Four Winns H190 // Robalo 160 // Glacier Bay 2780 // 17 Reports - 08/12/2015
BoatTEST Newsletter August 12, 2015 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter. Tests You Can Trust
15 year anniversary
- Sailfish 320 Express WA
- Bavaria Sport 400 Coupe
- Robalo R160
- Volvo Penta Forward Drive
- Sea Ray 370 Venture
- Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 409
- Cruisers Yachts 45 Cantius
- Glacier Bay 2780 Isle Runner
- Bryant Boats 233X
- Hurricane SunDeck 217 I/O
- Prestige Yachts 620
- Nitro ZV 18
- Four Winns H190
- Regal 2800
- Ocean Alexander 72
- World Cat 320CC
- Mako 21 LTS
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD
- Capt. Steve's Lesson

Sailfish 320 Express Walk Around:
Designed for Great Lakes Cruising & Fishing

Sailfish 320 Express Walk Around
The Sailfish 320 Express WA combines the fishboat heritage common in all the company's models with creature-comforts that should make it more appealing for family weekends venturing out on big water.

While most midwestern anglers would like to fish in the Great Lakes, usually their boats aren't ideal for the task. Multi-species boats are fine in average size lakes, but when it comes to Lake Michigan, Lake Huron and Lake Superior, they are not recommended on any but the finest days.
That's why we suggest a boat such as the Sailfish 320 Express Walk Around. This is a boat with good seakeeping abilities, has a big cockpit ready for downriggers and is comfortable for a family cruise to Georgia Bay or island hopping around Michigan's upper peninsula. Find out why...

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New Captain's Report

Bavaria Sport 400 Coupe:
Express Euro-Cruiser for the U.S. Market

Bavaria Sport 400 Coupe
The Bavaria Sport 400 Coupe offers sporty styling and the open cockpit of an express cruiser with a sunroof and large windows to let in natural light to the salon and living areas.

Bavaria equips the American Edition of its Sport 400 Coupe with all the extras that most U.S. boaters are likely to want, including a sunroof, a 12-volt cockpit refrigerator, electric trim tabs, a Garmin GPSMap 6012 GPS chartplotter, a Garmin VHF 300i AIS radio, Volvo Penta joystick docking system, a diesel generator, a 100-watt search light with remote control, air conditioning, shorepower, a cockpit wet bar, grill and a two-burner stove. What's left to need or even want? The company offers the interior in three distinctive packages, each with different color schemes in both the furnishings and the bulkheads, doors and cabinetry. More...

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New Captain's Report

Robalo R160:
Entry-Level Turnkey Fishabout CC

Robalo R160
The Robalo R160 is compact with a LOA of just 16'4" (4.98 m) and she offers exceptional freeboard and plenty of interior depth to make her a good choice for small families.

Though the Robalo R160 is an entry-level center console, she's got the same quality touches as larger boats in the company line, including Kevlar in the keel and 316 stainless steel (the best for marine) hardware throughout. Draft up is just 10'' (.25 m), making her an able choice for backcountry fishing, but she's got a bit more freeboard than many flats boat, which should give a drier and safer ride. More...

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Test Video

Volvo Penta Forward Drive:
Fast-Forward Engineering for Wake Sports

Volvo Penta Forward Drive
The forward-facing props of the Volvo Penta Forward Drive lower unit is over 26'' (.66 m) further forward than a conventional sterndrive.

The forward facing, dual counter-rotating propellers of the innovative Volvo Penta Forward Drive work in undisturbed water to provide slightly better thrust to propel the boat, as opposed to aft facing props which must work in water disturbed by the lower unit. The power trim is used to adjust the propellers thrust angle, which can help to create wakes or provide a good running attitude for cruising. More...

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Features Video

Sea Ray 370 Venture:
Innovations in Outboard Power

Sea Ray 370 Venture
This aft stateroom of the Sea Ray 370 Venture seems to have more space thanks to the unique hideaway outboard power system, which tucks the motors under fiberglass engine boxes.

The Sea Ray 370 Venture offers one of the most innovative engineering advances in recent years, tucking a pair of 300-horsepower Mercury Verado outboards into compact compartments aft. By eliminating the traditional sterndrive or inboard engine room most of that space can be devoted to creating the largest and most comfortable mid-cabin, full-beam master stateroom in class. The setup delivers exceptionally quiet propulsion, and the drive units can be tilted completely clear of the water when desired. More...

