Four Winns H260RS // Oceanis 38 // Lazzara 64 // MCY 86 // 16 Reports - 02/05/2014
BoatTEST Newsletter February 5, 2014 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter. Tests You Can Trust
- Beneteau Oceanis 38
- Cruisers Yachts 540 SC
- Yamaha SX240
- Evinrude E-TEC 90 Pontoon
- Tracker Targa V-18 WT
- Princess 52
- Jeanneau Velasco 43
- Nitro Z-7
- Sea Ray 240 Sundeck
- Monte Carlo Yachts 86
- Premier 250 Intrigue
- Lazzara LSX 64
- Meridian Yachts 391 Sedan
- Tigé R20
- Four Winns H260RS
- Nord Star 26 Patrol
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson

Beneteau Oceanis 38:
Building from the Inside Out

Beneteau Oceanis 38
With three interior choices and numerous additional options, Beneteau’s Oceanis 38 really can be built to a buyer’s individual preferences, as this hull-side slogan suggests.

Beneteau’s Oceanis 38 combines strong sailing performance and a roomy cockpit with three below deck accommodations choices, each intended for a different purpose ranging from daysailing to extended cruising. In addition, there is an array of other options to make the Oceanis 38 tailored to individual owners’ preferences and provide more fun and utility. More...

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New Design & Style Review

Cruisers Yachts 540 Sports Coupe:
An Interior Fit for a Prince

Cruisers Yachts 540 Sports Coupe
Our inspection of the interior of the Cruisers Yachts 540 Sports Coupe flagship notes the arched doorways and fluted trim work in the master stateroom.

We have long maintained that Cruisers Yachts builds one of the finest boat interiors to be found in class, no matter which side of the Atlantic a boat is built. One indication of that is the arched doorways leading to the staterooms and the heads on the 540 Sports Coupe. It only takes one comparison with the traditional household-type squared-off door frame to understand the immense aesthetic difference. Few production builders install them this way because it is simply too expensive. There are many other examples of this attention to detail and traditional yacht construction to be found on the 540 Sports Coupe. More...

Request list of available materials.

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Test Video

Yamaha SX240 HO:
Jet Boat with High Output

Yamaha SX240 HO
The SX240 HO is a total package sold with the Bimini and the trailer. The new off white color topside and the pop of the red hull make this a stunning-looking boat on the water. At right is our resident jet boat expert, 6'3" (1.90 m) Christopher Hughes who tested this boat.

The mission of the Yamaha SX240 HO is to be a performance family bowrider that offers comfort and features in a well-built jet boat. When it comes to jet boat performance, the SX240 HO is going to be hard to beat. We clocked her WOT speed at 52.2 mph. Her time to plane was 2.6 seconds and time to 30 mph was 4.6 seconds. More...

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New Engine

Evinrude E-TEC 90 Pontoon Series:
New Outboard is Tuned-Up for Toons

Evinrude E-TEC 90 Pontoon Series
Pontoon boats are like no other boats on the water, so Evinrude decided that it needed outboard engines specially made for this unique application. The special series runs from 65-hp to 150-hp.

It has always been known that pontoon boats needed low-end, high-torque outboards and that 2-stroke units, such as the ones Evinrude makes, were best-suited for the job. Now, Evinrude has taken the next step, and designed a series of engines specially designed for the unique demands of this popular application. Today we take an in-depth look at the Evinrude E-TEC 90 Pontoon Series (PS) outboard and at 4 tests on 4 different brands and size toons powered by this new engine. More...

Request full specifications.

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Test Video

Tracker Targa V-18 WT:
A Family-Friendly Fishing Boat

Tracker Targa V-18 WT
For multi-specie fishing or just knocking about as a family utility boat, the aluminum Targa V-18 WT can handle most lake conditions and has a range of 199 statute miles at 21 mph, with a 10% fuel reserve.

The Tracker Targa V-18 WT comes completely rigged for wetting a line right down to the fishfinder and trolling motor. Her relatively high freeboard translates to a deeper cockpit to keep the kids more secure. The result is a boat that has lots of utility. We tested her with a 150-hp Mercury 4-stroke and reached a top speed of 45.5 mph. More...

