Ocean Alexander 70E // Wellcraft 260 // Riviera 445 // 21 Reports - 03/22/2017
BoatTEST Newsletter March 22, 2017 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
- Yamaha GP1800
- Evinrude 10-Year Coverage
- Chaparral 287 SSX
- Grady-White Canyon 306
- Prestige 460
- Sea Ray Sundancer 460
- Ocean Alexander 70
- Formula 34 PC
- Bavaria Virtess 420 Fly
- Wellcraft 262
- 18'-20' Center Consoles
- Cruisers Yachts 54 Cantius
- Sea Ray 280 SLX
- Monte Carlo Yachts 105
- Scarab Open 195 Fish
- Ranger Z520C
- Riviera 445 SUV
- Rotax iNR
- Galeon 500 Fly
- World Cat 230CC
- Boat Launching Made Easy
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD

Yamaha GP1800:
High-Performance Lightweight PWC

Yamaha GP1800
The aft section of the two-piece, racing-style seat on the Yamaha GP1800 can be removed easily for access to the dry-storage beneath.

Powered with Yamaha's 1.8 liter supercharged and intercooled high-output jet, the Yamaha GP1800 is a high-performance PWC with a weight of just 769 lbs. (348 kg), thanks to a hull made with Yamaha’s exclusive NanoXcel2 sheet-molded technology. She features the RiDE system for rapid stops and easy reverse control, a big plus around the docks, and the comfortable seating is large enough for three riders. More...

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10-Year Coverage on All
Evinrude E-TEC Engines

Evinrude 10-Year Coverage
From now until March 31, 2017, Evinrude is offering a promotional “boat show season” extended coverage the likes of which we have never before seen.

Recently, Evinrude announced the most remarkable outboard engine coverage we have ever seen: 10 years on all Evinrude E-TEC engines from the 15 H.O. to the 300. There is nothing more important on any boat than the engine. Should any problems arise with the engine, not having to worry about the financial consequences takes a tremendous burden off of any boat owner. It also speaks to Evinrude’s faith in the reliability of its engines. The company has quite literally put its money where its mouth is. Talk is cheap, extended coverage is not, and as the company points out in its ads for this promotion, if purchased, extending coverage an additional 7 years on top of the standard 3 year warranty would have a retail cost of up to $7,500, depending on the size of the engine. This is a special “boat show season” promotion and will end on March 31, 2017. More...

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New Teaser Video

Chaparral 287 SSX:
New Sportboat w/ Roomy, Upscale Interior

Chaparral 287 SSX
With sterndrive power to 430-hp, the 6,200-lb. (2,812 kg) Chaparral 287 SSX offers sporty performance to go with its sporty styling.

Standard features on the stylish new Chaparral 287 SSX include dual Garmin 741xs GPS Map/Sonar inset into a glass dash, LED pushbutton switches, double-stitched upholstered consoles, head with vanity sink, folding Bimini, and more. An electric folding arch for wakesports is among several upscale options. A dual battery setup with crossover switch ensures plenty of power not only for starting, but also for powering the sound system for many hours. More...

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Test Video

Grady-White Canyon 306:
Top-Shelf Blue Water Center Console

Grady-White Canyon 306
With a 10'7" (3.23 m) beam and a running weight of over 9,000 lbs. (4,082 kg), the Grady-White Canyon 306 provides the riding comfort of a small sportfisher along with the fishability of a center console, according to our test captain.

The Grady-White Canyon 306 is a large center console designed for long-range blue water fishing trips in any fishable weather. The standard fiberglass T-top has an extended windshield, radio box, dome light, fore and aft spreader lights, radar flat, and outrigger plates. The newly redesigned console features a large flush mount electronic area with enough room to easily accommodate two 16” monitors. She includes a standup wet head with sink and electric toilet. More...

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Captain's Report

Prestige Yachts 460:
Exterior Style, Interior Luxury & Space

Prestige 460
The Prestige Yachts 460 shows the characteristic traits that have come to define the brand, including the black vinyl work separating the forward hull side window from the master, giving the illusion of one long continuous window and becoming a style line for the exterior.

The Prestige Yachts 460 has a standard two stateroom, two head layout, with a crew-size single optional near the transom -- this area is roomy enough for lazarette storage if the option is not chosen. The oversized swim platform is available with a hydraulic lift system as well as an outdoor grill, which will turn this area into one of the focal points of the yacht. More...

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New Features Video

Sea Ray Sundancer 460:
For Comfortable Two-Couple Cruising

Sea Ray Sundancer 460
The Sea Ray Sundancer 460 has a tinted sliding glass door with a flush threshold to avoid toe-stubbing, with accordions to open the cockpit to the salon completely.

With two private staterooms below, each with large heads and separate shower stalls, the Sea Ray Sundancer 460 is directed at gracious -- and private -- two-couple cruising. She comes fully-equipped with generator, AC/heat, power windlass, electric sunroof, radar and lots more. The Digital Throttle & Shift system comes standard, and the joystick control system is an option with shaft power -- both ideal for navigational precision, particularly when docking. More...

