When PDB editor Brady Kay told me he had an assignment he needed completed a few weekends ago, I didn't expect him to tell me to take a new Hurricane deck boat out to the reservoir and put it through the paces over a weekend. Now, we never explicitly said it doesn't take an entire 48 hours to test a single boat, but I assume he's aware of that fact and that he also knows I spent more than a few minutes waterskiing behind the thing.
But this feature isn't just for me to brag about the perks of my occupation. No, it's to review the Hurricane SunDeck 2000, a speedy deck boat if there ever was one.
The first thought that came into my mind when I saw the SunDeck was "Wow." The red, silver and black paint job (with just a touch of silver) gives it a real zippy feeling even when it's just sitting at the dock. And underway, the colors blur together into a nice pattern that is pleasing to the eye.
I then took some time to inspect this beauty while it was still trailered. Some reviewers only discuss the aspects of the boat that are visible when it's in the water, and so sometimes miss important details. The fiberglass hull for this Nautic Global Group model is very well constructed and the gel coat was even all the way around. The lights all conform to legal requirements, and the "Hurricane" in silver really adds a nice touch and leaves no doubt what kind of boat you're driving.
Get Up & Zoom
I tested the Sundeck 2000 with a Yamaha F225XCA outboard, complete with a Saltwater Series II-SDS 15.5 by 17 propeller. With this setup, I reached 20 miles per hour in 5.7 seconds, and hit a top speed of 50.9 mph. Make no mistake, this 20-foot boat can cruise. While the top speed is impressive, what was even more breathtaking is the sheer speed at which she leaps out of the hole. This might even be an issue if you're pulling novice waterskiers; a super strong yank is not exactly conducive to helping people figure out how to get up on the water. In short, no need to slam forward on the throttle if this is your activity of choice.
In further testing, I noted that once I got up to around 3500 RPMs, I enjoyed a huge burst of power, going from 15 to 30 mph almost instantly. This delayed surge of power may be handy if you enjoy trying to throw teenagers from tubes, as they may not expect such a quick yank at that point in the ride.
Attractive Meets Practical
A walkthrough of the SunDeck 2000 reveals attention to detail you don't see from all manufacturers. The Hurricane logo is embossed into the black and white seats, and prominently featured on the steering wheel, as well. As on the exterior, there's no mistaking you're on a Hurricane boat. One thing my passengers did comment on, however, was that the seat cushioning is a little thin, and may be considered hard by some. The tall seatbacks were definitely appreciated, as extra back support is something most people enjoy.
The changing room got some use and the reports I received were positive. We did find the stereo remote and MP3 input for the sound system inside the enclosure, which does keep them protected from the elements. The toilet and sink are a good size, usable even by bigger adults, and we appreciated the window, which allows in natural light and keeps the space from feeling too claustrophobic.
There is plenty of storage, with places to throw your stuff under the seats, under the helm and in the bow, as well as in the in-floor locker. Waterskis and wakeboards will fit just fine in the latter space, though it does not lock, so use caution when you leave your equipment on the boat overnight or over the week.
The Captain's Spot
Our editor is fond of touting the benefits of having a great helm seat. I think this is because he's a bigger guy, and trying to squeeze into an undersized chair while driving a boat is not something he loves. This is one bucket seat that he could appreciate. It slides and swivels, and includes a flip-up bolster and arm rests for good measure. I found the throttle to be located in a comfortable spot; I didn't have to reach or contract my arm too much to make the necessary adjustments.
For the music lovers out there, the SunDeck 2000 features a Sony RM-X60M stereo, with satellite radio functionality. You can enjoy your favorite classic rock station all afternoon or use the previously mentioned MP3 input jack to jam to your own playlist of early 80's hits. A 12-volt outlet is also present, perfect for charging phones or air pumps for water toys. I always like to see a fire extinguisher on a boat this nice, and it saddens me to report one is missing here. I would also like to have seen a glove box, or somewhere to store keys, wallets and other valuable items. In addition, while the accessory switches look nice and feel solid, they are partially covered by the steering wheel, making access a bit difficult.
Comfort In All Corners
Just because this boat was designed to get up and go go go doesn't mean it's not a comfortable and convenient ride. The first thing I noticed was the stainless steel cup holders and speaker covers; they really add a sense of class and quality to the overall experience. A sink and faucet, as well as a washdown hose came in handy when trying to keep the boat and my passengers clean through the weekend. I also counted a whopping 15 cup holders, enough for everyone to have a place to rest his favorite beverage, and then some. This actually became a bit of a problem as people left empty cans in the holders as there was no real reason to remove them until someone else needed a holder. Frequent reminders to bag bottles and cans for future recycling became necessary.
While there is a nice cooler built into the boat, it's a bit difficult to get to where it's located, in the stern. That said, it was plenty big for the drinks and sandwiches we packed on our excursions.
At the end of the weekend, it was clear the SunDeck 2000's best feature was its amazing performance. Nothing quite equals the thrill of leaping out of the water and screaming across the water at 50 miles per hour. That said, the SunDeck was also great for lunchtime, when we just dropped anchor and enjoyed the sun and breeze for a couple of hours. This boat can offer whatever you're looking for, at an MSRP of $51,225 (Yamaha F225XCA included). Since this boat will be your family's boat for years to come, it seems like a great investment to me.