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Test Videos

Princess 52 vs. Princess V52:
Which One Fills Your Mission?

Princess 52 Princess V52
Princess 52. Princess V52.

We tested both the Princess 52 and the V52 on the same cold and blustery day in southern New Jersey so our test data comparison will be about as fair as one can get. The two Princess 52' (15.85 m) motoryachts are made for two different primary missions with significantly different basic specs. There are some similarities, too, such as 3 staterooms and 2 heads below. The big difference beyond the obvious flying bridge is that the Princess 52 has a 1' (.30 m) wider beam and weighs about 10,000 lbs. (4,545 kg.) more. That means she needs larger engines for her mission. Which way to go? Read our Captain's Reports and find out. Princess 52 // Princess V52

Request brochure for the Princess V52.   Request brochure for the Princess 52.

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Test Video

Jeanneau Velasco 43:
For the Cruising Family

Jeanneau Velasco 43
This Velasco 43 is a new family cruiser from Jeanneau with a LOA of 45’7” (13.7 m) and a beam of 13’6” (4.13 m). She has 2 staterooms and 2 heads.

Jeanneau has taken an important step with the creation of the Velasco 43. When in home waters she can provide a welcome platform for day boating and entertaining, and while she’s hard to classify into a single category, clearly she makes a capable cruiser. With the storage and amenities to allow her owners to stay onboard for an extended period of time and go nearly anywhere, we can see her exploring far and wide. At 7.4 knots she has a range of 503 nautical miles, with a 10% fuel reserve. More...

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Test Video

Nitro Z-7:
For Weekend Warriors

Nitro Z-7
The bottom design of the Nitro Z-7 is what the builder calls its “Rapid Planing System" stern. Look closely and the stepped hull (A) can be seen near the transom that adds speed and efficiency. (B) The keel near the transom is cutaway which provides a recessed pad for faster planing times.

Just because a bass angler is only a weekend warrior doesn't mean his trusty stead should be an old nag. Nitro puts the same high-performance "Rapid Planing System" on its 18'8" (5.69 m) Z-7 as on the line's flagship Z-9. The mission of the Nitro Z-7 is to be able to do everything the large Z-9 can do, but do it for a lot less money. We call her the "thinking man's" bass boat. More...

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Design & Style Video

Sea Ray 240 Sundeck:
New Interior Upgrade Details

Sea Ray 240 Sundeck
The Sea Ray 240 Sundeck has stern seating like that often found in an automobile with a flip-down armrest/drink holder. Note the passage to the stern and filler cushion for extra seating.

The devil is in the details but so are some pleasant surprises when inspecting the newest iteration of the Sea Ray 240 Sundeck. Her large cockpit floor plan, and expansive bow seating has served to increase capacity to 13 people. There is also convertible oversized port seating. Altogether it appears that Sea Ray intends to compete seriously in the upscale sportboat arena and is doing so with a vengeance. More...

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New Captain's Report

Monte Carlo Yachts 86:
Customize Her Like No Other

Monte Carlo Yachts 86
The Monte Carlo Yachts 86 has a 21'3" (6.46 m) beam, draws 6'3" (1.90 m), and displaces about 158,000 lbs. (72 t.) She is powered by twin 12V 1800-hp MAN diesels.

The folks at Monte Carlo Yachts know that owners paying many millions of dollars for the large motoryacht of their dreams want just that -- the large motoryacht of their dreams, not something that simply comes close. It is for that reason that the company provides a clean sheet of paper on each of the vessel's 3 decks for customization. In our report and on the builder's website numerous alternatives are presented for the three decks, but Monte Carlo Yachts offers those as just a starting point for discussion. More...

Arrange a private viewing.

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Test Video

Premier 250 Intrigue:
Triple-Toon For Speed and Parties

Premier 250 Intrigue
The triple-toon Premier 250 Intrigue has a top speed of 39.2 mph and has a 175 statute mile range at 17.2 mph when powered by a Yamaha 250.

