You can have an entry-level runabout and still get amenities such as a sun pad, an extended swim platform and a full windshield. Take a look at the new Starcraft Limited 185 IO Sport, and you’ll see a boat with all these features that can be trailered behind a crossover vehicle.
Starcraft also offers the option for a Bimini top or wake tower, tilt steering, and a fishing package that includes a rod holder, livewell and bow fishing chair. Add one or more of these, and you’ve got serious versatility in a small package.
This boat can seat seven comfortably and has the capacity to squeeze in eight. The sun pad and extended swim platform stretch the relaxation room beyond the interior space, which itself is roomy for a boat this size. The bow seating area in particular is a pleasant surprise, where two or three people can lounge without knocking knees. The bow seats have backrests on the consoles, so passengers can lean back and face forward, soaking up rays.
Like other boats in Starcraft’s fiberglass boat lineup, the 185 IO Sport has vented chines that help it achieve a quick hole shot and reach 30 mph in less than eight seconds. With the ability to hold plane at under 16 mph, the 185 IO Sport will be great for tubing. The low planing speed also will help you get home when the waters begin to kick up past your comfort level.
At wide-open throttle, I hit 46 mph on test day — a fast but safe number for a bowrider under 17 feet. That’s with a carbureted 190 hp sterndrive under the hatch; the 185 IO Sport can handle a 225 hp engine. That’s big performance from a boat with a small sticker price.
The full windshield offers wind protection to passengers in the cockpit.
The standard sun pad is a feature normally found on larger bowriders.
An extended swim platform comes standard, adding play space.
Vented chines help this boat quickly climb on plane and reach 30 mph.
» Test Engine: Mercruiser 190 HP 4.3L Alpha Stern Drive 1.81:1
» Test Prop: Mercruiser 14½" X 18" Four-Blade Aluminum
» Test Load: People (475 LB.); Fuel (23 GAL.)
» Top Speed: 46 MPH @ 4,900 RPM
» Time to Plane: 3.7 sec.
» Time to 30 MPH: 7.8 sec.
» Minimum Planing Speed: 15.8 MPH @ 2,500 RPM
» Length Overall: 16'10"
» Beam: 7'6"
» Dry Weight: 1,550 LB.
» Seating/Weight Capacity: 8/1,100 LB.
» Fuel Capacity: 23 GAL.
» Max HP: 225
» MSRP: $20,351 (w/ test power)
» NMMA Certified