New Evinrude Outboard // Sailfish 290 // Bennington 2575 // 16 Reviews - 08/27/2014
BoatTEST Newsletter August 27, 2014 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter. Tests You Can Trust
- Evinrude E-TEC G2 250 H.O.
- Yamaha VXR
- Sailfish 290CC
- Bennington 2575
- Beneteau Gran Turismo 49
- Bayliner 642
- Volvo Penta EVC-E
- Monte Carlo Yachts 86
- Tigé R20
- Sun Tracker Fishin' Barge 20
- Cruisers Sport Series 328
- Formula 370 Super Sport
- Chaparral 203 Vortex VRX
- PowerTech Props
- Nitro Z-7
- Manitou 22 Encore
- Prestige 620 S
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson

Evinrude E-TEC G2 250 H.O.:
Innovation and Evolution
in a New 2-Stroke Design

Evinrude E-TEC G2 250 H.O.
You are looking at just one important attribute of the all-new Evinrude E-TEC G2 250 H.O. outboard. Because its steering is totally integral to the engine it has no external steering arm to keep it from tilting 81-degrees -- and totally out of the water on virtually all boats.

Evinrude's all-new -- from the skeg-to-the-shroud -- G2 Series engines (6 models from 200 to 300-hp) is one of the most important new outboard engine designs to hit the boating industry in years. Evinrude says that it is the first 2-stroke outboard designed from scratch specifically for direct fuel injection and as a result is more fuel efficient and has greater mid-range torque. It's gear shifting is electric, and it is the only engine in class that carries its lube oil internally. More...

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New Captain's Report

Yamaha VXR:
Innovation and Features

Yamaha VXR
The 2015 Yamaha VXR shown here has been upgraded with a new control system called “RIDE” which allows the rider to decelerate in half the distance and change between forward and reverse from a left-hand lever.

The 2015 Yamaha VXR WaveRunner is a newly designed PWC that delivers top of the market handling and maneuverability with the new RIDE system from Yamaha. This allows the rider to decelerate in half the distance previously achieved. With a dry weight of 767 lbs. (348 kg) and a 1.8L high output engine, this watercraft also delivers on performance and stability. The first part of a two-part Captain’s Report on this machine is based on an extensive test and evaluation period over two days. More...

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New Test Video

Sailfish 290CC:
Fast and Comfortable with 2 x 300s

Sailfish 290CC
The Sailfish 290CC provides lots of well-organized workspace to optimize its fishing efficiency -- and it doesn't hurt that she looks very good at speed.

The fast (58 mph with 2 Mercury 300-hp engines) Sailfish 290CC not only delivers blazing performance, she's a highly effective fishing machine thanks to an ergonomic layout that puts the fishing features where serious anglers want them. The baitwell is on the starboard transom so a castnet doesn't have to be dragged into the cockpit, and the bait prep station with sink (plus an added baitwell) is on the back of the leaning post, just a step from the rod-holders. Fishboxes in the aft deck are handy. More...

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New Captain's Report

Bennington 2575 QCW:
Distinctive Styling and Practical

Bennington 2575
The distinctive look of the Bennington 2575 QCW is unique to the pontoon boat genre, and her interior offers a high level of comfort.

The Bennington 2575 QCW is a stylish pontoon boat that offers comfort with such touches as a reclining helm chair with headrest, plus "pillow top" upholstery throughout. A pair of stern-facing "super lounges" with enhanced headrests and grab handles are likely to be the most popular sunning spots on the boat with the quick-release Bimini down, or raise it back up for 10' of shaded deck, including the lounges and the helm. Note the practical foredeck that many toons don't have. More...

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New Features Video

Beneteau Gran Turismo 49:
Feature-Loaded Express Cruiser

Beneteau Gran Turismo 49
The Beneteau Gran Turismo 49 is appropriate for a family, two cruising couples, or perhaps a retired couple thinking about cruising in style.

The Gran Turismo 49 is fitted with updated woods and colors that create a pleasing ambiance throughout the living and lounging areas of the yacht. A two or three stateroom layout is offered, both with two heads. She’s powered exclusively with the 435-hp Volvo Penta IPS600 engine/pod combination with joystick, and a bow thruster is standard, assuring positive control at the docks. More...

