BoatTEST Newsletter 05/07/2008 - 05/07/2008 May 7, 2008 If you cannot view the see the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust

Tests & Video Reviews

- American Angler 1866
- Hydra-Sports 2200 DC
- Larson Cabrio 260
- Ranger Boats 2250 SS
- SunChaser 8522 RE
- Yamaha SX 230 HO


Also inside:

- Sportboats of the Future
- Boat Warranty Coverage
- A Close Look at Malibu Boats
- EPA Permit Fiasco
- New 350 Scorpion
- Larson Likes Engine Choice
- Tigé Makes Waves
- PWC News
- USCG Commandant "Gets It"
- Rate Your Boat
- Accident of the Week
- VIP Member Benefits
- Former Godfrey COO Dies
- Earthrace Tries Again
- Ducky Award Winner

BTC Reader Survey

Sportboats of the Future

Our reader survey indicates that boaters
are looking for change.

Several weeks ago we asked our bowrider and sportboat owners what kind of boat they wanted in the future. The answers might startle you because -- if our poll is correct – today’s consumer is anxious to throw-off traditional boating concepts for their watercraft of the future. Our guess is that boat builders will meet demand, and in fact some are already well along on a path to a Brave New Boating World. For a quick trip to the future ”Top Ten Trends”... try this DeLorean.

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Boat Tests & Reviews

American Angler 1866

American Angler 1866

From the Smoker Craft family of boats comes a practical fishboat -- the American Angler 1866 Bass and Bay Center Console. Form follows function and the Honda-powered 1866 is nimble and responsive. She is simple in design and wide open for fishing.  See Capt. Rob Smith's complete report and video...

Hydra-Sports Vector 2200 DC

Hydra-sports 2200 DC

The Vector 2200 DC is the "entry boat" of the Vector Series. Although this model is the smallest boat in the Vector line, at 22’ 4” overall, it’s a perfect sized runabout; easy to drive, easy to tow, easy to dock and fairly economical.  Capt. Ron says "...on this model you will find attention to detail, quality hardware, and in my opinion fantastic use of space. Everywhere you look there is a storage compartment, locker or nook."  Read Capt. Ron's complete report and video...

Larson 260

Larson Cabrio 260

The 260 has been quite a success for Larson and now with its improved interior and updated cockpit the success will continue. If you are looking for weekend cruising with comfort and value, the Larson Cabrio 260 may be a good fit.   See complete test and video...    


Ranger Boats 2250 SS

Ranger Boats 2250 SS

This model is built for family comfort whether fishing, cruising or enjoying a long day of watersports. By the way, fill up the 65 gallon tank and forget about having to cut the trip short for fuel. How many 22 foot SUV style boats can boast that? See Captain Rob's complete test and video report...

SunChaser 8522 RE

Suncahser 8522

SunChaser’s 8522 sports many of the features you typically find only on high-end luxury pontoons with much higher costs. Abundant plush seating, rounded bows, and smooth handling make the SunChaser a favorite with the family. See complete test and video...  

Yamaha SX 230 High Output

Yamaha SX 230 High Output

Whether you’re a first-time boat buyer or a family looking at moving up to a larger, yet still affordable runabout, the SX 230 High Output is definitely worth a look. She features room for up to 10 people, a good list of features that set her apart from other boats her size, and she delivers a thrilling ride.   See Capt. Smith's complete test...

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A Look at New Boat Warranty Coverage


Boat warranties are quickly becoming one of the most important aspects of the new boat you buy. Depending on the manufacturer, coverage can vary significantly -- from as little as one year or less, to as much as a “lifetime” on the hull. A comprehensive warranty from a reputable builder can not only save you money but also make your boat worth more at resale time. To find out more…read on.

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Malibu News

Malibu is the Largest Ski/Wakeboat Builder

With sales of over 3,000 units per year, Malibu is the world's largest builder of ski/wakeboard boats. Ask five different Malibu owners why they like their boat and you are likely to get five different answers. has tested six different Malibu boats -- check them out and see what our captains have to say...


Malibu Response LXi Malibu Wakesetter VTX Malibu Wakesetter 21 VLX
Malibu Response LXi Malibu Wakesetter VTX Malibu Wakesetter 21 VLX
Sunscape 247 Wakesetter 23 XTi
Malibu Sunscape 247 LSV Malibu Wakesetter 23 LSV Wakesetter 23 XTi

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EPA Permit Fiasco

Only 65 Days Left...And, Only 31 "Heroes"

Frank Lautenberg Amy Klobuchar Sen. Lamar Alexander Sen. James M. Inhofe Sen. John W. Warner
Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg
New Jersey
Sen. Amy Klobuchar
Sen. Lamar Alexander
Sen. James M. Inhofe
Sen. John W. Warner


Last week several hundred members of the boating industry met in Washington to lobby Congress for passage of the “Clean Boating Act of 2008"(S. 2766). What the boaters discovered when they got there was very bad news: because of recesses and summer vacation, the Senate actually only has about 65 “working” days left before the Sept. 30, 2008 EPA permit deadline. Time is quickly running out. Here’s what you can do to stop the EPA permit madness…raise your voice here.


See a complete list of "Heroes" and "Potential Heroes"... scroll down.

