Carolina Classic 25 // Ebbtide 2700 // Marlow-Hunter 40 // 16 Reviews - 01/15/2014
BoatTEST Newsletter January 15, 2014 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter. Tests You Can Trust
- Marlow-Hunter 40
- Yamaha FX Cruiser
- Mako 284 Center Console
- Premier 250 Solaris
- Boston Whaler 270 Vantage
- Tracker Targa V-18 WT
- Monte Carlo MC5
- Carolina Classic 25
- Cruisers Yachts 45 Cantius
- Formula 310 Sun Sport
- Ebbtide 2700
- Glastron GT 245
- Mercury 8.2 MAG
- Intrepid 245 CC
- MJM 50z
- Tahoe 215 Xi
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson

Marlow-Hunter 40:
Full-Beam, Stern
Master Stateroom

Marlow-Hunter 40
The new Marlow-Hunter 40 in a publicity photo that few European boat builders would dream of using-- sailing in the rain! This boat has two ensuite staterooms and a large saloon.

We're told that the new Marlow-Hunter 40 had design input from David Marlow himself, and we can believe it as there are several innovative details aboard. Probably the most obvious one is the full-beam master stateroom in the stern with a queen bed directly under the cockpit tub. The optional fiberglass hardtop on the targa mainsheet arch is also a bit unusual, but why not? The standard boat is set up for single-handed sailing with the mainsail rolling into the mast and the main sheet led back to the port helm. $240k. More...

Request a brochure.   Request full options list.
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New Test Video

Yamaha FX Cruiser:
Watersport-Capable for the Family

Yamaha FX Cruiser
The Yamaha FX Cruiser has an easy-to-read multi-function instrument display and adjustable handlebars, in addition to the power to haul a load at thrilling speeds.

The Yamaha FX Cruiser SVHO is a sport performance machine that is designed to be fast, comfortably and seat three adults. Powered by the new 1.8L SVHO Super Vortex High Output engine, this PWC delivered on power at low, mid and high-end during our testing. Handling was responsive and clean, and the ride can be best described as "smooth." Both experienced and novice riders will appreciate the comfortable ergonomics of the seats. More...

Request a brochure.

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New Test Video

Mako 284 Center Console:
Cost-Efficient Center Console

Mako 284 Center Console
Mako went with a three-piece windshield on the 284 CC instead of the typical single piece curved type. Now, when a sinker flies into it, only a single piece needs to be replaced instead of the whole thing. And notice the compass is in line with the helm as it should be.

The Mako 284 CC has a 9'10" (2.99 m) beam and displaces about 6,000 lbs. (2,727 kgs.) plus the weight of the outboards, fluids and gear. She is the largest vessel in the 4-boat Mako Offshore Series and the company offers a good-looking, optional tri-axle trailer for her. The boat comes standard with twin 200-hp Mercury Verado 4-stroke engines and costs a tad over $100k including dealer prep and freight. More...

Mako 284 thumbnail Request a brochure.

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New Test Video

Premier 250 Solaris:
Triple-Toon Performance Test

Premier 250 Solaris
Our captain puts the Premier 250 Solaris triple-toon into a turn and discovers that she leans inward, much like a large monohull would. WOT speed with a 250-hp outboard was 43.0 mph.

The Premier 250 Solaris with the PTX hull has many of the performance, functionality, and stability characteristics of far larger monohulls. But large -- and exceedingly expensive -- monohulls are frankly too big and are out of place on most lakes, reservoirs and rivers in North America. When it comes to entertaining a large group of people in comfort it is hard to beat a well-built pontoon boat. Want watersports, too? Strap on a large outboard and go to three toons and scoot. More...

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Family Functionality

Boston Whaler 270 Vantage:
Detailed Interior Inspection

Boston Whaler 270 Vantage
The Boston Whaler 270 Vantage dual console has a large bow seating area that is made for hosting guests around a table at anchor as well as being a comfortable place to sit while running.

We often say that all boats are a compromise, but we think that in the case of the 270 Vantage the builder has done a good job of combining basic functionality for entertaining, cruising and watersports, and fishing all in one vessel. With options, owners can take the boat in virtually any direction they desire. This week we look at its interior features. See the video...

