Yamaha VXR // Jeanneau 43 // Fleming 55 //14 Reports - 08/07/2013
BoatTEST Newsletter August 7, 2013 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
- Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O.
- Sea Ray 220 Sundeck
- Yanmar 6BY-ZT260
- Fleming 55
- Mako 21 LTS
- Jeanneau Velasco 43
- Yamaha VXR
- Sun Tracker PB 254 XP3
- MJM 34z
- Bayliner 215 Bowrider
- Nordic Tugs 26
- Prestige 620S
- Chaparral 284 Sunesta
- Beneteau Barracuda 9
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- What Is Going On Here?

Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O.:
Technology, Speed, Longevity

Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O.
The Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O. is targeted to outboard boats using 20” shaft length applications in bass, flats, multi-species, pontoon, RIBs, and small dual consoles among other types which are typically 17’ to 20’ (5.0 to 6.1 m) long and up to 25’ (7.6 m) in tri-toons.

There is no getting away from the fact that modern, electronically fuel-injected 2-stroke engines are remarkably durable. And why shouldn’t they be? The Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O. outboard has nearly 200 fewer parts than a comparable-sized 4-stroke. Fewer parts means lighter weight, more durability and less maintenance. In fact the E-TEC needs no regularly-scheduled dealer maintenance for 3-years or 300 hours. Here is the Evinrude 150 H.O.’s story...

Repower inquiry // Request engine specs

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New Design & Style Video

New Sea Ray 220 Sundeck:
New Design, Comfort and Space

Sea Ray 220 Sundeck
The new Sea Ray 220 Sundeck is a deckboat with seating for 12 people but her inside room, interior design and execution is the big story here.

What is the difference between a deckboat and a sportboat? Historically there have been four things – 1) More seating in the bow, 2) A blunt bow for diving and a beach boarding ladder, 3) Lower freeboard, and 4) Lower price. The negatives of deckboats – historically – have been that their blunt bow sections have hurt performance, their low freeboard have made them wet in certain conditions, and since price was an object, they were often tacky inside. The new Sea Ray 220 Sundeck has incorporated the good points of deckboats and designed out the not so good. More...

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Captain's Report

Yanmar 6BY2-ZT260:
100% Yanmar - Engine to Prop

Yanmar 6BY2-ZT260
Many people do not realize that Yanmar builds not just light and efficient engines, but also quiet and smooth shifting sterndrives and complete control and display components. We appreciate the advantage of having all of the propulsion components built by one manufacturer with regard to ease of service and warranty.

Europeans have long made use of diesel sterndrive propulsion systems because they offer the most efficient units in both worlds – engines and drives. Yanmar’s lightweight (703 lb./319 kg.) in-line 6 260-hp diesel mated to the company’s sterndrive with counter-rotating props is appropriate for both single and twin-engine applications. The package is beginning to gain traction in the U.S. both in new-boat applications and for repower. The Yanmar lower unit is hydraulic which means there is no “clunk” when put in gear. More...

Repower inquiry // Request models powered by Yanmar

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New Captain's Report

Fleming 55:
Classic World Cruising Motoryacht

Fleming 55
At displacement speeds she has over a 2,000-mile range but around home she can cruise in the high teens. And at 10 knots she gets nearly one mile per gallon, something that's hard to beat in a boat this large.

The Fleming 55 is now 27 years old and shows no sign of aging – that’s longer than the venerable Bertram 31 was in production! Why does this vessel have so much longevity and shows no signs of getting tired? The big reason is that most boaters consider her as drop-dead gorgeous today as when she was first launched in 1986. Then, she can do most anything from sailing across the Atlantic to hosting a large cocktail party, or coastal cruising with friends in comfort. Her interior is lavished in teak and her layout is as practical as they come. But there is much more to the secret of this motoryacht’s success. More...

Request digital brochure with layout

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Captain's Report

Mako 21 LTS:
Stable, Light-Tackle Platform

Mako 21 LTS
That is what we like to see: a catch-and-release angler. Note the stability of the vessel with these two large men aboard.

The new Mako 21 LTS is a development of the popular Mako 18, but with some important refinements. For example, the 21's bottom variable deadrise bottom warps to 16-degrees at the transom. This is four-degrees less than the 18 LTS and that together with its extra 9" (22.7 cm) of beam and greater weight (+803 lbs./+365 kgs.) will make her that much more stable when drifting or at anchor. More...

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New Test Video

Jeanneau Velasco 43:
Spacious and Big Water Capable Cruiser

 Jeanneau Velasco 43
We tested the Jeanneau Velasco 43 in her element off the south coast of France.

Jeanneau has taken an important step with the creation of the Velasco 43, the first boat in a new cruising boat series. When in home waters she can provide a welcome platform for day boating and entertaining, and while she’s hard to classify into a single category, clearly she makes a capable cruiser. Powered by twin Cummins 380-hp diesels we clocked her at 31.9 mph WOT. Best cruise was at 26.1 mph where she got 1 mile per gallon which is not bad for a boat over 22,000 lbs. (10,100 kgs.).  At 7.4 knots she has a range of 503 nautical miles. More...

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Test Video

Yamaha VXR:
Balance of Horsepower and Weight

Yamaha VXR
We had her up to 68.4 mph WOT and found her best cruise to be 24.2 mph where she burns just 3 gph.

Yamaha’s VXR is a “no-frills” performance machine but as can be seen by the numbers above that doesn’t mean she lacks moxie. Rather, it means she doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles found on more expensive PWCs. The VXR is powered by the same 1812 cc 4-cylinder, 4-stroke Yamaha-made engine, and has the same 155 mm jet nozzle that are used on the more expensive FZR model. The VXR is firmly planted in the middle of Yamaha’s performance line both in terms of features and price. We think it’s a good place to be for most enthusiasts. More...

