Riviera 57 EFB // Tahoe 1950 // Galeon 420 Fly // 19 Reports - 05/24/2017
BoatTEST Newsletter May 24, 2017 Click here if you cannot view the newsletter.
Boattest.com: Tests You Can Trust
- Boston Whaler Passion
- Mercury JPI System
- Prestige 630
- Aquila 36
- Galeon 420 Fly
- Formula 40
- TAHOE 1950
- Sea Ray L550 Fly
- Ocean Alexander 70
- 19'-22' Bay/Flats Boats
- Sailfish 270
- Riviera 57 Flybridge
- Tracker Pro Team 175 TXW
- Monte Carlo Yachts 105
- Bavaria Virtess 420 Coupe
- Yamaha FX Limited SVHO
- Beneteau Monte Carlo 5
- Bluewater 2550
- Repower a Sterndrive
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course On DVD

Why Boston Whaler Boats Have Excellent Fit-and-Finish

Boston Whaler Passion
A view of the production facility of Boston Whaler in Edgewater, Fl. where over 2,000 boats a year are built. Look closely at the shop floor -- you could eat off of it.

Boston Whaler is the largest selling brand of center consoles/dual consoles over 20’ (6.1 m) by a significant margin. We have identified several reasons, and one of them is the undeniable quality of their fit-and-finish. But how do they accomplish their excellent build? More...

cross ruler

New Product Video

Mercury JPI System:
Joystick Docking for Inboard Tow Boats

Mercury JPI System
With about 5” (12.7 cm) of clearance at the bow and stern, our test captain demonstrates the precision with which the new Mercury JPI system can maneuver the new Sea Ray SLX 230-W inboard tow boat. Note the bow thruster in action that makes this possible.

With one well-planned launch, Sea Ray has entered the wake surfing market with an inboard boat that solves the biggest complaint that owners have about inboard tow boats: docking them. With the new Mercury JPI joystick installed, stress related to docking is a thing of the past. Now, every owner of one of these boats can make docking look easy -- because it is easy! The joystick controls the single MerCruiser 6.2 L 370-hp V-Drive engine and both a bow and stern thruster. More...

cross ruler

New Captain’s Report

Prestige 630:
3 En Suite Staterooms + Crew Quarters

Prestige 630
The Prestige 630 is remarkably roomy below, and we think she makes an excellent owner/operator yacht.

The Prestige 630 has a beam spanning 16'10" (5.13 m). She features a full-beam master, plus two en suite guest cabins. A two-bunk cabin, also with head, is located just ahead of the transom; it can function as a hideaway for the kids if not used as a crew cabin. Large sunpads both on the bow and the flying bridge welcome sun-worshippers, while the overhang on the aft cockpit provides shade for those who prefer it. More...

Schedule A Test Drive Dealer Contact Request Pricing Request
cross ruler

New Test Video

Aquila 36:
Twin Cabin Cat w/ Outboard Power

Aquila 36
The Aquila 36 is designed for twin Mercury Verado outboard power, and she's rated to handle up to twin 350s, which the company says will produce speeds of about 42 mph.

The Aquila 36 is a combination of a twin-cabin cruiser with a large bowrider, taking advantage of catamaran hulls and a broad 14'7" (4.45 m) beam to provide lounging and seating space for up to 20 guests. Each cabin offers a twin bed forward and an ensuite head. Power cats are generally the most stable vessels in their size range. More...

Schedule A Test Drive Dealer Contact Request Pricing Request
cross ruler

Captain’s Report

Galeon 420 Fly:
Creative Spaces for Entertaining & Cruising

Galeon 420 Fly
With twin 435-hp shaft-drive diesel engines, the Galeon 420 Fly has a top speed of about 30 knots, according to the company, and a best cruise at 19.1 knots for a range of 208 NM.

The Galeon 420 Fly has creative seating arrangements that let the indoors flow outdoors. The aft end of the U-shaped salon couch swings out across the sliding door entry onto the cockpit deck, joining up with the cockpit seating, while the transom seat slides fore and aft on tracks. The flying bridge features a large sun pad, an entertainment center and a retractable Bimini for shade as desired. More...

Schedule A Test Drive Dealer Contact Request Pricing Request
cross ruler

Updated Test Video

Formula 40 Performance Cruiser:
Performance Cruiser for Connoisseurs

Formula 40 Performance Cruiser
The updated cockpit of the Formula 40 Performance Cruiser includes U-shaped lounge seating with fiberglass-lined storage, two dual-height cockpit tables with Corian tops and inserts to turn the seating into a large sun pad.

Formula Boats is a family-owned business now in its third generation working on its shop floor and in its engineering department. Like virtually all successful family-owned businesses, it is dedicated to producing the best product possible in its market niche and protecting the brand's reputation. Formula Boats are built for very special consumers -- ones that know and appreciate a finely built yacht when they see one. For connoisseurs only...

