Hampton is the luxury boat brand by the folks at PlayCraft Boats. PlayCraft was the first to set speed records at the Lake Rescue Shootout on Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri, and they currently hold many records. So we weren’t surprised to see this stately deck cruiser pushed by a big V-8 Yamaha outboard.
And pushed well, we’d say, after achieving speeds of 50 mph and then showing off a bit with an impressive rooster tail. That power works well with the fiberglass deck-boat hull thanks to the aluminum transom bracket, which brings the motor into solid water well aft of the turbulence created by the transom. The boat cornered quite well in spite of its near-tri-hull design, and it got onto plane quickly with minimal bow rise thanks to that hull.
You’ll make the most of the power by filling the seats with 11 of your friends. Then fill the cooler with a load of ice and cold drinks, and serve it all from the entertainment galley aft of the lounge.
The seating on the Hampton is plush, to envelop you in luxury and cushion the bumps from the roughest waters. Storage underneath is ample, and access is easy. The hinge design allows the seat tops to fold toward the centerline and stay there while you rummage through the gear.
The captain’s seat is an armchair worthy of a gentleman’s den or smoking room. It swivels and reclines, adding even more luxury while you pilot the ship. Additional features add excitement, including the padded tilt wheel, standard Yamaha digital gauges and a Simrad display with NMEA BUS connection to the outboard, providing another window into the inner workings of the motor.
For convenience there are three boarding-door options — come aboard fore, aft or amidships. Exterior styling is top-shelf, with color-matched side gates that are padded for luxury. The padding also helps to dampen drumming on rough water. LED courtesy lights and under-deck LED light strips illuminate the hull sides for a warm glow.
Hampton did a great job matching luxury with performance — the brand holds a few speed records of its own — while adding just a pinch of adrenaline.
- The weave-look vinyl deck is padded for comfort, and its teak/holly finish adds nautical flair.
- The stainless-steel Bimini top is standard.
How We Tested
Engine: Yamaha F350
Drive/Prop: Outboard/Saltwater Series II 23″ x 15 1/4″
Gear Ratio: 1.73:1
Fuel Load: 25 gal.
Crew Weight: 390 lb.
Hampton by PlayCraft – Richland, Missouri; 572-765-3265; hamptonpontoons.com