Jeanneau Velasco 43 // Robalo 206 Cayman // Mercury 8.2 MAG // 10 Reviews - 10/02/2013
BoatTEST Newsletter October 2, 2013 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter. Tests You Can Trust
- Premier 250 Intrigue
- Mercury 8.2 MAG
- Cruisers Sport Series 238
- Evinrude E-TEC 250
- Jeanneau Velasco 43
- Prestige 620S
- Nitro Z-9
- Yamaha SVHO
- Robalo 206 Cayman
- Yanmar 8LV Propulsion
- PowerStop! Props
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson

Premier 250 Intrigue:
Pontoon Luxury & High Capacity

Premier 250 Intrigue
This photo of the Premier 250 Intrigue shows the sweeping lines of the boat's fencing which start low, rise and then descend at the stern to give the vessel a stylish look. And then, there's the sport arch.

The Premier 250 Intrigue has a rated capacity of from 16 to 20 people, depending on the number and type of the boat's toons. The base boat has two 27" (68 cm) logs which are much more buoyant than the 23" or 25" (58 - 63 cm) tubes that most pontoon boats offer as standard. The large helm seat is standard, but the 2 reclining armchairs seen forward are optional -- and, we're told, very popular. This boat is all about pontoon luxury for entertaining. More...

Request a brochure.
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New Test Video

Mercury 8.2 MAG:
"Displacement Has No Replacement"*

 Mercury 8.2 MAG
The Mercury 8.2 L engine is the largest displacement production gas engine on the marine market, ranging from 380 to 430-hp. Mercury Racing can squeeze up to 700-hp out of this block.

*A popular slogan among engineers for large displacement engines. Although GM has stopped making large blocks for its vehicles, through an exclusive arrangement, it will continue to supply the bare 8.2L cast iron block to Mercury Marine. This is why only Mercury is able to offer this large block for inboard and sterndrive applications. The 8.2 MAG is the first engine completely dedicated to Mercury’s own design and its exclusive use. Over the course of several decades, Mercury, and particularly the Mercury Racing Team, has perfected this engine for arduous marine work. Moreover, there are many applications that simply need the depth of power and torque that only a high displacement engine can provide. More...

Ask a performance question.

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Test Review

Cruisers Sport Series 238 Bow Rider:
The Start of Something Big

Cruisers Sport Series 238 Bow Rider
The Cruisers Sport Series 238 BR has a big-boat feel thanks to her weight, deadrise, and Cruisers' overall execution. Note the sculptured topsides that are rare in this size boat.

The Cruisers Sport Series 238 BR is a premium level bowrider that is the second smallest boat in the CSS line that now extends to 32' (9.75 m). She has a displacement of 4,431 lbs. (2,010 kgs.) dry, which makes her one of the most robust bowriders in class. She has a changing compartment in the port console, an extra-long storage compartment in the cockpit sole that can hold wakeboards and skis in deck compartments and accessed by two hatches. We like her deep bow seating which will keep kids secure, and the swim platform that extends past the lower unit in the down position. More...

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Test Video

Evinrude E-TEC 250 H.O.:
Fuel-Efficient and Durable

Evinrude E-TEC 250
With the cowling off of the Evinrude E-TEC 250 H.O. V-6 we can see 3 of the 6 special magnetic-actuated injectors that make this 2-stroke engine so fuel-efficient.

Evinrude E-TEC engines use a special injector system that is very much like a stereo speaker in that it vibrates thousands of times a second to atomize precise amounts of fuel. No other outboard brand uses this highly-regarded system. Each pulse of the injector can inject as little as two champagne bubbles into the engine. It is one of the devices that make the 2-stroke Evinrude E-TEC 250 competitive with 4-stroke engines' fuel efficiency at cruising RPMs. Then there is the fact that this 2-stroke engine has nearly 200 fewer parts to move around and cause friction compared to a 4-stroke. More...

Request repower information.

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Captain's Report

Jeanneau Velasco 43:
Cruiser for Home and Away

Jeanneau Velasco 43
Who wouldn't like to be in this Jeanneau Velasco 43 tied up in a picturesque gunkhole? She draws just 3'7" (1.10 m) which means she can get nearly anywhere.

The mission of the new Velasco 43 is to serve as a family cruiser with the ability to travel to more distant horizons when the owner desires. Jeanneau tells us that they were striving to reach “a superior level of comfort through the distribution of interior and exterior living spaces making the boat well-suited for today’s families.” We like the skylights in the cowling over the helm, the relatively wide side decks and bulwarks which are unusual on this size boat, and the cut-out foredeck for the anchor stock and chain. More...

Ask a handling question.

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Captain's Report

Prestige 620S:
An International Motoryacht

Prestige 620S
The Prestige 620S (for "Sportfly") is a modern motoryacht with 3 en suite staterooms below and a large salon on the main deck. Note the sliding sunroof and aft location of the flying bridge.

