Starcraft’s SLS 5 DC presents well as a higher-end craft for family outings, watersports and evening cruises. With a Yamaha F250 SHO on the transom, it gave a spirited performance with impressive mileage numbers. At full pedal, the SHO twisted a relatively high-pitch Yamaha three-blade stainless-steel prop to 5,800 rpm through 1.75 gearing to net a 46.3 mph top end — faster than most. For mileage, we saw 3.2 miles per gallon at our most economical cruise speed of 18.9 mph and 3,000 rpm. The big Yamaha is very quiet on this hull; average decibel readings were in the 70 to 80 db range, quiet enough for normal conversation — even at speed. The Starcraft provided predictable and smooth handling, taking hard-over turns with a flat stance and spanning larger waves. At just under 26 feet long, the SLS 5 DC won’t fall between the wave troughs, so rough water ride is comfortable without pitching. The SLS option means lifting strakes on both sides of the center log and on the inner sides of the outboard logs. Additionally, the tubes, railings and trim are spiced up with matte-black paint, done in-house, giving the boat a performance look.
Aboard, the Starcraft pleases with tough roto-cast seat bases and platforms, which won’t rust or rot, and they can take a lot of abuse. Upholstery is plush and cushy, and it feels good on bare skin. This is a dual-console design, so the bow section has two facing equal-length loungers with plenty of storage underneath. The driver’s console is a pleasure to work with. Analog gauges and click-switches give an old-school look and feel but with a modern and ergonomic layout. Plenty of speakers and an amp/subwoofer combo give the Kicker stereo enough juice to keep everyone tuned in. The consoles themselves are aerodynamically styled and forward-looking. The stern seating nearly duplicates the bow seating. Two facing loungers create an intimate conversation pit, with an extended deck abaft that’s suited for watersports, swimming or rafting up. Starcraft’s limited lifetime warranty on the deck, tubes and transom gives peace of mind.
- The Lexan windscreens on this Starcraft look sharp and actually deflect wind from driver and passenger.
- Dash layout has clean placement of instruments, and accessory switches and controls make for a pleasant and informative helm.
How We Tested
Engine: Yamaha F250 four-stroke
Drive/Prop: Outboard/Yamaha Saltwater Series 15 1/2″ x 17″ 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 1.75:1
Fuel Load: 60 gal.
Crew Weight: 400 lb.
Starcraft Marine – New Paris, Indiana; 574-831-2950; starcraftmarine.com