Starcraft’s SVX line of fiberglass boats has long had its characteristic traits. Hullsides are carried well forward, enlarging and squaring off the bow to increase passenger space and comfort. Both bow and stern cockpits have a deep and secure feel. Amenities are family-friendly, features standard, and models priced with value top of mind. The SVX 210 IO breaks from this status quo in only one respect: In a lineup defined by outboard power, it’s the first to feature a sterndrive. The choice maintains all that’s great about the SVX series but broadens its overall appeal, especially for those who enjoy watersports or like to socialize around the stern at the nearest sandbar or cove.
Interior and Accessories
Those familiar with the Starcraft lineup will recognize the SVX 210 IO as nearly identical to the 210 OB DC, an outboard-powered dual console. In fact, the switch to sterndrive power refashions mostly just the aft end of the boat. Rather than a swim platform largely bisected by the outboard’s placement, the IO offers a larger, extended platform that runs the entire beam and extends 2 feet, 9 inches off the transom. That makes the platform area far more crew-friendly, whether when hanging out and swimming at anchor or the sandbar, or when a rider gears up for skiing, tubing or wakeboarding. In both cases, the sterndrive’s prop is tucked underneath the platform, keeping the stern free of the obvious obstructions that come with the outboard. Captain and crew also enjoy a clear view looking aft. Practical trade-offs beyond the typical outboard-sterndrive comparisons? The obvious would be the engine taking up a chunk of what would otherwise be cargo space, but Starcraft minimizes the shortage by stretching the overall length compared to the boat’s outboard sibling.
As in similar sport-style layouts, the engine compartment serves as a platform for a large sun bed. Starcraft reserves the starboard quarter for a convenient transom walk-through, leaving a 4-foot-8-inch-by-2-foot-10-inch sun pad across the remainder of the cockpit for those who want to soak in the rays. The forward section of that pad can ratchet up to a variety of angles to create an aft-facing seat or laid-back recliner. The top half of the compartment lifts on a single pneumatic strut to offer good access to the engine, as well as the adjacent battery and trim pump. It’s heavy; an additional strut would be a nice addition.
The remainder of the layout mirrors the outboard version. A stylish, raked windshield tops the dual consoles, offering more protection from the elements than that found aboard traditional deck boats. Swiveling captain’s chairs sits behind each console, and each offers a flip-up seat bolster. The portside console features a molded-in sink, a foam-padded flat area to temporarily lay a phone or similar item, and a glove box below that. At the helm, the dash is simple yet stylish, with molded-in contours housing a central gauge array, a stereo head unit and two rows of rocker switches. A horizontal tray below the dash and netted pocket on the inwale are ready to keep smaller items secure. An L-shaped lounge lines the remainder of the main cockpit. In the bow, parallel lounges run 3 feet, 6 inches to port and starboard. A two-step walk-through leads onto a full-width 1-foot-6-inch-deep bow platform covered in EVA closed-cell foam MarineMat.
Practical considerations are made for all the gear that crews are likely to bring aboard. A cooler resides in the bow step. Hinged seat bottoms raise to reveal ample storage below most seating both fore and aft. Storage is available within both consoles. Cup holders and grab handles are scattered throughout. An in-sole ski locker is ready for various water toys and other wet or oversize gear. Though value-minded, Starcraft also doesn’t scrimp. Furniture is covered in 35-ounce marine vinyl for long-term durability. Buyers can also choose between a splash of exterior color as standard or upgrade to a three-color combo that’s far more eye-catching than what you’d typically find on a value-oriented model.
Comparison shopping? Bayliner’s 21-foot-7-inch DX 2250 (starting at $51,175 similarly powered) likewise blends deck and bowrider style, and sports a relatively similar layout with a deep, secure cockpit. An extended swim platform is an option, but it features a sizable compartment within the port console, big enough to outfit with a portable marine head.
The SVX 210 IO uses a dihedral-V hull design, consisting of a trio of forward sponsons that transition to a more traditional V-shape aft, with a flat keel pad that promises to get the hull quickly up and out of the hole and onto plane. Our test boat, powered by a 200 hp variation of MerCruiser’s 4.5-liter V-6 sterndrive with an Alpha drive and a 19-inch-pitch prop, took 6 seconds to get onto plane. Top speed overall was a respectable 48 mph. The engine also cruised at a comfortable 27.5 mph while burning only 6.2 gph. The SVX’s handling, however, revealed a little more performance-minded personality. Bring the boat up to speed, crank the wheel, and the hull responds in rapid fashion, sporting nimble agility in and out of corners.
How We Tested
- Engine: Mercury 200 hp MerCruiser 4.5L V-6
- Drive/Prop: Merc Alpha drive/Black Max 14 1/2” x 19″ 3-blade stainless steel
- Gear Ratio: 1.85:1 Fuel Load: 33 gal. Crew Weight: 400 lb.
- Standard Bimini top and JL Audio Bluetooth-enabled sound system.
- Hatch-covered boarding ladders at both the bow and stern platforms.
- Slide the helm seat back, flip up the bolster and raise the tilt wheel, and you can comfortably stand at the helm.
- Trimmed at speed, the hull had a tendency to porpoise, especially running into the wind.
- Glossy dash finish produces distracting reflection off the interior in the windshield.
- Windshield is stylish, but the angled ironlike supporting braces at the sides are rather sharp.
Pricing and Specs
|Price:||$59,999 (with 200 hp MerCruiser 4.5L)|
|Transom Deadrise:||14 degrees|
|Fuel Capacity:||44 gal.|
|Available Power:||Mercury MerCruiser sterndrive packages to 250 hp|
Speed, Efficiency, Operation
Starcraft Marine – New Paris, Indiana; 574-831-2950; starcraftmarine.com