlar and carbon-fiber, and her decks are supported by 1,760 lbs. (800 kgs.) of aluminum beams. These materials plus the vacuum-infusion lamination process and the coring strategies used throughout make her lighter with no loss in strength. The monocoque construction also allows dramatically open interior spaces, of which the interior design team has taken full advantage. More...

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Comparison

60'-70’ Motoryachts:
We Compare 6 Flybridge Motoryachts

Hatteras 60 Motor Yacht running
Hatteras 60 Motor Yacht
Monte Carlo Yachts 65 running
Monte Carlo Yachts 65
Sea Ray L650 Fly running
Sea Ray L650 Fly
Ocean Alexander 70 Evolution running
Ocean Alexander 70 Evolution
Monte Carlo Yachts 70 running
Monte Carlo Yachts 70
Hatteras 70 Motor Yacht running
Hatteras 70 Motor Yacht

Motoryachts in the 60' to 70' range are closing in on megayacht territory (which traditionally starts at 80’). They also announce, in subdued tones, that the owner has arrived. We have chosen six motoryachts with gravitas -- not just dockside plastic fantastics. When you decide to invest in a yacht this size, you'll have some decisions to make beyond those that apply to smaller boats -- and boats the same size, but far less robust both in terms of build quality and equipment. Offshore, there is no replacement for displacement for comfortable, secure passage making in most any weather, except a named storm.

Do you want to carry paid crew? Many boats this size have at least one full-time crew, if only to keep things clean and polished. If so, you need a place to keep him/her. If you plan on offshore cruising, maybe you want stabilizers to make the ride smoother? Some yachts on the list come with them as standard. You'll need plenty of electricity to keep all the appliances humming, so if you plan on anchoring out frequently, don't skimp on the genset, and we recommend two. But, that is just the beginning… More...

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Comparison

54'-60’ Express Cruisers:
We Compare 4 Well-Built Yachts

Cruisers Yachts 54 Cantius
Cruisers Yachts 54 Cantius
Riviera Belize 54 Daybridge
Riviera Belize 54 Daybridge
Cruisers Yachts 60 Cantius
Cruisers Yachts 60 Cantius
Riviera 6000 Sport Yacht
Riviera 6000 Sport Yacht

This week's comparison of express cruisers runs from 54' to 60'. Boats in this size range literally have all the comforts of home -- albeit on a smaller scale. Their increased size and weight means they need plenty of horsepower, but it also means you can take them most anywhere you want to go. All of this means that we are now talking about very expensive boats. And that means that making a mistake in selection can be costly both in terms of cash, but also in unfulfilled expectations. That is why BoatTEST.com exists -- to help our members sort out the important differences among boats, so that owners can zero-in on the right boat for their specific usage, expectations, and pocketbook. There is a huge difference in the boats we are going to examine this week, and we will help you sort through them to find the best one for your application. More...

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Captain’s Report

Beneteau Oceanis 62:
A World-Class Maxi Yacht

Beneteau Oceanis 62
There's nothing quite as thrilling as being at the helm of a 60-something sailboat sailing offshore in bluewater. This bow-on shot of the Beneteau Oceanis 62 can give you an idea of the fun to be had.

From stem to transom, the Oceanis 62 is made for people who appreciate a large sailboat that is both practical and guest-friendly. The transom of the Beneteau Oceanis 62 opens hydraulically, creating a rear platform designed like a terrace for easy water access, and also providing access to the dinghy garage hidden below the cockpit. Six sunning lounges are distributed between the stern of the yacht, the cockpit, the coachroof, and the foredeck where there's a double sun bed with lights and speakers built in. A hardtop with windscreen is an unusual option, protecting those in the cockpit from spray and/or too much sun. A cockpit galley with grill and sink takes cooking odors outside in good weather, but there's a full-sized galley below decks, as well. More...

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Test Video

Ocean Alexander 112 Tri-Level Motoryacht:
Main Deck Master w/ Forward View

Ocean Alexander 112 Tri-Level Motoryacht
The Ocean Alexander 112 Tri-Level Motoryacht is designed as a world-wide ocean sojourner, with a range of more than 2400 NM at 10-knot displacement speeds. At a 16-knot cruise, she can travel over 700 miles thanks to 5500 gallon fuel capacity.