Boston Whaler 270 Vantage thumbnail Watch the 270 Vantage test video.

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New Test Video

Tracker Targa V-18 WT:
For Multi-Species and Multi-Use

Tracker Targa V-18 WT
Aboard the Tracker Targa V-18 WT we had a time to plane of only 2.8 seconds, accelerated to 20 mph in 4.9 seconds and continued accelerating through 30 mph in 7.2 seconds.

Aluminum boats are the largest-selling category of boats in America, accounting for something on the order of 90,000 boats a year currently. And, Tracker Marine Group makes more aluminum boats than any other single builder. As a result it has the financial heft to build state-of-the-art aluminum substructures and has a powder-coating, bake-on painting system second to none in its fishing boats. But there is more to the story of the Targa V-18 WT than good construction. Find out here...

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New Design & Accommodation Video

Monte Carlo MC5:
A Look At Interior Joinery and Materials

Monte Carlo MC5
The MC5 accommodations layout has three staterooms and two heads. An optional washer/dryer goes under the companionway stairs. The crew cabin aft is optional. Headroom in the forward stateroom is 6'7" (2 m), 6'6" (1.98 m) in the guest cabin, and is 6'1" (1.85 m) in the master.

This week we take an in-depth video view of the interior details of the Monte Carlo MC5. Our inspection will cover the joinery work, general fit-and-finish, as well as an examination of fabrics, upholstery and leathers used. Be prepared for the latest style and fashion. More...

Monte Carlo MC5 thumb Ask a materials question.

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New Boat Show Video

Carolina Classic 25:
A Pocket Express Fishboat

Carolina Classic 25
Over 400 inboard-powered Carolina Classic 25s built since 1991 prove she is offshore capable, but new outboard power suits this hull well, too.

With just 8'6" (2.59 m) of beam and outboard power, the Carolina Classic 25 on a trailer can travel all over North America without over-road width restrictions. Try that with triple- or quad-outboard behemoths (and compare the total fuel bill against theirs at the end of the trip). At 7,000 lbs. (3,175 kgs.) dry weight, a substantial tow vehicle will be needed, but the solid fiberglass hull will be more than welcome offshore. Take her to Cape Cod in the summer for tuna and trailer to Florida in the winter for billfish. More...

Request a brochure.   Ask a question.
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Design & Styling Video

Cruisers Yachts 45 Cantius:
Fine Details Make the Yacht

Cruisers Yachts 45 Cantius
A long sun shade extends from the overhead on the 45 Cantius that protects occupants in the cockpit is only one of this boat's amenities.

At the recent New York Boat Show we decided to re-visit the 45 Cantius to refresh our impressions of the vessel. But, alas, the lines to board her were far too long for us to wait. Our advice to those wanting to get a first-hand view of the 45 Cantius at a boat show is to go early. Or, take a look at our interior video and avoid the crowds. No waiting here...

Cruisers Yachts 45 Cantius Watch the 45 Cantius test video.

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Design & Style Video

Formula 310 Sun Sport:
Good Design Inside and Out

Formula 310 Sun Sport
Formula was one of the first American builders in class to offer internationally-known interior design talent for optional décor packages for its boats.

Formula tells us that the mission of the 310 Sun Sport is to provide high performance balanced with market-leading aesthetics and comfort. In the past we have made much of John Adams-designed exterior styling that has to some degree set the pace for the entire genre over the years. Today we look at the interior, where once again Formula executes with confidence and refined taste. More...

Formula 310 Sun Sport thumbnail Watch how Formula makes its seats and upholstery.

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New Snapshot Review

Ebbtide 2700 Cuddy Bow Rider:
New, Smaller Cuddy Bowrider

Ebbtide 2700 Cuddy Bow Rider
Ebbtide’s 2700 Cuddy Bow Rider combines the cabin amenities of a cuddy with the seating capacity of a big bowrider. She can handle up to 430 horsepower.

