Riviera 5400 // Cruisers Sport Series 275 // Mako 21 Skiff // 17 Reports - 07/05/2017
BoatTEST Newsletter July 5, 2017 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
IN THIS ISSUE
- Monte Carlo Yachts 80
- Sea Ray L550 Fly
- Beneteau Monte Carlo 6
- Riviera 5400 Sport Yacht
- Evinrude E-TEC G2 200
- Grady-White Freedom 275
- Yamaha VX Limited
- Formula 270 Bowrider
- Tahoe 550 TS
- Cruisers Sport Series 275
- Sailfish 290CC
- Scarab 255 Impulse WAKE
- Robalo R222 EX Explorer
- 33'-35' Express Cruisers
- Mako Pro Skiff 21 CC
- Sea-Doo Innovations
- Stringers Boat Buying Tip
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD

Monte Carlo Yachts 80:
Distinctive Lines/State-of-the-Art Build

Monte Carlo Yachts 80
The sweeping smoked glass windows and the broad dual sun-lounge area ahead of the Portuguese bridge give the Monte Carlo Yachts 80 a striking profile.

Distinctive lines give the Monte Carlo Yachts 80 a signature look, setting her apart from other Euro-styled motoryachts. With a 20'2" (6.15 m) beam, she has plenty of space above deck for entertaining and below for four luxurious and roomy ensuites in the standard configuration. The company also notes that, thanks to monocoque construction, interior layouts can be custom-designed to suit almost any buyer's requests. See two new videos. More...

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Features Video

Sea Ray L550 Fly:
Equipped for Luxurious Cruising

Sea Ray L550 Fly
A raised section in the main salon of the Sea Ray L550 Fly adds headroom below decks, as well as giving the command console a better view forward.

The Sea Ray L550 Fly is a luxury-grade three-stateroom, two-head yacht that comes fully equipped right down to glassware and china with the Sea Ray logo. She's powered with twin 850-hp CAT C12.9 inline. Sea Ray has pulled out all of its stops to make the L550 Fly luxurious. More...

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Features Video

Beneteau Monte Carlo 6:
Retro Profile, Modern Interior Comforts

Beneteau Monte Carlo 6
The spacious master of the Beneteau Monte Carlo 6 takes full advantage of the yacht's 16'1" (4.90 m) beam, and hullside windows with portlights bring in lots of light as well as providing a great water view.

The Beneteau Monte Carlo 6 has a distinctive retro profile thanks to round portlights and large round hullside windows coupled with the nearly vertical stem and curved coach rooflines. Dual chaise lounges fold flush on the bow deck when not in use, creating a flat working deck for line handling. Two- or three-stateroom layouts are available, both with crew quarters aft. More...

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Captain's Report

Riviera 5400 Sport Yacht:
Sport Yacht Style, Accommodations for 6

Riviera 5400 Sport Yacht
The Riviera 5400 Sport Yacht has the stylish lines of a sport yacht, but she's got room below for three staterooms plus a garage for the dinghy.

The Riviera 5400 Sport Yacht has an outdoor galley with a large stainless steel cover that lifts to reveal a dual burner electric grill with sink alongside a refrigerator and icemaker below in the cockpit. The fiberglass hardtop with an attractive canvas extension over the entire cockpit provides shade and rain protection. A sliding sunroof opens the salon, when desired. There's also a full galley inside, with a sliding window providing easy access to the cockpit. More...

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Test Video

Evinrude E-TEC G2 200 H.O.:
Engineered for the Future

Evinrude E-TEC G2 200 H.O.
To achieve a striking hull/outboard color match, the Evinrude E-TEC G2 200 H.O. offers more than 400 color combinations to choose from.

The Evinrude E-TEC G2 200 H.O. is engineered to produce high torque at low and mid rpm, good fuel economy, and very low emissions. Because no regularly-scheduled maintenance dealer visits are required for 5 years or 500 hours, her maintenance costs are the lowest in the industry. The 2-stroke design has over 100 fewer parts than a typical 4-stroke engine, and the magneto charging system saves weight as well as allowing the engine to run with a dead battery. More...

