Newsletter 02/27/2008 - 02/27/2008

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Stingray Goes Exclusively with Volvo Penta
8 Stingrays Tested with
Volvo Penta Sterndrives
We test 8 Stingray engine configurations. Pick your horsepower.
Capt. Smith started testing in the AM. This 4.3L GXi engine develops 225-hp. Al Fink, president of Stingray, in his plant. Stingray employees are empowered for QC.

Capt. Robert Smith spent several days at the Stingray plant in Hartsville, S.C. testing Stingray boats on a nearby lake and investigating the company’s boat building operation. President Al Fink has long been known in the industry as an innovator and he prides himself on efficient production and good value in his products. Capt. Smith was particularly impressed with the fit and finish of Stingray boats as well as with their handling characteristics. Carefully check out the eight tests below, noting best cruise, mpg and WOT. Notable, were the exceedingly good mpg readings which ranged from 4.18 to 5.66 on the boats we tested. Don’t waste your time searching for our usual in-depth videos on these boats because there aren’t any, but be sure to read our “Captain’s Reports” on each boat. Just click on the picture or the caption to see’s “Certified Performance” numbers.

185 LS (135-hp)185ls
As tested: $17,155
185 LX (135-hp)stingray
As tested: $17,620
195 LS (135-hp)Stingray
As tested: $19,010
195 LX (190-hp)195lx
As tested: $23,095
205 CX (225-hp)
As tested: $29,604
205 LR (270-hp)
As tested: $29,812
220 CX (270-hp)
As tested: $33,822
220 DR (300-hp)
As tested: $43,415

Irwin Jacobs:
A Life-long Boater
Who Loves the Sport
He owns more boat companies than any man alive
and is on a quest for the perfect boat.
Irwin Jacobs Larson 330 DC
Windsor Craft 36 ranger 2250
Irwin bought his
first boat when
he was 17.
Larson was his
first acquisition
—in 1978.
Irwin is on a
quest for
nautical perfection.
Ranger builds more units than any of his 13 companies.

Between a boating industry almost totally dominated by a $5.7 billion corporate behemoth (the Brunswick Corporation), and 400 boat-building company dwarfs, stands one man. That man is Irwin Jacobs, the CEO of Genmar Holdings. Genmar owns 13 boat companies, which together build over 25,000 boats a year. While that is only about 10% of boats built in the U.S., Genmar companies have big footprints in the center console, bass boat, sport boat, and express cruiser markets. Jacobs has fostered competition in the industry and has championed both Volvo Penta and Evinrude at various times when they needed customers. And while Jacobs undoubtedly cut advantageous deals with both, the result has been healthier competition among both engine companies and boat builders. We met with Jacobs to find out more about his involvement with boats and boating from a personal use standpoint and how that has effected his actions as a businessman.

Next week: Jacobs talks about what he sees in the future for boating.

Kris Carroll = Grady-White
Grady-White Does it Again!
Grady-White’s president explains how her company
continues to lead in customer satisfaction.

kc_gw1 kc_gw2 kc_gw3 kc_gw4
Kris Carroll has been at the Grady helm for 15 years. Ray Hunt hulls
give Gradys
a good ride.
Staying ahead of many tough competitors. Any outboard you want as long as
it’s Yamaha.

Grady-White has won the J.D. Power award for customer satisfaction in the coastal fishing category the last seven years, which is every year it has been awarded. Had there been such awards in the 1990s, and in the ‘80s, Grady would have undoubtedly won them then as well, such is the reputation of this privately-owned company. President Kris Carroll has guided the company since 1993, expanded its line up to 36 feet, and has kept Grady in the “satisfaction” groove in an increasingly competitive boating niche. She has done that by having dedicated and adequate infrastructure in place -- a place where many boat companies fall down – and by attending to the details. Competition is heating up, but the Grady-White management team is staying cool. Watch the four videos above, and you’ll find out why.

Coming soon: Grady’s plans for the future.

Cobalt: Better than Lexus?
The unquestioned champion of boat quality and customer service wins J.D. Power Award again
242 303
welcome to neodesha
Why did Cobalt choose the high-quality end? 50,000 boats in 40 years. How to keep quality up? Cobalt feels
the heat
of competition.
The 46 yacht with courageous styling. Cobalt’s plans for more large yachts.

