Bayliner Element XL // Glastron GT 205 // Prestige 750 // 15 Reviews - 04/23/2014
BoatTEST Newsletter April 23, 2014 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter. Tests You Can Trust
- Prestige 750
- Bayliner Element XL
- Boston Whaler 270
- Evinrude E-TEC 135 H.O.
- Glastron GT 205
- Jeanneau NC11
- Hurricane SunDeck 201
- Mercury 8.2 MAG
- Tracker Targa V-18 WT
- Grand Banks 47
- Sea Ray 510 Fly
- Premier 290 GE
- Robalo R180
- Tahoe Q7i
- Meridian Yachts 391 Sedan
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson

Prestige 750:
Styling for the Future

Prestige 750
At nearly 100,000 lbs. (45.454 kgs.), the Prestige 750 is a motoryacht with gravitas, the accommodations, and most amenities of a far larger yacht.

Please note in the image above that there are no exterior styling excesses on the Prestige 750. No tail fins. No retro affectations. She is not an express cruiser on steroids or a superyacht shrunk down. To our eye the Prestige 750 has a somewhat conservative and universal nautical design that will probably out-live the styling of many flavor-of-the-month yachts in class we often see. Not only now, but in years to come she will be equally at home in Antibes, Hong Kong, or Ft. Lauderdale. We take an in-depth look...

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New Captain's Report

Bayliner Element XL:
Drives Like a Car/Seats 8

Bayliner Element XL
The new Bayliner Element XL has a LOA of 18’2” (5.54 m), and a beam of 7’5” (2.26 m).

Last year we introduced the world to the Bayliner 16' (4.88 m) Element which was well-received in the entry-level marketplace. This year Bayliner has added 2’ (.6 m) and 300 lbs. (136 kgs.) which allows her to seat 8 instead of 6 and it is calling the new boat the Element XL (for Extra Length). She can be powered by either a 90-hp or a 115-hp Mercury outboard. Her "M"-shaped hull provides stability and allows her to be driven almost like an automobile. Her MSRP is $16,999. This week we give her a full test and in-depth inspection. More...

Bayliner Documentary Bayliner Element promotional documentary...
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New Captain's Report

Boston Whaler 270 Dauntless:
Options Make Her Versatile

Boston Whaler 270 Dauntless
The 270 is the largest of the Dauntless Series with an LOA of 27'4" (8.33 m) and a beam of 9’ (2.74 m). The optional side door can be used as a swim platform.

The primary use of the 270 Dauntless is intended to be for inshore and coastal work, but because she is 27' (8.22 m) she is also capable of offshore adventures as well. The mission of the 270 Dauntless is to offer a boat with the traditional qualities of a Boston Whaler fishing machine while providing options to expand her use as a family day cruiser or watersports boat. More...

Boston Whaler 270 Dauntless Factory tour video... Test Drive
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New Test Video

Evinrude E-TEC 135 H.O.:
High Torque at Low RPMs

Evinrude E-TEC 135 H.O.
The new Evinrude E-TEC 135 H.O. is the most powerful outboard in class. At right we see tubes that take oil to specific locations for lubrication and a connector for optional instrumentation.

Evinrude’s E-TEC 150 H.O. outboard has been a staple of the company’s lineup of workhorse engines for years. By "de-tuning" its onboard computer to stop its maximum output at 135-hp -- voila! -- the Evinrude E-TEC 135 H.O. is created. Essentially, the powerful torque of the 150 at the low-end of the rpm range has been transferred to the new 135, giving it more muscle where it is needed in many applications. We have tested the engine, and the results have been posted. More...

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New Captain's Report

Glastron GT 205:
Now in Four Different Versions

Glastron GT 205
The Glastron GT 205 has a LOA of 20’6” (6.3 m), a beam of 8’ (2.4 m) and a draft of 35” (89 cm).

If variety is the spice of life then Glastron certainly has the right ingredients. It is now offering the popular 20’ (6.3 m) GT 205 in no less than four different versions to suit virtually any taste. Choose from the affordable GT 205, the sporty GTS 205, the luxury GTL 205, or head off fishing in the GTSF 205. All are designed with the GT Series' retro look of sportiness, ensuring that all heads will turn when one comes cruising by. More...

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Test Video

Jeanneau NC11:
A New Concept in Boating Design

Jeanneau NC11
Here we can see how much space is available when the cockpit seat is moved aft and the deck hatch is pulled up on the Jeanneau NC11. This simple arrangement allows owners full access to the boat's two twin Volvo Penta D3 diesel sterndrives and the optional generator with virtually unlimited headroom.

We have often pointed out that the NC line of boats by Jeanneau maximizes the utility of space and furniture in their boats' interiors. But another aspect of this out-of-the-box thinking is the NC11's engine room -- something that can be dreadful in many 35' (10.67 m) boats because of the lack of headroom. The image above explains how -- simply make the sky the limit. More...

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New Captain's Report

Hurricane SunDeck Sport SS 201 OB:
Tested with the Evinrude E-TEC 135 H.O.

Hurricane SunDeck 201
The Hurricane SunDeck Sport SS 201 OB has a rated capacity for 11. She has a LOA of 20’1” (6.13 m) and a beam of 102” (2.59 m). We tested the SunDeck 201 with an Evinrude E-TEC 135 H.O., but she’s rated for up to 200–hp.

