Ocean Alexander 100 // Pursuit 385 // Sailfish 270 // 17 Reports 7/22/2015 - 07/22/2015
BoatTEST Newsletter July 22, 2015 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
15 year anniversary
- Ocean Alexander 100
- TAHOE 500 TS
- Beneteau Oceanis 35
- Bayliner 210 DB
- Volvo Penta D3 Sterndrive
- Pursuit OS 385 Offshore
- Sailfish 270CC
- Formula 400 FX8
- Boston Whaler 270 Vantage
- Evinrude E-TEC 115
- Sea Ray 470 Sundancer
- Yamaha VX Cruiser
- MerCruiser 4.5L
- Cruisers Sport Series 298
- Maritimo M50
- PowerTech! Acceleration
- Chaparral 223 VRX
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Lesson

Ocean Alexander 100 Motoryacht:
A World-Ranging, Elegant Motoryacht

Tahoe 500 TS
The Ocean Alexander 100 Motoryacht has a 23' (7.01 m) beam, dispaces 230,000 lbs. (104,326 kg) and is powered by twin Cat C-32 ACERT 1925-hp diesels. Most important, she's as comfortable sailing the seven seas as she is entertaining at the dock, something we can't say about all vessels in class.

Every once in a while a large motoryacht comes along that captures the imagination of veteran yachtsmen and their boating spouses. The new 100' (30 m) Ocean Alexander is such a vessel, a boat that knows what she is and needs no razzle-dazzle to impress. Little wonder, because she was created from keel to mast by the sure hand of American Evan K. Marshall, a naval architect who has been boating since he was four, learned his respect for naval engineering at Sparkman & Stephens, and then went on to London to develop his own world-famous reputation for innovation. Hull #2 has recently landed in Florida. See the video...

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New Review Video

49.7 MPH WOT with 4.3L Merc

Tahoe 500 TS
TAHOE’s new 500 TS features a newly-designed POWERGLIDE II hull that offers a deeper V for softer ride and nimbler handling, plus bigger wakes for wakeboarding fans.

The TAHOE 500 TS delivered impressive performance in our test runs, powered by a single 220-hp MerCruiser 4.3L MPI. She topped out at 49.7 mph while burning just 17.5 gph. Best cruise was at 2500 rpms, where she ran 24.2 mph and delivered 5.2 mpg. Hole shot was also strong at just 2.3 seconds -- a match for PWC performance. More...

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Accommodations Video

Beneteau Oceanis 35:
Family Sailing within Reach

Beneteau Oceanis 35
Abundant windows on the Beneteau Oceanis 35 not only make the interior accommodations exceptionally bright and open for a sailing vessel, but also are part of the exterior eye appeal.

Alpi wood in blonde oak finish along with lots of large windows and light-toned fabrics in the furnishings give the interior of the Beneteau Oceanis 35 a bright, pleasant feel that's missing in many traditional sailing yachts. A split head, with a water-closet/sink area separate from the shower, adds utility, and the gimbaled stove means making tea while underway is an option. More...

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New Review Video

Bayliner 210 DB:
Deckboat Style, Pontoon Boat Space

Bayliner 210 DB
The Bayliner 210 DB offers pontoon-style couch seating, providing room to seat 12 comfortably despite a LOA of just 20'7" (6.3 m).

With the 210 DB, Bayliner has taken the strong points of a pontoon boat -- massive seating, open deck space, and low price -- and married them with the best features of a crossover deckboat -- performance, nautical styling, low-maintenance fiberglass, and watersports versatility. The squared-off bow carries her 8'6" (2.59 m) beam well forward, adding space. A fishing package including trolling motor, two swivel seats and sonar, add to her versatility. More...

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Test Video

Volvo Penta D3 Sterndrive:
Lightweight Turbo-Diesel Power

Volvo Penta D3
The new D3-220 diesel sterndrive engine is a 5-cylinder, 2.4 L (146 cu. in) 220-hp common rail fuel injected engine equipped with EVC for bringing engine communications to the helm.

The 5-cylinder Volvo Penta D3 sterndrive package makes diesel power a reasonable option for center consoles and other boats under 30' (9.14 m), bringing diesel durability, fuel safety and economy to the genre where mostly gasoline powerplants rule. With a weight of 800 lbs. (363 kg), the aluminum block engine is lighter than many gas inboard/sterndrive systems (though not lighter than outboards) putting out equivalent power. A variable geometry turbocharging system delivers more boost pressure at lower RPMs, generating lots of low-end torque to get boats on plane quickly, particularly when coupled with the Duo-Prop system. More...

