Scarab 195 Jet // Chaparral 250 OB // Boston Whaler 420 // 17 Reports - 01/21/2015
BoatTEST Newsletter January 21, 2015 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter. Tests You Can Trust
15 year anniversary
- Jeanneau Velasco 37F
- Key Largo 1800 CC
- Scarab 195 HO
- Boston Whaler 420 Outrage
- Sea Ray 290 Sundeck
- Beneteau Oceanis 35
- Mako 21 LTS
- Chaparral 250 SunCoast OB
- Evinrude E-TEC G2 250 HP
- Cruisers Yachts 390 EC
- Ranger 621VS
- Prestige 550 Fly
- Nitro Z-7
- Monte Carlo Yachts 105
- Pursuit OS 385 Offshore
- Volvo Penta V8-430
- Beneteau Air Step
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Lesson

Jeanneau Velasco 37F:
Two Stateroom Flybridge Yacht

Jeanneau Velasco 37F
The Jeanneau Velasco 37F has a LOA of 37’5” (11.40 m), a beam of 12’7” (3.84 m) and a draft of 2’11” (.89 m).

Making her world debut at the London Boat Show last week was the newest launch from Jeanneau, the Velasco 37F. She’s a 37’5” (11.40 m) flying bridge yacht designed to serve as a compact cruiser that is easy to handle. She maintains the features that have now come to define the brand, such as the clever use of space and the opening side door from the helm to the sidedecks, something unusual on a boat this size. The flying bridge encompasses three social areas. More...

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New Test Video

Key Largo 1800 CC:
Easy to Buy, Easy to Tow

Key Largo 1800 CC
The Key Largo 1800 CC is a basic, entry-level center console sold as a complete package with boat, motor and trailer ready to go inshore fishing or just generally puttering around the water in a no-nonsense, easy-care rig.

Key Largo's 1800 CC has more freeboard forward than some open-fishermen in his LOA, thanks to a Carolina-style sheer, and this will give her an advantage in running sloppy inlets as well as in knocking down spray on upwind legs. She has 8 vertical rod holders on the console plus two horizontal racks inset below the gunwales on each side, a plus for serious anglers who like to carry a lot of rigs ready to go. At a weight of just over 2,300 lbs. (1,451 kg), she will be readily towable behind midsize vehicles, and the full inner liner will add stiffness as well as making washdown quick. More...

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New Captain's Report

Scarab 195 HO:
Quick and Sassy Jet

Scarab 195 HO
Modern materials, metallic accents and chrome logos work together to create an alluring aesthetic in the Scarab 195 HO, the top of the line version of the three-model 195 lineup.

The 195 HO is designed to offer customers the thrill of jet boat handling and performance, along with a great deal of creature comforts and aggressive styling. Using high quality materials and hardware, the clever design of the 195 HO is built to last. More...

Brochure Price Quote
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Updated Captain's Report

Boston Whaler 420 Outrage:
A Remarkable, New Flagship

Boston Whaler 420 Outrage
At 42'6" (13.0 m) long, the 420 Outrage is the largest Boston Whaler ever built, and perhaps the most luxurious, though she still clearly retains the company's fishing heritage.

Unique features like a sun lounge forward of the upper helm console and large, in-hull windows mark the Boston Whaler 420 Outrage as a different breed of Boston Whaler. She is designed to perform both as a family yacht and as the traditional hard-core bluewater fishboat the company is famed for building. The top of the huge bait-rigging station converts to a summer kitchen, complete with sink, cooktop and even a paper towel rack, while below decks awaits sleeping and dining space for four or more as well as a full galley and head with shower, all with lots of headroom for even the tallest crew members. We've seen big center consoles before -- but never one like this. More...

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New Captain's Report

Sea Ray 290 Sundeck:
Deckboat with Extras

Sea Ray 290 Sundeck
The swept-back lines and graphics of the Sea Ray 290 Sundeck make her look much like a sportboat, but the roomy interior is made to handle loads of guests.

Sea Ray's 290 Sundeck adds unusual features including a compact sleeping compartment tucked into the starboard console to the usual list of deckboat amenities. Aft facing chaise lounges are likely to be popular spots during swimming hours, and those who add the optional cooktop and refrigerator to the wet bar will have the conveniences of a mini-galley in reach. More...

