Viper 243 // Carver C40 // Lund 1750 // 12 Reviews - 08/21/2013
BoatTEST Newsletter August 21, 2013 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter. Tests You Can Trust
- Carver C40
- Sea Ray 240 Sundeck
- Prestige 450 S
- Mako 284 Center Console
- Bayliner 175 Bowrider
- Evinrude E-TEC 115
- Yamaha FZR
- Viper 243
- Sun Tracker PB 20 DLX
- Jeanneau NC14
- Chaparral 257 SSX
- Lund 1750 Tyee
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- What Is Going On Here?

Carver C40:
2nd in a New Design Series

Carver C40
The new C40 measures in at 39’10” (12.14 m) LOA with a 13’ (4.22 m) beam.

With more and more boaters finding a desire for moving up to real cruising boats with actual flying bridges, Carver enters the field with a clear purpose to give the competition a run for its money. First was the C34 which we previously tested. And now, ready to launch this August, is hull #1 of the C40. Recognizing that the command bridge design is an underserved market segment, this new launch is value priced, offers real privacy with two staterooms and two heads, and tops it all off with a commanding view of her surroundings. More...

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New Design & Style Video

Sea Ray 240 Sundeck:
With the Capacity of a Pontoon Boat

Sea Ray 240 Sundeck Sea Ray 240 Sundeck
Count 'em: there are six people in the bow of this Sea Ray 240 Sundeck…and four people in the stern area, that's 10. There's room for at least 3 more because the boat's capacity rating is 13 -- the same or more than most pontoon boats this length.

The new Sea Ray 240 Sundeck has a tremendous capacity for a deckboat of this length -- 13 is as much or more than most pontoon boats of this size. But there is more to the new 240 Sundeck than just capacity because, the fit-and-finish, upholstery and standard amenities of the boat have also been upgraded. Our recently-made video of the 240 takes a look at the interior details of this new deckboat from Sea Ray. See it now...

Request a digital brochure

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Test Video

Prestige 450 S:
A Practical Cruising Yacht

 Prestige 450 S
The forward stateroom of the Prestige 450 S employs a concept that we'd like to see other builders adopt -- namely giving owners the ability to split the obligatory queen island berth into two singles.

At what length does the "enclosed express cruiser" class end and the "motoryacht" class begin? At one time we would have said somewhere in the 50' or 60' (16 to 19 m) range. But the Prestige 450 S has us reconsidering that range of demarcation. The reason is that to us she simply looks more like a small motoryacht than like an enclosed express cruiser. In addition to her external styling there are also some very practical aspects of the Prestige 450 S (such as the one above) that give her more gravitas in our eyes. More...

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Captain's Report

Mako 284 CC:
Center Console for All Seasons

Mako 284 CC
All this Mako 284 needs is a small propane heater and she'll be ready for four season fishing. The cruising canvas is on the options list.

Regular readers know we like cruising canvas because it extends the season, thus allows the boating investment to pay higher returns. It's not too soon to be planning for fishing trips in late fall. It takes a bit of extra equipment and clothing (think ski jackets and pants), but a cruising canvas and a 12V electric heater means a day's outing on the water can be quite pleasant -- and with some luck even rewarding. More...

Mako PromoMako promotional video. Ask a question

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Test Video

Bayliner 175 BR:
Is 135-hp Enough for Wakeboarding?

Bayliner 175 BR
We tested the Bayliner 175 BR to see if her 135-hp sterndrive engine had enough power to pull up an adult wakeboard enthusiast and the results are seen above: A, throttle down; B, point where the boat started; C, point where the tow began.

When it comes to boats that are only offered with the 135-hp sterndrive engine one of the most often asked questions is, "Is 135-hp enough to pull an adult on a wakeboard?" To find out we asked the folks at Bayliner if they minded putting their 175 BR to the test. They were pleased to have us find out for ourselves (as they had been telling us for months that it was enough). The answer is yes, the 135-hp engine does have what it takes in the Bayliner 175 BR and we have the video to prove it. See it here...

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Test Video

Evinrude E-TEC 115:
No Scheduled Maintenance for 3 Years

Evinrude E-TEC 115
One of the features we like on the Evinrude E-TEC 115 is its raw water-cooled CPU which sits on the top of the engine, as far away from the heat as possible.

One of the advantages of 2-stroke power is the absence of valve shims and the need to recalibrate them-- because there are no valves in the first place. Then there also are no rocker arms, valve lifters, cams and about 200 other parts that 4-stroke engines have. All of this means that Evinrude can offer a pledge that the engine needs no scheduled dealer service for 300 hours or 3 years, whichever comes first. But that is just the beginning. Find out more...

Ask a question

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Test Video

Yamaha FZR:
Supercharged for Extreme Action

Yamaha FZR
It all happens right here. Forward is the water intake grate. In the middle is the large alloy pad that gives the FZR a high-speed running surface, and aft is the 155 mm articulating jet nozzle. Not seen is the 1812cc supercharged engine.

