5-Year Warranties Coming? // Low-Cost Emergency Dewatering // 2 Survival Tales - 11/28/2007

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NEW Larson 370 Day Cruiser Could be a Trend Setter
An entertaining platform
par excellence both
on deck and below

Larson 370 day Cruiser Image
With standard FlexiTeek foredeck, swim platform, and cockpit, this Larson will turn heads. Then, there is the 5-Year Stem-to-Stern warranty package which certainly
turns our head.

Larson is coming on strong to challenge the competition with innovative thinking – both in the boat’s design and construction – but also with a 5 year Stem-to-Stern warranty and service contract which is setting a new standard among boat builders. Larson is trying harder and we like what we see.

View video and complete test.

Read Larson’s 5-Year Warranty Program

Cruisers Yachts 330 Handles Angry Seas With Aplomb
5 to 6-foot breaking seas proved to be a “piece of cake” for the new 330 express cruiser

Cruisers Yachts 330
Seas were calm on photo shoot day, but boiled up during our test.  Base: $239K.

The Coast Guard was hanging out at the inlet the day we tested the Cruisers Yachts new 330 because of the 5 to 6-foot break seas -- a perfect time for us to test the mettle of this new express cruiser. She came through with flying colors. Remarkable for a production boat of this size, Cruisers Yachts will allow some customization of this boat below deck and there are some options in the cockpit. It was too rough to get test numbers, but we have the factory’s, plus Capt. Robert Smith’s report.

Capt. Robert Smith’s report with video.

New Baja 335: A Champ in Rough Conditions
Blowing 25 knots with 3-foot seas, we gave the new 335 a pounding test at speed

Baja 335
We went 68.9 mph WOT in 3-foot seas and expect she’ll go well over 70 mph in flat water. Best news of all is that she lists for only $169k MSRP with twin 496 mags.

It is not often we get the opportunity to test an offshore high-performance boat like the new Baja 335 in rough conditions, so we relished the chance. Most builders want their boats tested only in relatively calm seas in order to maximize WOT, which they feel is the only number buyers care about. But the folks at Baja said let ‘er rip, and we did. We think the most important number is “best cruise,” and in these conditions we recorded 48.9 mph and 1.36 mpg.

See the complete test and video.

Baja Leads in Engineering & Technology- Learn More

Baja Leverages Brunswick's Horsepower-Check Out How

New Tiara
5800 Sovran
Cruises at 33 mph

With triple 435-hp IPS diesels, the new Tiara is both fast and very quiet (75 dBa)

Tiara 5800 Image
At “best cruise” she has a range of 295 nm which means 10 hours between required stops.

Since being introduced in early fall, 33 of the new $1.5 million 5800 Sovrans have been sold at retail. That’s impressive. The word we get is that women love the “mid-level” galley, down a couple of steps from the bridge deck, and up a few steps from the settee area below. The 5800 comes in twin or triple stateroom configurations. Most remarkable of all – 75 dBa at the helm with IPS three diesels pumping out 1300-hp and 33 mph.

Capt. Robert Smith takes
a good video look.

Read about Tiara sales at
Ft. Lauderdale.

Britannia Rules
the Waves

Union Jack Union Jack2 Union Jack
Click to hear Brits sing their favourite song.

British powerboat builders design and construct boats for rugged offshore use.
Lord Nelson would be proud.
The days of cramped, dark, wet and ugly British-built powerboats is a thing of the distant past. Now UK builders challenge the Italians in styling, the Dutch in construction, and the Americans in functionality. BoatTEST.com takes a look at six British powerboats by builders which are making waves around the globe.

The Pearl 60
Pearl 60
The builder claims this is the only 65’ boat with 4 staterooms. See Capt. Smith’s video assessment.

Hunton 43 
Hunton 43
The English Channel is known for its short, high seas, and this triple Yanmar-powered 43 is
ready for them.
Sea Ranger 50
Sea Ranger 50
The Sea Ranger 50 comes in both 2 and 3 stateroom versions, can go fast or has 800-mile range at 8 knots.

