Nitro Z-7 // Sea Ray 280 // Formula 45 // Princess V52 // 13 Reports - 12/11/2013
BoatTEST Newsletter December 11, 2013 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter. Tests You Can Trust
- Boston Whaler 345 Conquest
- Nordic Tugs 39
- Manitou 25 Legacy
- Formula 45 Yacht
- Chaparral H2O 21 Ski & Fish
- Tigé Z3
- Intrepid 300 CC
- Mercury Verado 225 HP
- Meridian Yachts 391 Sedan
- Nitro Z-7
- World Cat 295DC
- Princess V52
- Sea Ray 280 Sundeck
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson

Boston Whaler 345 Conquest:
New Model Express Cruiser/Fisher

Boston Whaler 345 Conquest
Boston Whaler's latest offering is a versatile 35'11" LOA (10.95 m) express with an 11'8" (3.56 m) beam that we think can do most anything during a long weekend.

The new model of the Boston Whaler 345 Conquest is full of delightful, innovative surprises. We like express fishboats because they have a foredeck which means that they are well-designed to handle most any reasonable condition offshore. Add to that an enclosed pilothouse with hardtop and the boat's utility just about doubles. The new 345 Conquest can fish or cruise and can even be used as a harbor dayboat for entertaining. More...

Request digital brochure.

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New Design & Style Video

Nordic Tugs 39:
A Get-Away Vessel

Nordic Tugs 39
The teak table has two foldout leafs so it can serve as a cocktail or dinner table, depending on the occasion. Our new video looks at the interior.

The mission of the Nordic Tug 39 is to serve as a distance cruiser for owner/operators looking to head off for parts unknown. Whether the trip takes place after retirement or during extended vacations she's equally well suited for spending extended times on board. Some couples will even choose to utilize her as a live aboard. This week we take a video look at her interior and creature comforts. More...

Nordic Tugs 39 Watch the test video.

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New Test Video

Manitou 25 Legacy:
Luxury, Prestige…Performance

Manitou 25 Legacy
This photo of the Manitou 25 Legacy SRS SHP shows her seating capacity in “lounge mode.” The two aft chases make into cozy fore-and-aft facing booths with café tables.

The 25 Legacy from Manitou exemplifies the type of luxury, design, and fit-and-finish that can now be found in premium pontoon boats. And while she’s among the most comfortable vessels that Manitou builds, performance was not left off the drawing board. She’s got the company’s exclusive SHP performance package and our test boat was powered by an Evinrude E-TEC 300-hp that jumps her out of the hole in 2.9 seconds and to 20 mph in 3.8 seconds. So, she’s not only a luxury entertaining barge, she also has the get-up-and-go of a sportboat which wakeboarders and skiers love. More...

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Test Video

Formula 45 Yacht:
A Connoisseur’s Express Coupe

Formula 45 Yacht
Ever wonder what it must feel like to be at the helm of a Formula 45 Yacht? Join us and find out.

We often think of the Formula 45 Yacht as a floating spa, complete with sun pads, al fresco dining, refreshing swims in gin-clear waters, and then a cozy place to snuggle up at night. She is in class all by herself because a) she has the best-looking exterior finish on the planet thanks to her polyurethane blue paint that has been buffed and compounded 18 times; and b) because everyone knows that only connoisseurs of fine yachts would own such a thing, or could afford to. More...

Formula 45 Yacht Features and layout video review.
  Request full options list.
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New Test Video

Chaparral H2O 21 Ski & Fish:
A High Value Entry-Level Boat

Chaparral H20 21 Ski & Fish
With the cushions removed and the casting seat in place, the Chaparral H2O Ski & Fish is transformed from a watersports platform to fishing mode.

We are often asked how to save money on boats, and our answer is always the same -- get the right boat first, not on the second or third stab. The H2O 21 Ski & Fish is a good example of just what we mean. Even though the H20 line is a “value” series because it is built by a premium builder, new boaters are less likely to be disappointed once they get their sea legs and learn more. Chaparral has built her with more than just the basics. Finally, if the owner decides fishing is not his game, the boat is ready for towing sports. More...

Chaparral H2O 21 Fish & Ski Full test review.
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New Test Video

Tigé Z3:
Pro Surf and Wake Features

Tigé Z3
Load the Z3 up and go. With its specially-designed hull shape, TAPS2 wake-making system and ballast bags galore, she can be a 3-ring circus of fun.

We have a new test video of the remarkable Tigé Z3 which can be loaded up with 2,300 lbs. (1,043 kg) of ballast to create surfing conditions that are world-class. But as can be seen in the photo above, wake-making is only part of the mission of the Z3. She also must play host to a bevy of spectators who have come to see wake-boarding virtuosity of the Z3’s lucky owner. Let’s drill down to find out all about this cult classic. More...

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Captain's Report

Intrepid 300 Center Console:
When a Megayacht is Not Enough

Intrepid 300 CC
The best of both worlds. The Intrepid 300 Center Console is the tender and fishing boat of choice for this huge superyacht. When underway offshore the Intrepid is towed in the wake of this behemoth.

