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The world's most extensive archive of boat reviews—more than 1,500—as well as useful boating how-to articles, and current maritime news.

Updated: 2018-03-02T07:34:32.433-08:00


Long Beach to Catalina Offshore Power Festival


Take a few small-but-impressive shows and combine them into one two-day extravaganza—that’s what you’ll get at the Long Beach to Catalina Power Festival July 19-22 in Long Beach, Calif. Sponsored by Powerboat magazine, the festival starts on Thursday with a party at the Yardhouse restaurant, followed by “Kids’ Day” on Friday. On Saturday, there’s the Catalina Water Ski Race, which always lives up to its billing as “the world’s greatest water ski race.” Come Sunday, personal watercraft will race from Long Beach to Catalina Island and back. Later that day, offshore performance boats will tackle the same roundtrip course in the Rum Run offshore race. The full story, as well as links to the event website and Powerboat magazine, is on at

New Mercury Marine Outboards


You’d think that Mercury Marine could take a break from releasing new models this year. After all, the outboard engine manufacturer unveiled a couple of new offerings in February, most notably the 300-hp Verado supercharged four-stroke model. But it’s the middle of the model year, and Mercury Marine is at it again with 175- and 250-hp outboards in its two-stroke OptiMax line and performance enhancements in the Verado and lower-output, naturally aspirated four-stroke series. Check it out in the latest installment of “The Outboard Expert” on at

Baja Offers Killer Poker Run Dealer


Poker run entry fees are getting higher and higher—we’re talking $1,000 and beyond per boat at some events. But Baja Marine is doing something to “ease the pain” for its customers. At select Poker Runs America runs this summer, Baja will cover half the entry for Baja powerboat owners. That means, for example, that the fee for the Connecticut/Long Island Run in Saybrook, Conn., will cost Baja owners $375 as opposed to the full price of $750. That’s a killer dealer, any way you look at it. The full story on the deal with all the contact information is on at

Cigarette Goes Yachting


Plenty of go-fast powerboat builders have tried to penetrate the mid-size performance-yacht market, but they haven’t had much luck. Now Cigarette Racing Team is getting into the game with its 55’ Cigarette Super Yacht. Manufactured in Turkey under Cigarette’s close supervision, the resin-infused 55-footer has two staterooms and a small cabin, an amazing galley and saloon, and a cockpit area built for entertaining. With a pair of 1,000-hp diesel engines, the yacht reportedly cruises at 52 mph and can top 60 mph. But will it attract buyers beyond existing Cigarette customers? Don’t bet against it. Get the exclusive first look on at

Outboard Expert Offers Cures to Honda Outboard Problem


When it comes to four-stroke outboard engines, Honda is a dominant player with an outstanding reputation for reliability and smooth operation. Last year, the builder went to fuel injection with its popular BF90 engine, but there are still plenty of carbureted BF90 offerings in the field. Reliable as they are, those outboards can have a “bogging” problem. Outboard Expert Charles Plueddeman explains why—and what you can do about it. Check it out at

Skater Catamaran Earns Raves and Award from Powerboat Magazine


High-performance catamarans just don’t get any better than the Skater cat line from Douglas Marine. Peter Hledin and the fine crew at the Douglas, Mich., plant continue to set the bar when it comes to craftsmanship and performance. The Skater 40 Super Sport is the latest example of their impeccable handiwork, and the 40-footer dazzled the demanding test team at Powerboat magazine. The custom-built model, which featured an elegant flat deck and ran 156 mph, even earned the magazine’s 2007 Offshore Catamaran of the Year award. Check out the review on at

Cigarette Takes Boat of the Year Honor from Powerboat


The name “Cigarette” has become synonymous with go-fast boats—it’s almost a generic term. But the truth is that Cigarette is an actual brand, and that every Cigarette is custom-built so that no two are exactly alike. This year’s winner of Powerboat magazine’s Custom Offshore V-bottom of the Year award is the Cigarette 42X. If you didn’t catch the review of this exquisite, 100-mph V-bottom because you don’t subscribe to the magazine or missed it on the newsstand, worry not. The complete story is on at

Exclusive Suzuki DF 25 V-Twin Outboard Review


You have to love the broad coverage of Charles Pluddeman’s “Outboard Expert” weekly column. One week, he’s talking about Suzuki’s new 250-hp high performance outboard engine, the next he’s testing the builder’s DF 25 V-Twin model. Somehow, the mainstream marine media completely missed this unique 25-hp model, which introduced by Suzuki more than a year ago. But Plueddeman, as always, is on it. He’s not just interested in the “big stuff”—he’s completely dialed into the small-outboard market. Check out the DF 25 review at

Suzuki Goes High-Performance with New 250-hp Outboard


Bass fisherman have another choice for powering their low-to-the-water rocket ships, thanks to Suzuki’s new-for-2008 DF250 SS outboard. Introduced to the press two weeks ago, the potent four-stroke engine is sure to turn a few heads. Look for the engine to go head to head with similar-output direct-injection two-stroke outboards, particularly the Mercury Optimax 250 ProXS and the Yamaha V-Max 250 HPDI. Charlie Plueddeman has the complete—and the first—review of the engine on “The Outboard Expert” on Check it out at

King of Shaves and Roscioli Hotels Triumph In Powerboat P1 Italy Event


Let’s face it: When it comes to V-bottoms, the domestic offshore powerboat racing scene is all but dead. For V-bottom action these days, you’ve got to look to Powerboat P1 in Europe, which has plenty of American-made boats and even a factory-backed team—Outerlimits. But in the second race of the season in Naples, Italy, a Fountain bested the Evolution-class field. Looks like the Fountain versus Outerlimits battle that was so hot on the homefront will reach a boiling point overseas. Check out the news from the Naples event at

Good Run Video Rocks


OK, I’m usually not a sucker for nostalgic marketing pieces designed to pull on your heartstrings, but “Good Run” on the Discover Boating web site is just amazing. In less than 4 minutes, the producers of this online video manage to take you through one man’s entire on-water life, from fishing with his father to fishing with his grandson. If you want to be reminded of why boating matters—and how powerful it can be—check it out. Visit for a quick review and a link to the Discover Boating site.

