Tracker 190 // Nordic Tugs 26 // Prestige 45 // Azimut 72 // 15 Reviews - 05/29/2013
BoatTEST Newsletter May 29, 2013 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter. Tests You Can Trust
- Jeanneau NC14
- Nordic Tugs 26
- Bayliner 190 DB
- Prestige 450
- Chaparral 257 SSX
- Cruisers Yachts 350
- Evinrude ICON
- Tracker Pro Team 190 TX
- Hargrave 76 Ana C
- Mako Pro 17 Skiff CC
- MJM Heavy Seas Handling
- Sea Ray 230 SLX
- Sun Tracker BB 18 DLX
- Sundance DX20
- Yamaha PWC
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson

Jeanneau NC14:
A 45' Multi-Use Cruiser

This newest model of the New Concept series has a LOA of 45’ (13.73 m) and a beam of 13’5” (4.1 m). The plumb bow maximizes space inside.

At every turn the NC14 demonstrates a “new concept” that provides more options for how these boats will be used at different times. This latest launch, the NC14, is the largest of the three-boat series and shows not only that bigger is better, but that Jeanneau has a unique understanding of how to get the most functionality out of a limited amount of space. More...

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Updated Report

Nordic Tugs 26cr:
Goes to the Head of the Class

Nordic Tugs 26
The tried-and-true Nordic Tugs 26cr has an LOA of 28'9" (8.76 m) and a beam of 9'6" (2.89 m), which sets her apart from other boats in class.

There is no boat quite like the Nordic Tugs 26, the little vessel that spawned several new companies and started a whole new type of recreational boat. She has been updated since she was introduced and is now called the "26cr" -- for "cruise ready." And "ready" she is, with nearly everything needed for a couple to go cruising to distant horizons. She is a single-engine boat made for the times and a couple can easily handle her without breaking the bank. We often say that dollar-for-dollar the best boating investment is a small boat and we think the Nordic Tugs 26cr proves the point. More...

Email a question about this model.

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New Snapshot Review

Azimut 72S:
For World-Class Entertaining

Azimut 72S
The Azimut 72S has all of the things that have made this brand the world's gold standard in a chic, sophisticated entertaining-oriented motoryacht. Puerto Cervo, anyone?

The Azimut 72S was designed for successful businessmen and entrepreneurs who are drawn to the sea and want an elegant water-born entertainment venue. She is not for everyone, even everyone who can afford her $5 million price tag. But for those who can afford her, and are looking for something in a motoryacht as au currant as the sports cars in their 5-car garage, then the Azimut 72S could fit the bill. Find out why...

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Test Video

Bayliner 190 DB:
Outboard Deckboat with Style

Bayliner 190 DB
The Bayliner 190 DB has a LOA of 18'7" (5.66 m), a beam of 8'1" (2.46 m)
and a draft of 16” (40.6 cm).

Bayliner’s latest transition from sterndrive to outboard powered deckboats also signals a change to a more functional and more stylish model. The 190 DB is among the first of the new series launched by Bayliner, designed to give the company a solid foothold in the highly competitive deckboat market. We put the 190 DB through a full test and performance review to see how Bayliner has done. More...

Bayliner So Worth It Watch Bayliner's "So Worth It" video.

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New Features Video

Prestige 450 Fly:
2 Large, En Suite Staterooms

Prestige 450 Fly
The new Prestige 450 Fly has a midships master stateroom with a private stateroom, good natural light and remarkable headroom.

One of the most distinguishing features of the Prestige 450 Fly is the fact that where other yachts in class have a private master stateroom (usually in the bow) accessed from a companionway entrance shared with a guest stateroom, here we have a completely private entrance. It’s a great feeling of privacy that others can’t touch. Even more important, the stateroom is amidships and full beam. See the video...

Request price quote

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Test Video

Chaparral 257 SSX:
Premium Luxury and Performance

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

Sometimes we test luxury sportboats and find that they are a bit disappointing in the performance and handling department. Occasionally they chinewalk or fall off in the turns, or have lackluster acceleration. Here, however, we found a luxury boat that does not disappoint. The Chaparral 257 SSX is among some of the best handling sportboats we’ve been on. Her rack-and-pinion steering makes her handling glass smooth, and she turns sharply while staying solid in a comfortable bank angle. We also found her to have plenty of power for a load of friends with still enough mojo left over for one more person at the end of the towline. More...

Ask us about this model

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Test Video

Cruisers Yachts 350 Express:
Classy Lady with an Axius Joystick

Cruisers Yachts 350 Express
The hardtop is optional for people who want shade or a three-season boat when buttoned up with cruising canvas

When we first stepped aboard the Cruisers Yachts 350 Express, her killer good looks had us hooked, but the fact is, she is much more than a pretty face. With the Axius sterndrive joystick, we were also able to bring her into position flawlessly, an important feature not only since every head in the area had all eyes on this classy lady, but it also solves the “can I handle this boat” question for those looking to trade up. More...

Digital brochure request

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Video Review

Evinrude ICON:
Better Engine Control & Info Feedback

Evinrude ICON
Evinrude's ICON system chirps when in gear, syncs multiple engines, allows one-button push to increase or decrease rpms in 50 rpm increments, and much more.

Having digital controllability for outboard engines has introduced a whole new set of functions that were previously unheard of. Now, the old cables and manual controls are as seemingly outdated as the floppy disc drive. But it’s not just about how we get control information to the engines, it’s also about how the engines communicate back to us. Find out why Evinrude's digital control is a better mousetrap. More...

Ask a question about ICON

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Captain's Report

Tracker Pro Team 190 TX:
Fully Loaded and Tough

Tracker Pro Team 190 TX
The largest of the Pro Team family, the 190 TX has a LOA of 18’7” (5.66 m) and comes standard with an 80-hp Mercury OptiMax and factory-matched custom trailer.

