Mid-Season Buyer's Guide 16 fiberglass beauties to choose from

Published online: Jul 09, 2009 Feature Brandon Barrus
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Americans like choices. When you want a hamburger, you've usually got no less than four fast-food joints and three classier restaurants to consider, not to mention the ability to buy the ingredients yourself and do some grilling on the back deck. It's enough to make the more obsessive among us paralyzed with indecision.
This deluge of choice also applies to the boating industry, where a simple decision to buy a new deck boat can swamp you with information on more models and manufacturers than you can shake a stick at. 
Here at PDB, we do the heavy lifting for you. We've rounded up the specs and vital information on 16 of the industry's best offerings, all here to make your final decision that much easier when the time comes to actually plunk down your hard-earned money.




The AZ 260 is a great family sport boat, able to accommodate up to 13 passengers. The cockpit highlights a wetbar with sink, storage and spacious seating arrangement. The stern bench is a convertible sun pad that flips to three different positions. In the upright position, it is set as far back as possible to utilize maximum cockpit space. The large head door allows you to step in and out away from the windshield point, providing convenient privacy. The helm is a handsome design, inspired by luxury sport cars. It features a soft-touch vinyl-clad dash, brushed aluminum panels, fog-resistant gauges mounted above the matching Italian leather steering wheel and a sculpted dash brow, designed to reduce glare on helm instruments. 
Azure boats are contemporary, known for high style and high-performance engineering. Azure's deep hull design enables the boat to have a 39-degree deadrise at the bow, and a deadrise of 22 degrees at the transom. This boat cuts through water effortlessly, equivalent to the soft, smooth ride you would get from much larger saltwater fishing boats. The deep hull design is perfected by the air induction reaction vent, SureTrack system and StraightTrac transom extension, which ensures turning ability and precision handling.  
At the stern, you'll notice that the side of the boat narrows into the swim platform. This curve is designed for docking success, keeping the back end completely out of the way.  The swim platform is unique, very large and entirely level. Getting out of the water and onto the platform is a breeze thanks to the four-step telescoping ladder. 
Several luxury options are available on the AZ 260, including a Rockford Premium Sound System with four speakers and an MP3 port, with satellite option.
SPECS
LOA: 26 feet
Beam: 8 feet, 6 inches
Dry Weight: 4524 pounds
Dead Rise: 20 degrees 
Fuel Capacity: 70 gallons
Maximum Horsepower: 425hp
Passenger Capacity: 13
Maximum Load: 2100 pounds
Bridge Clearance: 62 inches
Phone: 574-264-6336
Web: www.azureboats.com
Chaparral helped pioneer today's modern deck boat with the introduction of its popular Sunesta Series back in 1995. In 2008, the company completely restyled its Sunesta line, introducing four brand new boats highlighted by the 244 Sunesta. 
All-new in every way, the 244 is certainly not your grandfather's Sunesta. What sets the 244 apart is Chaparral's innovative and patented Wide Tech hull design. The Wide Tech design carries more beam forward while maintaining the soft riding V-bottom that customers demand. Chaparral's amazing design opens up many exciting possibilities when it comes to storage space, legroom and interior innovations. Simply put, inch for inch, the 224 Sunesta measures up quite favorably when compared to the competition. 
Inside, Chaparral's Dura-life Max seating sets the standard in durability and comfort. Stainless steel rails, bow to stern, add a measure of security and quality. The high tech helm features digital instrumentation and illuminated rocker switches so you can monitor all onboard functions with just a glance. Aft, an innovative transom lounge connects passengers onboard with anyone splashing around in the water and, in conjunction with the oversized integrated swim platform, provides the ideal launching pad for water sports. 
The 244 makes the perfect wakeboard tow boat and is set up for family fun of all kinds. Targeted for lakes, rivers and even offshore, the 244 snaps on plane, tracks perfectly and is secure in challenging seas. Additionally, Chaparral's Quad Radial Lamination system keeps the strength up and the weight down and is Kevlar reinforced for the ultimate in ride comfort.
SPECS
LOA: 24 feet, 4 inches
Beam: 8 feet, 6 inches
Dry Weight: 4400 pounds
Dead Rise: 20 degrees
Fuel Capacity: 60 gallons
Maximum Horsepower: 320hp
Passenger Capacity: 14
Maximum Load: 2100 pounds
Bridge Clearance: 56 inches
Phone: 229-686-7481
Web: www.chaparralboats.com

