BoatTEST Newsletter February 10, 2016
Miami Boat Show
BoatTEST captains will be at Evinrude’s huge in-water display at the Miami Boat Show where nearly 20 boats will be available for test drives by the general public – except when Captain Steve is putting them through their paces.
How fuel-efficient? To find out, three of our test captains will be at Evinrude’s large in-water display at the Miami Boat Show Marine Stadium testing 13 boats, powered by E-TEC G2 engines. Evinrude claims that its engines are up to 15% more fuel-efficient than any other outboard on the market – and our test captains are going to find out if that is true. They will be recording the boats’ performance at all RPM settings and will post the results on-site. After the show we will publish all results on the biggest outboard performance showdown on record. So, stay tuned.
All BoatTEST readers are invited to stop by the Evinrude display in slips 108 to 124 to see the BoatTEST crew filming our reports on all of the boats on display – and to take test rides! In the meantime, check out the four Evinrude E-TEC G2 engines about which we have full reports on—
Hydrofoil RIB for Fast, Comfortable Ride
Creative engineering combines RIB inflatable design with a vacuum-bagged vinylester catamaran hull and hydrofoils to produce exceptional performance in the Hysucat 8.5. The main foil is a stainless steel wing in the shape of a chevron, positioned slightly ahead of the boat’s center of gravity, spanning the tunnel created by the catamaran hulls. She's rated for twin 200-hp outboards. We tested her off Key West in conditions that cancelled sailboat races and the 8.5 RIB proved to be remarkably comfortable.
New Captain's Report
Beneteau Swift Trawler 30:
Compact and Functional
The new Beneteau Swift Trawler 30 has a semi-planing hull that should give her speeds well above that of conventional displacement trawlers, and the 190-gallon (719 L) fuel tank will allow for long runs between marina visits.
The Beneteau Swift Trawler 30 is available in one or two double-cabin versions. The salon is equipped with a convertible sofa, allowing for sleeping up to six in a pinch. With foldaway seats, a convertible sofa, and a table that tucks away beneath the seating, she makes highly efficient use of space. A sliding side door by the helm plus a starboard gate in the bulwarks makes short-handed handling and boarding from a dock easy. Read: she has been designed for single-handing.
New Test Video
Volvo Penta V8-300:
All-Aluminum 5.3L Small-Block
The all-new Volvo Penta V8-300 is built on a 5.3-liter (323-cid) aluminum block with aluminum cylinder heads, which saves weight and helps produce a favorable weight-to-power ratio of 3.3 lbs. per horsepower, including a DuoProp lower unit. In a technologically advanced system, fuel is injected directly into each cylinder at 2,250 psi, creating more efficient combustion and cleaner emissions. During a test on a 22’6’ (6.86 m) long, 4,735-lb. (2,148 kg) sportboat, we recorded a noteworthy time to plane of 2.6 seconds and a top speed of 49.4 mph (42.96 knots) at 5500 rpm. The engine can be paired with a Duoprop or SX sterndrive or with Volvo Penta’s new Forward Drive. It comes with a 5-year warranty.
New Captain's Report
Bavaria Sport 450 Coupe:
Versatile New 2 or 3 Cabin Yacht
The innovative Bavaria Sport 450 Coupe offers a choice of two or three-cabin layout. Both versions have the luxurious full-beam master cabin in the bow along with an en suite bath. The two-cabin model includes an en suite head in the VIP as well, while the three-cabin layout places the head off the salon to act as a shared facility. Interior finishes are coordinated with mahogany, teak or oak cabinetry. A broad sun pad aft has a chaise-type adjustable back-rest, with a large dinghy garage underneath.
New Captain's Report
Fully Equipped for Fishing, Family Sports
Family-friendly features aboard the Sailfish 325DC include a cockpit galley with sink, hard-surface worktop, and an available grill and refrigerator. A compact cabin in the port console hides another sink, as well as seating and space for a microwave. Fold-away cockpit seating boosts the partying capacity to 15, and a removable ski pylon makes tow-sports an option. All the usual Sailfish fishing features are also present, including abundant heavy-duty rod holders, an aerated livewell and jumbo fishboxes.
Yamaha VX Limited & 242X E Series:
Full Packages for Watersports
Yamaha’s new VX Limited is not only available in “Torch Red” but it also comes right out of the box with a full complement of accessories that make this watercraft so much more fun. That includes a single-rider tube, tow line, 12V inflator, a rear accessory bag and solar charger for the battery. We also looked at the new 3-cylinder TR-1 engine that is smaller and lighter, yet still puts out prodigious horsepower for its size. Finally our video covers the E-Series 242X which comes standard with ballast, speed control, digital throttles, solar panels and much more. See the video and get caught up on some of Yamahas newest products.
