Evinrude E-TEC 90 H.O. // Chaparral 224 // Formula 370 SS // 18 Reports - 04/16/2014
BoatTEST Newsletter April 16, 2014 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
- Formula 370 Super Sport
- Evinrude E-TEC 90 H.O.
- Glastron GT 225
- Pursuit OS 385 Offshore
- Beneteau Hull and Deck
- Carver C34
- Chaparral 224 Sunesta
- Cruisers Sport Series 328
- Mako 234 CC
- Manitou 25 Encore VP
- Prestige 620S
- Sun Tracker BB 18 DLX
- Volvo Penta V8-430
- Nord Star 26 Patrol
- Bavaria Sport 39
- Marquis 420
- Sea Ray 370 Venture
- Beneteau Gran Turismo 49
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson

Formula 370 Super Sport:
New Interior Design
and Treatment

Formula 370 Super Sport
Formula has added new design hull colors to its pallet including metallic ones that virtually glow in the sunlight.

Formula's basic mission is to stay ahead of all other boat builders in class when it comes to eye-appeal, rough water performance handling at high speed, and creature comforts. Our recent test of the 370 Super Sport discovered a newly-styled interior design that reflects customer feedback. That, together with the 370's dazzling exterior finish we think makes the new 370 Super Sport worth seeing. More...

Test Drive

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New Test Video

Evinrude E-TEC 90 H.O.:
"De-Tuning" Pays off in "High Output"

Evinrude E-TEC 90 H.O.
Engine makers are famous for strapping anything imaginable on an engine to squeeze out more horsepower -- but here's a refreshing case of the opposite. Its called "de-tuning" and it has lots of advantages.

The mission of the Evinrude E-TEC 90 H.O. is to be the fastest -- and most powerful -- 90-hp engine off the starting line. Tournament bass and multispecies anglers will like that and so will sportboat owners who want lots of raw pulling muscle when towing a heavy skier. The secret of the Evinrude E-TEC 90 H.O.'s remarkable performance is its 106 cubic inch displacement engine which delivers considerably more torque to its prop. We take an in-depth look at this noteworthy new engine. More...

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New Captain's Report

Glastron GT 225:
Available in 3 Versions for Different Needs

The Glastron GT 225 has a LOA of 22’ (6.7 m), a beam of 8’4” (2.5 m) and a draft of 34” (86 cm).

The Glastron GT 225 is offered in three different versions with increasing levels of amenities to appeal to wider market segments. The GT 225 can be had in the standard GT or Grand Turing version, the GTS, a sportier version, and the GTL, a model loaded with luxury features. More...

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New Captain's Report

Pursuit OS 385 Offshore:
An Outboard Express with Advantages

Pursuit OS 385 Offshore
Including the pulpit, the Pursuit OS 385 Offshore has a LOA of 39’5” (12.01 m),
a beam of 13’ (4 m) and a draft of 42” (107 cm).

Most often we hear about boaters trading up to larger models, but in the realm of offshore fishing, the trend seems to be heading in the opposite direction. Owners of large convertible sport fish boats are downsizing to boats like the Pursuit OS 385 Offshore. In this case, it makes good sense as this boat can go virtually anywhere the larger ones can at a fraction of the operating costs, plus she carries a level of luxury in her interior accommodations that rival larger yachts. More...

Request brochure

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New Factory Video

Beneteau Hull and Deck:
Mastering Building Efficiency

Beneteau Hull and Deck
BoatTEST's COO Christopher Hughes inspects a new Beneteau Air Step hull on a recently fininshed GT. By using three different molding techniques the builder can maximize strength and minimize cost.

Groupe Beneteau builds dozens of different models from the mid teens to over 85' (4.5 to 26 m) weighing from 1,000 lbs. to 75,000 lbs. (454 to 34,019 kgs.), both sail and power. With undoubtedly the widest boat product range on the market, Beneteau has embraced three different hull and deck construction methods to maximize efficiency and minimize consumer cost on each individual model. The three methods are: 1)Traditional hand lay-up; 2) Vacuum-induced resin infusion; and, 3) Resin-injection molding. This is one of the key elements that allows Groupe Beneteau products to sell for less, yet have the same seaworthiness of much more expensive products. Find out more...

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Snapshot Review

Nord Star 26 Patrol:
Making a Workboat Classy

Nord Star 26 Patrol
The Nord Star 26 Patrol is intended for serious work such as being an all-weather commuter or patrol boat. But outfit her with the "Quantum" package and she morphs into a good-looking yacht.

