Sea Ray 230 // Scout 275 // Cruisers Yachts 380 // Carver C40 - 02/19/2014
BoatTEST Newsletter February 19, 2014 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter. Tests You Can Trust
- Scout 275 Dorado
- Evinrude E-TEC 115 PS
- Formula 34 PC
- Boston Whaler 250 Outrage
- Tracker Pro Team 175 TF
- Sea Ray 230 SLX
- Cruisers Yachts 380
- Tigé Z3
- Carver C40
- Premier 290 GE
- Meridian Yachts 341 Sedan
- Prestige 450
- Tahoe Q7i
- Monte Carlo MC5
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson

Scout 275 Dorado:
Family-Friendly Coastal Fishing

Scout 275 Dorado
The Scout 275 Dorado has a LOA of 27’6” (8.38 m), a beam of 9’ (2.7 m) and a draft of 16” (41 cm). The hardtop is standard equipment and is one built-in piece. The hull color is optional.

We’ve been continually impressed with the way the design team at Scout thinks outside the box and does some things differently than most other builders. With the launch of the largest of the Dorado line-up -- the new 275 Dorado -- that trend continues with innovations from stem to stern in what has to be the most family-friendly fishboat we’ve seen. The boat has several important innovations and we think anyone looking at this size and class boat needs to take a look at Scout's latest offering. Read all about it...

Request brochure.

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New Captain's Report

Evinrude E-TEC 115 Pontoon Series:
A Purpose-Built Outboard Engine

Evinrude E-TEC 115 Pontoon Series
The Evinrude E-TEC 115 Pontoon Series is part of a new 4-engine lineup
specifically built for pontoon boats.

There was a time when a boater could pick a boat, choose an engine based on horsepower and then hit the water. But engines have become much more purpose-built as of late, and consumers are becoming much more sophisticated. Offshore fishermen have engines built for rugged use, bass fishermen have engines built for WOT speed, and now, thanks to the design team at Evinrude, pontoon boaters have engines specifically designed to meet their needs. The Pontoon Series from Evinrude is designed to produce more torque and thrust, run quieter and smoother and therefore produce a more comfortable ride in keeping with the pontoon boat experience. How do they do it? More...

Request full specifications.

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New Captain's Report

Formula 34 PC:
Loaded with Style and Luxury

Formula 34 PC
The Formula 34 PC comes equipped with standard features usually reserved for larger boats. She has a LOA of 31’ (9.45 m) and a beam of 9’6” (2.9 m) and there is nothing on the water quite like her.

Not only does the 34 PC handle well enough to earn the “Performance Cruiser” moniker, but everywhere we looked on this 34 PC we found items installed as standard that are usually reserved for larger cruisers -- such as 18,000 BTUs of A/C and an internal vacuum cleaner system -- that are almost always optional equipment even then. This vessel has multiple missions and therein lies her remarkable utility -- she can party, boogie, and cruise, all in genteel surroundings. More...

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Captain's Report

Boston Whaler 250 Outrage:
Where “Absolute Value” Scores High

Boston Whaler 250 Outrage
The big news is that now Boston Whaler offers 9 different optional colors for its hull sides. How cool would this boat look in Abaco Blue, Jadestone Silver, or Oyster Gray?

Boston Whaler's 250 Outrage is priced around $150,000 which makes her one of the most expensive 25' (4.62 m) center consoles on the market. The question begs, why would anyone pay that kind of money for a 25-footer? The answer is that they know the boat's "absolute value", a term that has surfaced recently at Stanford University's School of Business to define when a consumer knows virtually everything there is to know about a product and realizes its value -- not in relation to other products in its category (that would be "relative" value) -- but, rather strictly as it stands alone. Simply put, few boats can go where the 250 Outrage does not fear to tread. More...

Request digital brochure. Request factory pricing.
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Captain's Report

Tracker Pro Team 175 TF:
Not Just Another Aluminum Boat

Tracker Pro Team 175 TF
The Tracker Pro Team 175 TF has all of the needed equipment for multi-species tournament fishing. She has most everything that large boats have except the higher price.

One might think that the big story with the Pro Team 175 TF is her $15k price with her 60-hp ELPT 4-stroke Mercury and a trailer. After visiting the Tracker factory and seeing these boats built, our big take-away was the quality of her aluminum build and her baked-on paint job. These boats are built strong and to be durable. Johnny Morris wouldn't have it any other way. He believes in working hard for his money and giving good value. In other words, this boat has much more going for it than price alone. Look and see...

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New Captain's Report

Sea Ray 230 SLX:
Sporty Performance and Style

 Sea Ray 230 SLX
The Sea Ray 230 SLX has a LOA of 23’ (7 m), a beam of 8’6” (2.6 m) and a draft of 23” (58 cm).

Sea Ray created the SLX lineup to elevate the boating experience by adding high-quality materials, design and execution in the interior and classy detail treatments all over the boat. Currently there are 6 models in the SLX lineup ranging from 21’ (6.4 m) to 35’ (10.7 m). Today we take a detailed look at the 230 SLX and see how this easily-handled and trailerable boat stacks up in her own right. More...

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New Design & Style Review

Cruisers Yachts 380 Express:
New Design and Style Video

Cruisers Yachts 380 Express
The Cruisers Yachts 380 Express is available with both gas and diesel power options.

