New Bayliner 215 // Tahoe 195 // Cruisers SS 278 // 12 Tests & Reviews - 01/16/2013
BoatTEST Newsletter January 16, 2013 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter. Tests You Can Trust
- Bayliner 215 DB
- Mercury 300 HP Verado
- Cruisers Sport Series 278
- Intrepid 375 Center Console
- Sea Ray 250 SLX
- Jeanneau NC11
- Tigé Z Series
- Rampage 45 Convertible
- Southport 27 CC
- Tahoe 195
- Sun Tracker FB 20 DLX
- Cummins QSB 5.9
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

New Bayliner 215 DB:
Putting Sizzle in the Brand

Bayliner 215 DB
The Bayliner 215 DB sterndrive deckboat is a new model intended to give boaters more features and utility, as well as good performance.

Bayliner recently launched three new deckboat models and we think they could write a new chapter in the Bayliner saga. The new 215 DB has much more functionality than the boat it replaces and a full interior fiberglass liner. Equally as important, the new model has style as well. We think beef with sizzle is a winning combination. The boat also has a surprising number of innovations, plus several good design details we have been urging builders to incorporate for years. We tested this boat with the wind howling at 20 knots and a long fetch so we got insight into how she handles in conditions beyond her job description. See our in-depth look at the Bayliner 215 DB.  More...

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Engine Review

Mercury 300 HP Verado:
Enhanced Gear Case Option

Mercury 300 HP Verado
One of the two gear cases offered on the Mercury 300 HP is a new 5.44-inch unit.
This gear case was specifically designed to stand up to the rigors of offshore operation.

The team at Mercury has put years of research and development into the engineering of their Verado 300-hp outboard engine. Our testing of this supercharged inline six-cylinder engine has shown it to be powerful, smooth running, relatively quiet, and an engine deserving of placement in the top tier of outboard engines for the offshore market. In this report we are going to look at what we feel are the distinguishing features of this engine for saltwater, offshore work. More...

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New Test Video

Cruisers Sport Series 278 Bow Rider:
A New Brand is Born

Cruisers Sports Series 278 Bow Rider
Our tests showed a top speed of 49.3 mph and a best cruise range of 176 miles while still maintaining a 10% reserve.

When KCS International, Inc. decided to enter the realm of sportboats, it became perhaps the first big-boat builder to enter the small-boat field.  By doing so it brought its culture of fine fit-and-finish and high quality materials to the sportboat world.  The Cruisers Sport Series 278 Bow Rider leaves no doubt that this builder is serious about giving the premium category of sportboats a run for its money. We recently took this 27’ (8.23 m) model for a test ride and came back impressed with her handling, ride and performance. Our full test video is ready for viewing, so let’s step aboard and see how she did. More...

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Features Video

Intrepid 375 Center Console:
A Look at Two Different Versions

Intrepid 375 Center Console:
We had a top speed of 62 mph with outstanding handling qualities.
The 375 is a serious offshore performer.

While Intrepid will be happy to customize the 375 in practically any manner desired, today we take a look at two versions, one for cruising comfort and one for tournament sportfishing.  Intrepid sells factory-direct and that means customers can get exactly what they want in terms of customization and performance. More...

Ask a question Call the builder: 954-922-7544
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New Test Video

New Sea Ray 250 SLX:
Low Noise, High Performance

Sea Ray 250 SLX
Sea Ray took a whole new hull, built a premium bowrider and loaded her with upscale features.

Sea Ray’s SLX lineup represents the company’s launch into a premium build sportboat with comfort and style. This 250 SLX sits in the middle of the five-boat range and represents a good balance of size and features. One of the most notable differences in this boat was the new Quiet Ride technology that reduces sound levels significantly.  This is an important development which we think brings a new level of enjoyment to boating. We also found her performance to be on par with some of the best we’ve tested. More...

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Features Video

Jeanneau NC11:
An Innovative, New Concept

Jeanneau NC11
It's hard to narrow down what we like about the NC11 to a few simple sentences. It's a combination of all the unique attributes that give this boat so much utility.

The Jeanneau NC11 can be a very deceiving boat. At first glance she seems to be just a basic pilothouse design, but step aboard and explore her nuances and it starts to sink in that this boat is something different.… a new concept. And that is exactly where the initials “NC” come from. Join us on our features walk-through and see exactly what we mean. Bring as many friends as you'd like, there's plenty of room...

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Updated Series

Tigé Z Series:
The Art of Managing Water Flow

Tigé Z Series
With the Z series of wakeboats anyone can create the perfect wake for surfing or wakeboarding.