Targa 44
Targa 44
This twin cabin express with IPS has plenty of clever features such as a sun roof with inflatable seal.
Absolute 47  Absolute 47
The sun roof on the Absolute 47 is an unusual "solarium"-style design that brightens the boat.
Broom 425 
Broom 425
Broom claims to be the oldest powerboat builder in the UK. Their boats are practical and relatively economical.

Cruise Ship with “Ice-Hardened Double Hull” Sinks off Antarctica
 38-year-old 246’ MV Explorer Hits One Iceberg Too Many

MV Explorer AM
The Liberian-registered MV Explorer listing 21 degrees Nov. 23…morning.
MV Explorer PM
MV Explorer listing 80 degrees
Nov. 23…afternoon

There are a lot of questions that need to be answered about the sinking of the MV Explorer off Antarctica last Friday. Among them…

*Why was the passenger ship motoring through an ice field at night? *Why had the vessel failed two inspections within the last year?
*How many rated deck officers were on the bridge at the time of the incident?
*Why weren’t the motorized life boats covered?

To learn more about the last voyage of the MV Explorer…and to watch video of Explorer ramming an iceberg on another cruise...hit here.

Two North
Sea Cruisers
Holland’s 500-year history of yacht building goes on as strong as ever. We look at two rugged, but beautiful
Dutch Powerboats

BoatTEST.com’s Capt. Robert Smith recently went to Europe in search of the “perfect” 40-something go-(almost)-anywhere-cruiser. He was looking for a boat that could be easily handled by two couples and be comfortable in the northern latitudes, places like the Inside Passage to Alaska and the Newfoundland Coast. It also had to be a boat that could be cruised economically and have good range.

Two Dutch-built boats caught his eye, and he shares his video impressions with us. Both boats are semi-custom and both incorporate some good ideas.

Vri-Jon Yachts Contessa 40
This company builds 8-10 steel-hulled yachts per year, all customized to the buyers’ specifications. Workmanship is old world.
See video and boat details.
Elling E4
Elling E4

This 47 ’x 14’ single engine, twin stateroom cruiser is built of Kevlar and glass and has an unusual interior with office and large salon. Capt. Smith says this boat will go anywhere.
See video and boat details.

Tunnels Can Improve Performance Say Two Industry Veterans

A boat builder and a designer take issue with Mike Meyer

Phoenix image
Phoenix 38 built by Frank Piedra.

Last month BoatTEST.com published a video interview with Mike Meyer, former VP of Product Development for Sea Ray from 1971 to ’91, and currently a consultant for Volvo Penta. Meyer said that his experience with tunnels at Sea Ray indicated that while they had advantages, improved performance was usually not among them. See video interviews.

Now, two industry veterans say that tunnels can improve performance if properly designed. Frank Piedra, owner of Phoenix Boats, and Bill Blount, president of Donald L. Blount & Associates speak up on this issue…read more.

Turns Mellow

Seakeeper Anti-Roll Gyro proves effective without fin drag

Sometimes only a little motion can cause mal de mare and even the most hearty seamen can get it on occasion. Seakeeper’s revolutionary anti-roll gyro can be used in relatively rough water as well as in calmer seas or at the dock. It operates in a vacuum which reduces power draw, and can be located anywhere there is room.

Capt. Robert Smith takes a detailed look.

At 916 Units
New Megayacht Builds Are Up
18% for 2008

They are at the top of the boating food chain – and what does this news mean
to the rest of us?
916 units
They are beautiful things to behold, and they employee thousands of people world-wide, but what does their increasing popularity mean to the rest of us?

Each year Showboats magazine publishes an article called the “Global Megayacht Order Book.” Its recent Dec/Jan issue records that there were 916 new sales of boats 80’ (traditional designation of the “megayacht”) or larger on the order books at the world’s 147 yards that build such things. This is up an incredible 18% from last year. Even more astounding, it is up 637 annual units from the 279 megayachts ordered ten years ago!

