Glacier Bay 2780 // Lagoon 39 // Ocean Alexander 100 // 13 Reports - 12/24/2014
BoatTEST Newsletter December 24, 2014 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter. Tests You Can Trust
- Mercury FourStroke 115
- Cruisers Sport Series 258
- Lagoon 39
- Denison Yacht Sales
- Manitou 25 Legacy SHP
- Sea Ray 510 Fly
- Tahoe 195
- Tiara 50 Coupe
- Tracker Pro Guide V-16 WT
- Yamaha Articulating Keel
- Glacier Bay 2780
- Ocean Alexander 100
- Chaparral 243 VRX
- Beneteau Factory
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Lesson

Mercury 115 FourStroke:
Light-Weight 4-Stroke Power

Mercury 115 FourStroke
Mercury's 115 FourStroke is the lightest 4-stroke in class according to the manufacturer, and delivered smooth power and excellent economy in our test runs of a 18' (5.49 m) center console with a 7'6'' (2.29 m) beam and a test weight of 2,312 lb. (1,049 kg.).

The Mercury 115 FourStroke is a 2.1 liter four-cylinder outboard with 2.07:1 gearing and noteworthy light weight for the genre. In our test runs, she pushed a 17'10" (5.44 m) center console to 37.7 mph at 6000 rpms, turning a Mercury 13 x 17 three-blade aluminum prop. At a 19.2 mph cruise turning 4000 rpms, she burned 3.8 gph. Sound rating was just 63 dBA at the helm at idle -- about the noise level in the typical business office. More...

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New Features Video

Manitou 25 Legacy SHP:
Convertible, Multi-Function Seating

Manitou 25 Legacy SHP
The top-of-the-line Manitou 25 Legacy SHP offers plenty of space for the family to spread out, and convertible furniture provides lots of seating options.

The Manitou 25 Legacy SHP has exceptionally plush upholstery for the genre along with a durable powder-coated "fence", accented by gleaming stainless steel grab rails where needed. The aft seating area in one layout option should make her a versatile family dayboat. Aft-facing chaise lounges, good spots for relaxing or keeping an eye on the kids on the towline, quickly convert to forward facing booth-style seating, with a grommet for the addition of a side-mount pedestal table. More...

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New Snapshot Review

Lagoon 39:
Roomy Cat with 5 Layout Options

Lagoon 39
The new Lagoon 39 takes advantage of the exceptionally broad beam inherent in the catamaran genre -- she comes with five different interior layout options ranging from 2 cabins and 2 heads to 4 cabins and 4 heads.

The Lagoon 39 has a beam of 22’3” (6.78 m) which is carried for most of its length. Within that beam is a lot of structure that provides a significant amount of extra room -- about 20% more than a monohull of similar LOA -- and the catamaran design delivers stability that is hard to achieve any other way. Vertical, beveled bows and an aft-centered mast for sailing performance and ease of handling distinguish this catamaran from others in class. More...

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New Video

Yamaha Articulating Keel:
A Seachange in Jetboat Handling

Yamaha Articulating Keel
Yamaha's "articulating keel" includes a steering paddle that helps control the boat at low speeds when the jets are less effective in steering.

Yamaha has fitted the AR240 HO with a simple, yet clever, mechanism that puts the driver in better control: something that the builder calls an "articulating keel". The system is comprised of a "steering paddle" located between the two jet pump nozzles, on the aft edge of a 4'' fixed keel that extends most of the length of the running surface. To maintain the boat’s shallow water advantage, the paddle device does not extend below the lowest surface of the fixed keel. This paddle dramatically improves the boat's tracking and turning abilities in low-power situations. 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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Test Video

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider:
Nimble Sportboat for Freshwater or Salt

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider
The Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider is an upmarket sportboat with a plush interior that delivered good performance and easy handling in our test runs.

Our test captain reports that the Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider took 4.0 seconds to reach planing speed and accelerated to 30 mph in 7.5 seconds and 40 mph in 9.7 seconds. He found her handling sporty and quick, and top speed runs maxed out at 46.6 mph at 5200 rpms with the 300-hp MerCruiser 350 MAG sterndrive. Most impressive of all was her comfortable ride. More...

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Test Video

Sea Ray 510 Fly:
Airy and Stylish Flybridge Cruiser

Sea Ray 510 Fly
With world-class interior furnishings, airy interiors and contemporary lines, the Sea Ray 510 Fly is an American-built yacht that would look right at home on the Riviera or at any other international gathering spot.

The Sea Ray 510 Fly is the largest boat in Sea Ray's "Sport Yacht" Series, and our test captain found her handling definitely "sporty". Like all pod drive boats, the 510 Fly's turning radius is governed by software that has been pre-programmed to keep the boat and her guests on the flying bridge safe during turning maneuvers: the faster the boat is going, the wider the turning radius. Nevertheless, when running the boat in the mid-teen mph range, our test team was able to turn 180-degrees and stay in the narrow channel of the ICW. More...

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Captain's Report

Tahoe 195:
Versatile Deckboat Crossover

Tahoe 195
The Tahoe 195 is a family-friendly deckboat that goes one better by adding fishing features, making her a crossover between catching wakes and catching dinner. And at a price of $32,995, our test captain calls her one of the best deckboat deals on the water.