The Ebbtide 2700 Cuddy Bow Rider is a member of that new type of bowrider with a small cabin or cuddy. The concept of this new breed – there are five or six others on the market – is to provide lots of seating and also have a place to get out of the weather. Her cozy seating below with a table can also be converted into sleeping accommodations for an adventuresome couple who like to overnight now and then at anchor. This 27-footer (8.22 m) is about as small a boat as we have seen for this new design concept. More...

Request a brochure.   Ask a question.
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New Captain's Report

Glastron GT 245:
Glastron's GT Flagship

Glastron GT 245
The Glastron GT 245 has a mix of styling cues from the Glastron signature spear angular transom V to the sweeping sheer line.

The GT 245 is the flagship of the Glastron 10-boat GT Series. She is intended as a move-up boat for the owners of smaller vessels because she has a rated carrying capacity of 1,950 lbs. (886 kgs.) which translates to 13 people in the U.S. or 11 in the European community. With two-tone hull color, a 5.0 L 260-hp sterndrive, and a Glastron-matched tandem axle trailer all included as standard, she should appeal to boaters looking for a packaged bowrider that can hold a lot of people. More...

Request a brochure.   Ask a question.
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Test Video

Mercury MerCruiser 8.2 MAG:
Best Applications for the Beast

Mercury Marine 8.2 MAG
Mercury's 8.2 L V8 in situ aboard one of our test vessels. To see full performance tables in 4 different applications...

Mercury's 8.2 L engine delivers from 380-hp to 430-hp, depending on the model, and runs on regular 87 octane gasoline with up 10% ethanol. It has multi-port electronic fuel injection (EFI) and sequential fuel injection. At least 5 drive options can be fitted to the engine to maximize its performance for different applications. But how fast does it go and how much fuel does it burn? Find out here...

Ask a question.

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Test Video

Intrepid 245 Center Console:
When the Very Best Is Important

Intrepid 245 Center Console
This is a close-up picture of Intrepid's signature boating innovation -- the side mounted gunwale door with boarding steps. This feature is available even on the smallest boat Intrepid makes, the 245 CC.

At Intrepid, he who pays the piper calls the tune. With its custom-building capabilities, virtually nothing is off the table. If an owner is willing to write the check, Intrepid will walk the talk, if at all possible. Not only are its boats highly customizable, but it also sells only factory-direct. Find out about the Intrepid 245...

Intrepid 245 CC thumbnail Watch the Intrepid Boats manufacturing video.

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Captain's Report

MJM 50z:
A Gyro-Stabilizer Comes Standard

MJM 50z
A CAD image of the new MJM 50z highlighting its latest feature -- a Seakeeper gyro stabilizer installed as standard equipment to reduce rolling.

When we first reported on the new MJM 50z several months ago we identified "9 Distinguishing Features" that set this new design apart from others in her 50' (15.2 m) Downeast class. Now add a tenth. Company founder and president Bob Johnstone is an old sailor from way back who knows that offshore blow-boats are more stable than powerboats because of their steadying sails and lead ballast. Now he has done something to help even up the comfort score. We have tested the Seakeeper and can verify that it does significantly reduce rolling. Launch date for the new MJM 50: August, 2014. Find out more...

Seakeeper thumbnail Seakeeper anti-roll gyro review.

Ask a question.

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New Test Video

Tahoe 215 Xi:
A Boat for All Reasons

Tahoe 215 Xi
Our tag-team boat tester and interior inspector together take an in-depth look at the Tahoe 215 Xi deckboat powered by a 5.0 L 260-hp sterndrive.

The Tahoe 215 Xi was created to be a crossover platform capable of being an "all-purpose" boat for entertaining up to 12 people, a fishing boat with standard items such as livewell and pedestal seats, and a runabout for towing sports. That is a tall order for any boat, much less a 21' deckboat. We double-team the 215 Xi to find out all about her. 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

Using Sound Signals To Alert Other Boaters

Captain Steve Smart Boating Cover
A vessel leaving a dock in a busy channel should make its intentions clear by sounding off one long blast.

This week Captain Steve goes over sixteen short video clips and guidelines on using sound signals to alert other boaters of your intentions on the water. By using specific sound signals boaters can communicate whether they want to pass another boat to port or starboard, cross in front of a slower boat even though they are the give-way vessel, and several other things. 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 --

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