Bayliner 642 // Cobia 220 DC // Yamaha FZR // Beneteau GT 38 - 12/18/2013
BoatTEST Newsletter December 18, 2013 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter. Tests You Can Trust
- Cruisers Sport Series 258
- Nordic Tugs 39
- Tracker Pro Team 190 TX
- Beneteau Gran Turismo 38
- Intrepid 475 Sport Yacht
- Mercury Joystick Piloting
- Premier 290 GE
- Yamaha FZR
- Meridian 441 Sedan
- Beneteau Oceanis 41
- Sun Tracker PB 22 XP3
- Cobia 220 Dual Console
- Bayliner 642 Overnighter
- Sea Ray 240 Sundeck
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson

Cruisers Sport Series 258:
Quality Building in Sportboats

Cruisers Sport Series 258
The Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider is a large 25-footer that is equally adept at entertaining and watersports.

Cruisers Yachts determined long ago that it was easier to have the same high build standards for all of its boats rather than have some of its staff produce lower quality in smaller, less expensive vessels. This building philosophy has well-served companies such as Mercedes and BMW. That is a prime factor separating the Cruisers Sport Series 258 from many other boats in class. (Cruisers Yachts builds boats up to 54'/16.45 m.) The 258 Bow Rider falls roughly in the middle of the 6-boat Cruisers Sport Series line, so provides a good combination of room, performance and amenities. More...

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New Test Video

Nordic Tugs 39:
A Cruising Couple's Trawler

Nordic Tugs 39
Her name on the transom says it all -- "All New Nordic Tug 39." She's as beefy as her double rub rail hull sides look and with a single 380-hp diesel we recorded a WOT speed of 17.6 knots.

The Nordic Tug 39 is an easy-to-handle couple's cruising boat that we would take most anywhere. She has a large master forward with a second cabin or optional office or laundry room to starboard. Her salon/galley handles four people and lower helm deck is ideal for two. Perhaps best of all she can cruise at 8.1 knots for 896 miles on a tank of fuel and still have a 10% reserve. More...

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New Test Video

Tracker Pro Team 190 TX:
Bass Boat Work Horse

Tracker Pro Team 190 TX
We tested the Pro Team 190 TX with a Mercury 90-hp 4-stroke outboard.

The mission of the Pro Team 190 TX is to provide a quality all-aluminum and all-welded bass boat that represents among the best values on the market. By loading her up with most of the fishing amenities needed as standard equipment she becomes a "turn-key" fishing rig. Her 2014 price with 90-hp Mercury OptiMax ELPT outboard and a trailer is $19,595, plus freight and dealer prep. More...

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Test Video

Intrepid 475 Sport Yacht:
Outside Engine Room for the "Space Age"

Intrepid 475 Sport Yacht
You are looking at a wake made by 1400 horses and 32 cylinders that can drive the Intrepid 475 Sport Yacht 50.4 knots WOT.

Who would have thought that outboard engines would usher in the "space age" in boats? But the Intrepid 475 has certainly proved they can do it. Intrepid has gotten the 475 Sport Yacht's propulsion system "out of the way", hung it on the stern, and utilized what would otherwise be an engine room for more important things such as interior accommodations. In addition to providing more room, placing the props abaft the transom also drives this yacht over 50 knots. More...

 Intrepid 475 ThumbnailCall the builder -- 727.548.1260 Request digital brochure.
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Design & Style Review

Beneteau Gran Turismo 38:
Design and Styling Report

Beneteau GT 38
The dinette, opposite the galley, has a small table that will convert the L-lounge into a berth. Joinery is either Alpi light oak or mahogany, with beige leather-texture vinyl coverings overhead.

Much has been said of the Beneteau GT 38's performance because of her AirStep hull and diesel sterndrive propulsion, but her interior design and execution should not be under-rated. This week we take a video look at another reason why this model has been so successful. More...

Beneteau GT 38 Watch the complete test video...

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Test Video

Mercury Joystick Piloting:
For Multiple-Engine Outboards

Mercury Joystick Piloting
The joystick itself is the same component used in the Zeus and Axius systems.

Having three or four outboards is a way to power a heavy boat fast but maneuvering around the dock can be a bit confusing to say the least. Even twins, because their props are so close together, can often be a bit challenging when docking, particularly in a strong beam current. Mercury Marine has solved those problems with its Joystick Piloting system which does all of the instant calculations and control commands necessary for flawless docking with multiple engines. More...

Request builder list.

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Test Video

Premier 290 Grand Entertainer:
A Moveable Party with a Bar Tender

Premier 290 Grand Entertainer
The bar certainly makes the 290 Grand Entertainer turn heads everywhere she goes, and with good reason. There is no pontoon boat on the water quite like her.

As can be imagined, our testing captains often become quite jaded when it comes to boats. That is why after our test of the 290 Grand Entertainer we were surprised to hear Captain Steve say that if he could get together the money, he’d love to own the 290. “I can picture how much fun it would be to be able to invite friends out on this boat,” he said. “She would be the coolest thing at the marina and a real magnet for people who like to party hearty.” More...