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Test Video

Ocean Alexander 70 Evolution:
Owner-Operator Design w/ Pod-Drive Handling

Ocean Alexander 70 Evolution
The spacious foredeck of the Ocean Alexander 70 Evolution features two settees around a cocktail table, with the forward unit converting to a large sun lounge.

The Ocean Alexander 70 Evolution has four staterooms plus an optional crew berth in the stern, making her suitable for owner-operator or crewed use. A 70’ (21 m) yacht, particularly one with a joystick, can be competently managed by nearly any experienced boater with a little practice. That is why this size is so popular. By fitting in four staterooms plus providing entertaining venues on the bow, flying bridge and aft deck, she has virtually all of the basic amenities that are found on far larger and more costly motoryachts. More...

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Updated Test Video

Formula 34 Performance Cruiser:
New Swim Platform for Added Utility

Formula 34 Performance Cruiser
The new swim platform extension and optional portable grill add cookouts to the many uses of the cockpit area on the Formula 34 PC.

The Formula 34 Performance Cruiser is a premium-quality performance cruiser designed to deliver comfortable weekend cruising as well as the speed and handling of a sportboat. She comes loaded with standard equipment, including an electric windlass, remote control search light, radar arch, Bennett tabs, fire suppression system and an 18,000 BTU cool/heating system. New for 2017 is the swim platform extension and a reversible back on the aft cockpit seat, among other touches. More...

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Test Video

Bavaria Virtess 420 Fly:
German Engineering at Affordable Pricing

Bavaria Virtess 420 Fly
The Bavaria Virtess 420 Fly is an unusually deep boat for her LOA, not only improving her offshore capabilities but also making more headroom available below decks.

The American edition of the Bavaria Virtess 420 Fly includes a bow thruster, windlass, TVs in the salon and staterooms, air-conditioning throughout and a generator system, all as standard equipage. She sleeps six in three staterooms, including a forward en suite owner’s cabin. Each stateroom has hull side windows with opening portlights. More...

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Test Video

Wellcraft 262 Scarab Offshore:
Capable Offshore Fisherman w/ 56.8 MPH WOT

Wellcraft 262 Scarab Offshore
With twin 250-hp outboard power and lots of freeboard, the Wellcraft 262 Scarab Offshore lives up to her name -- she's ready to go bluewater fishing.

Anglers will never run out of bait aboard the Wellcraft 262 Scarab Offshore; she's got two aerated wells in the corners of the cockpit, a third in the leaning post/rigging station. There are rod holders everywhere, large fishboxes and lots of space to swing a rod. She's also family-friendly, with exceptional cockpit depth, a hardtop providing shade, a full set of cushions for bow seating and removable chaise-type seat backs. More...

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We Compare 18'-20' Center Consoles:
Six Entry-Level Center Consoles Compared

Mako 204 CC running
Mako 204 CC
Wellcraft 180 Fisherman running
Wellcraft 180 Fisherman
Boston Whaler 190 Montauk running
Boston Whaler 190 Montauk
Grady-White Fisherman 180 running
Grady-White Fisherman 180
Sea Fox 206 Commander running
Sea Fox 206 Commander
Robalo R200 running
Robalo R200

This week we've rounded-up six entry-level center consoles, at 18’ to 20’, sized just right for family adventures or near-shore fishing trips. Each one is trailerable, so when home waters get stale...Like most boats that are about the same size the differences are in the details which are not obvious on a spec sheet. Let’s take a look and compare. More...

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Test Video

Cruisers Yachts 54 Cantius:
Bold, Modernistic Style Plus Joystick Handling

Cruisers Yachts 54 Cantius
With her large arching pilothouse windows, the 54 Cantius is a smaller version of the 60 Cantius.

Below decks, the Cruisers Yachts 54 Cantius has three staterooms separated by a lower level lounge area that makes the boat more accommodating (and private) for two couples or more during a weekend getaway. A sliding window makes the topside, aft galley counter into a cocktail bar accessible from stools in the cockpit, and an open-air grill welcomes cookouts. During our tests her top speed was 37.1 knots; best cruise was 25.3 knots for a range of 285 nautical miles with a 10% fuel reserve. More...

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Test Video

Sea Ray 280 SLX:
Upscale Runabout w/ Seats for 15

Sea Ray 280 SLX
With a choice of MerCruiser V-8 engines to 430-hp paired with a Bravo 3 drive, the Sea Ray 280 SLX has plenty of power for cruising and plenty of torque for towsports.

With luxurious seating for up to 15, the Sea Ray 280 SLX has lots of room to party. Upscale options include a hydraulically-actuated swim platform, an articulating Bimini/watersports tower and the Dynamic Display "glass cockpit" on the dash, among many others. Wrapped grab-rails are standard, as is plush, diamond-stitched and embroidered upholstery. The aft seat is convertible to a large sunlounge. More...

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Accommodations Video

Monte Carlo Yachts 105:
Distinctive Style w/ a Main-Deck Master

Monte Carlo Yachts 105
The large skylight made possible by putting the master on the main deck adds dramatic lighting to the luxurious sleeping and lounging areas of the Monte Carlo Yachts 105.