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New Accommodations and Layout Video

Beneteau Oceanis 35:
Versatility Afloat -- Three Missions in One

Beneteau Oceanis 35
With three layout options, the Beneteau Oceanis 35 can offer one, two or three sleeping cabins, and further customizations enhance the design’s ability to meet buyers’ specific preferences.

The Beneteau Oceanis 35 has an open and airy interior, accomplished through lots of windows and portholes as well as light woods and finishes, giving a far more welcoming feel below deck than some sailing vessels. Optional layouts can make her a daysailer, a weekender or a cruiser. More...

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New Captain's Report

Mako 21 LTS:
Roomy, Shallow-Draft Flats Fisher

Mako 21 LTS
For flats anglers who need a bit more space and big water capability than that found in the typical bonefish skiff, the Mako 21 LTS delivers.

The Mako 21 LTS floats in just 12'' of water, which makes her fully capable on the bonefish and permit flats, but she has somewhat more available fishing space than the typical 17' to 18' (5.18 m to 5.48 m) flats skiff. A 16-degree deadrise at the transom puts her on plane fast, and she has plenty of storage in the casting platforms both fore and aft. A 30-gallon aerated livewell is standard, as is the rod box in the starboard bow step. She comes pre-wired for a bow-mount trolling motor. More...

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New Test Video

Chaparral 250 SunCoast OB:
Sporty Deckboat with Room

Chaparral 250 SunCoast OB
The Chaparral 250 SunCoast OB is loaded with storage space and offers comfort and entertainment features like most deckboats, but she has the handsome lines and sporty handling of a runabout.

The Chaparral 250 SunCoast OB, with a capacity for 14 people and a roomy, squared-off bow is clearly a deckboat made to carry lots of guests. However, her overall styling is far more sleek and attractive than most in the genre, as is the quality of fit-and-finish, according to our test captain. The swim platform allows easy passage on the flexi-teak decking from one side to the other and looks classy. More...

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Test Video

Evinrude E-TEC G2 250 HP:
Revolution Meets Evolution in a 2-Stroke

Evinrude E-TEC G2 250 HP
The revolutionary electronic steering and trim systems of the Evinrude E-TEC G2 250 HP are tucked away inside thus protecting these critical components from the elements.

Evinrude's E-TEC G2 250 HP 2-stroke is the result of a "clean slate" approach to outboard building, creating a motor as technically advanced as the dramatic styling indicates. Block and heads are configured to maximize combustion and reduce fuel consumption, while at the same time minimizing its carbon footprint. Fuel is delivered directly to the combustion chamber via in-cylinder high-pressure injection. The resulting combustion is fired by BRP’s Fast Rise Inducted Ignition system that produces a higher energy, longer duration spark for improved fuel burn, according to the company. More...

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Test Video

Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe:
Smooth Operator with Retractable Sunroof

Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe
The sunny helm of the Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe can be protected from heat or rain with the retractable sunroof, making her an all-weather vessel for the captain as well as those comfortable below decks.

Our test captain found the Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe nicely equipped for day-boating and local cruising, and notes that her 16-degree deadrise delivers a very stable ride, marred with few bumps even when crossing large wakes. The twin 8.2 liter MerCruisers put the boat on plane with just 8-degrees of bowrise, and top speed was 42.3 mph. More...

Test Drive

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Test Video

Ranger 621VS:
Muscular Multi-Species Performer

Ranger 621VS
Ranger's 621VS is a big, deep multi-species fishing boat, but our tests show she's capable of exceptional speeds, to nearly 60 mph, with a 300-horse outboard.

Ranger's 621VS is designed for big-water anglers who chase walleyes, pike and other species in windswept northern lakes where rough going is the norm. With a sharp entry forward, she splits waves nicely at trolling speeds and well up into the mid-ranges, according to our test captain, yet the flatter sections aft deliver quick planing and good fuel efficiency, as well as providing added stability. More...

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Test Video

Prestige 550 Fly:
Ready for Cruising and Entertaining

Prestige 550 Fly
The new 58' 10" (17.92 m) Prestige 550 Fly has three staterooms plus crew's quarters below, a galley, dining and lounging areas on the main deck. The fly bridge extension adds lots of space for sightseeing guests.

