Formula 353 // Jeanneau Merry Fisher 855 // Grady-White 225 // 11 Reviews - 03/27/2013
BoatTEST Newsletter March 27, 2013 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter. Tests You Can Trust
- Formula 353 FAS³Tech
- Jeanneau Merry Fisher 855
- Everglades 230 DC
- Evinrude E-TEC 150
- Grady-White Freedom 225
- Monte Carlo Yachts 76
- Sun Tracker Party Hut 30
- Intrepid 475 Sport Yacht
- Tahoe Q5 SF
- Nitro Z-9
- Yamaha AR192
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Formula 353 FAS³Tech:
Now with Ilmor
Twin 570-hp Engines

Formula 353 FAS³Tech
At 35’3” (10.74 m) LOA this 353 FAS³Tech is big, but she’s still surprisingly easy to handle.

The name Ilmor has been part of recreational and performance boating for over a decade, and now it has teamed up with Formula. To commemorate the event, Formula created all new graphics to signal that Formula 353 FAS³Tech means business. Before we test her performance, let’s take a look onboard and see what’s new. More...

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Captain's Report

Jeanneau Merry Fisher 855:
An Innovative 28' Outboard Cruiser

Jeanneau Merry Fisher 855
With a LOA of 28’6” (8.72 m) and a beam of 9’8” (2.99 m) the Merry Fisher 855 is a retro concept in a modern design.

The Merry Fisher 855 has two staterooms and can accommodate still a third couple on the convertible dinette. In fact, its seating converts to multiple positions for navigating and entertaining. The cockpit expands and optional seats are offered. She can be powered by either single or twin outboards. More...

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Captain's Report

Everglades 230 DC:
The Dual Console Trend Picks Up Steam

Everglades 230 DC
The powder-coated aluminum towing arch with Bimini is one of many standards on the Everglades 230 DC. Note the retro windshield frame with thick side mullions but no header across the top of the windshield.

The 230 DC is Everglades' first and – so far – only dual console. For those who are not familiar with the Everglades brand, which is just 12 years old, it is generally regarded to be one of the very best in class. Significantly, the company is jumping on the trend to family-oriented, multi-purpose dual console boats. The 230 DC is loaded with standard equipment and amenities. Of course, being an Everglades, she is not cheap. More...

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Test Video

Evinrude E-TEC 150:
Advantages of the Evinrude E-TEC 2-Stroke

Evinrude E-TEC 150
In this video we take a look at the features of the Evinrude E-TEC 150 that directly affect boaters and the boating experience.

This 2-stroke Evinrude E-TEC 150 has one of the best power-to-weight ratios in class. At only 418 lbs (190 kg) competing 4-strokes can’t even come close. Add to the mix the fact that it has nearly 200 fewer moving parts, no maintenance for 300 hours, auto-fogging, and no break-in period -- it all adds up to a compelling alternative. Now let’s take a close look at the details. More...

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Snapshot Review

Grady-White Freedom 225:
Just One of 9 Grady-White Dual Consoles

Grady-White Freedom 225
This publicity photo of the Grady-White Freedom 225 dual console shows in a snap the versatility and utility of this all-purpose boat. Even Fido has a place to stand.

Grady-White started building dual console boats over 30 years ago and now has a 9-model line stretching from 19' to 37' (5.79 to 11.27 m). The Grady-White Freedom 225 is a good example of a boat with strong fishing DNA that has been configured as a general utility boat that can do most anything. With a strong suggestion of the Rybovich sheer, even from a long distance away there is no doubt that the 225 is a Grady-White. Learn more...

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Features Video

Monte Carlo Yachts 76:
World-Class Yacht for the Planet

Monte Carlo Yachts 76
With an 18'6" (5.65 m) beam, the Monte Carlo Yachts 76 has the interior room to accommodate three or four staterooms each with its own head. This is an ideal arrangement for boats in the lucrative Mediterranean charter trade.

The Monte Carlo Yachts 76 has captured the imagination of many new motoryacht buyers and spawned two smaller sisters -- the Monte Carlo Yachts 65 and 70. Her sweeping lines are both pleasing to our eye and distinctive, setting her apart from virtually all others in class. Perhaps that is why the state-of-the-art factory in Trieste, Italy is back-ordered on this model. In this case, beauty is more than skin deep. See why...

