Yamaha SVHO // Key West 21 // Mercury 250 OptiMax // 13 Reports - 08/14/2013
BoatTEST Newsletter August 14, 2013 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
- Meridian 391 Sedan
- Yamaha SVHO
- Nitro ZV 21
- Mercury 250 OptiMax Pro XS
- Boston Whaler 350 Outrage
- Formula 240 Sun Sport
- Intrepid 300 CC
- Key West 219 FS
- Manitou 23 Oasis SR VP
- Monte Carlo Yachts 76
- Robalo R305
- Cruisers Yachts 540 SC
- Volvo Penta EVC-E
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson - What Is Going On Here?

Meridian 391 Sedan:
2 Staterooms in a Modern Design

Meridian 391 Sedan
The Meridian 391 Sedan has a 13'11" (4.2 m) beam and has two staterooms, the second one being under the dinette, so naturally it has limited headroom which is typical in this size of boat.

She provides several key features in this cruising package such as roomy staterooms, thoughtfully laid out salon and galley, practical bridge and respectable performance. Choosing a boat in this category can be very difficult and our captain's report will highlight what we feel are the differentiating factors. Our test showed that while this model was powered by modest twin 380-hp Cummins QSB 6.7L engines we found she cruised along at 23.9 mph burning only 30.1 gallons for a range of 402 miles. More...

Ask a question about the Meridian 391 Sedan.

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New Engine

New Yamaha SVHO Engine:
Technology, Design and Engineering

Yamaha SVHO Engine Yamaha SVHO Engine
Pictured here is the new 1.8L 4-stroke, 4-cylinder, supercharged, inner-cooled watercraft engine from Yamaha. This is the most technologically advanced engine they have designed to date with larger injectors, new forged pistons, and a new supercharger.

The team at Yamaha has redesigned their proven and extremely reliable 1.8L marine watercraft engine. This newly developed engine is called the SVHO or Super Vortex High Output. This engine is said to deliver 20% more power and torque than the original SHO. Based on the SHO block, this is still the largest displacement engine in the personal watercraft market at 1812cc. In this report we will take a detailed look at all of the changes, the new components and tell you what impact you should expect. But the engine is not the only new item, we will also cover the new jet-pump unit which has received a serious upgrade as well. More...

Ask a question

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New Captain's Report

Nitro ZV 21:
For Big Water and Multi-Species

Nitro ZV 21
The new fiberglass Nitro ZV 21 has a beam of 8'4" (2.54 m), a transom height of 28" (71 cm) and has a 26 gal. (98.42 L) livewell that is large enough to keep enough walleye fresh for a family fish fry.

While Nitro is known for its bass boats, the fact is that not everyone wants to fish for these critters. Many freshwater anglers prefer the thrill of stalking feisty northern pike or illusive muskie. Many more enjoy the delicious flesh of walleye or lake trout. But these species often live in large bodies of water, ones not appropriate for the low-deadrise, exposed nature of bass boats. For these anglers Nitro has designed the new ZV 21. More...

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New Test

Mercury 250 OptiMax Pro XS TM*:
Drives a 3,000-lb. Bass Boat at 75.1 MPH

Mercury 250 Optimax
With the Mercury OptiMax Pro XS engine, fuel and crew of two, the Ranger Z521 had a tested weight of 2,969 lbs. (1,347 kgs.).

*The “TM” on the end of this engine’s designation stands for “Torque Master” which refers to its lower unit which has a tab to counteract the engine's tremendous torque, two extra water pick-ups in the nose and a 19-spline hub for the prop. We recently tested the engine 250 OptiMax Pro XS TM and have a full report along with a new video. See it now...

Ask a repower question

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Test Video

Boston Whaler 350 Outrage:
Solid Offshore Handling

Boston Whaler 350 Outrage
The Boston Whaler 350 Outrage is designed for anglers with great expectations.

The 350 Outrage is designed and built to be a no-holds-barred offshore fishing machine for the keenest and meanest anglers on the block. She can pretty much go where the gold-plated battlewagons troll, but at a fraction of the cost, making her a candidate for downsizing game fishermen. She has a "soft" side. The 350 Outrage has enough comfortable seating and cruising amenities to keep the family happy on a casual day's outing. More...

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Captain's Report

Formula 240 Sun Sport:
Formula's Smallest Boat

Formula 240 Sun Sport
As this test data demonstrates, the 240 Sun Sport might be the smallest boat in the Formula fleet, but she certainly has the same panache and driving thrills as her larger siblings.

With an 8'6" (2.59 m) beam and weighing 5,000 lbs. (2,268 kgs.), dry, Formula's 240 Sun Sport squarely targets the trailer-boat market looking for the quality and upscale features Formula has become synonymous with. She has a 20-degree deadrise at the transom, so let her rip and catch gobs of air as she will be as comfortable as any boat in class. More...

Request digital brochure

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Captain's Report

Intrepid 300 CC:
Custom Built, Factory-Direct

Intrepid 300 CC
The Intrepid 300 is one of the most popular boats in the Intrepid line because she is just the right size for many applications. She carries a 9'6" (2.89 m) beam.

Not everyone needs a custom-built 30' (9.14 m) center console, or even one built to the high standards of the Intrepid 300, but for those who do, we recommend adding this model to the considerations list. There are several design innovations and features in the 300 that distinguish her in the offshore center console performance market. All Intrepid boats are built to order and sold factory-direct. Because there are no dealer commissions involved, the price tag on these highly-customized boats is not as high as one might think. More...