The Ocean Alexander 112 Tri-Level Motoryacht includes a huge main-deck master with an expansive view not only to both sides but also forward. The bridge deck and sky lounge, with its near 500 sq. ft. (46 sq. m) of enclosed entertainment area, opens to the outside where a covered bar and settee add to the entertainment value of the level. Above this deck is an observation deck complete with raised Jacuzzi and settee with coffee table, the ultimate spot for a bit of sundowning. Our test captain reports that bow and stern thrusters plus joystick controls, not only at the helm stations but at wing decks on both sides of the pilothouse, make handling easy. More...

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Test Video

Riviera 52 Enclosed Flybridge:
Versatile Cruising Yacht w/ Sportfishing Heritage

Riviera 52 Enclosed Flybridge
Large hullside windows bring plenty of light to the accommodations level of the Riviera 52 Enclosed Flybridge, while strata-glass aft covers allow closing off the flying bridge when weather is cool, opening it up when it's warm.

With two en suite staterooms and a third guest stateroom, the Riviera 52 Enclosed Flybridge sleeps six in comfort. Her bridge can be accessed via interior stairs from the main deck, a big plus in challenging weather. The aft enclosure of the bridge deck is zippered strata-glass, allowing opening her up in good weather, and there's a wet bar, refrigerator, lounge, and table to add a secluded spot for a midnight supper here. She's powered by twin Volvo Penta IPS950s, giving a top speed of 33.5 knots and a maximum range on plane of about 438 NM at 22.6 knots. More...

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Test Video

Maritimo M54:
Seakindly Luxury Plus a Salon-in-the-Sky

Maritimo M50
Classic sportfishing lines and the fully-enclosed flying bridge/salon mark the elegant Maritimo M54.

The Maritimo M54 is a motoryacht on an essentially convertible hull, delivering the best of both worlds -- the space, luxury, and entertaining space of a motoryacht with the sea-kindly, rough water abilities of a convertible. Distinguishing features include the trademark air-conditioned, fully-enclosed flying bridge/salon in the sky, and the full-beam master, spanning the full 17-plus feet of the width. Fingertip docking control comes from either Twin Disc, Yacht Controller, or Xenta systems that marry joystick software smarts with the Volvo Penta D11 engines and the standard bow and stern thrusters. More...

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Test Video

Robalo R160:
$19,795 w/ 50-hp Yamaha

Robalo R160
With a 10'' (25 cm) draft, the new Robalo R160 is capable of safely fishing shallow flats as well as sliding up on a secluded beach for a swim.

The new Robalo R160 is an entry-level, family-friendly center console priced at $19,795 with a 50-hp Yamaha and a single-axle trailer. With a dry weight of just 1,600 lbs. (726 kg), she's easily trailerable behind mid-size vehicles and will fit in most suburban garages. The "V-Plane" hull has sponsons extending aft of the transom, which the company says helps her get on plane more quickly. Cutouts in the top of the helm seat cooler are designed to fit a pair of 5-gallon (19 L) buckets, a big plus for anglers as are the standard aerated livewell and the vertical rod holders at the console. More...

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Test Video

Yamaha FX Cruiser HO:
Feature Rich PWC w/ 62.6 MPH WOT

Yamaha FX Cruiser HO
With a 140.2" (3.56 m) LOA and broad, comfortable seats, the Yamaha FX Cruiser HO is a high-performance PWC that runs well with three aboard.

Powered with a Yamaha 1812 cc 4-stroke high-output jet system, the Yamaha FX Cruiser HO is very fast for a stock PWC, topping out at 62.6 mph in our test runs. The rear-view mirrors are smoothly integrated into the sweeping lines of the bow area, and a flip-down boarding step, deeper than many, makes for easy reboarding at the stern. The handle-bars tilt to fit riders of varying heights, and it features Yamaha’s RiDE technology for enhanced handling and control at all speeds. More...

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Test Video

Chaparral 243 Vortex VRX:
Fast Jet Boat w/ Big Wake

Chaparral 243 Vortex VRX
The Chaparral 243 Vortex VRX is a jetboat, but she shares the usual Chaparral DNA, including her relatively high-freeboard, sweeping sheerline, and stainless rubrail sloping down to join the integrated swim platform.

