Sea Fox 216 // Malibu 24 // Manitou 27 // Wellcraft 35 - 03/06/2013
BoatTEST Newsletter March 6, 2013 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter. Tests You Can Trust
- Volvo Penta EVC-E
- Sea Fox 216 Traveler
- Manitou 27 Platinum SES
- Bayliner 195 Bowrider
- Mercury Joystick Piloting
- Chaparral 277 SSX
- Hatteras GT54
- Cruisers Sport Series 298
- Malibu Wakesetter 24 MXZ
- Sea Ray Quiet Ride
- Wellcraft 35 Scarab Sport
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Volvo Penta EVC-E:
The Next Gen of Controllability

Volvo Penta EVC-E
We’ve been big fans of Volvo Penta’s EVC for years and now it’s gotten even better.

EVC or Electronic Vessel Control has been around for nearly a decade, but this latest version brings some new features to the wheelhouse. The display unit has been enhanced and offers more screens and easier navigation through the sub-menus. Integration with autopilots has been improved and now just the push of a button allows for the instant implementation of search patterns, each with its own sub-menu. Keyless start/stop has been added along with many other valuable features. Full test and review...

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Captain's Report

Sea Fox 216 Traveler:
Family-Friendly and Affordable

Sea Fox 216DC
The Sea Fox 216 Traveler is a straightforward boat that can be used by the whole family.

Over the last several years Sea Fox has earned a well-deserved reputation for building what its management likes to call "a balanced alternative" in terms of being well-designed and well-built, while also being competitively priced. We think the 216 Traveler represents a good combination of fishboat and family runabout and her relatively high topsides make her drier in sloppy conditions. More...

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Captain's Report

Manitou 27 Platinum SES:
A Premium-Quality Tri-Toon

Manitou 27 Platinum SES
The triple V-TOON pontoons were designed to improve performance and handling and earned Manitou a U.S. patent.

Manitou's 27 Platinum SES combines top-tier features with good performance. Her triple tubes give her sporty handling characteristics, and she is rated to carry up to 300-hp. Her long list of features and options allows owners to dial in exactly the level of comfort they're looking for. For the discriminating buyer who wants a premium-quality toon that makes a statement, the Manitou 27 SES should be considered. Full report...

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Video Review

Bayliner 195 Bowrider:
Entry-Level and Economical

Bayliner 195 Bowrider
The Bayliner 195 Bowrider has a length overall of 19'5" (5.93 m), a beam of 7'11" (2.41 m) and a draft of 2’11" (.99 m), so she not only stores easily in the garage, but can be trailered by a mid-size vehicle.

Bayliner's 195 Bowrider was designed to ensure that those starting out will clearly get the message that boating can be affordable and safe in addition to being fun. We think the 195 Bowrider should be a serious candidate for virtually all entry-level buyers. More...

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New Video

Mercury Joystick Piloting:
Tested for Precision and Control

Mercury Joystick Piloting
Mercury's Joystick Piloting for outboards is a new system that has evolved from the Zeus and Axius joystick systems and provides boaters with a new level of control and maneuverability with larger outboard boats.

During our recent test of the Joystick Piloting system for Outboards by Mercury Marine, we found two important characteristics: the precision with which the software operated and the overall high level of control. Although experienced boaters are able to maneuver their multi-engine outboard powered boats with a relative degree of control, the Joystick Piloting system, with its independently articulating engines, makes boat handling and docking precise, easy and fast. Our test also showed us several other attributes that make this system one that will positively impact the boating experience for people wanting to move up to larger outboard powered boats. Full test and review...

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Test Video

Chaparral 277 SSX:
50 MPH Bowrider

Chaparral 277 SSX
This Chaparral 277 SSX reached a top speed of 50 mph powered by a single, 8.2 380-hp Mercury sterndrive.

Chaparral may have opened the doors to some interesting innovations on its 277 SSX but we think the real story is in her performance and handling. This model seems to show that the bottom shape has been tweaked for the better as she turns as if on rails, showing no signs of chine walking or a tendency to fall off the turn.  And she is fast.  More...

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Test Video

Hatteras GT54:
Impressive Range at Best Cruise

Hatteras GT54
At 53’10” (16.41 m) LOA and 17’3” (5.27 m) of beam, the Hatteras GT54 is a wide open and spacious cruiser for fishing and extended cruising.