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Captain's Report

Sun Tracker Party Barge 254 XP3:
Built to be the Life of the Party

Sun Tracker Party Barge 254 XP3
The 254 XP3 is the top of the Sun Tracker Regency Party Barge line and the builder says its performance and level of luxury inside is the best it has ever made.

In the bow, facing couches create a social atmosphere "in the round" which is ideal for parties, sightseeing or just hanging out. The seats have ultra soft padding, a padded flip down armrest on the starboard one, pillow top backs with lumbar supports, and comfortable headrests. A molded fiberglass refreshment center that includes a food prep area and sink with pullout sprayer will be the center of the party. More...

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Updated Captain's Report

MJM 34z:
Designed for Snowbirds

MJM 34z
Snowbirds are those lucky people who have a summer home in the north and a winter home in the south. With the MJM 34z they need only one boat because she can be trucked back and forth with a permit.

The 34z has been designed for a couple that is downsizing from a larger boat or one transitioning from sail to power. She is large enough to entertain 10 people on a day trip or moonlight cruise. She is powered by a single diesel, and with bow and stern thrusters she is easy to dock single-handed.  According to the builder, when powered with a 380-hp Yanmar engine she burns only 1.4 gph at 8.6 knots, giving her a range of 792 miles with a 10% fuel reserve. That’s just the beginning...

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Test Video

Bayliner 215 BR:
Choice of 2 Cockpit Layouts

Bayliner 215 BR
Capt. Steve is seen here pointing out that the Bayliner 215 BR has a proper windshield that drivers can see through – and do not have to look over, nor are they staring at the windshield header frame. We can think of sportboats costing nearly three times as much that don’t have this important detail right.

The strong suit of the Bayliner 215 BR is her 6’8” (2.03 m) wide cockpit. It can be ordered one of two ways –1) the standard seating with a conventional stationary companion seat with a spotter seat behind and jump seats to port and starboard of the engine box; or 2) With “Sport Seating” as seen in our test boat which has a swivel companion bucket seat and an L-shaped bench seat across the stern. See the full test...

Ask a question about the Bayliner 215 BR

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Captain's Report

Nordic Tugs 26cr:
A Couple’s Coastal Cruiser

Nordic Tugs 26cr
We call the Nordic Tug 26cr the biggest little boat on the market. She’s actually 28'9” (8.76 m) LOA, has a 9’6" (2.89 m) beam and displaces 8,500 lbs. (3863 kg.), dry.

The Nordic 26cr was intended for a cruising couple that really wants to spend some time on their boat and take pride in her design and sea-going capabilities. At home she is fine for taking a limited number of guests out for a day-boating adventure. She is powered by a single diesel and is intended for economical cruising speeds from 6 to 8 knots, even though in a pinch she can go in the low teens. There is nothing on the market with her quality of build in class. More...

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Test Video

Prestige 620S:
Modern Mix of Style and Performance

Prestige 620S
The helm on the flying bridge of the Prestige 620S was moved aft in order to install the sliding sunroof for the salon below.

There comes a moment in everyone’s life when it is time for the payoff for a job well done. We can’t think of a better reward for many people than a Prestige 620S, a three-stateroom, three-head motoryacht with crew’s quarters. She’s large, attractive, and has a salon which is as big as can be found in a much larger boat because of its creative layout. She’s made for cruising with the whole family in privacy, and will probably offer the most coveted invitation on the annual yacht club rendezvous. For those not in the yacht club, the 620S will turn the trick most places we know. More...

Request factory pricing

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Test Video

Chaparral 284 Sunesta:
All Deckboats are Not the Same

Chaparral 284 Sunesta
Capt. Steve gives us a tour of the bottom of the Chaparral 264, including a look at what helps this boat to get on plane fast and have a low bow rise.

We think this is one of the most instructional videos that Capt. Steve has done recently. He not only describes the boat, but gives us an in-depth view of her bottom, tips on how to maneuver the 264 underway (her wheel takes just 2.5 turns from lock-to-lock), as well as finishing with a short tutorial on how to dock a single engine sterndrive with counter-rotating props. WOT speed was 49.1 mph – something not many deck boats will do with the tested power. More...

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Updated Captain's Report

Beneteau Barracuda 9:
Center Pilothouse Walkaround

Beneteau Barracuda 9
We tested the 28’10” (8.78 m) Barracuda 9 offshore where she was designed to go in snotty conditions.

In the high latitudes such as Scandinavia, Greenland or the Orkney Islands, fiberglass boats that look like the Beneteau Barracuda 9 have been used for years. They are owned by fishermen, island commuters, and recreational boaters alike. So the concept has been tested and found to be practical and functional in challenging conditions. We are calling the design a “center” (as in center console), “pilothouse” (because she has a wheelhouse instead of a console), “walkaround” (because the decks are open 360-degrees). This could be the start of something big in North America. More...

Ask a question

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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

Preparing Your Boat for Transport

Capt. Steve Smart Boating Cover
Towing a boat is a big responsibility. Make sure you follow the proper steps and guidelines when preparing a boat for transport.

This week Capt. Steve goes over six lessons and guidelines to safely trailer a boat. These are basic procedures which all recreational boaters should be aware of. The videos presented this week are part of BoatTEST.com’s USCG-approved Boating Course. 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

"I knew you said you were going to pull the plug on my boating season Martha but don't you think this is a bit extreme?"
- C. Seminatore

Second Place

"Trust me, full throttle and your out in a minute!" - R. Sogge

Third Place

"Go ahead and laugh all you want. I can still take her out twice a day, I can stand outside my boat to do repairs, and I only pay half the cost of a regular slip. So who's the dumb one, eh?" - P. Marzek

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 08/07/2013

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