Premier 290 Grand Entertainer Watch the complete test video...

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New Test Video

Yamaha FZR:
Giving Cruisers a Racer's Edge

Yamaha FZR
The hull of the FZR SVHO is manufactured from a lightweight composite material called NanoXcel which helps keep the dry vehicle weight at only 827 lbs (375 kg).

What makes this model tick is the new SVHO engine, the "next generation" of the reliable 1.8L supercharged Yamaha marine watercraft power package. In addition to the new power, Yamaha has redone the graphics and color scheme, added a new jet pump unit, ride plate and sponsons. This is virtually the exact machine that the race team drives. More...

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New Test Video

Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3:
2.6 Seconds to Plane w/ Mercury 150-hp OB

Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3
With the 150-hp Mercury outboard this Party Barge 22 XP3 can morph into a watersports boat competitive with many sportboats.

The Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3 has all of the features found on the DLX model, and adds on a third toon -- making her the XP3. Our test of the boat powered by a 150-horsepower Mercury 4-stroke recorded a WOT speed of 38.7 mph. Even more impressive was her 0-to-plane time of 2.6 seconds. Wakeboarders and skiers will love this quick time to plane which is every bit as good as we find aboard many monohull sportboats. More...

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Design & Style Review

Meridian 441 Sedan:
Space for Living When Cruising

Meridian 441 Sedan
The Meridian 441 has a LOA of 47'2" (14.3 m) and a beam of 14'3" (4.3 m) and a dry displacement of 31,233 lbs. (14,197 kg.). She has two ensuite staterooms below.

With two, large staterooms below and six living venues -- 1) the stateroom, 2) dinette, 3) salon, 4) cockpit, 5) companion seat at the helm, 6) dinette on the flying bridge -- there is plenty of room and private spaces to make cruising with two couples pleasant, genteel and comfortable on the 441. The sedan's long overhang over the cockpit allows it to be enclosed in cruising canvas and the same can (and should) be done on the flying bridge. More...

Meridian 441 Sedan Watch the test video...

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New Captain's Report

Cobia 220 Dual Console:
Versatility for Family Boating

Cobia 220 Dual Console
The Cobia 220 Dual Console has an MSRP of $49,101 powered by a
Yamaha F150 XA, plus DP, F, etc.

Regular readers know that we like dual console boats based on a center console hull because they are versatile and are usually comfortable. The Cobia 220 Dual Console falls squarely into that description. She can be an offshore fishing boat, but she can also pull a skier or wakeboarder, or just make a fine knock-about utility boat. She comes with a standard aft fold-away bench seat, a changing compartment/head, a companion seat that doubles as a spotter seat, and triples as a chaise for sunning. More...

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New Captain's Report

Bayliner 642 Overnighter:
New Cuddy Cabin for North America

Bayliner 642 Overnight
The Bayliner 642 which has proven herself in Europe is now being introduced into the U.S. Her base price will start at $34k. The extended swim platform is standard.

Good news for Americans who are searching for a cuddy sportboat. The 21'5" (6.53 m) Bayliner 642 Overnighter which has heretofore only been available in Europe is coming to North America. This cuddy sleeps 2 and has nearly an 8' (2.43 m) beam and can be powered with sterndrive engines ranging from a 135-hp 3.0 L Mercury to a 220-hp 4.3 L Mercury. She can be optioned out for cruising or watersports. More...

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Test Video

Beneteau Oceanis 41:
Where Beam Pays Off

Beneteau Oceanis 41
This is about as far as the Oceanis 41 ever heels when properly sailed. The arrow points to the crease that starts far forward and is carried to her stern which permits maximum usable beam below.

On deck the maximum beam of the Oceanis 41 extends from midships practically to the transom. This design allows the 41 to have a huge cockpit, a large salon and also two good-sized cabins in the stern quarters as well as an engine room and a head. The boat's beam also gives her form stability which means she sails better with a minimum of heel as seen above. More...

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Test Video

Sea Ray 240 Sundeck Outboard:
58.9 MPH with 300-hp Mercury OB

Sea Ray 240 Sundeck Outboard
The Sea Ray 240 Sundeck's top speed of 58.9 mph with the 300-hp Mercury outboard is only one of her performance attributes.

We think the Sea Ray 240 Sundeck is a boat to be reckoned with in the mid-sized deckboat class. Not only did this 4,679-lb. (2,128 kgs.) tested-weight boat have an impressive top speed, but her time-to-plane of 3.1 seconds is also noteworthy. Her 0-to-30 time was 8 seconds flat. At her best cruise speed of 29.3 mph at 3500 rpm she has a range of 189 miles with a 10% fuel reserve. 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 Box Set
Video 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:
Power Vessels vs. Sail In Narrow Channels

Lesson of the Week Smart Boating
Navigating safely in narrow channels.

This week Captain Steve covers basic rules of the road in twelve short segments and offers guidelines on: navigating safely through narrow channels, using caution with larger vessels in narrow channels, how to signal to another boat when there’s a blind spot, overtaking another boat, and rules for power-driven vessels versus sailing vessels when crossing paths. 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 --

To order all lessons --, LLC
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