Schedule A Test Drive Dealer Contact Request Pricing Request
cross ruler

Test Video

TAHOE 1950:
Roomy Deckboat w/ 49.6 MPH Speed

TAHOE 1950
With a weight of 3,135 lbs. (1,422 kg) including the motor, the TAHOE 1950 delivers excellent performance on moderate horsepower, topping out at 49.6 mph in our tests.

The TAHOE 1950 carries much of her 8'6" (2.59 m) beam all the way to the bow, adding seating space forward as well as increasing the size of the bow seating and swim deck. A color-keyed Bimini top with drop-down changing curtain is standard, as is a refreshment center with sink and storage. More...

Schedule A Test Drive Dealer Contact Request Pricing Request
cross ruler

Test Video

Sea Ray L550 Fly:
Turn-Key Yacht w/ High-End Features

The bow seating of the Sea Ray L550 Fly includes added entertainment space with a wraparound seating design. This unusual design is one of the most useful we have seen in class.

The Sea Ray L550 Fly is a premium-grade yacht loaded with high-end features including a power sunroof on the flying bridge, an advanced digital switching system, and a hydraulic swim platform complete with flush-mount folding teak stairs that rise automatically as it lowers into the water. She comes fully equipped, right down to glassware and china with the Sea Ray logo. More...

Schedule A Test Drive Dealer Contact Request Pricing Request
cross ruler

Test Video

Ocean Alexander 70 Evolution:
U.S.-Built for an Owner/Operator

Ocean Alexander 70 Evolution
The Ocean Alexander 70 Evolution has a range of over 550 NM at 10 knots, while her top speed was 26.7 knots in our tests.

The Ocean Alexander 70 Evolution is built in the United States and has been designed to be easily handled by an owner/operator. In addition to her four guest staterooms, she also includes captain's quarters for those who prefer a paid skipper or mate for washdown chores. She's loaded with standard features that are high-dollar extras on many in class, including a hydraulic swim platform, 20 kW generator and C-Zone monitoring system. More...

Schedule A Test Drive Dealer Contact Request Pricing Request
cross ruler


19'-22' Bay/Flats Boats:
Some are Much Better than Others

Wellcraft 221 Fisherman
Wellcraft 221 Fisherman
Robalo 206 Cayman
Robalo 206 Cayman
Mako 21 LTS
Mako 21 LTS
Grady-White 191 Coastal Explorer
Grady-White 191 Coastal Explorer

This spring, BoatTEST captains scrubbed two tests because they felt the boats were too dangerous to operate at high speed -- they were both bay/flats boats. We don’t publish reviews of boats we think are unsafe. Because these boats are relatively simple and easy to build, there are many garage builders pumping them out at low prices. Trouble is, these small-time builders largely are not building to ABYC standards, and in some cases, basic common-sense safety aspects are omitted.

This week, we are comparing four bay boats that do pass our test. And all of them are built by companies that have the infrastructure to design, engineer and build safe boats. For this week's comparison, we're looking at bay boats from 19' to 22' (5.79 m to 6.71 m) -- four easy-to-trailer, fish-oriented models designed for relatively sheltered coastal waters. More...

cross ruler

Test Video

Sailfish 270CC:
High-Tech Build in a Fuel-Friendly Fishboat

Sailfish 270CC
Powered with twin 150-hp Mercury Verados, the Sailfish 270CC got 2.72 mpg at 33.7 mph in our test runs, with a top speed of 46.9 mph -- impressive for the moderate power.

The Sailfish 270CC keeps weight down and strength up due to smart use of materials. She has carbon-fiber reinforced deck beams running athwartships to stiffen the deck and Kevlar reinforcement attaching stringers and hull sides. She comes fully-loaded for offshore fishing, including a 30-gallon livewell in the transom and numerous rod holders and racks, plus an optional 35-gallon livewell, bait prep sink and two tackle drawers behind the leaning post/helm seats. Note her high freeboard. More...

Schedule A Test Drive Dealer Contact Request Pricing Request
cross ruler

New Captain’s Report

Riviera 57 Enclosed Flybridge:
Sky Lounge Comfort Plus Angling Amenities

Riviera 57 Enclosed Flybridge
The enclosed flying bridge of the Riviera 57 Enclosed Flybridge adds all-weather comfort for the skipper, as well as creating an added "sky lounge" for entertaining and for enjoying the ride.

The Riviera 57 Enclosed Flybridge has a secondary control station just abaft the wheelhouse, a plus when backing into a slip as well as when she is being used for big game fishing offshore. Massive windows both on the bridge and in the main deck salon offer impressive views as well as making interior areas bright. Two C-Zone screens control all electrical systems on the yacht. More...

