Scout 177 // Cypress Cay 230 // Riviera 53 // 11 Reviews - 03/13/2013
BoatTEST Newsletter March 13, 2013 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter. Tests You Can Trust
- Beneteau Swift 34
- Scout 177 Winyah
- Mercury 60-hp BigFoot
- Cypress Cay 230
- Evinrude Digital Controls
- Formula 270 SS
- Intrepid 327 CC
- Mako 184 Center Console
- MJM 36z
- Riviera 53
- Tigé Touch
- Shurhold Buff Magic
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Beneteau Swift 34:
We Survey the Boat

Beneteau Swift 34
At the end of her 6,500-mile Great Loop voyage's resident SAMS surveyor, Capt. John Wenz, gave her a thorough inspection.

When our team spent 16 days on board the Beneteau Swift 34 during part of her "Great Loop" journey, we had one question: What would the boat look like after being manhandled for over 6,500 miles by 12 different crews unfamiliar with the boat? How would she fair in a survey after that “test of time”? To find out we had one of our test captains -- who is also a certified surveyor -- conduct a video inspection after the trip. Start the survey here...

Ask a question about any Swift model.

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Updated Captain's Report

Scout 177 Winyah:
Four Different Models Are Offered

Scout 177 Winyah
Depending on the specific mission of the 177 Winyah, Scout has a model to fit the bill.

During our review of the Scout 177 one thing became perfectly obvious -- this builder focuses on the details of its small boats just as vigorously as it does on its larger models. When compared to other 17' shallow-water fishing rigs, the Scout 177 stands out with fine points such as the plush upholstered helm seat, the finish quality in areas that are hidden (sort of like Steve Jobs did with Apple products), and clever fishing features. More...

Request a brochure

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New Review

Mercury 60-hp EFI Bigfoot:
What Makes the "Bigfoot" Different?

Mercury 60-hp EFI Bigfoot
This 60-hp Bigfoot FourStroke weighs just 260 lbs (118 kg), uses SmartCraft technology, and can easily be adapted to remote steering or a tiller.

Mercury engineered the Bigfoot series to add more torque and power allowing the same horsepower engine the ability to do more work. Overall the engine is the same size, but some of the components are larger. For example, this 60-hp Bigfoot has the same gearcase as a 115-hp engine allowing it to turn a larger diameter prop. The specially designed anti-ventilation plate prevents surface air from being drawn into the prop for less slippage and better overall efficiency. But these are just the start of the differences and advantages. Today we take a video tour of the highlights of the 60 Bigfoot. More...

Ask a repower question.

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Captain's Report

Cypress Cay 230 Seabreeze Fish:
Fish Now, Cruise Later

Cypress Cay 230 Seabreeze Fish
The Cypress Cay 230 Seabreeze Fish has an LOA of 21’ (6.4 m) and a
trailerable 8'6" (2.59 m) beam.

The Cypress Cay 230 Seabreeze Fish started out life as a cruising boat, but instead of taking the easy route of adding some token fish gear in order to turn her into a Fish 'n Cruise toon, Cypress Cay went all out and made a dedicated conversion to a pontoon fishing boat. She can still be cruised on, but the family that has a fisherman in the house will certainly appreciate it much more. The full report...

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Video Review

Evinrude ICON:
Digital Controls for E-TEC Engines

Evinrude ICON
The real beauty of these controllers is that they're plug-and-play so adding additional control stations is just a matter of another wire run.

The days of having a long cable transfer from shift and throttle levers to the engine may not be gone for good, but they are definitely on their way out. It’s much more efficient to move the lever and have a wire carry a signal to a servo on the engine. Then, several things are possible: one controller can signal up to 5 engines, multiple control stations are as simple as running wires, and the controller itself can have lots of cool features that were simply not possible before. Today, we take a detailed look at how Evinrude's ICON works and what functions are available. More...

Ask a repower/digital controls question.

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Review Video

Formula 270 Sun Sport:
For Days or Nights on the Water

Formula 270 Sun Sport
With a LOA of 27’ (8.23 m), this Formula 270 Sun Sport can handle weekends away as easily as days trips.

Formula is no stranger to adding upscale features to its product line, and the 270 SS can easily transition from daytrips to overnights while keeping her sporty demeanor and first class treatments that make us nod our heads and say “yes, she's a Formula.” At the New York Boat Show we took a look at Formula's latest iteration of the 270 SS. See what we found...