The 250 Intrigue is easily Premier Pontoons’ most popular boat because it offers an attractive balance of features, carrying capacity and price. For entertaining, her galley has an electric sink and a cool wine waiter on an electric lift. Her layout allows plenty of room to move about, even with a full complement of 20 people allowed with the 36” (91.4 cm) PTX tubes. More...

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New Snapshot Review

Lazzara LSX 64:
High Style, High Speed
and 3 En Suite Staterooms

Lazzara LSX 64
The Lazzara LSX has a hull length of 64’5” (19.6 m) and a beam of 17’4” (15.8 m). She’s designed to top out at 35 knots and cruise at 30.

The 64' (19.50 m) range of enclosed express motoryachts is a surprisingly crowded bit of boating turf given the fact that these boats cost $2.5 million or more. Nearly every major motoryacht boat builder has a model in the 62' to 65' (18.9 m to 19.8 m) space. We count no fewer than 7 of these boats in class from large companies, plus almost as many from small yards. And more are on the way! Some are clearly not as functional, or as spacious, or as well-built, as others. So how to choose the best one -- or the right one for a specific purpose -- or the best value for a specific purpose -- or the one best-suited for a specific individual? There is only one way. Examine them in depth. We will start this week with our look at the Lazzara LSX 64. More...

Ask the builder a question.

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Design & Style Review

Meridian Yachts 391 Sedan:
Small Cruiser for a Large Family

Meridian 391 Sedan
Our interior inspection of the Meridian 391 Sedan included finding out the degree of difficulty of deploying the fold-out salon sofa bed. It is all in the video so you can be the judge.

The Meridian 391 Sedan has two staterooms below and a single head. But in a pinch she can actually sleep seven adults -- 4 below and 3 in the salon. Our full Captain's Report explains how it all works. In addition, the 391 has virtually everything else one might expect, including a full galley, dinette, and well-equipped flying bridge. For those transitioning from a small boat to a cruising boat, the Meridian 391 is probably the first yacht that should be seen. More..

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Test Video

Tigé R20:
Designed for High, Controllable Wake

Tigé R20
It's all about the wake for either wakeboarding (left) or wake surfing (right). Tige's famous Taps2 controls and patented ConvexV hull system make the wake both high and controllable.

The Tigé R20 is an entry-level boat that makes professional-level wake. Her controls and screens are set up to be intuitive, and the Taps2 system allows beginners to start making huge wake from the first time they go out. Once out on the water the R20 can make wake with the best of them. And, for a lot less money. That is another key feature of the R20. Check her out here...

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New Snapshot Review

Four Winns H260RS:
New Go-Fast Look

Four Winns H260RS
The Four Winns H260RS has a LOA of 26’6” (8.08 m), a beam of 8’5” (2.55 m)
and a draft of 35” (89 cm).

The Four Winns H260's classic sportboat style has given way to looks more consistent with a go-fast, only without the cost associated with that breed of boat. The new model, called the H260RS features a tinted low-profile windshield and upgraded gel work and graphics. Inside there are a host of features that are also included with the RS package. More...

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New Snapshot Review

Nord Star 26 Patrol:
A Tough Breed for Offshore

Nord Star 26 Patrol
The Nord Star 26 Patrol has a LOA of 28’2” (8.6 m) and a beam of 9’2” (2.8 m).
She’s designed to tackle CE Ocean Class B weather.

For those looking for luxury cruising, let us save you some time now and suggest moving on. But… for those looking to cruise off the beaten path -- in weather conditions that could make others run for cover -- while staying protected in an enclosed pilothouse, this North Sea design warrants some attention. She’ll cruise 6 and comfortably sleep 2, and do so practically anywhere, except through ice. More...

Request a sea trial.

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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

How To Dock Your Twin Inboard Boat

Capt. Steve Smart Boating Cover
Always check wind direction and current before docking.
Once dockside, tie the bow line first, then the stern line.

This week Captain Steve goes over six lessons and guidelines on basic boat handling and docking procedures. Learn why twins allow you to maneuver easier. Learn how to pivot the boat for close quarter maneuvering, move the boat sideways without a bow thruster, and how to back into a slip. These are basic rules 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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