Key West 239FS // Beneteau Oceanis 35 // MJM 50z // 12 Reports - 12/17/2014
BoatTEST Newsletter December 17, 2014 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter. Tests You Can Trust
- Beneteau Oceanis 35
- Regal 2000 ESX
- Key West 239FS
- MJM 50z
- Denison Yacht Sales
- Volvo Penta EVC-E
- Nordic Tugs 49
- Sun Tracker PB 254
- Boston Whaler 280 Outrage
- Jeanneau NC14
- Bayliner 160 BR
- Cruisers Yachts 310
- Evinrude E-TEC 90 H.O.
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Lesson

Beneteau Oceanis 35:
Building from the Inside Out

Beneteau Oceanis 35
This Beneteau Oceanis 35 offers nearly the same interior and deck layout of larger Oceanis vessels, plus she has numerous customization possibilities, as the hull-side slogan suggests.

Beneteau’s Oceanis 35 is essentially a semi-custom boat, thanks to numerous options and three distinctly different below-decks accommodations choices, each intended for a different purpose ranging from daysailing to extended cruising. Strong sailing performance combined with the cockpit space and below-deck amenities of a larger boat maximize utility for dollars spent, and make this an interesting option for boaters scaling down from a larger yacht or moving up. Whichever layout and options are chosen, the result is a boat tailored to individual owners’ preferences. More...

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New Test Video

Regal 2000 ESX:
Agile and Stylish Bowrider

Regal 2000 ESX
Our test captain found the Regal 2000 ESX to be a fun boat with exciting looks that performed well thanks in part to the company's proprietary FasTrac hull.

The Regal 2000 ESX features a stepped bottom that draws air in and under the hull, reducing water friction. The theory is that the design produces more speed on less fuel, and our test results appear to prove the concept. The boat topped out at 48.1 mph, and showed excellent fuel economy in the mid-ranges. More...

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New Test Video

Key West 239FS:
An Affordable Mid-Size CC

Key West 239FS
The Key West 239FS delivered good fuel economy in our tests, and plenty of deadrise at the transom gave her a soft ride in bumpy water, according to our test captain.

The Key West 239FS’s top speed was clocked at 48.9 mph at 5500 rpm powered with an Evinrude E-TEC 250 in our test runs. We found the best cruise speed to be at 3500 rpm, delivering 26.5 mph and 3.4 miles to a gallon. Her test weight was 4,000 lbs. (1,814 kg) and she got on plane in 3.5 seconds. The Key West 239FS is intended to be a price-point vessel with competitive capabilities and functions. More...

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New Features Video

MJM 50z:
Upscale Downeaster with Purpose

MJM 50z
The MJM 50z includes nicely-finished and ample cabinetry to secure everything necessary for extended living afloat in this premium Downeaster design.

In addition to superior speed, fuel efficiency, handling and Seakeeper gyro comfort, the MJM 50z is one of the few upscale Down East yachts designed for how people really use their boats: 1) Exceptional living space for extended cruising by a couple, while still offering quarters for the occasional second couple as guests; and, 2) Fresh air and panoramic views from a flush all-weather bridge deck comparable to the upper flybridge deck of a much larger motor yacht… where everyone wants to be underway. The 1950’s era cabin cruiser salon is gone. This vessel meets the needs of veteran cruising couple Bob and Mary Johnstone (the company’s owners) who have used their boats for years in precisely this way and have their priorities straight… what works and doesn't work. In other words, 50z is not designed by a desk-bound naval architect or a marketing committee with a case of “feature-itis” trying to please everyone, and not getting it quite right for anyone. The MJM 50z is something special. More...

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Yacht Brokerage

Denison Yacht Sales:
Broker Spotlight

Denison Yacht Sales
Denison Yacht Sales has 12 marina offices throughout the U.S.

From time to time we work with yacht brokers who demonstrate exceptional boating knowledge and customer service. Denison Yacht Sales is one of these brokers. The Denison family has been in the yachting community since 1948, when Frank Denison founded Broward Marine in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Since then, Denison Yacht Sales has grown its presence both nationally and internationally selling boats and yachts of all sizes. Denison Yacht Sales is helping to ensure that more people enjoy boating and the boat buying process and we would like to thank them for their excellent service to the boating community. Visit their website...

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Features Video

Volvo Penta EVC-E:
Fly-By-Wire -- on the Water

Volvo Penta EVC-E
EVC-E is Volvo Penta’s electronic engine control platform. EVC connects the engines, transmissions, instruments and accessories in a single interlinked system.

Volvo Penta's EVC-E is a fly-by-wire system that allows fingertip control of both throttle and steering, as well as supplying instant digital readout of all engine functions. The result is high reliability, simple updates and access to smart accessories -- plus joystick steering when the operator chooses -- along with fully-automatic trim tab control. More...

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Features Video

Nordic Tugs 49:
Spacious Trawler with Yacht-Grade Finishes

Nordic Tugs 49
The Nordic Tugs 49 is a well-equipped trawler with the robust lines of a tug and the interior fit-and-finish of a quality yacht.

An exceptionally broad beam and furnishings that would look at home in an upscale waterfront cottage mark the Nordic Tugs 49 as a boat designed for extended cruising. Our test captain found the level of detailing exceptional: The interior woodwork is teak, with impeccable attention to detail and high quality fit-and-finish on the cabinets, trim and finishes. More...

