Manitou 23 // Mako 284 // Carver C34 // Monterey 340 - 05/22/2013
BoatTEST Newsletter May 22, 2013 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter. Tests You Can Trust
- Mercury 150 HP
- Back Cove 30
- Boston Whaler 230
- Carver C34
- Cruisers Sports Series 298
- Intrepid 245 Center Console
- Manitou 23 Oasis SR VP
- Meridian Yachts 541 Sedan
- Monte Carlo Yachts 70
- Monterey 340 SY
- Mako 284 Center Console
- PowerTech! PowerStop
- Robalo R247
- Sea Ray 450 Sundancer
- Volvo Penta EVC-E
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Mercury 150 HP Four-Stroke: High Displacement & Low Weight

Mercury 150-HP Four-Stroke Outboard
Mercury's 3.0 L 150 outboard has the largest displacement of any outboard in class and at 455 lbs. (206.81 kgs.) is the lightest four-stroke 150 on the market.

The Mercury 150-hp four-stroke outboard became available just 15 months ago, but word is already getting around that there is something special about this new Mercury engine. Essentially it has the low-end torque of a two-stroke and the fuel-efficiency that made four-strokes popular. Because its lightest model weighs just 455 lbs. (206.8 kgs.) it is remarkably close to two-strokes in weight, and has become a repower option that is hard to beat. But there is more. With this model, Mercury Marine moved heaven and earth to make her durable in saltwater...or anywhere else. Get the picture? Here's her story...

Ask a repower question

cross ruler

Test Video

Back Cove 30:
Downeast Style Cruiser

Back Cove 30
At top speed she has a range of 224 nm, and at best cruise the range increases to 284 nm, which translates to nearly 2 nm per gallon.

While some may think that a boat this size should have twin engines, our tests of this Back Cove 30 show that the single engine installation provides compelling performance and economy. She offers a sedate cruising speed of 20.2 kts which keeps owners and their guests comfortable. Prop pocket reduce her draft to only 2.6' (.76 m). Wraparound seating in the cockpit and opposing couches at the helm deck make for a dual social area on deck. Below, Back Cove went with a dinette in the bow that easily converts to a berth. Our full video review details the handling and performance numbers as well as a features inspection. More...

cross ruler

New Features Video

Boston Whaler 230 Dauntless:
A Good All-Purpose Size

Boston Whaler 230 Dauntless
At 23'6" (7.16 m) this Boston Whaler 230 Dauntless is part of the lineup focused on doing it all.

The 230 Dauntless is among a lineup of Boston Whalers that focuses on serving many functions, and doing them all quite well. She’s loaded with basic standards to ensure good times on the water, but options also let owners dial into the specific kind of boating they do most, whether fishing, tubing, skiing, or just cruising around with friends. More...

Request digital brochure

cross ruler

New Boat

New Carver C34:
Turning Over a New Leaf

Carver C34
The all-new Carver C34 is 35'6" (10.82 m) LOA with a 13' (3.96 m) beam and has a dry displacement of 16,500 lbs (7,484 kgs). Best of all are her classic, uncluttered lines and her functional layout below.

With the all-new C34 Carver Yachts has launched a new series that has started at the small end but promises to grow into a full line of sedan cruisers to challenge other builders. The image above speaks volumes about the new design thinking at Carver and we think it bodes very well, indeed, for boaters who appreciate clean, practical nautical lines with a minimum of styling flourishes. Below, the layout is equally practical without being old fashioned. Carver's naval architects have drawn to some extent on European designs, but have been careful to avoid flavors of the month, choosing instead to build a boat that will appeal to Americans and experienced boaters and stay in style for decades. Let's take a peek...

cross ruler

Test Video

Cruisers Sport Series 298 Bow Rider:
A Sportboat with Elegance & Room

Cruisers Sport Series 298 Bow Rider
The 298 Bow Rider has a LOA of 29’ (8.84 m) and a beam of 8’6” (2.59 m). At best cruise she’ll travel for 147 miles while still maintaining a 10% reserve.

Big bowriders are becoming more and more popular for families trading down from gas guzzling cruisers as they offer plenty of room for day boating for both family and friends. The Cruisers Sport Series 298 delivers space, upscale amenities and the stringent build parameters that the brand is known for. With a single MerCruiser 377 MAG engine, the Cruisers Sport Series 298 Bow Rider showed a top speed of 47.9 mph (77.1 kph). That tells us that she’s not just made to serve as a roomy, luxury ride. More...

cross ruler

Test Video

Intrepid 245 Center Console:
A Compelling Alternative

Intrepid 245 Center Console
At 25' 3" (7.87 m) LOA with an 8'6" (2.6 m) beam, this 245 is the smallest boat Intrepid makes, but it has the same attention to detail as the biggest.

