Sea Ray 190 // Jeanneau NC14 // Austin Parker 42 // 11 Reviews - 03/20/2013
BoatTEST Newsletter March 20, 2013 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter. Tests You Can Trust
- Volvo Penta IPS600
- Jeanneau NC14
- Manitou 25 SES
- Austin Parker 42 Open
- Beneteau First 20
- Bayliner Cabinetry
- Chaparral 284 Sunesta
- Cruisers Sport Series 278
- Harris FloteBote Factory
- Meridian Yachts 441 SB
- Regal 2250 Cuddy
- Rampage 34
- Robalo R207
- Sea Ray 190 Sport
- Scout 187 Sportfish
- Shurhold Dual Action
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Volvo Penta IPS600:
Making Boating
Easier and Efficient

Volvo Penta IPS600
Volvo Penta’s IPS system consists of pods under the boat that independently articulate side to side which are controlled by the steering wheel as well as a joystick mounted at the helm or from a remote docking station for close quarters maneuvering.

Now over eight years old, the Volvo Penta IPS is a tried-and-true workhorse. Our tests have shown it to be far more efficient and maneuverable than the standard inboard systems it replaces. Why is the IPS600 only 435-hp? Because it’s so efficient as a system with the POD design, those 435 horses do the work of a 600-hp inboard, according to Volvo Penta. Couple that with joystick functionality and it’s easy to see how this has changed the way we go boating. More...

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New Captain's Report

Jeanneau NC14:
A 45' "Apartment" on the Water

Jeanneau NC14
The new NC14 has an LOA of 45' (13.73 m), an LWL of 39'2" (11.96 m), a beam of 13'5" (4.1 m), a draft of 3'5" (1.07 m), and is powered by twin Volvo Penta diesels, either IPS400 D4-300 hp or optional IPS500 D6-370 hp.

Following the success of the NC9 and NC11, Jeanneau is now introducing the NC14. The mission of this 45' boat as described by the builder is to be an "apartment on the water with terrace and sea view." Many of the innovations that we saw in the NC9 and NC11 are employed once again in this larger boat. More...

Jeanneau NC 14 Thumb Digital tour Request a brochure
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New Captain's Report

Manitou 25 SES:
4 New Entertainment Layouts

Manitou 25 SES
The Manitou 25 SES Platinum SHP is now available in four new layouts each designed to meet a customer's specific entertaining requirements.

Manitou recently introduced four new layouts for its 25 SES three-toon which specializes in being an entertainment platform. Now a full galley, a bar complete with table and stools, a convertible aft-facing bench seat which makes into a sun pad -- or all of the above -- are available on a mix-and-match basis. These new designs are available for both the VP (max 150-hp) and SHP (max 300-hp) models. Further, both models can be decked out in optional blue lights for night-time running, making this what might be the coolest boat of any type on the lake. More...

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New Captain's Report

Austin Parker 42 Open:
Downeast Express, Italian Style

Austin Parker 42 Open
The Austin Parker 42 Open is this Italian boat builder's version of the Downeast style.

In the late 1990s Austin Parker was one of the very first Italian yards to start building an express cruiser strongly inspired by classic Maine lobster boat designs. Today, the company builds 7 different models ranging from 36’ to 72’ (10.97 to 21.94 m), all with a strong family resemblance. The 42 Open is an express cruiser designed to be an elegant day boat or a versatile family cruiser and comes in both single stateroom or twin cabin layouts. More...

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New Captain's Report

Beneteau First 20:
More Than an Entry-Level Sailboat

Beneteau First 20
The new 20'6" (6.25 m) First 20 is intended for those boaters wanting to get back on the water again or for the first time.

From our point of view, Beneteau's new First 20 is a breath of fresh air to hit the "entry-level" sailboat market. She was designed by Finot Conq & Associates in France and her bottom shape and some of her attributes come right off the huge round-the-world racing boats the firm has designed. She has twin rudders, a square-top mainsail, and bottom shape that give her both speed and form stability. She is easy to sail and affordable. Isn't that what the doctor ordered? More...

Request digital brochure

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Factory Video

Inside Bayliner:
Wood and Cabinetry

Bayliner Factory
Christopher Hughes takes us on a tour of the Bayliner factory for a first-hand look at how cabinetry is assembled.

Today we take a trip to Knoxville, Tennessee and catch a tour in the Bayliner factory to see how the builder creates the interiors of the latest Bayliner boats. We get a first-hand look at how the components are prepped, treated, and assembled, and also see how problems are solved early in the process to eliminate the cascade effect further down the production line. More...

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Test Video

Chaparral 284 Sunesta:
A Premium Bowrider

Chaparral 284 Sunesta
The Chaparral 284 Sunesta tested out with a top speed of 49.1 mph (79 kph) and a best cruise range of 241 miles (387.9 km).

From the major details like Kevlar reinforced keels, to the small niceties like all-metal shower hoses that don’t kink, we think Chaparral does a fine job of boat building. Its boats cost more money, but it is easy to see where the money goes. Let’s take a look at how she handles and verify that she’s not all about the looks and quality, but the ride too. More...

