Our First Impression
It’s not hard to figure out why the Hampton line from PlayCraft Boats has become
so popular in a short amount of time. A perfect addition to the PlayCraft
family, the 2485 RL gives you everything you need without going overboard. Some
boats are made for fish’n, and this one was obviously designed for chill’n.
We first got our hands on a Hampton back in the Fall of 2008 and it’s
hard to believe just how far this line has come in such a short amount of time.
The exterior is beautiful and the rear lounges immediately grab your attention
from a distance. It is designed to seat two comfortably, but if you flip up the
wide armrest in the center you can easily get another person back there
comfortably. Having this setup contained inside the stainless steel rails is a
nice added touch for safety as well as for looks. The well-braced ski/tow pylon
looks more like a work of art than just a solid option for your water toys, and
there is even a stereo remote and huge subwoofer in this area, as well as an
easy-to-use boarding ladder.
The three-tone tan, black and white soft-touch vinyl seats
give it a high-end look that is extremely inviting and has a comfortable look
to it. And the good news is the seating is as comfortable as it looks with
excellent leg and lumbar support. Besides the nice rear loungers in the stern,
there are three chaise lounges as well that are all equally comfortable. You
could even make a strong case as to why the helm seat—that slides, swivels and
reclines—is just as comfortable as any of the five lounges onboard.
For the captain is an attractive fiberglass helm station
with a vinyl wrap, and the dash console includes easy-to-read gauges, a Jensen
stereo and there is even a little door-less spot with a 12-volt and MP3 ports.
A depth finder might be a nice addition to consider, but as-is, this dash is
ready to go.
Added touches like the padded gates and walls and the 22-ounce
Raton carpet help add to the high-end look and feel that Hampton is going for with
Two 25-inch diameter chambered pontoons are the base of this
24-footer. We especially like the double splash fins on the nosecones that add
durability and longevity to this boat. The heavy-duty C-channel cross-members
are bolted to the one-piece plywood deck and are on 12-inch centers overall.
Above deck there is nearly 15 feet of usable space from
inside the bow gate to the rear bench. Overall the craftsmanship earned high
marks as well as the overall layout design that is safe and family-friendly.
To truly appreciate the performance capabilities, you need a
little more power than what the Yamaha 60hp can offer. But realistically we
were pleasantly surprised by just how well this little four-stroke did. She
tops out close to 20 mph and the turns are nice and flat. She handles well and
is quite responsive with this engine package. True, it was built for chill’n,
but a little more power could come in handy.
Who Should Buy It
The performance score drags down the overall Shootout rating
a little, but what’s important is the quality construction, family-friendly
layout and the overall great value this Hampton
has to offer. For those who take pride in ownership, this would be a great boat
to take a closer look at. If the posh high-end rear lounge section doesn’t grab
your attention then all the other great creature-comforts surely will.