Monte Carlo Yachts 76 // Intrepid 245 // Sea-Doo RXP-X 260 // 15 Tests - 01/11/2012
BoatTEST Newsletter January 11, 2012 If you cannot view the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust
- Monte Carlo Yachts 76
- Doral 185 Sunquest
- Cruisers Yachts 540 SC
- Intrepid 245 CC
- Beneteau Flyer GT 38
- Ocean Yachts 37 Express
- Jeanneau NC11
- Manitou 27 Platinum SES
- Sea-Doo RXP-X 260
- Sea Ray 610 Sundancer
- Tahoe Q8 SSi
- Tiara 3100 Coronet
- Nitro Z-7
- Yanmar 8LV-370
- Shurhold Products
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course on DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Monte Carlo Yachts 76:
We Test This
Award-Winning Design

Monte Carlo Yachts 76
Monte Carlo Yachts 76 has won an unprecedented grand slam of awards, including two World Yacht Trophies, Boat of the Year in 2010 and 2011, European Powerboat of the Year, and the Nautical Design Award.

The Monte Carlo Yachts 76 has won more awards in the last two years than any other motoryacht we can remember. Making this even more remarkable is that Monte Carlo Yachts owned by the Beneteau Group is a new endeavor, with plans to build a full line of motoryachts over 60' (18.28 m). Making her particularly unique is the fact that her propulsion system is twin 4000 ZF pods with joystick.  Last fall we flew to Cannes to test this motoryacht and to see what all of the excitement was about.  We can only say that if you are in the market for a motoryacht this size, you must see the MCY 76 which will be at the Miami Boat Show next month.  In the meantime, get acquainted here...

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New Features Video

Doral 185 Sunquest:
Entry Level with Class Appeal

Doral 185 Sunquest
With such stiff competition in the 18' (5.49 m) sportboat market, Doral has no intention of sitting quietly on the sidelines with a "me-too" boat.  The Doral 185 has to be seen.

There's a lot of class in every corner of the Doral 185, but that's probably not the correct way to put it, mostly because corners are nowhere to be seen on this boat. Rather, she has delicate rounded edges and curving bench seat backs that are just so much more pleasing to the eye, and comfortable for that matter. Even when sitting on the swim platform your back rests in comfortable curves. Of course we've come to expect this sort of thing from Doral, so it's nice to see they can still deliver the goods even on one of its smallest boats.  More...

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New Interior Video

Cruisers Yachts 540 Sports Coupe:
More Room and Economy with Triple IPS

Cruisers Yachts 540 Sports Coupe
You would think that with three engines, this boat would be burning 50% more fuel than a twin installation, but our tests show that this isn't the case. In fact, the 540 actually burns less fuel with a triple IPS system than with large twin engines.

Here is a sports coupe that truly exemplifies what we think this class of boat should be. She has outstanding entertaining capabilities and her living areas are as functional as they are elegant. The aft master stateroom runs full beam, and the guest VIP can be ordered with an island queen, or twin berths. It all comes with the trademark Cruisers Yachts' high headroom both above and below decks.  And, did we say she is big?   Welcome aboard the 540 Sports Coupe...

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Captain's Report

Intrepid 245 CC:
Like Sinatra: Have it Your Way

Intrepid 245 CC
At 25'3" (7.87 m) LOA with an 8'6" (2.6 m) beam, this 245 is the smallest boat Intrepid builds, but she has the same attention to detail as the biggest.

If you're in the market for a midsized center console, then brace yourself for an onslaught of choices. How can you separate one from another? It's all in knowing how to look at what you're seeing -- and what can't be seen. With the Intrepid 245 CC you'll find a lot more than meets the eye. A completely vacuum bagged hull, thermal imaging of the laminate for exacting quality control, and a stunning amount of options including hull-side dive door and electrically actuated chaise lounge V-seats. Oh yes, there is something else: Your Intrepid 245 CC will be literally one of a kind… built one at a time. And that's just the start...

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Test Video

Beneteau Flyer Gran Turismo 38:
The Air Step Difference

Beneteau Flyer Gran Turismo 38
With the Beneteau colors flying from the staff, the Gran Turismo 38 cuts a sharp profile during our tests on the French Riviera.

