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Boatbuilders have long attempted to blend the size and space of a deck boat with the look and style of an open-bow runabout, but results are often mixed. Starcraft’s SVX 230 IO pulls off the challenge with aplomb. Hullsides carry the beam width nearly all the way forward, keeping the bow cockpit wide and roomy without resorting to polarizing pickle forks or spoonlike swoops. Instead, a pair of gentle angles bring the otherwise rectangular footprint to a shallow, attractive V. Top things off with a wingless windshield, like those found aboard premier wakeboat models, and the result is a stylish, family-friendly hybrid for Starcraft’s typical value-minded price tag.
Interior and Accessories
Step into the cockpit via the starboard-side transom walk-through or spacious bow platform and find a seating layout for up to 11 crew. Bow couches stretch 3 feet, 6 inches in length and 1 foot, 6 inches in width. In the main cockpit, the high-back captain’s chair is duplicated behind the port console, both featuring flip-up bolsters. Aft, a U-shaped lounge wraps the remainder of the perimeter, interrupted only briefly by that corner walk-through. Swivel the portside seat when spotting for watersports or to socialize; the captain’s chair can turn likewise when not underway. A sun pad tops the engine compartment. Lay it flat or ratchet up the forward cushion to enjoy five stages of incline.
Details make the difference in value-minded models. MarineMat is standard atop the bow and swim platforms. Both feature telescoping four-step ladders under hinged covers for easy boarding. A beefy stainless-steel rail runs the length of the bow cockpit.
The dash is stylish and contoured, with an analog gauge array centered in the driver’s view. Stow phones and other items below within a shallow shelf.
Underway, Starcraft’s dihedral-V hull offered a solid ride, combining a deep-V along the centerline with reverse chines for a mix of both agility and stability. Our test boat’s 250 hp MerCruiser 4.5L pushed the boat onto plane in 3.8 seconds, past 30 mph in 7.4, and peaked at an average of 48.4 mph.
How We Tested
- Engine: Mercury MerCruiser 4.5L
- Drive/Prop: Mercury Alpha/Spitfire 14 1/4″ x 19″ 4-blade aluminum
- Gear Ratio: 1.62:1 Fuel Load: 40 gal. Crew Weight: 160 lb.
- Tailor the boat for fishing or skiing, with options like fishing seats, a livewell, wake tower and removable ski pylon.
- Extra storage located under the consoles.
- Standards include a ski pylon, stainless-steel bow rails, an in-floor storage locker, JL Audio Bluetooth sound system, Bimini top and tilt steering.
- Fit-and-finish concerns include exposed and unsupported speaker wires in the engine compartment, and unprotected hoses through the storage divider.
- You might miss elbow support for your throttle arm, particularly during activities like tow sports that require frequent speed adjustments.
- Automotive-style battery connectors don’t meet current ABYC standards.
Glastron’s 22-foot-4-inch GTD 225 (starting at $60,867 with MerCruiser 4.5L 250 Alpha) features a similar profile, layout, deep and secure feel, and even windshield design (albeit with side panels). The extended swim platform with EVA matting is an upgrade, but a pop-up changing room below the starboard bow seat is standard. There’s also a topside sink and open cooler storage in the port console and an available fishing package. Passenger capacity is 13.
Pricing and Specs
|Price:||$78,865 (with 250 hp MerCruiser 4.5L)|
|Transom Deadrise:||14 degrees|
|Fuel Capacity:||44 gal.|
|Available Power:||MerCruiser sterndrives to 300 hp|
Speed, Efficiency, Operation
Starcraft Marine – New Paris, Indiana; 574-831-2950; starcraftmarine.com