Ocean Alexander 72 // Tahoe 500 // Tiara 50 Fly // 18 Reports - 05/27/2015
BoatTEST Newsletter May 27, 2015 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
15 year anniversary
- Ocean Alexander 72
- Tahoe 500 TF
- Tiara 50 Flybridge
- Bayliner 180 Bowrider
- Mercury Marine Repowering
- Harris Crowne 250
- Boston Whaler 315 Conquest
- Yamaha 190 FSH
- Formula 350 Crossover BR
- Beneteau Monte Carlo 5
- Cruisers Sport Series 278
- Grady-White Freedom 335
- Maritimo M48
- Powertech 4-Blade Props
- Chaparral 307 SSX
- Sea Ray L650 Fly
- Evinrude E-TEC 135 H.O.
- Robalo 206 Cayman
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Lesson

Ocean Alexander 72 Pilothouse:
Built for Cruising and Entertaining

Ocean Alexander 72
We gave the new Ocean Alexander 72 Pilothouse a thorough sea trial off the Florida coast and found her to have the authority of a much larger yacht thanks to her bottom shape and her 110,000 lbs. (49,895 kg) displacement.

The Ocean Alexander 72 Pilothouse is the smallest motoryacht in the builder’s nine boat fleet that extends to 155’ (47 m) – and therein lies one of the most important advantages of this vessel. She is built by a yard that has specialized in motoryachts, and large ones at that, throughout its history which spans 40 years. Most of the hardware, equipment, and materials specified in the larger motoryachts are also used in the 72 Pilothouse. Overall, we found her practical and functional without the gimmicks we sometimes see in this class of motoryacht. Everything has a functional purpose. But how does she perform? Find out here...

cross ruler

New Boat

Tahoe 500 TF:
Fish and Ski with Wake Appeal

Tahoe 500 TF
The Tahoe 500 TF with "PowerGlide" hull and reversed chines is designed to produce better watersports wakes than anything in the Tahoe lineup, as well as providing a comfortable and dry ride, according to the company.

The Tahoe 500 TF has the functionality of a dedicated family runabout, with a swim platform, a telescoping four-step ladder, walkthrough transom and ventilated wakeboard storage in the cockpit sole. And, she also comes fully-equipped for a day of angling action, with a Minn Kota trolling motor, deep-cycle battery and charger, a livewell and swivel fishing seats for the bow and stern. More...

Brochure Request Price Quote
cross ruler

New Captain's Report

Tiara 50 Flybridge:
Entertaining Venues Up and Down

Tiara 50 Flybridge
The new Tiara 50 Flybridge combines the highlights of the manufacturer’s 50 Coupe with a new bridge deck designed for entertaining.

The focus of the new Tiara 50 Flybridge's bridge deck is entertaining. It features a wet bar and plenty of seats including an aft back-to-back lounge that converts to a large sun pad. On the main deck, a single step up from the galley puts passengers on the salon and lower helm deck, which is covered in solid teak. Three skylights with built-in blinds help illuminate the area, as do LED lights. All the salon windows have Duette blinds as well. More...

Test Drive Brochure Request Price Quote
cross ruler

New Captain's Report

Bayliner 180 Bowrider:
Beam-Forward and Outboard Power

Bayliner 180 Bowrider
With a "beam forward" design, the Bayliner 180 Bowrider is an extra-roomy 18’ (5.49 m) runabout that is easily towed, outboard-powered, and reasonably priced.

With added beam forward and extra-tall gunwales, the Bayliner 180 Bowrider should offer a secure, dry ride for a big crew of watersports fans. Optional watersports or fishing packages customize the boat to suit specific family needs, and the folding tongue on the standard single-axle trailer allows the rig to fit most garages. More...

Test Drive Brochure Request Price Quote
cross ruler

Review Video

Mercury Marine Repowering:
Options Galore in Repowering

Mercury Marine Repowering
Choosing the right horsepower, weight, shaft length, electrical output and other features can make repowering a trouble-free event.

