8 Videos // Sea Ray 350 SLX // Maritimo M50 // Lazzara 76 - 03/19/2014
BoatTEST Newsletter March 19, 2014 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
- Prestige Hull and Deck
- Sea Ray 350 SLX
- Maritimo M50
- Chaparral H2O 21 Sport
- Sun Tracker Regency PB
- Carver C34
- Cruisers Sport Series 208
- Mako 18 LTS
- Manitou 23 Oasis
- Beneteau Barracuda 9
- Lazzara Breeze 76
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson

Prestige Hull and Deck:
Resin Infusion Saves Weight

Prestige Hull and Deck
Saving weight on the largest and heaviest parts in a boat (the hull and deck) starts a serendipitous circle of even more weight reductions that improve performance and save money.

Anyone who has compared the specs of a Prestige with other boats in class has undoubtedly noticed that the Prestige is not only on the light side of the range, but usually the lightest boat in class. There are several reasons for that, one of them being the builder's use of vacuum resin fusion technology which insures a pre-engineered glass-to-resin ratio of 60/40. That ratio means maximum strength and minimum weight. Less overall weight begets smaller engines, smaller fuel tanks, and even more weight savings which results in still better fuel economy. More...

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New Test Video

Sea Ray 350 SLX:
Displacement and Deep-V Aids Handling

Sea Ray 350 SLX
The new Sea Ray 350 SLX has struck a responsive cord with buyers and the builder is ramping up production.

We call them the "mega-bowriders" because of their prodigious seating capacity and there are only a few models in this emerging class. Weighing in with a dry weight of 13,000 lbs. (5,908 kgs.) and with a 21-degree deadrise at the transom, the Sea Ray 350 SLX takes a back seat to no boat when it comes to beef and a bottom shape designed for a comfortable ride at high speed in a chop. Our test captain reports, "Crossing wakes in the light chop on test day revealed a steady boat…She responds well to the helm, leaning roughly 11.5-degrees into the turns." More...

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New Snapshot Review

Maritimo M50:
In a Class of Her Own

Maritimo M50
Maritimo’s new M50, with a full-beam master suite, blends the look of a convertible with motoryacht features including walk-around side decks, a cockpit intended for entertaining, and a large open deck abaft the enclosed bridge.

Maritimo has built 108 of its M48s since the model was introduced in 2006, a very respectable number for a boat of this size and type. Recently, the builder decided to refresh this model and while many aspects of the basic layout stayed the same, the big change was the creation of a full-beam master stateroom in the new M50. This sedan/convertible has a number of unique attributes so we think she bears careful investigation by anyone thinking about a boat in this size range. Let’s take a look...

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Test Video

Chaparral H2O 21 Sport:
"Best Practices" in a Value Brand

Chaparral H2O 21 Sport
Because the H2O 21 Sport is built in the same factory as are her much more expensive sisters, most of the builder's "best practices" are used in her as well.

When we first tested the H2O Sport 21 we were surprised to see how well the boat was equipped and finished-out -- and we wondered (privately) what would happen to sales of Chaparral's more expensive big sisters. Then, we remembered that Mercedes-Benz had years ago introduced less expensive lines and today sells models ranging from $30,000 to 200k. Buyers of the Mercedes CLA-Class are happy knowing that the same engineering and many of the same materials and parts in their car are used in the more expensive models. We feel much the same way about the H2O 21 Sport. More...

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Test Video

Manitou 23 Oasis:
3.4 Seconds to Plane w/ a 150-hp Evinrude

Manitou 23 Oasis
The combination of Manitou's VP triple-toon design and the low-torque power of a 2-stroke engine gives the 23 Oasis good hole-shot times.

During our test of the triple-toon Manitou 23 Oasis we noted that at speed, she rolls into the turns quite comfortably thanks to the VP tube design. With five turns from lock to lock and fairly stiff steering, she does not handle like a sportboat, so there’s no cranking and banking going on, and that’s a good thing when it comes to keeping guests happy. Trimming the bow up a click or two will bring the spray from below the helm and move it aft and the boat will scoot to over 32 mph with a single 150-hp E-TEC Evinrude outboard. More...

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Test Video

Carver C34:
Retro Style with Good Handling

Carver C34
The Carver C34 is responsive to the helm and is not under-powered with twin 5.7L engines.

