World Cat 29 // Beneteau MC4 // Ocean Alexander 100 // 15 Reviews - 10/15/2014
BoatTEST Newsletter October 15, 2014 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter. Tests You Can Trust
- MerCruiser 4.5L 250
- World Cat 295CC
- Beneteau MC4
- Ocean Alexander 100 MY
- Nordic Tugs 26
- Cruisers Yachts 380
- Jeanneau NC9
- Tracker Targa V-18 WT
- Meridian Yachts 341 Sedan
- Regal 1900
- Sea Ray L650 Fly
- Tahoe 195
- Robalo R207
- Yamaha FZR
- Mercury Glass Dash
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson

MerCruiser 4.5L 250 HP:
New Proprietary Mercury Engine

MerCruiser 4.5L 250 HP
With Detroit shifting to smaller engines to meet mandated fuel consumption and emission requirements, Mercury Marine has designed and built an engine specifically for marine applications.

Mercury MerCruiser's new 4.5L V6 produces 250 horsepower at 5200 rpm. Mercury says that an advanced intake system boosts low-end torque, a revised fuel delivery system and Emissions Control Technology (ECT) reduces pollution and increases reliability. Integrated into the new design are vibration-reducing motor mounts and noise-abating throttle body. The company says this engine is poised to take the place of the 5.0L V8 market by 2015. More...

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New Captain's Report

World Cat 295CC:
Fishing Anywhere Almost Anytime

World Cat 295CC
The World Cat 295CC has a LOA of 29’1” (8.86 m), a beam of 9’6” (2.89 m)
and a hull draft of 15” (38 cm).

The World Cat 295CC is, first and foremost, a center console boat and that means her primary goal is fishing. But her luxury features and sheer volume of open interior space tell of a boat that is also suited for entertaining. Of course we can’t go anywhere near a World Cat without being impressed by how well these boats handle sea conditions that often would have others sitting at the dock. More...

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New Test Video

Beneteau MC4:
Tested with IPS Drives

Beneteau MC4
The 45'3'' (13.79 m) Beneteau MC4 has a 13' 4'' (4.06 m) beam and displaces 26,499 lbs. (12,020 kgs).

The Beneteau Group's shipyard has been focusing on building entry-level cruising boats that can be easily managed by an owner and spouse while at the same time still have the benefits of entertaining larger groups along with overnight guests. Its latest launch is a smaller version of the highly acclaimed MC5 model we tested last year. Now, the new MC4 is poised to make her mark on the waterfront with pod-drive handling and maneuverability. It’s all in our latest test video of the MC4 from Beneteau. More...

Beneteau hull and deck Beneteau's hull and deck construction process.

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New Captain's Report

Ocean Alexander 100 Motoryacht:
Debuts at the Fort Lauderdale Show

Ocean Alexander 100 Motoryacht
The new Ocean Alexander 100 Motoryacht is offered in either an open flybridge,
or skylounge version.

Following a natural progression of the highly successful 90 Motoryacht, Ocean Alexander has recently completed construction of the first of its new 100’ (30.53 m) motoryachts. She answers the needs of boaters requesting the same luxuries found in larger yachts while still being able to meet size restrictions at many resort areas around the globe. With enlarged crew quarters and strategic storage throughout the vessel, she places a high priority on chartering. She’s available in either an open bridge configuration or an enclosed skylounge layout. The interior layouts are by Evan K. Marshall and we find them both creative and practical. More...

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Captain's Report

Nordic Tugs 26:
Day Boat or Pocket Cruiser

Nordic Tugs 26
The Nordic Tugs 26 is a seaworthy cruiser that can also double as a day boat/picnic boat.

The Nordic Tugs 26 is seaworthy and simple to handle, and though her primary mission is clearly efficient and affordable cruising, she also cuts a striking figure around the harbor as a day boat. A full length keel not only adds to stability and tracking ability, but also protects the bottom from grounding and the prop from fouling in shallow water operations. More...

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Design & Style Review

Cruisers Yachts 380 Express:
Versatile Layouts for Greater Utility

Cruisers Yachts 380 Express
Layout options offer versatility in the Cruisers Yachts 380 Express, and intelligent use of engineered materials make her interior as durable as it is handsome.

The Cruisers Yachts 380 Express offers cruising accommodations in a comfortable open layout and her spacious cockpit provides ample room for entertaining. Buyers can choose from a single forward stateroom with an aft U-shaped settee or an aft stateroom layout. In either case, she can comfortably sleep 5. Flooring is a low-maintenance simulated teak, and the counters have an eye-appealing solid surface made from polymer resins and natural minerals giving the look of granite but with a much lighter weight and more durability. More...

CY factory Behind the scenes at the Cruisers Yachts' factory.

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Test Video

Jeanneau NC9:
Summer Cabin / Cruiser

Jeanneau NC9
The Jeanneau NC9 is a versatile coastal cruiser/day boat that suits multiple missions well, delivered at a price that's surprisingly reasonable.

The Jeanneau NC9 is a versatile vessel that could do most anything from distance coastal cruising for one or two couples to being a watersports platform for day boating with the family and a gang of kids. She can be sort of a floating summer cottage, as well, and she comes in at a reasonable price with standard equipment. Our test captain reported her to be a joy to operate; there was no loss of forward view on takeoff, and in hard-over turns she reached a maximum bank angle of a comfortable 15-degrees. More...

