BoatTEST Newsletter - 07/30/2008
BoatTEST Newsletter July 30, 2008 If you cannot view the see the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust

Test & Video Reviews

- Bayliner 225 Runabout
- Sea-Doo 230 Wake
- Sylvan 1700 Adventurer
- Mako 264 Express
Doral 200 Sunquest
- Yamaha SuperJet
- Nitro Z-7
- Larson Cabrio 274

Also Inside:
- Glastron GT 225 Scores High
Pontoon Boats Are Sweeping
- New Regulator 30 Express
- MerCruiser's 496 MAG
- Docking Tip
- Atlantic Towers T-Tops
- World Fuel Fiasco
- Review the Ski Nautique 206
- Review the Triton TR 210
- Clean Boating Act
- What To Do When Fog Rolls In
- Ducky Award Winner

Glastron GT 225 Scores High in 20-Boat Comparison

Glastron GT 225
The Glastron GT 225 consistantly ranked high on our comparison grid of important factors.

Every few months or so we check through a couple of dozen sportboat websites to see their latest iterations. At the same time we pick a boat size and type – this time, a 21’ bowrider with a 5.0L sterndrive engine – and compare 20 important attributes and features on about 20 models from as many different brands. To do it right takes about a day. The reason it takes so long is that everyone presents the material differently and sometimes answers to basic questions are difficult to find. We have tested about half of the models available in this size and type, so on the other half of the boats we can only wonder how they perform. We continue to be amazed (and so do our readers judging from the mail we get) that boat builders try to sell $40 to $50k boats without feeling the necessity to provide performance information from a reliable third party. Nevertheless, this week’s comparison was an eye-opener. To find out what important features to compare, and to learn about what is going on in this class of boats…research this.

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Boat Tests & Reviews

Larson Cabrio 274 Larson 274 Cabrio

The Cabrio line underwent some significant changes for this model year continuing to deliver great value and style. This year, Larson has extended its warranty coverage to 2012 with their Larson 5-Years-to-Life program.  If you enjoy cruising, and want the speed to enjoy water toys and the space to relax overnight, the Cabrio 274 wraps it up in one package with a warranty that will help you sleep at night.  See complete test results and video review.

Nitro Z-7

Nitro Z-7A complete fishing package, right out of the box, the Z-7 is a sharp looking boat built with the serious angler in mind. She’s got an all-glass hull with a foam-filled stringer system, a sharp-looking color scheme and comes all ready to launch from her color-matched trailer. See complete test results and video review.


Doral 200 Sunquest

Doral 200 SunquestDoral’s 200 SunQuest gasoline sterndrive model is a rich-looking, sporty-driving Aston Martin on the water. If you want to have a sturdy, elegant looking boat that will give you years of thrilling performance Doral has a boat to show you.  See complete test and video report.

Bayliner 225 Runabout

Bayliner 225

The 225 is Bayliner’s largest runabout incorporating their “next generation” design. It enhances transom user space, logical storage space and styling. Bayliner set out to build in the kind of room a growing family needs to enjoy their life on the water with friends and neighbors. Come aboard and see if you think they have met this goal.  See complete test and video.

Sea-Doo 230 Wake

Sea-Doo 230 Wake

The Sea-Doo 230 Wake combines pleasure, excitement and power with the 230 Wake. This direct-drive sportboat will deliver wakeboarders many hours of perfect wakes for tricks and fun, yet is still a boat you will enjoy taking the family and neighbors out on for a ride.  See complete test results and video.

Sylvan 1700 Adventurer

Sylvan 1700 Adventurer
Sylvan Fishing Boats are designed with strength and hull integrity throughout, which begins with a gull wing hull that keeps the bow down and gets you on plane faster and with better control. The 1700 Adventurer is packed with features and more storage than you can imagine.  See complete test and video.