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New Test Video

Bayliner 642 Overnighter:
Convenience Meets Performance

Bayliner 642 Overnighter
The 21'4" (6.53 m) Bayliner 642 Overnighter, previously only available in Europe, has arrived in North America. This cuddy sleeps two and has nearly an 8' (2.44 m) beam.

Bayliner created the 642 Overnighter to provide a small cruiser that offers a sheltered cuddy cabin for an occasional overnight. Her amenities make her a capable day boat for family and friends, and she offers not only versatility but options that increase her comfort level -- along with surprisingly economical performance. Power options are MerCruiser sterndrives, 135 to 220 horsepower. More...

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Test Video

Volvo Penta EVC-E:
Engine Management Made Simple

Volvo Penta EVC-E
EVC-E is Volvo Penta’s electronic engine control platform, connecting the engine, transmission, instruments and accessories in one system, giving joystick steering in a highly reliable setup that works seamlessly with an autopilot.

Volvo Penta's EVC-E delivers better safety, comfort and driving economy, according to the company, in a system that radically reduces the amount of wiring and connectors required, leading to much higher reliability and easier installation. Stick steering at speed is now an option thanks to the electronic joystick, which also links to the autopilot that's part of the system. More...

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New Engine Room Video

Monte Carlo Yachts 86:
For Owner/Operators and Captains Only

Monte Carlo Yachts 86
The roomy, well-lighted engine room of the Monte Carlo Yachts 86 provides stand-up headroom in most areas, and easy access to all systems for the owner-operator or professional captain.

The Monte Carlo Yachts 86's engine room is a far cry from the cramped and dark mechanicals on some yachts -- from the power-lift engine room hatch to the brilliantly lighted walkways and tall overheads, this is a workspace that welcomes the owner-operator. All systems are easily accessed and clearly labeled, and despite the protrusion of the tender garage into this space, our test captain reported no issues with getting around below. More...

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Features Video

Tigé R20:
Tow Boat Without Compromise

Tigé R20
The Tigé R20 provides all the essentials for a dedicated tow boat, including a standard fold-down tower, in a package that's small enough to fit in many garages.

The Tigé R20 was designed to provide an entry level wakeboat that still maintains the company’s demand for performance and construction quality. The boat makes no compromises as a towing machine: The swim platforms are large and mounted low to the water, eliminating the need for reboarding ladders, and also making it easier to get into the water with boards attached. Hull shape, ballast bags and the TAPS2 trim plate affixed to the aft end of the hull allows building the perfect wake with a variety of loads. More...

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Captain's Report

Sun Tracker Fishin' Barge 20 DLX:
Family Fisher with Extras

Sun Tracker Fishin' Barge 20 DLX
For a day on the water with the family, the Sun Tracker Fishin' Barge 20 DLX provides plenty of space to swing a rod, and plenty of comfort to keep the crew happy.

The Sun Tracker Fishin' Barge 20 DLX includes front and rear fishing seats and an aerated livewell in the standard package -- or buyers can make it into a semi-serious fishing boat with the optional fishing package, including a Lowrance fishfinder, MotorGuide trolling motor with remote and trolling motor harness -- all the goodies needed for a family fun fishing rig. More...

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Design and Style Review

Cruisers Sport Series 328 Bow Rider:
A Sporty Design with an A-1 Finish

Cruisers Sport Series 328 Bow Rider
Cruisers Sport Series 328 Bow Rider has one of the most innovative and practical bow arrangements in the "mega bowrider" class.

The Cruisers Sport Series 328 Bow Rider is notably clever in design from bow to stern. For example, tucking a stand-up-headroom mid-cabin into an XL bowrider is not easy. She has sporty looks and delivers performance to match, with a time to plane of 3.9 seconds -- noteworthy in a boat this size. Like all CSS boats, she is made with the same gelcoat, fabrics and hardware as are used in the Cruisers Yachts line. More...

