This fishing-friendly pontoon has plenty of features for anglers and nonfishing passengers alike. Those not wetting a line aboard the new Berkshire 231 RFC STS will appreciate the comfortable, deeply padded seating with two lounge configurations and a quality Clarion four-speaker stereo system with Bluetooth capabilities. A pop-up privacy room accommodates water-sports enthusiasts’ attire changes, and two gates aft lead to a huge swim platform with a matching full-size, four-step, telescoping boarding ladder.
Anglers will appreciate the two fishing chairs that flank a huge fishing station at the 231’s transom, which includes vertical storage for four rods, a pair of aft-angled, flush-mounted rod holders built into a King StarBoard top, and a 15-gallon baitwell/livewell combination. Horizontal rod storage is built into the base of the portside cockpit lounge where you will also find a handy compartment for stowing tackle boxes. There are two special racks for spools of fishing line as well.
Underpinning this Berkshire fishing model is a rock-solid deck atop cross members on 16-inch centers that are supported by full-length risers secured to beams. Topside, the deck is covered with a choice of tropical weave or vinyl that matches a wide range of available exterior color-and-graphics combinations.
An oversize helm chair puts the captain in front of a stylish dash with brushed rosewood accents, highlighting a full instrument package and a flush-mounted Humminbird Helix 5 GPS/fish finder. If rigged like our test boat with a Yamaha 115 four-stroke outboard and two people aboard, then that GPS will reveal a top speed of 27 mph at 6,000 rpm and a 0-to-20 mph speed of just five seconds. What it won’t reveal is how well this 23-footer responds to that helm, thanks in part to an aluminum belly pan placed between the tubes under the aft third of the boat that reduces drag, and increases fuel economy and performance.
*Belly pan between tubes reduces drag.
*Fishing station aft with rod holders and a 15-gallon livewell/baitwell
*Flush-mounted Humminbird Helix 5 GPS/sonar
*Oversize swim platform has a large, telescoping ladder and two entries.
How We Tested
Engine: Yamaha 115 four-stroke
Drive/Prop: Outboard/Yamaha 13½” x 12″ 3-blade aluminum
Gear Ratio: 1.92:1
Fuel Load: 12 gal.
Crew Weight: 370 lb.
$39,088 (MSRP with motor and rig, not including prop, freight and taxes)
Forest River Marine Elkhart, Indiana; 574-825-8696; forestriverinc.com