390 Sports Coupe
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...
A Third Sterndrive Choice
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...
Nitro Z-9 CDC:
Good Value Bass Boat
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...
Carver 44 Sojourn:
A Classic Cruiser Updated for 2011
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?
Concept 4400 Sport Yacht:
Can You Handle Her?
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...
New Features Video
Tricked Out For a Wake Party
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?
John Deere PowerTech 6068TFM:
Nothing Swims Like a Deere
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
builders of trawlers and long range cruisers, so John Deere must be
doing something right.
Read our test results here.
Princecraft Ventura 192:
Ski, Board, Fish - This Boat Does It All
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?
Luhrs 37 IPS:
For A Quest To The Canyons
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...
Chaparral 284 Sunesta:
More Than A Pretty Face
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.
FinCraft 1850 DC:
Multi-Species or Multi-Sports
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...
Hargrave 84 Mar Azul:
For Owner/Operators Only
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.
High Style Cruising Day Boat
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
Good thing we brought along our cameras for the full tour, which is viewable here.
Seaswirl 2605 Walk Around:
She Walks the Value Talk
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...
Shurhold Video Test:
Buff Magic Taken to Task
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
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
DVD Boating Course
Based on the feedback we’ve been getting about BoatTEST.com'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...
Captain Steve's Trailering Tips
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...
Water, Water Everywhere...
... and Not a Drop Worth Drinking?
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...
Boat Buying Tips
25 Check Points
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. BoatTEST.com 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...
Lesson of the Week
Boat Engine Maintenance
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 BoatTEST.com’s Boating
Course which is USCG-approved. Watch these video boating lessons every week on BoatTEST.com.
To view this week’s lessons --
To view past lessons --
Ducky Award Winner
"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
"Some people hug trees, some talk to their cars, I take my water tank skiing."
- M. Harvey
"They think they have a big wake in their fancy MasterCraft... mwwa haha haaa!"
- T. Smith
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.
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