Nordic Tug 26 is Back // Beneteau Flyer GT 49 // Trophy 2206 // 10 Reviews - 12/07/2011
BoatTEST Newsletter December 7, 2011 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust
- Tracker Pro Guide V-175 WT
- Nordic Tugs 26 cr
- Formula 310 FX5
- Intrepid 475 Sport Yacht
- Sea Ray 500 Sundancer
- Meridian 541 Sedan
- HFB 250 Grand Mariner SL
- Beneteau Flyer GT 49
- Trophy 2206 DC
- Kawasaki 260XL
- Evinrude 115-hp E-TEC
- Shurhold Products
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course on DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Tracker Pro Guide V-175 WT: Extending the
Fishing Season

Tracker Pro Guide V-175 WT
Don't give up the fishing dream just because there is a chill in the air.

In order to extend the fishing season you need to have a boat that provides you the protection needed to start earlier and stay out well into the fall. The Tracker Pro Guide V-175 WT is design for just this purpose. The windshield is much higher for better spray protection and the cockpit is relatively deep with high gunwales. The V-175 WT also has two livewells, all-welded deep-V hull with a 20-degree deadrise, and a long list of fishing features. Come on board with us as we conduct a full test of the 2012 model. More...

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Captain's Report

Nordic Tugs 26 cr:
Return of a Classic

Nordic Tug 26
Nordic Tugs discontinued the 26 in 1997 in order to concentrate on larger models. Now, the 26 is back in production with the same good characteristics that made her popular in the 1980s, plus some improvements.

The Nordic Tug 26 was introduced during the 1980 recession at the Seattle Boat Show. The concept of an affordable, seaworthy boat for a cruising couple with a single diesel engine and low operating expenses captured the West Coast boaters that winter. 37 boats were sold at the show – one every three hours! Times change, the company grew to build 6 models up to 54’ (16.47 m), and the 26 was discontinued; times changed again, and now the 26 is back -- and updated as a "cr" model. The "cr" stands for "Cruise Ready" and the folks at Nordic Tugs aren't kidding. See what they mean...

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New Test Video

Formula 310 FX5:
A Smooth Operator

Formula 310 FX5
The 310 FX5 is the second in a new series of boats from Formula that is destined to thrill. She is easy to operate single handed, but you'll likely show her off to as many people as you can.

It's time to take a thrill ride on the new Formula 310 FX5 and we put you behind the wheel. This is the much anticipated second boat in the high-end Formula FX lineup and she doesn't disappoint. We found outstanding fit-and-finish and a comfortable layout, but most of all the characteristic Formula sportboat handling -- she is a smooth operator. So while the rest of the crowd drools over the looks, let's climb aboard and go for a ride. Put your hand on the accelerator...

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Test Video

Intrepid 475 Sport Yacht:
NOT Your Typical Outboard Boat

Intrepid 475
With quad outboards powering the 475 the usable space is really opened up. She has a massive cockpit and the helm deck can host a party. It gets even better below decks.

The logic of powering a larger boat like the Intrepid 475 with outboards may seem different, and it is. But the fact remains, the benefits all come together in this boat. Our test captain reports that she has a feel of a center console with the look of a luxury yacht, and no matter how much he dished out, the 475 was ready to take more. All this makes for a luxury yacht that can handle offshore conditions and still ask for more.  It's flat out one of the best handling yachts we've tested. Take a look...

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New Test Video

Sea Ray 500 Sundancer:
Tested in Rough Water

Sea Ray 500 Sundancer
The 500 Sundancer combines comfort with performance handling.

Builders tend to hate when we test in snotty conditions as it doesn't make their boat look perfect. It's gray and overcast, the boat can't hit its top speed, and burns a little more fuel busting through the waves.  We, however, love it as it brings out the worst in a boat. On test day with the 500 Sundancer the wind was blowing against a Gulfstream current which made a perfect opportunity to see what she was made of. As it turned out, we were quite impressed with the handling characteristics, particularly in the rolling inlet. Let's take a look at get the full story...

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New Video

Meridian Yachts 541 Sedan:
Three Staterooms and Lots of Room

Meridian 541
By eliminating a lower helm on the Meridian's 541, the builder has been able to create a large, motoryacht saloon.

On certain cruising boats we feel one or two review videos just don't tell the whole story. The Meridian 541 is one of these boats. In our opinion there are several key features that this model has that make it an ideal candidate for a couple's cruising boat. One of these features is the use of space with their interesting layout, another is how they balance pricing, options, and features. We also think this boat is equally suited for cruising in big lakes or coastal regions. Here is a video that demonstrates what we like. More...

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Test Video

Harris FloteBote 250 Grand Mariner SL:
Triple Tubes, Twice the Fun

Harris FloteBote 250 Grand Mariner
The 250 had one of the smoothest rides we've experienced, and this on a choppy lake. Our test captain also liked how she leans into the turns on her center tube.