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Factory Video

Intrepid Powerboats:
The Difference Is in the Build

Intrepid Powerboats
When a company makes what is arguably the world's best boats in class, it's expected that it does things a bit differently.

We’ve long been touting the differences in the way things are done at Intrepid Powerboats. This company makes some of the most sought-after boats in the world and they’re built to exacting standards. They cost more, but in this “you-get-what-you-pay-for” world that we live in, Intrepid has proven that there are people who still appreciate paying for top quality. And the fact that all Intrepids are sold factory-direct means that more of "what you pay for" goes into the build. Today we show what differentiates this company from most others. More...

Find out about a factory tour.

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Review Video

Mako 184 Center Console:
The Virtue of Keeping it Simple

Mako 184 Center Console
A center console fishing boat is inherently a very basic boat, indeed.
So, does she have the stones to get out and back safely?

Mako’s name has been synonymous with center consoles for decades now. Over the years they have proved that because they’re built tough they can take lots of punishment. After a day on the water they usually need little more than a garden hose for maintenance. This Mako 184 CC is an example of how this simple boat can be outfitted for getting the job done, while still staying easy and economical to operate. More...

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Test Video

MJM 36z:
A Yacht for Veteran Cruisers

MJM 36z
Part of the beauty of the MJM 36z is in her versatility to handle both the cruising couple and their occasional guests.

The MJM 36z is a cruising yacht specifically designed and purpose-built by veteran cruisers who know what ingredients a yacht like this needs. She can be a large entertainment platform as a day boat, but she can also go the distance, be a live-aboard, and be easily handled by a single person. Aside from her outstanding handling capabilities, her test numbers speak volumes about her design. More...

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Video Review

Riviera 53 Enclosed Flybridge:
Interior Room Is Her Mission

Riviera 53 Enclosed Flybridge
This 59’8” (18.2 m) LOA convertible is a lot bigger on the inside than most 53-footers on the market.

With so many gathering areas, and a roomy layout, we were all but convinced that the sum of the parts is more than the whole on this 59’8” (18.2 m) yacht. The enclosed flying bridge adds lots of extra living space without a commensurate increase in price. See what we mean...

Ask a question about this model.

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Video Review

Tigé Touch:
A Wakeboat Touchscreen Controller

Tigé Touch
Tigé Touch brings new levels of control to the both the wakeboarder and the driver of the boat.

"Tigé Touch" not only gives complete control of the boat's speed, but it also controls the ballast tanks, lights, tunes, bilge pumps, and a host of other goodies. That’s all well and good, but the question on our minds was… is it easy to use? Capt. Steve is pretty good at determining if something needs an owner’s manual attached to it or not, so we sent him in, with "no peeking" ahead of time, to find out if this controller is as easy to use as it is innovative. More...

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Shurhold Buffing Tip:
How to Remove Oxidation

Shurhold Buff Magic
With Buff Magic, a dual action polisher, and some other basic tools readily available, a boat’s shine can be restored to a like-new condition. Here’s how...

Boating season is approaching, at least for the poor folks in northern latitudes. Now is the time to start working on that shine. Shurhold has just the thing for removing last season’s oxidation and restore a showroom shine, and no professional help is needed. More...

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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.

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
We can even make these guys into smart boaters!
(Well, maybe not these guys.)
Now is the time to discover how much you’ve forgotten, and how much you never realized you didn’t know.

You’ve been sitting for most of the winter, admit it. Now it’s time for a boating fix. Put this DVD box set into your player and see how much you never knew. Even the professionals have learned more from this and refreshed what they’ve forgotten. 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...

Watch the trailer...
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Lesson of the Week

Negligent Boat Operation Is a Federal Crime

Capt. Steve Smart Boating Cover
Capt. Steve says if you boat smart you avoid all penalties of poor judgment!

In this week's lesson, Capt. Steve points out some examples of what boating negligence is and the penalties you may face. The obvious lesson here is that if you practice smart boating you avoid all penalties of poor judgment. There is also a helpful video on what to do if the authorities stop you. The videos presented this week are part of's USCG-approved boating course called “Smart Boating.” 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

"Come on kids! We're vacationing in Europe!" - R. Belanger

Second Place

"Found the problem! Water in the gas."
- B. Davis

Third Place

"Perfect. Now just drop the tailgate and I'll drive her in." - M. Latva

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 03/13/2013

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