In a world where one center console is often pretty much a cookie-cutter replica of the next one, Intrepid Powerboats offers an alternative. Not only is this Intrepid 245 Center Console built to the Nth-degree but it’s one of the most owner-customizable boats available. Even with its “anything goes” mindset, this 245CC is already offered with nearly everything a buyer could possibly want. More...

Request factory sea trial

cross ruler

Captain's Report

Manitou 23 Oasis SR VP:
The Builder's Most Popular Model

Manitou 23 Oasis SR VP
The Manitou 23 Oasis SR VP has a LOA of 24’4” (7.42 m) and a dry weight of 3,125 lbs. (1417 kg).

By pricing the Oasis series between its entry-level and high end models, the Oasis has become the best selling series for Manitou, and the 23 SR is the best selling model of that lineup. She’s offered with two tubes or three, and with the triples comes the patented V-Toon design that enhances performance, giving her sportboat-like handling. As for options, Manitou can trick her out to the nines for looks or exciting functionality. More...

Digital brochure request

Test drive a Manitou at upcoming shows in Chicago and Bay Harbor, MI...get details

cross ruler

Test Video

Meridian 541 Sedan:
Flagship of the Fleet

Meridian 541
While we were understandably impressed with the interior layout of the 541 Sedan, we didn’t expect a lot of surprises from the handling side of our test. How wrong we were.

Meridian Yachts is one of the few builders that make flybridge sport yachts, otherwise known as sedans. They have several advantages over express cruisers, including more room for the money and a higher helm for better visibility. This 541 Sedan was powered by twin 600-hp QSC engines driving Zeus pods, giving her some interesting handling qualities that we came to appreciate. More...

cross ruler

Engine Room Video

Monte Carlo Yachts 70:
Engine Room & Crews Quarters

Monte Carlo Yachts 70
The MCY 70 is the latest launch from Monte Carlo Yachts and 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 Yacht’s 70 is designed to be an owner/operator yacht, even if she accommodates crew for the dirty jobs. That means the owner will have a close hand in the operations and maintenance. So today, we take a look at the nerve center of this beautiful yacht, the engine room and crew’s quarters, to see how easy it will be to keep tabs on the machinery. More...

cross ruler

Captain's Report

Monterey 340 Sport Yacht:
Getting It Right the First Time

Monterey 340 SY
With a LOA of 35’3” (10.7 m) and a beam of 11’3” (3.4 m), the Monterey 340 Sport Yacht has a lot in common with many others on the market. But she also has lots of differences. Find out why.

Monterey designs its boats with sophisticated software and then builds a full-scale model to ensure that the concepts designed on the computer translate to real-world practicality. The result is a boat that is virtually free of the glitches we often find in the first year's production of many cruisers. The 340 SY has appealing aspects whether she’s to be used for short days on the water, or long weekends at a distant locale. More...

Ask a question about this model

cross ruler

Captain's Report

Mako 284 Center Console:
The New Model Is Better Than the Legend

Mako 284 Center Console
The new iteration of the Mako 284 Center Console is better than anything the brand has ever built, in our opinion.

It is about time that we explode a widely-held myth about Mako boats: the legendary Makos of the 1970s and '80s were not better than the ones being built today. Mako center consoles were king of the hill in its day -- and rightly revered at the time -- but they had warts and bruises that fading memories have forgotten. (They also didn't have much competition.) Makos are now built by Tracker Marine Group, which has the expertise, infrastructure, and -- frankly -- the money, to do what the earlier builders of Mako boats would never have done. The Mako 284 Center Console, the largest boat in the 4-boat Mako Offshore line, is a good example of how Tracker has actually made offshore Makos better than they were in the "good old days". More...

cross ruler


PowerStop! Prop:
A Better Solution for Backing Down

PowerTech! PowerStop
Looking aft on this left-hand turning prop, the red arrows point to the ridge on the surface of the prop blade that makes all of the difference.