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Features Video

Grady-White Freedom 275:
Ready for Fishing, and the Family

Grady-White Freedom 275
At its core, Grady-White’s Freedom 275 is a versatile offshore fisher with the creature comforts of a luxurious cocktail cruiser.

The Grady-White Freedom 275 comes fully equipped for both serious saltwater angling and entertaining. With enough standard seating to fit 10, comfortably, this boat was crafted for entertaining. Add the optional wet bar, grill, and refrigerator in the cockpit; the sun platform insert in the bow and she provides an even better time for family and friends. She delivered good performance in our tests powered by twin 200 Yamahas, with a top speed of 48.9 mph. More...

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Test Video

Yamaha VX Limited:
Fully-Loaded for Family Watersports

Yamaha VX Limited
The seat design on the Yamaha VX Limited has space for three riders facing forward, or can also act as an aft-facing perch for a spotter when towsports are underway.

The Yamaha VX Limited is a full-sized, fully-loaded PWC powered by Yamaha's TR-1 engine. Time-to-plane was just 2.4 seconds with a single rider aboard the 668-pound (303 kg) machine, and top speed was 53.1 mph. This version comes complete with everything needed for family watersports, including tube, inflator, towline, and more. More...

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Test Video

Formula 270 Bowrider:
Premium, Ilmor-Powered Sportboat

Formula 270 Bowrider
A convertible back on the rear cockpit seat of the Formula 270 Bowrider turns the area into an aft-facing chaise or a sunlounge.

The Formula 270 Bowrider was powered by a 430-hp Ilmor MV8 6.2L package including the Ilmor hydraulic clutch outdrive for exceptionally smooth transitions into gear. The setup will push the 6,200-pound (2,812 kg) sportboat to 51 mph, according to the company. Painted graphics in near limitless designs are available, and the entire exterior has the company's famed flawless finish. Ilmor is a Roger Penske company. More...

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Test Video

TAHOE® 550 TS:
Bowrider w/ Outboard Power and Performance

Tahoe 550 TS
Three-tone, diamond-stitched upholstery adds a touch of class to the seating on the TAHOE® 550 TS, and the flip-up bolster on the command chair is a popular option.

The TAHOE® 550 TS offers good freeboard for a runabout of this LOA, which should allow her to deliver a dry ride on most days. With the standard Mercury 115 FourStroke power and a matching single-axle trailer she lists for $28,995. Opt for the Mercury 150 FourStroke, which pushed our test boat to near 50 mph, and the price increases by $2,800. More...

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Captain's Report

Cruisers Sport Series 275 Express:
Premium Build w/ Practical Features

Cruisers Sport Series 275 Express
The unusual swim platform design adds a styling element to the Cruisers Sport Series 275 Express, as well as effectively extending the cockpit aft thanks to the twin access doors.

The Cruisers Sport Series 275 Express has lots of open cockpit space to function as a dayboat, but she also fits a cabin with head, galley, luncheon seating for six and sleeping accommodations for four into the bow sections. With the swim platform on the same level as the main deck, the design effectively extends the usable real-estate aft, and a convertible lounge seat adds versatility to the area when at anchor. More...

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Test Video

Sailfish 290CC:
Long Range Fishing Platform w/ 58.0 MPH WOT

Sailfish 290CC
The Sailfish 290CC looks fast, and she is, delivering 58.0 mph in our test runs powered by twin 300-hp Mercury Verado four-strokes.

The 225-gallon (852 L) fuel capacity of the Sailfish 290CC gives her tremendous range, up to 370 statute miles at a cruise of 36.2 mph, a big plus for anglers who head for far-away oil rigs or sea mounts on tournament day. She's also got plenty of speed to get back to the weigh-in before cutoff time, topping out at 58.0 mph in our test runs. With a 48" (1.22 m) freeboard height forward and a cockpit-depth ranging from 30" (.76 m) astern to 39" (.99 m) forward, she should provide a safe, dry ride in most conditions. More...

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Test Video

Scarab 255 Impulse WAKE Edition:
Wakesports Platform w/ Twin Jet Drives

Scarab 255 Impulse WAKE Edition
The Scarab 255 Impulse WAKE Edition is fully-equipped as a dedicated wakesports platform, and she includes the added safety factor of jet-drive power.

