Sea Ray 190//Boston Whaler 230//Beneteau 44//Riviera 53//11 Reviews - 01/04/2012
BoatTEST Newsletter January 4, 2012 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust
- Riviera 53 Enclosed Flybridge
- Sea Ray 190 Sport
- Beneteau GT Flyer 44
- Regal 42 Sport Coupe
- Cruisers Yachts 350 Express
- Sun Tracker BB 18 DLX
- Beneteau Swift 44
- Yamaha 210 Series
- Chaparral 226 SSi
- Boston Whaler 230 Dauntless
- Formula 350 FX6
- Evinrude ICON
- Shurhold Products
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course on DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Riviera 53
Enclosed Flybridge:
Space, Function
and Options

Riviera 53 Enclosed Flybridge
She has a LOA of 53'8" (18.2 m) and a beam of 16'10" (5.13 m). But her relatively light 49,160 lb. (22,300 kg.), dry weight gives her a good power-to-weight ratio and will make her fuel efficient.

Riviera spent two years scouring the globe for customer feedback before launching its new 53. The process paid off, we think, because the builder came up with a yacht that offers considerable space, tremendous functionality and abundant options. This new boat represents the first in the Riviera 50' range to offer a full beam owner's suite with a king-size bed, and she has more cockpit length and beam than the 61. Her main saloon is worthy of the name, something unusual in a convertible this size. As for the flybridge, how does seating for 10 sound? Want engine options? Choose twins, or triples, forward facing pods, or aft facing ones. Shall we go on? There's a lot more...

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New Captain's Report

Sea Ray 190 Sport:
New, Stylish Bowrider

Sea Ray 190 Sport
The 2012 190 Sport bowrider model is a new boat for Sea Ray.

Bowriders are the most popular models in today’s sportboat class for good reason. The bow-open layout permits additional seating or lounging options in an area that can double as a forward fishing deck on models so-equipped. The ability to accept a variety of power options, including sterndrives that leave the transom area open for a swim platform and tow pylon, allow the models to serve as excellent all around boats. More...

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New Features Video

Beneteau Flyer Gran Turismo 44:
All New, And All About Space

Beneteau Flyer GT 44
The Flyer Gran Turismo 44 is manufactured by Beneteau, a company known around the world for its level of quality.

As soon as we stepped aboard the Flyer Gran Turismo 44, it was evident that this boat was designed by a company that has mastered the clever use of space. Two private staterooms, 7' (2.1 m) high overheads in the salon, and even a tender garage are just some of the highlights in this creative cruiser.  It's all in our features video, which is ready for viewing. More...

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Test Video

Regal 42 Sport Coupe:
Test Reveals What She Can Take

Regal 42 Sports Coupe
We tested the Regal 42 Sport Coupe twice this fall, once in a stiff breeze on Long Island Sound.

Regal has design the 42 Sport Coupe with a long list of features based on customer feedback such as the split forward head, and the ability to significantly customize materials and options. But our tests revealed that one of her best features was her performance, and not just on calm waters. We tested the 42 twice, once in Florida and again in CT during some snotty weather and captured it all on video for you to see. More...

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New Test Video

Cruisers Yachts 350 Express:
Good Looks And Handling

Cruisers Yachts 350 Express
Far from the plastic fantastic versions of cruisers we often see in this category, the 350 Express has a lot of elegant appeal adding to her charm.

This Cruisers Yachts 350 Express with her leather dash and gorgeous trim was drawing so much attention as we approached her, that we ultimately had to ask people to leave so we could shoot our video. We already went over how well this boat handled in our test video, so now let's see how there's much more to her interior than just good looks.  Show me...

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New Test Video

Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX:
New Design Adds More Comfort

Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX
The Bass Buggy 18 DLX is ready for just about any fish you can fry at a price that is hard to refuse.

The 2012 Bass Buggy 18 DLX is an all new design with the console set to starboard, three comfortable fishing seats, new helm seat and redesigned engine mount. We put this rugged family friendly fishing package through a full test and have it all on video. The package price starts at $11,195, not including the optional trailer.  How's that for making a boat affordable?  Come on board...

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Features Walkthrough

Beneteau Swift 44:
Affordable Coastal Cruising

Beneteau Swift 44
By leaving out the fluff items such as granite counters, and Corinthian leather, Beneteau's Swift 44 maintains a practical affordability that blends nicely with this easy-to-handle yacht.

While circumnavigating the globe may be out of reach for most of us, extended cruising is still the brass ring that may well be within reach. Beneteau's Swift 44 brings that dream even closer. We found her to be remarkably easy to single-hand and a joy to operate.  But a capable cruiser has to go further than that. It's got to be roomy, accommodate guests well, and offer storage to carry you between distant ports. All of these characteristics are highlighted in our features walkthrough of this stately yacht that brings affordability to coastal cruising. Now boarding...