With power options ranging from 220-hp to 260-hp, the Tahoe 195 will take her owners seamlessly from sedate cruising to speeds approaching 55 mph. She's fully equipped for tow sports, and includes all the basics for casual angling as well. Affordability is built-in to this fully-equipped package boat. More...

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Captain's Report

Tiara 50 Coupe:
Strong, Sleek and Elegant

Tiara 50 Coupe
The new Tiara 50 Coupe with a dry weight of over 45,000 lbs (20,412 kg) is a large boat -- just look at the size of the two guests in the cockpit in the image above. Her lines speak for themselves.

Tiara's 50 Coupe styling combines classic and modern lines in a design that's definitely in sync with the times. Large, angular hull side windows and retro portlights forward work well together. The signature rounded forward trunk, reverse transom and rounded stern quarters continue the traditional "Tiara Look". The sleek lines of the coupe roof are horizontal to keep with the overall design of the hull. More...

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Test Video

Tracker Pro Guide V-16 WT:
Turn-Key Aluminum Deep-V for Anglers

Tracker Pro Guide V-16 WT
The Tracker Pro Guide V-16 WT is well-equipped as a family fishing platform, and her deadrise makes her more capable of handling snotty weather than some other boats in class.

The Tracker Pro Guide V-16 WT comes fully-loaded for fishing, with well-equipped "work stations" at the transom for trolling and at the bow for casting. The all-welded hull is made for fishing rock-ribbed northern lakes. She's built using two layers of .100 marine-grade 5052 aluminum alloy, and is braced by a longitudinal stringer system also welded into position. She floats level if swamped. More...

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New Captain's Report

Glacier Bay 2780 Isle Runner:
Offshore-Capable for Fishing or Cruising

Glacier Bay 2780
With an LOA of 27’ (8.23 m), Glacier Bay tells us that this 2780 Isle Runner has a top speed of 40.7 mph and a best cruise of 17.7 mph.

Whether the game plan calls for comfortable cruising with the family, or a hard day offshore fighting fish, the 2780 Isle Runner is up to the task. Since 1986, Glacier Bay has been delivering tough boats that are stable, comfortable and quite safe as proven in numerous long distance, open-ocean passages. In this report we discuss in full detail the attributes of the 2780 Isle Runner. More...

Brochure Test Drive
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Captain's Report

Ocean Alexander 100 Motoryacht:
When Everything Must Be Done Right

Ocean Alexander 100
At 100'2'' (30.53 m) the Ocean Alexander 100 Motoryacht is large enough to handle most any mission a discerning and active owner might desire. Note the large flying bridge with hardtop, which will be the focal point of daytime living and offers both shade and sun.

Why would anyone want a 100' motoryacht? After all, isn't 70' or 80' enough? The answer is: no, they are not big enough for an owner who wants the space in which to do everything right with a minimum of compromises. The Ocean Alexander 100 Motoryacht was designed for people who have had smaller motoryachts -- or larger ones -- and know that 100' is the magic number. This size allows the owner to cruise anywhere with friends and family in comfort and privacy, yet still be able to entertain 50 people or more on a harbor cruise. It is large enough to provide both an elegant dining room and spacious salon, large enough for 4 large en suite staterooms, and big enough to provide spacious accommodations for a crew of 4 to 6 in their own quarters with full galley and lounge. A contented crew makes for happy guests. But there is more...

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New Test Video

Chaparral 243 VRX:
Agile and Roomy Twin Jet

Chaparral 243 VRX
The combination of a roomy interior, lots of eye-candy and PWC-type performance makes the Chaparral 243 VRX an attractive choice for families that love watersports.

The Chaparral 243 VRX is a big boat, capable of seating up to 12, yet she delivered notable performance in our test runs. She topped out at 54.3 mph with a 36.9 gph fuel burn recorded on the twin Rotax 4-TEC 250s. Best cruise came in at 5000 rpm and 25.4 mph. That produced a fuel burn of 8.8 gph, a range of 156 miles, and an endurance of just over 6 hours while holding back a 10% reserve of fuel. More...


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Factory Video

Beneteau Factory:
Dedicated to Excellence

Beneteau Factory
Beneteau's dedicated woodworking facilities in France allow the company to build interiors that are durable in the abusive marine environment for the long haul and still have an attractive yacht-quality finish.

Beneteau's woodworking facilities produce multi-layer wood products of beech, teak, oak and mobi from sustainable sources, finishing them with heat-infused varnish that's UV-cured for a flawless and enduring finish. Building much of the interior from this highly durable material eliminates the possibility of warping. Trim, doors, frames and many other solid wood parts are hand-sanded for perfection in fit-and-finish. 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.

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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

What Should I Do If My Boat Capsizes?

Capt. Steve Smart Boating Cover
Capsizing in a sailboat is much different than a powerboat. As you see in the picture above, you can help right the boat by getting up on the centerboard and using your weight to bring the boat back over. You will not be able to right a capsized boat.

This week Captain Steve goes over four lessons and guidelines on what you should do if your boat capsizes. First and foremost get your life jacket on. Stay with the boat and try to get as far on top of the boat as possible in order to keep your body out of the water. Remember, you want to keep your body temperature from dropping. Do not attempt to swim for help as you will just exhaust yourself. These are basic procedures which all recreational boaters should be aware of. The videos presented this week are part of’s USCG-approved Boating Course. Watch these video boating lessons every week on

To view this week’s lessons --

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