Advanced construction techniques and materials make the Monte Carlo Yachts 105 some 15% lighter than yachts of similar size, according to the builder, allowing greater range and reduced fuel use. The open monocoque construction also allows for a wide variety of interior layouts, since structural bulkheads are not an issue. The dramatic exterior styling is the product of Nuvolari & Lenard Design. More...

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Test Video

Scarab Open 195 Fish:
Jet-Powered CC Rigged for Fishing

Scarab Open 195 Fish
The innovative stern gate on the Scarab Open 195 Fish folds down to form a swim platform or casting area when needed.

Powered with a single Rotax 250-hp supercharged jet, the Scarab Open 195 Fish reached a top speed of 41.9 mph in our tests. She can run in just 12'' (30 cm) of water thanks to the jet system, and she has the usual PWC/sportboat agility found in jet drives. There's a console changing room with space for an optional Porta-Potti. A baitwell, fishbox, and rod holders, among other things, are included. More...

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Test Video

Ranger Z520C:
71.7 MPH WOT w/ Evinrude E-TEC G2 250 H.O.

Ranger Z520C
The Ranger Z520C, powered with the Evinrude E-TEC G2 250 H.O., delivers impressive speed for tournament level competition, as well as lots of fishing space both forward and aft.

With the Evinrude E-TEC G2 250 H.O. on the transom turning a Raker HO 14½“ x 26” prop, the Ranger Z520C planed in 3.8 seconds and reached 71.7 mph at 5700 rpm wide open throttle. Ranger’s patented Power Ventilated Rod Storage System (PVRS) uses a blower to circulate air throughout the bow storage lockers to keep tackle and equipment dry. She comes equipped with a 24-volt Minn Kota trolling motor plus two Lowrance HDS7 fishfinders/chartplotters at the bow and console. More...

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Test Video

Riviera 445 SUV:
Multi-Mission Yacht Sleeps Up to 7 Guests

Riviera 445 SUV
With two en suite staterooms, one of which has three berths, plus a convertible dinette option in the salon, the Riviera 445 SUV sleeps five to seven persons.

The Riviera 445 SUV is a sport utility vessel that can be used for fishing, cruising, entertaining, scuba diving, and a variety of day-boating activities. With a sharp forefoot and a strong flair at the bow, she's well designed for offshore travel, and her 528-gallon (1,998 L) fuel capacity gives her plenty of range for most passages. A CZone Mastervolt touchscreen system allows owners to control multiple systems for entertainment, lighting, and climate control. More...

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Test Video

Rotax iNR:
Positive Neutral Control of Jet Systems

Rotax iNR
BRP’s Intelligent Neutral and Reverse (iNR) uses electronic actuators (shown in the picture to the right) instead of mechanical cables and linkage to run the steering nozzle and reverse bucket.

The Rotax iNR Control system brings digital control to Rotax water-jet power. The control offers the ability to adjust the jet pump’s neutral position from the helm, keeping the boat from wandering as most jets do at idle and making docking easier. The system also delivers rapid, predictable deceleration when shifting into reverse while the boat is underway. These systems, which were inspired by the iBR system on BRP’s Sea-Doo PWCs, are available on Chaparral, Scarab, and Glastron jet-powered boats. More...

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Captain’s Report

Galeon 500 Fly:
A Creative Entertaining Platform

Galeon 500 Fly
The Galeon 500 Fly is made to order for entertaining and sun-worshipers. Note the unusual seating on bow dunnage boxes.

The Galeon 500 Fly includes many clever engineering touches, including unusual fold-down and out bulwarks, creating an additional deck/entertaining area of nearly 90 sq. ft. adjacent the cockpit. With the starboard bulwark deployed, the salon couch can be reversed to face the water through sliding doors, while on the port side the galley counter converts to an open air bar, complete with removable stools. The quality of her build and finish work is first rate. More...

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Test Video

World Cat 230CC:
Shallow Draft for the Flats, Freeboard for Offshore

World Cat 230CC
The World Cat 230CC has the shallow draft of a flats boat, but the freeboard of a coastal center console ready to head out the inlet.

The World Cat 230CC has the 9" (23 cm) draft of a flats boat, the roominess of a center console, the legs for long distance, and the rough water comfort and safety of a deep-V, according to our test captain. She's set up to perform well on twin 115s, giving the get-home redundancy of two outboards, and she planed in just 2.6 seconds in our tests. Top speed was 44.7 mph. More...

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New Consumer Article

Boat Launching Made Easy

Boat Launching Made Easy
Having one person in the boat and another in the tow vehicle makes launching easier.

Backing a boat down a ramp and launching can seem a daunting task to those new to trailer boating, but a few simple tips and a bit of practice make the task very manageable. Whether you launch and load on your own or with help from several friends or family members, these suggestions will make things easier. More...

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Picture of the Week

Picture of the Week
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4-DVD Boating Course

Smart Boating
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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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