Luhrs 37 IPS//John Deere 6068 Diesel//14 Tests & Reviews - 06/29/2011
BoatTEST Newsletter June 29, 2011 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust
- Cruisers Yachts 390 SC
- Yanmar ZT350
- Nitro Z-9 CDC
- Carver 44 Sojourn
- Concept 4400 SY 
- Tigé RZ2
- John Deere 6068
- Princecraft Ventura 192
- Luhrs 37 IPS
- Chaparral 284 Sunesta
- FinCraft 1850
- Hargrave 84 Mar Azul
- MasterCraft 300
- Seaswirl 2605 WA
- Shurhold Buff Magic
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course on DVD
- Trailering Tips
- Ship's Systems: H20 Purification
- Sportboat Buying Tips
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Cruisers Yachts
390 Sports Coupe

Cruisers Yachts 390
The Cruisers Yachts 390 can be ordered with Mercruiser 8.2L gas engines developing 425-hp, Volvo Penta gas 400-hp IPS pod drives or IPS diesels up to 370-hp -- take your pick!

For 2011 Cruisers Yachts has taken their 390 Sports Coupe and tweaked her to make her even better. We have always liked the unique companion seat/nav station/snack table on the boat's bridge deck next to the helm. The 390 is the only cruiser we know of with such a clever design, one that can be used for all sorts of things. She also has a wide walk-thru windscreen, an innovation that was an industry first for Cruisers Yachts. Below, there is a standard large open arrangement for entertaining, or an optional one with two private staterooms ideal for two couples. With IPS our test boat was a handling dream. We think this is all the boat most people will ever need. Find out all about her...

cross ruler

Engine Test

Yanmar ZT350:
A Third Sterndrive Choice

Yanmar ZT350
This is Yanmar's rugged, saltwater-ready dual-prop sterndrive lower unit.

Nothing is tougher on a sterndrive lower unit than saltwater. And there's no tougher customer than Japanese commercial fishermen.  So that is precisely where Yanmar first introduced its dual-prop ZT350 sterndrive lower unit.  With commercial fishermen, failure is not an option.  Little wonder, then, that Yanmar waited until the ZT350 passed the test among unforgiving fishermen before launching it more than a year ago on the marine recreational market worldwide. The ZT350 is designed to offer boaters a third choice when it comes to a twin prop sterndrive application. Let's look at the numbers...

cross ruler

Video Review

Nitro Z-9 CDC:
Good Value Bass Boat

Nitro Z-9 CDC
Tracker Marine's fiberglass bass boat brand, Nitro, has been steadily climbing the sales charts the last two years.  We think that's because she is a good value.

The Nitro’s dual center console puts the Z-9 CDC in a design class all her own. The center seating arrangement accommodates round-the-boat fish-fighting capabilities of traditional stand-up center console layouts and places more weight along the boat’s centerline. Watch the video...

cross ruler

Captain's Report

Carver 44 Sojourn:
A Classic Cruiser Updated for 2011

Carver shook up the 1980s and 90s with idiosyncratic designs that made their boats stand out from the crowd; will the 2011 restyling of the 44 Sojourn attract the same attention? Base power is twin Crusader 8.1 MPIs, but most buyers choose Volvo Penta IPS with joystick.

For 2011, Carver has updated its popular 44 Sojourn, a boat that appeals to folks who enjoy living and entertaining on board as much as they do cruising. The 44' 4" (13 m) LOA Sojourn has a restyled hull, and a superstructure and hardtop that give the yacht a "more aggressive" profile, says her builder. Unchanged is the single-level accommodations plan that's been working fine for three decades, with no steps for guests to trip on. But how many can sleep aboard?

Brochure request

cross ruler

Captain's Report

Concept 4400 Sport Yacht:
Can You Handle Her?

Concept 4400 Sport Yacht
Thanks to her LOA of 44' 4" (13.5 m), the Concept 4400 Sport Yacht has room for both plenty of cockpit space and a cabin suitable for overnighting and weekend cruises. Each 4400 is custom-built and sold factory-direct from her builder near Miami, Florida. Outboards up to quad 350-hp are available; triple 300s are most popular.

