Bennington 2275 // Rinker 340 // Magellano 43 // 14 Reviews - 02/26/2014
BoatTEST Newsletter February 26, 2014 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter. Tests You Can Trust
- Sea Ray 350 SLX
- Boston Whaler 280 Outrage
- Azimut Magellano 43
- Bennington 2275 RCW
- Rinker Express Cruiser 340
- Mako 284 CC
- Jeanneau NC11
- Manitou 25 Legacy
- Glastron GTS 187
- Cruisers Sport Series 328
- Lazzara 64 LSX
- Bayliner 185 BR
- Tidewater 210 LXF CC
- Beneteau First 20
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson

Sea Ray 350 SLX:
Good Speed and High Style

Sea Ray 350 SLX
Having the cockpit and bow all on the same level has its value
and the length of the 350 SLX seems to go on and on.

We have tested the all-new Sea Ray 350 SLX and the numbers are in. Her top speed is 47.2 mph powered by twin 300-hp MerCruiser 350 MAG sterndrive engines with Bravo III drives swinging 24" pitch prop sets. Her time to plane with two people aboard was 2.9 seconds and she reached 30 mph in 6.2 seconds. All of this is good news for wakeboarders and skiers. Eleven people can face forward when the 350 SLX is underway. See it now...

Ask a question. Digital brochure request.

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Captain's Report

Boston Whaler 280 Outrage:
Offshore CC Workhorse

Boston Whaler 280 Outrage
The 280 Outrage has a LOA of 27'7" (8.34 m) and a beam of 9'4" (2.84 m). Her weight of 6,100 lbs. (2,767 kgs.) puts her in the middle when we compare her to other boats in class.

Given all of the standard equipment, the size of the engines, the state-of-the-art T-top and windshield design, and the build quality, we’d say that the Boston Whaler 280 Outrage should be on the short list for anyone in the market for a center console this size for offshore work. She is priced competitively with her high-quality peers, and no builder has a better reputation for safety and re-sale value. Moreover, only a few builders (also at the top price point) can make the level flotation claim (in writing) that Boston Whaler has built its business upon. More...

Ask a question.

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Snapshot Review

Azimut Magellano 43:
Hardtop and Flybridge Versions

Azimut Magellano 43 HT
Azimut's Magellano 43 is the smallest boat in the builder's growing Magellano line of long rangers. But she can also kick up her heels to over 20 knots if that is what the captain orders.

Azimut has created a distinctive-looking boat that should capture the imagination of a lot of cruising boaters, particularly those who want to avoid trawler styling. When we compared the Magellano 43 with the sleek Azimut 43 Flybridge model we discovered that the cruiser is 6,468 lbs. (2,940 kgs.) heavier, and has 7" (17.6 cm) more beam than the 43 Flybridge. These differences reflect the special mission of the Magellano. This 3 stateroom, 2 head boat comes in both express and flying bridge versions. More...

Request pricing.

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Updated Captain's Report

Bennington 2275 RCW:
7-Year Bow-to-Stern Warranty

Bennington 2275 RCW
In the stern of the 2275 RCW there are two aft-facing loungers seen here. Note the large swim platform which has good room to launch watersports.

Bennington's 2275 RCW packs a lot of comfort in a 22' (6.70 m) tri-toon package that is well-built and can serve as a sedate cruiser or a watersports platform. Bennington offers lots of cool options, not only in terms of amenities, but also in terms of the actual flotation tubes themselves, such as a 32" elliptical center toon that increases her load capacity by three people. The 2275 RCW, like all Bennington boats, has a 7-year bow-to-stern warranty (if you join the free club) covering most everything on the boat except the engine. More...

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New Snapshot Review

Rinker Express Cruiser 340:
Fully-Equipped as Standard

Rinker Express 340
The Rinker Express Cruiser 340 has an LOA of 33'11" (10.34 m),a beam of 11'4" (3.45 m) and dry weight of 14,100 lbs. (6,409 kgs.).

By providing virtually everything necessary to go cruising and a lot of amenities that most other builders offer only as options, Rinker has taken much of the guesswork and aftermarket expense out of the ordering its Express Cruiser 340. As a result, she should appeal to boaters moving up from sportboats who are not quite sure what is needed. The builder has included most everything required -- and much not obligatory -- as standard. More...

Ask a question.

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Test Video

Mako 284 CC:
A Rugged Fishing Machine

Mako 284 CC
The Mako brand has stood for uncompromised offshore fishing machinery for over 40 years and Tracker Marine Group has brought the 284 CC to never-before-seen levels of functionality and quality.

The Mako 284 CC has as standard equipment one of the most complete and robust bait prep stations we have seen in class. She has a 50 gallon (190 L) aerated livewell, 5 tackle drawers, sink and 4 rod holders all in one large fiberglass console abaft the leaning post. But that is just the beginning of her fishy features. More...

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Layout and Features Review

Jeanneau NC11:
With Single or Twin Power

Jeanneau NC11
The NC11 has an LOA of 35'7" (10.86 m), a 12'2" (3.73 m) beam and has a wood privacy door for the guest stateroom which has full standing head room at its entrance.

The 35'7" (10.86 m) Jeanneau NC11 was one of the most innovative boats on the market when she was introduced a couple of years ago. What made her so different was her furniture on deck which could be used for two or three functions. We are now seeing that concept copied by a number of builders in different size boats, thus putting their stamp of approval on the concept of dual-use seats. She comes in single or twin engine configurations which means she can be economical to operate but still get on plane. More...

