Carolina Classic 28 // Beneteau Oceanis 55 // Mercury Verado 225 - 05/08/2013
BoatTEST Newsletter May 8, 2013 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter. Tests You Can Trust
- Monte Carlo Yachts 70
- Mercury Verado 225 HP
- Carolina Classic 28
- Beneteau Oceanis 55
- Boston Whaler 270
- Volvo Penta V8-380
- Cruisers Sport Series 238
- Formula 400 FX8
- Mako 184 Center Console
- Intrepid 375 Walk Around
- Manitou 25 SES
- Meridian Yachts 391 Sedan
- Nitro Z-7
- Robalo R180
- Yamaha VX Deluxe
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Monte Carlo Yachts 70:
Execution of Design and Styling

Monte Carlo Yachts 70
The Monte Carlo Yachts 70 has a LOA of 69'11" (21.3 m), a beam of 17'9" (5.42 m) and a draft of 5’ (1.52 m).

Monte Carlo Yachts has taken the international, large motoryacht market by storm during the last 18 months. In quick succession the builder has launched three models -- a 76, 65, and now a 70 -- all with the same distinctive exterior lines and elegant interior decor. With creative use of space for mega-entertaining on the bow, aft deck, and flying bridge combined with bold, unforgettable styling, Monte Carlo Yachts has brought a new look and feel to the large yacht market. Today we take a video inspection of her layout plans, details of decor, and entertaining amenities to see how well these have been executed. More...

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Captain's Report

Mercury Verado 225 HP:
Four-Stroke, 6-Cylinder, Inline Power

Mercury Verado 225 HP
The Mercury Verado 225 HP is available in three different shaft lengths and two gear case options.

The inline 6-cylinder Mercury Verado 225 HP is one of the few supercharged outboards on the market designed to provide robust low-end torque. That means the engine can produce snappy mid-range acceleration and plane at a lower speed. Its unique overhead cam design means that the valve train does not need maintenance for life, and Mercury claims to use more anti-corrosive stainless steel components than any other brand. Its four elastomer cradle mounts reduce vibration and noise. It's new 5.44" optional gear case is designed specifically for the rigors of saltwater applications. The engine comes standard with SmartCraft Digital Throttle and Shift (DTS) and has a three-year limited warranty. More...

Ask a repower question about this engine

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Captain's Report

Carolina Classic 28:
The Giant Killer

Carolina Classic 28
Inboard-powered express fishboats under 30' (9.14 m) have almost become an endangered species, but the Carolina Classic 28 is still going toe-to-toe with behemoth battlewagons offshore for big game.

The Carolina Classic 28 has long been the David to the gold-plated Goliaths of the offshore sportfishing world. But like the biblical David, this boat is not cowed by the big guys and anglers are beginning to understand the advantages of downsizing. And when they do, they discover precious few boats without outboard engines on their transoms -- the very place they want to be battling game fish. Likewise, owners of center consoles looking to move up to go farther offshore are looking for range and increased safety without breaking the bank. Let's take a look at the Carolina Classic 28. More...

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Captain's Report

Beneteau Oceanis 55:
Cruising Yacht with 5 Layouts

Beneteau Oceanis 55
The Beneteau Oceanis 55 has an LOA of 55'1" (16.78 m), a beam of 16'3" (4.96 m) and three different possible drafts from 4'9" to 7'3" (1.45 m to 2.20 m). Her displacement, light, is 36,807 lbs. (16,700 kgs.).

The Beneteau Oceanis 55 is a versatile cruising boat in a perfect size range to be both large enough to sleep 10 people and be easy to sail short-handed. The builder calls her a "custom" boat, and while we wouldn't go that far, she does have five different interior layouts, three keel depths to chose from, and over 61 options, so owners can zero-in on exactly what they want. She is powered by a 1,431 square foot (133 square meters) sail plan, plus a Yanmar 75-hp diesel with pod drive. Beneteau's popular "Dock & Go" joystick handling system is an option which includes a bow thruster and autopilot. Sail away here...

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New Features Video

Boston Whaler 270 Dauntless:
Designed for Multiple Missions

Boston Whaler 270 Dauntless
The all-new 270 Dauntless has a LOA of 27’10” (8.48 m) and a 9’ (2.74 m) beam and now sits at the top of the Dauntless lineup.

