Cruisers Yachts 390 // Yamaha FX Cruiser // Sea Ray 510 // 15 Reviews - 09/03/2014
BoatTEST Newsletter September 3, 2014 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter. Tests You Can Trust
- Nordic Tugs 49
- Robalo 246 Cayman
- Cruisers Yachts 390 EC
- Bayliner 185 Bowrider
- Sea Ray 510 Fly
- Boston Whaler 270
- Jeanneau Leader 40
- Tracker Panfish 16
- Yamaha FX Cruiser SVHO
- Mercury Verado 300-hp
- Regal 53 Sport Coupe
- Tahoe Q4i
- Monte Carlo MC4
- MJM 50z
- Meridian Yachts 391 Sedan
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson

Nordic Tugs 49:
(Almost) All of the
Comforts of Home

Nordic Tugs Nordic Tug 49
The Nordic Tugs 49 is a long-range cruising boat easily operated by a couple or even single-handed, offering almost all of the comforts of home in a space-efficient package.

For serious cruising people (and you know who you are) the Nordic Tugs 49 has a whole lot to offer. Standard equipment includes a standup refrigerator, dish washer and separate washer and dryer units. Added to the comfort is a full-beam master with a queen bed. Top end features like the Stidd 500N Admiral Slimline captain's chair and Sapele cabinetry add the feel of luxury to this classic workboat design. More...

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New Captain's Report

Robalo 246 Cayman:
Inshore/Coastal Fishing Machine

Robalo 246 Cayman
The Robalo 246 Cayman seamlessly crosses over from shallow water fishing to taking on bumpy open bays and coastal work in a tough, low-maintenance center console with all the angling extras where they're needed.

Casting platforms bow and stern in the Robalo 246 Cayman provide elevation for fish spotting and also add storage space below her hatches. The 9' (2.74 m) beam gives 6'' of extra fishing space compared to most of the genre. The twin 30-gallon insulated livewells have rounded corners to prevent bait stackup, LED lighting and directional aerators with flow valve -- the ultimate wells for live bait anglers. Robalo didn't forget a dedicated storage space for the ubiquitous 5-gallon castnet bucket--can we hear an amen? More...

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New Captain's Report

Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe:
An All-New Yacht with Innovations

Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe
The all-new Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe not only has striking lines but she also has a large, innovative cockpit/aft deck that is remarkably versatile.

The Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe is made for entertaining like no other boat in class. Below she has an expansive settee and a full-beam mid cabin, plus full galley and head. She can sleep six and on deck she can entertain a dozen for cocktails or a water-borne cookout. There's full-standing headroom at the helm, something not available in some far larger hardtops. She can be powered by either gas sterndrives or IPS pod drive diesels. Joysticks come with either configuration. Her overall fit-and-finish and quality of materials are among the best in class. More...

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New Test Video

Bayliner 185 Bowrider:
Sporty Package with a Kick

Bayliner 185 Bowrider
Bayliner's 185 Bowrider is a turnkey package that makes a fine starter boat or a knock-about for a retired boater -- all at a price that won't ruin the family budget.

The Bayliner 185 Bowrider offers quick planing and sporty handling in a reasonably-priced package that will fit many boating families -- and allow bringing along several of the neighborhood kids, as well. Our test boat, with the optional Mercruiser 190 horsepower 4.3 liter V6, delivered hole shots under four seconds and a top speed of 46.5 mph. Our test captain reports the standard rack-and-pinion power steering with the Alpha One drive makes the boat easy to handle both at speed and at the docks. More...

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Updated Captain's Report

Sea Ray 510 Fly:
A Consummate Host with Impeccable Style

Sea Ray 510 Fly
The Sea Ray 510 Fly's profile is long and low just as one might expect from a Euro-design sport yacht. She was created to be a practical platform for sunning, partying,
dining al fresco or for cruising.

This is a Sea Ray? That's likely to be the first reaction on eyeballing the Sea Ray 510 Fly, which looks like something imported from the Cote d'Azur. But she's all Sea Ray, built in the USA, the first of what will become a new line for the company. Sea Ray created a three-stateroom/two-head layout that includes a full beam master with the queen berth mounted on the lateral and longitudinal centerlines. Her interior is a delightful surprise and should be popular with the chief decision-maker. More...

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Test Video

Boston Whaler 270 Vantage:
Versatile Boating SUV

Boston Whaler 270 Vantage
Boston Whaler's 270 Vantage dual console might well be seen as an SUV among boats in her class, capable of performing as a dedicated big water fisherman as well as a watersports platform or a dockside entertainment venue.

The Boston Whaler 270 Vantage can have multiple missions. The broad bow doubles as either a casting platform or a sunning area once the cushions are in place. The extra-wide console on the port side is an interesting touch, giving more space for the portable head inside, and also lining up exactly with the double-wide port seat. Buyers who are more serious about fishing, watersports or entertaining, respectively, can select a single optional package tailor-made for their specific pursuit. More...

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Test Video

Jeanneau Leader 40:
Cruiser with Airy Style

Jeanneau Leader 40
With light, airy interiors, good headroom and some space-saving innovations, the Jeanneau Leader 40 is a versatile coastal cruiser.

The Jeanneau Leader 40 powered by dual Volvo Penta D6 370s delivers 40 mph plus top end and good offshore performance thanks to a Michael Peters-designed hull. She offers numerous innovative solutions for cruising comfort in minimal space. More...

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Captain's Report

Tracker Panfish 16:
Small Boat with Stick Steering

Tracker Panfish 16
The mission of the Tracker Panfish 16 is clearly defined in her name, but she’s equally comfortable in skinny water fishing for anything from bass to crappie to perch.

