PDB Shootout: Starcraft Marine CX 23 DL

Published in the January 2021 Issue October 2022 Boat Test Monday

First Impression

To enhance means to intensify, increase, or further improve the quality, value, or extent of something. Based on this definition, there might not be a better way to describe the new CX series of pontoons from Starcraft. For the new model year, the entire line has been enhanced with new layouts and designs with a lot of unique features consumers are going to want.


Starting with the exterior, the anodized rails combined with the aluminum panels provide a clean and high-end vibe. As a side note, you can customize these panels along with the accent piece by selecting from a variety of colors to dial in your own specific combination that makes the most sense to you.

DL in the model name stands for dual lounger and that’s clearly the focus of this layout and floor plan. With the new foot pedestals at the base you can easily position the swing-backs in a variety of different configurations, but our favorites would be either a full rear-facing lounger or setting it up so the two bench seats are facing each other with a removable table in between. And don’t worry about finding a place to stow the table when you’re not using it. Next to the lounger is a large dock box that is ideal for storing the table as well as other large items.

Also in the stern is a standard stainless steel railing and the extended swim platform gives you an extra foot and a half of deck space outside the gate for toweling off after using the four-step boarding ladder.

Moving forward, the high-back dual helm chairs are a nice added touch, and for the captain the fiberglass console includes chrome bezel gauges, an optional Humminbird GPS and access to the JL Audio stereo controls. The standard stereo includes a total of four speakers, two in the front and two in the bow. Also at the helm is a designated spot for your phone in a compartment that is covered by a plastic lid and located just forward of the tilt steering wheel.

In the bow is a curved and symmetrical seating area with a pop-up changing room hidden in the back of the portside chaise lounge. When open, it’s average in size while standing at just over 5 feet tall. And besides being comfortable on bare feet, the Infinity teak weave flooring doubles as an added accent color to help tie in the look of the interior.

Closer Look

Below deck, the two pontoons are 25 inches in diameter and the undercarriage includes an optional full-length aluminum performance shield. Up top, the rail height varies from 24 inches tall in the bow to nearly 28 inches tall around the rest of the perimeter of the boat.

Throttle Down

For a two-logged pontoon, we were impressed by the cruising capabilities overall. We comfortably reached speeds in the mid 30s at wide open throttle after recording a 0-to-20 mph time of 4 seconds with the Mercury 150hp outboard on the back. She turns flat and is easy to maneuver with the hydraulic steering.

Why Buy

It wasn’t easy, but Starcraft found a way to enhance its already popular CX series of pontoons and make them even better. There are several different layouts, hulls, options and other ways to customize a setup that is perfect for you, but we feel the 150hp four-stroke and the handful of options as tested (combined with all the standard features) blend together nicely to create a great all-around package that is ideal for family cruising.

New Paris, Ind.

Number of Occupants: 12                   
Price As Tested With Power: $53.4K
Maximum Speed: 35.0 mph                   
Wild Ponies: 150 hp
No. of Openings: 3
0-20 MPH: 4.0 seconds   
Ladder Measurement: 3’ 8” deep

Why we love this boat… The configuration possibilities appear endless with the dual lounger seating and the floor pedestal, which make changing up those options effortless.

Just being picky… The standard pop-up changing room is nice because it doesn’t rob you of any seating, we just wish it were a little bigger than 5 feet, 4 inches tall. 


Full Fiberglass Console, Extended Stainless Rail, Bimini Top, Telescoping Ladder, Rear Flip-Back Seating, 4-Person Table, Changing Room and JL Stereo.


Infinity Teak Weave Floor, Performance Shield and In-Dash GPS.


LOA: 23’ 10”           
Beam: 8’ 6”
Hull Design: Pontoon
Dry Weight: 2,100 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 38 gallons


Engine: Mercury 150 FourStroke
Cylinder Type: Inline 4
Cubic-inch Displacement/Horsepower: 183.1ci/150hp
Lower Unit Gear Ratio: 1.91:1
Propeller: 48 X 15

RPM     vs.      SPEED     vs.  DB-A

900                  2.7                   72
1000                4.2                   79.8
1500                6.8                   84
2000                11.1                 82.5
2500                13.9                 85
3000                17.8                 92.5
3500                22.4                 93
4000                25.4                 96.5
4500                29.2                 99
5000                33.4                 99.5
5100                35.0                 102


Price As Tested: $53,366
(Boat and Motor)

Base Price: $45,353
(Boat w/90hp Mercury)

This article originally appeared in our 2021 Shootout issue. If you are interested in seeing more boat tests like this, click HERE to subscribe.

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