Rampage 41 // Tiara 44 // Beneteau GT 49 // 16 Reviews - 07/30/2014
BoatTEST Newsletter July 30, 2014 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
- Beneteau GT 49
- Rampage 41 Express
- Evinrude ICON
- Manitou 23 X-Plode SHP
- Cruisers Sport Series 238
- Nitro Z-8
- Chaparral H2O 21 Sport
- Prestige 450 S
- Tigé Z1
- Volvo Penta SD Joystick
- Sea Ray 205 Sport
- Bayliner 210 DB
- Sun Tracker Party Barge 22
- Monte Carlo Yachts 86
- Tiara 44 Coupe
- Beneteau Flyer 6
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson

Beneteau Gran Turismo 49:
A Stylish Family Cruiser

Beneteau Gran Turismo 49
The Gran Turismo 49 is designed for cruising families all over the world. She is just at home in the Med as she is in Mexico or Singapore.

We tested the Beneteau Gran Turismo 49 on a blustery day in just the kind of conditions we like, but naturally makes it difficult for the boat to attain her highest speed. The yacht has a 14' (4.27 m) beam and had a tested weight of 34,735 lbs. (15,756 kgs.). Powered by twin Volvo Penta 435-hp IPS600s, she had a WOT (3400 rpm) speed of 28 knots. At 2750 rpm she traveled 18.6 knots, burning 30.5 gph, giving her a range of 189 nautical miles with a 10% fuel reserve. Even though she is a large boat, she is easy to dock. More...

Test Drive

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New Captain's Report

Rampage 41 Express:
Impressive Offshore Performance

Rampage 41
The Rampage 41 Express can handle offshore conditions, so she is a good boat to have underfoot for family cruising or big game fishing.

The Rampage 41 Express has a real Carolina flare and wide chine flats to keep the spray away from the deck. A sharp entry slices the waves, while a modest 12-degree deadrise at the stern makes her more fuel-efficient, faster, and keeps the boat stable in beam seas and when at anchor. She delivered a top speed over 41 mph in our tests, powered by a pair of 715 MHP Caterpillar C12 ACERTs. More...

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Test Video

Evinrude ICON:
Drive-By-Wire Control

Evinrude ICON
Evinrude's ICON digital control system delivers fly-by-wire control for the Evinrude E-TEC outboard series.

Evinrude's ICON digital control system provides effortless and intuitive engine management for both single and dual control stations. The plug-and-play system allows quick, easy installation. It comes standard on four Evinrude E-TEC 250 and 300 horse models, and is an available option or add-on for Evinrude models down to 150 horsepower. A single binnacle can control up to five outboards. More...

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Test Video

Manitou 23 X-Plode SHP:
Entertain Anyone in Style

Manitou 23 X-Plode SHP
The Manitou 23 X-Plode SHP offers the luxurious feel of a sedate, up-scale power cruiser in a pontoon boat package.

The Manitou 23 X-Plode SHP is a top-end pontoon boat suitable for entertaining the most discriminating guests as well as being a laid-back family fun boat. She is a durable platform capable of good performance for the genre because she is a triple-toon. An AM/FM Infinity radio with streaming Bluetooth and four speakers delivers musical tunes on demand, and multi-toned soft-touch all-weather marine-grade vinyl offers comfortable seating for up to 11 passengers. More...

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Test Video

Cruisers Sport Series 238 Bow Rider:
Good Performance for Watersports

Cruisers Sport Series 238 Bow Rider
The Cruisers Sport Series 238 Bow Rider delivers performance in an upscale package suited for young families.

With the 300-horsepower MerCruiser 350 MAG sterndrive package the Cruisers Sport Series 238 Bow Rider gets on plane in just 3.8 seconds, reaches 30 mph in 6.9 seconds, and delivers a top speed of 48.5 mph. Pull her back to a 3000 rpm cruise and enjoy a range of over 160 miles between fill-ups. More...

