Yamaha VXS // Four Winns 180 // Monte Carlo 50' MC5 // Absolute 55 // 13 Reviews - 06/12/2013
BoatTEST Newsletter June 12, 2013 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
- Monte Carlo MC5
- Mako 21 LTS
- Beneteau GT 38
- Bayliner 215 DB
- Chaparral 310 Signature
- Prestige 450S
- Evinrude E-TEC 150
- Hatteras GT63
- Jeanneau NC11
- Yamaha VXS
- Four Winns H180 OBRS
- Tahoe Q4i
- Absolute 55 Fly
- Shurhold Products
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson

Monte Carlo MC5:
High Style with Practicality

Monte Carlo MC5
The new MC5 is 49'10" (15.2 m) LOA with a 14'1" (4.29 m) beam and a displacement of 29,093 lbs. (13,200 kg.); 3 staterooms, 2 heads.

Clearly the new Monte Carlo MC5 was inspired by the hatchet bows of several superyachts and the plumb bows and angular high-freeboard shapes of Wally Yachts. But Groupe Beneteau has done them one better in our opinion by producing a far more practical mid-size cruising powerboat. This three-stateroom, two-head cruiser with flying bridge is powered by twin Volvo Penta IPS500s and has details and amenities intended to appeal to veteran boaters looking to move both up and down. We inspected her in January 2013 at her debut in Düsseldorf, Germany and came back with lots of pictures and some first impressions. More...

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New Boat

2014 Mako 21 LTS:
An All-New Light Tackle Skiff

Mako 21 LTS
Designed for bays and protected water the all-new for 2014 Mako 21 LTS is loaded with standard equipment. The "Gulfstream Blue" hull is a $250 option and we'd go for it.

The all-new Mako 21 LTS (Light Tackle Skiff) is a development of the tried and proven Mako 18 LTS hull. The 21 LTS has a complete fiberglass inner liner and deck; her bilge is gel coated. She comes standard with a 150 XL OptiMax Pro XS outboard and a tandem axle trailer. She has an 8'4" (2.54 m) beam, draws approximately 13” (30.2 cm) and has a complete dry package weight including boat, motor and trailer of 3,310 lbs. (1,504 kgs.). More...

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New Features Video

Beneteau GT 38:
Focus on Design and Styling

Beneteau GT 38
The Beneteau Gran Turismo 38 makes an excellent family cruiser thanks to her designers' creative use of space.

Among the many things we’ve come to appreciate about the way Beneteau builds its boats is the builder's discipline in combining both enduring style and design practicality. This approach makes the difference between a cruiser that its owner can be proud of for years and a boat that generates buyers' remorse once thoroughly acquainted. With the GT 38, we have a comfortable layout that is as warm and inviting as it is functional. Today we take a look at the details that we think will keep her buyers happy for many happy cruises. More...

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Test Video

Bayliner 215 DB:
New & Improved for Greater Utility

Bayliner 215 DB
The Bayliner 215 DB has a LOA of 20’7” (6.27 m) and a beam of 8’6” (2.59 m).

Bayliner has completely redesigned its series of deckboats to reflect feedback from its customers and as such, made a giant leap in the improvements it offers. In the case of the 215 DB there is more functionality, more room, a redesigned transom for improved functionality for watersports activities. She also has an enclosed head. An optional watersports package will appeal to the gung-ho. But of course none of that matters if she’s not made to perform, so today we put her through a full test with only a standard 220-hp engine doing the heavy work. More...

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Test Video

Chaparral 310 Signature:
A Classy, 3-Season Cruiser

Chaparral 310 Signature
On the 310 Signature, Chaparral offers 23 engine options from both Volvo Penta and Mercury, some including joystick control.

The mission of the Chaparral 310 Signature is to offer boaters a performance luxury cruiser with innovative features and a robust list of equipment which is often considered optional. She comfortably sleeps two couples, and easily entertains even more. By making the hardtop standard, with the addition of some isinglass, the boat can easily become a three-season vessel. This important detail gives her a lot more utility than conventional open express cruisers. More...

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New Features Video

Prestige 450 S:
Private Entrance for Full Beam Master

Prestige 450S
The Prestige 450 S has a LOA of 45’9” (13.96 m) and a beam of 14’1” (4.3 m) that offers two very private staterooms and two heads.

Virtually all cruisers in this class have two staterooms, both accessed from a single companionway forward of the salon. Prestige, however, decided that the same old design was not good enough and instead made a private entrance for the full beam master’s suite creating a level of solitude for the owners of the 450 S. But that's just one of her distinguishing features. More...

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Test Video

Evinrude E-TEC 150:
A Feature-Packed Two-Stroke

Evinrude E-TEC 150
With the Evinrude E-TEC 150, coming up with distinguishing features is fairly easy as it offers some distinct advantages not found in its four-stroke counterparts.

There are a lot of compelling arguments why the Evinrude E-TEC line of outboards are so popular, and the 150-hp version is packed with every one of them. Fewer moving parts, no scheduled maintenance for 5 years, and no break-in period, to name a few. Today we discuss the features that probably won’t interest a mechanical engineer, but will certainly appeal to the average boater since they directly reflect the every day boating experience. More...

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Test Video

Hatteras GT63:
A Large Offshore Performance Cruiser

Hatteras GT63
The Hatteras GT63 has a LOA of 63’10” and a beam of 20’ (6.1 m). Her empty weight is 102,000 lbs. (46,266 kg).

The Hatteras GT63 is a big cruiser that is offered in two versions, one with an open flying bridge, and the one we tested with an enclosed bridge. She maintains her classic features that define the Hatteras name while combining a serious fighting machine with an upscale cruiser full of luxury appointments. She can be powered with twin CAT C32A engines ranging from 1600-1900-hp. We tested her with the top end ACERTS which brought her over the coveted 40 kt mark. More...