Mako 264 Express

Mako 264 Express

When the brand was first introduced thirty-five years ago Mako was widely considered to be the most dependable, most fishable offshore center console built.  But then it was sold, and sold, and sold again, and each time its reputation took a hit.  A few years ago Tracker Marine bought the great old name and immediately set about restoring Mako to the glory of years ago.  We're happy to report that this great brand is now in capable hands.  See Capt. Smith’s video review of Mako's 264 Express.

Yamaha SuperJet

Yamaha SuperJetThe SuperJet is Yamaha’s popular stand-up Waverunner.  For 2008 the Yamaha SuperJet has a new improved hull design promising to make this craft a hot all-around stand-up PWC in the industry. Whether you’re into racing, freestyle, or freeriding, the SuperJet has been a popular choice across the board.  See test results and video review.

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JC Pontoon

Why Pontoon Boats are Sweeping the Country

Evolution 240 SunToon 21 TT NepToon 23 TT TriToon 306 TriToon 246
240 Evolution in fiberglass/300-hp MerCruiser SD SunToon 21 TT Tri-Toon/
90-hp Honda
NepToon 23 TT Fish/
150-hp Honda
TriToon 306 
with 320-hp
Volvo Penta SD
TriToon 246
with 250-hp Suzuki


The strongest segment of the boating business this year is the pontoon category. It is not because they are inexpensive, because today they are loaded with pretty much everything you can find on conventional boats. To answer the question, we take a look at one of the pioneers in pontoon building…

JC Pontoon has been building boats for 30 years and was the first company to introduce the “TriToon” design 25 years ago which changed the whole concept of pontoon boats from something your grandfather used at sunset around the lake, to a watersports platform fit for the Olympics. We have tested 12 JC Pontoon models and have found them fast, fuel efficient, huge, versatile and even fishy.

To find out more about JC Pontoon and the boating revolution it created…get in toon.

To view all of’s tests of JC Pontoon boats…

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New Boat

New Regulator 30 Express
for Fishing & Family

Regulator 23 FS  Regulator 30 Express Floor
Regulator creates both utility and extra value in its new 30 Express that can run to the canyons for fish, or take the family down the coast cruising.

Regulator was one of the first companies to build a beefy center console specifically to go far offshore, specifically for sport fishing. Because the company is located not far from famed Oregon Inlet on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, through which some of the most aggressive big game and meat fishermen in the country pass, Regulator knew its center console had to behave like a big sportfisherman, yet be half the size. With high freeboard, Carolina flair, an over-built hull, and Outer Banks fishability features, Regulator won instant popularity. Now Regulator expands the utility of its new 30 Express from fishing to the family.  It can go to the canyons or sleep three down the coast.  See Capt. Rob's test.

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In the Engine Room

Wired for the Future:
MerCruiser's 496 MAG

MerCruiser 496
Engine Guardian constantly monitors the engine system for low oil pressure, overheating or low drive lube so you can take positive action to prevent failures.

With the 496 MAG, MerCruiser takes full advantage of the newest engine technology by including Axius and DTS (Digital Throttle and Shift) to provide you the reliability and proven performance that you have come to expect from MerCruiser. This engine is loaded with features so come along on Captain Rob's video review to see all that this engine has to offer.

Docking Tip

These Tips Make
Docking a Breeze

Malibu Docking
When you are docking go slow and remain calm.

Although sometimes docking can be a challenge, we all must do it and practice makes perfect.  This brief video from Malibu Boats walks you through how you can dock with confidence and ease.   Repeat until you get it.

Product Video

Atlantic Towers'
Ready-Made T-Tops

Atlantic Towers
For 25 years, Atlantic Towers has been one of the marine industry's most respected names in fabricated aluminum products.

The "Tower in a Box" product line is designed to deliver recreational marine structures that equal or exceed custom builders quality standards with the convenience of prompt availability and the value of low pricing made possible by volume production.  Come along as Steve Tull from Atlantic Towers takes us through some of their product video.

To learn more or to order products visit Atlantic Towers' website.