What started out as a simple test, turned into an eye-opening experience on the Flyer Gran Turismo 38. As soon as we hit the throttles, it was evident that this boat was handling differently than we projected. Times to plane were quicker than anticipated, wave penetration was better, and turns were much tighter than what we've come to expect from express cruisers in this class. When we got back to the dock, one question from the company rep brought it all home… "What do you think of the Air Step hull?" Let us tell you what we think…

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New Launch

Ocean Yachts 37 Express:
A Natural Evolution

Ocean Yachts 37 Express
You can get the Ocean Yachts 37 Express with an optional tower, shown here.

For a company well known for making large sportfish convertibles from 42’ to 73’, the idea of transitioning into the express fish market is a natural evolution for meeting a broader customer base. In the case of the 37 Express, Ocean Yachts turned to its popular 37 Billfish hull as the basis for the new topside layout. Aside from dropping almost 1,000 lbs (453.6 kg) from the dry weight, much of the remaining dimensions are unchanged from the popular hardtop.  More...

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Test Video

Jeanneau NC11:
Is This 35-footer a Game Changer?

Jeanneau NC11
Our features walkthrough of the NC11 showed the world a boat that was full of innovations and versatility from one end to the other. Now we put her to the test and see how she's got more than just a pretty face and a clever interior.

Here's a boat that looks like a day cruiser, but has the features for long-range coastal cruising. Her low profile will serve her equally well on the canals of Europe, or the Great Loop of North America. On our sea trial we demonstrate some of the handling versatility that make this such an attractive prospect for a cruising couple, and one of those attributes is always the ability to do everything single-handed. Of course we brought the cameras along...

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Captain's Report

Manitou 27 Platinum SES:
Upscale Pontooning

Manitou 27 Platinum SES
It may not be priced for everyone, but for a select group of discriminating buyers, this is one serious pontoon boat with a patented hull to boot.

If you're operating in protected waters and have a lot of friends, then a pontoon boat may be just the thing for you. If you want it to make a statement, then the Manitou 27 Platinum SES does just that.  For entertaining, she has standards and options that let you dial in for the type of partying you want to do. With a max 300-hp rating, loaded she'll still get up and go, so go ahead and drop a towline while everyone watches. In the meantime, let's dig a little deeper and see what else she brings to the party. More...

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Captain's Report

New Sea-Doo RXP-X 260:
Lean, Mean and High Tech

Sea-Doo RXP-X 260
We've never seen anything quite like the Sea-Doo RXP-X 260: she is packed full of new technical innovations in a design that speaks for itself.

The 2012 Sea-Doo RXP-X 260 looks to us like something designed for use by US Navy SEALs, complete with a new stealth design. With a radical rethinking of rider ergonomics, the T3 hull, and a long list of technological features this new Sea-Doo PWC is so hot she should probably be classified. To our mind the trifecta of most important innovations are her adjustable sponsons, Off Throttle Assisted Steering, and her Variable Trim System. And there is more. Read all about it...

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Captain's Report

Sea Ray 610 Sundancer:
Flagship of the Fleet

Sea Ray 610 Sundancer
The Sea Ray 610 Sundancer has an LOA of 61'6" (18.75 m), a beam of 16'9" (5.11 m), and weighs 60,200 lbs. (27,307 kgs.) which makes her truly a large yacht by anyone's reckoning.

Sea Ray builds 37 models ranging from its 185 Sport to its flagship you see above. For 2012 Sea Ray has packed this hardtop express cruiser full of amenities, many of which are often optional equipment on boats in her class. The Sea Ray 610 now comes standard with twin 1051-hp MAN CRM diesels with conventional drives, and we recently tested the boat to see exactly how the yacht performed. Take a look at the captain's report and test numbers...

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Test Video

Tahoe Q8 SSi:
Stylish and Affordable

Tahoe Q8 SSi
Our testing showed that this 21’8” (6.6 m) runabout powered by a 300-hp MerCruiser engine with a Bravo III averaged 54.3 mph.

