Malibu 23 // Sea Ray 28 // Prestige 450 S // 13 Reviews - 05/15/2013
BoatTEST Newsletter May 15, 2013 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter. Tests You Can Trust
- Prestige 450 S
- Beneteau GT 49 Fly
- Hurricane SS 231 OB
- Tracker Pro Team 175 TXW
- Hatteras 80 Motor Yacht
- Bayliner 210 DB
- Yamaha VXR
- Chaparral H2O 18 Sport
- Evinrude E-TEC 115
- Sea Ray 280 Sundancer
- Sun Tracker FB 20 DLX
- Malibu Wakesetter 23 LSV
- Tiara 3100 Open
- Shurhold Products
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson

Prestige 450 S:
The Master Amidships
with Twin IPS 500s

Prestige 450 S
This new Prestige 450 S measures in at 45’10” (14 m) LOA with a beam of 14’2” (4.32 m).

The new Prestige 450 is built in two versions, the flybridge model and the express shown above. Both are designed to fill a gap between the 440 and 500 models, but offer the fully private entrance to the master stateroom that the slightly smaller 440 does not have. We’ve been consistently impressed with the build method that makes the Prestige line "high-value" and 450 S is no exception. Today we put the express version of the newest 450 model through a full sea trial. More...

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Features Video

Beneteau Gran Turismo 49 Fly:
Design, Styling and Materials

Beneteau GT 49 Fly
We take a detailed look at details that make the GT49 Fly a compelling choice.

There is more to a good boat than performance numbers, rail heights, and handling characteristics. Other questions need to be answered, too, such as whether a cabinet can hold full sized dinner plates and if the refrigerator can hold a gallon container of milk? So today we take a look at a cruising sport yacht from the Beneteau Groupe with an eye towards the little details that mean so much. More...

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Snapshot Review

Hurricane SS 231 OB:
A Center Console Deckboat

Hurricane SS 231 OB
The Hurricane SS 231 OB is a deckboat with a center console right in the middle so she can be used for fishing as well as other watersports. Kids will love her.

Two decades ago Hurricane started the whole notion of a "deckboat," something that caught on quickly because it was big inside and affordable. Now most every sportboat builder has its own version of a deckboat, but few brands have as many different models as Hurricane -- 38 models ranging from 18' to 26' (5.48 to 7.92 m) with most having a 8'6" (2.59 m) beam. There are single consoles, dual consoles, wide consoles, narrow consoles, and now -- center consoles. Mom and the kids can go tubing on Saturday and Dad and his buddies can go fishing on Sunday. What will they think of next? More...

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Test Video

Tracker Pro Team 175 TXW:
All-Welded Aluminum Construction

Tracker Pro Team 175 TXW
At 993 lbs. (450 kg) and 17'7" (5.36 m) LOA, the Pro Team 175 is easily trailerable by small to midsize vehicles.

Believe it or not, the Tracker Pro Team 175 was one of the most comfortable, best riding boats we've tested in class. This is probably why Tracker goes so far as to guarantee a smooth ride… she absolutely delivers. And since she's well-equipped for the professional level, amateurs should find little more to want. Our full test and features video shows just how well she handles and some other features as well. More...

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Captain's Report

Hatteras 80 Motor Yacht:
For Serious Entertaining & Cruising

Hatteras 80 Motor Yacht
The Hatteras 80 Motor Yacht has a LOA of 79’10” (24.33 m) and a massive 21’3” (6.48 m) beam is built like a tank for serious cruising most anywhere. Is that a table on the bow?

While many motoryachts in this class tend to focus on day boating and dockside cocktail parties, the Hatteras 80 reflects an owner’s desire for serious cruising to remote destinations and extended time aboard. But she is also intended for serious entertaining as the table on the bow indicated. Her wide beam accommodates four large staterooms with en suite heads, a spacious "country kitchen" galley, a large saloon with an adjacent formal dining table, plus a warm and inviting aft deck completes the layout. All of this while maintaining the highest level of luxury and construction standards. Let’s dig a little deeper with our detailed captain’s report. More...

