4 Sun Tracker Pontoon Boats Compared | Chaparral 227 SSX Surf | Accident Report - 03/29/2018
BoatTEST Newsletter March 29, 2018 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter.
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Comparison

We Compare Four 16'-24' Pontoon Boats

SUN TRACKER® FISHIN' BARGE® 22 XP3
SUN TRACKER® FISHIN' BARGE® 22 XP3
SUN TRACKER® BASS BUGGY® 18 DLX
SUN TRACKER® BASS BUGGY® 18 DLX
SUN TRACKER® PARTY BARGE® 20 DLX
SUN TRACKER® PARTY BARGE® 20 DLX
SUN TRACKER® PARTY BARGE® 16 DLX ET
SUN TRACKER® PARTY BARGE® 16 DLX ET

Truth be told, most pontoon boats are pretty much the same. They use the same materials and make them in much the same way -- for the most part. What differentiates pontoon boats is the quality of construction, as some builders are little more than a crude metal shop; design, as some builders neglect basic functionality; the grade of materials used, as there are cheaper grades of most everything; and company infrastructure, which assures that some actual engineering went into the boat, there is customer service, and warranties are worth more than the paper they’re printed on.

Today we compare a quartet of SUN TRACKER® pontoon boats. Because this company is the largest pontoon boat builder, not surprisingly its construction is the most mechanized and it can offer remarkably good value. All four of these pontoon boats are different in design and mission, so compare them to discover the best platform for any application. More...

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Test Video

Hatteras GT 70:
Luxury Convertible w/Twin MTUs, 41.0 KT WOT

Hatteras GT 70
The Hatteras GT 70.

Hatteras is an iconic and highly respected brand around the world not only for its build quality and superb attention to detail, but also for the performance of their boats. The GT 70 is a good example of all of these attributes. More...

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Test Video

Chaparral 227 SSX Surf:
Multi-Mission Wake-Surfing Bowrider

Chaparral 227 SSX Surf
Chaparral 227 SSX Surf

The Chaparral 227 SSX Surf has what it takes for serious wake surfing, with Forward Drive propulsion, auto-fill ballast tanks, "Surf-Gate" doors that allow shaping the wake on either side of the transom, and the Medallion touch-screen system to control everything from the surfing speed to the ballast weight. And, she's laid out with plenty of comfortable, convertible seating when it's time to kick back for some leisure time with the family. More...

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Test Video

MAKO® 234 CC:
Well-Equipped Offshore CC

Mako 234 CC
MAKO® 234 CC

The MAKO® 234 CC has everything needed for serious offshore angling, including a twin-outboard option that provides that all-important get-home redundancy. With an 8'6" (2.59 m) beam, she's readily trailerable with a full-sized tow vehicle, and the standard trim tabs have an auto-retract feature that protects them when she's loaded. More...

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Captain's Report

Beneteau Oceanis 38.1:
Versatile Layouts, Strong Sailing Performance

Beneteau Oceanis 38.1
Beneteau Oceanis 38.1

Beneteau’s Oceanis 38.1 combines strong sailing performance and a roomy cockpit with several below deck accommodations, galley, and salon layout choices. Her modern lines produce good performance under sail, and twin rudders and steering wheels maintain precise control. Her wide beam carried well aft provides not only speed off the wind, but a large, comfortable cockpit suitable for both sailing and entertaining at anchor. More...

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Captain's Report

Galeon 430 Skydeck:
3 Stateroom, 2 Heads, Plus Flying Sun Pad

Galeon 430 Skydeck
Galeon 430 Skydeck

The unusual and creative Galeon 430 Skydeck can be reconfigured for sunning, lounging, cocktail parties, or dining. A fold-down ladder gives access to the Skydeck, which provides an added sunning area as well as an elevated mini helm position for the operator. She fits three staterooms and two heads below decks. More...

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USCG Accident Report

Contributing Causes of Boating Accidents

Industry Update
The first man to spot land gets an extra rum ration.

As the US Navy is able to attest, failure to keep a proper lookout can ruin your whole day -- and cost lives. But, there are many other contributing causes of boating accidents. Some of them seem obscure, but they can be deadly. More...



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