38’ (11.6 m) is a popular size for a mid-range express cruiser and many models are on the market -- but all builders are constrained by pretty much the same geometric design parameters and propulsion physics. So how does a builder differentiate its product? Cruisers Yachts does it with exterior styling and with an interior lavished in exotic woods, high-style materials, and fine fit-and-finish. The 380 Express also has an optional mid cabin arrangement that allow an owner to match the design to an individual lifestyle and planned use. For those people who have not been aboard the Cruisers Yachts 380 recently, we suggest a visit. The reason is that the builder is using many new materials and décor items that are at once modern, classy and practical. See the video…

Request material options list.

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Test Video

Tigé Z3:
Big Wake & Room Galore

Tigé Z3
The back end of the Tigé Z3 is where the action is and the lucky wake surfer on the transom will be going for the gold. Note that the swim platform is slightly awash making surfboard entry slick.

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 watch the 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

Carver C40:
Modern “Retro” Styling + Room

Carver C40
Seats can be left out of the Carver C40 cockpit if an owner chooses to utilize deck chairs or to keep the space open for casual fishing. An entertainment center with a grill, refrigerator and sink is an option.

With a LOA of 39’10” (12.14 m), the design of this C40 allows owners room to move about, privacy for two couples, room for additional guests, all in a boat that actually fits into a 40’ (12.19 m) slip. We think this boat will be in style for a very long time thanks to the classic styling and retro design elements. More...

Ask a question.

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Test Video

Premier 290 Grand Entertainer:
A Grande Luxe Pontoon Boat

Premier 290 Grand Entertainer
The changing room/powder room has a home underneath the portside lounger of the Premier 290 Grand Entertainer.

When it comes time to build a top of the line model -- no matter what product category it is -- most companies fire off all of their cannons. That is sort of what Premier has done with its 290 Grand Entertainer. Not only does she have a bar, a mini galley and bar stools, this platform as tested was powered by 600 horses harnessed in two Mercury 300 Verados. But will this behemoth break the 50 mph barrier? Find out here...

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Test Video

Meridian Yachts 341 Sedan:
Flying Bridge Form Adds Function

Meridian Yachts 341 Sedan
Powered by twin 425-hp Mercury 8.2 L gas engines the Meridian Yachts 341 Sedan has a WOT speed of 36.3 mph and a best cruise of 25.2 mph at 3500 rpm.

We’ve always been of the opinion that the Meridian 341 Sedan serves as an excellent platform for those making the move up from smaller boats to an actual cruising yacht. She’s one of the few boats in class that offers a flying bridge in a world where most of the industry focuses on express cruisers and coupes. We particularly like the ease of handling with the vessel's proprietary control system that obviates the need for costly pods. More...

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Features Video

Prestige 450:
Breaking with Convention

Prestige 450
Captain Steve inspects the interior of the Prestige 450 which has 6'8" (2.03 m) of head room and versatile seating in the salon for cocktail parties, dinner or just cruising down the coast.

The Prestige 450 is anything except a "me-too" boat. One of the refreshing things about Prestige is the way its designers and engineers take a fresh look at mid-size and larger cruising yachts. Their designs are never the same-old-same-old, and they have brought new, much-needed DNA into a category that has long been dominated by traditional configurations. We think the 450 is practical and functional and its price speaks for itself. More...

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Test Video

Tahoe Q7i:
A Family Ski and Fish Boat

Tahoe Q7i
The tail end of the 20.5’ (6.25 m) Tahoe Q7i has the boat’s primary watersport features that include a large, integrated swim platform with two self-draining “wet” lockers, a three-step stainless steel telescoping boarding ladder with a pair of handrails and ski tow ring.

There are a number of ski-and-fish models in the 20-foot-class available in today’s boating market. Some offer a reasonable number of fishing options but most lean toward the easier-to-please cruise-and tow-sports market. Not so with this new Tahoe Q7i, which boasts a good balance between what it offers families who want to include fishing among their active watersports pursuits. Her MSRP is $32,995 when powered by a MerCruiser 4.3L 190-hp V-6 and including the trailer. Find out more...

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Design & Style Review

Monte Carlo MC5:
Modern, Bright and Cheery Interior

Monte Carlo MC5
The Monte Carlo MC5 (49'10"/15.2 m) is a New Age cruiser designed to take a family and guests to tony megayacht venues and make up with style what the boat doesn't have in length.

While the MC5 was designed for coastal cruising -- sort of a stylish, modern European's answer to a stodgy-looking American trawler -- we can also see the MC5 being used as a day boat for entertaining. Indeed, her aft deck with table that seats six and her large dinette table on the flying bridge for eight present ample venues for cocktail parties and dinners. Then there is the salon with its U-shaped seating and sofa to starboard -- and electrically actuated flatscreen TV. This unusual design has many interesting aspects. See them here...

Request digital brochure. Request factory pricing.
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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 Read Charts and Plot A Position

Capt. Steve Smart Boating Cover
Captain Steve explains a grid system and how to read lines of latitude and longitude to help find a location.

This week Captain Steve goes over fourteen videos and guidelines on reading charts and how to plot an exact position by using degrees, minutes and tenths of minutes to tell anyone exactly where you are in the world. 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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