The new Boston Whaler 270 Dauntless is the largest model in the series and as such can take on offshore missions as well as coastal work. Boston Whaler has carefully focused this model on satisfying multiple missions, equipping her for fishing with casting decks fore and aft, as well as more social activities by allowing the leaning post console to accommodate cookouts, and family jaunts, in addition to hardcore fishing. Join us as we take in-depth video look at the all-new 270 Dauntless. More...

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New Features Video

Volvo Penta V8-380:
The Gas Sterndrive Redesigned

 Volvo Penta V8-380
Volvo Penta managed to pack a lot of power into an engine that is smaller and lighter than the competition.

The relatively new Volvo Penta 6.0 L V8-380 incorporates the latest technology in V-8 gas engine efficiency, making her a preferred option right out of the box. But there is more. Because she is so light -- her complete sterndrive package with lower unit weighs less than the competitor's engine alone -- she pays dividends in fuel-efficiency for that reason as well. But that's not the whole story. Find out more...

Ask a repower or new boat power question

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Test Video

Cruisers Sport Series 238 Bow Rider:
48.5 WOT with a 350 MAG

Cruisers Sport Series 238 Bow Rider
The Cruisers Sport Series 238 Bow Rider has a LOA of 23’8” (7.21 m)
and a beam of 8’6” (2.59 m), which means she’s easily handled and transported.

KCS International Inc. has always had demanding standards for its boats because it must compete in a challenging international market. Indeed, there have been a number of years when nearly half of its production was sold outside the U.S.Now that this builder is fully engaged in the sportboat market, it is differentiating its models from the competition by giving its small boats a big-boat feel. The 238 Bow Rider represents the smallest boat in the fleet, but there is nothing entry-level about her. See our full test and video. More...

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Test Video

Formula 400 FX8:
Dressed to Impress

Formula 400 FX8
The FX8 is the largest in the FX lineup with an LOA of 41'6" (12.65 m) and a beam of 11' (3.35 m).

The Formula FX models seem to just keep getting better as they get bigger. It's as if Formula is trying to outdo itself with each new FX boat launched. Here, we have the flagship of the lineup, the 400 FX8 and she’s as impressive to be on as she is to drive. Our full performance test revealed a top speed of over 60 mph and she does this while keeping her occupants ensconced in a level of comfort that was surprising, even by Formula’s standards. Let's look at the full test video...

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Boat Show Review

Mako 184 Center Console:
The Simple Life

Mako 184 Center Console
The Mako 184 CC has a LOA of 18’4” (5.6 m) a beam of 8'2” (2.5 m), she carries 5 persons and 50 gallons (189 L) of fuel.

Getting back to the simple things in life is a great way to introduce your kids to the art of boating and fishing and the boating life doesn’t get much simpler than a center console. With little more than a basic fuel and electrical system, Mako’s 184 CC has all the ingredients of an easy day on the water, and a great day of fishing. And it comes with the build quality that made the brand synonymous with quality. And she comes with a no hassle, no haggle price of $27,995 that includes a 115 EXLPT OptiMax. Let's see how she tests out in our full video review. More...

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New Features Video

Intrepid Powerboats 375 WA:
As Only Intrepid Can Do

Intrepid 375 WA
The Intrepid 375 Walk Around has a LOA of 37'5" (11.4 m), a beam of 11’ (3.4 m), and a draft of 2'6" (.8 m). She represents an entirely new design from Intrepid that adds overnight accommodations to one of the best handling Intrepids we’ve tested.

Building on the success of its 375 Center Console, Intrepid Powerboats has stepped up its game and created a customer-inspired overnight version that seamlessly blends comfort, safety and accommodations. She offers a forward cabin chock full of amenities, and the head is not only kept well separate in the center console, but it has one of the most innovative features we’ve seen. That’s right, we said it… innovations in the head. And it’s just the tip of the iceberg to the features this beautiful boat is packed with. Let’s look at the video...

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Captain's Report

Manitou 25 SES:
All About Entertaining

Manitou 25 SES
With a LOA of 26’4” (8.03 m), the Manitou 25 SES has plenty of room to stretch her entertaining boundaries.

There’s no sugar coating the mission of the Manitou 25 SES. It’s entertaining… pure and simple. And with four new layouts that mission can get as specific, or generalized, as the owner desires. Available for both the VP (max 150-hp) and SHP (max 300-hp) models, this is definitely a boat for someone with a lot of friends. More...

