Cobalt 323 // Grady-White 335 // Grand Banks 46 // Azimut 60 // 12 Reviews - 04/10/2013
BoatTEST Newsletter April 10, 2013 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter. Tests You Can Trust
- Boston Whaler 270
- Azimut 60
- Mercury 8.2
- Sea Ray 260 Sundeck
- Grand Banks Eastbay 46
- Manitou 23 Oasis SR VP
- Grady-White Freedom 335
- Chaparral 257 SSX
- Formula 350 CBR
- Jeanneau NC11
- Cobalt 323
- Yamaha SX192
- Beneteau Swift 50
- Shurhold 101
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

New Boston Whaler
270 Dauntless:
Largest Boat in the Series

Boston Whaler 270 Dauntless
The 270 is the largest of the Dauntless series with an LOA of 27'4" (8.33 m) and a beam of 9’ (2.74 m).

The all-new 270 Dauntless builds upon the multi-functional Dauntless family allowing for everything from inshore fishing runs to entertaining, to watersports -- and doing it all in a modern, sleek center console. Her increased size allows for the addition of more amenities that we think will truly make her the most desirable of the Dauntless lineup. More...

Request digital brochure

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Captain's Report

Azimut 60:
For High-Style Entertaining

Azimut 60
The Azimut 60 has an LOA of 60'2" (18.36 m), a hull length, including the swim platform of 58'5" (17.81 m), a beam of 16'3" (4.95 m) and draws 4'6" (1.36 m).

The 60 falls roughly in the middle of Azimut's 13-model flying bridge motoryacht series that stretches from 43' to 100' (13.10 to 30.48 m). The builder's boats are constantly being updated and we think the Azimut 60 looks as attractive as ever to our eye. In many respects Azimut is responsible for the remarkable success of Italian production boat building in the motoryacht market and its designs have strongly influenced the whole industry for the last 20 years. Let's look at the 60 Flybridge...

Ask a question about this yacht

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Captain's Report

Mercury's Gen II 8.2 L MAG Engine:
Boating's 800-Lb.* Gas Gorilla

Mercury 8.2 L MAG
*Actually, the Mercury Gen II 8.2 L engine weighs even more than the legendary African silverback which can sit anywhere it wants -- the 8.2 tips the scale at 1122 lbs. (509 kgs.) without the lower unit. And like our furry friend, this engine is the biggest, meanest block of iron in the neighborhood.

Last year Mercury Marine introduced the Gen II version of its popular 8.2 L MAG and at the same time dedicated itself to continue delivering the muscle that the marine industry has long been used to -- and needs. While the block's maker -- GM -- has discontinued this engine in its light trucks and big SUVs due to new U.S. government fuel economy requirements, it continues making the bare block for Mercury Marine. When the 8.2 was introduced in 2010 it was a big improvement over the old 8.1, and now the new model has gotten even better. Find out more about the iron gorilla...

Ask a repower question

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Test Video

Sea Ray 260 Sundeck:
Yanking and Banking a Sundeck

Sea Ray 260 Sundeck
There’s plenty of open space on this Sea Ray 260 Sundeck with 26’4” LOA and
an 8’6” (2.59 m) beam.

Sea Ray created the 260 Sundeck to accommodate owners with a lot of friends. She falls into a fine area between sportboat and deckboat and serves equally well as an entertainment and watersports platform. With a 300-hp 350 MAG engine we topped out at 46.9 mph and at best cruise she can go for 186 miles on only 65 gal (246 L) of fuel. Let's take a look at our full review video...

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Captain's Report

Grand Banks Eastbay 46 SX:
New Wrinkle in a Traditional Design

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 using this system, Grand Banks has increased the room for accommodations.  Combine those two elements with the impeccable fit-and-finish Grand Banks is known for and she becomes a compelling option. Let's take a look...

Request factory pricing

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Captain's Report

Manitou 23 Oasis SR VP:
8 Seating Areas

Manitou 23 Oasis SR VP
The 23 Oasis SR has a little bit of everything and should make a popular cruising boat and a watersports attraction.

Manitou's Oasis VP offers one of the most diverse seating options in a pontoon boat, and this is her most distinguishing feature. There are eight main seating arrangements, with several converting into multiple configurations ranging from recliner chair to full sun lounger. Boaters choose pontoon boats for their space, and the 23 Oasis SR does not disappoint. The simulated teak aft end design also adds a bit of class to what is generally considered to be a top-tier brand. Explore more of the model...

Request to get on board

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Snapshot Review

Grady-White Freedom 335:
A New Look From Grady-White

Grady-White Freedom 335
The big story about the Grady-White Freedom 335 is how she looks both inside and out, as well as the practical amenities included as standard that make this dual cabin craft an "All-Purpose" boat. Yes, that is an optional two-tone hull on a Grady-White.

There are many important things to consider when buying a boat, and for many buyers the most important thing is how the boat looks. With today’s Grady-Whites, boat buyers can have it all.  For those who have not yet seen the Grady-White Freedom 335, introduced last year, we have a treat in store. She is as modern and as tricked-out with amenities as they come, but perhaps more importantly she has a new look both inside and out which signals a sea-change in approach from the folks in Greenville, N.C. More...