The Chaparral 243 Vortex VRX is a combination of a dedicated tow-sports machine and a fun-to-drive, twin-jet sportboat. Features include 1,350-pound (612 kg), quick-fill water ballast tanks and a standard folding tower with high tow point. The optional Aerial Swim Platform (seen above), which bolts to the aft end of the boat’s standard swim platform is designed with contoured undersides to produce a good wake for surfing. She provided impressive performance in our test runs powered by twin 250-hp Rotax 4-TECs, jumping on top in 2.6 seconds and topping out at 56.1 mph. More...

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Captain’s Report

Grady-White Freedom 285:
Well-Equipped, Multi-Mission Bluewater Fisherman

Grady-White Freedom 285
The Grady-White Freedom 285 is a deep, roomy boat built for offshore fishing, but she's also well equipped with comfortable seating and the right layout for a day of watersports or harbor-hopping.

The Grady-White Freedom 285 is an upscale, family-friendly fishing boat that includes as standard many features that are options in the competition, including a bow windlass, hardtop, stereo with Bluetooth, a movable table, and pressure freshwater. With the push of a button, the aft half of the port console seat slides out to form a comfortable lounge. The standard wet bar has a sink under a hinged top, a storage drawer, and trash compartments as well as fire-extinguisher stowage. A refrigerator and grill top are optional. More...

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Test Video

Stuart Boatworks 23:
Classic Lines in a Long-Range CC w/ Evinrude E-TEC G2 300

Stuart Boatworks 23
The Stuart Boatworks 23 powered with the 300-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2 is intended to go offshore and does not roll as much as a deep-V.

The Stuart Boatworks 23 is a boutique-level center console with an unusual bottom design concept: the company says that the slightly rounded keel on a 17-degree deadrise bottom allows the boat to stay on plane at lower speeds than deep Vs, yet the very sharp forward entry helps deliver an exceptionally soft ride under most sea conditions. Powered with the Evinrude E-TEC G2 300, the boat got on plane in just 3.3 seconds and reached a top speed of 48.5 mph. At best cruise, 3500 rpms and 28.5 mph, her range is about 314 statute miles, enough for several days of offshore fishing in most areas. More...

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Captain’s Report

Formula 290 Sun Sport:
Versatile, Premium-Quality Day Boat

Formula 290 Sun Sport
The graphics on the Formula 290 Sun Sport are unlike any others because of Formula’s decision to take the extra step to use paint over the gelcoat. The results speak for themselves.

The Formula 290 Sun Sport is a serious day boat for those wishing to spend quality time with family and friends on the water. In the stern, there are various seating arrangements, which can convert to a doublewide sun pad, and an optional swim platform extends out to hide the boarding latter and make a great area from which to jump. With her open layout in the cockpit, she offers a variety of seating options, all of which deliver the luxury for which the longtime manufacturer is known. More...

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Test Video

Robalo R247:
45.1 MPH WOT w/ Evinrude E-TEC G2 150 H.O.

Robalo R247
The Robalo R247 dual console offers the interior layout of a runabout with seating for 12, but she has more cockpit depth than most bowriders and makes a good family-friendly fishing boat.

The Robalo R247 combines the durability, safety, and sea-kindly bottom design of a bluewater fisherman with the interior layout of a runabout to create a roomy and secure multi-mission family boat. Construction is impressive: the hull is laminated with bi- and tri-axial fiberglass, then reinforced with Kevlar in key areas, while the transom is a poured ceramic composite. The Comfort Package includes teak and holly flooring, cabinet and countertop space and a sink with a faucet. An optional filler panel converts the bow’s U-shaped seating to a flat cushioned space for sunbathing or with the cushions removed converts to a platform for casting. More...

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Test Video

Four Winns H290:
Large Bowrider w/ Mini-Cabin and Head

Four Winns H290
Hull side windows are a styling touch that also lets light into the compact but useful sleeping area to port and the head to starboard in the sleek Four Winns H290.

The Four Winns H290 is clearly an up-market bowrider with premium features like electrically-adjustable helm seats, a VacuFlush head, and through-the-stem anchor and windlass as standard equipment. Upscale upholstery throughout and a mini-cabin in the port console, complete with single bunk, counter, and hullside window, puts this runabout a cut above most this size. The complex "Stable Vee" stepped hull design improves planing and fuel efficiency, according to the company, while the 9'5" (2.87 m) beam not only provides lots of interior space but also adds stability. More...

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