Our test captain found the Prestige 550 Fly to be a lot of yacht for the money thanks to such cost-saving touches as solid composite countertops, wall-to-wall carpeting and fiberglass overheads. Yet there's no lack of luxury aboard, including a large master stateroom with ensuite bath that our test captain reports would look at home on an 80-footer. More...

Prestige Woodworking Prestige's woodworking process.

Brochure Test Drive
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Test Video

Nitro Z-7:
Extreme Fishing Rig

Nitro Z-7
The Nitro Z-7 comes fully loaded for bass fishing, with standard features including a bow-mounted trolling motor, two 8' (2.44 m) rod boxes, a 32-gallon (121 L) livewell and a console fishfinder.

The Nitro Z-7 is a mid-size performance bassing machine that's far more affordable than some, yet it doesn't skimp on the fishing amenities every angler wants. Our test captain found she delivers plenty of speed for those who love tournament competition, too, topping out at 62.0 mph in our test runs with a Mercury Pro XS 150. More...

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Captain's Report

Monte Carlo Yachts 105:
Timeless Luxury in a Flagship Yacht

Monte Carlo Yachts 105
The striking lines of the Monte Carlo Yachts 105 mark her as the flagship of this fast-growing Italian firm, which produces custom yacht quality and elegance in a production line of yachts from 65' to 105' (19.8 m to 32 m).

The elegant lines of the Monte Carlo Yachts 105 enclose a master cabin on the main deck, a raised pilothouse and Portuguese bridge and lots of large entertaining spaces, all on three decks rather than on four in order to minimize stair climbing. Dramatic exterior styling and aerospace construction methods create an open and airy interior in a relatively light-weight hull that should perform well with moderate power. More...

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Captain's Report

Pursuit OS 385 Offshore:
Blue Water Angler with Plush Interior

Pursuit OS 385 Offshore
Pursuit's OS 385 Offshore can fish virtually anywhere a big sportfisherman can at a fraction of the operating costs, plus she carries a level of comfort in her interior accommodations that should make any angler happy.

The Pursuit OS 385 Offshore comes fully equipped for bluewater fishing with dual freezers, two 68-gallon (257 L) in-deck fishboxes with macerators, a huge 50-gallon (189 L) recirculating livewell and well-equipped rigging station. A 300-quart (284 L) transom fishbox is refrigerated and can be cooled down to freezing via the digitally controlled thermostat. The deck comes reinforced for the installation of a fighting chair. More...

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Test Video

Volvo Penta V8-430:
More Power with Less Weight

Volvo Penta V8-430
Volvo Penta's new V8 430-hp engine has been completely remapped from the 380 configuration and contains some of the latest technology, including variable valve timing that allows the engine to produce more low-end and mid-range torque as well as cranking out higher top speeds in most installations.

The Volvo Penta V8-430 is some 300 lbs. (136 kg) lighter than engines of competing output according to the company, yet delivers significant torque in the low and mid-ranges for quick hole shots and lots of punch when towing. High-flow aluminum cylinder heads with machined intake and exhaust ports provide improved flow through the combustion chamber. Variable valve timing and other engineering advances allow the engine to redline at 6000 rpms, improving top-end power output. More...

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Features Video

Beneteau Air Step:
Engineered to Ride on Air

Beneteau Air Step
The design of Beneteau's Air Step bottom allows air to be delivered to the running surfaces of the boat, cutting friction at speed and increasing efficiency.

Beneteau's Air Step hulls, which rely on scoops to force air down to the planing surfaces of the boat, have proven to be effective in our test runs. They deliver impressive hole shots and also seem to be more nimble in turns. Beneteau has tested the concept against a conventional hull with the same specs and declares a significant advantage in both fuel efficiency and top speed. Hard, reversed chines help to keep the air under the hull, and also are effective in controlling high speed turns. 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!

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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

Basic Rules of the Road: Part 2
Give-Way and Stand-on Vessels

Lesson of the Week Smart Boating
Stand-on versus give-way vessel. You must get this one right every time.

This week Captain Steve covers some basic rules of the road and guidelines. You’ll learn about the right-of-way for stand-on vessels and corrective measures give-way vessels must make in order to avoid collisions. These are basic procedures which all recreational boaters should be aware of. The videos presented this week are part of’s Boating Course which is USCG-approved. Watch these video boating lessons every week on

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