When it's time to repower, Mercury Marine recommends considering the design of the boat as well as the primary operating desires of the owner. Modern outboards are in general far more fuel efficient and cleaner-running than their predecessors, as well as being far more dependable. Many also offer improved low-end torque as well as mid-range power, and improved electrical generating systems provide plenty of power to feed modern electronics. Mercury engines intended for offshore use have beefier lower units and other features that suit them for hard use. More...

Ask a Question

cross ruler

New Captain's Report

Harris Crowne 250:
600-HP Luxury Pontoon

Harris Crowne 250
With her fiberglass design, the Harris Crowne 250 looks like a retro luxury European sedan from the deck level up, and she comes with a strong list of standard features.

A unique feature of the Harris Crowne 250 is that the triple-pontoon version can be outfitted with twin 300-hp Mercury Verado outboards, for those who want to get serious about pontoon performance, and damn the fuel prices. Four floorplans are available, including one with a powered sunlounge. Upscale upholstery, hinged underseat storage, stainless steel railings and many other touches mark the Crowne 250 as a quality entertainment platform. More...

Test Drive Brochure Request Price Quote
cross ruler

New Captain's Report

Boston Whaler 315 Conquest Pilothouse:
Classic 4-Season Fishing Platform

Boston Whaler 315 Conquest Pilothouse
With a fully-enclosed and optional temperature-controlled pilothouse, the Boston Whaler 315 Conquest Pilothouse is a four-season offshore fishing boat that can also double as a family cruiser.

Classic Boston Whaler fishability and bullet-proof hull construction make the 315 Conquest Pilothouse a strong contender for serious bluewater anglers who don't let a bit of cold weather, rain and salt spray hold them back. The fully-enclosed pilothouse features large windows all around for clear sightlines both at speed and when docking. With optional fold-away seats in the bulwarks as well as at the transom, plus the optional summer kitchen, the aft cockpit functions as a great gathering venue back at the marina. More...

Test Drive Brochure Request
cross ruler

New Captain's Report

Yamaha 190 FSH:
Shallow Drift Jet Fishing Boat

Yamaha 190 FSH
Quick hole shots and impressive maneuverability combine in Yamaha's 190 FSH, one of the few jet-powered center console fishing boats on the market.

Without traditional drives, the Yamaha 190 FSH has a running draft of just 16'' (.41 m) and a weight of only 2,050 lbs. (930 kg) dry, making her a great performer on the flats as well as in areas where unmarked obstructions are problematic. Yamaha's Articulating Keel, part of the jet drive lower unit, eliminates the common issues with low speed maneuvering in jet drive vessels. More...

cross ruler

Design and Style Video

Formula 350 Crossover Bowrider:
Super-Sized Premium Sportboat

Formula 350 Crossover Bowrider
The Formula 350 Crossover Bowrider combines the overnight accommodations of a pocket cruiser with a huge seating area forward like a deckboat, while maintaining an express cruiser bridge deck, cockpit and stern.

The Formula 350 Crossover Bowrider uniquely combines the qualities of an overnight cruiser with galley and head with the added characteristics of a bowrider, offering wide open bow space and seating that can accommodate entertaining or lounging. She features top-quality materials throughout, including a memory foam mattress in the aft stateroom, exterior autobody-type paint, and American Cherry woodgrain-finish decking throughout the cabin. More...

cross ruler

Test Video

Beneteau Monte Carlo 5:
Modern Lines and a Smooth Ride

Beneteau Monte Carlo 5
The Beneteau Monte Carlo 5 is a three-stateroom yacht with modern overall lines and an Italian flare. She looks like more than a million dollars, but costs significantly less.

