What to Look for in a Center Console // Chaparral 21 OB // 16 Reports - 05/17/2017
BoatTEST Newsletter May 17, 2017 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
- Sea Ray SLX-W 230
- Boston Whaler 380 Outrage
- Vicem 46 IPS
- Intrepid 407 Cuddy
- Chaparral 21 H2O Sport OB
- 4 Dual Consoles
- World Cat 280CC-X
- Grady-White 370 Express
- Beneteau Oceanis 38.1
- Nitro ZV21
- Regal 2300 RX Surf
- Hatteras 70 Motoryacht
- Sun Tracker Party Barge 20
- Sterling Associates
- Cruisers Sport Series 298
- 12 Important Features in a Center Console
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD

Sea Ray SLX-W 230:
Family-Friendly Wake Surf Inboard

Sea Ray SLX-W 230
The Sea Ray SLX-W 230 is a luxury inboard runabout designed to be equally effective as a towsports boat and family bowrider.

The Sea Ray SLX-W 230 is a luxurious family bowrider that can become a towsports machine with the push of a button on the dash-mounted touchscreen. She comes standard with three ballast tanks and the Dynamic Running Surface with Wake-Shaping tabs that turn the boat into a serious towing platform. An unusual option on a boat this size is the Mercury JPI system, combining the main propeller with an electric bow and stern thruster for precision handling not only around the dock but for retrieving those in the water. More...

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New Test Video

Boston Whaler 380 Outrage:
Rough Water Performance & 50 MPH WOT

Boston Whaler 380 Outrage
The Boston Whaler 380 Outrage proved herself an exceptional rough water performer in our tests, and also delivered a 50 mph WOT -- but not at the same time! This picture is from our test video.

The new Boston Whaler 380 Outrage has a narrow entry giving clean penetration in sloppy seas, and her 23-degree deadrise makes for a soft re-entry, with water being thrown wide and low. The SeaKeeper gyrostabilizer is an unusual option on a boat of this size, adding stability at rest and at trolling speeds. She also has an exceptionally broad 11'8" (3.56 m) beam, adding to fishing space and giving room below decks for a sleeping cabin for two. A bow thruster is standard, easing control at the docks. More...

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New Captain's Report

Vicem 46 IPS:
Downeast Design; All Wood Interiors

Vicem 46 IPS
The Vicem 46, powered with twin 435-hp IPS drives, had a maximum speed in the mid 20-knot range in our tests and a cruise of about 20 knots, with a range of around 366NM.

The Vicem 46 has the classic look of a Downeast design, with traditional lines and graceful tumblehome. Wide plank teak is used on all exterior decking. Interior decking is mahogany and patterned inlay holly. Steam-bent mahogany continues the flawless woodworking even on the salon overheads. The inlaid cabinetry below decks is equally striking for those who want the elegance of a boat with an all-wood interior. More...

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Test Video

Intrepid 407 Cuddy:
High Performance Fishing Machine

Intrepid 407 Cuddy
Triple 400s on the Intrepid 407 Cuddy delivered 58 mph at WOT, but she can go even faster with the maximum 1200 horsepower on the 11'1" (3.37 m) transom.

The Intrepid 407 Cuddy powered with triple 400 Mercury Racing outboards ran 58.0 mph in our tests, making her a good choice for tournament anglers who need to get far offshore fast. Below deck, a mid-cabin double berth, convertible settee, and standup head and shower make her a capable weekender, and lots of comfortable seating forward of the console allow her to function as an entertainment platform -- or an island hopper. And -- no one builds a boat quite as well as Intrepid. More...

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Test Video

Chaparral 21 H2O Sport OB:
Bold Style Plus Outboard Performance

Chaparral 21 H2O Sport OB
Thanks to her outboard design, the Chaparral 21 H2O Sport OB has extra storage space aft, as well as delivering excellent performance compared to sterndrive models similarly powered.