Prop Info

EZ Dock

yamaha pwc

grady-white ad

boat history



yamaha Boat


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The World Fuel Fiasco

Why Fuel Prices Will Come Down

China  India
Over 50% of the world's population is getting subsidized fuel -- $1.44 per gallon in China and $1.04 in India. No wonder those Chinese and Indian streets are so crowded!

The 42% rise in fuel prices during the last six months did not occur because Chinese car sales are up 18% this year. Rather there has been a confluence of factors that have spiked fuel prices almost straight up, and many analysts feel they can be expected to drop back into the low $3 range next spring, if not sooner. Oil traders say that one of the reasons oil prices shot skyward this spring is that China began bulking up on oil to make sure they had plenty for this summer's Olympic Games. We have been through this high fuel price hysteria in the U.S. before -- and have survived.  Monday's New York Times reported many nations -- in fact over half the world -- are subsidizing the price of fuel, and when subsidies slow fuel prices will respond. To find out what French, Germans, Saudis, Egyptians and other boaters are paying for fuel...fill up here (half price!).

Reader Review

You Be the Judge:
Ski Nautique 206

Ski Nautique 206
Ski Nautique 206.

Walter C. Maloon founded Correct Craft in 1925 in Florida and the company has been building boats of all types and sizes ever since. However, the company for many years, indeed, from the beginning of the sport, has always built ski boats. Now, 83 years later the company has morphed into Ski Nautique and builds nine models for the ski and wake sport. This week we are asking our readers who are familiar with ski boats, or who have actually owned a 206, to review the boat for us, giving your unique views and insights into this basic family ski boat…review it here.

Reader Review

You Be the Judge:
Triton TR 210 Explorer

Triton TR 210.

Boat racer and lifetime angler Earl Benz founded Triton and he is still deeply involved with every aspect of building Triton boats. Today, the company which is now owned by Brunswick, has expanded into just about every kind of small fishing boat imaginable, building 59 models in fiberglass and 36 models in aluminum, serving everything from the crappie freshwater market to saltwater center consoles. The company even builds 23 models of pontoon boats. This week we have picked just one of those 118 models – the Triton TR 210 Explorer bassboat. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to review this Triton boat. Review it here.

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Clean Boating Act

Boaters' Internet Lightning Strikes Congress for the
1st Time

personalized mats
The incredible connectivity of the Internet unleashed the ire of America's boaters on Capitol Hill.

America's boaters showed their muscle for the first time in the halls of Congress by the passage of the Clean Boating Act of 2008 in record time. Much of the world looks to the U.S. Congress for regulatory and environmental guidance and often takes its cues from the debate in America.  The outcome of the Clean Boating Act battle was also awaited around the world, as a couple of BoatTEST's readers note (see letters in the jump). To read what BoatTEST's members from around the world have to say...connect to this.

Boating Tip

What to Do When
Fog Rolls In

personalized mats
Slow down when operating your boat
in reduced visibility.

When operating in fog your biggest danger probably comes from commercial vessels of all types, including fishermen. Skippers of these vessels are used to fog and are often complacent, if not downright negligent. (Remember the Block Island ferry which hit the USCG buoy tender a couple of weeks ago?) Commercial fishermen are particularly problematical because they are often short-handed, feel that they know the local waters, and many have a real attitude when it comes to looking out for recreational boaters. You must look out for yourself! In addition to having a high powered radar and keeping a sharp eye on it, going slow, and sounding your horn, we also suggest the following precaution...drink this soup.

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Ducky Award Winner

whats going on here?

First Place
“Sure she is pretty but can she float?” – J. Spinn


Second Place
“I won’t get nervous until I see them loading two by two.” – G. Mugford

“One little mistake and they give me the umbrella!” – M. Parker


Honorable (almost) Mention

“They said build it and it would rain!!!” – A. Chard

“Take the cruise that guarantees you won’t get seasick.” – G. Pelletier

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 8/3/08.

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