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Captain's Report

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 409:
Spirited Performance Sailing Yacht

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 409
The Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 409 combines spirited performance with the amenities most couples want in a cruising sailing yacht.

Jeanneau positions the Sun Odyssey 409 as a capable cruising boat that can readily double as a competent club racing boat. Rigging choices include a conventional, slab reef, battened mainsail, a performance mainsail, a 106% headsail, a 140% loose-luff tri-radial Genoa sheeted to full tracks on the side decks, and a self-tacking 90% self-tending jib sheeted to a curved lateral track forward of the main mast. She also includes amenities like a bow thruster with dedicated batteries to ease handling in the harbor. Injection mold forming of deck and other parts cuts weight without sacrificing strength, and produces quality parts finished smooth on both sides. More...

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Design and Style Review

Cruisers Yachts 45 Cantius:
Styling, Efficiency, and Comfort Afloat

Cruisers Yachts 45 Cantius
The aft salon door and window open to bring the outdoors in aboard the Cruisers Yachts 45 Cantius.

The Cruisers Yachts 45 Cantius has a unique mid-cabin/theater room below combining a queen-sized berth and two side-by-side recliners that convert into a berth. A big-screen television swivels to face the bed or the recliners, so, this space can serve a dual purpose. Efficient use of space is seen throughout the yacht -- a washer/dryer tucks conveniently under the companionway behind wood-grain doors that blend into the bulkheads. The aft deck couch seating can be lowered at the touch of a button to become a sun lounge, or even a split aft-facing seat overlooking the swim platform. More...

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Captain's Report

Glacier Bay 2780 Isle Runner:
Sea-Kindly Fishing Catamaran

Glacier Bay 2780 Isle Runner
The sharp twin bows of the Glacier Bay 2780 Isle Runner marks her as a sea-kindly catamaran, and the wrap-around safety glass and hardtop should ensure those at the helm of a dry ride even on blustery days.

The helm area of the Glacier Bay 2780 Isle Runner would look at home on a plush express cruiser, but step aft and she's all about serious offshore fishing. The cockpit includes a bait-prep center, a 20-gallon (75.7 L) livewell and jumbo fishboxes, as well as fold-up jump seats that stow out of the way when the rods come out. The helm can be fully enclosed with an optional hinged door and isinglass curtains, and both heating and cooling systems are available for this area. The compact cabin hides a queen-sized berth, microwave and wet head, making her suitable for overnights most anywhere. Best of all, she's one of the most stable 27-footers on the water. More...

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Test Video

Bryant Boats 233X:
Dedicated Tow-Boat with Sterndrive

Bryant Boats 233X
The styling of the Bryant Boats 233X signals a dedicated tow-sports boat, but she's unique in that she is a sterndrive, rather than an inboard.

The Bryant Boats 233X offers the usual dedicated wake sports extras including some 1,700 lbs. (771 kg) of water ballast and Surf Tabs (small trim tabs) to shape the wake as desired. However, she's unusual in that the power is sterndrive, giving the quick acceleration and maneuverability of I/O, especially in the counter-rotating, twin-prop models. An extended water-level swim platform, the "Sport Porch", allows safe entry and exit from the water and an extra margin of security for wake surfers. More...

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Captain's Report

Hurricane SunDeck 217 I/O:
A Sterndrive Deckboat

Hurricane SunDeck 217 I/O
With maximum beam carried almost all the way to the bow, the Hurricane SunDeck 217 I/O has plenty of space up front for sunbathers to relax.

Like most deckboats, the Hurricane SunDeck 217 I/O is designed to combine the amenities and passenger/gear-carrying capacities of a pontoon boat and the performance benefits of a fiberglass V-bottom hull in a single vessel. Boarding ladders both bow and stern make it easy for swimmers and beach goers to get back aboard, and a grommet at the bow allows fitting an optional swiveling fishing chair there. More...

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Test Video

Prestige Yachts 620:
Efficient Cruising on 1400 Horsepower

Prestige Yachts 620
The lines of the Prestige Yachts 620 are easily identifiable, with lots of smoked glass windows acting both as styling features and to bring natural light into the living areas.

The Prestige Yachts 620, pushed by twin 700-hp Volvo Penta IPS900 drives in our tests reached a top speed at 2350 rpm and a respectable 30.0 knots. At that speed we were burning a combined 69.5 gph while getting .4 nautical mpg for a range of 287 nautical miles. She delivered virtually the same mpg from 1500 rpm all the way up to WOT, allowing a wide range of efficient cruising speeds. A cockpit joystick and bow thruster control in the starboard aft bulkhead makes single-handed docking possible even in this sizable yacht. More...