There are a lot of features on the Tahoe Q8 SSi: We saw insulated coolers, dual wet-storage lockers at the swim platform, storage under both consoles… and a number of other details usually associated with more expensive boats.  Let's take a look at the video for a detailed walkthrough and full performance evaluation. More...

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Captain's Report

Tiara 3100 Coronet:
New Hardtop Option Added

Tiara 3100 Coronet
Standard twin Crusader 6.0L 375-hp gasoline engines power the 3100 Coronet to a top speed of 40 mph at 5298 rpm consuming 61.3 gph, according to performance figures provided by Tiara Yachts. Optional power, including diesel, is offered.

The big news for 2012 is the addition of an attractive-looking hardtop option on the Tiara 3100 Coronet. She has a sliding sunroof as well as an optional sun shade that extends aft over part of the cockpit. The 3100 Coronet was introduced by Tiara last season on the same proven hull as the popular 3100 Open sport yacht. While the Coronet’s layout, design, and amenities are focused more on entertaining and day-boating, the moderate-V hull is fully capable of offshore work. There is even a queen bed below for an occasional sleepover. More...

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Test Video

Nitro Z-7:
59.4 MPH with a 150-hp OB!

Nitro Z-7
The Nitro Z-7 is becoming the bass boat of choice for a growing number of anglers because of her performance, features and price.

At 18'8" (5.68 m) the Z-7 is a scaled down version of Nitro’s larger bass boat, the Z-9, and she is designed to meet the needs of bass anglers who don’t need the size nor the higher price tag that a bigger boat brings to the table. The Z-7 is 25 inches shorter and carries two inches less beam than the larger Z, otherwise she has virtually all of the fishing amenities of more expensive bass boats that seem out of step with the times. Take a look at our test and you'll see what an affordable bass boat can give you. More...

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Test Video

Yanmar 8LV-370:
Lightweight Workhorse

Yanmar 8LV-370
Weighing in at only 992 lbs (450 kg) the new 8LV may actually be the lightest in class, even when compared to gas engines.

Thanks to the relatively low weight-to-horsepower ratio, and the close comparison to V8 gas engines, we think that this newest offering from Yanmar will find a home in both new builds, and repowers. It can be connected to straight shafts, or Yanmar's big, new sterndrive lower unit. It's easily adapted to single or twin applications, and with CAN-BUS technology, you can add up to three stations, all with color multi-function displays. Today we put this powerhouse to the test in a single engine application of a 33'11" (10.34 m) boat weighing in at 12,950 lbs (5,874 kg) to see how it fares. More...


World's Best Water Hose? Shurhold Says No Kinks


Manufactured with patented NTS Reflex Mesh technology to eliminate kinks, twists and tangles, Shurhold adds yet another product into the world of keeping our boats looking great. Holding true to their focus on technology, they have set the common hose squarely in their sights. Shurhold has taken the hose and tweaked it a bit, with Grip-Tite coupling for an easy, leak-free connection at the faucet. This 100% lead free hose is drinking water safe and available in three sizes of 25’, 50’ and 75’ with a diameter of 5/8''. It has a lifetime guarantee. Visit Shurhold to order...

Where in the World?

Picture of the Week

Picture of the Week
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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...

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Visit us on Facebook and "like" us to see the latest, plus some behind the scenes looks.

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Lesson of the Week

PWC Safety Tips - Part II

Lesson of the Week Smart Boating
PWCs are a lot of fun to drive, but you still need to be careful and know your boundaries if you’re a novice rider. Don’t let an inexperienced person go for a joy ride on your PWC.

This week Capt. Steve goes over five lessons and guidelines on operating a PWC and some rules to follow. It’s tempting to want to play around on the PWC and perform stunts and jump wakes, but don’t attempt this if you’re a novice since you can fall off, injure yourself coming off a wave, or hurt someone else. Also, just because your PWC looks like it can handle two or three riders it doesn’t mean it was designed to carry that weight. Follow the capacity plate for your PWC. 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

“Don't forget dear, you are scheduled to perform an appendectomy on Mrs. Demerol this morning at 9:00.” – F. Radcliffe

Second Place

“You were right. With the bigger boat I didn't even get a little bit sea sick.” – J. Miller

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On Here?

WIGOH 1/11/12

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