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Captain's Report

Pursuit OS 385 Offshore:
A Luxury-Level Bluewater Express

Pursuit OS 385 Offshore
With power options up to triple Yamaha F350s, the Pursuit OS 385 Offshore is capable of getting to the fish fast, with speeds over 50 mph.

The Pursuit OS 385 Offshore is all fishboat in the cockpit, including a 50-gallon (189 L) livewell and 300-gallon (1,136 kg) freezer-type fishbox. But step below and she displays yacht-grade materials and fit-and-finish. Khaya mahogany delivers a striking finish in the cabinetry and flooring, while the galley offers Corian tops, a glass cooktop and a stainless steel refrigerator/freezer. A 32'' flatscreen TV is standard, as is the power-lift Khaya mahogany table, convertible to a large forward berth. More...

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Captain's Report

Sailfish 270CC:
Bluewater Fish Boat with Eye Appeal

Sailfish 270CC
The front casting deck converts quickly to a bowrider functionality when the upholstered cushions, seat backs and the cockpit table are fitted into place on the Sailfish 270CC.

The Sailfish 270CC clearly shows her fishing heritage, but she also displays an eye for design from the engineering team, with the slightly sweeping sheer, angled transom, rounded and flowing console and T-top design. A proper head with 5’8” (1.73 m) of headroom, a vanity and sink with a retracting freshwater hose, a mirror and dedicated dry storage for essentials like toilet paper and paper towels is a rare nod to comfort on a serious center console fishboat. (Either a Porta-Potti or marine toilet are options, though.) The flip-down transom seat should deliver a soft ride on long runs offshore. More...

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Test Video

Formula 400 FX8:
Loud and Fast -- Very Fast

Formula 400 FX8
The Formula 400 FX8 looks fast and she is, with mile-a-minute speeds no problem thanks to available engines from MerCruiser's racing division.

For those who want to go very fast on the water and look stylish and cool doing it, the Formula 400 FX8 may be a preferred option. With twin MerCruiser 565-hp Race Division engines turning Bravo III drives, she ran an impressive 63.5 mph. Predictably, she used lots of fuel doing it, consuming 85.3 gph. The 22-degree deadrise at the transom should make her an easy-rider in rough seas, even at speed. The trademark Imron clear-coat finish over vibrant chroma colors makes the exterior striking, while below decks the upholstery is a mix of pillow-top cushions and Ultraleather/crushed velvet upholstery. More...

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Test Video

Boston Whaler 270 Vantage:
Unsinkable Security for Fishing Families

Boston Whaler 270 Vantage
The Boston Whaler 270 Vantage is designed from the keel-up to be a multi-purpose boat that can tackle a variety of missions with family or fishing buddies.

The Boston Whaler 270 Vantage provides a dependable platform for everything from serious fishing trips to casual family days on the water skiing, swimming, snorkeling or just "messing about". The broad bow provides extra space to stretch out for sunbathing, or remove the cushions and it's a roomy casting deck. A "summer kitchen" option adds easy entertaining to the mix. And she's built so that she will float level if swamped, a Boston Whaler trademark. More...

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Captain's Report

Evinrude E-TEC 115 Pontoon Series:
Engineered for the Mission

Evinrude E-TEC 115 Pontoon Series
The Evinrude E-TEC 115 Pontoon Series is designed to produce more torque and thrust than standard outboards and to run quieter and smoother.

The Evinrude E-TEC 115 Pontoon Series is a four-cylinder 2-stroke purpose-built for pontoon boats. A 2.44:1 gearing provides more low-end thrust than in the company's standard 115s, and softer rubber motor mounts reduce vibration and noise compared to the company's performance engines, a spokesman said. The magneto charging system puts out a maximum of 133 Amps, with 50 dedicated to low speed output -- useful for keeping refrigerators, high-amp music systems and other pontoon accessories operating. More...

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Test Video

Sea Ray 470 Sundancer:
Atrium Entry Adds Light and Style

Sea Ray 470 Sundancer
Broad hullside windows on the Sea Ray 470 Sundancer ensure a bright, open feel below decks, and also add identity to the exterior.

The Sea Ray 470 Sundancer is a complete reworking of a design that has been in the company line for some time. The 2015 version is much more versatile for entertaining and more comfortable below for luxury cruising, according to our test captain. The striking atrium entry to the lower decks allows for a continuation of the open feel of the upper decks, while at the same time carrying the light deeper into the lower decks. More...