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New Snapshot Review

Key West 219 FS:
Lightweight, Roomy and Versatile

Key West 219 FS
The Key West 219 FS has an 8’6" (2.59 m) beam and weighs 2,250 lbs. (1,022 kgs.) dry, without engine, making her one of the lightest boats in class. We recommend a 150-hp engine for this boat which should get over 40 mph with crew and fuel.

Key West’s 219 FS is intended to be a “Family Sportsman” and this bird’s eye view shows that she can hold quite a large family, indeed. The stern casting platform has a standard snap-on cushion that makes it into a large bench seat. Cushions for the bow are optional. For families we’d put an optional pedestal base forward and install a table which makes an enjoyable place for picnics on the water. Those wanting to engage in towing sports can get the ski pylon. Fishermen can get the optional livewell. Key West will pre-rig for most major outboard brands. More...

Request digital brochure

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Test Video

Volvo Penta EVC-E:
Electronic Vessel Control Evolves

Volvo Penta EVC-E
Volvo's EVC-E system is much more than simply drive-by-wire. Now virtually the whole vessel's vital signs can be monitored from one screen at the helm.

EVC-E is Volvo Penta’s electronic engine, drive, and diagnostic system all rolled into one. By connecting the engine, transmission, instruments and accessories in one system Volvo Penta is able to offer virtually all of the drive control and diagnostic feedback needed in one screen. The result is ease of handling and highly reliable, simple engine system updates.  More...

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Captain's Report

Manitou 23 Oasis SR VP:
At Least 3 Functions in 1 Toon

Manitou 23 Oasis SR VP
Take a close look at the interior of this Manitou 23 Oasis SR VP. She can be rigged with most any outboard brand, so match the engine to the most popular use.

The Manitou 23 Oasis SR VP has one of the most innovative interior layouts we have seen on a pontoon boat and there is quite a bit of versatility in how the furniture can be used. This is a big plus for a toon which typically has to serve a number of functions – sedate evening cocktail cruiser for adults, watersports/dive platform at high noon for the kids, and towing vessel for the teenagers who want to wakeboard at all hours. By pricing the 23 Oasis between its entry-level Aurora and the high-end Legacy and X-Plode models, Manitou has found a sweet spot that gives customers what they want at a moderate price. More...

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Test Video

Monte Carlo Yachts 76:
The Persistence of Memory

Monte Carlo Yachts 76
Large motoryachts are all about entertaining and having dramatic spaces in which to do it. The flying bridge of the Monte Carlo Yachts 76 comes standard with a carbon fiber hardtop with sunroof, below lots of space for friends and family to enjoy the view.

Because she is such a masterpiece of motoryacht design we no longer feel compelled to show the exterior of the MCY 76. By now her unusual yet graceful lines have become fixed in the minds of most of her potential constituency. Like Salvador Dali's painting "The Persistence of Memory" -- in which clocks seem to be melting -- once the image is seen it is never forgotten. We think the same is true of the MCY 76. Those unable to remember the MCY 76's lines are either not in the market or haven't been paying attention. Refresh the Memory...

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Test Video

Robalo R305:
For Cruising or Fishing

Robalo R305
The Robalo R305 is a versatile boat that we think should be a good sea-keeper. Our test boat displaced 10,805 lbs. (4,901 kgs.) as tested, had a deadrise of 21-degrees, and a beam of 10'6" (3.2 m).

We like express fishboats such as the Robalo R305 for going far offshore in search of gamefish or for cruising to distant islands, for that matter. The reason is that the express design has an enclosed bow, a raised bridge deck and a cockpit of less than half the volume that a similar-sized center console would have. The R305 has the bones, the stones, and the family comfort features to do both bluewater fishing and cruising. Moreover, there are many standard details that we consider simply good boat-building on the R305 which set her apart from other boats in class. See what we mean...

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Test Video

Cruisers Yachts 540 Sports Coupe:
A Genteel Motoryacht by Any Name

Cruisers Yachts 540 Sports Coupe
The salon of the Cruisers Yachts 540 is remarkably open and airy, designed for comfortable cruising in luxury by two couples or a family. She has a 15'6" (4.47 m) beam.

Don't be misled by the "Sports Coupe" appellation: the Cruisers Yachts 540 displaces 42,000 lbs. (19,090 kgs.) which puts her firmly into the motoryacht category. Go below and discover an interior that ranks as one of the best in size, much less in class. Because she is powered by IPS drives her accommodations deck takes up fully 2/3rds of her length. Everything about her seems over-sized -- she has high headroom (6'10"/2.01 m) in the salon, large beds, and a huge C-shaped settee on her aft deck opposite a nearly complete on-deck galley with grill. She is definitely for people used to the finer things in life. More...

Request a price quote

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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

Requirements for Recreational Boaters:
Take Life Jackets Seriously

Capt. Steve Smart Boating Cover
Capt. Steve explains requirements for all boaters.

This week Captain Steve examines the five types of life jackets. He takes you through determining which jacket is appropriate for your type of boating. Captain Steve will also explain the legal requirements for boaters and give a quick lesson on determining when it is time to replace your existing jackets. 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

"Wait till the boys in the pound see me
now!" - S. Kekewich

Second Place

"Hurry up Pookie, I saved you a seat."
- J. Beuth

Third Place

"Geezzz.... timeout again. I promise I won't pee on the teak tomorrow." - G. Everette

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 08/14/2013

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