The Concept 4400 Sport Yacht is two boats in one: Aft, she's a center-console, with fishing and day-cruising amenities; forward, she has an air-conditioned cabin suitable for romantic weekending a deux or taking longer fishing trips through the islands. Designed by a top naval architect whose boats have won a string of trophies, and custom-built to high-performance standards by a fussy boatshop near Miami, the 4400 is a capable offshore speedster, too: Her builder claims over 60 mph (96.6 kph) with triple 300-hp Mercury outboards, faster with maximum power, 1,400 horses. Folks looking for a boat able to wear two hats should give her at least a once-over. Or maybe that's three hats: The 4400 also comes as a Coupe! Step aboard to find out more...

cross ruler

New Features Video

Tigé RZ2:
Tricked Out For a Wake Party

Tigé RZ2
This isn't just another wakeboat, it's the most tricked out wakeboat that we've seen, and the "wake envy" is included at no extra charge.

This particular RZ2 is Tigé's answer to the question... "What if we loaded one of our best boats with every option available?" Well the answer is, you'd get a pretty awesome wake boat that will leave you wanting for nothing. It's the 20th Anniversary Platinum Edition RZ2, and when we say she's tricked out, we mean it. How else would a premium wakeboat company celebrate its 20th anniversary? With flowers and a candlelight dinner? More...

cross ruler

Engine Report

John Deere PowerTech 6068TFM:
Nothing Swims Like a Deere

John Deere 6068TFM
John Deere's PowerTech 6.8-liter 6068 marine diesel is an excellent choice when it's time to repower. The engine comes in a variety of power ratings and configurations.

You'll find John Deere diesels aboard commercial and fishing vessels the world over, so if you are considering re-powering you should definitely look into this brand.  Deere's PowerTech 6068 series comprises models from 158- to 400-hp, in both heat-exchanged and keel-cooled versions. FYI -- the last five years or so they have become very popular among builders of trawlers and long range cruisers, so John Deere must be doing something right.  Read our test results here.

cross ruler

Captain's Report

Princecraft Ventura 192:
Ski, Board, Fish - This Boat Does It All

Princecraft Ventura 192
Can you count all the features of the Princecraft Ventura 192? This boat is set up for almost every on-the-water activity, and is built tough from aluminum.

Princecraft's Ventura 192 combines the best features of a deckboat, a fishing boat and a ski/board boat. One of six boats in Princecraft's Ventura series, like her sisterships the 192 is lightweight, thanks to her tough aluminum construction, and tow-friendly to almost any vehicle. In short, she's just what the doctor ordered for a whole lot of boating families. Is the waketower standard?

cross ruler

Captain's Report

Luhrs 37 IPS:
For A Quest To The Canyons

Luhrs 37 IPS
The 37 IPS is the first in a new "Canyon Series" of fishing boats targeted toward the overnight offshore runs. Notice the high freeboard forward. The half tower is standard. Her interior layout is the only one in class with two cabins and two heads.

Anyone who has been watching the trend of offshore fishboats has witnessed the "just-hose-me-down-Harry" express fishboats quietly morph into the family cruising comfort zone. We think that's a good thing, as the fishing qualities don't suffer and the level of amenities takes a quantum leap up… it's a win/win. So as we looked at the new Luhrs 37 IPS, it was easy to gaze at the twin stateroom, twin head layout and think... "yeah, this could work." And, since it's a Luhrs you know the price will be competitive. Let's take a peek...

cross ruler

Features Video

Chaparral 284 Sunesta:
More Than A Pretty Face

Chaparral 284 Sunesta
The Chaparral 284 Sunesta measures in at 28’4" (8.64 m) LOA with a beam of 9’ (2.74 m). With full fuel she’ll tip the scales at roughly 7,000 lbs (3175 kg) which adds to her stability and solid feel underway.