The VIP Deckliner 242 Vee Hull Sport Deckboat was developed in response to the demand from dealers and customers for a deep vee hull deck boat. After many hours of planning and designing by the Deckliner product development team, the company was proud to introduce a performance-packed boat with excellent amenities and comforts. The VIP DL 242 Sport Deckboat is a versatile craft, great for sunbathing on the sundeck, playing cards on the dining table, relaxing in the shade of the bimini top or skiing, tubing, or wakeboarding.  
This classy and stylish boat has an all-composite structure, which means there is zero wood in the craft. It also features a walk-thru windshield, portable toilet, Sunbrella canvas, Clarion CD/Stereo with hand remote and four speakers, flush mount docking lights, premium gel coat panels on the deck and hull, luxurious expanded vinyl roll and pleat interior, ski or wakeboard storage, stainless steel deck rails, pull up cleats, drink holders, grab handles and two tables, all standard. 
The VIP DL 242 Sport Deckboat comes with a full five-year bow-to-stern warranty and a limited lifetime hull warranty.
SPECS
LOA: 24 feet, 2 inches
Beam: 8 feet, 6 inches
Fuel Capacity: 59 gallons
Maximum Horsepower: 375hp
Passenger Capacity: 10 
Maximum Load: 2020 pounds
Phone: 800-256-7579
Web: www.vipboats.com

Ebbtide is proud to introduce its new 2460 Single Console Fun Cruiser. For those who enjoy the lifestyle of a spacious deck boat, but yearn for the looks, speed and precision of a bow rider, this model is the perfect choice. With Ebbtide's patented Z-Trak hull design, this deck boat corners more precisely and provides easy maneuverability and control. The sleek Z-Trak look incorporates high-performance double-vented chines with a modern style and design to satisfy any family's boating needs.
This Z-Track Fun Cruiser packs all the power for pulling water sport enthusiasts, who will appreciate the abundance of storage area in the bow and stern, as well as a generous ski and kneeboard locker compartment amid ship in-floor. The easily accessible swim platforms at the bow and stern feature stainless steel four-rung telescoping ladders. The rear platform also has a generous storage area, which can be used as a cooler with a drain. 
The cockpit is designed with all the creature comforts and state-of-the-art controls of a high performance boat. The captain will enjoy a smooth ride with the adjustable flip-up SAS high back captain's seat with special shock-absorbing comfort suspension.  Additionally, this model features a co-pilot's seat to observe the water sports or just to relax. The soft vinyl-wrapped dash includes a speedometer, tachometer, oil pressure and water temperature gauges, a safety tether switch and built-in depth finder. A JBL stereo system featuring I-Pod and MP3 connections is the perfect addition to create an ultimate boating atmosphere.
SPECS
LOA: 24 feet, 6 inches
Beam: 8 feet, 6 inches
Dry Weight: 4200 pounds
Fuel Capacity: 68 gallons
Passenger Capacity: 14
Phone: 615-797-3193
Web: www.ebbtideboats.com

When you wake up to a day on the 2009 F224, it's sure to be a memorable one. The F224 is a fantastic family deck boat and an exciting sport boat all in one. The F224 can be customized on a number of levels.
At 23 feet, 8 inches, the F224 includes maximum convenience, with a sink and pressurized water and a handy trash compartment. A built-in ice chest keeps beverages and snacks cool, and a removable 36-quart cooler is included for extra capacity. To add to the comfort, the F224 fully enclosed head is fiberglass-lined with a screened port light and overhead lighting.  Plus, cleanup is a snap with aft and forward showers.
New for 2009, the F224 is available in a Frenzy edition for those who demand a unique look. The Frenzy edition includes signature exterior graphics that represent the action and thrill of water sports. Color options include Jet Black, Sunset Orange, True Red and Classic Navy. Frenzy helm and port console gel coating matches the exterior color. Seating also features color-coordinated vinyl trim and sew patterns to accent the exterior.  The Sony AM/FM/CD player stereo is at the driver's fingertips, conveniently located to the right of the steering wheel. An optional remote control can be requested for use at the swim platform. For serious music lovers, there is a stereo package upgrade that includes a Kicker amplifier and a 10-inch subwoofer. An iPod/MP3 port and 12 VDC receptacles are at the helm, making it easy to enjoy a music collection or charge a cell phone. The ports are located in a storage cubby lined with non-skid material that minimizes sliding and jostling of electronic devices. 
SPECS
LOA: 23 feet, 8 inches
Beam: 8 feet, 6 inches
Dry Weight: 4240 pounds
Dead Rise: 17 degrees
Fuel Capacity: 50 gallons
Maximum Load: 1900 pounds
Phone: 231-775-1343      
Web: www.genmar.com