Here we have a tough fishing boat with all-welded construction, and a Revolution hull that Tracker guarantees will give a smooth ride. The complete package rigged and ready for fishing has an MSRP $18,495. The only extras to consider are a cover and perhaps brakes for the standard trailer. For that matter, at only 1,041 lbs. (472 kgs.) the cover should do fine. When Tracker says "complete" it is not kidding: fish finder, trolling motor, 16-gallon aerated livewell, cranking and trolling batteries, courtesy lights, fold-down chairs, drop-in boxes with 3 tackle trays, and much more. Full report...

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Test Video

Hargrave 76 Motoryacht:
A Full Performance and Handling Test

Hargrave 76 Motoryacht
The Hargrave 76 has a LOA of 76’ (23.61 m) and a beam of 20’ (6.1 m) allowing her to accommodate four staterooms with four heads.

When we set off to test the Hargrave 76, there was a very different set of circumstances than those we usually face. Typically, the boat is near open water, with no chance of hitting anything… ever. With this test, we got the rare opportunity to pull her away from a tight berth, take her down the narrowest, windiest river in the state of Florida, and then finally head out to let her stretch her legs. What we came away with was a better understanding of her complete maneuverability, and handling characteristics that won’t be covered in any magazine. See the video. More...

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Test Video

Mako Pro 17 Skiff CC:
A Light Boat for Heavy Work

Mako Pro 17 Skiff CC
With an LOA of 17'4" (5.28 m) and a dry weight of 950 lbs. (430 kg) the Mako Pro 17 Skiff CC is as easy to transport as she is a capable inshore fishing boat.

Anybody who's been around work barges is familiar with the stability and load-carrying capacity possible in a skiff. The Mako Pro 17 Skiff CC features an inverted V-hull that has only an 8” (20.3 cm) hull draft, but she's still capable of carrying heavy loads across shallow waters. More...

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Heavy Seas Handling

MJM 40z:
How Does She Handle Offshore?

MJM 40z
See our video of the MJM 40z offshore in some rough conditions to see how she handles the square ones.

It’s one thing to be a well laid out cruising yacht. Fit-and-finish speak volumes about the quality of the build. Economy is equally important for a boat designed for distance cruising. And while the MJM 40z excels in all of these categories, and more, she still operates on the water, and those days aren’t always clear and calm. So now it’s time to see how she handles when the wind and waves turn snotty. More...

Request builder contact

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Test Video

Sea Ray 230 SLX:
Well-Designed and Well-Executed

Sea Ray 230 SLX
With a LOA of 23’ (7.0 m) and a beam of 8’6” (2.59 m) the Sea Ray 230 SLX is an easy boat to trailer and bring on vacation.

Sea Ray tells us they designed the 230 SLX to be at the top of the market when it comes to performance, design and materials. Standard features include upgrades such as a keyless dash, SmartCraft engine and diagnostic gauges, leather and wood trim accents, and an adjustable sun pad/rumble seat. With a top speed of 50 mph, our full test showed that this boat delivers on the manufacturer's claims. Come on board and take the test ride...

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Test Video

Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX:
Serene Family Fishing Toon

Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX
The Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX has been redesigned from the deck up to provide fishing features on a family level.

If the desire is for a screaming boat with lots of horsepower to get to the fish and back as fast as possible, look elsewhere. With her 40-hp Mercury outboard, the Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX lives up to her name and provides families with sedate and serene times on the water without the white-knuckle ride of an over-powered sportboat making lots of noise. We’d even debate on whether to turn the radio on or just listen to the water lap against the tubes and birds doing what birds do. Sounds pretty ideal to us. Let’s take a look at the full report. More...

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Captain's Report

Sundance DX20:
Do One Thing, Do It Right

Sundance DX20
The Sundance DX20 is 19'10" (6.04 m) LOA with a beam of 7'10" (2.38 m) and a draft of 6" (15 cm) with the engine up. Her dry weight is 1,575 lbs. (715.9 kg)

If a company is going to do only one thing, odds are that it will do it right. Such is the case with Sundance boats. It’s a relatively new company at only 19-years-old, whose only mission is to create the best skiffs available. Since these are such exceedingly popular workboats with shallow drafts, Sundance has been successful in filling this niche market. More...

Have a question about this model?

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Test Video

Yamaha FX SHO Series:
A Marriage of Power and Features

Yamaha FX SHO
The FX SHO and Cruiser FX SHO differ only in a few of the amenities.

When it comes to WaveRunners, some people want to have the racing performance feel that only a high-end machine can provide. Others, however, want to have a luxury feel and top end features. Then again, some just want it all, and that’s the realm of the FX SHO series from Yamaha. They’re loaded with features and powered by a supercharged 4-cylinder, four-stroke, super high output Yamaha 1812cc marine engine. Just the right combination of luxurious exhilaration. Let's watch the test ride...

Request a brochure

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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!

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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

How to Trim An Outboard or Sterndrive Boat

Capt. Steve Smart Boating Cover
Trimming the drive correctly will give a better, faster, safer ride and better fuel economy.

This week Capt. Steve goes over seven video lessons and guidelines on how to trim an outboard or sterndrive boat. Learn about the advantages of trimming a drive correctly, how to reduce bow rise, when to raise the drive and how to make sure the engine never runs dry. 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--

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Ducky Award

Ducky Winner

First Place

"A rare glimpse of evolution in action -- a few boats decided to crawl out on land one day." - M. Brandt

Second Place

"Economical, yes, but peddling is a real drag." - S. Thompson

Third Place

"No, I will not stop and ask that Mastercraft for directions!" - J. Beleski

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On Here?

WIGOH 05/15/2013

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