Going forward is one thing, but sooner or later, we all need to slow down, stop, and maneuver our boats. That’s when things become difficult for most of us, and the reason is simple. The props on our boats are made for moving the boat forward in the most efficient manner. Everything else is a secondary concern… until now. Recently, the design team at PowerTech!, a 28-year-old company that has always been our go-to source for all of our prop questions, created a new prop with features that allow it to add more efficiency at low speeds and reverse than ever before. It’s called PowerStop! and it could very well be a game changer for a lot of boaters. More...

cross ruler

Captain's Report

Robalo R247:
Offshore-Capable Dual Console

Robalo R247
The Robalo R247 is designed to be a versatile utility boat for all manner of missions including cruising, fishing, waterskiing, diving, or just blasting around. The hardtop is optional.

Taking a runabout hull and outfitting it for offshore use doesn't really work very well. But what about doing it the opposite way? This Robalo R247 has an offshore hull with a family-friendly layout. By making the fishing and watersports features optional, owners can rig her however they’d like. With a 22-degree deadrise hull she can handle offshore conditions or lumpy inshore water at high speed. More...

cross ruler

Captain's Report

Sea Ray 450 Sundancer:
Updated Via Customer Feedback

Sea Ray 450 Sundancer
The Sea Ray 450 Sundancer has a LOA of 45’5” (13.84 m) and a beam of 13’2” (4.01 m) and carries on the tradition of the hugely popular series of express cruisers.

Sea Ray has listened to its customers and has responded. Based on feedback, the new 450 Sundancer has incorporated many new features and amenities that customers have been asking for. Her interior is well-appointed with top level fit-and-finish that must be seen to be believed. Her layout has transformed the now familiar mid-cabin into a more functional “media room” that converts to a private stateroom when needed. The need for more space in the master has been addressed with an extendable berth. And the list just grows from there. More...

cross ruler

Features Video

Volvo Penta EVC-E:
Innovation Shines Through

Volvo Penta EVC-E
We’ve been big fans of Volvo Penta’s EVC for years, and now it’s gotten even better.

EVC or Electronic Vessel Control has been around for nearly a decade, but this latest version, with enhancements that were driven by boat operator and dealer feedback, brings some new, highly desirable, features to the wheelhouse. The display screen has been enhanced and offers more customizable pages with easier navigation through the sub-menus. Integration with autopilots has been enhanced and now allows for the instant implementation of search patters with just the push of a button, each customizable with its own sub-menu. Keyless start/stop has been added, and so much more that just has to be seen. But by far, the most impressive feature is one that was long overdue. Wait for it... and click...

cross ruler

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’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 here...

Watch the trailer...

Join Us On Facebook


Visit us on Facebook and "like" us to see the latest, plus some behind the scenes looks.

  cross ruler

Lesson of the Week

Fog Signals and Overview
On Navigation Lights

Capt. Steve Smart Boating Cover
Only official lights such as these are allowed to be on at night underway.

This week Capt. Steve goes over sixteen new lessons and guidelines on fog signals and navigation lights. It’s important to know what to do when fog suddenly comes rolling in and you’re cruising along in pea soup or simply a restricted visibility scenario. Capt. Steve also goes over the basics on navigation lights, what they mean, and what’s required when running at night, and at anchor. You’ll learn about requirements for boats over 12 meters, or 39 ½ feet, and what’s required for boats less than 7 meters, or 23 feet. These are basic rules 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

To view this week’s lessons --

Order all lessons on DVD--

cross ruler

Ducky Award

Ducky Winner

First Place

"While Bob's new job at the Marina Ice Cream Parlor was a blessing, he couldn't help thinking he should have studied harder in school." - J. Mccauley

Second Place

"My wife said it would be a cold day in Hell before I got another boat; hi honey!"
- R. Davis

Third Place

"This weather will do wonders for my waist line." - P. Sokowski

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 05/22/2013

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.

We need reader help!

If you have a picture that you think needs some explanation, email it to us., LLC
51 Bank Street, Suite 2A
Stamford, CT 06901

All articles, Captain's Reports, video content or other material which appear on and in its newsletters are accurate and factual to the best knowledge of and its staff. All findings, beliefs, experiences, or endorsements presented are the honest opinions of or its contributors. In compliance with FTC 16 CFR Part 255 advises its readers that content that appears in its newsletter or on its website may have been produced for compensation or the prospect of future compensation. makes no claims for the veracity or motivation of reader comments, Owners’ Reports, and other contributions which are all clearly labeled as such.