Not surprisingly, the tulip-bow of the Beneteau Monte Carlo 5 is a wave-slicer that delivers a smooth ride in choppy seas. Our test captain also found that the flatter stern sections result in stability at rest compared to deeper V-hulls. She performs well for a yacht of this size, powered by twin 435-hp Volvo Penta IPS drives, topping out at 34.6 mph (55.7 kph), burning 42.5 gph or 160.86 lph. More...

Test Drive Brochure Request Price Quote
cross ruler

Test Video

Cruisers Sport Series 278 Bow Rider:
Versatile Multi-Mission Bowrider

Cruisers Sport Series 278 Bow Rider
Whether it's wakeboarding, water skiing, tubing, catching some rays or just spending the day on the water, the Cruisers Sport Series 278 Bow Rider is designed to provide complete functionality.

The Cruisers Sport Series 278 Bow Rider, powered by a Volvo Penta V8 320C, topped out at 46.2 mph in our test runs. She jumped on plane in 3.9 seconds, and hit 30 mph in 9.9 seconds. The most economical cruising speed was at 3500 rpm where the boat went 28.6 mph, burning 10 gph, giving her a range of 175 statute miles and an endurance of 6.1 hours. With her sporty graphics and superior ride this boat deserves attention. More...

Test Drive

cross ruler

Captain's Report

Grady-White Freedom 335:
Entertaining (and Fishing) Made Easy

Grady-White Freedom 335
A wet bar behind the helm seat presents a classy look with a combination of stainless steel and Corian, and the optional hideaway grill makes this area into a summer kitchen.

With gathering areas at the bow, the helm deck and in the cockpit (with optional wraparound seating), the Grady-White Freedom 335 definitely lends herself to entertaining and large-family day-cruising, aided and abetted by the optional outdoor grill. But she still wears the Grady-White logo, and that means that all of the essentials to fish hard and long, far from shore in any weather, are there, including a transom door, plenty of rod storage, and a jumbo livewell and fishbox at the transom. More...

Test Drive Brochure Request Price Quote
cross ruler

Captain's Report

Maritimo M48:
Two Stateroom Long-Range Cruising Yacht

Maritimo M48
The Maritimo M48 will replace the popular M45 as a two stateroom/two head long range cruising yacht, featuring Maritimo's characteristic fully-enclosed flying bridge.

The Maritimo M48, like others in the line, features a flying bridge that functions as an added salon. A set of internal stairs (another Maritimo signature design) provides a protected transition from the main deck to the flying bridge and a sofa that can be optioned as a fold-out bed, plus a teak dining table allows a social atmosphere that includes the captain. More...

Price Quote

cross ruler

Propeller Report

PowerTech! 4-Blade Prop:
For Towing & Better Mid-Range Performance

PowerTech 4-blade Prop
PowerTech!'s 4-blade props provide added blade area for a strong hole shot, plus many other advantages for towing rigs.

The increased blade area afforded by the addition of the fourth blade in propellers like the PowerTech! 4-blade can provide increased water displacement capability, lift, and grip, as compared to comparable 3-blade propellers. These characteristics can enhance handling, hole shot, low-speed planning ability, fuel efficiency, load-carrying performance, rough water performance, ventilation/cavitation resistance, motor elevation capability and more. More...

cross ruler

Test Video

Chaparral 307 SSX:
Sleek, Fast and Solid-Riding

Chaparral 307 SSX
The Chaparral 307 SSX looks fast and is, topping out at more than 52 mph powered by twin
300-hp DuoProp Volvo Penta V8s in our test runs.

The Chaparral 307 SSX delivered a solid ride in our test runs, thanks to a 9,200-lb. (4,536 kg) dry weight combined with a sharp, 22-degree deadrise at the transom. The boat stayed dry in both beam and head seas, and tracked straight and true with minimal steering input. Hole shots produced an 8½-degree bow rise with no loss of visibility to the horizon, and the hull leaned 10 to 15-degrees into the turns. More...


cross ruler

Features Video

Sea Ray L650 Fly:
Stylish Luxury in a Flybridge Yacht

Sea Ray L650 Fly
Teak stairs rather than a ladder make for safe, easy access to the flying bridge on Sea Ray's stylish and luxurious L650 Fly. Passage to the swim platform is available on either side of the stern couch seating.