Request a sea trial Ask a question  

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Test Video

Chaparral 257 SSX:
She Has More Than a Pretty Face

Chaparral 257 SSX
Top speed in our test boat was 53.6 mph with a range of 203 miles at best cruise.

Chaparral created the 257 SSX to add luxury features to a stylish sportboat. Her interior is certainly comfortable, and the numbers give a big clue to her overall performance. With her rack and pinion steering her handling was glass smooth. She turns on a dime without any tendency to chine walk and can clearly accommodate loads of people and still have power left over for still another at the end of the towline. More...

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Test Video

Formula 350 Crossover Bowrider:
For Hot Days and Cool Nights

Formula 350 Crossover Bowrider
The Formula 350 Crossover Bowrider has the best of both worlds for day boating
and overnight fun.

Formula has come up with a combination of cruiser and bowrider and made it as upscale as any other boat in the Formula family. We found the 350 Crossover Bowrider comfortable to be on, and well laid out for an overnighting couple. We tested her performance to see if she rises to the usual Formula standards that we’ve come to expect. See us put the Formula 350 Crossover Bowrider through her paces...

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Test Video

Jeanneau NC11:
Designed for the Cruising Couple

Jeanneau NC11
Virtually everything in the 35'7'' (10.85 m) NC11 can be used for more than one function -- that is the "New Concept".

At first glance the Jeanneau NC11 seems like an average cruising boat. But step aboard and start experiencing the versatility that this cruiser has to offer, and she’s quick to impress. One of the focus points of our full test video is how easily she can be operated by a short-handed crew, an important factor for some cruising couples. Let’s take a look and see how our captain does it. Learn more...

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Captain's Report

Cobalt 323:
Wouldn't She Be Wonderful?

Cobalt 323
This is the latest iteration of the Cobalt 323, a boat that has always had a lot going for it.

Cobalt has a long and rich history of creating premium boats and the 323 is no exception. She's a classy day boat with room for overnighting and she's designed for use in both fresh and saltwater. With a base price of $257,930 powered by twin Volvo Penta 300-hp V8 gas engines with DuoProp drives, she is more boat than most people need but wouldn't she be wonderful to have just the same? More...

Request a brochure

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Test Video

Yamaha SX192:
Yamaha's Entry-Level Jet Boat

Yamaha SX192
The Yamaha SX192 comes in at a base price of just under $29,000, and there are no add-ons that potential customers need to worry about. She is sold as a complete package, including trailer.

Here's an instance where the term "entry-level" is a misnomer. This boat lacks for very little with a top speed of 50.6 mph -- and this on a single engine. Yamaha even includes amenities such as Cruise Assist and No Wake Mode. As for comfort, her 8' (2.44 m) beam carries well forward allowing more room to enjoy the time onboard up forward. Our full test and features walkthrough tells the whole story. More...

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Test Video

Beneteau Swift 50:
Making Living Aboard Easy

Beneteau Swift 50
With a LOA of 49’2” (14.99 m) and a beam of 15’3” (4.65 m) the Swift 50 fills a gap between the Swift 44 and 52.

What started out as a compromise between slow trawlers and fast sedan cruisers evolved into the Swift 50, a boat that does both missions well. At cruise speed, she’ll run between 14 kts and 22 kts without causing a significant fuel penalty. At displacement speeds, she can cruise between 540 and 770 miles before needing a drink. As for her layout, with three staterooms she can accommodate the family and grandkids. She’s perfectly suited for single-handed operations and is one of the most cost effective boats on the market in class. More...

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Shurhold Serious Shine:
101 Uses

Shurhold Serious Shine
Shurhold’s Serious Shine may have 101 uses, but this clip highlights some of the more common.

One of our test captains is so obsessive compulsive that he hasn’t met a boat he didn’t think needed cleaning, even when fresh from the factory. For him, a spray can of Serious Shine is like a breath of fresh air. It can be used anywhere and on anything, especially if it’s the type of item that has to have care and cleaning instructions shipped with it. Of course we mean isinglass curtains, touch screen plotters, and other delicates. For detailed product information, visit here...

Free Microfiber Towel with purchase of Serious Shine use coupon code btmf

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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

If Only They Had Watched’s
4-DVD Box Set
Boating Course

Smart Boating
Even the pros agree, the smart information in this course is perfect for every level of boater.'s 4-DVD video boating course is a painless way for newcomers to get up to speed, and old salts to remember all they have forgotten. It's the most complete boating video course available...period! Order here...

Watch the trailer...
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Lesson of the Week

Throwables, Navigation Lights
and Fire Extinguishers

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

USCG requires throwables (boats over 16’), navigational lights and fire extinguishers on all boats. This week Captain Steve walks the boater through these required safety devices. He will explain the requirements, and when it is time to replace this necessary and required equipment. The eleven short 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

"Leave it to the Aussies to try sailing directly into the wind." - M. Roche

Second Place

"The Pig in the Poke vacation winners."
- J. Finstuen

Third Place

"We were looking for a two masted boat, but I couldn't pass up the deal I got on this six masted one I found on Craig's List."
- E. Clark

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 04/10/2013

You write the caption! Will you win the coveted "Ducky Award" for best caption?

Simply fill in your caption and you may get lucky -- quack here.

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