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MerCruiser News

New 350 Scorpion
with Catalytic Converter

In January California's new emission law took effect covering marine inboard gasoline engines. To meet the new requirement engine makers had to redesign their existing engines and fit them with catalytic converters. Everyone was pleased to discover that not only did emissions get reduced, but in the mid-range, fuel consumption was slightly improved. CO levels were also reduced. To find out about all of the features on the new MerCruiser 350 Scorpion, take a look at Capt. Smith's video...seeing is believing.

 Larson Boats

Larson Likes Engine Choice!

Engine Engine problems?
Larson customers like engine choice: over 30 options. Engine problems? How to keep them humming!


Larson Boats knows that what goes in the belly of the beast is what turns on many of it customers. That’s why the builder goes to a lot of trouble to make available over 30 different engine options from both MerCruiser and Volvo Penta. Jeff Kruschek, General Manager of Larson Boats, explains the company’s engine philosophy…and how to keep them running.  (Click above.) 

Tigé Boats

Tigé Makes Waves

Obviously a company doesn’t enter the competitive ski/wakeboard field against four of the best boat builders in the land – and survive and grow for 17 years -- unless its product is world class. Capt. Rob Smith stopped in at the Abilene, TX plant recently to find out more about the company. He met with Tigé's Kip Davis and got some insight into what makes Tigé boats tick. See his video interviews by clicking above.


See Tigé’s deck-to-hull construction video…

PWC News

Yamaha FX Cruiser SHO

Yamaha SHO
Review of the powerful 1812cc
FX Cruiser SHO PWC.

This Waverunner is recognizably Yamaha, yet the sleek new lines give it an even more upscale look than their previous top model. The FX Cruiser SHO is 131.5” long, has a beam of 48.4”, and a height of 48.8”. She carries 1, 2, or 3 persons for a total capacity of 529 pounds, and has storage space totaling 26.4 gallons.  Check it out...

yamaha pwc

grady-white ad



boat history









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USCG Commandant "Gets It"

Yamaha SHO
USCG Commandant Admiral Thad Allen, speaking before a congressional committee.


Admiral Thad Allen addressed several hundred boating industry executives last Monday, April 28, in Washington DC, and left no ambiguity as to how he expects USCG personnel to treat recreational boaters. In response to criticism that on some occasions USCG personnel had not acted in the finest tradition of the service vis-à-vis U.S. boaters, in a published statement Allen said, “Alexander Hamilton’s charge – ‘To keep in mind that our countrymen are free men, and as such, are impatient of everything that bears the least mark of a domineering spirit’ applies as much today as it did in 1790…” To read the rest of Admiral Allen’s “expectations”…read on.

Rate Your Boat

How Does Your
Boat Score?

Rate Your Boat
Some boats are more fuel efficient and comfortable than others.


For years boat owners have told us what they like and don’t like about their boats, citing specific brands and models. BTC puts that in its database and shares it with prospective new boat buyers when they search our test pages. Your review can save a new buyer lots of money and frustration, by helping them get the right engine (usually bigger), the important options (such as the anchor windlass), and alert them as to what to watch out for (such as the helm seat).



To add your two cents worth about your boat…ping here.

Accident of the Week

6 Die in
Sydney Harbour

Sydney Harbour
Speed, beer, overcrowding and a midnight ride claim 6 in Sydney Harbour.

Four women including a “fun-loving” barmaid and an American citizen were among six people killed in a midnight collision in Sydney Harbour, Australia. The accident occurred at 2:30 AM in a 23’ outboard-powered workboat designed for 8 people which was filled with 14 young adults and at least one case of beer.



For more details…pop this tab.

VIP Members

Your Used Boat
Ad Here -- $50

used boat
Your used boat could be seen here for sale, just like this early PWC.

The VIP membership rolls are growing and for a limited time BTC will be able to offer VIP members an ad in this newsletter. Each week BTC’s e-newsletter is sent to about 200,000 people and our advertisers report resounding response.  VIP Membership is just $49.95 and has five major benefits, a used-boat ad being just one. Check it out…pedal here.



VIP Benefits Join Here

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Former Godfrey Marine COO Dies

William Deputy
William J. Deputy passed away April 28 of complications caused by cancer. He was 63. In 1990, Bill, who had earned an MBA from the University of Chicago, joined his brothers in the family boat-building business. His father had founded the company in 1958 building pontoon boats. In 1990 the company was doing $24 million in sales and had 160 employees. For more about Bill’s life and boat-building accomplishments…read on.

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Earthrace: Round II

Earthrace Tries Again for World Record


New Zealander Pete Bethune departed Sagunto, Spain on April 27th, trying one more time to beat the world record for a powerboat circumnavigation of the planet. Defeated last year by tragedy and troubles, the intrepid Kiwi has auctioned off his house for one last attempt in his custom-designed and built $1.5 million carbon fiber tri. At press time, 7 days into the race, Earthrace has already had her share of new troubles. To find out the latest…depart here.

See BoatTEST interview with Pete Bethune

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Ducky Award Winner

whats going on here?



First Place

“When the EPA started requiring a permit for overboard water discharge, the boating world rolled over in disbelief.”

--Tim T.


Second Place

“I TOLD the stewards not to put all of my wife's shoes on one side of the ship.”

--T. Richards

What's Going on Here?



You write the caption! Will you win the coveted "Ducky Award" for best caption? 


Simply fill in your caption and you may get lucky...quack here.


Please send all submissions by 5/12/08., LLC
51 Bank Street, Suite 2A
Stamford, CT 06901