The 22 Classic 009 Edition was sitting alone at our test dock, so like a thief in the night I jumped in, twisted the key dangling in the ignition and listened to the MerCruiser’s soothing rumble. I nudged the boat away and rumbled out of the no-wake zone before pressing the throttle gradually toward its limit.
Twenty miles per hour, 30, 40, then 50 and the boat hopped a little, like a thoroughbred that wanted to run. But it was still well behaved for a boat of its breed, so I trimmed it up and let it have its full-throttle head. The 22 Classic’s gait smoothed and reached more than 75 miles per hour. We talked to others who’d seen her tick the speedo to 80 mph on a cooler, drier day.
I trimmed the nose down a little in crisp turns, and she came around sweetly like a kid who’d caught a whiff of cotton candy. Trim tabs are standard on the 22, and to enjoy a smooth ride at 20 to 30 miles per hour, I ran them all the way down.
Some might want to criticize Donzi’s fireball for not having a swim platform — or a sun pad on the aft deck. But those who’ve added aftermarket goodies like that found their Classics didn’t fetch the collectors’ fancy at resale time. The cockpit is posh enough with tuck-and-roll upholstery and lush snap-in carpet. The performance instrumentation strokes your racing demons while keeping tabs on the powerful engine. Still, nothing reinforces customer satisfaction like the stares of envious friends.
• The 22’s stiletto lines are a traditional performance classic.
• Performance trim tabs respond quickly for a tuned ride.
• Only the Mercruiser 496 Mag HO we tested does performance justice to this boat.
• Optional “Quick and quiet” switchable exhaust gives stealthy port entrances.
• Plush carpeting adds comfort to a speedy ride.
* Length Overall: 22’6″
* Beam: 7″
* Dry Weight: 3,400 lb.
* Seating/Weight Capacity: 5/1,200 lb.
* Fuel Capacity: 52 gal.
* Maximum HP: 425
* MSRP (w/Mercruiser 496 Mag HO): $88,514
* NMMA Certified: Yes
* Test Engine: Mercruiser 496 Mag HO w/Bravo I
* Test Props: 14 5/8 x 27 Mirage Plus(Lab Finished, 3-Blade, Stainless)
* Test Load: People (375 lb.); Fuel (40 gal.)
* Top Speed: 75.6 mph @ 5,500 rpm
* Time to Plane: 7.0 sec.
* Time to 30 MPH: 10.8 sec.