The Chaparral 21 H2O Sport OB is a boldly-styled runabout sold with base outboard power and tandem-axle powder-coated trailer for $31,395. The transom sun pad is a versatile design that can flatten out for laying in the sun or prop up on either side for a backrest, and can lift completely to reveal both storage and the transom walkthrough. She delivered sporty performance in our test ride with a 3-second time to plane and a top speed of 48.4 mph. More...

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We Compare 4 Dual Consoles

Grady-White Freedom 335
Grady-White Freedom 335
Sailfish 325DC
Sailfish 325DC
Boston Whaler 320 Vantage
Boston Whaler 320 Vantage
World Cat 320 DC
World Cat 320 DC

This week's comparison is of four dual-console boats between 32' and 34'. Dual consoles combine the crew comforts of a bowrider with most of the functionality of a center console, but with a lot more comfort for the crew. They also, generally, have more storage space. These boats have two consoles, but are multi-functional: Dual consoles can be set up as family day-cruisers, watersports platforms, or as fishing boats with enough gear to satisfy all but the hardest-core angler. Different builders target their dual consoles to different users, so finding the exact boat to meet one's needs takes research and maybe a few visits to boat dealers. More...

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New Features Video

World Cat 280CC-X:
High-Tech Cat w/ Comfortable Interior

World Cat 280CC-X
Plush diamond-stitched upholstery and lots of interior depth make the World Cat 280 CC-X an especially family-friendly center console.

Cats are generally the most stable boats on the water. With twin hulls, a 9'2" (2.79 m) beam and exceptional freeboard forward, the World Cat 280 CC-X is clearly ready for long offshore runs in any fishable weather. Her sheerline and tumblehome present a sleeker look than most cat designs, and the broad bow gives far more deck and seating space than conventional monohulls. Her moderate 7,300 pound (3,311 kg) weight allows her to run well on twin 200s, keeping fuel use to a minimum for the genre. More...

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Test Video

Grady-White Express 370:
Blue Water Battlewagon

Grady-White Express 370
The Grady-White Express 370 has lots of cockpit space for relaxing and enjoying the ride, as well as being well set-up for offshore trolling.

The Grady-White Express 370 comes well equipped for cruising, with two berths, full galley, head with walk-in shower, dining space, cockpit grill, air conditioning, and an optional enclosed three-sided pilothouse. Like all Grady-White's, she's also ready for serious angling, with lots of rod holders, large refrigerated fishbox on the transom and a rigging station and livewell behind the console seating. Powered with triple 300-hp Yamahas for our tests, she topped out at 48.3 mph. More...

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Captain’s Report

Beneteau Oceanis 38.1:
Sailing Performance w/ 2 to 3-Stateroom Layout

Beneteau Oceanis 38.1
The Beneteau Oceanis 38.1 is well-rigged for short-handed sailing, but she has lots of room for guests both in the aft cockpit and below decks.

The modern lines of the Beneteau Oceanis 38.1 produce good performance under sail. Twin rudders and steering wheels maintain precise control. Her wide beam is carried well aft, provides speed off the wind, and a large, comfortable cockpit suitable for entertaining at anchor. She's available in two- or three-stateroom layouts. More...

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Test Video

Multi-Species Fishing Machine w/ 60 mph WOT

Nitro ZV21
The fiberglass NITRO® ZV21 comes fully equipped for a variety of fishing adventures anywhere from big, open lakes to large coastal bays, and she's notably faster than most similar designs built of aluminum.

The NITRO® ZV21 is designated a multi-species boat, which means she's capable of taking on big northern lakes for walleye and pike, but can also double as a southern fishing platform for bass or panfish. The fiberglass hull delivered 60-mph speeds with the Mercury 300 Verado, and the high freeboard and large windshields should keep anglers dry even on rough, windy days. More...

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Test Video

Regal 2300 RX Surf:
Primed for Wake Surfing

Regal 2300 RX Surf
Sporty graphics, the standard PowerTower and a sun shade add style elements to the Regal 2300 RX Surf, a dedicated tow-sports platform.