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Test Video

Tracker Targa V-18 WT:
Muscular Aluminum Fisherman

Tracker Targa V-18 WT
A 20-degree all-welded "V" hull makes the Tracker Targa V-18 WT a solid performer on big water, and she comes fully-loaded for chasing a variety of gamefish.

The Tracker Targa V-18 WT is a broad, deep, aluminum dual-console ideal for fishing big northern lakes and rivers. She provides five pedestal seat bases for versatility in casting or trolling, and standard equipment includes a Lowrance Mark 5X sonar. A huge 48-gallon live well aft is big enough even to hold jumbo walleyes, while a 19-gallon baitwell with bucket forward makes for quick access to live minnows or other baits. More...

Tracker History The history of the Tracker family of boats.

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Test Video

Meridian Yachts 341 Sedan:
Bow and Stern Thrusters are Standard

Meridian Yachts 341 Sedan
The Meridian Yachts 341 Sedan adds flybridge controls and bow and stern thrusters to a relatively compact sedan layout, making an easy-to-maneuver package.

Meridian Yachts 341 Sedan packs a lot of room into a relatively small package. Our test captain particularly liked the ease of handling with the vessel's proprietary bow and stern thruster system -- called IVC for Integrated Vessel Control -- that obviates the need for costly pods. Piloting from the standard flybridge, provides excellent visibility in shoal water as well as around the docks. More...

Meridian factory Meridian Yachts' factory tour.

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Test Video

Regal 1900:
Entry-Level with Speed to Burn

Regal 1900
Families seeking a sportboat with top-end build quality might find the Regal 1900 just right -- and it doesn't hurt that she's capable of speeds to almost 50 mph.

The Regal 1900 combines the company's characteristic attention to amenities with a sporty hull that should appeal to buyers looking for a new watersports platform. Pleasing touches include the Fusion marine stereo purpose-built for the boating environment instead of automotive applications and gas-assist struts on all the larger compartment hatches. More...

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Test Video

Sea Ray L650 Fly:
Built to CE Category "A" Standards

Sea Ray L650 Fly
The Sea Ray L650 Fly combines striking lines with sea-worthy engineering that makes her a true ocean-ranging cruiser when in the hands of capable seamen.

The Sea Ray L650 Fly is equipped and engineered to operate in tough offshore conditions when necessary. She is the first Sea Ray ever built to a CE Category "A", Ocean, standard, indicating she should be able to operate in the sea states with wave heights of 13’ (4 m +) and winds of 35 to 40 knot  s. Side decks are designed to channel any shipped water directly overboard. The aft deck has grates separating its deck from that of the main salon as required by CE standards, and underneath large drains channel water rapidly overboard. She also comes equipped standard with a pair of SeaKeeper gyro stabilizers. More...

Sea Ray L650 Fly features video Sea Ray L650 Fly features video.

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Captain's Report

Tahoe 195:
Crossover Deckboat for Watersports

Tahoe 195
The Tahoe 195 is a deckboat that crosses over between fishing in the morning and enjoying watersports in the afternoon. With her beam carried so far forward, she has a rated capacity for up to 8 persons.

The Tahoe 195 makes an excellent watersports platform once the fishing accessories are stowed out of the way. A drop-down changing room is part of the standard Bimini top. Add the optional tower and she becomes a serious towing machine. More...

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Test Video

Yamaha FZR:
A Performance Maximus PWC

Yamaha FZR
The hull of the Yamaha FZR SVHO is manufactured from a composite material called NanoXcel which helps keep the machine light in weight for fast acceleration.

Yamaha's FZR delivers impressive performance thanks to the Super Vortex High Output 1.8L supercharged 4-cylinder, 4-stroke, a purpose-built watercraft engine that has several advancements over previous versions. Yamaha tells us the SVHO produces over 20% more power and torque than its predecessor through engineering which includes a larger intercooler, larger supercharger intake, redesigned oil cooler, newly designed forged pistons and a race-inspired, 8-vein 160mm pump impeller. More...

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Test Video

Robalo R207:
A Compact Dual Console

Robalo R207
The Robalo R207 is a dual console bowrider that successfully crosses over between serious fishing and a family utility boat. She's got a roomy layout with plenty of features to successfully accomplish both of her missions.

With three fishboxes, a 13-gallon aerated livewell, rod racks, seat bolsters and toe rails, the Robalo R207 comes fully equipped for hard-core angling action, yet provides comfort features including space for a Porta-Potti in the port console and wakeboard storage in the deck. In all ways, she's a salty-looking family bowrider. More...

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Test Video

Mercury Glass Dash:
Seamless and Intuitive Electronics

Mercury glass dash
Mercury Marine has partnered with Simrad Electronics to produce a state-of-the-art glass dash that integrates the engine systems along with the boat functions, fishfinder, radar, chartplotter and anything else that has NMEA 2000 connectivity.

The Mercury/Simrad glass dash is designed to create ease of use and integration of all ships systems into one or more hi-definition touchscreen displays. Our test captain found it notably intuitive, allowing operation of all systems without referring back to an owner’s manual. It’s also weather resistant, promising durability in the marine environment. 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

How To Be a Responsible PWC Owner

Capt. Steve Smart Boating Cover
PWCs have earned their rightful place in the boating world and their owners have responsibilities just the same as do those of bigger vessels.

This week Captain Steve goes over four lessons and guidelines on PWC laws and being a responsible PWC owner. PWC owners should know the local laws before heading out on a PWC. Remember PWCs can only run during daylight hours between sunrise and sunset since they do not have any running lights as boats do. The videos presented this week are part of’s Video 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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