The Nord Star 26 Patrol is designed to take conditions that most boaters might not want to tackle in anything less than a 40-footer (12.2 m). While she’s not designed for luxury, a touch of it is achieved by the optional Quantum equipment package that includes dark stained mahogany or traditional teak interior, leather seats, thicker side railings, teak toe rails, stylish carpets and wooded shades in the pilothouse. More...

Request brochure

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Test Video

Carver C34:
Important Construction Details

Carver C34
Boats with attractive prices invariably invite skeptics' minds to wonder. That's why we took a look at the C34's construction.

The construction of the C34 has some noteworthy details. For example, the hand-laid structural fiberglass and core laminates are said to be "bonded with infused epoxy resin." The surface below the waterline is sand blasted to create an optimal bonding surface for the anti-fouling paint. And Carver is using an integral aluminum truss reinforcement in the cabin top structure. That is just the beginning of the C34's constructions and materials story. More...

Carver Design and Style Design and style video...
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Test Video

Chaparral 224 Sunesta:
We Put Her Through Handling Hoops

Chaparral 224 Sunesta
Handling is at the top of most people's list of questions when buying a new boat. For that reason we gave the 224 Sunesta a good workout.

We tested the Chaparral 224 Sunesta to find out how she handled. The captain reported: "Bringing the outdrive trim to the ¼ mark on the gauge will get her into a 5-degree bow high attitude where she runs best. With 2-½ turns from lock-to-lock, she’s quite responsive to the helm." Our captain also made a detailed inspection of the boat to see how the builder's designers used the space. Complete report...

Test Drive

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Design and Style Review

Cruisers Sport Series 328 Bow Rider:
A Couple's Versatile Weekender

Cruisers Sport Series 328 Bow Rider
The all-new Cruisers Sport Series 328 Bow Rider measures 32'11" (9.98 m) LOA with a 10'6" (3.20 m) beam, and that means she can be loaded up with friends and family.

The Cruisers Sport Series 328 Bow Rider can carry up to 16 people according to our count -- with 9-10 of them facing forward while underway. But what about the once-in-a-while trips to a remote destination for an overnight? The CSS 328 Bow Rider has that covered as well. She's got a mid-cabin with standing headroom suitable for two people to sleep quite comfortably, a mini galley, and an enclosed wet head. More...

Ask a question about materials.

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Boat Show Video

Marquis 420 Sport Bridge:
Euro-Styling in the U.S.

Marquis 420 Sport Bridge
The exterior color of the Marquis 420 Sport Bridge sets the tone of this vessel both inside and out. She is a boat designed for the French Riviera but built in Pulaski, Wisconsin.

The Marquis 420 Sport Bridge is one of the most Italian-styled sun bridge boats built in the U.S. While this yacht’s strong suit is styling -- both exterior and interior -- there have been significant and far-reaching changes at Marquis that make this vessel more attractive than ever before. In this case beauty is more than skin deep. More...

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Test Video

Mako 234 CC:
Ringing the Performance Bells

Mako 234 CC
Captain Steve has always wanted to be the Ring Master of a 3-ring Circus and he got his chance when testing the Mako 234 CC's WOT speed, fuel economy at best cruise and range.

When we tested the Mako 234 CC with a pair of 150 Mercury 4-strokes turning 17''-pitch propellers, we reached a top speed of 46.6 mph at 5900 rpm. Best cruise came in at 3000 rpm and 23.6 mph giving a range of 374 statute miles. More...

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Test Video

Manitou 25 Encore VP:
Smart Options Make the Boat

Manitou 25 Encore VP
On the Manitou 25 Encore VP, low maintenance faux teak vinyl decking is offered as an option and it adds a classy look to the boat.

The Manitou 25 Encore VP comes well equipped with virtually everything needed to host a large crowd aboard. She has a standard dinette table, a reclining captain's chair with self-leveling arm rests, an extended starboard chaise, a 42" sun pad and more. Best of all, her bottom shape permits fast speeds in the triple-toon version. Select the right options and this 26-footer (7.92 m) can look like a mega-toon. More...

Manitou Promotional Manitou promotional video...
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Test Video

Prestige 620S:
Pod Propulsion for Ultimate Control

Prestige 620S
The Prestige 620S bottom shape and keel notwithstanding, the pod drives make this boat far more docile than she would have been with rudders and conventional inboard propulsion.

