Cruisers Yachts 390 // Regal 46 // Bennington 2575 // 16 Reviews - 09/17/2014
BoatTEST Newsletter September 17, 2014 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter. Tests You Can Trust
- Bennington 2575 QCW
- Cruisers Yachts 390 EC
- World Cat 295DC
- Bayliner 185 Bowrider
- Mercury 150-hp FourStroke
- Beneteau Sea Trials
- Tahoe Q7i
- Boston Whaler 270 Vantage
- MJM 36z
- Nordic Tugs 39
- Regal 46 Sport Coupe
- Meridian Yachts 341 Sedan
- Beneteau MC5
- Sea Ray 230 SLX
- Robalo R305
- Tracker Pro 160
- Jeanneau NC14
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson

Bennington 2575 QCW:
Retro Style, Contemporary Performance

The Beach Boys would call it a woody: retro curves and wood-grain texturing add lots of eye appeal to the Bennington 2575 QCW, and our test captain found she was also a strong performer.

Powered by the new Evinrude E-TEC G2 250-hp High Output engine, the Bennington 2575 QCW averaged 45.6 mph at 5850 rpm in our two-direction speed trials. Best cruise was at 3000 rpm where the boat went 16.9 mph, traveling 2.72 mpg. Hole shots showed the combination of the triple-toon hull and Evinrude's E-TEC G2 250 H.O. was effective; time to 20 mph averaged 6.2 seconds. Our test captain reported that throttle response in the upper rpms continued to be immediate and impressive, quickly accelerating the boat from fast to faster on command. More...

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New Test Video

Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe:
Euro-Styling Plus Practicality

Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe
The Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe delivered impressive performance in our test runs, showing good fuel efficiency, and both top speed and cruising speeds were in the top range for the class.

Performance was strong in our tests of the Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe, with twin 430-hp MerCruiser 8.2L V8s turning out a top speed of 42.3 mph (68.1 kph). But the big story on this boat is her level main deck which is one of the largest in class. More...

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Captain's Report

World Cat 295DC:
Excellent Offshore Handling

World Cat 295 DC
World Cat's 295DC is a large boat by anyone's standards. Fully rigged with full liquids and crew aboard she will weigh over 10,000 lbs. (4,545 kgs).

The World Cat 295DC was designed to provide excellent stability and handling for fishermen in the offshore environments. Our review found that she offers even more when it comes to comfort and features for the family as well as being a capable water sports platform. Join us for a look-see...

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New Watersports Video

Bayliner 185 Bowrider and Watersports:
Tips for Safe Towing

Bayliner 185 Bowrider
The Flight Series Package available on Bayliner's 185 Bowrider puts a good selection of watersports gear aboard this sporty-looking bowrider. Fishing and "preferred equipment"
packages are also available.

Using the new Bayliner 185 Bowrider with the Flight Series package as an example, Captain Jim walks through some of the basic safety aspects of towing. Becoming more popular with entry-level boats, watersports require not just the best safety practices, but a boat set up with the proper equipment as well. More...

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Test Video

Mercury 150-hp FourStroke:
Low-Maintenance, High-Performance 4-Stroke

Mercury 150-hp FourStroke
Combining light weight, dependability and lots of torque throughout the rpm range, the Mercury 150-hp FourStroke offers a lot to like for mid-range boats, or
for larger vessels with twin installations.

The lightest version of the Mercury 150-hp FourStroke weighs just 455 lbs. (206.8 kgs.), dry. That’s 19 lbs. (8.6 kgs.) lighter than the previous lightweight in the 4-stroke class, and her weight is only 24 lbs. (10.9 kgs.) more than the Mercury OptiMax 2-stroke 150. Mercury reports she has 18% fewer parts than her chief 4-stroke rival, which should translate to better efficiency and improved reliability. With two valves per cylinder, the single overhead cam powerhead is aimed at producing low-end torque very fast, a must for quick hole shots. It doesn't hurt that she runs whisper-quiet at idle, either. More...

