BoatTEST Newsletter 6/4 - 06/04/2008 June 4, 2008 If you cannot view the see the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust


Boat Tests & Reviews 

- Glastron DS 215
- JC Pontoon NepToon 23 TT
- Skeeter WX 1880
- Manitou 20 X-Plode Cruise SHP
- SeaCraft SC 23 Tournament

- Yamaha FX SHO Cruiser

Also Inside:

- Aluminum Boats are Fuel Misers
- PWC Showdown
- Inside View of Tigé Boats
- Pontoons Like Never Before
- Marine Video Search Engine
- Why We Love Boating
- Honda Introduces New Engines
- Suzuki Aims at Repower
- New Yamaha 40-hp Outboard
- Bass Pro Shops & MarineMax

- Fuel Economy Winner
- Earthrace Going Strong
- Memorial Day Weekend Mishaps
- Letters to the Editor
- Ducky Award Winner


Take Two

Aluminum Boats
are Fuel Misers

Aluminum boats have always been the most economical boats to buy and operate and this fact remains as true today, as ever. When you look at tests conducted by BoatTEST among both fiberglass and aluminum boats you quickly see that the aluminum boats usually get far more miles per gallon for a comparable length boat. To find out why aluminum boats are generally more economical, how much it will cost to operate an aluminum fish boat vs. a similar-sized fiberglass boat, and to find out how many miles per gallon the average 18’-19’ aluminum boat pedal to metal.

Tracker is the largest aluminum boat builder
in the world.
Alumacraft ranks #2 with models serving virtually every market.
DuraCraft, founded in 1946, makes a full line of fish boats and pontoon boats. SmokerCraft is aggressively marketing to freshwater boaters.
Tracker Pro Team 170
Polar Kraft is part
of the Godfrey family
of boats.
Tracker has been building boats since 1978.

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Boat Tests & Reviews

Glastron DS 215

glastron ds 215

Glastron's DS 215 deckboat offers an amazing choice of activities. There is a built-in entertainment station, room for friends and family, and the forward swim platform doubles as a fishing platform. She is a good performer at an affordable price.


Go to the complete report and video...

JC NepToon 23 TT

JC Pontoon NepToon 23 TT

The NepToon 23 Fish is built on a 23-foot hull, which is the company's largest selling platform.  She is a floating living room for most of the boat, but leaves about three feet in the stern dedicated to fishing.  She has a vinyl deck that is easy to clean, plus a pair of removable fishing chairs, a livewell at the stern and a trolling motor plug in the bow.   See complete test and video...      

Skeeter WX 1880

Skeeter WX 1800

The WX 1880 is a combination fish and ski boat. It is not a compromise boat by any stretch of the imagination. It is part of their Deep-V series of deep water boats and it performs the function of a top notch fishing rig as well as a high-performance ski boat equally well.  See complete test and video...   

Manitou 20 X-Plode Cruise SHP

Manitou 22

The Sport Handling Package delivers eye-popping performance and she turns like a speed boat. Our test boat ran an impressive 43.3 mph with the 175-hp Evinrude E-TEC outboard.  See Captain Rob's complete test and video report...

SeaCraft SC 23 Tournament

SeaCraft SC 23 Tournament

The SC 23 Tournament Edition is prepared to compete and is loaded with fishy features that will have you enjoying your time aboard and being noticed by those around you.


See our video of the SeaCraft  SC 23 Tournament…

Yamaha FX SHO

Yamaha FX SHO Cruiser 

The FX Cruiser SHO is the flagship of the Yamaha fleet. This top-of-the-line watercraft is aimed at the discriminating buyer who is looking for the total package of luxury, features, and most of all, performance. See complete test and video...


Watch Yamaha's FX Cruiser SHO Commercial.

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PWC Showdown

Which PWC is King of Acceleration?

Sea-Doo RXT Yamaha FX Cruiser SHO Sea-Doo RXT-X kawasaki Ultra 250X

BoatTEST holds an acceleration showdown among Kawasaki, Yamaha, and Sea-Doo.

Which PWC can win the 100-yard dash on water? Our test Capt. John Wenz ran four of the world’s top musclecraft PWCs over a sprint course to find out. Now that the PWC industry holds top speed to 65 mph, hole shot acceleration is the performance number to beat. To find out which brand won and by how much, see this exclusive BoatTEST video of the showdown…hold on tight!

