SPACE IS THE PLACE. About that deck space: The 26 Flotilla has lots of it - and creative ways to use it, too. The trimaran naturally lends itself to more deck space because the hulls go straight forward, so the beam is carried all the way up to the bow. This boat absolutely maximizes that space. Start with the 6'5"-by-3'1" bow cockpit. (In New York City that's a studio apartment.) Lift up a hatch in the sole and, surprise, there's a little wading pool, an innovation first seen on the Sea-Doo Islandia, a 22' jet-powered deckboat ($31,999). It's a great way to entertain young passengers while keeping them safely onboard.
THE HIGHS: Beam carries throughout the length of the boat, maximizing deck space. Huge stowage bins built into deep hulls. Trimaran gives it a rough-water ride most deckboats can't match.
THE LOWS: Turns flat in hard corners, like a catamaran, which takes some getting used to. Needs a lockable glovebox at the helm. No drain in the head on our test model.
The head compartment in the starboard console also shows innovation, doubling as a small rest area. When the cushions are in place, it offers a 6'-by-2'10"-by-2'2" room for changing or for kids to lie down. When you need to use the facilities, roll the mattress and side panels forward and snap them into place to reveal a spacious fiberglass-lined head with 3'7" of headroom. There's also a dedicated stowage slot for the cockpit table. The stainless-steel towel rack will see double duty as a grabrail; Rinker would do well to add a true one. The head in our test boat also had no drain, but Rinker says it's installing one. Overall, the 26 Flotilla is rated for 12 people. I usually scoff at maximum capacity ratings because on most boats that means cramming everybody in like sardines. But the 26 Flotilla might actually be able to pull it off. Having 10 people aboard could definitely work, and 8 would be no sweat. Another place where the 26 Flotilla separates itself from other deckboats is in stowage. The lockers under the lounges in the bow cockpit, built into the outer hulls, are the largest I have ever seen on a deckboat. They are 4'-by-1'10"-by-1'9". You could fit a family of four inside each one. The port locker holds the bow sunpad filler cushions and still has plenty of room left over. Both are plastic lined and offer completely dry stowage. Comparing apples to oranges, the Four Winns 254 Funship has exceptional stowage for a conventional V-hull, with large bow lockers, a deep but unfinished ski locker in the bow cockpit, and nice dry stowage in the starboard console. But the trimaran allows Rinker to take advantage of long, deep hulls, where a V-hull is constrained by its forward taper. The 26 Flotilla's ski locker is built into the center hull, located in the sole between the two consoles. At 5'10"-by-1'7"-by-1'5", you can stuff it with your water toys. The port console offers even more great stowage. Basically, anything you could possibly want to bring aboard for a day on the water will fit.