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Test Video

Nitro Z-7:
Value-Oriented Pro Package

Nitro Z-7
The Nitro Z-7 has all the right stuff for fishing and will get you on the water for less money.

We all want more boat for less money and the team at Nitro seems to deliver. Nitro tells us that they built this Z-7 with an “everything the bigger boats have for less money” mentality, and it seems to be working. She comes nicely equipped with a no hassle, no haggle price of only $25,995, including a 150-hp OptiMax and trailer. Today take a look at our full video review and see just how much “bang for the buck” she offers. More...

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Test Video

Meridian Yachts 391 Sedan:
Entry-Level Cruising

Meridian 391
The Meridian Yachts 391 Sedan Bridge has a LOA of 40'11" (12.5 m) and a beam of 13'11" (4.2 m). With Total Command Docking, anyone can easily maneuver her into a tight slip.

When it’s time to move up from a sportboat or maybe try out boating with a larger boat, few choices are as cost-effective as 391 Sedan Bridge from Meridian Yachts. The 391 offers a good combination of livability, functionality, and ease of handling, all in a relatively affordable package. It’s because of Meridian’s philosophy of high-value products that this line of sedans is the most popular in class in the U.S. Today we put this 391 to the test and see what sort of numbers can be expected from a real cruising sport yacht. More...

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Test Video

Robalo R180:
Small But Mighty

Robalo R180
The R180 has a relatively high freeboard that adds to a feeling of security and certainly makes the boat drier in sloppy conditions.

The Robalo R180 has the build quality that provides safety and good handling that allow her to take on coastal fishing right alongside much larger and more expensive boats. Remember that the USCG mandates all powerboats 20' or smaller must float level when swamped, which means the R180 will do it even though the builder does not ballyhoo that fact. However, today our report is all about performance and handling, so let’s see how Robalo has done. More...

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Test Video

Yamaha VX Deluxe:
What Makes This Yamaha’s Best Seller?

Yamaha VX Deluxe
We tested the Yamaha VX Deluxe and found a top end speed of 53.7 mph. Better still was the fuel burn of only 7.4 gph at that speed. Best cruise fuel burn…3.1 gph.

Whenever a builder tells us that a certain model is their best seller, we start asking why that is. Take the Yamaha VX Deluxe for example. Is it Yamaha’s best performer? Not really, it will do over 50 mph but they have faster. Is it because it’s the least expensive? Nope, although it’s coming in at $9,299 Yamaha still has less expensive WaveRunners. Surely it must have the most features then? Hardly, it’s actually very minimalist. So what makes this the best seller for Yamaha? As it turns out, it’s a combination of all the above features, and we discuss it all in our full test video. Take a look...

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Picture of the Week

Picture of the Week
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Expert Boating

Should Have Watched’s
Boating Course

Smart Boating
Boating season is coming, so it’s time to brush up on what you’ve forgotten or discover what you never knew. Time for Smart Boating, the most complete boating video course available...period!

The response to the’s Smart Boating DVD box set has been overwhelming! Learning from home is the way to go, and our videos keep the lessons in your mind long after the classroom lectures are forgotten. Smart Boating is perfect for both the beginners and the seasoned salts wanting to brush up on their knowledge and is filled with information that every boater needs to know. More concise rules of the road, more emergency procedures, more navigation… it’s all here. Smart Boating...because safe boating just isn’t enough. Order yours today! Order here...

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Lesson of the Week

Basic Rules of the Road:
Rules Pertaining to Different Types of Vessels

Capt. Steve Smart Boating Cover
A vessel unable to maneuver is unable to keep out of the way of another vessel.

This week Capt. Steve covers basic rules of the road in ten quick video clips. He covers different categories of boats and who must keep out of the way, restrictions on working vessels, fishing vessels and all other vessels which may not be able to maneuver because the nature of their work, sea planes, and why one should never anchor in the middle of a channel. These are basic procedures which all recreational boaters should be aware of. The videos presented this week are part of’s Boating Course which is USCG-approved. Watch these video boating lessons every week on

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Ducky Award

Ducky Winner

First Place

"Jethro takes his wakeboard spotting seriously." - G. Zimmerman

Second Place

"Jim was unclear on the concept 'jet boat'."
- D. Keal

Third Place

"Here it is the 2013 Asian Carp runabout, they claim it gets more air than any other boat in it's class." - G. Giorgi

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On Here?

WIGOH 05/08/2013

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