Every year, we meet up with some of the top manufactures in the pontoon and deck boat world to test their newest models. All of these reviews are compiled in a special Boat Test issue that comes out during the first part of the year. We are going to start previewing some of the best 2012 models each Monday here at http://www.pdbmagazine.com/. Enjoy!
Starcraft 220 SCX I/O Sport
Our First Impression
If you're looking for the performance of a runabout with the space and comfort of a pontoon boat, look no further than this new cross-over series from Starcraft. This is one sporty-looking deck boat that backs up those looks with a great-performing hull as well as unique features. It's a real eye-catcher, especially from the water, and we couldn't wait to get the helm seat on this one.
From inside the boat you almost forget just how vibrant and sporty the exterior looks. We love the bright red color and extreme sport graphics that give the boat a splash of excitement. While on the inside, the silver, black and white interior give you more of a conservative feel.
From a safety standpoint, the deep seating area-especially in the bow-is impressive, unlike other deck boats that leave you wishing you had more back support. The comfort is great and the different configurations in the bow that help convert the area into individual sun pads really take comfort to the next level. You can also transform the rear bench seat to lay flat for an additional lounge. As you can tell, Starcraft really wanted you to be comfortable on this model.
As for storage options, there are plenty of great places to store your items including deep compartments below the seats as well as the 16-inch deep in-floor ski locker that is over 6 feet in length. There are also wakeboard racks on the optional wakeboard tower that also include a partial bimini as well as stereo speakers.
The stereo controls are at the helm, but there is also a remote in the stern that is part of the swim platform that includes a second five-step telescopic boarding ladder, non-skid deck and a large ski/tow bar. The sporty-looking helm console that is loaded with easy-to-read gauges is a perfect fit for this boat. As an added touch, this particular model included a ski mirror so the driver can keep an eye on the wakeboarder.
Other key features include snap-in carpet, a small sink behind the captain's chair with an electric washdown and cooler storage below the rear-entry walkway.
The modified Dihedral Vee hull uses 24-ounce woven fiberglass with a 6-inch overlap between the hull and deck for enhanced strength. Next is the application of 22 mils high elongated gel coat for this pickle fork design that really increases the durability.
Above deck there is 10 feet of usable deck space inside the boat and the hidden areas like under the seats are all well finished. Overall the boat earned high marks for craftsmanship as well as for its fit and finish work.
When you combine a unique hull, sporty looks and a big MerCruiser 350 MAG engine, how can you go wrong? We flirted with speeds near the 50-mile-per-hour mark at full throttle and in the sharp turns she banked beautifully. The hull design brings the speed boat feel to the deck boat industry as she performed like a a high-end sportscar. This great performing boat will have you singing "Life in the Fast Lane" by the Eagles when you throw down the throttle.
Who Should Buy It
With more cool features and amenities that we couldn't find the space to mention, it's safe to say this is a loaded sporty deck boat that is fun to drive and won't disappoint the thrill seekers in your family. Plus, it's backed with Starcraft's lifetime plus 6 warranty, which covers the lifetime of the hull, five years on blistering and six years on everything else. Now that's impressive.
Why We Love This Boat
Not all sporty-looking boats can back it up with actual performance, but this high-end deck is a true hot rod that is a lot of fun to drive.
Just Being Picky
Really the only thing missing on this boat is some type of a changing room and maybe a designated trash receptacle. Other than that, this deck is loaded with a lot of great features.
Rear boarding pad, convertible sun pad, stainless rubrail, bow/stern telescoping ladder, premium upholstery and convertible bow seating.
Options on Test Boat
Sport Package (wakeboard tower, tower speakers, wakeboard racks, sport furniture, sport colors and graphics, black dash and sink) and LS Package (snap-in carpet, lighted cupholders, upgrade stereo with USB port, subwoofer, amp, 2 rear facing speakers, remote touch pad for stereo, sink with transom shower and underwater lighting).
Vital Stats & Info
Number of Occupants - 13
Price As Tested With Power - $52.8K
Maximum Speed - 49.6 mph
Wild Ponies - 300 hp
No. of Gates - 0
0-20 MPH - 6.9 seconds
Ladder Steps - 5
Ladder Depth - 3' 10"
LOA - 21' 7"
Beam - 8' 6"
Hull Design - Modified Dihedral Vee
Dry Weight - 3,000 lbs.
Fuel Capacity - 52 Gallons
Tallest Side Onboard - Sides 37"
Lowest Side Onboard - Rear Entry 16"
Changing Room Height - N/A
RPM vs. SPEED vs. D-A
600 3.2 mph 82
1000 4.8 mph 87
1500 7.0 mph 94
2000 9.0 mph 96
2500 10.9 mph 98
3000 22.4 mph 102.5
3500 29.7 mph 106
4000 34.9 mph 108.5
4500 39.8 mph 109.5
5000 46.7 mph 110
5400 49.6 mph 110
Price As Tested $52,799
(Boat and Motor)
(Boat and Motor) $41,605
New Paris, Ind.
Don't forget to check out the video of the test: