At nearly three feet wide, the bow platform of StarCraft's Star Step 215 is big enough to be functional. Too many deck boats suffer from bowrider envy, sporting pointier bows and tiny platforms. And deck boats are all about bow and stern platforms, which makes them the ideal boats for cruising to the sandbar, a mission at which the Star Step 215 excels. The bow ladder is extra long, so you can nose-up and disembark dry-shod. Anchoring? Starcraft incorporated a capacious rode locker into the bow too. Aft, I admired the extended platform for its recessed swim ladder. This doesn't trip bathers when stowed and, at four rungs long, you won't have to put your knees to your chest to board. I also discovered a pair of drink holders, a well for stowing tow lines, and the stereo remote within reach.
Naturally, a deck needs to be fun on the run, and with a 250 hp MerCruiser stern-drive, the Star Step 215 hit top speed of 43 mph in a hair under 12 seconds. Goose the throttle at midrange speeds and you're rewarded with an exciting burst of acceleration. This deck won't leave you flat. Plus, its ability to plane at sub-20 mph makes it ideal for wakeboarding and tubing.
There are other attributes experienced boaters will appreciate. The battery, buttressed against a stringer and so securely strapped I couldn't budge it an inch when I leaned on it, will remain secure regardless of the wakes you hop at speed. Plumbing and electric runs are robustly supported, and there's enough clearance above the trim fluid reservoir to top it off without the need for a funnel and hose. That's rare serviceability aboard a boat this size. Just like that functional bow platform.
• The portside boarding door eases the chore of lugging supplies aboard, and gives a third option for entry (in addition to the bow platform and stern platform).
• Sturdy clips secure the anchor and keep it quiet while stowed.
• The head boasts an easy-to-clean fiberglass liner.
• Stepped hull helps the boat generate more performance by reducing friction.
Test Drive * Test Engine: MerCruiser 5.7L 250 HP Alpha One stern-drive * Test Prop: 14" X 18" aluminum, 4-blade * Test Load: People (190 LB.) Fuel (20 GAL.) * Top Speed: 43.3 MPH * Time to Plane: 3.1 sec. * Time to 30 mph: 7.0 sec. * Minimum Planing Speed: 16 MPH @ 2,400 RPM Vital Stats * Length Overall: 20'4" * Beam: 8'6" * Dry Weight: 2,380 LB. * Seating/Weight Capacity: 12/1,890 LB. * Fuel Capacity: 51 GAL. * Max HP: 320 * MSRP: $37,444 ( w/ 5.0L MPI) * NMMA Certified: Yes