Cobalt celebrated its 40th year in business by building its 50,000th boat. For perhaps 25 of those 40 years Cobalt has been the undisputed champion of quality and customer service in its chosen niche. Insiders say from several sources – but not for attribution – that Cobalt scores even higher than the much vaunted Lexus on the J.D. Power surveys. If that is so, what Cobalt has done is, indeed, quite extraordinary. CEO Paxson St. Clair fills us in on what is going on at this legendary boat company, which is located in southern Kansas, not far from the immortal “Little House on the Prairie.” See videos above.

Details Make
the Difference
Measure, sit, stand, read and you will discover the difference.
Dual Console
dual console
The helm and a head – the two most important places on any boat.
Helm Ergonomics
sorensen helm
Not all men were created equal size--
make sure you fit.
Cockpit Spaces
sorensen bow
Not all bowriders are proportioned
the same-- look closely.

Taylor Made Products

New Windshield Designs from Taylor
Three clever designs
to solve problems

taylormade windows
You need to see these great new windshield ideas from Taylor.

Taylor makes 90% of the boat windshields used in the U.S. But despite the fact that it has tremendous market share, the company is working hard to solve windshield problems. Taylor is also a leader in fender manufacturing and is still pumping out the old reliable models. Capt. Smith takes a video look at both.

outboard engine news

New Yamaha 90-hp Outboard Engine
This is a workhorse range
for outboard engines
with dozens of applications.

yamaha 90
Ideal for bay boats and freshwater fishing boats, the 90 packs plenty of power.

You don’t have to spend a fortune on the monstrous outboard engines that all of the magazines (and are forever talking about. This 90-hp 4-stroke outboard has enough muscle to move your 1000-lb. boat at over 40 mph and give you 5.75 mpg at best cruise. How much more horsepower do you need? How much more fuel do you need to burn? This relatively new engine from Yamaha has four cylinders, DOHC, fuel injection, 20” and 25” shafts and weighs 369 lb, according to the company. Capt. Smith takes a detailed video look at what makes this honey coo…start’er up

What is going on here

park at the dock
"...and that's how Honda got into the
marine business..."

Last week we asked you to write a caption for the photo above. Below are a few of our favorite responses.

rubber duckyReader Captions
First Place – Winner of the Rubber Ducky!

"..and that's how Honda got into the marine business..."
-- J. Hole

Second Place – No Cigar (or Ducky)
"Larry, we have told you over and over.. the dockside parking IS NOT included in your annual slip fee."
--R. Greenwood

"After you tell my husband about this, remind him how much 'alimony' is nowadays."

Honorable (more or less) Mentions
"This is what happens when you let the 'Dinghy' drive the car!"
-- Ralph

"When we implied that 'you missed the boat' ... that wasn't meant to be a challenge, madam. "
-- T. Evans
What is Going on Here?

what is going on here
You write the caption!

Will you win the coveted "Ducky Trophy" for best caption? Simply fill in your caption and you may get lucky...quack here

Please send all submissions by 3/4/08.

reading room

boatnavBoat Navigation for the Rest of Us: Finding Your Way By Eye and Electronics by Bill Brogdon
Want a full course in navigation? A whole toolbox of little-known tips and shortcuts to deal with real-life navigation situations without resorting to a slide rule? You get both in Boat Navigation for the Rest of Us, second edition, a guide to pleasureboat navigation that shows you how to combine electronic aids like radar and GPS with visual observations, simple chartwork, and common-sense piloting. In plain, simple language, it explains how to find where you are and get where you want to go with a minimum of fuss.

List Price: $19.95
Our Price: $13.57
You Save: $6.38

prop bookThe Propeller Handbook: The Complete Reference for Choosing, Installing, and Understanding Boat Propellers by Dave Gerr

At first, choosing the correct propeller for your boat may seem simple. But as one choice affects another, affects another, many boaters feels that propeller selection is more like divine intervention than logic. This book answers all those questions regarding propeller choice. Written for small boats, this handy easy-to-use reference book is a must have!!!