New Captain's Report
Sea Ray 250 SLX:
Classic Lines w/ Upscale Features
The Sea Ray 250 SLX has the classic lines of speedboats that raced across inland lakes decades ago, but all the modern upscale amenities that should make her a favorite with luxury-class runabout buyers of today.
Iconic styling and hull sculpting makes the Sea Ray 250 SLX a noteworthy at any dock. She includes high-end amenities such as digital instrumentation and engine controls, plus options like a submersible hydraulic swim platform, rarely seen on boats of this size. Sculptured and embroidered two-tone seating gives the interior an upscale look and feel. Standard trim tabs retract against the running surface and conform to the shape of the chines, a unique approach compared to standard transom tabs.
New Captain's Report
Mercury Remanufacturing 540 MAG Bravo 4V:
New Power Option for Performance Boats
The Mercury 540 MAG Bravo 4V brings modern big-block performance to older boats while still providing the durability and affordability that owners want in a production engine. The carbureted V8 uses a short-deck block that fits into many older boats yet offers more displacement, at 540 cubic inches or 8.9 L. This delivers huge bottom-end torque (560 foot-pounds at 3500 rpm) and results in noteworthy throttle response. The engine makes 440 horsepower at its 4600 rpm WOT.
New Test Video
Riviera 6000 Sport Yacht:
Style, Functionality and Flexible Layouts
The Riviera 6000 Sport Yacht has a flexible four-stateroom layout with a luxurious full-beam master, which is one of the largest and most unusual we have seen in class. Her main deck is a breath of fresh air and nearly everything about the Riviera 6000 is highly functional as well as luxurous. We were very impressed with this boat, and we urge people in the market to watch our new video. She speaks for herself.
Bayliner Element XL:
Economical Sportboat Tested
In addition to being easy to operate, because the Bayliner Element XL has the "M-hull" bottom, she is very stable both at rest and underway, and she is exceedingly easy to load onto the trailer. The bunks fit so well inside the outer sponsons that it self-aligns when driving onto the trailer. Boat, engine and trailer are all part of the affordable package.
Cruisers Yachts 60 Cantius:
Entertaining Afloat in Grand Style
Offering no fewer than five inviting venues stretching from bow to swim platform, the new Cruisers Yachts 60 Cantius is clearly a yacht intended for entertaining in grand style. The open air bar with sliding glass window provides access to the galley. On the foredeck, an integral cooler and a Mediterranean-type awning plus plenty of upholstered seating makes a popular spot for sundowning when the yacht is at anchor.
Grady-White Freedom 275:
Seaworthy Fishing Platform w/ Family Features
The rough-water capability of the dual console Grady-White Freedom 275 allows her to be used as a family runabout/utility boat when not in fishing mode. The cockpit comes standard with an electro-mechanically extendable aft facing lounge seat that mates with the transom seat back aft. Stereo remote controls are under the port gunwale, and a portable cocktail table fits bow or stern. A wet bar includes a Corian countertop, drink holders, sink, storage drawers and a trash compartment.
Sea Kindly 50 w/ Salon in the Sky
The master suite of the Maritimo M50 includes a couch all the way to starboard along with a dresser and a washer/dryer concealed behind the cabinetry, while an optional 40’’ LED television fills the aft side of the vanity counter.
With the roomy, fully-enclosed and air-conditioned flybridge, the "salon in the sky" is a major feature of the Maritimo M50. The master sits amidships, taking full advantage of the yacht's 17'1" (5.20 m) beam. It has a dressing area/work station and head, making very effective use of the space and resulting in an exceptionally large owner's suite for a 50-footer. The enclosed flying bridge is what we call a “sky lounge” and provides an extra four-season living space. She is built for rugged offshore work.
A Speedy Tournament Basser
In tournament bass fishing, a big part of the game is the ability to reach distant fishing spots fast, put the fish in the well, and then get back to weigh in ahead of the cutoff. With 71.2 mph speed when powered with a 250-hp Mercury OptiMax Pro XS, the Nitro Z20 has what it takes for this game. The 16-degree bottom is designed for quick planing with high-pitched props, sometimes a problem in performance bass boats. The interior features all the necessities for tournament fishing, including dual aerated livewells, a bow-mounted trolling motor, locking rod boxes and a Lowrance Mark-5x sonar -- big screen sonar/GPS packages are available factory-installed.
Ocean Alexander 100 Motoryacht:
Al Fresco Entertaining in Grand Style
The elegant Ocean Alexander 100 Motoryacht is designed and built for serious long range cruising to most any place on earth, but she also shines for lavish entertaining in port. The flying bridge features a dining table with seating for eight, a full bar, and space for an optional Jacuzzi as well as tender storage. The aft cockpit has some 350 sq. ft. (33 sq. m) of space, a table for nine, a bar and a sideboard for ease of serving. Most unique is the circular bow seating area, with two C-shaped lounges surrounding an electrically-actuated table that quickly converts the entire area to a sun lounge.