Today, we present a test video from a cold and windy day that presented conditions that few would care to operate their toon in. What better way to show how she'll be on a nice day?  The 250 Grand Mariner SL is a premium tri-toon that will easily hold 13 people in comfort.  She is loaded with amenities for entertaining and a day on the water engaged in watersports.  See more...

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New Features Video

Beneteau Flyer GT 49:
A Versatile Flying Bridge Cruiser

Beneteau Flyer GT 49
A full beam master stateroom, tender garage, and hydraulic swim platform are just some of the highlights of this yacht.

Here's a cruiser that has a lot of things done right, while still maintaining the ability for a fortunate owner to dial in his or her preferences. Whether you want 2 or 3 staterooms, a flybridge model or and express, the Flyer GT 49 can be configured to meet your needs.  Manufactured under the watchful eye of the Beneteau Group, we think this Flyer GT 49 is going to be making serious waves in the sport yacht market. Let's take a features walkthrough and see what they are doing...

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Features Video

Trophy 2206 DC:
A Balance of Features and Price

Trophy 2206 DC
We like dual console bowriders made for offshore fishing.  This Trophy 2206 DC is a good example of the breed.

Trophy has been quietly making reliable fishing boats that offer value and comfort for many years. In our opinion the 2206 DC offers a balance of features and pricing in a sturdy dual console that will provide protection in bigger water. You'd be surprised at how many Trophies we have seen in the Alaskan panhandle.  In this review video we look at the overall design, her features, as well as the hull design. Starting at $43,540 with a standard 200-hp Mercury OptiMax, we think this model deserves consideration if you are looking in the 21 to 23-foot range for a DC fishboat. More...

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Captain's Report

Kawasaki Ultra 260XL:
Focus on Power & Handling

Kawasaki Ultra 260XL
The Kawasaki 260XL is a result of lessons learned the hard way -- racing.

Taking what they have learned in racing, the team at Kawasaki has continued to evolve its watercraft with a focus on power and handling. The 260XL also looks the part, and let's be honest, when it comes to watercraft, it usually comes down to looks and power. She has a supercharged power-plant, weighs 1062 lbs. (482.7 kgs.) dry, and has a nice list of features that come standard, starting with the premium seat. More...

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Evinrude 115 E-TEC:
Powerful Small Package

In this video we take a detailed walkthrough of the features that make this, and the entire E-TEC lineup, so compelling.

For some, the 115 may be a trade-up, for others it's a perfect match of power-to-weight, and for still some others, it may be the optional choice when a 90-hp engine is the standard. Since the 115 E-TEC is such a popular model, and so often closely related to the 90, we figured it was not only time to take a look at the features of this little powerhouse, but see how it compares to its smaller sibling while we were at it. Let's look at the test numbers and comparisons...


Shurhold's Water Blade:
Dry It Faster


We want to pass on a helpful hint for drying your boat: the Shurhold Flexible Water Blade helps. When we put this product to the test, we were not very excited. Let’s be real -- drying your boat is a pain, and nothing will change that. Or so we thought. We found that the Flexible Water Blade actually conformed to the shape of the hull and removed all of the water. It leaves the surface streak-free and is very easy on the arms and back. Visit Shurhold to order...

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!

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Christmas Gift Idea

The Smart Boating Sleigh Is Ready to Stop at Your House

Smart Boating
Order your four-disc DVD Box Set today and make your boater the smartest boater in the marina.

With more content than any other boating course, the Smart Boating course makes a perfect gift for the boater in your life. Perhaps that is why the NMMA started promoting the course after just one look. It's the most complete boating course available...period. Order your 4-disc DVD Box Set today and get it in time for the holidays. Order your 4-disc box set here...

Watch the trailer...

Visit and "like" our page to watch unedited video found only on Facebook...

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Lesson of the Week

How To Be a Responsible PWC Owner

Lesson of the Week Smart Boating
PWCs have earned their rightful place in the boating world and their owners have responsibilities just the same.

This week Capt. Steve goes over four lessons and guidelines on PWC laws and being a responsible PWC owner. You should know your local laws before heading out on your PWC. Remember PWCs can only run during daylight hours between sunrise and sunset since they do not have any running lights as boats do.  The videos presented this week are part of’s Smart Boating Course which is USCG-approved. Watch these video boating lessons every week on

To view this week’s lessons --

To order all lessons --

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Ducky Award Winner

Ducky Winner

First Place

“Never try to remove the ethanol from your fuel by drinking it.” – A. Bacak

Second Place

“And that is why we hold the air horn AWAY from our ears.” – C. Gilly

Honorable Mention

“Ok, who's next for the Columbia River bar crossing test?” – H. Carlile

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On Here?

WIGOH 12/7/11

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