List Price: $19.95
Price: $13.57
You Save: $ 6.38

envoyBuoy Selection
The sole purpose of the mooring buoy is to support the mooring chain. The boat should be tied to the anchor chain, never to the buoy or hardware. Check out the extensive line of buoys available at tremendously DISCOUNTED PRICES!!

Click here for the Sur-Moor Buoys and Accessories

Click here for the Sur-Mark Buoys

Click here for the Regulatory Buoys
Sat TV for every man

KVH Brings Sat TV to Center Consoles
A 14” dome and low cost make Sat TV practical.

Long the exclusive domain of the megayacht, KVH now has Sat TV units for every man.

KVH, the world leader in marine Sat communications, has successfully introduced affordable and practical Sat TV domes for small boats. Now you can have a TV on your center console with the 14” dome on your T-top and watch baseball while you’re waiting for the fish to bite…or you can mount a dome on the stern of your runabout and while you’re at anchor you can watch David Letterman by the light of a silvery moon. Watch these 5 short videos and become an expert…

yamaha wins

Yamaha PWC Wins Technology Award New PWC hull and deck material is 25%
lighter and stronger.

yamaha sho
A Yamaha SHO PWC hull can be seen in front of its compression steel mold.

Yamaha was one of eight companies which won the JEC Group’s Composites Innovation of the Year Award. The JEC is a European company that is associated with the composite industry world-wide and is involved with the promotion of new composite technology. Yamaha calls its new material “NanoXcel”™ and it is used in the Yamaha SHO and High Output WaveRunner PWCs. The company says that “NanoXcel” utilizes a compression-molding process and that it is currently only available on Yamaha PWCs.

3m to the rescue
Electric Sander
Is a “Must”

People with pulmonary problems must have this new 3M system.

3m sanding
Capt. Smith loves to sand in his spare time and now he can breathe while doing it.

Any company smart enough to invent the Post-it ™, is clever enough to figure out how to make it easier for boaters to properly affix their sandpaper to their electric sander pad. Heretofore, that chore required careful hole alignment to make sure wood dust and sand was sucked up. See Capt. Smith’s detailed video of this wonderful new product.

new product

Low-Cost Get Home Battery System
Now small boats with only one battery can have a reliable back-up for low cost.

charles industry
Ideal for bass boats, PWCs, jon boats, bay boats, etc. where weight, size and cost are important.

Charles Industries has devised a clever little device called “Start Now” which can be your AAA water service without the wait. If your main engine cranking battery runs down you’ve got a problem. But with the “Start Now” device, all you need to do is have a cheap, small battery connected to it, and your motor will start. See Capt. Smith’s product video for all of the details, and an example of when it won’t work…

Want to buy Start Now? Visit our store.

sound off

Reader Feedback, Opinions, Inquiries, Ideas, Suggestions

When a thought crosses your mind about boats and boating, chances are hundreds of other boat owners would be interested in what you have to say. Let us know what you’re thinking and we’ll try to produce an article to answer your questions, publish your thoughts, or just take it to heart. To make it easy for you, all you need do is …Sound Off here.

Accident Report

16’ Aluminum Boat Capsizes: Three Boaters Dead
Veteran boaters and a priest not wearing PFDs tossed
into 44-degree water.

When the USCG got word of the mishap it scrambled a chopper and two rescue boats.

Last Saturday evening, February 23, after searching 276 square miles of Pacific Ocean for six hours off the coast of Oregon near Hammond, the Coast Guard suspended rescue efforts. The Coast Guard reports that “expected survivability was approximately four hours” in the conditions. To find out what happened…read the rest of the story


copperproCopper Pro SCX 67 Paint

Copper Pro™ SCX™ 67 provides extended antifouling protection against barnacles, algae and hydroids in salt and fresh water on boat bottoms only. SCX™ - SLIME CONTROL XTRA™ - acts like a sunscreen to prevent slime and algae. Its ablative copolymer base renders a smooth finish with durability and abrasion resistance. Copper Pro™ SCX™ 67 releases biocide by the constant exposure of new paint film to the water. Copper Pro™ SCX™ 67 has universal application over all types of properly prepared bottom paints (except aluminum). For use on fast fiberglass boats, as well as wood and steel hulls, extended protection is possible, since performance is directly proportional to the amount of paint applied.

Prices start at $35.50