Glastron GTS 187:
Value-Priced 19'6" Jetboat
The Glastron GTS 187, powered by a 250-hp supercharged Rotax jet system for our tests, delivered rocket-like acceleration, jumping on plane in under 2 seconds and continuing to accelerate right on through 30 mph in 6.3 seconds. Our test captain reports PWC-type handling with just one-quarter turn lock-to-lock steering, encouraging exciting spin-outs and near-instant changes of direction.
Monte Carlo Yachts 76:
The Persistence of Memory
Like the 1931 world-famous Salvador Dali painting of clocks draped over tree limbs called “The Persistence of Memory”, once you have seen it you’ll never forget it. We feel the same way about the arresting Monte Carlo Yachts' styling which is executed on all of its models.
Because she is such a masterpiece of motoryacht design we never seem to grow tired of looking at the MCY 76. By now her unusual yet graceful lines have become fixed in the minds of most of her potential constituency. Those unable to remember the MCY 76's lines are either not in the market or haven't been paying attention. For those who can’t remember what she looks like below…
Refresh the Memory...
Cruisers Sport Series 298 BR:
Big Water Bowrider
The Cruisers Sport Series 298 Bow Rider is a luxury-level sportboat with an exceptionally comfortable ride at speed in a chop. Our test captain reported that she cut through wakes and waves with hardly a bump. And despite her considerable displacement, she was quick to respond to the helm. She is built to the same high standards of the brand's mothership -- Cruisers Yachts.
World Cat 320DC:
Catamaran Dual Console
Equipped to Overnight
Our internal tracking of consumer interest shows a steep trend of organic interest in World Cats, greater than some household names in the center console class. This means to us that the catamaran design concept is gaining serious traction among a wide range of American boaters -- both for fishing and cruising. The twin hulls of the World Cat 320DC deliver a maximum beam of 10'6" (3.20 m), providing a big boost in deck space over every monohull center console in this size range. The fine entry of these hulls also delivers exceptional comfort in a chop, yet the boat draws only 16'' (.41 m) with lower units up.
Four Winns H290:
Stylish Bowrider with Cabin
The Four Winns H290 with twin 300-hp Volvo Penta V8-300 CEs reached 51.9 mph in our test runs, burning 44 gph while getting 1.2 mpg. Best cruise was 28.4 mph, at which she delivered 1.8 mpg, for a cruising range of 194 miles, allowing a 10% reserve. Hull side windows are a styling touch that also lets light into the compact but there is a useful sleeping area to port, and the head is to starboard.
Jeanneau Yachts 54:
World-Class Cruising Sailboat
The Jeanneau Yachts 54 is the newest member of its sailing yacht family, sharing many of the design attributes and features of her big sisters, the 57 and 64 and incorporating a number of new innovations. The 54 is focused around family life spent on deck and in the water, as it should be on a luxury performance cruiser of this caliber. The 54 also carries her maximum beam (16’1”/4.92 m) nearly all the way to the transom, creating a generously-sized cockpit, over a third of the boat’s length, ideal for socializing, on-water activities, and all to enjoy under sail. She has been well-designed for her role as a cruiser with a rig that is set up for easy handling shorthanded.
Hatteras 100 Raised Pilothouse:
World-Class Styling and Build
The new Hatteras 100 Raised Pilothouse motoryacht heralds this venerable company’s return to the market with all Kalenberg trumpets blasting. She has a sleek, new style and a sure-footed aggressiveness that announces that now – with her new owner – Hatteras is very much back in business. She is just one of three new Hatteras yachts being introduced this winter, the others are a 45 Express and a 70’ (21 m). Make no mistake about it, this is a motoryacht designed and built for people who want to own a true sea-going vessel, not just a floating party platform good for little more than going from marina to marina along the ICW. She is designed to do it all, as her 275,000 lb. (124,738 kg) displacement, her 4,660-gallon (17,640 L) fuel capacity, and her twin Cat C32A 1900-hp diesels makes clear in no uncertain terms.
Formula 290 Bowrider:
Bowrider Sportboat w/ Swagger
The Formula 290 Bowrider is an upscale bowrider/sportboat with the company's signature level of fit-and-finish -- to say nothing of sizzle. Wood-grain vinyl adds eye appeal to the oversized swim platform, as well as being easy on feet. The innovative stern platform/reboarding ladder is a broad, three-part fold-down that makes it far easier to get back aboard than a standard ladder, as well as providing a place to relax in the water.
Overnight Accommodations for 2
We tested the new Tiara Q44 with twin 435-hp Volvo Penta IPS600 diesel pod drives turning T3 propsets through 1.82:1 gear ratios. She hit a top speed of 37 mph at 3600 rpms. Most efficient cruise was at 3100 rpms and 28.7 mph, where she burned 31.55 gph for a range of 296 miles with a 10% reserve.
Where in the World?
Picture of the Week
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
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...
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.