Last year Tigé came out with the Z3 and it took the industry by storm. The company had already wetted the appetite of the thrill seeker with the Z1, but there really was little comparison between these two boats. Once the Z3 had established herself as the “go to” boat for a premium wake, Tigé had little choice but to create an entirely new, and smaller version, and thus the Z1 was reborn. With little more in common between the old Z1 and the new, except that they both float, the Z series is now in a class by itself. More...

Read our review of the Tigé Z3.

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Interior Video

Rampage 45 Convertible:
A Look at the Cruise-Ability

Rampage 45 Convertible
The Rampage 45 is a beautifully-styled boat both inside and out and we think she is a good all-around boat for cruising and fishing.

Since more and more families are getting involved in boating, it makes sense that the boats are getting more and more involved with families. When something handles sea conditions so well it only makes sense to transfer that safety and comfort to a distant cruise with the family. But some interiors have gotten so elaborate that they seem to have more to do with raising the price than increasing functionality. Not so with the Rampage 45 Convertible. Here, Rampage seems to have found a welcome balance between features, function, and price. More...

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Captain's Report

Southport 27 CC:
For Discerning Buyers

Southport 27 CC
The Southport 27 CC has a LOA of 26’6” (8.1 m) and a beam of 9’6” (2.9 m).
She’s built to high standards which prices her accordingly.

The Southport 27 CC was designed to be a beautiful, seaworthy, no-holds-barred offshore center console for serious anglers without regard to price. For that reason she’s clearly not for everyone, but for the few with discriminating tastes, and the ability to afford her, this Southport 27 CC is in a rarified class. More...

Ask a question Request electronic brochure
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New Captain's Report

Tahoe 195:
A Deckboat Crossover

Tahoe 195
With a stated capacity of 8 persons, the Tahoe 195 is an affordable deckboat in a size that’s easy-to-trailer with any midsize tow vehicle.

Deckboats are popular because of their ability to provide a roomy layout. The Tahoe 195 goes one better by adding fishing features making her a family crossover between catching wakes and catching dinner. And at a package MSRP of $28,995 she has a compelling price. Let’s take a closer look. More...

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New Captain's Report

Sun Tracker
Fishin' Barge 20 DLX:
Enjoy the Slow Lane

Sun Tracker Fishin' Barge 20 DLX
The Sun Tracker Fishin' Barge 20 DLX has a LOA of 21’11” (6.68 m) and a beam of 8’6” (2.59 m). She has a capacity for 10 persons, but seating will be tight.

The Sun Tracker Fishin' Barge 20 DLX comes standard with a 20-hp four-stroke that will provide slow, calm trips across the lake and she has the amenities for relaxing on the hook. The 20 DLX makes an easy crossover from lounging to fishing with her standard features. “Catching” will be a secondary concern. She’s even wheelchair accessible. More...

Test Video

Cummins QSB 5.9:
What Makes It So Popular?

Cummins QSB5.9
The Cummins QSB 5.9 480 in-line 6 develops 480-hp at 3400 rpm and is one of the most popular marine diesels on the market.

It's no secret that for nearly 20 years Dodge Ram light trucks' success was because of its Cummins 5.9 L diesel which were specified in 75% of the units sold. For boat’s it’s equally popular, but mostly in twin applications. We recently had an opportunity to test it as a single, in two different boats. Now we can see how it handles on its own merits, on the water. More...

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!

Send us your favorite boating images.

When sending a photo, let us know when, where and what boat you were on.

Start the New Year Right’s
4-DVD Box Set
Boating Course

Smart Boating
Sometimes it's not what you know, but what you've forgotten. Our 4-DVD video covers it all.

Based on the feedback we’ve been getting about's 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 video course available.  Order here...

Watch the trailer...

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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

Preparing for an Emergency Situation

Capt. Steve Smart Boating Cover
If you hit something and are taking on water you must take decisive action quickly. Use whatever is available to help slow the flow of water going inside the boat while you wait for help to arrive.

This week Capt. Steve goes over five lessons and guidelines on emergency situations and what to do to help preserve life while you wait to be rescued. Everyone aboard will have to act quickly, and that’s why drills and practicing emergency situations with your family is important. This means everyone must first put their life jackets on. While someone calls for help on the radio, other crew use whatever they can to try and stop or slow the flow of water into the boat. Do not abandon ship! Rather, keep working to save it. Stay with the boat and get as far on top of it as you can until help arrives. The videos presented this week are part of’s Boating Course which is USCG-approved. Watch these video boating lessons every week on

To view this week’s lessons --

Order all lessons on DVD--

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Ducky Award

Ducky Winner

First Place

"This year's Tour de Wet Pants was free of scandal, but not of dopes." - D. Shepherd

Second Place

"If we can get one more person to join our sport, we will be accredited as an official Olympic event." - A. Timms

Third Place

"The easy way to get around in Venice..."
- T. Powell

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 01/16/2013

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