Triton 216 // Boston Whaler 270 // Hatteras 80 // 15 Reviews - 02/27/2013
BoatTEST Newsletter February 27, 2013 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter. Tests You Can Trust
- Chris-Craft Carina 21
- Hydrasports Custom 23
- Boston Whaler 270 Vantage
- Hatteras 80 Motor Yacht
- Triton 216 Fishunter
- Beneteau Sense 55
- Nitro 290 Sport
- Riviera 4400 SY
- Intrepid 245 Center Console
- Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18
- Tigé R20
- Yamaha Jet Drive Operation
- Sea Ray 370 Venture
- Absolute 64 STY
- Grand Banks Eastbay 46 SX
- Evinrude E-TEC 115
- Powertech Prop Solutions
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

New Chris-Craft Carina 21:
If Only Chris Smith Had Fiberglass!

Chris-Craft Carina 21
The new Chris-Craft Carina 21 comes standard with a Mercury 5.0 L 260-hp sterndrive and is covered with polyurethane "Dark Graphite" paint which is polished to a high sheen.

Chris-Craft continues its 1920s retro design theme with a new entry into its Launch Series of boats. This bowrider has a vertical bow which is reminiscent of many boats built out of wood in the Golden Age of boating, as well as having the brand's signature tumble home, reverse transom and rounded sheer. More...

Pricing request Request digital brochure
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Test Video

Hydrasports Custom 23 Bay:
Factory-Direct Custom Fishing Rig

Hydrasports Custom 23 Bay
Switching to factory-direct allows Hydrasports Custom to focus more on custom design, aesthetics, and features for their boaters.

Few companies have evolved to meet the needs of the market in the last two years better than the team at Hydrasports Custom. Their focus is custom, factory-direct fishing rigs. The Hydrasports Custom 23 Bay Bolt is a purpose-built boat built to take on skinny water and is customized with every possible fishing feature. We had more than a good time testing the first evolution of this rig and with a 300-hp hanging off the transom, we didn't exactly take our time getting to the testing grounds. More...

Request factory pricing Ask the builder a question
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New Features Video

Boston Whaler 270 Vantage:
Versatility Is Built Right In

Boston Whaler 270 Vantage
For fans of big dual console bowriders, Boston Whaler has a whole new model that measures 26’10” (8.18 m) LOA.

The new Boston Whaler 270 Vantage dual console is intended to be a boat for "all reasons", and thereby appeal to a wide range of boaters in both saltwater and freshwater locations. Her layout lends itself to handling large crowds with wide open space and upscale amenities.  We’ve just put the finishing touches on the features walkthrough video -- from a woman's point of view. Let's take a look...

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Captain's Report

Hatteras 80 Motor Yacht:
For Serious Cruisers Only

Hatteras 80 Motor Yacht
This Hatteras 80 Motor Yacht has a LOA of 79’10” (24.33 m) and a massive 21’3” (6.48 m) beam that accommodates four large ensuite staterooms.

The Hatteras 80 is designed and built for people with a desire for serious cruising to exotic destinations and spending lots of time aboard. She has four large staterooms so friends and family can enjoy cruising the islands. Each cabin has an ensuite head with separate shower stall. Top side there is a spacious "country kitchen" galley, a large saloon with an adjacent formal dining table, plus a warm and inviting aft deck. More...

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Captain's Report

Triton 216 Fishunter:
Attractive, Big-Water Dual Console

Triton 216 Fishhunter
The Triton 216 Fishunter is a versatile multi-species fiberglass fishing machine that is loaded with amenities and makes few compromises.

There are not many fiberglass multi-species fishboats on the market and this is one of the best-organized and fishing-friendly we have seen for serious anglers. She is not a crossover or a “Fish & Ski” boat, rather the 216 is designed for just what the boat’s names says – only fishing, all the time! She comes in a boat, motor and tandem-axle trailer package. The standard boat is loaded with fishing amenities and can handle big lakes as well as coastal bays and sounds. More...