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Captain's Report

Sun Tracker Party Hut 30:
Like a Double-Decker London Bus

Sun Tracker Party Hut 30
The Sun Tracker Party Hut 30 has a length overall of 31'2" (9.5 m) and a beam of 8'6" (2.59 m). Power options range from 115 to 150-hp.

The Sun Tracker Party Hut 30 is a solution for those who are plagued by constantly needing a larger boat and have neither the dock space, nor the funds to buy a larger one. By adding space on a second deck -- much like a London double-decker bus -- this Party Hut 30 is able to accommodate more crowds, more entertaining, and more fun on the water in the same space as a 31’ (9.5 m) boat. See more...

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Features Video

Intrepid 475 Sport Yacht:
Custom-Built for Discerning Buyers

Intrepid 475 Sport Yacht
Because she's powered by outboards, the Intrepid 475 Sport Yacht is able to provide much more interior space.

Intrepid powerboats are among the most upscale in the world. As such, we’ve come to expect a lot of innovation and originality in its designs and this 475 Sport Yacht delivers in spades. Because she’s outboard powered, Intrepid has opened up room both above and below decks, and provides two private staterooms with an option for a third. Intrepid even manages to create one of the strongest boats in the industry by incorporating the cabin components into the structural design. And it’s all completely customizable. More...

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Captain's Report

Tahoe Q5 SF:
Affordable Ski & Fish Package

Tahoe Q5 SF
The Tahoe Q5 SF was designed as a family sportboat that combines comfort, features, and styling in an affordable.

The Tahoe Q5 is offered as an all-sport version and a sport-and-fishing version, which we review today. As is customary with a boat in this class, there is a modest list of items dedicated to fishing while still serving the purpose. And when it's time for family boating, the Q5 does well with storage, functionality, and insulated spaces for keeping the food and drinks cold instead of holding fish. More...

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Test Video

Nitro Z-9:
Tournament Level Bass Boat

Nitro Z-9
The Nitro Z-9 tested with a top speed of 71.1 mph and a 189 mile range at that speed.

Generally bass boats all have the same basic overall design with casting decks fore and aft and seating in the middle. The big difference between these boats, then, comes in the handling, durability, amenities and price. With the Z-9 being a proven workhorse on the tournament circuit, clearly this is a builder that understands what it takes to compete. Let's take a test ride and see what the Nitro Z-9 is made of. More...

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Test Video

Yamaha AR192:
With a Supercharged Single Engine

Yamaha AR192
The “192” stands for 19'2" (5.84 m) LOA. She's powered by a single, super high output 1.8 L marine engine.

At first we thought the AR192 might be an entry-level boat, but Yamaha's attention to detail provides a feeling of professional execution that we don't normally expect to see in the lower price range. And don’t doubt her performance for a minute: the single 1.8 L supercharged engine brought us to a top speed of 40.6 mph that provided enough power to solidify this boat’s reputation as a vigorous watersports platform. It all comes through in our full test review. More...

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Where in the World?

Picture of the Week

Picture of the Week
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See the larger picture, when and who took it -- and where!

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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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Lesson of the Week

Boating Under the Influence

Capt. Steve Smart Boating Cover
Capt. Steve says don’t drink and operate a boat – it’s not worth it!

This week’s lesson from Captain Steve is straightforward and should go without saying – operating a boat under the influence is a local, state, and federal crime. Captain Steve goes over your responsibilities as captain – to other boaters on the water, to your passengers, and to yourself. He will explain what the parameters are to be considered boating under the influence. The four videos presented this week are part of's USCG-approved boating course. Watch Captain Steve’s 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

"Carnival Cruise Lines newest ship. They just want to make sure they can fly the passengers home if things go awry!"
- J. Shearin

Second Place

"You may laugh, but those jets sure beat sterndrives, shaftdrives, or pods in really skinny water." - D. Clerk

Third Place

"...also passengers, since we never leave the water, you don't have to listen to that repetitive and disturbing message about a water landing..." - M. Mckinney

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 03/27/2013

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