Clearly this Starcraft is centered around the massive wakeboard tower—as well as being centered on having fun. Plus we’re a big fan of unconventional colors, especially when they add a sporty touch to a high-end-looking boat.
Starting with the exterior of the boat, the standard black rails can be paired up with eight different panel colors, including black, that really flow nicely with the black trim and black painted pontoons. The green accent exterior graphics (also available in blue) are part of the Sport Package that also includes a splash of green inside the boat to offset the cream-colored vinyl seats. Another great option is the sea weave flooring that again is just one of the many choices offered to help customize your ‘toon.
According to the manufacturer, this layout is its best-selling because of the three designated conversation areas which include tall seatbacks. There are two chaise lounges in the bow and two more rear-facing ones in the stern. It’s important to point out that when not being used as a lounger it can be used as a regular bench seat which comes in handy when you’re pushing its 14-passenger capacity rating.
At the fiberglass helm console the lighted toggle switches and chrome accent gauges tie the look together. Built into the center of the console is an optional Humminbird 5-inch GPS. Dual high-back helm seats ensure the captain and first mate will be comfy, and just forward of the helm is a hand pump faucet and sink.
It may be an option, but wow, are we impressed with the well-braced wakeboard tower. The black frame includes lighted built-in logos on the side, a light bar on top, plus a full Bimini that includes a zipper so you can access the top of the tower to secure your rope. There is even a standard ski pylon for a second towing option for the enthusiasts onboard. If we had to be picky, the only thing that appears to be missing is storage for those water toys. An in-floor ski locker is available as an option, but on the particular boat we tested we couldn’t find a good place to store boards or skis.
More and more consumers are looking for a little more deck space outside the gates, especially those who enjoy water sports. On the SLS 5 Sport the rear platform extends out over the extra-long transom, creating extra space to board using the four-step telescopic ladder.
One other amenity worth noting is the pop-up changing room (65 inches tall when open) that is built into the back of the bow chaise lounge and includes room for a designated portable toilet.
With the PR25 Performance package you gain a full-length center pontoon, which at 25 inches in diameter provides a very solid foundation. There are lifting strakes on both sides of the center tube and on the outsides of the outer tubes.
From a safety standpoint, we like that the railing is a consistent 27 inches tall around the boat. Overall the SLS 5 earned high marks for its quality fit and finish work and construction.
With the Yamaha 250 SHO performance outboard on the back we comfortably hit the 40 mph mark and then some at full throttle. She banks slightly into the turns and is very responsive and fun to drive. With a quick zero-to-20-mph time of just over five seconds, it was easy to put a smile on our faces.
Comfortable, sporty and well-built, this Starcraft has a lot going for it. The more we looked the more we loved about this SLS 5 Sport.
Number of Occupants 14
Maximum Speed 44.0 mph
Wild Ponies 250 hp
No. of Gates 3
0-20 MPH 5.15 seconds
Ladder Measurement 3’ 8” deep
Why we love this boat…The sporty look rightfully steals a lot of the spotlight, but the comfort and practical layout with great standard features shouldn’t be overlooked.
Just being picky…Beautiful wakeboard tower with a sporty overall look that wakeboarders will love, yet no designated storage room for your water toys.
HMX Performance Strakes w/ PR25 performance tube, black painted tubes, black rails, ski pylon, pump faucet and sink, pop-up changing room, boarding ladder and dual helm chairs.
OPTIONS ON TEST BOAT
Wakeboard tower and sport colors (green interior and graphic), sea weave flooring and Humminbird GPS.
LOA 26’ 10”
Beam 8’ 6”
Hull Design Three Pontoons
Dry Weight 2,471 lbs.
Fuel Capacity 60 gallons
Engine Yamaha 250 SHO
Cylinder Type V6
Cubic-inch Displacement/Horsepower 254ci/250hp
Lower Unit Gear Ratio 1.75:1
Propeller 15 1/2 X 16
RPM vs. SPEED vs. DB-A
1000 4.2 81
1500 6.1 83
2000 8.9 85
2500 11.5 89
3000 16.7 93
3500 22.8 95
4000 25.9 95
4500 30.0 96
5000 32.9 98
5500 38.0 99
6000 44.0 102
New Paris, Ind.