Monte Carlo Yachts 105 // Chaparral 250 SunCoast OB // Mercury 4.5L // 13 Reports - 12/10/2014
BoatTEST Newsletter December 10, 2014 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter. Tests You Can Trust
- Chaparral 250 SunCoast OB
- Monte Carlo Yachts 105
- Yamaha FZR SVHO
- Mercury 4.5L
- Formula 40 PC
- Manitou 22 Encore
- Grady-White Freedom 192
- Prestige 620
- Sailfish 220CC
- PowerTech PowerStop Prop
- Sea Ray L650
- Nitro Z-6
- Beneteau Flyer 6
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson

Chaparral 250 SunCoast OB:
Space to Spare, Speed to Burn

Chaparral 250 SunCoast OB
The sportboat lines of the Chaparral 250 Suncoast OB hide the fact that she's a roomy deckboat rather than a sportboat. Our test captain found that she delivered both speed and agility.

Chaparral's 250 SunCoast OB is a premium deckboat capable of carrying up to 14 people, delivering lots of eye appeal both in exterior line and interior fit-and-finish. The integral swim platform has full walk-around capability instead of being cut off ahead of the outboard motor well, and the Flexi-Teak decking gives sure footing even when wet, according to our test captain. More...

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New Captain's Report

Monte Carlo Yachts 105:
Engineered Elegance Unrestrained

Monte Carlo Yachts 105
The Monte Carlo Yachts 105 makes a statement entering any port in the world: her design excellence matches the engineering advances that make such a yacht possible.

The all-new Monte Carlo Yachts 105 delivers a stunning visual impact at anchor or at speed. Her engineering is equally remarkable: layup includes 8,800-lbs. (4 t) of Kevlar and carbon fiber and her decks are supported by 1,760 lbs. (800 kgs.) of aluminum beams. These materials plus the vacuum infusion lamination process and the coring strategies used in the Monfalcone, Italy plant, allow her to be 15% lighter than the market reference, according to the builder. More...

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New Test Video

Yamaha FZR SVHO:
High-Performance Musclecraft

The Yamaha FZR race-inspired hull mated with the SVHO engine creates a truly impressive PWC that our test rider reports delivered performance, ride and handling that's hard to match at any price.

With a top speed of 69.1 mph on the Stalker radar gun, the Yamaha FZR SVHO definitely blew back the hair of our test captain. Yet, at 4000 rpms and 26.6 mph, she delivered 6.3 mpg -- owners can ride a long time between fill-ups -- if they can somehow restrain themselves from pegging the throttle! More...

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New Test Video

Mercury 4.5L 250 HP:
New V6 Minimizes High-Speed Whistle

Mercury 4.5L
Mercury's new 4.5L 250 HP engine is both smaller and lighter than the engine Mercury hopes to replace with it – the 5.0L.

Mercury's 4.5L V6 uses a cross-ram, tuned scroll runner design to lengthen the intake runners which results in greater torque at low rpm, better out of the hole response and quicker planning times, according to Mercury. A vortex style ‘anti-whistle’ throttle plate has been installed at the back of the engine to minimize that annoying high frequency whistle often heard at high speed in some inboard installations. More...

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New Captain's Report

Formula 40 PC:
Cruising Speed at the Top

Formula 40 PC
The Formula 40 PC delivers plenty of speed when needed, and she's laid out to accommodate either entertaining guests till the wee hours or spending time away from the dock on overnight jaunts.

The Formula 40 PC (Performance Cruiser) is well named according to our test captain, delivering a combination of 40+ mph performance and luxurious cruising comfort. She looks as good as she performs, thanks to a wide selection of paint combinations for the exterior. Light Cherry or Baltic Birch wood grain-finish decking throughout the cabin and Ultraleather premium upholstery mark the interior with the typical Formula level of finish. More...

Formula Factory A look at Formula's interiors.

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New Features Video

Manitou 22 Encore Pro Angler Full Front VP:
When the Mission is Fishin'

Manitou 22 Encore Pro Angler
Though primarily a family-oriented pontoon with watersports capabilities, the Manitou 22 Encore Pro Angler Full Front VP model comes fully equipped for chasing aquatic denizens of the finny kind.

Swiveling seats in the aft corners of the cockpit of the Manitou 22 Encore Pro Angler offer relaxed angling opportunities, and vertical rod holders keep tackle ready. Aerated live bait wells are within reach of the swiveling seats, and a locking rod box keeps tackle out of the way when not in action. More...

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Captain's Report

Grady-White Freedom 192:
Entry-Level Dual Console

Grady-White Freedom 192
Two-tone upholstery and comfortable seating up front mark the dual mission of the Grady-White Freedom 192 as both a traditional fishing boat and a family runabout/watersports platform.

The Grady-White Freedom 192 is a versatile boat designed to accommodate the mission of the day. By selecting the appropriate options she can function as a fishing boat or a watersports platform. We happen to think she's a good starter boat. The classic Grady-White sheerline lets everyone know her salty family heritage. Because she is under 21' (6.40 m) she will float level if swamped. More...