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Sea Trials

Beneteau Sea Trials:
Gran Turismo 35 Available in FL

Beneteau Sea Trials
The Beneteau GT 35 is one of five models in the Gran Turismo Series and is designed to provide luxury and comfort while enjoying a day on the water, a short overnight trip or just entertaining at the dock.

The Beneteau Gran Turismo 35 will be available for sea trial this weekend at its Denison Yacht Sales location in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We always recommend that boaters sea trial several models to help them find the one that will best match their needs. The Gran Turismo 35 features the innovative Air Step hull design that our tests have shown improves efficiency as well as the overall performance and handling. If you are in the Fort Lauderdale area, we recommend you take the Gran Turismo 35 out and experience her for yourself.

Test Drive

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Test Video

Tahoe Q7i:
Versatility in a Practical Package

Tahoe Q7i
Who says you can't be all things to all people? The Tahoe Q7i is a remarkably versatile platform for watersports-oriented families that like to do it all.

Everything about the layout of the Tahoe Q7i encourages watersports fun with the family. The boat delivers surprising performance, plenty of room for dockside schmoozing, and all the necessities for the usual family watersports. Add the Extreme package -- wakeboard tower plus custom fitted Bimini -- and the profile becomes that of an all-out board-sports rig. More...

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Design and Style Video

Boston Whaler 270 Vantage:
Family-Friendly Fishing Machine

Boston Whaler 270 Vantage
The Boston Whaler 270 Vantage is part of a series designed for multi-purpose boating, strong on family comfort but still delivering a fully-equipped and remarkably
durable offshore fishing machine.

The Boston Whaler 270 Vantage has been designed from the keel up to be a multi-purpose family boat. The walkthrough windshield provides wind and spray protection, and a full set of cushions for the bow make this a comfortable spot to catch some rays -- or remove them to catch some fish. Her port companion seat is double wide, and the oversized port console provides more space in the enclosed head than normal. The transom bench seat, a comfortable spot to ride in bumpy water, folds out of the way for watersports or fishing. More...

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Test Video

MJM 36z:
Upscale Lobsterman with Seakindly Hull

MJM 36z
The MJM 36z is a Downeaster that would be a good fit for the retired couple ready to downsize to a smaller but very seaworthy yacht, or for an owner who wants a boat that can be trucked between seasonal homes.

The 36z has an 11' (3.35 m) beam, a sharp entry to easily cut through waves without pounding, and a warped hull that ends up with an 18-degree deadrise at the transom. A Carolina bow flare deals with steep inlet seas and permits sustained high-speed runs in large waves while keeping the topsides dry. With her side curtains down she can sleep 2 in her pilothouse. More...

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Design and Style Video

Nordic Tugs 39:
Comfortable, Rugged Long Ranger

Nordic Tugs 39
The Nordic Tugs 39 has 2 cabins below to provide lots of living space for extended cruising, or even as a live-aboard.

The Nordic Tug 39’s design profile gets its inspiration from the large commercial tug boats that ply their trade up and down the west coast of North American from Alaska to Seattle. Like them she is ruggedly constructed and is powered by a single diesel engine for high low-end torque and long range. But otherwise she is very much in the recreational "trawler" family from a use and performance standpoint. She makes a good couple's cruiser, but a second cabin provides room for two guests. More...

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Captain's Report

Regal 46 Sport Coupe:
Versatile Sport Cruiser

Regal 46 Sport Coupe
The Regal 46 Sport Coupe is a versatile sport cruiser for entertaining and coastal cruising delivered at a competitive price. Yes, she has an enclosed pilothouse.

The Regal 46 Sport Coupe offers speed, plus a level of accommodation that makes her a pleasing cruiser, even if her excursions are only down the ICW and back on Sunday evenings. She has the option of having an enclosed pilothouse, which makes her a true 4-season vessel which should hold in the air conditioning (and heat) better than a canvas and isinglass curtain. More...