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Test Video

Bayliner 210 DB:
Redesigned for Outboard Power

Bayliner 210 DB
This new Bayliner 210 DB has a LOA of 20’7” (6.27 m) and a trailerable beam of 8’6” (2.59 m).

Bayliner has long been a holdout of sterndrive power in its deckboats, but that has changed recently with the latest versions. With the conversion to outboard power, with choices ranging from 150-hp to 200-hp, Bayliner has become much more competitive in this aggressive market segment. But Bayliner didn’t stop there. The 210 DB has been completely redesigned to be more functional, ergonomic, and user friendly. Today we put her through a sea trial to determine how she performs and handles with the base 150-hp engine in our full test video. More...

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Test Video

Yamaha VXR:
Maximum Adrenaline at Minimum Cost

Yamaha VXR
Our test of the VXR showed a top speed of 68.4 mph. And she can carry up to three people.

The mission of the Yamaha VXR is straightforward: provide the best possible high-performance watercraft in a no-frills low-cost package. With very few high-tech features and a non-supercharged engine, Yamaha got the no-frills part right. And our test reveals that it is spot-on when it comes to a thrilling ride. Just take a look at our test video. More...

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Test Video

Chaparral H2O 18 Sport:
Taking on the Entry-Level Market

Chaparral H2O 18 Sport
Apparently nobody told Chaparral the price-point boat isn't supposed to have lots of stainless steel hardware and a lifetime limited warranty on the hull. We don't know which we like better -- her styling or her price.

Chaparral is not known for making price point sportboats, but with that in mind, this builder of higher-end boats is putting the entry-level price-point market squarely in its sights and going after it with a vengeance with the H2O series. Interestingly enough, several of the features and the build quality seen in its more higher-priced boats are still included in this series. We test the Chaparral the H2O 18 Sport...

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Review Video

Evinrude E-TEC 115:
Repower and Upgrade at the Same Time

Evinrude E-TEC 115
With the Evinrude E-TEC line, the days of high maintenance four-strokes is a thing of the past.

This Evinrude E-TEC 115 not only serves as a popular workhorse in its own right but also as an optional upgrade to 90-hp engines. There’s only a 22% difference in weight from the Evinrude 90 and a 28% jump in power which give the 115 the award for the best power-to-weight ratio in class. Because it’s an E-TEC, it’s loaded with other perks such as no break in, auto winterization, and no oil changes. And that is only part of the story. More...

Ask a repower question

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Test Video

Sea Ray 280 Sundancer:
Good Transitional Cruiser

Sea Ray 280 Sundancer
This Sea Ray 280 Sundancer has a LOA of 28’8” and a beam of 8’10”, making her an excellent transitional cruiser for stepping up from a bowrider.

This 280 Sundancer not only makes an efficient weekend cruiser that sleeps four, but because of her 28’8” (8.74 m) LOA she makes an excellent transitional boat for those looking to trade up from bowriders. With a max cruise range of 160 miles, just imagine where the weekends could lead. We tested her with a 300-hp 350 MAG MerCruiser engine and her performance specs and handling characteristics are all in our full test video. More...

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Captain's Report

Sun Tracker Fishin' Barge 20 DLX:
Enjoy Life in the Slow Lane

Sun Tracker Fishin' Barge 20 DLX
The Sun Tracker Fishin' Barge 20 DLX has a LOA of 21’11” (6.68 m) and a beam of 8’6” (2.59 m). She has a capacity for 10 persons.

Here’s a relaxing time on the water. The Sun Tracker Fishin' Barge 20 DLX comes standard with a 20-hp four-stroke that will provide calm trips across the lake, and then the amenities take over for relaxing on the hook. With standard features, the 20 DLX makes an easy crossover from lounging to fishing. “Catching” will be a secondary concern. She’s even wheelchair accessible. More...

