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Boat Buyers Guide 2013

December 18, 2012

Runabouts

**Bayliner 185**
Bayliner has put a premium on space, both for passengers and the stuff they bring along for the ride.
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**Boston Whaler 230 Vantage**
Whaler’s fishability and fishing DNA are evident in this new view on Boston Whaler’s boating fun.
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**Boston Whaler 270 Vantage**
This big, bold do-all boat serves a variety of nautical needs, and is built for blue water.
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**Bryant 233 Walkabout**
This small company provides personalized service, features and detail of custom quality craft.
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**Chaparral 257 SSX**
This big bowrider impresses with its sporty handling, flexible cockpit layout and luxury accouterments.
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**Cobalt 26SD WSS**
The 26SD WSS will keep all eyes on Cobalt for decades to come.
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**Cobalt 336**
This flagship bowrider is spacious topside with a cozy cabin below.
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**Cobalt R5**
It had all the spring of a racehorse and the agility of a barrel turner.
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**Ebbtide 176 SE**
The gelcoat gleamed, and ample use of stainless-steel hardware means its good looks will remain for years.
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**Formula 310 FX5**
While speed and flash come part and parcel, so too does comfort and a jaw-dropping paint job.
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**Four Winns H260**
The DuoProp drive cut into the water hard, giving us a true track in abrupt turns.
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**Glastron GTS 205**
There was very little bow rise at the hole shot, and the boat handled like a dream at wide-open throttle.
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**Hurricane SunDeck 2200 DC OB**
A bigger cockpit, less corrosion, shallower draft and more mark this outboard-powered boat’s appeal.
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**Larson All American 23**
Twenty-first-century boatbuilding techniques meet the style of a ’57 Chevy in a boat that brings romance back to the water.
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**Larson LSR 2100**
Retro fins meet space-age stealthy lines, with black accenting white in a design that looks space-flight ready.
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**Monterey 197FS**
This is not a sterndrive boat with an outboard afterthought. It’s optimized, by design, to carry the ponies on the transom.
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**Nautic Star 223 DC Sport Deck**
Room for 10, a stable attitude and quick-planing performance rank this boat high with the deck-boat crowd.
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**Regal 3200 Bowrider**
This big day boat is designed to bring the most performance, comfort and fun possible to families on the water.
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**Rinker 186 BR OB FS**
This outboard-powered runabout is versatile and performs well with moderate power.
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**Splendor 239 SunStar**
This deck boat is a catamaran, ­providing stability and ride qualities not found aboard V-hull boats.
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**Starcraft SCX 201**
Wide-open topside, this boat’s dihedral-V-hull form boasts great ride, handling and efficiency.
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**Starcraft SCX 240 I/O**
Big, deep seating areas fore and aft couple with spirited performance to rate this boat top-notch.
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**Stingray 191 LX**
The 191 LX is a zesty boat that will leave you with a satisfied smile and a fatter wallet.
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**Stingray 214 LR Sport Deck**
Ski or cruise, the 214 LR Sport Deck is well equipped to please a family and their friends.
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Pontoons

**AquaPatio 250 Express**
This pontoon stands out in a fleet thanks to sleek styling and an innovative layout.
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**Avalon WindJammer Elite**
Maximizing space, this pontoon melds great looks, fresh design and classic appeal.
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**Bennington 2550 RCB**
You’ll really be “cooking” if you choose this high-performance luxury pontoon.
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**Bennington 2575 RCW I/O Sport Tower**
Sterndrive power, a tournament-style tow tower and more ensure this ‘toon gives fiberglass runabouts a run for their money.
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**Cypress Cay Seabreeze SL 230**
A low price, high style and big fun awaits the skipper of this new pontoon.
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**G3 Sun Catcher X322 RF**
We punched the throttle and it hit 20 mph — planing speed for most V-bottom boats — in just 4.4 seconds.
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**Harris FloteBote Solstice 240**
Attention to detail, comfortable accommodations and a moderate price make this new pontoon destined for popularity.
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**Lowe X250**
This flashy new member of the Lowe X Series, the new X250 — is a step up in class, style and performance over Lowe’s other pontoon series.
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**Manitou 23 Legacy SHP**
Fitted with an Evinrude 250 HO E-TEC outboard engine, the ­Legacy 23 planed almost instantly and peaked at more than 50 mph.
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**Premier 250 Grand Majestic LTD**
This pontoon has the layout and performance to satisfy the needs of any boater.
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**Premier 250 Solaris RF**
This pontoon offers serious zip and some of the most comfortable ­seating we’ve experienced.
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**Premier 290 Grand Entertainer 10 Wide**
A full bar, wide beam and fantastic performance make this pontoon an incredible entertainment platform.
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**Premier 290 Grand View 10 Wide**
With a raised helm and ­cavernous space, this boat rates as one of the coolest and most innovative ­pontoons on the market.
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**Princecraft Vogue 25 XT**
With triple pontoons and a 225 hp Mercury Verado, we hit 45.1 mph, and in turns this pontoon tracked as though on the proverbial rail.
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**Starcraft Majestic 256 Starliner**
The Starliner ups the ante by adding a stylish aft bar to the overall layout.
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**Sun Tracker Regency 254**
The aft lounge is spacious enough for two, and could make a stateroom for balmy camping in dry weather.
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**Sylvan 8525 Mandalay Bar**
Sylvan’s Revolutionary Planing Technology tweaks the pontoon’s running surface to behave more like a V-hull.
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Fishing

**Mako 21 LTS**
Fun comes from horsepower, and to a tournament angler, horsepower brings cash.
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**Ranger 1850LS**
The 1850LS is a fishing and water-sports combo, packed with performance for a full day of fun on the water with the family.
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**Ranger Z520C Carbon**
Fish tournaments hard, fast and comfortably with this Cadillac of bass boats.
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**Starcraft Coastal 2009 OB**
Classic deck-boat styling, outboard power and versatility mark this new boat as a winner.
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**Stratos 176 VLO**
This boat is a fully equipped fiberglass alternative for budget-minded anglers who think they can afford to run only aluminum rigs.
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**Triton 21HP**
A full-size tournament package with eye-watering acceleration, this boat delivers blazing top-end speed.
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