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Test Video

Jeanneau NC11:
An Easily Handling, Fuel-Efficient Cruiser

Jeanneau NC11
The Jeanneau NC11 makes an ideal coastal cruiser as she can offer so much in the way of accommodations and features that belie her size. Whether the Great Loop of North America or the Canals of Europe, this boat is up to the task.

The NC11 is part of a “new concept” of boats from Jeanneau that offers more features than some cruisers much larger than this boat’s 35’7” (10.85 m) LOA. We tested her with a pair of standard Volvo Penta 200-hp D3 diesels, coupled to sterndrives. This is a remarkable fuel-efficient combination. In our video, we show how she maneuvered while reaching top speeds of over 31 kts, but also how easily she can be handled by a single person with joystick control. That makes her a good boat for a cruising couple where only one has to take care of the operations. More...

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Test Video

Yamaha VXS:
Hot Performance, Without Bells & Whistles

Yamaha VXS
While still being in the basic level of trim, the Yamaha VXS still offers a multi-function information center, Yamaha security system and an extra large boarding platform.

The design team at Yamaha has a singular mission with the VXS: provide the best performing watercraft, while leaving out the bells and whistles that add to the price. Owners of this high performance machine won’t be greeted with a handlebar tricked out like a Christmas tree, but instead will see basic controls feeding inputs to the 1812cc four-stroke, four-cylinder marine engine that takes her to a top speed of over 68 mph. More...

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New Boat

Four Winns H180 OBRS:
New "Edgy" Sportboat Styling

Four Winns H180 OBRS
The new Four Winns H180 OBRS comes standard with what the builder calls a "riveting black-and-lime exterior color scheme that will make your pulse race."

Four Winns' entry into the highly-competitive sportboat field of 18-footers is the new H180 OBRS. Powered by a Mercury 115-hp, four-stroke outboard she has an MSRP of $27,913, including a single axle trailer. The boat is also available with Evinrude and Yamaha outboards. She has a 19-degree deadrise and an approximate dry weight of 2,250 to 2,480 lbs. (1,020 to 1,120 kgs.) More...

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New Captain's Report

Tahoe Q4i:
18'1'' of Blazing Color

Tahoe Q4i
The 18' 1'' (5.51 m) Tahoe Q4i comes standard in five brilliant colors -- Citron Yellow (seen above), Black Cherry, Victory Red, Onyx, and Blueberry. She should be a stand-out this summer on any lake.

Tahoe's entry-level fiberglass bowrider is a comfortable way to get into boating, or for old salts, a low-cost way of keeping a versatile boat tied up at the summer lake house for use by children and grandchildren. Boaters between those two extremes will appreciate the new Q4i's standard colors and functionality for towing sports and having fun on the water. More...

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New Snapshot Review

Absolute 55 Fly:
For Elegant Cruising or Entertaining

Absolute 55 Fly
The Absolute 55 Fly is 54'7" (16.65 m) LOA with a 15'2" (4.65 m) beam and comes with twin 435-hp Volvo Penta IPS600 diesels as standard power. She has 3 staterooms and 2 heads. Note the hardtop.

The Absolute 55 Fly may at first glance look like just another mid-size express cruiser with a "sunbathing" flying bridge stuck on top of the coach roof, but when we drilled down into the bones of this vessel we found a lot to like. She can truly be a vessel that a couple could live on for the summer, while cruising most anywhere. She can also be used to entertain aboard in lavish style. The Absolute 55 Fly is not a megayacht, but she can fulfill most of the functions of one with grace and at a fraction of the cost. See our snapshot review...

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New Product

New Shurhold Compounding Pad

Shurhold Compounding Pad
The dimples in the pad allow it to run cooler for better performance than a conventional pad. Also it is made of a foam material that is less abrasive than wool pads and it lasts longer.

As we have pointed out from time to time, gel coat oxidizes and after a couple of years the luster of a shiny fiberglass boat dulls into a slow fade -- then it turns powdery. The way to keep that from happening is to compound and wax it a couple of times each year. Fiberglass megayachts in Florida are typically compounded by their crew four times a year. Shurhold's new Buff Magic Foam Compounding Pad is a general purpose, light cutting pad that is 6-1/2" in diameter and is designed to work with the Shurhold Dual Action Polisher which we tested several years ago. This intro offers a special price of $19.98 (reg $23.98) for Shurhold's New Buff Magic Foam Pad. Offer expires 6/30/13. More...

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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

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 BoatTEST.com'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 Correctly Tie a Boat to a Dock

Capt. Steve Smart Boating Cover
With current on your bow, first attach the bow line, as it will prevent the boat from drifting backwards, and it will also keep the boat from being pulled away from the dock.

This week Capt. Steve goes over eight lessons and guidelines on tying up to a dock and how to correctly use lines in order to secure your boat. Capt. Steve will explain what spring lines and breast lines are used for and how to use them to your advantage when leaving the dock. These are basic rules which all recreational boaters should be aware of. The videos presented this week are part of BoatTEST.com’s Boating Course which is USCG-approved. Watch these video boating lessons every week on BoatTEST.com.

To view this week’s lessons --

Order all lessons on DVD--

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Ducky Award

Ducky Winner

First Place

"In a stroke of rare government brilliance, FEMA has mandated all new home construction in flood zones will built upon foam pontoons instead of cement foundations." - E. Clark

Second Place

"Well, they weren't houseboats when we bought them." - D. Moore

Third Place

"Floating Condo, for those that prefer fishing over mowing." - E. Harder

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 06/12/2013

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

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