When we arrived to test the Chaparral 284 Sunesta, our first view was of a big deckboat coming out of the rack room. Immediately we saw distinct differences between this boat and others in her class in her bottom shape. Once we stepped aboard, we saw many more examples of how innovative this builder really is.  Rather than list all the features here, how about watching a video tour?  Seeing is believing.

cross ruler

Detailed Look

FinCraft 1850 DC:
Multi-Species or Multi-Sports

FinCraft 1850
The FinCraft 1850 DC is one of the few fiberglass fish and ski packages that is able to go head to head with aluminum boats. Yes, including on price, too.

Having a multi-tasking boat is one way to ensure that she will end up in your driveway instead of just your dreams. Now the whole family can enjoy the boat on weekends, while Dad can still fish on after work. Another factor that makes or breaks a deal is price. The FinCraft 1850 DC delivers on both counts, being versatile enough for cross purposing, and thanks to her unique VEC build process, FinCraft is able to realize significant savings that get passed on to you. In this video we take the 1850 DC on a full test to determine whether this boat has what it takes to keep us happy after the sale. More...

cross ruler


Hargrave 84 Mar Azul:
For Owner/Operators Only

Hargrave 84 Mar Azul
Hargrave’s new 84 raised pilothouse design is the first ever to open the helm to the salon and galley.  Photos by Dana Jenkins.

Hargrave Custom Yachts has long sought to drive home to the motoryacht-buying public how far customers can go to “personalize” the boats they build. Nothing dramatizes the point better than this innovative new design concept which looks like a raised pilothouse motoryacht on the outside, but on the inside does not waste valuable main deck real estate, as do conventional pilothouse configurations. According to Hargrave owner Mike Joyce, “This boat was designed to be handled by a husband and wife,” and is equipped with everything a cruising couple will need. This video is a "must see" if you are in the market for a motoryacht. Take a look at the Mar Azul from Hargrave.

cross ruler

Features Video

MasterCraft 300:
High Style Cruising Day Boat

MasterCraft 300
When this couple came together, it was a marriage made in day boat heaven. And MasterCraft saw no need to skimp on the features.

The MasterCraft 300 has been generating her fair share of buzz in the boating industry, and with good reason. Since she’s the first cruiser that this ski and wakeboat company has launched, a lot of people were waiting to see just how she turned out, and we were at the front of the line ourselves.  MasterCraft didn’t disappoint. With teak everywhere, adjustable sun lounge, circular dining area, retractable aft awning, and a whole shopping list of additional perks, this turned out to be a very interesting boat. Good thing we brought along our cameras for the full tour, which is viewable here.

cross ruler

Video Look

Seaswirl 2605 Walk Around:
She Walks the Value Talk

Seaswirl 2605 WA
The Seaswirl Striper 2605 WA is designed to handle four people for fishing or cruising.

Seaswirl built the 2605 Walk Around as their answer to the “SUV” on the water. She has a cabin, fishing-friendly cockpit, and room for the family to just go out and enjoy the water. You can pump her up with more fishing features like a hardtop with Alaskan pack, outriggers and rocket launcher rod holders and much more.  Capt. Rob takes a video look and tests the Seaswirl 2605...

cross ruler


Shurhold Video Test:
Buff Magic Taken to Task

We put Capt. Steve to work while our cameras were rolling.

Owning a fiberglass yacht with a shiny, gleaming surface is one of the joys of boat ownership. But the hard work that goes into creating that look isn't so much fun. In order to find out how well Yacht Brite Buff Magic and Pro Polish work, we recently tested on a severely neglected hull. Capt. Steve followed the standard procedures, applied the products, and all the while our camera crew was shooting video. See for yourself what our tests turned up...

Order Buff Magic here...

Where in the World?

Picture of the Week

Picture of the Week
Find out where this picture was taken and when...

See the larger picture, when and who took it -- and where!

Send us your favorite boating images.

When sending a photo, let us know when, where and what boat you were on.

Smart Boating's
DVD Boating Course

Smart Boating
This set of 4 DVDs covers virtually all of the important topics you need to know to go boating safely.

Based on the feedback we’ve been getting about's Smart Boating Course it’s clearly not only for beginners, but also for veteran boaters as well. Perhaps that is why the NMMA started promoting the course after just one look. Order your copy here...