Price Quote

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Test Video

Sun Tracker Party Barge 254 XP3:
Performance in a Triple-Toon

Sun Tracker Party Barge 254 XP3
The Sun Tracker Party Barge 254 XP3 rides on triple tubes, 26” (66.04 cm) in diameter each, and constructed from .100 gauge aluminum with multiple, water-tight chambers.

The Sun Tracker Party Barge 254 XP3 is Tracker Marine Group's top-end pontoon boat, and with the 300-hp Mercury Verado she achieved an impressive top speed of 48.2 mph in our test runs. At more sedate cruising speeds, fuel consumption was just 3.75 gph at 2500 rpms and 14.7 mph -- fast enough for a long, leisurely ride around the lake, if not for tubing watersports. More...

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Captain's Report

Boston Whaler 280 Outrage:
Engineered for Offshore Action

Boston Whaler 280 Outrage
Boston Whaler's 280 Outrage incorporates the company's legendary engineering, fit-and-finish and fishing features in a big center console that can run close to 60 mph with twin 300s.

The Boston Whaler 280 Outrage comes fully loaded for offshore fishing: Abaft the helm seats is the bait prep area with a 40 gallon (151.4 L) livewell. Tackle drawers are below the sink, which has a pull-out hose nozzle. The port and starboard fishboxes have pump-outs and drains, and there are rod holders everywhere. Unibond construction and level flotation when swamped are two more big reasons to consider a Boston Whaler for serious offshore angling. More...

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Features and Layout Video

Jeanneau NC14:
Clever Design Delivers Extra Utility

Jeanneau NC14
The dining area of the Jeanneau NC14 offers wrap-around seating, with two hide-away stools that slip under the bench providing extra seats when needed.

The Jeanneau NC14 makes good use of space throughout. The entire galley area neatly unfolds from a handsome credenza in the salon -- the cooking area is out-of-sight, out-of-mind when not needed, adding to the plush, comfortable feel of the salon. A hatch in the deck leads to a dry goods storage area, as well as space for a washer/dryer – a compact, efficient use of available volume. More...

Jeanneau/Prestige Resin and Coring Jeanneau/Prestige resin and coring. Test Drive
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Test Video

Bayliner 160 BR:
Bowrider For New Boaters

Bayliner 160 BR
The Bayliner 160 BR is an entry-level bowrider that our test captain found exceptionally easy to operate and well-equipped for her mission as an economical dayboat.

The Bayliner 160 BR lists for just $13,099, including a 60-hp Mercury 4-stroke and painted steel trailer, making her as easy to own as she is easy to drive. With an LOA of only 16'2" (4.93 m), she'll fit most suburban garages, and our tests show she won't break the bank at the fuel docks. We think she’d make an ideal Christmas gift for a teenager, Gramps, or a beginner of any age. More...

Bayliner Price Point Video Details and price point on the 160 BR video. Price Quote
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Test Video

Cruisers Yachts 310 Express:
A Comfortable, Well-Built Express

Cruisers Yachts 310 Express
The Cruisers Yachts 310 Express reached a 10-degree bow rise on acceleration, but our test captain found she levels off to a 5-degree running attitude on full plane, giving excellent visibility over the bow.

The Cruisers Yachts 310 Express -- powered by twin Volvo Penta 270-hp 5.0 L with DuoProps in our test -- maxed out at 44.2 mph, and delivered a most economical cruise at 3000 rpms and 23.2 miles per hour, where she burned 16.5 gph and got 1.4 mpg. Our test captain reports she handles predictably in turns, without excessive lean, and the spray rails kept the windshield dry during wake-jumping trials. More...

Cruisers Factory A look inside the Cruisers Yachts factory. Brochure Request
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Test Video

Evinrude E-TEC 90 H.O.:
A Muscular and Fuel-Efficient 90

Evinrude E-TEC 90 H.O.
The mission of the Evinrude E-TEC 90 H.O. is to be the fastest 90-hp engine off the starting line. Our test captain reports it’s optimal when strapped on the stern of a flats, bass, multispecies or even a smaller sportboat.

The new Evinrude E-TEC 90 H.O. is actually virtually the same engine as the 4-cylinder 115-hp Evinrude E-TEC, only it has been slightly “re-mapped” to reduce its horsepower to fit within SAE requirements. That is to say that engines must dyno at a tolerance of 10% from its stated horsepower. In the case of the Evinrude E-TEC 90 H.O., that means no more than 99-hp, which the folks at Evinrude tell us is exactly where she is pegged. The standard Evinrude E-TEC 90-hp has 3-cylinders (as do most other 90-hp outboards made) and a displacement of 79 cu. in. The Evinrude E-TEC 90 H.O. has a displacement of 105.4 At low rpms -- where more power is needed -- the new engine has the torque that an Evinrude E-TEC 115-hp produces. The result is quick hole shots and lots of power for getting skiers and wakeboarders up on top fast. 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.'s Boating Course

The Best Christmas Gift for Both 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

Boating Under the Influence

Lesson of the Week Smart Boating
Captain Steve says don’t drink and operate a boat – it’s not worth it!

This week’s lesson from Captain Steve is straight forward and should go without saying – operating a boat under the influence is a local, state, and federal crime. Captain Steve goes over the responsibilities as captain – to other boaters on the water, and to passengers. He will explain what the parameters are to be considered boating under the influence. The videos presented this week are part of's USCG-approved boating course. Watch Captain Steve’s video boating lessons every week on

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