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Features Video

Yamaha 210 Series:
Lowering Price, But Not Quality

Yamaha 210 Series
Starting at $34,599 the SX210 and AR210 offers a lot of bang for short bucks.

Yamaha may already have the most affordable boats on the market, but some of us are still on a tighter budget and have to watch even more of our pennies. For that reason, Yamaha stepped up and made an "affordable" series that maintains the build quality but shortens the fluff. Now you have an entry level jet boat that's sure to thrill without breaking the bank. Choose the family version or the watersports version. Let's take a look...

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New Test

Chaparral 226 SSi:
More Room with Wide-Tech

Chaparral 226 SSi
The 226 SSi is appropriately named with its 22’6” (6.86 m) LOA. And even though she’s got the usual 8’6” (2.59 m) beam, there’s a lot more room inside than meets the eye.

This 226 SSi is part of a 6-boat series that utilizes Chaparral’s Wide-Tech construction, which means added room, seating and utility. But we found more to like than just roominess. The sunpad has some tricks to offer, premium seats are extraordinarily easy to operate, and the sole storage is back far enough to improve access. All of these little details add up to a boat that is a lot more than the sum of its parts. Let’s take a look at our test captain’s full report. More...

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Captain's Report

Boston Whaler 230 Dauntless:
Serving Double Duty With Style

Boston Whaler 230 Dauntless
With options made available by Boston Whaler for one of their most popular models, the 230 Dauntless serves as much more than a traditional center console fishing boat.

Center console-style boats were designed for anglers who needed open deck space fore and aft – and the ability to get from one end to the other when rigging, working baits or fighting fish. Boston Whaler knows that and wrote the book on doing it right. The 230 Dauntless is a good example of getting the basic layout harmonious. Features such as stand-up operation and the visibility it lends, complemented by the ease of movement on deck, also make the 230 a good platform for other watersports as well. More...

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New Boat

Formula 350 FX6:
Up-Scaling a High-Class Boat

Formula 350 FX6:
For Formula this will be the third launch of a 5-boat series, and so far, the whole lineup is drawing a lot of attention.

Formula Boat's FX series is all about adding a boat-load of upscale features to an already upscale brand. Picture a marriage between Formula's sportboat line, and the go-fast FastTech series and you start to get the idea. We've had our heads turned twice, first with the FX4 and then the FX5.  Now it looks like we're headed for a trifecta with the 350 FX6. Let's take a look at what's to come. Model preview...

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Test  Video

Evinrude ICON: Digital Controls for E-TEC Engines

Evinrude ICON
The real beauty of the new controllers is that they are plug-and-play so adding additional control stations is just a matter of another wire run.

The days of moving a control lever, and having a long cable transfer that movement to a shift or throttle on the engine may not be gone for good, but they are on their way out. A much better scenario has arrived, and now you just move a controller, and a wire carries a signal to an actuator on the engine. With that, several things are possible: One controller can control up to 5 engines, you can have multiple control stations, and the controller itself can have lots of cool features that simply were not possible before. Today, we take a detailed look at how Evinrude's ICON works and how it may change the way you operate your next boat. First control this link with your mouse...


Shurhold Products:
Filter For Your Gas

Shown here is the Mr. Funnel fuel filter from Shurhold.

Old gas at the end of the season can present some issues. Even fuel from dockside stations can have contaminants, and that's why Shurhold offers three different fuel filter funnels. We have used these filters at BoatTEST and can verify that sand and water are easily and effectively filtered from contaminated fuel. Watch the video...

 Order here...

Where in the World?

Picture of the Week

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

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Smart Boating's Smart Boating DVD Course

Smart Boating
Sometimes it's not what you know, but what you've forgotten. We have the perfect solution for you. Smart Boating, because safe boating just isn't enough.

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

PWC Requirements and Rules

Lesson of the Week Smart Boating
In the eyes of the law, PWCs are boats, thus must follow the same rules.

This week Capt. Steve goes over four lessons and guidelines on PWC rules and requirements. First of all, they follow the same rules as boats, so be aware of any restrictions in your area.  The videos presented this week are part of’s USCG-approved Boating Course. Watch these video boating lessons every week on

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Ducky Award Winner

Ducky Winner

First Place

“Captain Jack Sparrow's long lost brother, Floyd, prepared to plunder his first vessel. Soon he and his men would be known as ‘The Pirates of Alabama’.” - E. Jahoda

Second Place

“With a flick of a switch, the jets turn outboard - part tub, part jet boat. Only in America…” - R. Dashnaw

Honorable Mention

“Laugh if you want, tourism has increased 500% since the lake temperature went up to 98 degrees.” - M. Burton

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On Here?

WIGOH 12/21/11

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