Yamaha VX // Robalo 206 // Manitou 23 // 15 Reports - 10/16/2013
BoatTEST Newsletter October 16, 2013 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
- Beneteau Oceanis 41
- Robalo 206 Cayman
- Manitou 23 Oasis
- Mercury Verado 225 HP
- Tigé RZR
- Yamaha VX Cruiser
- Evinrude E-TEC 50
- Alumacraft Trophy 205
- PowerTech Propellers
- Ranger Z521
- Shurhold Camera Adapter
- Prestige 450 S
- Yanmar 8LV ZF POD 2800
- Bayliner Element
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson

Beneteau Oceanis 41:
Making Sailing Fun Again

Beneteau Oceanis 41
The Oceanis 41 has a beam of 13'9" (4.20 m) and a light displacement of 18,624 lbs. (8.450 kgs.) and is powered by a 40-hp engine when not under sail.

From bow to stern, the Oceanis 41 has been carefully designed to appeal to a wide range of boaters from rank beginners to veteran sailors. And, like most Beneteau sailboats, she has been designed for easy sail handling by a couple or even single-handed. By offering a layout option with three cabins and two heads she should appeal to families, couples, singles and even to entrepreneurs who want to put a boat into the charter trade. More...

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New Test Video

Robalo 206 Cayman:
A New Breed of Bay Boat

Robalo 206 Cayman
On the 206 Cayman Robalo has incorporated the "Extended V-Hull" that has proven successful on other boats in the company's stable. Note the transom is actually inset, and the hull, port and starboard extends beyond it.

The Robalo 206 Cayman is Robalo's first foray into the bay boat market and one might ask why the builder didn't start with something smaller, such as with a 17' or 18' "entry level" model. The answer, we believe, is that Robalo wants to build a boat that owners of smaller bay boats would want to aspire to. These folks, by definition, are educated consumers when it comes to the class, so should immediately appreciate the features of the 206 Cayman. This is not a bay boat like all of the others. Find out what is different...

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New Test Video

Manitou 23 Oasis:
Versatile Party/Sports Platform

Manitou 23 Oasis
Currently one of the most creative and innovative stern sections in the pontoon world is on the Manitou Oasis 23 SR VP. We have tested the boat with 150-hp Evinrude E-TEC outboard.

We find three things particularly compelling about the 23 Oasis SR. First, is the patented V-Toon design which has a lot going for it in terms of handling and hole shot. Second, the warranty ranks as one of the better ones in class. Third, we think that the "split rear" design (seen above) is one of the most innovative -- and functional -- in class. This is a premium-quality boat with a number of amenities. More...

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Captain's Report

Mercury Verado 225 HP:
Saltwater Ready

Mercury Verado 225 HP
Mercury has broken the code for reliability in offshore saltwater applications: the new 5.44-inch gear case (replacing a 4.8" one) shown above for the Verado 225/250/300 HP outboard engines, and what is generally considered to be the most corrosion-resistant alloys in the business.

The folks in Fond du Lac have been working diligently for the last several years to engineer a reliable, large, efficient saltwater outboard engine. While the changes to its engines were not all made at once and most weren't even announced, the Gen II version of the big Verados -- 225, 250 and 300 -- have now been complete for over a year and the word we are getting back from the field is that so far they have met expectations. But the Verado has more going for it than a beefy gear case and sophisticated metal, for example its supercharger is the only way to keep heat and humidity from robbing outboard horsepower. Find out more...

Ask a repower question

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New Test Video

Tigé RZR:
A Big Boat in a Small Package

Tigé RZR
The Tigé RZR is a 20’ (6.1 m) wakeboat loaded with the best features that Tigé has to offer.

For those who want a premium wakeboat, but suffer under the rules of lake limits or tow vehicles restricting the size of the boat, Tigé answers the call with the RZR. Razor sharp and full of features, this is the boat that will take performance and standards to the max while keeping the size down. This boat can accommodate the popular Alpha Z tower, comes standard with the Tigé Touch display screen, and all upholstery is diamond pleated and secured with UV resistant thread. Basically, it’s the whole premium package wrapped up in just 20’ (6.1 m). More...

Ask a wakesurfing question.

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New Captain's Report

Yamaha VX Cruiser:
Economical Family Fun

Yamaha VX Cruiser
The Yamaha VX Cruiser comes in Metallic Black or Crimson Red Metallic, holds from one to three people, carries 18.5 gallons (70 L) of fuel, and has a starting price of $9,799.

The 2014 Yamaha VX Cruiser, the top version in the VX Series has a major technical change this year, NanoXcel, which brought the dry weight down to 686 lbs. (311 kg). NanoXcel, which has been used in the FX and FZ Series for years, is a combination of material and process we will cover in this report. we also take a detailed look at the ride and comfort, from the ergonomics of the seat to the handling of the hull. Priced at $9,799 the VX Cruiser is not short on power and is tested at over 50 MPH. For the full story...

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Test Video

Evinrude E-TEC 50-hp:
A Workhorse of the Aluminum Boat Fleet

Evinrude E-TEC 50-hp
Evinrude's E-TEC 50-hp engine is designed for many applications, prominent among which are small aluminum boats. The weight of the aluminum boat in the above test has a dry weight of 895 lbs. (406 kg.).