This motoryacht is the result of an impressive international collaboration of some of yachting's foremost design and engineering talent. (American) Michael Peters drew the hull, (Italian) Vittorio Garroni led the design team, and Prestige's (French) engineers made sure that it all worked as intended. Making its huge accommodations possible is the twin Volvo Penta IPS900 propulsion system (Swedish) which moves the engine room aft in addition to providing 1400 horsepower and a joystick. She carries a CE category "B" (European) rating with 14 people aboard. More...

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New Captain's Report

Nitro Z-9:
Built For -- and Used By -- the Pros

Nitro Z-9
Professional bass anglers -- people who make their living from tournament prize money -- need reliable equipment that won't let them down. The Nitro Z-9, for many, fills the bill.

The Nitro Z-9 is used by scores of professional bass anglers to bring home the finny bacon. This boat has everything the pros need to conduct their business without the high overhead some brands demand. The result is a better ROI. The Nitro Z-9 is powered by a Mercury 225-hp OptiMax Pro XS with Torque Master lower unit for added dependability. The Z-9 rig comes standard with a color-matched tandem-axle trailer and all of the fishy stuff needed. Cast a line...

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Captain's Report

Yamaha SVHO:
New Watercraft Locomotion

Yamaha SVHO
This CAD image shows the new forged pistons at the heart of the Yamaha SVHO engine. They connect to the crankshaft, then to the drive shaft and the new impellor in the redesigned jet-pump unit.

Based on the SHO block, at 1812 cc Yamaha's new SVHO engine is still the largest displacement engine in the personal watercraft market. In our report we will take a detailed look at all of the changes and new components in the engine as well as cover the new jet-pump unit which has been significantly upgraded. While we haven't yet tested the new rig we can speculate about what all of these changes will mean to the PWC operator. Get started here...

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New Captain's Report

Robalo 206 Cayman:
New Bay Boat Has Advantages

Robalo 206 Cayman
For the most part, the new Robalo 206 stays fairly level when launching off waves. Her 15-degree deadrise at the transom is a good compromise between comfort, speed and fuel-efficiency.

A big advantage of being the latest entry into a crowded field is that the builder's designers can survey everything on the market, then incorporate the best features in the new boat, plus throw in a few new ideas of their own. That is what Robalo has done with its all new 206 Cayman. The result is a vessel that obsoletes many of the boats on the market, particularly the models that really haven't been changed in years. We think anglers looking to move up should put this boat on their watch list. More...

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Captain's Report

Yanmar 8LV Propulsion:
For Inboard, ZF 2800 POD Drive or Sterndrives
Both New and Re-Power

Yanmar 8LV Propulsion
Weighing in at only 992 lbs. (450 kg) the 8LV (320 to 370-hp) has the best power-to-weight ratio in class. It is even lighter than gas engines of similar horsepower.

One of Yanmar's most popular and versatile engines is the 8LV that ranges from 320 to 370-hp. Around this workhorse engine, Yanmar has engineered both sterndrive and ZF 2800 POD drive systems utilizing a joystick in twin applications. Because the 8LV is the lightest diesel in class, it's ideal for both Yanmar's sterndrive lower unit and the ZF 2800 POD drive, in order to reduce weight in the stern. These Yanmar 8LV propulsion systems offer builders a compelling way to get more accommodations in new designs. Owners considering re-power will find that no brand does a better job of customer service than Yanmar, according to our member surveys. Find out more about Yanmar's 8LV solutions...

Ask a repower or technical question.

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PowerStop! Props:
Improved Stopping for Pontoon Boats

PowerStop Props
PowerTech! calls its new line of props "PowerStop!" and they are intended primarily for pontoon boats powered by outboard engines from 150 to 250-hp using 11", 12", 13" and 15.5" diameter props.

Conventional props -- i.e. the ones most of us have -- don't stop very well because they were designed to maximize locomotion forward. In the past some relatively obscure props were designed for stopping, but they did not go forward very well. Recently, our friends at PowerTech! created a new prop designed to stop faster without giving up much WOT performance. While these props were first designed for pontoon boats, houseboats and barges they have wider applications, as well. More...

Prop selection worksheet.

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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
4-DVD Boating Course

Smart Boating
Sometimes it's not what you know, but what you've forgotten. We have the perfect solution for you.

Based on the feedback we’ve been getting about's Video 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

PWC Safety Tips - Part II

Capt. Steve Smart Boating Cover
PWCs are a lot of fun to drive, but like all boats they have their boundaries. Don’t let an inexperienced person go for a joy ride on your PWC.

This week Capt. Steve goes over five lessons and guidelines on operating a PWC and some rules to follow. It’s tempting to want to play around on the PWC and perform stunts and jump wakes, but don’t attempt this if you’re a novice since you can fall off, injure yourself coming off a wave, or hurt someone else. Also, just because your PWC looks like it can handle two or three riders doesn’t mean it was designed to carry that weight. Follow the capacity plate for your PWC. The videos presented this week are part of’s USCG-approved Boating Course. Watch these video boating lessons every week on

To view this week’s lessons --

Order all lessons on DVD--, LLC
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Stamford, CT 06901

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