A major part of Intrepid’s business is building custom-made auxiliary boats for megayachts and superyachts. The fact is that while the huge yachts cost a gazillian dollars, there are many things that they can’t do – and that’s where Intrepid comes in. It will build the precise boat needed for the missions that the big boat can’t handle. Intrepids are also built to be towed, which is probably the most arduous test of any small boat. Find out more about the Intrepid 300 Center Console...

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

Mercury Verado 225 HP:
Lighter Weight with More Hot-Weather Power

Mercury Marine Verado 225 HP
The 225-hp Verado is the lightest 4-stroke outboard in class on the market – as much as 145 lbs. (65.9 kgs.) lighter. Because it is supercharged it holds more of its power in hot weather and at high altitude better than any outboard in class.

The inline 6-cylinder Mercury Verado 225-hp engine is designed to provide robust low-end torque. That means the engine can produce snappy mid-range acceleration and plane at a lower speed. It comes standard with a 4.8” gear case which is ideal for freshwater applications. For saltwater there is an optional 5.44” heavy-duty gear case available. Both have a 1.85:1 ratio. More...

Ask a new boat question.   Ask a repower question.
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Design & Style Video

Meridian Yachts 391 Sedan:
A Mini-Motoryacht

Meridian Yachts 391 Sedan
The Meridian 391 Sedan main deck, cockpit and master stateroom. The red arrow indicates the location of the guest stateroom which is under the settee.

Meridian’s designers have worked hard to pack a lot of liveability into the 391 Sedan as can be seen in the layout above. The salon can seat five or six people, the dinette is raised so that guests can see out, and the galley has been tucked into the passageway going below, making double use of this space. There is standing headroom in the master as well as in the entrance to the guest stateroom to starboard which is tucked under the dinette. More...

Meridian 391 Sedab Watch the test video.

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New Test Video

Nitro Z-7:
62 MPH with a Mercury 150 2-Stroke

Nitro Z-7
The bottom design is what Nitro calls its “Rapid Planing System" transom. Look closely and the stepped hull can be seen near the transom. Note the hull extensions left and right which add buoyancy and planning surface. Our tests show her fast out of the hole and she has little bow rise in the process.

Our test of the Nitro Z-7 recorded a time-to-plane of 3.3 seconds, which certainly is rapid for a boat powered by a 150-hp engine. The Z-7 is 18’8” (5.69 m) LOA, has a 94” (2.39 m) beam and has a dry weight of 1,650 lbs. (748 kgs.) Our test weight was 2,624 lbs. (1,190 kgs.). She is tournament-ready right out of the box. More...

Nitro Z-7 Watch the full test video.
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New Captain's Report

World Cat 295DC:
When Stability and Comfort Count

World Cat 295 DC
World Cat's 295DC is a large boat by anyone's standards. Fully rigged with full liquids and crew aboard she will weigh over 10,000 lbs. (4,545 kgs).

The World Cat 295DC was originally built to be an offshore fishing machine but now she has morphed into a boat for family watersport activities and day cruising. Virtually no boat on the water in her size range has the amount of deck space and seating -- or potential seating -- as the 295DC. World Cat has put a lot of effort into upgrading creature comforts. Join us for a look-see...

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New Design & Style Video

Princess V52:
Hardtop Express with Style and Speed

Princess V52
Let there be light (below)! By cutting out the overhead, Princess has opened up the galley and salon to ambient light. The V52 is bright and airy on both decks.

The Princess Yachts V52 was designed to provide sport yacht performance with premium entertaining capabilities. She’s offered in either a two or three cabin configuration, both with a galley down layout. We recently made a new video of the interior of the V52 in order to get a better idea of how it all works together. Find out more...

Princess V52 Ask a materials question. Request digital brochure.
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New Captain's Report

Sea Ray 280 Sundeck:
A Premium Watersports Platform

Sea Ray 280 Sundeck
Sea Ray’s Sundeck Series has become the premium tier of deckboats. The new 280 can handle a crowd in both freshwater and saltwater venues for all sorts of watersports.

For those who think deckboats are budget-oriented, low-freeboard bathtubs that are wet and wild, we suggest a look at the Sea Ray 280 Sundeck. She is very much the opposite and Sea Ray is redefining the class with its Sundeck Series which has higher freeboards, much higher styling, and not surprisingly, also a higher price tag. This week we take a close look at what the 280 Sundeck has to offer. 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.

Holiday Gift Idea’s
4-DVD Boating Course

Smart Boating
Just ask our #1 repeat customer what a popular Christmas gift it is for the boater on your list!

What better gift to give than the most complete boating course ever developed? Based on the feedback we’ve been getting about's boating course it’s clearly not only for beginners, but for veteran boaters as well. This 4-disc box set is loaded with bonus features too! Order your 4-disc box set...

Watch the trailer...
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Lesson of the Week

Basic Rules of the Road: Part 2
Give-Way and Stand-on Vessels

Capt. Steve Smart Boating Cover
Stand-on versus give-way vessel. You must get this one right every time.

This week Captain Steve covers some basic rules of the road and guidelines. You’ll learn about the right-of-way for stand-on vessels and corrective measures give-way vessels must make in order to avoid collisions. These are basic procedures which all recreational boaters should be aware of. 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
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Stamford, CT 06901

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