Evinrude's E-TEC 50-hp is the backbone of its lower horsepower workhorse outboard series. It is ideal for both new boats and repowering applications because of its lightweight and low maintenance requirements. Because of its E-TEC 2-stroke technology it has substantially fewer moving parts than 4-stroke engines, making it lighter with fewer things to go wrong. That quickly translates into longer and life lower maintenance costs. Find out more...

Ask a repower question

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New Snapshot Review

Alumacraft Trophy 205:
A Tournament-Level Fishing Boat

Alumacraft Trophy 205
The Trophy 205 is the largest in Alumacraft’s Trophy Series. At 20' 8'' (6.2 m) LOA she can be rigged tournament style with fishing amenities, or alternately as a family fish and ski. All photos in this report show the boat equipped with the LE Limited Package extras.

Alumacraft’s specialty is fishing boats. They have been about their business for a long time—in fact, their story began in Minnesota in 1946. The company makes more than 80 different types of boats in a broad line of aluminum-built rigs, as their name suggests. The Trophy Series tops their extensive line, and the Trophy 205 is their largest tournament designed fishing boat. The 205 is a sound choice for serious fishermen angling for a roomy layout in a big water, full windshield fishing machine. More...

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Product Video

PowerTech Acceleration Factors:
Having Difficulties Getting on Plane?

For boaters having difficulty getting on plane it could be because of the engine or the prop. Before changing engines, find out if the prop is at fault.

There are few things more embarrassing when boating than to have a vessel that struggles to get up on plane. Virtually all boats should get on plane relatively quickly and should not struggle to do so. For those having acceleration problems, several factors could be causing the problem, but paramount among them is the prop. Find out what can be done from the folks at PowerTech!, our go-to consultants when it comes to all questions involving props. More...

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New Test Video

Ranger Z521:
250 OptiMax 2-Stroke has Sizzle

Ranger Z521
We tested the Mercury 250 OptiMax Pro XS on a bass boat with a tested weight of 2,969 lbs. (1,349 kgs.) and recorded a WOT speed of 75.1 mph.

We tested the Mercury OptiMax Pro XS 250 on a new Ranger Z521 bass boat and recorded some noteworthy speed and fuel consumption numbers. Our best cruise setting for this 2-stroke engine was at 3000 RPM where we went 30.5 mph and got 4.91 mpg. Capt. Steve has just finished his video showing the details of the boat plus gives his on-camera comments of the boat's handling at high speed. See the video...

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Shurhold Products:
GoPro Camera Adapter

Shurhold Camera Adapter
A Shurhold engineer tests the new camera adapter on the company boat.

GoPro cameras on board are almost as ubiquitous as having a VHF these days. Boaters use these fun waterproof HD cameras to capture everything from fishing to skiing and more. To make your GoPro camera more versatile Shurhold has made an adapter that quickly snaps on the end of any Shurhold handle. Now the same handle boaters have onboard as their boat hook or deck brush can also be used to get closer to the action with their GoPro camera. Shurhold's camera adapter is great for checking under the hull, underwater footage of landing a fish and more. Find out more...

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Test Video

Prestige 450 S:
Tested with Twin 435-hp IPS600s

Prestige 450 S
The Prestige 450 S has two private, en suite staterooms, a beam of 14'1" (4.3 m) and displaces 24,251 lbs. (11,000 kgs.).

During the last year or so, Prestige has taken the North American powerboat market by storm, turning the heads of both consumers and people in the industry as well. There are a number of reasons for that, but styling is one of the big ones. The Prestige 450 has taken its design cues from her larger sisters which combine classical nautical lines with modern, Italian flare. This is the Renaissance at work in boat styling with a masculine approach executed with fine details. Find out more...

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Captain's Report

Yanmar 8LV ZF POD 2800:
The Whole System in Yanmar's Hands

Yanmar 8LV ZF Pod 2800
The Yanmar 8LV Series diesel engine weighs under 1,000 lbs. (454.4 kgs.). The ZF 2800 pod drive features aft-facing counter-rotating props.

Today Yanmar has one of the most competitive propulsion systems available for boats from 35' to nearly 50' (13.7 to 15 m). The 8LV ZF series runs from 320- to 370-hp and the ZF Pod 2800 delivers the power to aft-facing dual props. This is the heart of the diesel repower and new-boat market. In a nutshell, the system's advantages are: significantly lighter weight, twin turbochargers, instant and accurate joystick response, in-house software creation for fast turn-around, and Yanmar is responsible for the whole system. Find out all about it...

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Test Video

Bayliner Element:
A Starter Boat for the Whole Family

Bayliner Element
This image of the new Bayliner Element says it all: the 16'2" (4.92 m) Element was designed for young married couples who want to get out on the water to start their kids out right.

The Bayliner Element is all about safety for the whole family in a boat that will hold six passengers and won't rob the children's college fund. Her bottom shape is called the "M-hull" because of its shape which will keep her stable pretty much whatever the driver decides to do. She is intended for entry level boaters and comes with a 60-hp Mercury BigFoot outboard and a single axle trailer. More...

Request a brochure

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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

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 BoatTEST.com'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

Learning Important Nautical Terms

Capt. Steve Smart Boating Cover
Capt. Steve will have you speaking like Captain Kidd in no time.

In this week’s lessons Captain Steve goes over basic nautical terms of boating. While looking at a boat from above, Captain Steve will take you through terminology that will make any new boater seem like an old salt. The seven 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 --

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