The Wild Card
Yet another approach in deck boats, where maximum space is the only guiding goal, has given us traditional deck-boat hulls bearing virtual pontoon topside plans. Look at Hurricane's new FunDeck 218 from a bird's-eye view, and you'd be excused if you thought it was a pure luxury pontoon, with its spacious deck plan, tastefully blended stainless-steel rails and side-mounted console.
But back at water level you see that supporting the 10-passenger deck is the company's Category 5 hull. This tri-hull, a modified V with sleek sponsons, is wide both fore and aft (where some deck boats still display just a slightly snubbed bowrider shape). Lifting strakes, along with a reverse chine and a shallow draft, pop the boat onto plane in a snap. Several companies have followed suit, but Hurricane is considered the leader in this hybrid style — maxed out interior coupled with a performance running surface and in-deck storage not found on most pontoons.
Starcraft has a similar combo deck-toon, with a variation that leans toward the runabout influence. Its SD 201 tops a sleek fiberglass hull and deck with a three-gate rail, but there's more fiberglass above the waterline than in the Hurricane. The reverse chine V-hull also promises a dry ride.
Closer to pontoon-ness, perhaps, is Premier's Sport Dek. Here, a pontoon deck rests atop three flat-bottom, foam-filled sponsons — as stable as pontoons, but quick to plane like a deck-boat hull. You could stage a great debate in a dockside bar over whether this is a pontoon or a deck boat — but not over whether it blends the best of both worlds.
Hurricane FunDeck 218 RE I/O
Why it stands out: The FunDeck series was among the trailblazers in the pontoon/deck boat crossover design. Also available with outboard power, it's as fun to drive as a runabout, but with the topside comfort of a big pontoon boat. Oversized in-floor storage is something you won't find on most pontoons.
Length overall: 21'8"
Dry weight: 3,995 lb.
Weight capacity: 1,440 lb.
Fuel capacity: 52 gal.
MSRP (w/ Mercury 4.3L MPI): $32,100