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Tigé Boats

Inside View of Tigé Boats

Tigé 1 Tigé 2 Tigé 3 Tigé 4 Tigé 5

BoatTEST's Capt. Rob Smith takes a look at design and construction details with Tige's Kip Davis.

A lot of work goes in to each boat built by Tigé, our favorite boat builder in Abilene, TX. If you have ever thought about buying a tournament-ready ski/wake boat, no matter the brand, then you will appreciate these eight videos Capt. Rob Smith made at Tigé.  There is more to Tigé than a pretty face and a funny name, as you will see.

See 8 videos about what goes into a Tigé...

See 7 Tigé video tests...

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Premier Pontoon

Pontoon Boats
Like You Have Never Seen Them!

Premier 1 premier2 Premier 3 Premier 4 Premier 5

Premier Pontoon boat company has made some of the finest -- and most watchable -- promotional videos we have ever seen in the marine industry. They are not throbbing hard-sell with a lot of balderdash, but rather each video is a story of how a typical owner might use that particular boat. If you are in the market for a pontoon boat -- or think you may be some day -- then you owe it to yourself to watch a few of these Premier videos. Find out how elegant and practical pontoon boats really can be. A perfect counter-point to watching Premier's videos is to watch a test video of the same boat. Then you will have a 360-degree view of the boat from both the performance and functionality stand-points, as well as getting a usage perspective. Full marks to Premier!

See Premier's promotional "in-use" videos of 13 models...

See BoatTEST performance tests and videos of 10 Premier models...

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BoatTEST Innovations

Marine Video Search Engine

OceanLED mercury scorpion Powertech Props Yamaha 212 X
Tahoe Q4 SS video test. OceanLED light installation. Mercury's Scorpion 350. PowerTech! Propellers. Yamaha
212 X.

Now BoatTEST visitors can access our library of over 3,000 videos on dozens of subjects, simply by typing in “key words” in the “Video Search” window. In addition to 1000 boat test videos, there are also over 1000 videos on related subjects such as boat reviews, product reviews, buying tips, piloting and boat handling information, as well as hundreds of company videos on all manner of subjects. Each month BoatTEST adds about 200 new videos to its library so that you can access information on a variety of powerboat subjects. To access this powerful library, simply type in the subject, or the name of the category, or brand in the box adjacent to the words “Video Search.” See below…and enjoy the views!


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The Boating Lifestyle

Why We Love Boating

It is good to remember why we all love boating and these five video clips capture the essence of what makes this sport unlike any other. The moments you see captured here are all about living in the present and creating memories that will last a lifetime.  We thank the good folks at Hydra-Sports for sending us these videos, which were all taken aboard a Hydra-Sport 3300 Center Console in the Gulf of Mexico.  Enjoy the Boating LifeStyle! To see our tests of five Hydra-Sports...dive in here.

Sailfish Hooked She catches her FIRST sailfish! one hour fight Cooling off under a Hydra-Sports 3300.
The thrill of a sailfish hook-up. She catches her FIRST sailfish!  Attagirl!
A 1-hour fight for this lady angler. You'll never forget a tail-walking sail! Cooling off under a Hydra-Sports 3300.

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Engine News

Honda Introduces New 40-hp and 50-hp Engines

At 216 pounds, the Honda BF50
is the lightest in its class.

Honda Marine has redesigned its BF40 and BF50 horsepower outboard engines to incorporate Electronic Fuel Injection as well as a host of Honda-exclusive technologies. Honda says that the new models have the fuel efficiency and quiet operation of Honda’s other four-stroke outboard engines, plus light weight and powerful acceleration. Honda’s exclusive Boosted Low Speed Torque (BLAST) system and a new high-performance gear case combine for a strong holeshot, while Lean Burn Control provides a fuel savings of nearly 20 percent and better at cruise, says the company. To find out more about the new Honda...start this engine.

FYI -- The BoatTEST crew just tested the BF40, check the next newsletter for a full report. 

Engine News

New Yamaha 40-hp Outboard

Yamaha 40-hp Outboard
The new Yamaha F40A.

Just a week or so after the Honda announcement, Yamaha also introduced a 40-horsepower four-stroke midrange outboard, called the F40A. Like Honda, Yamaha says their new engine will run “more efficiently" and reliably thanks to the addition of electronic multi-point fuel injection and other improvements from Yamaha’s engineers.  To read all about the new Yamaha outboard and to see the specs…pull this cord.