With twin Rotax 4-TEC 250 ECT jet power, the Scarab 255 Impulse WAKE Edition is a spirited performer, with a 3.1-second hole shot and a top speed of 53.2 mph in our tests. She comes loaded with upscale features, including a folding wakeboard tower with Bimini, four-speaker stereo with Bluetooth and MP3 connectivity, and a tandem-axle trailer with brakes, chrome wheels, and swing-away tongue. Auto-fill ballast sacks are also standard. More...

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Test Video

Robalo R222EX Explorer:
Towable CC w/ Family-Friendly Options

Robalo R222EX Explorer
The R222EX Explorer has more freeboard than many in class, making her capable of operating well off the beaches as well as in large bays and lakes.

For 2018, Robalo has updated the R222 ES to the R222EX Explorer. The R222EX Explorer is well-equipped for coastal angling, with livewell, bucket storage, lots of rod holders and racks plus a self-bailing cockpit. With a 21-degree deadrise and relatively high freeboard for her LOA, she should be a capable offshore performer on the right days. Add some family-friendly options, including filler and bow cushions plus T-top, and she's ready for beach-hopping, picnicking, watersports, and swimming excursions as well. More...

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Comparison

33’ to 35’ Express Cruisers:
We compare 4 Middleweights

Chaparral 330 Signature
Chaparral 330 Signature
Beneteau Gran Turismo 35
Beneteau Gran Turismo 35
v
Cruisers Yachts 350 Express
Formula 350 Sun Sport
Formula 350 Sun Sport

Ranging from 13,000 lbs. (5,897 kg) to over 17, 500 lbs. (7,938 kg) -- a 34% difference! -- in dry displacement, these four middleweight vessels run the gamut in terms of comfort, speed, and fuel economy. But each has her advantages as well as disadvantages. We investigate the basics of this popular class of boats. See which one you like the best. More...

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Test Video

MAKO® Pro Skiff 21 CC:
Roomy Flats Machine w/ 10" Draft

Mako Pro Skiff 21 CC
The MAKO® Pro Skiff 21 CC has six vertical rod holders on the console, and under the padded seat forward is a heavily insulated cooler that can optionally be plumbed as an added baitwell.

The MAKO® Pro Skiff 21 CC rides on the company's Advanced Inverted V (AIV) hull with integrated anti-spray design, allowing her to float in just 10" (25.4 cm) of water -- a big plus for jumping shallow flats. She's a strong performer on moderate horsepower, getting on plane in 3.0 seconds and topping out at 46.6 mph with a single 150-hp Mercury FourStroke in our tests. The package includes a custom-matched, hot-dipped galvanized trailer with Super Lube hubs. More...

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Innovation Video

Sea-Doo Innovations:
Check Out Sea-Doo's Features

Sea-Doo Innovations
At the heart of Sea-Doo's performance PWCs is the ACE engine, a lightweight and compact 1.6-liter supercharged aluminum three-cylinder that can make up to 300 horsepower.

Sea-Doo PWCs feature the iBR or Intelligent Brake and Reverse system, allowing easy control around the docks as well as rapid stops from high speeds. The Ergo-Lock seat design allows the rider to grip the machine with the strength of the legs, increasing safety in high-speed maneuvers. Polytec propylene and fiber construction allows molding complex shapes in the external shell while keeping weight low, and the ACE engines increase power efficiency while remaining small and lightweight. More...

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New Consumer Report

Boat Buying Tips:
Stringers are the Key to Hull Strength

Boat Buying Tips
In the drawing above, the material in red is the grid stringer system. In this case it is molded outside of the hull then dropped in and fastened to the hull with a chemical bond that is stronger than fiberglass.

Fiberglass hulls and, in fact, virtually all boat hulls are built with stringers, frames, and bulkheads supporting the hull and giving it the strength it needs. It is one of the most important parts of a boat, so when buying, the stringer system is something that should be investigated. While there are industry “best practices,” there are no regulations, as such, on how they must be built. For years, builders used plywood in the stringers, something that is fairly rare today. Find out what you need to know...

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Where in the World?

Picture of the Week

Picture of the Week
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