Showboats reports the average size of these new orders is 124’, and if one figures that such a boat would cost about $15 million, then we are talking about a $14 billion industry world-wide, but given the fact that some of these boats cost over $100 million, that estimate may be on the low side. It is estimated that there are now about 8,000 megayachts in existence around the globe.

For a look at what this means for owners of boats 79’ and under…peek here

The Carolina Watermen: Bug Hunters and Boatbuilders by Richard and Barbara Kelly.

Richard and Barbara Kelly did not want the way of life of the Carolina watermen to go unchronicled. This book is a tribute to the hard-working people they have come to admire. $14.95  Buy this Book. 

hatteras bluesHatteras Blues; A Story from the Edge of America by Tom Carlson.
This is Carlson’s first-person narrative about the sportfishing trade and its relationship with commercial fishing operations at Hatteras Islands. It focuses closely on a relatively small group of people in a village who we get to know quite well and in the process come to care for and admire. $27.50  Buy this Book

7 steps7 Steps to Successful Boat Docking by Katherine Redmond.
Docking your boat is one of the most difficult tasks any boater faces. This book is filled with the "how to" knowledge of successfully docking your boat in a 7 step easily understood process. It covers single-engine inboard vessels, power or sail, twin-engine inboard and outboard vessels, single-engine outboard or sterndrive vessels. A must have for any boater!!

List $14.50
Our Price: $11.60
Buy this Book 

Boater's ChecklistBoater's Checklist.  Captain Clay Kelley has traveled the world's waterways and oceans for many years. During these travels, he has met people new to boating and others who have been on boats all their lives. One opinion they all have in common is what should be checked on a boat and when. This book addresses each area of a boat and all the systems onboard.

List Price: $21.95
Our Price: $17.12
Save: $4.83 

Buy this Book.

Garmin DVDIf trying to figure out much more than turning on your GPS makes you feel retarded, you are not alone. The nerds that make these things must think boaters are rocket scientists. Well, help is on the way for the layman. Learn to use the special features of your new electronic GPS device and receive door-to-door directions while staying on top of weather, traffic and localized information. This video shows you the tricks without you having to pull an all-nighter with their abstruse manuals. DVD’s Start at $14.95-- Check 'em out.

Your New Outboard Powered Boat
Give a step-by-step guide that teaches that special boater how to handle their single/twin inboard/outboard engine and the effects of using each of the controls. These DVD’s also teach docking procedures, turning, backing, trim tabs, power tilt and trim, entering and departing slips and much more. Prices start at $29.95 -- See the extensive line of videos available.


A/C Condensation Problem Solved
By Dometic

FINALLY – The A/C drainage mess has been addressed!

For decades A/C units have been leaking all over interiors. Dometic to the rescue.

A constant problem since the introduction of A/C in boats has been the condensation from the units which has dripped, spilled, seeped, drained or otherwise made a soggy mess and stained carpets, cabin soles, seats, bedding, hull liners and just about everything else. Only a few of the high-end builders ever did anything about it. The rest pretended that it was a non-problem. Now, the world’s largest maker of marine A/C units has solved the problem.

See Capt. Robert Smith’s video report.

New Kohler Diesel Generators Have Low Emissions
From 4 kw to 65 kw Kohler electronic-controlled diesel
gensets have catalytic converters. 50 HZ and 60 HZ.

Kohler has the broadest line of marine generators made in the world. They build diesel and gas generators with both 50 HZ and 60 HZ output which makes them a truly world-wide product line. Not only that, but their new sophisticated self-diagnostic system and world-wide support make them a good choice.

Come along as Capt. Robert Smith takes a look at the new low-emissions generator and self-diagnostic system. 

Check out countries with Kohler Service. 

Low-Cost EMERGENCY Dewatering System
Special Groco seacocks are a low-cost way to maximize your vessels emergency dewatering capability

Every boat that goes offshore should have a way to use its main engines for dewatering.