The Regal 2300 RX Surf is a fully-equipped tow-sports platform, complete with 1,500 pound (680 kg) ballast tanks, PowerTower high tow point, Surf Trim tab system and Volvo Penta Forward Drive outdrive. The FasTrac hull, with a mid-beam step to provide under-hull ventilation, is said to boost speed and/or fuel economy with a given power system. Twin 3-position "UltraLounges" face aft. More...

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Test Video

Hatteras 70 Motor Yacht:
Euro Style in a True Passage-Maker

Hatteras 70 Motor Yacht
Sophisticated Mediterranean-influenced lines and true offshore passage-making capabilities make the new Hatteras 70 Motor Yacht a luxury vessel for European competitors to reckon with.

The Hatteras 70 Motor Yacht has a LOA of 74’ 6” (22.71 m) and a 21' (6.40 m) beam, which is exceptionally broad for the class, adding lots of usable space both above and below deck as well as increasing beam stability in a seaway. She also has a 5'3" (1.60 m) draft, shallower than many in this LOA, adding confidence in cruising the ICW as well as allowing home dockage in shallower venues. She can be powered by twin 1800-hp 12V 2000 MTUs. More...

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Captain's Report

Entry-Level Pontoon Boat

Sun Tracker Party Barge 20 DLX
With a length of 21’ 11” (6.68 m), the SUN TRACKER® PARTY BARGE® 20 DLX is easy to handle and easy to trailer. Power options to 90-hp are available.

The SUN TRACKER® PARTY BARGE® 20 DLX is an entry-level pontoon boat, but she has quality touches that most buyers will like, including pillow-top, multi-layer foam furniture finished with UV resistant, marine-grade 26-ounce vinyl, 28-ounce marine grade carpet, Bimini top and a swiveling captain's chair with folding armrests. The full-width aft swim platform is useful for watersports and also allows easy access to the outboard. Standard power is a Mercury ELPT four stroke Command Thrust. More...

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Finance Captain's Report

Sterling Associates:
Boat Buying Made Easy

Sterling Associates Marine Finance Specialists
Sterling Associates specializes in boat financing for new and used boats, refinances for boat loans, Coast Guard Documentation and boat insurance.

Since 1991, Sterling Associates has provided financing, insurance, and documentation services for those in the process of purchasing a boat. The company handles transactions from $25,000 and up for both new and used boats. The average size transaction is around $200,000 with a median somewhere between $500,000 and $600,000, according to the company. When buying a boat, consumers should always check the rates offered by Sterling. More...

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Test Video

Cruisers Sport Series 298 Bow Rider:
A Total Watersports Boat w/ Room

Cruisers Sport Series 298 Bow Rider
The faux teak material on the stern platform of the Cruisers Sport Series 298 Bow Rider provides the classic look of a teak swim platform without the maintenance of real teak. The material is made from soft yet durable closed cell material.

This boat is big and has one of the largest watersports launching platforms in class. The Cruisers Sport Series 298 Bow Rider is a big-water sportboat with plenty of freeboard and flair to keep her dry in bumpy upwind runs. She has a 21-degree deadrise to ease the ride, and her 8'6" (2.59 m) beam provides lots of lounging and seating space. A Bimini and cockpit cover are standard, a camper back optional. More...

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New Consumer Report

12 Important Features in a Center Console

12 Important Features in a Center Console
Our photographer caught this picture of a Robalo R242 during our test of her off the Florida coast. Our test captain kept the throttles forward because the ride was comfortable and he felt safe and the boat was under control.

These days the most popular monohulls boats are center consoles and they are being used more and more not just for fishing, but for family outings, entertaining, and even towing sports. While every angler knows what equipment is needed and families know the amenities they want to be satisfied in a boat, we often lose sight of the basics. In our report this week, we outline 12 important features that every center console should have. It is a “must read” for people in the market for a center console, new or used. More...

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Picture of the Week

Picture of the Week
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