Malibu Wakesetter 20 VTX is Powerboat Magazines’s 2007 Tow Boat of the Year


Malibu has continued its winning ways in Powerboat magazine’s Award for Product Excellence Program. For the fifth consecutive year, one of the company’s models has taken the publication’s Tow Boat of the Year honor. This time around, the award went to the Wakesetter 20 VTX, a relatively compact wakeboard with surprisingly generous interior space and an endless array of features. Definitely worth checking out if you’re in the market for a top-shelf towing machine, the complete review of the Wakesetter 20 VTX is at:

Great Deal with Sea Tow


Spend enough time on the water and eventually something will go wrong—that’s a fact. From mechanical breakdowns to running aground, anything can happen. And even if you’re one of the lucky few who never has a problem, it’s nice to know that if you do help will be on the way. Sea Tow, the nation’s leading marine assistance provider, delivers that kind of peace of mind. Now customers can get a free 60-day trial to Sea Tow, and Sea Tow customers can get $20 off any “for sale by owner ad” they place on Check out this great deal at:

Baja 277 Islander is Runabout of the Year


Beating out a strong field, the Baja 277 Islander took Powerboat magazine 2007 Runabout of the Year award. A new model, the 27-footer combines bow rider form with sport styling and performance. That latter two qualities were particularly compelling to the Powerboat test team, which praised the boat for its driveablity and predictable handling manners. You can find the complete reviews of the 277 Islander on In fact, every week for the next few months the site will have a review of one Powerboat magazine’s 2007 award-winners.

Powerboat Racing In Malta


If the current state of domestic offshore powerboat racing has you less than thrilled, you’ve got to check out what’s happening overseas—especially in Powerboat P1. That’s the hottest V-bottom series going, and the Union Internationale Motonautique-sanctioned circuit just kicked off its season-opener in Malta. Everything about the event, from the conditions to the competition (not to mention the party) was huge. Take a look at the story on Powerboat Racing In Malta. And don’t miss the upcoming feature on the race in the July 2007 issue of Powerboat, which should hit the newsstands by early June.

More New Outboards from Yamaha


As the world’s most powerful production outboard engine, Yamaha’s F350 has rightly been getting the lion’s share of press when it comes to the engine builder’s 2007 line. But Yamaha has other significant releases for the new-model year, like the four-stroke F225TLR and, on the smaller side of things, the 9.9-hp “mini-kicker.” And Yamaha has reportedly improved the reliability of V-Max engine series. Charlie Plueddeman covers it all in “The Outboard Expert,” so check it out on

Outerlimits Wins Coveted Powerboat Magazine Award


Right now, no custom V-bottom builder in the world is doing better work than Outerlimits Powerboat in Bristol, Rhode Island. The company builds composite stepped-bottom models from 37 to 51 feet long, and their quality is unmatched. But Outerlimits also leads the custom V-bottom field when it comes to performance, which is why the company took Powerboat Magazine's coveted 2007 Outstanding Offshore Custom V-Bottom Performance award with its 46 LTD. Check out the complete review in the High-Performance Boat: Outerlimits Powerboats 46' Limited Review.

Yamaha F350 Outboard Tested


We’ve all heard the hype, but no one actually knows how well Yamaha’s new F350 outboard engine will do—until now. Charlie Plueddeman has reviewed the 350-hp outboard in his column, “The Outboard Expert,” on It’s the first actual hands-on review of the outboard, and Plueddeman tested it in twin- and triple-engine applications. It’s safe to say he was pretty impressed. Check out the story on Yamaha's new F350 outboard engine on

The Outboard Expert Sees Phase Out of Johnson Engines


The Johnson brand of outboards has been around since the dawn of time, or at least the dawn of outboard engines. But it looks like the venerable family of outboard engines is on its way to extinction. BRP, which purchased the Johnson and Evinrude outboard engine lines several years ago from OMC before the company closed its doors, has focused the bulk of its attention on the Evinrude E-Tec series. When the last Johnson outboards are gone from inventory, and there aren't many left, that will be, literally and figuratively, the end of the line. Check out "The Outboard Expert: Johnson Outboard Fading Fast" by Charles Plueddeman on for the complete story.

The Outboard Expert Tackles Ethanol


Ethanol could be wreaking havoc on the internal components of your outboard engine. Derived mainly from corn, this grain alcohol fuel additive oxygenates gasoline and reduces emissions. But what's good for the environment isn't always so good for your outboard engine. Ethanol also works as a solvent, meaning it can dissolve the accumulated junk in your fuel system, which can end up back in your engine. And that's where the trouble begins. But there are ways to battle the effects of ethanol-enhanced gasoline, including the use of water-separting fuel filters and fuel stabilizers. Check out the full story in "The Outboard Expert: Ethanol Issues," by Charles Plueddeman on

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