Carver 40 // Formula 310 FX5 // Sea Ray 220 // 13 Reports - 11/27/2013
BoatTEST Newsletter November 27, 2013 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter. Tests You Can Trust
- Cruisers Sport Series 208
- Manitou 23 Oasis
- Tigé RZR
- Intrepid 327 CC
- Pro Team 175 TF
- Nitro ZV 21
- Yanmar 6BY3-260
- Formula 310 FX5
- Carver C40
- Premier 290 Grand Isle
- Sea Ray 220 Sundeck
- PowerTech Propellers
- Mercury 250 OptiMax Pro XS
- Shurhold Products
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson

Cruisers Sport Series 208 BR:
Premium Build and Upholstery

Cruisers Sport Series 208 Bow Rider
The Cruisers Sport Series 208 Bow Rider has a length overall of 20'10" (6.13 m), a beam of 7'10" (2.16 m) and a draft of 27.5’’ (.69 m). Note the unique hull striations that set her apart from nearly anything on the water in class.

The Cruisers Sport Series 208 Bow Rider is the smallest in the builder's line but her design and the level of build quality is the same as her larger siblings. Because of this, a higher level of fit-and-finish becomes evident the moment the 208 is boarded. Take a look at our report and see what we mean. More...

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New Design & Style Review

Manitou 23 Oasis:
A Detailed Look at Layout and Styling

Manitou 23 Oasis
Manitou's innovative stern "table-for-two" design gives the 23 Oasis intimacy not often found on pontoon boats. And there is another one to starboard!

The Oasis line is what one company spokesman calls its "good value" series because it is not a "basic" entry-level, nor is it a "pull-out-all-the-stops" type of boat like the Legacy and X-Plode Manitou lines. Oasis is in the middle. It is available with two-toons or three-toons, but either way she comes with the cool café table shown above. More...

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New Test Video

Tigé RZR:
Wake Surfers' Cult Hero

Tigé RZR
The RZR can create a monster wake for surfing the endless wave. A little more speed creates a longer wake for trick surfing. A little less speed creates a shorter wave with more push for beginners.

We recently tested the Tigé RZR and it is little wonder why the brand has achieved cult status among wake surfers, wakeboarders and skiers alike. This boat went from producing nearly no wake at all to a monster wave with the perfect curl that can be put on either side of the boat with the touch of a button. More...

Tigé Getting up on Plane Tigé's video --Getting up on Plane
  Request digital brochure.
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Test Video

Intrepid 327 CC:
Peak-Performance Requires High-Tech

Intrepid 327 CC
This CAD drawing of the Intrepid 327 CC shows the builder's unusual variation on the stepped-hull concept that sucks air under the boat to reduce wetted surface and increase speed. The stern design gives the boat buoyancy at rest and eliminates wetted surface when on plane.

Just to prove that Intrepid boats are more than a pretty face, today we'll look at the 327's bottom. Intrepid tells us that with this new hull design it is able to achieve the same upper speed range and fuel efficiency of its smaller 323, even with the 327's additional 60 gallons (227 L) of fuel and larger hull. We clocked her at 63.9 mph WOT powered by twin Yamaha 350s. More...

Call the builder -- 727.548.1260   Request digital brochure.
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Captain's Report

Tracker Pro Team 175 TF:
A Rugged Build Means Long-Life

Tracker Pro Team 175 TF
More goes into Tracker's aluminum boats than most people realize. That is why they are so strong and able to take years of abuse.

A couple of months ago we toured Tracker's aluminum boat factory and, frankly, we were blown away by the complexity and the amount of interior structures that go into making its boats. Even though the Tracker Pro Team 175 TF is one of the brand's smaller boats, she gets the same rigorous build as the larger ones. More...

Ask a fishing features question.

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Test Video

Nitro ZV 21:
Multi-Species Boat For Big Lakes

Nitro ZV 21
What can't be seen in this image is the height of the boat’s freeboard, which is 28" (70.6 cm) at the transom. She has an 18-degree deadrise at the transom and a total towing weight with outboard and trailer of about 5,500 lbs. (2,500 kgs.).

The Nitro ZV 21 is a multi-species fiberglass boat designed for large lakes. She comes standard with most of the goodies required and her option list will take care of anglers with special needs. We have tested this boat with a 300-hp Mercury Verado and broke the 60-mph barrier right out of the box. More...

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Captain's Report

Yanmar 6BY3-260 Joystick Solution:
A Diesel Power System with Joystick

Yanmar 6BY3-260 Joystick Solution
Yanmar has married its 6BY3-260 engines to the SeaStar Optimus 360-degree joystick to create a seamless solution for this power system.