The DX 235 is undoubtedly the flagship of Glastron's 2009 deck boat lineup. The DX 235 is a dual-console model with a design that is unique to the model line, consistent with the company's philosophy of giving each deck boat model its own distinct personality.
This 24-foot 4-inch deck boat is designed to appeal to experienced boaters who appreciate the family-friendly layout of a deck boat, but also enjoy the more social aspects of boating. It's great for entertaining family and friends on the water, and when it's time to pick up the pace, the full wraparound glass windshield provides welcome protection.
The DX 235 provides all the functionality and all the luxury of a large upscale bow rider, but with several added benefits. The most obvious is extra space and lots of it. More passenger space. More walk around space. More storage space. More places to hang out. Design features include large fore and aft swim platforms, deep-water boarding ladders, a sizeable bow seating and sun lounge area, a roomy head that doubles as a changing compartment, a transom jump seat (perfect for putting on skis or a wakeboard) and three boarding areas (bow, starboard and transom).
With its dual-console design and luxury appointments, the superbly crafted DX 235 offers a slightly more sophisticated approach to deck boating. Whether you're planning a sun-filled day on the water with the kids or a laid-back sunset cruise with friends, the Glastron DX 235 lets you do it all in style. 
SPECS
LOA: 24 feet, 4 inches 
Beam: 8 feet, 6 inches
Dry Weight: 4000 pounds 
Dead Rise: 15 degrees
Fuel Capacity: 73 gallons 
Passenger Capacity: 13
Maximum Load: 1950 pounds 
Phone: 320-632-8395      
Web: www.glastron.com

Godfrey Marine is proud to introduce the "Smoking Hot" FDGS 201OB.  Be the envy of your dock mates this summer as you cruise around the lake in this stylish, practical deck boat. This newest model is priced under $20K with a four-stroke 115hp Yamaha or Mercury engine. This unique price-pointed boat is an excellent option for any family interested in getting on the water for the first time or anyone looking to upgrade to a newer model.  Standard items include a Jensen CD player with MP3 input and two speakers, Godfrey Marine's exclusive GX48 vinyl, built-in fuel tank, color-coordinated canopy and boot, rear freshwater wash down, two stainless steel ladders, pump sink and in-floor and in-seat storage.  Factory-installed options include hydraulic steering, two bow fishing seats, ski/tow bar and a playpen cover.  If you've ever thought about joining the Hurricane family, the FDGS 201OB is the perfect opportunity.  
SPECS
LOA: 20 feet, 1 inch
Beam: 8 feet, 6 inches 
Dry Weight: 2360 pounds
Fuel Capacity: 52 gallons
Maximum Horsepower: 200hp
Passenger Capacity: 10
Maximum Load: 1410 pounds
Phone: 574-522-8381
Web: www.hurricaneboats.com