Request factory price quote

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Test Video

Beneteau Sense 55:
Ease of Sailing and Many Options

Beneteau Sense 55
The Beneteau Sense 55 has a list of features and options that will allow any owner to order this boat just the way they like it. From sailing rig and mast options, to cockpit features and comfort items, the Sense series is one of the most versatile models available.

The Beneteau Sense 55 is a boat designed for sailors, by sailors, which means the cockpit and rig is set up so that she can be very easily single handed, and sailed effortlessly by a couple. Her generous cockpit is the perfect compromise for the sailor who is between a monohull and catamaran offering incredible stability and safety at sea. She is versatile and practical with convertible areas in every part of the 3 stateroom interior. Her private, comfortable layout is perfect for living aboard or entertaining friends. More...

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Captain's Report

Nitro 290 Sport:
Designed for Family Watersports

Nitro 290 Sport
The Nitro 290 Sport features the Rapid Planing System transom and a wide range of crossover features that will truly keep everyone in the family happy.

Normally we see builders of bowriders and watersports boats throw a crossover into the lineup by adding a few token fishing features, but here we see just the opposite. This time it's a company known for making bass boats and affordable fishing boats doing a crossover into the watersports category. And this time, she also has a lot more than the transitory fishing features we usually see in a crossover boat. Nitro seems to have created a good combination of features that will appeal to the whole family. Take a look at our full report...

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Captain's Report

Riviera 4400 SY:
Improving the Breed

Riviera 4400 SY
The Riviera 4400 SY has a LOA of 49'7" (15.12 m) and a beam of 15’ (4.58 m) making her a capable cruiser.

One thing that can be said about Riviera is that it strives to continually improve its lineup. By scouring the globe for customer feedback, the 4400 SY has evolved into what is now called Series II, and the changes make what was already a good boat, even better. She’s clearly a purpose-built cruising boat with a galley-up, so owners can spend the days on deck and nights below. But there’s much more to her features than that. See more...

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Captain's Report

Intrepid 245 Center Console:
Doing Nothing Halfway

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

Intrepid prides itself as builders of semi-custom boats that have the coolest boats on water in class. Unlike production boat builders, Intrepid will pretty much do whatever the customer wants. This 245 Center Console represents some of the company's best customization requests. So let's take a look and see what separates this Intrepid from the crowd. More...

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Captain's Report

Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX:
Let's Take the Family Fishing

Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX
The Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX has been redesigned from the deck up to provide fishing features in a family-oriented boat.

The name of this boat describes its mission: a pontoon boat that has specialized features for a relaxing day of fishing. With a 40-hp Mercury Bigfoot she is intended for more sedate running and since she's a pontoon she has the capacity to bring the entire gang together for what should be a tranquil day on the water. More...

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Test Video

Tigé R20:
High Performance Without High Cost

Tigé R20
The Tigé R20 not only makes wakes, but she can take them in stride as well. At best cruise, we calculated a range of 124 miles (200 km) at 27.8 mph (44.7 kph).

Tigé has a long list of performance boats that can take a wakeboarder/surfer all the way to the professional level. But some of us need to enter into the world of wakes with small steps. That’s where the Tigé R20 comes into play. She has all of the performance and build quality of the top-end boats, just not all the frills and options that drive the price up. More...

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Features Video

The Working of Jet Drives:
Why They Are So Safe

Yamaha Jet Drives
We use Yamaha boats as a representative example of how jet drives work and what makes them so safe.

While some of us may understand the concept of jet drives, others are of the mindset that if it says “jet” on the boat, then it must go 200+ mph and be for thrill-seekers only. The reality, however, is vastly different. These are actually among the safest boats on the water since the moving parts are all safely tucked in internal tubes and far away from swimmers feet and reboarding ladders. Today Capt. John gives us a video look at the workings of a typical jet drive boat and de-mystifies some of the rumors. More...