The Yamaha FZR is for thrill-seekers only. Her supercharged 1812cc Yamaha 4-stroke engines blasts her off the dime in a flash. Because she has a lightweight NanoXcel hull her CG is lower and its shape is designed for deep edge-to-edge inside leaning for extreme riding while keeping the jockey firmly in the saddle. Capt. Steve gives her the once over before taking her out for some adrenaline-pumping running. More...

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New Captain's Report

Viper 243:
Euro Cuddy with 23 Engine Options

Viper 243
The Viper 243 is 23’9” (7.25 m) LOA, with an 8’4” (2.57 m) beam, 3’ (.90 m) draft, and weighs 3,740 lbs. (1,700 kgs.).

Boaters who would like something different in a sportboat may want to consider the German-built Viper 243. She is a well-appointed 23’9” (7.25 m) cuddy with a berth below, an enclosed head, wrap-around cockpit seat, entertainment console and a choice of 23 engine packages ranging from 190-hp to 300-hp, in both gas and diesel. More...

Ask a question // Request digital brochure

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Captain's Report

Sun Tracker Party Barge 20 DLX:
In the Middle of 19 Models

Sun Tracker Party Barge 20 DLX
The Sun Tracker Party Barge 20 DLX comes standard with a 40-hp Mercury ELPT 4-stroke Big Foot outboard and lists for $15,995 plus freight and dealer prep.

Regular readers might be wondering why we publish the Sun Tracker Party Barge 20 DLX so often and the reason is that she sits right in the middle of Sun Tracker's fleet of 13 pontoon boats that stretch from 16’ to 25’ (4.87 to 7.62 m). She is rated for 10 people and in the image above her room is obvious. If it is too large, scale down; too small, scale up. There are also Sun Trackers for fishing and ones for water sports. Most are twin-toons, but several are triple-toons and there is a wide range of engine horsepower available for all purposes. For example, on the Party Barge 20 DLX there is an option of a 75-hp OptiMax. More...

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Features & Layout Video

Jeanneau NC14:
3 Rooms, 2 Heads, Terrace and Water View

Jeanneau NC14
Somewhat like a compact apartment on the Mediterranean, the Jeanneau NC14 has a fully functional working galley with fridge, stove top, microwave, dishwasher and sink that transforms into a credenza or side table when entertaining. All she needs is a wine cooler.

The Jeanneau "new concept" is to make an attractive boat as much like a floating apartment as possible and to maximize functionality at every turn. For example, in the bow is a queen that can be made into twins, on deck is a dinette that doubles as a companion seat for two, and in the cockpit is a transom bench seat that can be moved aft to increase deck space for a cocktail party. She is powered by twin IPS systems of either 300-hp or 370-hp. Like all NC models, she is reasonably priced given the level of equipment aboard. More...

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Test Video

Chaparral 257 SSX:
Prestige and Performance

Chaparral 257 SSX
The Chaparral 257 SSX that we tested was powered by a 6.0 L Volvo Penta V8-380-hp engine that was not only super quick out of the blocks, but also gave the boat a WOT speed of 53.6 mph.

The Chaparral 257 SSX turns heads for so many different reasons that it is hard to list them all. First is her sleek styling with her sculpted hull sides that can be seen in relief in the photo above, along with her signature triple engine room air scoops. Then there is her classy-looking, double-stitched upholstery in the cockpit with two tones and a darker colored dash treatment. Third are the innovations aboard such as the three-way portside seat that makes into a lounger, bench seat or dinette. We think Chaparral has out done itself on this model. Take a look...

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New Captain's Report

Lund 1750 Tyee:
Smallest Tyee has Brio

 Lund 1750 Tyee
The Lund 1750 has a rated capacity for 7 people and is powered by outboards ranging from 90-hp to 150-hp.

The 1750 Tyee is the smallest of four boats in the Lund Tyee series that ranges up to the 1950. Like the other three boats, the 1750 is also built for big water and multi-species, fish such as walleye, salmon, lake trout, or pike. But look closely and it becomes evident that the 1750 can also be used as a tow boat as well. That means one boat can provide recreation for the whole family, which makes it one of the best investments possible in our book. 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’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 Handle a Boat
in Different Sea Conditions

Capt. Steve Smart Boating Cover
No one wants to be out in a small boat like this one in the above sea conditions, but knowing how to maneuver a boat in rough seas is important.

This week Capt. Steve goes over five lessons and guidelines on understanding wave characteristics and how to handle a boat in different types of sea conditions. Learn how to approach a head sea and how to handle the boat in a following sea. 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

"Okay, try adjusting the trim." -C. Jonnes

Second Place

"Yeah. Honey? I'm going to be a little late for dinner." - K. Schreifels

Third Place

"I guess my compass is off by 90 degrees..." - S. Frimer

What's Going
On Here?

WIGOH 08/21/2013

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