Splendor is typically conservative in colors and graphics, but the 239 SunStar that showed up for our test sported black hull sides with an in-your-face lime green accent color. Look below the bond line — basically the rub rail, where the hull and deck come together — and you may discover another surprise. Unlike most deck boats, which sport V-hulls, the SunStar is a planing catamaran. That gives the boat a smooth ride in rough water, a minimal draft (only 12 inches with the engine trimmed out of the water), and a very stable presence at rest as the crew moves about on deck. It also gives the boat added depth in places you wouldn’t normally expect. Open the two-part door on the portside head compartment, and you’ll discover a nearly 4-foot-deep, roomy enclosure rarely found in a boat this size, with a low-maintenance, finished fiberglass lower half. You’ll also find surprisingly deep stowage aft, as well as a large ski locker. It’s easy to see why Splendor Boats SunStars are big sellers in places like Baltimore and Annapolis in the Chesapeake Bay region and Florida’s Gulf Coast. Anyone who boats on shallow, choppy water will appreciate why this is so.
In profile, the Splendor Boats SunStar sports the traditional lines of early decks, with the noticeably elongated bow compartment offering plenty of room for passengers and the similarly sizable bow platform providing an easy spot at which to board or from which to cast. A telescoping bow ladder resides below a flush-mount hatch. Stowage is found below the bow seats, as well as in two forward compartments. More stowage is found below the helm, as well as within a starboard compartment below the standard freshwater sink with sprayer. Aft and to port, an L-shaped lounge creates a social gathering spot for passengers. Yet more storage is found in what serves as the engine compartment on the boat’s sterndrive version. A self-bailing cockpit, greatly appreciated by saltwater boaters, minimizes maintenance. Though not required, the voids below are fully foam-filled for safety.
Our test boat was paired with a 225 hp Suzuki outboard, an engine that pushed the SunStar onto plane in a quick 2.9 seconds, allowed it to reach 30 mph in an equally minimal 6.8, and topped out at 43 mph. En route, it handled with the agility of a V-hull, resulting in a spirited ride.
*Catamaran hull provides exceptional stability, especially in rough conditions.
*Fishing-friendly, expansive bow platform features covered anchor/ladder locker.
*Cat hulls provide added depth to portside head and numerous storage compartments.
Dry Weight: 3,500 lb.
Seating/Weight Capacity: 12/3,100 lb.
Fuel Capacity: 54 gal.
How We Tested
Engine: Suzuki 225
Prop: 17" x 18½" 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 2.29:1
Fuel Load: 7 gal.
Crew Weight: 325 lb.
$46,900 (with test power)
Silver Lake, Indiana; 800-359-7915; splendorboats.com