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Test Video

Sea Ray 370 Venture:
Outboard Versatility/Spacious Interior

Sea Ray 370 Venture
The new Sea Ray the 370 Venture sports a twin outboard power package.

The new Sea Ray 370 Venture is a boat that offers many welcomed surprises and advantages, one being her twin outboard engines configuration. Removing the engines from inside the hull allowed the Sea Ray team to use the interior space as never before in a cruiser of this size. Additionally, the overall noise has been significantly reduced by powering her with twin Verados. We put her through the paces in a full test to show what else we liked about this innovative new design. More...

Request factory price quote

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Captain's Report

Absolute 64 STY:
More Styling Options for Motoryachts

 Absolute 64 STY
The Absolute 64 STY is built in Northern Italy.

The team at Absolute approached the design of the 64 STY with a focus on purpose and function. From the multi-use bow, to her artfully blended flow from the aft deck to her salon, function and style come together forming a practical and pleasing motoryacht. What is not seen are the details and inner workings of this complex motoryacht that allow her to be so much more than fiberglass, engine iron, wood, fabric and electronics. When properly executed, the combination of components and craftsmanship give a motoryacht such as the Absolute 64 great value. Find out more in our snapshot review...

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Captain's Report

Grand Banks Eastbay 46 SX:
Tradition, Technology and Execution

Grand Banks Eastbay 46 SX
The Grand Banks Eastbay 46 SX looks traditional at first glance, but she offers far more than the eyes can see from the outside. Paired with Zeus POD drives and more interior room, this cruising boat has several other distinguishing features.

The Grand Banks Eastbay 46 SX is powered by CMD diesels with Zeus pod drives. By doing this, Grand Banks has increased the amount of room the design team had to work with inside the boat and, a lot of options for new cruising destinations. This design coupled with the control and maneuverability the Zeus joystick system, along with the impeccable fit and finish Grand Banks is known for makes the Eastbay 46 SX a versatile cruising boat many would long for. Let's take a look...

Request digital brochure Ask the builder a question
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Engine Video

Evinrude E-TEC 115:
Big Power in a Little Package

Evinrude E-TEC 115
In this video we take a look the Evinrude E-TEC 115's features that directly affect boaters and the boating experience.

We think the Evinrude's E-TEC 115 has a lot going for it. It has almost 200 fewer moving parts than a 4-stroke, a longer life span, much lower maintenance costs, and it's still in a small enough package that it's often seen as a logical upgrade from its younger sibling, the Evinrude E-TEC 90. While a lot of the features are only interesting to the gear-head types, there are many features that directly affect average boaters. Those are the features that we will go over today as we test this workhorse in two different boats.  More...


Propeller Problems:
It’s All About Geometry

Powertech Propellers
If the boat had lackluster performance last season, now is the time to find a solution for this season.

The problems have cropped up with all of us at one time or another. The bow seems too high on plane; it’s lethargic out of the hole; the engine can’t reach rated RPM levels; all of these, and many more problems are most likely caused by defects in the propeller(s). Our first go-to place when we have performance questions is PowerTech. Their team is not only courteous, but extremely knowledgeable and good humored. And -- they return phone calls! As it turns out, correcting a prop is the cheapest performance fix there is. 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.

Expert Boating’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

Requirements for Recreational Boaters:
Inflatable Life Jackets

Capt. Steve Smart Boating Cover
Capt. Steve explains requirements for all boaters.

This week Captain Steve examines inflatable life vests in detail. He walks you through the benefits of this type of vest and demonstrates how to check indicators, perform maintenance and how to manually inflate your vest. The videos presented this week are part of’s USCG-approved Boating Course. 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

"One of nature's most incredible and rarely witnessed events....the amazing birth of a ship and her crew." - M. Mckinney

Second Place

"Hey John, its your wife on the phone, wants to know if she should wear the blue or red dress tonight?" - S. Thompson

Third Place

""Bob for goodness sake, take that dumb orange life preserver off! We want people to think we are professional here."
- E. Lindberg

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On Here?

WIGOH 02/27/2013

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