Request pricing.

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Test Video

Manitou 25 Legacy:
Impressive 300-hp Performance

Manitou 25 Legacy
The Manitou 25 Legacy tri-toon powered by an Evinrude E-TEC 300-hp engine swinging a 17" Rebel prop has a WOT speed that will make her one of the fastest vessels on the lake.

While virtually all pontoon boats are designed to carry a lot of people in comfort, not all are also designed to serve double-duty as an aggressive watersports platform. That is the mission of the Manitou 25 Legacy triple-toon, powered by a 300-hp Evinrude E-TEC outboard. Not shown in the chart above are hole shot times: 2.9 seconds to plane; 6.1 seconds to 30 mph. More...

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Captain's Report

Glastron GTS 187:
A New Jet-Propelled Sportboat

Glastron GTS 187
Glastron’s new 19'6" (5.95 m) GTS 187 is powered by a single jet engine. Her total dry weight is 2,300 lbs. (1,040 kgs.) which makes her easy to tow. Base price is $24,647 with the 200-hp engine.

The all-new 2014 GTS 187 marks the brand’s first voyage into jet-powered pleasure boating. She brings strengths and features Glastron is known for including smart styling, Glastron’s touted “Super Stable Vee” (SSV) hull, and competitive pricing. Her Rotax 4-TEC jet power plant promises quick acceleration to get water skiers and wakeboarders up in a hurry. Moreover, by offering models with two different horsepower options (200 or 250-hp) buyers can match the power to their specific application. More...

Ask a jet-drive question.

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Test Video

Cruisers Sport Series 328 Bow Rider:
Large Cuddy Plus Ample Seating

Cruisers Sport Series 328 Bowrider
The Cruisers Sport Series 328 Bow Rider has a deadrise of 22-degrees and a dry weight of 11,000 lbs (4,990 kgs.) which make her offshore capable and about as comfortable as it gets.

Ten people can sit facing forward in the new Cruisers Sport Series 328 Bow Rider and all told she seats 15-16 people, more than on most pontoon boats. Below she has a cabin that is possibly the largest extant in the new breed of cuddy-bowriders, even though her LOA is a couple of feet less than some of them. This, plus her interior treatment and external styling, make her a must-see boat. More...

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Test Video

Bayliner 185 BR:
Full Handling Video

Bayliner 185 BR
Captain Steve puts the Bayliner 185 BR through a number of handling tests and gives good advice on to how to trim and maneuver this boat for maximum performance.

Bayliner is consistently meeting its goal of getting more people on the water for less money. The 185 BR is sold as a complete package of boat, motor and trailer for an MSRP of just under $22,000 with the 3.0L 135-hp engine. We tested her with that engine with two people aboard -- she had a top speed of 40.4 mph, got on plane in 3.8 seconds and at 27.5 mph got 4.78 miles to the gallon. A 220-hp 4.3 L sterndrive engine is an option. More...

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Captain's Report

Lazzara LSX 64:
Craftsmanship at its Best

Lazzara LSX 64
The Lazzara LSX 64 is a 3-stateroom/3-head motoryacht with two salons (one up and one down) and a huge aft deck for entertaining.

When stepping aboard the Lazzara LSX 64 it is impossible not to be impressed with the quality of joinerwork, attention to detail, and rich, tasteful treatments of everything from cabinetry to door knobs. Lazzara brings old-world craftsmanship to the new world with exciting Italian styling in a boat built with American practicality and ergonomics. After inspecting the LSX 64 at the recent Miami boat show we can say she can go toe-to-toe with any custom boat in class. More...

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Snapshot Review

Tidewater 210 LXF:
An Affordable Center Console

Tidewater 210 LXF CC
The 210 LXF from Tidewater Boats is a compact family-oriented boat with open bow seating, a standard seat in the stern, and cushions and bolsters as standard.

The mission of the 210 LXF is to provide a boat that can be used for the whole family for cruising, picnics, casual water sports as well as fishing. Like all Tidewater boats, pricing of the 210 LXF is competitive with most other boats in what we generally call the "affordable" category. More...

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Captain's Report

Beneteau First 20:
A Boat for Many Reasons

Beneteau First 20
We love to see kids on boats and here we hope a future captain is in the making. Note the port rudder is almost out of the water, but there is a starboard one firmly planted in the briny.

The Beneteau First 20 has a 21' (6.4 m) LOA and a beam of 8'2" (2.48 m) and weighs 2,744 lbs. (1,245 kgs.) making her easy to trailer. She can be an ideal first boat, or last boat, for that matter. (Remember that Albert Einstein enjoyed day sailing well into his dotage.) She costs about the same as some smaller one-design boats but has a lot more utility. We think she can also make an ideal club boat. 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

How to Anchor a Boat

Captain Steve Smart Boating Cover
Every boater should be proficient at anchoring. It is easy if you know what to do. Once dockside, tie the bow line first, then the stern line.

This week Captain Steve will go over nine short videos and guidelines on the different types of anchors and anchoring procedures. Learn about how to select a good spot to anchor, how to correctly set an anchor, and the step-by-step process to ensure the anchor is secured to the bottom. 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
51 Bank Street, Suite 2A
Stamford, CT 06901

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