Sea Ray intends for its L650 Fly to be the "best of the best" in class, with premium upholstery, woodwork, and hardware that the builder feels this state-of-the-art approach allows her to compete directly against top-tier boats in class, both at home and abroad. The overall level of materials and fit-and-finish is striking: Leather stitching can be seen everywhere including the upholstery and drawer handles. Amenities include a Harman/Kardon home theater with a 50” (127 cm) flatscreen TV. Decks are hardwood, and interior bulkheads, paneling and joinery can be made of dark walnut or light or dark cherry. More...

Test Drive Brochure Request Price Quote
cross ruler

Test Video

Evinrude E-TEC 135 H.O.:
Extra Muscle, Less Weight in a 2-Stroke 135

Evinrude E-TEC 135 H.O.
With fewer parts and lighter weight than the 4-stroke competition in class, the electronically-fuel-injected Evinrude E-TEC 135 H.O. is an attractive power unit for smaller deck and pontoon boats, entry-level watersport rigs and lightweight fishing boats.

As the only 2-stroke in class, the Evinrude E-TEC 135 H.O. has 3% more displacement, is 14% lighter and has nearly 200 fewer parts than the 4-stroke competition, according to the company. Its magneto charging system also puts out 61% more Amps. With the rapid wind-up characteristic of 2-strokes, the 135 is quick to put boats on plane, a big plus for tow-sports, as well as for fishing boats operating in shallow water. It's also an economical choice for smaller boats or package rigs. More...

Ask a Question

cross ruler

Test Video

Robalo 206 Cayman:
Roomy Bay Boat with Flair

Robalo 206 Cayman
The Robalo 206 Cayman has a draft of just 10'' (.25 m), making her a capable flats boat, but lots of bow flair also makes her more competent than many low-freeboard rigs when it comes to fishing off the beach or running an inlet.

With three livewells, a Kevlar keel, and a rated engine capacity of 200-hp, the Robalo 206 Cayman has a lot to offer in the crowded bay boat market, including exceptional handling. There was no pounding in our test runs, and spray was thrown well out to the sides presenting a surprisingly dry ride. In following seas there was no tendency toward stuffing the bow, and she tracked straight and true, skipping across one wave after another. More...

cross ruler

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

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 BoatTEST.com'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...

  cross ruler

Lesson of the Week

Negligent Boat Operation Is a Federal Crime

Capt. Steve Smart Boating Cover
Captain Steve says boat smart to avoid all penalties of poor judgment!

In this week's lesson, Captain Steve points out some examples of what boating negligence is and the penalties one may face. The obvious lesson here is that if one practices smart boating one can avoid all penalties of poor judgment. There is also a helpful video on what to do if stopped by the authorities while boating. The videos presented this week are part of BoatTEST.com’s USCG-approved Boating Course. Watch these video boating lessons every week on BoatTEST.com.

To view this week’s lessons --

Order all lessons on DVD--

BoatTEST.com, LLC
51 Bank Street, Suite 2A
Stamford, CT 06901

All articles, Captain's Reports, video content or other material which appear on BoatTEST.com and in its newsletters are accurate and factual to the best knowledge of BoatTEST.com and its staff. All findings, beliefs, experiences, or endorsements presented are the honest opinions of BoatTEST.com or its contributors. In compliance with FTC 16 CFR Part 255 BoatTEST.com advises its readers that content that appears in its newsletter or on its website may have been produced for compensation or the prospect of future compensation. BoatTEST.com makes no claims for the veracity or motivation of reader comments, Owners’ Reports, and other contributions which are all clearly labeled as such.