Engine News

Suzuki Aims at Repower with New 70-, 80-, 90-, 100-hp OBs

Suzuki Repower
Suzuki is now in “Generation II.”

Early this spring Suzuki Marine launched four “New Generation” 4-strokes for 2009 -- DF70, DF80. DF90 and DF100. The company says that these new 4-strokes have been redesigned from the ground up and are faster, lighter, and more fuel efficient than their first generation models. Suzuki is targeting these new and improved engines to the outboard repower market. There are millions of good old boats still powered by 1950s technology, i.e. fuel-guzzling 2-strokes. To find out all about the new engines from Suzuki…re-power your mouse.

Retail News

Bass Pro Shops & MarineMax: “Unprecedented Discounts
and Deals”

Tracker Targa 175 Sea Ray Sun Tracker
Tracker Targa
175 Sport
Sea Ray
210 Select
SunTracker Party Barge 24


Bass Pro Shops and MarineMax, the two largest marine retailers, have joined forces to present what they call the “Great American Boat Sale.” The two retailers tell us that they are offering “unprecedented discounts and deals” on Tracker Marine and Sea Ray boats. Onsite financing is available from both retailers, making a visit one-stop shopping. From now until June 15th this sale is applicable at all Tracker Marine Group and MarineMax dealerships, over 150 of them, but the biggest events will be found at 17 special locations at Bass Pro Shops set up with a multitude of activities and incentives. Visit the official website for details about the “Great American Boat Sale.” 

Watch the commercial.


Tracker tests and video…
Sun Tracker tests and videos…
Nitro full tests and video…
Tahoe  tests and video…
Sea Ray  tests and videos…


yamaha pwc

grady-white ad



boat history

EZ Dock








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Fuel Economy Winner

Alumacraft Pro 175 with 75-hp Honda

Alumacraft Pro 175


Each year we look over the boats we have tested to see which boats have the most fuel-efficient performance numbers at “best cruise.” In 2007 the winner was the Alumacraft Pro 175 bass boat powered by a 75-hp Honda engine with the new “BLAST” technology.


To find out which brand boats and power ranked #2 and #3, and to find out all of the basic performance numbers…plunk your magic twanger.


See video test of Alumacraft Pro 175…


See video of explanation of 75-hp Honda with BLAST technology…


See 2007 video on introduction of 75-hp Honda…

Earthrace Saga

Earthrace Going Strong

National Safe Boating Week
The trimaran averaged 23.5 knots in the middle of the Pacific on her 33rd day.


Capt. Pete Bethune and his four-person crew are enjoying the results of good weather and few mechanical problems and have traveled 13,887 nm as of day 33. They arrived in the evening of May 31st (last Saturday) in Palau, the place where they waited many days last year for spare parts for one of their engines. This is not to say that there haven't been a few troubles along the way, this time.

To find out where they were and to read some of the Captain's log...join the race.


See BoatTEST video interview of Pete Bethune and go inside Earthrace.

Memorial Day Weekend Mishaps

Most Accidents
are Preventable

Most boat fires start after fueling and can be avoided with proper procedures.


Every year there is a rash of accidents and tragedies on Memorial Day weekend as thousands of boaters with cabin fever madly dash across the water, many for the first time of the year. This year was no exception. Sadly, virtually all of the accidents could have been avoided if the operator had simply been operating his boat prudently. Most deaths could have been avoided if people had been wearing life vests. To read about a few accidents that caught our eye, and to learn some important safety tips…close eyes, check this out.

Letters to the Editor

BoatTEST Readers
Sound Off

Earthrace Averages 17.5
Scores of readers took to the streets last week to complain, protest, grumble, advise, consent and otherwise raise their voices.

Letters pour into the BoatTEST world headquarters every week on virtually everything we write about, as well as things we've never thought of. Our loyal readers keep us on our toes, and we thank them for thinking of us, no matter what they think. We cleaned out our inbox this week, and we thought you might enjoy reading what some of your fellows have had to say.

As we often say, publishing is never a victimless crime...follow the clues

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Ducky Award Winner

whats going on here?


First Place

“It might not look like much, but this boat hauls ass!” – D. Massey


Second Place

"Another silly ass hits the water without a life vest." – N. Eley


Honorable Mentions

“This boat is so easy to operate. Any jackass can do it.” – A. Klotz


“Who is the jack ass that forgot the beer?”

–N. Bonn

What's Next?



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 6/9/08.

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