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Test Video

Formula 370 Super Sport:
Easy Handling, Power to Burn

Formula 370 Super Sport
The Formula 370 Super Sport delivers high performance, striking style and comfortable accommodations in an all-around cruiser as comfortable on open ocean
as in a Midwestern lake.

When it comes to performance, the Formula 370 Super Sport really showed us her guns: She jumped out of the hole in 5.7 seconds and reached a top speed of 54.3 mph at 5000 rpm with a pair of 420-hp engines during our test. Her superior performance, wave-slicing ride, and clean, tight turns in our test run proved that Formula’s FastTech technology really works. More...

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Test Video

Chaparral 203 Vortex VRX:
A New Jet Boat with High Style

Chaparral 203 Vortex VRX
There's no mistaking the bold colors and styling of the Chaparral 203 Vortex VRX, and she's a sportboat that runs as good as she looks.

Striking graphics and styling plus six color packages make the Chaparral 203 Vortex VRX a jetboat that won't be ignored wherever she operates. The stylish tri-color interior is a match for the sleek hull, and the dash vinyl is tightly hand-sewn like that found on a German-made automobile. She's a head-turner, with performance to match. More...

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Propeller Report

PowerTech! 4-blade Prop:
Fow Towing & Better Mid-Range Performance

PowerTech 4-blade Prop
PowerTech's 4-blade props provide added blade area for a strong hole shot, plus many other advantages for towing rigs.

The increased blade area afforded by the addition of the fourth blade in propellers like the PowerTech 4-blade can provide increased water displacement capability, lift, and grip, as compared to comparable 3-blade propellers. These characteristics can enhance handling, hole shot, low-speed planning ability, cruise efficiency, fuel efficiency, load-carrying performance, rough water performance, ventilation/cavitation resistance, motor elevation capability and more. More...

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Test Video

Nitro Z-7:
Quality-Built Bassin' Rig

Nitro Z-7
The Nitro Z-7 is small enough to fit in most garages and big enough for tournament competition. She offers quality construction in a good-looking package that comes
fully equipped for bass fishing.

The Nitro Z-7 has a hand-laid fiberglass hull with longitudinal and transverse foam-filled stringers which are glassed into the bottom. The transom is also made of rot-proof composite materials. Features include a factory-matched trailer, along with a standard 150-horse Mercury XS outboard and stainless steel prop. More...

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Captain's Report

Manitou 22 Encore Pro Angler Full Front VP:
For Casual or Hard-Core Anglers

Manitou 22 Encore Pro Angler Full Front VP
The image at the top is the Manitou 22 Encore Pro Angler "Full Front VP" model and the one at the bottom is the 22 Encore Pro Angler "standard" model.

We have long been an advocate of pontoon fishing boats for working many of the lakes and water systems in North America and Manitou certainly concurs. It has a number of models specifically designed for fishing, including the two seen above. The "standard" is made for the gung-ho fishing family or a fishing club. Obviously, the "Full Front VP" model is more appropriate for families who want to both fish, entertain and cruise. Today, we take a look at the "Full Front VP" model. More...

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Test Video

Prestige 620 S:
Power, Speed & 3 Staterooms

Prestige 620S
The Prestige 620 S delivered a combination of solid performance and intuitive handling in our test runs courtesy of the standard Volvo Penta D11 IPS900 drive systems.

The Prestige 620 S has a relatively light displacement of 49,607 lbs. (22,500 kg), and with 3/4 fuel and five people onboard she turned in a respectable top speed of 31.5 knots in our tests. Best cruise came at 1750 rpm and 18.1 knots, burning 36 gph for a range of 331 nm with a 10% fuel reserve. 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’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...

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Lesson of the Week

Preparing for an Emergency Situation

Capt. Steve Smart Boating Cover
If a boater hit something and is taking on water he must take decisive action quickly. Use whatever is available to help slow the flow of water going inside the boat while waiting for help to arrive.

This week Captain Steve goes over five lessons and guidelines on emergency situations and what to do to help preserve life while waiting to be rescued. Everyone aboard will have to act quickly, and that’s why drills and practicing emergency situations with family is important. The videos presented this week are part of’s Boating Course which is USCG-approved. Watch these video boating lessons every week on

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