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Captain's Report

Nitro ZV 18:
Fully-Equipped Multi-Species Angler

Nitro ZV 18
With more freeboard than a bass boat and multiple swiveling fishing seats, the Nitro ZV 18 is designed for family anglers whether they're pursuing walleyes, northern pike, muskies or smallmouth.

A three-tier center rod locker with dual latches and locks secures all the tackle likely to be needed aboard the Nitro ZV 18, a dedicated multi-species fishing boat. Tall windshields on the dual consoles provide wind and spray protection, and the standard Minn Kota PowerDrive 24V, 70-lb. thrust trolling motor provides plenty of power for all-day fishing. More...

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Captain's Report

Four Winns H190:
Value-Oriented Sportboat with Style

Four Winns H190
The Four Winns H190 is an entry-level, family-oriented sportboat that offers the features most buyers want in a bowrider of this size.

The Four Winns H190 runs on a "Stable Vee" stepped hull that our tests have shown provide quicker planing times, lower planing speeds, and ensure that she holds well in turns while remaining relatively flat. An extended, water-level swim platform makes gearing up for watersports convenient, and the bucket seats feature a spring system with multiple densities of foam for more comfortable seating. More...

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Test Video

Regal 2800:
Versatile Runabout with
Good Fit-and-Finish

Regal 2800
Convertible seating in both the bow and stern areas give lots of versatility and comfort options for the up-scale Regal 2800 bowrider.

With quality materials throughout, the Regal 2800 compares favorably in the large bowrider genre. Flexiteak flooring gives durable, comfortable non-slip footing and a power hatch provides easy access to the engine compartment. Big boat options including a power swim platform, power helm seat, refrigerator and water heater clearly mark this Regal as a cut above the usual runabout. More...

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Test Video

Ocean Alexander 72 Pilothouse:
Long Range Luxury Cruising Yacht

Ocean Alexander 72 Pilothouse
The high freeboard, deep spray rails and Carolina flare of the Ocean Alexander 72 Pilothouse are all hallmarks of a distance cruiser.

With both bow and stern thrusters, the Ocean Alexander 72 Pilothouse offers good control at the docks, and watertight doors on both sides of the lower helm allow the captain to check the progress regularly. An optional aft deck control station gives a clear view of the stern area as she eases into place. Powered by twin 1150-hp Cat C-18s, she attained a top speed of 22.7 knots in our test runs. More...

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Captain's Report

World Cat 320CC:
Two Hulls Are Better Than One

World Cat 320CC
The 10'6" (3.20 m) beam on the World Cat 320CC is carried almost all the way to the bow, providing lots of space forward for fishing or, with the cushions in place, for enjoying the sun.

The World Cat 320CC appears to be built with both durability and comfort in mind. The double-wide helm seat is heavily padded and covered in thick vinyl that should give many years of service. Flip-up bolsters on both sides ease the ride when the going gets rough. The sharp entry of the twin cat hulls slice through rollers and sloppy conditions are not likely to be high on the list of concerns for World Cat owners. More...

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Updated Captain's Report

Mako 21 LTS:
Quick-Planing Shallow Draft Bayboat

Mako 21 LTS
The locking rod box on the starboard side of the bow casting platform includes eight tubes to keep rods protected and untangled until needed, and like all storage areas aboard, the lid is gasketed to keep water out.

The Mako 21 LTS has a notably shallow draft considering her 21' (6.40 m) LOA, drawing just 12'' (.30 m) -- a big plus when flats fishing is on the agenda. Her 16-degree deadrise makes her stable and her "Rapid Plane" hull design puts her out of the hole very fast: she reached 20 mph in just 3.3 seconds in our test runs. More...

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Where in the World?

Picture of the Week

Picture of the Week
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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

How to Trim an Outboard or Sterndrive Boat

Capt. Steve Smart Boating Cover
Trimming the drive correctly will give a better, faster, safer ride and better fuel economy.

This week Captain Steve goes over seven video lessons and guidelines on how to trim an outboard or sterndrive boat. Learn about the advantages of trimming a drive correctly, how to reduce bow rise, when to raise the drive and how to make sure the engine never runs dry. These are basic rules 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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