Hurricane is the company that started the deckboat concept over two decades ago. The idea was simply to make a boat that was affordable, maximized interior seating space, had a deck low to the water so the boat could be boarded from a beach at the bow, and from the water at the stern. It’s an idea that took off and now nearly every sportboat builder has its own version of one. But Hurricane still makes more different variations on a theme with 26 different models. The SunDeck Sport SS 201 OB is a good example of why the concept is so popular. More...

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Test Video

Mercury 8.2 MAG:
Advantages of the "Big Block"

Mercury 8.2 MAG
Mercury's engineers think there is no replacement for naturally-aspirated displacement when it comes to high torque, less maintenance and longer life.

The 8.2 L Mercury engine has the largest sterndrive block now on the market and its mission is to provide maximum horsepower and high-torque across a broad rpm range. For that reason, it is more likely to serve the power needs of a wider spectrum of applications than might a smaller block with less displacement which produces the same rated horsepower. But there are many other distinguishing features of the 8.2 L MAG, including 4 ways to exhaust the engine, dry joint exhausts, maximum engine horsepower at lower rpms, and enhanced cooling for longer life. More...

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Test Video

Tracker Targa V-18 WT:
A Dual Console that is Family-Friendly

Tracker Targa V-18 WT
The Targa V-18 WT weighed 2,845 lbs. (1,290 kgs.) during our test. The 70-lb thrust trolling motor comes standard.

Our report on the Tracker Targa V-18 WT concludes with this sentence: "She does live up to her billing as being completely ready to fish right off the showroom floor, and as a family day boat, well… all that's missing is the cooler." Equally important is the quality of her aluminum construction. We have toured the Tracker plant and were impressed with the substantial aluminium substructure in the Targa V-18 WT. More...

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Snapshot Review

Grand Banks 47 Heritage CL:
Teak is Still in Style

Grand Banks 47 Heritage CL
Where's the fiberglass?

Decades ago Grand Banks set the bar very high on the amount of teak used in a boat's interior. Today, despite the sharp rise in this wood's cost, Grand Banks is still an industry leader not only in the amount of teak used, but also in its execution. The Grand Banks 47 Heritage CL is a good example of the company's build philosophy. Seeing is believing. More...

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Captain's Report

Sea Ray 510 Fly:
For Coastal Cruising

Sea Ray 510 Fly
Below the 510 Fly has three staterooms and two heads. She has a 15'4" (4.67 m) beam, draws 4'5" (1.34 m) and displaces 48,800 lbs. (21,228 kgs.) dry.

The Sea Ray 510 Fly is about as small as a true motoryacht can be and still fill most of the required functions. She was designed to be competitive with well-known European brands, where boats of this size and type are basically used as day boats to go from a marina to a beach and back, or take short trips from marina to marina at high speed. More...

Test Drive

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Test Video

Premier 290 Grand Entertainer:
For High-Performance Parties

Premier 290 Grand Entertainer
Powered by twin 300-hp Yamaha engines, the 290 Grand Entertainer triple-toon can really cut the rug. See our test results...

The 290 Grand Entertainer is part of Premier Pontoon’s Luxury Series and it delivers on its name. A full bar complete with four telescoping bar stools, an overhead Cabana top with glassware holders, a sink with cutting board, and even a refrigerator, makes this toon compelling for those wanting to do entertainment afloat with a crowd. More...

Test Drive

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Test Video

Robalo R180:
Testing Cranking and Banking

Robalo R180
Captain Steve puts the Robalo R180 into a series of tight high speed turns to get a feel for her handling characteristics.

One of the most important aspects of a boat's handling is what happens when it is put into a sharp turn at high speed. We conduct that maneuver on virtually every boat we test. From our report on the Robalo R180: "Doing hard-over 'test captain' turns were equally comfortable but were met with a little ventilation; however, it's rare that you'd operate this way. Normal turns were a non-event." In fact, a little ventilation is a good thing as it slows the boat down, acting as a "safety valve". More...

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Test Video

Tahoe Q7i:
She's Easy to Handle

Tahoe Q7i
The Tahoe Q7i can be enjoyed by the whole family for watersports or just cruising.

Because the 20'6" (6.25 m) Tahoe Q7i is a compact package she is easy to handle. Our test captain reports that: "Normal turns have her leaning roughly 14-degrees but high-performance turns can crank around to little more than that. She's very responsive to the helm, so feel free to keep a light hand on the wheel." More...

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Design & Style Review

Meridian Yachts 391 Sedan:
Interior of a Cruiser

Meridian Yachts 391 Sedan
Yes, the photographer was using a wide-angle lens, but there is no other way to show the Meridian 391 Sedan's function-packed interior.

When it comes to yacht interiors, we think a 3-minute video is worth 10,000 words. The Meridian 391 Sedan is not a large boat as motoryachts go, but her interior design and layout and clever use of space make her a contender for most anyone's pocketbook. Take a look at the video and find out why. 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

Requirements for Recreational Boaters: Inflatable Life Jackets

Captain Steve Smart Boating Cover
Captain Steve explains requirements for all boaters.

This week Captain Steve examines inflatable life vests in detail. He walks the boater through the benefits of this type of vest and demonstrates how to check indicators, perform maintenance and how to manually inflate the vest. The videos presented this week are part of’s USCG-approved Boating Course. Watch these video boating lessons every week on

To view this week’s lessons --

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