Ask a question about the Sun Tracker Fishin' Barge 20 DLX

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Snapshot Review

Malibu Wakesetter 23 LSV:
"Surf Gate" -- The Next Big Thing?

Malibu Wakesetter 23 LSVMalibu Wakesetter 23 LSV
Malibu's new "Surf Gate" vertical tabs attaches to the transom of a Wakesetter 23 LSV as well as to all other boats in the Wakesetter Series.

Malibu's "Surf Gate" is new and we have yet to get the opportunity to test it, but from all indications it might well be the "Next Big Thing" in the world of inboard-powered wakeboats. It was announced last summer and promoted this spring at a Malibu-sponsored event on the West Coast with top wakeboarders, athletes and surfers. Word has quickly gotten around about the "Surf Gate" among the adrenaline set who are in quest of water-borne thrills. We're told by the folks at Malibu that the new device can easily switch from wake surfing to wake boarding with the touch on the MaliView screen. Let's take a look at the Wakesetter 23 LSV and see Malibu's latest innovations. More...

Request a test drive Ask a question

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Snapshot Review

Tiara 3100 Open:
Evolution of a Classic

Tiara 3100 Open
The Tiara 3100 Open seats 9 people in the cockpit and bridge deck making her well-suited as a day boat for entertaining and watersports. As a bonus she sleeps four and can go nearly anywhere.

The smallest boat Tiara makes is 31’ and it offers two models, the Coronet 3100, and the 3100 Open which now comes standard with a hardtop, so she is not quite as “open” as she used to be. Nonetheless, she is a classic and the subject of our report. Not surprisingly, she is one of the most popular boats in the Tiara line and her modern styling and go-anywhere hull make her a boat that is appropriate for a wide range of applications, the most popular of which is as a day boat for cruising and entertaining. Her roots, however, are in fishing and she can still do that with élan. More...

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Shurhold Buff Magic and Pro Polish Combination

Shurhold Pro Polish Wax
If there were any doubts about the restorative powers of Buff Magic, and the protection of Pro Polish then this video is a must see.

We wondered what would happen if we went to the bowels of the back lot of a marina where the forgotten fleet lies, and took the worst looking boat we could find, and started buffing it out with Shurhold’s Buff Magic. And of course being who we are, we just had to bring the camera to show if it was up to the challenge. The a word, unbelievable! And once a surface is brought back to life, the Pro Polish protects. We even tried cleaning with the protectant alone just for kicks. Let’s take a look. More...

Use coupon code bt10 for 10% off Pro Polish Wax. Offer expires 5/31/2013.

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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
Boating Course

Smart Boating
Sometimes it's not what you know, but what you've forgotten. We have the perfect solution for you. Smart Boating, because safe boating just isn't enough anymore.

Based on the feedback we’ve been getting about's Smart Boating Course, it’s clearly not only for beginners, but also for veteran boaters as well. Perhaps that is why the NMMA started promoting the course after just one look. It's the most complete boating course available… period. Order your 4-disc box set...

Watch the trailer...
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Lesson of the Week

Using Sound Signals
To Alert Other Boaters

Capt. Steve Smart Boating Cover
A vessel leaving a dock in a busy channel should make its intentions clear by sounding off one long blast.

This week Capt. Steve goes over sixteen lessons and guidelines on using sound signals to alert other boaters of your intentions on the water. By using specific sound signals boaters can communicate whether they want to pass another boat to port or starboard, cross in front of a slower boat even though they are the give-way vessel, and several other things. These are basic procedures which all recreational boaters should be aware of. The videos presented this week are part of’s Smart Boating Course which is USCG-approved. 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

"And when you're not using it as a raft it doubles as a ring toss station at the local fair." - M. Antonacci

Second Place

"It's fun, light-weight, easy to build, affordable, and gets you out of the house.... so what are you complaining about?"
- G. Mormile

Third Place

"And, when we land we have instant cash!"
- S. Thompson

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WIGOH 05/15/2013

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