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Captain's Report

Nitro Z-8:
Turn-Key & Tournament-Ready

Nitro Z-8
Starting at the bow, the Nitro Z-8 is loaded with the equipment bass pros expect in the top levels of tournament competition.

With two big rod-boxes and a pair of tournament-sized, powerfully-aerated livewells, the Nitro Z-8 is tournament ready out of the box. Standard power is a 200-hp Mercury but it's rated for Mercury's 250 XS tournament special, which will deliver speeds in the low 70s. A 24-Volt troller allows easy, silent control from the bow, and a Lowrance Mark 5x is standard at the console. The tandem, color-matched trailer in this package includes two treaded steps at the tongue to make for easy access when the boat is in place. All of this for one nationally-advertised price. More...

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Test Video

Chaparral H2O 21 Sport:
Loaded with Features

Chaparral H20 21 Sport
This is the business end of the Chaparral H2O 21 Sport. She has a feature-rich package that is surprisingly affordable given the brand.

Chaparral's H2O 21 Sport delivers everything a family needs to get started in boating, none of the puffery that drives up price; key standard features include Hydro-Turf carpeting on the swim platform, snap-out carpeting throughout, a striking exterior graphics package, a full wrap-around bolster to make seating up front more comfortable, and fog-free instrumentation. Smart touches such as casting the top of the console in titanium gray to reduce glare will make seasoned captains happy. More...

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Features Video

Prestige 450 S:
A Practical Design for Serious Boaters

Prestige 450 S
Lots of windows above and below decks create an airy interior -- and striking exterior lines -- in the Prestige 450 S.

The Prestige 450 S features an open and airy interior that blends seamlessly with the aft deck thanks to double-wide sliding salon doors. Hullside windows make even the master and guest staterooms bright with natural light -- and from the outside, these windows add a striking styling touch. A power sunroof opens up the salon at the touch of a switch -- or closes it watertight, while still providing light through a pair of large skylights. Luxurious but durable materials dress up all interior areas, and solid teak decking is standard in the cockpit on the aft deck. More...

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Features Video

Tigé Z1:
Maximizing Towing Features

Tigé Z1
The 21.5' (6.55 m) Tigé Z1 has guest seating in the round for maximum crowd appeal. Note the cool swim platform and stern staging area.

The Tigé Z1 excels at producing a slalom wake, huge wakeboarding wake, or high surf waves that can be followed for miles. Even though she’s smaller than Tigé's well-known Z3, she still puts out a high surf wake that can be dialed in for size, length, curl, and even which side of the boat it’s on. Speedset cruise control and a standard wide-angle ski-view mirror add to the towing package. More...

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Components and Details Video

Volvo Penta Sterndrive Joystick:
With It, Who Needs Captain Steve?

Volvo Penta Sterndrive Joystick
Volvo Penta's Sterndrive Joystick system provides intuitive boat control at the docks despite wind and current -- so, who needs a professional captain?

Volvo Penta's Sterndrive Joystick system operates by “fly-by-wire” software commands from the helm-mounted joystick control, delivering just the right amount of throttle and thrust to move the boat into any chosen spot. Docking sideways into wind or current is easy, and the boat turns in its own length by simply rotating the joystick. This intuitive system makes anyone an expert at docking almost immediately. More...

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Captain's Report

Sea Ray 205 Sport:
Family-Oriented Sportster

Sea Ray 205 Sport
For the boating family into watersports, the Sea Ray 205 Sport provides a roomy,
solid platform--with style.

The deep cockpit (32") and plenty of freeboard make the Sea Ray 205 Sport a safe and relatively dry family boat, good for little ones. The layout maximizes the interior room of the cockpit providing plenty of space for occupants to move around when gearing up. The companion seat swivels to turn aft for the spotter when towing. More...

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Test Video

Bayliner 210 DB:
The Ultimate Crossover--
A Toon & Fish Deckboat

Bayliner 170BR
The radically new Bayliner 210 DB is a watersports deckboat that has
an interior like a pontoon boat and fishboat options.