While the top speed of the Carver C34 is over 30 mph when powered by twin 5.7 L inboards, most cruising boaters will probably prefer to run at about 24 mph where the boat burns 27.2 gph. At that speed she can be run for over 8 hours without refueling. We found her to get on plane quickly and to answer the helm as one would expect with no bad habits in the conditions we encountered. More...

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Test Video

Cruisers Sport Series 208 Bow Rider:
Smart Styling in a Premium Build

Cruisers Sport Series 208 Bow Rider
Just like premium automobiles, the Cruisers Sport Series 208 Bow Rider has sculptured side panels (aka hull sides) that set her apart from plain-Jane sportboats.

When it comes to styling in the small bowrider category several boats stand out in our mind. One of the them is the Cruisers Sport Series 208 which has a low, sleek profile on the water much like an automobile roadster. Its windshield is low and dark which adds to the bad-boy image. The molded-in hull striations create sweeping, graceful shadows on the boat's topsides making her seem even lower to the water than she is. More...

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Captain's Report

Mako 18 LTS:
Now, Quality Comes 1st at Mako

Mako 18 LTS
In the Mako 18 LTS, the builder brings to bay boats the same construction that made the brand famous for offshore center consoles.

We remember when Tracker Marine Group first started using the Mako badge on boats for protected water fishing a number of years ago. For those who also remember those boats, but who have not seen Mako's 18 LTS, we can only say the difference in build quality from those days is night and day. The 18 LTS is set up for casting, netting, trolling, drift fishing, poling and about any other activity in bays, bayous, swamps or estuaries. Her fit-and-finish has to be seen to be appreciated. See her now...

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Test Video

Beneteau Barracuda 9:
Coastal Cruising Day Boat

Beneteau Barracuda 9
We like the all-weather capabilities of the Barracuda 9 that can be a comfortable cruisier most anywhere.

The Beneteau Barracuda 9 at first looks a bit unusual to American eyes, but to those in Scandinavia, Scotland and North Sea islands, to say nothing of Greenland, she has a familiar profile. She makes an obvious coastal cruiser (or commuter) for people living in northern climes on the west side of the Atlantic as well. We would also suggest that commercial watermen give the Barracuda 9 careful attention, as her walk-around deck space and high bulwarks make her handy and safe. More...

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Snapshot Review

Lazzara Breeze 76:
A Multi-Cultural Motoryacht

Lazzara Breeze 76
There are eight well-designed outdoor entertaining venues on the Breeze 76. 

The Lazzara Breeze 76 has multiple missions because she has been designed to appeal to people all over the world from multiple cultures with different boating backgrounds. Although she has a long list of distinguishing features, this week we will look at her layout and accommodations. More...

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Test Video

Sun Tracker Regency Party Barge 250 XP3: Power to Haul a Crowd

Sun Tracker Regency Party Barge 250 XP3
The Pary Barge 250 XP3 tri-toon has good performance when powered with a 250-hp outboard.

The Sun Tracker Party Barge 250 XP3 has a rated carrying capacity of 15 persons or 2,200 lbs. (1,000 kgs.), whichever number is reached first. The third toon is what adds carrying capacity, and it also provides the buoyancy needed for the boat to go 50.4 mph powered by a 250-hp OptiMax Pro XS. Because the engine is 2-stroke, it has the low-end torque to get skiers and wakeboarders up in short order. 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!

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Expert Boating

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 BoatTEST.com'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...

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Lesson of the Week

How to Survive and Treat Hypothermia

Capt. Steve Smart Boating Cover
Survival in cold water will depend on how well you are able to minimize your body’s heat loss.

This week Captain Steve goes over four lessons and guidelines on recognizing the signs of hypothermia, how to help avoid it, and what you can do to lessen the effects on your body. Hypothermia does not only happen in cold water, even in 70 degree water you can still experience a significant loss of body heat. The videos presented this week are part of BoatTEST.com’s Smart Boating Course which is USCG-approved. Watch these video boating lessons every week on BoatTEST.com.

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All articles, Captain's Reports, video content or other material which appear on BoatTEST.com and in its newsletters are accurate and factual to the best knowledge of BoatTEST.com and its staff. All findings, beliefs, experiences, or endorsements presented are the honest opinions of BoatTEST.com or its contributors. In compliance with FTC 16 CFR Part 255 BoatTEST.com advises its readers that content that appears in its newsletter or on its website may have been produced for compensation or the prospect of future compensation. BoatTEST.com makes no claims for the veracity or motivation of reader comments, Owners’ Reports, and other contributions which are all clearly labeled as such.