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
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.
New Features Video
Beneteau Flyer Gran Turismo 44:
All New, And All About Space
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.
Regal 42 Sport Coupe:
Test Reveals What She Can Take
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.
New Test Video
Cruisers Yachts 350 Express:
Good Looks And Handling
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.
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New Test Video
Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX:
New Design Adds More Comfort
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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Beneteau Swift 44:
Affordable Coastal Cruising
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.
Yamaha 210 Series:
Lowering Price, But Not Quality
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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Chaparral 226 SSi:
More Room with Wide-Tech
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.
Boston Whaler 230 Dauntless:
Serving Double Duty With Style
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.
Formula 350 FX6:
Up-Scaling a High-Class Boat
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.
Digital Controls for E-TEC Engines
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...
Filter For Your Gas
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...
Where in the World?
Picture of the Week
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Smart Boating DVD Course
Based on the feedback we’ve been getting about BoatTEST.com'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.
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Lesson of the Week
PWC Requirements and 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 BoatTEST.com’s USCG-approved Boating Course. Watch these video boating lessons every week on BoatTEST.com.
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