We like pontoon boats as much as anyone but -- like all boats -- they have their limitations and compromises. With the 210 DB, Bayliner has taken the strong points of a toon -- massive seating, open deck space, and low price -- and married them with the best features of a crossover deckboat -- performance, nautical styling, low-maintenance fiberglass, and watersports versatility. The 210 DB seats 12 people, has a fully enclosed changing room/head, large deck storage compartments and proper anchor storage in the bow. Her base MSRP with a 150-hp EFI 4-stroke Mercury outboard is $33,774. More...

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Test Video

Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3:
Multi-Mission Value Package

Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3
The Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3 serves as an entertainment platform whether the action calls for being on the water or in the water.

The Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3 is a versatile entertainment venue as well as a watersports platform for up to 10 people. With power to 150 horses and speeds to almost 40 mph, thanks to added planing surfaces of the center pontoon, she can handle tow-sports. The changing room tucked under the sun lounge could also hide a Porta-Potti which guests will appreciate. The moveable table allows for lunch or drinks forward or aft, and the standard stereo offers Bluetooth streaming audio in addition to MP3 and USB ports. More...

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New Features Video

Monte Carlo Yachts 86:
Unique Design with Advanced Engineering

Monte Carlo Yachts 86
The MCY 86's carbon-fiber flying bridge hardtop and electric-opening sky panel are a few of the many 21st century technology touches on this flagship vessel.

The Monte Carlo Yachts 86 brings aero-space design and technology to the construction of fine motoryachts. But the real innovation is the hull's monocoque design that -- like a commercial airliner -- uses the vessel's skin for strength, not bulkheads and flooring. As a result, the interior layout can be anything a customer wants. The swim platform lowers hydraulically to accommodate a larger tender or a pair of personal watercraft. More...

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Captain's Report

Tiara 44 Coupe:
First Launch is Next Month

Tiara 44 Coupe
The cockpit of the new Tiara 44 Coupe is made for gathering, entertaining, dining and relaxing. At the swim platform there’s a grill/buffet center which gives function to space usually wasted.

The new Tiara 44 Coupe will be launched next month and we are looking forward to seeing if she is as good in reality as she is in the builder's CAD drawings. In any case, she is built with quality materials. Standard decking in the salon/galley is solid teak, and most interior wood is architectural teak and African wenge wood. A high-gloss teak, hi-lo pedestal table seats four. The counters in the master bath are fabricated from teak with solid surface accents. As with the master stateroom, the sole is teak. A sliding sunroof, standard, and double-wide salon doors aft help bring the outside in. More...

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Review Video

Beneteau Flyer 6 SPORTdeck:
Air Step II on a New Family-Friendly Boat

Beneteau Flyer 6 SPORTdeck
Beneteau's 20'5'' (6.22 m) Flyer 6 SPORTdeck combines interesting hull technology with creature comforts to keep the family happy in a capable "sport-about" design.

The Air Step II hull design on the Beneteau Flyer 6 SPORTdeck delivered impressive fuel economy in our tests, and the fine forward entry of the bow minimizes pounding. Touches like the optional marine head with pumpout, a privacy curtain forward and an available remote-controlled power winch for the anchor also make her family-friendly. 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.

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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...

Watch the trailer...
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Lesson of the Week

How To Dock A Twin Inboard Boat

Capt. Steve Smart Boating Cover
Always check wind direction and current before docking.
Once dockside, tie the bow line first, then the stern line.

This week Captain Steve goes over six lessons and guidelines on basic boat handling and docking procedures. Learn why twins allow you to maneuver easier. Learn how to pivot the boat for close quarter maneuvering, move the boat sideways without a bow thruster, and how to back into a slip. These are basic rules which all recreational boaters should be aware of. The videos presented this week are part of BoatTEST.com’s Boating Course which is USCG-approved. 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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