Kayot is known for producing quality boats, and the V220i is no exception. Available in several different graphics packages, the V220i is a great choice for anyone looking for one of the best the industry has to offer. 
The V220i features digital instrument gauges (on MPI engines), a fiberglass inner liner in the cockpit, hinged seating, stainless steel hinges and a hand-laid fiberglass hull. A performance V-hull design means you'll be able to cruise to your heart's content. Safety features, such as docking lights with stainless steel bezels, LED courtesy lights, manual fire extinguisher with holder, NMMA certified navigation lighting and stainless steel grab rails mean you'll worry less about your loved ones while out on the water.
For the music lovers among us, the V221i offers an optional Sony 10-disc CD changer, while other optional features include bow filler cushions, underwater lighting, portable cup holders, net retention for temporary storage and American flag with teak pole. 
You'll be able to take all of your friends out on a day on the lake in the V220i, which seats up to 14 people and measures over 24 feet in length when including the swim platform. 
SPECS
LOA: 22 feet, 4 inches
Beam: 8 feet, 6 inches
Dry Weight: 4060 pounds
Dead Rise: 19 degrees
Fuel Capacity: 45 gallons
Maximum Horsepower: 250hp
Passenger Capacity: 14
Maximum Load: 2345 pounds
Bridge Clearance: 51 inches
Phone: 260-432-4555    
Web: www.harriskayot.com
The latest in Larson's line of deck boats, the Escape 254 features a modified-V hull and the ability to take you and 11 of your closest friends on a weekend of wild and wet fun. For the entertainers among us, the Escape 254 offers 16 cup holders, two tables (bow and stern), a carry-on cooler and floor storage compartments. And if that wasn't enough to convince your friends to join you for a day of fun, the Escape 224 also comes standard with a wet bar with Corian counter top. 
Getting on and off the Escape 254 is a snap, as the craft features three-step telescoping ladders on the bow and the stern. A transom shower and transom storage compartments give you access to a freshwater shower to help keep you boat looking clean. The boat also has a 12-volt receptacle, as well as an automated bilge pump, sink and water system, MP3\iPod port, Sony AM/FM/CD stereo system with subwoofer and amp. The Escape 254 also comes with a free six-month subscription to Sirius satellite radio, so you can follow your favorite NFL team or NASCAR driver while enjoying a day in the sun. 
Optional equipment includes a canvas bimini top, swim platform mat, stern filler cushions and cockpit cover. Escape from life's stresses with the Escape 254. 
SPECS
LOA: 25 feet, 1 inch
Beam: 8 feet, 6 inches
Dry Weight: 4650 pounds
Dead Rise: 16 degrees
Fuel Capacity: 59
Passenger Capacity: 12
Maximum Load: 2100 pounds
Phone: 320-632-5481    
Web: www.larsonboats.com

The latest from NauticStar, the 205 SC is made for people who want a great experience on a deck boat. The 205 SC seats eight, is built from all composite wood-free construction and comes standard with a limited lifetime hull warranty. Imagine yourself spending an afternoon on the water with a stylish Sunbrella bimini top, 25-quart Igloo cooler, removable table and seven drink holders. 
On the practical side, the 205 SC comes equipped for any situation, with auto bilge pump, fiberglass stringer system, anchor storage with anchor, ski/tow bar and stainless steel drain plug. You'll have plenty of room to put water toys, squirt guns, food or other things required for fun with under-seat storage boxes, while the ski locker gives you a place to put your equipment. 
For fishermen, the 205 SC has an available fishing package, which comes with two fishing seats, trolling motor harness, aerated livewell for your fish, and a battery tray. 
The 205 SC is NMMA certified and offers optional snap-in carpet, Sirius satellite system, Humminbird P220 in dash and stainless steel prop exchange. The NauticStar 205 SC is a great option for people looking for their first boat or those looking to make an upgrade.
SPECS
LOA: 20 feet
Beam: 8 feet, 6 inches
Dry Weight: 2100 pounds
Fuel Capacity: 27 gallons
Maximum Horsepower: 150hp
Passenger Capacity: 8
Maximum Load: 1554 pounds
Phone: 662-256-5636   
Web: www.nauticstarboats.com