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Engine and Operations Video

Meridian Yachts 341 Sedan:
The Next Step in Cruisers

Meridian Yachts 341 Sedan
The Meridian Yachts 341 Sedan makes an excellent transitional cruiser for owners looking to step up from day boating and bowriders.

The Meridian Yachts 341 Sedan's size and design makes her a good choice for the owner/operator moving up. Our test captain reported full visibility to the entire length of the yacht from the upper station, and easy docking control thanks to the standard bow thruster. More...

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Test Video

Beneteau MC5:
Seaworthy Cruiser with Exquisite Amenities

Beneteau MC5
One of the more notable features of the 49'10'' (15.19 m) LOA Beneteau MC5, is the "wave-splitter" bow, designed to slice through seas and deliver a comfortable ride in a variety of sea conditions and speeds.

While the Beneteau MC5 is primarily intended for traveling between marinas, a tender can easily be fitted on her large hydraulic swim platform. FYI -- Beneteau provides a customized tender that matches the MC5 in hull color and upholstery treatments, adding to the convenience for cruising between hidden beaches. With a beam of 14' 1'' (4.29 m), the MC5 has as much waterline beam as some boats with a 16' (4.88 m) beam on deck because of her vertical hull sides. More...

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Test Video

Sea Ray 230 SLX:
Luxury Package with Sportboat Handling

Sea Ray 230 SLX
The new Sea Ray 230 SLX is part of a five-boat premium line that combines striking good looks, up-scale amenities and lots of watersports functionality in a high performance package.

Graceful curves, stylish lines and upscale exterior trim accentuate the level of luxury inside the Sea Ray 230 SLX, and our test captain reports she ran as good as she looks. With sportboat handling combined with strong performance as a tow sled this boat has lots of utility. A reverse transom extends the running surface behind the lower unit, assisting with quick planing time and lower bow rise. More...

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Test Video

Robalo R305:
Blue Water Fisherman Adds Family Comforts

Robalo R305
The Robalo R305 has 41'' of freeboard to the top of the caprail at the cockpit, making her a capable offshore performer. Pullman-type accommodations allow her to double as an overnighter with a small family crew.

This is a Robalo? That may be the reaction to a first sight of the Robalo R305, a family fisherman that offers lots more amenities than the traditional center console that built the Robalo name. She's a roomy crossover boat between fishing, family activities, and overnighting, in a good-looking platform that our test captain found easy to handle both at speed and around the docks. More...

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Captain's Report

Tracker Pro 160:
Compact Fishboat with Quality Construction

Tracker Pro 160
The Tracker Pro 160 is an ideal panfish boat, made to stand the hard knocks of backwater fishing in shallow, snag-loaded lakes and rivers.

The grade and thickness of the all-welded aluminum used in the hull of the Tracker Pro 160 is the same the company uses in its larger outboard boats. Aluminum substructure delivers a "stiff" boat that should last for decades, and closed-cell foam below decks quiets noise as well as providing level flotation if the boat is swamped. Paint is powder coated and baked on -- the Pro 160 is a tough, durable little workhorse and she comes fully-equipped for her mission of small waters fishing. More...

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Test Video

Jeanneau NC14:
Floating Villa with Benefits

Jeanneau NC14
The 45' (3.73 m) Jeanneau NC14 might be seen as a "villa on the water", but we found this floating home performed well with the twin 370-hp IPS500 Volvo Pentas, and also delivered solid, predictable handling.

With a pair of 370-hp IPS500 Volvo Penta diesel engines doing the heavy work our test captain reached a top speed at 3650 rpm of 31.7 knots in the Jeanneau NC14. Our test report indicates her straight stem tends to part head seas with practically no pounding. Inside, her interior can be adapted to family cruising or living aboard on weekends. 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

Basic PWC Safety Tips

Capt. Steve Smart Boating Cover
PWCs are subject to the same safety laws as boats and must obey the same rules of the road and guidelines.

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 one's 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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