Request factory pricing

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Test Video

Cruisers Sport Series 278 Bow Rider:
A New Premium Boat Brand

Cruisers Sport 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 decided to enter the realm of sportboats, some were skeptical, others were ecstatic. But both camps can now agree that between the fit-and-finish and the quality of materials used, this Cruisers Sport Series 278 Bow Rider resides firmly in the premium category of sportboats. We took this 27’ (8.23 m) model for a test ride and our full test video is ready for viewing, so let’s step aboard and see how she did. More...

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Factory Video

Harris FloteBote Factory Video:
A Look at the Build Process

Harris FloteBote Factory
Few things can tell a company's story better than a look inside the factory
to see how it’s all done.

Since Harris FloteBote is over 55 years old and one of the oldest builders of pontoon boats, it’s little wonder that its engineers have developed processes and components over the years that make its boats virtually impervious to normal abuse and punishment. Today we're going to look at some of the construction methods used by this company that has set its pontoon boats apart from the crowd. More...

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Test Video

Meridian Yachts 441 Sedan Bridge:
A Cost-Effective Cruiser

Meridian 441
Whether equipped with straight shafts or pods, the 441 Sedan Bridge can still be docked with
joystick functionality.

The Meridian 441 Sedan Bridge is now powered by optional Zeus pods making the step up to a real cruising boat an easier decision for neophytes. Our test boat was equipped with twin Zeus pods powered by Cummins 480-hp QSB engines. More...

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Features Video

Rampage 34 IPS:
A Winning Combination

Rampage 34 IPS
Rampage had a clear winner with the 34 Express. Adding IPS just made a
proven boat even better.

So how does Rampage take a proven winner -- like the Rampage 34 -- and make her better? Simple, add the benefits of IPS. Our tests show that virtually everything is improved from cruise performance to close quarters handling to backing down with a “fish on”. Let’s take a look at our features walkthrough and full test video and see the results of this winning combination. More...

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Test Video

Robalo R207:
Cost-Efficient Dual Console

Robalo R207
At 20’7” (6.55 m) the R207 has plenty of room whether the mission of the day calls for hauling fish over the rail, or hauling the kids around on a tube.

Robalo’s dual console crossover R207 serves as the smaller sibling to Robalo's three-boat dual console lineup right alongside the R227 and R247. We found her to be a safe boat with high topsides and a deep cockpit. She can handle up to a 200-hp engine and thanks to that test power and Robalo’s efficient hull design, we achieved impressive performance numbers. Let’s take a look in our full test video. More...

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Test Video

Sea Ray 190 Sport:
Entry-Level Size, Premium Styling

Sea Ray 190 Sport
The good looks and styling that we’ve come to expect from Sea Ray continue with this 190 Sport. The 19'8” (5.99 m) LOA make her a good starter boat.

Living on a secluded lake with size restrictions shouldn’t mean having to settle for a ho-hum boat. This Sea Ray 190 Sport has an impressive number of amenities and standard features including a color-matched painted trailer. Her standard 135-hp engine should be adequate unless serious watersports are planned with a crowd aboard. Otherwise opt up to 220-hp that our tests show will bring her to 53.2 mph. More...

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Captain's Report

Scout Boats 187 Sportfish:
Fishing Is in Her Genes

Scout Boats 187 Sportfish
Scout has offered the popular 187 Sportfish center console model for 18 years and it continues to be a top seller.

Scout Boats has the philosophy that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Nothing could be a better example of that than its 187 Sportfish. She was made to fish and she does it well. We found her to be loaded with thoughtful features, so clearly, she was ahead of her time. Find out what makes her a classic. More...

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Snapshot Review

Regal 2250 Cuddy:
For Beyond the Sunset Cruise

Regal 2250 Cuddy
The Regal 2250 Cuddy has a LOA of 22’2” (6.76 m) and a beam of 8’6” (2.59 m) making her trailerable as well as possible for overnights.

This Regal 2250 Cuddy combines an inviting layout that can accommodate 10 people. And, when the party is over, because she is a cuddy, the host and hostess can cast off the docklines and head off for some overnight alone time. Her 54-gallon (204.4 L) fuel capacity will allow for her to put some distance between the home port and a remote destination.  More...

Request factory pricing

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Shurhold Dual Action Polisher:
Take the Work Out of Hull Care

Shurhold Dual Action Polisher
We tested the Shurhold polisher to make sure she performed as advertised. She does!

Today we go over the features of Shurhold’s Dual Action Polisher and see why this may be the best choice when doing a job that typically takes a long time to accomplish. And when doing a job that takes time, it’s best to get it right the first time. That means using the right equipment. 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.

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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.

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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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

How to Prepare for Man Overboard

Capt. Steve Smart Boating Cover
If you see someone fall overboard, toss out a throwable device right away and keep your eyes on them at all times.

This week Capt. Steve goes over thirteen lessons and guidelines on how to be prepared for a man overboard emergency. Having practiced this drill ahead of time with your crew or passengers is important since MOB happens so quickly that people have very little time think about how to react. Learn how to pick someone up in the water and position the boat downwind, how to improve your chances of getting rescued, and how to treat someone for hypothermia once they’re back aboard. 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

"It's not quite cold fusion, but are the Man!" - D. Gibson

Second Place

"And your father said you were marrying an idiot!" - J. Mccauley

Third Place

"Go ahead, laugh if you want, but I just locked-in the Mid-Atlantic Region franchise for these babies." - R. Davis

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 03/20/2013

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