Say goodbye to deckboat bowlounges that aren't long enough for your legs. Just a couple of years ago, these open bow designs would leave my legs hanging to the side if I tried to recline. Not a problem aboard Rinker's 26'8"-by-8'6" 268 Captiva. Its bowlounge is a behemoth. What's more, all the angles, armrests, and cupholders are placed where they should be -- even for my 6'2" frame. Because a deck is all about kicking back with your mates and taking things easy, Rinker offers the boat with a windless ($2,739). Now, I've never worked with a windlass that didn't snag a line. Fortunately, Rinker's engineers used some trickle-down theory and adapted designs from their bigger boats. As we all know, windlasses need access, so forward of the underseat cooler, there's a pie plate. And yes, the diameter of the opening is big enough for two hands to reach in and untangle the inevitable nest.
All this is nice, but let's face it: You also need to get where you're going. To that end, my test boat's power package -- a 320-hp Volvo 5.7 GXi with a DuoProp stern drive -- is well matched. The 268 Captiva topped out at 48.5 mph. Electronic Vessel Control (EVC) on my tester made handling silky smooth, with excellent response and none of the herky-jerky feel of switching between forward, neutral, and reverse. The only downside I experienced was a slight lag when I jammed the throttles for a quick getaway. On-water maneuvers were sure-footed and bowrise was negligable. Kudos to Rinker for the standard, integrated trim tab setup, which helps keep things on the level.
The helm seating is a shoulder-high bucket that swivels and has a bolster for better sightlines. On the companion side, you have another high back bucket seat and a U-lounge aft. The head compartment is hidden here in the port console. To starboard is the wetbar, a perfect place to mix your drinks, another way in which this deckboat makes it easy to say hello to the good times.
MSRP: Standard power - $57,897 Test power - $63,913
Contact: 954.525.7430 www.rinkerboats.com