Schedule A Test Drive Dealer Contact Request Pricing Request
cross ruler

Test Video

TRACKER Pro Team 175 TXW:
Light, Tough & Ready to Fish

Tracker Pro Team 175 TXW
The hull of the TRACKER® Pro Team™ 175 TXW is finished with Diamond-Coat, a baked-on powder coat covered with clear coat for a gleaming, long-lasting appearance.

The TRACKER® Pro Team™ 175 TXW rides on an all-welded aluminum hull that's both lightweight and tough, allowing towing by mid-size vehicles and power by Mercury outboards up to 75 horsepower. With a 60-horsepower four-stroke, she ran 35.2 mph in our tests. She comes fully-loaded for angling, complete with trolling motor, sonar, rod lockers and lots more. More...

Schedule A Test Drive Dealer Contact Request Pricing Request
cross ruler

New Operational & Performance Video

Monte Carlo Yachts 105:
High-Tech, High-Quality w/o a Long Wait

Monte Carlo Yachts 105
The dramatic exterior styling of the Monte Carlo Yachts 105 hides a high-tech build incorporating lots of Kevlar, carbon fiber and aluminum.

Best of all for people in a hurry, the 105 has one of the fastest production times of any yacht this size. That is because her interior and her hull and superstructure are built at the same time. Most builders in class build the hull and then build the interior inside -- and it can take many months to complete. For people ready for their just rewards, why wait when you don't have to? More...

Schedule A Test Drive Dealer Contact Request Pricing Request
cross ruler

Features Video

Bavaria Virtess 420 Coupe:
3-Stateroom Cruiser w/ Welcome Extras

Bavaria Virtess 420 Coupe
The Bavaria Virtess 420 Coupe features large windows and a sliding sunroof to let lots of light into the salon area.

The Bavaria Virtess 420 Coupe is unusual in that it offers three staterooms and two heads in a 44'9" (13.64 m) yacht. She includes a number of top-end features as standard equipment, including an electric sunroof, bow thruster, diesel generator and chilled-water AC. Options include a hydraulic swim platform and unusual track-sliding cockpit furniture. More...

Schedule A Test Drive Dealer Contact Request Pricing Request
cross ruler

Features Video

Yamaha FX Limited SVHO:
Comfortable, Luxurious, Fast & Fun

Yamaha FX Limited SVHO
The sleek Yamaha FX Limited SVHO has three plush seating positions with backrests and grab-handles, plus plenty of power for towing, making her an ideal family PWC.

The Yamaha FX Limited SVHO's NanoXcel 2 hull shaves more than 70 lbs. (32 kg) off the total weight of the PWC compared to SMC (Sheet Molded Compound) fiberglass, improving performance as well as efficiency. The company's RiDE technology allows rapid braking, controllable reverse, full neutral for easy dockside maneuvering, and trim control, allowing running angle adjustment when hauling added riders. Cruise control and no-wake mode is also standard. More...

cross ruler

Test Video

Beneteau Monte Carlo 5:
Retro Style in a Modern Yacht

Beneteau Monte Carlo 5
Collaboration between Italian stylists and French naval architects gives the new Monte Carlo 5 her distinctive look and remarkable utility.

The Beneteau Monte Carlo 5 is a three-stateroom, two-head cruiser with flying bridge, powered by twin IPS600s. Her plumb bow, high freeboard and circular hull-side windows give her a classic retro look, but inside she's all high-tech modern yacht. Exceptional fit and finish combines with practical materials to create interior areas that are both handsome and functional, according to our test captain. More...

Schedule A Test Drive Dealer Contact Request Pricing Request
cross ruler

New Test Video

Bluewater 2550:
Fast & Fuel-Efficient
w/ 2 x 200-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2s

Bluewater 2550
The Bluewater 2550 has a 24-degree deadrise at the transom, and a sharp entry forward splits the waves, both helping to give the boat a smooth ride.

Powered by twin 200-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2 outboards, the Bluewater 2550 maxed out at 52 mph, while at a cruise of 26 mph she got 2.5 mpg for a range over 340 miles. The outboards are bracket-mounted, increasing usable space in the cockpit as well as improving running efficiency. She comes fully-equipped for offshore angling, with a 35-gallon livewell, insulated fishboxes, in-deck locking rod box and more. More...

cross ruler

New Consumer Report

How to Repower a Sterndrive

How to Repower a Sterndrive
We have tested repowered boats and find that it is amazing how much they improve performance over the same boat with an old engine. Advances in technology also make new engines more reliable.

While you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, you can repower an old sterndrive dog and turn her into a greyhound. Repowering is not quite as easy as writing a check for a new boat, but, then, it is not as expensive, either. For many people, the best solution to a tired old boat is repowering, and the immense savings is worth sorting out a few details -- such as do you go for a large horsepower engine now that you have the chance? We discuss what you need to know. More...

cross ruler

Where in the World?

Picture of the Week

Picture of the Week
Find out where this picture was taken and when.

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 on.

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...

Watch the trailer...

BoatTEST.com, LLC
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.