The Tracker Panfish 16 has stick steering up front that makes her a comfortable boat for those who like to remain seated throughout the performance. Though she's clearly designed as a two-person rig, the center livewell with padded top makes a good spot for a young angler to learn the ropes. With a package weight including color-matched trailer of only 1,495 lbs. (678 kg), she can be transported by even the most modest tow vehicle. More...

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Test Video

Yamaha FX Cruiser SVHO:
PWC Powerhouse with Style

Yamaha FX Cruiser SVHO
The Yamaha FX Cruiser is a take-no-prisoners, top-end PWC.

The Yamaha FX Cruiser SVHO features a 1.8 liter supercharged engine, the largest displacement of any production watercraft in the industry, delivering tremendous power and torque -- and top-end speed very close to 70 mph. It’s matched with Yamaha’s exclusive NanoXcel hull, plus a host of upgraded performance components for an exciting, agile ride. Passenger-friendly amenities include Yamaha’s exclusive Cruiser seat and an extended rear platform with extra stern storage. Adjustable tilt steering, multi-function engine gauges, electronic locking key fob and no-wake mode are among the extras on this premium PWC. More...

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Test Video

Mercury Verado 300-hp:
Engineered for Saltwater Applications

Mercury Verado 300-hp
The supercharged, in-line 6 Mercury Verado 300 is loaded with new technical innovations that make her able to handle demanding saltwater work.

Lots of torque both at low end and mid-range makes the supercharged Mercury Verado 300 4-stroke a strong contender for freshwater applications and always has. But, a new 5.44" lower gear case with more robust bearings, shaft and pinion gears, plus new corrosion-resistant alloys, deliver rugged performance in saltwater. More...

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Captain's Report

Regal 53 Sport Coupe:
Craftsmanship Meets Design Functionality

Regal 53 Sport Coupe
The Regal 53 Sport Coupe exhibits quality materials with an attractive design and functional layout, making her well-suited for entertaining and cruising.

By using solid wood rather than veneers and taking advantage of skilled furniture-makers, the Regal 53 Sport Coupe not only delivers a yacht-quality interior, but maximizes interior space with a smart layout. On deck, by inserting a table between the forward and aft facing seats a dining "booth" has been created. Two choices of tables, both mounted on hi-lo pedestals and including filler cushions, convert the deck into a sunning area. The dinghy garage aft includes a set of tracks that run over the top of the engines for better access. More...

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Captain's Report

Tahoe Q4i:
All Day Family Fun Machine

Tahoe Q4i
The Tahoe Q4i offers economical fun for the whole family in a good-looking rig that will fit in many suburban garages.

The Tahoe Q4i is well thought-out for families who like to spend weekends at the lake. She's designed for blasting around at full speed, cruising in comfort, and towing tubes, wakeboarders, kneeboarders, or skiers large and small. She also offers space to stow their gear in reasonable order. Add the trolling motor and swivel bow seat options and she's a fishing boat. The turn-key package, including trailer, will be attractive to entry level boaters, and the rig is small enough to tow with most family vehicles. More...

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Captain's Report

Monte Carlo MC4:
Efficient Contemporary Layout

Monte Carlo MC4
The Monte Carlo 4 provides an entry point for modern Mediterranean yacht style cruising -- she's compact relative to her larger siblings, but the layout is open, lets in plenty of light, and emphasizes ease of movement and open space.

The Monte Carlo 4 has a settee to starboard, behind the helm with a table of sturdy teak (leather trim optional). The cabin sole is traditional teak and holly, while the cabinetry is in modern light colored oak with leather grabs. The flying bridge is very much an outdoor living space, equipped with its own settee, a sun pad convertible to dual bench seats adjacent to the helm, a wet bar and an icebox which can optionally be made a top-loaded refrigerator. More...

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Captain's Report

MJM 50z:
Downeaster with Stability and Range

MJM 50z
The new MJM 50z has lines reminiscent of an exceptionally luxurious lobster boat, long and low, which make her easy on the eyes as well as a comfortable entertaining platform.

The MJM 50z is a Downeast yacht with striking lines, built to exceptional standards of strength without excessive weight via the company's proprietary wet epoxy pre-preg, vacuum-molding and oven post-cure method. Every boat is water-tested, assuring all systems are functional and fully-integrated. The company notes she was the first yacht to incorporate as standard a Seakeeper gyro-stabilizer to greatly reduce roll in waves for optimum comfort. She's topped off with a gleaming Awlgrip finish in the buyer's colors of choice. More...

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Design and Style Video

Meridian Yachts 391 Sedan:
Good Interior Design and Materials

Meridian Yachts 391 Sedan
The Meridian Yachts 391 Sedan makes use of a variety of handsome materials for a well-designed and efficient interior that's strikingly stylish.

Belle Ironwood decking, cherry cabinets and Karadon solid surface countertops in the galley are typical of the upscale materials used throughout the Meridian Yachts 391 Sedan. The salon table is solid cherry, the sofa "Ultraleather" polyurethane synthetic with the thickness and feel of real leather, minus the care headaches. Solid wood overhead treatments with LED lighting complement the 391 Sedan's interior. 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...

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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 one is able to minimize their 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 can be done to lessen the effects on the body. Hypothermia does not only happen in cold water, even in 70-degree water one can still experience a significant loss of body heat. The videos presented this week are part of’s Smart Boating Course which is USCG-approved. Watch these video boating lessons every week on

To view this week’s lessons --

Order all lessons on DVD--

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