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Test Video

Yamaha VX Cruiser:
Light, Quick and Fuel-Stingy PWC

Yamaha VX Cruiser
The hull of the Yamaha VX Cruiser is molded from a composite called NanoXcel, which reduces the overall weight more than 60 lbs. (27 kg), delivering improved top speed as well as stronger acceleration with a given load.

Powered with a 1052cc Yamaha 4-stroke jet system, the Yamaha VX Cruiser topped out at a spirited 53.1 mph while consuming 7.4 gph. Best speed for longest running time was 29.7 mph, where she used just 3.2 gph for 9.4 mpg, giving a range of 157 miles with the 18.5 gallon (70 L) tank. Time-to-plane was 2.3 seconds. More...

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Features Video

MerCruiser 4.5L 250 HP:
A Compact, Fuel-Friendly V6

MerCruiser 4.5L 250 HP
The MerCruiser 4.5L 250 HP V6 delivers lots of power in a smaller, lighter package that fits easily into most engine boxes.

The MerCruiser 4.5L 250 HP V6 is a marine engine designed to deliver power in a compact package. The system is freshwater cooled, and access to all basic maintenance and daily upkeep checks is within close reach across the top of the engine. A stainless steel water pump assures longevity, and it's engineered for reduced power consumption, according to the company. More...

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Test Video

Cruisers Sport Series 298 Bow Rider:
Roomy Bowrider with Deep-V Ride

Cruisers Sport Series 298 Bow Rider
The Cruisers Sport Series 298 Bow Rider is a big, roomy bowrider with luxury-grade upholstery and the same level of fit-and-finish seen on the company's larger yachts.

The Cruisers Sport Series 298 Bow Rider is designed to give an exceptionally comfortable ride at speed in a chop, with a 21-degree deadrise and a weight over 6,200 lbs. (2,812 kg). Despite her considerable displacement, she was quick to respond to the helm in our test runs, and came on plane in just 3.5 seconds, pushed by the 380-hp MerCruiser 8.2L MAG MPI with Bravo 3X drive. More...

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Test Video

Maritimo M50:
All Weather Cruising -- and Entertaining

Maritimo M50
The enclosed flybridge of the Maritimo M50 makes for comfortable all-weather captaining, as well as providing a sumptuous additional entertainment area.

The Maritimo M50 carries her Volvo Penta 670 D-11 engines amidships, feeding conventional inboard drives. The company says fewer maintenance issues and performance approaching that of pod drives makes this setup the best option for this hull. She topped out at 34.5 mph in our test runs, consuming a maximum of 60.5 gph. Preferred cruising speed is at 2000 rpms, where she ran 24.8 mph and got 0.7 mpg. More...

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PowerTech! Acceleration Factors:
Engineered for Performance

PowerTech! Acceleration Factors
A prop with the right combination of a quick hole shot, good mid-range acceleration and strong top-end speeds is the result of careful engineering, according to the guru's at PowerTech!.

The hole shot is critical in boat performance, whether running a pontoon boat, a runabout or an open fisherman. PowerTech! offers a number of pointers on choosing the right prop for a good take-off, including selecting models with venting holes in the barrel. On takeoff, the holes bleed air into the wash, allowing the prop to spin up rapidly and make more horsepower, while at speed, suction seals off the holes, delivering clean water to the blades for better performance. More...

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Test Video

Chaparral 223 VRX:
 Twin-Jet Sportboat with Sizzle

Chaparral 223 VRX
The Chaparral 223 VRX makes her demographic targeting clear with bold graphics and a sweeping sheer line aft: she's a twin-jet runabout designed for the young and the young at heart.

The Chaparral 223 VRX offers surprising performance for a boat capable of seating ten, with 2.1 second hole shots in our test runs and a top speed of 52.9 mph, thanks to twin Rotax 200 power systems. A unique feature is the lateral steering available with this dual-thrust system -- it makes for much easier control around the docks, according to the company. More...

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Where in the World?

Picture of the Week

Picture of the Week
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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...

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Lesson of the Week

Basic Rules of the Road:
Rules Pertaining to Different Types of Vessels

Capt. Steve Smart Boating Cover
A vessel unable to maneuver is unable to keep out of the way of another vessel.

This week Captain Steve covers basic rules of the road in ten quick video clips. He covers different categories of boats and who must keep out of the way, restrictions on working vessels, fishing vessels and all other vessels which may not be able to maneuver because the nature of their work, sea planes, and why one should never anchor in the middle of a channel. These are basic procedures which all recreational boaters should be aware of. The videos presented this week are part of BoatTEST.com’s Boating Course which is USCG-approved. Watch these video boating lessons every week on BoatTEST.com.

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