The classic, conservative lines of the Prestige 620S speak for themselves and should never go out of style. What is not so obvious is her handling, which is greatly enhanced by her twin IPS pod drives. Not only do they permit a joystick for easy docking, but more importantly, they provide directional thrust in sloppy conditions offshore or when running dicey inlets. More...

Prestige Hull and Deck Construction Factory tour video... Request brochure
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Captain's Report

Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX:
Peace and Quiet with Twin Toons

Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX
The Bass Buggy 18 DLX is supported by twin pontoons that are 24'' (.61 m) in diameter, which is pretty much standard for easy-going family-oriented pontoon boats.

Most of us here at BoatTEST.com have children of our own and appreciate any attempts at addressing the needs of families – especially where boats are concerned. The stability and high bulwarks (aka "fences") inherent with most pontoon boat designs make them an excellent choice for anyone considering boating with youngsters. Just remember that pontoon boats are designed for use in protected waters. Find out all about the family-oriented Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX here...

Sun Tracker Promotional Sun Tracker promotional video...
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Test Video

Volvo Penta V8-430:
A Superior Power-to-Weight Ratio

Volvo Penta V8-430
The "small block" 430-hp Volvo Penta 6.0L V8 engine fits easily into all boats used by the "big block".

Volvo Penta's new 430-hp engine has been completely remapped from the 6.0 L block and has variable valve timing that allows the engine to produce more low-end and mid-range torque as well as to give her a higher top speed. She has closed loop cooling, standard on all Volvo Penta engines, and Duoprop lower units come standard. Perhaps most important, she is 300 lbs. (136 kgs.) lighter than the competition. More...

Volvo Penta's Powertrim Assistant Volvo Penta Powertrim Assistant promotional video...
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Snapshot Review

Bavaria 39 Sport:
2 Staterooms, Galley Down

Bavaria 39 Sport
The Bavaria 39 Sport has an LOA of 38'8" (11.79 m), a beam of 13'1" (3.99 m) and a draft of 3'6" (1.06 m) with the drive down. Displacement is 18,040 lbs. (8,200 kg.) dry.

The last several years German boat builder Bavaria has been working hard to improve its powerboat line and its credo calls for more room, utility and value. The 39 Sport is a good case in point of just how Bavaria is going about achieving those objectives. The latest model has two staterooms with a galley and salon down and seating for 12 people on deck. She is powered by twin Volvo Penta 260-hp D4 diesel sterndrives with options up to twin 370-hp D6s. She is also available with twin MerCruiser gas engines. As one might expect with Bavaria, she has over 7' (2 m) of headroom in her salon below. Learn more...

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Test Video

Sea Ray 370 Venture:
Twin Outboard Express Cruiser

Sea Ray 370 Venture
The twin 300-hp Mercury outboards are ensconced in engine boxes that make them nearly invisible on the water and barely audible (77 dbA) in the cockpit.

By powering this 15,432-lb. (7,000-kgs.) express cruiser with twin 300-hp Mercury supercharged outboards, Sea Ray has created a completely new type of boat that has a number of important advantages for boaters -- at least eight by our count. By moving the engines out of the boat, the builder has been able to create a huge master stateroom below amidships as well as a large salon below with galley. But that's just the beginning. More...

Sea Ray's Quiet Ride Technology Quiet Ride Technology video...
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Design and Style Review

Beneteau Gran Turismo 49 Fly:
A Mix of Appearance & Practicality

Beneteau Gran Turismo 49 Fly
The Beneteau Gran Turismo 49 Fly solves the aesthetic problem of having the ship's tender hanging off the stern by providing a tender garage.

Beneteau knows that the aesthetics of a boat are of prime importance to most boat buyers. That is why the Gran Turismo 49 Fly is not only sleek-looking, but she also has a tender garage. By being able to conceal the decidedly homely-looking tender, a cruising boat owner has the vessel needed to go ashore or visit friends on a mooring, without disturbing the elegant lines of the boat when underway. More...

Beneteau Hull and Deck Construction Factory tour video... Request brochure
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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

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...

Watch the trailer...
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Lesson of the Week

PWC Safe Operation Tips - Part III

Capt. Steve Smart Boating Cover
Most PWC accidents occur by an inexperienced operator who does not know how to maneuver the watercraft or is operating it at an unsafe speed.

This week Captain Steve goes over seven lessons and guidelines on PWC restrictions and safety procedures. There is more to PWC operation than meets the eye. The videos presented this week are part of BoatTEST.com’s USCG-approved Boating Course. Watch these video boating lessons every week on BoatTEST.com.

To view this week’s lessons --

Order all lessons on DVD--

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