The Hatteras GT54 was made to be an uncompromising cruiser providing a comfortable ride for both cruising yachtsmen and anglers alike. We think she’s an excellent example of the strength and seaworthiness that we’ve come to expect from this premium brand. She also has the legs to carry her owners well beyond the horizon with a best cruise range of 428 statute miles. More...

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Test Video

Cruisers Sport Series 298 Bow Rider:
Noteable Single-Engine Performance

Cruisers Sports Series 298 Bow Rider
The 298 BR has a LOA of 29’ (8.84 m) and a beam of 8’6” (2.59 m). At best cruise she’ll go on for 147 miles while maintaining a 10% reserve.

Some may think that a big bowrider weighing just over 6,000 lbs (2730 kgs) should have twin engines as a standard feature, but our tests on the Cruisers Sport Series 298 Bow Rider told us a different story. With a single MerCruiser 320-hp 377 MAG our test recorded a top speed of 47.9 mph (77.1 kph). That tells us that she’s more than a big boat with a luxurious ride and plenty of upscale features -- she also has impressive performance with a single engine. More...

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Snapshot Review

Malibu Wakesetter 24 MXZ:
Seats 18 to Watch Wake Action

Malibu Wakesetter 24 MXZ
All-new for 2013, this Malibu Wakesetter 24 MXZ measures 24’5” (7.44 m) and can handle 1,450 lbs (658 kgs) of hard-tank ballast.

Building off the huge success of last year’s popular 22 MXZ, this all-new Wakesetter 24 MXZ proves that bigger really is better in wakeboats. With seating for 18, there are no worries about having to leave anyone sitting on the sidelines while the action is on the water. The optional "Surf Gate" feature is revolutionary and allows surfing on either side of an evenly-weighted vessel. Find out more...

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Test Video

Sea Ray “Quiet Ride”:
The Technology of Noise Reduction

Sea Ray Quiet Ride
By reducing noise levels in its boats, Sea Ray has also reduced operator fatigue.

Engine noise is possibly the biggest annoyance all boaters must endure. It generates operator fatigue, makes conversation difficult, and pollutes the serene atmosphere. That’s why our tests all include sound level readings, typically taken from the helm. Recently however, Sea Ray has decided to deal with the noise problem head-on. With proprietary technology and clever design schemes, Sea Ray has managed to create a process it calls "Quiet Ride" technology and our tests have validated that it works. More...

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Captain's Report

Wellcraft 35 Scarab Sport:
For Comfortable Family Fishing

Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX
The Wellcraft 35 Scarab Sport has a LOA of 35’4” (10.76 m) and with a 23-degree deadrise she’s clearly built for long offshore runs.

By boosting the beam of its offshore Scarab race boat hull to 9'11" (3.02 m) and creating a cuddy, Wellcraft's 35 Scarab Sport combines the good qualities of an offshore center console with those of a cuddy-cabin cruiser. That makes her a serious fishing boat that's also fine for family outings. Wellcraft offers her with triple 300s or twin 350s. More...

Request a brochure Factory price quote
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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.

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4-DVD Box Set
Boating Course

Smart Boating
Imagine if they had watched it!
Now is the time to discover how much you’ve forgotten, and how much you never realized you didn’t know. All from the comfort of your living room.

Picture yourself taking friends or family on a three-hour cruise and suddenly the weather started getting rough! Would you know what to do?’s video boating course will make sure you do, and more. Based on the feedback we’ve been getting this course is clearly not only for beginners, but for veteran boaters as well. It's the most complete boating video 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

Correct Nautical Terms Avoid Confusion

Capt. Steve Smart Boating Cover
Capt. Steve will have you speaking like Captain Kidd in no time.

In this week’s lessons Captain Steve goes over basic nautical terms of boating. He will take you through terminology that will make any new boater seem like an old salt. The seven videos presented this week are part of Captain Steve’s USCG-approved boating course. Watch these videos every week on and become an armchair expert.

To view this week’s lessons --

Order all lessons on DVD--

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Ducky Award

Ducky Winner

First Place

"With our new camouflage, we expect greater success in our hunt for icebergs!" - G. Ford

Second Place

"Bernie's assets are indeed frozen."
- B. Davis

Third Place

"Saved a ton of money not shrink wrapping." - T. Linson

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WIGOH 03/06/2013

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