Watch the trailer...

Trailering Tips

Captain Steve's Trailering Tips

Trailering Tips
Trailering your boat sounds simple – and is – IF you follow all of the trailer preparation tips that Capt. Steve recommends.

Being a good boater starts long before you get out on the water. And if you have not properly prepared your trailer rig you may never even make it. Just as airplane pilots walk around their planes checking out control surfaces before they get into the cockpit, so should you make a careful check of all the straps, chains, connections, bolts and landing gear on your trailer before you head to the launch ramp. Capt. Steve gives us his take on the best way to prep so that you will not have a costly accident on the road...

Ship's System

Water, Water Everywhere...
... and Not a Drop Worth Drinking?

Water Purifier
The stainless steel Seagull IV water-purifier is effective and easy to install under the sink. It uses a dedicated faucet and a replaceable cartridge. (Photo © General Ecology, Inc.)

If the fresh water coming out of your boat’s faucet tastes like you squeegee’d it off the ship’s cat, don’t take to the bottle. Any fresh water can have contaminants that ruin its taste, and dirty fiberglass tanks will make even the purest water taste like bilge slime. But the solution is easy: Add a treatment system to your freshwater plumbing. Treatment systems range from simple filters to elaborate UV purifiers; filters will work for most of us. They are easy to install and not too expensive, and will have you reaching for a glass, not the bottle. Read on for all you need to know about water treatment...

cross ruler

Boat Buying Tips

Sportboat Buying:
25 Check Points

Sportboat Buying
By comparing 25 important details boat buyers can zero-in on which boat really delivers best on the promise and is the best economic value.

With so many choices, figuring out which sportboat is best for you is not an easy task. With every builder saying that their boats are the highest quality, have the best features, and are the best value, what is a consumer to do? Our suggestion is to do what our test captains do: look at the details and compare them boat-to-boat. captains use a check list of 25 points to inspect before writing their Captain's Reports on the boats they test. Here is the list and a detailed explanation of Point #1 -- Performance. Check in here...


Sea Ray



cross ruler

Lesson of the Week

Boat Engine Maintenance Tips

Lesson of the Week
Follow some simple tips to help protect the life of your engine and its components. If you incorporate routine checks before you head out for the day you will be one step ahead.

This week Capt. Steve goes over five new lessons and guidelines on engine maintenance and properly caring for the components such as batteries, belts, and hoses. Get in the habit of doing an engine check each time you board the boat. Spend the extra 5 minutes to check the oil and clean the sea strainers of any debris. You will save yourself a headache and a lot of expense down the road if you do happen to encounter an issue and suddenly you’re offshore. Pay attention to any abnormal noises or sounds you may hear from the engine as this could be a sign something is wrong. Never ignore a sound that doesn’t seem right. The videos presented this week are part of’s Boating Course which is USCG-approved. Watch these video boating lessons every week on

To view this week’s lessons --

To view past lessons --

cross ruler

Ducky Award Winner

Ducky Winner

First Place

"Yeah, they said it's an old septic tank but, yee haw, it's gonna make one fine jacuzzi when I get it back to the trailer." - E. Jahoda

Second Place

"Some people hug trees, some talk to their cars, I take my water tank skiing."
- M. Harvey

Honorable Mention(s)

"They think they have a big wake in their fancy MasterCraft... mwwa haha haaa!"
- T. Smith

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 6/29/11

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.

We need reader help!

If you have a picture that you think needs some explanation, email it to us., LLC
51 Bank Street, Suite 2A
Stamford, CT 06901

All articles, Captain's Reports, video content or other material which appear on and in its newsletters are accurate and factual to the best knowledge of and its staff. All findings, beliefs, experiences, or endorsements presented are the honest opinions of or its contributors. In compliance with FTC 16 CFR Part 255 advises its readers that content that appears in its newsletter or on its website may have been produced for compensation or the prospect of future compensation. makes no claims for the veracity or motivation of reader comments, Owners’ Reports, and other contributions which are all clearly labeled as such.