Yanmar does not have a proprietary joystick control system for the 6BY3-260 as it has for its larger engines. What is used instead is an Optimus 360-degree joystick made by SeaStar. The Optimus 360 is a three-axis unit with a guided feel that has both a "boost" and a "take command" mode for simple, intuitive operation. More...

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Test Video

Formula 310 FX5:
Good Ride and Handling Plus Sizzle

Formula 310 FX5
Our captain tried his best to jar something loose during our test of the Formula 310 FX5, but her deep-V hull kept the ride on a cloud.

Much has been made -- and rightly so -- of the cool aspects of the Formula 310 FX5. With the FX Series, the builder took its boats to an even higher level of eye-dazzling seductiveness. But what is often forgotten because it is so hard to visualize is her world-class ride and handling characteristics. We try our best to relate them. More...

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Captain's Report

Carver C40:
New Sedan Has 2 Cabins and 2 Heads

Carver C40
The new Carver C40 has a dry displacement of 20,500 lbs. (9,298 kgs.), a 13' (4.22 m) beam, has two en suite staterooms, and is powered with twin Cummins 7.7 L 305-hp diesel V-drives.

The long-awaited Carver C40 has now been launched and debuted at the fall boat shows. She builds on the successful start of the C34 some months ago and continues the same attractive styling. There are not many sedans built in the U.S. these days and consumers will be happy to have a definite choice of styling and function. More...

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Captain's Report

Premier 290 Grand Isle:
10' Beam Maximizes Party Potential

Premier 290 Grand Isle
Very few pontoon boats have a 10' (3.05 m) beam, but that is exactly what the Premier 290 Grand Isle has in the image above.

In either the standard version with an 8'6" beam (2.59 m) or in the 10' (3.05 m) beam version (shown above) the 290 Grand Isle is intended for unrestricted entertaining. Because she is a tri-toon by applying enough horsepower, she can also be used for watersports such as towing skiers or wakeboarders. More...

Request a brochure.

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Test Video

Sea Ray 220 Sundeck Outboard:
Advantages of An Outboard Sportboat

Sea Ray 220 Sundeck Outboard
There is a lot going on in the new Sea Ray 220 Sundeck OB in addition to the outboard engine: she has a sharply raked windshield, black hull and graphics, a seat on the port quarter for putting on boards, and an extra roomy cockpit.

The new Sea Ray 220 Sundeck deckboat comes in sterndrive or an outboard version. The latter has a larger cockpit, of course, and both have extra-wide bow seating thanks to the blunt-bow design. More...

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PowerTech Props:
Acceleration Factors

PowerTech Props
PowerTech! CEO Steve Powers explains to Capt. Rob Smith the prop geometry that creates faster acceleration.

Regular readers know our "go-to" source for all prop questions are the friendly folks at PowerTech! One question we get quite a bit is from members wanting to get out of the hole faster either to help skiers get up or to be able to win the Le Mans start at a fishing tournament. Find out more...

Propeller worksheet.

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Test Video

Mercury 250 OptiMax Pro XS:
The Come-Back of 2-Stroke Power

Mercury 250 OptiMax Pro XS
This vapor separator pressurizes the fuel creating a more fuel efficient burn in the combustion chambers of the 250 OptiMax Pro XS.

Mercury's 2-stroke vapor separator pressurizes the fuel creating a more fuel-efficient burn in the combustion chamber. This is just one of the key components that make the Mercury 250 OptiMax competitive with 4-stroke outboards in fuel consumption in the mid-range. More...

Ask a repower question.   Request data sheet.
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Shurhold Magic Wool Hand Pad:

Shurhold Magic Wool Hand Pad
It looks like a Brillo pad but it isn't made of steel wool and it lasts a lot longer.

Shurhold's custom blended pad is made from a high-grade bronze metallic wool. It is similar to a steel wool but it is ultra fine and rust resistant. This Magic Wool hand pad along with Shurhold's Buff Magic is an effective combination for removing water spots from glass, bright work, chrome, stainless steel and brass surfaces. It can also be used to strip paint. 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
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

Basic Rules of the Road: Part 1

Capt. Steve Smart Boating Cover
Captain Steve brings us the basics.

Captain Steve covers some of the basic rules of the road in these lessons which all recreational boaters should be aware of. You’ll learn about lines of demarcation, traveling at safe speeds, how to determine your risk of collision, why one should steer clear of large vessels and who has the right of way. Part 1 is the first installment of a multi-part series on Basic Rules of the Road. 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--, LLC
51 Bank Street, Suite 2A
Stamford, CT 06901

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