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Test Video

Prestige 620:
Flying Bridge Yacht with a Center Console

Prestige 620
Our test captain found the Prestige 620 well-executed in virtually every function. She is obviously the work of veteran cruising boaters who know how such a motoryacht is used and what it must have to be both utility, ergonomics and comfort.

Though the Prestige 620 is a large yacht, our test captain reports that she is still quite responsive to the helm, thanks to the 2-1/2 turns from lock-to-lock at the wheel. The flying bridge design is particularly interesting -- a center console is surrounded on three sides by sun pads. This three-stateroom motoryacht is as much boat as most people will ever need and she has understated modern styling that we think will keep her looking good for a lifetime. More...

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Test Video

Sailfish 220CC:
Stability and a Smooth Ride

Sailfish 220CC
The Sailfish 220CC has a variable deadrise hull, with flatter sections outboard to improve efficiency, speed and stability, as well as having a deep-V bottom at the keel for riding comfort.

The Sailfish 220CC has the bottom design necessary for serious offshore fishing, but she draws only 18'' (45.72 cm), making her a versatile inshore boat as well. Carbon fiber deck laminate support beams keeps weight down. And, like all Sailfish models, she comes fully loaded with all necessary angling necessities. More...

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Features Review

PowerTech PowerStop Prop:
Brakes for Your Boat

PowerTech PowerStop Prop
Cupping on the underside of the leading edge of PowerTech's PowerStop prop grabs the water when the engine is reversed, cutting stopping time significantly, according to the manufacturer.

PowerTech's solution to building a prop capable of quickly stopping pontoons, small river/canal barges, and houseboats was to fair cupping into the underside of the leading edge of their "PowerStop" props and create an aft tapered cup in the top of the trailing edge. These two cups on opposite sides of the blade grip the water and give better control whether going forward or backward. PowerTech is our "go-to" source for all of our prop questions. More...

Propeller worksheet.

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Test Video

Sea Ray L650 Fly:
Quick Study -- Yachting Made Easy

Sea Ray L650 Fly
Our test captain found the Sea Ray L650 Fly among the best handling boats in class, reporting a solid feel in a seaway, but also a marked measure of "sprightly" responsiveness.

The Sea Ray L650 Fly we tested was powered by a pair of Cat C-18A 1150-hp engines. She has a WOT speed of 35.4 mph and a best cruise of 26.5 mph at 1950 rpm, burning 90 gallons (340 L) per hour. Seakeeper gyrostabilizers are standard, assuring a more stable ride in beam or confused seas or at anchor. Glendinning joystick controls are offered to ease the learning curve for those getting used to handling a larger yacht. As we often point out, large boats are usually easier to handle than small ones – its counterintuitive, but true. More...

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Captain's Report

Nitro Z-6:
Fully-Loaded, Value-Packed Bass Machine

Nitro Z-6
The Nitro Z-6 has all of the fishing amenities and equipment needed to put tournament anglers on top of the bass without draining the last drop from their bank accounts.

The Nitro Z-6 is a fully-loaded bassing machine built to top industry standards, but sold -- including trailer and all necessary fishing amenities -- at a price that's exceptionally reasonable for the genre. And, with a swing-tongue on the trailer, she'll fit most suburban garages. More...

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Captain's Report

Beneteau Flyer 6 SPORTdeck:
Innovative New Hull Design

Beneteau Flyer 6 SPORTdeck
While we don’t recommend operating a boat as seen above, it’s good to know that the R&D team at Beneteau has done its best to abuse the new Flyer 6 SPORTdeck in the Atlantic Ocean during prototype testing. Note how far aft the high-deadrise bottom shape is extended in order to give this vessel the ability to cut through waves at high speed in comfort.

The Beneteau Flyer 6 SPORTdeck may have an unconventional look to her, but when it comes to her hull shape, its all about results. The team at Beneteau has developed a new hull design they call Air Step 2 and our testing has shown that this 21' (6.4 m) boat has some impressive handling capabilities. Being introduced to the US market at the 2015 Miami Boat Show, this outboard model is also full of clever and practical features. More...

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Where in the World?

Picture of the Week

Picture of the Week
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When sending a photo, let us know when, where and what boat you were on.'s Boating Course

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Veterans and Beginners

Smart Boating
Just ask our #1 repeat customer what a popular Christmas gift's boat-handling and seamanship course is for the boater on your list.'s primary test captain -- Captain Steve Larivee -- gives an in-depth course covering everything any boater needs to know about navigation, seamanship and small-boat handling. The whole course is delivered in fun to watch videos on four DVDs. Order your 4-disc box set today...

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Lesson of the Week

How to Prepare for Man Overboard

Capt. Steve Smart Boating Cover
If someone falls overboard, toss out a throwable device right away and keep eyes on them at all times.

This week Captain Steve goes over thirteen lessons and guidelines on how to be prepared for a man overboard emergency. Having practiced this drill ahead of time with one's crew or passengers is important since MOB happens so quickly that people have very little time to react. Learn how to pick someone up in the water and position the boat downwind, how to improve one's chances of getting rescued, what a Williamson turn is, and how to treat someone once they’re back aboard for hypothermia. The videos presented this week are part of’s USCG-approved Boating Course. Watch these video boating lessons every week on

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