If you're looking to combine the comfortable ride of a pontoon boat with the looks and performance of a 
sport cruiser, PlayCraft has the boat for you. While this wish may have seemed out of the realm of possibility in the past, the 260 SXi was built specifically with you in mind.
Here's your chance to be among the first to experience this new craft. Unwilling to merely put a new spin on an old mold, PlayCraft instead built an entirely new mold. Its exclusive FlexSpeed hull design combines the comfort and stability of a deck boat with the handling characteristics of a sporty runabout. For slow cruises or fast runs down the lake, from just hanging out in the bay to racing your buddies to the dock, the 260 SXi meets every need.
On board, you'll find the finest comforts and conveniences of pontoon boats and sport cruisers, including ample seating and luxurious amenities such as AM/FM CD player with four speakers, auxiliary jack and remote control. This boat also has sporty design features, such as side-panel designer graphics, and the controls and instrumentation are top-of-the-line. All of this is constructed with quality, high-end materials. 
SPECS
LOA: 26 feet
Beam: 8 feet, 6 inches
Dry Weight: 5500 pounds
Fuel Capacity: 85 gallons
Maximum Horsepower: 425hp
Passenger Capacity: 12
Maximum Load: 3,000 pounds
Phone: 573-765-3265      
Web: www.playcraftboats.com

The 248 Captiva Deck Boat is an exciting re-introduction of the Rinker deck boat. The 248 Captiva DB-soon to be followed by the 228 DB and the 268 DB-is loaded with family-friendly features. Take a test drive! Go ahead, cruise, ski, wakeboard, tube, scuba dive, fish or just enjoy a quiet evening sunset.
The new Rinker DB's are ready for action. There is plenty of room for storage and performance to spare, not to mention space for your closest friends and family. With the standard swim platform, convenient stainless steel bow and transom boarding ladder, access to these pleasure boats is just a step away. Kids and adults alike can easily get on and off this deck boat, the best for an afternoon of fun just parked in the middle of a lake or reservoir. These new deck boats will incorporate the ever-popular "R" package, as well as the addition of an available anchor windlass. The stainless steel speaker covers and MP3/Ipod stereo input are a nice standard feature as well. Step aboard the Rinker 248 DB and experience the ultimate in family fun; you won't regret your decision. 
SPECS
LOA: 24 feet, 8 inches 
Beam: 8 feet 6 inches 
Dead Rise: 13 degrees
Fuel Capacity: 75 gallons
Bridge Clearance: 5 feet 
Phone: 574-457-5731    
Web: www.rinkerboats.com

If you think it sounds hard to create a new deck boat that meets the varied needs of owners around the world, just imagine revamping an entire series of boats to those standards. That's exactly what Sea Ray is doing with its popular Sundeck lineup. The company recently introduced new 210 and 290 Sundecks, and now introduces the 230 Sundeck-a vessel that, like its next-generation siblings, has all the features an active boating family craves.
Measuring just over 24 feet long, this model has plenty of room for guests to enjoy cruising, wakeboarding, fishing or all of the above. They can relax on plush bow lounges, which can be converted to a sun pad with optional filler cushions. Two swiveling bucket seats with flip-up bolsters ensure that the captain and navigator have a good vantage point whether sitting or standing. The large cockpit lounge becomes a sun pad with adjustable backrest. There's even an aft-facing transom bench at the stern.
When it's time to drop the hook and get the party started, the 230 Sundeck obliges with a standard Clarion AM/FM stereo with single CD player and digital cockpit remote. Eight cup holders and a cockpit table will hold all your food and beverages. The latest Sundeck also scores style points for its contemporary design, which incorporates slick touches like stainless-steel engine vent covers and an extended swim platform with rubber insert and concealed ladder.
If you're looking to take family boating to the next level, join the evolution with the Sea Ray 230 Sundeck.
SPECS
LOA: 24 feet, 1 inch 
Beam: 8 feet, 6 inches
Dry Weight: 4850 pounds
Dead Rise: 21 degrees
Fuel Capacity: 55 gallons
Passenger Capacity: 10
Maximum Load: 1800 pounds
Phone: 865-522-4181      
Web: www.searay.com