Running over a pile of rocks or hitting a floating telephone pole or metal container can hole your boat or rip out your running gear in a heartbeat. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does you need massive bilge dewatering, quick. Forget your bilge pump or even auxiliary pumps – you need real power! And there is only one place to get it – from your main engines. Their water pumps can dewater your engine room or bilge faster than virtually anything else you can do. Best of all, thanks to some special Groco seacocks, an emergency stem is low-cost and easy to install. Every boat going offshore should have this system.

Watch Capt. Robert Smith demonstrate three different emergency de-watering systems made by Groco.

To get parts numbers and see price ranges…plunk the magic twanger

107’ Wooden Yacht Burns off
Costa Rica

Famous West Coast Yacht Accomplished 40 years of
Safe World Cruising

The fire spread rapidly and the crew was quickly overwhelmed. She had recently
completed a refit.

Five members of the 107 foot yacht Dorothea's crew were rescued after the yacht caught on fire off the coast of Costa Rica on Oct. 25. 2007. Dorothea is owned by former U.S. Ambassador to Singapore Steven Green and his wife, Dorothea. Green was Chairman of Samsonite Luggage Company before retirement. Millions of dollars were reportedly spent on her exhaustive refit and she was launched in April, 2007. Dorothea was a hard-working world-traveling vessel that epitomized the idea of Corinthian yachting. Read more.

Lost Containers
A Danger Offshore

Floating containers can hole a yacht offshore as effectively as any uncharted rock

Like Lego cubes, they usually hang together, but there times that they don’t.

One of the little-discussed obstacles lurking offshore are floating containers. No one knows how many there are floating on the surface – or worse – just below. But they are there, just the same. The next time you make an offshore passage, be aware of what might be out there…and don’t be surprised if something goes bump in the night. See pictures that don't need an explanation

Beer Cooler
Saves 3 Boaters
Aussie fishermen found
12 hours in the Pacific a sobering experience

Skipper Garry Fleming discovered that his Esky beer cooler was more seaworthy than his aluminum boat.

Once again a trusty beer cooler has saved beer-swilling fishermen. If you’ll recall, last year a couple of fishermen were saved by a cooler with a cell phone in it when their boat went down in the Gulf Stream. This time, three retired Aussie fishermen were saved by the cooler seen above, which was used as a sail to get them 8 miles to shore. To find out the secrets of beer cooler piloting and survival techniques, read the rest of the story.
Blonde Luck:
Water Bottle Saves Woman Off Maui Woman looking for “wealthy people” in “yachts” survives 19 hours after kayak dumps

Lillian Ruth Simpson, 49, demonstrating how she put her bathing suit top over her head and held on to a fabric water container for flotation. Seen here in hospital after ordeal.  

Not to be outdone by a huge beer cooler, Lillian Ruth Simpson survived 19 hours in 80-degree Pacific waters off Maui last month supported by a fabric “water container.” While the water bottle was not a Coast Guard-approved PFD, Simpson used it anyway and credits it with saving her life. To find out the secrets of water bottle flotation, seamanship and survival techniques, read the rest of the story.

Gift Certificate – Don’t guess at what your loved one wants! Give a gift certificate to BoatTESTSTORE.com and rest assured he’ll get what he (or she) wants. 
Fishfinders Galore – If he has an old one, he NEEDS a NEW one!

Check out the extensive line of Fishfinders available at extreme discounts at BoatTESTSTORE.com. Brands include Furuno, Garmin, Humminbird, Lowrance and Northstar.
Different price points for every budget. Good units start as low as $281.83 
Deluxe Battery Jumper – Be the Most Popular Guy in Your Marina!

Portable Battery Jumper
- Super heavy duty construction. Jump your boat, car or truck battery. High current, flexible, 4 gauge cables. Can jump start over 40 engines on a single charge. Built-in 115 volt charger. Automatic shutoff charging. Can hold charge for over 6 months.

List Price: $239.99
Our Price: $167.35
You Save $72.64!

Boarding Step – A Classy Way to Welcome Your Guests Aboard!

boarding stepThis handy Boarding Step folds from a 9" high step with a 300 lb. weight capacity to an easy-to-store 2" width! Once the guests are aboard, it easily stows for its next use.
Special Discount Price - Only $13.20