For the new model year, Starcraft Marine is staying true to its heritage of innovation-aiming its broad product line squarely at the budgets of people who want a better experience on the water. A great example is the Limited 1915 OB. This craft is an easy-to-tow, family-friendly deck boat that packs a ton of high-end features and top-quality construction.
Like all Starcraft deck boats, the 1915 starts with the one-of-a-kind modified dihedral vee-hull with air injection vents. No rough ride or rocking motion here, just a remarkably smooth, stable ride-and head-nodding performance that gives you the most zip for your horsepower.
The 1915 OB also boasts Starcraft's legendary attention to details. The fiberglass construction process is nothing short of meticulous, with 24-ounce woven roving fiberglass and 22 mils of high-elongated gel coat applied to exacting specifications. Once aboard, you'll be impressed by the self-bailing cockpit design, the high-quality vinyl upholstery with self-draining foam and the lightweight rounded composite lids that don't creak or crack.
The 1915 OB is designed for long days on the water, with its freshwater sink, large padded sundeck and spacious bow swim platform with an integrated ladder. And you can easily customize your fun with an optional wake board or fishing package.
Looking for the prestige of a deck boat at a family-friendly price? Take a closer look at the impressive 1915 OB from Starcraft.
SPECS
LOA: 19 feet
Beam: 8 feet, 6 inches
Dry Weight: 2250 pounds
Fuel Capacity: 51 gallons
Maximum Horsepower: 200hp
Passenger Capacity: 10
Maximum Load: 2250 pounds
Phone: 260-593-2500
Web: www.starcraftmarine.com

The Tahoe 215xi I/O is the picture of comfort, safety and convenience. To prove it, Tahoe offers this boat standard with nine drink holders, color-keyed acrylic bimini top, removable table with base, heavy-duty rub rail with stainless steel insert and UV-resistant vinyl and thread. The 215xi is constructed with a hand-laid, PowerGlide hull design, while the dash offers speedometer, tachometer, voltmeter, fuel gauge, trim gauge, oil pressure and water temperature. The craft is powered by a MerCruiser 4.3L, 190hp engine, good for cruising around the lake towing a skier or tube. 
Listen to your favorite music or sporting event on the standard Sirius-capable AM/FM/CD stereo with MP3 jack and four directional speakers. The Plexiglas windscreen is tinted to keep the glare out of your eyes when piloting the craft, and the dash is a beautiful simulated burlwood. 
The 215xi comes standard with a Lowrance digital depth finder to see what's beneath you, rotary switches and eight gauge trolling motor wiring with bow receptacle. Take your pick of colors, as this boat is offered in Black Cherry, Blueberry, Victory Red, Onyx, Citron Yellow and Copper Aft.
SPECS
LOA: 21 feet, 6 inches
Beam: 8 feet, 6 inches
Dry Weight: 3425 pounds
Dead Rise: 20 degrees
Fuel Capacity: 45 gallons
Maximum Horsepower: 260hp
Passenger Capacity: 12
Maximum Load: 1800 pounds.
Phone: 417-873-5900
Web: www.tahoesportboats.com

Every season, Vectra deck boats make its mark on the water by combining sizzling performance and eye-popping styling with tremendous value. This year, this manufacturer is taking it up a notch with the remarkable 2290 OB center console, featuring one of the most impressive helms in its class. 
This boat's ready for anything, with seating for 12, bow and stern swim platforms and a safety-minded inside depth of 32 inches. This boat is equipped to help you go longer 











between pit stops with a 75-gallon fuel tank, a lockable head with a portable toilet, a freshwater shower and a huge 72-quart removable cooler. 
The helm far exceeds anything you'd expect and features a custom-molded silver metallic dash with domed gauges, deluxe-lighted switches, an in-dash digital depth finder and an optional flush-mounted GPS unit. All of which is even more impressive when you drop the throttle and experience the performance of the stepped hull. This exclusive design is optimized to provide excellent hole-shot performance and establish an even running angle at all speeds, giving you impeccable low-speed handling.
The 2290 OB also offers an impressive range of options to help you customize your boat. An optional T-top provides excellent sun and weather protection along with an elevated profile. The fishing package and ski/tow options let you pump up the fun, while the optional stereo with a 10-disc CD changer and iPod/MP3 port lets you take entertainment to the next level.
If you're shopping for a deck boat that stands out in a crowd, don't miss the Vectra 2290 OB center console. It's a big-boat experience that's easy to own.
SPECS
LOA: 21 feet, 6 inches
Beam: 8 feet, 6 inches
Dry Weight: 2840 pounds
Dead Rise: 17 degrees
Fuel Capacity: 75 gallons
Maximum Horsepower: 250hp
Passenger Capacity: 12
Maximum Load: 2500 pounds
Phone: 574-831-2103
Web: www.vectraboats.com

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